Press release previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams and Dunlop ahead of this weekend's Indianapolis GP:
FROM ITALIAN CHAMPIONSHIP TO INDIANAPOLIS FOR ANTONELLI
A double victory in the Italian Championship (CIV) at Misano was the perfect way for Niccolò Antonelli to spend his summer break since the last round of the Moto3 World Championship at Mugello and the Italian teenager is now refreshed and ready for a brand new challenge at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini Moto3 rider, who entered two races at Misano as a wildcard and won both in dominant fashion, is looking to build on fourth place at his home Grand Prix a month ago at a circuit where he has never raced before.
Niccolo’ Antonelli “After the satisfaction of fourth place in my home race at Mugello we went to the CIV round at Misano and picked up a couple of great results. I won the Saturday race and the Sunday race but more importantly I was able to improve my confidence on the bike. It was a useful outing and I enjoyed running my favourite number 23 again because it is used by another rider in the World Championship. Now we go to America, which will be a completely new experience for me. The track looks nice on television and I am both curious and excited to get out there.”
Fausto Gresini “Unfortunately I was in the United States for the MotoGP race when Niccolò dominated the CIV round at Misano so I didn't see it but he was in my thoughts and I was following the live timing of his races. I think the experience has served to provide him with some important information about the bike and improved his confidence on it, which should help his learning process. Now he faces a completely new challenge and a unique atmosphere at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a flat and technical circuit that he doesn't know. Niccolò has always adapted quickly to new tracks though and I think he will quickly find his way around this weekend.”
WILAIROT READY FOR AMERICAN ADVENTURE
After narrowly missing out on the points at Mugello, Ratthapark Wilairot has made the most of the short summer break to build up his physical fitness in readiness for a return to competitive action in America this weekend. The Thai rider is hopeful that the legendary Indianapolis circuit will prove well suited to the characteristics of his Suter machine and see him battle for a top ten finish in Sunday's Moto2 race.
Ratthapark Wilairot “I needed this break to get my fitness back up and have a mental break. Now I go to Indianapolis feeling confident that I can do a good job. I like the track and I had a good result there in qualifying in 2010 so hopefully I can repeat that in the race this year. We still have some work to do to find the right feeling with the bike but I think we can do it.”
Fausto Gresini “Feem showed once again at Mugello that he is close to being a consistent top fifteen runner in this category. The break has provided him with a good opportunity to get his fitness back up because he was struggling at Mugello and now we need to work on building his confidence on the bike. He is determined and I am sure that he can pick up a good result.”
REA WANT TO PUT POINT ON THE BOARD
Gino Rea returns to action this weekend with the clear target of putting points on the board after a disappointing first half of the Moto2 World Championship. The British youngster has yet to establish himself at Grand Prix level but he is hopeful of proving his quality this weekend as the series resumes following a short summer break at Indianapolis.
Gino Rea “I really need to push myself to the limit and get a result at Indianapolis. It won't be easy because once again this is another completely new circuit to me but I want and need to score a good finish. I have worked hard to get my physical and mental energy levels up over the break and I am ready for this important challenge.”
Fausto Gresini “Through a series of unfortunate circumstances Gino has so far been unable to show his true value on the track so it is important that he works hard to do it at Indianapolis. It is another new circuit for him but with the help of the team he should be able to achieve his objective of coming home with a positive result.”
Dunlop goes to Indy
Dunlop’s Moto2 tyres head to the good ol’ US of A when and the motorsport Mecca of Indianapolis for the tenth round of the Moto2 World Championship, the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix on August 17-19.
Banking and Infield
For the MotoGP event Indianapolis – world renowned for the Indianapolis 500 Indycar race – features an anti-clockwise circuit made up of sections of the banked oval track combined with an infield section. Despite its fame for four wheeled motorsport, Indianapolis also has a strong two wheel history, with the first motorsport race taking part at the venue being a motorcycle race in 1909.
MotoGP has raced at the circuit since 2008, and the banked turns, different track surfaces and the potential high track temperatures in which they can bake provides a real test for the tyre manufacturer’s art.
The Group E Specials combo of the W919 asymmetric dual compound tyre and 3838 hard compound will be employed. The W919 makes its second appearance of the year after being used at the Sachsenring, and is an asymmetric dual compound tyre incorporating two core compounds. Both compounds offer good heat retention with the objective of not getting too hot or too cold during running and enabling grip when required even from the lesser used and cooler side of the tyre.
The 3838 is the harder option core compound which gives riders the confidence to open the throttle early out of the apex as well as having good resistance to abrasion and wear. Both rear tyres are in the ATR05 construction and are joined by the season-familiar front allocation of the 717 and 302 compounds.
Dunlop’s Moto2 Operations Manager, Clinton Howe:
“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a particularly interesting venue for the tyre engineer for many reasons. There are three different types of track surface over the course of a lap – or four if you include the Yard of Bricks across the start-finish straight – and the tyres grip these surfaces differently meaning they need to give good feedback for the rider to be able to extract maximum confidence.
“We can see very high track temperatures in Indianapolis which can have detrimental effects on the rear tyre grip levels, which is something riders and engineers will be watching for. The track layout holds interest too, with banking in some corners and negative camber in others.
“Ten left-hand corners and six right-handers mean more work for the left hand side of the tyre, so the W919 features a harder compound on the left and softer compound on the right - allowing riders to enjoy the best of both worlds: Long-lasting endurance on the frequently-used left, plus instant grip on the lesser used right.
“The track surface from turn 5 to turn 11 was resurfaced for last year’s event and will have changed since being very new and abrasive last year. There are still some unknowns to Indy and its surface and using a similar tyre allocation to last season means we can make as close a comparison as possible to assist with set-up for the riders and analysis for the data.”
Moto2 Rider Quote: Pol Espargaro, Pons 40 HP Tuenti, Kalex:
“Indianapolis is a track I love and some of my best memories as a rider, such as my first World Cup victory with a 125cc in 2010 and my first podium in Moto2, a year ago and after a very poor start to my season. In Indy I've always been on the podium, with a first and two second places, and I hope this year things will not change. It is a technical circuit, with curves linked and where you have to get a very specific set-up for quick changes in direction and in the long straight with a bit of camber. At first sight it seems very difficult, and there are some traps for the rider meaning it’s not easy to go fast.
Last year the asphalt was new and the first day it was very slippery. It was necessary to be careful with the gas. And it’s a different asphalt from that seen in Europe, as it wears out the tyres quickly and you must pay attention to keep them performing well till the end of the race. We’ll have to work with the suspension to have good grip but also keep the tyre life as long as possible. I’m happy with the performance of Dunlop’s tyres this year.”
Moto2 Rider Quote: Dominique Aegerter, Technomag CIP, Suter:
“I like Indianapolis. It's a great mix of corners with a long straight, fast corners and probably what is the slowest corner of the championship. This makes the choice gearing very difficult, which influences the tyre use as you need to be able to both accelerate out of and manage traction out of a very slow hairpin, but also deal with the lateral grip demands in the long curves. The tyres have a lot of work to do! They need to give a very good edge grip to exit the slower corners, and give good consistency for long banked corners. I have a very good feeling from the Dunlop tyres, especially with the latest front tyre profile. I achieved a good lap time at Indianapolis, and the surrounding area is great, so I'm looking forward the race.”
JONAS FOLGER READY TO MAKE MAPFRE ASPAR DEBUT AT INDIANAPOLIS
German rider to link up with Héctor Faubel as team aim to turn season around
After a month's break since the last race at Mugello it is time for the Moto3 World Championship riders to go back to work as the season resumes with the Indianapolis GP this weekend. Series leader Sandro Cortese and Maverick Viñales will be difficult to beat, having each taken a second place apiece from the last two races here in 2010 and 2011 behind MAPFRE Aspar rider Nico Terol, who has since moved up to Moto2. Cortese arrives at round ten of seventeen with a nine-point advantage over Viñales in the chase to replace Terol as the minor category World Champion.
The MAPFRE Aspar Team go into the second half of the season with a mixture of youth and experience, teenager Jonas Folger joining the team to link-up with the veteran Héctor Faubel. After enduring a more difficult first half of the season than predicted Faubel is determined to turn his fortunes around in the final eight races whilst German youngster Folger has been drafted in to try and boost the team's results in the second half of the season and he is excited about the challenge ahead.
Héctor Faubel: "We travel to Indianapolis after a pretty long break and I can't wait to get back to work on the bike with the team. I like Indianapolis a lot, I have never managed a podium there so our objective is to change that statistic. At the start of the holidays I took the opportunity to have a rest and then I continued the training plan that I have for the season. I have worked hard on the bicycle and on the motocross bike but without taking too many risks of crashing. Since last week I have been going to bed later and later to try and get used to the time difference. Indianapolis is a circuit with unpredictable grip levels but I like it. The first and final sectors are quite twisty and that's where you can make up time."
Jonas Folger: "I am really excited and a little nervous about the new challenge ahead of me starting this weekend. Everything is new for me - the bike, the team... I will work very hard from the first session to try and adapt as quickly as possible. Hopefully we can get on the right path with the bike and be fighting near the front from the start. Aside from the results the most important thing right now is to adapt quickly to the team and the bike, get a good feeling and go as fast as I can. If I can manage that I am sure the results will come. Indianapolis is a difficult circuit but I like it and hopefully it proves to be a good place to make my debut with the MAPFRE Aspar Team".
NICO TEROL TO BE JOINED BY JORDI TORRES AT INDIANAPOLIS
Nico looking forward to racing at talismanic circuit as Torres returns to MAPFRE Aspar ranks in quest for permanent place in Moto2
Unlike previous seasons when the MotoGP World Championship has returned from the summer break to race at Brno in the Czech Republic, this year it will be the legendary Indianapolis circuit in the United States that sees the world's premier motorcycle racing series fire back into life. It is round ten of seventeen for the Moto2 and Moto3 categories and it takes place at one of the most important motor racing venues in the world, home of the famous NASCAR series. The original oval track was built in 1909 but the infield circuit was adapted in 2007 to make it suitable for MotoGP racing and after a month off the Moto2 riders are eager to get back to business. Pol Espargaró, Andrea Iannone and Thomas Luthi will have to produce their best form in the second half of the season if they are to stop current series leader Marc Marquez in the chase for the championship.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Nico Terol smiles at the mere mention of one of his favourite circuits. The Spaniard has celebrated victory three times in just four years of racing at Indianapolis, all three wins coming in the 125cc class, and the Spaniard is hoping it can prove to be a happy hunting ground once more in Moto2. True to his work ethic Nico has spent time during the summer break riding a 600cc sport bike in an attempt to prepare for the next race as well as he possibly can. The MAPFRE Aspar rider will be joined this weekend by current Moto2 Spanish Championship leader Jordi Torres, who for the second successive season joins the team for the second half of the campaign.
Nico Terol: "The break was a good opportunity for me to prepare myself for the second half of the season. We have been on a positive curve recently and I hope we can pick up where we left off. I have some great memories of Indianapolis and I hope my style on the Moto2 bike is as suited to it as it was on the 125. During the break I have taken some time off to recharge my batteries but I have been working hard and did some testing on a 600 at Albacete to try and mimic the feel of a Moto2 bike. Indianapolis is a circuit that demands a lot of concentration because it is bumpy off line and you can easily crash if you run wide. It has some flowing sections and it is a physically demanding lap with some hard braking and acceleration zones."
Jordi Torres: "I still have some discomfort in my left fibula but overall I am feeling positive. I can't wait to get out to Indianapolis and luckily I go there with prior knowledge of the track and the team. I just need to get a feel for the bike as quickly as possible and adapt to the Dunlop tyres, then fight my hardest from there. My objective is simply to give it 100% from the first session to try and be as competitive as possible. Hopefully we can make gradual steps forward and make the most of this opportunity. I know there is a place in Moto2 up for grabs and I am going to give it my best shot."
Moto2 battle to be rejoined at the Brickyard
Gosselies, Belgium - 14 August 2012: After a long five-week summer break Scott Redding and Mika Kallio are raring to go, as the Moto2 class descends on the world famous Brickyard for the Indianapolis Grand Prix this weekend.
Redding is still chasing a first race win in the intermediate class, but the 19-year-old British rider's main focus remains on the championship. Redding is currently lying fifth in the standings, 47 points behind series leader Marc Marquez, but is confident that a top three finish is still possible with a run of consistent results in the second half of the season, starting this weekend at Indianapolis.
Persistent mid-race chatter has been a major issue for Kallio so far this season, but despite the problem, the 29-year-old Finn finished second at the Sachsenring and has only been outside the top ten once this season. Kallio is confident that if they can find a solution to the chatter problem at Indianapolis this weekend, he'll be back challenging at the front of races during the second half of the season.
With more than 250,000 seats in the grandstands the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the biggest permanent sporting arena in the world, but the circuit has been criticised in the past for the bumpy and patchy nature of the MotoGP track, which runs inside the world famous oval. The track underwent extensive resurfacing work almost two years ago, but the variation in tarmac means that grip remains unpredictable.
Scott Redding #45:
"I can't wait to get back to racing after a long summer break, but at least the downtime means I head to the United States with the batteries fully recharged. I like racing at Indy; the track has been a good one for me in the past and the atmosphere and the people at the circuit make it a very special event. As usual I'll be pushing during the second half of the season for a first win in Moto2, something I've been thinking about a lot during the break. I've also been thinking about the championship; the leading four have pulled a bit of a gap at the top of the standings, but if I stay calm and string together some top five finishes in the next few races then I know I can close back up on them. I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead and I hope we'll be able to put on a good show for the fans, on our only appearance America this season."
Mika Kallio #36:
"I spent most of the summer break at home relaxing, so I'm all set for the second half of the season. Indy isn't one of my favourite tracks, as the layout isn't so exciting and the grip can be unpredictable from one corner to the next because of the different types of tarmac. But anyway, for us, we need to focus on finding a solution to the chatter problem mid-race that has plagued us all season. We've made changes to the suspension the chassis, the balance, the weight and the length of the bike already, but the problem remains. We think we maybe have a solution for Indianapolis, but we won't know for certain until we try it in free practice. Both me and Scott are pushing hard to give the team a first Moto2 win this season and, if our solution to the chatter problem works, then we'll be one step closer to achieving that."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"We need to get the second half of the season off to a strong start with two good results at Indianapolis this weekend. We know Scott's potential at this circuit; two years ago he secured his first Moto2 podium finish at Indy and it wouldn't surprise me at all to see him up there once again this weekend. For most of the year Mika has been struggling with a chatter problem, the cause of which has so far baffled our chassis, tyre and suspension technicians. We will try a very different approach to the problem this weekend, which I hope will finally eliminate the chatter. Without the chatter, we know that Mika is more than capable of fighting not just for the podium, but the top step of the podium."
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia FMI resumes its title chase from Indianapolis
After a month of vacation, Fenati and Tonucci are back on track to start the second half of the championship.
Mugello confirmed Fenati's talent. The young Italian finished just 0.002 behind Viñales and consolidated his fourth place in the standings. Fenny (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) also leads the 'Rookies' rankings with a victory and two second-place finishes, and aims at conquering heavy points for the championship after a well-deserved break.
The objective remains the same also for Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19), who barely missed championship points in Mugello and wants to increase his tally in the second half of the season based on the good signals he has shown so far.
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"The first half of the season was certainly positive, both in terms of what the riders have learned and the experience gained by the team. In Indy, we aim at racing at the front with Romano, who has shown he can beat anybody. Tonucci can finish in the Top 15, and will consistently aim at those positions from now on. First and foremost, we will try to be more consistent. If we can do that, we'll have an even more positive second half of the championship."
Full return at Indy for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team
This weekend the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be the host of the 11th round of the championship where the MotoGP riders will be joined by the Moto2 and Moto3 categories. After the Laguna Seca GP where Colin Edwards was the sole NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider, he will now be joined by Alex De Angelis and Yuki Takahashi after their 5 week summer break after the Mugello GP.
Second and last opportunity for Colin Edwards to have the support of family and friends at his second home race of the season at a race track in which he finished in the Top5 in 2009, same year in which Alex De Angelis finished second also in the MotoGP category. Both the rider of San Marino and Yuki Takahashi will concentrate on finding the feeling with their Moto2 FTR bike on the complicated Brickyard track.
Colin Edwards - 5 - MotoGP
“I am excited for this second home race for me, its always good when family and friends are around. I’m looking forward to having a good weekend here at Indy and that we make the bike work.”
Alex De Angelis – 15 – Moto2
“I’m really confident for Indy. I like that circuit where I did a podium in MotoGP. FTR is trying to help me find the best setup for my riding style. The team and I will do our best to get a podium again.”
Yuki Takahashi – 72 – Moto2
“I am really looking forward to Indianapolis and getting back on the FTR bike. After the summer break I am ready to get back to work.”
RW Racing GP ready to race again
The GP of Indianapolis means the start of the second half of the season for Moto3 as well. After a deserved break of four weeks the riders, mechanics and other members of RW Racing GP are ready to race again. And looking forward to it!
After an intense series of three back to back races – with all sorts of thrills – the holidays where welcomed with open arms by the riders Luis Salom and Brad Binder. They used the time off to recover from both physical injuries as mental bruises and thus reset body and mind for the second part of the season.
Indianapolis is a special race for both Salom as Binder. The South African made his Grand Prix debut here last year as a replacement for the injured Spaniard. The track is demanding because it is counter clockwise and contains different sorts of asphalt.
Luis Salom: "Indianapolis is one of my top-top-top-favorite tracks. I really like it. Therefore I hated to miss it last year due to a broken hand. This time I’m perfectly fit and eager to defend my third place in the championship – or even improve! I’m fully recovered from the bruises I sustained in the crashes at Mugello. A few weeks off where very welcome. I live in M allorca, so I spent some time on the beach of course. But I also went to the gym to stay fit and rode my bike almost daily.’’
Brad Binder: "Last year was special, because it was my maiden race in Grand Prix. Everything was new to me: the team, the bike, the track, the level of competition. But I finished seventeenth and everybody was happy. I hope I can make everybody happy again, with an even better result this time. I needed the time off to go back to South Africa, to my friends and family. The holiday was good to set my mind straight again: forget about the bad luck from the first part of the season, stop fretting about crashing in stupid places and enjoy the racing again. It feels like a new start after this break and I am really eager to race again.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "It is good to see Luis and Brad refreshed. The holidays did everybody well. The team has kept working how ever. We have some new parts ready and are looking forward to try them.’’