Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the races on Sunday at Phillip Island:
Cortese takes fifth Moto3 GP victory in Phillip Island; KTM’s Sissis finishes third
Moto3 World Champion Sandro Cortese of Germany rode another masterly race on Sunday for his fifth win of the inaugural season in the new class of MotoGP in an incident filled race that saw his young Australian Red Bull KTM Ajo factory teammate Arthur Sissis on the podium in third behind Portugal’s Miguel Oliviera.
Cortese started on pole on the magnificent sweeping circuit at Phillip Island and took the lead in the third lap while all around him was unraveling. The board went out to indicate a number of riders had jump started and were facing a ride through penalty. Among those whose number came up on the yellow drive through board were Jonas Folger and Luis Salom on the two Kalex-KTMs, effectively removing them from contention in the 23-lap race.
Cortese’s teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin was the early leader in the opening laps and looked like he was going to score another strong result after his first podium last week in Sepang. Then the Malaysian rider dropped down the order after the reshuffle that followed the drive through penalty and eventually exited the race. Meanwhile both Sissis and teammate Niklas Ajo were also up with the podium contenders and while the Australian managed to stick with the following pack, his Finnish teammate Ajo had several crashes and eventually had to retire.
Six laps into the race, Cortese and Miguel Oliviera made the break and began to amass a significant advantage while the dogfight for third emerged as the main issue of the event. Maverick Vinales, the Spanish rider who last week had not raced after a dispute with his team was back and racing for second in the championship. His race lasted until he crashed in Siberia corner with eight laps to go.
Then with a handful of laps to go, Oliviera made one attempt to break away from Cortese but the German, who has shown infinite tactical skill this season followed in his slipstream for several laps then slipped by and was not tackled again. Behind the two leaders, the battle for third was raging with Sissis going hard on the brakes into the corner and oscillating between third and fifth place. Coming into the home stretch his British teammate Danny Kent was also in the mix for podium third but Sissis, a Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup graduate, positioned himself perfectly and to the delight of the home crowd, made third place stick. It was his best career performance in his first season in the senior ranks.
The result was another triumph for the KTM Moto3 GP machine, especially developed by the Austrian manufacturer for this new series and which has been in the forefront of the competition throughout the season, KTM now leads the manufacturer's standings by 26 points from FTR Honda with Kalex-KTM in third
Marc Márquez, Moto2 World Champion
Repsol rider claims title in Australia, achieving his second World Championship after the 2010 125cc crown.
Marc Márquez was today crowned 2012 Moto2 World Champion at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, with one race remaining before the end of the season. The Spaniard has had a brilliant campaign since the season’s start back in April, without a full preseason behind him. With this triumph, he has reached his goal set at the start of the year: “I’m asking for little: Just to improve on my World Championship placing by one position.”
At 19 years of age, Marc Márquez continues to break records and has become the rider with the most wins in the history of the cylinder class. After five years with Repsol in the World Championship, including a 125cc title in 2010, Márquez has become the rider with the most victories before the age of 20.
They say all roads lead to Rome, but in some people’s case, when they have the passion for motorbikes printed in their genes, all roads lead to the Motorcycling World Championship. Marc Márquez landed in the Continental Circus for the first time when he was barely 15. A real challenge, however you look at it. Nevertheless, it seems that it could not have been any other way, seeing that his father is one of the thousandths of fans that year after year travel on motorbike to the Jerez Grand Prix. It is no wonder that at four Marc asked for a bike on Christmas and at thirteen he had already been Catalan Champion three times (in motocross and road racing).
On February 1993, Czechoslovakia disappeared after 74 years and actress Audrey Hepburn had passed away some days before. On the 17th of that month, a future champion was born in Lleida. Young Marc has always lived in Cervera, a small town near the capital of the province where he lives with his parents and his brother Alex. Three years younger, his brother has followed in his steps and in 2012 won Spanish Championship (CEV).
Oliveira shines in Australia
Portuguese rider takes second in race in which Álex Rins comes close to a podium finish. Álex Márquez takes ninth and Viñales crashes when fighting for third.
It was a great weekend for Miguel Oliveira at the Grand Prix of Australia, which he finished with a superb second place, after battling for victory with Sandro Cortese —who won his fifth race of the season. Fighting in the second group for the final podium spot, a combative Álex Rins was just 53 thousandths of a second off third place. Also commendable was the race made by Álex Marquez, who moved up ten places from row seven to finish in the top ten. The disappointment in the race fell to Maverick Viñales, who crashed whilst running third and leading the second group.
Despite starring not getting a good start and losing a couple of positions off the line, Miguel Oliveira quickly adapted at Phillip Island. Immersed in the leading group, the Repsol rider progressed to a stick to the rear wheel of Sandro Cortese. Álex Rins and Maverick Viñales also had excellent first laps.
The group numbered nine riders until, taking advantage of penalties given to Salom and Folger for jumping the start, Cortese forced up the pace, taking Oliveira with him and leaving behind seven other riders battling for the third step of the podium. On the tail of of Cortese, Oliveira sought out his opportunity with six laps to go, taking the lead, but a lap later the German passed him back. The Repsol rider had no option to fight for the win, passing under the checkered flag two seconds behind the German and taking his best result in the World Championship.
Behind them, the fight for the podium was relentless, with Viñales until nine laps remained and he crashed when trying to escape the group. Rins took over the charge, fighting Sissis, Kent and Fenati —with whom he is contesting the rookie of the year title. In the end, Sissis was first of the group, 53 thousandths of a second ahead of Rins. Behind this pack, a great performance by Álex Marquez from nineteenth saw him move up ten places to cross the finish line in ninth position.
"It was a bad crash, considering that we had the runner-up spot at stake. I found it hard to overtake today and anything can happen when you are at the limit. We have to fight to go on, as the place in the championship is still 10 points away and we can still get it at Valencia."
2nd at 2.108 sec.
"It was a tough race in which we fought hard. In the warmup I suffered two crashes that worried me, but in the race, riding behind Sandro [Cortese], I felt very comfortable. I managed to keep up and at the end when he overtook me, I focused on keeping second place. I am very happy with this podium. It has been a season of ups and downs, but in the last few races I have been improving gradually and today we confirmed this improvement. I am very happy for the team because we worked hard. With this podium, we can go to Valencia relaxed and aim to have fun."
4th at 5.084 sec.
"I'm very happy, because neither I nor the team expected this fourth in my first race at Phillip Island. We started far behind, but I managed to put myself in the front group on the early laps, maintaining a good fight with Sissis, Kent and Fenati. I watched what Fenati was doing quite a lot. I repeatedly tried to pass on the last lap, but I managed to keep my position. When I came in fifth into the final straight, I did not expect to beat Kent on the KTM, but I did and I'm very satisfied."
9th at 30.783 sec.
"It was a good race. We started without any rhythm and without a good setup, but in the warm up we made some changes that worked well and I knew I could grow in strength in the race. It is true that we benefited from some riders jumping the start, but we still got a deserved ninth place despite how I felt on the bike this time. Now we go to Valencia, a track I know and I where know that we can do very well, so now I'll be very motivated."
JONAS FOLGER JUST MISSES OUT ON TOP TEN DESPITE PENALTY
MAPFRE Aspar rider forced to take ride through after jumping start, returning to the track in 23rd and finishing 11th. Luca Amato suffers mechanical problem when enjoying best race to date
At 1pm local time at Phillip Island, the Moto3 riders took to the track to try and cap off a great weekend in the Australian GP. What followed was a strange race, in which Khairrudin was surprisingly dominant early on, ahead of a twelve-rider pack that refused to break up. A ride through penalty given to Folger, Moncayo, Salom and Miller on lap four took them out of the equation, but there were crashes, breakdowns and run offs before the end. Cortese escaped from Oliveira with two laps to go, winning from the Portuguese and local rider Sissis.
Sometimes the excitement of racing makes riders geta head of themselves, and that happened to Jonas Folger today. Second on the grid and a main candidate for the win at Phillip Island after a stellar weekend, the MAPFRE Aspar rider jumped the start in what will serve as a lesson for the future. Hit with a ride through penalty for his minimal movement, Folger had to come in a little way into the contest and rejoined the race in 23rd. He focused on moving up the order and eventually placed eleventh after a great fightback.
Luca Amato was also out of luck. The rookie for the team started from 28th and worked his way up the field, until he suffered an engine problem on lap eight when riding in sixteenth.
11th Jonas Folger: "I made a small mistake off the start. I let off the clutch without realizing, but stopped the bike right away so that I didn't go past the line. I didn't know if I had incurred a penalty or not when the race started. I tried to push hard early on, and soon I saw my pit board saying that I had to take a ride through. I knew what it was for, but it was frustrating as I knew I could have been in the front group easily. We had configured the bike with riding as part of a group in mind, with all the slipstreaming that it entails, so later on my own it was tough on the straights. I pushed hard anyway and our times were similar to those of the leaders. I've never made that mistake before on the start, so today will be a lesson to not do it again."
Luca Amato (DNF): "The warmup this morning went very well. I managed to ride a second faster than in qualifying. This morning we found a good setting, which allowed me to grow in confidence. I felt great, so finally I could enjoy riding. I was far back but was able to overtake plenty of riders. Unfortunately I had an engine issue and had to retire. In any case, looking on the positive side, I found a way to enjoy riding the bike and can eagerly await the next round."
IANNONE FORCED TO RETIRE BECAUSE OF A TECHNICAL PROBLEM AT PHILLIP ISLAND, ANDREOZZI ENDS TWENTY-THIRD
Today the middle class of the World Championship got out on track at Phillip Island for the sixteenth round of the 2012 season.
Iannone confirmed to be in good shape and stayed with the fastest riders in today’s warm up, checking some alternative options for the Speed Up set-up and setting his personal best time of 1'34.585. The rider from Abruzzo started the race from the third row of the grid and, once the initial phases were completed, he came back quickly and, from the lower part of the top 10, he closed the gap with the leading group. A technical problem on the fifth lap forced Andrea to stop and retire, so he had to finish the Grand Prix without scoring any point. Iannone still holds 188 points, and he’s in third position in the General Classification of 2012.
In the warm up of this morning Andreozzi and his crew tried to improve the rhythm for the race and to finalize some choices to help the Italian in working his way through the Australian track. Starting from the ninth row, Alessandro went through a solitary race, managing to set better lap times than the ones in the qualifying practice and crossing the finishing line in twenty-third position.
Andrea Iannone #29 - retired
“Since the warm up we managed to improve and after few laps in the race we were very fast, we had prepared a good setting for our Speed Up and we could have done well. Redding and Marquez weren’t too far and the gap was quite small, but unfortunately a technical problem forced us to retire. The only good thing is that we made some steps forward during this weekend, now we can only wait for Valencia and there we’ll do our best again, till the last corner.”
Alessandro Andreozzi #22 - 23rd
“Today’s race wasn’t that bad. I didn’t really start off in a strong way and I lost some time in the initial phases, but then I managed to put in a quite consistent pace and I overtook the last group. I tried to get closer to the riders that were ahead of me, but eventually I was most of the time on my own. I would have preferred to be with some other riders and fight a little, but in any case today we could improve the lap times, if we compare them to the qualifying session, and that’s a good sign.”
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS ROUND OFF TOUGH WEEKEND
Jordi Torres and Nico Terol manage to mount comebacks, in eleventh and eighteenth, respectively
At 14:20, local time (GMT+11) at Phillip Island, the Australian GP kicked off for the Moto2 riders. It followed the script of the practice sessions, as Nakagami led the opening lap, followed by Márquez and Espargaró. The latter moved ahead and broke free for the win, with a battle behind involving Redding in the mix. Márquez protected his title chances and held back in the fight, coming in third behind surprise home podium finisher Anthony West and clinching the Moto2 World Championship. The final round of the 2012 series takes place in two weeks time, at Valencia.
MAPFRE Aspar riders Jordi Torres and Nico Terol knew that there are no gifts in Moto2. The weekend had been tough, chasing a setting that was never found and starting from 20th and 26th, respectively. Neither rider lost focus and both tried to give their best showing. The start saw both Jordi and Nico drop positions, but from the second lap onwards both moved up the order through the 1'35 pace that they were setting. Torres took a creditable eleventh, his second best result since rejoining the MAPFRE Aspar Team, whilst Terol was eighteenth.
11th Jordi Torres: "Today we started from rather far back, so we knew that we had to fight back. On Friday we lost our way a little, but on Saturday we got back on course and were able to work a lot on our pace. We didn't have any particularly fast lap, but our pace was positive. It is basically that which helped us today, looking ahead all the time. I dropped very far back at the start but kept calm. I rode out the craziness of the start to concentrate on my own pace. The bike worked perfectly. In this race I learnt that I have to push harder when braking in order to overtake. I enjoyed this one, as I felt comfortable all race."
18th Nico Terol: "This weekend atPhillip Islandhas beenvery tough, probably the toughestof the season, but I hope to learna lot from it. Intoday's raceI had troublepicking up the paceon the early laps and with a full tank I could notbrake hard. I triedpushingbutI went offtrack.Fortunately I was ableto return, then rode in the 1'35sfor mostof the race. I'll focus on the positive, which is that after sufferingallweekend, I finally managed tofinda goodpace. Wemust learn tobreak freebetteron the early laps. The nextrace is at home, where I have very good memoriesfrom last season. Thatwill be agreatmotivationto finish thejob we are developingthis season."
Márquez completes the job in Moto2
Repsol rider seals second world title with podium at Australian Grand Prix.
Marc Márquez today clinched a second World Championship, this time in the Moto2 class. It came with third place in the Australian GP —a podium which mathematically ensured that he would become Moto2 titlist and add to his 2010 125cc honour. With 8 wins and a further 5 podiums from 16 races, Márquez has dominated in 2012 en route to becoming the youngest World Champion in the intermediate class.
Starting from the front row, Márquez had a fantastic start to take the holeshot. Surprised by Nakagami, he dropped into second for a couple of corners before retaking the lead. One lap later, Pol Espargaró got past him and Marc had a wobble, taken advantage of by his rival to pull ahead.
Overtaken by Redding on lap six, Márquez held back in third for practically the entire race. Motivated home rider Anthony West latched on and managed to overtake both of the two, as Márquez stuck in the slipstream for two laps and finally passed Redding on the last corner to take the podium finish.
With the title secured, Márquez will celebrate at the Valencia GP in two weeks time, signing off in the Moto2 class in front of his home fans.
3rd at 16.837 sec.
"It's an incredible feeling, a dream. When you cross the finish line it is a great moment, but it happens very fast. The best bit comes with the celebration with the team. It is very satisfying to win the title. At this time I remember the hard times this year, the injuries, the support of my family and team. I cannot help but get emotional.
It was a very difficult title victory, because Pol [Espargaró] has not made it at all easy for me and deserves my congratulations for the great season he's had. After the serious injury I suffered a year ago, which could taken me away from racing forever, the most important thing is that I was able to get back riding. This season the team formed a magnificent group. I have never felt so comfortable in a team before. We have full confidence in one another."
MotoGP Moto3 - Fifth and seventh place for Team Italia in Phillip Island
After constant improvements, Fenati and Tonucci fought for the podium until the checkered flag.
At his debut on the island, Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) showed his appreciation for the fast track. He controlled the pace early on and came back with great consistency to join the group fighting for third position. After leading it for a couple of laps, he barely missed the podium and closed in sixth position, while Cortese won the race.
After solving the issues encountered during warm-up, Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) also had a positive race. Staying with the front runners, he posted the fastest lap of the race (1'38"447) and fought hard for a step podium until the very end. He finished in seventh position, right behind his teammate.
Team Italia's Honda-FTR machines are first among the constructors today, redeeming Sepang's issues and giving hope to the riders to do well in the season finale in Valencia.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 6th, + 5"109
"What a fight against Kent, Sissis, Rins and Tonucci. We had fun, being aggressive and fair at the same time. I did all I could. The bike was perfect, and it was fun to ride. Now we head to Valencia, a track where I rode during some tests. I like it, and I want to seize the rookie of the year award."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 7th, + 5"374
"I got off a great start and fought at the front. I ran wide after a pass with Sissis and lost some ground. Then climbed back, and tried everything possible in the last few laps. I want to give a podium another try in Valencia."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"We are a team, it's a pleasure to live the racing life all together. We head back from a month on the road with great satisfaction. Our working method is refined, and yields good results. We are a solid group while facing the difficulties. In Valencia, we want to win the Rookies Cup and place both riders in the Top 5."
Takahashi almost in the points at Philip Island
For the third time this season in the Moto2 Championship Yuki Takahashi finishes the race in sixteenth position, leaving him out of the top15 and from taking home his first points in this fluctuating 2012 season.
With Alex De Angelis out for this race due to yesterday’s crash, the Japanese rider was the only NGM Mobile Froward Racing Moto2 rider to fight for the Team this weekend. Unfortunately the qualifying position obtained by the Japanese rider yesterday conditioned his race today, in which he managed to gain 12 positions.
Yuki Takahashi – 16th
“During the race I had a good pace and a good setting but the problem was that on Saturday I had a series of problems that made me qualify at the back of the grid. The setting we used today was the one we had in Malaysia and it seems to be the right base for this bike, I will probably start off at Valencia with this setting. This track is not one of my favourite but I could have been in the point today. We are now going to Valencia and it is a track that I enjoy a lot, that makes me hopeful for the next race.”
Pietro Caprara – Moto2 Technical Director
“Yet again Yuki has finished the race really close to the points. He has made a big step today and you can see it in his lap times, he was a second faster today during the race than yesterday during qualifying. His race pace was good, it is a pity that he wasn’t able to be in the Top15.”
Frustrating fourth for Redding at Phillip Island
Phillip Island, Australia - 28 October 2012: Scott Redding took a fourth place finish in today's Australian Moto2 Grand Prix, but the Marc VDS rider was disappointed to miss out on a podium finish after running in second until the very final lap. Mika Kallio looked all set to claim a top five finish until he crashed out of the race on the penultimate lap after being hit by Simone Corsi.
Redding took advantage of his sixth front row of the season to get away with the leading group, but had no answer to the ultra-fast laps that eventual race winner, Pol Espargaro, put in to immediately pull a gap at the front. The 19-year-old Briton quickly got the better of Marc Marquez to take second place, a position he held until the final lap.
Anthony West managed to force his way past Marquez after bridging the gap to the battle for second place, before making a similar move on Redding to demote the Marc VDS rider to third, which quickly became fourth as Marquez, pushed his way through on the final lap. The Spaniard, who was crowned the 2012 Moto2 World Champion this afternoon, pulled such a big gap with the pass that Redding was unable to mount a challenge on the final lap and was forced to settle for fourth place at the chequered flag.
Starting from the fifth row of the grid, Kallio battled his way through the field to eventually join the battle for fifth position, but the 29-year-old Finn's race ended in frustration when he was hit by Simone Corsi and crashed out on the penultimate lap.
The Marc VDS Racing Team now return to Europe, where they will contest the final round of the Moto2 World Championship at Valencia, which takes place from 9th - 11th November.
Scott Redding #45: 4th Position
"I'm disappointed to have finished off the podium today, because it was there for the taking. I didn't get the best of starts, but forced my way through on the opening lap only to be held up a little by Zarco as Espargaro disappeared off into the distance. I knew I had the measure of Marquez, so put in a pass quite early, before settling down and trying to conserve the tyres. I could see Westy was catching us, but I was already on the limit and couldn't defend the position. I thought I could hold on to third, but then Marquez came past like he had another gear and he was gone before I could even think about putting in a pass on him. Fourth is not what I was looking for here, but at least it's moved me closer to Lüthi and Iannone in the championship."
Mika Kallio #36: DNF
"It's been a difficult weekend, but I thought I could at least salvage it with a decent result today. I got away well from the start and started picking up places immediately, eventually working my way up to the battle for fifth place between Aegerter and Zarco. I was pretty confident I could take fifth before the flag, as I had the pace to pass, but then Corsi ran into me and down I went with less than two laps to go. Obviously, after doing all the hard work to get into the top five, I'm disappointed to lose out so close to the end of the race because of someone else's mistake."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Scott rode a good race today, but was unlucky to get caught out by West and Marquez right at the end and miss out on a podium finish. When West went past him he still looked a safe bet for third, but then Marquez seemed to find another gear and Scott simply had no answer. I know Scott is disappointed, but he rode an almost perfect race and should take heart from that as we head now to the final round at Valencia. Mika struggled in practice and qualifying but, as he's done so often in the past, upped his level in the race. He was looking good for a top five finish, until he was hit by Corsi on the penultimate lap, couldn't hold onto the bike and crashed out. It was a tough way to finish a race in which he'd done so much hard work. Hopefully both riders can finish the season on a high at the final round in Valencia. Congratulations to Marc Marquez on a well deserved championship win today."
Smith and Simeon collect valuable points in Australia
The Tech 3 Racing Team ended a gruelling three-week world tour on a positive note after Bradley Smith and Xavier Simeon claimed hard fought top 15 finishes in sunny but cool conditions in the AirAsia Australian Moto2 Grand Prix this afternoon.
Smith kept himself firmly in the hunt for a top six finish in the final World Championship rankings after he guided his Mistral 610 machine to a determined 12th place at the jaw-dropping Phillip Island track.
In front a packed crowd of over 53,000 fans, the 21-year-old was engaged in an exciting figh t with Jordi Torres that went right down to the wire, the Spaniard fending off Smith's relentless offensive to secure 11th by just 0.045s.
Smith now heads to the final round of the 2012 campaign at the Valencia track in Spain still in with a shout of sixth place in the final Championship standings, with the gap to Mika Kallio in sixth reduced to 11-points.
Simeon delivered an equally determined ride to secure his sixth top 15 finish of the season. The Belgian rider slowly built up his confidence after a tumble in this morning's warm-up session and once he found a confident rhythm he was able to keep the battle between Smith and Torres right in his sights.
With top 15 finishes in two out of the last three races, Simeon is now looking forward to ending his time with the Tech 3 Racing Team with a strong performance in the season's final race in Valencia.
Bradley Smith 12th – 108 points:
“That was a tough race and really hard work to finish in the points today. We have experimented with the set-up of the bike a lot all weekend and while we never really got it to where I was completely comfortable and confident, the bike felt good in the race and the Tech 3 Racing Team did another great job. The main issue was a lack of rear grip and that was our problem all weekend. We've got plenty of data to analyse and work on improving in that area for the last race in Valencia, where I'm determined to finish my time in Moto2 with a strong result. With Kallio not finishing as well I still have a chance to finish sixth in the championship. It will be difficult but it definitely gives us a bit more motivation to take into the last race.&rd quo;
Xavier Simeon 14th – 21 points:
“I made a very good start and I recovered some places but this morning's crash at Turn 10 meant I lost some confidence and I wasn't very strong in that part of the track. I lost a few places and I didn't have the best feeling with the front tyre, so it was difficult to push harder with any confidence. I didn't want to make a mistake and I could easily stay in the group so at one stage I was thinking I might be able to fight with Bradley and Torres. But with about six laps to go I encountered a chatter issue with the front tyre and I had to slow down quite a bit and lost my rhythm. It is a shame because I was looking forward to battling with Bradley and Torres right to the end of the race. At least I scored more points and I'm looking forward to the last round in Valencia to finish with a positive result for the Tech 3 Racing Team.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“It wasn't an easy weekend for the Tech 3 Racing Team, so to head home with both Bradley and Xavier inside the points is a satisfying way to end this long spell in the Championship. The Moto2 grid didn't have the best weather conditions all weekend, so I think we prepared the best we could and Bradley and Xavier got the maximum potential out of the Mistral 610 machine. Bradley's pace in the second half of the race was fast and constant and I think he would have been in the group battling for fourth if he had a little bit more confidence in the beginning. Xavier had a crash this morning that dented his confidence a little bit but he recovered well and it was a pity he wasn't closer to the fight with Bradley and Torres to try and get a few more points. Both of them rode with a lot of determination and they never gave up, so we can go to the final race in Valencia hoping they will be inside the points again, but hopefully much higher up the rankings.”
Niklas Ajo´s fight for podium came to an end in Australia
Niklas Ajo was at his best third in Moto3 class in Australian GP but a mistake put an end to his fantastic ride and he crashed on chilly Phillip Island circuit.
”This bugs me really bad!”, Ajo admits.
“Nevertheless, the race gave me again good experience. The GP of Australia showed that in a good day my pace is fast enough to reach the podium if I just am patient enough not to exceed my limits”, highlights 18-year-old Ajo who just had his 30th GP.
As typical Ajo made a great start from 15th place and improved his position instantly by eight.
“The start and first laps were fairly good.”
The first setback came along when 23 lap´s race had 16 laps left. Ajo rode wide with his KTM bike but managed to get back to the track from the sand without falling. But he dropped from top trio to 11th place.
“Riding in third felt good but I made a mistake when I rode perhaps a bit too fast trying to stay in same pace with Cortese (Sandro) and Oliveira (Miguel) who had escaped from the others. I should have just been patient. The rear part of my bike slid from under me, the bike wobbled and I didn´t manage to keep it on the track anymore. After that the whole situation went a bit messy for me.“
Ajo had only few laps to reach the leading group. He crashed twice and retired from the race in the half way.
“The front part slid from under me and I fell at that stage harmlessly so I was able to continue my race. But when the front part slid second time that was that then. I couldn´t concentrate anymore after those incidents”, Ajo admits.
The penultimate GP of the season was won overwhelmingly by Finnish Team Ajo Motorsport´s German Sandro Cortese who secured the championship to himself a week ago in Malaysia. He took his fifth victory of the season crossing the finish line 2,108 seconds before Oliveira.
The battle for third position was significantly harder. In the end it was Cortese´s teammate Arthur Sissis who took the first podium place of his GP-career in front of his home crowd. Sissis bet Spanish Alex Rins by 53 thousandth of seconds. Finnish team´s British rider Danny Kent crossed the finish line fourth 23 thousandth of seconds after Rins.
The final GP of the season will be after two weeks in Valencia, Spain.
“Valencia has always been a good track for me and my aim is to have a result as good as possible from there. But we´ll see what happens as the track has a new asphalt surface now. But first I will relax a bit after this tough period of three consecutive GP weekends and I will heal myself”, Ajo says referring to the fracture in his left metatarsus.
FEEM MAKES PROGRESS ON RACE DAY
Ratthapark Wilairot didn't quite manage to break into the points positions at Phillip Island today but the Thai rider did make progress to improve on his grid position and finish ninetenth.
Ratthapark Wilairot (19th) “My start wasn't so bad but I had some grip problems in the middle of the race and lost touch with the group. It is a shame because I was hoping to finish in the points here today. Anyway, the important thing is we have made some progress and now I want to finish the season in a good way in Valencia.”
Fausto Gresini “I honestly expected Feem to be fighting for points today but he wasn't able to do it. He is still struggling for confidence in the front of the bike in the second half of the race and this is what prevented him from a top fifteen finish today.”
BACK TO REALITY FOR REA AT PHILLIP ISLAND
After his fantastic first podium in Moto2 at Sepang last weekend it was back to reality for Gino Rea in Australia, the British rider again struggling to find a dry set-up for the Phillip Island circuit.
Gino Rea (21st) “It was a frustrating race because I got a decent start from the line but then lost a few positions in the early corners and even though I felt good on the bike I got stuck behind some slower riders. After that we had some problems with the brakes fading and that meant I couldn't get into the corners as I wanted. It is tough because we have found a good base setting with the data from the race but we need to find this on a Friday. Now it's too late but it is a question of time on the bike. Hopefully we can make better progress at Valencia.”
Fausto Gresini “Unfortunately once again Gino was unable to find a good setting that gave him any confidence in dry conditions here. Unfortunately our visit to Australia has buried the memories of the podium last weekend!”
Khairuddin´s top place changed to retirement
Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who took the first podium position of his GP-career a week ago in front of his home crowd ended up to retire in season´s penultimate GP at chilly Phillip Island circuit in Australia.
After a strong beginning AirAsia-SIC-Ajo Team´s KTM-rider´s bike had a problem in gearbox. Khairuddin crashed four laps before the finish line when his rear tyre got locked.
“It´s a shame but you just can´t do anything for these things. This is part of the racing”, Khairuddin says.
“When I noticed there was a problem I slowed my pace a bit so in that sense the crash was harmless.”
Despite the disappointment Khairuddin confirmed in Australia that he definitely is one of the top riders of the class.
Khairuddin took fifth position from the qualifying and used that in a great way when he made his way immediately to the front.
“The start was really good but this time I just couldn’t compete in the leading group later on”, admits Khairuddin, who was ninth eight laps before the finish line.
The winner of the Australian GP was Sandro Cortese, who secured the championship to himself a week ago in Malaysia. He now crossed the finish line 2,108 seconds before Portuguese Miguel Oliveira. The victory was already season´s fifth for Cortese who started from the pole.
The traditional season finale will be held 11th of November at Valencia´s Ricardo Tormo-circuit in Spain.
Title joy for Marc Márquez and Suter Racing Technology – Miguel Oliveira fantastic second in Moto3 race
With a hard-fought third place at the Australian Grand Prix, Suter MMX2 rider Marc Márquez clinched this year’s Moto2 world championship. Manufacturer Suter Racing Technology celebrated with his Team Catalunya Caixa Repsol, because the success of Spain’s young super-talent awarded Suter with the third title in the constructor’s championship in a row.
Márquez only needed two points to complete his task, but nevertheless pushed throughout the race for a top result. For most of the distance, he was in third position behind his Spanish rival Pol Espargaró and Briton Scott Redding. When local hero Anthony West swept past three laps from the end und pushed him back to fourth, Márquez reacted once again. Since he wanted to celebrate his title with champagne on the podium, Márquez squeezed past Redding on the final lap and made sure of third place.
“A dream has come true”, cheered Márquez who was stopped on the lap of honour by his smaller brother Alex to receive the Spanish flag and to put on a world champion T-shirt. “Pol Espargaró was a tough rival and made this title fight hard for me, he deserves my congratulations to the great season he did. The most important thing for me was to continue racing, because my injury at the end of last year could have put an end to my career. I had a fantastic season with a fantastic group of people. I never felt so comfortable in a team before!”
“Marc is an outstanding talent and fulfilled even the highest expectations that we all set in him. Congratulations to him and his team that was always spot on with the set-up of our bike”, said Eskil Suter, CEO of Suter Racing Technology.
“It was a fantastic race. I knew that Marc was going to attack on the final lap. Fourth place would have been more than enough to clinch the title, but he wanted to be on the podium to celebrate in style. That’s what Marc is like – simply world class”, said Andy Leuthe, head of marketing and sales at Suter Racing Technology. “In three years of Moto2 racing, we got three constructor’s titles but just missed out on the first two rider’s championships when Julian Simón finished second in 2010 and Márquez finished second in 2011. To be able to celebrate this year’s rider’s championship as well rounds things off for us!”
The only grain of salt on a perfect day was the bad luck of Tom Luthi. The Swiss Suter MMX2 rider had also aimed at a podium finish and was third after one lap, but then ran into severe rear tyre trouble and dropped back dramatically before crashing out of the race on lap 15. Luthi’s Swiss compatriot Dominique Aegerter jumped in and scored a great fifth place. Spanish Suter MMX2 rider Jordi Torres came home in eleventh place and also scored valuable points.
In the Moto3 class, Miguel Oliveira celebrated second place, his best ever result aboard the Suter Honda and his first podium finish of the year. The 17-year-old from Portugal started from sixth place on the grid and was entangled in the tight leading pack of riders for a while, but then broke clear together with Sandro Cortese and followed the newly crowned world champion in second place. Six laps from the end, Oliveira even took the lead from Cortese for one lap, but finally had to settle for second due to the superior engine power of Cortese’s KTM. Nevertheless, Oliveira was glowing with happiness. “I crashed twice in the warm-up this morning and I thought it was going to be a tough race. But I felt very comfortable behind Cortese”, said Oliveira.
“This podium finish was overdue”, said Andy Leuthe. “We were close on several occasions but kept missing out, so it’s a relief that it finally happened. The race showed that Oliveira had a good bike with good aerodynamics. The set-up was perfect and it ran without missing a beat!”
In the MotoGP race, Danilo Petrucci confirmed his good shape with 13th place. Fellow Suter BMW rider Colin Edwards pulled in with gearbox problems.
Luis Salom fights back after ride through
A jumpstart ruined the Australian GP for Luis Salom. RW Racing GP’s top rider had to make a drive through while fighting in the leading group. The start of the race was messy: also Jack Miller, Jonas Folger, Alberto Moncayo and Louis Rossi made a jumpstart.
Salom re-entered the race in the far back of the pack in 26th position and had to work his way through. The one point he picked up finishing 15th might be crucial as his only rival in the world championship standings, Maverick Viñales, crashed out.
For Brad Binder, who had a difficult weekend struggling with suspension and gearbox, the race worked out well. He gained another few points and could have done even better. Binder was riding in 11th when he made a slight mistake outbraking himself.
Brad Binder (14th): "It’s been a strange weekend but I’m happy with the result. It could have been better, but let’s not think about all the what ifs. It’s two more points for the championship.’’
Luis Salom (15th): "I don’t know exactly what happened, but it was chaotic. With five riders making a jumpstart something must be wrong. Anyway, it is of no use to think about it too much. Luckily for me Viñales made a mistake as well and I’m still second in the championship. It’s good to fly back home after these three races. One more race to go!’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "What a strange weekend this was. Everybody is tired now and looking forward to going home. I’m happy for Brad. He did well in the race. And Luis showed his talent of never giving up. Fighting back from almost last is a harsh thing to do.’’
De Angelis will not race at Philip Island
The victor of the last two Moto2 Australian Grand Prix will not take part on the race due to the injuries sustained on his left hand during qualifying practice yesterday afternoon.
The fourth finger of his left hand suffered a crushing trauma with a contused lacerated wound and loss of skin, as well as the loss of the end of the extensor tendon of the fourth finger. An x-ray was performed that has ruled out a fracture on the finger. There is a small fracture to the apex of the 5th finger, and a small cleaning operation took place under local anaesthesia to remove most of the debris of the asphalt. He will now travel to Melbourne to undergo surgery.
He is being operated at Epworth Richmond Hospital at 11:00 am and will remain in Melbourne for a few days after the surgery.
Pietro Caparar – Moto2 Technical Director
“Difficult qualifying for Alex De Angelis who crashed a few minutes before the end of the session causing him injury on the fourth and fifth fingers of his left hand. He is being operated this morning at 11:00 am. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Successful surgery for Alex De Angelis
The NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider Alex De Angelis underwent surgery this morning at 11:00 am local time in Epworth Richmond Hospital.
The surgery was performed by plastic surgeon Doctor Dean Trotter, under general anesthesia and lasted approximately one hour and a half. The tendons of his fourth finger on his left hand had to be reconstructed artificially with a “K” wire and skin from his forearm.
He will remain under observation for the rest of the day. The estimated recovery time according to his doctor is undetermined. His attendance at for the last race of the season in Valencia is not yet confirmed.
NICCOLO RULED OUT OF PHILLIP ISLAND RACE
Niccolò Antonelli was this morning ruled out of the Australian Grand Prix by medics at the Phillip Island circuit. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini Moto3 rider felt in good condition after his heavy crash yesterday, which left him with concussion, but the Australian doctors were keen to exercise caution and reluctantly took the decision out of Niccolò's hands
Niccolò Antonelli “I am a little disappointed not to have been able to start but I think it was the right decision from the doctors. I really wanted to be out on the grid so the next best thing was to hold the umbrella for my good friend Fenati. It was fun!"