Post-race press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Aragon:
Brad Binder: Moto3 World Champion
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes second position at Aragon Grand Prix, winning the Moto3 World Championship with four rounds remaining.
09/25/2016 - MotorLand Aragon Circuit, Spain
Brad Binder became Moto3 World Champion at MotorLand Aragon this Sunday morning, clinching the title at the first available opportunity and with four races still remaining. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider thus makes history in Grand Prix racing, becoming the first South African to win a title since 350cc champ Jon Ekerold in 1980 and the fastest crowned World Champion since 2005. For the Red Bull KTM Ajo team this is a second Moto3 title, following on from Sandro Cortese’s win in 2012. For Ajo Motorsport, it is their fourth title (after the 2012 win for Cortese, in addition to 125cc titles in 2008 and 2010), and for KTM it is their third in the five years that the Moto3 class has been contested.
The South African has stood out for his great consistency in podium finishes, claiming 5 wins and a further 6 rostrums from 14 races. His biggest achievement of the season came at the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, where he made his way up from 35th and last on the grid to take the first win of his career. At 21 years of age, five years after his first appearance in the World Championship (at Indianapolis in 2011 in 125cc), Brad Binder etches his name into racing history before his move up to Moto2 with KTM.
Martin Takes Top Six in Thrilling Aragon GP
MotorLand Aragon, 25 September 2016: Aspar Mahindra Team rider Jorge Martin took a brutally hard-fought sixth place in today’s Aragon GP, overcoming pain and weakness from right foot injuries that ruled him out of the last race just two weeks ago.
The Spanish teenager battled through from tenth on the grid to play a significant part in an 11-strong leading pack, using the sweet handling of his Mahindra MGP3O to best effect as riders traded blows at every corner.
At one stage Martin was up to fourth in the brawl. In the final stages four leaders broke clear, but Martin finished just 0.179 of a second adrift of fifth-placed Joan Mir, who was leading the pursuit.
Scotsman John McPhee, riding an MGP3O for Mahindra’s sister brand Peugeot Motocycles, also added to his points score, taking 13th at the head of a group that had been scrapping all race long.
Unfortunately for the second Aspar Mahindra Team rider, Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia, McPhee’s success was at his expense. Bagnaia finished less than two tenths behind McPhee, but in 16th place, out of the points.
Bagnaia claimed a historic first win for the only Indian constructor in World Championship racing at Assen in June; while after the summer break McPhee won the Czech Republic GP at Brno, with Martin a career-best second.
Today’s race was won by Spaniard Jorge Navarro (Honda); but the championship went to second-placed South African Brad Binder (KTM), who is now unbeatable in the standings.
The GP circus has a two-weekend break now before starting the trio of back-to-back “flyaway” races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia, before returning to Europe for the season finale in Valencia.
Jorge Martin – Sixth Position
“A hard race for me. I gave everything out there, my 100 percent. I started really well, a perfect start but I had problems with other riders. This allowed the front group to break away but I was able to then catch them and fight really hard. I had a small problem and almost crashed near the end, this allowed the leaders to escape again. Finally sixth position is really good for me. I’m happy with this and looking forward to going to Asia before the end of the season.”
Mufaddal Choonia – CEO, Mahindra Racing
“It was a fabulous race by Martin, especially considering that he was in a lot of pain all weekend from his foot. If not for that he might have qualified higher and done even better. Even so he was in podium contention almost to the end of the race, and the last four laps must have been very difficult and painful for him. It was also good to see our sister team Peugeot Motocycles in the points, with McPhee 13th. As for Pecco, we are looking forward to seeing him back to his mid-season race-winning form, and hope for a change of his fortunes in the flyaway races coming up.”
Jorge Navarro takes second win of the season
Repsol rider regains second place in overall standings, on the day Brad Binder is crowned Moto3 World Champion. Aron Canet finishes seventh and continues to pick up points.
As he had done at his previous home race in Barcelona, Jorge Navarro was dominant at MotorLand Aragon on Sunday morning. The Spaniard battled with Enea Bastianini, Fabio Di Giannantonio and Brad Binder for victory in the Aragon GP, right up until the final corner. The race featured Navarro, Binder and Bastianini –three riders fighting for the title– exchanging positions frequently from the start. Navarro's victory and second position for Binder allowed the latter to clinch the Moto3 World Championship, but Navarro regains second place in the standings. He will now compete for the runner-up spot this season.
Aron Canet finished seventh and continues to accumulate experience and points in his first year of Grand Prix racing.
Jorge Navarro 1st 39:56.873
"It was a typical Moto3 race at MotorLand, where slipstreams play a very important role. On the first few laps I tried to set a strong pace, but I saw it was not possible to break up the group so decided to ease up a bit, create less tyre wear and save my energy for the end. With five laps remaining I decided to attack, because there were a lot of riders alongside me and more coming up behind. I felt comfortable and I saw that the best strategy was to reach the back straight second. I was surprised by Binder, who passed me when I was overtaking Bastianini, but on the last corner I gave everything because I wanted to win. Winning here is fantastic. I want to congratulate Brad on his title win and the season he has had."
Aron Canet 7th at 1.979 sec.
"I felt very strong among the leading group of riders and I think we could have fought for the podium today, but when the second group caught us they held us up. Everything I gained when braking and cornering, I lost on straight. I failed to take advantage of a slipstream and with so many overtaking moves we lost contact with the front four at the end. I stayed behind to try to pass them on the last lap and open a gap, so I would not get caught on the straight. It worked out well and I'll take that -I had a good race despite the problems."
ELEVENTH PLACE FOR ANDREA MIGNO AT ARAGON GP
In a tough race for the riders of the SKY Racing Team VR46, Andrea Migno was the protagonist of a good recovery. 25th Dalla Porta. Bulega victim of a contact shortly after the start.
Alcaniz (Spain), September 25th, 2016 - Andrea Migno achieved the points in the Grand Prix of Aragon. After a great recovery, the young talent of the SKY Racing Team VR46, crossed the finish line in 11th position. Victim of a contact and 25th Lorenzo Dalla Porta. Forced to retire, few corners after the start, Nicolò Bulega.
Andrea, 13th on the grid, had a very good start and immediately was close to the leaders. Fifth at five laps from the checkered flag, in fight for the top positions, he lost a few meters and he crossed the finishing line in 11th positions. Unlucky Sunday instead for Lorenzo, victim of a contact and out of the points. A really short race for Nicolò who was not able to complete the first lap. Seventeenth on the grid, the young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46 crashed after a collision with the bike of Kornfeil. Nicolò was taken to the Medical Center, where the X-rays have excluded fractures on his right arm.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
It was a very difficult race with many riders fighting for the top positions. Andrea started from the fifth row, he had a good start and immediately he closed the gap with the fastest guys. He made a couple of great overtaking, but two laps to the end, he lost the Top5. Overall he has done a great job this weekend and we are confident for the end of the season. Lorenzo is still not 100% fit, he has been with the fastest guys for most of the free practices and he is continuing his growth. Nicolò was really unlucky: he tried to recover some positions in the first lap. Unfortunately he found himself on the ground without being able to do anything to prevent it.
It was a shame loose the Top5 in the last few laps after a great race. I was fighting with the top guys, but after a contact with Rodrigo, I lost the first places. Overall I am happy with the weekend: we lost something in terms of feeling, but we stayed focused and we did a great job. We have to continue in this direction.
The race was much shorter than I expected: the goal was to recover some positions in the first laps, but I had a collision with the bike of Kornfeil. In the crash I hit the right arm, but X-rays showed only a contusion. It was a shame loose the leadership of the rookie Championship without being able to fight in the race.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta
It was not the race I expected: I had not a bad start, but in the fight of the first laps, after a contact, I found myself at the end of the group. I gave my best to recover some positions and I finished the race in 25th place.
Sensational double podium for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS at Aragon
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez scored a sensational double podium in today's Aragon Grand Prix, the 14th round of the Moto2 World Championship.
It was a special day for local favourite Márquez with the 20-year-old Spaniard claiming a career first Moto2 podium with a superb second place. It was an emotional celebration in parc ferme for Márquez both with his team and elder brother Marc Márquez, the double MotoGP World Champion.
In a breathtaking finish Márquez edged his fast-finishing teammate Franco Morbidelli by just three hundredths of a second at the end of the 21-lap encounter at Motorland Aragon.
Márquez rode a fast and tactical race from the front row of the grid to control second place from the opening lap behind eventual race winner Sam Lowes. He only came under threat with three laps remaining when Morbidelli closed to within 0.7s as he began his late race dash.
The final corner on the last lap was a nervous moment for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS as Morbidelli briefly went ahead before Márquez reclaimed second place as the pair took the chequered flag virtually side-by-side.
Morbidelli's third place was his fourth podium of the season and a deserving reward for a tenacious performance from eighth on grid against main rivals Thomas Lüthi, Takaaki Nakagami and Álex Rins.
Álex Márquez: 2nd
"I am really happy to finally be on the podium now in my second season in Moto2, last year was not easy for me. I know that a result like this can really build my confidence so this is an important moment for me. At the beginning of the race I felt really good and was able to follow the pace of Sam Lowes. At the end I was struggling a little with rear grip and it was difficult but I was prepared for Franco when I saw him inside on the final corner. I want to thank the team for believing in me; I know it is not easy when a rider has had a lot of crashes. Now I want to keep this level for the next race in Japan."
Franco Morbidelli: 3rd
"I had just one chance to try and overtake Álex and it was at the final corner on the last lap and it was a great feeling to arrive to him because I was far behind early in the race. My start position was not the best and this was a pity because I had the race pace but I'm happy because this result shows the team is capable of being constantly at the top level.
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"This has been a fantastic day and our first double podium since 2014 and flashback to that great season. The pace was very high early in the race and Álex did an excellent job to control second and I'm very happy for him to secure his first podium in Moto2. Franco was penalised by his starting position but he rode a very strong race from eighth and for sure if he had qualified on the front he would have been challenging for the race win today."
Vierge battles tirelessly in front of home fans at Aragon GP
Tech3 Racing Team rider Xavi Vierge produced a resolute display at the 14th round of the 2016 Moto2 World Championship to complete the 21 lap fight in 17th position. The 19-year-old began from the middle of the 7th row and leapt forward when the lights went out. After safely picking his way around the typically frantic first lap in the ultra-competitive class, he set into a consistent rhythm as he aimed to climb up the field. The youngster powered onwards as he inched closer to the group in front and after a third of the race distance had passed, he was running in 19th. Vierge continued his efforts and as the distance progressed, his pace quickened. The chequered flag inched closer and the Spaniard set his fastest lap on the 18th as he made one last push to cut the gap to three other riders competing for the final point scoring position. He crossed the finish line in 17th, and he now confidently looks on to the forthcoming triple flyaway races.
On the other side of the Tech3 Racing Team pit box, Isaac Viñales finished the Aragon GP in 28th to close what has been a challenging event for the intermediate class rookie. The Spaniard kicked off the Grand Prix from the last row of the grid after enduring a tricky day yesterday due to a shoulder injury and a lack of grip. When the event started, Viñales bolted forward as he intended to climb up the field, however, he struggled again and despite his best efforts, he ended the round 14 fight in 28th. Nevertheless, he will seek to bounce back at the next round and battle to a solid placement at the Motegi circuit.
Position: 17th - Champinship: 23 - Points: 14
“Today’s race was challenging to say the least but I pushed hard and I know that if I had a better grid position, then I could have achieved a solid result. The beginning of the GP was not fantastic for me but once we got going, my rhythm appeared to be quicker than the guys in front of me. However, it was tricky to pass them because when I exited the corners and turned the throttle, the other riders appeared to have a little bit more grip and I couldn’t get close enough. Nevertheless, my rhythm was good so it was just a shame about the start. Anyway, tomorrow we will undertake a test here in Aragon where we will continue to focus on the new Mistral 610 chassis. I know that I have some work to do to improve but I am excited for the challenge and I look forward to fighting for the points in Japan."
Position: 28th - Championship: 24 - Points: 12
“I am not happy because of the end result, yet this race was tricky for me and I did my best plus, I am certain that we can improve at the next round. The team and I struggled to find a good setting for the bike that I was comfortable with and also my shoulder hurt a bit again. We did everything that we could but I never felt fully confident. It was one of those bad weekends, but now I will rest up so that I can be fully prepared for the first of the three flyaways GP’s."
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager:
“It was a tough weekend but everyone in the Tech3 Racing team tried hard and we have some solid positives to take away from this race. There were many aspects to work on in order to finalise some direction for the 2017 Mistral 610. Fortunately, the weather didn’t interfere at all and thanks to Xavi pushing all the time, we were able to look at a lot of things on Friday and Saturday. In the race, his pace was good and he was running in a strong group but unfortunately, he didn’t qualify too well which as always, didn’t help matters. Yet, he was clearly faster in the second part of the GP and was lapping at a similar pace to the front guys. He managed to recover a few positions, before finishing in 17th and just 8 seconds back from 10th position. Xavi has learnt a lot and I am happy as well as very positive at the moment about how he is working with the team and I am pleased with the progress of the whole package. Tomorrow will be an important day because we are testing here in Aragon, and we will continue our plans for the 2017 bike. On the other hand, Isaac has had a tough time recently since his great performance in qualifying in the wet at Silverstone. On race day there, he crashed and hurt his shoulder and then in Misano, it was clear to see that he was struggling. The same happened here so I think he needs to take some time to recover so that his shoulder can heal fully and then he can and come back completely fit for the three flyaways. It was a disappointing weekend for Isaac, but hopefully, he will return stronger and so we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Both RBA Racing riders finish in the Top-10 in a battled race at Aragón
Today the circuit of Motorland Aragón was the venue of the fourteenth race of the 2016 Moto3 World Championship.
The day began with a good warm up for both RBA Racing riders, who managed to put in a consistent pace and to grab two spots in the Top-10 during the first session of the day.
Despite the grid penalty, Rodrigo started the race from he seventh placement and he was competitive since the first few laps. The Argentinian joined the fight for the Top-10, putting in his best effort and overtaking his rivals on the last few laps. Gabriel ended with a great eighth position, achieving 8 points for the Championship Standings.
In the race, Guevara started from the fourteenth place of the grid. Juanfran fought in order not to lose touch with the front positions during the first few laps, as he got to reach the leading group and set competitive times. Together with his teammate, he stayed among the fastest riders and eventually he crossed the finishing line in ninth position (7 points).
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 8th
“This was a really good weekend, probably the best of the year so far. In all the sessions apart from FP2 we were among the ten fastest guys. We worked hard for the race, trying to improve the pace, and this decision was the right one. In the race there was a moment when I had to save a crash, which made me lose touch with the leading group, but we stayed calm. Together with Juanfran we did a steady job without disturbing each other, we reached the guys in front of us and from there I took the chance to overtake a few of them, since their pace was a bit slower. I got to the Top-5, but in the last few laps there was a bit of contact with another rider and I lost the leading group. This is my best result in the World Championship, for the first time we’re in the Top-10. My teammate made it as well, therefore this is a superb achievement for the whole team. I’m really happy because each time we are making progress and we are following the line we should be on. I’m sure that we have plenty of awesome other occasions waiting for us in the future.”
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 9th
”The day went quite well. We were strong, I was confident that we had been doing the right job during the weekend and that we had a consistent pace. In the warm up we proved it all, we finished among the first ten guys with some competitive times. I was out on my own for most of the session, on used tyres. The race was positive, despite starting from the rear. The first few laps were complicated, but we tried to handle that in the best possible way. I had to push hard to reach the front group and I could leave behind the group where I was initially. We set the fastest lap of the race, which is another point in our favour, and we have one of the best paces. I’m really happy, the bike had a good performance throughout the weekend and generally speaking the team did a great job. We are very motivated: maybe with a better grid position we could have fought for the podium. In any case we put together a strong comeback and we reached the leading group, which is an amazing result for today.”
Baldassarri grabs seventh place at Aragon
The 14th stage of the World Championship is over at the Motorland circuit for the riders of the Forward Racing Team who have just competed in the Grand Prix of Aragon. Lorenzo Baldassarri and Luca Marini were authors of a brave race despite the problems they respectively had this morning and during yesterday’s practice.
"Balda", who started from the second row, was the author of an excellent start which projected him up to third place. The Italian, who was having issues with the set-up for not being able to lap during the warmup in the morning for a crash that compromised his bike, was the protagonist of a spectacular battle with Rins. Eventually the Forward rider came seventh at the finish line taking home some good points for the general classification.
Marini had an uphill race starting from the back of the field after failing to find the feeling with the Kalex for the whole weekend. The Italian gritted his teeth still trying to gather as much information as possible in view of the transoceanic trip in October, he crossed the line in 25th place.
Lorenzo Baldassarri – 7th
"It was a tough race physically, but overall I'm happy. This morning I crashed in the warmup, we really didn't need that, in the race I tried to go fast but after a few laps I realized that I would not be able to keep the pace of the top three so I decided to stay more conservative and focus to bring home the best possible result. I had a great battle with Rins and I had fun, which is always very important. Today I learned a lot, I got a lot of useful info I can use for the upcoming races. A special thank goes to my team who worked a lot after I crashed and was able to put the bike in place despite the damage this morning. "
Luca Marini – 25th
"I'm not happy with my result today, the team has been working on my side and has done a lot the whole weekend. The race was particularly hard physically because it was very warm and the characteristics of this track requires a lot of energy and concentration. I take this weekend as a lesson to draw experience and be more competitive next year. I remain focused to prepare for the next three races outside Europe. We'll improve at Motegi."
Giovanni Cuzari – Team Owner
"The last race before the extra-European “trio” is over and we got some good feedback from both riders. Lorenzo made a spectacular start going from sixth to third, we knew that today he would have to control the damage for practically not being able to lap during the warmup and eventually he kept us glued to the screen, taking home a good result. Luca instead struggled all weekend not finding a setting suited to the circuit, we were hoping to be able to get a little bit more in the race but we will treasure the data collected for the upcoming events. I want to thank the guys from the garage who worked tirelessly on the bike of "Maro" and rebuilded in record time the one of "Balda" destroyed this morning. See you in Japan. "
Great performance of Livio Loi unrewarded
Livio Loi clearly showed he had the pace, running lap times that matched the front runners of the Moto3 race of the Aragon GP. The only difference was that Loi was way back in the field, far from the front. Loi’s effort wasn’t rewarded: he finished in an unsatisfactory 18th.
RW Racing GP’s Belgian didn’t have any luck in the race that he had to start from last on the grid. Right after the start Loi almost got caught up in a crash just in front of him. He could just avoid being hit by one of the crashing bikes, by slamming the brakes. He almost came to a complete stop, meaning he had even more to make up.
Once he was back on track, Loi delivered an impressive performance by running the same lap times as the group battling for the podium and even faster sometimes. It brought him from 34th to 17th in only eight laps.
Loi took a calculated risk by using a soft rear tyre to give him advantage in the beginning of the race. It worked out well, but his recovery race took a lot out of the tyres. By the time he had closed in on the group fighting for points and actually had a chance to gain some points, the tyres had dropped. The battle eventually left Loi in an undeserved and unrewarded 18th.
Livio Loi - 18 (+ 13,645)
“I’m proud of what I did, running those lap times without any slipstream, all by myself. If I hadn’t need to slam the brakes to avoid that crash, and thus lose quite some ground, I could have end much better. Because I had to stop the bike almost completely, I lost the connection in an early stage. Getting back took a lot of the tyres. Instead of being able to fight for points and move up even further, I lost the connection because the tyres had dropped too much. Very unfortunate.
Getting involved in a crash is one of the biggest risks of having to start all the way back. Showing that I do have the pace and that I can run these lap times, makes it extra hard, not just for me but also for the team. We had deserved much more than this and we all know I could have been actually fighting for a top result. But that is a scant consolation, that doesn’t bring us anything.
It was a good weekend in fact, with a superb qualifying and a great race, but luck wasn’t on our side. Let’s put the focus on Japan. We had a good weekend there last year and hopefully we can carry the momentum in that Grand Prix and for once have a bit more luck.’’
Amazing Top 5 for Mir in his home race
Still feverish, the rookie of Palma de Mallorca was author to another great comeback from 24th to fifth. His teammates Quartararo and Locatelli ended in 12th and 17th positions respectively.
At 11 o'clock the lights of the Grand Prix Movistar de Aragon went out, for the fourteenth round of the 2016 World Championship. After gaining two positions (24th) on the grid due to the penalties imposed on other riders, Joan Mir shot off and was already 10th on the first lap in front of his team-mates Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Locatelli.
The Palma de Mallorca talent stood in the middle of the brawl in the second group, while Quartararo (12th) had to deal with Guevara and Ono. Locatelli (17th) remained entangled in traffic, locked together with the Ongetta Rivacold duo, Antonelli and Danilo. Bulega was forced to retire on the first lap, giving Mir a solid advantage in their Rookie-Of-The-Year competition.
Before long Mir was in eighth and right with the top ten, putting Migno in its sights. In just two laps he had the Italian’s measure and was soon leading the chasing group., all enclosed within a second. Halfway through the race, Locatelli lost two positions (19th) while Quartararo leads the group of pursuers. Mir slipped up the inside of his compatriots Martin and Navarro, winning the 5th place overall.
The last four laps were a succession of emotions, with the leading riders fighting for the victory.The first four broke away and Mir found himself having to defend his position from the attack of Oettl. But the rookie gritted his teeth and crossed the finish line in 5th place overall after another extraordinary comeback.
Quartararo administered an advantage over his pursuers and took home another 4 championship points that move his personal standing up. Locatelli was not so fortunate, despite recoveries two positions in the last two laps. According to the finish behind the winner Navarro, Brad Binder claimed the 2016 World Championship with four races to spare, but with 117 points, Joan Mir is now fourth overall.
#36 Joan MIR - 5th:
"It was a fun race, starting from behind and fighting to the end I really enjoyed it. I managed to do lots of overtaking and I wanted to go get the first four riders, but in my group there was a great battle which slowed me down towards the end. A shame because I think I had the pace to stay with them. If I think about how we started the weekend here at Aragon, I can be more than satisfied."
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO - 12th:
"It was a very difficult race for me; my expectations were very high, starting from the second row. In the first three laps I felt the grip problems; then the situation has improved, but the front runners were already away and I had no chance to attach a trail."
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI - 17th:
"A race to forget! I honestly thought I could catch up, but I soon realized that passed me on the straight so many times. I tried to bite the bullet, hoping to at least get into the points. Unfortunately there was nothing to do, now we will think about the next race."
BASTIANINI AND 'DIGGIA' TAKE THIRD AND FOURTH IN EXCITING ARAGON SHOOTOUT
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racers Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio completed today another great race weekend at Motorland Aragon, crossing the finish line of the Aragon GP in third and fourth position respectively after an exciting sprint for the win on the final lap that saw them battling against Jorge Navarro, winner of the race, and Brad Binder, who was crowned World Champion thanks to the second place finish.
Despite the disappointment for missing the victory, the team leaves Spain with another strong result: Bastianini got his fifth podium finish of the season, the second consecutive. On the final lap, Enea was leading the race at the beginning of the long straight before the final corner: Navarro and Binder then passed the 18-year-old rider from Rimini, who tried to fight back taking the inside line, closing the final sprint in third.
Immediately behind Enea, Fabio Di Giannantonio was fourth under the checkered flag: started from the fourth row of the grid the 17-year-old rookie from Rome – at his ninth consecutive top ten finish - managed to recover very well, reaching the leading group after a few laps. Lying in fourth place on the final lap, “Diggia” was then not able to try to attack the first three riders, thus missing out on podium. However, thanks to this result Fabio is now sixth in the Championship with 111 points.
ENEA BASTIANINI (3rd)
“In the early laps of the race I was in the lead along with Navarro and we pushed a lot in an attempt to pull a gap on the other riders. I noticed on the big screen that we were opening a little gap, so I followed Jorge without disturbing him, letting him do his pace. Binder and other riders, however, managed to come back in, so at that point I decided to relax and to preserve tyres, still trying to remain always in the top three positions to avoid risking too much. I knew that Binder was very fast on the long straight before the final corner, but on the last lap I saw that behind me there was Navarro, so I pushed hard to try to gain a few meters, thinking that perhaps Jorge would not be as fast as Binder. Binder managed to pass me and Jorge at the end of the straight though, taking an outside line. I gave my best taking the inside line, but I was already at the limit with the bike that was moving a lot and so it was not possible to win. Too bad, we are often fighting for victory but for some reason we have not yet managed to take one this season: we must continue to work hard to succeed!”.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (4th)
“We rode a fantastic race, I would say perfect: too bad only for the final lap! Honestly my strategy was not the best, so I found myself a bit too far to launch a final attack to the three riders in front of me and as a result we had to settle for fourth place. I’m really happy for this result, but missing out on podium leaves a little bitter taste in the mouth. At the start I was in traffic, but I was able to emerge and set up my rhythm: taking the reference of the leading group in front of me I could ride fast, with lap times similar to those obtained in Qualifying, therefore in a few laps I was able to reach them. At that point I decided to stay calm to have some rest and save tyres. In the end I really gave all, but it went like this and as I said we are still happy with the result and for the excellent performance”.
“A really good result which anyway leaves a little bitter taste in the mouth: only four riders were leading the race, so with the third and fourth place we collected the minimum possible result from those within our reach... However, our riders still rode a great race and they were superb, fighting hard till the end. Enea was leading on the last lap, but unfortunately he failed to fight back after Navarro and Binder passed him at the end of the last straight, while Fabio recovered very well, reaching the top positions very quickly and we know how difficult it is to recover in this category. We are happy to get another podium finish: lately we are chasing the win and hopefully it will come soon!”.
Solid Spanish Race At Motorland Aragon For Remy
Remy Gardner can head to Motegi in Japan for the next round of the Moto2 World Championship after another strong performance in today's #AragonGP at the Motorland Aragon circuit near Alcaniz in Spain.
The circuit, one of the longest on the calendar always produces great racing and today's 21 lap race, the penultimate in Europe this year was no exception with Gardner battling hard from start to finish to finish a very credible 19th at the flag.
Running close to the top fifteen throughout practice, Remy was caught out in qualifying, unable to get a clear lap which meant an eighth row start, but in typical Gardner fashion, he was soon carving his way through the field, moving into the top twenty at the end of lap two.
A race long, six rider fight ensued with the #87 able to mix it in the group that at one stage in the race was right on the back of the point scoring riders.
Looking ahead to the final four races that includes the three back to back fly away races Gardner is optimistic of finishing the season in style before he starts a new challenge with Tech3 Racing in 2017.
Remy Gardner - 19th in the Aragon GP: "I wanted a little bit more but it wasn't too bad in the end. The poor qualifying cost us points today so we need to work on that in the final four races. I knew it would be a tough race and I got held up a bit by a couple of slower riders and couldn't bridge the gap to the next group. When I did catch them I'd burned the tyre and I had to push real hard to stay with them. It was a good fair race, consistent lap times and had a pretty nice final lap fight with Julian Simon. We passed each other about four times and it was good clean racing. I definitely wanted points this weekend but that's racing. We are testing some things tomorrow that should give us some more speed which we need but all in all I am quite happy with what we achieved today. Thanks to the team, see you all in Japan!"
MotorLand Aragon leaves a bitter taste
With Miguel Oliveira injured, his teammate Danny Kent had a difficult weekend, finishing out of the points.
A bitter weekend for the Leopard Racing team in the intermediate Moto2 class. The Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon began badly with the accident involving Miguel Oliveira in FP1 on Friday morning where the Portuguese riders suffered a fracture of the right clavicle.
The other bearer Danny Kent found himself alone to combat but with a lack of feeling (as emphasized yesterday in qualifying) with his Kalex. The Brit hoped to make it up in the race but on lap five was forced to pit due to the abnormal pressure in his tyres. Re-joining the race but with one lap down, has honoured his commitment to finishing the race.
Now the Leopard Racing team will depart for Asia for the triplet of races that will start with the weekend 14-16 October 2016 with the Grand Prix of Japan.
#52 Danny KENT - 29th:
"It’s been a bad weekend and hopefully our luck turns around. There’s not much I can do as the issue was out of my hands. It’s frustrating sure but we can start working for next year soon. I felt better with the bike this morning and I think we had a good chance to score points but with the problem it was impossible. It was good to go back out there and get into the rhythm a bit, just to check everything over."
Brad Binder takes Moto3 title with second place at MotorLand Aragon
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider clinches Moto3 World Championship with four races remaining. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder returns to the points in 15th.
09/25/2016 - MotorLand Aragon Circuit, Spain
Brad Binder was crowned Moto3 World Champion today at the Aragon Grand Prix, placing second in a spectacular race that was not decided until the final corner. The Red Bull KTM Ajo took the necessary points to clinch the title four races before the end of the season. His teammate, Bo Bendsneyder, finished fifteenth, adding another point to his tally.
Brad Binder rode an almost perfect race to seal the title. The South African, who had started from fifth position on the grid, started well and was up amongst the Top 4 at all times. Binder had to contend with numerous riders making overtaking moves, but on the final laps the front four broke free. Binder and his two rivals in the fight for the World Championship provided a spectacular finish, arriving alongside one another into the final corner. In the end, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took second, claiming his eleventh podium finish of the season.
Bendsneyder had a more difficult race, starting from ninth position. Trouble at the beginning of the race dropped him down to sixteenth by Lap 3, and he rode the remainder of the race amongst a large group of riders. He eventually crossed the finish line in fifteenth position to score a point for his Moto3 World Championship tally.
With today's result, Brad Binder reaches 249 points in the overall standings, 106 more than his nearest rival. Bendsneyder has 53 and lies seventeenth. Binder's title win makes him only the third South African to win a World Championship, and the first since 1980. He is the second champion in Red Bull KTM Ajo history after Sandro Cortese in 2012, and Ajo Motorsport's fifth (they previously won titles in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2016).
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"This improvement made by Brad Binder over these past two years has been incredible. Not many people believed that he would be able to do something like this, and he has proved them wrong. I thank him a lot for the work that he has done, and I also thank his parents for raising a son who has such aptitude. It has been a pleasure to work with them all year. Secondly, of course, I want to thank our sponsors for making this possible and for believing in us for another year, and the team for making Red Bull KTM Ajo so fantastic. I also want to take a moment to say that I don't think there are many teams in the paddock like ours, with such fantastic spirit in the garage. Brad has had an incredible season, always keeping calm and avoiding making mistakes.
It is very positive for Bo [Bendsneyder] that he keeps picking up points. Considering that Bo came here after a crash at Misano, I'm happy because even as a rookie he bounced back and had a serious race. We are convinced that he will improve in leaps and bounds."
SUPERB LOWES TAKES DOMINANT VICTORY AT ARAGON
Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 rider Sam Lowes converted his excellent pace in practice and qualifying into a race winning performance at today’s Aragon Grand Prix, the 26-year-old Briton scoring his second victory of the season in style.
After a few laps Sam started to open a gap on the other riders and then he crossed the finish line with over three second over Spaniard Alex Marquez, second under the checkered flag. Thanks to this great result, Lowes has now 162 points in the standings, 40 points behind Championship leader Johann Zarco.
SAM LOWES (1st)
“We worked really hard all weekend, making long runs in every practice session, so I was really confident for the race. That’s why I tried to get to the front as soon as possible and make a god rhythm. Once I had a bit of a gap I just tried to relax and keep my pace. This makes a change compared to the last few races, we have shown a good level of competitiveness and it’s nice. Now we are 40 points behind the lead in the Championship, so everything can happen and for sure we won’t give up. I feel good on the bike and we will take this confidence to Japan, where we will do our best!”.
“The weekend started in the best way and Lowes worked really well together with the team, making many long runs ahead of the race, so we were aware of being competitive. At the start Sam made a strong pass to take the lead, because he knew he could pull a gap and therefore he wanted to get to the front in order to make his pace. He rode a great race, determined and focused, showing a clear supremacy and a great potential. With regard to the Championship, we want to face the next races without making too many calculations: we just have to try to be strong and to enjoy, then we will see how it goes ...”.
Zarco salvages eighth from a difficult race to remain Moto2 series leader
Ajo Motorsport rider takes eighth at Aragon Grand Prix to keep lead with four rounds remaining.
09/25/2016 - MotorLand Aragon Circuit, Spain
Johann Zarco finished eighth at the fourteenth round of the Moto2 World Championship held today at MotorLand Aragon. The Ajo Motorsport rider, who had started from fifth position, thus manages to keep hold of the series lead despite struggling in the race.
The World Championship leader had a tough start and was relegated to tenth position off the line, in a group with four other riders. During the opening laps he remained in that position until gradually improving his pace, allowing him to fight back and placed ninth with 10 laps to go. Zarco would gain another position before crossing the finish line, to conclude the Aragon GP in eighth.
Following this result, the Frenchman has 202 points to his name in the overall standings –just 1 more than his nearest rival. The next round of the season takes place on October 16th at Motegi, Japan.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It is very positive that we continue to lead the Moto2 World Championship with Johann Zarco following this race. We are enjoying a great battle for the title between Johann and Rins, but perhaps other riders like Lowes could come back into it and have a chance. We definitely have four races ahead that promise to be very exciting."
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"The aim for this weekend was to finish in front of Alex [Rins], to extend the lead in the World Championship, but it was not to be. It's a shame, because I had felt very comfortable during practice, but in the race the feeling was different. I did not want to risk too much at first, because I knew I had better pace with used tyres, but when we reached that point it was not good enough. It was difficult even to follow the group, but I was hoping to fight on the final laps. However, when I wanted to overtake I lost a few tenths. We need to keep thinking positively and face the coming three race in a row –which will be very hard– with confidence."
Nagashima places twenty-third at Aragon
Ajo Motorsport Academy rider concludes Moto2 World Championship wildcard appearance with positive feeling.
09/25/2016 - MotorLand Aragon Circuit, Spain
Tetsuta Nagashima completed his first wildcard appearance of the season with a positive race at MotorLand Aragon. The Japanese rider, currently third in the Moto2 European Championship, was able to ride with a good pace and was involved in a race-long battle with more experienced riders to finish 23rd.
Starting from 21st on the grid, Nagashima was overtaken by several riders in the early going. However, he managed to remain calm and move back up to 22nd in short order. After a fight with two riders to maintain the position, he crossed the finish line 23rd.
The Ajo Motorsport Academy rider, who had already participated in the Moto2 World Championship in 2013 and 2014, will have a second wildcard opportunity of the season in three-weeks time when the series heads to Japan.45 TETSUTA NAGASHIMA
"It's been a difficult weekend for me in the Moto2 World Championship. The start was a bit chaotic, as many riders went across me and I found it hard to keep the position. After a few laps I pushed my hardest and managed to recover positions. What we have learned from this experience is that I have room for improvement and I have to keep training hard. Overall, this wildcard in Aragon has been very positive; in a week's time I will race at Jerez with the Moto2 European Championship, and I am sure that having ridden in the World Championship will help me to compete better. I am also looking forward to Motegi, because there I will ride at my home race in the Moto2 World Championship –at a track I know very well. I hope to be able to give my all in the coming races."
PEUGEOT MOTOCYCLES SAXOPRINT’S JOHN McPHEE SCORES POINTS AGAIN
The 22-year-old from Scotland rode a brave race today at the technically MotorLand Aragón circuit to succeed his race long battle for 13th position. It was an unfortunate outcome for Albert Arenas who struggled to find his speed throughout the entire distance.
Weather conditions on race day of the championship’s round 14 were similar to Friday with some clouds appeared later this morning and much less hot temperature than at the time of Saturday’s qualifying. And as it’s usual for a Spanish Grand Prix, already the Moto3 race took place in front of full-packed grandstands around the 5.1 kilometres long track close to Alcaniz.
As the team’s rider John McPhee predicted after qualifying, a good start will be the base to round up this weekend in style with more points to his and the Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT team’s tally. Coming from P16 on the grid, McPhee left the line well and settled quickly in big group battling for 13th position finally.
McPhee was able to take the challenge to fight for positions with the other riders at every time and more important, he could set a consistent fast pace with strong lap times till the end to cross the line just 9.7 seconds off the race winner’s time. He felt very comfortable with the bike throughout the weekend, which allowed him to play his role in today’s race.
Meanwhile, Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT’s youngster Albert Arenas showed up very ambitious for his home race just around the corner to his residence in Girona. In front of his fans, Arenas set a blistering start to the weekend on Friday but wasn’t able to keep this momentum for qualifying and the race. The race itself went disappointing for the 19-year-old which began with a poor start. Beyond that, Arenas could never follow a fast rear due to some niggling problems he endured during the race.
South African rider Brad Binder crowned himself today as new Moto3 World Champion after finishing the race in second position. Congratulations to him!
This weekend’s Gran Premio de Aragón was the last race before the series is set to pack their stuff in flight cargos for the annual triple-header in October with the grand prix in Asia and Australia.
#12 Albert ARENAS – 24th:
“We made a good start on Friday which is always important to find a direction for the remaining weekend. We also were able to do a fast lap time during qualifying but it was not enough for a better starting position. But then in the race we had a lot of problems. Everything began with a poor start and it continues with the fact that I couldn’t follow any fast rider ahead of me. I just could overtake on the brakes but on any following straight I got re-passed easy. I couldn’t do anything so it was a boring race. At the end I’m a bit disappointed because after our Friday’s performance I hoped for more.”
#17 John McPHEE – 13th (World Championship position 19th, 48 points):
“I’m really pleased about this outcome. I felt strong all weekend long and I had really a good feeling with the bike. I knew if we can go with a good group then we had a good chance for some points this weekend. But after qualifying we were a little bit back so the start to the race was going to be really important. I found myself quickly in a group fighting for 13th position and from this point I had a really good race, I felt great with the bike again. Thanks to my crew for working hard and make this happen. We can be happy to be in the points after difficult races in Silverstone and Misano last time. The race itself was really fun, it was really nice because I felt strong and I could pass people almost at every corner. I was able to challenge everyone and even there was a small gap sometimes, I could close it immediately and start fighting again. I think it was the most enjoyable race this season and the most comfortable in respect to the feeling with the bike. Aragón was a positive weekend overall. So again thanks to the team for getting me a good bike and package. I’m definitely looking forward to the remaining races this year.”
Terrell THIEN (Team manager):
“John did a brave race and he was fighting till the line. It was clearly to see that he enjoyed riding at this track and also felt comfortable with his package. In the end he finished in the points again which is all-important for the whole team. On the other side I think that Albert was a bit unlucky this weekend in his own respect. Most probably he put too much pressure on himself because Aragón was his home race. He also made a poor start and with a gap of more than six second after the opening lap he tried to keep this gap but in the end he couldn’t do more today. But the most important thing is that from technical point of view we didn’t endure any issues this weekend. Both bikes worked really well. The series heads now to the overseas races in Asia and Australia. We try and do our best to be as competitive as this weekend in the remaining races too.”
Tough Race Day for Honda Team Asia in Aragón
Rd14 Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón : Sunday, September 25 2016
Ambient: 21℃ : Track: 27℃
Honda Team Asia rider Hiroki Ono finished twentieth place at the Aragón Grand Prix today, while his team mate Khairul Idham Pawi had a checkered flag for twenty-second place.
Although Ono had started from eighth position on the grid, he suffered from severe front end vibration from the beginning. The Japanese rider tried everything to manage the issue and he had a checkered flag for twentieth place.
His teammate had another problem with the rear slide. Nevertheless, the Malaysian rookie bravely fought with his compatriot Adam Norrodin and crossed the line in front of him for twenty-second place.
Hiroki Ono (20th)
“From the beginning of the race, I had front vibration. It was so difficult to manage that I tried everything to cope with it, but it never fixed. That is why I could not improve my lap time and lost my positions. Anyway, I managed to finish the race and now we will study the data carefully with my team for meticulous preparation to our home grand prix.”
Khairul Idham Pawi (22nd)
“In the race, I tried to push hard from the beginning, but it was very difficult because of the rear slide. I don't know why we had this problem today because I didn't have it yesterday. For sure, I am not happy about the race result but I think I gained another important experience today. We will work hard for forthcoming Asian rounds.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Data from Ono’s bike shows that he had serious front-end vibration, which was almost impossible to manage. I think Hiroki did everything he could do in the race. It’s a shame because he started from good grid position. Pawi had another problem. In his case, it was rear-sliding at the exit of the corner, and with this problem he could not improve his lap time. We have to scrutinize their data and make perfect preparation for the Japanese GP.”
5th place for Nakagami
With 26th for Wilairot in Aragón GP
Rd14 Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón : Sunday, September 25 2016
Ambient: 22℃:Track: 32℃
IDEMTSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami finished the race in fifth place at the Aragón GP race.
Nakagami, who had started from third position on the grid tried to follow the leading group at the beginning, but the luck of rear grip made the distance from them and it was impossible for the Japanese rider to chase them down. Nakagami changed the strategy to keep his position and had a checkered flag for fifth place. With scoring eleven points today, now he is sixth in the championship standings.
Another IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia man Ratthapark Wilairot started the race from twenty-ninth position on the grid and completed the race with strong determination. He crossed the goal line for twenty-sixth place.
Takaaki Nakagami (5th)
“I didn’t have enough grip from the beginning, so it was very difficult race for me. Positive thing is that I scored eleven points for fifth place and climbed up one position in the championship classification. But I am not happy with the result because I expected that we would be able to fight for the podium. We have to find out what had happened on us. We will be competitive again for the Japanese GP.”
Ratthapark Wilairot (26th)
“Although I didn't get good feeling in this weekend, we have improved little by little. However, it was not enough and there was a huge gap from top guys. Now we have three races in a row in Asian rounds. For sure, I will try my best to get top15 finishes.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Nakagami did not have enough rear grip from the beginning and it dropped down at the end, which made him struggle to get good rhythm, Considering that, he did very good job to keep his positon till the end. Ratthapark improved his position from the back of the grid and finished the race, which is good. Next target for him is keeping good pace from the beginning.”
Moto3 - Unlucky race for 3570 Team Italia in Aragon
Stefano Valtulini out at the start, Lorenzo Petrarca finishes 29th.
The fourteenth round of the 2016 Moto3 World Championship saw 3570 Team Italia hit by a series of unlucky events. With Jorge Navarro (Honda) winning the race on Brad Binder's day (KTM), 2016 World Champion four races in advance, Stefano Valtulini has been struck by another rider, while Lorenzo Petrarca has finished 29th.
Started from the tenth row, at the very first corner Stefano Valtulini, with no fault, crashed due to a contact caused by Fabio Spiranelli. Back on the bike, he did few laps but then was forced to retire due to the pain to his right hand. It wasn't a easy race at all also for Lorenzo Petrarca. Trying to avoid other riders who crashed during the first lap, he lost some precious time, but he didn't give up and he finished the race in 29th place.
After the GP of Aragon, for 3570 Team Italia, the thought is already to the three extra-European rounds, scheduled in October.
Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77) 29th
"It was not a race to be remembered. We started well on Friday, while in the continuation of the weekend I hadn't the same good feeling. Today at the start I wasn't lucky: at the first corner I was able to avoid Spiranelli who hit Stefano, while at Turn 5 I lost some time trying to avoid Bulega's fairing, which was on the track. At that point I had lost the contact with the group of riders, and riding alone with no wake, it wasn't easy to keep a constant pace. We have been unlucky, we'll try to start with the same positive premises of the first practice here also in Motegi."
Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #43) DNF
"Unfortunately my race finished too early due to another rider's mistake. I started well, but at the first corner I was hit by Spiranelli. Even though I was very far from the other riders I tried to go back on the bike and to finish the race, but the pain to my right hand forced me to retire."
Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)
"Unfortunately it was a bad day. Stefano was hit by Spiranelli at the start and his race finished at that moment. He tried to go back on track in order to finish the race, but after few laps the pain to the right hand (injured at Silverstone) forced him to retire. Also Lorenzo's race was compromised due to some unlucky events at the start. Avoiding some riders crashed in front of him, he has lost the contact with the group that was preceding him and he rode all alone, being able to finish the race. These unlucky episodes are part of the races and starting from the tenth row is part of the game."
KTM’s Brad Binder 2016 Moto3 World Champion
14th Rd. Moto3 2016 – MotorLand Aragon (ESP)
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder on Sunday wrapped up the 2016 Moto3 World Championship title after taking second place in a dogfight finish at the Aragon circuit in Spain. Binder, of South Africa, took the title with four rounds still in hand.
“Today we lost the battle but we won the war,” an emotional Brad Binder commented in the finish area. He had hoped to go out with a win but had to settle for second place behind Jorge Navarro. Enea Bastianini, Binder’s closest rival for the title before the race finished third.
Binder went to Aragon with a strong change of taking the title. He had a 106-point lead and knew he needed to finish the race with a 100-point advantage to get the job done. He needed either a win or a second place on his KTM RC250 GP, and after that there was a baffling list of point possibilities that would still let him win the prize.
There was a lot at stake for the Italian Bastianini who was the only rider with a chance of spoiling Binder’s party. He fought hard all the way but also admitted in the finish area that the South African had been faster on the day. Binder leaves Aragon as he arrived, 106 point ahead and with now four races and 100 points still up for grabs. Navarro’s win bumps him up to second in the rankings, four points ahead of Bastianini, and KTM riders Joan Mir and Nicolo Bulega are currently 4-5.
Binder: “Right now it doesn’t feel real yet. The race was tough. It came down to the final lap. I knew where I had to be and I gave it a try but I was so terrible in the last corner. Today we lost the battle but we won the war.”
Before the race, tension was palpable, as the riders lined up on a grid that looked nothing like the results sheets in qualifying. Many riders incurred ride slow penalties from the previous day and Belgian Livio Loi was bumped off the front row to start at the back after his team was deemed to have a technical irregularity with his bike. This left Binder at the fifth grid position, two up on his seventh fastest in qualifying.
Binder, Bastianini and Navarro were the major players throughout the 20-lap race on the Spanish circuit, and it quickly developed into a battle of wits, race craft and guts. Bastianini was determined to extend his chances of closing the gap, and Navarro, who has had a difficult season with injury, was equally determined to take the race win and put himself back in contention. These three riders exchanged the lead during the first half of the race, joined by KTM rider Philipp Oettl in laps 7,8 and 9. The battle intensified from lap 13, then in the next lap Binder lost drive going through the Carlos Checa corner and dropped to fourth.
Binder rebounded in lap 16 and swept from fourth into the lead. He was again forced wide in lap 18 and dropped back to fourth, which put him one point away from the title. Then, going into the final lap there was virtually nothing separating the top four riders, Bastianini, Binder, Navarro and Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio. Navarro hit the front with four corners to go and in the closing stages Binder slipped past Bastianini into second and the title was his.
Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Race 1
Two points – all that separates Ayumu Sasaki from the 2016 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. The 15-year-old Japanese crossed the line fourth after 15 thrilling laps of Motorland Aragon while his rival Aleix Viu took second behind Kaito Toba and ahead of Rory Skinner.
It was a fabulous six rider battle to the line and Sasaki thought he had the title. “I knew I just had to follow Aleix, I was third into the last corner and that would give me the Cup. Then Rory got inside me, I still thought it was OK as I could drive past on the exit but Rory wobbled, I thought he might hit me and I just rolled off a fraction. The race pace really was too slow. Because of the slipstream you can’t get away and we were stuck together but we should have gone quicker. Rory caught us and then on the last lap Fernández almost did the same. Now I just need one more point tomorrow, I just have to keep calm and concentrate.”
In fact he needs two points as Viu would have to win on Sunday to match his total. They would then have three wins each but Viu has more second places so would take the Cup in the event of a points tie.