Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Mugello:
Navarro places seventh in tight race at Mugello
Teammate Fabio Quartararo suffers crash whilst riding in ninth and Maria Herrera finishes twenty-first.
The action on raceday at Mugello never disappoints, and once again the idyllic venue located in Tuscany was the perfect setting for a great Moto3 contest. As always at the Italian track, the race was run in a group, with over 15 riders fighting for the top positions. With such a packed field, the difference between positions was a matter of small details.
Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro completed the first lap in twelfth and thirteenth position, respectively, with Maria Herrera thirty-first. Unfortunately, Quartararo crashed out on Lap 11 when riding in ninth, and could not rejoin the race. Meanwhile, teammate Navarro waited at the back of the leading group, waiting for his opportunity. His chance arrived on the final lap, when he overtook several riders to cross the line seventh —his best result in the World Championship.
Maria Herrera had an intense battle for eighteenth position with Binder, Tonucci and McPhee, ending race twenty-first.
Fabio Quartararo not classified
"I'm happy with the work we have done this weekend, because we found a good setup for the race. We made a good start and I was riding in the front group. There were many passes using the slipstream, but I didn’t really gain many positions. It was my first time riding in such a large group. I reached the first corner and everyone was trying to find a place. It was a very good experience. The crash was very strange, because I took a different line and the bike was not leaned over as much as usual. But suddenly the back wheel slid out when accelerating I was thrown off. Now we have the Catalan GP and I can’t wait; I hope to have a good race there."
Jorge Navarro 7th at 1.498 sec.
"This weekend we struggled a bit to adapt to the track. Friday was tough, but we improved the feeling yesterday in the final practice and the qualifying session. It’s too bad that this was not reflected in the grid position, but I had a good feeling and also a good pace. Today I started the race convinced that I could be in the front group during the race. I lacked some assertiveness in my passing, as I knew I had to finish the race at all costs. I was a bit more cautious than I should have been, and that set me back a bit, but I'm happy and in Barcelona we will continue to work in the same way. We did a great job here with the team."
Maria Herrera 21st at 17.337 sec.
"I knew the first corner of the Grand Prix would be difficult. I entered well, but some other riders went in too hot and I had to move aside a little. I was overtaken by riders who had less pace than me, and that made me stagnate in a slower group. Although later on I lowered my times, l was not able to catch the group in front. It was a pity, because the points were within our reach. I take away the lesson learned on the first few corners. I'm feeling very good with the bike, we are working well with the team and I am very motivated for Barcelona."
Photo finish robs Mahindra of second straight podium
Mugello, 31 May 2015: Mapfre Team Mahindra rider Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia and his Spain-based team were left feeling robbed in today’s Italian GP, after a second successive top-three podium finish was snatched away by an infinitesimal three thousandths of a second.
The position instead went to home-country hero Romano Fenati (KTM), who crossed the line side by side with the Mahindra. A photo-finish gave him the position by barely the width of a tyre.
Bagnaia claimed a career-first podium two weeks ago at Le Mans, and rode like a demon in an attempt to repeat the feat at his home race.
The Italian protégé of Valentino Rossi had started from the third row of the grid, but showing experience and race-craft that belied his 18 years, shot off the line to play a leading role in a mammoth fight round 20 laps of the spectacular and scenic Mugello circuit.
He led out on the 4.185-km lap for the first time on the fifth tour; and although never in front over the line, that position was a lottery. A huge pack – at one stage 16-strong – was slipstreaming and jostling down the long straight; all weighing up tactics for the final sprint.
Bagnaia’s strategy was perfectly timed. He moved back into the top three for the 18th and 19th laps, and was lying second on the final lap, and third on the exit from the final corner.
He was convinced that he had held on to the position; but a photo-finish gave it to Romano Fenati (KTM). The top six flashed across the line within less than four hundredths of a second, behind KTM-mounted inner, ex-Mahindra rider Miguel Oliveira.
Second Mapfre Aspar Mahindra rider Juanfran Guevara crashed out of a points-scoring position in the closing stages, and third rider Jorge Martin was 17th.
Mahindra is the only Indian machine in the World Championship series. The next race is the Catalunya GP at Mugello, in two weeks.
Pecco Bagnaia – Fourth place
I am happy with the result, because it is important to stay at the front for the championship. But I have mixed feelings, because I really tried my best for the podium today, but it was not possible. On the last lap I was second, then Danny Kent passed me in the last corner, and I ran a little wide. So I finished fourth. Now we go to Catalunya, a circuit that I like so much. We will carry on the fight.
Mufaddal Choonia – CEO, Mahindra Racing
I’m shattered. This was probably the most heart-breaking race we have known, after Pecco fought so well. We were all confident that he’d held on to third, but the slow motion video finish seen by the team showed otherwise. In any case, we can be proud of the result. Pecco fought brilliantly, at the front of a very tough race. Again he showed his strength as a rider, and the strength of the Mahindra machine as a consistent podium challenger.
Rabat takes his first win of the season in Mugello
Mugello, Italy - 31 May 2015: Tito Rabat took his first race win of the 2015 season, after a masterful performance saw him hold off a hard charging Johann Zarco in the Italian Moto2 Grand Prix at Mugello this afternoon.
Having bided his time in the early laps the reigning Moto2 World Champion pounced on lap seven, wrestling the race lead from Dominique Aegerter, which he then held to the chequered flag.
The win saw Rabat move to second in the championship standings, as well as closing the gap to series leader Zarco to just 31 points. With three podiums in as many races, including the win today, the 26-year-old Spaniard’s title defence is back on track.
Álex Márquez took a hard fought 12th place today, after a difficult start and then losing places as a result of another rider’s crash. The reigning Moto3 World Champion battled throughout the race with Alex Rins, despite contact from Mika Kallio causing some problems with his Kalex Moto2 machine. Márquez was pleased with the progress that he made at Mugello and will have plenty of reasons to feel optimistic ahead of the Barcelona race, as he continues to adapt to the Moto2 class.
Tito Rabat: Race Winner
"I am very happy to finally get a win this season, as it’s taken some hard work from both me and the team to get to this point. Every race we have improved and now we can win again, so big thanks to my crew, who have worked tirelessly to put us back on the top step of the podium. It was a tough race as I was having a few problems with the front in the last laps, but I knew I had enough left to hold off Zarco at the end.”
Álex Márquez: 12th
"Today I didn't make a good start, I fell to the back of the field at the first corner, and I tried to recover but with so many riders in front of me I lost a lot of time. When I did fight my way through then Morbidelli and Rins touched and Morbidelli went down in front of me, losing me a lot of time. I recovered that time again and that's positive for me but I had a lot of problems with the bike after I touched Kallio and we need to check what happened. But, overall, my rhythm wasn't bad. I need a better result for the team and myself but we'll keep going and improve step by step."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"I think that was what we've been working towards after the three difficult races to start the season and in the last two races we were missing a little bit to make it happen, but we can now see that the package is competitive. This win is what we need and it will help build Tito's confidence ahead of Barcelona. He's fast again and he'll be at home so I think his title defence will now get stronger because of the work done today. It was a good race from Alex too and I think that he could have been closer to the top 10 but he was behind the accident between Kallio and Morbidelli and he lost five positions. However, he fought back and he was able to fight with Rins today and for sure Alex will go much more confident to the next race in Catalunya."
BASTIANINI TAKES FIFTH AFTER INTENSE MUGELLO BATTLE. THREE POINTS FOR LOCATELLI
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini clinched the fifth place in a thrilling Italian Grand Prix today at Mugello: started from the third row and always fighting in the leading group, in the unpredictable final sprint the 17-year-old rider from Rimini was not able to grab the podium for a few hundredths of a second, also because of a slight contact with Niccolò Antonelli on the last corner, which forced him to take a wider line.
Bastianini’s team mate, Andrea Locatelli, collected 3 points thanks to the 13th place: the 18-year-old rider from Selvino was slowed down by chatter problems on right-handers, which did not allow him to try to stay in the first positions.
Thanks to today’s placemente, Bastianini keeps the second position in the overall standings with 78 points, while Andrea Locatelli rises to 17 points.
ENEA BASTIANINI (5th)
“It was a very nice race, even though difficult, because at the last corner you never know how it ends! Actually, in every lap at the end of the straight you could find yourself from third to last of the leading group... On this circuit races are always unpredictable, but we had so much fun! In the last lap I gave my best, but unfortunately I was not able to overtake the riders in front of me because on the last corner Antonelli touched slightly my rear wheel and I was forced to slightly widen the line. In any case I’m happy, today the bike worked very well; for the next races we only need to improve tyre wear, because towards the end of the race I always feel a bit of difference”.
ANDREA LOCATELLI (13th)
“I was starting the race knowing that I could take a good rhythm, but I had problems at the rear end right from the beginning: I was feeling some chatter entering the right-handers, in fact the part of the circuit where I was losing more ground was the two Arrabbiate corners. I had no problems in the left-handers, so it could have been the tyre; anyway, we will analyze the data and try to better understand what happened. Too bad, I struggled a lot and this prevented me to stay in the first positions. I’m sorry because especially in this Grand Prix I would have liked to fight at the top, but these are the races... we will keep working hard, I’m sure better results will come, sooner or later”.
“It was a tough and hard-fought race, as always happens at Mugello in the smaller category. The race has not ended as we hoped, but Bastianini nevertheless made a great race. Probably Enea’s bike was not perfect in the last sector of the track, especially in the last braking point, but the important thing now is that Enea is continuing to stay at the top. I’m satisfied also for Locatelli’s performance: reaching the finish line with a gap of just five seconds from the winner is a very positive result. Andrea returned to take points and to make a high level race, so now the look forward to next round in Barcelona”.
Miguel Oliveira takes historic victory at Mugello
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider becomes first Portuguese in history to win a Grand Prix race. Binder places tenth, whilst Hanika crashes on the final lap after receiving a knock from a rival.
05/31/2015 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
Today will be a day to remember forever for Miguel Oliveira. Starting from eleventh on the grid, the Portuguese rider moved up the order to take victory at the Moto3 Italian GP. It was both his first win in the World Championship and the first ever win for a Portuguese rider in Grand Prix racing. All three of the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were fighting in the leading group until end; Brad Binder crossed the line in tenth position whilst Karel Hanika crashed out on the final lap when battling for a podium spot.
Starting from fourth, eleventh and twelfth on the grid at Mugello, Hanika, Oliveira and Binder made good starts to move up to the front. Hanika was third after Lap 1, whilst in eighth place Binder rounded off the lead group that tried to pull away from the rest. On Lap 3, Binder set a new fastest lap record with a time of 1:57.318.
Closing the gap, Oliveira joined the leading group and took the lead of the Italian GP, at the head of a battle between 16 riders for the podium. He went into the last corner at Mugello in the lead, holding the advantage to the chequered flag for his first victory in a World Championship race. Binder placed tenth and Hanika crashed at Turn 4 of the final lap after receiving a knock from a rival.
Miguel Oliveira is now fourth in the overall standings with 66 points. Brad Binder is ninth with 50 points and Karel Hanika fourteenth with 18 points. The next round will be the Catalan Grand Prix from June 12th to 14th.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"I am very happy with this first victory in the World Championship. I cannot believe it –I had tears in my eyes after crossing the finish line. It was a very difficult race because at first the front group broke away. I was able to catch them and then I decided to escape. I was not sure that they would, but in the end the tyres held up well and in the final sector I regained the lead and kept on the throttle to the finish line –which was very far!
I want to thank the whole team because it's been amazing. We worked hard for this and we deserve it. Also thank you to my father, because it was he who instilled a passion for motorcycles in me and I would not be here without him.
Becoming the first Portuguese to win a Grand Prix is an honour and a privilege. I hope that the fans enjoyed it and that I can give them many more. Thank you to everyone."
41 BRAD BINDER
"In the warmup this morning we completely changed the setup of the bike. We went very well with new tyres but, as they degraded, it was very difficult to ride. The more the tyres went off, the more chatter there was. I'm a little disappointed, because I had a good pace and I knew I could do well. But with all these problems I cannot work as well as I am capable. Finishing tenth is not where I would like to be, because if we can adapt the bike to my style we can consistently be on the podium and fighting for races."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"I'm happy with what we showed this weekend, because throughout we have been up at the front and our speed was very good. In the race we also showed that we could easily ride in the front group and overtake our rivals. Unfortunately another rider hit me on the last lap at Turn 4 and I could not finish in the front group. I think at that point we lost the opportunity to be on the podium, but we should be satisfied with what we have done during the Grand Prix, moving forward from the last four races. If we keep this up, our turn will surely arrive. I want to thank my team for all the work they have done and we will come back stronger next time."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"It's amazing how I feel right now. The start of the season was difficult for the team and I'm very happy for everyone who has believed in us all this time. We always do things as a team: Our riders, our crew, KTM, Red Bull and our sponsors all played a part –no one can do it alone. Today Miguel [Oliveira] was incredible. From the middle of the race it was very clear he was going for the win. I want to thank him and the entire team.
Karel [Hanika] was also doing a great job. The crash on the last lap was a shame, but these things can happen in racing. You must be confident. I am very happy with his work and he will fight for the podium this year.
Brad [Binder] also had some big battles at the start of the race. We will have to study what happened at the end of the race. He is a fighter and will soon be back with the frontrunners."
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia looks ahead after Mugello Circuit
Ferrari finished race 24th , a crash expelled Manzi.
Mugello didn’t give great satisfactions to San Carlo Team Italia riders. During the remarkable day of Miguel Oliviera (KTM), who gained his first career aim in World Championship, Matteo Ferrari crossed the finish line 24th meanwhile Stefano Manzi was out for a crash.
Problems that were found during this weekend are partially solved with team work and that allowing Matteo Ferrari to regained several places, but it was not enough to reach points line. Similar thing for Matteo Manzi who run during first race round in 1'58" reaching fully the top-20, but he crashed out during eighth lap at “Palagio” corner.
Today at Mugello Circuit the two San Carlo Team Italia riders run with celebratory thirtieth anniversary Italia Team logo visible on their Mahindra MGP3O, ending a weekend inaugurated this Friday with the official press conference “San Carlo Team Italia celebrates thirty year of history” where took part riders and leading figures of thrirty-years beyond Paolo Sesti (FMI President) and Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna Sports CEO).
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #12) 24th
"It was a very hard race. Start race was better than the last races but during laps we paid for the problems we had during the weekend. Riders who were fighting for points and top-10 run today with a time of 1'58", so we had a gap of some average tenths for lap and it was impossible stay with them. It’s a pity we could not have good results during our home race, but we will work with team in order to find the right way for next races."
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) DNF
"We started behind the first lines, but during first races we were able to regain several races thanks to good starting point. I was performing a come back and I was not far from points but unfortunately I crashed out for my guilt and I were not able to restart. It was a pity because we could put right a problematic weekend, we will try to make better during next races."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"Our target was to reached points but sadly we acknowledged to fail. Rank is clear: Ferrari ended the racec with a gap of 28" from the winner whit a time of 1'59". Starting from this point we have to work together to arrange some things in order to instill right conviction since Friday practices, before ended during the race. Now we have to be more cynical, resolute and sure of our moto potential, I’m confident that points will give us more self-assurance during next weekend. About Manzi I can say today we were well because start times run at 1'58", but unlucky he has finished few laps during practices so his race was very harder and in my opinion this is the reason of his crash."
HUSQVARNA LAGLISSE’S ISAAC VIÑALES FINISHES EIGHTH AT MUGELLO
SOLID DAY OUT FOR MARIA HERRERA AS SHE CONTINUES TO LEARN CIRCUITS
Husqvarna Laglisse rider Isaac Viñales rode a very competitive race in the Moto3 GP of Italy in Mugello on Sunday finishing a creditable eighth in what was one of the tightest races so far in this the sixth round of the 2015 World championships.
Viñales was back at fifteenth place at the start and worked hard for his top ten finish in a round that saw no less than 20 riders in possible podium contention going into the second half of the 20-lap race.
The final stage was characterised by a massive battle for positions and Viñales narrowly missed finishing in sixth when two riders from the front of the pack dropped down the order in the closing stages, causing him to drop back several vital meters. His eighth place finish however allowed him to retain his sixth position in the championship table. Viñales is now looking forward to returning to race in two week’s time in front of his home crowd in Spain where he aspires to be on the podium.
Teammate Maria Herrera continues her solid first season with the team and did well to finish twenty-first. Her task was again to concentrate on getting to know this circuit that is new to the Spanish rider, and also one of the most technical and difficult on the calendar.
Isaac Viñales: “It was a difficult race, with intense fighting in the leading group. I wasn’t able to take advantage of the slipstream but it was positive to again be in the leading group. The goal for Montmeló (the circuit in Catalunya – the next venue) is to again be on the podium. The race there will be positive because it’s our home race.”
Maria Herrera: “It was not one of my best starts. I was on the outside and I passed many riders but some of them were slow and I lost a little pace overtaking them. I then got stuck in a slow group but the most positive thing is that I learned a lot in this race, and now I know this circuit of Mugello much better.”
Team Manager Gelete Nieto: “We knew that there would be a lot of riders in a group in this race. We lacked a bit, but in the end we finished in eighth place, but hopefully we can be higher in the next race. Maria has finished another race, which is something very important to her on what is a very difficult track. She lapped at a similar pace of the leading group and that is very positive, so I think we have to go home happy after this weekend.”
Finish photo decides result for Livio Loi
A finish photo was needed to determine the final results of what had been another frantic Moto3 race. The evidence showed that Livio Loi came 0,001 short of 13th position in the Italian Grand Prix.
RW Racing GP’s Belgian rider was not happy with the result, that gave him two more points for the world championship. “I should have been much further up and it’s my own fault that I wasn’t. It wasn’t a clever race.”
Loi had quite a good start from 16th on the grid of the spectacular Mugello circuit, getting into San Donato in 11th. In the jostling he was pushed back to 18th, a position he remained in – more or less – for most of the race.
As predicted a big bunch stayed together and positions changed all the time. Sometimes the group broke up a little, but each time the gaps were closed again. Loi was one of the riders closing gaps. He made up for over a second in lap 10, closing in on Romano Fenati who had dropped back to 16th at the time. But while Fenati moved back into the front line of the race, eventually finishing third, it didn’t bring Loi into a better position. On the contrary: Loi dropped back to 22nd with only four laps to go.
Only in the hectic final stages of the race Loi managed to move up to 15th entering the last lap together with Niklas Ajo and Andrea Locatelli. Ajo crossed the line in 12th and Loi was classified in 13th, but race direction adjusted the results after examining the finish photo. That put Locatelli 0,001 ahead of Loi, just 5 seconds behind race winner Miguel Oliveira.
Livio Loi – 14 (+ 5,160)
“It should have been much better. I didn’t play my cards well. Overtaking and aggressive riding always used to be one of my strong points, but today I just didn’t do it right. I was able to get to the rear of the rider in front of me entering the corners, and then I had to brake too hard, which slowed me down too much. Coming out of the corner I had lost too much speed and I had to make up again. I kept on yo-yoing like that for too long instead of changing my tactics. Only with a few laps left I tried something different. That helped me to gain some positions but it was too late; my fastest lap was in only the penultimate lap. Luckily there were two points left, but it just wasn’t a clever race and I have nothing or no one else to blame but myself.”
Johann Zarco finishes second at Italian GP and extends series lead
French rider completes intelligent race at Mugello, taking second to extend his lead in Moto2 standings to 31 points.
05/31/2015 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
The Moto2 Italian GP was held today at Mugello in excellent weather conditions of sun, clear skies and warm temperatures. Johann Zarco came into the race with the aim of fighting for the podium, starting from sixth position on the grid. The Ajo Motorsport rider eventually finished second, taking a fifth consecutive podium.
Sixth on the grid, the World Championship leader slotted into eighth in the front group, which slowly stretched out as the race went on. Focusing on his own race, Zarco gained places lap by lap, moving up to fifth on Lap 3. In the space of just two laps, the Moto2 Championship leader then ascended to third. Determined to fight for the victory, ahead Ajo Motorsport rider overtook Dominique Aegerter twelve laps from the end.
Closing the gap to the race leader, the Frenchman caught Tito Rabat in an attempt to try to get a win on the last lap –in which he set his quickest lap time. In the end, Zarco crossed the finish line in second place, a result that allows him to extend his lead at the head of the standings in the Moto2 World Championship.
Zarco now leads the way with 109 points, 31 more than his closest rival. He will be in action again from June 12th to 14th, at the Catalan GP.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"This is a positive result, because after this Grand Prix I have a 31-points lead over my nearest rival, which is now Tito [Rabat]. During the race I felt strong and in the end I gave my all, taking some risks. I wanted to pass him, but he closed the door and perhaps a better solution would have been to try to take advantage of the slipstream –which I tried too late.
There were some crashes, which meant that the temperature was very high and it was difficult to get a feeling with the front, but I had a good pace. It went perfectly and taking 20 points and a fifth consecutive podium allows me to enjoy the start to this season. In Barcelona I will concentrate on being even more relaxed, in order to fight for victory again."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"Once again it has been a good weekend and, although qualifying was not very good, I have to say that we have done a good job. I am very happy because Johann [Zarco] remained focused throughout the race and took another podium and some very important points for the overall standings. Good job!"
Sky Racing Team VR46, the italian flag flying again on the GP d'Italia podium thanks to Romano Fenati
Third place at the end of a hard-fought race and among the fastest riders. Migno bagging points again
Barberino di Mugello, May 31, 2015. The Italian flag gets back flying on the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM podium thanks to Romano Fenati, claiming an enthralling third place at the end of a hard-fought race with many passes and a tight fight in front. The Italian rider on the Sky Racing Team VR46 – that for the second year in a row got a podium finish by relying on great home talents – was the protagonist of a barnstorming race with cards being reshuffled at every corner.
Always in front with eleven laps to go, Fenati broke away from the leading pack – also due to wear and tear on tyres that affected many other riders’ bikes – and fought back to try and gain ground, losing 16 positions and pulling them back in just three laps. Thanks to today’s podium finish, Romano is now placed third in the overall standings.
Also Andrea Migno bagged some points as he ended in fifteenth. He managed to reduce the gap in the first part of the race, then he lost the feeling with the bike and had some issues with the bike that did not allow him to keep up with the pack. Over the next few days, the whole team will continue to work on the bike set-up.
Also this year for the home race, the team of young Italian talents showed off liveries featuring the colors of the Italian flag.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
It was an enthralling and though race. In the Mugello GP you can be first on last corner and then you can end up eighth at the end of the straight stretch. That’s the very feature of this track and so you have to manage it in the best possible way.
This time round in qualifying we managed to clinch front row and that is a very important milestone in this first part of the season. I think the most important thing is to try and keep going on this successful path. We have stepped on the podium twice in a row but we still have to improve. The whole team has done an awesome job and they are all very pleased. Also Andrea managed to bag some points in the toughest race of the year and I can only be confident about next races.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
It is always really emotional being here and stepping on the podium of the home race. Halfway through the race, my tyres got almost completely worn out, but I’m very happy because we achieved a great result despite this problem. We have been doing an excellent job, I’m very happy with my team. For example, this morning during the warm-up my feeling with the bike was not that great and so we made a few changes. Then, when you lose the feeling you often fail to get back to the top. So we went into the race full of uncertainties using yesterday’s set-up. Of course when you get away from the front row is easier and in fact that helped but we still have to be more careful with the wear and tear on tyres. We are on the right path, at the start of the season we were struggling a bit and now we have got so far, but we still have to fight hard as if every race were the last one.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
I am very happy I managed to grab some points and reduce the gap. I got off to a good start and for half of the race I was able to keep up with the pack, but then I lost the feeling with the bike, I could feel there was something wrong. We will continue to work hard day in day out to improve the set-up.
KENT PUSHES HARD FOR A PODIUM FINISH AT MUGELLO
Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent proves as an old fox at the Italian Grand Prix in a race long battle for victory today whilst team mate Efren Vazquez crashed out of the race after an amazing comeback from his starting position leading row five. Hiroki Ono also pleased the team not only due to his outstanding second place on the grid but also with a steady ride to finish in eleventh position.
Kent, who extended his championship lead to a 48 point gap over Italian rider Enea Bastianini, underlined his dominant role in this year’s campaign not only by today’s second place but foremost when he took pole position yesterday afternoon with an amazing new fastest circuit lap time. During the race it came as expected to a race long battle for the rostrum positions with up to 15 riders for some times but Kent displayed cleverness when he tried to avoid getting into too hot battles for positions but at the same time he underlined once again his speedy talent to recover quickly after riding at the far end of this big group. Race victory at the Tuscan circuit was on the table but Kent couldn’t pass Miguel Oliveira till the line, who celebrated his first win this year.
The team’s rookie Hiroki Ono already was a big sensation during Saturday’s qualifying practice as he stormed to second on the grid but also in the race he again displayed a superb performance. The young Japanese rider took the lead for the first sections after the start but Ono dropped down the positions during the early stages due to very aggressive moves by some other riders. However, till the chequered flag Ono rode a strong race to cross the line in eleventh position for the second time in a row.
Meanwhile, Efren Vazqeuz experienced another setback when he crashed out of the race for a second successive occasion. Although prior to an incident with Czech rider Karel Hanika during the final lap he stormed up to the positions amongst the very fierce end of the competition and fighting for a top result in today’s race.
After a usual two weeks break the Moto3™ World Championship continues in Catalunya with round seven at the Gran Premi de Catalunya.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ - DNF, World Championship position 5th (60 points):
“I’m a bit upset because I did a strong comeback from my starting position in the fifth row. I got immediately a good rhythm and recovered quickly. But finally there was a mistake with Hanika in turn four when he closed the door completely. I tried to brake as hard as possible but I couldn’t avoid to hit him and we crashed out of the race. I’m sorry for him as well as for my team which did a great job as they prepared my bike perfectly. Again we lost many valuable points for the championship.”
#52 Danny KENT – 2nd, World Championship position 1st (124 points):
“I’m so happy because this race was a pretty tough one. I did a great start but I knew that it would be difficult to stay at the front all race long. You know Mugello is very special in this kind because you can exit the last corner in first position but at the end of the straight you found yourself back in tenth position or something like that. So you need to ride very clever at this track and you have to be even stronger in some other parts of the track. I also wasn’t worried to ride outside the top ten positions for some laps because the gap to the front wasn’t that big and due to the battles nobody was able to pull away. So everything lasts on the final laps for which I was pretty confident to recover positions. It was a close battle till the line but I couldn’t take the most benefit from Miguel’s slipstream. I’m happy with second place at all because the team did a great job and we extended our lead in the championship in which we get stronger and stronger race by race. A big thanks to my team, to all sponsors as well as to my family.”
#76 Hiroki ONO – 11th, World Championship position 17th (13 points):
“Again I finished in eleventh position and collected very important points for the championship. I’m really happy about this but foremost about the whole weekend - I’ll never forget it. My start was so good, it was amazing to race in front of all this guys for a while and to see nobody in front of me. But as I said I’m competing in World Championship where the level is pretty high which was clearly underlined how hard the top guys push from the very first beginning. Otherwise I was a bit too defensive during the opening lap but in the end it was a funny race with all the battles for position. I’m happy for my team and at the same time very grateful for their outstanding support. The bike worked well till the line so I can’t wait for the next race.”
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
“Again a great race weekend for Leopard Racing at all and also with a very nice outcome which makes us proud. We’re happy with Danny’s second place today, it’s so great to see him on the podium again, and in doing so he extended the lead in the world standings. In general it was exciting to watch it till the very end but this race also underlined how quick it can happen in Moto3 that you’re racing in a tenth position instead to head the leading group. So it was a strong ride to the chequered flag of him. Hiroki crossed the line in eleventh position which makes us happy too, we’re really please by his learning curve. Yesterday he surprised us with as second fastest qualifier but we knew or better said we just wanted to see him in a points scoring finish again which he managed well. And you’ll see after he’ll do it in the same way a couple of times again, Hiroki will grow quickly as a constant top ten finisher. Unfortunate for Efren as he crashed out of the race. For our opinion it was a normal race accident during a hot final lap which happened usually. Luckily for him that he escaped unhurt as well the bike wasn’t damaged too much.”
Top10 for Baldassarri at Mugello
Lorenzo Baldassarri brings home a good 10th position for the Athinà Forward Racing team after the Italian Grand Prix is over.
The young Italian rider 16th on the grid was sporting a tricolor livery for the occasion. He had a very good the start and was able to recover several positions. After a fight with Salom, Simeon and Simon he finished the race in tenth position.
It was a race to forget for Simone Corsi who had to retire when he was in second position. After a good start, at the end of the first lap the Italian and Sam Lowes made contact and Corsi fell. He went back on track only to retire after 5 laps.
"Unfortunately the race finished ahead of schedule. I started well and I was fighting to stay with the race leader but at the end of the first lap, when I was second, I crashed after making contact with Lowes. It's a shame: the feeling was good and certainly I could have fought for the podium in front of the Italian fans".
"I'm happy with this tenth place in front of my home crowd. It was really an all-out race: I had a good start, right away I was in the Top10 and I did the race with the fastest. I was struggling a bit on the straight and on the last corner, but the feeling was good. I am pleased with these points, after Le Mans it was important to turn the page".
SIMEON CLINCHES SIXTH PLACE AND TEN VALUABLE POINTS IN ITALY
Today’s Moto2 Italian Grand Prix at Mugello saw Xavier Siméon collecting another positive result: aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex, the 25-year-old Belgian rider produced a determined performance crossing the finish line in sixth place. Simeon was able to put in a good pace, losing only a little in the last sector of the Tuscan track, finished the race just two seconds off the podium: a performance that bodes well ahead the forthcoming race in Barcelona.
XAVIER SIMÉON (6th)
“I had a good start then, as happened in Le Mans, in the early stages of the race I was not very aggressive; I preferred to avoid mistakes, especially after seeing Luthi’s crash and the mistake made by Lowes. Later I set my pace, still trying not to push over the limit. My bike worked very well today, even if I was losing some ground in the last sector of the track, the T4. Without that problem we could fight for the podium today, but the sixth place satisfy us anyway. I’m glad I brought home 10 points; now we focus on the next race in Barcelona trying to follow this path, and try to do even better”.
“Today Simeon raced very well, conquering with determination a good sixth place. Xavier struggled a bit with the set-up, but nevertheless he fought hard, bringing home some good points for the championship. A result that satisfies me. Now we want to continue like this in Barcelona”.
MATTIA PASINI FIGHTS TO THE END TO CLAIM 18th IN HIS RACING RETURN
The Mugello weekend ended positively today for Mattia Pasini, at the start of the Italian Grand Prix as a Wild Card riding the Team Gresini Moto2 Kalex. Away from the competitions since the final GP of the 2014 season, the italian rider had a good start from the sixth row, moving up to the thirteenth position on the fifth lap, eventually crossing the finish line in 18th.
MATTIA PASINI (18th)
“My bike was really good today and sincerely it had the potential to allow me to stay with Alex Rins and Alex Marquez, in the positions immediately behind the top ten. However, starting a race after a long break it’s not easy: in fact, I had to get used to so many situations today, to which my rivals were already used from the first race of the season. I can therefore be satisfied with this performance: we made a nice weekend and even though I could collect more today, it’s also true that it was important to see the checkered flag, without making mistakes. We succeeded and I think this is the right way to try to start a new path”.
“Pasini did a very good job throughout the whole weekend: returning to such a competitive championship as the Moto2 World Championship after a long break was not easy, but Mattia proved to know how to defend himself very well in the race today. I’m satisfied with his result”.
Determined rides by Tech3 duo at Mugello
Tech3 Racing Team rider Marcel Schrotter met the chequered flag in 16th place today at the Mugello circuit to conclude a tricky weekend in Italy for round 6 of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship. The young German began the 21 lap sprint around the 5247 metre circuit from 19th on the grid and after the typically intense opening laps in the Moto2 class, he was running in 16th on lap five. Despite a challenging weekend, the young German dug deep as he looked to carry on moving through the field back into the top 15. He continued to push and with six laps remaining, he was in 17th before eventually completing the race in 16th place as he just missed out on the points, despite his best efforts.
Meanwhile, Ricky Cardus finished the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM in 17th position after a hard fought race in the fiercely competitive intermediate class. The Spanish rider started the Grand Prix in 22nd before he completed the first lap two positions higher. Cardus set into his race pace and he was running in 18th at just over the half way point of the race. As the end of the event moved closer, Cardus continued to attempt to plug the gap to the rider in front and ultimately crossed the finish line in 17th position and just over a tenth of a second behind his teammate. The 26 year old rider now looks on towards his home race at the next round in Barcelona.
Marcel Schrotter : 16th - Championship : 20th - Points : 12
"We hoped to close this tricky weekend with a good result and I am happy to have finished the GP, even though it’s disappointing to be outside of the points. We knew it was always going to be tough in the race as we didn’t have much time to work on the bike due to the crashes I had. I wasn’t feeling too confident as I had to start the race without being able to amend the issues which we experienced over the weekend. So the setup for the race was a bit of a gamble and I never really felt comfortable. Overall, it was tough weekend for everyone in the team. The guys are always trying to give me the best possible bike but we definitely need track time to get a good setup, and more confidence for me, in order to have success. I gave my all today, however, next time we will hopefully have a better weekend and get back to the positions we should be riding in."
Ricky Cardus : 17th - Championship : Not Classified
"I’m happy that I managed to move up a few places from my qualifying position, but it was still a disappointing weekend compared to last year. This track is not my favourite one, but nevertheless, I was happy that I could improve my riding style in the last three days and the handling of the bike got better in every practice. We have gradually improved the feeling with the front and now my confidence with it is about 80% which is good progress compared to the start of the year. Having said that, we had an issue in acceleration as we couldn’t take full advantage of the power that we had available. If I didn’t have this, I feel that I could have been fighting with Marquez and Rins. I pushed hard from the start and in every practice, things improved but I must thank the team as they encouraged me and gave me a better bike every day. In Montmelo I think both the Mistral and I will be more competitive so now I look onwards to my home race in a fortnight."
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manger :
"We had strong expectations for the Tech3 Racing Team riders in Mugello and in the end, it was a big disappointment to finish in 16th and 17th. A few riders crashed in front of us, so it was a good opportunity for Marcel and Ricky to capitalise on this and get some championship points. However, it wasn’t meant to be today. The whole weekend was frustrating as we were never in the hunt and there were too many crashes so we now need to work out how to regroup and motivate everyone again. Moto2 is a tough class and there is no room for people who aren’t top riders and we are not where we should be in the races. We are leaving Mugello with a bitter taste in our mouths, but we hope to bounce back in Barcelona with a pair of point scoring finishes."