Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Aragon:
Martin’s best heads three Mahindras in the points in Spain
Aragon, 27 September 2015:
Mapfre Team Mahindra rider Jorge Martin backed up his best-ever second-row start with a best-yet seventh place finish in today’s Aragon Grand Prix. The 17-year-old grand prix rookie had qualified fourth, and even challenged for the lead in the early laps.
The bright red MGP3O made a splash of colour as the first-timer jousted with the established leaders of the Moto3 class at the front of the lead pack. As the much more experienced riders gradually picked him off, he stayed with a furious group of ten until the closing stages of the 20 lap race at the challenging 3.16-mile/5.08-km circuit set in scenic countryside in the north-east of Spain.
He was still close behind in a strong tenth, well clear of the pursuers, as they started a dramatic last lap. The two championship leaders Danny Kent and Enea Bastianini and winner Miguel Oliveira’s team-mate Brad Binder all crashed out, promoting the 2014 Red Bull Rookies champion to seventh, his second top ten finish of his first season.
Two more of the world championship’s only Indian constructor’s machines also claimed points in the top 15.
Mapfre Team Mahindra’s Pecco Bagnaia and rookie Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia) finished eleventh and 12th, inches apart, at the head of a massive brawl for the last scoring positions. Bagnaia had qualified 18th and frequently headed the gang, but was unable to escape when it was still possible to close the gap on the lead group.
The grand prix circus leaves Europe now for a punishing three-in-a-row run of overseas races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia, before the season finale in Valencia in November.
JORGE MARTIN – Seventh Place
This was a really hard race. I was losing a lot of time on the long straights, but the chassis was so good and I was comfortable with the suspension, so I was able to stay with the group for every lap. In the end it was so hard with the tyres sliding a lot – but the top ten again is really good, and it’s my best result so far.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO, Mahindra Racing
That was a very exciting race. We seldom see such drama on the last lap. We knew Aragon would be difficult because of the very long straight, so we’re pleased to come away with a decent result, and three Mahindras in the points. This race will give Jorge a huge boost to his confidence, so we hope to see more of this. Pecco Bagnaia again got stuck in the wrong group because of poor qualifying, but he managed to hold on. Happy to see Manzi in 12th – he is showing his talent in his first year.
First World Championship podium for Navarro
Crash in warmup does not prevent Repsol rider from shining at Aragon to finish second. Maria Herrera fights hard in second group to take fourteenth. Sena Yamada claims eighteenth.
Jorge Navarro’s Sunday at MotorLand began badly but ended with joy for the Spanish rider. The Repsol Moto3 rider went from the Clinica Mobile to the grid within an hour, and concluded the Aragon GP on the podium. After suffering a heavy crash during the warm up, Navarro was eventually able to compete in the race.
There was a very intense race ahead of him, with plenty of overtaking in a large group of eleven riders. Oliveira, Fenati, Bastianini, Binder, Kent and Antonelli, amongst others, were all fighting for the three podium places. Navarro kept clear of the incidents that caused numerous crashes on the last lap, taking a valuable second place behind racewinner Oliveira.
Maria Herrera also had a good race, starting from thirtieth. She moved up nine places on the opening lap and continued to overtake riders in the fight for eleventh. She was part of a group of riders with ample experience, and held her own. Despite contact from another rider during the last lap that took her off her line, the Repsol rider managed to finish thirteenth and add three points to her tally for the season.
Sena Yamada rounded off his stand-in weekend in the Moto3 World Championship with a positive eighteenth position, gaining a lot of experience over the course of a race in which he also competed with more experienced riders.
The World Championship now moves into a stretch of three flyaway rounds in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
Jorge Navarro 2nd at 0.193 sec.
"I've taken my first podium and I'm happy. I’m even more happy to have done it at Aragon, so close to home, at what is also one of my favourite circuits. I was calm, because after practice I knew I could have a good race. The weekend went well, despite the crash in the warmup this morning, and I went out to race convinced we could do well. The team did a great job all weekend, helping me to stay calm. I am very happy with this result and look forward to continuing to work. It was what we needed, the reward for the effort we are making at every race with the team. We will continue trying to get more podiums and –why not?– wins as well."
Sena Yamada 18th at 31.050 sec.
"It was a good race. At the start it was a bit difficult, because we are in the World Championship and it is a little different from the FIM CEV Repsol; here there is even more of a fight and I struggled to keep my position. I lost some places, but then I tried to increase my pace gradually and I ended up first in my group. It was a good experience; this weekend I learned a lot, taking a step forward with my riding and in many other ways."
Maria Herrera 13th at 16.899 sec.
"Today it was important to make a good start, because we started from 30th position, and I managed to do that. I was up to 23rd after the first few corners and I continued slowly moving up positions. The whole race was fun because we had a good fight in the large group that I was a part of. On the last lap I had contact with another rider which took me off my line, but I was able to finish thirteenth, so I'm very happy with this result."
Moto3 - Best seasonal result for San Carlo Team Italia in Aragón
Manzi 12th again in the points, positive debut for Pagliani.
Brilliant and convincing team performance of San Carlo Team Italia at MotorLand Aragón of Alcañiz, fourteenth round of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship. Carrying on the positive trend started with the 14th place of Misano Adriatico, Stefano Manzi was protagonist of a combative race finished in 12th place, the best seasonal result of the team. Forced to retirement before the end of the race for an accident, also Manuel Pagliani finished his debut in the World Championship positively, proving to be able of remarkable times.
Started from the seventh row of the grid, lap after lap Stefano Manzi recovered several positions, reaching the second front group composed by 13 riders, who were fighting for a place in the top-10. Proving his talent and determination, Manzi was 12th on the finish line, achieving 4 points, limiting the gap from the winner Miguel Oliveira (KTM) at just 16". Likewise positive the performance of Manuel Pagliani: at his debut as a rider of San Carlo Team Italia and in the World Championship, the CIV Moto3 champion reached good levels in race with competitive time laps, even though he was forced to retire on the fourteenth lap.
For San Carlo Team Italia the next round is at Twin Ring Motegi (Japan) from 9th to 11th October, fifteenth round of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship.
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 12th
"A great race! I was able to reach the second front group and my times were really competitive, the fact that I was fighting with the riders who usually are in the top positions, proved it. Thanks to the work of the team, the bike was perfect today, I was at ease on the bike and I was able to ride at my best. The battle in this group was nice, funny and demanding, but finally we succeeded in achieving our goal represented by points, really close to the top-10. The twelfth place is our best seasonal result, a starting point from which to continue from now on. A sincere thanks to all my team, now we are already thinking about the next races to carry on this positive trend."
Manuel Pagliani (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #96) DNF
"The start was not one of the best: instead of recover 4-5 positions, I lost one so it was not an easy start. Lap after lap, I found a good race pace and my times were competitive; starting up ahead I would have been able to be in the second front group, fighting for the points. Unfortunately I couldn't finish the race, but it was a positive debut. Anyway I am happy, I pushed hard, improving my time of qualifying, I feel the bike more mine and with the work done in the practice, today we could have got a remarkable result. I want to thank my family, FMI, Team Italia, San Carlo and Al, the sponsors for this opportunity, we will continue this way in two weeks at Motegi."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"We are very satisfied with the final result, but even more with the performance of our riders. Manzi proved his potential, being author of a great race: I want to underline his competitive pace, the gap limited from the first riders and the fact that he didn't make any mistake, without being involved in any critical phase in his group, composed by more than 10 riders. For the whole weekend Stefano went out on track with the right approach, with a winning attitude that gave the expected results. As Manzi, today Pagliani showed off at his debut in the World Championship: he was doing a great race with a pace on high 1'59" , he has convinced us completely for his professionalism and performance. We are sorry for how the race ended, but he will improve for sure because he has the talent to do it."
BASTIANINI CRASHES OUT OF ARAGON GP ON THE LAST LAP WHILE FIGHTING FOR VICTORY
The Aragon Grand Prix unfortunately ended a few corners from the checkered flag for Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racer Enea Bastianini: on the last lap the 17-year-old rider from Rimini was in third place and in the fight for the win with Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder when, at Turn 14, he touched the rear wheel of the South African, going down on the ground.
Until then Bastianini put on display a determined race and despite being slowed down by a worn rear tyre on the left side, it was well placed to try to attack the two riders in front of him and try to claim his second consecutive victory. Due to the crash, Enea has therefore not taken points in a race that also saw the retirement of championship leader Danny Kent, who also crashed on the last lap. The situation in the fight for the title remains so unchanged, with the Brit who leads Bastianini by 55 points, but with one less race remained.
ENEA BASTIANINI (DNF)
“On the last lap, entering Turn 14, I was hard on the brakes, while in front of me Binder took a completely different line from mine, and we touched. It happens and I can’t blame him. I was not going to pass him on that corner, I would have tried to overtake him in the straight, in order to attack Oliveira on the last corner. It was not an easy race, because in the final stages the rear tyre was quite worn on the left side and the bike was moving a lot. In those conditions it was nice to be still able to stay in the fight for the victory, although obviously I would rather get to the checkered flag... Too bad, we missed an opportunity to recover other points on Kent, but now we look forward to the next races”.
“Enea had a great race until the last lap and he was in the ideal position to fight for the victory. We know, however, that the last lap battles are always very difficult and anything can happen. Too bad, we could win also here and we could collect valuable points for the Championship. Kent also fell on the last lap, which leaves the situation unchanged for the World Title fight, but one less race to play. Unfortunately we have instead lost several points over the third and fourth places in the standings”.
Maria Herrera shines at Aragon Moto3
BEST SEASON’S FINISH FOR HUSQVARNA LAGLISSE RIDER
Husqvarna Laglisse riders Maria Herrera displayed her potential in the MotoGP Moto3 GP at the MotorLand Aragon circuit on Sunday when she rode from a 30th place on the grid to 14th overall, her best finish since joining the team.
Herrera riding on a circuit that is familiar to her from the CEV Championships showed particular fighting spirit. She and four other riders received a three- grid position penalty after a rule infringement during qualifying on Saturday. Herrera was able to put that behind her and concentrate on the race and it paid off for her. As early as lap three of the 20-lap race she had advanced to nineteenth place and continued to improve as the race progressed and at one point was fighting for eleventh at the front of the following group of riders.
Maria Herrera: “It was a tough fight because the group was very large and I had to try to control the situation. I was able to overtake several riders up to the last lap but in the end I had a touch and that made me lose some positions. I am happy with the team’s work, the bike responded well and I was able to ride the way I wanted.”
Herrera’s efforts drew praise from team boss Gelete Nieto, who commented: “Maria made a spectacular comeback after starting at thirtieth and finishing 14th. She fought a lot. She is happy and so is the team.”
Husqvarna Laglisse Teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta of Italy, who joined the team only after the summer break also performed well and was in also in the running to pick up world championship points. However a race incident in the final lap left him back at 24th place.
Also riding in the team colours this weekend as a wild card entry was Italian Davide Pizzoli who finished 26th. Pizzoli’s weekend was all about gathering experience alongside World Championship riders, and for preparation for the final stage of the FIM CEV Championship.
Teams now travel to Motegi, Japan for the first of three overseas races on October 11.
Rabat gets back to winning ways at home
Aragon, Spain - 27 September 2015: Tito Rabat claimed his second win of the season, and his first since Mugello, with a superb ride in the Moto2 Grand Prix of Aragon. The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider got the better of a titanic battle with compatriot Álex Rins, in a restarted Moto2 race that ran over 14 laps.
Rabat took the race lead with eight laps to go, but a hard charging Rins squeezed past the reigning World Champion under braking for turn 12 on the final lap to take the lead. It was to be a brief turn at the front though, as Rabat immediately swept around the outside to reclaim the lead and then defended robustly to win by a tenth of a second at the line.
With championship leader Johann Zarco finishing sixth, the victory means Rabat has closed the gap on the championship leader to 78 points, as well as increasing his lead over third placed Rins to 22 points.
Âlex Márquez had another strong showing as he continues to learn and develop in the intermediate class. Having qualified on the second row of the grid, the reigning Moto3 World Champion was running well inside the top ten during the early stages of the race, despite being held up by Johann Zarco. Unfortunately the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider’s race ended prematurely after an error saw him crash at turn 15.
Tito Rabat: 1st
"On the last lap I knew that Alex was going to be fast at the end of the race because he had used a new soft tyre for the second start and we had to use the same tyre as the first start. I am so happy to win here at home so I want to say a big thank you to my team. We have still got four races to go until the end of the year, so I want to enjoy those races and, hopefully, add some more wins."
Álex Márquez: DNF
"It wasn't the perfect race! In the first one we had a great opportunity to follow Tito, Rins and Lowes but in the second race after we started again I was fighting for two laps with Zarco. I couldn't really understand his objective because I'm not fighting for the championship. I have to see the positive points from today, which is that my rhythm has been really good all weekend and in the qualifying we had our best result of the year. I now need to push more in the three fly away races but the positive point is that we have improved all the time and our level is coming closer to that of the frontrunners in Moto2."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It was a great race for Tito, who had an incredible battle with Rins throughout. I think that Rins was able to make some action, but Tito played it cleverly because the slipstream can be such a big advantage here. When you're in second position you always have a bit of a benefit so Tito did well to keep the advantage. It was a shame for Alex because he was running fourth on the first start but he was struggling a little bit behind Zarco after the restart and he lost contact with the front group. He then had a comfortable gap of two seconds to the guy behind him so it was a shame that he made a small mistake and lost the front because it would have been possible for him to make a good result today."
Third victory for Oliveira
Portuguese takes second consecutive podium and moves into third in the World Championship. Binder crashes on final lap when in second and Hanika is unable to finish.
09/27/2015 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
Miguel Oliveira took a great victory at the Aragon Grand Prix, sticking at the front of the race from the start and using a good strategy on the final lap to score his third win of the year. Brad Binder, also in the fight for the victory until the last lap, was knocked down when in second and in with a chance of taking the lead. Karel Hanika, who struggled throughout the race, crashed out with seven laps remaining when in the second group.
Starting from the front row, Miguel Oliveira showed consistency and pace at the MotorLand Aragon circuit, keeping at the front of the pack for almost the entire race. He held off attacks from a group of up to 10 riders, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo man remained strong to cross the finish line first. After a second position two weeks ago, this victory allows him place third in the World Championship with 159 points.
Brad Binder was not as lucky as his teammate and suffered a crash in the final moments, after a collision with a rival. After remaining in the leading group throughout the race, he was up at the front heading into the penultimate lap. Overtaken by his teammate, the South African prepared his strategy for victory but was hit by Enea Bastianini on one of the last corners of the contest.
Karel Hanika had the same unfortunate end to the race. The Czech rider started from the fifth row of the grid and remained in the fight in the second group, battling for eleventh. However, seven laps from the end, Hanika lost several positions and crashed when trying to recover them.
With this result, Binder and Hanika remain in seventh and seventeenth place, respectively. The next round of the championship is at Motegi, Japan, from October 9th to 11th.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"It was a bit chaotic, but it was a fun race. I really enjoyed myself on the bike. This weekend has been very good for us, finishing in the top three in each session. Yesterday we did not have much luck in the fight for pole position, but in the race today we did a good job. I noticed throughout the race that I had a big chance of victory, I was confident and I gave everything to make it so. This win is very important for the overall standings. We must continue like this."
41 BRAD BINDER
"I always destroy my tyres at the start of the race, so today I did not want to push things on the early laps. I preferred to go at my own pace and follow the leading group in the race. Later I thought it was time to push and I climbed positions, but I didn’t have any luck. I think the race strategy we had was very good but a rider touched my rear wheel and I crashed. Obviously I'm not happy with the result, with not scoring points in this race that I had a chance to win, but we were up there. I like Motegi and hopefully I can make up for today there."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"I could have ridden in the leading group and I had a good pace, but like in practice I was lacking top speed on the straights. It was quite difficult to maintain positions, because while cornering I felt very good and could overtake, then on the straights I lost places. We will work to improve this aspect in Japan, because in other aspects we are very happy. With 7 laps remaining I crashed at Turn 2 when on the limit, but fortunately -although it was a strong highside- I was not hurt."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"I am very happy with the third victory for Miguel [Oliveira] and that throughout the weekend our riders were so strong. Miguel was extremely strong in every practice. It was a deserved victory, as throughout the race he was at a good level and luckily he was not involved in the incidents that occurred behind him. These things happen, because Moto3 races are always a little crazy, but sometimes things are a bit wild.
It was a great shame for Brad [Binder], because he has improved a lot in recent races. He set his pace by himself in practice and during the race used a good strategy, saving his tyres for the final laps -which had been one of his problems in the past. It was a very unfortunate crash, because it was completely caused by another rider who made a big mistake. In any case, I am happy because he always takes steps forward and in the next races he will be strong.
Karel has also had a good weekend, but in the race we could not do what we had expected. We know that when you're not in the front group, in the second group there are always incidents. He lost some pace and at the end he made a mistake."
Third place for Romano Fenati at the GP de Aragon
The rider on the Sky Racing Team VR46 steps back on the podium at the end of an enthralling race
Second best result of the season for Andrea Migno, ninth from 20th on the grid
Aragón, September 27, 2015. The Motorland Aragón hosted a crash-affected race where Romano Fenati, always joining the party in front, secured third place after rivals Bastianini, Binder and Kent crashed out on the last lap. The Italian rider on the Sky Racing Team VR46 stayed in the chase until the very last lap, when the three crashes involving the riders fighting for the Moto3™ title, all on the last lap, allowed Romano to step back on the podium.
A ninth place finish for Andrea Migno: after crossing the line in tenth, “Mig” climbed up one more position in the standings as Ono, who was ahead of him, got a penalty point punishment. After getting away from 20th on the grid (as he was docked three grid positions in qualifying), Migno pulled back 10 positions thus clinching his best second result of the season after ninth place at Le Mans.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
We had luck on our side. A podium finish is always a great result both for the rider and the team. Now we need to get ready for the three upcoming races outside Europe longing for new podium finishes. Also Migno pulled off an incredible race, as his pace was equalling those of the leading pack. I am sure that little by little he will be able to join them in front.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
It was an enthralling race, today’s third place proves that in some races being the strongest rider is not enough: you also need some luck and to stay focused and keep your head. I had been missing the podium so much, so that’s will be an extra motivation ahead of the three upcoming extra-European races. The team did a great job and I got an excellent feeling with the bike. Also the new chassis is helping us get into the final laps in the best possible conditions.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
It was a good race, all the necessary conditions to do well were there. Qualifying, though, is still a decisive factor: I am still struggling at the back of the grid and I am not that fast yet to be able to pull back so many positions in a short time compared to the leading pack. To stay in the mix, I will have to work harder in order to qualify higher up on the grid. There is still room for improvement and the team is being very supportive in trying to achieve our goals.
Difficult Aragon race a bummer for Loi
For a long time it looked like Livio Loi would finish the Moto3 race of the Aragon GP empty-handed, but in the final lap the RW Racing GP rider was able to put his hand on one championship point. The single point was just a scant consolation as Loi was not happy at all with the race.
Loi had a good start of the race, moving up from 15 to 13 in the first lap. But he couldn’t hold on and soon lost contact to the front group .
Halfway through the 20 laps race the pack had broken in two major groups of ten riders each within a second, split by 8 seconds. Loi was in the second group (with Migno, Bagnaia, Herrera, Ono, Manzi, McPhee, Kornfeil, Masbou and Suzuki), fighting for eleventh position and swapping places all the time. One moment the Belgian was in fifteenth, the next moment he was in twentieth.
The same battle was going on in the first group, with riders overtaking, swapping and fighting for every meter. In the heat of the final lap Brad Binder and championship leaders Kent and Bastianini crashed out, handing over victory to Miguel Oliveira and a single point to Loi, who is now 15th in the championship as well.
Livio Loi – 15 (+17,125)
“I am not happy at all with the race. In Misano, two weeks ago, I had such a strong race but this was almost the opposite. In Italy I was able to overtake and move up every lap, but here in Aragon it was a completely different race. In the group I could never get to the point allowing me to overtake. I just couldn’t get close enough and I didn’t have enough confidence to take big risks as the bike was chattering and sliding a lot, maybe because it was quite a lot cooler than before. At some points I was close enough and able to overtake, but then I ran wide again and saw others passing me again. It was like an accordion: I closed in, but had to let go again. I may have a point, but I’m really disappointed as things were looking so good. What a bummer!”
Zarco earns 10 important points
Ajo Motorsport rider claims sixth place at Aragon Grand Prix to move closer to Moto2 title.
09/27/2015 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
Johann Zarco decided to focus on gaining points on Sunday at MotorLand Aragon, preferring to further boost his title challenge rather than take unnecessary risks. The Ajo Motorsport rider crossed the finish line in sixth place, after riding throughout the entire race in a large second group. With four races remaining, the Frenchman holds an advantage of 78 points in the overall standings.
A red flag forced the Moto2 riders to make a second start, and reduced the intermediate category race to just 14 laps. Zarco dropped three positions on the first corners, and was part of a second group from which he could not escape. Seven riders entered into the battle for fifth place, which was fought for as if it were a podium.
The World Championship leader remained calm despite falling to eighth at the halfway point. For the first time, he played things safe with the title in mind. With three laps to go, the Ajo Motorsport rider was in sixth position, which he kept until crossing the finish line.
With a further 10 points added to his tally today, Johann Zarco has a total 284 points -78 more than his only rival for the Moto2 title, Tito Rabat. The next race will take place in two weeks’ time at the Motegi Circuit in Japan, where Zarco will have a second opportunity to clinch the Moto2 title.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"The most important thing this weekend was picking up these 10 important points that allow us to move even closer to the title. It's been a tough weekend, in which I have not been able to feel relaxed. In the race there were two starts: The first was pretty good, but the second was not. I know I could have ridden with those at the front, but I was unable to do so because I was not relaxed enough. I did not expect this, but it's what happened. I felt the pressure. The good thing is that I have learned from it and that is very important for the next few races. The final result is not bad, so I'm looking forward to Japan and fighting for victory."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"We have to accept that not all weekends can be perfect, and so far we have had a very good season. If this was a weekend in which we suffered a bit with our feeling, to finally be able to obtain a sixth position is reason to be happy for Johann [Zarco] and everyone else. We are one step closer to the World Championship, which is our goal, so we must stay calm and continue working as we have done until now."
LEOPARD RACING SHOWS FIGHTING SPIRIT IN ARAGON
Today’s Moto3™ Gran Premio de Aragón was decided in a dramatically final stage of the competition as Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent crashed out of the race for the first time this year whilst fighting for a possible podium finish which saw team mate Efren Vazquez to cross the line in fourth place. Meanwhile Hiroki Ono catered for a big smile in the team’s box thanks to his first top ten result in his rookie season.
Slightly changed weather conditions with somewhat of cooler temperatures during the race were no reason for the wild Moto3 pack to fight for glory in their hardest way today at Aragon with a huge group up to ten riders in the front group. Series leader Kent, who started from third spot on the grid, rode a decent race during the early stages before he took the cards on the table to show his real strengths around the 5.1 kilometres long MotorLand Aragón circuit.
Kent was strong all weekend on the brakes and he also was able to carry on more corner speed than his contenders which was the reason when he had a highsider during the final lap, trying to pass Spanish rider Jorge Navarro racing in front of him in second place. Fortunately, Kent escaped unhurt but it was luck in bad luck too as his main rival in the fight for this year’s Moto3 title, Enea Bastianini, also crashed out of the race today just one lap earlier. So the world standing with four races left remains unchanged at the top.
On the other side, team mate Efren Vazquez benefited somehow from the crashes in front of him to came home in a fine fourth place but the experienced Spaniard wanted more today whilst Japanese rider Hiroki Ono rode a brilliant race to see the chequered flag in ninth position but he was penalized after the race due to a move under yellow flag. So he was dropped down by one position but in any case it was nice to see the big smile in his face thanks to his first top ten finish.
The Moto3™ series takes a two weeks break now before the paddock goes overseas for the annually Asia-/Australia tour, starting with the Grand Prix of Japan early in October which marks the home round for the team’s Hiroki Ono-San.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ – 4th, World Championship position 6th (129 points):
“So thirteen points for the championship, this of course is the positive thing after this race. But on the other hand I’m a bit disappointed because during the entire race distance I had a disadvantage in acceleration out of every corner. We were able to set up the bike perfectly, I was strong on the brakes and I could fight for positions, as well as our pace was high, but I missed something in acceleration today. So I’m not pleased with that. Overall, it’s mixed emotions because to finish the race in fourth you should be happy with as well as I was fighting for a possible podium finish. But if you came home in fourth because some other rider made a mistake it’s difficult to agree with.”
#52 Danny KENT - NC, World Championship position 1st (234 points):
“Overall it’s a little bit disappointing to not finish the race because we had a big chance to extend our championship lead today. However, as you know I would be a lot more disappointed if I would have finished in second place and Enea (Bastianini) would have won the race because that means we would have lost points again. But we could be happy as we go to Japan now with four races left and a 55 points lead which makes it more difficult for our competitors to catch up. But I’m happy with our performance because we started into the weekend struggling with the front, but my crew lead by Peter worked so hard so I was able to enjoy this race so much as I was definitely one of the strongest on the brakes into the corners. A big thanks to my team but I’m also sorry to report this crash because till that point everything went so well. I had a little bit more corner speed than Navarro so I tried to go on the inside but the rear came under me and throw me over the bike. Luckily I’m ok but it’s a shame to miss out this big opportunity to finish this race on the podium again. Anyway, we are ready for the last four races, starting with the oversea trip next month.”
#76 Hiroki ONO - 10th, World Championship position 22nd (21 points):
“What should I say than anything else that I’m so happy about my first top ten finish. It was a big fight during the entire distance but I was strong in every situation. Already this morning’s warm up session showed very strong potential for the race in which I rode very smart. Just one time I lost some positions because another rider touched me but I never led down my head and fought back. Of course we were a bit lucky in the end due to other riders crashing out of the race. So at this point I would say sorry for my team mate Danny but finally everything was perfect for us today. I’m sorry for my mistake when a pass a rider under yellow flag.”
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
“After today’s race we are lucky to be able to speak about luck whilst having some bad luck. Danny realized that Bastianini hits Binder in front of him and both riders crashed out of the race. From this moment he underlined once again his fighting spirit because he saw his chance to take the most benefit from this situation. But on the other side he should know that in this situation a third place is good enough in respect to the championship. But Danny is a true racer and he was sure to pass Navarro during the final lap because he was faster than the Spanish rider. Anyway, he tried it, but it didn’t work out. We are happy for Efren because he finished in fourth position but he wasn’t pleased with this result because he saw his chance to stay on the podium today. On the other side in our garage it was Hiroki who brought us a big smile with his first finish in the top ten. He rode a really brilliant race today but tenth place came a bit surprisingly for us due to crashes of other riders in front of him, honestly speaking.”
Top10 for both riders of the Forward Racing team
The Aragon GP weekend closes with two good placings in the Top10 for the riders of the Forward Racing team at the MotorLand track. Simone Corsi and Lorenzo Baldassarri, in fact, passed under the checkered flag in ninth and tenth place respectively.
After a positive first start, with both rider of the Forward Racing team behind the leaders, the incident between Simeon and Aegerter forced the race direction to show the red flag and begin a new starting procedure. Back on track, Corsi and Baldassarri defended their positions and closed the first lap in fifth and tenth place. Unfortunately, a small mistake on lap four forced Corsi to slow down as he crossed the line in ninth place. Consistent race with a good pace instead for Lorenzo Baldassarri who got in the Top10.
A DAY TO FORGET FOR TEAM FEDERAL OIL GRESINI MOTO2 AT ARAGON
It was a day to forget the one experienced today by the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 at Aragon: at the start of the race Xavier Siméon was in fact able to complete only a few corners, until a contact with Dominique Aegerter put him out of action. With the race red flagged, the 26-year-old Belgian rider still managed to get back on the grid thanks to the fantastic work of his mechanics on his Kalex machine. Got off well at the re-start, Siméon, however, was hit by Marcel Schrotter after only two laps and was forced to retire.
The next round now for Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 is set on 11 October at Motegi, Japan, for the first of three consecutive races outside Europe.
XAVIER SIMÉON (DNF)
“At the first start I got off the line pretty well, but during the first lap I touched with Aegerter and I crashed: I was trying to pass Kallio, who was between me and Dominique, when we crossed our lines. I would like to apologize with him, because it’s not his fault. Then the race was stopped with a red flag and the team did a fantastic job, repairing my bike in record time and allowing me to race. Then I got again a good start, but this time, after only two laps, Schrotter hit me from behind. It was a very unlucky weekend, with many problems in nearly all practice sessions, then in the race we had again bad luck. Now we look forward to the Asian triple-header, where we hope to return to get good results”.
“Today we have not much to say, we try to keep the smile and look ahead, despite a weekend to forget. Siméon crashed after both starts, first for a contact, then he was hit from behind by another rider, so we have not had a chance to do anything. The team did a great job to repair the bike, although after the crash it was probably not perfect. Now we forget this race and we look forward to Japan”.
KENT CRASHES OUT WITH CHAMPIONSHIP ALMOST IN HIS GRASP
Danny Kent crashed out on the penultimate bend of the Movistar Grand Prix of Aragon with the Moto3™ world title almost in his grasp. Three bends earlier in an amazing race his main championship rival Enea Bastianini crashed after a collision with Brad Binder, but Kent fell from his Leopard Racing Honda fighting for second place with Jorge Navarro, while Miguel Oliveira won the race. Kent still leads the Championship by an impressive 55 points with four rounds remaining. Scotsman John McPhee finished just out of the points in 17th place.
Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes secured his first Moto2™ podium finish since the Dutch TT with a lonely third place behind the Spanish duo of Tito Rabat and Alex Rins. Twenty five year old Lowes moved back into fourth place in the championship.
Cal Crutchlow led the British MotoGP™ battle with seventh place on the LCR Honda. Bradley Smith was up into sixth place but made a mistake at Turn One which dropped him to eighth. Misano podium finisher Scot Redding was 12th just two places in front of Irish Aspar Honda rider Eugene Laverty who led the Open class for the first time in his Rookie season.
Lorenzo wins in Aragon to reduce Rossi’s advantage
Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo rode brilliantly to secure his 60th career GP victory in front of 67,000 fans at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón. Repsol Honda’s Pedrosa was involved in an excellent fight with Rossi over the final few laps for the second step of the podium at MotorLand Aragon. Eventually Pedrosa would beat Rossi to the line by just a tenth of a second, while his teammate Marc Marquez crashed out of the race.
This means that Lorenzo has reduced Rossi’s advantage in the standings by 9 points to just 14 heading into the flyaway rounds, with just four races remaining. Movistar Yamaha’s first double podium since Brno saw them lift the team title for the first time since 2010.
There was drama at the start, as Marquez seemed to make a mistake allowing Lorenzo to lead into the first corner with Iannone in second, as the pole man dropped down to third. The Spaniard recovered to make a move on Iannone into second through the first few corners and set off after Lorenzo at the front.
Rossi, who knew he couldn’t let Lorenzo get away, started making his way through the field from sixth on the grid immediately, moving up to fifth at the end of the first lap at the expense of Pol Espargaro. The Italian was already two seconds behind Lorenzo in second.
Unbelievably, just as he was closing down Lorenzo at the front, Marquez lost the front at turn 12 and crashed out of the Aragon GP for the second year in a row. It was Marquez’s fifth DNF of the year.
Marquez's crash moved Iannone up into second, but not for long as Marquez’s teammate Pedrosa passed the Ducati man on the 3rd lap. All the while Lorenzo was looking untouchable at the front as he opened up a 2.4s lead by the end of lap 3.
Rossi passed Iannone to move into 3rd on the 4th lap, although at this point he was lapping 0.3s a lap slower than Lorenzo as his teammate opened up a 3 second lead at the front. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Espargaro was involved in the battle for fourth with Iannone when he ran wide on lap 6 and dropped down to 11th.
By lap 8 both Pedrosa and Rossi started to lap faster than Lorenzo and the gap had been reduced to 2.6s. Lorenzo got the “hurry up” signal from his pit board and responded, managing his pace beautifully over the next few laps.
Further back through the field Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro had caught Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) in sixth and was starting to attack, while Cal Crutchlow and Danilo Petrucci also started to close in on the duo in front of them. That was before Petrucci trailed the brakes too much into turn 14 with 13 laps to go and lost the front, leading to Petrucci’s first DNF since the Malaysian Grand Prix last year. Smith, Espargaro and Crutchlow caught up with Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso in fifth with 12 laps to go and an excellent battle ensued between the four riders. However Smith ran wide at turn 1 and dropped to the back of the group, undoing all of his hard work.
With 10 laps to go the gap at the front between Lorenzo and Pedrosa was up to 3.3s, with Rossi still hanging onto the back wheel of the Repsol Honda in third. Lorenzo was riding a simply brilliant race at the front, consistently running in the 1’48s and increasing his lead on every lap.
Rossi meanwhile, was starting to size up Pedrosa ahead of him in an effort to secure a vital extra 4 championship points by finishing in second. With 5 laps to go he made his first move in anger into turn 4 but Pedrosa immediately responded to re-take the Italian. Undeterred, Rossi tried it again into turn 1, but he couldn’t get it stopped and once more Pedrosa fought back as the two became embroiled in a spectacular duel over the final few laps.
On the penultimate lap, once again Rossi made a move under braking into turn 1, but once again he could not get his M1 stopped and couldn’t make it stick as Pedrosa showed incredible grit to fight back. It was shaping up for an epic final lap battle between the two and it didn’t disappoint, Rossi went past in turn 4, before Pedrosa stuffed it up the inside into turn 7. It seemed as though Pedrosa had second in the bag, before Rossi made an outrageous move through turn 15, but once more he couldn’t make it stick. The Italian sacrificing the drive onto the back straight in an effort to make the pass, meaning Pedrosa could power his way back past Rossi.
In an incredibly exciting finish Pedrosa managed to hold on through the final corner to take second by just nine-hundredths of a second from Rossi. All the while Lorenzo rode the perfect race at the front as he took his 39th premier class victory by over 2.6s.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone ended up in an excellent fourth despite having to ride through the pain due to the shoulder he re-dislocated earlier in the week. He crossed the line 16 seconds ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso who finished in fifth after holding off the charging pack behind him.
Aleix Espargaro came out victorious in the battle for sixth, crossing the line ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith in a frantic dash to the line. Pol Espargaro managed to fight his way back into ninth, while Yonny Hernandez on the Octo Pramac Racing Ducati completed the top ten.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding finished in twelfth, while Aprilia Racing Team Gresini's Alvaro Bautista crossed the line in 13th in his 100th GP. Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) took his first Open victory in 14th as he beat his teammate Nicky Hayden to the line by less then a tenth of a second. Forward Racing’s Loris Baz was in 17th having earlier announced he will make the switch to the Avintia Racing team for 2016. Australian Jack Miller on the Open LCR Honda finished in 19th while there were crashes for Karel Abraham and Alex De Angelis.
All of this means that Rossi (263pts) saw his advantage over Lorenzo (249pts) in the MotoGP™ championship standings reduced by nine to just 14 points with four races remaining. Marquez (184pts) remains in third, but now he is only 8 points ahead of fourth placed Iannone.
Rabat wins after excellent duel with Rins
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Rabat ensured the Moto2™ championship battle would continue into the flyaway rounds by taking a sensational victory in a re-started race at MotorLand Aragon. The Spaniard enjoyed an excellent fight with his compatriot Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Rins, whose family live in the Aragon region. Rabat, starting from pole for the 15th time in his Moto2™ career, held on despite a dramatic last lap to cross the line just 0.096s ahead of Rins.
Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes completed the podium, while championship leader Johann Zarco will have wait until the Japanese GP for his next chance to lift the title as he saw his lead in the standings reduced to 78 points after finishing in sixth.
The original race was red flagged after Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag Racing Interwetten) crashed at turn 15 on the opening lap. Simeon was able to take place his place back on the grid for the restart. Aegerter was taken to hospital for further checks after being declared unfit at the Medical Centre.
The re-started race was reduced to 14 laps and it was Rabat who led into turn 1 ahead of Rins and Lowes while Simone Corsi (Forward Racing) made a great start from 11th on the grid and was up to fifth by the end of the first lap. It didn’t take Rins long to make his move into the lead while Championship leader Zarco found himself down in sixth as they crossed the line for the first time.
Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Luis Salom crashed out on lap 3 at turn 9 while Simeon crashed again, this time at turn 7, to cap off a miserable day for the Belgian.
With 10 laps to go Rins and Rabat were starting to pull away from Lowes in third and had opened up a 1.4s gap at the front as the field began to spread out. Rabat made his move on Rins into turn 1 under braking with 8 laps to go to re-take the lead from Rins. Rabat’s teammate Alex Marquez was in sixth and had been closing down the men in front of him but crashed out with 6 laps to go.
The two leaders kept increasing their lead and with 5 laps to go the gap to Lowes was 2.6s as it became clear that it would be a two horse race for the win. All the while Zarco was involved in an excellent battle for 6th with Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Lorenzo Baldassari (Forward Racing), Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) and a now recovered Corsi.
Rabat led the way as they started the last lap, but it was obvious that a move from Rins was coming and it was a case of when not if. Rins tried it under braking into turn 12, but he ran a bit wide and Rabat fought back. Rabat lead down the back straight and despite almost running wide in the final corner he managed to hold on to take his 12th Moto2™ career victory.
Rins’ excellent rookie season continues with his 8th podium finish in just his 14th Moto2™ start, while Lowes crossed the line in 3rd to claim his fourth rostrum of the season.
AGR Team’s Jonas Folger ended up having a rather lonely race in fourth after battling hard with Lowes at the start as he pulled off his best result since his win in Barcelona. Derendinger Racing Interwetten’s Luthi held off the late-charging Zarco to claim fifth, with the championship leader crossing the line in sixth.
Syahrin, Nakagami, Corsi and Baldassari completed the top ten while there were also crashes for Federico Fuligni, Julian Simon and Edgar Pons.
This means that Zarco (284pts) still leads the standings from Rabat (206pts), with Rins in third (184pts).
Oliveira wins in dramatic Moto3™ race
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miguel Oliveira took his third victory of the season in a dramatic finish that saw the two men fighting for the Moto3™ title crash out on the final lap.
Estrella Galicia’s Jorge Navarro (+0.193s) took his first Moto3™ podium after crossing the line in second ahead of Romano Fenati (+1.505s) on the Sky Racing Team VR46 KTM.
From the start it was Oliveira who got the holeshot as Kent found himself dropping down to fifth, but it didn’t take long for Bastianini to get to the front and he led across the line after the first lap.
Oliveira then re-took the lead on lap 2 and tried to break away, but the slipstream effect at Aragon meant that it was almost impossible to do so. Kent did not have a great start and found himself as low as eighth at one point.
On lap 6 Kent and Binder almost made contact and the British rider dropped back while Romano Fenati made his move into the lead. Kent recovered and found himself in an excellent scrap with his main title rival Bastianini before starting a charge that saw him up into third at the start of lap 8.
A few corners later Kent hit the front for the first time and immediately pulled the pin. By this point a leading group of ten had broken away from the rest of the field with Alexis Masbou leading the chasing pack.
At the front each rider seemed to be taking turns leading the race as no one could open up a decisive gap try as they might and with two laps to go there were still nine riders battling for the win as Martin started to drop off the back of the leading pack. Brad Binder took the lead for the first time on the penultimate lap and he and his teammate Oliveira looked like they had timed it perfectly as they opened up a slight gap heading to the final lap.
On an incredible final lap Bastianini had closed the gap and it was a three-way battle for the victory. Then in dramatic fashion the Italian caught the back of Binder and both crashed out in an incident that could have had a huge impact on the championship.
Just when it looked like Kent would benefit from his title rivals fall to extend his lead in the standings he also amazingly crashed out, as he lost the rear on the very last corner.
This left Oliveira to take his third victory of the season while Jorge Navarro claimed his first Moto3™ podium despite experiencing a heavy crash in the morning’s Warm Up session. Fenati completed the rostrum for his third podium of the season.
Efren Vazquez (Leopard Racing) was in fourth, ahead of Phillip Oettl (Schedl GP Racing) and Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold). Mapfre Team Mahindra’s Jorge Martin, Alexis Masbou (SAXOPRINT RTG), Hiroki Ono (Leopard Racing) and Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) completed the top ten.
Maria Herrera (Husqvarna Factory Laglisse) pulled off her career best finish in 14th, while Scotsman John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) crossed the line in 17th.
All this means Danny Kent (234pts) still leads the championship standings from Enea Bastianini (179pts) while Miguel Oliveira (159pts) closes the gap to the Italian to 20 points in third.
Schrotter concludes hard fight at Aragon with point scoring finish
Tech3 Racing Team rider Marcel Schrotter delivered a truly determined performance today in the 14th round of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship as he sealed a point scoring finish in 15th place. Schrotter began his day optimistically by completing the morning warm up session in 14th position, after making some final adjustments to his Mistral 610. Once the race kicked into gear, the young German leapt forward from 21st on the grid and was running in 15th after overtaking five riders by the end of the first lap. He then set about trying to progress further up the field, however, the race was interrupted due an incident on the track which caused a red flag to be shown on the second lap. The Grand Prix was later restarted with 14 laps to run and when this occurred, Schrotter lunged forward and completed the first one in 18th. As the race advanced, the young German stuck into his pace and by the 5th lap he was leading the pack of four, in 16th place. With 7 laps remaining, the 21 year old had pushed himself up to the final point scoring position as he continued his strong rhythm which saw him open up a gap to the pack behind. Schrotter finally sped across the finish line in the same place, which marks a positive end to this weekend ahead of the three upcoming overseas races.
On the other side of the Tech3 Racing Team pit box, Xavi Vierge produced a fully determined effort to battle his way to 16th by the fall of the chequered flag after overtaking eleven riders in the fiercely competitive intermediate class. The 18 year old began the race from 27th on the grid and when the lights went out, he got straight into gear as he moved through the pack and up to 18th by the mid point of the second lap. At the restart, the Moto2 class rookie once again commenced from his qualifying position but he dug deep and was up to 23rd at the end of the opening lap. His ascent continued in the shortened battle and with nine laps to go, he moved past Louis Rossi and into 19th as he closed in on the group ahead, which included his teammate. On the 10th lap, Vierge skilfully overtook Krummenacher to clinch 17th and he grit his teeth as he continued to plug the gap to the next rider. Then, on the penultimate lap, Vierge was involved in a fierce three way fight which came down to the very last corner on the final lap, where the young Spaniard excellently passed the rider in front to seal 16th.
Marcel Schrotter – Position : 15th – Championship : 21st - Points : 20
“After what was a crazy race, I am happy to be heading home with a point scoring finish. So many things happened, for example the red flag and the restart, and fortunately both times we began, I had good starts and recovered several places. It goes without saying that it’s always hard coming from the lower half of the grid, because even if you improve, so many people are fighting and automatically you get held off in the first corners. In addition, it’s very easy to lose the contact to the front group, which is what happened to me in the second race. Someone hit me in the downhill chicane and to be honest, I was lucky to not crash as it was a big moment. As a result, I had to go wide which made me lose the front group. From there onwards, I did the race on my own and I rode similar lap times to the whole group in front, give or take one tenth. Still, we have to be pleased as I took points and tried my best which gives me some confidence before we head to the three fly away races. We will leave Europe with some fond memories as we had three strong GP’s in the east last year, so therefore my feeling is positive.”
Xavi Vierge – Position : 16th - – Championship : Not Classified
“I am very happy with the race result today and it’s a satisfying close to the weekend for me. We started the event well but I knew that I had to make some steps forward with my riding style as well as with my rhythm in order to be strong in the GP today. Things worked out pretty well and finally my race pace was solid. I began quite far down the grid, in 27th, still I had a good start and then lap by lap I progressed forwards. I finally caught and passed Cardus and Krummenacher to seize 16th on the last lap. In all honesty, it’s a pity to be just outside of the points and maybe it is a little bit like finishing in 4th as the podium is just out of reach! Nevertheless, I am very happy with how the weekend progressed and now my ambition is to continue in this manner for the next races. We have a good direction and the work this weekend makes me excited about next year already as I’ve just signed the contract with Tech3. I must say thank you very much to the team for the perfect job they did and also thanks to the sponsors.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager :
"The result today was a solid close to the weekend for the Moto2 Tech3 Racing Team. It was not easy for Xavi as it was his first time on known territory in the world championship but he didn’t disappoint us and was really quick on day one. He then had a bit of pressure for qualifying and we could have done better, yet we knew he had the pace. Marcel showed everyone, as usual, that he will never give up and pushed right until the end. It’s clear to see that the race was tough, partly because after the restart there were just 14 laps which meant it was more of a sprint. However, we are pleased to see Marcel scoring points again which is good news. In addition, it was thrilling to see Xavi finish in 16th and he had an incredible fight with Krummenacher and Cardus who are both very experienced Moto2 riders and he beat them both on the last lap. He recovered 11 places from his grid position which was quite an achievement and we would have loved for him to score points with Marcel, but 16th is a great result. We must remember that we are here to learn with him for the future and he is giving us a lot of satisfaction so far. Hopefully, both Xavi and Marcel will be in the points in Motegi, but it’s been a positive weekend here.”