2014 Brno Moto2 And Moto3 Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Brno:

Second row for Miller at Brno

World Championship leader improves his times from yesterday and will go start tomorrow's race from sixth. Hanika places 17th in a qualifying session marked by interruptions.

08/16/2014 - Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic

An incident-packed qualifying session decided the grid for Czech Pepublic Grand Prix at Brno. Rain and a red flag to repair an airfence prevented the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders from performing to their best this Saturday, Jack Miller was nevertheless able to set his best lap of the weekend and take a spot on the second row. Meanwhile, Karel Hanika will start from the sixth row tomorrow for his home Grand Prix, after taking the seventeenth fastest time.

It is the circuit where he has ridden the most, but Karel Hanika has still been able to improve his times in each of the practice sessions disputed so far. In the last practice, held this morning, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie placed fifth with a 2:08.543 time, slower than his teammate by a thousandth of a second. Miller, fourth, was unable to best his times from Friday, but virtually matched them with a 2:08.542 on colder asphalt (19ºC).

The sky threatened rain for the qualifying session, and a shower did not take long in coming. Eight minutes in, the first drops of rain fell on the the Czech track. This sent the riders back to the pits, in a situation repeated twice more throughout the 40 minutes: Once for rain and once for a red flag. These interruptions and traffic on track left the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders unable to feel comfortable, as they attempted to work together as a team. In the end Miller set the sixth fastest time of 2:08.122, with Hanika seventeenth with a 2:08.861 after he crashed on his final lap.

The eleventh race of the season will start at 11:00am on Sunday. Miller will attempt to become the winningest Australian in the history of the lower cylinder class, whilst Karel Hanika will be trying for a strong result in front of his home fans.


"The biggest problem today was the traffic. As we saw, we were not the only other riders to have been bothered by it. It was a little crazy, but we did the best we could. Perhaps we should have picked a harder compound for the final run, because I felt more comfortable every time with it, but we thought that to try to get a fast lap the soft compound would be better. It did not work as expected, but for tomorrow we have a good feeling and a good pace and I think we will have a good race.

We start from sixth, which isn't too far back, and it's just a pity that Karel [Hanika] is down in 17th. He did not have much luck with the weather and how things went at the end of the session."


"It was an unfortunate session for us, I think. We did not get the position we wanted, but I don't think we started badly. However, after the rainfall the conditions were not good and it was a little bit of a stressful time, with many riders on track. The last ten minutes, conditions improved and I wanted to push, but I went too hard and on my first lap I made a small mistake -then I suffered the crash afterwards. I'm sure that if I had made the most of those hot laps I would have finished in the top 10, but now we have to work ahead of the race.

If tomorrow I can set two good laps early on, then I can have a good race. I am confident that I can take consistently fast times at home. If we do this, then I'm sure the race will be good for us."

Marquez and Rins shine again

Repsol riders take turns at head of Saturday practice sessions and Marquez claims second pole of the season. Rins leads off the second row.

The second day of the Czech Republic Grand Prix was a positive one for Alex Rins and Alex Marquez. After their good start yesterday at Brno, the Repsol riders dominated on Saturday –with pole position for Marquez the highlight. He will head the grid tomorrow, with his teammate just behind at the top of the second row.

Both riders completed 15 laps in free practice today and confirmed the feeling from yesterday. The duo continued setting up their Honda machines for race day, adapting their bikes perfectly to the Czech track. Rins set the fastest time of the session on his last lap, with Marquez second a tenth behind.

The qualifying session did not start in the best way for Marquez, who crashed on his fourth lap when trying to avoid a large group of riders involved in an incident which has been involved. He was able to return to the pits to repair the damage to his bike. A red flag to fix a safety feature on the track bought him some time, and he was able to go back out with 10 minutes remaining.

Still second on the timesheet, Marquez managed to keep cutting tenths off his times and finally took a 2:07.691 lap for his second career pole. His previous qualifying top spot came at Barcelona this year. Rins was just three tenths behind his teammate with a 2:08.051, placing fourth for the race tomorrow –the eleventh of the season.

Álex Rins 4th 2:08.051 30 laps 162 km

"I'm happy with the result –even more so because I set my time riding alone. I am satisfied because we have improved a lot; if we compare the work done in this Grand Prix so far on the Friday and Saturday with other rounds, we can see that if you are focused on going fast from the beginning, things go differently. I think we have a good race pace, but we will have to wait until tomorrow to see how things develop when the tyres get used up. I think it will be a group race and a tough one because of it, so we will have to ride intelligently".

Alex Marquez 1st 2:07.691 25 laps 135 km

"I'm happy because it was a tough session due to the weather, my crash and the traffic on track. It was all a little strange. After my crash, the mechanics worked very hard and I want to apologise to all the team, because it was my mistake. Luckily we salvaged the situation in the the best way. For tomorrow we have a good pace but we must continue to work in the warmup to get everything clear for the race, on the final laps we will need to be aggressive and focused".


Niccolò Antonelli will start tomorrow’s Czech Republic Grand Prix from the front row of the grid aboard the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 machine: the 18-year-old Italian rider claimed this afternoon the third fastest time - 2’08”006 - during an eventful qualifying session, disrupted in the first stages by a light rain, and subsequently stopped to restore the air fences following a crash of Philipp Oettl.

In the final stages of the session Antonelli joined the track at the right moment to take advantage of the slipstream, not being slowed down by traffic, and he closed a great lap, just 0.3 seconds behind today’s pole man, Alex Marquez.

His teammate, Enea Bastianini, was back on track today after the heel injury sustained yesterday in FP2: despite the pain, the rookie from Rimini produced an incredible display to impressively qualifying in 9th position with 2’08”396 and therefore tomorrow he will start from the third row of the grid.

NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (3rd - 2'08"006)

“During all practice sessions I made all laps by myself, without any reference in front of me, and this helped me to get a good rhythm. Today, however, we knew that in qualifying it would be crucial to follow some slipstreams: I was aware of my good pace, we just needed to choose the right moment to avoid traffic, and we succeeded. In the afternoon we also improved the bike set-up from this morning, and as a result we are back at the top. I'm very happy for this, but now we need to focus on tomorrow’s race, which is the most important thing”.

ENEA BASTIANINI (9th - 2'08"396)

“Today everything went well! This afternoon I had less pain on my right foot compared to this morning, therefore I was able to ride better on right corners, while I have no problems on left handers. After yesterday’s crash, today I had to regain the feeling with the bike, but one lap behind Marquez and Vazquez was enough to get me back; In fact in the following lap I got my fastest time, even though I was alone. I'm very happy. Tomorrow I hope to finish the race without difficulty, since I have not had any particular problem today: we will try to stay with the front group, otherwise if it won’t be possible we will try to get the maximum, anyway”.


“I’m very happy for Antonelli: the front row start is important for his morale in such a hard time for you because of the recent collarbone injury. Niccolò produced a nice ride and he chose the right time to do it in a qualifying session certainly not easy, first disrupted by rain and then stopped with a red flag. Enea was incredible: considering the fracture in his right foot, he made phenomenal qualifications. The first and the third row is a good result ahead of tomorrow’s, even though we will face a tough race, but I believe that tomorrow both our riders have the potential to fight with at the front”.

Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia on eight and ninth row at Brno

Andrea Locatelli moves up to 23rd place in Brno qualifying; Matteo Ferrari (26th) unfortunate

Moto3 qualifying has been affected by uncertain weather conditions at the Automotodrom Brno in Czech Republic. A light drizzle and a small crash didn’t stop Alex Marquez (Honda) from setting pole position, his second this season, while San Carlo Team Italia riders worked hard to get closer to their reference group.

A first timer at this track, Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra MGP3O #55) has made the best of the changes the team made to his bike’s setup, posting the 23rd best lap time and qualifying on eight row. After doing well in the morning FP3, Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O #3) has been quite unfortunate in qualifying where he posted the 26th best lap time.

However, the Italian has the pace and the potential to make a great comeback race tomorrow.

Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 23rd, 2'09"457

"Improving by 1.5s on one day to the next is never easy but I have been able to do it thanks to the team’s great work. The changes to the bike’s front-end setup suggested by Virgino have improved my confidence a lot. Today I felt better, I was more confident in corner entry and I was therefore able to move up several positions in qualifying. We managed to lower our times by over a second during two sessions and I wish to thanks my team for this. They are helping me to understand the bike reactions to every setup’s change, an essential thing to grow up race by race".

Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 26th, 2'09"681

"What a shame that the chain got broken during my flying lap. It can happen and I won’t make a drama for this, also because today we made some good steps forward. It won’t be easy to start from 26th position but my race pace is good and we solved several of our yesterday’s problems. The changes we made to the gearbox, together with a new engine, today allowed me to ride as I like. We also improved the rear of the bike so that I felt better in corner entry. We just have to find a setting enabling us to reduce the chattering and to carry more mid-corner speed. Any way it’s nothing we cannot solve from now to the tomorrow’s race".

Virginio Ferrari (Riders Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)

"Today we can be satisfied with Andrea performance while Matteo has been particularly unlucky. “Loka” is definitely on the up: he understands better the bike’s behaviour and the changes we made on his bike’s front-end allowed him to improve by over a second on his yesterday’s time. Run after run he understand better the bike’s reactions to every modifications we do to the setup of the bike and this is an important part of his professional grow path. As for Matteo today he was quite unfortunate. Considering his pace on the FP3 he could have qualify a lot better. It’s a shame. We hope that tomorrow he will be able to make up positions since the start of the race in order to get a result in line with his riding potential".

Kent to start from fourth row at Brno

Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider to take off from 12th and Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo man from 16th.

08/16/2014 - Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic

The starting grid for the Czech Republic Grand Prix was decided in a busy qualifying session held under unfavourable conditions. The Husqvarna riders improved their times from free practice. After the onset of rain and a red flag in order to fix an airfence, Danny Kent set a lap that will allow him to start tomorrow from the fourth row of the grid. His 2:08.560 lap put him twelfth, whilst teammate Niklas Ajo will start from sixteenth -row six- after clocking a 2:08.791 best.

The final practice session this morning was very helpful for the Husqvarna riders. With a dry track -albeit slightly cooler than yesterday- both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo were able to improve their times from yesterday. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider managed a 6th position after a strong final lap of 2:08.605. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider set a 2:09.312, the 19th fastest time.

The qualifying session was one of the most hectic of the season so far. Eight minutes in, rain appeared intermittently, with the riders heading back to the pits on two occasions. After the track dried out, with 10 minutes remaining the red flag was shown to fix an airfence. Both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo were able to go quicker in the final stages, with the Briton clocking a 2:08.560 best for 12th and the Finn a 2:08.791 for 16th.

The Czech Republic Grand Prix will take place tomorrow at 11am local time, and the Husqvarna riders will try to get up into the first group and take the maximum number of points possible.


"The entire qualifying session was a bit chaotic, because of the rain and then the red flag, and we could not do too many laps. I did not manage to set a good time at the start and I got a little nervous, because I was 17th and it started to rain. It was only in the last 9 minutes that I managed to improve. Starting from 12th is not the best position for the race, but I feel pretty good ahead of tomorrow. We do not have a perfect feeling, but I think we can have a good race. It seems that Alex Marquez is quite strong and will try to break away from the group from the beginning, but we will have to wait and see how close we can be to him. It might be that there is a fairly large group that slows the race down."


"I think we've improved a lot today compared to yesterday. We rode pretty much alone and that was a good thing. In the morning we took a small step forward but in the qualifying session we improved further. Everything was just better -both with the bike and with my riding. I tried to do my best. However, we were a bit unlucky as we had planned a strategy in the final minutes to help each other, but a rider made a small mistake when he was in front of me.

Tomorrow we will try to make a good start. At least there is a long straight, so we will try to overtake on the brakes in the early stages. It will be difficult to break away though, so we'll just try our best."

Significant improvement for Hafiq Azmi at Brno

SIC-Ajo Team rider manages to improve his best time of the weekend in qualifying session and claims 24th on the grid.

08/16/2014 - Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic

Hafiq Azmi will start the Czech Republic Grand Prix from the eighth row of the grid. After lowering his times in the qualifying session, the SIC-Ajo Team rider achieved his best lap of the weekend in the final session, stopping the clock at 2:09.493. That gives him 24th place on the grid for round eleven of the season.

In the last free practice session, the Moto3 rookie could not better his times from the previous two runouts. In the 40-minute session, the Malaysian clocked a 2:10.811 time as his top lap. In the last minute of the session, Hafiq Azmi had a small crash at Turn 8 but escaped unharmed.

The qualifying session was immensely hectic. Rain and a red flag to fix a airfence forced the riders to make more trips back to the garage than anticipated, and stopped the session with nine minutes remaining. When back out on track, Hafiq Azmi set his best lap with a time of 2:09.493, for twenty-fourth place.

The race at Brno will take place tomorrow at 11am local time, with the SIC-Ajo Team rider attempting to fight to get into the points.


"Today the day went much better. In the qualifying session I was able to go a little further up the order, but in the last few minutes many riders went ahead of me. Still, I'm happy with the good feeling I have on the bike. I also lowered my best time for the weekend, although we did not feel as good on the last run with the soft tyre. I hope to get a good start from 24th place and have a good race.

In the warmup I will try to be as consistent as possible and get a good feeling for the race. Finishing in the points is difficult because things are very close, but it is possible, so I'll do my best to try for it."

Deroue ‘robbed’ of top 20 position, Carrasco struggling with confidence

Scott Deroue looked to be on his way to 20th position in the final seconds of qualifying, but instead was pushed back to 25th by a few tenths of a second. The Dutch rookie improved his lap time and seemed to move up in the rankings, but a few other riders were just a tiny bit faster. Ana Carrasco was faster as well, but couldn’t improve her position on the starting grid for the Moto3 race of the Czech Grand Prix.

The qualifying session was quite convulsive, with a red flag situation and two short interruptions because of rain. With only 8 minutes left the field went out again for a last chance. Deroue immediately set a fast lap time, good enough for 22nd. In the final lap Deroue was doing even better, with a lap time that would bring him to 20th. Unfortunately for the Dutchman other riders were even faster, and instead of moving up he was pushed back. The gap with number 24 is only 0,005!

Ana Carrasco had to go all out as well, but had difficulties to keep up in the tumultuous session. The Spanish was struggling with confidence and each time she had found a rhythm, there was another interruption, forcing her to start all over again. In that process it was hard to ride a perfect lap.

Scott Deroue – 25 (2.09,498)

“That was a shame. Two tenths of a second means a difference of five positions. I am just 1,807 from the pole position. It is that close. I’ve had a bit of bad luck in the session. First there was a red flag while I was on a really fast lap and in the final lap there was another rider in my way, preventing me to go even faster. With a field of 34 riders it is always a fight. I should have been 20th, but I can’t be unsatisfied with 25th as I have done all I could.”

Ana Carrasco – 33 (2.11,946)

“Me and my team have been working on the settings of the front, but when it seems right, I run into new impediments. I know I have to push the bike as hard as I can to make it work at its best, but that’s difficult when I am not 100% confident. We’ll see what the race will bring. I’ll try my best and fight as hard as I can.”

Moto2 Qualifying: AGT REA Racing struggle with set up at Brno

AGT REA Racing qualified in 27th position for the Brno Grand Prix on Saturday, having struggled with bike set up all weekend.

Gino Rea: “Again I feel disappointed with the final position because I know I’m capable of much higher. We struggled this morning with set up and again in the start of qualifying. Luckily we made a change at the end of the session and improved my laptime but not my position. I had hoped to move into the top 20 but things just didn’t go right for us today so we’ll keep working and hope for better tomorrow.”

AGT REA Racing will line up for the bwin Grand Prix Ceske republiky on Sunday at 12.20pm local time. The team can be followed on their Facebook www.facebook.com/AGTREARACING and Twitter @AGT_REA_RACING for live updates.

Hold ups and traffic limit Guevara to eighteenth

MAPFRE Aspar rider makes progress in free practice and is hoping good set-up can spark comeback

A rain-hit qualifying session that also was also affected by a late red flag saw the action halted no fewer than three times in the Moto3 class this afternoon, with a ten minute window at the end of the session effectively deciding the line-up of tomorrow's grid. It was a hectic finale to the session with all of the riders on track at once, all looking for a tow as they tried to put together the perfect lap. Márquez, Viñales and Antonelli were the men who timed their run the best, sealing the front three slots on the grid in that order.

MAPFRE Aspar rider Juanfran Guevara made giant strides this morning, knocking over a second and a half off his best from yesterday and finding an optimum set-up for another assault on the front two rows of the grid. However, the constant breaks in action this afternoon and the thick traffic at the end worked against the Spanish youngster, who must now fight back from eighteenth on the grid if he is to maintain his recent run of top ten finishes.

18th Juanfran Guevara 2.08.925 (14 laps): “We did a good job this morning and took a big step forward, imprioving our lap time by almost two seconds. We had a very good set-up for qualifying but we lost a little time at the start of the session and then it started to rain. It was a strange session and then at the end of the session we went out on the soft tyre and ran into traffic. I managed to salvage something with my last lap but I'm still not happy. We were hoping to qualify better than this but with so many interruptions we lost focus. The positive side is that despite the grid position I have a strong pace and I will be pushing hard from the start tomorrow.”

Best qualifying of the year for Schrotter in Brno

Tech3 Racing Team’s Marcel Schrotter completed a fiercely contested qualifying operation to snare 8th position on the grid for tomorrow’s 20 lap Moto2 race at the Automotodrom Brno. Schrotter began round 11 of the 2014 World Championship with a solid display to 9th in the combined standings yesterday and his perseverance and positive momentum continued today as he rode the Tech3 Racing Team’s exclusively designed and built Mistral 610 around the undulating 5403 metre Czech circuit. After refining the setup of his Moto2 bike, Schrotter closed the session by powering over the line to set a best time of 2’02.684 on his last lap which was less than four tenths of a second from the front row. This result will see the young German start from the third row with this position being his best qualifying performance this season for the Tech3 Racing Team. In the race tomorrow he will seek to consolidate his points tally of 12th place in the World Championship standings and aggressively fight for a top ten finish at Brno.

Meanwhile, Ricky Cardus undertook a hard fought qualifying session to 16th position after enduring a challenging weekend so far in the Czech republic. However, the Spaniard remained determined and worked relentlessly with the Tech3 Racing Team to push onwards and set a best lap time of 2’03.370 around the Brno circuit in this afternoon’s dry session. His persistent efforts to improve his riding style and the Mistral 610 were rewarded as his qualifying time was 1.2 seconds quicker than his morning practice time with his best lap being only half a second from the top ten in the intermediate class. Tomorrow, Cardus who will head the sixth row of the grid, will aim to undertake a rocket start as he intends to gather more world championship points in round 11 of the Moto2 World Championship.

Marcel Schrotter : 8th – 2’02.684

“I'm truly happy with my qualifying result today as we are finally starting to show the potential of the Mistral 610, even if we have still have some margin to improve. This morning the day began in a slightly difficult manner as we decided to explore a few setup solutions which did not better the behaviour of the bike in the way we would have liked them to. However, the team really helped me to feel confident again this afternoon and we could improve in the areas that we were working on really quickly. Also our race pace is promising so I will aim for the top 10 and try to at least hold my qualifying position.”

Ricky Cardus : 16th – 2’03.370

“Overall I am quite pleased with my qualifying performance today as we made some significant positive steps forward from yesterday. I had hoped to qualify higher, but we had some issues that we needed to take care of. Plus I am not a big fan of this circuit and find it quite tricky to ride here. Having said that, I am almost in a points scoring position already on the grid which is a much better situation compared to other races this year. There are still a few small changes which we need to be fixed during tomorrow’s warm up but I am confident that once we solve them, I can charge to a great point scoring finish.”


Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 rider Xavier Siméon produced a performance below the expectations today in Brno, during the qualifying session of the Czech Republic Moto2 Grand Prix. After the good feelings obtained yesterday riding the new Suter chassis, the 24-year-old Belgian this afternoon set the 20th fastest time, 2’03”494, 1”583 off the pace.

Aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine, Lorenzo Baldassarri will start tomorrow’s race from the 24th position: the Italian improved his lap times from yesterday, but not enough to climb the timesheets, but he plans to make another step forward tomorrow morning during the Warm Up, and hopefully to make a comeback in the race.

XAVIER SIMEON (20th - 2'03"494)

“I honestly didn’t expect to be so far away from the first, today: the gap from the poleman is huge and we will start the race very far behind. After the free practice this morning I thought I could at least be in the top 12, because the new Suter chassis is good and today’s result is really a surprise for me. It’s very clear that this is not our position, but unfortunately at the moment we can’t return to the levels shown earlier this year, although we are trying everything, and this is frustrating. Tomorrow it will be difficult to make a comeback, but we won’t give up, we keep a positive mind in order to give more than 100% in the race”.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (24th - 2'03"873)

“Today we have made ​​some changes to the bike set-up which led to an improvement, even though actually I realized that I need to change also my riding style for this track; unfortunately I have no experience and Moto2 needs a different riding style depending on the track in order to be fast. In the final stages of the qualifying session, however, I began to understand how to ride, but unfortunately a slower rider ruined my fast lap. Anyway, I think that if tomorrow I can improve my lap times during the Warm Up, I can have a good race and bounce back”.


“Today we were expecting a better result from these qualifications, no doubt: from yesterday Siméon is riding a new Suter chassis with which he felt immediately comfortable, but It’s clear that we are still not able to exploit its potential. What is certain is that we are working hard to finally find the right way to be competitive again. Baldassarri made some progress compared to yesterday, but his position has not changed: Lorenzo, however, is confident to improve in tomorrow morning’s Warm Up, and hopefully to recover some positions in the race”.

Pole and circuit record for Rabat in Brno

Brno, Czech Republic – 16 August 2014: Tito Rabat will start from pole position for the seventh time this season in tomorrow’s Moto2 Grand Prix of the Czech Republic, after setting a new outright circuit record in qualifying this afternoon.

Mika Kallio will start tomorrow from the sixth position on the second row of the grid, after walking away uninjured from a crash in the final minute of qualifying.

Rabat has been the rider on form this weekend, topping the timesheet in two of the three free practice sessions here in Brno. The 25-year-old Spaniard goes into tomorrow’s race determined to reassert his authority on the championship that he has led since the opening round in Qatar.

Fast in the final free practice session this morning, Kallio was caught out by a change in track conditions this afternoon, with more grip inducing front end chatter. Changes to the balance of the bike brought improvements, but the 31-year-old Finn crashed out of qualifying uninjured when on a lap that would have put him on the front row.

After improving significantly to finish this morning’s final Moto3 free practice session in eighth position, Jorge Navarro was disappointed to qualifying only 19th for tomorrow’s 19-lap Moto3 race at Brno. However, the 18-year-old Spaniard remains confident of a good result.

Tito Rabat // Pole Position // 2’01.911

“I’m happy with pole and also the circuit record, because we’ve worked hard as a team for this over the weekend. The last three races haven’t worked out how I was expecting, so I need to bounce back here in Brno and rediscover my early season form once again. We still have some work to do here, but what is important is the race tomorrow. We need to see what the weather does, but the aim is to get a good start, fight with the other riders and come away from here with a good result tomorrow afternoon.”

Mika Kallio // 6th // 2’02.517

“It wasn’t so easy to improve the lap time in qualifying. From the first lap I could feel that the conditions had changed since the morning, with a lot of chatter from the front because there was more grip available. We made changes to the bike that brought some improvement, but they also caused the crash at the end of the session. I was pushing hard for the front row when the front bottomed out with no warning and down I went. We need to sort this out for tomorrow, because the problem will be worse with full fuel load at the start of the race. I believe we don’t need to be too worried for the race, but ideally we need to find a something so I can be a little bit more relaxed on the bike at race pace. We also need to decide which tyre to use; not easy, as both options have their advantages and disadvantages.”

Jorge Navarro // 19th // 2’09.004

“I’m not happy after today’s qualifying, especially after this morning’s final free practice session where the changes we made to the bike increased both my confidence and my pace. The start of qualifying was good and I was running in 11th position, but then it started raining and a lot of riders were slowing on track, which meant I couldn’t make one good lap, while other riders obviously did. Finally I ended 19th, but my feeling with the bike is good and tomorrow I think I can do a good race.”

MAPFRE Aspar pair hoping for warm-up improvement

Jordi Torres and Nico Terol struggle in afternoon session and have work to do tomorrow

Thomas Luthi made a strong start to qualifying practice for the Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno this afternoon but in the end it was Tito Rabat who made the difference, the series leader moving to the top of the order at the halfway stage and securing pole position with a late run of fast laps in the closing minutes. The Swiss rider managed to close to within two tenths of the Spaniard but with less than a second covering the top ten on the grid there are plenty more contenders for the podium tomorrow.

There were improvements this morning for both MAPFRE Aspar riders but what looked like a positive day turned sour in the afternoon on both sides of the garage. Jordi suffered from chatter from his front tyre whilst Nico cited a similar problem, as well as a lack of grip on the rear. As a result the pair will line up for tomorrow's race in nineteenth and 29th place respectively, with plenty of work to do in the warm-up and the race if their visit to the Czech Republic is to end in positive fashion.

19th Jordi Torres 2.03.482 (17 laps): “We had contrasting fortunes today with some good progress this morning but disappointment in qualifying this afternoon. We wanted to take that step further and made a change but the bike felt strange, it was too reactive. We made a change to the geometry of the bike to iron out the chatter but in the end it was a tyre thing. I realised that when it was too late so qualifying did not work out how we planned. We only managed to complete four decent laps on the tyres from this morning. Tomorrow we will have to give it everything in the race. We are starting from a long way back and we have nothing to lose so I will be taking some risks.”

29th Nico Terol 2.04.208 (17 laps): “It has been a pretty tough second day here at Brno. It looked like things were improving this morning and the changes we have made over the weekend were starting to be productive but during qualifying we struggled with a lack of grip and some chatter. I am struggling to get a feel for the front in corner entry and I am losing confidence as a result. It is a shame because I usually find my flow at this circuit but we just have to keep working hard and pushing forward.”

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