Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races Indianapolis:
LIVIO LOI WINS INDIANAPOLIS GP
With an advantage of almost 40 seconds Livio Loi won the Indianapolis Grand Prix. RW Racing GP took a gamble on the tyres on the grid already and Loi took full advantage of the slicks. The Belgian rider started from 26th on the grid, moved up to ninth in the first lap and took the lead in the third lap, to never give it away anymore.
Just minutes before the start of the Moto3 race it began to rain and the race was declared wet. But soon after it began raining it stopped again and everybody on the grid was in doubt which tyres to choose. With just 40 seconds to go before the warm up lap the team decided to take the gamble and change to slick tyres.
“Starting from 26th we had nothing to lose,” team manager Jarno Janssen explained. “It was a matter of making the choice at exactly the right moment. We were first, the others had not enough time left to change. Livio knew what he had to do: go all or nothing, get to the front as soon as possible and hope it stays dry. Our strategy worked out perfectly. We have made some gambles in the recent past. In Germany it worked out the wrong way, but now it was just perfect. Livio rode a perfect race, kept his head cool, made not a single mistake. Well done!”
Team owner Roelof Waninge watched the race from home in Dwingeloo, The Netherlands. As if it was meant to be: back in 2012 when Luis Salom won his first race for RW Racing GP it was exact the same situation. Salom also won his maiden victory at Indianapolis with the team owner at home watching tv. “Maybe I should not go to races anymore,” Waninge joked. “This win is so good for the whole team and everyone involved. The team has worked excellent and made all the right decisions, based on experience and knowledge. The team coached Livio very well from pit wall. It is just great to see how luck finally was on our side as well and Livio riding a perfect race.”
From the moment he took the lead, in the third lap, 18 year old Loi kept building up a gap to John McPhee in second and Phillip Oettl in third. Halfway through the 23 laps race a few spots of rain came down again but the gap was already 23 seconds, allowing Loi to take it more easy. But still he was able to widen the gap and ride faster lap times. With three laps to go it started to rain a bit more and Loi was in the middle of a group that was riding a lap down. The Belgian avoided all possible confrontations to stay out of trouble. He crossed the line to take his maiden Moto3 Grand Prix win (in his 34rd GP) with an advantage of 39 seconds.
Livio Loi – 1 (40.50,747)
“I’m over the moon. I still can’t believe I’ve won. We made just the right decision to go out on slicks and I was able to go for it from the start. It was just perfect. When I came to the group I had to pay extra attention to stay out of troubles and when it started to rain again I decided to back down a bit. Why take any risk of crashing when you have over half a minute of advantage? I could keep my head cool, stayed calm and concentrated and give myself and the team a well-deserved victory. Amazing!”
Rookie Martin takes top ten in shambolic rain-hit race
Indianapolis, 9 August 2015:
Changing conditions and a series of panicked pit stops made an extraordinary Moto3 afternoon at Indianapolis – with a surprise top-three podium, and a hard-earned best-yet top ten finish for Mapfre Team Mahindra rider Jorge Martin.
Light rain was falling as start time drew near, and a Wet Race was declared, with riders given extra warm-up laps to adjust to the conditions … only for those conditions to change in the final minutes as they waited on the grid.
A handful of riders took the gamble to start on slick tyres, and took the benefit as the track dried rapidly. The top three finishers – first-time podium spots for each – were the most notable, with maiden race winner Livio Loi (Honda) actually changing tyres on the grid, the others starting from pit lane.
Runaway championship leader Danny Kent, like the majority, started on wet tyres, but in spite of an early change he finished only 21st.
The Mapfre Mahindra trio also started on wet tyres, then pitted after the first of the 23 laps to change to slicks. Pit lane was crowded with riders and frantic mechanics. Thanks to slick work by the pit crew, Martin was able to leave the pits in good time, but still finished the third lap in 23rd place.
From there, balancing risk against ambition as rain fell again later in the race, he moved steadily up the order to finish an excellent tenth, matching his qualifying position.
Second Mapfre Mahindra finisher was Juanfran Guevara – three places out of the points in 18th. But a crash out of the race put the cap on a difficult weekend for Pecco Bagnaia. As well as a tyre-change pit stop, he also had to serve a ride-through penalty for a jump start.
This is the second race in succession that grand prix rookie Martin (17, from Madrid) has been the only Mapfre Mahindra rider in the points. Winner of the Red Bull Rookies Cup last year, this was Martin’s first visit to the Indianapolis circuit.
The next round is the Czech Republic GP at Brno, in one week.
JORGE MARTIN – Tenth Place
This was a really good weekend, all weekend we were fast. And then a really strange race. It started raining and then it stopped again, so we had to stop and change tyres. After that I kept my concentration and enjoyed overtaking people. I will try to improve for the next races.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO, Mahindra Racing
That was probably the most bizarre race Moto3 has ever seen. It was the guys who really gambled on the tyres who won. We are really happy with the progress of Martin, getting stronger all the time. I am sure this race will give him even more confidence, since it was in such difficult conditions. I hope he can continue to improve. It was a forgettable weekend for Pecco. We need to analyse how we can help him to get back to his real position, in the top five.
Jorge Navarro and Fabio Quartararo earn points in chaotic race
Rain before the race and subsequent rapid drying asphalt turns contest into a lottery. Jorge Navarro finishes ninth, Fabio Quartararo eleventh and Maria Herrera twenty-fourth.
The two Repsol riders, Jorge Navarro and Fabio Quartararo, managed to overcome a difficult race in Indianapolis. The rain before the start of the Moto3 contest left the asphalt completely wet and forced the riders to put on rain tyres. However, hardly anyone had imagined that the track would dry out as quickly as it did, and most riders had to go through the pits for tyre changes.
As Moto3 riders do not have two bikes available, the mechanics had to change tyres and setup bikes in record time. After entering the pits to change tyres, Navarro went back out on track and regained positions until reaching the group fighting for fifth place –joining Viñales, Bastianini, Antonelli and Binder. Navarro eventually finished ninth after losing positions in the group on the final laps, when the rain once again made an appearance and he opted to be cautious.
Teammate Fabio Quartararo also ascended positions during the race, placing eleventh at the chequered flag. Maria Herrera, who had reached as high as tenth before pitting to change tyres, finished in twenty-fourth position.
After this race, the World Championship moves to the Czech Republic, where next weekend’s Grand Prix will be held.
Fabio Quartararo 11th at 1:32.784 min
"It was a difficult race. We started out with wet tyres and when I entered the pits to change tyres I got nervous and lost many seconds. The first two laps I took very slowly and I lost the front group. Then I started going really fast, giving the maximum I could, and I reached them again. I'm happy with the race, as it helps to gain experience. We did not think about putting slicks on when we were on the grid, because it was raining and we could not risk so much. The final laps was also difficult because it was raining, but I took some risks to make up some places."
Jorge Navarro 9th at 1:25.292 min
"It was a crazy race. Before the start it began to rain and we set off with wet tyres. Some riders took the risk, came into the garage to put on slicks and things worked out for them. We were more conservative, but when I put on the slicks I started setting a very good pace and I got into fifth. With a few laps remaining it started to rain hard again and I took things easy, since the aim was to finish the race and gain experience in these conditions. The team did an impeccable job when I stopped to change tyres; I think we were the fastest."
María Herrera 24th +1 lap
"It started raining when we were on the grid and I thought the race would be wet. I started calmly, to try things out at the beginning, and then I managed to move up positions. But other riders switched to dry tyres before me. I stayed out one lap longer and I lost several seconds I could not recover. I think it was a race to learn from and be smarter if these circumstances occur again – either changing the tyres earlier or risking things from the beginning."
The Sky Racing Team VR46 on the verge of podium at the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix
In a rain-affected race, Fenati finishes in 4th as the first of the Italian riders and ousts Oliveira from third in the overall standings
Bad luck hits Migno: after staying fourth for half of the race, he finishes 20th
It was a rain-affected race for the maiden Moto3 class in Indianapolis as a heavy shower poured down just before the start: Romano Fenati managed to secure fourth place despite the tyres switch, whereas bad luck affected Andrea Migno’s performance who finished 20th after lapping in fourth for half of the race, before colliding with Lorenzo Dalla Porta.
As he got away from eleventh on the grid, Romano Fenati decided to get back into the pits after three laps to switch tyres: at first the rider from Ascoli, just as all the riders lined up on the grid, had opted for rain tyres, but the race conditions – declared wet – soon turned out to be dry. Also thanks to an outstanding teamwork, Fenati managed to pull back a lot of positions imposing himself as the best of the Italian riders in fourth. The result means Fenati has ousted Miguel Oliveira in the overall standings, getting third place in the Moto3 World Championship with 112 points.
Andrea Migno’s race, instead, was heavily affected by bad luck: the rider put in a superb first stint, after he decided to switch to slicks and start from pit lane. For half of the race he stayed in fourth taking a good lead on his chasers. On 11th lap, though, he collided with Lorenzo Dalla Porta and ended up on the grass thus causing his bike to switch off. So the Italian rookie lost ground and finished his first race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 20th.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
First of all I think the team has worked incredibly hard and I'm very happy. We implemented an almost perfect strategy with both Andrea and Romano and this is very important. After quite a troublesome weekend for Fenati, as he crashed during all free practice sessions, I think this fourth place is the right reward for the work we have been doing. Too bad for Migno, who had done almost everything well: we adopted a perfect strategy, changing tyres at the right time. He was fourth just 30 seconds off the third and 20 seconds ahead the fifth, but unfortunately he collided with Dalla Porta, the bike turned off and he eventually lost ground. Too bad, he really deserved to be there.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
As we lined up on the grid we were very undecided on whether to opt for slicks or rain tyres. After the start, the track began to dry out and so I returned to the pits and urged the mechanics to do as fast as they could to allow me to get back on track as soon as possible and they were great. My big thanks goes to them, this success is theirs. It was quite an unusual race with a somewhat remixed ranking. Bravo Loi took the risk as he rode on slicks right from the start, hats off to him and congratulations. As I was saying, the race was anomalous. I run all by himself, with a little tension in the last laps when rain started to fall again. Then I slowed down a bit and tried to manage my fourth place.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
It might have been a big day for us all, unfortunately a bad episode spoilt the race. Everything was going well with the team and we managed to find the right strategy in spite of the frenzy in the final moments before the start. On the grid, we had decided to switch from rain tyres to slicks, but by regulation we had to await the conclusion of the parade lap. The pit stop was really fast, the team sent me back on track in no time after changing tires, so much that I found myself in fourth place, lapping with good times and a great feeling with the bike. Unfortunately I collided with Lorenzo Dalla Porta on corner 10 and I just ended up off the track. Of course the bike switched off and I lost much time. Too bad, just at the climax this episode we did not allow us to achieve the result we deserved after we had hit the right strategy and worked well for the whole weekend.
Moto3 - Missed opportunity for San Carlo Team Italia at Indianapolis
Critical choice of tyres at the start: Manzi finishes 19th, Ferrari 29th
The variable weather conditions defined winners and losers of the today's race of the Moto3 World Championship at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and also the final results of the riders of San Carlo Team Italia. The rain, appeared few minutes before the start, encouraged most of the riders to go on the grid with rain tyres, except for the winner by surprise Livio Loi (Honda), who was emulated by other unexpected protagonists of the class after the Warm Up Lap.
As most of the riders did, Stefano Manzi and Matteo Ferrari started with rain tyres, changing them to the slick ones in the first part of the race. A choice that precluded to the two riders of the Italian Motorcycling Federation to reach the points, since Manzi and Ferrari were respectively 19th and 29th on the finish line.
For Moto3 San Carlo Team Italia, the next engagement is in few days at the Autodrom Brno (Czech Republic), eleventh round of the 2015 World Championship.
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 19th
"It was a difficult race because of the weather. It started to rain again on the starting grid so we started, as the other riders, with rain tyres. After few laps the rain stopped and the asphalt was drying, so we stopped to put on the slick tyres. The team was very fast in the pit-stop, I went back on track in the top-20 and I kept the position till the end of the race. I gained experience, the final result was a pity, but we have the potential to improve in the following races."
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #12) 29th
"It was a strange race. As it always happens, these weather conditions presented different unknowns and just a moment is enough to do the right or the wrong choice. We started with the rain tyres and lap after lap I gained positions, hoping that the rain started again, so that we could have been protagonist in the final part of the race. For this reason I was among the last ones to do the pit-stop. In these situations you never know how it could end, and the fact that the rain started again four laps before the end, proves it. It was a pity because it could have been a positive race."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"We lined up on the grid with rain tyres after listening to the thought of the riders about it. Our guys, as most of the starting grid, didn't want to risk. Our race was determined in that moment, and also the final results since the first 3 risked the slick tyres from the start of the race. There's not so much to say: we will try to improve in few days in Brno."
BASTIANINI EMERGES FROM THE CLOUDS TO TAKE 10 VALUABLE POINTS AT INDY. LOCATELLI 13th
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 riders Enea Bastianini and Andrea Locatelli crossed the finish line of the Indianapolis Grand Prix in sixth and thirteenth position, respectively. Started with rain tyres because of a damp track after the rain dropped right before the start of the race, the 17-year-old rider from Rimini and his team mate entered pits to put slick tyres at the end of the second lap, then they kept a good pace on the dry and they came back quickly in the top ten positions, with the top three riders - Loi (started with slicks), McPhee and Oettl (returned to the pits to change tyres after the warm up lap) - already gone and then on the podium in that order.
Thanks to this sixth place Bastianini, who has always been one of the fastest riders on track with dry conditions, recovered 10 points on championship leader Danny Kent, who was only 21st today. The gap from the British rider is now of 56 points, with eight races left.
After making a superb start on the wet, Andrea Locatelli fought till the end for the positions close to the top ten, eventually crossing the finish line in thirteenth behind Quartararo and Hanika. For the 18-year-old rider from Selvino, who now has 31 points in the standings, this is the sixth points scoring finish out of ten races.
ENEA BASTIANINI (6th)
“At the beginning of the race with a damp track maybe I was a little disheartened: I know that I’m still struggling in the wet, because I never had great opportunities to race in rain conditions. But then the rain stopped and the track dried out very quickly: therefore at the end of the second lap I entered the pits to put slick tyres, also because I saw Kent doing the same thing. In the dry we were able to make a good comeback: I had a good feeling with the bike and also with the asphalt and I was able to keep a good pace recovering several positions, so I can be satisfied. The ten points recovered on Kent are not many, but they are very important, because you can win championship are by only one point. This definitely gives us a great motivation to push harder and not give up!”.
ANDREA LOCATELLI (13th)
“Before the start I also evaluated the option of starting the race with slicks, but then there was just no time to replace them and so we started with rain tyres. After the start I hoped it would continue to rain some more, but the track dried out quickly and so we had to stop after just two laps to change tyres. In the dry I stayed in the same group of riders for the whole race, fighting for the positions close to the top ten, then unfortunately at the end I lost the eleventh position in the sprint with Quartararo and Hanika, finishing thirteenth. I picked up three points, but they are not many... in Brno I would like to start immediately better the weekend to try to stay with the fastest, because the season is getting closer and closer to the end and I still don’t have many points in the standings”.
“Bastianini made a beautiful race and with dry conditions he was often the fastest rider on track: this is undoubtedly positive. After the tyre change it was definitely not easy to recover, but Enea was strong and he got a nice sixth place, which allows us to recover 10 points on Kent and to strengthen the second position in the overall standings. I’m also satisfied with the overall result, with Locatelli who collected more points despite starting back on the grid after a poor Qualifying. Probably with a different strategy we could collect more, but in these races is never easy and you never know how it ends”.
Fifth for Rabat and top ten for Márquez in difficult conditions at Indy
Indianapolis, United States - 9 August 2015: A brief rain shower immediately before the Indianapolis Grand Prix left the field facing a treacherous Moto2 race. A mature ride in the difficult conditions saw Tito Rabat finish fifth, despite struggling with tyre problems late in the race. Álex Márquez was involved in an intense battle throughout the race but stood his ground to take the chequered flag in 10th position.
Having dropped to ninth from the start, Rabat eased his way to the front over the course of the first nine laps. The battle at the front saw the reigning Moto2 World Champion fight as part of a five rider group and a drying line and slick tyres meant any mistakes would be severely punished, as a few riders discovered to their cost.
Rabat was surefooted throughout the race but struggled with a lack of rear grip. When the Spaniard started to ride more aggressively he suffered from chatter and when he was fighting with Franco Morbidelli in the closing stages he had no answers to the Italian when he barged down the inside. Rabat was lucky to avoid contact with Morbidelli but afterwards said that the incident was nothing to be concerned about and that he just didn't have the grip to fight with him.
Márquez had one of his strongest races of the year and ran in the top ten for most of the 25-lap race. The reigning Moto3 World Champion showed consistent pace throughout and was rewarded with six points as well as a boost to his confidence after a difficult race at the Sachsenring ahead of the summer break.
Tito Rabat: 5th
"It was a little bit unfortunate because we have worked so well this weekend and then it started to rain before the race. The track changed a lot so I was trying to ride safely at the start but when I started to try and push harder as the race progressed I had a lot of chatter from the rear tyre. It's unfortunate because the team did a great job this weekend and this result doesn't reflect that. I was not so fast when I got into the battle with Morbidelli. My top speed was quite good but when I tried to carry more corner speed it was sliding a lot. I could accelerate well and pass slower riders, but with the faster riders I needed more corner speed and I couldn't do it."
Álex Márquez: 10th
"We worked very well this weekend. We still need to improve but this is the direction that we need to follow. We need to work a little bit more to maintain the pace at the end of the race but this was a good result. We need to keep pushing and I'm looking forward to Brno because it's a track that I like and I want to go there and push hard. After Sachsenring we came here knowing that we couldn't win the race here, but we also knew that we wouldn’t face the same issues. I believe that we can finish on the podium this year, but I need to continue to improve my riding style if we are to achieve this."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"We were quick all weekend and I think that a podium would have been nice for all the work that we have done but in this race it was a big fight for the win with five riders. There's only three that can finish on the podium and it was unfortunate that it wasn't us. Álex had another top ten finish and that's good for him and his confidence. At the end of the day we go home with points in our pocket and we can build on this for Brno next weekend."
BAD LUCK AT THE BRICKYARD BUT THE LEAD REMAINS IN LEOPARD RACING HANDS
A short rain shower this morning has robbed any hopes for Leopard Racing to continue their brilliant performance as displayed over the course of practice days at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Changed weather conditions this morning came surprisingly for all parties involved in the hard fought Moto3 championship. Whereas the warm up session earlier this morning was held in dry conditions, riders and teams were forced to change the bike’s setup for a possible wet race due to just some rain drops, but which were enough for a damp track.
However, Leopard Racing’s riders and crew started the race with rain tyres as they couldn’t risk anything because of the world standing at this time of the championship whereas some riders took a gamble to race with slicks from the very first beginning. Such the likes as race winner Livio Loi and his fellow contenders on the podium, John McPhee and Philipp Öttl, were the lucky winners. So Danny Kent, dominating this season so far with five race wins to his hands, had absolutely no chance to recover after he lost the race in the pits, which was the same case for team mate Efren Vazquez, when they were in to change wheels for the drying track. Kent finished in 21st position, whilst Vazquez crashed out of the race finally. Japanese rider Hiroki Ono couldn’t do anything better as he crossed the line in 26th position.
Fortunate for the team and series leader Kent as his main contenders for the championship weren’t able to take full benefit of Leopard Racing’s bad luck today. It was only Enea Bastianini, who came home in sixth place to catch ten points on Kent’s lead.
The Moto3™ World Championship heads to back to Europe for the next round in the Czech Republic in just one week time.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ - NC, World Championship position 5th (96 points):
“Overall, we had so much bad luck during this. First I started well and I got a good rhythm with rain tyres immediately. During the first laps I was calculating the difference in terms of lap times between rain tyres and a normal rhythm in dry conditions and due to that I was out on track to push for one more lap to get this advantage of two or three seconds with rain tyres to others with slicks. But then I went into the pit lane in second place with a little gap to the following riders and we lost more than a minute for changing tyres compared to other rides such as Fenati, for example. I think this was the main reason for which we lost this race. Our pit stop was too slow at all. After that I tried to push and I was able to lap a similar rhythm like Danny and in doing so we were the fastest riders with slick tyres out on track. But if you lose one minute in the pits it’s impossible to recover successfully. Of course the outcome is disappointing, but the weekend in general was good and I try to kick off Indy quickly. Fortunately we can recover already next week.”
#52 Danny KENT - 21st, World Championship position 1st (190 points):
“Indianapolis was a great weekend in general till the race got underway. But this tricky conditions made it really hard for us. The main problem was when we came into the pit, it took too long time to change for slick tyres. I think our timing was well chosen as I entered the pits alongside Brad Binder who finished the race in eight position finally. We lost too much time to change the wheels. This is something where the team has to work on, just in case we’ll experience a similar situation in future races. Yes, of course I’m annoyed but we still have a good points lead in the championship so we just need to go to Brno now to recover some more points there. To lose just ten points here shouldn’t be that drama for us.”
#76 Hiroki ONO - 26th, World Championship position 22nd (15 points):
“This race of course was a big gamble. Like anybody else we started out with the rain tyres and like anybody else we came in after the first lap and we did a very quick change to the slick tyres. But I think it was already too late for this switch, so we lost the gamble today. But that’s racing. I already look forward to the upcoming race in Brno next week.”
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
“After two strong practice days with a perfect start into the weekend and pole position again, it wasn’t a conciliatory conclusion of our visit to Indianapolis this time. The changed weather conditions with slightly rain shortly before the start of the race was a surprise for everyone and due the championship situation we couldn’t do any gamble. So the decision was to start with rain tyres like anybody else. But the track dried and for this we were forced to changes tyres. However, we lost the race in the pits because we were too slow obviously. There is no excuse, so apologize to our riders.”
Tricky Indianapolis Moto3 GP a lesson for Husqvarna Laglisse riders
Tricky and rapidly changing weather conditions at the beginning of the Indianapolis Moto3 GP, the tenth round of the 2015 World Championship series, proved to be a valuable lesson for the two young riders Husqvarna Laglisse riders, Spain’s Maria Herrera and new recruit Lorenzo Dalla Porta of Italy, the team reports.
Race officials declared it a ‘wet race’ and riders lined up on the grid on wet tires. But as they prepared for the start, it was clear that the track surface was quickly drying out, and this transformed the 23-lap race into a test of endurance, quick decisions and determination.
Both Lorenzo and Maria got away well, and the young Italian rookie even found himself up with the leaders in third place in the opening laps while Herrera consolidated her position in tenth place. But it soon became obvious to all the riders that to survive the race they had to return to the pits to change to slicks. The resulting scramble completely changed the race order and the three riders who finally mounted the podium all celebrated career firsts. The winner, Belgian Livio Loi, was the only rider who went out on dry tires right from the start.
Maria Herrera #6 – finished 24: “I did think before the start about making the tire change, but then the race started, the riders were on their way and I went with them. It was my mistake because I should have come back in earlier. Anyway, it's a new experience for me and I'm here to learn. After I did come in to make the change it was then just a dash to the finish. I was able to gain some ground, I had my rhythm and if it had been a dry race, I’m sure I could have finished in the top 15.”
Lorenzo Dalla Porta #48 – finished 28: “l did the first three laps on wet tires and I was very fast. But I knew that the tire could not take it because I was already dropping far off the pace. I had to go back to the pits to make the change but I was three or four laps too late, and I was at thirtieth when I went back out on the track. We made the most of what we could today, but I'll take the positives from the weekend, because we were very consistent in the dry conditions.
Jaime Fdez-Aviles (CEO Laglisse): "It was an impressive ride by Dalla Porta in the early laps. He was running in third along with everyone else that went out on wet tires, so this confirmed he has great potential. It was too bad he had these conditions in his first race because it was difficult for him to make a decision about whether to stop or to continue. It was a bit like that for Maria too, but this was a race to gain experience. The pity is I’m sure she would have finished in the points on a dry track.
Johann Zarco takes ninth consecutive podium
Ajo Motorsport rider claims second place in the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix and increases his lead in Moto2 standings to 71 points.
08/09/2015 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA
Johann Zarco achieved his first podium finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a tough weekend. Despite the track not being one of his favourites, the Frenchman fought for victory until the final lap and eventually crossed the finish line in second place. The podium is his ninth consecutive rostrum of the year and allows him to increase his overall standings lead by 6 points, to 71 over his nearest rival.
The race was declared wet but, after the formation lap, all of the Moto2 grid chosen to put on slicks. It proved to be a wise decision because the rain did not reappear over the 25-lap contest. Zarco made a good start, moving up from eighth on the grid to place fourth by the end of the first lap.
He was up into the podium positions from Lap 5, and did not relinquish the spots from then on. He led the race on several occasions, but was not able to escape. The Ajo Motorsport rider fought for the victory until the end, passing the checkered flag just 0.482s off the win and setting a personal best time on the last lap.
After the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix and with 8 races to go in the championship, Johann Zarco leads the overall standings with 199 points, 71 more than second-placed Spanish Alex Rins. The next challenge comes next weekend, at the Czech Republic GP.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"The hardest thing was the choice of tyres before the race. In the end we chose slicks and it was curious that everyone else also opted for them. At first I went carefully, but seeing it was dry I felt comfortable and I pushed to the fullest. I was afraid that Rins was going to escape, but in the end it didn’t happen. We also knew that Dominique is very strong and is difficult to overtake. I think in the end, the difference with Rins was on the straight. I tried to catch him but it was not possible. In any case, we have more points for the title fight and it was like a victory, as I started 8th and finished 2nd. See you in the Czech Republic!"
AKI AJO - Team manager
"We are very satisfied with the race that both Johann [Zarco] and the team had. We have increased the lead in the overall standings and we fought for the victory until the last moment. We have to be happy after a weekend that has not been easy and at a circuit that is not a favourite of Johann’s. He was able to come out focused in the race and give his best to get a second position which today is like a victory."
Top 10 for Binder in crazy race
Brad Binder takes eighth place at Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. Karel Hanika places twelfth and Miguel Oliveira fifteenth.
08/09/2015 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway, USA
A unique Moto3 race that will be remembered for years took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. After the race had been declared wet, virtually all of the grid had to change tyres during the contest. Brad Binder was the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider who utilised the best strategy, achieving eighth place and adding 8 points to his tally. Also entering the points were Karel Hanika, in twelfth place, and Miguel Oliveira, fifteenth.
The Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix Moto3 followed an entirely different script than anyone could have imagined. For the first time this weekend it began to rain just before the race started, forcing Race Direction to declare it wet. That led to all bar three Moto3 riders to fit rain tyres. The low rainfall and good track conditions forced the participants to go through the pits at the very start of the race to put on slicks. In the case of the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders, Oliveira was the first in –on the opening lap– whilst Binder and Hanika did so on the second lap.
It was these two who ultimately benefitted the most, returning onto track inside the Top 10. The South African fought over 23 laps for fifth place, whilst the Czech did likewise for tenth place. Oliveira soared from 21st to 15th place, despite the rain flag being waved twice. Finally, Binder and Hanika crossed the finish line in eighth and twelfth, respectively.
After the first round of the second half of the season, Miguel Oliveira lies fourth in the overall standings with 103 points. Binder is sixth with 83 points and Hanika sixteenth with 33 points. Next up is Hanika’s home race at Brno, in one week’s time.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"Today's race was in quite difficult conditions. We decided to start with wet tyres, but on the first lap I decided to enter the pits and switch to slicks. It was not an easy stop, as this is not like F1, so I want to thank the team. We got back on track a little far back, but I did not stop pushing to recover as many positions as possible, and finally entered the points. It's not the result with which we wanted to finish the weekend, but we are strong for the race next week."
41 BRAD BINDER
"I'm a little disappointed with the race today, because all weekend I felt good and I was convinced I was going to have a good race if it had been completely dry. I think that in this type of race the most important thing is to get as many points as possible, because things can change at any time. I did not finish the race as I would have liked, but I have to thank my whole team for the great extra work they had to do in the stop to change tyres. Now we have to focus on Brno, one of my favourite tracks."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"It was a crazy race. We started in the wet and put on wet tyres, but the track dried very quickly and on the second lap we to go into the pits –possibly one lap too late. It is clear that if we had put slicks on earlier, we could have fought for better positions, as other riders did, but sometimes these things happen. Our strategy was not the best and we have to learn from this. My team did a great job in the pits, changed the tyres very quickly and got us back out on track to try to recover places, so I have to thank them. We were near the top 10, but at least we managed to get some points. Next week we will try to have a good race at my home track."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"Today's race was like a lottery. It was very hard to pick the tyres to start with on the grid. Most of the riders were clear that we had to go out with wet tyres, but in the end everyone had to go through the pits. It was not easy to manage the whole issue of tyre changes during the race, because it is unusual. It was not our best day but we know that we are getting stronger with every race, and we will be back with more enthusiasm than ever in Brno."
Schrotter clinches points at the Brickyard
Marcel Schrotter pulled off a relentless effort to seize 14th position at the tricky Indianapolis Grand Prix for the 10th round of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship. The race began in mixed conditions because of a brief shower just before the start of the 25 lap GP, yet the track was drying when the race started and so both of the Tech3 Racing Team riders, along with the rest of the Moto2 field, chose slick tyres. As the lights went out the young German leapt forward from the head of the seventh row and jumped up two places by the close of the first lap. Here he stuck into a consistent rhythm as he aimed to move through the pack yet, was shuffled back two positions one lap later. However, he pushed onwards and reclaimed 17th with five laps having been completed. A short distance later the 21 year old was running in 18th as he continued to power onwards and was up to 16th after moving past Robin Mulhauser in the final fifth of the race. On the last lap, Schrotter clinched 14th and increased the gap to the pursuing rider before meeting the chequered flag in this position and taking home some valuable championship points.
Meanwhile, Xavi Vierge was unfortunate to crash out of his debut Moto2 Grand Prix after falling just four laps from the end of the race despite a hugely determined effort. The 18 year old jumped into action as the race began but was unfortunately shifted back to 28th by the close of the first lap. Nevertheless, the Spanish youngster dug deep as he intended to gather as much experience as possible at his premier Grand Prix and stuck into a solid and consistent rhythm. With 10 laps remaining, the CEV Moto2 race winner was running in 21st, but suffered misfortune as he crashed on the 21st lap whilst attempting to plug the gap to the rider in front. Vierge will seek to make amends at the next race in the Czech republic in one weeks’ time.
Marcel Schrotter – Position : 14th – Championship : 21 – Points : 14
“It was great to finally get some points in what was a really tricky race, but having said that we are still struggling in a few areas and need to make a step up at the next round. When we find a solution to the issues that we have been experiencing, it will make my life easier and allow us to fight for some strong points scoring finishes. Of course, this race was difficult and no one really knew what would happen on the starting grid. We went out on a full wet setup, including tyres, for the warm up lap as it was still damp. Yet, we saw how quickly it can dry up, as illustrated by the Moto3 race, so on the grid we changed to intermediate settings because if we needed to stop during the race it would have been a quick change to the dry setup. Right at the last moment, we decided to change to slick tyres which was the right decision but when the race started, the whole bike was too soft and I was not able to push. I started to slide after just a few laps and also the front was closing all the time, therefore it was very hard for me to move up the field. Yet, I held on as I knew it would probably be the same for everybody and my determination finally paid off. Overall, I am happy that I was able to finish the race and start the second part off the championship in a positive manner.”
Xavi Vierge – Position : DNF - Championship : Not Classified
“It has been a difficult weekend for us. However, we managed to improve step by step in all the sessions and this morning, I felt really comfortable with the times that I was setting. In the race, unfortunately, the weather conditions made things trickier for us all and on the grid we were still deciding which option I should go for. In the end, we went with the same decision as the other riders and started on slick tyres. I was unlucky at the beginning of the race because I had a bad start as my rear wheel span a lot and I finished the first lap in last place. I tried to say calm and little by little I managed to recover some positions but I made a mistake with four laps to go and crashed out. It’s a real shame and completely my fault so I have to say sorry to the team as we were all working really well together for the entire weekend. This result was clearly not what the team deserved but now we need to keep on working and fortunately we will be back on track in Brno very soon."
Hervé Poncharal : Team Manager
"It was a very eventful weekend for the Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team. On one side of the garage, it must have been a bit more challenging than usual as Xavi Vierge was riding here for the first time and it was almost his first time out of Spain. He had to discover the track, the team, the bike and the layout of the practice sessions, but altogether he did an ok job. It’s a pity that he crashed with only four laps remaining because he was closing in on the guys in front of him and his objective is to complete as many laps as possible this season. He was a bit nervous and thought very hard about tyre choice on the starting grid because Moto3 was a very good example of how crucial the tyres can be. Fortunately, although the track was still damp, we could see that it was clearing and everyone was on slicks, including our two guys. Marcel had a good start and was in a strong battle for the points all race long, plus he pushed right until the end and scored some points which ends the drought that we have had in the Moto2 class. I’m pretty happy and hopefully this will boost his confidence and he will be up to speed in Brno. Xavi will be there with us as well of course, and he will once again have to learn the track which is always a tough new mission. We are leaving Indianapolis with a quite positive feeling although I know we didn’t finish where we should be, but it’s the first race after the summer break and next time we hope both Marcel and Xavi will be stronger."
SIMEON PUTS ON THE RIGHT TRACK A DIFFICULT WEEKEND WITH A GOOD 8th PLACE AT INDY
The American trip of the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 ended with a good eighth place, clinched in today’s Indianapolis Grand Prix by a determined Xavier Siméon: the 25-year-old Belgian rider straightened up a difficult weekend, during which he struggled to find the competitiveness that distinguished him since early in the season and culminated with the stunning victory in the last German GP.
With this placement Siméon, who despite the difficulties still crossed the finish line with a limited gap from the winner, holds the sixth position in the overall standings with 92 points, approaching the fifth position currently held by Brit Sam Lowes.
XAVIER SIMÉON (8th)
“Honestly I can’t say that I’m satisfied with the result, but I’m not even disappointed: during practice and also in this morning’s Warm Up we were really in trouble and this eighth place comes unexpected. I’m glad to collect these 8 points because honestly I did not even think to get into the top 15 today. In the race I gave my best and I never gave up, despite a bit too much caution on the first lap, then after passing Alex Marquez I saw that I was able to go away and I preferred not to take too many risks in the final stages, giving up to try to reach Axel Pons in front of me. I want to thank the team, because after a perfect weekend at the Sachsenring here we experienced difficult practices, but nevertheless we leave Indy with a good result and 8 important points. It means that we must continue to believe in ourselves to be back fighting for the top positions already in Brno”.
“We were expecting a difficult race today because during all the weekend Xavier struggled without finding the right feeling with the bike; actually we were able to complete a good race, crossing the line with a gap really limited by the winner, although in the last laps Xavier has preferred not to take risks and to keep the position. This means that we are strong, even when we encounter difficulties: we are keeping a good consistency in the races and in fact we are closer to fifth place in the Championship. I think that in Brno we can be back in the fight for the top positions: here unfortunately we didn’t succeed, although we were not very far away from the top”.