2015 Argentina Saturday Moto2 And Moto3 Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying in Argentina:

Third row start in Argentina for Jorge Navarro

Spaniard the best of the Repsol riders in Moto3 qualifying and will take off from seventh, with Fabio Quartararo in sixteenth place and Maria Herrera twenty-fourth.

The second day of practice for the Grand Prix of Rep. Argentina finished with further progress for the Repsol riders in the Moto3 class. After the final practice session in the morning, the trio took on the qualifying session to decide the grid for Sunday's race. Jorge Navarro placed seventh, 7 tenths off the pole time set by Miguel Oliveira. Fabio Quartararo was sixteenth fastest, just over a second down, and Maria Herrera was twenty-fourth –less than 1.5 seconds off the poleman.

In the third free practice session, Quartararo was the fourth fastest rider at what is a new track for him this weekend. The Frenchman was only half a second down on the rider topping the session, Danny Kent, but in qualifying he was unable to match his morning lap. A tenth off his best time from FP3, Quartararo set a 1:49.567 lap which put him sixteenth on the grid. Times were close in the session, as he was just 1.106s slower than poleman Oliveira. Jorge Navarro moved up from ninth place in the third free practice to seventh in qualifying, with a time of 1:49.202. Also continuing to take steps forward was Maria Herrera, who ended the day with a time of 1:49.866 –just 1.405s from pole position.

The third race of the Moto3 World Championship takes place tomorrow at 13:00h local time.

Fabio Quartararo 16th 1:49.567 32 laps 154 km

"It was a bit of a difficult qualifying session, but the important thing is that we have a pace of 1'49. We'll see how it goes tomorrow in the race; I hope to keep up with the pace of the riders at the front. Jorge [Navarro] and I tried to work together, but we have not got enough experience yet; we will gradually improve in this aspect as well this season."

Jorge Navarro 7th 1:49.202 35 laps 168 km

"In the morning we were working to improve my feeling with the bike, and we took a step forward with both our pace and our fastest lap. In the qualifying session the important thing was to get a good hot lap, which I think we did. I think that starting from seventh position is good. Tomorrow in the warmup we will continue to improve some adjustments to the setup, but I think that we are ready for the race."

María Herrera 24th 1:49.866 36 laps 173 km

"We had a strategy in order to try to improve and it worked out well. In the qualifying session we went out on track behind a group, as might happen in the race. I felt quite comfortable and I set my best time. At the end of the session I was on course to lower my best time, but another rider got in my way in the last sector and I couldn't place in the Top 20, which is what I was aiming to do. However, I think we're close and tomorrow we can fight for a good result."

Miguel Oliveira claims first pole position of the year

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider snatches last minute pole position for Red Bull Grand Prix of Argentina. Karel Hanika takes spot on the second row and Binder will start from row five.

04/18/2015 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, Argentina

Miguel Oliveira and Red Bull KTM Ajo took their first pole position of the season at Round 3 in Argentina. The Portuguese set a superb last lap of 1:48.461 in the qualifying session, for his second career pole. His previous qualifying top spot came at the 2013 Dutch TT. Karel Hanika, sixth, starts from his best grid position of the year so far, whilst Brad Binder earned a place on the fifth row with fifteenth.

Oliveira started the day strongly, heading the timesheets after improving his fastest time from yesterday with a 1:49.430. The Portuguese dominated much of the session, also setting a great pace when riding alone. Always close behind was teammate Karel Hanika, who finished the session with the eighth fastest time of 1:49.753. Meanwhile, Brad Binder, twelfth, also improved on his best lap from yesterday by clocking a 1:49.941.

As usual in the timed session, nothing was decided until the final five minutes. Oliveira was the rider who played his cards best on his last lap, pushing harder than ever and taking advantage of groups of riders bunched together to usurp Danny Kent, setting new pole and circuit records of 1:48.461 in the process. Latched onto him at the finish line was Hanika, who set the sixth fastest time of 1:49.026. Half a second down, with a 1:49.529, was Binder in fifteenth.

With this result, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team have two pole positions from as many visits to the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, after their success at the track last year. The Moto3 Red Bull Grand Prix of Argentina begins at 1pm local time on Saturday.


"The qualifying session was a bit strange. At first I was not as fast as I would have liked; I found it hard to set a good pace and a good one-off lap. In the last run I tried to take advantage of a slipstream and go for pole position. It may not be the nicest way to get pole, but I'm very happy for the team. It's a little reward that I think we deserve after work we have been doing. However, the greatest reward will be getting points tomorrow."


"Today definitely didn't go as we had planned. I didn't have the confidence that I normally have on the bike, and that prevented me from pushing hard. We have to continue working on the setup. My problem is with finding the right line in order to open the throttle in the right position. In any case, I am ready and focused on doing a good job tomorrow in the race."


"Today was another good day for me and my team, just like yesterday. We did a good job in the third free practice session to change a few things on the KTM and also improve my riding with used tyres. We tried to put in as many kilometres as possible. In qualifying, the strategy was just to set a fast lap. I managed that on my first run.

On the second attempt I rode alone and I again set a good lap time, and on my last stint I pushed my hardest for a position high up on the grid. In the end I managed to finish sixth, on the second row, and we're pretty happy about that. It is a good place from which to start the race. I am confident for the race, because so far this has been my best weekend of the year, and I hope to continue in this way for the rest of the season."


Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent missed his second pole position in a row in this afternoon’s qualifying practice at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo by whisker.

Conditions had changed massively for today’s final free practice session and qualifying practice with sunny skies and hot temperatures at lunch time. Nevertheless, Danny Kent went into the timed session for tomorrow’s starting grid as a clearly favourite for the top spot after he also dominated FP3 this morning. The young Englishman delivered a decent performance during the first stages of the qualifying practice before he made his initial effort for a fast lap time at halfway point of the session.

Till the end Kent was the pace setter today as he smashed the pole record by six tenth of a second, but after crossing the line Kent was dropped down the order by Portuguese rider Miguel Oliviera by a margin of 0.050 seconds.

Meanwhile Efren Vazquez and Hiroki Ono were also on the pace throughout this hot sessions as both of them made a great recovery in comparison to yesterday’s free practice sessions. However, Vazquez already finished this morning’s final free practice session with the second fastest lap time, he was on the table for a top spot in qualifying. The Spaniard made his best effort in lap 16 of 18 in total to head the second row in fourth position.

Ono is still learning the 4.8km Argentina track, but he impressed not only with how quick he adapted to the new circuit but furthermore for the fact how easy he managed to deal with the tricky track conditions in Termas de Rio Hondo. After the right tyre choice during this morning’s FP3 Ono set a blistering lap to qualify for ninth position on the grid this afternoon, his best qualifying performance so far this season.

The third race this year gets underway on Sunday 13:00 (GMT+5) with a distance of 21 laps.

#7 Efren VAZQUEZ, Grid position 4th - 1´48.729 (16/18):

“I’m happy with this second row start because I think we did an incredible job during these two days. I’m also happy with the setting of my bike because as shown by the lap times we’re able to improve with every session and I also get more confident riding at this nice track. For tomorrow I hope we’ll make the right decision in terms of tyre choice because this is always a key fact for the race here. After that I just need to keep focussed every lap and then I need to pick up the chance to fight for the podium in the final laps.”

#52 Danny KENT, Grid position 2nd - 1´48.511 (18/18):

“I’m not disappointed at all because we don’t get points in qualifying. So I’m really happy to be in the front row again. We’re very well prepared for tomorrow’s race as our pace with new tyres and also with old is very strong. Regarding our tyre choice for the race we’ve a clear idea so this means we’re ready to race. In general I’m happy with today, but tomorrow there are the points to collect so I’ve to be aggressive at the start and hopefully then we’ll have a good race.”

#76 Hiroki ONO, Grid position 9th - 1´49.302 (16/16):

“To be honest I didn’t expect a third row start for tomorrow’s race because I’m still learning this fast and flowing track. But of course I’m very pleased with this starting position. We did a great job so far this weekend, in particular this morning when we were working on our tyre decision. So for this reason the lap time and position wasn’t as good. Anyway, for this afternoon we made some small adjustments to the setting and I felt more confident on the bike though the conditions were more hot which I personally prefer. In the end my lap was almost perfect so I really look forward to tomorrow’s race where I’ll finally see the chequered flag.”

Third and fifth row for the Sky Racing Team VR46 at the GP de la Republica Argentina

Romano set his time on the last lap. Migno never so far ahead on the starting grid

Termas de Rio Hondo, April 18, 2015. The qualifying session of the GP Red Bull de la República Argentina saw the Sky Racing Team VR46 clinching the third and fifth row of the starting grid. Romano Fenati will get away from the eighth spot after a qualifying during which the tires strategy was a decisive factor: in switching from the hard to the soft ones, Romano was able to set the time on the last lap completing the session with 1'49.291.

Good results also for Andrea Migno who finished 14th in 1'49.523. For him, this will be the first race in Termas de Rio Hondo, as well as his first time getting away from the fifth row.

Some positive signs had already come out from this morning’s FP3 as Fenati finished seventh in

1'49.740 and Migno fifteenth in 1'50.005.


PABLO NIETO / Team Manager

Today we did a bit better but there is still much work to do to fill the gap with last race. It is the first time this season that we have managed to finish in top ten of qualifying with Romano and among the first 15 riders with Andrea. We’ve been working a lot ahead of the race as with this temperature it was not clear what kind of tires we should have used for Romano. We tried the hard ones first, but he did not feel comfortable with them, so we switched to the soft ones. Tomorrow it will be a tough race as it will be run at a different time slot we are not used to, so I think all the riders will be struggling with the tires. We are happy, even if until the very last lap we were lagging behind and so we need to improve that aspect. With Andrea we adopted the same strategy. He ran a good qualifying session, he pushed hard for being a rookie on this track, one second back from the pole. I am happy with the feeling he got with the bike although there is still a long way to go.


There was a lot of traffic, but I managed to change the qualifying timesheets at the very last lap. We opted for the soft tires and the team’s strategy turned out to be right. We are ready to give our best tomorrow, it will be a tough race but our position in the starting grid will certainly help.


I’ve got a good feeling with the bike and that enabled me to deliver a good performance in qualifying on this new track. We used Romano’s same tires’ planning to make some tests and now we can see things clearly ahead of the race. Tomorrow we’ll try to have fun as we are all very close. The hungriest rider will win.


The qualifications of the Grand Prix of Argentina held today at the circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo ended with a disappointing result for Gresini Racing Team Moto3 riders: Enea Bastianini set on the final stages of the session the 10th fastest time, 1’49”409, therefore he will start tomorrow from the fourth row of the grid, while his team mate Andrea Locatelli was only 29th with 1’50”352.

ENEA BASTIANINI (10th - 1'49"409)

“I expected to get a better result, obviously. I pushed hard, but I managed to improve my best lap time from yesterday by a few tenths and in the end the gap from pole position is too high. In some parts of the track I’m struggling to hold the line and I still can’t ride well. The positive thing is that I can count on a good race pace: I know I can get this lap time for most laps in a row, so we remain positive ahead of tomorrow’s race”.

ANDREA LOCATELLI (29th - 1'50"352)

“I honestly thought I could improve my lap time in qualifying, and stay at least in the top 15, but I continued to struggle. I’m able to do lap times around the 1'50” mark, but I can’t go further, as I’m struggling to make the bike turn. Now we will analyze the telemetry data to understand where we can improve: starting so far back, tomorrow's Grand Prix can’t be anything but a comeback race”.


“I'm disappointed because today our riders waited too long to get out on track, they have not helped each other and as a result they will both start from behind. They need to stay more focused in the decisive moments; however, this wants to be a constructive criticism, to push them to avoid these mistakes and to do better. Anyway, the race is tomorrow and anything can happen, even though it won’t be easy”.

Moto3 - Mission comeback for San Carlo Team Italia in Argentina

Ferrari and Manzi will start respectively from the 25th and 26th position.

Even if the results concerning the constancy on the performance of the race distance were quite encouraging, it is supposed to be a comeback race for San Carlo Team Italia at Autódromo Internacional Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina), third round of 2015 Moto3 World Championship. In this session of official qualifying, the Portuguese Miguel Oliveira (KTM) got the second pole position of his career with just 5/100 of advantage from the leader of the championship Danny Kent (Honda), while the riders of the Italian Motorcycling Federation reached the 9th row.

Thanks to positive performances on the race-pace, Matteo Ferrari got the 25th time of the session in 1'50"027, limiting the gap from the pole at 1''5. At the same level is also Stefano Manzi, at his debut on the Argentinian track: the sixteen-year-old rider from Rimini got the 26th position thanks to the time of 1'50''078.

Tomorrow, during the race scheduled at local 13:00, the riders of San Carlo Team Italia will work for recover positions from the very beginning of the race, putting into practice the work done during the weekend.

Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #12) 25th, 1'50"027

"I can't be satisfied with the result and the run of the qualifying. In the first part of the session we spent a lot of time verifying the potential of the H tyre (hard compound), and just in the last seven minutes I rode with a M (medium) to try the time attack. If we think about the performance, our potential is higher and I think that we could have qualified 2/3 rows up ahead. Anyway, tomorrow we will try to come back during the race, but we still have a doubt about the choice of the compound medium and hard. For sure, I will give my best to finish the weekend in a positive way."

Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 26th, 1'50"078

"The qualifying didn't go well. We will start from behind and this will complicate the race, but we won't give up. Unfortunately I wasn't able to do a "clean" lap; in a competitive class as Moto3 and it's easy to lose positions. Tomorrow in the warm up, we will try to work on the set up to be more competitive in the race."

Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)

"We only failed the "attack" to get good positions in the qualifying. The team worked well, we hadn't any difficulty , we just missed the "time attack". We could have qualified two rows up ahead, but we will start with both the riders from the ninth row, because of different circumstances We stay confident for tomorrow, because Matteo and Stefano have a good pace: if they keep the rhythm constant on low 50'' , the points represent for us a reachable goal, in line with our potential."

Busy traffic drives Livio Loi hopping mad

All the time Livio Loi was so close to at least the second row of the starting grid for tomorrow’s Moto3 race at the circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo, but just couldn’t cash in. Busy traffic in the final stages of the qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Argentina prevented Loi to improve his lap time of 1.49,413, driving the Belgian hopping mad.

Livio Loi was established in the top 5 for most of the qualifying practice. He set his best time of 1.49,413 in his ninth lap, just before coming in for a fresh tyre. He went back out for his last run together with Danny Kent. The two of them seemed close to a pole position worthy lap but were hindered by the pack of riders coming back on track.

The traffic turned out a serious problem as Loi couldn’t ride a flying lap anymore. If he was fast in the first sector, someone was in his way in the second sector and so on. Even worse was that other riders could take advantage in the final stages and improve their times, ducking under Loi’s lap time and pushing him back from fifth to eleventh. In the final seconds also Kent was pushed off pole position by Miguel Oliveira who cleverly used slipstreams and free track.

RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen felt Loi could and should have been a bit more aggressive. “Partly it’s bad luck, but also a matter of fighting for your position. None of the riders in Moto3 will give you a present; you have to defend every centimetre. Of course eleventh is a bit of a disappointment after yesterday’s second place. I think Livio could have been on the second row for sure. But I rather have him starting from eleventh and finishing in fifth than the other way around. The outlook for the race is not bad at all.”

Livio Loi – 11 (1.49,413)

“I cannot remember being this angry. With other riders, but also with myself. There was just a little bit too much space between me and Kent. They were all waiting, made way for Kent and ducked behind him to use his slipstream, blocking my way. I could not ride a single lap without being held up at some part of the track. It drove me mad! Oliveira and a few others had the luck to be there at just the right moment. It is pretty frustrating but I know I have the pace to be in the top 5. Also in the race.”

Johann Zarco storms to pole position

Ajo Motorsport rider takes his first pole position of the season and the first for the team in the intermediate category in Argentina.

04/18/2015 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, Argentina

After getting his first 2015 podium last week in Austin, this afternoon at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit Johann Zarco secured his first pole position of the season. The Frenchman of the Ajo Motorsport team dominated the qualifying session, notching his best lap on the last attempt and setting a new pole position record of 1:42.809.

He also used the final free practice session to identify and test the best set-up for the race tomorrow. He was not amongst the top times until the last minute, when his final lap of 1:43.010 saw him lower his time from yesterday and left him just 0.049s from leader Sam Lowes.

In the qualifying session he then beat his morning best. The Ajo Motorsport rider came out ready to score his first pole of the year and left his rivals in his shadows. Zarco dominated the entire session, riding alone and improving lap after lap. It was however in the last minute when he completed the fastest lap and set a new record for Termas de Rio Hondo with a time of 1:42.809.

The pole position achieved today by Zarco is the second for the Frenchman in the intermediate category and the sixth of his career. From the front of the grid tomorrow the Ajo Motorsport man goes in search of his second consecutive podium of the season.


"Conditions in the qualifying session were a little complicated because it was quite windy, but honestly the feeling that I have on the Kalex is even better than what I had in Austin. I felt very comfortable and was fast and steady so I'm happy with this first pole position. But this is only a first step. The important thing is tomorrow, I hope to push hard in the race and go for the win. Thanks to the team for all the work they are doing."


Xavier Siméon will start from the third row of the grid in tomorrow’s Moto2 Grand Prix of Argentina: the Belgian rider got set the ninth fastest time in 1’43”640 during today’s Qualifying at Termas de Rio Hondo aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex machine.

The 25-year-old rider failed to improve, in fact replicating the performance obtained during free practice. Siméon will therefore continue to work with the team tomorrow morning in the warm-up looking for an improvement of some other tenths on his race pace to try to stay in the leading group in the race.

XAVIER SIMEON (9th - 1'43"640)

“I’m not very happy with the third row; sincerely I was hoping to improve myself in qualifying, but the temperature has risen so much and I struggled to find the right feeling to go faster. I lapped in 1'43 "6 like I did this morning, but actually we needed to lower our lap time by 3 or 4 tenths of a second in order to stay in the top five. Tomorrow's race will be hard fought, we are all very close and many riders are able to fight for a good result. We definitely need to find a few tenths if we want to fight for the top positions”.


“Frankly speaking, I’m not satisfied with these qualifications: luckily we are in the third row, but we couldn’t improve our performance so tomorrow I expect a certainly not easy race. The pace of the first is very fast and many riders - Zarco, Rabat, Lowes and Luthi in particular - are really strong. We hope to get a good start and maintain contact with the leading group, even if it won’t be easy to stay in the top six”.

Rabat aims for Argentina glory

Termas de Río Hondo, Argentina – 18 April 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat maintained his 100% front row start record in 2015 after the Spaniard played a starring role in a record-breaking Moto2 qualifying session in Argentina.

Rabat’s final lap of 1.43.102 was a massive 0.8s inside his own pole position record set a year ago at the Termas de Rio Honda track.

But he was denied a second successive pole position at the South American venue by just 0.2s, with Rabat finishing second behind Johann Zarco to secure his best grid position of the season and take a third straight front row.

Alex Marquez will start his third Moto2 race from 20th on the grid, but in a closely contested qualifying session that saw the top 22 split by just 1.5s, the Spaniard was only 0.5s away from the top 10.

Tito Rabat: 2nd – 1’43’102

“I am happy to be on the front row again and I think we can definitely be fighting for the podium in tomorrow’s race. I have a good race pace and we have worked hard to improve my feeling with the bike, and the goal is obviously to try and win again in Argentina. I have some issues in the final sector with the front-end and we need to work on this, because that cost me the chance to get pole position. But it is always important to be on the front row and we achieved that.”

Alex Marquez: 20th - 1’44’178

“Moto2 is so close that you only need to be losing a second and you are down in 20th I am reasonably happy but obviously the target was to start higher up the grid. I need to improve in the braking zone so I can be faster entering the corner. That is what is holding me back at the moment. It will be important to finish the race tomorrow and gain more experience with the Kalex machine, which is what I need to be more competitive.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“Towards the end of qualifying it looked like Tito was gong to be off the front row for the first time since Japan last year, but he managed to pull something out of the bag and grab second place. He’s losing too much time in sector 4, which is something we need to fix for the race, as Tito is more than capable of fighting for his first podium of the season tomorrow. Alex may be 20th on the grid, but the times are close and both he and the team know where the biggest improvements are to be had. This is what he needs to focus on in the race. If he can improve in the braking area then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t run top ten pace tomorrow.”

Schrotter ready to fight from 12th on the grid in Argentina

Marcel Schrotter completed a positive qualifying campaign which will see him begin the Argentina Grand Prix from 12th position on the grid aboard the Tech3 Racing Team’s exclusively designed and built Mistral 610. The young German kicked off day 2 at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo by concluding the morning free practice 3 session in 13th position with a best time of 1’43.660. This was only seven tenths back from the leading time and left the 21 year old rider confident for the all important qualifying in the intermediate class. When the session began, Schrotter jumped into action and got to work straight away before setting his best time of 1’43.778 on his penultimate lap out of 19. Impressively, his qualifying lap was almost a full second quicker than his grid time last year, highlighting the positive steps forward made by the young German. Tomorrow he will once again aim to leap off the starting grid and battle to a top ten position.

On the other side of the Tech3 Racing Team garage, Ricky Cardus will contest the 23 lap sprint in Argentina from 21st on the grid after battling the challenging circuit today. The 26 year old worked tirelessly with the Tech3 Racing Team to refine the setup of his bike around the demanding Argentine track and eventually completed 22 laps, during which he posted his personal best of 1’44.212 on the 5th. His time was only four tenths of a second behind his teammate and the Spanish star will aim to launch off the starting grid to fight for a points scoring finish in the fiercely competitive intermediate class.

Marcel Schrotter : 12th - Time : 1'43.778 - Laps : 19

"The weekend so far has actually been quite a good one, even if the positions sometimes haven’t been too promising, especially yesterday afternoon. We managed to run double race distance with the same tyre and even at the end, my lap times were still quick. Moreover the improvement with the new tyre was very positive and I also ran alone for most of the times. As a result, the expectations for qualifying were quite high, but it wasn’t easy once the session started as the feelings on the bike were different. There was a lot more wind compared to the other practices and it was more difficult to ride without the slipstream. Also in some corners the wind pushed the bike around a lot and I couldn’t use the throttle fully. It took me some time to find my rhythm and my first two runs were used tyres. I was improving my time at one point but somebody in front went on the grass and I ended up doing the same. I didn’t want to lose any further time, so I came straight back to the pit to get the new rubber on. Afterwards in the last ten minutes there was a lot of traffic on the track and my lap time wasn’t ideal but it was good. I was following Nakagami and I was improving again but unfortunately, I braked a bit too deep in the third sector and so I had to run wide to avoid contact. This was a shame, as I could have produced a much quicker lap if this had not happened. However, I am still confident for tomorrow’s race and I really want to push in the first half as I think it will be a tough one because the times are close but we have the potential to score a top finish."

Ricky Cardus : 21th - Time : 1'44.212 - Laps : 22

"It was a tricky qualifying session today but the most significant conclusion for me is that we have a really good rhythm. This is very important when considering that there are a lot of riders in front of me on the grid who only did one fast lap. In two of the corners, I am slower than Marcel, yet in some of the others I am a bit quicker than him, so my grid position does not reflect my pace at all. However, I unfortunately wasn’t able to take advantage of the new rear tyre that we put on at the end of the session. This was due to Salom riding in the middle of the track and as a result he slowed me down and then on another lap I was pushing quite hard and nearly fell. For sure, starting from 21st on the grid is a far from ideal situation to be in, but I now need to concentrate on getting a good start and then maintaining my speed in the middle of the race. I will give my absolute all to get into the points, so that we can close the weekend positively before we head to Europe."

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