Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Brno:
ANTONELLI MAKES IDEAL START AT BRNO
Niccolo Antonelli started out on the right foot at Brno today, the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini Moto3 youngster setting the fifth fastest time on the opening day of free practice. Antonelli started the morning session with conviction and was amongst the fastest riders on track all day, gradually improving his set-up and raising high hopes for Sunday's race.
Niccolò Antonelli (5th 2' 10” 092) “Today was great but I should be riding like that all the time! I am happy because we have returned to the level we were at up to Mugello and if I hadn't backed off towards the end of my penultimate lap it would have been an even faster time. My ideal lap would leave me second fastest but that doesn't matter – the important thing is that I have my confidence back on the bike. If we can improve some things with the rear setting we can do a good job.”
Fausto Gresini “Niccolò did a good job today, he worked hard and was consistently near the top. He knows the track but it is not easy and he showed he can be fast here. He has got the pace and confidence back that he had with the bike at Mugello and with a few small changes by the engineers he can go even better tomorrow.”
Viñales takes best time at Brno
Repsol rider goes fastest on day one of the Czech Republic GP. Oliveira places tenth, Álex Márquez twelfth and Rins twenty-third following a crash.
The first day of free practice for the Czech Republic Grand Prix started positively for Maverick Viñales. The Spaniard took the best Moto3 time of the day, whilst his fellow Repsol riders experienced mixed fortunes. On his first encounter with Brno, Álex Márquez improved steadily —finishing in twelfth place. Further cause for optimism came from Miguel Oliveira, who finished with the tenth fastest time, contrasting with the fortunes of Álex Rins. Despite a good start in the second session, his progress was halted after a small crash which left him low down the order.
In the first free practice, as happened at Indianapolis, the Repsol riders were out amongst the fastest riders in the class. is again among the fastest in the category. The first encounter with the beautiful Czech track ended with Miguel Oliveira in second place, followed closely by Maverick Viñales with the fourth fastest time. Álex Rins was sixth quickest. Both he and Álex Márquez (sixteenth) debut at Brno this weekend.
Continuing with the job of setting up the bike and focusing on the chassis and tyre choice, Viñales took another step forward in the second session, improving by almost a second and a half to clinch the best time of the day. Not in such an advanced position but chipping away at his times was Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese took tenth place, two ahead of Álex Márquez. The Repsol rider completed 14 laps in the second session at the difficult track, stopping the clock at just over a second slower than Viñales.
In contrast, Álex Rins was unable to carry over his excellent start from the first session into the afternoon. The Repsol rider was flung from his Moto3 bike when accelerating at Turn 9, 15 minutes before the end of the run. Neither he, nor his Suter Honda, suffered serious damage in the crash. He returned to the track with 5 minutes to go, improving his best time from the afternoon but failing to go quicker than his morning lap, placing him seventeenth overall today.
FP1 - 2:10.801, 14 laps, 76 km.
FP2 - 2:09.480, 14 laps, 76 km.
“It was a good way to start the weekend. Getting back to first position again is very positive, especially as the day was a bit tricky because of the wind. I am happy because I am finding my own pace and the tyres have been very working very well. We are working hard on the chassis and forgetting about the fact that we lack a little speed.”
FP1 - 2:10.656, 15 laps, 81 km.
FP2 - 2:10.552, 15 laps, 81 km.
“Despite the result, the second session today was more productive than the first. We were able to get a good time riding alone and over a series of laps. We can still improve our pace a lot, just like we also need to configure the setting a little, because I don't feel entirely comfortable. In these circuits which are longer and with fast, linked corners, we find picking a setting a little harder, but I am not too worried as I believe completely in my team."
FP1 - 2:10.983, 17 laps, 92 km.
FP2 - 2:11.637, 11 laps, 60 km.
"This morning we started well, as we've adapted quite quickly to the track. We got sixth place at the end of the first session. In the afternoon we struggled a bit to find our pace. After changing tyres, on the first lap I leant over and crashed when accelerating. The mechanics worked quickly and were able to fix the bike so that I could get back out again, so at least I could do two more laps. Despite the crash, it has been a positive day for us. I like the circuit, it is fast and I think that we can do well here."
FP1 - 2.11.852, 15 laps, 81 km.
FP2 - 2:10.653, 14 laps, 76 km.
"I'm quite happy. It's been a positive day. In the morning I struggled a bit to get comfortable with the bike and with the circuit, because today was the first time we had ever ridden at Brno. In the afternoon we made some changes to the setting from the first free practice and I think that in the end this worked.
I felt much better, so ahead of tomorrow's practice we hope that we can improve the performance from today. We still have to improve some technical aspects, but we shall see what happens on day two. I like this circuit, especially the third sector, and there is no place that was any more difficult than usual."
JONAS FOLGER AGAIN THE SURPRISE PACKAGE WITH MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM
German clocks fastest lap in morning session and ends day in seventh place, Faubel rides through the pain of Indianapolis injuries
Jetlag or not there were no excuses for the Moto3 World Championship riders this morning as they set their alarms to take to the Brno circuit in the Czech Republic for first free practice and the eleventh round of the 2012 season. Their cause wasn't helped by soaring late summer heat in this part of inland Europe, where ambient temperatures touched 30º with 41% humidity, although it didn't stop them from dramatically improving their times from the morning to the afternoon.
Just a week after joining the MAPFRE Aspar Team and making a stunning debut with a podium at Indianapolis Jonas Folger again upset the applecart with the fastest time of the opening session. A few set-up changes from the base that served him so well in the USA did not have the desired effect this afternoon though and the German youngster finished the day seventh fastest overall. Héctor Faubel returned to action less than a week after being admitted to hospital in Indianapolis, the veteran Spaniard easing himself back with the 23rd fastest time.
7th Jonas Folger 2.10.271 (28 laps): "I love this circuit. We did a great job this morning and my feeling with the bike was great. We tried some new things this afternoon but they didn't work as well so we'll take a step backwards tomorrow. The start of this season wasn't easy for me but I learnt a lot and now that I have a good team and a good bike I am able to put that experience to good use. Right now things are working out and I am happy. I am enjoying working with this team but we have a long way to go. We have started our adventure together in a good way but we will need to keep trying new things to make sure we are competitive in every session. The good thing is we have plenty of ideas for ways to improve."
23rd Héctor Faubel 2.11.630 (26 laps): "I thought the most painful thing would be my elbow but it was actually my ribs, particularly in the left-hand corners. Depending on how much rest I get tonight I might have to have a painkilling injection before qualifying tomorrow afternoon. Things went pretty well on track this morning and I felt comfortable this afternoon but with twelve minutes remaining I stopped to change tyres and we couldn't get the bike started again. I imagine it is because the engine has reached maximum mileage. In general I am happy, today was just a case of getting a feel for the bike again after the crash and I am sure we can move up the order tomorrow, especially if we can find some more grip."
TOP 10 FOR IANNONE IN THE SECOND FREE PRACTICE AT BRNO, FIRST SESSIONS FOR ANDREOZZI ON THE CZECH TRACK
The first two Moto2 sessions of free practice were held today at Brno, for the bwin Grand Prix Ceske Republiky.
In the session of this morning, Andrea Iannone completed some competitive laps straight away, ending the practice in fifth position. After working on some improvements for the setting of the Speed Up machine with his technicians, Andrea got out on the track for FP2: the Italian focused on his pace, ending the session with 2'03.679 as best lap, 0.576 seconds off the best time.
Andreozzi faces another Grand Prix on a new track for him. The Italian managed to improve his lap time of about half a second in the practice of the afternoon and, together with his crew, he’ll try out some new choices for the setting during the sessions of tomorrow, with the aim to improve his feeling on top of the Speed Up.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 7th with 2'03.679
“This was a positive day, we tried out some options for the setting, in order to improve the bike and its performance, so that we can make it easier to ride, as well as faster. We are quite calm because we do have a strong base we can work on, which allows us to be competitive and, as a whole, this is a favourable situation. Tomorrow we’ll do our best to make some further progress. I’d like to thank my crew, Ohlins and anyone that works with me.”
Alessandro Andreozzi #22 - 30th with 2'06.415
“The session of this morning was important to complete some laps and get to know the track, which happens to be a new circuit for me. In the afternoon we tried some moditications on the bike, but we aren’t really satisfied with them. Now we’ll work with the data we put together to prepare some other changes, in order to test them during the day of tomorrow and to try to make some steps forward.”
Day of hard work for Márquez
Repsol places sixth on difficult first day at Brno, with work focused on bike setup.
Things are never as easy as they seem in the Moto2 World Championship, and whilst just four days ago Marc Márquez took a dominant victory at Indianapolis, adjusting to the Brno has become a new challenge for the Repsol rider. After the first two practice sessions for the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the Repsol rider set the sixth fastest time of a day in which he had to work hard on the setup of his Moto2 bike.
The intermediate category leader went out on track with the aim of adapting as quickly as possible to a track that last year a big effort to finish in second place. After the improvements implemented in summer testing in Portugal and the momentum gathered at Indianapolis, the Repsol rider experienced firsthand that there is no room to relax. He completed 19 laps in the first session, setting a best time on his final of those. His 2’04.641 time was 0.577 down on fastest rider Pol Espargaró.
Focusing on tyre choice and suspension settings, work in the Repsol rider’s garage continued in the second free practice session, in which Márquez put in another 15 laps. The Spaniard has tested different solutions and set his fastest time on his 5th lap —0.142 quicker than his morning marker.
With the data from today's outings, Márquez and his team will use tomorrow morning’s free practice session and afternoon qualifying to set up their Moto2 machine for a good spot on the grid for Sunday.
FP1 - 2:03.641, 19 laps, 103 km
FP2 - 2:03.499, 15 laps, 81 km
“Today we had some problems and I never felt fully comfortable on the bike, but that is what practice is for —looking for the best setting. We are slowly finding our way, although we have to make a few changes to reach those at the front. Bearing in mind how the bike was going, sixth place makes us think that we can be amongst the frontrunners with a little improvement. The bike has a lot of potential, but the setting is always critical."
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia at work during first free practice sessions in Brno.
Fenati wraps ups Friday in 14th position, Tonucci in 16th
During the first two free practice session in Czech Republic, Team Italia tried different setups ahead of tomorrow's qualifiers. Both riders also worked on tyre consumption, trying both 'M' and 'S' compounds.
Romano Fenati spent the morning trying to memorize the track, and improved by 1''4 during FP2. He posted a personal best of 2'10"843, 1''3 behind Viñales, who was fastest today.
Alessandro Tonucci was 7th after FP1 and still managed to better his lap time. With a 2'10"904, he closed the day in 16th position, not far from his teammate.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Team Italia FMI rider in the CIV championship, took Jack Miller's place on Team Caretta's Honda, posting the 24th best time.
The narrow gaps (20 riders within two seconds) make it hard to predict the positions on the grid and during the race. The weather could also play a huge role, as rain is expected to fall both tomorrow and on Sunday.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 26 laps with a 2'10"843
"I had to work hard to find a good setup and learn the track. We will try some modification tomorrow to improve both lap times and race pace. I hope the weather stays dry, as I'm sure I still have a lot of room for improvement."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 30 laps with a 2'10"904
"I'm satisfied with what we've done today. We are looking to improve the overall setup to allow the bike to express its full potential. I know the track well and I really like it. I also have another solution to try before the race as far as the tyres go."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"Our riders made a big leap between FP1 and FP2. I'm happy to see a consistent Tonucci after the good showing in Indy. Romano is still learning the track, but was already very fast in a few sectors. FP3 will be crucial to improve the setup and do well in qualifiers."
WILAIROT GETS HIS CONFIDENCE BACK AT BRNO
Ratthapark Wilairot began the task of rediscovering his form in the Moto2 World Championship at Brno today after a difficult weekend at Indianapolis. “Feem” made progress in the two free practice sessions and is now confident he can make up positions tomorrow before the decisive grid shootout in the afternoon.
Ratthapark Wilairot (23rd 2' 04” 721) “My feeling here is much better than Indianapolis and we have improved a lot in terms of the bike and also my adaptation to the circuit. We are still a long way from the top but we are working step by step and tomorrow I need to be more focused on the lap time to make sure we get a good grid position.”
Fausto Gresini “Feem was confident with the bike today although in the end he couldn't manage any more than 23rd position. Anyway, the important thing is that he has a positive feeling again and we are all determined for him to make up positions tomorrow.”
TOP TEN FOR GINO REA
Gino Rea had his best dry session of the season at Brno today, lapping inside the top ten in free practice for the Czech Republic Grand Prix and showing the potential for an even better performance tomorrow. Seeing the British rider finally reaching his potential with this bike is a great source of satisfaction for the team.
Gino Rea (9th 2' 03” 856) “I am very happy with today's two sessions. We have made good progress and managed to improve the suspension set-up after working hard on it in Indianapolis. It's nice to be inside the top ten and not too far from lap times of the front three. Actually on my fastest lap I got held up by another rider and I think the setting was probably slightly better at the start of the session than the end so it's far to say we could have gone faster. I'm still getting chatter and movement from the front in corner entry so we need to solve this because it will make a big difference over race distance. Anyway, it feels good to be making progress and finally seeing some competitive lap times in the dry.
Fausto Gresini “Gino did a great job today and not only showed that he has ability but also the potential to improve further. Finally we're seeing a satisfactory level of performance and it is important to have this stability in order for Gino to get the results that he and the team deserve. We will work just as hard now but with a spring in our step and try to maintain this.”
Salom back on track as GP race winner
For the first time in his life Luis Salom entered a track as Grand Prix race winner. With the victory at Indianapolis under his belt the Spanish rider set a decent sixth lap time in the free practice sessions for the Czech GP. Brad Binder found his way around as well. He ended the second practice in thirteenth.
RW Racing GP did not have much time to celebrate its first victory. Of course there was a small party on Sunday night in Indianapolis, but on Monday the whole team was in the plane hea ding to Europe again. On Tuesday night they were in Brno for the Czech GP to adapt to European time again.
There was quite some preparation work to do. Brno is very different from Indianapolis: much wider and with high corner speed. Therefore the bikes needed some modifications.
Luis Salom (6th): "I still feel very happy because of my win at Indy, but I haven’t had much time to think about it with these back to back races. The good thing is that we take the momentum. We had some work to do on the bike and used the first practice for that. I felt quite comfortable on the bike in the second session. Now we can concentrate on race setup and a good position on the starting grid.’’
Brad Binder (13th): "Having to retire in Indianapolis with an engine failure was very frustrating, but we know now what caused the problem. KTM is working on it to prevent something like this in the future. In Brno the bike felt good. We have some issues to solve in the setup, but that’ll be ok.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "It’s really hot here in Brno, but the conditions of the track are fine. Both riders like this circuit and until now everything is according to plan. Everybody is still in a good mood because of our first victory last week, so there is nothing to complain.’’
Redding and Kallio both on the pace at Brno
Brno, Czech Republic - 24 August 2012: Scott Redding and Mika Kallio remain confident of challenging for the podium in this weekend's Czech Republic Grand Prix, after a successful opening day at the Automotodrom Brno. Redding ended the day fourth fastest on combined times, with Kallio just four places further back in eighth.
The positions at the end of the day were the reverse of those after this morning's 45-minute first free practice session, which ended with Kallio fourth, Redding eighth and the top 15 riders all within once second of the fastest time, which was set by Pol Espargaro.
While Redding used this afternoon's session to up his pace on new tyres, Kallio focussed instead on fine-tuning the set-up of his Kalex Moto2 machine.
Redding pushed hard during the first part of this afternoon's 45-minute practice, moving steadily up the timesheet and eventually posting the fastest lap of the weekend with ten minutes left to run. The Marc VDS rider's hold on provisional pole position was short-lived, however, as his lap time was disallowed for cutting the track at turn two, demoting Redding to fourth place on combined times.
Kallio lost time at the beginning of this afternoon's free practice to a technical fault with the quickshifter on his Kalex Moto2 bike. Despite continuing with the same tyres with which he'd completed the morning session, Kallio lapped within three-tenths of his fastest lap this afternoon and is confident of further improvement ahead of tomorrow's all-important qualifying.
With the top 18 riders within one second of provisional pole sitter, Pol Espargaro, Sunday's Czech Republic Moto2 Grand Prix promises to be a closely contested affair.
Scott Redding #45: 4th - 2'03.397
"Brno hasn't been a good track for me in the past, but on the trip here from Indianapolis I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could improve here. One of the things was not running wide out of the turns, which isn't easy to do, as it's sort of my style. It's worked pretty well today and the only slight issue I've had is with edge grip. It was a bit annoying to have my fastest lap disallowed, as I was on the limit everywhere, but better it happens today rather than in the last five minutes of qualifying. I thought I was only half a tyre width off the track on that lap, but when I saw a replay it was a lot further than that, so it was a fair cop! Anyway, it was red helmets all the way for the rest of the lap, even though I wasn't pushing that hard, so I know I can run that pace, or maybe go even faster, tomorrow."
Mika Kallio #36: 8th - 2'03.626
"Our plan was always to stay on the same tyres for both sessions today, and to save a set of new tyres for qualifying tomorrow, which was why I was a little slower in the afternoon compared to the morning. We also missed completely our first pit exit this afternoon because of a problem with the shifter, which cost us quite a bit of time. We also tried a few suspension changes that didn't really give the improvements we were expecting, so we need to come back a little bit on the settings for tomorrow. I'm confident I can qualify well tomorrow and, if I do that, then I'll be up there fighting for my second podium of the season on Sunday."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It's been a good opening day for both Scott and Mika here at Brno. We knew Mika was going to be fast here, as it's a track that seems to suit his style perfectly, which he proved by setting the fourth quickest time this morning. He continued with the same tyres this afternoon, which meant he didn't improve his lap time, but the extra set of tyres he now has for qualifying tomorrow should see him on the front two rows of the grid if all goes well. This is a track that Scott has struggled at in the past, but his approach to this weekend has been very calculated. He knew where he needed to improve and, as his fastest lap this afternoon shows quite clearly, that's exactly what he's done. It's a shame he had the lap disallowed today, but he's held his hands up to cutting the track and it's far better to have this happen today, rather than in qualifying tomorrow!"
NICO TEROL, NINTH AND CONTINUALLY IMPROVING
MAPFRE Aspar rider carries on amongst the frontrunners for the third consecutive round, adapting steadily to Moto2
The Moto2 class opened up the weekend just like any other at Brno on Friday. Espargaró took the quickest time of the day -clocked in the morning. There was not even 1 second between the top eighteen riders, indicating that a close Czech Republic GP is on the cards. One of the longest tracks on the calendar, the difference should in theory be much larger. Eleven riders were unable to improve upon their morning times in the afternoon -including Espargaró- due to the variable weather conditions.
Nico Terol was one of the riders who was quicker in the morning than in the afternoon. That still did not prevent him from taking the ninth best time of the day (2'03.682). The MAPFRE Aspar rider made a strong start to this latest round, just as he did at Indianapolis. His aim is to continue improving and to take a strong result from the weekend on race day. The Spaniard worked on a consistent pace and also tried out various tyre options.
On the other side of the MAPFRE Aspar garage, Jordi Torres concluded the second session in fourteenth and was nineteenth overall on Friday. He continued to take steps forward on his return to Moto2, focusing on chassis setup on the part debuted today and on picking up confidence with different tyres.
9th Nico Terol 2'03.682 (35 laps): "This morning I had a good stint and got into a positive position. In the afternoon I managed to find a strong pace, although in some places I had a little more chatter than I would have liked. Fortunately, at the end of the session we found solutions that enabled us to ride more stably. Sometimes it is difficult to ride this bike when there is chatter. We will continue to look at possible solutions tomorrow, although I didn't much like the new tyre that we tried today. We shall keep those that I do like ready for qualifying. We have taken a lot of information from this first day and tomorrow we will be working hard to prepare for the race. We don't have a long way to go to be able to have a great race, so I hope that it occurs here at Brno. It's all down to working towards consistency."
19th Jordi Torres 2'04.230 (35 laps): "Today we followed on from the improvements at Indianapolis, although we didn't quite have the same performance. Let's say that we maintained our pace consistently. We were very slow at Indy, but here things are going more smoothly. I tried a new chassis today that felt better for me. I can't compare this weekend to last weekend, because the asphalt there was different to at Brno and to any other track, but I was a lot more stable today with the new swingarm. The team are working to perfection, my chief mechanic is helping me to understand the bike better and that makes it easier for my riding style. I am happy to have finished inside the top twenty and hope that tomorrow this can be the top fifteen. We are doing a great job and that allows us to set out the foundations for the bike to work better every time."