Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice for the Motorland Aragon GP:
BASTIANINI IMMEDIATELY UP TO SPEED ON DAY ONE AT ARAGON. PRUDENT START FOR ANTONELLI
Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini enjoyed today a positive start of the Aragon Grand Prix weekend, closing in fifth place the combined classification of the first two free practice sessions with a gap of less than 0.2 seconds from the fastest of the day, Spaniard Alex Rins.
Fourteenth in the morning session, the 16-year-old rookie from Rimini has significantly improved his lap times in the afternoon, changing his lines and eventually posting a very good 1’58”985, already close to the track record, 1’58”571.
Given the recent surgery to replace the plate on the fractured right collarbone, his teammate Niccolò Antonelli, kicked off the weekend in a cautious but encouraging way: the 18-year-old Italian limited to just six tenths of a second the gap from the top thanks to a lap time of 1'59”441, also maintaining a good pace in both sessions.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (12th - 1'59"441)
“I’m happy because in spite of the pain I was able to ride and honestly today’s result is above my expectations: I kept a good pace and although I missed a fast lap, the gap from the fastest is only six tenths. We can improve again ahead of the race, although of course it will be difficult to be competitive at hundred per cent: this evening I will continue to do therapy to relieve pain, then I will give my best”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (5th - 1'58"985)
“This afternoon we worked very well, understanding many aspects that were not clear this morning. In the afternoon, also, I changed my approach to the track, keeping different lines, and I was immediately able to put the bike where I wanted. In the final stages of the second session I put the hard tyre and I did a very good lap by myself, therefore I’m satisfied. Now we will analyze the data to see whether to make some changes to the bike or not, anyway we can still improve”.
“We started well the race weekend: at some point, in the afternoon session, Enea was also leading the way, then he finished the day with a really small gap from the top; this obviously bodes well ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying, which we want to make the most of. Niccolò also made a very good job, considering that he underwent a surgery on his injured collarbone just 10 days ago. He’s feeling pain, however he’s able to ride and to be fast, so now let’s wait and see”.
Miller looks for race pace in Aragon
Australian is fastest in the morning session and tenth on the combined timesheet, after using worn tyres in the afternoon. Hanika places eighteenth.
09/26/2014 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
This morning the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders put in their opening laps of the weekend at MotorLand Aragon. There were positive results for Jack Miller and Karel Hanika on this first day, with the Australian posting the fastest time in the morning session. Both the Moto3 World Championship leader and the Czech rookie dedicated the second session to their setups and pace for the race on Sunday.
Jack Miller started the Grand Prix weekend very strongly, taking the fastest time in the first free practice session with a 1:59.625 lap, more than half a second faster than his nearest rival and also setting the second and third quickest laps of the morning. Teammate Karel Hanika spent forty minutes trying out new settings for the afternoon, clocking a 2:02.058 for 21st.
With asphalt temperatures of 32ºC, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie showed the good work done in the morning when it came to FP2, lowering his previous best time by almost two seconds for a 2:00.153 and 18th place. Miller, tenth with a 1:59.355, also improved on his morning times and was using worn tyres for the session.
Qualifying takes place tomorrow from 12:35pm, and Jack Miller will try to claim his eighth pole position of the year in the Moto3 class. Meanwhile, Hanika will seek a grid position that allow him to latch onto the front group come raceday.
8 JACK MILLER
"Today we focused on the bike setup. We did virtually the same amount of kilometres as are scheduled for the race, with the same tyre. Then we used worn tyres again. It went really well, I am very happy with the lap we did, because we were completely alone and were only half a second down. We did not use a slipstream, even though there is a long straight here. We could have suffered on the straights, but that has not been the case.
In short, I am very pleased with how the bike is going and how the team is working. I think we have a good strategy -a little different than usual- trying to focus more on the race than on getting the fastest lap. Anyway, tomorrow it is clear that we will fight for pole position."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"The first day was not too bad. The result may not look the best, but I'm very happy about the second session. In the first we used a bike with very different characteristics to what we have been using all season so far, and I liked it. I was able to ride alone and put in many kilometres. I think the time is not bad, considering I rode alone. I’m sure that in the morning, with new tyres, we can be quite a bit faster and closer to the top. Today we tried to ride with worn tyres and I think tomorrow we can do better, so now I can’t wait to get back on the bike."
Rins and Marquez take control at home
Repsol riders Rins and Marquez place first and second, respectively, on opening day at Aragon, continuing from podium one-twos from previous two races.
The Moto3 World Championship returned to Spain today with the first day of practice for the Aragon Grand Prix. After two practice sessions, the stars of the day were the same as the two standing atop the podium at the last two races; Alex Rins and Alex Marquez ended the day at the head of the timesheets.
The Repsol riders have gone from strength to strength in their performances on track. Rins, fifth in the morning session today, topped the final standings for the day with a time of 1:58.788. A mere 0.018 milliseconds back and 1.5 seconds faster than in the morning was Alex Marquez, who suffered a small crash on his second lap of the day but still was able to get back on track for a brief stint at the top of the timesheets.
Both riders made their hard work with HRC count and tomorrow will have two further practice sessions before Sunday’s race.
Alex Rins 1st 1:58.788 31 laps 157 km
"Today went very well for us and we are happy with the pace that we set. At the start it seemed like we would find things a little hard, because the track conditions were not ideal, but in the afternoon the asphalt had much more grip and you could feel the difference. We set a good lap time but at this track it is very easy to lower your times with someone in front of you to slipstream, so we will need to have a little luck in qualifying tomorrow."
Alex Marquez 2nd 1:58.806 27 laps 137 km
"The opening day at Aragon went rather well. I am very happy, except for the crash this morning that was my mistake –I apologise to the team for that. Over the course of the day we have progressed a lot, and you can see that the base setup that we had from the test here was useful. This made things a little easier, but we had to be just as focused and take things step-by-step. In the afternoon we worked with the race in mind. That is very important, because of tyre wear. I think that we have a good setup for tomorrow. It will be important to get onto the first or second row of the grid."
Niklas Ajo amongst top three on day one at Aragon
Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider completes first day of Aragon Grand Prix with third fastest time. Danny Kent satisfied in ninth.
09/26/2014 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent made a positive start to the weekend at MotorLand Aragon, the scene of the fourteenth round on the Moto3 calendar. The Husqvarna riders took third and ninth, respectively, in the combined timesheet for the opening two practice sessions. Both were also pleased with the pace they achieved.
It was an interesting first session for the Husqvarna riders, who from the off felt comfortable on their bikes. Ajo came out strong, scoring the first two fastest laps of the session. Kent waited until the halfway mark in the runout to move into the top three. Finally, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider finished eighth with a time of 2:00.793 and Ajo was twelfth with a 2:01.043.
The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider took an important step forward in the afternoon, setting his best lap of the day with a 1:58.885 on his final stint. That lap made him one of only two riders to complete more than one lap in the 1:58s, and he was just 0.097s off the top time. Less than half a second behind was Danny Kent, with a 1:59.242 for ninth place and a 1.5s improvement on his morning best.
Tomorrow’s qualifying session takes place at 12:35pm. In San Marino, Niklas Ajo achieved the best grid position of his career to date, with second place.
52 DANNY KENT
"It was a very positive day for us. I had a good feeling on the bike. In the second practice session we put new tyres on too early, I think. We set a reference time, we were on top, but then the other riders also put on new tyres and they moved ahead of us. At this track it is very important to find a good slipstream. You can lose 4 tenths easily if you do not use a slipstream down the main straight. There are also some corners where we need to improve our lines and braking. The feeling is nevertheless very good and, if we continue like this, I think we can have a great weekend."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"At Misano we had a great pace, but could not finish off our work from practice with a good race result. The feeling today was very similar to that of the weekend in San Marino. We started strongly with a good pace, thanks in part to the setup which worked very well. The findings have been very good and we have to keep working well for tomorrow and try to improve a little -especially with the gearbox. Perhaps we can gain some speed on the straight if we make the right adjustments. I hope this will improve the bike a little. We will try to finish off the setup for tomorrow."
Juanfran Guevara makes strong start at Aragón
MAPFRE Aspar in impeccable form on a first day that sees him set fourth fastest time at Motorland
The GP of Aragón kicked off today, with the Moto3 riders the first on track in ideal conditions; so ideal, in fact, that the circuit record (1.59.681) was already broken in the first session. The pace increased in the afternoon as the riders edged closer to the fastest ever lap here (1.58.571) but that is hardly surprising given that the majority of Moto3 riders have already cut their teeth at this circuit in the FIM CEV series. It was also unsurprising to see a host of home riders at the top of the timesheets, with Australia's Jack Miller doing his best to hold off the local charge with the fastest time in the morning session only to be overturned by Alex Rins in the afternoon, with three Spanish riders in the top four positions.
Juanfran Guevara was one of those riders, the MAPFRE Aspar man building on the sixth fastest time in the opening session to make continued progress in the afternoon. Three fastest laps in the second session, with his penultimate effort stopping the clock at 1'58.932, made Guevara one of only five riders to dip under the 1'59 mark today, the youngster setting himself up nicely for an assault on the front two rows of the grid tomorrow.
4th Juanfran Guevara 1.58.932 (30 laps): “Like I said at the San Marino GP we are on an upward curve at the moment. I love the set-up we have found for the bike and we barely have to change anything, just some small details to adapt it to each circuit. The bike was perfect from this morning, I know the circuit well and that helped me to set some fast laps from the start. We were up front again in the second session and set a fast pace that we were able to gradually build on. The fast lap came when I was on my own and that's important, even though we will try to keep finding more tenths here and there tomorrow. The pace was fast today so we need to find some more speed from somewhere tomorrow because it will only get harder.”
Moto3 - Uphill start for San Carlo Team Italia at MotorLand Aragón
Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Locatelli finished 26th and 29th respectively in the first day of practice.
The opening day of the Moto3 weekend at MotorLand Aragón in Alcañiz emphasised once again those who have lately been the assets in play in the entry class of the Championship. The winner of Silverstone and Misano, Alex Rins (Honda), has been the fastest rider on track setting the best lap time in 1'58"788. San Carlo Team Italia riders have worked hard to try to cut their gap from the top of the timesheets.
Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O #3) was keen to make a good result after the disappointing epilogue of his race in Misano but had to settle for the 26th lap time in 2'00"684, 1"896s down on provisional pole position time. Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra MGP3O #55) managed to take a second off his morning best despite having to deal again with a completely new track. A 2'00"959s placed him in 29th.
The pair of the Federazione Motociclistica Italiana is confident to get closer to his reference group tomorrow thanks to the data gathered today and working closely with the team to find the best setup for the Mahindra MGP3O.
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 26th, 2'00"684
"This morning we have struggled a lot but we made some changes to the setup that worked well in the afternoon. We are not completely ok yet but at least we have put things rather more in context and we are not too far from the top-15. We hope to be able to get closer to our target tomorrow and to work well for the race".
Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 29th, 2'00"959
"Today has not been a lucky day. I’ve basically lost the whole second session for a problem with a steering tube bearing and I therefore could not improve my performance. Despite this problem we are among the 30 riders split by 2s and tomorrow we will definitely have margin to improve. I've taken an instant liking to the track and I’ve always lapped alone: this makes me confident for the rest of the weekend".
Virginio Ferrari (Riders Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"We can wrap up this first day with some positive signs. The changes we made to the setup of Matteo’s bike have allowed him to improve in the second session. This shows we took the right direction with him. Andrea has lost the afternoon stint for a technical glitch but in the remaining time he has had the chance to learn the track and to lap at a decent pace: it’s a promising signal for tomorrow".
Day of learning for Hafiq Azmi at Aragon
SIC-Ajo Team rider comes back from crash in opening practice session to take 24th fastest time on the final combined timesheet.
09/26/2014 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
The MotorLand Aragon Circuit kicked off the fourteenth Moto3 World Championship Grand Prix weekend of the season on Friday. Hafiq Azmi completed his first day of the third Spanish race of the season with mixed feelings. Under bright sunshine, the Malaysian rider ended the day with the 24th best time on the combined timesheet, with a 2:00.449 lap.
The first free practice session finished prematurely for Hafiq Azmi, due to a small crash at Turn 5 with 15 minutes remaining. The SIC-Ajo Team rider suffered no injuries in the fall, but his bike could not be repaired in time to go back out onto a cold track. His best time of the morning was 2:03.071, which placed him in 30th position.
In the afternoon the result was more satisfying for the young rider. With the bike now set up well thanks to the excellent work of his team, Hafiq Azmi showed great pace and remained in the Top 15 for much of the session. Finally, with a track temperature of 32°C, he lowered his best time from the morning on his ninth lap thanks to a 2:00.449. That put him in 24th place overall.
Tomorrow morning will see the last free practice session of the weekend, then qualifying at 12:35pm local time. Hafiq Azmi will attempt to take a good grid position in order to fight for points in Sunday's race.
38 HAFIQ AZMI
"This morning I had a small crash that was down to a mistake by me. In the first session I didn't have a good feeling with the surface and this was the reason for my mistake. I was a little disappointed, but in the second session I pushed my hardest to set a good lap time. I had wasted a lot of time in the first session, so I tried to make the most of the afternoon. In the end I felt much better. I have to thank the team for the magnificent job that they have done with the bike. I don't think that it is the bike that we have to improve so much, rather my riding, in order to be faster tomorrow."
Rabat leads the way at Aragón
Aragón, Spain – 26 September 2014: Moto2 World Championship leader Tito Rabat posted the fastest lap on the opening day at Aragón, with his Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio finishing free practice just two places further back in third.
Rabat, fourth in the first free practice this morning, wasted no time stamping his authority on proceedings this afternoon. The 25-year-old Spaniard moved to the top of the timesheet after just 10 minutes and was never headed as he continued to improve upon his own time, eventually dipping under the lap record at the end of the session.
Mika Kallio endured a difficult opening free practice this morning, crashing at turn one in the first few minutes and then struggling with a lack of feedback from the front for the remainder of the 40-minute session. Set up changes for this afternoon’s second free practice brought a significant improvement, allowing Kallio to jump back up the timesheet to finish the day in third.
Jorge Navarro ended the opening day at Aragón in 20th position, after missing most of this afternoon’s second Moto3 free practice following a crash early in the session. The 18-year-old Spaniard, who was tenth in morning practice, only had time to complete seven laps this afternoon, although he did improve on his previous best time by more than half a second. Navarro is confident of further improvement ahead of qualifying tomorrow.
Tito Rabat // 1st // 1’53.838
“We made a good job today, but we still need to find some small improvements with the bike for tomorrow. I also need to practice for the start, the opening few laps of the race and to try and find a better rhythm in the final free practice session. We have to keep our focus right through tomorrow and into qualifying, as it’s very close at the top of the timesheet.”
Mika Kallio // 3rd // 1’54.145
“This morning was strange because the bike felt totally different compared to previous races and I had no confidence at all in the front. Then I crashed on what we think was oil in turn one, which lost us some time, but I never really found a good feeling in the first session. We made some changes for this afternoon and there was a big improvement. To make up for the lost time I did a long first run, after which we switched to the new specification front tyre for the last ten minutes. The feeling was different; I’m not really sure if it was better or worse, but I was happy with the lap time, especially as it was done on a rear tyre that had already done race distance. If we can make another small improvement with the front for tomorrow then everything should be good for qualifying.”
Jorge Navarro // 20th // 2’00.242
“This morning the feeling with the bike was good and then we made some changes to the bike for the second session which gave some more improvement. I was on a quick lap early in the practice when I came across two riders in front of me. I managed to pass one, but the other turned in to the corner in front of me. I had nowhere to go and clipped his rear wheel. The team did a good job getting me back out for the last few minutes and I managed to get four laps to rebuild my confidence. The bike is working well, so I’m confident I can improve my position in the final free practice and qualifying tomorrow.”
Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco looking for confidence
The first day of the Grand Prix of Aragon wasn’t the best start ever for RW Racing GP. Both Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco were struggling with the handling of the bike in the first free practice this morning. Because of that they had to find rhythm and confidence. Deroue ended the first day in 31st position, Carrasco in 33rd.
Especially the morning session just wasn’t good, partly caused by low temperatures (air only 12 degrees Celsius). It was difficult to get heat into the tires and grip was low. This resulted in a lack of confidence with both Deroue and Carrasco.
In the second practice the sun had done its work in Spain and temperatures had risen to more comfortable standards. Although this made things much better, it also meant RW Racing GP had to start looking for the right setup all over again. It also took some time for the riders to find their confidence again, but by the end of the 40 minutes practice it went much better. They just didn’t have enough time left to set a fast lap time.
Scott Deroue – 31 (2.01,216)
“It isn’t to write home about. This morning I had no feeling with the bike. In the afternoon it was better, but we needed time to find solutions. There still are some points at this track I’m losing too much time. We are looking at all the data now to see what I have to do to improve.”
Ana Carrasco – 33 (2.01.562)
“I’ve been doing quite some laps in both sessions and there are no serious issues. But it isn’t fast enough yet. We continue working tomorrow.”
SIMEON READY FOR QUALIFYING BATTLE AT ARAGON. BALDASSARRI STRUGGLES WITH UNDERSTEER
Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 were back in action today for the first day of practice of the Grand Prix of Aragon, closing the combined classification of the first two sessions in sixteenth position: with a lap time of 1’55”106, obtained in the afternoon, the Belgian rider improved by just over a tenth of a second compared to the limit set in the morning. An increase lower than expected, given that Siméon declared himself happy with the sensations he felt riding his Suter, which make him confident ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying battle.
Aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine, Lorenzo Baldassarri struggled with understeer and lack of front end feeling, closing the day back in 29th position, with no improvement in the afternoon session.
XAVIER SIMEON (16th- 1'55"106)
“This morning we were on the right path and we thought we could improve more in the afternoon, but we struggled more than expected. In any case, we have already identified our problems thanks to the data collected in the tests we had carried out here at the end of June, so we are not worried. We used a new tyre only at the very end of the second session, for the last two laps; if we had used it before maybe now we would be in a more advanced position, but, as I said, I'm not worried. The feeling with the bike is not perfect yet, but still good. Tomorrow we will do a lot better, I am convinced of it”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (29th - 1'55"792)
“Unfortunately I couldn’t improve my lap time in the afternoon session: I did some set-up work on the bike and especially in the final stages I put a front tyre which has not given me the necessary confidence to push; Compared to the tests carried out here last June I miss front end feeling: we need to work on this aspect. We will try to use a similar set-up to that of the test, because at the moment I always struggle to close the line on the corners”.
“Simeon started the day well, but he didn’t improve much in the afternoon; anyway, regardless of the position in the timesheets, Xavier reached a good feeling with the bike, so we can say we have a glimpse of an improvement compared to the last few races, which were undoubtedly difficult. Tomorrow it will be important to fight for a good position in qualifying and we are confident to do so. Baldassarri tomorrow will try a set-up that last June, in the tests carried out here at Aragon, had allowed him to be fast, so we hope that this comparison will allow him to regain confidence and speed”.
Cardus begins Aragon with strong 10th
Tech3 Racing Team rider Ricky Cardus continued his positive form by speeding to 10th position in the combined standings on the opening day of practice for round 14 of the Moto2 World Championship at the MotorLand Aragon circuit. The Spanish rider completed the opening session in 16th position after setting a best lap of 1’55.400 which was just over a second from the leading time in the highly competitive intermediate class. In the afternoon Cardus proceeded to fight onwards as he worked with the Tech3 Racing Team to improve the setup of his bike and his relentless efforts paid off as he produced a top time of 1’54.758. This was only three tenths from the second row which he set on the 15th lap out of 19 around the 5078 meter circuit aboard the Tech3 Racing Team’s exclusively built and designed Mistral 610. Cardus’ performance today sees him optimistically looking ahead to tomorrow as he seeks to progress further and qualify inside the top ten.
Meanwhile Marcel Schrotter endured a tough opening day to finish in 30th in the combined standings after unfortunately falling during the morning session. The young German was unhurt but only able to complete four laps before the crash, which badly damaged his bike. The Tech3 Racing Team worked relentlessly to repair the Mistral 610 but in the FP2 session the bike needed further electrical amendments due to the crash and so track time was limited. However, he remained firm and heroically still ran ten laps with his best being set on the last which was a 1’55.597. Despite the uphill start and the lack of track time, Schrotter remains determined for the rest of the weekend and the 21 lap race on Sunday where he will intend to steer the Mistral 610 into another points scoring finish.
Ricky Cardus – Position : 10th - Time : 1’54.758 - Laps : 30
“It was a good start to the weekend and it was confidence boosting to continue the competitive form we found in Misano. I spent the day working hard with the Tech3 Racing Team who did a great job and after having tried several modifications we were able to establish a setup which made me feel even more comfortable. I am happy with my pace and the lap times, as aside from the first three riders, everyone else is close together. Tomorrow will be a different day for sure with the grip levels changing, but after this first run today I am confident that I can qualify well. I still really want to get a strong result here after what happened in Misano, plus it’s my home crowd and I cannot wait to give them something to cheer about on Sunday.”
Marcel Schrotter - Position : 30th - Time : 1’55.597 – Laps : 14
“Of course, I am disappointed with today as we lost almost a whole day. We had a test here a few months ago which was really positive, so we could have started this weekend ready to go in terms of setup and confidence, but unfortunately I crashed. The bike suffered a lot, so first of all I need to say thanks to the team for the great job they did as they more or less built a new bike between the sessions. It was ready in time for FP2 but as it was a quickly done and almost entire rebuild, it meant that we had to deal with some initial electronic issues. I took us a while to adjust the bike fully which meant that I was only able to push in the last four laps. In the test I set a really strong lap time which would have got me near to the front today and I truly hope that in the only one remaining free practice session tomorrow we can close the gap to the top ten to not jeopardise our points scoring ambitions on Sunday too much.“
MAPFRE Aspar work on race pace at third home GP of the season
Jordi Torres thirteenth on day one at Motorland, Nico Terol in eighteenth
As in the Moto3 and MotoGP classes the Moto2 riders set a hot pace on the opening day of the GP of Aragón at the Motorland Circuit today, with Spanish riders again coming to the fore at their home track. Tito Rabat clocked the fastest time after dominating the afternoon session, the Catalan rider gradually improving before becoming the only rider to break the 1'54 barrier with a 1'53.838. The lap times are already inside circuit record pace and certain to drop even further tomorrow in what promises to be a highly entertaining qualifying session.
The MAPFRE Aspar Team enjoyed a better opening day at the GP of Aragón than they have in other races recently, with both Jordi Torres and Nico Terol getting through a lot of work during the two sessions today. The pair improved from the morning to the afternoon and even though Torres is 0.9 seconds off top spot, with Terol a further 0.4 seconds back, both riders are confident that they have ample room for improvement tomorrow and the opportunity to close the gap in qualifying.
13th Jordi Torres 1.54.827 (40 laps): “The feeling after the first day of work here at Motorland is positive. I felt quite comfortable in both sessions and we are closer to the top than we have been in recent races so that gives me confidence. We still need to improve the response from the front end but I felt good on the bike today. It looks like we have put the problems that have dogged us recently behind us, the team is working really well and I am motivated to come away from here with a good result.”
18th Nico Terol 1.55.235 (39 laps): “I have good memories of Motorland and we started out this morning with good confidence and a fast pace. Then I the afternoon we had some trouble getting the bike to turn as I like. It is very worrying because we took a big step forward in the last race and we came here in a positive frame of mind. I am sure that we will solve the problems tomorrow though and make the bike more manageable. The important thing is that we know what we have to change to improve.”