Below is a round up of all the Moto2 press releases we have received so far from the teams present at the Estoril test:
BAD WEATHER PREVENTS SPEED MASTER TEAM FROM TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE THREE DAYS OF TESTS AT ESTORIL
The Moto2 tests that were scheduled for 15th, 16th and 17th February at the circuit of Estoril were characterized by bad weather. Taking into consideration the track conditions, Speed Master team chose not to practice, as no valid information for the development of the bike would have been provided. Today Andrea Iannone completed three laps, which were readily stopped by an umpteenth rain shower: the Italian rider consequently abandoned any hope to get any other outing done.
The changeable weather prevented the team from focusing on both the dry setting and on the setting in case of rain. However, the work done throughout the two previous tests ensures some important data to the team, which will be the starting point for the next pre-championship event.
Andrea Iannone, #29
"I'm satisfied with the tests we did in Barcelona and Valencia: the conditions here at Estoril weren't favourable and, if we had chosen to test, we would have taken some useless risks. The weather didn't help us in this case, it's a shame as we could have taken advantage of these days, but I'm still happy. I'd like to thank my technical staff, Suter and my track engineer Alessandro Giussani and all the team."
Tech 3 Racing Team frustrated by bad weather
Adverse weather conditions dominated this week's three-day Moto2 test at the Estoril track in Portugal to prevent Mike di Meglio and Bradley Smith completing any significant development work for the Tech 3 Racing Team.
Looking to put in valuable development laps on the revised Mistral 610 machine after a positive opening test in Valencia, heavy rain and gusting winds battered the Estoril track for almost the entire test. Even when the rain eased, the track was slow to dry and any productive testing was made difficult by a persistent fierce wind blowing in from the nearby Atlantic coast.
Former World 125cc Champion di Meglio finished with a best time of 1.42.8, the Frenchman escaping u nhurt from a late crash on the final afternoon while trying to push on the rare occasion the track was completely dry.
British rider Smith, who continued his impressive switch to the ultra-competitive Moto2 class, completed nearly 100-laps. The 20-year-old was uninjured in a crash on the second afternoon and finished with a best lap of 1.44.2 on the unofficial timesheets.
The Tech 3 Racing Team will now be hoping for more favourable conditions when the pre-season testing campaign concludes at the Jerez circuit in early March. Smith and di Meglio will be hoping to explore more of the new Mistral 610 machine's potential prior to jetting off to the Middle East for the eagerly anticipated opening race in Qatar on March 20.
Mike di Meglio 1.42.8
"The weather made it very difficult here in Esto ril. There was so much rain and the track never really dried sufficiently for me to push at my normal level. The track only completely dried up for the last hour of the last day but in that short time I improved my feeling with the bike. I tried some new parts and the direction we found is definitely a step forward. We are closer to the fastest group now and that gives me some good confidence. I am sorry that I crashed in the last minutes of the test today as I pushed too much and was trying to get more out of the bike when the conditions were not ideal. I want to thank the Tech 3 Racing Team because when we got out on track we did a good job and I am sure we can improve at the next test in Jerez."
Bradley Smith 1.44.2
"Although the weather didn't provide us with the best conditions, we are going in the right direction with the bike and I am learning a lot. The bike feels more like my friend now and that is very positive for me. Each time I go out on track I am learning so much that I am sure I can still make a big step forward. In Valencia I was two seconds away, now I am 1.5s away. I am sure we can improve by another second by the time we get to Qatar for the first race, so I'm moving in the right direction. I was lucky in the crash on the second day. The power caught me out in the rain, but luckily both the bike and me didn't get damaged too much. We've got a two-week break now before the next test in Jerez and that is good to make some changes to the bike based on what we discovered in Valencia and Estoril. I'm loving working with the Tech 3 Racing Team and can't wait for the start of the season."
Marc Márquez celebrates his coming of age testing in Portugal
The Repsol rider turns 18 today and the weather presented him with a rain-free day in which he finally was able to test in Estoril
Marc Márquez turned 18 today and he celebrated it at the Estoril Circuit, in Portugal, where the third and last day of tests took place as scheduled. The weather gave the Repsol rider a break and he was able to complete 30 laps in the Portuguese track with a fastest time of 1 minute, 43 seconds and 2 tenths.
After two day in which the rain and win prevented him from training in Estoril, today Marc Márquez was able to go out to the track and keep gathering kilometres on his Moto2. Despite the track not being completely dry and the high wind, the sun had warmed the asphalt up to a temperature of around 20ºC after noon. That is when the Repsol rider finally took the track after two days of frustrating wait as a dry line had formed where the riders could ride with some safety.
Marc Márquez completed 30 laps to the scene of his epic victory last October. He has only focused on finding new references for the intermediate class. The track not being in perfect conditions, the rider and his team ruled out trying different options in his bike. This work will be done in the following tests sessions that will take place at the Jerez Circuit.
Marc Márquez 1'43.2s, 30 laps, 125 km.
"We could not try what we had in the program for this tests because the weather did not allow us to run in normal conditions, so I only did some laps. I tried nothing new because the track was not completely dry and there was only a narrow dry line. I just focused on gathering kilometres with the Moto2 and start taking reference points of this circuit. The feeling was good and now we have to start planning the next tests in Jerez".
ESTORIL TEST A WASHOUT FOR MARC VDS RACING TEAM
The Marc VDS Racing Team's second test of the season was a complete washout, as rain adversely affected all three days at the Estoril circuit in Portugal.
Scott Redding and Mika Kallio arrived at the Estoril circuit keen to carry on the work started during the first test of the season at Valencia last week. Unfortunately for the two Marc VDS Racing Team riders, frequent rain showers during the first two days in Portugal left the Estoril track permanently damp and suitable only for testing wet settings on the Suter MMXI Moto2 machines they'll campaign this season.
The final day of testing at Estoril started dry, but by mid morning the rain showers reappeared and both Redding and Kallio had to contend with a track that dried quickly in some places but remained wet in others.
The difficult conditions at Estoril meant that the two Marc VDS riders were unable to complete the planned test program; a critical part of the team's preparations for the 2011 season. To compensate, the Marc VDS Racing Team will now travel back to Spain for an additional two-day test at the Jerez circuit on 23rd and 24th February.
Scott Redding #45
"What a disappointment. After a successful test at Valencia I was looking forward to coming here to Estoril and continuing the work on the bike, but the weather put paid to that. The first day was difficult, but the second day I didn't even bother going out the track was that bad. On the third day we had a bit of a break in the weather, but the track didn't really dry out properly between rain showers and it was only in the final hour we got anywhere close to dry conditions. Even then the track was really slippery after all the rain. Hopefully we'll get some better weather in Jerez next week and we'll be able to pick up where we left off in Valencia."
Mika Kallio #36
"At this point I need as much time on the bike as I can get, but the wind and rain meant I only did six laps on the first day and none on the second. Today was a bit better, but even when it stopped raining there were still damp patches on the track. In between the rain showers I squeezed in 20 laps and was able to evaluate two different suspension settings on the front of the bike. This has given us a good indication of which direction we need to go in, so it wasn't a completely wasted test. The bike felt good and the gap to the fastest riders is coming down, but I still need more dry track time before the start of the season. Hopefully we'll have better weather in Jerez next week."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Manager
"Like all the other teams here in Estoril, we've managed to achieve very little because of the extreme weather. The only dry track time we got was in the last hour today, but even then the grip was unpredictable because of all the rain we've had this week. Both riders, but particularly Mika, need more time on the bike in dry conditions, which is why we've decided to schedule an additional test at Jerez next week. Hopefully the weather will be better, which would allow us to catch up on the test program that was so disrupted in Estoril."
YOUTHFUL SAG SQUAD AND FTR TACKLE 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
FTR MOTO will supply its innovative M211 machinery to the Stop and Go Racing Team for this year's Moto2 World Championship.
The SAG Team will field 18-year-old Colombian Santiago Hernandez and experienced 22-year-old Thai rider Ratthapark Wilairot in what promises to be an exciting 2011 37-rider battle.
Hernandez is entering his first full season of World Championship competition having competed in the Spanish Championship in 2010. He made his Grand Prix debut in the inaugural Aragon World Championship round last September, qualifying in 31st place and finishing 23rd.
Team owner Eduardo Perales continues to nurture the career of Wilairot, now entering a sixth season of World Championship competition. But Wilairot has been forced to battle back to fitness after a serious road accident in his home country two months ago left him with career-threatening injuries.
Wilairot was given clearance last week to race in 2011 and will resume his 2011 preparations at the Jerez test on March 4-6.
"We've been speaking with Edu Perales for about 18 months now," explained FTR's Steve Bones. "So I'm pleased that we are finally working with him and his exciting 2011 SAG line-up of Ratthapark Wilairot and Hernandez.
"The test at Valencia last week could have gone better for Santi but it's very early days in terms of the 2011 Championship preparations and also the career of an exciting prospect like Santi."
Bones added: "The initial feedback from the team regarding the M211 is very positive and we're really pleased that Ratthapark Wilairot has been given the medical clearance to resume a career which continues to flourish. He had an impressive front row start at Assen last year and often displayed the potential that Edu believes can become World Championship success one day."