Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the races on Sunday:
Sixth-placed Quartararo misses out on podium in final stages
Repsol rider part of tight battle in the second group, fighting for the podium until the last corner. Navarro crashes on lap five, with Herrera taken out on opening lap of the race.
The Grand Prix of Argentina concluded with a bittersweet taste in the mouths of the Repsol riders in the Moto3 class. Fabio Quartararo continued to accumulate experience in the front group, taking a creditable sixth place and chasing the podium right to the end of the race. In the same front group, Jorge Navarro had similar aspirations until a mistake put him out of the contest on the fifth lap, colliding with Niccolo Antonelli as he lost the front end of his bike. Maria Herrera was also unable to finish, taken out on the second corner of the race when up in sixteenth.
As happened at the Circuit of the Americas the previous week, the race was dominated by one rider in the lead. After an uncertain early spell, Danny Kent imposed his pace to break away for a second consecutive victory. Behind him, a large group of fifteen riders diced for the two remaining places on the podium, including Quartararo and Navarro. However, a crash on Lap 5 left Navarro out of the tussle. The Spaniard got back on track in last place, but eventually retired ten laps later.
Quartararo had another enjoyable raceday experience over 21 laps of continuous hard work, looking for the best position in the chasing pack. The youngest rider in the World Championship –who turns 16 tomorrow– took the fight to Viñales, Vazquez, Oliveira, Binder and Ono for a place on the podium. Despite heading that pack with two laps to go, on the last lap he dropped several positions –crossing the finish line in sixth place.
With this result, Quartararo lies fourth in the World Championship with 39 points. The next event on the calendar will be held in two weeks' time, at a track that the reigning FIM CEV Repsol champion, Navarro and Herrera all know well: The Circuito de Jerez.
Fabio Quartararo 6th at 11.195 sec.
"The race went quite well, because the team helped me to calm down a lot. The position I had on the grid, on the right hand side, was very good and allowed me to make a very good start. On the first lap I managed to put myself into the top ten and I tried to keep climbing positions, because I saw that Kent was going to try to escape. It was impossible, as he had a very fast pace. I want to thank my team, because it has been a very difficult Grand Prix and we have ended up with a good result."
Jorge Navarro not classified
"Today I did not make a good start but, although I made contact with another rider on the early laps, I managed to put myself second. However, I noticed that I had a problem with the gearbox and I crashed on a corner; I couldn't stop the bike and lost the front. I'm especially sorry for Antonelli, who I took out, and also for ourselves because we were having a good weekend. I think we had a chance to score some good points here. Now we must look ahead, as in two weeks have the Grand Prix of Spain in Jerez."
Maria Herrera not classified
"Over this weekend we have improved a lot in every practice, gaining a second per session, so I'm very happy about that. I learned a lot at this Grand Prix, so it was a shame that on only the second corner another rider coming from far back hit me when I was riding in sixteenth. I had made a very good start, overtaking several riders up the inside, but our happiness didn't last very long."
MAHINDRA IN THE THICK OF THE FIGHT IN ARGENTINA
Mapfre Team Mahindra rider Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia finished eleventh in today’s third Moto3 World Championship round – in the thick of an extraordinarily close 14-bike bike battle for second.
Although Pecco lost some places in a last-lap bump-and-grind reshuffle, and finished just out of the top ten, the stop-watches tell of a battle of inches, with results something of a lottery. The Mahindra rider was only 1.6 seconds off second place, and the jostling group from second to 15th was covered by just 2.3 seconds.
While Honda-mounted Danny Kent scored a second runaway win, the cream of the field were in the race-long brawl for second, with positions shuffling throughout. Bagnaia proved the strength of the Mahindra MGP3O in that company, pulling through from 17th on the grid to a best across-the-line placing of eleventh.
Mahindra’s young guns also showed strongly in a close race over 21 laps of the 4.806km circuit. GP rookies Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia Mahindra) and Remy Gardner (CIP Mahindra) were 18th and 19th, within sight of the points; and fellow-beginner Jorge Martin (Mapfre Team Mahindra) was 22nd, one place down on more experienced Mahindra pilot Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia Mahindra).
Mahindra is the only Indian manufacturer in the world championships, and the 250cc MGP3O racer has been completely redesigned for 2015.
The next round is the Spanish GP at Jerez in two weeks.
Pecco Bagnaia – Eleventh place
Over the weekend we had some problems with tyre grip. But we were ready in time for the race. During the race I overtook a lot of riders from 17th and I wanted to stay near the front because I needed to stay there for points. In the last lap it was frustrating because I could have finished seventh but I went in wide on one corner and I lost four positions. Overall though I am happy with today’s race. My fastest lap was strong, and I am happy going forward to Jerez.
Mufaddal Choonia – CEO, Mahindra Racing
Again the result don’t show the true potential of our package of bike and rider. Pecco was again extremely close, and in the battle for the podium positions. He was fighting strongly in a big group, but he was pushed out on the last corner. It shows that for the rest of the season, anything is possible. We go from Argentina to start the European season feeling optimistic.
Moto3 - Unlucky race for the riders of San Carlo Team Italia in Argentina
Manzi (18th) is the 4th fastest rider on track, Ferrari is 21st.
The Argentinian weekend of San Carlo Team Italia finishes with a lot of satisfaction for the work of its riders but also with some licit regret, for a series of unlucky events. In a race that saw once again the domination of the leader of the championship Danny Kent (Honda), some vicissitudes denied the points to the riders of the Italian Motorcycling Federation.
At his debut at Autódromo Internacional Termas de Río Hondo and at his second round in the World Championship,Stefano Manzi proved again his worth. Forced to an off-track, at the first turn, to avoid a contact with Philipp Öttl, the sixteen-year-old rider from Rimini didn't give up: even if he was at the 34th and last position just few meters after the start, he was author of an impressive comeback until the 18th final place. The performance was sealed by a best lap in 1'49''332, being the fourth fastest rider (out of a total of 34) during the race.
Difficult day for Matteo Ferrari: encouraged by the 15th place of Austin, 'Bigin' tried to give his best fighting with a group of riders and he finished 21st.
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 18th
"Unfortunately, at the start I was forced to an off-track to avoid another rider. So I found myself in the last position, but I didn't give up: I gave my best and in few laps I recovered more than 10 positions, until I was 18th but too far from the group that was fighting for the points. It was a pity because the pace wasn't bad and we could have been in the top-15 , we will work better in Jerez."
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #12) 21st
"It was a difficult race. I struggled to find the rhythm in the first laps,on the contrary I was at ease at the end with the worn out tyres. The feeling with the bike today was not the best, and especially on the distance,I wasn't able to turn as usual. We have to work on it, to reach again the levels of the previous races."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"The episode at the start that involved our rider Stefano, was really a pity: to avoid Öttl he finished on the grass and without this set back, he could have been in the points easily. The analysis of the time confirms it, since he got the fourth fastest lap of the race and a very competitive race-pace: it's not bad for a rider at his second round in the World Championship. Talking about Matteo, he was in the group of the chasers and he did his best: we will work with him to recover positions starting from Jerez."
BASTIANINI BATTLES HARD TO FINISH NINTH IN ARGENTINA. LOCATELLI 23rd
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini crossed the finish line of the Grand Prix of Argentina, held today at the Circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo, in ninth position. In a race that saw again English Danny Kent make a difference the 17-year-old rider from Rimini, started from the fourth row of the grid with the tenth time, was able to enter immediately in the leading group, battling for the podium until the end. Enea then gave his maximum in the last lap, but a light collision with Hiroki Ono under braking didn’t allow him to reach the podium, thus closing ninth under the checkered flag.
After the difficulties encountered during practice, the team mate of Bastianini, Andrea Locatelli, has also struggled in the race; started well from the 29th position and already 21st on the first lap, the performance of the 18-year-old rider from Selvino has been then hampered by a run off the track during the fifth lap, after which he found himself back in 26th position. Locatelli then crossed finish line in 23th place.
After the two American back-to-back races, the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 is now preparing the long European season of the Championship, with Bastianini third in the standings with 40 points and Locatelli 11th with 14 points.
ENEA BASTIANINI (9th)
“Unfortunately in the last lap battle I couldn’t take the slipstream of the other riders: I tried everything to stay in the fight, forcing under braking, but then I slightly touched Ono and it was not possible to reach the podium. Too bad, I think I would have deserved it today, but I’m happy anyway. We had a good race and if we can improve a little the bike there will certainly be other opportunities to do well”.
ANDREA LOCATELLI (23rd)
“As often happens when you start the race so far back, you can find yourself stuck in many contacts with other riders... I found myself in the middle of one of these contacts and I couldn’t do anything but go straight, otherwise I would have risked to crash. Too bad, but these are the races: now we must try to reset everything and try to improve ahead of the next race in Jerez, because this weekend has been toug. For the race we made a little change on the gearbox that maybe could have helped me n corner exit, but it didn’t help much and I continued to struggle. The, after the excursion off the track, I found myself alone and at that point I could only hope to recover some positions”.
“Once again, we fought in the leading group with Bastianini, but we struggled in comparison with our rivals: our gearbox ratios were probably a little short and this penalized us on the straight. However, now we will try to better understand the reason of this gap: we must definitely improve all the package. In any case, the outcome of these three first races out of Europe is positive: we could collect more, but we are still third in the Championship with Enea. Now we return to Europe for a very important race in Jerez, where among other things we will be testing after the race, which will be very useful to continue to work and to learn more about this bike. Locatelli here in Argentina has struggled, but unfortunately after the crash occurred in practice was no longer able to find the right balance, then in the race he was also unlucky. Andrea has nevertheless produced two fantastic performances in the first two races, so now we look forward to Jerez”.
First victory and World Championship lead for Zarco
Ajo Motorsport rider gets first Moto2 win in Argentina and heads the overall standings.
04/19/2015 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, Argentina
Johann Zarco and Ajo Motorsport rounded off the Grand Prix of Argentina weekend in the best way possible, with their respective first wins in the Moto2 class. The Frenchman, dominant over the entire weekend, took off from pole position and gave no chance to his rivals once he had established his pace. With this second consecutive podium, Zarco leads the overall standings in the intermediate class.
Starting from the front of the grid for the first time this season, Zarco completed the first lap in third. It was on the third lap of the race that the Frenchman took the lead, going on to extend a gap of almost two seconds from his nearest rival, Sam Lowes. The difference between the two remained the same, despite Zarco setting the fastest lap of the race on four occasions. It was not until the closing stages that the Ajo Motorsport rider added an extra second to his advantage –and crossed the finish line first.
This maiden victory for the Frenchman in Moto2 –his second in World Championship competition– allows him to take the lead in the overall standings with a total of 53 points. He is 4 points ahead of his closest challenger. Zarco will defend the position in two weeks’ time at the first European event of the season: The Spanish Grand Prix.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"I am very happy, because the goal for today was to win the race and we finally managed to do it. In addition, we are up into the lead of the overall standings, which is an extra prize. We had to work really hard for it. I tried to push hard from the start, because we knew that we had the pace, but it wasn't at all easy. I was pushing really hard and the gap remained 1.5 or 2 seconds. I wasn't sure if I'd do it until right at the end.
I want to thank the team and all the sponsors for this win. I am very happy and we need to carry on in the same way."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"The Moto2 race was very nice. Throughout the weekend Johann [Zarco] has been very strong and he rounded off all the great work he had done in practice when it came to the race. What more can I say? Impressive! I'm very happy with his pace and with how much he has improved in recent years. When we worked together in 2011, he was already fast, but he has made a big step forward. I am also very proud that he and his manager trust in our team to work together this season."
FIRST ONE-TWO FOR LEOPARD RACING IN SOUTH AMERICA
Leopard Racing has made another big achievement by finishing the Argentina race on the top positions with Danny Kent victorious again and Efren Vazquez in second place.
Danny Kent has shown an unstoppable performance in today’s Moto3 race at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo again. Starting from P2 on the grid he took the lead in lap three and immediately opened a gap to a massive group with up to 15 riders fighting for second position. Kent finally crossed the line ten seconds ahead of his team mate Efren Vazquez. It was the Briton's second victory in a row.
The experienced Spaniard delivered a remarkable performance due to illness today and held off the hard fighting riders for the second step on the podium. Meanwhile Hiroki Ono was battling for the same position in the opening stages of the race, but the young Japanese rider dropped down the ranking after he was touched by other riders several times. Nevertheless, Ono rounded up the team’s great success in Argentina by crossing the line in thirteenth position to open his points account.
Kent also opened a gap in the World standings by 17 points to his team mate Vazquez. In doing so the duo will head to Jerez de la Frontera for the first European round as series leader.
The Argentina race was the conclusion of the first back-to-back races in overseas this year before the paddock heads back to Europe with the Gran Premio de Espana, which takes place in two weeks’ time.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ - 2nd, World Championship position 2nd (49 points):
“It was a tough race from the start to the line because I’m physically not in the best condition today. To race with fever for sure is not the best feeling to compete in the world championship. But we did a really good job throughout the weekend and in the end we collected 20 points for the championship. I think to take this points amount from this race is a really good result for us. But most important is to go to the European races with a big points account. I would like to express my thanks to the team because they gave me a really good bike this weekend. I got a really good confidence in it already during all practice sessions and even more in warm up this morning for the race. Now we just need to keep focussed and I already look forward to the next races in Europe.”
#52 Danny KENT - Winner, World Championship Leader (66 points):
“Today it was important to take the lead as soon as possible because in this big group there where big battles everywhere in every corner. So I decided to push and as soon I was in front I started to pull away which went a bit easier than last time out. To be honest it wasn’t so difficult to stay focused at the front this time than in Austin one week ago because of the tricky track conditions with some wet patches there. But in the end to open a gap by 10 seconds came as a bit of a surprise for me. In overall I’m so happy with this strong weekend we had here in Argentina but also since the start of this championship we were so strong. It is very good for the team with Efren and me on top of the world standings and of course for this one-two victory today. So we just need to keep working in the same direction. I’m really happy at all and I look forward to race in Europe next time.”
#76 Hiroki ONO – 13th, World Championship position 21st (3 points):
“First I’m happy to finish the race for the first time this year and to collect my first points. But at the same time I’m a bit upset about some other riders, which were riding very aggressive towards the end. After a good start I was so strong during the early stages, riding amongst the top guys, which was an amazing feeling. But later I got hit several times by other riders and I lost positions. Fortunately I didn’t crash again but due to that I lost a top result today. But in the end I’ve to admit that it was important to bring it home safely after two crashes in the openings rounds, even though the result could have been better.”
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
“Again we saw a fantastic race by all of our rider’s today so congratulations to them. All three did a great job today. Our first one-two this year tastes even better by the fact that Danny was able to pull away by ten seconds. I’ve to admit this is a very impressive performance. He always rides very strong and is working hard but also Efren again has shown his racing spirit to finish in second place. However, we were close to do better today with Hiroki’s display during the first part of the race. But we’re also more than happy with P1, P2 and P13. Although, Hiroki is still a young rider and he misses experience in this highly competitive category but also he is massive talented which was displayed by riding in second position sometimes. I think if he will get the chance to claim a top position like this in one of the next races, he will be more clever. But as a team we just need to continue working hard and we’ll try and do our best to continue fighting at the front.”
FIRST MOTO3 PODIUM FOR HUSQVARNA FACTORY LAGLISSE
ISAAC VINALES TAKES THIRD IN MOTO3 GP ARGENTINA
Husqvarna Factory Laglisse rider Isaac Vinales of Spain delivered a near faultless race in the Moto3 GP of Argentina in what was one of the most thrilling the small bike class has delivered.
While the race leader was out in front in an unassailable position, Vinales, who rides the Husqvarna FR 250 GP machine was one of a following group of ten riders all of whom could have taken the two remaining podium places. Less than two seconds separated riders in places 2-12 at the end of the heart-stopping 21-lap race.
Vinales had been strong all weekend on the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit and started the race from the second row after a solid qualifying session Saturday. He had a good start and led the field going into the second lap. While the position of riders in the following pack changed every few seconds, the team’s Spanish rider was always a major player and was rarely out of the top three as the race went into it’s critical phase. Always strong on the brakes on the big sweeping circuit, it was clear early on that he was in with a good chance of making the top three and he didn’t disappoint.
Isaac Vinales: “I am very happy. I went out and pushed in every lap today. We have all been working very hard and now we see the result. I tried to pass Efren (Vazquez) in the last corner but he had done very well and I wasn’t able to get past him. This third place is a real morale booster ahead of Jerez and I think with the work we are doing we can also be up there again there.” It was Vinales’ best result in the three rounds already run and he is fifth in the championship points."
Vinales teammate Maria Herrera, one of two women racing Moto3, did not have a positive outcome on the Argentina circuit, which was new to her. She qualified in a respectable twenty-fourth place in the field of 34 but crashed out in the opening lap.
Team Manager Gelete Nieto: “We must congratulate Isaac and the whole team for this great race and a great weekend here in Argentina. Isaac did very well, which is important in the class because if you are not careful you can lose many points. He fought hard to finish in third. Maria worked hard this weekend and she had a good pace and it was a shame that she crashed. We will try to give more and better in Jerez.”
Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder just off podium in Argentina
Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder cross the finish line at the Red Bull Grand Prix of Argentina in fourth and fifth, respectively. Karel Hanika, seventh, takes best Grand Prix result to date.
04/19/2015 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, Argentina
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team had a great showing at the third race of the season, held at Argentina's Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. All three of the team's riders placed inside the top seven. Miguel Oliveira recovered fourteen places to finish fourth, just one position ahead of teammate Brad Binder -who also made a stellar comeback to move up fifteen places. Seventh place went to Karel Hanika, in what is his best result to date in the World Championship.
Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder both had to make comebacks after early setbacks in Argentina. The Portuguese had started from pole position and had kept up with the frontrunners until Lap 4, when a mistake dropped him down to eighteenth. He was behind Brad Binder, who had been twentieth on the opening lap. The pair gradually moved back up the order and got amongst the group fighting for second place -where Karel Hanika was waiting for them.
The three young riders battled in a group that included up to fourteen riders, culminating in a thrilling final lap. Oliveira, Binder and Hanika gave their all to cross the finish line in fourth, fifth and seventh, respectively.
After three Grands Prix in 2015, Brad Binder lies sixth overall with 28 points. Karel Hanika is ninth with 18 points, whilst Miguel Oliveira took his first 13 points today and lies twelfth. The Moto3 World Championship resumes in two weeks' time, at Jerez in Spain.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"Today's race was a little strange. I made a good start from pole position and I tried to pull away from the group, but in an instant I was overtaken by six riders. In that moment Danny Kent took the opportunity to escape. Nevertheless, I felt strong and I was able to finish the race, which was the main goal after the first two races. I was fourth in the end and could not get on the podium, but I'm happy for the team because they made a great effort to find the best setup. Also, we can still get faster, so I'm not worried about Jerez. We must continue to work in the same way and the results will come."
41 BRAD BINDER
"It was a good day, because we completely changed the setup between qualifying and the warmup session and I felt much more confidence with the front.
The race went well, because I made a good start and overtook a lot of riders. A number of my rivals passed me on the back straight and, on the following corner, one of them got in my way and sent me off-track. When I got back on I was in around twentieth, so I tried to stay relaxed and keep overtaking riders whenever I saw the chance.
I want to thank my team, because the bike was working incredibly -much better than it had done before during the weekend. It was the best it has been since I started with it, so I am very happy. It's another Top 5 finish, so I can't wait for the next race."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"Today's race went very well. I even think I could have finished a couple of positions higher, but it was a very large group that I was in.
I made a good start -I think I was up into fourth or fifth- but then several riders overtook me and I lost ten positions. I tried to stay in there and gain a couple of places without risking any contact -something that could easily have happened.
I tried to go about my work and enjoy the race. During the last few laps I pushed hard to move up as many positions as possible, and in the end I finished with my best result in the World Championship.
I'm happy with the race and I want to thank my team very much, because I enjoyed this weekend a lot. I hope that we keep this up in Jerez and for the rest of the season."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"The Moto3 race was very hotly contested. Watching this type of racing is always very exciting, although it is very difficult for everyone out there. This is one of those circuits in which you can dive into the corners and much confusion is created during the race. These types of circuits are very hard for Moto3 riders and, although the circuit is very nice, fighting for positions on it is not easy.
I'm happy because we took a step forward with our bikes during the weekend. As I have repeated on other occasions, in the winter conditions did not make things easy for us and we needed more time with the bikes. I’m happy that KTM have helped us to understand the bikes better. I think that very soon we will be able to fight for the victory.
I am also very satisfied with the performance of our three riders. Really good!"
First points in the pocket in hectic battle
RW Racing GP and Livio Loi return to Europe with four championship points in their suitcase. Loi finished the hectic Moto3 race of the GP of Argentina in 12th after 21 fierce laps. Loi entered the championship standings in 19th.
Livio Loi started the race at the circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo from tenth on the grid, after Romano Fenati was relegated to the back as a punishment for bad behaviour in the warmup. In the scramble of the first lap Loi lost some positions but the Belgian rider fought his way up to tenth by lap 7. By that time Danny Kent already had a lead of over 2 seconds.
Behind Kent no less than fourteen riders were engaged in a bruising battle. Loi was tangled in the middle when he was forced to run wide and the group threatened to break. It was Loi who had the power to close the gap of almost a second again.
In the second to last lap Loi was hit again and saw three riders passing, pushing him back to fourteenth. Again he managed to fight back to clinch two positions in the final corner to the line to finish twelfth, only 2 seconds behind the podium, except for Kent as he had finished 10 seconds ahead of the rest.
RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen was happy with the result. “It’s been a year since Livio got his last points, when he finished fourth here in Argentina. He’s been through a difficult time since and crashing in Qatar and Texas didn’t make life easier. In both occasions Livio was fighting for the top 10 but not long enough to get that vital feeling of close racing back. You need a certain routine to have the confidence and aggression to fight with the leaders. Today Livio still lacked some of the conviction needed to score even better than he did. This race might have been just the push he needed to get the momentum going.”
Livio Loi – 12 (+ 12,355)
“It is such a relief to be back in the championship standings. It wasn’t easy. My start was a bit too nervous. I think I had put a little too much pressure on myself after those two disappointing results. I lost some positions in the first lap because of that, but I was able to recover quickly. The race was pretty tense with such a big group in which anything could happen, and I was touched and forced to run wide twice. Both times I lost a few positions because of that, and I had to work my way back up, which wasn’t easy in this group, but I knew I had the speed.
In the final lap I staked everything to clinch a few extra points. Sure, it could have been better than twelfth, but it could have been worst just as easy. I’m happy to be back in the middle of the action and finally get some points again. I’ve missed that feeling for too long but it is getting back and hopefully things get better from now on. One important thing I have to improve is qualifying. I really have to be on the first or second row to enable myself to fight for a topresult.”
Fenati eighth at the
GP de la Republica Argentina with the Sky Racing Team VR46
Romano apologizes to Ajo for the nasty incident during the warm up session. Tyres problems for Migno, 17th
Termas de Rio Hondo, April 19, 2015. Enthralling comeback for Romano Fenati pulling back 26 positions and finishing 8 at the GP Red Bull de la República Argentina. The rider of the Sky Racing Team VR46, starting last, managed to stay behind the front pack just a few minutes into the race. With overtaking as his must and his last attempt in letting off the throttle, he clinched 8th spot, once again managing to finish in the top ten.
The result followed a nasty incident happened during the warm up and for which Fenati apologized immediately after the race. In the testing session before the start, in fact, Romano clashed with Niklas Ajo and could not avoid a sanction: a start from the last spot on the grid and 3 penalty points.
Andrea Migno finishes 17th, struggling because of the poor tyres condition. After a good start he did not manage to finish among the first 15, but he is already looking forward to doing better in Jerez.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
First of all we have to apologize to Niklas, incidents like this should never happen, not even when there is so much adrenaline involved. We made a mistake, but the most important thing is that Romano acknowledged it by apologizing.
Nonetheless, it was a great race as Romano started last but was able to finish in the top 10.
I congratulate him, even if I am sorry about what happened in the warm-up, as if we had started from the third row we might have got farther ahead.
Andrea rode a good race, but he was not very lucky with the tires which were starting to slide. He could not finish among the top 15, but we can work on that. He is doing a great job, also ahead of the GP in Jerez, a track he already knows. For him it was the first time in Argentina and I think he can be satisfied for how things went on the whole.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
It was a great race with an enthralling comeback. Unfortunately I made a mistake during the warm-up, I admit I went a bit too far and I am sorry about it.
First of all I would like to apologize to Ajo and his team. But I also apologize to my team that has worked well all the weekend long and certainly did not deserve to get away from the last spot. We will also try to improve at psychological level to check impulsiveness. It was a false step we paid dearly, but the bike was okay and I managed to push hard and fight back and I am very happy about it. We have a good basis on which to build on ahead of Jerez.
The race was always hanging by a thread because we had worn out the tires with half of the laps to go. I got the better the last time I let off the throttle and I am happy about it. We’ll be looking forward to next race to try and improve further thanks to hard work and team effort.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
I could have done much better, too bad for the tyre whose condition dropped halfway through the race. We have worked really hard this weekend, laying down solid foundations on which to build from next GP in Jerez, a track I already know.
SIMEON CRASHES WHILE BATTLING FOR PODIUM IN ARGENTINA, ENDS 22nd
A small crash during the 17th of the 23 scheduled laps took Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 out of the battle for the podium in the Grand Prix of Argentina, today at Termas de Rio Hondo. Siméon took the lead at the start of the race and he was lying in fourth, in the fight with Mika Kallio and Alex Rins, when he crashed. The Belgian rider re-joined the race in 24th and then crossed the finish line in 22nd.
XAVIER SIMEON (22nd)
“After the Warm Up I knew I could fight for the top positions in the race. I made a very good start, I took the lead and I was keeping a good rhythm; not enough to win, but definitely to stay in the fight for the podium. But being fast is not enough: you have to finish the races and be more consistent, and once again we have lost many points. It was my fault, I made a small mistake which I paid, crashing. I’m really sorry for the team, which always gives me a very competitive bike to fight at the top. In the last two races we have collected zero points: I will try to work in order to be mentally stronger in the forthcoming events”.
“Today we wasted another great opportunity. Now we are in eighth place in the Championship, but we know that we could have collected a lot more in these two overseas races. The positive thing - even though it’s only a consolation - is that we are aware of our competitiveness, because in all the first three races of the season we’ve always been fighting at the top. This makes us look to the future with confidence”.
Rabat out of luck in South America
Termas de Río Hondo, Argentina – 19 April 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat fought back superbly from the back of a 30-strong Moto2 field to claim a hard fought points scoring finish at the Termas de Rio Hondo track in Argentina this afternoon.
Rabat grabbed the holeshot from Johann Zarco on the short run into the first turn, but as the pair exchanged overtakes in the second and third corner, Rabat ran off track at the fast entry to the back straight and dropped from second to last.
Much to the delight of a crowd of nearly 51,000 fans, the Spaniard embarked on a stunning charge back through the field and he finished 12th, just over three seconds away from the top six.
Today’s 23-lap race was another valuable experience gathering mission for Alex Marquez, who battled from 20th on the grid to secure a third successive points scoring finish of his rookie season in 15th.
Tito Rabat: 12th
“Obviously I am not happy to finish 12th because I am sure I had the pace to fight for the podium. I got a really good start and was battling with Zarco when he came underneath me at turn three and I had to run off track. From that point it was damage limitation and I am happy to be only 0.5s behind 10th. Luck is not going our way at the moment but I am sure it will change soon and I am looking forward to a good race in front of my home fans in Jerez next time out.”
Alex Marquez: 15th
“I have scored points for the third race in a row so that is satisfying, but like always I wanted more. I’ve felt more in control of the bike this weekend with some of the set-up changes we have made but in the race I didn’t have enough confidence with the front in the middle of the corner. I have learned a lot again and I am looking forward to racing in Jerez where I am sure I can be more competitive.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Luck certainly hasn’t been on our side so far in 2015 and it is a real pity that Tito ran off track on the first lap because I’ve no doubt we would have been celebrating his first podium of the season. But again we are reflecting on what might have been. Tito did exceptionally well to fight back through the field and he deserved much more than 12th. Alex did another good job to finish in the top 15 again. These early races are all about him gaining experience and learning and that’s precisely what he is doing.”
Determined rides by Schrotter and Cardus on Argentine soil
Marcel Schrotter endured a demanding race in the 23 lap sprint in Argentina today and completed round 3 of the Moto2 world championship in 16th place despite his full efforts. Clouds hovered above the circuit as Schrotter started from 12th on the grid and a very tightly contested first lap saw the young German shuffled back to 15th. He immediately tried to set into a consistent race pace as he battled with the surrounding riders and with eight laps completed, he was running in 18th as he focused on climbing back into a points scoring position. Schrotter remained resolute and with six laps to go, he had ascended to 16th and expertly managed to hold off the five chasing riders, to finish the race in this position and one place outside of the points.
On the opposite side of the Tech3 Racing Team garage, Ricky Cardus concluded a tricky weekend in Argentina with a result of 18th position in the race. The Spaniard began the fight from 21st on the grid and undertook a superb start to finish the first lap of the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in 13th, after brilliantly overtaking eight riders. However, he slipped back to 22nd on the following lap due to contact with another rider but nevertheless, he remained in the hunt and sought to make ground on the places ahead. With 17 laps completed, Cardus moved into 19th as he slipped past Randy Krummenacher, before skilfully disposing of Steven Odendaal shortly afterwards to reach the finish line in 18th position.
Marcel Schrotter : 16th - Championship : 21th - Points : 3
"For sure, the race was definitely a really tricky one. I tried my best to remain calm and push from the word go, as in the past it has always been during the opening laps where I have lost most of my time and to be honest, the beginning itself was not bad today. At the first corner I had already recovered a few positions. Unfortunately, I then nearly high sided when we went onto the back straight so three or four riders got past me straight away. I tried to stay in their slipstream and in the braking area on the same straight, I wanted to pass a couple of them again, but sadly I ran wide and went onto the grass so even more riders overtook me. From there onwards, everything was really tough. After my off track excursion, I tried to remain with the group, but it was a struggle. I did my best and completed some positive lap times as soon as I was on my own. However, it was so frustrating to be in that situation and it's fair to say that luck really hasn't been on our side so far. I hope this changes at the future rounds, as I really would like to score strong results for the team because they did a great job as always. I hope for a more successful weekend at the next round in Spain."
Ricky Cardus : 18th - - Championship : Not classified - Points : 0
"It was not an easy race, especially as it was so competitive and all the riders were so close together. I started well and managed to recover a lot of positions, but not long after that, I had contact with another rider and nearly crashed. I dropped back a lot and when I returned to the track, I was behind Marcel's group. I gave it my all to follow them, but we made a small mistake with the gearbox as the gear ratios were too short which meant that I struggled on the straight with the speed. I was able to ride some good lap times, but unfortunately it was just too difficult to make ground on the riders in front due to the issue we had on the straight. It's a real pity as I wanted to get a strong result here for the team as well as me. Now we have to try and find a solution to the issues that we still face, especially with my riding style on the bike, in order to be prepared for the race in Jerez in two weeks' time. "
Hervé Poncharal : Team Manager
"It was another disappointing weekend following on from Texas for the Tech3 Racing Team. Throughout practice, Marcel was quick and even though he couldn't produce his fastest lap in qualifying, he was still 12th on the grid and so we hoped that he could eventually fight in the top ten. Ricky started a long way back, but he had a great start and was up to 12th on the first lap. However, he then lost places which we expected when considering his practice pace. Yet, the biggest disappointment is Marcel. Once again, his fastest lap was his last. There were definitely points on the table today and it would have been positive for him and the team to get some feedback and experience whilst fighting with the other guys. However, after two good starts we only lost positions and ended up just outside the points, which is the worst place to be. Ricky was not far behind and it was the third race in a row with no success. We hope that fortune will change in Jerez, but we need to see a change in the riders approach to racing. "