Press releases from some of the teams after Sunday's races at Mugello:
Marvellous Márquez masters Mugello
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Alex Márquez scores a dominant win at Mugello to put himself in the middle of the championship fight as Xavi Vierge finishes 12th.
Riding in ambient temperatures of 28 degrees and under beautiful blue skies, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mates Alex Márquez and Xavi Vierge started the 21-lap race from 3rd and 17th respectively.
Márquez rode to a comfortable win in as many rounds, the first time he has won consecutive races since June 2014 in his Moto3 championship year. After early drama, Vierge recovered to score four important points for 12th.
The second win for Márquez in 2019 sees him climb two places in the world championship, from 4th to 2nd, just two points behind leader Lorenzo Baldassarri. Vierge sits 11th with 31 points.
1st, Race Winner
Starting from the outside of the front row for the fourth race in succession, Márquez had a great start, and sat in third place behind fellow front row starters Thomas Luthi and Marcel Schrotter.
Márquez passed Schrotter at turn one on lap six, and then overtook Luthi for the lead on lap nine. Both moves came on the entry to turn one.
The 2014 Moto3 world champion posted the fastest lap of the race – a 1m 51.881s – on lap two.
From there, he showed a masterful rhythm to control the race and finish 1.9 seconds ahead of Luca Marini.
“Today I did the race that I needed to do, and I was intelligent”
“I’m really happy! Honestly yesterday I didn’t expect to make a gap at the front of the race. Today I did the race that I needed to do, and I was intelligent. I managed the situation from the start. In the first two laps Tom (Lüthi) and Marcel’s (Schrotter) pace was unbelievable. I tried to reduce the gap, passed Marcel and could then see that Tom was struggling with the rear tyre. I said, ‘OK, now is the time to pass and make the warm-up rhythm.’ And I did it! Everything was perfect and it was an amazing job from the team. Last year I was struggling to find a good set-up at tracks like this but this year I felt great. We need to keep it like this because the championship is so long.”
12th, + 17.176 s
After a first lap collision with Fabio Di Giannantonio and Iker Lecuona at turn three, Vierge lost time and positions.
The #97 set about recovering from 16th place. By lap four he had gained for positions and climbed to twelfth.
Vierge eventually finished in that position, 17 seconds behind his victorious team-mate.
“I’m quite happy with the work we did this weekend”
“I’m quite happy with the work we did this weekend. We knew where our weak point was. We worked so hard but finally it wasn’t enough to improve it. My first part of the race was good. My rhythm was similar to the fastest riders but then the others could either stay the same or lose three or four tenths of a second. I, on the other hand, started to lose a lot of time. We have to focus on that. I’m confident that soon we will find the necessary improvements to fight for the best positions.”
“It’s been another good day for the team"
“It’s been another good day for the team. Alex has done a really good job he was very clever when he was preparing for this race. He knew that in the first laps. He didn’t use too much of the tyre and he attacked at the right moment. We are really happy also because the bike is working well and has been very stable throughout the race. With Xavi we had a weekend that went from bad to good. He had some good speed at the beginning. From the halfway point of the race he started to drop a bit but we are working on that, trying to help him to improve. In the next races we hope to have better results with him.”
SECOND PLACE FOR LUCA MARINI AT MUGELLO
The young rider of the Sky Racing Team VR46 returns to the podium right in front of his home crowd. Forced to retirement Nicolò Bulega.
Scarperia (Italy), June 2nd 2019 - Luca Marini closes the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello with his first podium of the season. After two really uphill weekends, the young rider of the Sky Racing Team VR46 found the feelings he was looking for on his Kalex and took second the place in front of his home crowd, riding the special tricolor liveries.
A dream come true for Luca, a true lover of the Tuscan track since he was a child. After a great start from the sixth grid box, he kept the pace of the strongest guys remaining in the slipstream of Alex Marquez till the checkered flag.
Different epilogue for Nicolò after the awesome performance in qualifying and the speed record of the intermediate category (300.06 km/h). At start, he lost contact with the leading group and, in an attempt to recover, he crashed 14 laps to the finishing line.
I am delighted with this almost perfect weekend by Luca: a beautiful race after a difficult period. With all Team and Kalex he worked hard to be competitive again. It's a pity for Nicolò because he couldn't make the most of the grid position. He has to make experience, but I am satisfied with what he has showed in the free practices.
What a satisfaction the first podium of the season at Mugello: a dream since I was a child when I came here to see my brother's races. My favorite track, the fans are unique. From this morning, I started to feel something strange in my stomach, I knew I was competitive and could fighting for the podium and also for the victory. I have really enjoyed the honor lap. I want to thank my family, my girlfriend, the Academy, my crew chief, all the guys of the Team and Kalex. They have done everything to support me and return to being competitive. After the testing session in Barcelona, where I have tried Nicolò's bike, we brought a completely new package here: chassis, swingarm, every screw. In the last two races I have struggled a lot, I had strange feelings and we didn't understand why. Now I have rediscovered my feelings, entering in the corners as I want and making my lines. I'm very happy.
It was certainly not the epilogue I was hoping for this GP: at the start, a contact with another riders did not allow me to make the best from the fourth place and I ended up in the rear of the group. Unfortunately, trying to recover, I lost the front and I could not do nothing to prevent the crash. A real shame.
LOWES BACK IN THE POINTS AT MUGELLO
Team Federal Oil GresiniMoto2 are back on the scoring board after the nightmare of Le Mans as they bag six important points in this Italian Sunday. It was a difficult weekend – with a crash in FP3 yesterday – but Sam Lowes did well in delivering a result that surely brings some fresh confidence in the pit-box.
The former World Supersport champion had a good start and settled behind the leading group, but the lack of rear grip – caused also by the very high temperatures of today – did not allow him to express his full potential.
In two weeks’ time at Montmeló, with the recent positive test at the Catalan track on his side, Sam Lowes will try to make another step forward and return towards the front of the field.
9th- SAM LOWES #22
“I’m very happy with my first lap. I got a good start and I was running with the front group. Then unfortunately my pace was not good enough: I didn’t have enough grip at the rear and then, in order to stay with the guys ahead, I ended up riding a bit too aggressive. It was important to finish the race and get to Barcelona with a bit more confidence, given all the data we have from last week. We suffered the high temperatures because we didn’t have this grip issue in the morning but again, it was important to finish in the points.”
Gran Premio d'Italia 2019: Race
The Italian rider Tony Arbolino wins in Italy, get the pole position and the track record in the Republic day. That's all!
Tony Arbolino: "It was an incredible weekend , I felt it would be good! In this race it was important to use the strategy; I kept the focus and I understood that being second in the last corner would be the winning choice. Thanks to everybody for the support, the public was amazing, my team excellent. For an Italian rider, winning here is something special ".
Romano Fenati: "I was recovering positions and I was almost there, fighting for first positions but, may be, I was at the limit. A shame for the crash".
Lorenzo Dalla Porta: 2nd in Mugello
Italian rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta clinches second step of the podium after commanding his home race. On the other side of the box, teammate Ramirez has had to withdraw after having some problems with the bike.
We didn’t know which was going to be the end of the Italian film and it's fair to say Leopard Racing's had a happy ending (on one side). The Spaniard and the Italian have had very good feelings throughout the weekend despite Dalla Porta suffered a crash on Friday. Both did a very decent qualifying session, have had strong pace and were ready to fight. When it came to crunch, Dalla Porta, who started from third position, didn’t hesitate and firmly started to push from the beginning in order to fight for the victory. Teammate Ramirez didn’t do a bad start, but saw himself relegated to the back of the second group. However, even if he tried, Ramirez started to lose many positions. At the end, the rider had to enter to the pits and couldn’t finish the race due to a mechanical problem.
Things were much better on Dalla Porta’s side. The man racing at home had a very nice pace from Friday morning and made it clear when it was racing time: he wanted to win. He’s been aggressive without risking too much, has been leading most of the race and hasn’t allowed anyone to overtake him: if rivals did it, he overtook them back. Setting very fast lap times and high speed from the beginning, Dalla Porta tried to go away and found his pace very quickly. But 'unfortunately', let’s say, he did a little mistake in the last lap and Arbolino overtook him in the straight at the very last moment, by just 0.029 seconds. Clearly he’s made a step forward from the beginning of the season, and as we always say, everything is possible in this Championship. He keeps the second position of the standings with 80 points, just 3 points far from leader Aron Canet. Marcos Ramirez is now the 16th (24 points) as he hasn't been able to gather points today.
Three podiums in six races, not bad statistics to get to the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya in two weeks time. See you all there the 16th of June!
#48 Lorenzo Dalla Porta, 2nd
“I’ve had a lot of fun today. I felt good from the start as I had a good pace and I could ride the way I wanted. I was fast and strong, and I could overtake many riders when it was necessary. Unfortunately, I’ve made some little mistakes at the end and I think this has jeopardized the last lap, because literally I’ve been able to do everything I needed throughout the whole race. The bike worked perfectly and probably the time we had to lose on Friday repairing it after the crash has been the trickiest thing in terms of working time. Anyway, I’m very happy because I’ve felt good and I have to say thanks to the team, to the sponsors, to my family and of course to everybody who have come to Mugello to support me”.
#42 Marcos Ramirez, N/C
“I started with a lot of motivation and I wanted to do a good race. But then, as the laps went by I started to lose some positions, the bike didn’t react as previously. We’ve had a mechanical problem and I had to withdraw. I feel quite frustrated because this is the 3rd N/C in a row and of course I can’t be pleased with that, so I’m disappointed. We will try to do it better in Montmelo, the only thing we need to do is to keep working as we’ve done so far. Let’s hope for a little bit of luck in the next race”
McPhee battles back for sixth at Italian GP
John McPhee gains 11 places at Mugello on raceday, whilst Ayumu Sasaki crashes out when fighting for a top ten finish.
Both PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 riders rose up the order on Sunday at Mugello, with John McPhee going from the sixth row of the grid to sixth place after an excellent fightback and Ayumu Sasaki also strong - until a crash four laps before the end of the race.
McPhee made an extraordinary start from 17th and was up into sixth place before the end of the opening lap. The Briton moved into podium positions at various points throughout the race and, after tussling amongst a large group of riders, eventually crossed the line sixth, continuing a run of good form including victory last time out at the French GP.
Sasaki would not see the chequered flag after a great comeback of his own, as he would go down at Turn 3 with 4 laps remaining. The Japanese rider had been fighting for a spot in the top ten and had caught the leading group when a rider in front of him fell, leaving no space to avoid the incident, taking him out of the Italian GP.
McPhee is 8th in the overall standings with 44 points whilst Sasaki is 19th with 14. The next challenge for the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders will be the Catalan GP, which will be held from June 14-16th at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit.
Johan Stigefelt - Team Director
"It was a great race, with a fantastic performance by our riders. Yesterday we had a big problem in qualifying, but we talked to John and Ayumu about the opportunities in the race. Mugello is a circuit that is all about battles and slipstreams. John was determined to be at the front, he had the speed and he got there, so I'm very happy for him. Ayumu had very bad luck; the crash wasn't his fault, because another rider fell in front of him and he couldn't do anything about it. He was fighting for the top ten, which was his goal. I feel bad for him, because he wanted to have a great race here. We will come back stronger in Barcelona."
#71 Ayumu Sasaki
"First of all, I want to thank the team for their hard work, because it's been a difficult weekend. During Friday and Saturday I lost my confidence and my pace, and this showed in qualifying. But the team never gave up and worked to give me the best possible bike. I felt good in the Warm Up and even better in the race. We started from 19th, so it was difficult to reach the front at the start. In addition, we were using the hard tyre and couldn't go so fast at the beginning. We managed to get to the group and I was fighting for the points, and that is the most important and positive thing. The crash was very unfortunate, but that's racing; I couldn't avoid it. Next up is Barcelona, where we tested recently, so we just have to concentrate and try to do what we learned. I hope I can finish the coming races in the top ten."
#17 John McPhee
"Anything can happen at Mugello. I made a great start and was able to catch the frontrunners in the opening corners. I tried to be smart and get onto the home straight fourth at the end, because I knew that if I was in first or second, two or three riders would pass me. On the last lap I got on the brakes very late on the last corner and another rider passed me. Nevertheless, finishing in P6, ahead of the World Championship leader and some of the riders who are at the sharp end of the standings, is positive. These points are good after a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday. We were able to show that we had speed and that yesterday was a result of isolated errors. I'm looking forward to the next race."
DOUBLE POINTS BOOST FOR SAMA QATAR ÁNGEL NIETO TEAM AT MUGELLO
Raúl Fernández and Albert Arenas make up positions to take eleventh and twelfth in an intense race
Tony Arbolino turned his pole position into a memorable home victory at the Italian Grand Prix, after twenty hectic laps that were largely dominated by his compatriot Lorenzo dalla Porta. Just 0.029 seconds separated the two over the line but it was Arbolino who became the sixth different winner in the Moto3 class this season, moving himself up to sixth place in the championship. Alongside the two Italians, Spanish rider Jaume Masiá stepped up to the podium for the third time this season.
The Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team doubled up on the points at Mugello with both riders inside the top fifteen - Raúl Fernández and Albert Arenas taking eleventh and twelfth place respectively. Fernández grew in stature as the race progressed, making a steady start but managing to fight with the lead group in his first race at this track. Arenas crossed the line just behind his teammate after making up ten positions from the start, salvaging a difficult weekend with four championship points before the series heads to his home race in Barcelona.
11th Raúl Fernández: “I am satisfied with how the weekend has ended but I want to apologise to the team because today I really felt the impact of my injury. It has been a month since I have been able to train properly after the crash at Jerez and today I could really feel it with my physical fitness. I am not at 100% but despite that I think we had a strong weekend, running with the front group on my first visit to Mugello. My only goal now is to train hard every day before Barcelona and get back to the form we showed at the start of the season.”
12th Albert Arenas: “I am happy because it has been a difficult weekend and the fact that we managed to achieve the lap times we set as our target today is good. However, our potential is for better. The bad thing is when you start from so far back. If you qualifying 22nd then you can’t finish in the top five, so the goal is to start out stronger at Montmeló and get back to where we should be.”
FIFTH PLACE FOR FOGGIA AT THE ITALIAN GP
In front of the home crowd and on the special tricolor liveries, the young riders of the Sky Racing Team VR46 impress everybody. Ninth Vietti Ramus.
Scarperia (Italy), June 2nd 2019 - A very fast GP like the KTM of the young riders of the Sky Racing Team VR46 the one that has just ended at Mugello. Once again Dennis Foggia and Celestino Vietti Ramus are protagonists and both conquer the Top10.
Started from the 12th place on the starting grid, Dennis immediately take the contact with the group of the first riders for fighting for the podium till the checkered flag. Seventh at the start of the last lap, he crossed the finishing line in fifth position less than two tenths from third place.
Nice recovery also for Celestino, 16th at the start and able to impose his rhythm and climbed the rankings hitting the ninth place. With today's points it rises to 52: first rookie and fifth overall.
Considering the very high temperatures, a very difficult race but, at the same time, beautiful. A group of riders fighting and both our guys in the Top 10 and Dennis just a breath away from the podium. I am very happy with how we have worked: good job!
A full gas race: I gave my best from the first corner not to lose the contact with the front group, I wanted the podium, I tried, but I couldn't. I have no regrets anyway, I did my best but, in the last laps, the rear tyre was difficult to manage. On the last lap I was hoping to take the slipstream of Antonelli at the end of the straight, but I couldn't get overtake at that point, but only in braking. We go to Barcelona after this good result.
I am happy with the points and the Top10 even though I did my best to be able to engage the very first guys and be able to fight for the top positions in the last laps. The high temperatures has complicated things a bit, but overall a good race. Let's focus on Barcelona to be more competitive in the long run.
Pasini takes PETRONAS Sprinta Racing's Moto2 best result to date with 11th at Mugello
Mattia Pasini fights back from the sixth row of the grid at his home race in Italy.
The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto2 team enjoyed their best result so far at the Italian GP, with Mattia Pasini coming back from 18th on the grid to finish 11th on raceday.
Whilst a difficult qualifying session had left him down the order, Pasini made an excellent start, gaining seven places on the opening corner. The experienced Italian rider showed solid race pace that led to him fighting to enter the top ten. He would eventually take the chequered flag in 11th place, claiming his first 5 points as a PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider and achieving the best race result for the team in the intermediate class.
The next race for the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing team will be the Catalan GP, on June 14th-16th.
Johan Stigefelt - Team Director
"It's our best result in Moto2. We're very happy with it. Obviously we expected a little more at Mugello, with Mattia Pasini as our rider. We struggled a little here from the first day onwards. In the end we've picked up some points. We have to analyse the situation, see where we are and improve at the coming races."
#54 Mattia Pasini
"First of all, we have to remember that this is only our second race together and we still haven't adapted 100% to the bike, which is normal. Yesterday's qualifying session was not good, and I think that starting from further up on the grid would have helped me a lot today. We made a good start and we attacked a lot on the first five or six laps, but then I started to suffer on the straights and with my rear grip. I decided to stay calm, run my own pace and reach the finish. We need to study the telemetry to see where we can improve. This is not the result I expected at Mugello, but I'm happy to have given my 100% from opening day onwards. Now we must concentrate on Barcelona."
Garcia Dols takes first points of rookie season at Mugello
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider takes 13th place in a Moto3 race in which Alonso Lopez crashes out and wildcard Ryusei Yamanaka finishes 17th.
The three Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders contested the 20-lap Italian GP on Sunday at Mugello.
Sergio Garcia Dols finished 13th, whilst Alonso Lopez crashed when riding in eighth. Ryusei Yamanaka made progress during the race to cross the line 17th.
The Moto3 World Championship continues from June 14-16th at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Catalan GP.
Alonso was eleventh in the Q2 but has occupied the tenth place on the grid to benefit from the penalty to another driver.
In the race, he held onto his starting position off the start and led the second group in a chase to catch the frontrunners. Unfortunately, he would suffer a crash at Turn 12 midway through the race, ending a promising weekend prematurely.
After the Italian Grand Prix, Lopez remains in 20th position in the overall standings with 14 points.
“The best thing is that we are getting closer and closer to the riders at the front”
"My start wasn’t good, but I held my position, gained a couple of places and went in search of the first group, which was already almost a second ahead of us. When I got there, Andrea Migno made contact with me and I couldn’t do anything to stay up. It happens in racing. The best thing about the weekend is that we are getting closer and closer to the riders at the front. I hope that at Montmeló we can be up there, since it is a circuit that suits us quite well.”
13º, + 2.578
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 debutant had suffered a fall in turn 3 during the warm up without physical consequences, so he could take the start in the race.
Like his teammate, he would start from one position above his qualifying spot due to a sanction for another rider, and lined up 15th.
Off the start, he followed Lopez at the head of the second group. He would join the first group when they merged, and after the large pack fragmented he crossed the line 13th, just over two seconds behind the race winner.
“We have scored points for the first time in the World Championship”
“I think that this weekend has been very positive. We have been improving in each session and have always had fast times; that by itself is a good step forward, because we had been struggling a little since the beginning of the year. I’m very happy about the race. I found it a little hard to maintain the pace because I had very little rear grip and was skidding around. The important thing is that I finished the race and we scored points for the first time in the World Championship.”
17º, + 26.777
The wildcard rider, a regular for Junior Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 in the FIM CEV Repsol, started the day with the 26th fastest time in the warmup: 1:59.663.
Twenty-third on the first lap of the race, he maintained a good pace and would claim 16th place in his second Grand Prix appearance -just missing out on the points.
“We nearly scored points!”
“I had a good feeling in FP1, but from then on I wasn’t able to continue evolving with my riding and lower my times. The race was very difficult; the overtaking moves in the World Championship are very aggressive. In the end, my final position was good: We nearly scored points!”
Öttl and Bezzecchi gather more experience in challenging Italian GP
Red Bull KTM Tech3‘s Philipp Öttl and Marco Bezzecchi experienced a though sixth round of the 2019 Moto2 World Championship at the marvelous Mugello circuit, finishing in 21st and 23rd respectively.
While Öttl didn’t complete the first lap ideally, he made up some positions in the course of the 21 laps encounter. After being 30th at the end of lap one, he managed to come back to P21. Meanwhile, Bezzecchi did some strong initial laps, but was fighting with his feeling later in the race and eventually saw the chequered flag in 23rd.
“My start was indeed good, but somehow all the others passed me on the right and the left. I was on full gas, but I couldn’t do anything. Maybe we implemented the wrong mapping for the start with less power. The grip during the race was a lot less compared to Qualifying, so I had to adapt to it. Later I found my rhythm a bit and tried to get further to the front. In the last lap I was able to pass Marco and Steven Odendaal, which was decent, but in the beginning we just lost a bit too much. Anyway, I would say it was one of the better races today.”
“For me it was a very hard race. My start was quite good, but immediately after four laps my rhythm dropped, as I started to have a lot of understeering and chattering, which is our main issue since the beginning. So, I wasn’t able to be as fast as during the first laps. I struggled a lot and tried to push, but I risked to crash in nearly every corner. Overall, it was not a good weekend, but the fans were fantastic and, in the end, it was more work, which we need in order to improve next time. Of course, also bad experiences help for the future. I want to thank my team and KTM.”
“Another tough weekend in Italy for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 Moto2 team. It’s been difficult all weekend long. We were hoping that the test we did in Barcelona in between Le Mans and here with the full factory outfit from KTM was going to help Marco. But honestly, when I see the way the weekend went with all the crashes and the poor performance, I don’t think that it was enough in a way. I am quite speechless, because right now I don’t really know what to do, but for sure this is a very difficult time for us and for Marco, as I know he is always trying his best, pushing the best way he can. For the moment, it seems nothing clicks and we are very far. I don’t want to talk about the level of our machines because the gap between Binder, Martin and us is bigger than in between Binder, Martin and the winner. So, I think clearly, there is much more to come from us using that package in a more efficient way. On the other side of the garage, Philipp did an ok weekend. We were expecting Marco to be in front, as he is at home and this is a track he likes, but clearly, Philipp finished the race better than Marco and Marco started better than Philipp. Anyway, not a lot to say. I don’t want to be too negative, although I’m very disappointed. We need to put our head down, carry on working, but clearly, if we continue like this without changing something radically, we end up nowhere. We don’t have a single point after six rounds and for me this is difficult to accept and even though we are rookies, I think we should have scored a few points already and even more important than scoring points, we should be closer to the front and we should be fighting with the best KTM. We carry on working and support, but support in an objective way, we don’t support being blind and hopefully Barcelona will be a bit more positive story.”
DISAPPOINTMENT AT MUGELLO: RODRIGO OUT EARLY ON, ROSSI FAR AWAY FROM TOP
It has been a Sunday to forget – and soon – for Team Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 who leave the Tuscan hills with no points. The disappointment is big as Gabriel Rodrigo was among the protagonists in this first of two Italian events in the season: always fast in free practice, he was second in qualifying and then great at the start of the Moto3 encounter.
Rodrigo’s race did not last too long, however: after five laps, the Argentine rider lost the front while entering turn 4; he escaped uninjured, but the #19 still lost a great opportunity to get closer to the top of the standings as he is now tenth with 37 points – 46 points away from the leader.
It was an important weekend for Ricardo Rossi: his 21stposition at the chequered flag does not give justice to the Italian’s performance, as the young rookie was battling for what would have been his first championship point within a group of six riders. One slightly-too-aggressive overtaking manouvre forced him wide at turn one and that took him out of contention for the top-15.
DNF – GABRIEL RODRIGO #19
“I don’t know what happened with the crash. During warm up we were in the right place so the strategy was to attack straight from the get-go. I started off well, but then many opponents got in the mix and slowed me down. This allowed for more aggressive riders to get back near the front so I thought more about saving my tyres. Unfortunately when I picked up the throttle I lost the front and there was nothing I could do.”
21st - RICCARDO ROSSI #54
“I tried the harder tyre during warm up and I liked it. We decided to use it in the race but the temperatures were higher, so at the beginning I struggled a bit because the bike wasn’t very stable. As the race progressed I felt more and more confident and that allowed me to make up some places. Too bad for the mistake at the end: I tried to pass all five at turn one and it didn’t go well. We had the pace for the top-15 today, but we still continue to make experience and the results will come.”
SAMA QATAR ÁNGEL NIETO TEAM WRAP UP WEEKEND AT MUGELLO
Xavi Cardelús and Jake Dixon gather more important data from their bikes in a tough and hot race in Italy
Álex Márquez had a long wait for his first win since 2017 but after breaking his duck at Le Mans last time out, the Spaniard followed up with a second straight victory at Mugello this afternoon. Márquez propelled himself into title contention as he took the flag by two clear seconds from Luca Marini and Thomas Luthi, with series leader Lorenzo Baldassarri taking fourth at the end of a tough weekend that saw him forced to qualify through Q1. Baldassarri and now Márquez are the only riders to score more than one win so far this season and are separated by just two points at the top of the championship, with Thomas Luthi dropping to third.
It proved to be a fruitless race for the Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team, with Jake Dixon crashing on the eleventh lap and Xavi Cardelús crossing the line in 25th position. The British rider was forced to start from the tenth row after only managing a single lap in qualifying due to an engine problem yesterday, but he was up to 25th and setting some consistent lap times within the group when constant vibration problems between turns 4 and 5 finally got the better of him and he crashed. Cardelús was able to make the finish although not in the positions he was hoping for after a decent weekend’s work.
25th Xavi Cardelús: “It was a very tough race at the end of a weekend when we have made improvements. It wasn’t the race we were expecting or hoping for. This is a tough track that requires a lot of physical effort and with the KTM you have to put even more into it to make it go where you want. I felt it a little bit at the end of the race. We have learnt some things about the performance of the bike and the set-up, and now we take that into our preparations for one of my favourite races of the season. It is close to home and I will have to give it everything.”
Jake Dixon (DNF): “I am okay after the crash but it’s not the ideal way to finish the race obviously. I didn’t feel like I was over the limit, I was riding hard but I didn’t have a good feeling with the track temperature much higher than yesterday. I spent ten laps behind the group, to understand where we can improve. It is my first time here, whereas other riders have spent years riding at Mugello, and I feel that we have made gradual progress over the weekend which was shown by how competitive we were in the warm-up. I am sorry to the team because in the end we do need more information to improve the bike, but I am here to fight and unfortunately today I crashed. It happened off the throttle between turns 4 and 5 – I had vibrations there all weekend but on this occasion I couldn’t save the bike and it just kept sliding until I hit the ground.”
No points despite overtaking race Bendsneyder and Odendaal
The start was good, but having to dodge a crashing rider in the first round of the Moto2 race of the Italian GP, Bo Bendsneyder was thrown far back. From the 29th position the Dutchman fought back to 19th place. Steven Odendaal managed to advance from the 28th starting position on the grid to 22nd place at the finish in a particularly difficult race for the South African.
“It was certainly not the race we had in mind,” said NTS RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen immediately afterwards. “We cannot be satisfied with these results, despite a number of mitigating circumstances.”
The start of the Moto2 race was again chaotic. Bendsneyder got away well from twentieth place and won a few positions, but that win was quickly cancelled out when he had to leave the track to avoid the crashing Iker Lecuona. Back on track, from 29th the points were actually out of sight.
Yet the Dutchman did not give up. Step by step he fought his way through the pack. However, catching up took time and in the meantime the gaps became bigger. Halfway through the race, Bendsneyder came in nineteenth, leading the group that also included teammate Odendaal. The gap to number 18 was almost ten seconds by then, and riding alone, Bendsneyder could not take advantage of a slipstream, so that he couldn’t get any closer to the group in front of him.
“Bo's lap times were good enough to be able to fight for points,” said team manager Janssen. “But from such a backlog, as a result of someone else’s mistake, you will never get back.”
Steven Odendaal also won a few places right from the start. By the eighth lap he had reached twentieth place, but he could not hold it. Falling back to position 23, the South African managed to outwit Philipp Oettl in the final lap to come across as 22nd. Janssen: “We have changed a lot on the motorcycle to make Steven feel better, but we have not succeeded. If the rider does not feel comfortable, the race becomes a difficult story.”
Bo Bendsneyder: “The start was finally good. I think I was in sixteenth or seventeenth, but when I made the second turn I was just on the wrong side and I had to go straight to avoid a crash. I was lucky not to get knocked down. It was difficult to catch up because I was short of speed on the straight. Once I was in front, I was able to increase the pace, but of course I am very dissatisfied with this result.”
Steven Odendaal: “It was a terribly bad weekend and the worst part is that I don’t know what the problem is. I am very sorry for NTS and for the team, because this is not what they deserve. This machine should be in the points and even more.”
Solid performance from Can Öncü at the Italian Grand Prix
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider made up 13 places and finished 18th in Mugello, just one tenth of a second off the points.
At the sixth round of the season at Mugello today, Can Öncü continued to make progress in the Moto3 World Championship. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider ended up close to the points, making up 13 places from his grid position in the race. The young Turkish rookie left Italy with a creditable 18th position, riding in a group that was fighting for points and gaining valuable Grand Prix experience.
Can Öncü started last on the grid after being penalised in FP3, but he remained calm and, on the first corner, he managed to make up two positions. Lap by lap he lowered his times, riding in a group of seven riders with plenty of battling throughout the race. With four laps to go, Can Öncü placed himself in the lead of that group, riding in 15th place. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie fought until the last corner and finally finished 18th, crossing the line within 0.110s off the points.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 team and Can Öncü are already looking forward to the next round of the World Championship, which will be held at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit from 14th to 16th June.
61 CAN ÖNCÜ
"The race went quite well. I fought hard in my group until the end and that helped me to gain experience. We had to start from last position on the grid and that made our work more difficult. Anyway, I was able to take a big step forward and move up several positions to finish 18th. Now we have to continue working in the same way and improve race by race. I’m confident that soon we can move ahead and fight for the point-scoring positions."
Bittersweet result for Vicente Pérez in the Italian Grand Prix
The Oakley Italian Grand Prix ends for the Reale Avintia Academy 77 rider with a result that doesn´t reflect the work done throughout the weekend.
In spite of qualifying far behind on the grid, 28 °, Vicente Pérez went to the Italian track ready to come back.
After a somewhat accidental start, the top riders rolled at a slow pace. So much so that the leading group came to form 17 riders, while Vicente was climbing positions. Although an end of race where there were many falls, Vicente Pérez could finish in 19th place with bittersweet feelings even improving the grid result.
Vicente Pérez | P19
”Race to forget, we knew we had more and I have not felt good about myself at any time but we will give our best in the next ”
Toba crashes fighting in the lead group, Salim close to score points
It was a difficult race for Kaito, who crashed after to trying recover the gap to the front which he lost in the first part of the race. Salim finished in a fantastic 16th position on his debut in the Moto3 World Championship.
Hiroshi Aoyama - Team Manager
“Toba arrived here in a really good shape and we expected a lot of him. He wasn’t fast in the first part of the race and rode in the second group. He needed to take a lot of risk to catch the lead group but finally after a small mistake he crashed, this Is not what we wanted. Gerry was here replacing the injured Ai Ogura. He had a strong weekend, considering that it was his first race at Grand Prix level. He was so close to get the first point for Indonesia in Moto3.”
DNF Kaito Toba #27
“What a disaster! For the second time this season I’ve not scored points, and this is very bad for my championship position. At the beginning of the race it was difficult to overtake because I couldn’t use my good line and they overtake me easily; I didn’t understand why. At the middle of the race I arrived onto the lead group, but I crashed. Nothing more to say. In Catalunya I will try to win, I’ve done a good test there and that is a circuit where I feel very confident riding.”
16th Gerry Salim #31
“Fantastic result. Yesterday I was checking the data with my mechanics and we’ve seen that it was possible to continue improving. At the start of the race I was worried because the Moto3 riders of the World Championship are very strong, they push to the limit from the start. I just keep my focus because I didn’t want to crash. I overtake some riders to finish in P16 with the 12th best lap time. I really enjoyed the opportunity that the Honda Team Asia offered me.”
Difficult race for Dimas while Nagoe gets a great experience from Mugello
P24 for Dimas in his first race in Italy. Teppei crashed in lap 5 after to score a fantastic lap time.
Hiroshi Aoyama - Team Manager
“During this weekend our two riders were struggling with a new circuit, finding the way to go fast is difficult in Mugello. It was not easy to try to recover the speed with the rest of riders who already know how difficult Mugello is. Dimas tried to improve himself, I think he get some feeling in this race that will permit him to go fast in the next race in Catalunya. Concerning Nagoe, for sure it was not easy to be for the first time in a Gran Prix in Mugello. Unfortunately, he crashed in lap 5, but I think for him is a good experience to be here and race with GP riders. I hope he can use this knowledge to win the All Japan Road Race Championship.”
24th Dimas Ekky Pratama #20
“A really hard and long race, especially for me being my first time here in Mugello. The positive part is that I have finished the race, after two rounds crashing out. I get many positive things, especially about my riding style. The team has worked very hard trying to help me and trusting in me. I would like to thank them and I’m sure that in Catalunya, a circuit that I already know I will be closer to the group.”
DNF Teppei Nagoe #19
“I’m disappointed because my race finished on lap 5, but at the same time I’m really happy with my improvement over the weekend. I made a good lap time 1’54,2, one second faster than in Q1 and 5 seconds faster that the first practice. I tried to push hard but I lost the front into the last corner. I would like to thank Honda Motor and Idemitsu Honda Team Asia for this opportunity. I return to Japan with much more experience and I feel I’ve made a step up as a rider.”
The first Italian Grand Prix of the season for the MV Agusta Forward Racing team comes to the end
The first home Grand Prix of the season for MV Agusta Forward Racing riders has ended at the Mugello Circuit, one of the most technical and difficult tracks on the World Championship's calendar.
The two riders of the Italian-Swiss team raced today in livery and overalls in Italian colors, on the occasion of the celebration of the Italian Republic.
Dominique Aegerter, who started well from the starting grid, then lost some important positions. This made him close 17th, a breath from the points zone.
Stefano Manzi, in turn, has recovered six positions after the traffic lights turning off. In lap seven, however, an unexpected crash at Arrabbiata 1 stopped his race, forcing him to retire prematurely.
Concentration remains high and the MV Agusta Forward Racing team is already looking forward to the next round of the World Championship: Barcelona, the weekend of June 14, 15 and 16.
Dominique Aegerter - P17 +24.081
"This race at Mugello has been difficult and demanding. We started from 21st position and I made a good start. In the race I felt good on the bike and the feeling was better than in qualifying, in any case I didn't push to the limit during the first laps and that's why I'm sorry because I could have closed the race in points. In conclusion, however, we have to say that this weekend we have worked well on aerodynamics, trying many adjustments that we have tested both in Barcelona and in the wind tunnel. Now we are already thinking about the next race where I hope we can do well from Friday. Thanks to all the fans and sponsors".
Stefano Manzi - DNF
"I am very sorry for the way the day ended. First of all I'd like to apologize to the team because it's a shame to fall like this in our home race. I crashed unexpectedly at the Arrabbiata 1, I was keeping up a good pace but then I crashed. I thank the team, CRC and all the sponsors who have been with us this weekend. See you in Barcelona".
GIOVANNI CUZARI - TEAM OWNER
"Before talking about today's race I would like to thank all the sponsors who have been with us this weekend and have made this Mugello 2019 even more exciting. At the same time we are sorry for not having achieved a better result. Both riders gave their best in the race today, they both made a good start: unfortunately Stefano made a small mistake and his race ended prematurely; in any case he had a good weekend, he worked well and he was very professional in testing the new material: that's why I feel like saying that we can go home proudly. At the same time Dominique was unlucky for not being able to bring home a hoped-for result. Fighting to the end he closed with a 24-second gap from the first, which on such a long track is not a result to be underestimated. We almost finished our race out of the points, but we had the new aerodynamic package for this race and we can say that in this we have really made some important steps forward, which make us very confident in view of the next stage in Barcelona, where we did the tests a few days ago. We hope to start next weekend on the right way, so that we can bring home an important result to thank those who believe in us with such passion and in this exciting project”.
Florian Prüstel: "We have to look forward."
When there's no grass left to be seen on the Tuscan hills around the Mugello Circuit, then it's got to be race day of the Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley, to which a total of 139,329 MotoGP fans attended this weekend. The show for the fans did not disappoint. However, looking at the results of the Redox PrüstelGP team, any kind of disappointment is understandable.
After a difficult qualifying session, Jakub Kornfeil once again faced the Hercules challenge of tackling the field from the back of the grid. This brings many dangers, especially in the midfield, where some of the hottest maneuvres take place and so the experienced Czech had to avoid the crashing Kazuki Masaki, causing him to lose a lot of positions by having to go on the grass. Kornfeil took the lead of the following group, but the gap rose to 20.252 seconds to Sergio Garcia on P13. In the end, the 26-year-old benefited from the four crashes in the 17-man strong leading group and takes home two championship points with a 14th position.
However, rookie Filip Salac had to gain a whole new experience today as the 17-year-old was condemned to three penalties in the race - the youngster had to take two long-lap penalties and since he couldn't take the third as it was the final lap of the race, he got another 3-second penalty on top. This is quite bitter because Salac rode his fastest lap times of the weekend in the race.
The team around the team manager Florian Prüstel should not bury their heads in the sand now. The results must be analyzed in order to prepare better for the 13 remaining races of the 2019 season. In just two weeks, from June 14th to 16th, the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya will continue at the Circuit de Barcelona.
Brad Binder and Jorge Martin wrap up a tough Italian GP
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 pair worked hard throughout a difficult weekend at the demanding Mugello Circuit.
The sixth race of the 2019 season in the Moto2 World Championship saw the Red Bull KTM Ajo do battle at the challenging Mugello track. Brad Binder and Jorge Martin gave it their all right the way through, with the team working hard all weekend, concluding a tough Italian Grand Prix with the South African in 15th position and the Spaniard in 16th.
At the start of the race, Brad Binder made up six positions to place himself just behind his teammate, Jorge Martin. The Red Bull KTM Ajo duo consolidated their placements in the middle of the pack, with plenty of jostling going in their group, in the hunt for points. As the race went on, the South African moved ahead of his colleague, with the pair eventually finishing in 15th and 16th respectively, separated by just 0.081s.
At the conclusion of the Italian Grand Prix, Brad Binder sits 10th overall in the Moto2 World Championship standings with 39 points, while Jorge Martin is 26th with two points. The next round will see the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders head for the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, over the 14th-16th June weekend.
41 BRAD BINDER
"I'm not happy with how the weekend went. Both the team and I give it our best and worked very hard throughout the Grand Prix. We carried out a lot of tests and made many changes, but it wasn’t enough to put us on the right path. It was a difficult race, but at least I can say I gave it my all. Now we have to move on and get stronger. What I’ll take with me from this weekend as a positive is the great effort we have put in."
88 JORGE MARTIN
"We had a tough race, as we had issues again. However, I achieved one of my goals this season, to get as close as possible to my teammate, Brad Binder, and today I finished just 0.081s behind him. Despite the final result, the team did a great job and we did our best throughout the weekend."
World Championship Points For Remy Gardner In Incident Packed Italian GP
Remy Gardner added what could be three valuable Moto2 World Championship points after finishing thirteenth in an incident packed Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, that saw him lose ten positions on the opening lap.
At the sharp end throughout Free Practice the Aussie charger was unable to get a clear lap in qualifying, but still managed to ensure a top ten grid slot for the twenty-one-lap race at the iconic Italian venue.
Despite the opening lap skirmish and the fact that Remy wasn’t 100% happy with the front end feeling of his ONEXOX TKKR Sag Racing Team Kalex, he dug deep to ensure he took the flag at the front a closely fought group that were eventually separated after forty minutes of racing by less than a second.
Remy Gardner: “I was pretty angry after qualifying if I am honest. I just couldn’t find any space and with the collarbone injury it was hard to change direction, but I was confident for the race. The race thought wasn’t good. The first three corners every was riding crazy and I lost ten positions which was really unfortunate. We gambled with a setting that didn’t work and my team mate Tetsu’s steering damper fell off and hit me on the foot. It’s extremely sore right now but thankfully not broken. I raced the last three quarters of the race with pain in my foot and with a collarbone that is still not one hundred percent. At least I was able to claw my way back to thirteenth and get three points. We are still looking decent in the overall standings and I am sure we can do a great job for the rest of the season.”
Lots of valuable experience gained at Mugello
However, a race accident right after the start thwarted Kiefer Racing's expectations for Sunday’s season classic in Tuscany.
Magnificent sunshine and sold-out grandstands along the beautiful Mugello Circuit made it for a dream setting at the Gran Premio d 'Italia, as it has been so often in the past too. However, Kiefer Racing's youngster Lukas Tulovic could only perceive them on the side-lines at his debut race at Mugello.
The 18-year-old talent from Eberbach once again delivered an impeccable performance despite an unfortunate first lap in what was just his sixth appearance as a permanent entry in the hard-fought Moto2™ World Championship.
In two weeks, the series will stop for its visit at Barcelona.
#3 Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing, KTM), P20:
"Too bad, because we had was once again a bit of bad luck today. My starting position was less than optimal in terms of getting into the first corner. I had no other choice than to line up outside. I did, of course, to pull in as best I could, but at turn three there was an incident immediately in front of me. I don't know exactly with who Lecuona got together with or who crossed his line."
"Anyway, I had to open and therefore I lost a few positions. I fought back straight away, though. With one or the other rider, however, it took bit too long to finally pass him. Moreover, my rhythm wasn’t as good as I had hoped for. Perhaps that was also due to the tyre, which dropped down dramatically after one third. So, we know what we have to do next time. We have to prepare much more intensively for the race and to set up the bike a bit better. At Barcelona, we will take the next step. I’m convinced of that."
"This weekend, we worked with a riding coach for the first time. The collaboration with Christoph worked out very well right away. He is really a great help. Now, however, we have to look at how we can incorporate this project as a fixed component. Other than that, my Mugello premiere was a fascinating experience I'll never forget. I raved about the track from the beginning, but today I experienced this probably unique atmosphere in live time. I only can say that the Tifosi are true fans, that much passionate for two-wheels racing, who make it for a super cool vibe. It's really fun to ride here and in addition I learned a lot again this weekend."
Jochen KIEFER (Team manager / Technical director):
"Aside from Lukas' clean performance, Mugello was a great weekend at all again. We started at this track on Friday without any Moto2 experience. So, first Lukas had to get familiarized with the race bike here. But he had completed this task in the blink of an eye. He really did everything we gave him. As a result, he was also quickly able to set decent lap times."
"During qualifying, Lukas has improved again, and he has reached top times. Just 1.6 seconds off the pole setter’s marker at a long track like this is almost phenomenal. Unfortunately, the race result doesn’t reflect the overall performance of the weekend. With 20th place, however, we aren’t dissatisfied. Lukas got off a good start, but we know that he can do better and at turn three he was once again at the wrong place at the wrong time. Because of a crash, he had to go wide. As a result, he immediately lost the connection to the group. In addition, it was again a bit difficult for him to find his rhythm. However, he was also involved in fights for positions, during which he was got passed out of the slipstream at the main straight many times. As soon he was finally able to break away from his direct opponents, his lap times were ok. In the end, however, the gap to the riders in front of him was already too big. As a result, he has rightly nothing risked till the end. Given to the length of the track and the race distance, losing just 40 seconds to the top at the finish line is definitely no shame. Secretly we had hoped for a bit more, but unfortunately, we had to give up these speculations after the first lap already. The course of the race has once again made us a dash through the bill. A small consolation is that we finished third in the internal KTM ranking."
Difficult race in Mugello. Strong feelings for the next event
Mugello Circuit, Florence, Italy
Race day has started, as always, with warm up session in the early morning, and normally track temperature is not so hot, but here in Mugello is completely different. Our riders went out on track with strong feelings, in fact they were able to sign very good lap times during all the 20 minutes of the sessions. With their performance, either Kazuki Masaki and Makar Yurchenko ended up the warm up near the first riders, in the 13th position for Yurchenko and 19th position for Masaki.
The race was expected to be characterized by many battles, as in this track, most of all for Moto3 class, race had always seen a big group till the end.
Unfortunately, in the first lap, Kazuki Masaki crashed, but as he was in safe conditions, he decided to come back to the track and try to make as many laps as possible. This was not possible because the bike was suffering a lot from the accident.
Makar Yurchenko battled during all the race and finally he ended up in the 15th position gaining a point for the championship standing.
#76 MAKAR YURCHENKO P.15
“Today I had a strong feeling with my bike and I was able to sign good lap times during all the warm up session. Due to yesterday’s result I had to start the race from the back, but in the first lap I could overtake some riders. Unfortunately, from the first five laps, I wasn’t able to follow the race with the pace I was gaining until that moment. My bike started to run slower and also in the corners my feeling were quite different. Even so, I was able to ended up as the first rider of my group. I’m a little bit disappointed because today we could have finished the race in a better position.”
#22 KAZUKI MASAKI P./
“Today I started from the back due to yesterday’s qualifying and it is always difficult gaining positions when you are in the middle of the big group. In fact I made a mistake in the first lap and I crashed. Luckily it’s all under control and I feel good the same. For the next races I have to stay focus both in the race and in the qualifying practices, and most of all I have to work hard in order to start from the first four rows. “