Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
Navarro aims high
Repsol rider, fully recovered from crash at Misano, sets third fastest time on day one at MotorLand. Sena Yamada places 21st and Maria Herrera 33rd.
After a heavy crash at Misano in practice ruled him out of action a fortnight ago, Jorge Navarro returned stronger than ever for the Aragon GP. On Friday morning the Repsol Moto3 rider set the fourth fastest time, half a second off early pace setter Enea Bastianini. He lowered his best time of 1:59.635 by almost 8 tenths in the afternoon, improving his position and giving him third overall behind Bastianini and Miguel Oliveira.
Sena Yamada had a positive opening day in Aragon. The young Japanese rider improved by almost 2.5 seconds on his personal best time in the afternoon, to conclude 21st on the combined timesheets. Maria Herrera, immersed in setting up the new chassis she debuted at Misano, placed 33rd on day one.
Jorge Navarro 3rd 1:58.894 32 laps 162 km
"Today was a positive day, as after what happened at Misano I was keen to get back on the bike and get a feel for things again. From the start of FP2, I felt good. There wasn't much to try out with the team today, because we have tested here recently, in the afternoon the wind picked up a little and we tried out a new setup to deal with such conditions. We were able to draw good conclusions. Tomorrow, depending in how the wind is, we'll already have some data for our setup. We are happy with the first day, and keen to keep working."
Sena Yamada 21st 2:00.059 31 laps 157 km
"I felt very good. The level of the World Championship riders is incredible and in the first session I couldn't follow them on track, because they were so much faster than me. In the second session I was a little closer and could get behind them. I was able to watch them and learn a lot, because everything is different, so I need to continue improving in order to earn points in the race. The second session was very positive for me, because I was able to perfect my technique compared to when we were here with the FIM CEV Repsol. I am happy with how the day went and the time I set, but I think I can improve more because on my fast lap I made a mistake on the final corner. Tomorrow we will work with the team to continue improving and try to go a little faster."
Maria Herrera 33rd 2:01.116 32 laps 162 km
"When you already know a circuit it is easier to start a weekend. I am very happy to be riding at home at last, as it had been a long time since I'd ridden a track that I know. We are working with the new chassis and getting to know it, as we haven't ridden much with it. Today we worked on the setup and tomorrow I think we will lower our times. We need to keep working, but overall I am happy."
SOLID START FOR LEOPARD RACING AT SPAIN’S MOTORLAND ARAGON CIRCUIT
Leopard Racing’s duo with Danny Kent and Efren Vazquez were amongst the top guys today again as round 14 of the Moto3 world series got underway with the Gran Premio de Aragón. But they missed some tenth of a second to finish better than in sixth and seventh position respectively whilst Hiroki Ono displayed a strong performance, but he missed some luck to improve his lap time during the second free practice session.
Fine weather with bright skies but some winds in the afternoon accompanied the opening day in Spain’s outback. Nevertheless, track conditions were good so all teams and riders did not waste any time to lap the 5.1 kilometres challenging track at MotorLand Aragon quickly from the very first beginning.
World Championship leader Danny Kent arrived in good shape at Aragon, at one of his favourite circuits, even though he missed a top result last time out in Misano, but this was history for the 22-year Englishman already one day after the race in Italy. Kent set a strong pace today but he was unable to find an extra tenth of second to conclude Friday better than in P6.
On the other side of the team’s garage, Efren Vazquez started his home race with a try as he and his crew made an experiment with a slightly different setting to his Honda machine, but they changed back to the more used to him, as Vazquez had to report a low sider this morning. After that, the experienced Spaniard was on form again immediately to play his role during FP2 in the afternoon.
Unfortunate for Hiroki Ono, who had two small crashes today but before that, he underlined his speedy talent once again as well as his track knowledge of the Motorland circuit with competitive lap times during both session. However, the second incident during the later stages of FP2 forced him to retire the session that hampered the 22-year Japanese rider to improve his lap time when he went out for a time attack with the soft tyre.
Moto3 action will continue on Saturday morning with the final free practice session before teams and riders set to prepare for the all-important qualifying practice at lunchtime.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ (FP1: P14 - 2´01.011 (6/14) / FP2: P7 - 1´59.307 (14/16)):
“I think today went quite well for us even though we tried a different way to set up my bike this morning. However, I got a strange feeling with it as for sure it suites more to Danny’s size. Unfortunately towards the end of the session I had a small crash to report in my box - sorry guys. Nevertheless, for the afternoon, we changed back to my normal setting and I got back my confidence with the bike immediately, which was underlined due to that fact that I was placed within the top-10 all session long. We finished day one of practice with a gap of 0.4 seconds to the fastest rider so I think this is not so bad. So we just need to keep this level for tomorrow in order to qualify in a strong position for Sunday’s race.”
#52 Danny KENT (FP1: P3 - 1´59.379 (16/16) / FP2: P6 - 1´59.237 (15/15)):
“Today has not been the best day to start into a race weekend. Of course, we want to be a bit faster straight from the beginning and to be closer to the top but in the end, we finished in P6. We know our problems well so hopefully we can improve tomorrow. We, Peter Bom, my crew chief, and me, need to look at the data what we can do in order to make steps forward but of course, there is room for improvements from myself as well as for the bike. Anyway, we look forward to tomorrow, we just need to work hard but for sure we will be strong by Sunday.”
#76 Hiroki ONO (FP1: P15 - 2´01.144 (14/14) / FP2: P29 - 2´00.662 (4/12)):
“I had a great start into this morning’s FP1 but unfortunately I had an early crash which cost some time even though my crew repaired the bike quite quickly. Thanks to the perfect work we were able to improve further till the end of the session. So for FP2 we were looking where we can improve, first we changed the bike a little bit, then we did some adjustments to the gearbox as well as we were looking a lot for improvements to adapt my riding style for this track. Anyway, we did not look at the changed conditions with more wind because our focus was my riding style. Again, it was a very good start into the session before we tried to learn some corners better during my second exit. In the end, we went out with the softer option of the rear but I could not take benefit from it as I crashed when Bastianini hit my front tyre before the downhill chicane. Unfortunately I could not continue the session because the engine stopped, but on the other hand I think our lap time looks much, much better than we are in the standing now.”
Miguel Oliveira shows his cards
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider concludes both Friday practice sessions at MotorLand Aragon with the second fastest time. Karel Hanika places tenth on the combined timesheet and Brad Binder thirteenth.
09/25/2015 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
The new KTM chassis debuted at the last GP also gave the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders a good feeling from day one at MotorLand Aragon. The trio felt comfortable and improved their times throughout Friday as the latest round of the Moto3 series got underway. Miguel Oliveira, second in both practice sessions, showed great pace and is already focusing on the race. Meanwhile, Karel Hanika and Brad Binder completed the day in tenth and thirteenth position, respectively.
Oliveira finished the first 40-minute free practice session with the second fastest time: 1:59.371. The Portuguese was fast with both new tyres and used tyres, and was always in the upper echelons of the table. Binder, ninth with a time of 2:00.414, changed his usual plan and started with a long stint of 12 laps and making only one stop in the pits. The South African was involved in an incident on the last corner of the track that prevented him from finishing the session. Hanika completed the morning in sixteenth place with a 2:01.156 best lap.
In the afternoon session, Oliveira was among the few pilots to ride in the 1:58s. He did so twice on his final stint, running new tyres, and set his fastest lap on his final attempt. His 1:58.893 time put him second once again. Hanika, tenth with a 1:59.503 lap, climbed positions despite not running the soft tyre nor using a slipstream, while Binder had a front tyre issue that only allowed him to set a 1:59.609 best.
Tomorrow at 12:35pm, qualifying at MotorLand will decide the grid for the Aragon Grand Prix.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"I am very pleased by the results from the two sessions. Today we had a fairly consistent pair of sessions and I'm satisfied with my pace. In the last session we had a faulty rear tyre that muddled up our rear shock settings. The last stint was very positive and we were able to do a series of very good laps, with a good pace that we will try to improve on tomorrow.
The strategy for tomorrow is to use the slipstream on the two long straights, but it will not be easy. Let's see if tomorrow we can find one, even thoug many people are going to be waiting around on track. At this circuit, in Moto3, the pole is defined by finding a perfect slipstream, so we'll see if we are lucky."
41 BRAD BINDER
"The first day at Aragon has not gone as well as expected. Early on in the morning session, everything was fine. However, in the final part of FP1 I came up to a rider waiting on the last corner and he tried to cross the circuit. He hadn't seen me, and we both ended up on the ground.
It was not the best start but in the afternoon I felt more comfortable and much faster. It's too bad that there was a problem with a tyre that we used that caused me a lot of movement with the front, because I could have gone faster. Let's see if we are lucky tomorrow and we can get a grid position as good as at Misano."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"We are very pleased with our work today. We started from where we left off at the test in Misano. I managed to improve my feeling with a different clutch and we tested the setup we used there. It seems to work well, because in the test it was already better than the other one and it was also better here. We applied some changes for several stints, to see if we could take further steps forward, and the feeling was not bad.
In the afternoon the wind changed a lot compared to the morning and it was difficult to find the fastest line at some points of the circuit. In my last run I was more comfortable and was only missing a slipstream, because I rode alone and at this circuit a tow can make a difference of four tenths."
The Sky Racing Team VR46 working with qualifying in mind on the first day of free practice at Aragon
Romano Fenati continues his top-ten form, Andrea Migno improves between the sessions
Aragón, September 25, 2015. The opening day of practice at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón is all about electronics: that is the strategy implemented by the Sky Racing Team VR46 for Romano Fenati at MotorLand Aragón, that this weekend is going to host the second last Spanish stage of the season, before the three extra-European rounds and the big final in Valencia.
Romano acquitted himself well on the very first day of the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón as he completed the top ten in ninth with 1’59.495. Tomorrow’s focus will be on cycling with an aim to get ready for qualifying and get away from as high up as possible on the grid.
Andrea Migno improved between the two sessions thanks to a greater feeling with the bike: from this morning’s thirtieth position, he completed the second session in 12th with 1’59.588, thus laying down solid foundations ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
We did a great job, above all with electronics, which was the first thing for us to test on the Aragon track. We are quite happy with the two FP sessions as Romano is in the top 10. We know that it will be key to find a good tow to make the most of this track. Andrea is improving, we have to continue on this path in order not to lose sight of the positions where we deserve to be.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
It was quite a useful day, we focused on electronics while tomorrow we’ll shift our attention to cycling in order to pull off a good qualifying. Getting from high up on the grid will be key to put in a good race on such a difficult track.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
Today I did far better in the second FP session, we were able to focus on our goals. It won’t be an easy weekend because gaps are very close, all the riders have been pushing very hard and without you even realizing you might end up in a different position from where you were just a few seconds before. We will continue to work on the bike to get it ready for qualifying.
Moto3 - Encouraging signals for San Carlo Team Italian in Aragon
Manzi improves his times in the two sessions, positive debut for Pagliani.
First day of activity for San Carlo Team Italia at MotorLand Aragón of Alcañiz with encouraging results and sensations thanks to the performances of Stefano Manzi and Manuel Pagliani during the first two sessions of free practice. With the winner of the Grand Prix of Misano Adriatico, Enea Bastianini (Honda) who confirmed to be the fastest on track thanks to a time of 1'58"875, the two riders of the Italian Motorcycling Federation limited the gap from the top and from their referential group.
Despite a setback due to a crash caused by a contact with another rider during FP1, in the afternoon session of practice Stefano Manzi progressively improved his position in the standings, getting a best personal lap of 2'00"167 at 1"292 from the top, and he finished 24th in FP2 and 25th in the combined timesheet of Day1.
Convincing debut in the World Championship for the 'new entry' of San Carlo Team Italia, Manuel Pagliani. The current CIV Moto3 Champion succeeded in improving his 2'03"009 of the first session and he got a 2'00"780 in the second one, a good omen for a weekend of constant improvement in his absolute debut in the World Championship.
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 25th, 2'00"167
"Unfortunately this morning I crashed due to a contact with Brad Binder and I got an abrasion to the neck, which is not the best thing. Despite this accident in the second session of practice I reached good times, a sign that we are working very well with the team. We are at 1"2 from the best time, and it's very positive since we have the potential to improve further tomorrow."
Manuel Pagliani (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #96) 31st, 2'00"780
"First of all, I want to thank publicly the Italian Motorcycling Federation, the Team, my family and all the sponsors for this amazing opportunity to race in the World Championship. As debut, it went quite well, I am satisfied and I worked with the team in the best way during the day. In the morning, in a session characterised by low temperatures, I preferred not to risk uselessly, trying to find the right feeling lap after lap and a base from which to start in the afternoon. In FP2 I pushed more and the times were encouraging, I feel the bike more "mine" and the work of setup allowed us to find a good balance for the continuation of the weekend. For these reasons I am happy, now with the team we will try to improve further from now on."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"For us, it was a positive first day of practice. The team started with calm the two sessions, inside our garage you can breath a good atmosphere and the continuous collaboration between the two chief-technicians was useful for the growth of our two riders. Stefano started well immediately, and he was at 1"2 from the best time of the day: we have never been so ahead after the first day of practice during the whole season. Despite the accident of FP1, he proved to be in a moment of good shape, limiting at just few tenths the gap from the other referential Mahindra. Talking about Manuel, he was protagonist of a great debut: working well with the team he was able to improve by 2" between the two sessions, and he was at 1"9 from the best lap of the day. His approach was positive and the laptimes are remarkable, considering that he comes from a long period of inactivity while the other riders have already done 13 races this seasons. With this base of start, he can only improve from now on."
BASTIANINI LEADS AS ARAGON BEGINS. PAINFUL DAY FOR LOCATELLI
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini enjoyed today a positive start to the Aragon Grand Prix, resulting the fastest in both the first two Free Practice sessions: the 17-year-old rider from Rimini set a lap time of 1’59”134 in the morning session, ahead of Portuguese Miguel Oliveira and Championship leader Danny Kent, then he was again the fastest in the afternoon, going down to 1’58”875.
His team mate, Andrea Locatelli, encountered several difficulties due to the tailbone injury suffered at Misano: the 18-year-old rider from Selvino was able to complete only a total of 7 laps, 2 of which in the afternoon, before the physical problems forced him into the pits and to make further controls in the Clinica Mobile. Locatelli will decide tomorrow whether to continue the race weekend or to recover ahead the triple-header of races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
ENEA BASTIANINI (1st - 1'58"875)
“I’m happy because today we’ve been immediately fast both with the hard tyres and with the softer ones. In the morning the situation was slightly better compared to the afternoon, because the conditions changed completely, with higher temperatures and the wind blowing in a different direction. The weekend started well, but we can still improve in several areas: now we are going to analyze the telemetry data to see where we can make further progress. At the end of the second session unfortunately I fell after a contact with Ono, who had already closed the line several times while I was trying to overtake him. Nothing serious, but it would be better to avoid certain things during practice”.
ANDREA LOCATELLI (35th - 2'02"101)
“We are considering whether it’s appropriate to continue the weekend and honestly right now I don’t think it’s worth it: after only two or three laps I struggle to move on the bike and riding becomes very difficult. Too bad, I was hoping to feel better and instead the situation is very tough. After the laps I made in the morning, the situation has worsened in the afternoon, causing a series of problems. Perhaps we will try again to take to the track tomorrow morning, then we will evaluate what to do”.
“Bastianini was immediately fast, getting good lap times and this means that he’s keeping his positive momentum; furthermore, the tests we’ve made here recently are helping us to be competitive. We hope to continue like this and be able to consolidate another important result, because the championship is not finished yet and we have to fight till the end. Too bad about Locatelli, who tried to ride, but he soon struggled with the injury, which has also created problems with regard to the movement of the legs while he’s on the saddle”.
Rabat powers to record lap in sunny Spain
Aragon, Spain - 25 September 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat made a flying start to the 100th Moto2 World Championship race weekend at the fast and technical Motorland Aragon track today.
Rabat was second and just over 0.1s off top spot in FP1 before the Spaniard delivered a stunning record lap of 1.53.164 this afternoon to finish over a tenth inside of the four-year-old circuit best lap set by Marc Marquez.
Nobody has scored more podium finishes in the six-year history of the Moto2 category than Rabat, and his bid for a 32nd top three could not have got off to a better start, with the 26-year-old ending the opening day of practice 0.135s clear of his closest challenger.
Álex Márquez took full advantage of having previously tested at the 3.155 miles Aragon track on a Moto2 bike, and after finishing FP1 in a strong seventh position, he led the early stages of the second session.
The 19-year-old showed why he will play a pivotal role in the development of next year’s Kalex chassis project after he rode a new 2016 frame this afternoon following an initial encouraging run out during a recent post-race test in Misano.
Designed for improved braking stability and turning, Márquez improved his pace by almost 0.7s in FP2 to finish eighth fastest.
Tito Rabat: 1st - 1’53.164
“Today was a really good day. I had a lot of fun riding the bike and I am happy with my pace. It is always good to be on record pace on the first day and the track will only improve and get more grip, so I think it will be a possibility that we can get into the 1.52s tomorrow. I have a good feeling with the bike from the tests we did here and I am confident, so hopefully the minimum we can do is fight for the podium.”
Álex Márquez: 8th - 1’53.806
“I am really happy because I did my best lap time with the hard rear tyre. I have a lot of confidence with the hard option and it was a shame I couldn’t improve on the soft. I tried the soft option but had a problem, but based on my feeling with the hard rear, I know we can improve a lot on the soft and that gives me confidence that I can have a really strong qualifying tomorrow. I’m also happy because I tried some different parts on the bike and there was a big improvement in the braking points. So it was a very positive day.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a very good start to the weekend for Tito and Álex. Tito was very fast this morning and close to the best pace and this afternoon he showed a true World Champion fights to the very end with a very impressive lap time. He could have been faster had he not slowed on the back straight because he thought somebody was following him. Álex also had a strong start to the weekend. He was trying some updates and he is really pleased with progress. The comments from both are the same, so this is good for the future development. It’s the 100th Moto2 race this weekend and given our success in the past, it would nice to mark this milestone with a win.”
Loi and team making big steps at Motorland
Livio Loi needed the first free practice at Motorland Aragon to find his way around. In the afternoon he understood the track in the inland of Spain and was able to gear up. Loi ended FP2 in eleventh, after being fifth for a while.
Temperatures were a lot kinder in the afternoon and the grip had improved as well, but decreasing a gap of 2,181 to only 0,698 could only be credited to rider and team.
In the chilly morning session Loi had some difficulties with the track and his bike. He didn’t have 100 percent confidence in the rear and couldn’t shift smoothly, while shifting is quite important with the fluent and fast turns of Motorland.
After RW Racing GP’s crew chief Hans Spaan in person worked on the gears to make shifting smoother, and chief mechanic Gerald Perdon went through all the details of the data together with the Belgian rider, the difference was evident. Loi was able to go round two seconds a lap faster than in the morning.
Livio Loi – 11 (1.59,573)
“The bike feels good and shifting gears is a lot smoother compared tot his morning. I was trying to find out the best lines in combination with the best gear and it took a while to learn the track again. But in the afternoon everything was better: the bike, the temperature, me. In my second run I was riding alone and already could improve quite a bit. In the third run I was able to hook up behind Jorge Navarro and set this 1.59,5 that was good enough for fifth at the time. Later I followed Brad Binder. I was a bit faster but not enough to overtake him and when I was next to him, Karel Hanika was in our way, so I couldn’t improve anymore. But despite having a cold and losing my voice, I feel good about this GP so far.”
Zarco starts challenge at MotorLand
Ajo Motorsport starts big weekend at MotorLand Aragon with seventh place on Friday.
09/25/2015 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
On Sunday at MotorLand Aragon, Johann Zarco will have the first chance to clinch the Moto2 title for which he has been fighting from day one this season. Before that can happen, there remains work to be done. That work started on Friday with the first free practice sessions for the Aragon GP, in which the Ajo Motorsport rider set the seventh fastest time on the combined timesheets after constant improvement.
FP1 for the fourteenth round of the season saw many riders out on track with recent testing experience at this weekend's venue. Zarco was not one of them, and he started from scratch on Friday morning. The Frenchman and his team undertook their first laps at the track this year with their Kalex in the opening session, and claimed the sixth fastest time -1:54.487.
In the afternoon, the Frenchman was able to try both tyre compounds in order to analyse and prepare for qualifying tomorrow and the all-important Sunday race. It was on his second stint that he improved his morning lap for the first time, and he would put in a further 3 laps in the 1:53s. The best of these was some seven tenths faster than his FP1 time: 1:53.775.
After the first day of the Aragon GP, Johann Zarco will tomorrow chase his seventh pole position of the season -and a fourth straight front row- when Moto2 qualifying gets underway at 3:05pm.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"I think the difference in times today is because others have tested recently at this circuit, so they have more of their work already done with respect to us. That is why we knew that the first day would be difficult. I have to be calm and find the best setup possible. If I give good information to the team, it will be good for qualifying and for the race. This circuit is faster than Misano, so we have to find the correct setting. We have used both types of tyre and we're working as we do at every Grand Prix.
I don't feel bad on the bike, but we are not as fast as we could be. We must improve push more in order to go faster. It's been a year since I rode at this track, so we need more time. Tomorrow we will be ready to improve."
UPHILL START FOR SIMEON AT MOTORLAND ARAGON
Today’s first day of practice for the Aragon Grand Prix of Aragon saw Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 finishing the combined classification of the two first Free Practice sessions down in 25th place, 1.7 seconds off the pace. A performance below expectations, given that the test that the team had carried out last May at Motorland Aragon had given encouraging results, with Siméon who had been one of the fastest riders on the track. The work of the team in this first day has also been slowed down by a crash in the afternoon session after only two laps.
XAVIER SIMÉON (25th - 1'54"936)
“It was a difficult day since this morning and obviously the fall after just two laps of the second session didn’t help us to recover... Even if at the end of the session I managed to get back on track, I could only complete three laps. We will start again tomorrow, trying to remain focused to try to take the right direction to find a solution that would allow us to be faster”.
“Unfortunately today we couldn’t find the speed that we showed in the test here at Aragon last May: Xavier unfortunately also crashed early in the second Free Practice session and as a result we have had even less time available to work on the bike set-up. Hopefully we can find a solution to be more competitive tomorrow”.