Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Aragon:
Oliveira fastest in the wet
Portuguese rider clocks fastest time of first day of practice at Aragon, with Álex Rins eighth, Maverick Viñales tenth and Álex Márquez eleventh.
Repsol rider Miguel Oliveira took the best time in a wet day at Aragon. The persistent rainfall greatly affected the first two practice sessions for the latest GP, in which the Portuguese rider was quickest in both. Rins, Viñales and Márquez placed eighth, tenth and eleventh, respectively.
After fierce overnight rain before the Aragon GP weekend, the Moto3 opening session took place in the wet. Miguel Oliveira set a good time in the early going, leading the way with a 2’11.415 lap before the session was brought to a close with a few minutes remaining. Danny Webb had left oil on the track in a crash, and there was not sufficient time to clean the asphalt completely. Oliveira and Álex Rins had crashed after slipping on the oil, before the red flag. Rins was eighth, Viñales tenth and Álex Márquez eleventh.
In the second session, rain fell fiercely and Oliveira was again fastest. It grew ever more difficult to lower lap times, and finally the Repsol rider ended the day as the top man. Viñales was thirteenth in the second session, Álex Márquez fifteenth and Álex Rins twenty-second.
The forecast for tomorrow is similar to today, but things are expected to improve for Sunday.
FP1 - 2:14.518, 12 laps, 61 km.
FP2 - 2:18.706, 13 laps, 66 km.
"That was a tricky first day. We worked hard and tried to get a feel for things ahead of qualifying tomorrow. I was riding confidently and we just need to make some chassis adjustments and decide what needs improvement. We will work with the idea that it is going to rain, as everything points to qualifying being in the same conditions and we will have to look for a good grid position. We will try to do things as well as possible."
FP1 - 2:11.415, 13 laps, 66 km.
FP2 - 2:16.726, 14 laps, 71 km.
“That went better than I thought, as from the beginning the feeling was good. The conditions that we had here today at MotorLand weren’t what we wanted, but we can be happy with the results from the opening day. In the morning we took things slowly and had a positive initial encounter. In the afternoon there was a lot more rain on the track and less grip, but we were able to keep up our pace from the morning. We still have a few technical details to polish up, although I hope that tomorrow we can do that. Maybe we won’t get much faster, but I can certainly feel more comfortable on the bike. Tomorrow we have a lot of work ahead."
FP1 - 2:14.152, 13 laps, 66 km.
FP2 - 2:19.620, 12 laps, 61 km.
“In the opening session I think we did a good job. We took things with calm and were able to find a good pace, which took us to eighth in the end. In the afternoon we started out positively, although the feeling wasn’t the same after stopping in the pits. Tomorrow I will attempt to pick my pace back up and continue with the planned work schedule for today."
FP1 - 2:14.802, 13 laps, 66 km.
FP2 - 2:18.812, 15 laps, 76 km.
“This first day at Alcañiz has been a little difficult, because the conditions haven’t helped us. In the opening session we had a good feeling with the bike and were able to face the afternoon session with confidence. After a first time in the pits we started to have a few problems that impeded our workload, but tomorrow we hope to improve. If it is dry, then all the better."
JONAS FOLGER SHOWS VERSATILITY WITH STEADY START IN THE WET
MAPFRE Aspar rider places third in the morning and eighth in the afternoon at Aragón, despite adverse weather conditions. Debutant Luca Amato gets good early feel for bike and track.
The opening day of the Aragón GP was all about the weather. The Moto3 riders were greeted by a damp track in the morning, courtesy of heavy overnight rain in Spain, and the session was called to a halt with four minutes remaining after an oil spill. The slick took over an hour to be cleaned up, causing minor inconveniences to the schedulers. In the afternoon, things returned to normal and a fine rain continued to moisten the surface. Miguel Oliveira was fastest in both sessions, from which few conclusions could be made for the competitors in the lower cylinder category.
As he showed on the Friday at Misano and of course in the Czech Republic -where he took his first win for the MAPFRE Aspar Team, Jonas Folger is a versatile rider. This time out he was getting used to the wet in the afternoon and damp conditions in the morning. He was one of the riders to crash on the oil spill at turn seven, but he escaped unharmed and was able to shine in the afternoon session. He was third fastest overall, trying out a new swingarm that was very much to his liking.
Debutant Luca Amato had an early battery problem with his machine, but was not shaken by the issue. In the afternoon he got amongst the frontrunners with the tenth quickest lap of the session -28th on the combined timesheet.
3rd Jonas Folger 2.12.839 (24 laps): "Despite us having positive results, today was a tough day because of the rain. We tried a new swingarm, which is lighter than the old one, and our feeling with it was great. Now we just have to set things up to get everything at peak performance. I like it a lot and it is better that we lighten the weight from somewhere. It is an advantage to be lighter, because we load less weight onto the rear and the bike responds better. Now I have to get used to the new feel. If it rains tomorrow, then we will continue with the setup for the new swingarm, to get more confident with it. I hope that we can ride in the dry, because there are various things to try out if conditions improve."
28th Luca Amato 2.17.351 (22 laps): "I am very happy, because we took a very good position despite the rain. Tenth in the rain is a good result for me, because normally I find it harder to find my feel for a track. I felt very comfortable straight away with this bike. It is very stable and has a powerful engine. I still have a lot to learn, because all this is new to me, but I am happy that my start has been so positive. The team have been very welcoming and they are one of the best in the World Championship, so thanks to them I am having a much easier time adapting."
RAIN HITS FREE PRACTICE AT ARAGON
Bad weather continues to follow the MotoGP paddock around Europe and today it was the turn of the Motorland circuit in Aragon to feel the damp disappointment of a wet day's free practice. Niccolò Antonelli escaped unhurt from a crash in the tricky conditions this morning and was able to spend the afternoon gradually rebuilding his confidence on the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini machine and gathering important data should the conditions be repeated tomorrow.
Niccolò Antonelli (19th 2’ 19” 288) “After the crash this morning I spent the afternoon concentrating on rebuilding my confidence with the bike and in that respect it was a positive session by the end. I'm also pleased that we were able to gather some good data for tomorrow and now the engineers can work on improving the set-up for tomorrow. I am sure that with the changes they make we can be even more competitive. Unfortunately it looks like we will have rain also tomorrow so we'll have to adapt to the conditions.”
Fausto Gresini “The crash this morning meant that Niccolò had to adapt his tactics this afternoon and focus on rebuilding confidence. He was able to do so by the end and could have made some more positions up if it wasn't for a small mistake. Anyway the positive thing is that he was able to give some good data to the engineers so that they can give him a better bike tomorrow.”
Decent start in the wet
The Moto3 riders have seen more wet than dry tracks this season. Rain in Aragon, in the heart of Spain, was nothing new therefore. Both RW Racing GP riders did well in the rain, with top 10 results for both in both free practice sessions.
The lap times in the morning were better than in the afternoon. In the morning it was a little less wet than in the afternoon. The first free practice was redflagged with almost five minutes on the clock due to oil on the track. A number of riders crashed after Danny We bb spilled oil. Luis Salom set the second fastest time of the day. Brad Binder was seventh fastest.
In the afternoon the rain became heavier and lap times dropped, leaving Salom in sixth and Binder in ninth.
Luis Salom: "We just tried to use as much practice time as possible, but except for some small technical issues there was not much testing or setting up to do. We have had so many wet sessions this season; we know by now what to do. The grip is not so good as I expected on this track.’’
Brad Binder: "I must say I’m satisfied. We have a really good set up for the wet and m y Kalex KTM works very well in these conditions. I’m kind of hoping for a wet race, even though weather forecasts say it could be dry. I just hope we don’t get mixed conditions.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "The weather is not so good, but for us it was a pretty good day. We have some small things to improve. For Brad it is the first time at this track. He might benefit from the wet. The forcast is not so good. It might be wet every session.’’
POSITIVE START AT ARAGÓN FOR SPEED MASTER RIDERS: SIXTH TIME FOR IANNONE IN FP2, 30TH TIME FOR ANDREOZZI
Today’s practice sessions set the beginning of the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón, the thirteenth event of 2012 season for the Moto2 class.
The first session for the middle class was held almost entirely under the rain. Andrea Iannone started the weekend positively, making progress quickly as far as it concerns his lap times, till he grabbed the first spot. In the afternoon the weather didn’t change from the morning: Andrea worked with his technicians on some choices in order to improve his Speed Up. The conditions of the track prevented him from putting in the same lap times of the morning, but Iannone still holds the second position in the combined free practice classification.
Andreozzi and his crew took advantage of the time at disposal today in order to work on the setting for wet track. Alessandro, from the first to the second session, was almost two seconds faster for his lap time, as he found a better feeling with his Speed Up and started to study some other possible changes in view of tomorrow.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 6th with 2'08.621
“I’m happy with today’s practices: we were very fast in the morning, and in the afternoon we were still quite competitive. In the second session we preferred to focus on the wet set-up, so that we could see if we had any chance of improvement or not. We noticed that things change quite a lot according to the quantity of water on the track, and for sure this afternoon it was slower. The riders with better times than ours are very strong, but we are calm and satisfied. We’ll need to understand what the weather is like on race day. It looks like it may be sunny and, in that case, it’d be useful to complete some laps on dry track tomorrow. Thanks to the crew, the team, people working for me and my fans.”
Alessandro Andreozzi #22 - 30th with 2'13.898
“The session of this morning was quite complicated because of the track conditions, which didn’t really let us work as we would have liked. In the afternoon, however, we managed to make some progress and to make some choices on the bike which allowed us to be faster. Tomorrow it may rain again, so now we’ll work on some further changes we can try on this setting.”
REA SHOWS SPEED AT WET ARAGON
Once again Gino Rea demonstrated his prowess in wet conditions with an impressive performance at Aragon today. The British rider was fourth fastest despite struggling with a misty visor on his final run, suggesting that his lap time could have been even better. With the inclement weather set to stay for the remainder of the weekend the forecast is positive for Rea.
Gino Rea (4th 2’ 08” 437) “We have some new things for the bike here and even though it would have been nice to try them in the dry we tried them in the wet and the results were positive. We made progress in the second session although we still have a few issues and I am struggling in some areas. I also had a problem on my last run with my visor steaming up and the left grip was moving so I had to be careful. Hopefully I have proved again that I am capable of running at the front in this class. It would be nice for us to have some dry track time to develop the bike more but we'll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow and Sunday.”
Fausto Gresini “We are getting used to seeing Gino produce this kind of performance in the wet. He set a really strong pace and showed that he has a good feeling for the bike in these conditions. He also needs to convert that to his performances in the dry and the results will come.”
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia tries different setups in wet free practice in Aragon
Romano Fenati, who raced on this track last year for the CEV championship seizing fourth place, showed his improvement on a wet tarmac. The Italian wrapped up day 1 in 17th position. He lapped in 2'16"171 during FP1 and was the fastest Italian during FP2 with a 2'18"966.
Alessandro Tonucci closed FP1 in the Top 15 and had a small crash due to the oil spill at the end of the session. Under heavy rain, he stopped the clock on 2'20"162, which puts him in 26th position.
Both sessions were topped by Oliveira.
The forecast is the same for tomorrow, and qualifiers should be wet as well. Team Italia tried different setup solutions with that in mind.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 28 laps, 2'18"966
"Lapping on a constantly wet track allowed me to focus on this setup and train hard with conditions in which I'm not usually strong. I definitely improved, but we still have a long way to go before tomorrow."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 25 laps, 2'20"162
"Free practice was good. I wish I had more track time, but in the morning the crash prevented me from improving further. We used typical wet setups in the afternoon, but I couldn't really play with the throttle, so we were slow. We'll surely find the solution before tomorrow."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We worked hard in the wet. The riders and the team collaborated a lot, and the data we gained will allow to improve the setting before tomorrow. We hope to have a great race, too."
Wet weather practices for Márquez
Rain at MotorLand Aragón complicates things for Repsol rider, who places eleventh despite a small crash.
Marc Márquez, current leader of the intermediate class in the World Championship, had a day of trial and error at MotorLand Aragón today. In two sessions undertaken in the wet, the Repsol rider placed eleventh overall with a time of 2’09.325.
Conditions at the Spanish track went from bad to worse, although Márquez was feeling positive after the opening session. The Repsol rider was seventh quickest in the morning, with a lap 1’344 seconds off the top spot time of Andrea Iannone. It was an unpredictable session, with an early run-off and a late save both made by Márquez.
Rain continued in the second session, in which adjustments made to the Spaniard’s Moto2 bike did not work out as planned. He was unable to improve upon his morning time and finished his day early due to a crash at turn seven –thankfully not suffering any injury in the process. He was riding his thirteenth lap and was in thirteenth place at the time, 1’617 seconds behind Johann Zarco.
The forecast predicts a continuation of the bad weather tomorrow, with Márquez having 45 minutes of free practice before the afternoon qualifying session in Moto2.
FP1 - 2:09.325, 14 laps, 71 km.
FP2 - 2:09.461, 13 vueltas, 66 km.
“It was a very tricky day, because it is harder to gain confidence in the wet. We tried to gather data by trying different settings with the bike. In the morning I felt very comfortable and could see that it was possible to go faster, but in the afternoon we tried some things that I didn’t end up liking and we didn’t have time to take a step back. We have some valuable information for tomorrow; we will have to carry on trying things out and see if we can get more comfortable in the wet."
Redding and Kallio play it safe in difficult conditions at Aragon
Aragon, Spain - 28 September 2012: Scott Redding and Mika Kallio both played it safe in the difficult conditions experienced during the opening day of practice ahead of Sunday's Grand Prix of Aragon. Redding ended the day 14th fastest, while Kallio was 17th despite a minor crash late in the second free practice session.
At a circuit usually known for high temperatures, the weather for this morning's first free practice session was decidedly damp after overnight rain. After starting the session on a wet but drying track, the riders were glad to see the return of the rain and made the most of a fully wet track to work on wet set-up.
With the rain continuing throughout the afternoon, both Redding and Kallio continued to refine wet set-up on their Kalex Moto2 machines during the second 45-minute free practice session.
Redding, who underwent a carpal tunnel decompression operation on his right wrist immediately after the last race in Misano, also used the two sessions today to test his wrist on the bike for the first time. The 19-year-old Briton was happy with the range of movement in the wrist and was surprised that it was less painful than expected, especially under braking.
Kallio lost a large part of the first free practice to a rear grip issue, with the second rear tyre used during the 45-minute session offering zero grip in the now fully wet conditions. The 29-year-old Finn switched to the previous rear tyre for the start of this afternoon's session and the issue was eliminated, allowing him to continue work on set-up that would have been completed this morning but for the tyre problem.
If the weather forecast predicting more rain for tomorrow's all-important qualifying session proves accurate, the work completed on wet set-up today could prove critical to a good grid position for Sunday's race.
Scott Redding #45: 14th - 2'09.504
"The hand was okay this morning, a lot better than I was expecting. It was a bit more painful this afternoon, mainly because I haven't used it that much since the operation, but still less than I thought it would be. I haven't needed any painkillers today and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do without them for the rest of the weekend. The aim today was to build up slowly, not take any risks and get a good feel for the bike. I think we've accomplished that. Overall I'm pretty happy with the track and the bike; we do need to find a small improvement in rear grip through the long corners, but we've got a few ideas that we'll try tomorrow if it stays wet. Conditions here weren't what we were expecting, but it's been a pretty positive first day."
Mika Kallio #36: 17th - 2'09.651
"Today was quite difficult. We lost some time this morning when we had a problem with a rear tyre that offered no grip, but switching back to the original rear sorted out the problem for the second session. The bike felt pretty good, but we were too far off the pace. I felt like I was on the limit, and not able to push any harder, but we were still too far off the pace. We're losing too much time through the faster turns, of which there are a lot here, as we don't seem to have the same amount of rear grip as others. I tried to follow Lüthi late in the session, but the rear came round on me and flicked me over the highside. This is something we need to address, as it looks like qualifying will be wet too, but we have some ideas that we will try in tomorrow morning's final free practice session and I hope this will offer some improvement."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Having surgery between races is always a risk, but we were left with no other option and, I'm pleased to say, it's had less of an impact on Scott today than we anticipated. He took no risks today, but tomorrow he needs to start upping the pace ahead of qualifying. We will have to see if this puts more strain on his wrist, but I'm pretty confident he'll be fine. Mika spent today's two sessions refining the set-up on the bike ready for qualifying tomorrow, as it looks like conditions will be pretty similar to today. He got caught out by the conditions and slid off at the end of the session, but by that time most of his work had been done. Scott and Mika should be able to improve their lap times considerably if it stays wet tomorrow and I would expect both to be looking for a position on the front three rows of the grid in qualifying."
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS UNDERTAKE PRUDENT OPENING DAY AT ARAGÓN
Jordi Torres and Nico Terol take things steadily on wet day in Spain, but still make steps forward with their setups.
The Moto2 riders had a delayed start to their first session at Aragón, owing to an incident involving a Moto3 rider who left oil on the track. The intermediate category riders finally took to the asphalt in the rain, as they looked to find their base settings. Johann Zarco dominated the overall standings, but many riders grazed the top spots over the course of a tricky day on a wet track. Only Luthi was a title candidate near the head of the standings. Rain and crashes were common over the course of the two sessions.
After a series of crashes and run-offs at Motorland in Moto2, the prudent strategy used by the MAPFRE Aspar bore fruit for Jordi Torres and Nico Terol. Both riders took things steadily and at a decent pace, avoiding any unnecessary risks. There was work done on the geometry of both riders' bikes in order to improve rear grip. The dup improved consistently over the course of the day and clocked their best laps at the end of the second stint. Jordi Torres concluded the day in sixteenth and Nico Terol in nineteenth.
Jordi Torres - (12th FP1/16th FP2) FL - 2.09.572 - (30 Laps): "Today we had a solid progression. We started to get to know the circuit this morning, then gradually we found our references and got more of a feel. Despite the result not being spectacular, I am satisfied with our performance. We took things calmly because we wanted to avoid a crash. The team worked very well and, although in the end I didn't put in a very fast lap, we tried out all the changes made over the course of the day and they were all helpful. We played around with the geometry of the bike on the rear, to avoid sliding too much. Tomorrow we will continue working in the same way as today and will hope that our progress doesn't stop."
Nico Terol - (15th FP1/19th FP2) FL - 2.09.836 - (31 Laps): "I started well with a good feeling, but as the laps went on I stagnated a little. In the afternoon we worked a lot to get me faster in the first sector, because it was really lowering my times. We got some positive results from that. After what we saw today, I think that we can set everything up tomorrow to improve substantially. When it rains, circumstances change, so that is why I was prudent today. Tomorrow we will attack from the first session in order to be ready for the qualifying session and get into the top ten. The important thing is that we progressed continuously today and got a lot of information. Tomorrow we will try to improve our rear grip."