Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Estoril:
CARETTA TECHNOLOGY - Estoril GP day 01
Just the time to recover from Jerez and the MotoGP circus is already back on track at Estoril for the third race of the season. Jack Miller, successfully operated on the shoulder of Dr. Mir, still recovering waiting Le Mans. In his place, the team enlists the young Manuel Tatasciore today for the second time in the Moto3 get the 27th time.
Alexis Masbou, in improvement after Doha incident, get 5th time.
George Bertelli (Team Manager): "I am very glad that, thanks to his perseverance, Masbou is confirmed to be amongst the first. Manuel, like normal, has difficulty to adapt at the bike. We must give him time to grow."
Alexis Masbou: "I am happy today. We worked on setting and now I feel fine and I can get stronger through the corners. The last part of the lap was really difficult because the track was still wet but I was able to go fast and this gives me hope. I am convinced that for tomorrow I can do better".
Manuel Tatasciore: "For the first day is a good base to work. I need to improve my feeling with the bike and the team: all is new for me. With my little experience is not easy to improve quickly".
Jack Miller: "It's bit difficult to see the races from the paddock. But it's okay. I just wanted to thank Dr. Mir and all the staff for everything they have done for me".
Oliveira leads the way at home
Repsol rider shows strong early pace in first practice sessions for the Portuguese Grand Prix. Viñales was fourth fastest and Rins and Márquez made their debut on the Friday.
Repsol Media Service Portugal, Estoril Circuit Friday 04/05/2012
Just four days on from the race at Jerez, the World Championship returned to action at the Autódromo de Estoril, Portugal. In front of his home fans, Miguel Oliveira was the fastest in Moto3 in Friday practice, with Máverick Viñales fourth quickest. Álex Rins and Álex Márquez —the latter in his second wild card appearance— placed fourteenth and twenty-third, respectively.
The day began with two clear protaganists: Miguel Oliveira and Maverick Viñales. The Repsol duo were the most comfortable in a session on a wet track courtesy of overnight rain. Dropping lap times consistently, it was Maverick Viñales who claimed first place in the session at its conclusion. His time was 1’56.138, with the Portuguese competitor 3 tenths down. The duo were more than a second faster than the third-placed rider. Rins and Márquez —riding at Estoril for the first time— were eighteenth and nineteenth, respectively.
In the second session, on a dry track, Oliveira continued to show excellent pace in the same way as in last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, recording the fastest time of the day: 1’48.497. After 18 laps and with some problems on the exit of the slower corners, Viñales was fourth quickest and 841 thousandths of a second slower than the local favourite.
Álex Rins had only briefly ridden at Estoril in a selection progress for a cup competition a few years ago. Today he was fourteenth overall, with a final time of 1’50.653. His teammate, Álex Márquez, was twenty-third on his first time at the Portuguese circuit, looking to make a big step forward tomorrow on day two of practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix.
FP1 - 1:56.138, 18 laps, 75 km.
FP2 - 1:49.338, 18 laps, 75 km.
"It was a very good day of practice sessions —above all in the opening session, in which we immediately found a good feeling with the bike in the wet. We lacked a little grip in the evening, especially on the exit of the corners. The first and second sectors are places where we can still find some more speed. We lost our way a little in the dry at Jerez and here we are finding it again. We will have to work more on the chassis tomorrow and go out there with the same desire as we did today."
FP1 - 1:56.514, 16 laps, 66 km.
FP2 - 1:48.497, 17 laps, 71 km.
"We can be happy with this first day of practice. In difficult conditions in the morning, we took the second best time. In the afternoon we were able to put the slicks on, which gave us the opportunity to take our work forward and improve on our times. We went about things calmly, looking for the best feeling possible with the bike —together with my team we continued progressing and were able to put down a very fast pace.
We still have room for improvement in terms of the setup, so we have to keep on working in this way which is obviously working. The last sector is making a fast lap difficult for all the riders, but that’s what Estoril is like."
FP1 - 1:59.606, 17 laps, 71 km.
FP2 - 1:50.653, 19 laps, 79 km.
"The start to this Grand Prix is very similar to Jerez, because in the morning we had a practice session in the wet. I just need to adapt to the circuit, although we are improving lap-by-lap. The team is doing a great job and I am very happy to have their help. Estoril is a very technical track with bumps all over the place and slow corners, so we have to keep working to adapt to it. In any case, the conditions are the same for everyone and we just need to improve.”.
FP1 - 1:59.447, 17 laps, 71 km.
FP2 - 1:51.707, 18 laps, 75 km.
"I’m not very happy. I end the day with the feeling that I didn’t achieve what I should have. I am very demanding, but I also recognise that things aren’t all bad. We just need a little more track time and adaptation to the bike. We have to improve my riding and the bike, but this is just a question of time. I am sure that we will improve our times tomorrow. In the morning we had our work delayed slightly by the rain, but we will keep taking gradual steps forward. Here in Portugal I already feel more comfortable, because it is my second Grand Prix.".
Salom takes momentum with him to Estoril
Just a few days after Luis Saloms excellent second place in the Spanish GP at Jerez RW Racing GP had to get back to business. At the Portugese coast this time, at the circuit of Estoril. Salom could keep his momentum from Jerez going and set the third fastest time of the grid in FP2.
It did take him some time to find his form back. With 20 minutes remaining Salom set his first fast lap time of 1.50.270: good enough for the provisional second place on the grid. Brad Binder pushed his Kalex-KTM to 16th (1.51.367).
But that wasn't it. Salom got into a exciting fight with Sandro Cortese and Miguel Oliveira for the top positions of th e grid. In the final seconds Oliveira was just a little bit faster then Cortese and Salom.
Binder could not improve his lap time and finished the session in 21st place.
The first practice on Friday morning was a lot more complicated. The track was wet after heavy rain stroke Estoril during the night. Binder found his name back in 14th position (1.59.097), but Salom didn't get any faster than 1.59.976 that only brought him to 21st.
Luis Salom: "We had some technical problems in the morning session. Therefore we couldn't use all the track time we had. But for the afternoon we had the bike fixed and it worked well. I could improve almost each lap. I have a g ood feeling with the bike.''
Brad Binder: "For me it was just the other way around. In the morning it went well, but in the afternoon I had a problem with the clutch. We tried another setting, but it didn't work out the way we hoped for. We know what to do, so it should be solved for tomorrow's practice and qualifying.''
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "A good start of the weekend is important for the confidence of the rider. We lost some time today, but we worked hard to get everything in the right direction and now it looks good.''
MIXED FORTUNES FOR ANTONELLI ON FIRST DAY AT ESTORIL
Niccolo Antonelli completed his first laps of the Estoril circuit in impressive fashion, lapping ninth quickest during this morning's opening free practice for the Grand Prix of Portugal despite the damp track surface. In windy conditions and on a slippery track the youngster once again showed glimpses of his huge talent although he struggled to match the pace of the frontrunners in the dry second session this afternoon.
Niccolo’ Antonelli (Free Practice 1 - 9th 1’ 58” 938 / Free Practice 2nd – 20th 1’ 51” 188)
“I felt good with the bike this morning even though I could have done with more feeling with the front and then in the afternoon I lost my confidence altogether. The bike felt unrideable and maybe I should have come in sooner to give the guys more time to change it but I was keen to stay out and learn the track. Now we will look at the data to try and improve things for tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “It has been a difficult day on a new track. Unfortunately Niccolò wasn't able to repeat his form this morning during the afternoon session so we will try to understand why that happened. We need to stay calm and prepare as well as we can for an important qualifying session tomorrow.”
Alexander Lundh chases tire grip – Toni Finsterbusch chases the right lines
MZ factory riders Alexander Lundh and Toni Finsterbusch started well into the Grand Prix of Portugal. Even though neither of them had ever been on the Estoril circuit before, Lundh managed to take 30th place in the Moto2 category and Finsterbusch took 31st place in the Moto3 class.
“Moto2 is an especially tough category and Alex has done a good job today. We can’t expect more from a Grand Prix newcomer who has never done a race on this track. You have to consider that even some experienced riders such as Max Neukirchner were not that much higher up in the rankings today”, said MZ team manager Peter Rubatto. “What surprised me with Toni is the fact that he didn’t try to chase the slipstream of other riders. It was very windy and it’s not easy to get good lap times under these conditions if you are by yourself all the time. When Sandro Cortese tucked in behind Maverick Viñales, he was eight tenths of a second faster immediately. Toni is still busy learning the track, but I hope to see an improvement tomorrow – a gap of six seconds to the top is just a little too much.”
Toni Finsterbusch (Moto 3) – 31st in 1.54,655 min:
“Yesterday, I did my first ever lap around the Estoril circuit on a scooter, and today, I rode here the first time on my Grand Prix bike. It’s fun to ride here, but I’m obviously still in the process of finding the best way around. Some sections are really difficult und you need quite a few laps to find the fastest line. You need to know precisely where to go into the turns, otherwise you mess up the corner exit. The slow chicane also is a strange experience at first – you think you are so slow that you are almost coming to a standstill, but when you try to go in faster, you miss the corner exit once again. You just have to try to improve lap by lap.”
Alexander Lundh (Moto2) – 30th in 1.45,586 min:
“So far, so good. I like the track here at Estoril and even though my lap times weren’t that strong in the beginning, we started quite well and made good progress in the first practice session this morning. The beginning of the second session was also good, but then, after a pit stop, I went out with the same tire once again and I started to struggle. I had no grip at all and even though I tried a few things on the last laps to adjust my riding style, I couldn’t improve my position in the time sheets. But I’m not too worried, because the times are very close together and with new tires and a little bit of fine-tuning on the set-up side, we should be able to climb much higher in the rankings. The other good thing is that the inflammation in my leg has subsided. I’m close to 100 per cent and I have no problem when I’m riding.”
Marc Márquez makes firm start
Repsol clocks second fastest time in first day of practice for Portuguese Grand Prix
Repsol Media Service Portugal, Estoril Circuit Friday 04/05/2012
Moto2 World Championship leader Marc Márquez started strong at round three of the season, which takes place this weekend at the Autódromo de Estoril. The Repsol rider, who placed second in last weekend’s race in Spain, was fast from the beginning in Portugal and was second fastest overall on day one, just behind Scott Redding.
Following his usual routine, Márquez dedicated the opening sessions to working on his setup with the Moto2 machine. With a firm focus on Sunday’s race, the Repsol rider went out on track with the aim of finding a consistent pace. With puddles present on the track, the Spaniard nonetheless used slicks to record the second fastest time of the morning: 1’43.618.
In the afternoon run he continued to adjust his race setup. After 19 laps in which he continually cut tenths of a second from his lap times, Márquez ended the day in second. The Repsol rider was two tenths behind Scott Redding’s marker at the conclusion of Friday, with a best lap of 1’41.978.
FP1 - 1:43.618, 16 laps, 67 km.
FP2 - 1:41.978, 19 laps, 79 km.
"The morning practice session was rather difficult, because there were still some damp patches on the track which obliged you to take things more cautiously than normal. We had a drier track in the afternoon, with just a damp section on the final corner; it will be important to remember that this weekend, because it still hadn’t dried despite a lack of rain all day.
We worked hard right from the start and are feeling comfortable. It is important to start on the right foot –even more so at a track in which there are bumps and it is hard to go fast. Tomorrow we have to work more on improving the bike and carry on preparing ourselves for the race".
WILAIROT RUNNING OUT OF CONFIDENCE AND PATIENCE
There was no improvement in the fortunes of Ratthapark Wilairot at Estoril today, the Thai rider understandably disappointed after lapping 26th fastest. His attempts to build his confidence on board the Moriwaki MD600 machine today proved in vain despite a typically determined effort.
Ratthapark Wilairot (26th 1’ 44” 082) “We have tried a multitude of things today but my confidence with the Moriwaki MD600 is not improving. To be honest we are running out of ideas as to what to do! All I know is that I have more potential than this result shows and so do the team."
Fausto Gresini “Everything we are trying is not working and this is an embarrassing situation for Wilairot and the team to be in. We are running out of options to try with the bike but we'll have a look at the data from today and see what things we can change for tomorrow.”
DOUBLE CRASH DISAPPOINTMENT ON DAY ONE FOR REA
Gino Rea's swift initial adaptation to Estoril hit the skids twice today, with a pair of crashes limiting his progress and his lap time. There was understandable disappointment in the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 garage, where the work continues to give Rea the opportunity to show his true potential.
Gino Rea. (23rd 1’ 43” 843) “It has been a difficult day today. I tried to learn the track quite fast and I was actually up in fifth place for a long time. At the end I was following a fast rider but he came in to pit so I had to take a wider line, hit a damp patch and crashed. We changed some things on the bike for the afternoon but went in the wrong direction and I ended up having another crash in a slow corner. It felt like the tyre didn't work and I crashed before I was fully leaned over. The team did a great job to fix the bike and I was able to get one lap in to improve my time but we have a lot of work still to do.”
Fausto Gresini “To have two crashes in one day is always disappointing but the team are working hard to let Gino show his potential, which is clearly higher than this result shows. We will keep working but this situation is not fun for anybody.”
Redding tops the timesheet at Estoril
Estoril, Portugal - 4 May 2012: Scott Redding was the fastest man on track at Estoril today, topping the timesheet during this afternoon's second free practice session. Mika Kallio was tenth fastest, after using today's two sessions to evaluate different front-end settings on his Kalex Moto2 machine.
Redding was third fastest in this morning's opening free practice session, which was run on a drying track but with damp patches still evident following overnight rain. The Marc VDS rider continued to run up the front during this afternoon's 45-minute session, for which the track had finally dried out fully.
The 19-year-old Briton posted his fastest time just after the halfway point this afternoon, in a session where all his flying laps were within just a few tenths of his fastest time. Redding was almost half a second clear at the top of the timesheet, until a concerted effort by Marc Marquez cut the gap to just two tenths shortly before the chequered flag.
Kallio struggled with the front-end set-up last timeout in Jerez, so focussed today on evaluating two different front suspension options on his Kalex Moto2 machine. Both options offered both positives and negatives, but the set-up for this afternoon's session didn't give the 29-year-old Finn the necessary confidence to push for a fast lap time. Kallio is confident that his crew have a clear direction with the set-up for tomorrow's free practice and the all-important qualifying session.
Both Marc VDS riders are confident of fighting for a place on the front two rows of the grid during tomorrow afternoon's 45-minute qualifying session.
Scott Redding #45: 1st - 1'41.775
"We had a good weekend in Jerez, we've made some progress with the bike and now I want it; I want it bad! This afternoon I just pushed as hard as I could throughout the session and my times were both fast and consistent, which is exactly what I was looking for. Tomorrow I'll be doing exactly the same, with the front two rows of the grid the target in qualifying. My crew chief, Pete Benson, celebrates his 50th birthday today and I hope we'll be able to give him the present he deserves in the race on Sunday."
Mika Kallio #36: 10th - 1'42.711
"Today we tried two different front end settings on the bike, one in the morning session and one in the afternoon. For the second free practice session I didn't really have the confidence in the front to push hard, because the front tyre wouldn't really hold a line and was skipping over the bumps in the turns. The grip was also a bit inconsistent, which doesn't inspire confidence either. To be honest there was something missing with each of the two set-ups, but by testing them both today we now have a clear direction for tomorrow. Scott showed what the bike is capable of; he was unbelievably fast this afternoon. Now we need to match his times tomorrow."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"I don't think I've ever seen Scott push so hard in a free practice session, but a lot of it was down to the confidence he now has in the bike after the race last weekend in Jerez. If qualifying is dry tomorrow then I'm confident he will start the race on Sunday from the front two rows of the grid. Mika used the two sessions today to evaluate different front-end set-up options on his bike, after some issues in Jerez. It meant he wasn't able to set a fast time this afternoon, but the work will pay off tomorrow in qualifying, when he too will be aiming for the front two rows of the grid."
BANKIA ASPAR RIDERS CONTINUE HARD WORK IN PORTUGAL
BANKIA ASPAR pair Alberto Moncayo and Héctor Faubel made a positive start to the Grand Prix of Portugal, finishing third and thirteenth fastest in this morning's opening free practice session at Estoril. Despite damp conditions and no fewer than four different kinds of asphalt the notoriously unforgiving Portuguese track proved no obstacle for Moncayo in particular, but when the sun came out for a dry afternoon session both riders ran into problems with their KALEX-KTM machine. Nevertheless, with Faubel twelfth and Moncayo eighteenth overall on a day that saw home favourite Miguel Oliveira set the pace, there is plenty of margin for improvement tomorrow.
12th Héctor Faubel (1.50.535, 23 laps): "I was fairly happy and running in fifth or sixth position until our final run, when I put a new tyre in and the engine packed in. We have tried a lot of things so we'll keep the good stuff tomorrow and try again with a new engine. Up until my gear shifter broke at Jerez I was having a good race so let's see if we can close the gap to the top a little tomorrow."
18th Alberto Moncayo (1.57.605, 27 laps): "My feeling with the bike this morning was good, I took things steady and even though the track was slippery I felt okay. Our problems came back in the afternoon though. I have no complaints about the engine but the issue is the chassis, I just can't get the bike to turn. We have to keep working hard and not lose hope though. I have every faith in this team and we are not looking around at what other riders have, we just need to work on what we have."