2014 Valencia Moto2 And Moto3 Friday Post-Practice Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after practice on Friday at Valencia:


ANTONELLI SETS THE PACE AHEAD OF FINAL RACE OF THE SEASON. BASTIANINI HOLDS TOP FOUR

Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 racer Niccolò Antonelli set today the fastest time in the combined classification of the first two practice sessions of the Grand Prix of Valencia, the last round of the Moto3 World Championship scheduled for this weekend at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The 18-year-old rider from Cattolica, who was already the quickest in the morning session with a lap time of 1’40”338, was able to improve his performance in the afternoon, down to 1’39”647, just two tenths off last year’s pole position time.

Rookie Enea Bastianini instead obtained in the final stages of the second free practice session the fourth fastest time, 1’39”920, beaten only by his teammate and by the two World Title challengers, Jack Miller and Alex Marquez.

NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (1st - 1'39"647)

“I'm very happy, but we have to continue like this tomorrow: our rivals will improve and we need to be ready to react in the best possible way. We must not let our guard down just because today we set the fastest time. The sensations are good and our pace is already fast: tomorrow we will try simply to put everything in place in the best possible way, contrary to what happened in Sepang, where on Saturday we have been slowed down by a few problems”.

ENEA BASTIANINI (4th - 1'39"920)

“In the last minutes of the second free practice session, with a used soft tyre, we have been really strong, getting a good lap time. I was able to follow Miller for all the lap and certainly his slipstream helped me a bit, however I learned a few things behind him. I already have quite a good feeling with the bike: we are not yet at one hundred percent, but I'm happy because it seems that we have managed to solve the problems we had in the last races. Tomorrow we will try to improve further and we will do our best to stay in the top positions”.

FAUSTO GRESINI

“It was a fantastic first day of practice: between Antonelli, who finished the test in front, and Bastianini, fourth, there are the two contenders for the world title, so today we can definitely say that we have done our job! After today’s outcome we can be confident ahead of the rest of the weekend: I'm happy for both Niccolò, who set the fastest time already in the morning and then managed to confirm himself at the top in the afternoon, and Bastianini, who exploited well the final minutes of the second session, after the changes made to the bike, to move forward. We are pleased with today’s results: now we have to keep this momentum to try to finish the season on top”.


Jack Miller picks up the pace for grand finale

Australian starts out with the second fastest time in practice for Valencian Grand Prix, which will decide the new Moto3 World Champion. Hanika, seventeenth, satisfied at the end of the first day.

11/07/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain

Jack Miller took an important and positive first step towards Sunday's final race of the Moto3 World Championship in Valencia. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was the second fastest in both practice sessions on the opening day of the weekend and, most importantly, already has a great pace for the race. Karel Hanika, who contests his first race at the track on Sunday, concluded the day in seventeenth place.

Miller started the first free practice session of the weekend with a good pace. Besides achieving the second fastest lap of the session –1:40.340–, the Australian was by far the rider with the most laps in the 1:40s (8). Hanika, fifteenth –1:41.257– improved throughout the session, going into the 1:41s on his last stint.

In the afternoon, the strategy was the same for Miller. More comfortable and with a better pace on worn tyres than with new ones, he was able to go fast riding alone. He completed his best lap on the penultimate attempt, going second with a 1:39.848. His teammate worked with him and was able to set his top time of 1:40.531 for seventeenth.

Sunday's race grid will be decided tomorrow with qualifying at 12:35h. Miller is the rider with the most pole positions this season, and will have the chance to take number 9 this Saturday.

8 JACK MILLER

"The bike worked really well today. From the first stint I felt very comfortable because we have made some big changes. The bike is working well with the two setups we tested. We have not used many new tyres today, so that is good for us. What matters is getting the bike ready for the race and we are not far from achieving that. Our pace is very good, and I could set some very fast laps with used tyres. What worries me most is making a flying lap on soft tyres, because I tried three laps but I preferred to go back to the old ones. Obviously in qualifying session tomorrow we will try them again."

98 KAREL HANIKA

"I think the two sessions today were not too bad. In both we tried to improve the bike because the conditions were a little harder than in testing. In the first session we set the same time as then and in the afternoon we were able to improve a bit, but there are still places where we can gain some time. The good thing is that we know where. We are very close to other riders and if tomorrow we improve, then we can get a bit further up the order. In the end I'm happy with how the day went and how the whole team worked."


Guevara starts with a good pace in Valencia

MAPFRE Aspar rider, thirteenth, has productive afternoon session that helps him to regain feel for track

After three weeks travelling the globe and following a short break, the Moto3 riders gathered today at the Valencia circuit to begin the final round of year. The first two sessions of the Valencian GP were dominated by Niccolò Antonelli. The Italian was fastest today, riding quicker than the circuit record but not the pole record. He was just faster than Miller, Marquez, Fenati and Rins, who also topped the timesheet during the afternoon. The two title candidates –Miller and Marquez- placed second and third, respectively, and have a strong pace.

Tenth in the first session and thirteenth in the second, MAPFRE Aspar rider Juanfran Guevara was 6 tenths off the best time of the day. The Spaniard, who used the first day to regain his feel for the track after the flyaway rounds, did a great job. In the closing stages of the second session he set two laps at a great pace, but two separate errors in the last sector deprived him of a perfect lap. Guevara nevertheless closed the day satisfied.

13th Juanfran Guevara 1.40.343 (36 laps): "Today we used the sessions to regain feeling after our return from the trio of races outside Europe. Those tracks are totally different and at the Valencia circuit it is necessary to get everything back in order. This morning I noticed some strange feelings, and the conditions here are completely different to Malaysia. We worked trying not to change too much, because the base we have is very good. Today we wanted to understand the conditions. Although we finished slightly low down the order, we are happy with our work. That position does not correspond to our performance. In the last few minutes we put in two very good laps, but I made a couple of mistakes on the last sector that prevented me from doing better. Tomorrow we will try to improve the response of the rear, as today it felt too soft and this caused us to load too much weight on the front –something that worked against me on the fast corners.”


Alex Marquez third on opening day in Valencia

Moto3 World Championship leader calmly facing the most important weekend of his career. Teammate Alex Rins finishes seventh and Maria Herrera thirtieth.

The last round of the Moto3 World Championship for 2014, transcendental for Alex Marquez, had a good start for the Repsol rider. Marquez was third on Friday in practice, just behind his only rival in the fight for the title, Jack Miller. On a day in which Niccolo Antonelli was the fastest rider, the two championship contenders were just two tenths behind him with 0.068s between them. Alex Rins was seventh, less than two tenths off them both. On her return to the World Championship, Maria Herrera was thirtieth.

In the morning session, Marquez started the weekend calmly. Amidst track temperatures of just 15°C, the Spaniard was eighth and 0.613s off Antonelli, who was fastest in both sessions today. Marquez set a best time of 1:40.951 and put in a total of 19 laps. Teammate Rins, with a time of 1:41.179, completed 19 laps and finished fourteenth. Herrera, who put in the same amount of laps, set a top time of 1:43.153.

In the second free practice, Marquez lowered his best lap time from the morning by a second, completing a further 18 laps and stopping the clock in 1:39.916. Rins also improved and rose to seventh. Maria Herrera continued here progression by taking a second off her FP1 time and setting a 1:42.110.

Saturday morning will see a final practice session, followed by qualifying in the afternoon.

Alex Rins 7th 1:40.027 38 laps 152 km

"Today went pretty well and the feeling was good. It's different when you go out calmly and with no pressure to win, although it’s my last race in the team and I want to get a good result. In the first practice session the track conditions were not too good and it was hard to ride fast. In the second session this improved, I had more grip and it helped me to feel more comfortable. With new tyres I had a good pace from the start. Maybe we lacked a fast lap when I put on the softest compound, like the others did."

Alex Marquez 3rd 1:39.916 37 laps 148 km

"I am very happy because I think we've done a very good job. We thought about every step we have taken, however small, and they have always been constructive. In the morning the track was cold and it was harder for us, but in the afternoon the conditions improved somewhat. It was not easy because of the wind, but I felt very good. I rode comfortably and I was able to go at the limit a lot. This gives me confidence for tomorrow."

Maria Herrera 30th 1:42.110 38 laps 152 km

"Whenever I go back to riding in the World Championship, the first practice I feel a little weird and I have to get used to the level. In the first session the track was a bit cold and slippery. I was not doing the times that we had set ourselves, so in the second session we had to try harder. I rode more comfortably, but there was more wind and I’m not very used to this bike. I was a bit annoyed, but I think with improvements at several points I can get my times down, because I'm adapting and the work we have done will be positive for tomorrow."


Husqvarna riders begin season’s grand finale

Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo begin the first day of the Valencian Grand Prix with nineteenth and twenty-first best times, respectively, on the combined timesheet.

11/07/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain

The Moto3 World Championship brings down the curtain on the 2014 season this weekend in Valencia. The first day of practice took place this Friday, and both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo were unable to find the good feeling they have previously experienced at the track. However, both are confident of strong times in tomorrow’s qualifying session. The Briton set the nineteenth fastest time, while the Finn was twenty-first.

Ajo and Kent put in the fifth and eleventh best times, respectively, in the first practice session. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider’s top time was a 1:40.782 on his final attempt –despite attempting an intense start to the session. Kent improved over the course of the run, eventually clocking a 1:40.986.

In the afternoon session the wind was blowing more strongly, hindering the work of the riders in the Moto3 class the most. Niklas Ajo worked with different tyres trying to find pace and a hot lap in preparation for the qualifying session tomorrow. He lowered his morning time to go twenty-first with a 1:40.768 lap. Kent, feeling less comfortable than at recent races, was nineteenth with a 1:40.639.

Tomorrow at 12:35pm both riders will have the opportunity to take Husqvarna’s second pole position of the season.

52 DANNY KENT

"This was probably one of the worst Fridays all season in terms of our feel, both with my own feeling and with the bike. We didn’t find a way to corner well. We have to work hard, look at the data we've collected and see where we can improve for tomorrow. We have not changed too much from the setup regarding used over the last few races, but we have played with things so that the wind does not affect us much. Hopefully tomorrow we will find the right direction."

31 NIKLAS AJO

"I think in the morning we found a good pace. We have not got the perfect feeling with the bike, but we managed to do very consistent laps that allowed us to be high up on the timesheet. In the second session we started directly with the used tyre and it wore out very quickly. I had to go back to the garage and switch to new tyres but I could not find a good grip. In the morning, with the softer compound, I had great rear grip. We have to work to find out why we lack this grip because it is so difficult to exit corners. I'm happy, because even though we are at the bottom of the overall timesheet the difference between riders is not great. If we get a good setup for tomorrow, I'm sure we will improve."


Moto3 - First day of free practice for San Carlo Team Italia at Valencia

Matteo Ferrari (26th) and Andrea Locatelli (29th) have worked for the race.

The first two free practice sessions of the eighteenth and final round of the 2014 Moto3 Championship that took place at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit today, saw San Carlo Team Italia riders focusing in the search of a good compromise for the setup of their machines in view of the race.

Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O #3) completed most of his 37 laps on medium spec tyres and set his fastest time in 1'41"324 (26th), 1.6s down on provisional pole setter Niccolò Antonelli (KTM).

Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra MGP3O #55) also lapped under the 1’42” barrier while looking to improve his feeling in corner entry. The Italian set his best time in 1'41"982 (29th), 2.3s off the top.

Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 26th, 1'41"324

"I can be satisfied with the work we have done today. We made a significant step forward over the two sessions regarding the bike’s setup and, by my side, I’ve rode well all over the day. Unfortunately we loose ground on the others on the straight and this affect our lap times. We are 1.6s down on front, struggling especially in the fast sections. Tomorrow we’ll focused on that because for the rest we are quite ok. I lapped on the “M” tyre spec (Medium compound) that will be the tyre for the race and I felt good on it".

Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 29th, 1'41"982

"I lapped alone in both sessions to understand better the bike’s behaviours and to understand where we have to improve. I can ride quite well in some sections while in others I’ve not yet enough feeling with the front of my bike. We have to work on it because I’m sure that we can significantly move up the order if we are able to solve that problem".

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

"Watching the guys on track and the work they have done in the garage I think they deserve more considering their efforts today and during the whole season. We are fine enough with the chassis setup but we loose too much on the straights. We’ll work and try to find a solution to make our bike more competitive because our riders are very keen to have a positive weekend and to close their season on a high".


Gino Rea returns to action with broken foot in Valencia

Gino Rea was declared fit to ride on Friday morning at Valencia and after a brave effort, concluded the day just two seconds from the front. Rea comments on his first day out at Valencia:

"It's been a hard day for me as my foot is still quite badly broke. Of the 3 metatarsals that I broke in Malaysia, only 2 were plated which means the 5th metatarsal is still separated. I tried to ride today but I’m unable to go as fast as I should be able to, due to the position of my foot and not being able to put any weight through it. I was only 2.0 seconds from pole but in this class that leaves you towards the back.

I may do some more laps tomorrow just to qualify and get on the grid. If the race is dry there isn't much point in going out unless I can battle for points, which at the moment isn't possible. If it's wet we will reconsider. I can ride through the pain but if I bend the plates or separate the 5th metatarsal any more, I won't be able to test in the coming weeks. For me the tests are more important because they mark the start of 2015."

Moto2 Free Practice 3 will commence at 10.55 on Saturday with the Valencia Grand Prix qualifying session at 15.05 in the afternoon.


Last Grand Prix of 2014 begins for Hafiq Azmi

SIC-Ajo Team rider begins the final weekend of the season with the 25th best time overall.

11/07/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain

The eighteenth and final event of the Moto3 season was kick-started with the first free practice sessions for the Moto3 World Championship in Valencia. Hafiq Azmi started the weekend at the Valencian circuit seeking to speedily get a good feeling with the track, after scoring his first points in Malaysia. His 1:41.258 lap gave him the 25th fastest time overall on Friday.

The objective of the SIC-Ajo Team rider in the first practice session was to get reacquainted with the track, where he had not ridden since testing a year ago. Track temperatures in the morning were around 15ºC and Hafiq Azmi set the 25th fastest time of the session, with a lap of 1:42.189.

In the second session, with the track at 28ºC and with substantial gusts of wind, the Malaysian rider managed to improve his morning times by almost a second. Hafiq Azmi set a great pace throughout the session, with several laps below the 1:42 mark. His best lap of the day was taken on his final time out in the session: A 1:41.258, which put him 25th overall.

Tomorrow will see the last free practice session of the season, followed by qualifying at 12:35pm. Hafiq Azmi hopes to take a grid position that allows him to enter into the battle for points again.

38 HAFIQ AZMI

"Today in both the first and second session we found it hard to set a hot lap. However, I am happy with the work that the team did. I think that the bike isn't giving us too many problems, but I need to improve my riding. In the afternoon we made a big step forward. I will try to do my best tomorrow and get a good result. I am confident of placing in the Top 20 in qualifying."


First day at Valencia doesn’t bring Scott Deroue what he wants

Although he made an improvement of over a second Scott Deroue wasn’t satisfied with his results on the first day of the Grand Prix of Valencia, as the improvement meant an advance of only one position in the rankings. 32nd place in 1.42,244 wasn’t what the Dutch rookie had in mind.

The gaps were small at the tight Ricardo Tormo circuit, with six riders under 1.40 and the first 19 divided by less than one second in the second free practice.

What mainly bothered RW Racing GP and its rider was that Deroue had been faster in the preseason tests in February at the same track. The circumstances were not that much different, and with 17 races of experience under his belt, RW Racing GP expected Deroue to be much quicker and closer to the top 20. With his best lap time from the test, he would have been 28th now.

“For sure we are disappointed as this is not the progression we wanted to see,” RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen commented. “At this point of the season Scott should have been at least a second faster than he was in February. We have compared the data from the test and today, to see what is going on. It is clear that Scott loses some time in the place where he crashed in February, but also in the corners where he was fast during the test. There definitely is room for big improvements and we really hope to see him closer to the top 20 tomorrow.”


SIMEON LOOKING FOR IMPROVEMENTS ON CORNER ENTRY. SOLID START FOR BALDASSARRI

Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 kicked off today the final stage of the 2014 Moto2 World Championship, the Grand Prix of Valencia taking place this weekend at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.

The 25-year-old Belgian rider, who had not taken part at the beginning of the year at the winter testing session on the Spanish track following an injury, took some time to regain the right references on a track much more tortuous than those faced recently, then in the afternoon he lowered his lap times by 0.6 seconds, closing the combined classification of the two sessions in 16th position with a time of 1’36”445. Tomorrow, Siméon will focus on improving the behaviour of his Suter under corner entry.

Lorenzo Baldassarri enjoyed a very good start aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine: the 18-year-old Italian rookie was immediately quick in the morning, claiming at the end of the day the thirteenth fastest time, 1’36”226.

XAVIER SIMEON (16th - 1'36"445)

“This morning, the first practice session was a bit strange to me: here I had not made winter testing so at first, after some fast and wide tracks it seemed to ride on a kart track! Therefore, this morning I have completed a lot of laps to catch the right references and later, in the afternoon, I was able to improve my lap times. We only have one big problem at the moment: I’m struggling to stop the bike on corner entry, and consequently I slow down too much and I lose cornering speed. For the rest, I have a very good feeling with the front end and there’s no rear grip issues, that’s very positive. This means that tomorrow we can find a solution quickly, if we do it, the first three rows of the grid is our target”.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (13th - 1'36"226)

“This morning I made a strong start and in the afternoon I further improved my lap times, so I’m satisfied with this first day: it will be important, however, to start immediately from this level tomorrow morning, and then improve again in qualifying. What makes me optimistic is that, although I struggled with used tyres at the beginning of the second session, as soon as I put the new tyres, the situation improved immediately. Tomorrow we will work primarily to enhance mid-corner performance, in order to try to open soon the throttle”.


MAPFRE Aspar rider begin season finale in Valencia

Jordi Torres and Nico Terol suffer front end chatter on their bikes, and will look for improvement on Saturday

As in MotoGP and Moto3, the riders who dominated the first practice session of the Valencia GP continued on top in the second. The Moto2 class saw Johann Zarco become the fastest rider of the day after topping the two practice sessions. The Frenchman was one-tenth faster than Luthi, who continued his considerable progress on this final stretch of the season. Newly-crowned World Champion Tito Rabat ended the day in third place. Times in Valencia were fast today, under the circuit record, but tomorrow they are sure to continue to drop. All riders begin this season finale trying to end the season strongly.

The MAPFRE Aspar garage today received a very special visit, as Valencia CF players Paco Alcacer, Antonio Barragan and Diego Alves passed by to greet the riders. The team have an agreement with the region’s top football side, and the players took in the action on day one of the Grand Prix. This is a home race for MAPFRE Aspar, and the riders were keen to do their best on Friday. It was a strange opening day in which both Jordi Torres and Nico Terol had problems with the front end of their bikes. Excessive chatter made them lose their way slightly, and they ended the day eighteenth and twenty-sixth, respectively.

18th Jordi Torres 1.36.492 (43 laps): "Today we were able to enjoy the fans here in Valencia, who always give us a big boost when we ride. In both sessions we were up at the top at the start, but in both cases we reached a point when we were wanted to push hard and had front end chattering. This had never happened to us before. In the afternoon we tried to make a small change; we did not want to make big changes, as this year we have lost our way when we have done that. Today our adjustment was not productive. This afternoon we will look over the bike, because feelings as strange as we had today with the bike is something that has not happened all season. I hope that tomorrow we will solve our problems through hard work."

26th Nico Terol 1.36.853 (40 laps): “I Expected to have better feelings at this circuit, which has always suited me very well. Last year I had a very good pace, and were fast in preseason here. The new chassis from Suter has given us many problems throughout the season, and we’ve never found the best way to ride fast. It makes me angry to find it hard to get a good feeling here, at a track where I usually go fast easily. There are three corners where we are suffering a lot of chatter. That’s why I ran wide on a couple of occasions. In any event, and even though today we have not gone well, we have made big changes throughout the day and tomorrow we will work to find the way, somehow. I really want to end the year well, so I'm not giving up. I will work as hard as is necessary to try to solve the problems from today and ride fast."


Fast start for new World Champion Rabat in Valencia

Valencia, Spain - 7 November 2014: The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Tito Rabat made an impressive start to his reign as new Moto2 World Champion with a top three finish at the end of the opening day of practice for the season’s final race in Valencia.

Spaniard Rabat, who claimed the Moto2 title with a 13th podium of the season in Sepang, set a personal best lap of 1.35.604 on a day he spent focusing on improving corner entry performance with his Kalex machine.

Rabat was only 0.340s off the best pace set by Johann Zarco and one place ahead of teammate Mika Kallio, who is looking to secure a 1-2 finish in the overall standings for Marc VDS Racing on Sunday to cap a dominant campaign from the Belgium-based squad.

Kallio too dedicated the majority of his time on track today to gaining more confidence on corner entry and his best lap of 1.35.855 secured him fourth spot.

Jorge Navarro took advantage of his extensive knowledge of the tight and twisty Ricardo Tormo track layout to finish just over 0.8s off the fastest pace in two exceptionally close Moto3 practice sessions.

The Spaniard was 16th quickest but satisfied with his consistent pace after making big improvements with rear grip this afternoon.

Tito Rabat // 3rd // 1’35.604

“Today felt very special as it was my first time on track since winning the World Championship in Malaysia. It was not an easy day because this morning I didn’t have the best grip with the hard tyres. I was better with the softer options this afternoon but I never have a good feeling with this track. It is very slow and tight but I could go fast in FP2 and finish in the top three. We need to work to get more entry grip because it doesn’t seem like we have as much grip as last year. But I am confident I can fight for the win on Sunday.”

Mika Kallio // 4th // 1’35.855

“I am pretty satisfied because this morning I didn’t have full confidence with the front. I struggled to turn into the corner and couldn’t push to the limit. We changed the front settings for FP2 and immediately I felt faster and I was inside the top five all of the time. I did long runs on both the soft and hard rear tyre options today and my pace was constant, but I am still 0.5s behind the top two and it seems their chassis package like always works very strong at this track. It is not easy to come to this level but we are working in the right direction to reduce the gap.”

Jorge Navarro // 16th // 1’40.503

“I am happy to start my home race strongly because throughout the day we made good steps forward with the bike. My crew did a great job improving the rear grip this afternoon because in FP1 I couldn’t open the throttle with too much confidence and the bike moved a lot. I am only 0.8s off the best time


Round Number: 
18
2014

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