2012 Phillip Island Moto2 And Moto3 Preview Press Releases
Press releases from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
AUSTRALIA PROVIDES EXCITING EPILOGUE TO ASIAN ADVENTURE
MAPFRE Aspar riders head to Phillip Island looking to make up for Sepang setback
It is goodbye to beachwear for the Moto2 riders and hello winter wardrobe as the MotoGP World Championship heads from the tropical climes of Malaysia to the fresh springtime of southern Australia. The difference in circuits is of equal contrast to the difference in conditions as they travel from one of the longest on the calendar to one of the shortest. The fast and flowing Phillip Island has been the scene of many a world title triumph in the past and it could be so again this weekend, with the Moto2 championship looking almost certain to be decided. Despite a rare slip-up at Sepang Marc Márquez holds a 48-point advantage over Pol Espargaró, meaning he needs just three more to be crowned World Champion.
Nico Terol and Jordi Torres have their own common target in Australia, which is to turn the page on a disastrous Sunday at Sepang. Neither of the MAPFRE Aspar Team riders managed to finish the race in Malaysia but after making progress during practice they are hoping to benefit from their hard work at Phillip Island. The goal is to pick up where they left off as soon as Friday morning's opening free practice session gets underway and make sure that they score the results that their recent progress merits before the end of the season.
Nico Terol: "Even though we didn't come away from the race with the result we were hoping for last Sunday I want to think positively and reflect on our pace in the dry over the whole weekend. Our level of performance is constantly improving and we are getting closer to the pace being set at the front. We are moving in the right direction and we won't stop until this progress turns into a result. Phillip Island is a fast circuit and it is one of my favourites. I usually go well there and I have good memories from the past so I hope we can have a perfect weekend there form start to finish. I think we deserve a good result now so hopefully Phillip Island can be the place. We know it won't come easily though because everybody is working equally hard towards the same objective."
Jordi Torres: "Sepang put the skids under a good run of form for us since Aragón. To be honest we struggled more than we expected to get on the pace there. It's a big circuit and if you lose only a little bit in each corner it is costly by the end of the lap. That is part of the past now and I am focusing purely on the lessons we learnt. In qualifying and in the race, up until the crash, I picked up a few things that should prove useful this weekend. We worked out how to get into the corners in a way that allows me to get on the throttle earlier on the way out. There are no excuses in Australia and we will go out to give it everything from the first minute. We are working hard and I want to continue our good recent form. I know Phillip Island is not an easy circuit but we will do whatever we have to do to adapt to it."
JONAS FOLGER TARGETS TOP STEP AT PHILLIP ISLAND
MAPFRE Aspar determined to maintain podium form after third place at Sepang
No matter that the layout of the Sepang circuit will be still etched on their minds, it is time to wipe the slate clean and start again for the Moto3 riders as they head south for a very different challenge this Friday. The Australian Grand Prix at the fast and flowing Phillip Island circuit is the sixteenth and penultimate round of the season for the minor category, which already has a new World Champion in Sandro Cortese thanks to his victory in Malaysia just a few days ago.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger has been one of the form men during the season run-in after signing for the Spanish outfit in August. He responded from a setback in Japan to return to podium form with a superb third place at Sepang, where he dominated for the majority of the weekend. That makes it four podiums from six races with the MAPFRE Aspar Team and the German youngster will look to extend that run in Australia this weekend. His young team-mate Luca Amato travels to another new circuit looking to build experience and confidence at World Championship level.
Jonas Folger: "This is a good time for me to be honest because I really like every track we are going to at the moment. Phillip Island is very special and doesn't compare to anywhere else. Every corner is different to any other corner in the world and it is always a great source of motivation for me to race there. I know it is a difficult and demanding track and you can't afford to lose concentration for a second but I am convinced we can come away with another good result. We took another step forward with the set-up in Malaysia and I feel even more comfortable with the bike than I did before. The objective for the weekend is to go out with the same mentality that has served us so well recently and make sure we prepare as best we can to be fighting for the win again on Sunday."
Luca Amato: "I am going to be pushing 100% from the first minute on track this weekend. I am struggling to adapt to this level of competition but I am not giving up. I have to push harder to find my limits because it is clear this bike is capable of more. It will be a tough weekend because we have already been on the road for the past two weeks but I am ready for it. I only know Phillip Island from playing it on the games console but I think I will like it. I don't want to set any targets. All I know is that I am going to give my best and and we'll see what happens."
NICCOLO READY TO TACKLE PHILLIP ISLAND
Niccolò Antonelli heads to another new country and circuit this weekend as the Moto3 World Championship moves on to Australia for the penultimate round of the season at Phillip Island. After a difficult race at Sepang when he had to fight to the finish due to intense back pain the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini Moto3 youngster is determined to show his full potential this weekend.
Niccolo’ Antonelli “We could have done without the crash in the warm-up at Sepang because I really suffered in the race as a result but I am proud that I made it to the finish and came away from the Grand Prix with a point to show for my efforts. I had a good feeling with the bike in Malaysia and I can't wait to ride it at Phillip Island, a circuit I am really curious about. From seeing the images on television and from what people have told me it seems it is an incredible circuit and I am fascinated by it. Hopefully I can have a good race and finish the season in style.”
Fausto Gresini “Niccolò showed his character at Sepang because he suffered a lot in the race but battled right to the end. It was another good learning experience for him and he will learn from it. He will need to work in tandem with the team at Phillip Island to find a good setting around a fast and spectacular track. With two races remaining of the season he has the opportunity to take another step forward and give himself a solid base to start from next year.”
FEEM HOPES TO FORGET SEPANG CRASH IN AUSTRALIA
An untimely crash at Sepang last Sunday saw Ratthapark Wilairot drop out of the challenge for points in the Malaysian Grand Prix to the disappointment of his travelling support from Thailand. However, he has a quick opportunity to put things right this week as the Moto2 World Championship heads directly to Phillip Island for the third race in as many weekends and the penultimate round of the 2012 season.
Ratthapark Wilairot “I was really disappointed with the result at Sepang and sorry to the team for the effort they had put in all weekend. The crash came at a bad time and it cost me dearly because I was fighting to finish in the points positions. I have to put the disappointment behind me now though and start looking ahead positively to the next round in Australia, where I hope to put things right and finish the season in the right manner."
Fausto Gresini “In Malaysia Feem could have definitely finished in the points but once again he was too impulsive on the bike. He is making progress and his feeling with the bike is improving but he needs to ride more calmly in the races. In Australia it will be important for him to stay focused and try to make up for that negative result at Sepang. ”
REA HEADS TO PHILLIP ISLAND ON A HIGH
Gino Rea travels to the penultimate round of the Moto2 World Championship at Phillip Island this weekend in high spirits after scoring a fantastic debut podium in the series at Sepang last Sunday. In wet conditions the British rider charged from 22nd position on the grid to lead the race when the red flags emerged, only for the result to be taken back a lap. Third place, however, was a welcome result and with uncertain weather predicted in Australia this weekend there could be the opportunity for further celebrations 'Down Under'.
Gino Rea “To come from 22nd on the grid and finish on the podium was an amazing moment for me and I am still buzzing off it. The problems that I have with the bike in the dry are vastly reduced in the wet so I can ride around them and perform to the limit of my potential. Now I want to show that I can do it in the dry too so that is the aim, working alongside the team. We will try our best to find a good setting for the bike in Australia and keep improving right to the end of the season."
Fausto Gresini “The race at Sepang was exciting but because of our sad memories there I could barely watch it because I was so nervous. Gino did an amazing job and maybe deserved the win although the race was stopped at the right time and we have absolutely no complaints about that. Now I would really like to see him transfer his pace in wet conditions to the dry. He is making great progress and his feeling with the bike is improving so hopefully the result from Sepang can give him the confidence to do well at Phillip Island, a circuit that should be suited to his riding style.”
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia looking for redemption in Australia
Fenati and Tonucci want to end on a positive note their Asian tour, and bounce back after a disappointing week-end in Sepang, which yielded no points.
After being third in Motegi, Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) was close to the Top 15 in Sepang but barely missed it. The Italian was able to improve his feeling with the bike during the second half of the championship, and is looking forward to race in Australia for the second time in his career.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) struggled throughout last week-end and was not able to secure another Top 10 finish. He has shown to be capable of fighting at the top consistently, and is currently fifth in the championship, two points behind Rins, who leads among the rookies.
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We are ready to wrap up this long tour across the world, and redeem ourselves in Phillip Island. Tonucci really loves this track, and Fenati will surely enjoy it. We can head back to Europe with both our riders in the Top 10."
Dunlop Holds On Down Under
Dunlop’s Moto2 tyres head to the tough and testing circuit of Phillip Island for the AirAsia Australian Grand Prix, the sixteenth and penultimate round of the 2012 Moto2 Championship, held on October 26-28. This will be the third and final race where the new 345 front tyre compound makes an appearance. It will also be the first race for Sandro Cortese as newly-crowned Moto3 World Champion.
Mind the Penguins
Perched on a fantastic island location – famed for penguins as well as a race circuit - with amazing views over the course of its 4.448km clockwise duration, Phillip Island offers a high speed workout for Dunlop’s tyres. Its relentless high-speed nature allied to the notoriously fickle local weather and only one significant braking point on the track, make for a tough ask of the tyre-markers art.
Dunlop will bring the rear tyre allocation from the Group E Specials – with the asymmetric W919 tyre – which incorporates two distinct and different compounds on its tread – and the 3838 compound in ATR14 construction to replicate some of the qualities of a dual tyre from a single tread compound.
W919 incorporates the two core compounds of 3854 soft and 3838 hard, with the 3838 offering high wear resistance with good consistency over distance. The 3854 soft means the right hand side of the tyre is immediately ready to deliver good grip for the few times it is called upon over the course of a lap.
This is the third and final race where the otherwise season regular front 717 compound is rested and the 345 is called into action. Dunlop will continue with evaluation of this tyre in its continued quest for performance improvement looking to the 2013 season.
A New Dunlop Champion
Whilst the Moto2 World Champion title is yet to be decided heading into the final two rounds of the season, the Moto3 championship has been won by Sandro Cortese, who took a dramatic victory by just 0.028secs last time out at Sepang. He will race for the final two races of the season – Phillip Island and Valencia – as champion.
Dunlop’s Moto2 Operations Manager, Clinton Howe:
“Firstly we congratulate Sandro Cortese and the Red Bull KTM Ajo team for their championship win in the inaugural Moto3 World Championship. We have all seen how close the racing is on track, so for Sandro and the team to take the title with two races remaining is a credit to their hard work.
“Phillip Island has always been a circuit that punishes tyres, especially on the left hand working side. The high forces in the long last left hand turn are amongst the most we see in the GP calendar. Adding to this that the track at this time of year is so cold creates a dilemma for tyre engineers. Do we take a tyre to give good confidence on the long left side that is stable and grippy or a tyre able to restrict cold tear on the non-working right side? The answer is both.
“This year we bring the new ATR14 construction rear that was used in Sachsenring Moto2 race earlier in the season for the first time with good results. This will be in the 3838 compound; effectively using one compound on the rear tyre to do the job of two which have previously been used over the last two years.
“As a back-up to this concept we will add this construction to the well-known W919 giving the right side a little more help with heat generation if needed. The front 345 as with the last two GPs is brought here to evaluate. We had only 6 riders choose the 717 compound last year for race,
so it will be interesting to see if the 345 is beginning to get the trust from the Moto2 riders.
“Our engineers will be keeping a close eye on tyre temperatures over the weekend as it is common to see rear temperatures go well above 140°C. Restricting the resultant heat build-up on the working side is what we hope the ATR14 construction will do, as well as putting more heat in the non-working side.
“Phillip Island is another circuit where Dunlop have not stood still with our development. As with the tyres in Motegi, both rears are new to this track as well as both fronts however we are confident after recent tests and evaluation that this allocation will offer the riders everything they want.”
Moto3 Rider Quote: Arthur Sissis No61 Red Bull KTM:
“The circuit is great; it’s got everything. You need lots of confidence going into turn four because it is a little off camber and then you have the long left hand turn at the end that’s very fast. I can’t really say too much about it as I have only raced there once before, and that was on a Yamaha 125cc last year. It was fun but hard work to keep up with the full time GP boys at the time! At this track the weather is the biggest problem, it can be very cold which makes grip a problem. Dunlop’s tyres have been good so far this year with good consistency so I’m looking forward to getting out on track.”