Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams, as well as Dunlop, previewing the first race of the 2016 season in Qatar:
Moto3 - The 2016 season of 3570 Team Italia starts in Qatar
First seasonal round for 3570 Team Italia at the Losail International Circuit with the rookies Lorenzo Petrarca and Stefano Valtulini
The 2016 season of 3570 Team Italia starts under the spotlight of the Losail International Circuit (Qatar). First round of the Championship since 2007, the Qatari track hosted in 2011 the full time comeback of Team Italia on the international scene: five years after that date, the project continues with an excellent partner as the Cooperativa RadioTaxi 3570, from this year 'Title Sponsor' of the Italian Motorcylist Federation's team.
The successful partnership between 3570 and Team Italia was strengthened also for 2016, always in a spirit of "Made in Italy" with the clear aim of transmitting, in the eighteen rounds on the agenda, an image of optimism and engagement towards young people. For this reason, 3570 Team Italia will entrust the new Mahindra MGP3O 2016 to two riders at their first complete season in the Moto3 World Championship: Lorenzo Petrarca and Stefano Valtulini, both born in '97 and grown up in the projects of the Italian motorcycling such as CIV, MiniGP and Minimoto (CIV Junior).
In order to be ready for this first seasonal engagement, the riders of 3570 Team Italia took part in the last days in IRTA official Test at the Losail International Circuit, completing several laps, necessary to continue their improvement during the race weekend.
Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77)
"Losail represents my official debut as regular rider in Moto3 World Championship. I am very proud to have been selected for this project by 3570 Team Italia, I will give my best in order not to disappoint anyone and to reward the trust in me. My objective is to improve race after race, trying to make experience for the future. In the last tests, I was able to find a good feeling with the Mahindra; we will start again from this point to improve further in the weekend."
Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #43)
"It will be a unique feeling to race in Qatar and to make my official debut in a race weekend as 3570 Team Italia rider. During the three days of IRTA tests, we did a great job that allowed us to improve session after session. So we will work for carrying on this trend also during the Grand Prix, getting closer to our reference group. The objective with the team is to take advantage of the experience, so that we can improve during the season and show our potential."
Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)
"During the winter tests we focused mainly on the adaptation of the riders on the bike, trying to find a necessary starting point to reach, as soon as possible, our maximum potential. We know that the beginning won't be easy, but working hard we can reach the goals that we predetermined with our project partners."
SKY RACING TEAM VR46: THREE ITALIANS AT LOSAIL
After a good pre season, for Fenati, Migno and Bulega it is time to back on track for the first race of 2016
Losail, March 16th 2016 – It is time for the final preparations at the Sky Racing Team VR46 garage for back on track for the first GP of 2016 with three young riders at the start. At the Losail circuit in Qatar, green light for Romano Fenati, Andrea Migno and Nicolò Bulega on their KTM. After the positive results in the last IRTA tests, the young Italian Moto3 talents are ready for achieving their goals right from the first race.
Fenati aims to fight with the fastest since the first free practices. After the excellent performances in Jerez and Doha is confident for the race. For Migno, who has a good overall feelings with the bike, the goal is to be close to the Top15. After the wild card in Valencia of the last November, is ready for making his debut in Moto3 Bulega. The young Italian rider, who impressed during the pre-season, can not wait to prove his value on the track.
But first, the trio of the Sky Racing Team VR46, with Valentino Rossi, Xavi Hernandez and the other riders of the VR46 Riders Academy, will be engaged in a football match at the Aspire Dome in Doha tomorrow at 12am – local time.
Length: 5.4 km
Left turns: 6
Right turns: 10
Longest straight: 1068 m
Race laps: 18
Race distance: 96.8 km
2015 Moto3 Podium: Aliex Masbou, Enea Bastianini, Danny Kent
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
Finally comes the time to get back on track. We did a great job during the testing and we are at 80% of the bike development. Romano is motivated to back on track with his KTM for fighting till the last corner for the top positions. Andrea, who usually struggles during the pre-season, arrives at the first race most consistent than the last year. Nicolò has proven to be really fast here in Qatar where he rode for the first time. We have to stay focused.
ROMANO FENATI - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
After a pre-season so full of tests and results, finally it is time to back on track for the first race of the season. The feeling with the bike is good, I found a good basic set-up to adapt to the most of the tracks and I'm sure we can fight with the strongest from the first sessions. As always, the debut in Qatar has a special taste.
ANDREA MIGNO - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
As any other rider I’m looking forward to back on track. I start my second season with the Sky Racing Team VR46, with more experience and with a good preparation thank to my team. They are so motivated to do a great job.
NICOLÒ BULEGA - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
And finally the time has come: my debut in the World Championship. I'm really motivated and will be an unique emotion riding under the Losail lights. I will give my best to repeat the good things done in the recent tests. The points are my goals in this first race. I have never raced on the most of the tracks of the championship and I have a lot to learn.
It all starts in Qatar
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder start Moto3 World Championship season at Losail this weekend.
03/16/2016 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar
The 2016 Moto3 World Championship season starts this weekend in Qatar, with Red Bull KTM Ajo set to play a starring role in the campaign. Running Brad Binder and Bo Bendsneyder as their riders for the year, the Finnish structure is once again one of the title favourites. Following a three-day test at the Losail International Circuit last week, the pair reach the first round of the year well prepared.
The Qatari track is not one of Brad Binder’s favourite tracks, but the South African hopes to change his fortunes this weekend. Last year, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took his best result at Losal with a Top 10 finish, but in 2016 he is hungry for more and has increased confidence with his bike.
For the current champion of the Red Bull Rookies Cup, Bo Bendsneyder, this will be a week to remember as he makes his debut in MotoGP. After riding in Qatar for the first time in the test last week, in which he placed in the Top 10 in several sessions, the Dutchman will be soaking up the occasion on Sunday and aiming to enjoy the weekend with the best possible result.
As well as being the only GP held at night, the Qatar round is also the only one held over four days. Thursday sees two free practices for the Moto3 riders, who have another session on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the race itself on Sunday. The Red Bull KTM Ajo pair will kick off the season at 6pm local time on race day.
41 BRAD BINDER
"I come into the first round of the year very comfortable and confident on my KTM, because for the last three days of testing we worked very hard and the results were very positive. I think we have a good pace, not only with qualifying tyres but also with race rubber. With this feeling, I am very much looking forward to Sunday.
In previous years I have not had great experiences at this track, but this year everything is different. I am stronger and I feel much better with the bike. I have to stay relaxed, ignore the pressure and remember that this will be a long season -and this weekend is only the beginning. We'll see how it goes, but we come here prepared."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"The feeling I have a day out from my debut in the Moto3 World Championship is amazing. I can’t wait to ride the KTM and to get to Sunday's race. This will be my first race and I'm really excited. After three days of testing last weekend, I can say that the Losail circuit is one that I like. I'm happy with how things went and with the setup experiments we did. However, we must continue to improve in practice. We'll see how it goes at this first GP, and we will work hard to achieve the best possible result."
Johann Zarco set for title defence
Ajo Motorsport rider will begin fight to become first two-time Moto2 World Champion this weekend in Qatar.
03/16/2016 - Losail International Circuit, Qatar
For the tenth time, the Losail International Circuit will host the opening round of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend. The only round of the series to take place at night, the Qatar GP will begin on Thursday with the first free practice sessions. In the Moto2 class, Johann Zarco will begin the defence of the title he won so authoritatively last season. The fight will not be easy, with the competition hotter than ever.
The podium at the Losail International Circuit is one of the few that Johann Zarco has not stepped onto in the World Championship to date. Last year he was off the rostrum at only four circuits, and this weekend’s venue was one of them. Only a mechanical failure prevented him from taking his first victory, however, the Ajo Motorsport rider arrives at the first event of the year happy with the pace he set in testing last week. He is a clear candidate to take the victory –the tenth of his Grand Prix career.
As usual at the season opener, the Grand Prix weekend is extended to run from Thursday until Sunday. The Moto2 class will have two free practice sessions on Thursday, another on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and the race itself on Sunday at 7:20pm local time.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"I am very happy that the time has come to officially start the season and enjoy the first GP. In addition, we are more prepared after the three day test we did here. It was very important, but especially for us as in Jerez things did not go as well as we had wanted. We are beginning to find the same feeling on the bike as last year, so the progress is good.
The Losail circuit is a very nice, fast one, unlike any other. Although it might not seem like it, I have good memories of last year, because we were very strong all weekend and only a mechanical failure prevented us from winning. The goal for this Sunday should be nothing less than a finish in the top three and to fight for the victory."
WAIT IS OVER FOR BASTIANINI AND DI GIANNANTONIO AS FLOODLIGHTS BECKON AT LOSAIL
The wait is finally over: the 2016 Moto3 World Championship kicks off this weekend at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racers Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio are ready to race in the season opener, which promises to be hard fought according to the results of winter testing.
Enea Bastianini, who finished second last year, is starting the season with a lot of confidence, conscious of having done good winter tests: the 18-year-old rider from Rimini ended the Jerez official test very close to the top, then in Qatar he continued to work well on the set up of his Honda NSF250RW machine to prepare the race weekend.
For his teammate, Fabio Di Giannantonio, the Grand Prix of Qatar represents the debut in the World Championship: the 17-year-old rookie from Rome embarked on a good growth path during testing and the stated objective for these first races is to continue to learn, in order to get closer to the fastest during the season.
The 18-lap race will start on Sunday at 6.00 pm local time, 4.00 pm CET.
“During the recent tests conducted here at Losail many riders were very fast: we will therefore have to deal with tough rivals and certainly it won’t be easy to stay on top. Nevertheless we are feeling comfortable and we feel ready: we have found different set-up solutions that work well and even if we missed the fast lap during final test, we are happy with the race pace. I feel that we have all it takes to be in the game, now we only wait to start, to see how it goes”.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO
“Although the target of every rider is to win, I’m aware of being only at the beginning, so I will face my first season taking my feet on the ground: watching the recent test results, to stay in the top 20 could be a realistic goal for my first race, although I’d like be in the top 15. However, the most important thing will still try to learn as much as possible, taking full advantage of the experience of the team and my, in order to grow race after race”.
“In the final test we have done here in Losail, Bastianini worked very well with the team so he’s confident ahead of the first Grand Prix. Although he missed the fast lap, I’m convinced that Enea will be in the game at the right time. In a few days we will start to get things serious and we know we have all it takes to fight with our rivals, who are still very strong. Di Giannantonio did some good winter testing, especially in the last day of testing in Qatar put on display a nice rhythm making good progress. Fabio is learning, but it takes time and it’s normal: we have built around him a very experienced team to accompany him on this path of growth”.
LOWES FIRED UP TO RACE IN QATAR AFTER LEADING FINAL TEST
The Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 and Sam Lowes are ready to fight this weekend in the first round of the 2016 Moto2 World Championship, the Grand Prix of Qatar which will be held at night, under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit.
The 25-year-old British rider starts the season after putting on display an excellent winter training: in both official pre-season tests, carried out in early March at Jerez and only a few days ago at Losail, Lowes has always been fast and consistent, showing a good race pace and resulting the fastest at the end of the final test in Qatar.
Since his arrival Sam has established an excellent relationship with the whole team, rapidly reaching a good feeling aboard his Kalex machine and working well on the set up of the bike and with the Ohlins suspension. All this led him to get a great consistency of performance, just what it takes to fight at the top in an hard fought category like Moto2 is.
The Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Team thus is starting the new season with a lot of confidence, conscious that is possible to fight for the top positions. The 20-lap race will start on Sunday at 7:20 pm local time, 5:20 pm CET.
“I’m really proud of my team and our partners Ohlins and Kalex: we have done a great job, not only at Qatar test, but also in Jerez, testing many parts. I’m feeling good and ready for the first race weekend: we have shown good pace so far and we will keep working during free practice at the GP to improve further. I can't wait to start the season!”.
“In recent tests conducted on this track Lowes and the team did a fantastic job: we have been fast over one lap but also and especially in terms of race pace, something on which the team focused during all winter testing. Lowes is very determined and has a great desire to start the season: finally the wait is over and we cannot wait to get on track. I wish to thank all the guys for the great effort that they are putting, in addition to Kalex, Ohlins and all the partners who believe in this project, allowing us to give Sam a very competitive bike. Now we just need to stay calm and keep working well: the race, you know, it’s always a story in itself, but we are ready and aware that we have a great chance to do great things”.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 ready to get 2016 season underway
Following only the briefest of breaks upon wrapping up the final preseason test, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet face the Qatar Grand Prix confident and motivated.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 will be back in action on the evening of Thursday, March 17th, to contest the first Free Practice sessions for the Qatar Grand Prix. The opening session for the Moto3 class’ season opener takes place at 6pm local time, in preparation for what is the only night race on the calendar. After conducting three days of testing at the Losail International Circuit, Navarro and Canet have recent experience of the track and are keen to get the 2016 season underway.
Both riders completed their planned workload for the test, with positive results. Navarro bested the circuit record by 0.392s, whilst teammate Aron Canet -despite having not been able to undertake a full preseason because of an injured left leg- had a good feeling and a strong pace on his Honda NSF250RW. Canet will be participating in his first World Championship season in 2016.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
"We go into the opening Grand Prix in Qatar with a very good base"
"I think we have a very good base coming into the first Grand Prix of the season in Qatar, because we have had a very good preseason. We were strong and amongst the top riders in Valencia, Jerez and Qatar, but I think the most important thing that we can take away from testing is that we have gathered all the data we wanted and we have drawn good conclusions from our workplan. That means we have both improved my riding style and also found a good setup to make the bike more effective. I ran a very good pace riding alone on the last day of the test here in Qatar, so I am facing the first round of the season eager and very motivated."
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
"This is a dream come true and I will give everything at every Grand Prix"
"I can’t wait to get back onboard my bike, and my desire has only increased with the good feeling I had in preseason testing. Finishing in the Top 10 in the final test here in Qatar, combined with the great working atmosphere that has been generated within the team, motivates me to try to get the best result possible at my debut Grand Prix. This is a dream come true and I will give everything at every Grand Prix."
Dunlop Ready To Break More Records In 2016
In just over two weeks the 2016 FIM Moto2™ and Moto3™ World Championships get underway in Qatar, for the first of 18 rounds on some of the world’s most demanding race tracks. It fell to the two official IRTA tests in Jerez and Losail, to see how lap times compare and offer first insight into whether 2016 will see more new records than the 19 lap records broken across both championships last season.
2016 Tyre Specifications
The 2016 specification tyres remain similar to last season but Moto3 sees the introduction of H3 for the rears, a tyre closer to ‘medium’ in characteristics than 2015’s H2. The ‘H3’ offers at least the same performance, but with increased durability.
Soft ’1’ (black ’Dunlop’ on yellow) Front & Rear
Medium ’2’ (black on silver) Front & Rear
Hard ’3’ (yellow on black) Front & Rear
Hard ’4’ (white on black) Rear only
Special Hard ‘S1’ Rear only
Special Hard ‘S2’ Rear only
Soft ‘S’/’S1’ (black on yellow) Front & Rear
Medium ‘M’/’M1’ (black on silver) Front & Rear
Hard ’H3’ (yellow on black) Rear
Tracks: New For 2016
A brand new track greets the riders this year; the home of the Austrian F1 Grand Prix. Dunlop has plenty of experience of racing at the Red Bull Ring, but the venue will be new for Moto2 and Moto3 for round 10 on 14 August. The Malaysian Sepang track, round 17 on 30 October, is being resurfaced following the MotoGP tests in February, where the more abrasive surface will offer a new challenge for the riders and teams.
Dunlop’s #ForeverForward Award which was recently confirmed to continue in 2016, will again reward the determination of riders in both Moto2 and Moto3 this season. A league table showing the biggest improvement from start to finish positions saw last year’s winner Philipp Oettl claim a staggering 132 places in Moto3, and take the Dunlop Trophy.
Philipp Oettl claimed the highest number of position gains in a single race while moving from 34th on the grid to a well-earned third place in Indianapolis
Philipp Oettl’s combined position gains from just three races; Austin, Le Mans and Indianapolis, 73 altogether, was higher than the tally of over 80 riders for a full season
Jesko Raffin was Moto2’s highest scorer making 100 position gains during the season
Round 1: Qatar 20 March 2016
This year in response to rider feedback Moto2 riders will have the option of the slightly firmer H4, offering similar performance but increased durability compared to the alternative H3 favoured in 2015
Qatar’s Losail track saw the first of 2015 Moto2’s ten lap records broken last year
Johann Zarco powered his way to a 1’59.918 second record lap
Sam Lowes set a new pole record of 1’59.423 in qualifying
The test on 10 & 11 March, will for the first time in seven years include day time running for the Dunlop riders
Qatar Track Facts:
Left Turns: 6
Right Turns: 10
Energy level: mid/high
Left:right bias 40%/60%
Qatar 2015 Highlights
- Sam Lowes set a new Moto2 pole record in qualifying 1’59.423
- Johann Zarco set a new Moto2 lap record, 1’59.918
- Extremely close Moto3 race, one second covered the first 18 riders
- Enea Bastianini made up 19 places in Moto3 #ForeverForward
- Qatar’s Losail track saw the first of Moto2’s ten lap records set last year