2012 Motegi Moto2 And Moto3 Press Release Previews
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams, previewing this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi:
Confidence high as Marc VDS head east
Gosselies, Belgium - 10 October 2012: The Marc VDS Racing Team head East to contest three races in as many weekends in Japan, Malaysia and Australia, starting this week with the Japanese Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
Scott Redding heads to Japan with renewed confidence, after an impressive podium finish last time out at Aragon. The British teenager likes the technical nature of the Motegi circuit and is looking forward to matching or even bettering his fifth place finish at the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix this weekend.
Aragon was a major disappointment for Mika Kallio, with 16th position ending his run of unbroken points scoring finishes that started at the opening round in Qatar. The 29-year-old Finn is determined to make amends and break back into the top five at Motegi, a track at which he has won three times in the past but doesn't count as one of his favourites.
Opened in 1999, the 4.8km Twin Ring circuit, some 160km north of Tokyo, sits in a rural landscape and, as its name suggests, boasts not one but two tracks: a "super speedway" oval and the longer, snaking "road course", which Redding and Kallio will be tackling this weekend.
Scott Redding #45:
"Motegi is a technical track, with a lot of places where you're really hard on the brakes, especially into the downhill corners. I know it's not popular with a lot of riders, but I quite like it. I had a good run out at Aragon, where I finished on the podium, so I'm pretty confident going into this weekend's race in Japan. Obviously I'll be keeping an eye on Mika, as he has designs on my fifth position in the championship, but the main aim at Motegi will be to repeat the success of Aragon and secure my fifth podium finish of the season."
Mika Kallio #36:
"I've won three times in the past at Motegi, so the track obviously suits me, but it's definitely not one of my favourite circuits. It's a bit boring to ride, as it's very stop start with hard braking followed by slow corners and then hard acceleration. I had a disappointing result last time out at Aragon, where we had some problems in the race, but I'm confident that we won't have the same issues in Japan. I've already shown I have the pace to be up at the front and fighting in the top five, which is exactly where I need to be this weekend at Motegi."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Three races in three weekends, with thousands of kilometres in between each, is a tough prospect for Scott, Mika and the team. But it's the same for everyone and I'm confident that we'll return to Europe at the end of this month with both riders having secured good results in Japan, Malaysia and Australia to consolidate their positions in the championship. Scott and Mika are both confident going into this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. Scott was on the podium last time out and, while he claims he doesn't really like the Motegi circuit, Mika has won there on both a 125cc and 250cc machine in the past. Racing in Japan is always very different to racing in Europe, but we need to approach this weekend in the same way as every other if we are to challenge for a podium finish once again."
THREE RACES IN THREE WEEKS ACROSS ASIA AND OCEANIA
MAPFRE Aspar riders pack their bags for triple-header in Japan, Malaysia and Australia
The final run-in to the Moto2 World Championship gets underway this weekend in the land of the rising sun, as Japan plays host to the first of three races in as many weekends across intercontinental borders. A three-week trip ends on 28th October at Phillip Island, with thousands of miles and some important and exciting racetracks to cover in between. First up is the Twin Ring Motegi, a hard-braking track located deep in the Japanese forest. The local geography lends itself to rainy conditions meaning this race could prove to be a spanner in the works of the Moto2 title chase, with Marc Márquez currently leading by 48 points from his closest rival Pol Espargaró, winner of the last round at Aragón.
MAPFRE Aspar riders Nico Terol and Jordi Torres can hardly wait for the fourteenth round of the season to get underway, having both enjoyed a positive weekend at Aragón. Terol has been gathering momentum and confidence over the last few rounds and he is hoping this can be the weekend he turns it into a major result. Torres was the surprise package of the race with eighth place at Motorland and having already ridden Motegi in 2011 he is hoping to build on the experience with another positive performance this weekend.
Nico Terol: "This is the final sprint in the championship now with three races so close together. Tomorrow we head to Motegi and I can't wait to get there because it is a circuit I like and it is something a bit different to the tracks we have visited recently. It has some tight corners and you need to be hard on the brakes and early on the gas. It will be important to get a good feeling from the first session this weekend. We managed to do that at Aragón last week and I am sure that if we work to the same system as at Motorland we will be ready for the race. We are doing a great job at the moment and we just need to finish it off with a great race. I am sure that moment is very close now and we will have to remain very focused to try and achieve it during a very difficult period. I am full of energy and looking forward to this three-week adventure."
Jordi Torres: "Motegi was a good circuit for me last year, even though I wasn't able to finish the race well because I was run off track and I hope we can have a similar feeling there this time. It is a circuit with a lot of hard braking, where you have to get the bike stopped and turned, without too many long straights. It is a good circuit for me and I am mentally well prepared for a good result. I would like to continue with the progress we began to make at Motorland and after competing in the European Championship last weekend I hope it doesn't affect me too much. Hopefully the weather is good to us and makes for a straightforward weekend."
TOUGHEST STAGE OF THE SEASON GETS STARTED IN JAPAN
Folger hopes to maintain podium form at Motegi as Amato continues World Championship adventure
Almost five kilometres of twisting tarmac in the middle of a dense Japanese forest awaits the Moto3 youngsters this weekend as their three-week intercontinental adventure gets underway at Motegi. Located in the rural isolation of the Tochigi prefecture the circuit host the first of three World Championship races in as many weekends, with the series set to move swiftly on to Malaysia and Australia over the following fortnight. This is the time when the riders' intense physical training programmes really pay off and the exhausting run of races often tends to decide championships. Indeed in Moto3 Sandro Cortese, with a 51-point advantage over closest rival Luis Salom, gets his first mathematical opportunity to wrap up the title this Sunday.
MAPFRE Aspar Team rider Jonas Folger has his own championship hopes pinned on next season after signing a deal to remain with the Spanish outfit following an incredible start to their time together. With three podiums and a worst result of sixth place in just four outings as a MAPFRE Aspar Team man the German, third last time out at Aragón, heads to the Far East feeling full of confidence and eager to maintain his momentum until the end of the current campaign. His young compatriot and new team-mate Luca Amato has his own targets this weekend, the 16-year-old taking on the toughest period of the World Championship season just two weeks after making his debut at this level at Aragón.
Jonas Folger: "I really like the three races ahead of us now. Motegi is a spectacular track, very technical and with a lot of hard braking. Sepang is also one of my favourites so I hope we can keep up this run of excellent results. It is a tough period because you have three races very close together a long way from home but I know I have trained hard this year so I am mentally and physically prepared. In just four races with the MAPFRE Aspar Team we have scored some great results and the important thing is that we continue to grow. The objective this weekend will be to keep on making progress and hopefully pick up another podium."
Luca Amato: "I am really excited to be competing in Asia. Everything is new to me but I am really looking forward to getting to Motegi and learning more about this category alongside the MAPFRE Aspar Team. Hopefully in Japan the weather is kinder to us than it was in Aragón because it was a really mixed weekend there. The important thing will be to continue to adapt and to work hard to find the feeling with the bike that we were missing at Aragón. To be honest I have only ever seen Motegi on the games console and on the television. It seems to have a lot of hard braking zones and it looks like a tricky but fun circuit."
Dunlop Takes Softer Front to Motegi
Dunlop’s Moto2 tyres head to Japan for the 14th round of the Moto2 World Championship with the AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan which takes place at Twin Ring Motegi on October 12-14 where a new compound front tyre will be employed with the 717 put on the bench and the 345 called into active service.
Motegi is a ‘stop-start’ circuit without high speed corners and significant lateral loads. This means the tyres’ mechanical grip is particularly called upon over the course of the 4.8km, 14 corner lap. The pit straight is 762 metres long, entered from a hairpin meaning significant traction demands at this point.
The circuit is located amongst the vast natural beauty of the northern Kanto district, and the facility consists of the 4.8km road course as well as a 2.4km oval course. Built by Honda as the ultimate test facility in August 1997, the road circuit became home to MotoGP in 2000.
Get a Grip
Dunlop will unleash the Group D Grip Focused combo of the 4886 & 3838 compounds for the high stability and mechanical grip needs of Motegi. The 4886 medium compound was introduced late in the 2011 season with good results. Has the ability to give the rider good initial grip and good life in cool conditions. 3838 is the harder option core compound. Both rear tyres are in the ATR05.
For the front the season regular 717 compound is rested and the 345 is called into action for Motegi, Sepang and Phillip Island. These three different venues will provide Dunlop with significant development data useful for the 2013 season whilst providing riders with a compound which has been developed in the FIM Endurance World Championship and has proved successful in cold and hot conditions while in Japan and in Europe. The 345 will be paired with 717’s erstwhile partner, 302.
Dunlop’s Moto2 Operations Manager, Clinton Howe:
“Motegi is a stop-start track, all slow corners with no real high speed challenges so you need a good balance with mechanical grip and good stability. The stability from the tyres is important as the riders are either standing on the brakes or accelerating hard so they don’t want a tyre with a lot of movement in it.
“In terms of the track surface, Motegi can be abrasive, but because of the slow nature of the turns the tyres do not get punished too much. There is more of a challenge with the temperatures, as these can range from cool in the morning to hot and humid in the afternoon, however we’ve previously found that the track is typically around the 30-35˚C region which is the sweet spot for tyre performance.
“If it rains it’s one of the hardest tracks on front wet tyres, due to the nature of the braking demands, and the heat build-up. We see shape change in the centre of the front wet tyres, but the sides are perfect. The centres almost overheat, so a drying track is the worst scenario.
“It’s exciting for us to be bringing the slightly softer 345 compound to take over from the 717 for the next three races. As we have seen the Moto2 championship evolve, the usual 50/50 split between the two front compounds has the first two years has become one of 70/30 in favour of the 302.
“Moto2 machinery is not as hard on front tyres as it once was and we now see ourselves in a position where we can offer the slightly softer 345 as a substitute to 717. This will give back some edge feeling that the riders lost with the 717 front and hopefully give them confidence to race the harder option at more races.”
NICCOLO READY FOR JAPANESE ADVENTURE
Niccolò Antonelli heads to the Far East this weekend ready to experience a completely different country and culture for the first time. As well as discovering the charms of Japan off the track the youngster must also get to grips with the demands of the Twin Ring Motegi circuit but after a positive weekend at Aragon the Team San Carlo Honda Moto3 rider is determined to prove his ability to run with the group again. Japan is the first of three intercontinental flyaway rounds as Niccolò aims to continue his progress before the season finale at Valencia.
Niccolo’ Antonelli “It was a positive weekend at Aragon even if the weather wasn't the best and we didn't get chance to do the work that we wanted to do. Unfortunately our gear ratio wasn't right for the race and it was a little short in place so that made things difficult in the race although I appreciate how hard it was for the engineers after my crash in warm-up. Anyway, it was a good race for us considering all that because I stayed with the front group and even when I made a couple of mistakes I was able to close the gap back up. That gives me a lot of confidence for the next races. I will need to learn my way around Motegi and work well to find a good setting early on, which will be crucial to qualifying well and having a good race from there. On television the circuit looks really nice with a lot of hard braking and some very tight corners and I can't wait to get out there. I am really excited by the whole trip and it will be fascinating for me to experience a whole new part of the world. ”
Fausto Gresini “Niccolò is constantly growing and he was able to show that again at Aragon where as well as finishing tenth, which is a good result anyway, he finished close behind the winner and showed he has the pace to run with the front group. Everything he showed on track in Spain is a good omen for the future and now he gets to continue this huge learning experience a long way from Europe. The three races in Japan, Malaysia and Australia will take him to new tracks in new countries and the whole experience will be a huge help to his future career.”
MAXIMUM CONCENTRATION FOR GINO IN JAPAN
After a weekend of highs and lows at Aragon Gino Rea is hoping for the opportunity to show his potential in dry conditions this weekend in Japan. The British rider will be focused from the first session on finding a set-up to tackle the harsh braking and acceleration zones of the tricky Motegi circuit.
Gino Rea “Aragon was a weekend of ups and downs and unfortunately it ended on a down. It was nice to be able to show my potential in the wet conditions but we were unable to transfer that form to the dry because we didn't have the set-up to run with the fastest Suters. I had a lot of chatter in the race and I just couldn't keep my pace up. It would be nice if we had some good weather at Motegi to work on the set-up of the bike because that's what we need. I don't know Motegi at all but I have seen footage of past seasons there and tried to use that to study the layout. There is a lot of hard braking and that should be an advantage for us because it means that chatter should be less of an issue."
Fausto Gresini “We have yet to see Gino fulfil the potential he has shown in practice in a race yet and at Aragon we saw again how fast he can be. Now the moment has arrived where he simply has to make use of practice and turn it into the kind of result that he has the potential to achieve.”
WILAIROT RELISHING ORIENTAL FLAVOUR
A trip to his native Far East could be just the incentive Ratthapark Wilairot needs to recover his confidence and return to the battle for points in the Moto2 World Championship. After a difficult weekend at Aragon when he was denied the opportunity to enjoy the dry track time he needs to put a huge crash at Misano behind him the Thai rider is hoping some decent weather and good memories from past visits to Motegi can provide a timely boost ahead this weekend of the season run-in.
Ratthapark Wilairot “I struggled in the wet and dry conditions at Aragon and tried my best to rediscover my confidence on the bike but my mind kept going back to the crash at Misano. I really have to try to overcome this horrible memory and get back to having fun on the bike. Hopefully at Motegi we get some good weather because that would be a big help. Motegi is a technical and difficult circuit and it will be extremely important to do a good job in practice and find a setting that gives me confidence. A well balanced bike that transfers its weight properly in braking and under acceleration will be crucial but I like Motegi and I have good memories there so that gives me confidence."
Fausto Gresini “Feem has to find some confidence in himself first and foremost after the crash at Misano. He needs to get the feeling back for riding his bike and it will be very important for him to put his bad memories of the crash behind him as soon as possible and work on finding a good set-up for Motegi. If he can do that there's no reason why he can't be fighting for points again.”
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia FMI ready to take over Japan
Fenati and Tonucci landed in Japan with the goal to improve Aragon's results and do well in the home GP of Honda, with which the team is honored to partner.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) wants to put the Spanish race behind. After a strong qualifying session (4th place) and a good start to the race, he was forced to retire. With a "zero" to his tally, he is now pressed by Rins for the Rookie of the Year title. The two are separated by only 14 points with 4 races to go, and Fenati is determined to do well on a track he has never seen before to consolidate his fourth position in the championship and finish the season as the best rookie.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19), on the other hand, can count on a previous experience on the Japanese track, where he scored his best result last season with a 10th place. The Italian, after a good fight for Top 10 in Aragon, is ready to finish the last leg of the season on a positive note.
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We are back in Japan with a great memory from last year, when we tried to show solidarity for the Tsunami-struck population in name of all Italy. Our riders are in good form and determined to finish the championship strong. We expect great things from both."
The NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders determined for Japan
The 15th round of the world championship takes the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team to Japan. The Twin Ring Motegi circuit will be the first of the three back-to-back Asian races. The team’s goal is clear, start this first race improving the results from the last GP.
In MotoGP Colin Edwards will strive to be in the points and with the setup work done so far, get closer to the best bikes in his category. In Moto2 great expectations for Yuki Takahashi, who at his home race wants to take the opportunity to comeback among the top riders: same for Alex De Angelis who has a score to settle after finishing 6th during last years race at this very circuit.
Yuki Takahashi -72
“It is always great to race here in Motegi, its home! I look forward to having my family and friends here this weekend and I’m sure that this weekend we will be within the points. We have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Alex De Angelis – 15
“After the last race in Aragon I see Motegi as the opportunity to get back to work after a more than unlucky beginning of the race at the last race and have the chance to fight with the lead group.”
Colin Edwards – 5
“We have made several improvements in the last few races, lets hope they come in handy and allow us to find the right setup of the bike to be able to be with the top CRTs.”