Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the thrilling races at Sepang:
Sandro Cortese and KTM win first ever Moto3 World Championship title
Sandro Cortese of Germany and the Red Bull KTM Ajo Factory Racing Team won the first ever Moto3 World Championship title on Sunday at the Malaysian Grand Prix to write another chapter in KTM’s successful history of always being Ready to Race.
Cortese slipped past KTM teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin in the final stages of the last lap to take the race and the title, even though he only needed a podium finish to settle the championship. Jonas Folger of Germany on the Kalex-KTM was third. There are still two races in hand.
Cortese: “I can't believe I have taken the title and with victory. I just waited and I wanted to finish in front of Salom and to show everyone that even if Vinales has gone home I could still take the title with a win.” Salom was the only other rider in with a chance for the title. Honda rider Maverick Vinales was Cortese’s closest rival for the title but returned home to Spain without riding in Malaysia this weekend after a dispute with his team.
The race was a great milestone for KTM as CEO Stefan Pierer said after the race. “An unbelievable and wonderful day for KTM and all KTM Racing Fans. With Sandro becoming the first rider to win a World Championship on asphalt (for KTM) is an unforgettable milestone in the history of the company. Today’s performance by Zulfami and Jonas crowns our entire Moto3 activity and it is a perfect demonstration of our engagement. I want to thanks all those involved in our Moto3 project and I congratulate Sandro, Aki (Aki Ajo, factory team manager) and the entire Red Bull Team - today you have written KTM and motorsport history!"
The Malaysian race was also a definite milestone in road racing for the Malaysian public who came to the Sepang circuit in record numbers to see their best national rider ever perform on the home track. Local hero Khairuddin did not disappoint, powering his KTM Moto3 machine to his first career pole and delivering a stunning performance in the race, only conceding victory to his friend and teammate in the final stages. Folger too was a strong contender and the three riders were locked in battle at the front of the pack for the second half of the race.
Rain threatened throughout and riders had the daunting task of racing in temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius, but despite looming black storm clouds, the tropical cloudburst rained only spots on the riders during the race before unleashing itself on the crowd during the podium ceremony.
Cortese’s victory is all the more creditable because of he has been so consistent throughout the season. He has been on the podium in all but two races and in both of those he finished sixth.
Sandro Cortese’s road to first ever Moto3 World title
2012 GP of Qatar finished 3
2012 GP of Spain finished 3
2012 GP of Portugal finished 1
2012 GP of France finished 6
2012 GP of Catalunya finished 2
2012 GP of Britain finished 3
2012 GP of Netherlands finished 2
2012 GP of Germany finished 1
2012 GP of Italy finished 3
2012 GP of Indianapolis finished 2
2012 GP of Czech Republic finished 3
2012 GP of San Marino finished 1
2012 GP of Aragon finished 2
2012 GP of Japan finished 6
2012 GP of Malaysia finished 1
Miguel Oliveira fifth in Sepang
Repsol rider has strong race in Malaysian debut. Álex Rins places seventh and moves to fourth in the standings. Álex Márquez finishes fourteenth after gaining ten places.
The Moto3 class crowned its first World Champion today, Sandro Cortese, who won the Malaysian GP in which Miguel Oliveira finished fifth on his first appearance. Also making their Sepang debuts, Álex Rins and Álex Márquez placed seventh and fourteenth, respectively.
Starting from the second and third rows, on the first lap Rins Oliveira enjoyed a good start, fighting for a position in the front group, in sixth and eighth, respectively. In the lead, Jonas Folger tried to stretch out the peloton with a strong pace, which formed a first pack of riders including Rins and Oliveira. Further back, Álex Márquez was immersed in a large group of ten riders fighting for tenth place.
With rain threatening to fall from the midway point and spots coming down, the race was in the end able to last the duration. Cortese crossed the line first, followed by Khairuddin and Folger. Fighting with Salom and Kent, Oliveira split the dup to place fifth.
Rins, who was unable to maintain his pace from the early laps in the latter stages, took the chequered flag in seventh place —taking nine points which moved him up to fourth in the overall standings and first in the Rookie Of The Year stakes. Álex Márquez fought for eighteen laps in a group of ten riders, with the Repsol rider fourteenth and claiming two points. He gained ten places in the contest.
5th at 8.674 sec.
“That was a very difficult race. Following the pace of the KTMs was very tough, as on the opening laps they opened up a gap that we weren’t able to close later. Physically, it was one of the hardest races that I have contested. When it started to rain I felt comfortable and confident, so I was able to catch the front group. Despite the difficulty of the race, we are happy with the result and hope to continue our progression at Phillip Island."
7th at 18.973 sec.
“That was a very demanding race. We started well, pushing hard and trying to join up with the lead group, although as the laps went by I was losing the rear on the gas. That’s why I made contact with Kent on the exit to the corner. He hit neutral and I couldn’t avoid him. It was just a scare in the end. I am happy with the race that we had, as physically it was extremely tough."
14th at 31.313 sec.
“We started from very far back, so in the beginning it was up to us to fight back. We did it well, although when we joined up with the third group we got a little stuck; it was hard to overtake on the straights. We have to improve in qualifying, although in general I am satisfied with our weekend’s work."
JONAS FOLGER RETURNS TO PODIUM FORM
MAPFRE Aspar rider takes third place to conclude a fantastic weekend and put Japanese race behind him
Owing to the time difference (GMT +8 in Malaysia), the Malaysian Grand Prix races were delayed two hours from the usual schedule. The Moto3 race started at 1pm, under conditions more extreme than during the rest of the weekend. The heat was increased, causing the race pace to be slower than qualifying (pole lap: 2.13.885/race fastest lap: 2.15.142). Jonas Folger pushed hard early on, breaking out a five-rider leading pack that would later be reduced to three (Folger, Khairuddin and Cortese). With nine laps remaining, drizzle fell but the riders kept up their pace. Cortese claimed the victory and became the first Moto3 World Champion as a result, followed home by Khairuddin and Folger.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger's strategy today was quite clear. Pushing from the start, he wanted to see if his rivals could keep up with his pace. First five, then three, riders were out in front, the German setting the rhythm. He dominated the first ten laps, then fought to the end for the win -eventually finishing third. That put the Japanese GP behind him, gave him his fourth podium in six races with the team and continued his stellar end to the campaign.
Teammate Luca Amato, who started in 30th position, managed to climb to 24th despite suffering from a lack of grip from almost the beginning of the race.
In honour of Ginés Guirado, a friend of the Aspar Team and the entire paddock who passed away yesterday: "The Aspar family will always hold you in our hearts. Thank you for all our time together. RIP"
3rd Jonas Folger: "Today we had a very tough race. Although the pack split from the start and we were a small group at the head of the race, it was hard to ride in the heat. The asphalt had changed a lot and the tyres didn't have the same grip as during the rest of the weekend. We also had to adjust our setup to the heat. I think that we should be very happy with our performance this weekend. After dominating practice and qualifying second, my aim was to win. We lead the group, were very competitive and finished third after a very tight race, which is reason enough to be satisfied. Since I joined the MAPFRE Aspar Team we have shown great form and there are still two races remaining, so we have to continue like this until the end of the season."
24th Luca Amato: "The race today was very hard, and dragged on for me because of the heat. On the opening three laps I was able to overtake various riders. Afterwards, I noticed that the bike was continually trying to throw me off. I think that it was down to the rear suspension being slightly too soft. Lap after lap I saw the bike step out more and more, which would also have affected tyre performance. Every time that I got on the gas, I felt like I was being thrown off. I rode alone in 24th, concentrating on avoiding crashes and riding steadily to the line. The bike has great potential and I am going to try and find a better feel for it, to improve my pace in the class."
SIXTH POSITION FOR IANNONE IN THE RACE AT SEPANG, ANDREOZZI CRASHES OUT
The fifteenth race of the Moto2 class was held today, at the Sepang International Circuit of Malaysia.
Iannone completed a satisfying warm up this morning, when he confirmed a spot within the top 10 and improved consistently his lap time. In the race, Andrea started from the fourth row: the rider from Vasto took part in the initial phases with caution, because of the rain and the consequent conditions of the track. Once he started setting a good pace, Iannone scored some competitive lap times, coming back till the sixth placement, where he was when the red flag was used to stop the race. With the points he achieved today, the Italian moves up to a total of 188 points and keeps his hold on the third position in the Championship.
In the warm up, Andreozzi and his crew tried out some small modifications for the Speed Up machine. Starting from the tenth row, on wet track Andreozzi tried to maintain a regular pace. The Italian was twenty-third on the last valid lap for today’s race, but because of a crash he didn’t manage to return to the box with his bike and therefore he was disqualified.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 6th
“I’m not completely satisfied with the result of today, but as a whole we can say that it was quite a positive race, as far as it concerns the Championship classification. We made up at least partially for the points we lost in Japan and that helps us for the last races of the season. I’m sorry for the results we got in the last weekends, we’ll work and do our best to be competitive till the end of the season.”
Alessandro Andreozzi #22 - disqualified
“The start was quite alright, in the beginning I was a little bit stuck in a group, but then they went away and I managed to keep a consistent pace. It was a difficult race, because the track was drying up, then it started raining again and I didn’t have much grip. I crashed out after the last valid lap for the race, but I couldn’t get back to the pit box with the bike. However, this was a useful Grand Prix to learn more about how to manage my Speed Up.”
Salom back to second in championship
Luis Salom regained the second place in the Moto3 world championship after finishing fourth in the Malaysian Grand Prix. His RW Racing GP teammate Brad Binder delivered a good ride as well, finishing twelfth.
Salom had to start from tenth on the grid after his penalty in Japan but had a good start bringing him to seventh after the first lap. The Spaniard got in the front group quickly and settled for fourth. Halfway in the race the temperatures started to drop and a few spots of rain appeared. Salom almost lost the front with the harder tire. He got his bike under control but lost connection with the first three. Salom won the fight for fourth with Miguel Oliveira and Danny Kent.
With Maverick Vinales out of the race after he quit with his team Salom regained second place in the championship. Sandro Cortese was crowned Moto3 champion.
Brad Binder had a great race either starting from seventh on the grid. The South African had a good fight for ninth for most of the race but had to drop back a bit after it got colder.
Luis Salom (4th): "I tried the harder tire than the one we used in practice. That turned out to be a mistake when the clouds came up and temperatures dropped. I almost lost it. But I had a good day, a good fight and I am happy with the result.’’
Brad Binder (12th): "Finally I finished a race and got some points. After all the bad luck I have had it feels good to finish where I belong. I had a very good weekend. I felt really comfortable on the bike and had was able to push it to its limits. I’m looking forward to repeat it next race.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "We would like to congratulate Sandro Cortese with his world title. Well done to KTM and Ajo Motorsports as well. It was a good fight all year long, for us as well. We are happy with second. It is a great achievement for the whole team and especially for Luis of course. With still two races to go there is no time yet to sit still and relax.’’
RAIN ENDS RACE FOR MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS IN SEPANG
Nico Terol and Jordi Torres suffer similar crashes on twelfth lap of Malaysian GP
The wildest race of the year in Moto2 took place today in Sepang. The deluge of rain that fell just after the end of the Moto3 race test forced a delay to the intermediate category contest until 14:50. The race was declared wet and the riders were obliged to take a cautious approach, with the stronger riders showing prudence in the Malaysian GP. The lead changed continuously and there was even a spell in front for a local wild card, adding to the fun. On the final ten laps, the rain reappeared and the red flag followed with three laps to go, leaving Alex De Angelis as the winner, Anthony West second and Gino Rea third.
MAPFRE Aspar riders Jordi Torres and Nico Terol started from eighteenth and twentieth, respectively. They had a clear aim of making a comeback through the field, but the two fell foul of the wet conditions. On the start Terol gained five positions, but Torres lost four. The former pushed to stay in the points, but a lack of grip and continuous chattering put him down on lap twelve. Like Terol, Torres also fell at turn four, ending the day for both the MAPFRE Aspar competitors. Torres was also experiencing some front end difficulties.
In honour of Ginés Guirado, a friend of the Aspar Team and the entire paddock who passed away yesterday: "The Aspar family will always hold you in our hearts. Thank you for all our time together. RIP"
Nico Terol (DNF): "We started the weekend very well, so I think it was a shame to finish it like this. Since yesterday we had a slight setback, because we had a crash in the qualifying session. Today we had a wet race to take on, and at first I felt good. My feeling was quite good on the first three laps, but then when I tried to brake hard, the bike stepped out a lot. Those ahead of me established a gap and I was more and more up against it. Then the track began to dry and I slid about a lot. I had a couple of scares, before in the end I locked up in turn four and went down. This weekend the positive was that we were quick in the dry. I searched for the limit in each session, so I think in Australia and we deserve a good result and we will fight for that."
Jordi Torres (DNF): "We knew from the start that it was going to be a difficult race, because the asphalt was very slippery. I didn't feel comfortable at any time, found it hard to go fast and it looked as if the bike wanted to throw me off continuously. Just before the race we made a change to the front suspension. I felt very strange in the wet, which is odd because the setup that we had for such conditions was very good. I fought on every corner to stay upright, until in the end the bike spat me off. The front tyre had gone off in a very strange manner, so the mechanics will investigate what might have happened."
Crash makes Márquez wait
Repsol rider falls in wet Moto2 race, but is just 2 points from being crowned World Champion.
The monsoon that fell today at the Sepang circuit dampened proceedings for Marc Márquez, who had his first opportunity to win the Moto2 World Championship. He was unable to finish the race after a crash three laps from the end, despite approaching the race with caution. His next ‘match ball’ comes next weekend in Australia.
An intense and short downpour just after the Moto3 race left the track completely wet for the Moto2 contest, which Marc Márquez began from third on the grid. The Repsol rider took the start with much caution, riding tenth for the opening laps in order to assess the situation with so much surface water.
The rain reappeared just as Márquez passed Andrea Iannone to move up into seventh. On one of the hard braking points he lost the front and had a sudden crash. Despite an attempt to resume the race, he was unable to do so and will have to wait until the Australian GP in seven days time to mount another title assault.
“I was very comfortable on the bike and it was very calm, because I knew Pol [Espargaró] was far back. I didn’t want to lower the pace, because it's easy to lose focus in the wet. Then it started to rain more. I tried to slow down, because in these conditions the track was slippery. I knew that Iannone was close, but I let him pass when he pulled up behind me, because today wasn’t about fighting that battle.
At the end of the straight he went very wide and I was able to go back past him, but soon after I crashed out. I didn’t expect it, because I hit the brakes at more or less the same point as on the previous lap and I lost the front when I was going in a straight line. It is a shame, but that’s riding in the rain for you. The good thing is that I didn’t hurt myself and that I have a big gap in the standings. Now it is time to move on to the next race."
REA ROMPS TO PODIUM THROUGH SEPANG RAINSTORM
Gino Rea came within a lap of victory at Sepang today but he was happy to settle for a first ever Moto2 podium finish when the race was red flagged just moments after he took the lead in torrential rain. Third place is a welcome recompense for a tough season so far for the British rider and he can now look ahead with renewed optimism to the final two races.
Gino Rea (3° 2’ 09” 021) “What can I say? It's an amazing feeling. We've struggled all year to get the bike working how I want it but in the wet I'm able to ride around the problems and finally after the crash at Le Mans earlier in the year we got another opportunity to fight for the win today. I almost went down a few times but made it to the end and it just feels fantastic. I want to thank all the guys in the team, especially my crew chief Fausto, all the sponsors and above all my family.”
Fausto Gresini “I am really happy with Gino's podium today, it's just a shame the red flag came out when it did otherwise he could have been on the top step but this is racing and it's a great result anyway. It was a great race although I could hardly watch it because I was so nervous! Well done Gino. Now I'd love to see him show his potential in dry conditions and finally get to grips with this bike.”
“FEEM” CRAHES AFTER JUST THREE LAPS
Ratthapark Wilairot's Malaysian Grand Prix essentially lasted just three laps today after a crash saw him drop out of the battle for points on a soaking wet Sepang circuit. It is another disappointing finish to an otherwise promising weekend for the Thai rider, who managed to cross the line in 22nd place – a position well below his expectations before the race.
Ratthapark Wilairot (22nd) “There is not much I can say. I was hoping for a good race today but it was basically over after three laps when I crashed. I came back on track in last place and there wasn't much I could do from there. I am not happy and I am sorry to the team. ”
Fausto Gresini “Feem had a chance to score points today but in the end it has slipped through his fingers due to an untimely crash. There always seems to be something that prevents him from picking up the result he is capable of and what we expect from him but I still have confidence in his ability.”
Brave Smith battles to eighth in Malaysian monsoon
Bradley Smith collected a hard earned eighth place at the Sepang International Circuit this afternoon after the Tech 3 Racing Team rider battled through the pain barrier to master treacherous conditions in a rain-hit Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix.
Torrential rain that fell shortly after the earlier Moto3 encounter delayed the start of the 19-lap race by more than 30 minutes, but Smith's wet weather riding skills quickly came to the fore when the action did get underway.
The British rider surged into the lead but he was unab le to maintain the fast pace at the front after encountering rear grip issues in improving conditions.
With two broken toes on his left foot causing him considerable discomfort when changing gear, Smith settled into a fast and consistent rhythm that kept him comfortably inside the top 10 throughout.
Monsoon conditions then engulfed the Sepang International Circuit shortly after the halfway stage, with visibility the main issue as the rain battered the long and technical Malaysia venue.
Rather than take unnecessary risks as conditions deteriorated, Smith adopted a sensible and calm approach to bring his Mistral 610 machine home in eighth to keep himself firmly in the hunt for sixth place in the overall World Championship standings.
Today's race ended in bitter disappointment for Xavier Simeon. Eager to make up places in the early stages to put himself in contention for a second successive points-scoring finish, the Belgian rider made a flying start and forced his way into the top 15 in the first few corners.
A collision with French rider Johann Zarco at Turn 6 ended his race in premature fashion, though luckily he escaped injury in the incident and will be looking to bounce back strongly with a challenge for the points in the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island next Sunday.
Bradley Smith 8th – 104 points:
“The weather conditions worked against us today and it was a little bit disappointing because after a weekend where we were always competitive in the dry it would have been fantastic to have a dry race. I was second i n the warm-up and in the dry I was very confident of battling for the top three. I attacked right from the beginning as I really wanted to be in front and it was brilliant to lead a race. It might have only been for a short time but it is still a big boost for me and the Tech 3 Racing Team. But I felt from the first lap that we were struggling a bit with rear grip, so I just concentrated on being as fast and smooth as I possibly could without taking too many chances. My left foot wasn't too bad once the adrenaline kicked in and to be honest I hardly noticed it, but the last thing I needed was a crash. I was in a consistent rhythm when the track was drying but then it started raining again and I was just taking calculated risks and not pushing too hard. Eighth is a decent result and good for the Championship and hopefully we can be strong again in Phillip Island.”
Xavier Simeon DNF – 19 points:
“I made a very good start and made up some places by being strong in the first corner. I was already inside the points when Zarco made a small mistake at Turn 6. I had to brake at an angle and unfortunately we crashed out together. It's a real pity because even if the qualifying was not the best, the Mistral 610 was really good this weekend and in the warm-up I was fast again, so sure I could have done a strong race, especially in those tricky conditions where I am normally very fast. Now we have try our maximum again in Australia.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“Once again the Moto2 race provided some incredibly exciting action and it was fantastic to see the local wild card putting in such a strong performance. After Khairuddin's brilliant ride in the Moto3 race, I think the Malaysian fans were in dreamland and it is great to see motorcycle racing being well supported here. We had a great start when Bradley attacked from the off and took the lead and after a difficult weekend he kept his composure in very tricky conditions to get a well deserved eighth. We could see with the number of crashes how easy it was to mistake, but Bradley got the balance just right between pushing hard and being aggressive and not taking so many risks. The last thing he needed was to crash and hurt his foot again and his result keeps him right in the fight for sixth in the Championship. It is a shame that Xavier was involved in an incident on the first lap because he made a terrific start and was already in the points. He was relishing the fight in treacherous conditions but unfortunately he was caught up in an incident with Zarco and crashed. It is a pity because I've no doubt it would have been a stro ng race for him.”
BRADL OUT OF LUCK IN A DRAMATIC WET SEPANG RACE
Sepang, 21st October: this morning the temperatures were the hottest they have been so far at Sepang track for the warm up session but the sunny skies suddenly changed to a typical rainstom with the premier class riders involved in a hugely dramatic and soaking wet Malaysian Grand Prix which was red-flagged with 7 laps to go.
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl had a good start from the third row running with a good rhythm in the wet but the conditions deteriorated lap by lap and the German rookie suffered a crash out of sixth place putting a premature end to his race.
Stefan: “First of all we must check the data to understand what happened. I took a very good start from the 8th place but it was pretty tough out there because of the wet and slippery surface. But I could lap with a good pace and constant speed but after some laps I had to change the map because we had too much engine break. Since that moment something changed and the engine was pushing me in the corner entries and I did not know what was going on. After that I was back to the standard engine brake but it was too much in those difficult conditions and started to be slower. In the heavy rain I was more careful but suddenly when I lost the rear and crashed out. I do not think it was completely my fault and I feel sorry for me and the Team”.
Niklas Ajo fights himself ninth in Malaysia despite terrible pains
Niklas Ajo didn´t let the fracture in his left metatarsus to bother him too much on hot Sepang circuit in season´s 15th Moto3 GP.
Ajo made a fantastic start from 16th place with his black KTM-bike and immediately improved his position by six. 18-year-old Finn crossed the finish line ninth. The result was his second best of the season, which includes still two more GPs.
“Good fight and good result”, Ajo says, “Of course I am bit annoyed that I crashed and hurt my foot on Saturday because if I was in perfect condition I would have had possibilities for better results. The feeling for riding was so good.”
Ajo´s foot was anesthetized for the race although the last laps on 5,5 kilometres long track were really painful.
“I needed to work hard with my left foot and it started to be really painful around half way of the race. So also in that sense the last ten laps were really demanding. But I decided to fight and get to the finish line no matter what.
Ajo had a tough fight in a big group in which everyone tried to be in top ten.
“We were really battling hard with each others and the front group managed to escape from us. I tried to get away from this big group but it didn´t work out on this track”, Ajo refers to the circuit which includes only two long straights.
The hectic autumn period of MotoGP-series ends next Sunday in Australia. The third consecutive GP weekend is held on a fast but often windy Phillip Island circuit.
“I will just try to relax and heal my foot during the next few days. It can´t get any worse when we head to Australia”, Ajo estimates.
Ajo Motorsport´s German KTM rider Sandro Cortese secured the historical Moto3 championship by winning in Malaysia. The victory was Cortese´s fourth of the season.
The Finnish team lead by Aki Ajo took a double victory from the race as the pole man Zulfahmi Khairuddin reached the podium for the first time in his career after crossing the finish line in front of his home crowd.28 thousandth of seconds after Cortese.
“The championship was won by exactly the right man. Sandro is having a great and consistent season. Pretty much a perfect performance including this victory from Sepang”, Ajo praised the world champion.
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia leaves Sepang with no points
Tonucci and Fenati fought throughout the race but never became close to the front, closing in 17th and 20th position respectively.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) started from 13th position and tried to close the gap early on, to no avail. He fought in the second group, showing a good pace and some bold moves, but a hard maneuver by Martin toward the end almost made him crash and left him stuck in the middle of the pack. As he was fighting against ten other riders, he was not able to score points.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) also faced a tough race. Starting in 17th position, he rode well and stayed close to his teammate early on but lost the seat after a contact and had to fight to stabilize himself in corners, losing positions toward the end.
The pair paid a hard price for a difficult qualifying session and a bike setup that was not completely solved. They will get another chance next week in Australia.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 17th, + 31"790
"It was a tough race. I did all I could, but in the final fight I pulled the shortest straw. I could have scored points and the feeling on the bike was not so bad. I'll try to recover in Australia, a track that I enjoy very much."
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 20th, + 45"824
"We were not lucky today. I lost the seat after a few laps as I touched with another rider, and had to adapt my riding style. Together with our setup problems, I couldn't do much more even if both me and the team pushed very hard. I don't know Phillip Island, but it seems a fascinating track and I hope to be able to adapt myself quickly."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"It's been a rough Sunday for all our riders. That said, we are aware that days like this help young riders grow as much as the good ones. The riders have to take the positives out of the problems they had, and use them as they mature personally and professionally. We'll turn the page in Australia."
Kallio storms through to seventh in Malaysian monsoon
Sepang, Malaysia - 21 October 2012: Mika Kallio stormed through the field not once but twice today, to take a hard fought seventh place finish in a Moto2 race that saw the worst of the Malaysian weather. Scott Redding started strongly, but faded after struggling for rear grip and eventually finished 12th.
Kallio got a flying start from the fifth row of the grid, making up places in the braking area for the tight right-hand turn one. The 29-year-old Finn got pushed wide in the corner, but continued to pick up places during the first half of the lap. Unfortunately for Kallio he ended up the innocent victim in a crash between Xavier Simeon and Johann Zarco, whose sliding bikes pushed Kallio off track.
The Marc VDS rider rejoined the race in 29th position, but immediately started his charge back through the field. Picking off riders on every lap, Kallio had fought his way through in seventh position when the race was red flagged due to heavy rain.
Redding took advantage of starting from second position on the grid, his best qualifying performance this season, to run with the leading group during the early stages of the race. The 19-year-old Briton has struggled this weekend with a lack of rear grip in wet conditions, and the problem returned with a vengeance in the race.
The Marc VDS rider found himself unable to match the pace of the front-runners in the worsening conditions, but managed to maintain a good rhythm and defend 12th place, and the championship points that went with it, to the chequered flag.
The Marc VDS Racing Team now head straight for Australia, to contest the penultimate round of the 2012 FIM Moto2 World Championship at Phillip Island, which takes place next weekend.
Mika Kallio #36: 7th Position
"My start was good and I made up places in the braking area for turn one, but then I got hit by a bike on the inside and pushed out wide. I managed to make up a few more places in the first half of the lap, but then Simeon and Zarco crashed on my inside and both their bikes hit me. I managed to stay on, just, but had to run off track and rejoined in 29th place. I knew I had good pace in the rain, so I just got my head down and picked off riders as I came across them. It was difficult to maintain a good rhythm, as there were a lot of much slow riders to contend with early on, but I'd managed to fight my way back to seventh when the race was red flagged. It's a bit disappointing, as I could have been up there at the front if I hadn't been forced off track on the opening lap."
Scott Redding #45: 12th Position
"I found myself up at the front from the start, but only because everyone else was really steady from the off. I was struggling almost immediately for rear grip on corner entry, every time I closed the throttle to turn in the rear tried to come round on me. In the end I found the limit and tried to stay inside it but it wasn't easy, just staying on the bike was difficult enough today. I've closed a little on Tom Lüthi in the championship, but after such a promising showing in the dry here in Malaysia, today's wet race was something of a disappointment."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Mika has struggled to find a workable dry set-up this weekend, mainly due to time lost to mechanical issues. However, it was immediately obvious today that he had a wet set-up he was confident with and he was charging from the start. He stormed his way through the field from 29th to seventh and, without the off-track excursion as a result of the crash between Zarco and Simeon on the opening lap, I'm confident he'd have been on for a podium finish today. We knew Scott would struggle in the wet, as the rear grip on turn in has been an issue here since day one. We did manage to improve the bike for the race, but the problem was still there. He did a good job to bring it home in the points, closing the gap on Tom Lüthi and fourth place in the championship in the process."
Extraordinary victory by Alex De Angelis at Sepang
Alex De Angelis provides NGM Mobile Forward Racing team with their second victory in Moto2 (the first was by Jules Cluzel at Le Mans in 2010) after a magnificent performance at the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix from Sepang.
The constant weather changes have put the rider from San Marino to the test, having to fight for the victory with expert riders in the rain like West and Rea before he was proclaimed victor during the 15th lap just before the red flag. Great race also for Yuki Takahashi who end at less than one tenth from the fifteenth position and from scoring the first point yet this season in the championship.
Alex de Angelis – 1st
A fantastic race and perfect strategy. We started off really well from the first corner with the tires that I had already used in the morning. I decided to take control of the race from the very beginning. The bike felt perfect, I braked how and where I wanted, I was able to ride in a very comfortable way. When it started to rain heavily I didn’t want to risk it and the wise decision made by the race direction made to red flag the race favored me.”
Yuki Takahashi – 16th
“The start was a little bit difficult to have a good pace and with the track getting dry in the first few laps it became more complicated because the rear was too soft but at he end of the race we had heavy rain and our setting was good for the rain and then I was able to get a good pace. In the last lap I was in thirteenth position and when they red flagged the race they considered the last lap in which I was sixteenth. I could have gotten some points.”
Pietro Caprara Moto2 Technical Director
“Fantastic race by Alex De Angelis who has shown great mastery and tactical intelligence during a very complicated race. There are not many words to describe the fact that he raced like the champion he is, eh has shown his true value. Difficult race for Yuki on the other hand, he has improved his feeling with the bike in the rain. Had the race not been red flagged he might have gotten his first points today at Sepang.”
Giovanni Cuzari – Team Owner /CEO
“I would like to thank Alex for this victory and the team for their hard work, our sponsors for their support but a very special thank you to Marco Simoncelli, who I believe has watched over us today. I would like to dedicate this victory to him. Marco, you will always be in our hearts.”
Khairuddin second in front of his home crowd at Sepang
AirAsia-SIC-Ajo Team´s Zulfahmi Khairuddin made his dream come true when he took the first podium position of his career in front of his home crowd at Sepang circuit.
Khairuddin made a great start with his red-white KTM bike from pole for the season´s third last Moto3 GP and had chances for the victory still on the last lap until Sandro Cortese, who secured his championship, passed him.
Khairuddin´s first victory was really close as Cortese crossed the finish line only 28 thousandth of seconds before him. Fahmi wasn´t upset about losing the victory and there wasn´t really reason to as he rode stunningly during the whole weekend on his home circuit.
“I am really glad!”, Khairuddin rejoices, “I knew that my pace is good enough to fight for the victory. In the end I had a good battle with Sandro. But I decided to settle for the second place as there is always a risk that one will crash in situations like this.”
“Now it´s time to enjoy this second position. I thank my team and all those who have supported me for a long and also of course my fans.”
Khairuddin has worked determinedly and he has grown during two years from a national race rider to a successful international rider in a guidance of team leader Aki Ajo.
“Khairuddin had a great timing to take his first podium. The tickets to Sepang were sold out and we know the reason. Fahmi is a true hero for Malaysian people. He is a rider who wins many races in the future”, Ajo convinces.
The hectic autumn season of MotoGP-series continues already next weekend at Phillip Island circuit in Australia.
Khairuddin, who has done a Malaysian Road Racing history many times during the season, is after 15 GPs seventh in championship standing with 112 points.