2015 Motegi Moto2 And Moto3 Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Motegi:

Jorge Navarro secures front row start in Japan

Repsol rider finishes third in hotly contested qualifying session. Fabio Quartararo, hindered by his ankle injury, concludes twenty-ninth. Maria Herrera, improving step by step, takes twenty-sixth on the grid.

Jorge Navarro accomplished his mission for Saturday with another strong showing at Motegi, again feeling very comfortable on the Japanese track. The Repsol Moto3 rider, fourth this morning in the third free practice session, continued to improve his lap times in the afternoon qualifying session. The Spaniard slotted into second midway through the session –just behind eventual poleman Romano Fenati– and remained there until the final minutes, when he was overtaken by Miguel Oliveira. The heavy traffic on track prevented Navarro from responding in the final part of the qualifying session, but third place nevertheless puts him on the front row of the grid.

Teammate Fabio Quartararo, still recovering from an injured right ankle, set the thirty-third best time in the morning and went twenty-ninth in the afternoon qualifying session.

Maria Herrera kept up her steady improvement to set the twenty sixth fastest time, late in the qualifying session.

The Moto3 race tomorrow will start at 4am CET.

Fabio Quartararo 29th 1:58.153 31 laps 149 km

"This morning was the moment in which I suffered most, because my leg was really shaking and it was very difficult to bear. The aim is to get a good pace without taking too many risks, because if I crash again the injury could get quite a lot worse. I want to thank the team because they have done a very good job. I hope it rains tomorrow, because if It does I will not have to be as aggressive and my leg will hold up better. My goal is to finish the race and I think if everything goes well, I can do that."

Jorge Navarro 3rd 1:56.720 32 laps 154 km

"We have made excellent progress throughout the weekend. We knew that because of my riding style this circuit was going to be a little harder for us, but we've done a great job and with each run I felt better on the bike. This morning we took a big step forward by trying a different gearbox setup, which gave me more confidence when braking. In the qualifying session I was able to keep a good pace and I was fighting for the top time. We still have to improve a little more, especially in the last sector, but tomorrow we'll be in the fight for victory. We expect the race to be ridden in a group with at least seven or eight riders, and I think we're ready, so let's hope it does not rain and it could be a good day."

Maria Herrera 26th 1:57.993 31 laps 149 km

"Yesterday I couldn’t do as well as I had wanted, and today I had to push. I lowered my times quite a lot. I improved this morning by a second and this afternoon by about six tenths, so I'm happy with the progress we've made. I think we aren’t starting from the position we were hoping for, but the times are very close and if we were three tenths faster we would be in fifteenth. Tomorrow we will try to make a good start and I’m sure we will enjoy ourselves."


Tomorrow’s round 15 at the Grand Prix of Japan marks the start of the decisional stage of this year’s championship and series leader Danny Kent has it in his hands to bring it home already this time as he will start from sixth spot in the second row whereas team mate Hiroki Ono rode a strong qualifying too, starting from P12 on the grid. Efren Vazquez failed to qualify better than 27th.

Slightly changed weather with a cloudy sky and cooler temperatures accompanied the second day of practice at the Twin Ring Motegi. Once again the starting grid for the Moto3 race was hard fought this afternoon as Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent set the sixth fastest lap time, just 0.5 seconds off pole time achieved by Italian rider Romano Fenati.

Six-time season winner Kent needs to leave Motegi with a 75 gap points lead to his nearest rival Enea Bastianini, which means Kent has to add 20 points to his tally to crown himself Moto3™ World Champion 2015 tomorrow. However, it won’t be easy for the 21-year old Briton who struggled to set up his Honda machine properly for the 4.8 kilometres Japanese track thus far whereas Bastianini qualified one spot ahead of Kent for fifth.

A superb Motegi performance was displayed by Hiroki Ono in his home race thus far as the Japanese youngster even set the pace during this morning’s final free practice though the 22 year old was way disappointed after qualifying to miss out a starting position within the first three rows at least as he set his best marker early this afternoon but failed to improve further during the decisional stage. But his consistent pace shows that for tomorrow’s race everything is possible.

Opposite to both riders mentioned above, the 40 minute long timed session ended disappointing for the experienced Efren Vazquez who struggled to find his feeling with the bike during both days. The 28 year old from Spain’s Basque part will start from P27 on the grid.

The Moto3™ race gets underway on Sunday 11am local time that means an early wake-up call at 4am Central European time. The race 20 demanding laps long.

#7 Efren VAZQUEZ, Grid position 27th - 1´58.002 (5/14):

“A difficult qualifying, I can’t describe it different. First, we need to wait and see how the final starting grid will be because once again it is to expect that the race decision will penalize some riders due to irresponsible riding and waiting for fast riders. Anyway, I gave my 100 percent during the entire session but I wasn’t able to ride comfortable with the bike. In some places we lost too much time but I think it’s another day tomorrow, so we will see how the race will go.”

#52 Danny KENT, Grid position 6th - 1´56.998 (11/16):

“Today’s qualifying of course is not the best one but also not the worst one. After these two difficult days of practice we can be happy to start from the second row because we are struggling with the setting thus far but my crew is working so hard and we already made some progress as I felt more comfortable with the bike and it’s turning much better than on Friday. So for this I’m confident comes race day but first we need to wake up and open curtain to see how the weather looks because the forecasts predicts rain for tomorrow. In that case we will start from scratch during warm up in the wet for the first time this weekend. Anyway, we need to wait and see for the weather conditions but in both cases, dry or wet, I remain confident for tomorrow’s race.”

#76 Hiroki ONO, Grid position 12th - 1´57.192 (5/14):

“Well, I’m not fully pleased with P12 on the grid because there was more to get out of today. We started so strong into the day and we immediately improved in many areas compared to yesterday, which was clearly to see in our lap times. But also during qualifying we were able to improve further even though I was riding alone during the early stages of the session. In general, it was a good day for us, but after this morning’s FP3, which went so well I expected more than a twelfth position. Nevertheless, for a strong race a good start will be the base and right after to settle in a good position during the first view laps. Then I think a top ten finish is possible. In any case I’ll give all to achieve this goal especially riding in my home race.”

Oliveira repeats spot on front row

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start Japanese Grand Prix tomorrow from second position on the grid. Binder and Hanika will take off from the fourth and seventh rows, respectively.

10/10/2015 - Twin Ring Motegi, Japan

Second yesterday in free practice, Miguel Oliveira repeated the position this afternoon in the qualifying session at Twin Ring Motegi, placing second on the starting grid for the second consecutive race. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider confirmed his good pace from practice with a superb last lap in the qualifying session. Brad Binder, tenth, will start from the fourth row whilst Karel Hanika, twentieth, will do so from row seven.

FP3 allowed Binder and Oliveira to confirm their feelings from yesterday and take a further step forward. A major improvement enabled them to break the 1:57 barrier for the first time this weekend –along with Niccolo Antonelli the only ones to do so. With the second fastest time for Binder —1:56.918— and third for Oliveira —1:56.944—, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders were amply prepared ahead of qualifying. Hanika had a small crash at Turn 7, 10 minutes into the session, which subsequently hindered him in improving on his best time of 1:58.766.

In the always difficult Moto3 qualifying session, Oliveira claimed the best result of the Red Bull KTM Ajo trio. The Portuguese put in a superb lap of 1:56.657 alone on his final attempt, which allowed him to climb to second position as the chequered flag fell. Binder was tenth with a 1:57.147 lap, after not feeling as comfortable riding with soft tyres. Hanika, twentieth —1:57.715—, improved on his previous best time in a session hit by strong winds that made things difficult for the riders.

Tomorrow, the fifteenth Moto3 race of 2015 will start at 11am local time —4am CET. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will be seeking a second consecutive victory and a third race in a row on the podium.


"We are pleased that we are having a very complete, consistent weekend with a good pace. We are in second position on the grid again, after a qualifying session that was more difficult than the practices due to gusts of wind -which made it difficult to push alone. Fortunately, thanks to the soft tyre I could ride in the 1:56 mark and get on the front row.

For tomorrow, Niccolo Antonelli has been very strong throughout the weekend, but the forecast is for rain and anything can happen. I hope to enjoy the race and that it goes well for us."


"The day went quite well; I can’t complain. This morning I enjoyed myself on the bike, but this afternoon that was not the case, because with the soft rear tyre the feeling was not the same. With the qualifying tyre compounds we didn’t do great, but I feel good with the race rubber so I think we are prepared. I'm confident for tomorrow, even though the result from qualifying wasn’t better, but I know that in the race I will be fighting for the top positions. Let's see what happens tomorrow."


"It was not our best day. I had some good first laps but I crashed at the same corner as yesterday. With that mistake we lost the opportunity to find a good setup for this afternoon. I think we need more track time, because we have not had the opportunity to put in many laps. If we had that, we could have placed higher up. We still have some issues to work on tomorrow, because the bike is sliding and we need a little more speed on some corners. We must stay focused for tomorrow, as it could rain and that would change the preparation for the race a lot."

First pole for Fenati and the Sky Racing Team VR46 in Japan

At Motegi, Romano conquers his career first pole after setting a new lap record (1’56.484). First time in pole also for the Sky Racing Team VR46 in the Moto3 World Championship. Migno (17th) will get away from sixth row

It was a record-breaking day for the Sky Racing Team VR46 and Romano Fenati who took his career first pole position after setting a new lap record at Motegi (1’56.484). For the Sky Racing Team VR46, it is the first pole position in the Moto3 World Championship. Andrea Migno, instead, will be getting away from sixth row as he ended qualifying in 17th (1'57.659).

After struggling in yesterday’s FP2, encouraging signals for Romano Fenati had already come during the morning FP3 as he set the 5th best time (1'57.076). The Italian rider then made the most of his outstanding feeling with the bike in qualifying, securing the pole.

A growing performance also by Andrea Migno who, in the morning free practice, could not do better than 31st (1'59.019). In qualifying, though, he switched gear and ended qualifying in 17th (1'57.659). Tomorrow he will get away from sixth row, near the point-scoring zone.


PABLO NIETO / Team Manager

I am really happy because we all did a great job, we had some problems yesterday but today Romano set an incredible fastest lap, he was perfect. I think he really deserves this pole. With the bike we are quite right and this is very important, but we’ll see what will happen tomorrow as the race might be affected by rain. Migno will be getting away near the point-scoring zone and that is very positive. He also has been doing very well so far and will be able to fight in the top 10 group.


When I saw I was on pole, I thought it was a joke! (he smiles, editor’s note). I'm really happy because yesterday morning’s free practice session had gone well, but then in the afternoon we had had some problems. Last night we worked very hard, today the bike was good and I was able to fully express my potential. I'm glad I paid off the work of my team with this pole position, my career first pole! Too bad for the crash late on in the session, I entered the corner pushing way too hard, so the front closed and I fell to the ground, but fortunately I did not spoil qualifying with this crash, it was a harmless slip. I wanted to do like the big ones, they do happen to crash but then take the pole position! (he says jokingly, editor’s note).


Today we did a great job and I had a good feedback from my bike. Unfortunately I failed to put in my perfect lap, but now I’m going to compare my data with Romano’s and maybe tomorrow we’ll ride a bit together, during the warm up, so as to figure out whether I can improve further. It will be key to get off to a flying start tomorrow and then give my best and play all my cards well.


Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racer Enea Bastianini will start tomorrow’s Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi from the second row of the grid. The 17-year-old rider from Rimini set the fifth fastest time, 1’56”927, in this afternoon’s qualifying session, 0.4 seconds off the pace. Bastianini will line up his bike just in front of his rival in the fight for the World Title, current Championship leader Danny Kent.

Tomorrow, Bastianini will try to further improve his pace by a few tenths, to try to join the fight at the top despite some problems with his left shoulder, a result of yesterday’s fall.

During Qualifying, Andrea Locatelli essentially replicated his best performance from yesterday, clocking 1’59”889, although actually he could improve significantly if he had not encountered traffic on his best lap. The 18-year-old rider from Selvino, which will start from the last row, will face a really tough race due to his physical problems which are affecting his movements on the bike and with a not optimal physical condition, due to the fact that recently he has been not able to train following the injury.

ENEA BASTIANINI (5th - 1'56"927)

“I’m satisfied with today’s result: I was not expecting it after what happened during free practice. Unfortunately yesterday’s and this morning’s crashes did not allow us to put in many laps and moreover I have some pain in my left shoulder a little, which is giving me some problems while riding, especially under braking on left handers. However, I think that I won’t have major problems over the race distance, even though it’s too early to say it. Some riders have a better race pace than mine, but there is still time to try to shave a few tenths: tomorrow we will do our best to recover other points in the standings on Kent and possibly not lose points on Oliveira”.

ANDREA LOCATELLI (35th - 1'59"889)

“Despite my physical problems, today during Qualifying I was managing to complete a decent lap, but in the last chicane I met a group of riders and I was forced to slow down, losing a lot of time. Tomorrow is expected to rain and wet conditions may help me, not being able to ride in a very aggressive way; anyway, I take tomorrow’s race as an opportunity to regain a good pace over the distance. I will try to do my best to finish the race trying to stay focused, although I know it will be tough because I start to struggle after five consecutive laps. Definitely I pay the fact that I have not been able to train and consequently I’m not physically fit; I don’t feel pain, but yet I cannot move on the bike as I want and I struggle to turn the bike in every corner”.


“Bastianini did a good qualifying, considering the two crashes of the weekend and the small shoulder problem which certainly is not helping him. Surely at this moment we are slightly on delay compared to what happened recently. Too bad, but we can still do very well, because Enea really loves this track, and tomorrow he will surely give his maximum. Locatelli is here more than anything to stay aboard his bike and to put in laps, in order to get fit ahead of the upcoming races. The Misano injury is still slowing him down, but Andrea is riding with great determination, gritting his teeth”.

Zarco takes seventh pole of 2015

Newly crowned Moto2 World Champion continues excellent year with pole position and new circuit record at Motegi.

10/10/2015 - Twin Ring Motegi, Japan

Becoming World Champion yesterday has not meant that Johann Zarco has relaxed, and he remains fully focused on winning tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix. Putting the celebrations on hold, on Saturday the Ajo Motorsport rider took an important step towards his main goal for the weekend, achieving his seventh pole position of the season. With a 1:50.339 lap, Zarco set a new Moto2 circuit record at Twin Ring Motegi.

FP3 started with a quick trip back to the pits for Zarco. From that moment on, the Frenchman focused on improving his race pace, undertaking two long runs. The Ajo Motorsport rider, who was unable to lower his best time from yesterday, set his best lap on his penultimate attempt –a 1:51.278– to end the session second.

The Frenchman began strong in qualifying, putting in three consecutive laps in the 1:50 mark and setting a time of 1:50.593 that was not surpassed until 7 minutes remained in the session. In the final minutes, Zarco made another push for pole, clinching it with his antepenultimate attempt –1:50.339.

The new Moto2 World Champion hopes to enjoy a good race tomorrow. The contest will begin at 12:20am local time –5:20am CET.


"It is true that after winning the World Championship yesterday, the pressure is not the same, but I will not relax because I want to win tomorrow and it is necessary to be careful. It's great to have the title clinched already, at the start of the flyaways, but I have to continue learning. I'm focused, and have been since the week before coming here, because I want to have a good weekend.

The pole position today is the result of the hard work the team is doing. For now everything is going well for us, so tomorrow I hope to have fun and get the win –that's the goal."

Moto3 - The riders of San Carlo Team Italia show off in qualifying at Motegi

Manuel Pagliani (18th) and Stefano Manzi (22nd) proved their worth and the potential of the whole team.

The Twin Ring Motegi confirms to be a traditionally favourable track for San Carlo Team Italia, able to show off and to prove all the sport and technical potential of riders,bikes and team. In a official qualifying session that saw a rider with precedents in Team Italia as Romano Fenati (KTM) for the first time in pole position, thanks to a lap in 1'56"484, Manuel Pagliani and Stefano Manzi emerged positively, realising a brilliant team performance.

At his second round in the World Champion after a convincing debut in Aragon, Manuel Pagliani was able to get the 18th time in 1'57"687 which earned him a place in sixth row. A performance enhanced by the fact that the current CIV Moto3 Champion was able to achieve this result, without the help of the wake of other riders.

Likewise positive the performance expressed by Stefano Manzi in the whole weekend, qualified 22nd in 1'57"772, but with the right pace, determination and motivation to aim for the third place in the points in a row.

Manuel Pagliani (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #96) 18th, 1'57"687

"I am very happy with this result that confirms the goodness of the work done together with the team. Yesterday we were not completely fine in terms of set-up, in particular I used to lose some precious time in the breaking point and there was little grip in the curves, but we were able to find a good balance that allowed me to do my best. I rode on my own and I got the time with no reference nor with the help of wakes, this makes me proud because it proves our potential. Thinking about the race, I hope to start well and to confirm again these levels because the points are very close."

Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 22nd, 1'57"772

"I can't be completely satisfied since we could have qualified up ahead compared to the 22nd place. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take advantage of the potential of the new tyres at the end: it was fault of the traffic but also because I wasn't able to guess the best possible race. It's a pity, but I can be confident thinking of the race: in terms of set up we are fine and we can repeat the levels of the previous races."

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

"We are living a very positive situation with a continuous progression in terms of performance and set up of the bikes. We take steps forward in every sessions and this result makes us excited and pushes us to improve further. Pagliani did the times riding on his own, without waiting for anyone, reaching several times the 1'57". It was an important performance for a rider who is at his second race in the World Championship. Manzi qualified 22nd, and since he was blocked in a group of 5/6 riders, he wasn't able to complete a perfect lap and to repeat what he had been proving in the free practice. Anyway Stefano made us get used to start very well and to recover positions, so I expect him to be in his referential positions from the first laps. We have just finished our best seasonal qualifying and we are already thinking of the race: we are ready to the challenge."

Consistent Márquez looking for more pace on fresh tyres

Motegi, Japan - 10 October 2015: Álex Márquez will start tomorrow's Japanese Grand Prix from 15th on the grid after a disappointing qualifying session saw the reigning Moto3 World Champion unable to get the most from his bike on fresh tyres.

The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider was able to set very competitive times on used tyres but with fresh rubber he saw only a small gain in performance. This should allow him to produce a consistent race tomorrow but starting from the fifth row of the grid will make for a challenging day in the competitive intermediate class.

Márquez has steadily improved throughout his rookie Moto2 campaign but in cooler conditions he has consistently struggled to find a balance with the bike with a lack of rear grip causing him problems. With the weather forecast for tomorrow predicting cooler temperatures and a threat of rain, the 21-lap race could be lottery for the 30-rider field.

Alex Marquez: 15th - 1'51.755

"The conditions changed a lot from this morning to this afternoon. Always in these cool conditions we have the same problem with a lack of feeling from the rear. At the end though I think that my lap time with a used tyre, that had done almost a full race distance, was only two tenths slower than a new tyre. We need to understand why this is the case and where we can improve this for tomorrow. The conditions for the race are predicted to be cooler with the possibility of rain. We have had a good feeling in the wet in the past."

Naoya Kaneko: Chief Mechanic, Álex Márquez

"Qualifying didn't go as we expected because for some reason with a new tyre and fresh grip we couldn't maximise the performance for a better lap time. We need to examine the data and see how we can improve this. The lap time difference between a new tyre and a used tyre isn't very big but definitely with the fresh tyre we haven't been able to use the best performance from the machine. The pace on used tyres is good, but starting from 15th position in Moto2 makes it difficult to catch up."

Best qualifying of the year for Livio Loi

When Livio Loi set his best lap time of 1.57,092 in the qualifying practice for the Japanese GP it was good for second. At the end of the session though it left Loi in ninth, on the third row: still his best qualifying result of the year so far.

Loi will probably start from eighth, as Jakub Kornfeil received a three positions penalty for riding slow on the racing line in FP3. On Thursday race direction announced it would also look closely on waiting for a tow in the free practices, not just in qualifying. Several riders were punished.

Loi set his best time riding by himself, in his second run. He tried to improve in his third run but while he was in a fast lap and closing in on Romano Fenati (who claimed his first ever pole position) one of the Japanese wildcardriders crashed right in front of Loi, forcing him to close the gas.

“This is Livio’s best qualifying result so far and it could have been even better,” RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen said. “He has done a good job. Not only in this session but over the weekend. Starting from the third row gives us a good outlook on a good result. There is rain expected for tomorrow, which might change everything, for better or for worse.”

Livio Loi – 9 (1.57,092)

“It’s been a good second day. In the free practice this morning I could ride the fast lap I wanted and ended up in thirteenth, but the rhythm was good and the pace was there. In qualifying I went out on the soft tyre immediately and was fast from the start. I was hoping to stick to the front row, but with a crash just in front of me I couldn’t improve anymore. It would have been nice, but third row is fine as well. I don’t mind whether it’ll dry of wet tomorrow. Rain has given me my best results this year, but I’m strong in the dry here as well. We’ll just wait and see what happens. I’ll do my very best anyway.”


Tomorrow, at the start of the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, Xavier Siméon will line up his Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex machine on the fourth row of the grid: the eleventh fastest time, 1’51”577, obtained in this afternoon’s qualifying session, represents the best qualifying for the 26-year-old Belgian rider since he clinched the first row in last July’s German Grand Prix, that then saw him crossing victorious the finish line. A confidence boost, supported by the good race pace shown today and by the continuous improvement shown over the weekend.

XAVIER SIMÉON (11th - 1'51"577)

“This Qualifying leaves me much happier than in the last four races... Today I found a bike that I like and I returned to enjoy myself. We improved throughout the whole weekend, and we smile also for this reason. I’m just a little disappointed with the final position on the grid, because in the first part of the session I was ahead and I thought I was able to stay in the top six. In any case we take the positive things emerged today: tomorrow we will have definitely more chances to fight for a good result compared to what happened recently, because in Qualifying we have also maintained a good pace. We worked very well so far and tomorrow I will give 100% to try to bring home many points”.


“After some qualifications below expectations, today Siméon returned to a good level of competitiveness; what makes us optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s race is also the constant improvement that Xavier was able to put on display every session, while lately our performance remained more or less the same since the beginning of the race weekend, with no major progress. This means that we are slowly finding our way to return on top. We hope to be able to give continuity to this positive trend in the race tomorrow, picking up a good result”.


After the penalization of some of his rivals, Danny Kent will start tomorrow's round 15, in which he could already seal the 2015 title of the hard fought Moto3 series, from fourth spot on the grid.

Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent will start the Moto3™ Grand Prix of Japan from fourth spot on the grid. After the 21-year old Briton set the sixth quickest time during qualifying session this early afternoon, Miguel Oliveira und Jorge Navarro who qualified for second and third spot respectively got a grid penalty of three places, so Kent will move up to fourth position to start into one of the most important races of the year.

The series leader will be able to clinch the world championship already this Sunday with three races left. If he scores at least 20 points over his main contender Enea Bastianini, Kent will already be crowned as the 2015 world champion at the Honda owned Twin Ring Motegi.

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