Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Jerez:
RW Racing GP happy with wet practice results
A wet practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuito de Jerez turned out to be pretty fascinating, with unusual names topping the time sheets for a while. Only at the end of the second practice the more usual names turned up.
Both riders of RW Racing GP tried to get the most out of the difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances. Halfway through the session Luis Salom decided the track was dry enough to open the gas. The Spaniard moved to 4th before reaching the top position (2.01.766) with 13 minutes to go. In the last stint a serious fight emerged between Salom, Jakub Kornfeil and Alex Marquez. In the end it was Miguel Oliveira who managed to squeeze out 1.59.753, leaving Salom in 5th, only 0.543 behind. Brad Binder got his Kalex KTM to 12th on the provisional grid after riding in 8th for most of the session. In the (dry) first practice session the South African came to 18th place.
Luis Salom: "I’m quite happy with the results of this wet pract ice. It& rsquo;s the first time we rode in the wet with the Kalex KTM and we didn’t kno w what to expect. We don’t know what the weather will do tomorrow, but being in the top 5 for most of the time is promising.’’
Brad Binder: "I’m pleased that I managed to improve that much in the second session. I still loose some time in the last section of the track. We have to analyse the data to learn what I can do better. Looking at the improvement I already made I am confident for the rest of this weekend.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "The first practice was dry and we started with the set up we used in the test here in Jerez, but that didn’t work. After we changed to the Qatar set up it went much better for both Luis and Brad. We have to remain working on the dry set up, but we are confident now for the wet.’’
Miguel Oliveira fastest in the wet at Jerez
Viñales places third and Márquez ninth after leading most of the session on his debut ride. Rins, twenty-fourth, completes Repsol roster.
Repsol Media Service Spain, Circuito de Jerez Friday 27/04/2012
Heavy rain at the Jerez circuit in Spain gave a clear preview of what is to come this weekend. The Moto3 Respol riders continued to shine, despite the conditions, in a manner similar to at round one in Qatar. Miguel Oliviera clocked the fastest time in the second session, whilst Viñales was second in the morning run and third in the wet afternoon session. Wildcard debutant Álex Márquez provided a surprise by placing ninth, despite a small crash. Álex Rins was twenty-fourth in the rainy afternoon practice.
Rain had been predicted and, although almost all of the opening session took place in the dry, the track started to dampen just before the end and would not stop throughout the remainder of the day. Miguel Oliveira was the quickest rider with a time of 1’59.753, besting third placed Maverick Viñales by 0.276. The latter improved in the afternoon session and felt more comfortable with his setup.
1.227 down on Oliveira was teammate Álex Márquez. The Repsol rider made his first World Championship runout in a noteworthy ride, in spite of a fall at turn 10 (Peluqui). The crash did not result in injury, although he did not finish the session. Teammate Álex Rins eventually placed twenty-fourth.
The second day of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix takes place tomorrow, including qualifying in the afternoon to decide Sunday’s grid.
FP1 - 1:50.008, 13 laps, 57 km.
FP2 - 2:00.029, 16 laps, 71 km.
"Everything was fairly good today, although they were too very complicated sessions. It was cold in the morning and the track conditions weren’t the best, then in the second it was rainy but we drew some positive conclusions. We worked with the race in mind, laying down plenty of laps, and we were rather comfortable in the wet.
We pushed to see how fast we could get the bike in the wet, but without taking any risks. Riding a four-stroke on a wet track, I have learnt that braking is a little more difficult, because the engine retains more power and the bike slides out, although there is more traction when you open the throttle".
FP1 - 1:50.617, 14 laps, 62 km.
FP2 - 1:59.753, 17 laps, 75 km.
* Exclusive use of radios
"We started out well. I never felt really comfortable on the bike in the morning, although things were different in the afternoon and I was able to enjoy myself after we found a good setting. We will see what conditions we have to ride in tomorrow and whether it is rainy or dry, which will affect our workload.
Despite having ridden fast in difficult conditions, we have to carry on in the same way in tomorrow’s practice. We are ready to battle in any conditions".
FP1 - 1:51.200, 15 laps, 66 km.
FP2 - 2:02.730, 16 laps, 71 km.
"It wasn’t a good day for me. We had some small problems in the first session that we were able to resolve in the afternoon and, although we were a few tenths off, I felt more comfortable in the morning than in the second session. In fact, the bike is working perfectly well and it is me who hasn’t adapted to the machine and the conditions”.
FP1 - 1:51.076, 15 laps, 66 km.
FP2 - 2:00.980, 15 laps, 66 km.
"That went better than I expected. I’d ridden in the wet here at Jerez, when I was in the CEV, so I had some idea about what the conditions would be like. We began picking up pace and, despite the crash, I am satisfied with my performance. It was like a normal practice session, even though I wasn’t familiar with the bike because we are with the Suter here, we were able to make the most of the morning session to adapt as quickly as possible".
MIXED TRACK CONDITIONS IN JEREZ SLOW DOWN THE WORK
FOR SPEED MASTER MOTO2 RIDERS
The “Gran Premio bwin de España” kicked off today, the second venue for the 2012 World Championship.
For the Moto2 class, the day began with the first free practice on wet track, which seems to be due to happen again during the weekend. Andrea Iannone was among the fastest riders during the first session, setting competitive lap times and checking some basic decisions for the rain setting. In FP2, during the afternoon, the track was partially wet, which made it tough to work on some clear choices for the setting of the Speed Up machine.
Mike di Meglio and his crew took advantage of the morning session to test a few options for the rain set-up. They only managed to verify those choices partially, making few steps forward, but they decided to put off any important decision to the sessions that will be held tomorrow.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 19th with 1'58.884
“In general this was a positive day: we were pretty fast in the morning when it was raining, even if there were some things that had to be sorted out on the bike. I am satisfied with this first day, even if the afternoon session was kind of useless. In the free practice n. 2 we got out on the track few times, as we were trying to understand the track conditions. The lines were still too wet to take advantage of slick tyres and therefore we couldn’t improve our lap time. I’d like to thank the crew and the whole team for their work and for their commitment.”
Mike di Meglio #63 - 12th with 1'57.558
“This was a difficult day because of the weather. We didn’t manage to verify much of the things we had planned, which we wanted to consider for the bike set-up. This morning we were out on the track under the rain, but the damp track of the afternoon didn’t quite help us in making huge steps forwards. We’ll see what the weather is like tomorrow, if it’s the case to get all ready if it rains again, as we do already have some good data for dry track.”
Marc Márquez tries out wet conditions
Repsol rider places sixth in first day of practice in Jerez, setting his bike up for a wet track.
Repsol Media Service Spain, Circuito de Jerez Friday 27/04/2012
The first practice sessions of the weekend took place at the Circuito de Jerez, the scene of the Spanish Grand Prix. Moto2 World Championship leader, Marc Márquez, began the second meeting of the year with the sixth fastest time in the intermediate class. The Repsol rider sat out practically the entirety of the second session of the day, in order to avoid unnecessary risks on a drying track with varying grip. He was able to make the most of the opening session in order to gain experience of his bike in the wet.
With the fine rain that fell over the course of the morning intensifying over the course of the day, the first 45 minutes of the afternoon Moto2 session took place on a completely wet track. The Repsol rider was looking for the best setup in adverse weather conditions. After 13 laps, Márquez clocked a best time of 1’59.250.
As the track dried out during the second session, Márquez undertook just 5 laps and was fifth fastest, 0.519 seconds down on quickest rider Mika Kallio. The Repsol rider used wet tyres to start with, but as the track dried he was able to switch to slicks. However, the rain returned and he brought an end to his Friday activity.
FP1 - 1:59.250, 13 laps, 57 km.
FP2 - 1:56.266, 5 laps, 22 km.
"I felt good in this opening day of practice sessions -above all in the morning. I picked up confidence as I went on, as in that morning session the track was completely wet. I gradually feel more comfortable on the bike, so it was good to get some wet track time as the forecast for the weekend isn’t very positive and we don’t know what can happen on Sunday. The afternoon was a little stranger, because the track was neither wet nor dry. I hope that the weather is better tomorrow and that we can continue improving".
ANTONELLI SIXTH FASTEST AT WET JEREZ
Niccolņ Antonelli rode without fear of the track or conditions as the first free practice sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix took place at Jerez today. Using the new FTR chassis for the first time the Italian teenager lapped thirteenth fastest in the dry this morning before adapting quickly to a wet set-up for the rainy afternoon conditions, when he finished sixth quickest.
Niccolo’ Antonelli (Free Practice 1 - 13th 1’ 51” 140 / Free Pratice 2 - 6th 2’ 00” 634)) “The first session went well this morning and the second session in the afternoon was even better so overall it has been a good day. I felt comfortable immediately with the new bike even though we have a long way still to go to find the perfect set-up. In any case I am satisfied, especially with my pace in the wet. Another dry session would have been useful but with the weather forecast predicting more rain for the rest of the weekend this afternoon's session could prove to be very useful.”
Fausto Gresini “We are happy and considering that this is the first time we've used this chassis we have to be more than satisfied with the result. The conditions weren't easy, with a dry track this morning and then rain this afternoon, but Niccolņ felt comfortable with the new bike even though there is a long way to go. Overall things have been above our expectations so we are very happy.”
FAUBEL BOUNCES BACK AFTER JEREZ CRASH
Spaniard and his team-mate Moncayo make progress with new exhaust
Mixed conditions made life difficult for the Moto3 riders on the opening day of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez and the cause of BANKIA ASPAR rider Héctor Faubel wasn't helped by a crash in the opening free practice this morning. Héctor bounced back to finish the day sixth fastest whilst his team-mate Alberto Moncayo finished tenth, both riders reporting problems with their Kalex chassis but improvements from the KTM engine, which features a new exhaust system.
In fact, Moncayo was third fastest on the top speed charts, less than 4km/h off the speed of the fastest bike on track. With improvements planned for their chassis set-up the pair are hopeful of being competitive very soon in the dry, whilst already feeling confident about their pace in the wet should the rainy conditions continue at Jerez over the next two days.
6th Héctor Faubel (1.50.728, 26 laps): "I feel very competitive in the wet and was able to lap comfortably in the top three positions but as the track dried we ran into the same problems as usual. We have to keep working because we know what the problem is, all the Kalex guys are struggling with the same thing and I think when we get the new chassis it will be resolved. We have some work to do on the engine too but generally it is running well. I think we can be competitive in the wet. The crash this morning was strange - I lost the front under braking but saved it on my elbow, then it gripped again and I caught my knee. By coincidence it was turn two, where I crashed in the race last year, but thankfully nothing serious."
10th Alberto Moncayo (1.51.075, 28 laps): "It has been a tough day. We tried something new with the engine this morning which worked well but we're struggling with the chassis and we're going to have to go back to the setting from the test. The good thing is that the engine is improving. I was a bit tense in the wet this afternoon but then I relaxed and managed to improve my pace until the track started to dry and we encountered the same problems as this morning. Hopefully the track is fully wet tomorrow as forecast."
MotoGP Moto3: Fenati fastest on Day 1 in rain-soaked free practice sessions
Team Italia FMI's week-end in Jerez de la Frontera got off to a great start.
Romano Fenati is in top form and wrapped up the day with the best lap on the charts. Alessandro Tonucci posted the 16th best time.
Both times were scored during the morning free practice session, in which Romano Fenati also posted the overall best time of 1'49"760, being the only rider to go below the 1'50 mark. Maverick Vi-ales trailed him by .271, and Kornfeil by .388. In the second free practice session Tonucci and Fenati, both riding FTR Hondas, posted the 19th (2'01"848) and 21th time respectively (2'02"860).
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FTR Honda#5) best lap 1'49"760
"The morning session was very positive compared with the wet practice in the afternoon. I'm still not used to lap with the track in these conditions. I did gain some confidence in the last few laps, and hopefully I'll be able to improve even if the weather stays the same tomorrow."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FTR Honda#19) best lap 1'51"446
"I could have done better in the morning but we tried a solution that turned out to be inefficient. Still, this helped us understand important things for the future. During FP2 session I ran into some problems since it was the first time I tried this bike in the wet and the rear was sliding too much. I'll be able to do much better tomorrow."
Roberto Locatelli (Team Italia FMI Technical Director)
"Given the conditions of the track, our objective today was not to achieve the best performance, but to help our riders to adjust and get the right confidence. The small changes we made today will grant us a good setup in both wet and dry conditions. We are looking forward to tomorrow's qualifying session."
WILAIROT MAKES LATE IMPROVEMENTS AFTER MORNING CRASH
Ratthapark Wilairot endured a tough start to the Spanish Grand Prix today, crashing out of free practice this morning. However, 'Feem' made progress in the afternoon and is hoping for much more in better conditions tomorrow.
Ratthapark Wilairot (Free Practice 1 - 30th 2’ 02” 643 / Free Practice 2 16th 1’ 58” 293) “In the morning it was difficult because there was a lot of rain and we were trying a new setting when I had a big highside. In the afternoon we tried a change to the setting but I had no confidence in the rear and felt like I was going to highside every time I opened the throttle. The conditions were terrible today so hopefully they will be better tomorrow."
Fausto Gresini “Little by little we are making gradual improvements despite some strange conditions today. It is hard to say just yet that we are on the right lines but we are working hard and hopefully we get some better conditions tomorrow to judge the gap between us and the front. It was a shame about the crash this morning because it set us back a little bit. Everybody is working so hard and I hope they can have something to smile about soon."
REA TAKES STEP FORWARD AT JEREZ
Gino Rea was able to improve his feel for the Moriwaki machine at Jerez today despite mixed weather at Jerez. The Brit took a small step forward but still has a long way to go and is hoping for better conditions so that he and the team can work on the bike tomorrow.
Gino Rea (Free Practice 1 - 21st 2’ 00” 755 - Free Practice 2 - 13th 1’ 57” 629) " Today was quite tricky really. The first session was wet and the bike is completely different to Qatar so we didn't have enough time to set it up. In the afternoon it was half wet and half dry and we went quite fast. We still have some problems but we're trying to dial them out and hopefully we can improve tomorrow. We could have been faster in the end by using a slick tyre but we stayed with the wet to try and fix some problems. Position doesn't matter right now, we just need to make improvements and see what happens tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “Little by little we are making gradual improvements despite some strange conditions today. It is hard to say just yet that we are on the right lines but we are working hard and hopefully we get some better conditions tomorrow to judge the gap between us and the front. Everybody is working so hard and I hope they can have something to smile about soon.”
Kallio fastest in difficult conditions at Jerez
Jerez, Spain - 27 April 2012: It was a positive opening day at Jerez for the Marc VDS Racing Team, with Mika Kallio finished second fastest overall after topping the timesheet in this afternoon's free practice session. Scott Redding was fifth fastest in this morning's wet free practice, but slipped to 11th overall after sitting out much of the afternoon session.
Redding was quick to make his mark in this morning's wet session, building confidence in the bike and tyres with every pit exit, before setting his fastest time on the last of his 14 laps. Kallio had some set-up issues early in the session, leaving him in 17th position after he only managed to complete ten laps.
The situation was reversed during this afternoon's free practice session, which was frequently interrupted by rain showers that left too many damp patches on the track for slicks and not enough standing water for wets. After improving on his time from the morning, Redding then opted to sit out the remainder of the session, rather than risk a crash in the tricky conditions.
Kallio used this afternoon's free practice to continue working on machine set-up. The 29-year-old Finn made a number of changes to the front suspension on his Kalex Moto2 machine, before topping the timesheet right at the end of the session with his final flying lap.
More rain is forecast for Jerez, both for tomorrow's free practice and qualifying sessions and, more importantly, for Sunday's race.
Mika Kallio #36: 2nd - 1'55.675
"Conditions this afternoon were really tricky and not really what we were hoping for. We managed to make some improvements to the front of the bike, which I wasn't so happy with this morning, so it was still a positive session for us. The track conditions weren't ideal, but I managed to get a good feel for the bike right at the end and it's always good to finish the day at the top of the timesheet. Hopefully the conditions won't be like this for the race, but if they are then at least we know we've got a good race set-up."
Scott Redding #45: 11th - 1'57.019
"I had some problems in the wet last season, because I didn't get any feedback from the Suter Moto2 bike, so this morning was all about rebuilding confidence. The feedback from the Kalex is much more direct, even in the wet, so it didn't take long for the confidence to return. This afternoon we just couldn't seem to get a break. I came back in from the first run to switch to slicks and it started raining, so I went back out on wets and the track started to dry. So, I came back for slicks and it started raining again. I just gave up in the end; it wasn't worth the risk. Hopefully tomorrow will be wet or dry, but not both at the same time like it was this afternoon!"
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Both riders did a good job today. Scott was unlucky to get caught out by the conditions this afternoon - every time he switched tyres the weather changed - but he was fast in the wet this morning. We've been saying to Mika that he needs to stay out for longer in practice, to get a better feel for the bike before making changes, and that's exactly what he did in this afternoon's difficult conditions. It paid off for him, as he was fastest in the session and second fastest overall today. I'm confident that both riders can qualify well tomorrow whatever the conditions, but we'd obviously prefer it to be wet or dry, not a mix of both like it was today."
Damp weather conditions make it difficult
for Toni Finsterbusch and Alexander Lundh
Poor weather conditions with repeated rain showers made the first day of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez very difficult for MZ factory riders Toni Finsterbusch (Moto3) and Alexander Lundh (Moto2).
18-year-old Finsterbusch, a GP rookie from Leipzig, Germany, tried modified footpegs in order to achieve a more comfortable seating position, but still had to settle for 31st place. Lundh, the only Swedish rider in Grand Prix racing, battled with an inflammation caused by a pin that was inserted into his right leg after a fracture back in 2010. Last week, his doctors tried to remove the pin, but couldn’t get it out without major surgery and eventually left it in its position. Even though Lundh suffers considerable pain, he still managed to take 23rd position.
Toni Finsterbusch (Moto 3) - 31st in 1.54,557 min:
“Even though we changed the chassis set-up the way I wanted, the bike now feels worse than it did during the official tests here at Jerez one month ago. Now we have to try to recover lost ground, because I don’t have confidence in the bike at all. At the same time, I’m sure it’s not only the bike, it is certainly also a question of my riding. I only know the track here at Jerez from a wet Spanish Championship race and from the recent tests, so there is still room for improvement. Tomorrow, I’m going to give it all.”
Alexander Lundh (Moto2) - 23rd in 1.59,016 min:
“20th place in the second free practice session and 23rd in the combined standings - this is not bad considering my condition. I didn’t have any problems with the track and the half dry, half wet conditions, which is a good thing. We mounted slicks for one flying lap in the afternoon session, but then it started to rain again almost immediately, so we completed the session on wet tyres. I think we have a good base for tomorrow. The most important thing now is to give my injured leg a rest in order to be as fit as possible when it counts.”