Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Mugello:
Viñales gets back on the pace
Repsol rider leads both practice sessions at Mugello. Oliveira places eighth overall and Rins ninth on first visit to Italian track.
Maverick Viñales wanted to leave behind the disappointment of the German Grand Prix, and he did so immediately in the opening practice sessions at Mugello. Fellow Repsol Moto3 riders Miguel Oliveira and Álex Rins also started the weekend well: The Portuguese was eighth and the Spaniard ninth.
The sun was out and the temperatures were high for the first day of the Italian Grand Prix, giving favourable conditions for the Moto3 riders on their first time out at Mugello. In the morning practice session, Maverick Viñales showed that he was on a mission to put the pain of Sachsenring behind him, placing first. The Repsol rider was a tenth of a second faster than second placed Danny Kent and two tenths quicker than series leader Sandro Cortese. Miguel Oliveira was eleventh and Álex Rins made a slow start to his first run at Mugello, down in twenty-first.
In the afternoon, Viñales again led the way —some hard work in his garage enabling him to improve lap after lap. The Spaniard battled for the top spot with Romano Fenati, who was the first to go round in under two minutes. Viñales was quick to follow, putting in the definitive 1’59.676 lap -0.314 faster than the Italian. Oliveira and Rins’ garage also saw plenty of action as the mechanics worked feverishly, whilst the riders continued to go quicker in the session. Oliveira was eighth, 0.777 down on Viñales, whilst Rins was ninth and 0.823 slower.
FP1 - 2:00.430, 16 laps, 84 km.
FP2 - 1:59.676, 16 laps, 84 km.
“Returning to the top is good for us, because it means that we have regained confidence after a not very positive German Grand Prix. We are very strong now and have come back motivated, because we knew that with a bit of hard work we could be at the front again. We are focusing a lot on our chassis, which is where we can get a little ahead of the rest of the field.
This track still isn’t well suited to my riding style, because it doesn’t have any hard braking points, but I like it because it is fast and technical. The important thing this weekend is to feel as comfortable as I did three races ago, when I was very strong and always part of the lead group. The race will be similar to Silverstone, ridden in a pack, but if we can squeeze the most out of our chassis and make a good tyre choice we can be very fast.”
FP1 - 2:01.392, 15 laps, 79 km.
FP2 - 2:00.453, 17 laps, 89 km.
“We didn't start the day as we would have liked, but little by little we made progress. We had some setup problems in the morning, above all with the front end, but these were resolved by the afternoon. I have to improve my lines for tomorrow, as on some corners I feel good and in others I need to go round better —above all it's just my general cornering. We have to find our way tomorrow, go fast on our own and set the bike up. We need a first or second row start, as it is important to be in front at Mugello."
FP1 - 2:01.965, 18 laps, 94 km.
FP2 - 2:00.499, 17 laps, 89 km.
“It was a little difficult for us. This is a completely new circuit for us and riding in the heat doesn't help —although we all have the same conditions to face. It was tricky at the start, but we got our best lap times riding on our own. That means that, despite lacking a little power and making various changes to the bike, I am satisfied with our progress. This is one of the most difficult tracks that we have visited so far. It is very technical and we have to get our top speed up to be able to slipstream —something that is important on the straight."
CARETTA TECHNOLOGY - Mugello GP - Free Practice
After the good race last Sunday in Germany the Caretta Technology riders back on track in the team's home Grand Prix in Mugello. The first day of practice closes with a good 5th of Masbou while young Jack, for the first time the circuit, slips during the afternoon session.
Alexis Masbou: "I'm happy. Have improved from this morning. With the team we are doing a hard job development and it is ok. I could probably do better but the important thing is tomorrow".
Jack Miller: "It is not easy to see a circuit for the first time and make a good time. Here at Mugello in particular. I made a mistake and crashed. Tomorrow I will try to do better."
MONCAYO HITS FORM AT MUGELLO
MAPFRE Aspar rider sixth fastest on opening day in Italy, his team-mate Faubel 19th
Warm sunshine finally greeted the MotoGP paddock on the start of a Grand Prix weekend this morning as free practice got underway at Mugello with the Moto3 riders the first on track. Romano Fenati and Niccolo Antonelli did their best to steal the headlines at their home circuit but in the end it was Maverick Viñales who set the hot pace on a scorching day.
Just half a second behind him is Alberto Moncayo, who was seventh fastest in the morning and sixth in the afternoon. The MAPFRE Aspar rider showed his professionalism to bounce back from his disappointment in Germany a week ago and set about changing his luck. Using the same chassis set-up as Sachsenring the Spaniard was immediately on the pace, shaving seven tenths off his best lap from the morning to the afternoon. His MAPFRE Aspar team-mate Héctor Faubel also felt comfortable on the Kalex chassis but with some engine set-up problems the experienced Spaniard is hoping to make up several positions from nineteenth tomorrow.
6th Alberto Moncayo 2.00.235 (32 laps): "I am very pleased because we have improved a lot today from one session to the next. This afternoon I was on used tyres and the lap times were good so I think that is good preparation for the race. We'll have to keep improving tomorrow although it is just a case of me adapting to the track conditions rather than changing much on the bike. The chassis is working really well, we just need to improve in T2 because this is where I am losing time. I am really happy with the team and pleasantly surprised by the performance of the engine. The bike is perfect so tomorrow I'll aim to improve my riding and see what we can achieve with this set-up."
19th Héctor Faubel 2.01.199 (32 laps): "It has been a pretty positive first day here at Mugello. We took things steadily today and tried to make gradual improvements. The chassis set-up is the same as Sachsenring but there was something not right with the engine or the gear ratio today - I was losing a lot of ground on the straights. We'll work with the mechanics tonight and see where we are losing out and why but overall I am happy with my general feeling with the bike and looking forward to ironing out our problems tomorrow."
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia warms-up the engines in Mugello
Fenati sets the second-best time while Tonucci is 23rd. Positive debut for wild-card Rinaldi.
Romano Fenati was the first rider to break the two-minute wall during free practice, with a personal best of 1'59"990 that puts him in provisional first row, 0.3'' behind Viñales. Alessandro Tonucci worked on the setup, closing the day with the 23rd time in 2'01"491.
Wild-card Micheal Ruben Rinaldi (who competes in the CIV Moto3 championship with Team Italia) posted the 22nd best time at his debut in the world stage with a 2'01"447.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 2nd, 31 laps with a 1'59"990
"We're still working on finding the best setup for the bike. I'm calm and confident, and I hope to do well on my home track."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 23rd, 33 laps with a 2'01"491
"We tweaked a few things in the morning and I tried to match the pace of the front runners in the afternoon, but unfortunately I wasn't able to. I still think I can do well during qualifiers."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"The riders and the crew are doing a great job. Romano got off a good start, while Alessandro is still looking for the best setup. We can improve further tomorrow and qualify in good positions."
FREE PRACTICE N. 2: TOP 10 FOR IANNONE, ANDREOZZI TWENTY-SECOND
The Gran Premio d’Italia TIM kicked off today, with the first two sessions on track for the ninth round of the 2012 Moto2 season.
The day started off with a great result for Andrea Iannone. After some initial modifications to the setting of the Speed Up machine, the rider from Vasto set the second best lap time in the first session of free practice. In the afternoon, Iannone and his crew worked again on the bike, setting the time of 1'53.441 and ensuring a spot within the top 10.
Andreozzi takes part to the second Grand Prix of the 2012 season on top of a Speed Up bike. Together with his technicians, he took advantage of today’s sessions to keep adapting to the machine. Alessandro managed to make some progress in a consistent way during FP1 and FP2, ending less than two seconds off the best lap time of the day.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 9th with 1'53.441
“This was quite a positive day. We are trying to fix the bike to its best, in order to ride well and achieve the best performance. I’m really happy to be here at Mugello, it’s our home race and to race at an Italian track is always an awesome feeling. We’ll keep working to improve and move forward, so that we can be competitive and consistent. I’d really like to thank my crew and the whole team, who are always working for me and they do their best to make sure I have all I need at disposal.”
Alessandro Andreozzi #22 - 22th with 1'54.669
“In the whole, this first day was positive: in the morning I had a good feeling with the bike since the beginning. The chattering problems we had at Sachsenring didn’t show up again, which is a good starting point. In the afternoon we managed to be faster, improving the lap time of the first session of practice. Tomorrow we’ll try to be within the first twenty riders in the classification: the lap times are very close, but we’ll do our best to make some further steps.”
Salom walks away from crash unhurt
The Gran Premio d’Italia didn’t start very good for RW Racing GP. A nasty crash in one of the fastest corners of the exciting Mugello circuit made an early end to the practice for Luis Salom. The Spaniard low sided in only his 10th lap in the afternoon session. He walked away uninjured, but the bike was too much damaged to continue the practice. Salom ended in 19th position.
Brad Binder was working on the setup of his Kalex KTM. A race distance simulation to test the tires after some modifications restrained the South African from improving his lap time set in the 4th of 16 laps.
The morning session looked much better with Salom in 4th and Binder in 15th.
Luis Salom (19th): "I had a good feeling with the bike in the first practice and did a good lap time. In the afternoon the wind was much stronger and therefore we changed the gearing a bit. I didn’t feel comfortable with it immediately and was looking for a clean lap to find my pace and rhythm. Then I got stuck behind Fenati and lost my concentration. My lean angle was a bit too much and I crashed.’’
Brad Binder (21st): "I st arted the session well and quickly found my pace after we did a modification on the suspension. I tried a long stint to see what happens to the tires in these high temperatures. The rear tire was completely finished. Because of that I couldn’t improve my time. So that is our task for tomorrow.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "I think the plain numbers don’t tell the story. It looks worse than it is. Brad was working hard to test the tire and the setting. Luis just had bad luck with that crash, because he was on a good pace. Luckily he walked away without injury.’’
Solid start to Italian Grand Prix weekend for Marc VDS
Mugello, Italy - 13 July 2012: The Marc VDS Racing Team made a solid start on the opening day of practice ahead of Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, with Scott Redding seventh fastest and Mika Kallio just 0.03s off his teammate's time in ninth.
Redding struggled with stability issues during this morning's opening free practice session at the ultra-fast and technical Mugello circuit, but changes to the set-up of his Kalex Moto2 machine brought significant improvements in the afternoon practice. The 19-year-old Briton spent the 45-minute session inside the top ten, snatching seventh position on the timesheet with his final flying lap.
Kallio also made significant set-up changes ahead of this afternoon's session, altering both the balance and the geometry of the bike to improve both turning and agility through the many fast changes of direction that are a feature of the Mugello circuit. The 29-year-old Finn looked all set to finish today seventh fastest, but lost two places to Redding and Alex de Angelis, who used his slipstream to improve on his fastest time.
Both Marc VDS riders will continue to refine the set-up of their Kalex Moto2 machines during tomorrow's final free practice session, before turning their attentions to securing positions on the front two rows of the grid in qualifying.
Scott Redding #45: 7th - 1'53.342
"Overall it's been a pretty good first day for us here at Mugello. I struggled a bit with the bike set-up this morning, but we made some changes for this afternoon that made the bike a lot more stable and my times came down as a result. Tomorrow in the final free practice session we will be looking for a better gearing option, as we're still losing a little under acceleration out of the turns. We'll try a couple of things we think will give us a good balance here at Mugello, which is fast but also quite technical. The aim, as always, is to have everything sorted ahead of qualifying tomorrow afternoon."
Mika Kallio #36: 9th - 1'53.372
"I'm quite happy with the progress we've made today. Espargaro and Smith managed to pull a slight gap at the top of the timesheet, but then the times are very tight between the remainder of the top ten. We made some quite big changes to the bike for this afternoon's session, altering both the balance and the wheelbase quite significantly. Normally it takes me a while to adapt when we make such big changes, but this afternoon the bike felt good and I was quickly back up to speed. Tomorrow I need to focus on closing the gap to the two riders at the top of the timesheet and securing a good grid position for Sunday's race."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"We've had a solid start to the weekend, with both Scott and Mika inside the top ten and running very similar lap times during today's free practice sessions. Both riders made quite significant changes to the set-up of their Kalex Moto2 machines for this afternoon's session, which was something of a gamble, but one that paid off. Tomorrow Scott and Mika need to close the gap to the top two riders ahead of qualifying, where they'll be aiming for a position on the front two rows of the grid."
ANTONELLI ON THE PACE
Niccolò Antonelli made an excellent start to his home Grand Prix as free practice got underway today at Mugello. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini youngster demonstrated both his prowess at his home track and the progress he has made in recent weeks. With a few improvements to his set-up there is every reason to expect that Niccolò can be fighting for a top grid position in tomorrow's qualifying session.
Niccolo’ Antonelli (4th 2’ 00” 049) “I am happy to have started the weekend on the right foot. I have a good feel for the track here at Mugello and I was able to set my lap time on my own, which is very important. The wind was a problem out there but I was able to push hard and could maybe have gone even faster. Hopefully with a few small changes to the bike I can find a little more confidence with it and qualify well tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “Mugello is a track he knows well so he was able to push from the start today. He needs to stay calm and focused even though that is not easy because it is his home Grand Prix, which is always special. He did a good job today because he set the lap time on his own and on used tyres. Overall it has been a good start, we're satisfied with where we're at right now and hopeful of more tomorrow.”
MAPFRE ASPAR NICO TEROL MAKES BRIGHT START IN ITALY
Spanish rookie confirms Moto2 progress to lap twelfth fastest, a second off the top
As has been customary over the past two seasons the lap records continue to tumble in Moto2, none more so than at Mugello today where in free practice Pol Espargaró clocked a 1'52.745 to smash the previous best here set by Stefan Bradl last year with a 1'53.362. Espargaró dominated both sessions today although he was forced to work hard for it, under pressure from his main championship rivals Thomas Luthi, Andrea Iannone and Marc Márquez.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Nico Terol is on course to join the battle at the front in the near future as he continues his adaptation to the Moto2 category. Today the Spaniard racked up no fewer than 41 laps over the two sessions and his relentless hard work paid off with the twelfth best lap time of the day, less than a second shy of his compatriot at the top. His MAPFRE Aspar team-mate Toni Elías suffered more than he expected at this demanding circuit, starting out with a set-up that he wasn't comfortable and struggling to make progress as the day wore on, eventually finishing up in 26th position.
12th Nico Terol 1.53.714 (41 laps): "I am very happy with our results today. My pace has been good from the start and I am closer to the top guys than I have been at other races so far this season. Less than a second from the fastest lap is not a bad way to start the weekend. I feel satisfied because we have taken a big step forward and I feel so comfortable on the bike I can carry a lot of lean through the fast corners. This is the best feeling I have had with the bike this season and I want to keep it going tomorrow. We started out with the same base setting as Sachsenring and we'll keep working in the same direction for the rest of the weekend. If we can leave this place with a good set-up we will feel the benefit in the future."
26th Toni Elías 1.54.932 (30 laps): "The truth is that we had a difficult day today. This morning we started out with a set-up that we thought would work but it didn't. We have worked hard to find a solution that allows me to ride more comfortable but so far my feeling with the bike hasn't improved. I am disappointed by the level of our performance today but we'll keep working to turn it round tomorrow."
Marc Márquez focused on Moto2
Yesterday’s protagonist thanks to announcement of promotion to Repsol Honda MotoGP team, Spaniard places fourth in Moto2 practice for Italian Grand Prix.
After becoming the talk of the MotoGP paddock yesterday with the announcement by HRC of his move up to the premier class next year —as teammate to Dani Pedrosa in Repsol Honda— today Marc Márquez went back to work in the Moto2 class at Mugello. The series leader made a cautious start at one of the trickiest and most technical circuits on the calendar, ending the day 0.516 behind fastest rider Pol Espargaró.
At a track in which an optimal setting is crucial for the flicks and turns of the layout, Marc Márquez dedicated his day to adjusting his Moto2 bike setup in short runs. In the morning session the Repsol rider undertook 20 laps, with his best coming on lap 13 with a time of 1’53.478. That put him in fifth, 0.399 behind Espargaró.
In the afternoon, the winner of the last two races continued to fine tune the changes to his Suter to adapt to the Italian circuit —as difficult as it is beautiful. Cutting tenths off his time, Márquez ended the day in fourth, 0.516 off the top time, and will dedicate his Saturday to finding the best setup possible to fight for pole position.
FP1 - 1:53.478, 20 laps, 105 km.
FP2 - 1.53.261, 20 laps, 105 km.
“Today followed the dynamic of every Friday. We found our pace and the day went well. We made a significant improvement from the first session to the second, but we still have room for improvement. There are still some things that I’m not happy with on the bike, but we will work hard with the team to find solutions in time for qualifying. This is one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar, with lots of changes in direction, and you need to adapt your bike very well to the track.
I am suffering most on the exit to the corners. Pol Espargaró is always very fast on Fridays and has got a good base setting, whilst we always find it a little more difficult. The new swingarm seems to have given us a little more grip; you don’t notice it in the times too much, but I can feel more solid in my riding.”
''FEEM'' 19TH AFTER ANOTHER CRASH
Another crash for Ratthapark Wilairot made the opening day of the Italian Grand Prix one to forget for the Honda Thai PTT Gresini Moto2 team. It was a disappointing way for 'Feem' to start the weekend and he needs two solid sessions to rebuild his confidence tomorrow ahead of Sunday's race.
Ratthapark Wilairot (19th 1’ 54” 522) “I am so disappointed I am struggling to talk about it. I just want to say that I am extremely determined to show my true potential and I am sure I will manage it."
Fausto Gresini “Another crash, unfortunately. To be honest I have lost count now and I am disappointed for him and the guys. He can't have been going badly when you see that he did the time on only his fourth lap, riding alone. Hopefully tomorrow he can stay calm and have a good qualifying session.”
REA STRUGGLES TO GET TO GRIPS WITH MUGELLO
Gino Rea's first day at the long and technical Mugello circuit proved to be a tough one, the British rider finding his way around in the opening session this morning but struggling to make major progress with his lap times. His confidence with the bike improved this afternoon but there is a lot of work to be done from 28th place on the time sheets.
Gino Rea. (28th 1’ 55” 397) “This is such a long and complex circuit it is difficult to learn but I felt more confident in the second session, we changed the bike and it improve. I did a lot of laps in consistent times and we are able to see where we need to improve. Actually doing it is always difficult but it is clear from the telemetry what we are lacking so we will try our best to find it tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “I am not happy, that's for sure! To be so far back at our home Grand Prix is embarrassing for us. I am disappointed and unhappy and I we are going to have to find a solution soon because this is not a satisfactory position for us to be in.”