Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Saturday's race at Assen:
Maverick Viñales victorious at "The Cathedral"
Repsol rider claims third consecutive win. Rins comes back for sixth place and Oliveira finishes tenth.
Maverick Viñales was back on the top step of the podium at the Assen Circuit. The Repsol rider, winner of last year's Dutch TT, repeated the victory in an intense race. Starting from sixth on the grid, Viñales remained patient in the early stages of the contest, in which there was an abundance of overtaking. It was not until lap eight that the Repsol rider decided to push through to the front. The Spaniard fought for the victory as part of a group of five riders, in a battle that lasted until the very last lap. He reached the line just three thousandths of a second ahead of second placed Sandro Cortese.
Álex Rins moved up ten places to finish sixth, whilst teammate Miguel Oliveira was tenth.
With this fourth victory of the season, Maverick Viñales increases his lead at the head of the Moto3 standings to 7 points after 7 races.
Márquez wins and extends advantage
Repsol rider leads Moto2 standings by greater margin after victory number three of the year at Assen.
Marc Márquez extended his advantage in the Moto2 World Championship standings with victory at Assen. The Spaniard took off from pole for the Dutch TT and studied rivals Iannone and Redding over the opening laps, saving his tyres behind the duo and waiting for his moment.
At the halfway point of the race, Márquez decided to make a move and hunted down Iannone. The Italian had opened up a lead of more than 3 seconds over the chasing pack, which consisted of 8 riders. For ten laps, the Repsol rider reeled in his rival and engaged him in an entertaining fight for the win. Three laps from the end, Márquez caught Iannone and the battle lit up Assen. The final lap saw Márquez make his way past and cross the line first.
After seven races, Márquez has three wins to his name in the 2012 season, having taken victories at Qatar and Portugal before this latest triumph. With 127 points, the Repsol rider holds a 23 point advantage over Iannone in the standings.
Third straight win for Maverick Viñales
Repsol rider wins out in latest fight to the line. Rins recovers ten positions and finishes sixth, with Oliveira tenth.
There was a high intensity race in the lower cylinder category at the Dutch TT, in which Maverick Viñales won out in a tremendous tussle. The Repsol rider added a third straight win to his strong run of form, again ahead of Sandro Cortese —who trails him by 7 points overall. Special mention has to go to Alex Rins, who started from sixteenth on the grid and was still recovering from injuries suffered at the British Grand Prix, eventually taking sixth place. Miguel Oliveira was part of the second group and ended the race in tenth position.
The winner of last year’s Dutch TT, Maverick Viñales, immediately saw that it was going to be tough at the top in the Saturday contest. Taking off from sixth, he was immersed in a group numbering some fifteen riders, all jostling for position. Whilst Rins and Oliveira set about moving up the order, Viñales took over the lead and laid down a fast pace in order to try and break away. The bunch eventually split at the halfway mark, with Viñales ahead of Cortese, Kent, Salom and Rossi. The win was decided by the Spaniard keeping his cool on the final lap, seizing an opportunity to go through at the final chicane and snatch victory by a narrow margin.
Getting a good start and showing great patience, Álex Rins’ perseverance paid off in the Dutch TT. The Repsol rider moved up ten positions and formed part of the leading group in the opening stages of the race. A small issue when he outbroke himself midway through the contest lost him the necessary seconds to keep up, however, and he set about protecting sixth place. Teammate Miguel Oliveira had a tough race and was fighting in a tight group to place tenth.
1st - 38:45.432
"I don’t know why, but early in the race we were running very slow. On one lap you could overtake five riders, and in the next you could lose those positions again. It was a tough situation. Halfway through the race I knew that I had to push to break away from the pack, so I did. Things got tricky on the final laps, because the KTMs were going very fast and I knew that I had to win by any means possible. I am very happy with this victory, because we managed to win despite mechanical inferiority".
10th at 8.243 sec.
"That was a rather difficult race; I started from eighth and the first laps were really tough. I was being passed from all sides, so my aim was just to stick with the lead group. Two groups formed a few laps in, and I was part of the second one. I had difficulty following the others, above all on the straights.
Overall, it has been a good weekend, because we picked up another top ten finish whilst gaining experience. I have a great team and we will continue working hard to be at the front".
6th at 5.033 sec.
"I am very happy. We did a good job the whole weekend and showed that we could be up there with the lead group. We set off from sixteenth and that made things difficult. We rode at a good pace, but at one point in the race I was run off track and I lost all chance of keeping with the leaders. I lost touch with them, but I fought the best I could. I want to thank the team and my sponsors.
We had the pace to stick with the leaders, and that is what I will take away from this race. My right hand held up well, but the left hurts a lot and that hasn't been helped by having two consecutive race weekends. We have another one next weekend too".
Victory for series leader Márquez
Marc Márquez takes win on final lap, in race that sees main title rivals crash out and Repsol rider leave Honda as series leader.
Marc Márquez had a big day at the Dutch TT, taking victory in a race in which closest rivals in the standings, Pol Espargaró and Thomas Luthi, fell in the early stages. The Repsol rider rode a studious race that evolved into a thrilling comeback, culminating in two great late overtaking moves that earned him his third win of the season. The Spaniard now holds a 23-point lead over the second placed rider in the overall standings, Andrea Iannone.
Starting from pole position, Márquez made a good start and was immersed in the fight for fourth place, whilst still backing off on the perilous slow corners of Assen. Thomas Luthi was his first rival to fall in a crash with another rider, whilst Pol Espargaró was the next to go when he crashed out of the lead. That paved the way for the Repsol rider, who was part of the front group and was bringing his tyres up to temperature.
After some initial nervy laps as part of the group, Márquez went up to third on lap seven as he battled with Scott Redding, whilst Andrea Iannone began to pull away in the lead. Eleven laps in, the Repsol rider got through and began his pursuit of the Italian. With strong pace on his side, Márquez caught up with three laps to go and attempted a move on the outside of the straight. He went past, but Iannone responded a few corners later. Márquez had a final trick up his sleeve, and went back through on the inside and held on to cross the line first. It was his third win of the campaign.
With this result, Márquez’ total in the Moto2 World Championship rises to 127 points —23 more than Andrea Iannone, and 31 more than third placed Pol Espargaró.
1st - 39:43.170
“It was a difficult race, but a nice one. I had some problems at the start, because some issues that weren’t there in practice came up and I was unable to find the right pace. That was perhaps my strength ahead of today. When I saw Iannone getting away I tried to keep calm, because I knew that tyres would be crucial at the end of the race.
Maybe I wasted a little too much time trying to get past Aegerter and Redding; they were giving their all, but I was able to get past. There were some beautiful final laps in the battle with Iannone, and I would have liked to have had Pol Espargaró there with us in what would have been a very tight fight. In any case, I am happy with how things went and with our work. Now we move on to Germany, which will be an important race.”
SCARCE REWARD FOR BANKIA ASPAR RIDERS IN ASSEN
Héctor Faubel and Alberto Moncayo close race weekend with fifteenth and nineteenth place, respectively, after difficulties in reaching the line
A top Moto3 race was predicted for the Moto3 Dutch TT, and the contest lived up to expectations. A group of up to 24 riders battled for the upper echelons of the standings, with overtaking galore to treat the fans at Assen. The top two in the standings stated their case for victory, as Cortese took the initiative early on and Viñales dominated the second half of the race. The field split into groups as the laps went by, and the leading pack consisted of Cortese, Kent, Viñales, Salom and Rossi. With five laps to go, each of the quintet was more than deserving of victory, which eventually went to Viñales. Cortese and Kent joined him on the podium after a video finish.
Héctor Faubel was expecting a tough race and was spot on with his analysis on Friday. The Saturday race saw the BANKIA Aspar starting from fourth on the grid, and he had a clear strategy set out from the beginning. He slotted into second place behind Cortese, expecting a push from the German. He lost engine performance six laps in, which effectively ended his challenge for the podium. Dropping down the order, he nonetheless made it to the finish and claimed fifteenth.
Teammate Alberto Moncayo also had trouble, especially due to his starting from eleventh. He was blocked in by riders early on when he made a bad start, and that lost him positions until a gearbox issue added to his woes. He eventually placed nineteenth.
15th Héctor Faubel: "I had an almost perfect start and slotted into second place. On the opening laps I felt very comfortable behind Cortese, because I thought that he was going to be the one to push to break away and leave Viñales behind. As the laps went by, my engine performance suddenly dropped drastically. I'm not sure, but maybe that was from pushing so hard at the start of the race. I tried to do what I could, but a lot of riders got past me. I feel disappointed, because both I and the team have been doing a great job this week and we deserved a good result. We will continue to work hard and try and turn our luck around."
19th Alberto Moncayo: "The truth is that I don't like that we are low down in the standings at another race. I didn't have a good start, I got stuck in the middle of a multitude of riders and a lot of them got through on the straight. In the beginning that made me lose my focus, but later on I recovered. Just as that happened, my gearbox started skipping. We still don't know why that was, but from the second lap onwards we were getting random shifts up and down. At least I can be satisfied with the great job that we did this week, and with the fact that every day we had a clearer idea about the direction to go with the chassis. We have to continue working to get everything in order, and I'm sure that soon the results will come."
IMPRESSIVE RACE AT ASSEN FOR ANDREA IANNONE (2ND), DI MEGLIO CLOSES THE TOP 15
The Moto2 class faced the race of the Iveco TT Assen today, the seventh round of the 2012 season.
After a warm up where he confirmed a time within the top 10, Andrea Iannone started from the first row of the grid. In few laps the Italian left behind him a big group of rivals, step by step putting together a good advantage on the guys following him. Andrea did anything to maintain the gap, but eventually Marc Marquez reached him. The two riders overtook each other a few times in a thrilling combat, fighting till the last lap for the top step of the podium. Andrea leaves Holland with a well deserved second position, achieving a total of 104 points in the Championship Classification (second position).
Mike di Meglio started from the twenty-second position on the grid, moving up a few spots since the beginning of the race and reaching the point zone soon enough. The Frenchman managed to comeback till the twelfth position at half race, as he fought with some other tough riders. Mike ended the race with the fifteenth placement, obtaining one point today.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 2nd
“This was a very tough race. Since the beginning I tried to push and move away, so that I could get a good margin from the other guys. I knew that Marc Marquez was very fast and in the practice sessions he had already proved that he had a better pace than mine. Once I overtook Aegerter, I managed to get away, even if the gap by the end of the race wasn’t really enough. I had to deal with some risks because my rear tyre was quite worn out and meanwhile Marc reached me. I’m sorry I didn’t win, but it was a good battle with Marc and, after all, I’m happy anyway. We need to try to improve more the set up of the bike, we’ll see how things go at Sachsenring.”
Mike di Meglio #63 - 15th
“I’m not quite happy with today’s result. We obtained one point, but I wanted to do better. We started from the rear part of the grid and it wasn’t easy to come back. The bike was working a lot better, in this weekend we understood quite a big deal of things. Now we have to keep proceeding this way and do anything possible to improve in a consistent manner.”
Staunch South African Supporters fail to bring Binder Speed at the Cathedral
The Iveco TT Assen proved to be another tough round for RW Racing GP's Brad Binder, who ended the race in 20thposition, his bike simply lacked top speed. The weekend hadn't started off perfectly for him and his crew, but they knew what to do, so they used a new engine on qualifying day: unfortunately this didn't help today.
As usual, the young South African had a great start from the 19th spot on the grid and immediately started battling in the top 15: he got into a very big group of riders and was able to keep up with the top guys' pace for the first half of the race. He engaged in a breath-taking fight with the others, in which there were also some aggressive moves, in fact Brad even touched with Jakub Kornfeil, who pushed him off track.
Lap after lap his problems with the bikes kept on increasing, preventing him from defending his position in the points. Brad's main issues happened on the main straight, where his top speed was much slower than the others, consequently the gaps increased, although he was able to recuperate a bit - especially in corner exits.
On the final lap, Brad gave his best to obtain the 20th position against I.Vinales and Tonucci, and succeeded in the end, overtaking both of them in the last few corners. Brad isn't satisfied with a 20th position, but now he's focusing on the next MotoGP round, which will take place just next week in Germany.
Brad Binder : " I must admit I'm very disappointed with today's result because I think this is a good track for me and mostly because it was my team's home race. Unfortunately some problems with the engine occurred, but I believe KTM will help solve them very soon.
I would like to thank my team for the great job they did as usual and all the people who were here to support me and also those at home.
I'm now looking forward to Sachserning, another circuit I really like, and hopefully we'll be able to do well in Germany."
Photo finish: Salom 0.001 away from podium
Luis Salom had to swallow hard. A photo finish revealed the Spanish rider of RW Racing GP missed out on the podium by one thousandth of a second. The two millimeter difference between the front tire of Danny Kent and the one of Luis Salom was not visible with the naked eye.
The Moto3 race of the Dutch TT was exciting from start to finish. Salom moved up to fifth straight from the start. Within a few laps he was leading the race or somewhere in the top 4. A large group managed to stay together for quite a while. In lap 7 the gap between the leader and number 20 was only two seconds.
Halfway through the 22 lap race a group of five emerged from the rest: Viñales, Cortese, Kent, Rossi and Salom. Cortese and Kent seemed to battle out their own duel and smacked their bikes against each other with three laps to go. In the final lap Luis Salom broke through to leading the race until the very last corner.
Luis Salom (4th): "I don’t know what to say. Obviously I am very disappointed. I should have won this race. I made my move in the last lap in the Ramshoek and I was so eager to win that I made a small mistake in braking in the last chicane. That is where I lost it to Viñales. Crossing the finish line I had the feeling I was third and you could tell Danny Kent thought he was fourth. That is why he rode to his garage and I to the parc ferme. There they told me a photo finish was carried out. Johan (Stigefelt, team manager) went to race direction to file a complaint and look at the photo finish himself. Two millimeter! I can’t believe it. It was such a difficult race. I was on the limit the whole time. There was no time to think about tactics or where and when to overtake. It was just a matter of putting my head down and go.’’
Brad Binder (20th): "Such a shame. I really wanted to grab some championship points here in my teams home race. But I had no top speed at all. Everybody passed me on the straight. I had to make up in the corners and lost it again and again. It happened immediately from the first lap, actually immediately from the start. I am really disappointed. Luckily we will have another chance in just a few days, next weekend at the Sachsenring.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "Luis did an unbelievable job. He rode like a champion. He really deserved the victory. It will come. The engine was not as strong as we hoped for. Luis and Brad both lost a lot of space on the straights and had to make up in the corners. We have to talk to KTM about that.’’
Team owner Roelof Waninge: "We had high expectations for our home race, without asking too much because we all know Luis is capable of winning. It’s a big disappointment , but he fought like a lion. I am proud of Luis.’’
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia wraps up Assen with Fenati in 12th and Tonucci in 22nd position
Romano Fenati was once again the first Italian at the checkered flag. Tonucci, after a good start, was forced to close in the back.
The Team Italia duo got off a good start and during the first laps both Tonucci and Fenati stayed close to the front runners. The gaps were within tenths of a second, and the battled raged on.
During the fifth lap, Fenati nearly high-sided and strained his back while holding on to the bike. From then on, he had to settle for some important points for the championship, where he's still fourth and first among the rookies.
Tonucci, on the other hand, suffered from tyre wear and slowly lost ground, closing in 22nd position.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 12th, + 8"559
"We could have done better today, but we still managed to score important points and keep the fourth position in the championship. I hurt my back while fighting with Kornfeil, which didn't help my chances. We can do better next week-end in Sachsenring."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 22nd, + 21"581
"I tried to stick with the front from the very first lap. Once we reached the half-way point, the tyres started to drop and I couldn't keep my position. It's disappointing, especially because the team worked really well with my bike. I need to redeem myself next week-end."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We learned many things from this race, which we need to process before next races: stay away from the 'brawls' on track, take better advantage of the slipstream, and qualify closer to the front. Thankfully we can bounce right back next week-end."
TONI ELÍAS MAKES ANOTHER STELLAR COMEBACK FOR TOP TEN FINISH
MAPFRE Aspar rider places in top ten despite starting low down the order. Teammate Nico Terol near to the points after also making positive comeback
The Moto2 race at Assen followed on from the thrilling Moto3 opener, and provided plenty of intrigue for the title picture. With Thomas Luthi taken out by Ratthapark Wilairot just three corners into the race, and Pol Espargaró crashing whilst leading on the second lap, the contest was set up for two riders at the front. Andrea Iannone took over the lead and extended his advantage to just under three seconds. Scott Redding and Marc Márquez fought amongst themselves behind him, and eventually it was the latter who caught up with the Italian. Márquez managed to take the win on the final lap, ahead of Iannone in a race which was undertaken at a pace even faster than in yesterday's qualifying session.
Just two weeks have passed since the British Grand Prix, and there were shades of deja vu from the Silverstone round at Assen for the MAPFRE Aspar Team riders. Toni Elías started the race from 21st on the grid, but was determined enough to push early on and had moved up to thirteenth by the end of lap one. He then stuck with the leading group until they broke away slightly, nevertheless claiming ninth place in a fantastic performance. He thus equaled his best result of the year so far, from Jerez.
Teammate Nico Terol also made a comeback through the field, having experienced difficulties setting up his bike earlier in the week. He struggled to find pace at the beginning of the race, but eventually was able to use his skills to get closer to the points -finishing in seventeenth.
9th Toni Elías: "We have to be happy with today, because we started from low down on the grid -like at Silverstone- and we were able to make our way up the order. The pace of the race was a lot quicker than in practice. Obviously ninth place is not where we want to be finishing, but at least we can leave Assen feeling good about our performance. I think that we did a good job today. I am not completely happy with the setup of my bike, but we are working very hard to find solutions that give us stability and allow us to up our pace. We have to keep working against the clock, just as we have been up to now, as we have a great opportunity next weekend to finetune our bike configuration."
17th Nico Terol: "The weekend was rather a tough one, because neither yesterday, nor on day one, was I able to feel comfortable. As soon as the race started I felt better than in practice, so I decided to just enjoy myself. I have to thank my team, because we have managed to reduce the chatter that we had been having with the front end. My mechanics have managed to give me a much more comfortable machine today. Starting from far back means that the opening laps are difficult, so you have to be agile in order to not lose the riders in front. I lost touch at the start, but was able to come back through. In the end I placed 17th and I am satisfied with how I felt. I keep gaining experience every day and have a good foundation upon which to build."
Dutch delight for Smith and Simeon in ssen
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Bradley Smith stormed to his best result of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship in today's historic Dutch TT at Assen.
The British rider took full advantage of a third row grid position to make a typically aggressive start that immediately put him in contention for a podium in a frenetic opening few laps.
Smith's overtaking skills immediately came to the fore on the legendary Assen track and after three laps he had broken into the top five and was right behind eventua l race winner Marc Marquez.
As the frantic action unfolded in front of a crowd of just over 90,000 fans, Smith dropped back to ninth at the halfway stage but then showed why he is one of the strongest in the Moto2 field on worn tyres.
The 21-year-old launched a brilliant attack in the second half of the race and by lap 16 he moved back into the top six and then superbly fought his way back into podium contention behind Alex de Angelis, Esteve Rabat and Scott Redding.
Smith never gave up and pushing his Mistral 610 machine to the limit he finished just 1.5s behind Redding in third position at the end of a pulsating 24-lap encounter.
Team-mate Xavier Simeon enjoyed an equally impressive race to equal his best result of the season after a fantas tic charge through the pack from 24th place on the grid.
The Belgian rider was confident he could battle for a top 15 and he didn't disappoint with a performance full of skill and aggression. A sensational start moved him into 13th position on the second lap and he just missed out on a season best 12th place after an epic battle with Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami that came right down to the last lap.
Bradley Smith 6th – 47 points
“That was a fantastic race and I feel really happy with the job all of us at Tech 3 Racing have done because it was easily the best race of the season. It is brilliant to be back in the top six because this is where we should be consistently. We have not stopped working to improve the Mistral 610 machine and to finish so close to the podium is a great confi dence boost. I was worried the good result in Silverstone might have been down to a bit of home race factor, but we have been even stronger and more competitive here in Assen. It was a really hard race and I never gave up because I could see Scott in third and just kept trying to put pressure on Alex and Esteve. I was back to being one of the fastest on track today and I was very fast in the second half of the race on worn tyres. That was a key strength of mine last season and I could show it again today. Now we go to the Sachsenring next weekend with a lot of confidence.”
Xavier Simeon 13th – 9 points
“I am really happy to have achieved the objective of getting in the points because I was disappointed in qualifying to be so far back on the grid. I knew I had a much better pace than 24th and immediately in the race I had a good feel ing with the Mistral 610 machine. Two riders crashed in front of me on the first lap and that helped put me in the points and after that it was a very tough race. I just pushed at 100% on every lap and I am really pleased to equal my best result of the season. It's a pity that Nakagami pushed me off track in the last lap because I'd have been really happy to be 12th and get my best result of 2012 like Bradley managed. The Tech 3 Racing Team did a fantastic job and I am confident as my fitness gets back to 100% that I will be battling for the top 10 in the next races.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager
“We have a lot of smiling faces in the Tech 3 Racing garage this afternoon because it is great to see Bradley and Xavier both in the top 15 with incredibly strong performances. We have not had an easy start to the season but today's resul t shows how competitive the Mistral 610 package is and this is a good reward for all the work Bradley, Xavier and the Tech 3 Racing Team has put in to improve. Bradley has been fast all weekend and he got one of his trademark fast and aggressive starts and he was able to stay with the leading group for a long time before he dropped back a little bit. But in the last laps he again showed he is really strong on worn tyres and he gave himself a great chance to be in the top four. But to finish sixth and get his best result of the season gives the Tech 3 Racing Team a lot of confidence for the next races where Bradley is very strong. Xavier also did an amazing job and I am really pleased for him because he has worked very hard to recover from the injuries he got in Le Mans. And had he not had a problem with traffic in qualifying to be so far down the grid I have no doubt he would have finished in the top 10. His lap times were really competitive considering he is still riding in a lot of pain and he can proud of the job he did today.”
Back to back podiums for on form Redding
Assen, Holland - 30 June 2012: Scott Redding secured his second successive podium finish, and his third of the season, with a hard fought third place in today's Moto2 race at Assen. Mika Kallio fought back from the fourth row of the grid to finish inside the top ten.
Having struggled with set-up and sustained a knee injury in a collision during free practice, Redding knew today's race would be a tough one. The 19-year-old Briton got a good start from the third row of the grid, battling his way up to fourth in the opening laps. Redding then battled hard with Marc Marquez for second place, before tyre issues forced him to let the Spanish rider go.
Lying third, Redding was unable to hold off a challenge from Tito Rabat at two-thirds distance, but regrouped and fought back to reclaim third position, which he then held to the chequered flag.
Mika Kallio also got a good start and, in the early stages of the race, shadowed his Marc VDS teammate as he moved his way towards the front of the race. Kallio eventually made contact with the leading group, but was forced to drop back at mid-race distance when his rear tyre span on the rim causing vibration and chatter.
Despite the problems, the 29-year-old Finnish rider managed to hold off some strong challenges from behind to retain tenth position at the chequered flag.
Redding's back to back podiums, the first of his Grand Prix career, means the Marc VDS rider remains fifth in the championship standings, but closes to within 10 points of third placed Pol Espargaro. Mika Kallio is still one further place back in sixth.
Scott Redding #45: 3rd Position
"After a difficult weekend, with bike problems and a crash with Toni Elias, I went into the race with a clear plan. I knew where I had to overtake on the opening lap to make up places, so that's exactly what I did. The battle with Marc Marquez didn't go my way this time; out of the slower turns, like turn five, his weight advantage meant he could accelerate quicker out of the corner, so I just made sure I got in front of him going into the turn. It worked for a while, but he eventually managed to get away from me. Tito Rabat took third place for a few laps, but I could see he was struggling and I knew third place was mine. It's great to be on the podium for the second time in two races and I'd like to say a big thank you to my team, who all kept their faith in me during what was, up until the race anyway, a difficult weekend."
Mika Kallio #36: 10th Position
"My start was good, I managed to catch Scott who started a row ahead of me and then we both managed to work our way up to the leading group. The bike felt good and I was easily able to match the pace of the riders in front of me. I'd just started to think about making a move towards the front of the group when the bike started to chatter really badly. It made the bike almost impossible to ride, but I hung on for as long as I could and managed to salvage tenth position at the end. When we checked after the race the rear tyre had spun on the rim. It's bitterly disappointing because there was a real possibility of a podium finish today."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"I said at Silverstone that I was impressed with Scott's riding, but I think I was equally impressed today. All weekend he's had issues with the set-up of the bike and that, together with the collision he had with Toni Elias, knocked his confidence a little ahead of the race. But today he put all those problems behind him and rode a great race. With what he had in terms of set-up for the race, third was the best result possible today. I feel sorry for Mika, as he could easily have been on the podium today as well. He was looking strong running with the leading group, until the rear tyre span on the rim and caused really bad chatter. In the end he did well to hold on to tenth. I hope he has better luck next week in Sachsenring."
Championship points for Finsterbusch
Lundh battles for 22nd place but crashes
At the Dutch TT in Assen, MZ factory rider Toni Finsterbusch rode to his first world championship points in the Moto3 category. The German teenager, who had improved consistently throughout the weekend, battled his way to 14th place and was as happy as his team about the milestone result one week prior to his home Grand Prix on the legendary Sachsenring. Finsterbusch’s team-mate Alexander Lundh was not as lucky in the Moto2 race: The only Swedish rider in Grand Prix racing was battling for 22nd place, which would have been his best result of the season so far, but crashed two laps from the end and dislocated two toes.
Finsterbusch drew attention in the warm-up practice session on Saturday morning, when he scored 15th place with a gap of just 1,3 seconds to the class leader. In the race, his best lap time was only one second behind the new lap record of Zulfahmi Khairuddin. MZ CEO Martin Wimmer was happy with the performance of his young rider and is convinced that he has the talent to do even better in the future. “Toni rode a fantastic race, but with a better strategy, his result could have been stronger still. If he continues on this level, I’m sure he will be even higher up in the rankings at the Sachsenring-GP.”
Toni Finsterbusch (Moto3) – 14th position:
“I had a really good start and made up lots of positions in the first lap. But then, I maybe was a bit too careful with a full fuel tank and dropped back. After that, I recovered once again and got up as high as to 12th place. I then battled within the same group until the chequered flag came down. It was a solid pack of eight riders and in this group, I finished second which felt great. In comparison to the other races this season, we were clearly better this weekend, which was also due to my track knowledge here at Assen. I am relieved to have the first championship points under my belt going into my home Grand Prix next week.”
Martin Wimmer – MZ CEO:
“Alex Lundh crashed and dislocated two toes. The doctors managed to get them back into position, but he will be in pain for quite some time, especially riding a bike. Therefore we decided to do a test next Wednesday with Alex and another rider. Then we will decide who is going to ride the bike at the German Grand Prix.”
CRASH FOR NICCOLO
Niccolo’ Antonelli suffered an unfortunate crash at the Dutch TT, as the young Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider fought with great spirit to gain positions. The unexpected fall turned his race sour, but Niccolo’ once again showed that he has the quality and determination to ride at the highest level.
Niccolo’ Antonelli (DNF) “What can I say? I’m very disappointed, because I was pushing hard and felt good on the bike. Unfortunately a rider in front of me stopped and I hit the rumble strip avoiding him, which led to me losing grip and crashing. It is a shame, because I am convinced that I could have a had a good race. I certainly learnt something from this race: In a group like today’s, there are riders who will give you no quarter and get past you any way that they can. I have definitely picked up experience here that will be useful in the future, should I encounter a similar situation.”
Fausto Gresini “It has been a bittersweet weekend, because yesterday was great for us and today Niccolo’ had bad luck. He had been part of a packed group at the start and was a little nervous. He made a small mistake that ended in a crash. It’s a shame, because for the first time he was fighting with the best riders in the class. Maybe it would have been better to finish the race and settle for the position, which would have been good for us. This is racing, however, and we are happy with the progress that he has shown; he still has plenty of potential to get even better. He has a better feeling with the bike at every race, and this is the important thing for improvement when racing.”
GINO REA UNABLE TO START AFRESH
Unfortunately for Gino Rea, even race day at Assen had a disatisfying conclusion. The Moto2 rider could not find confidence with his bike and did not feel comfortable enough to push to the limit. A solution to the problem has been hard to come by all week, and only with this could the British rider be able to recover positions at the Dutch TT.
Gino Rea. (22nd) “It was unfortunately again another disappointing race. It’s frustrating because we have sessions like this morning in which I find confidence and a decent pace, then we never seem to have a comfortable setting for the race. As soon as the fuel light went off I started struggling with the bike and couldn’t turn it. The lack of rear grip later on caused a lot of problems as well. It’s disappointing, because even my pace on the opening handful of laps was not as good as what we did in the warmup with an old tyre. If I’d been able to keep that pace up in the race, then I would have been a lot higher up. The team is working hard and we have to stay positive. ”
Fausto Gresini “There is little that I can say. Unfortunately we still haven’t found what Gino is looking for and the results aren’t coming. I am disappointed and saddened by these recent results, which aren’t reflecting our team’s true potential.”
GOODBYE DREAMS OF GLORY
“Feem” was convinced that a good result was possible at the Dutch TT, but the Thai rider’s dreams went up in smoke early on at Assen. The result was a shame for him, as he had found confidence in the bike and was on course for a fight for a top ten finish at the Saturday race.
Ratthapark Wilairot (DNF) “Sorry to the team. I made a good start, but afterwards, in turn four, someone went up on the inside and opened the gas. I had to sit up a bit and, because turn four and turn five are so close together, I had to change direction fast. I braked and lost the front. I apologise to Luthi. I didn’t want to crash. I want to forget about this now and hope to do better at Sachsenring.”F)
Fausto Gresini “Today has been a day of crashes. Wilairot lowsided and took Luthi out as well. These types of involuntary incidents happen in racing. It’s another setback and I think that for today we should just turn the page. I am disappointed, because he had the chance to have a good race today; he knew this, which might have made him too tense.”
Fantastic victory for Marc Márquez
Aegerter leads and takes seventh place
Andre Iannone led the Moto2 race at the Dutch TT in Assen for most of the time, but on a thrilling final lap, Spanish Suter rider Marc Márquez swept past his Italian world championship rival to claim a fantastic victory, his third of the season and the fourth win of the year for manufacturer Suter Racing Technology, who has a comfortable 21-point-lead in the constructor’s championship.
The lead of Márquez in the rider’s championship is also growing steadily. Whereas Iannone (Speed Up) took a distant second place in the point standings thanks to his consistency, Márquez’ toughest rival Pol Espargaró (Kalex) had to take another painful blow. After crashing out in his home race at Barcelona four weeks ago in a much-discussed incident with Márquez, he now crashed all by himself at Assen and dropped back to third in the point rankings.
Swiss Suter rider Tom Luthi also ran into bad luck. The 25-year-old had battled set-up problems on the first two days and qualified only in tenth position, but achieved a technical turnaround in the warm-up practice session on Saturday morning, where he was in third position and back in the fight with the front runners. Luthi started well in the race and was sixth after the first corners, only to be taken out by Ratthapark Wilairot who made a mistake and hit Luthi from behind.
For a few precious laps, Dominique Aegerter made up for his fellow Swiss Suter rider and stunned Switzerland’s racing enthusiasts with a race lead that lasted well into the fourth lap. Even after dropping behind the best riders of the Moto2 category, Aegerter still stood his ground within the pursuing group and finished one of the best races in his Grand Prix career in seventh place.
“Marc showed his extraordinary skills once again and cut the gap to race leader Iannone in stunning fashion. And he showed what’s possible with our motorcycle”, said Reto Karrer, Moto2 project leader at Suter Racing Technology. “Dominique Aegerter was also very strong. He had a fantastic start and moved from fifth to first, where he stayed for quite some time. He was difficult to pass and he proved once again that he can ride consistently within the top ten.”
In the Moto3 class, Spanish Suter Honda rider Alex Rins conquered a strong sixth place, his Portuguese team-mate Miguel Oliveira finished in tenth position.
Now luck for BMW Suter rider Colin Edwards in the MotoGP race: The “Texas Tornado” was stopped with engine problems.