Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello:
Podium joy for Mahindra in Italian thriller
Mugello, 22 May 2016:
Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia took a third podium finish in the sixth race of the 2016 season, finishing only seven hundredths of a second from a first race win after 20 breath-taking laps in today’s thrilling Italian GP.
Run at the magnificent Mugello circuit in a scenic mountainous setting outside Florence, the race was an epically close battle. Every lap looked like the first, as a pack of 20 or more riders ran into the first corner four or five abreast. Shoving, scraping and scrapping, the order changed constantly in a spectacular display of world class racing for the capacity crowd.
Second Aspar Mahindra rider Jorge Martin was part of the pack, running as high as eighth place several times, but crossing the line 14th. He was still just two seconds away from the winner in the thick of the brawl: the first 21 finishers were within five seconds of winner Brad Binder (KTM).
Mahindra has a perfect 2016 points record; and Bagnaia’s third time in third place lifted him to fifth overall in the points.
The 19-year-old Italian had set the second-fastest qualifying time, only to be bumped back to the third row for straying minutely over the track limits. Undaunted, he finished the first lap in fifth place and played a leading role in the scrabbling pack for the full race distance.
The circuit’s long finishing straight meant that slipstreaming was crucial. Robbed of a podium last year by three thousandths of a second, Bagnaia played his cards better this time to cross the line three hundredths of a second behind second-place Fabio Di Giannantonio and six thousandths of a second ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (both Honda). Fifth-placed Fabio Quartararo (KTM) was another two thousandths of a second behind.
The ever-improving Mahindra MGP30 racer, made by the only Indian constructor in the World Championship, is at its strongest at circuits where roadholding and handling are more important than acceleration and top speed.
The next race, in two weeks, is at a similarly fast circuit in Catalunya, where high-speed changes of direction should again play into the hands of the MGP3O riders.
PECCO BAGNAIA – 3rd Place
“A good weekend for me and the team – I think my best in the World Championship so far. We’ve been consistently in the top five, and finishing third at Mugello is amazing. I pushed to the limit in the last lap to try to close the gap to Brad, and maybe if Quartararo had been further away from me I could have fought for the win. But third is a good result, and I am happy with my third podium this year. It was an amazingly close race, and you could go from first to eighth in one lap – which is not easy. It’s difficult to stay calm with bikes all around you. I tried to stay at the head of the group on every lap, but I went wide at the first corner with a few laps to go. I managed to go fast, overtake a bunch of riders, and finish on the podium. Hopefully we can continue with the work we’ve been doing here and will do at tomorrow’s test, and continue to fight at the front.”
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO Mahindra Racing
“An incredible race, and once again it showed that Pecco Bagnaia and the Mahindra MGP3O are a fantastic combination. Our third podium this year matches our best record from previous seasons, just one third of the way into the year. Results like this reinforce our motivation to keep pushing the boundaries, and the conviction that we can take the step up from the third to the top step of the podium. Special thanks to our engineering team, who have worked tirelessly over the last three weeks to bring updates to this race – something made possible because our development facility in Italy is now almost firing on all cylinders.”
Estrella Galicia 0,0 end Italian GP emptyhanded
Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet crash out of Italian GP when fighting for a podium finish.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet both crashed out of the Italian GP at Mugello when battling in a large group of riders. The Moto3 race was a typically tight affair, with the field bunched together and everyone looking for slipstreams on the long start/finish straight.
On the opening lap, Navarro tried to pull away from the group. After exchanging several passes with his rivals, he appeared to be in with a chance of a podium position until, 8 laps from the end, his front wheel was hit by Juanfran Guevara at Turn 15. The Spaniard could not save a crash, and his Italian GP came to a premature end.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 teammate, Aron Canet, was also fighting in the leading pack throughout the race. The rookie had made his way up to third position with 3 laps to go, fighting with more experienced rivals in his quest for a rostrum finish. On the last lap, looking for a slipstream, Canet made a mistake at the same corner as Navarro; his bike highsided him and he was unable to take the chequered flag.
Both riders escaped unscathed from the crashes and are fit for Monday’s test at the Italian track.
"The positive thing from today is that both riders are unhurt and ready to continue fighting"
"The outcome of today's race was a shame after the weekend we had enjoyed. Jorge Navarro made a good start was very strong -even leading the race on the early laps. He had already demonstrated during practice that he had a good pace when riding by himself, and he could have fought for the podium and even for the victory. The incident with Juanfran Guevara was a shame because it left us without points, and our main rival has established a valuable advantage. However, the next race is at a circuit we know well and there is still a long way to go this season.
The crash for Aron Canet was the downer of this weekend. Again he showed his talent by fighting in the leading group and occupying a podium place, but a mistake at turn 15 on the last lap prevented him from finishing.
The positive thing from today is that both riders are unhurt and ready to continue fighting at the Catalan GP.”
"We have to use the desire to cut the gap with the leader as motivation"
"I started fairly well today, and then I have been well positioned in the leading group. I knew that today was going to be a long race and that we would have to bide our time, waiting to give everything on the final laps. There were a lot of us in the leading group and there were riders who are not usually so high up the order. With eight laps to go, I came up to the last corner, where all the riders brake very early to try not to get onto the straight in the lead. I could see that there was no gap for me, so I tried to go around the outside –knowing that they would have the best line for exiting the corner. I tried to keep my position, but Juanfran Guevara touched my front wheel, I lost control of the bike and I couldn’t avoid going to ground. In addition, Brad Binder won again today and now leads the standings by 49 points. We have to use the desire to cut this gap as motivation. It is in difficult times that you have to push even harder. "
"I was looking to catch a slipstream and get into the fight for the podium, but it did not work out well"
"At first I struggled a bit, but we knew that this first race at Mugello was going to be difficult. As I picked up the pace, I saw that I could stay in the top twelve and, on the last three laps, I decided to push to try to get into the top five. Once there, I could have used a slipstream to try to finish on the podium. Everything was going pretty well, but unfortunately on the last corner I had a highside because I opened the throttle prematurely. I was looking to get a slipstream and get into the fight for the podium, but it did not work out well and I ended up crashing out."
Brad Binder takes 3rd win at Mugello to advance in the Moto3 World Championship
6th Rd. Moto3 2016 – Autodromo del Mugello (ITA)
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder rode a masterly tactical race on Sunday at Italy’s Mugello circuit to take his third consecutive Moto3 victory and advance 45 points in the world championship standings. Second place went to Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio and Francesco Bagnaia was third.
Brad Binder: “Today’s race was crazy. I was in first, then 10th then eighth. It was so difficult to plan, but I just made sure that in the last lap I was quite far back in the group so I could at least arrive in the top three at the first corner. I am completely stoked. It was so good to get another win, three in a row. Today was a tough race and there was a lot of fighting, and to pull it off was great. I cannot thank my team enough. They gave me the perfect gearbox and my set-up was incredible. I could never have done it without them.”
In a race that was brutal right from the start and where the top 20 riders were only separated by just over two seconds, the South African’s planning was near perfect. It was not only one of the hardest fought so far this season; it was also one of the most thrilling and had the massive crowd at the Italian circuit on their feet. Binder’s teammate and Moto3 rookie, the Dutch rider Bo Bendsneyder finished in 18th place but was still only 2.577 seconds off the winning pace.
Prior to the race, the Italian media had billed the encounter as a battle between Binder and “the Roman Legions” and indeed Italian riders took places 2-4. KTM rider and French talent Fabio Quartararo was fifth across the line, and there were a total of six riders on the KTM RC250 GP machine in the top ten.
Perhaps the unluckiest of the potential winners were two of Binder’s closest rivals in the championship points. Jorge Navaro of Spain crashed out in the second half of the race and Romano Fenati retired with a technical issue. This allowed Binder to advance to a 45-point lead in the championship and he has now won three of the six rounds so far held.
Binder leaves the Italian circuit with an enviable record for the current season. He took a second in Qatar, and finished third in Argentina and at the Circuit of the Americas to advance to the top step in Jerez, Le Mans and now Mugello.
TOP10 FOR THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 AT MUGELLO
Bulega closed eighth and Migno tenth. Started from the pole, Fenati was forced to retire due to a technical problem during the battle for the top positions
Mugello (Italy), May 22ND, 2016 - It closed with the eighth and the tenth place of Nicolò Bulega and Andrea Migno the weekend of the Italian Grand Prix for the Sky Racing Team VR46. Unfortunately, Romano Fenati was forced to retire for technical problems. After the incredible double front row of yesterday, the young Italian talents battled in the leading group for more than half of the race, but they were unable to reach the podium.
Bulega, started from the seventh box of the grid, struggled to find the right pace in the first laps, but he reached the front group six laps to go. Two laps to the end he was locked in the traffic and he was not able to fight for the top positions. Tough race for Migno: after a great start, he had a problem with the livery and he was tenth under the checkered flag.
At ninth lap, Fenati, the protagonist of the race till that point, was forced to retire due to a technical problem to the transmission.
The weekend at Mugello is not ended for the Sky Racing Team VR46: tomorrow all the three riders will be on the Tuscan track for a day of testing.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
It was not the race we expected, but this is motorcycling. We did a great job all the weekend with two riders in the front row, we were fighting with the fastest in the race, but the epilogue is not the one expected. Now it is important to back at work for the next Grand Prix and stay focused. Tomorrow is scheduled a day of testing here.
ROMANO FENATI - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
It is a real pitty for the race: I was fighting with the fastest when I had a problem to the trasmission and I was forced to retire. I'm really sorry, I started from the pole, in front of the home crowd and I imaged a different end. Overall we did a great job and we have to continue on this way to the next GP.
ANDREA MIGNO - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
I closed the Italian Grand Prix in tenth position after a tough race. I had a good start, I was with the fastest but after the first half of the race, in a contact in the group, I broke the livery and from that moment I was not able to take advantage of the aerodynamics, especially in the long straights. It is a pity: I was fighting for the podium, after an incredible qualifying.
NICOLÒ BULEGA - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
It was a difficult race: I had a bad start, but I reached the front group at half race. A few laps from the end I was in first position, fighting for the podium, but I was locked in traffic. I was with Ono, Martin and Guevara and I was unable to achieve the leading group just a few corners from the finishing line.
Brad Binder takes third straight win
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider extends series lead with the team's third win in the last 4 visits to Mugello. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder finishes in eighteenth position.
05/22/2016 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
Brad Binder showed excellent racecraft in a difficult, exciting Italian GP, taking his third consecutive win. The Moto3 race at Mugello saw a group of 21 riders finishing within less than 5 seconds of each other, and it was Binder who judged it best. The South African read the slipstream on the home straight to perfection, claiming his first podium at Mugello with his latest victory. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder just missed out on the points, finishing 18th.
Starting from the second row, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was permanently at the head of a large group. Binder employed a great strategy and on the last lap took the lead, setting a pace that no one could match. Despite exiting the last corner in the lead, he prevented any rival from catching a tow and crossed the finish line first. A third straight win for the South African, it is the first time anyone from his country has achieved the feat since 1979. Bendsneyder managed to stay in the leading group and finished half a second off the points -illustrating the close nature of the Italian GP .
With this victory, Brad Binder extends his gap in the World Championship to 49 points. Bendsneyder is twenty-fifth with 2 points to his name.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It was another incredible race. Brad [Binder] demonstrated his mental strength again, and how he has improved over the winter and the start of the season. Mugello is always a very difficult circuit and there is always a large group at the front, but Brad remained strong. There have been riders who scraped and damaged his bike a little, but he was very brave and also very intelligent at the end. It is clear that the situation in the World Championship is very good, and this weekend we were lucky in that respect. It is always a pity when riders fighting for the title crash, but it is too early to think about these things. We must take things race by race and Brad has to enjoy himself on the bike -as he has done so far.
I am very happy with Bo [Bendsneyder]’s race, because it is the first time that he has been so close to the top positions. That is very good for his learning. Now we have to analyse how the race went, and I'm sure he will continue to learn things as he does every day. After this race he has much more desire, because he has seen that it is possible to be among the top positions."
41 BRAD BINDER
"Today's race was absolutely crazy, because we were exchanging positions all the time and it was very difficult to plan a strategy. It was even dangerous at times, when we had so many riders at the end of the straight taking advantage of slipstreams. On the last lap I saw that I could get to the front of the group and reach the leader, and so I did that. It's fantastic to win again, and extend my run to three in a row.
I cannot thank my team enough; they gave me the best bike possible today. This weekend was not easy, but with the experience of the team, who have won here three times in the last four years, we had an excellent bike for the race. We are still only six races into the season, so it’s not time to look at the standings just yet."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"It was a difficult race, because at the beginning I lost some positions. We need to work on the early part of the race -the first three or four laps. After that, the race became tough. I overtook some riders but then they got back past me on the straight, and it was difficult to catch a slipstream from the back of the group. I'll take the positive from this race, which is that we were only 2.5 seconds off the winner. Whilst that's good, we wanted a better result. Tomorrow we will test here and we will do some race simulations, pushing especially on the first few laps."
Impressive comeback for the RBA Racing riders at Mugello, Guevara finishes in the top-10
Today the circuit of Mugello was the venue of the sixth race of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship.
The Moto3 class put in a great show for the spectators, packed with action and adrenaline: the RBA Racing riders stood out with a great performance and comeback.
Guevara started from the 10th row and came back lap after lap, thanks to his good pace. Juanfran got close to the leading group and joined them in the battle for the top-10, showing up in the third position in the second half of the race. The Spaniard eventually crossed the finishing line ninth, achieving a great result. On top of that, he set the fastest lap in the race today, with the time of 1’58.009.
Just like his teammate, Rodrigo managed to finish the race within the points: despite starting from the 24th placement, Gabriel moved up a few positions quickly in the first phases of the race. The Argentinian fought to get closer and closer to the first group, setting consistent times and finally finishing thirteenth: in this way he grabs 3 points for the general classification and he confirms his progression.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 9th
“The race today went quite well. This morning in the warm-up we focused to achieve a good pace on our own and we did it: we went back to the setting from FP3 and that gave me confidence. In the race the situation was complicated, because we had to start from the 29th spot. On the first lap I started feeling strong, the front group was very big and they were quite slow. I took the chance to push as much as I could, trying to save some tyres and not to go over the limit. We ended up in third position for some moments, which is great because it means we came back 26 positions. In the final part I had to handle the situation as best as I could, despite some clashes with other riders. It was important also to see how the other guys were handling the final phases, in order to attack and comeback on the last lap. It was tough, but we scored a position in the top-10 for the first time this year. We sum up some points and we leave Mugello with a good result.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 13th
”Today the warm up didn’t really work out well, just when I got out a rider made me crash. In any case my mechanics did a great job, they fixed the bike and it felt as good as in the free practices. Despite the grid position and the beginning of the day, we stayed calm because we knew we had a good pace, as we proved in FP3. I knew it was important to start well, in order to go with the front group: I had the rhythm to follow them, but the problem was to reach them. In the first six laps I pushed as much as possible, fighting with many riders and I overtook quite a few guys. In the end I reached the first group, but at that stage I had worn out the tyres. I checked where I was stronger and attacked on the last laps. In the end we managed to finish within the points. I think this was a very positive race because after the hard work last year we proved that we are making progress. Now we need to make another step. Compared to Jerez, here we finished only 1.933 seconds off the first guy, and this is a great result. Now we’ll work hard for the Montmeló GP, in order to keep improving.”
Morbidelli scores top ten finish in frantic Mugello dash
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli has finished eighth in his home race at Mugello in near perfect warm and sunny conditions.
The Italian Grand Prix was run over a frantic ten-lap dash after the first start was red flagged to repair a damaged section of airfence in the interest of safety.
The original 21-lap distance was shortened to ten laps with Morbidelli starting from 12th and teammate Álex Márquez from 30th on the revised grid. Márquez had crashed at the turn three chicane with Luca Marini in first race but rejoined before the red flag.
Cheered by his home fans Morbidelli rode an inspired opening three laps of the new race to settle in seventh and fight a long battle with Dominique Aegerter.
A fast finishing Álex Rins charged into seventh on the final lap leaving Morbidelli to secure eighth.
It was roller coaster day for Márquez who recovered from being in the gravel in the cancelled first race to overtake more than dozen riders to finish a brave 16th, just one position out of a point scoring finish.
A capacity crowd jammed the hillsides overlooking the Tuscan circuit to see Johann Zarco win the sixth round of the Moto2 World Championship.
Franco Morbidelli: 8th
“The restart was difficult and some added stress at my home race. And then from twelfth with just ten laps I tried to overtake as many riders as possible in the opening laps but in the end eighth was the best result possible. I know I need to improve and this position is not where I want to be but the team will keep working hard to make a step forward."
Álex Márquez: 16th
“At the first start I decided to stay calm in the traffic but then in the chicane I tried to pass Marini and he closed the door, it is not normal for a rider to cut the gas at this point. The second race was better even though I started so far back. I passed a lot of riders but then I felt some vibration at the rear of the bike and perhaps this was from the crash in the first part. The important thing was to finish the race after picking up from the crash. Overall the general feeling from this weekend is positive and we still believe in our potential going to the next race, my home GP in Barcelona."
Loi just outside the points in crazy race
Up until the last corner of the 20 laps Moto3 race anything was possible. The Italian Grand Prix at the stunning Mugello circuit was as spectacular and thrilling a race can be. In that breath-taking show Livio Loi just missed out on finishing in the points by three tenths of a second.
The race was this close any one in the group of no less than 21 riders had a chance. Positions changed all the time, so quickly it was hard to keep up with. One who was in the lead in the first corner could have dropped to fifteenth halfway through and vice versa. To give an example: Lorenzo Dalla Porta, who finished in fifteenth, just ahead of Loi, was in podium position just three laps to the end and finished in only 2 seconds from race winner and championship leader Brad Binder, who had been racing in tenth place.
Right from the start the race was as crazy as could be. Livio Loi had a decent start, pushing his Honda to 17th from 22nd on the grid. There was no way the group would break along the long and twisty Mugello circuit, where slipstreaming is essential. There was nothing wrong with the pace of Loi, his best lap of 1.1.58,410 being faster than race winner Brad Binder and podium finisher Pecco Bagnaia.
The battle was fierce from start to finish. One second of inadvertence could be fatal. Loi kept on fighting for every meter, but so did the rest of the pack, making it even more spectacular. Loi went into the final lap in 17th, dropped back to 18th, moved back up to 17th, and finally ended up in 16th.
Livio Loi - 16 (+ 2,391)
“This was an incredible race. Very tough to fight in such a close group for all of the race. Yet I’m not satisfied. There could have been more in it, although it could have been worse as well. Looking at the final results I should have been in the top 10, but I’m not. I’m empty-handed and so I can’t be satisfied despite the fierce battle at the highest possible level. It’s been a hard weekend all the way. Everything should have been better, from the first practice to the finish of the race. Anyway, it is what it is and we keep on working for the next race to be there in the front group.”
Moto3 - 3570 Team Italia completes a difficult weekend
In Mugello Stefano Valtulini and Lorenzo Petrarca conclude respectively in 24th and 25th position.
In the 2016 edition of the Italian Grand Prix, realized in the Mugello Circuit, the riders of 3570 Team Italia completed a hard-fighting race in the third group. With Brad Binder (KTM) on top again, Stefano Valtulini and Lorenzo Petrarca concluded the race in 24th and 25th position.
Started from the 28th position in the grid, Stefano Valtulini could manage just fine in the third group, fighting with more experienced riders and remedying to a crash during the warm up.
25th position at the end of the race for Lorenzo Petrarca, able to honor with the best effort his home Grand Prix, mantaining a constant pace for the whole challenge.
Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #43) 24th
"Clearly I can't be satisfied of this result. The positive thing is the comparison with other riders in my group and the work realized during this weekend, which for sure will be useful for the next races."
Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77) 25th
"I am really disappointed because we had the opportunity to gain a better position, in line with our potential. I didn't make a good start, and the proof is that I immediately lost contact with the riders in front of me. From that moment I couldn't mantain a constant pace to conclude this weekend in a good position. We'll try to do well in Montmeló in two weeks."
Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)
"For sure it wasn't a good race. Lorenzo improved the pace he showed in the qualifying, but unfortunately he couldn't put into effect the potential he had in the third free practice. For Stefano the performance was influenced by the crash in the warm up, however he found a way to fight with other riders in the third group. We'll work incessantly to return to our level of competitiveness in two weeks in Catalonia."
Extraordinary comebacks for Quartararo & Mir at Mugello
The French rider was author to a remarkable comeback from 18th on the grid, Mir crossing the line in the top tenth as Locatelli suffers an unfortunate fate and retires.
Two riders in the top ten the reward collected by the Leopard Racing team after a hard-fought battle. In ideal weather conditions, Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir became authors of a splendid race characterised by their comebacks. For the Frenchman it is his best result since stepping onto the KTM, while the Spanish rider confirmed his qualities as a real fighter.
At the start Joan Mir was able to win two positions and found himself in the large group of 12 riders at the front. The young Leopard did not hold back and attacked at every change. After five laps the rookie began to lose contact with the first pack, passed by teammate Quartararo.
Quartararo’s rise was rapid and soon he found himself in the top ten. The rider from nice showed his great ability into the San Donato corner, passing a rider of riders in one move. In eight laps he had gone from 18th to first and was leading the Italian GP. The audience in the stands added to the heated battle as the group continued to suck in more and more riders.
Andrea Locatelli made an unfortunate early exit from the race after a bad start saw him down in 25th. He tried to recover but lost the front and ended his home race in the gravel. He fortunately reported no consequences from the fall and will be ready for the next round.
Five laps from the end Quartararo returned to the head of the pack with a knife between his teeth, doing all he could to stay in control. Quartararo and Mir continued to battle inside the top ten but knew it would all come down to the last corner and the straight. A thrilling last lap saw the French rider do all he could to take victory, lining himself up perfectly for the slipstream. But a number of other riders did the same and passed Quartararo, who still managed to take fifth place.
It was an incredible seventh place for Joan Mir who gave 100%, the young rookie taking his third top ten in six races, cementing him in eighth place in the championship standings with 34 points. His teammtes sit four points behind him, both Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Locatelli paired with 30 points in tenth place.
Tomorrow the team will stop at the Mugello circuit for a test day, ahead of the next race to be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in two weeks, the weekend of June 3 to 5 in 2016.
#20 Fabio Quartararo - 5th:
"It’s been a very positive day for us! The beginning of the race it costs me a lot, it was difficult in the first few corners, but then I started to climb positions, setting record times again and again. I managed to get the lead and I was in the lead for a few laps. I just want to say one thing: Thanks! To my team, because they did a great job and the bike was perfect; the sponsors have made this possible and especially thanks to my family that I've always been close to."
#36 Joan MIR - 7th:
"It was a very good race, because it was the first time this season that I have been able to fight with the leading group. I am very happy for this seventh place! I had some problems at the beginning, I could not make the most of the slipstream in the straight and I wanted to keep in the first group, avoid the fighting and any danger so I lost some positions, but towards the end I made a good recovery. I want to sincerely thank the team for the work he has done on the bike."
#55 Andrea Locatelli - nc:
"Immediately after the start two 'Angry' riders touched me, luckily there was a space to escape and I was able to get back on track; unfortunately the riders in front were already far away and without the tow it was hard to catch the group. Then, with 7 laps to go, at Turn 2 I closed the front and was unable to restart."
Johann Zarco returns to winning ways at Mugello
Ajo Motorsport rider takes second victory of the season in a chaotic race, restarted due to a red flag.
05/22/2016 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
Reigning Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco kept the coolest head at a chaotic Italian Grand Prix, overcoming the confusion of a race interrupted by a red flag to prevail in a fight that went down to the last lap. It was his second victory of the season, and his first at Mugello.
On the initial start, the Ajo Motorsport rider had struggled, ridding ninth at the end of the fourth lap. It was then that Race Direction ordered the race to be red flagged to repair an air-fence, damaged in a crash for another rider. In a 10-lap sprint from the restart, Zarco took a step up and rode amongst the frontrunners. He was part of the battle for first place, and made a pass on the final lap for his second win of 2016.
With this result, Johann Zarco lies fourth in the Moto2 World Championship with 81 points. On Monday he will remain at Mugello for a one-day test.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"Today was a bit special of a day after the red flag, but in the end it was even a little fun. The important thing is that both the team and the rider maintained their concentration, despite everything that happened. I'm happy about how the team and Johann [Zarco] behaved amidst such confusion. From Friday Johann has shown that he is strong here; yesterday was not an easy day, but in today's warmup we saw that we were going in the right direction. That meant his confidence returned for the race, where he again showed how strong he can be.
I want to send the Ajo Motorsport Team’s best wishes to Massimo [Branchini], our chief mechanic, who despite having to watch this race from his home this weekend, has been indispensable with his help. Thanks to all the team."
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"It’s been a good weekend. Despite starting from sixth, the team and I had a good feeling –we were just concerned as everyone in this class is fast. We worked on my adaptation to the bike throughout the weekend, pushing to see how I can get the most out of it, step by step. The first start was good, although I had some problems with the rear tyre and was sliding around.
I saw that I could get up to the front and fight for the podium when the red flag came out. I had the good fortune that three very good riders started from far back, and I took advantage of the fact that there were only 10 laps to push. The fight with Baldassarri was incredible and he rode very well. I was aggressive and I wanted to keep my position on the last corners, because I knew I could win if I got onto the straight first. These 25 points are just what I needed to get back into the fight for the championship."
Oliveira & Kent reach their objective with points
The two teammates challenged each other till the finish line, separated by just 27 thousands after a sprint race in Moto2.
It was a shortened intermediate class race at the 2016 Italian Grand Prix due to red flag on the fourth lap. The quick start procedure was used for the first time and the race distance reduced to ten laps. The leading five immediately ran off to challenge for victory while a sizeable second group remained together. On the threshold of the top ten were the two Leopard Racing team riders.
Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira battled with the front runners of the class like Rins and Nakagami. Three laps from the end the Portuguese rider overtook his teammate, but Kent fought back immediately. The Moto3 World Champion battled with the veteran Corsi with Oliveira waiting and ready to take advantage.
The two riders of the Leopard Racing team crossed the finish line in 13th and 14th place, both in the points. Miguel Oliveira and Danny Kent now have 15 and 12 points respectively in the standings, their performance bodes well for the next race in Montmello in Barcelona in just two weeks time.
The team will remain in Mugello on Monday for the first official in-season test.
#44 Miguel Oliveira - 13th:
“Today was a very strange race. I think that finishing in the points is a very positive result: we take all the good things we did to Barcelona. But first, tomorrow, we will stay here at Mugello for a day of testing and we hope for good weather to allow us to improve the bike."
#52 Danny Kent - 14th:
“It was a consistent weekend, we’ve consistently been a lot closer the front group. I’m much happier with the bike and I want to say a big thank you to the team who worked hard. We’ve proven we can be closer to the front. It was a good race and even though we finished 14th we were in the group fighting for seventh. Sadly in the race the wind changed a little and I was hitting the limiter a lot and I couldn’t pass them down the straight.”
Sensational second place at Mugello for Lorenzo Baldassarri
After an epic battle, Lorenzo Baldassarri closed the Italian Grand Prix in second place celebrating in a fantastic way his home Grand Prix and the special livery, specially designed for the occasion.
In a race conditioned by three restarts, the Italian kept his cool from start to finish staying in the lead for most of the race. In the last laps, "Balda" fought hard with Zarco and finally crossed the line in second place by few milliseconds.
Unlucky race for Luca Marini who, after losing some positions at the start, was recovering towards the Top 10 when he found himself on the ground because of a contact. The rider from Pesaro was not able to return to the garage to rejoin the grid after the red flag.
"It’s an unbelievable achievement; I was focused from start to finish, not easy in a race with all these restarts. Getting podium in front of the home crowd with a special livery, I must be dreaming. We battled with Zarco and I do not know how many times we overtook each other the last few laps, I knew to have a bit more pace but came back to me everytime. I would like to thank everyone: the team, Giovanni and the V46 Riders Academy. After LeMans and Jerez misfortune, here we finally brought home what we deserved. It’s amazing!”.
"Too bad to end a race like this. I just felt a touch from behind and found myself in the grass. I had bad luck also because I could have started again after the red flag, but the bike was too damaged. We did a great job on what is one of my favorite circuits. We continue our learning process step by step. See you soon in Catalunya".
"How nice to celebrate the home race with a second place, Lorenzo was amazing he did an excellent race but I would also would like point that Luca showed his potential but was unlucky this time. I would like to thank the riders, the team, the VR46 Riders Academy and investors who are really supporting us a lot continue to grow this year".
STUNNING FIRST PODIUM FOR DI GIANNANTONIO, SECOND AT MUGELLO. BASTIANINI BATTLES TO 12th
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racer Fabio Di Giannantonio rounded off a memorable weekend with a stunning ride to his first Moto3 podium finish in today’s Italian Grand Prix at the Mugello circuit. The 17-year-old rookie from Rome therefore claimed his first astonishing podium finish on home turf, at his seventh Grand Prix start.
Di Giannantonio rode a determined race, battling at every lap with the other riders in the leadign group: sixth on lap five, “Diggia” also took temporarily the lead during the sixth and tenth lap. On the final lap Fabio was again very strong in the crucial braking at first corner, thus remaining in the first positions, and he was very good at keeping the fourth position entering the long finish straight, ahead of the final sprint in which he snatched a deserved second place, just 0.038 seconds behind the winner, South African Brad Binder.
Di Giannantonio’s team mate, Enea Bastianini, returning after the right wrist fracture that forced him to stay in the pits in the last French Grand Prix at Le Mans, crossed the line in twelfth position. The 18-year-old rider from Rimini fought with determination in the leading group, but he was not able to be as strong as he wanted in the crucial braking point down the straight.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (2nd)
“I still can hardly believe it! Racing in the World Championship has always been a dream, so getting my first podium here in Mugello, in my home race, is something incredible! It was a great race, in which we battled right from the start: I had a pretty good start, then when I was in the leading group I tried to stay calm for a few laps. At a certain point, however, I recovered some positions and I said to myself that I could also make one lap in front of everyone, so at the braking of the first corner I took the lead. Since then it has been a constant battle, in fact I also have some signs on my leathers, but it was very funny! Because of the slipstreams we were coming very fast at the end of the straight and consequently it was not easy to stop the bike entering the first corner; in the last lap I went a bit wide, nevertheless I was able not to lose too much ground. In the end, before the last corner, I gave my best to maintain the fourth position before the final straight, because I knew it would be a good position for the sprint. I did it and, taking a fantastic second place. What a day!”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (12th)
“It was a very close and hard race: unfortunately I struggled to be fast down the straight and as a result I couldn’t be so strong on the braking at the first corner to pass other riders. Anyway, in the second part of the race I was able to set a good pace and thanks to a good slipstream I arrived in a good position at the braking point for the first corner, passing several riders. In the final laps we were still all very close, but I continued to struggle under braking and I was unable to gain other positions. Too bad, because my arm was not hurting too much and it has not particularly affected my riding. We need to try to solve these problems to try to be faster in the race: we always make a good qualifying because I can be fast when I ride alone on the track, but when I fight in a group, the other riders pass me under braking and as a result I can’t take the ideal line. We will try to make the most of tomorrow’s test here”.
“The race was hard-fought and amazing! Fabio got a well-deserved second place that, here at Mugello, has a special flavor for all of us. I’m happy for him and for the whole team, which worked very well throughout the weekend. To bring on the podium a young rookie like 'Diggia' after only a few races in the World Championship it’s also a great satisfaction. Also Enea today has proven to be back in good shape, riding a good race despite the recent wrist fracture, so we hope to be able to stay soon at the top with both riders!”.
Vinales perseveres in drama filled Italian GP
Tech3 Racing Team rider Isaac Viñales delivered a tireless performance in today’s round six battle at Mugello to finish the challenging event in 24th. The young Spaniard bolted forwards when the lights went out and he quickly locked into his race pace as he intended to move up the field. By the third lap he was running in 22nd yet, at that point of the sprint, the red flag was shown due to the air fence being damaged by a crash. The GP was supposed to be resumed with a new and shortened procedure, however, after the initial sighting lap, it was pushed back once more due to several riders delaying the restart after missing the one minute slot to access the track. It finally began with 10 laps to run and Viñales kicked off the shootout from 22nd. He battled throughout the remaining laps and he pushed non – stop before crossing the finish line in 24th position having given his all. Next up for the class rookie is his home Grand Prix in Montmelo where he will be intending to score a strong result aboard the Mistral 610.
On the opposite side of the Tech3 Racing team pit box, Xavi Vierge suffered bad luck at his debut appearance at the iconic Mugello circuit and fell on the third lap of the Grand Prix. The young Spaniard leapt into gear when the race began and undertook an impressive start to finish the first lap nine places up from his qualifying position of 29th. He instantly set into his groove, yet his luck ran dry when he fell at the 13th corner, marking a disappointing end to the weekend. Nevertheless, the 18 year old will seek to bounce back strongly at his home Grand Prix in Cataluña in a fortnight’s time.
Position: 24th - Championship: 24th - Points: 3
“The race was really tough today and even though I did my very best, we were limited because we suffered with grip issues. When I restarted the Grand Prix after the red flag, all of the other riders put new tyres on, but I didn’t have any left so I had to run with the tyres that we used at the beginning of the GP. This obviously hindered us, because the guys with the new rubber pushed hard and could run solid rhythms but for me, the rear wheel was spinning all the time and it was not possible to set a good pace. Anyway, now I look on to tomorrow’s test here and we have a lot of work to do. We will be focusing on the KYB suspension but I am excited to see what can find.
Position: DNF - Championship: 25th - Points: 3
"For me and the team, it is was a difficult end to the weekend, but I have to stay positive. I had a strong warm up and I was able to set the same lap time as in qualifying which was an encouraging opening to the day. However, starting from 29th on the grid always makes things more challenging, yet despite this, I had a great start and I entered the first corner more or less in 15th. Unfortunately, some riders passed me and then in one of the fastest corners of the track, I lost the front and it was impossible to save the bike. Nevertheless, tomorrow we are testing here, which is good for me because it’s a demanding track but I have another opportunity to improve the bike and also my riding style. Thank you to the team for their positive work and we will stay upbeat as always.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager:
“It’s a very disappointing weekend for the Tech3 Racing Moto2 team and I can’t hide my dissatisfaction at the result. I would say it’s an event to forget but we will remember it because Xavi’s crash had a big impact on today’s schedule as the air fence had to be repaired! Anyway, we were never on the pace or near where we should have been and it’s difficult to understand why we were in this position when we were closer to the front guys at previous events. We have not done what we should have here but the good thing is that we have a test tomorrow and hopefully our riders will find some confidence and a few other things that will boost them. It was a tough GP, but hopefully Xavi and Isaac can both have a better time at their home race in Barcelona.”
NO RACE LUCK FOR PEUGEOT MOTOCYCLES SAXOPRINT IN ITALY’S CLASSIC
Alexis Masbou had to retire already after a couple of laps due to technical issues whereas John McPhee wasn’t able to play his role during today’s super close and hard fought Italian grand prix.
Marvellous weather and fully packed grandstands where the accompanies of the series round six at the magnificent Mugello circuit surrounded by the green treed Tuscany landscape. Unfortunately, the team’s riders couldn’t really enjoy these awesome atmospheres.
For the experienced Frenchman Alexis Masbou, the Italian round was concluded for him after just two laps. Masbou endured technical problems from the start for which he was forced to retire.
Meanwhile team mate John McPhee rode a brave race but unfortunately the Scotsman was left without any honours. Whilst a massive group fighting for victory at the fast and flowing Italian track, up to 25 riders separated by just three seconds, McPhee wasn’t able to catch the last end of it, playing around with some other riders at the far end of the field throughout the entire distance.
Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT is very eager to keep working hard, hoping for some development coming from the Peugeot factory soon. As a part of its development programme sees a one-day test tomorrow at the same venue.
Followed by this private testing, in which many teams of the Moto3 world series take part, the championship continues after a one-and-a-half-week beak at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, just around the corner of Catalunya’s amazing capital Barcelona.
#10 Alexis MASBOU – DNF:
“It’s a pity that I had to retire already very early due to a technical problem. From the very first beginning I encountered it and after once I ran wide in some corners I decided to stop. It’s again a DNF for us so we must work hard to solve this kind of things rapidly.”
#17 John McPHEE – 23rd (World Championship position22nd, 9 points):
“Overall it was a really difficult weekend for me and it’s hard to accept the speed we are at the moment. I tried everything, I gave more than 100 percent but to find a lap time, to be competitive with, it didn’t come. All in all, it’s a difficult thing for me to accept because two years ago I was fighting for the win here in Mugello and I was one of the fastest rider out there all weekend long but today I was riding at the opposite end of the field, fighting nearly for 30th position. I’m not happy about this but I also know that we’ve work to do and I’m sure if the team continues to working hard together and we continue in the best way we can then we can prepare well for the next race starting with tomorrow’s test here in Mugello to which I really look forward.”
Terrell THIEN (Team manager):
“Well, I think as well-know the team is to re-structured at the moment and not only for this we need some more time. The problems remained we have since starting the season so we must trust in Peugeot to get competitive bikes soon. In addition, we’re still in a learning curve in respect to the new bikes for us. We are making progress weekend by weekend and the team settled well together each time. Today’s results are disappointing of course, though we couldn’t do anything to race in better positions. So for this Peugeot needs to react to the current situation which is already in progress. Thanks to the entire team for their tireless efforts and ambitious to help to bring this project on a higher level.”
LOWES BATTLES TO THIRD IN CHALLENGING 10-LAP RACE AT MUGELLO
Sam Lowes and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 conquered a good third place finish and 16 valuable points for the championship today in the Italian Grand Prix, run over 10 laps after the first start was red flagged to repair a damaged section of airfence.
Lowes was leading the race and keeping a good pace when the race was stopped after just 3 laps: at the restart Sam kept the same hard tyres used in the previous race, those on he had worked during practice with excellent results. Started again from pole, Sam crossed the finish line of the first lap in sixth place but he was able to recover, fighting with determination and passing Schrotter, Syahrin and Luthi to claim third, just one second behind race winner Johann Zarco.
Today’s result, the fourth podium finish of the season, allows Lowes to get the Championship lead back with 98 points, two more than Spaniard Alex Rins, seventh at the finish today.
SAM LOWES (3rd)
“I’m happy for this third place, even though I’m a bit disappointed because at the first start I was feeling very good and I could easily keep a good pace. We worked all weekend with the hard tyre for the race, so at the restart we decided to keep the same tyre used on the first start, but when we started the 10-lap race I had less grip than before. However, despite a bad start I was able to fight and pass Syahrin and Luthi, thus getting the podium. With a race on the full distance it would have been better, but after the difficulties of Le Mans is great to be competitive again: we have been fast and we fought, so I’m happy”.
“Obviously we would have preferred that the race was not interrupted, because Sam before the red flag was in the lead and he had good sensations: we were ready to fight for victory. At the restart we could decide to mount another tyre, rather than the one we have always been using during practice, but we didn’t want to take risks, opting to keep the same tyre used in the first part of the race. Other riders changed the tyre and this perhaps has penalized us on a race of just 10 laps, taking away the chance to fight for the victory. Anyway that’s okay: the Championship is long and when the victory is not possible it’s important to get the podium. Sam rode well and we are happy for the important points collected: now we want to continue like this!”.
Impressive 6th for Ono
Pawi Just Misses the Finish Line
Rd06 Gran Premio d'Italia TIM: Sunday, May 22 2016
Ambient: 25℃ : Track: 39℃
Honda Team Asia rider Hiroki Ono finished the race in sixth place in today’s Italian GP.
The Japanese rider who has started the race in eleventh on the grid made a fantastic start and contested scorching battle in the leading group until final lap. He crossed the line just one second from the podium finishers.
His team mate Khairul Idham Pawi also joined the leaders of the pack and made a good fight with experienced Moto3 riders all through the twenty lap race, however, he was down on the gravel at the final turn and had to end the race only some hundred meters before the finish line.
Honda Team Asia stays this picturesque Mugello circuit and have post race test tomorrow .
Hiroki Ono (6th)
“I gave my 100% until the final lap and we did good race today, although I missed the podium and it is a little bit disappointing. Anyway, I had a good feeling with my bike as well as myself all through this weekend, which gave me back the confidence. I will be stronger for next races. ”
Khairul Idham Pawi (DNF)
“From the beginning to the final lap, I tried to manage my position in the group, in order to save tire and my stamina. I thought podium could possible, so I overtook the guys in front of me one by one. But at the final turn I lost rear and crashed. It was my mistake and I feel sorry for my team because they always worked very hard for me.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“I would like to congratulate our riders for their strong fight. Ono did very good race. Today’s result will boosts his confidence to hunt for better results.
Pawi did very well too, considering the fact that he rode here for the first time. It does not matter he had to crash at the final lap. What matter is he was able to battle with his rivals till the end in this demanding track. We can keep this momentum for the next races.”
Confusing Race Vanishes the Result
From IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
Rd06 Gran Premio d'Italia TIM: Sunday, May 22 2016
Ambient: 26℃:Track: 46℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami finished the Italian GP in ninth place, while his team mate Ratthapark Wilairot completed the race in twenty-second place for shortened ten lap race.
The race for the intermediate class which was planned twenty-one lap originally, was run over ten laps after the red flag to repair the damaged airfence for the sake of safety. Quick restart procedure was applied for resume, however, Nakagami and Wilairot were imposed to place at the back of the grid due to missing the sighting lap window.
After the restart, Nakagami overtook many riders from thirtieth grid and finished the race in ninth place. Wilairot overcame the tough situation and crossed the line in twenty-second place.
Takaaki Nakagami (9th)
“After such a perplexing situation, it was very difficult to keep concentrated myself. So I decided to ride as hard as I can because there’s nothing to lose. I overtook more than twenty riders and finished ninth, but to be honest, I just feel confusing now. It was not what we have expected, but we want to take it positive because we were very competitive all this weekend just before the red flag was shown.”
Ratthapark Wilairot (22nd)
“I didn't know what was going on in the pitlane, and I had to start the ten lap’s race from the back of the grid. It made me difficult to concentrate but I tried to manage myself to finish the race. I am very disappointed but the positive thing is we finished the race, anyway.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“It was not our day and I feel sorry for our riders because they made good preparation for the race. In spite of this difficulty, Nakagami did his best to recover his position from the bottom of the grid to ninth place. Ratthapark kept consistent lap with good concentration. We will try harder to bring us the results that we should have.”