Press releases from the 125cc and Moto2 teams after qualifying at Sepang:
Strategic qualifying RW Racing GP
It was clear already that Luis Salom is fast on the Sepang circuit. But to make the difference between a reasonable qualification and a good qualifying Salom needed a little help. A sensible strategy helped the Spanish rider of RW Racing GP to get to the fifth starting position on the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Threatening dark clouds hung over Sepang and therefore Salom immediately set a fast time. In a stint of four laps he put his bike on the fourth fastest time (2.16.698). "You never know with the weather here,'' declared Salom. "If it starts raining, it is pouring right away. So I immediately put on the gas. The confidence was there, so it was possible.''
After a few minutes of rest and with a new tire Salom went out again for two fast laps. That session brought him to the third fastest time (2.15.766). "We decided to use another new tire because it's hot (31 degrees in the shade, track temperature 46 degrees) and there is not much grip. That's why we took the safe side. Then we waited until one of the fastest riders went out. In this case it was Maverick Vinales.''
With nine minutes to go Salom went out in the slipstream of his compatriot. With that bit of help he finally put down 2.14.682: good for the fifth starting position in the middle of the second row. "That's a good. I am happy with it. I have got Terol, Faubel, Cortese and Vazquez in front of me. This is a group I can certainly keep up with in the fight for the podium.''
The start of the penultimate 125cc race is at 7:00 pm European time.
FANTASTIC DAY FOR TEAM GRESINI MOTO2 AT SEPANG WITH PIRRO ON FRONT ROW AND TAKAHASHI ON SECOND ROW
Michele Pirro and Yuki Takahashi lapped third and fourth fastest respectively to qualify on the first and second rows for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang this afternoon. Despite crashing twice Pirro manage to seal a front row start and could have even fought for pole position. Takahashi was also able to show that the latest updates to the Moriwaki MD600 are bearing fruit and that there could be more to celebrate before the season is
Michele Pirro (3rd 2'08" 004) "I am delighted. It is a shame about the two crashes because I could have done even better without them but I am satisfied anyway with my race pace and with a good start tomorrow I should be able to fight at the front. I really want to finish the season on a high and could not be more motivated for tomorrow."
Yuki Takahashi (4th 2' 08" 069) "It has been a great day for the team. Michele produced a great performance and I was fast too. Now the bike is starting to give the right feedback and with a good start tomorrow we can be fighting at the front. We will try and make some more little improvements in the warm-up and see if we can be even more competitive for the race. We are all confident we can do a good job."
Fausto Gresini "It has been a splendid day for us. Michele did an extraordinary job to qualify third, on the front row, and with a good consistent pace throughout. It was a shame about the two crashes but the main thing is he was competitive and should be again tomorrow. With his fourth place Yuki also confirmed that the Moriwaki MD600 has made progress and we can be proud of the job we have done. I am confident about tomorrow."
Small steps for Siméon on Malaysian sole
The Malaysian Grand Prix proves to be another difficult learning step for Xavier Siméon in his first full season in the Moto2 world championship, when he qualified on 23rd position on the grid today.
Conditions at the Sepang International circuit do not help the 22 year old getting to grips with a circuit he never went to as heat and humidity reached temperatures around 33°C.
The Belgian rider is not happy with how the weekend went so far as once again he does not feel confident due to the lack of grip he was experiencing during this session.
Tonight Siméon and his crew chief Naoya Kaneko will sit together and check all the data to find a solution for tomorrow's 19-lap race.
Xavier Siméon, 23rd - 2'09.315 in lap 4 of 17:
"At the beginning the qualifying went not too bad. Unfortunately I did not improve my qualifying lap time like I wanted, as I was too slow. I experienced a lack of grip on the right side of t he tyre and did not feel confident to go faster. We still improved every session, but not enough. It is a new track, but still we should not be so slow and do so small steps session by session. I am obviously not happy with my starting position for tomorrow's race and with the way the qualifying went. I will check the data we collected with my crew chief this evening and then we will see if we can find something to improve for tomorrow."
ELIAS SEARCHING FOR REAR GRIP AT HOT SEPANG SOIL
Sepang, 22 October: LCR Honda MotoGP rider Toni Elias rode his Honda RC212V to the 15th place today (2'03.646) in a tough and very hot qualifying 60-minute session at Sepang circuit in readiness for the tomorrow's 20-lap last over sea race that gets underway at 16:00 local time with 3 Honda riders on the front (Pedrosa, Stoner and Dovizioso).
Elias spent the majority of a physically demanding qualifying session concentrating on improving front and rear grip but today's asphalt temperature rose up to 46 degrees and the Spaniard could not take the most of his Honda machinery despite the adjustments done in this morning free session.
Elias – 15th: "This morning it seemed we had found a better balance on front and rear suspension but with more heat and higher asphalt higher temperature we missed rear grip and the balance of the bike was not the same. The rear was pushing into the front and automatically I was losing the front in the corners. We must check the data to understand what we need to do because the setting of this morning on a 39 degrees track temperature was not working properly in this afternoon 50 degrees temperature".
MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX: IANNONE WILL START FROM THE FIFTH ROW IN TOMORROW'S RACE
The starting grid for the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the last-but-one event of 2011 season, was defined today.
Both today's sessions for the Championship middle class were held on dry track, which means that Iannone and his crew could take advantage of the time at disposal to get ready for tomorrow without any extra trouble. In the free practice of the morning, the rider from Vasto set the tenth best lap time, having once again a good feeling with his machine after yesterday's crash.
The qualifying session of the afternoon was used in particular to work on the setting of the Suter MMXI. Andrea set his best lap time in the first part of the session and, with the time of 2'08.520, he holds the thirteenth position on the starting grid for tomorrow.
Andrea Iannone, #29 — qualifying practice: 13th with 2'08.520
"This was a difficult day, we didn't really manage to improve as we had hoped. In any case I'm sure the team will make up something for tomorrow, so that we can give it a try and possibily move forwards. I hope they can sort out some problems we have with the bike, in order to fight for a good result in the race. Tomorrow we'll do our best to make a good come back."
Sixth row for di Meglio, Smith begins recovery
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Mike di Meglio will start the Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix from the sixth row of the grid after a closely contested qualifying session took place in scorching heat at the Sepang circuit this afternoon.
The 23-year-old ended qualifying in 17th position, the Frenchman quickly regaining his confidence after he suffered a heavy crash at the fast Turn 6 in this morning's final practice session.
The former 125cc World Champion spent most of today trying to dial out a chatter problem with his Mistral 610 machine, which prevented him from pushing closer to the top 10 in gruelling temperatures that reached an energy-sapping 33 degrees. His best time of 2.08.855 was less than 0.5s away from ninth position and he has targeted a top 10 challenge in the 19-lap race, which is the penultimate round of the 2011 World Championship.
British rider Bradley Smith was back at the Sepang International Circuit this morning to commence his battle to be fit for the final round of the season in Valencia on November 6.
The 20-year-old has been forced to withdraw from tomorrow's 19-lap race after he was one of four riders to crash in the early stages of yesterday's opening practice session.
An isolated rain shower fell at Turn 10 and Smith, Marc Marquez, Yonny Hernandez and Jules Cluzel crashed after hitting the wet section of tarmac on full slick tyres. Smith suffered a broken left collarbone and painful blow to his chest in the accident and he underwent thorough checks in the Pusat Perubatan UKM Medical Centre in Kuala Lumpur before being discharged at 8pm last n ight.
After a comfortable night's rest, Smith visited Clinica Mobile staff earlier today to consult with specialists on the best way to speed up the recovery of his damaged left shoulder in order for him to participate in the final race in Valencia.
Mike di Meglio 17th 2.08.855 – 16 laps:
"I can't be satisfied to be down on the sixth row and truthfully I expected more. The weekend did not start too bad yesterday but it has been quite difficult to find the pace I'm sure I am capable of. We obviously took the wrong direction with the set-up and the big problem was chatter with the front tyre and this didn't allow me to push with much confidence. The big crash I had this morning didn't help and the day was quite disappointing. All I can do is try and make a good start and push into the top 10 as soon as possible. I ha d a strong race in Phillip Island last weekend and I will be looking for similar tomorrow, although we know it is going to be a very demanding race. The heat and humidity is really intense and it will be very tough both physically and mentally for 19-laps."
"It is a big pity that I can't race tomorrow because I am convinced I would have been very competitive this weekend. But at the same time I'm quite lucky because the crash yesterday could have been worse. Right now I feel a bit beaten up, but already I feel a lot better than yesterday. When I got to Turn 10 I saw yellow flags waving but I thought it was because of the crashes before me. I slowed down and the next thing I've seen the wet track and almost immediately I lost control of the bike. The initial crash was bad enough but then I hit Marquez's bike quite hard and I th ink this is how I broke my left collarbone and also took a big hit on my chest. I didn't really remember anything, so I had to watch a video replay to understand what happened. I've also got a bruised left lung and that is causing me quite a lot of discomfort. I would have flown home last night if possible but I can't fly for 48 hours, so I'll stick to my initial plan and head back to the UK tomorrow night after the race. When I get home I'll have more checks to make sure the recovery is going well but it is too early to decide if I can race in Valencia. The shoulder should be fine but we need to wait and see. Finally I'd like to thank all the medical staff at the Clinica Mobile and the Sepang International Circuit because they did a great job."
BANKIA ASPAR RIDERS DOMINATE QUALIFYING AT SEPANG
Nico and Héctor separated by just 0.015 seconds after exciting battle for pole
The 125cc riders today made their final preparations for tomorrow's penultimate round of the season, which gets underway at the later time of 1pm, in searing temperatures today. As a consequence of the heat the riders struggled to improve their lap times in qualifying this afternoon following free practice this morning but it was a good session nevertheless for BANKIA Aspar, with Nico Terol and Héctor Faubel setting the pace and Terol's only title rival Johann Zarco suffering several difficulties.
Terol and Faubel battled for pole until the final lap of the session, with the former edging out his team-mate by just 0.015 seconds, meaning they will start alongside each other on the front row of the grid tomorrow. A seventh pole of the season for Terol, with his closest rival in fifteenth, augurs well for his second attempt at clinching the title, whilst Héctor is targeting a second victory of the season ahead of his home round in Valencia. Adrián Martín rounded off a good day for the team by qualifying on the third row in ninth.
1st Nico Terol 2.13.579 (12 laps): "I am very happy with the two sessions today because I felt comfortable and it wasn't difficult to put a strong pace together. There was a bit of oil in the second turn so I took it easy for the first few laps because I didn't want to crash under any circumstances. The bike broke down halfway through the afternoon session but as always the team fixed it immediately. I knew I had the pace to fight for pole and pushed hard over the final two laps to achieve it, which I am delighted about. Along with the fact that Zarco is quite a long way back it makes me relaxed about tomorrow although the goal is to stay focused and push for the win and the title. Héctor also has a strong pace so it would be wonderful if we could be fighting with each other for the win tomorrow."
2nd Héctor Faubel 2.13.594 (14 laps): "It was a shame not to finish on pole but I couldn't make use of a decent slipstream over the last couple of laps whereas Nico did and managed to beat me by 0.015 seconds. Anyway, I am happy because I was fast and gave it my best shot. With our pace today I am sure we will be able to fight for the win tomorrow and I hope to be fighting with Nico for it until the last lap. We just have to make sure we don't get in each other's way and that's it. I am sure it will be fun to watch. Nico, Cortese and I seem to have the edge on the rest so we'll see what happens."
9th Adrián Martín 2.15.304 (14 laps): "I tried to set a good rhythm this morning but the new engine didn't work as well as we hoped and needed running in. We compared my data with Héctor and Nico and I was doing everything the same as them. In the afternoon with some more miles on the engine I was able to get behind Héctor for a lot of laps and make use of his slipstream down the straights. I finished up ninth which is a good position and makes things a little easier for the race tomorrow. A good start could get me into the lead group tomorrow and I don't have much to lose so I will be going for it."
Marc Márquez classified for the Malaysian Grand Prix
The Repsol rider, physically diminished, did only three laps in the qualifying session, where he set the minimum time to classify in thirty-sixth place for tomorrow's starting grid
Dosing his physical condition to the max, Marc Márquez only did three laps in the second day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The negligence of the Sepang Circuit's marshals, that yesterday cost him a bloodcurdling crash, which did not prevent the Repsol rider from classifying for tomorrow's race. Despite the discomfort he still feels in the cervical area and in the left shoulder, Márquez only did one complete lap under the minimum time required by the organizers and will be able to be tomorrow in the starting grid.
It will be after two practice days where he was only able to do three complete laps to Sepang track, trying to rest and recover from the heavy blow he suffered in his first lap during yesterday's practice session. Márquez did not finish the first session, went to rest to the hotel during yesterday's second session and neither did he take part in this morning's third practice session.
In the qualifying session, the Repsol rider put on his overalls and, after a warm-up lap, did his only complete lap of the weekend before returning to his box and conclude the practice. Márquez only did one fast lap in which he stopped the clock in 2 minutes, 12 seconds and 864 thousandths, securing the thirty-sixth position in tomorrow's grid. Now he should rest and evaluate tomorrow whether his physical conditions allow him to face the demanding Sepang race.
"It was a difficult day because we expected Marc [Márquez] to feel better this morning, but he was not. The lack of time between the crash and the practice did not leave enough margin to recover and he still feels discomfort in the neck.
We thought today he might feel more comfortable on the bike and decided that he should go out directly to the qualifying, to see how he felt and then evaluate the situation. We knew that if he could do a fast lap and classify for the grid, we could see today and tonight if he feels better.
It was a hard crash, but nothing serious, so it's simply that he needs time to recover. We will wait until tomorrow morning to make a decision".
MAPFRE ASPAR READY FOR NEXT BIG LESSON IN SEPANG HEAT
Jordi Torres and Iván Moreno struggle for feeling in qualifying but hope to improve in the race
Tomorrow's Moto2 race looks set to be a close and exciting one after an entertaining qualifying session held in conditions that were even hotter than the lap times at Sepang. Despite the fact the circuit stretches across 5.5km of asphalt the gaps between the top twenty riders are tight enough to suggest a huge battle for positions tomorrow. Stefan Bradl did his best to take advantage of the fact his main title rival was largely out of action, narrowly missing out on pole to Thomas Lüthi. Even though the numbers are against him the fact that Marc Márquez will start from the back of the grid and in physical difficulty means that the German could clinch the title by winning the race, providing the Spaniard scores no more than two points.
Jordi Torres and Iván Moreno continued their quest to learn the intricacies of Sepang as best they could today despite their limited experience in Moto2. Torres is still not fully fit following his crash a week ago in Australia but he worked hard on chassis set-up to find more speed in corner exit. After finishing 27th fastest, just over two seconds off the best lap time, he is hopeful of a solid race. Iván Moreno felt more comfortable on his Suter this morning but lost the front and crashed at turn three this afternoon and will start from 32nd on the grid.
27th Jordi Torres 2.09.686 (18 laps): "The crash in Australia knocked my confidence - we have had a few crashes recently that weren't our fault. I am still carrying some injuries so I am being extra careful because I don't want to take any risks and crash. The problem is at a circuit like this if you are losing a tenth in every corner that adds up to a lot. The important thing is to stay positive and keep working even when things aren't going well and believe that sooner or later things will turn around. The team are giving me a lot of support and I appreciate it. Even though the weekend hasn't gone to plan we will do our best in the race tomorrow and try to come out with the best possible result."
32nd Iván Moreno 2.10.875 (12 laps): "We started the day feeling more comfortable than yesterday, my feeling for the bike improved, but we lost our way a bit this afternoon. I can't get my head around the circuit and then this afternoon I had a really strange crash, losing the front under acceleration. It was a shame but I hope there is not much damage so that we can work well tomorrow. I feel terrible to have crashed again because the team is working very hard to make life easier for me but I am struggling to get on the pace at this track."
Milestone in Malaysia: Thomas Luthi celebrates his first pole position in the Moto2 category
Team Interwetten Paddock Moto2 star Thomas Luthi set another milestone in his career when he clinched his first ever pole position in the Moto2 category in qualifying for the Grand Prix of Malaysia today. The 25-year-old former 125 cc world champion, who was able to celebrate his success with his first ever Tissot T Race watch, a very special reward for the fastest Moto2 qualifyer, had been on top of the time sheets all day. He clocked the fastest time in the third free practice session on Saturday morning with an advantage of almost half a second over his next competitor. In sizzling tropical heat in the afternoon, Luthi improved further and stayed two tenths of a second ahead of world championship leader Stefan Bradl.
Thomas Lüthi – 1st 2:07.512 min.:
"We improved consistently from session to session and in qualifying, everything went like clockwork again. I was third right from the start and took second place early on in the session. We then made a few more adjustments to the set-up that were all positive. In the end, it was a matter of pulling all stops as a rider in order to get the lap time in. It worked out really well and I am very happy with this pole positiion. It was tough because it was brutally hot out there and I think it won't be any different tomorrow. The race will be tough on the tyres and a tough physical challenge the riders. I feel okay and I didn't suffer from the heat too much even though I can't say that these are my favourite conditions – since I am from Switzerland, I also like the snow!"
Terrell Thien - Teammanager:
"Starting from the first free practice session on Friday, we got closer and closer to the front and we were also lucky with the weather, because it was dry always and we were able to try lots of things on the set-up. All our modifications on the bike went in the right direction and in the end, Tom was the fastest rider on the track. We have a good set-up for the race and we also had a good set-up for a few hot laps in qualifying. Congratulations to Tom and the guys in team because they worked day and night on improvements for the bike. Even the smallest details helped to make us as competitive as we are right now. We hope we can continue this way!"
Alfred Willeke – crew chief:
"We have been able to build on the performance that we've had since the Grand Prix of Japan. After the last race in Australia, we didn't even have to change much on the bike. All the anticipated adjustments for the Sepang track worked very well. From that point on, all we had to do was a little fine-tuning!"
Daniel M. Epp – PADDOCK Grand Prix Management:
"Tom has been very strong in last year's race and we are very competitive once again. Since the Grand Prix of Japan, things are going in the right direction for us. Even the Australian Grand Prix was a good weekend, apart from the fact that we didn't get rewarded in the race due to an incident with an other rider. We had back luck there and we now hope that luck will be on our side here in Malaysia!"
MARC VDS CONFIDENT FOR GRUELLING SEPANG RACE
Marc VDS Racing's Mika Kallio and Scott Redding qualified close to the top six in searing hot temperatures at the Sepang International Circuit today, raising expectations of a strong result in the Malaysian Moto2 race.
Kallio goes into the 19-lap encounter full of confidence and hoping to deliver his first top six finish of the 2011 World Championship after he qualified his Suter MMXI machine in seventh position.
Tropical storms that saw torrential rain soak the 5.548km circuit overnight had a major impact on grip levels today and Kallio once again focussed on finding the best tyre combination to cope with the slippery conditions.
His dedication and hard work in gruelling temperatures that hit a physically and mentally demanding 33 degrees paid off, with the Finnish rider setting a best time of 2.08.240 to head the third row. His seventh place equalled his best qualifying result of the season and he was less than 0.3s off the front row.
Teammate Redding will join Kallio on the third row after a brilliant last lap attack moved him up from 13th to ninth. The British rider started the qualifying session with high hopes of a second row challenge after he ended practice in sixth position.
He posted a best time of 2.08.412 but he wasn't entirely satisfied to have dropped three places down the rankings from practice after he encountered distracting stomach cramps during the session.
Mika Kallio #36 - 2.08.240 - 17-laps - 7th position
"I am very happy with how qualifying ended and to be seventh gives us a good chance of battling for the top six tomorrow. I always want to be higher but as always in Moto2, the times are so close and I wasn't far away from the front row. The encouraging sign is my race pace is very consistent. We have worked a lot on the race set-up and now I think I'm going to use the soft compound front and rear tyres for the race. The rain last night definitely changed the condition of the track and I struggled quite a lot with the hard tyres. The big positive is that I don't want the bike changing for the race because the set-up is working so well. We haven't been in that situation for most of the season, so I'm hoping to capitalise on that to fight for the top six and give the Marc VDS Racing Team reason to celebrate on the long flight back to Europe."
Scott Redding #45 - 2.08.412 - 15-laps - 9th position
"I'm not completely satisfied because after finishing sixth in practice, I expected to be battling for the second row this afternoon. It wasn't a trouble free session. On one of my good laps I had a couple of riders just cruising on the racing line. Then I was going to push again and made a mistake at the first corner and messed up that lap, so it came down to the last lap. It was a bit do or die but I climbed into the top 10, which was important. I also had a bit of stomach cramp for some reason, which was a bit of a distraction, but I'm optimistic for the race because we modified the setting of the new chassis and found some more rear grip. That's essential when the track temperature is over 50 degrees but I think I'm going to run the soft front and the hard rear tyre. I keep losing the front with the hard tyre but the hard rear is going to be better for endurance."
Trevor Morris - Mika Kallio Crew Chief
"Before the weekend our target was to always be inside the top eight and Mika has achieved that. He's been very fast and consistent at the last few races now, so we just need to convert practice promise into a decent result. Everything so far has gone according to plan and we've been able to work on race set-up but also keep a good position on the timesheets. The best thing is that Mika has said he doesn't want the bike changing for the race. He's obviously happy with the set-up and the important thing is we've been doing some long runs so we've got an understanding of the tyre endurance. The heat and humidity here means tyre choice is critical, and the surface is pretty greasy, but he's happy with the selection and he's going into the race full of motivation and determined to fight for a top six."
Neukirchner and West improve in qualifying – and have high hopes for an even better race
MZ factory riders Max Neukirchner and Anthony West managed to further improve in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix and conquered 15th and 16th place on the starting grid for the race on Sunday. Both riders had the set-up and the speed for an even better ranking, but just didn't have the right timing and the luck to add all sections of the 5.5 kilometre track of Sepang to a faultless qualifying lap and to take advantage of the slipstream of other riders on the long straights. But they both have the potential to succeed in the race.
"Max performed brilliantly. To clock these lap times at his first race on this demanding track is remarkable. Anthony confirmed his good lap time from the third free practice session in qualifying, but didn't improve. If he had found another three or four tenths of a second, he would have had a top ten finish", said MZ CEO Martin Wimmer. "Luckily, the gap to the fastest riders is very small. Points are within reach for both of our riders!"
Max Neukirchner - 15th in 2.08,620 min.:
"I am quite happy with our progress and with the set-up of our bike, but w could have been a bit closer to the front on the starting grid. I was faster than yesterday and faster than this morning and we fine-tuned the set-up of the bike so I guess we should be content with what we achieved at our first Grand Prix on this track. But in the race, I want more than 15th position. I was able to push at the beginning of the session and felt comfortable on the bike, but when it counted in the end, I chose the wrong guy to get some slipstream – he was too slow for me. Whereas all the others went faster, I failed to improve my lap time in the end due to wrong timing. Now I hope for a good start in the race!"
Anthony West - 16th in 2.08,714 min.:
"We made a change for the beginning of the qualifying session that didn't really work, so we went back to what we had before. But even at the end of qualifying, I didn't put my laps together very well, so I am not really happy. At least I can do my times quite consistently, which should be good for the race. The other positive thing is that the Speed Up team helped us out with a new exhaust, otherwise I definitely wouldn't be in the position I'm in. The biggest challenge tomorrow will be to survive the heat!"
First pole position for Tom Luthi – but Marc Márquez only 36th in Malaysia
Suter MMXI rider Tom Luthi conquered his first ever pole position in the Moto2 category in qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The 25-year-old star of Team Interwetten Paddock Moto2 had improved steadily in all practice sessions, clocked the best time in the third free session on Saturday morning and was fastest in qualifying again, where he was two tenths of a second ahead of world championship leader Stefan Bradl. "Our set-up was so good that I could fully concentrate on riding and on getting a fast lap time", beamed Luthi, who had been close to a podium finish one week ago in Australia before another rider forced him off the track and who now hopes to turn his luck around.
Mika Kallio in seventh place, Claudio Corti in eighth and Scott Redding ninth position confirmed another great team effort for Suter Racing Technology, but Marc Márquez, who had been so dominant throughout the second part of the season, was nowhere to be seen in the front part of the Moto2 field. Once again and almost like one week ago in Australia, his name was close to the bottom and appeared only in 36th place on the qualifying time sheet.
But whereas Márquez had caused a practice crash in Australia and was penalised with a starting position at the end of the grid, now in Malaysia he was an innocent victim. A brief rain shower had soaked turn 10, a remote corner of the track, right before the first free practice session on Friday. Since the track marshals failed to wave the appropriate flags, a multiple crash happened. British rider Bradley Smith suffered broken ribs, Márquez was unconscious for a while and resigned from the remaining free practice sessions due to temporary vision problems and heavy neck pains.
He was back in qualifying and gave another brief demonstration of his talent: Even though he rode only three laps in total and only one flying lap, he managed to qualify before going straight back to the doctors to undergo further treatment. A final decision about his participation in the race will be taken on Sunday. If possible, Márquez will try to get some points and to keep his title chances open until the final race of the season in two weeks at Valencia. If not, his great rival Stefan Bradl has the chance to clinch the title with a victory in the race on Sunday.
"Tom and his team did a fantastic job and achieved the optimum even though they don't use our new frame yet. I am very happy that finally everything fell into place for Tom with his first pole position in the Moto2 class. I hope that he will be able to maintain his good pace in the race"; said Eskli Suter, CEO of Suter Racing Technology. "It's a pity that Dominique Aegerter didn't find his rhythm in qualifying after being very strong in all three free practice sessions. Maybe he got a bit tense and nervous when it counted."
"All in all, our riders put another solid team effort in and once again many of our riders hold top positions. But it's a real pity that Marc has to start the race handicapped by an injury. I hope he feels a bit better tomorrow. But we can't expect him to hunt the field down the way he did one week ago in Australia. Maybe he can score some points and keep his title hopes alive until the final race at Valencia."
"Of course the track marshals should have reacted when they saw the track getting soaked. But we also have to accept that these kinds of accidents can happen in racing. You can't expect to ride at the very limit everywhere without any risks. Motorcycle racing will always be dangerous to a certain extent and we can be happy that nobody suffered really bad injuries. But it would be a shame if this crash were to decide the championship. I'd much prefer Marc and Stefan to battle it out on the track!"