Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the race on Sunday:
Márquez signs off with trademark victory comeback
Repsol rider wins in Valencia from last on the grid, claiming ninth victory of the season.
Fans at the Ricardo Tormo circuit were witnesses to a ninth victory for the newly-crowned Moto2 World Champion, as Marc Márquez made a spectacular comeback. The Repsol rider took off from last on the grid, but had moved up to tenth before the end of the opening lap, recovering 23 places. As the race progressed, Márquez continued to move up the order, setting the pace of the race and arriving to the head of the field.
With two laps remaining, Márquez overtook Julián Simón and moved into the lead. His last Grand Prix in the Moto2 class ended with a win, signing off in style at the top of the podium.
Red Bull KTM Ajo celebrates 3-way podium in 2012 Moto3 Finale
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team celebrated a three-way podium in the final race of the inaugural Moto3 GP season in Valencia Spain on Sunday with Danny Kent of Britain stealing victory from teammate and World Champion Sandro Cortese in the final corner and Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who also set a lap record, in third.
Moto3 GP finished the season as it had begun with plenty of drama right down to the wire. With the championship already in Cortese’s bag it might have been just another out in on the Valencia circuit but the competitive nature of the small class was never going to let that happen. The final dash to the finish was just as hard fought as it has been throughout the season.
Before the race, pundits had speculated that the main action as going to be between Luis Salom (Kalex-KTM) and Maverick Viñales (Honda) to settle who would take the minor championship placings behind Cortese and while this did play a role, the action was always going to be up the front end of the field. Salom finished behind Viñales in the race but still had enough points to give his second overall.
Cortese took an early lead in the 23-lap race on the rain-soaked circuit and held onto it right until the last corner. He admitted after the race that he didn’t realize Kent was so close behind him going into the finishing straight. “I was in the front for 20 laps. I looked at the big screen and I thought I had enough advantage to take the win then Danny got me in the last corner.”
The German rider still leaves the season showered in accolades. He sealed the first ever Moto3 GP World Championship and wrote himself into the MotoGP statistics as the rider with the biggest number of podiums in a single season in the small displacement bikes. Cortese won in Portugal, Germany, San Marino, Malaysia and Australia and was on the podium in 15 of 17 races. Both he and Kent advance to Moto2 next season.
Kent said he had a good feeling with the bike all weekend but admitted he ‘had a moment’ with South African Brad Binder (Kalex-KTM) near the end of the race. “Then I just pushed a bit more in the final corner,” he said. It was Kent’s second win after his first in Japan. It was also a great weekend for rookie Binder who ended on a high note with fourth place, his best result of the season.
Certainly this unluckiest rider on the Valencia track was Jonas Folger (Kalex-KTM). He rode into pole position in Saturday’s qualifying only to experience technical difficulties in the sighting lap on the rain soaked circuit. The Aspar team managed to get the bike back and started in time for him to start the race from the pit lane but Folger had to retire five laps into the race. The young German has had a great second half of the season after joining the Aspar team at the half way mark. Since then he has constantly been a podium contender and picked up his first GP win in Brno, Czech Republic.
The season has been a hugely successful one of KTM after the Austrian manufacturer re-entered the MotoGP competition in the new Moto3 GP category. KTM had previously withdrawn after the phasing out of the 250 and 125 cc classes.
Pit Beirer, KTM’s Head of Motorsport, speaking fro the Valencia circuit said it had been a wonderful way to finish what had been a great season. “Fantastic to finish with three boys in the podium in the last race but we have great riders, a great Moto3 bike and a great team under Aki Ajo,” he said. “I want to express a big thanks to Aki, all of his team and everyone back at KTM in Austria who have given us this great bike. Now we are already working on the future because Sandro was actually riding the new 2013 Moto3 GP bike this weekend. We wanted to use this chance to get feedback.”
KTM was also the clear winner in the Manufacturers’ Standings finishing with 346 points, 40 points ahead of FTR Honda.
Álex Rins finishes 2012 as Moto3 Rookie Of The Year
Repsol rider closes brilliant first season in the World Championship in fifth overall. Viñales, eighth today, places third in the standings. Álex Márquez and Miguel Olivera crash out when fighting for top spots.
It was not an easy race today for the Moto3 riders, and the proof of this was the numerous crashes on the wet asphalt. Rins secured the title of Rookie Of The Year in the Moto3 class, finishing sixteenth and ahead of main rival Fenati. Álex Márquez and Miguel Oliveira were two of the riders to see their race fall apart through crashes, whilst Maverick Viñales placed eighth despite a lack of engine power.
At the start Álex Márquez made bold moves and took the lead, overtaking Miguel Oliveira and Luis Salom. The youngster's joy lasted little time, as he suffered a small crash on lap four after losing grip on the front end. It was Oliveira who crashed on lap 16, as the Portuguese rider was unable to avoid Efrén Vázquez' fall. He was in second when the accident occurred.
Maverick Viñales suffered from a lack of engine power and could not do anything but attempt to reach the end of the race. He finished eighth and took third in the overall standings. Álex Rins, having completed the first lap in eleventh place, dropped back to sixteenth. Despite the result, his goal today was controlling rival Fenati in the struggle for the best rookie honour in Moto3, and he managed to do so to complete a dream first season on the world stage.
8th a 18.495 sec.
"I'm very happy, because it is the first race that I have finished in the wet. I am also happy that I could ride the same times in the wet as yesterday and could do so with another engine, since we broke yesterday's and had to change it. The first part of the race was difficult, I had to pass riders on the brakes. Finishing third in the World Championship is not a disappointing result. We will be even better next year; we have to try not to make the same mistakes as this year."
"It was a rather hard race, as conditions weren't the best from the start. We knew that we could ride calmly, because we had the pace to be out in front. However, at the start of the race I was in front of Efrén [Vázquez] and couldn't avoid his crash. That's racing and now we have to look to the future."
16th a 50.554 sec.
"We managed to finish the year as the top rookie. Although it was a difficult weekend because we were not going too well, in the end we finished off securing this honour and I am very happy. At the beginning of the season we didn't think this title was possible, because Romano Fenati started strong, but we have been improving little-by-little until we succeeded. I'll take everything that I've learned this year and in the last few races, because I learned a lot and this has made us take a step forward."
"In the wet we had a good pace, and we knew that we could be up there, but I didn't think it was possible to be so far in front. I slotted into the lead and decided to push, because I felt very good... right up until I crashed. I maybe lacked a little experience, to have stayed calm and held back. It will be useful for the future. I want to thank all the team and the sponsors."
LUCK EVADES MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM IN VALENCIA
Jonas Folger suffers technical issue and has to start from pit lane, before retiring on lap seven. Luca Amato unable to feel comfortable on wet track
After much talk of rain over the entire weekend, in the end it was Sunday in which it had the most impact. It may not have fallen during the Moto3 race, but dampness an hour beforehand left the track wet for the course of the 24-lap contest. Jonas Folger had taken pole, but was unable to start from the top spot due to an electrical problem. Luis Salom made the first move in a race that was typically unpredictable. There were crashes and eleven retirements, before Danny Kent took the win by overtaking Sandro Cortese on the final lap. Khairuddin completed the podium, with Salom taking the runner-up spot from Viñales.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger took the fastest time in qualifying yesterday. He was also second in the warmup this morning, but was unable to take advantage of the placing after an unforeseen issue. The German experienced a mechanical problem on the formation lap and it was only due to the speedy work of the mechanics that he was able to take the start from pit lane -aiming for a comeback reminiscent of the las trace at Phillip Island. However, on lap seven he was forced to retire from the race.
Teammate Luca Amato also had difficulties, ufinishing the race but placing 22nd, thanks to his lack of feel for the wet Valencia track.
Jonas Folger (DNF): "We were very unlucky today, above all when you consider our incredible pace over the entire weekend. We had a mechanical issue on the formation lap, but these things happen. I just felt the bike cut out. It is a shame, because I felt strong even in the wet, and knew that I could fight for the win. I wanted to get a good result to dedicate to the team. I will be optimistic despite this, as I have had a positive time since arriving in the MAPFRE Aspar Team. This second half of the season has been fantastic, and fortunately we are together again next year. I intend to be just as strong in 2013."
22th Luca Amato: "I am very angry with myself, because I didn't manage to find my feeling all day; not in the warmup, nor in the race. I don't know the reason for this, but I did notice that the wet tyres were sliding me around on every corner, almost as if I was using slicks. The conditions this weekend didn't help us, as they changed in every session and made it tough to adapt. It is a pity to end the year like this, but I want to thank the team for everything that they've done for me."
ANDREA IANNONE SAYS GOODBYE TO MOTO2
There isn’t much to say about the end of this Championship: we had to face once again a tough weekend and it was really difficult to show our potential. The problems we had in particular during the second half of the season weren’t fixed in an effective way, but we tried till the end to put in our best effort. I’m sorry to end the season in this way, I really wanted to do well. I chose to accept a new challenge and that was my decision, for the good and for the bad: I was coherent till the end and this was an opportunity to learn and grow.
These three years in Moto2 were very intense and important to grow and make progress technically and also as far as it concerns the way I control the bike. I was always very competitive in this category and there was a potential to do well, maybe also to achieve some better results at the end of the season. Now it’s time to think about Tuesday and about my new adventure in Ducati, and that’s where I’ll start building my future: I think the real Andrea will come out in the upcoming years. The fact that I knew this route was waiting for me helped me a lot in the difficult moments, it’s a great opportunity to have an official crew with an official bike and that makes me happy.
I’d like to thank my father and my family for the support that they’ve always given me, they were close to me through the tough days. Thanks also to Alessio Salucci and Silvio Vercilli, who were fundamental during these three years: they shared with me the good and the bad moments. They put together a team for me, so that I could show my potential and, even if we didn’t manage to reach the aims we had, we proved to be competitive and we ended the Championship with a good third place. A “thank you” also goes to all the people that worked for me, from mechanics to whoever helped me. I’m sorry in some occasions I wasn’t that kind, but these were thee intense years and it isn’t always easy to stay calm.
The Moto2 class was a very important part of my career: I’ll keep working hard to score my objectives.
ELEVENTH POSITION FOR IANNONE IN THE RACE AT VALENCIA, ANDREOZZI ENDS TWENTY-THIRD
Today’s race for the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana marks the end of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship.
The warm up was held half on dry track and half on wet track, after some rain fell in the middle of the session: Iannone and his crew preferred to work mostly during the first part of the practice, and then to verify the grip of the track in the last few minutes at disposal. Starting from the third row, in the race Andrea struggled in the initial phases. After some extra rain showers, the rider from Vasto managed to get a better performance out of his Speed Up machine and to comeback a few placements. Andrea crossed the finishing line in eleventh position, achieving five points that allow him to confirm the third position in the General Classification.
Andreozzi and his crew chose to take advantage only of the beginning of the warm up, when the track was still dry, without entering the track again after the rain. In the race, Alessandro started from the tenth row and set some consistent lap times, which got him to fight with other riders and end the race in twenty-third position.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 11th
“There isn’t much to say about this last race: we had to deal once again with a tough weekend and it was really hard to prove our potential. The problems we had especially during the second part of the season weren’t solved in an effective way, but we tried to put in our best effort till the end. I’m sorry to finish the season in this way, I really wanted to do well. We confirmed once again the third position in the Championship Classification, and that is still positive.”
Alessandro Andreozzi #22 - 23rd
“I started quite well and I got close to the group that was ahead of me straight away. Lap after lap I improved my feeling with the Speed Up machine and I managed to set some good times. It was quite a positive race, even if I was hoping to achieve a better placement in the end. I was lacking some rear grip and therefore I couldn’t push that much, but after all we can say this was a good weekend, I’m happy.”
A champion’s comeback
Repsol rider wins in Valencia from last on the grid, taking a ninth victory of the season.
With the Moto2 title already decided in his favor, Marc Márquez again had a race to remember at the Valencia Grand Prix. Despite starting from last on the grid, the Repsol rider had a fantastic performance in front of his home fans, moving through the field to take victory. With this win, Márquez sets a new points record in a Moto2 season with 324 points and departs the class in the best way possible.
Marc Márquez wrote new page in the motorcycle racing history book. Despite having the title already in the bag, the Repsol rider took all the risks necessary in an amazing showing at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. He had already passed a dozen riders by the first corner, as he began a comeback for the ages.
For the rest of the contest, Márquez continued to set a fearsome pace until he finally arrived at the wheel of race leader Julián Simón. He overtook his fellow Spaniard on the home straight with two laps remaining, winning the race and concluding his time in Moto2 in dream fashion. On Tuesday he moves up to MotoGP with the Repsol Honda Team, facing a new challenge in the top class of Grand Prix racing.
1st - 48'50.706
"I surprised myself today, because when I saw that it was raining in the warmup I had my doubts. It is harder to pass in the wet. However, in the race I had a perfect start and passed many riders on the opening two corners. I suddenly found myself up there, battling with Aegerter, Rea and Zarco. When I overtook them I went faster, but I couldn't afford to make any mistake.
I tried to push at the limit on every lap, as even though the riders ahead were far away, I knew that I was third. If the title was in play, then I would have stayed put, but I wanted to see if I could get lucky so I kept pushing. It was a good race and I am happy to share the podium with Simón and Terol; they have worked hard this season and deserved a rostrum finish."
GLORIOUS SUNDAY FOR MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS IN VALENCIA
Nico Terol and Jordi Torres have excellent final race of 2012 for their best results of the season, with third and sixth place at home round
27 laps on wet asphalt awaited the Moto2 riders at 12:20pm local time in Valencia. The race was an entertaining contest that featured passes galore. MAPFRE Aspar rider Nico Terol took the early lead, moving ahead at turn two of the opening lap and extending an advantage over the course of the next few laps. Light rain fell on lap ten and eventually Julián Simón got past, before Marc Márquez stormed through from last on the grid to take the win. The last three 125cc World Champions stepped onto the podium: Márquez (2010), Simón (2009) and Terol (2011).
The MAPFRE Aspar riders were saving the best for last. Both Nico Terol and Jordi Torres ended 2012 on a high with their best results of 2012, with the former even leading a Moto2 race for the first time. He did so for the opening seven laps, having reined in Pol Espargaró and pulled two seconds clear. The MAPFRE Aspar man focused on staying upright, taking the chequered flag in third place.
Jordi Torres also had a fantastic race, starting from fifth place on the grid. He took things easy in the early going to assess the conditions, but recovered from dropping down the order by riding steadily. He took back places before concluding the race -and the season- by crossing the line in sixth.
3rd Nico Terol: "It is incredible to take a podium at home after such a hard season. We had ridden fast with this bike, but we had never been able to convert that into a strong race. This has been a dream weekend, as they named a corner after me here at Cheste and I was able to finish the season on the podium, which is a big boost for next year. It was a tough race and you never know what can happen in such conditions. I focused hard and pushed right up to the flag. On the second corner of the opening lap I saw that I could pass Pol and I didn't think twice, I wanted to pull away as soon as possible. This podium has even higher value because it came in the wet, in which I don't normally feel so comfortable. I had various scares, but luckily I could stay upright. This podium is like a victory for me."
6th Jordi Torres: "I am very happy with this result, as we were able to tackle a slippery surface and take a best result of the season. In the beginning I was very prudent, as I could see many riders crashing around me and I didn't want to end up in the gravel. I also overtook various riders. The opening laps were very crazy, but luckily the race settled down later. I tried to stick on Luthi's rear wheel, and then later I could see that my bike was almost throwing me off at many parts of the track, so I decided to let him pull away. My suspension was a little soft, but riding with stability was no problem. I am satisfied to end the season like this, because I was always riding to avoid crashes. I want to thank the team once again, because they make this all possible."
Excellent end of season for RW Racing GP
RW Racing GP has closed the 2012 season with an excellent result and a very good feeling. Luis Salom secured his second place in the World championship while Brad Binder was fighting for the podium in the extremely exciting final race of the season in Valencia.
Binder fought himself through the entire field from 15th to third. Only in the last sector of the finale lap, fighting for even more than third, Binder lost his first ever podium finish to Zulfahmi Khairuddin. Finishing fourth however was the best ever result for the young South African.
Luis Salom in the meantime was avoiding any risk and settled for tenth on the wet and slippery Valencia track. Salom was leading for a few laps until he saw the rest of the pack closing in. Dueling in the wet was too much of a risk, Salom decided. If securing his second place in the championship cost him a good result that would be worth it. Salom therefore decided to stay close to his main rival Maverick Viñales.
Brad Binder (4th): "I am over the moon with this result. Everything was so smooth. The bike was running excellent and I was confident all the time. This result makes up for all the bad luck I ran into this season. It was so great to fight for the podium. I think I can get used to this. It was my final race for RW Racing GP. I’d like to thank the team, Kalex KTM and my sponsors for making this possible.’’
Luis Salom (10th): "My goal was to secure second place in the championship. Whatever happened I did not want to crash. So I decided not to take any risk. I waited for Viñales to be sure I had him in sight. I am so proud with this result. Second in the championship, it is a dream come true. It feels strange to leave this team. They have been like family to me. They kept on believing in it and working for it. We’ve done this together.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "What Brad did was incredible. Absolutely fantastic! We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw him coming forward. And Luis’ achievement was great as well. I’m so proud on how he decided to back off and secure second in the championship. It is a great day for our team. It’s an honour to be a part of this. I’d like to thank everybody: Kalex and KTM and all our other partners and suppliers. It is a pity to see our riders leave but we keep in toiuch and we wish them all the best in the rest of their carreers. And we welcome our new riders Jasper Iwema and Jakub Kornfeil. But first we celebrate.’’
Simeon sees podium slip away in Valencia
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Xavier Simeon put up a tremendous fight for the podium in the final Moto2 race of 2012 in cool and cloudy conditions at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia this afternoon.
In treacherously slippery conditions after rain fell in the build-up to the 27-lap race, Simeon superbly judged grip levels on new asphalt to jump from 13th on the grid into the top six on a frenetic opening lap.
The Belgian rider's confidence continued to soar and he gained two places on lap eight to move into third positi on behind Spanish duo Julian Simon and Nicolas Terol.
Simeon had just lost third place to Dominique Aegerter when he was unfortunate to succumb to the damp and tricky conditions at the start of lap 11. He lost the front-end of his Mistral 610 machine at the second corner but he was able to remount and finish his farewell appearance for the Tech 3 Racing Team in 27th position.
Bradley Smith was unable to mark his final appearance on the Mistral 610 with a top 15 finish after he found it difficult to find a comfortable feeling on the damp surface.
The British rider, who will join the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP Team in 2013, showed his battling qualities to remain in the hunt for 11th until the final stages. He eventually crossed the line in 16th position.< /p>
The Tech 3 Racing Team now immediately turns attention to preparations for 2013, with Valencia Moto3 winner Danny Kent and Louis Rossi testing the Mistral 610 at the Ricardo Tormo tomorrow.
Bradley Smith 16th – 109 points:
“Today wasn't the way I wanted to finish my time with the Tech 3 Racing Team in Moto2. It was a difficult race and I didn't have a good feeling throughout. I want to take this opportunity to thank Tech 3 Racing and all my crew for everything they have done for me in the last two years. We have had some great times together and I have definitely learned a lot. I know we have made the Mistral 610 more competitive than it was when I joined in 2011, and it was a shame that we couldn't get the results we'd anticipa ted this season. I'm now really excited to begin my new adventure with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in MotoGP. It is going to be a big challenge but one I am up for, and I know with the support of Tech 3 and Yamaha I have a great opportunity. Finally I'd just like to wish Danny and Louis a successful 2013 because they are joining a great Team."
Xavier Simeon 27th – 21 points:
“I have mixed emotions after that race because on one side I am really happy that I was battling for the podium and I could show my potential in very tricky conditions. But obviously I am very angry that I lost the chance to claim a podium because of the crash. It was my mistake and I lost the front because I had too much front brake going into the second corner. It was a pity because I am sure I could have stayed in the battle for the top three. It would hav e been great to finish my time with Tech 3 Racing with a more positive result. I want to thank Herve Poncharal and all of my crew for giving me a wonderful opportunity in the World Championship and I wish everybody associated with the Team a successful future.”
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager:
"Not collecting a point is not the way we wanted 2012 to end but at least Xavier put up a great fight in the beginning of the race and it was really exciting to see him battling for the podium. The conditions were incredibly difficult and he was looking very strong in the early laps. Unfortunately he made a small mistake at the second corner and that ended our challenge. It is a shame because we were very confident he was going get a good result. Bradley never really found a confident feeling with the bike all weekend and that's a pity because we were expe cting him to be much more competitive. We can now look forward to 2013 and I am really looking forward to welcoming Danny Kent and Louis Rossi to the Tech 3 Racing Team tomorrow. They will begin testing the Mistral 610 in Valencia and Danny arrives full of confidence after his fantastic win in Moto3 today. Once again he showed why we were so keen to sign him for 2013 and I am confident Danny and Louis will be very competitive next season. I'd also like to wish Xavier all the best for the future. He has never been anything less than 100% committed to Tech 3 Racing and the Mistral 610 project and it has been a pleasure working with him."
Binder – What a Boytjie!
The Grand Prix of Valencia was a superb race for Brad Binder who was finally able to show the world what he's capable of, achieving a magnificent 4th!
The young South African battled like a gladiator and just missed the podium on the last corner to much more experienced Khairuddin. Starting from 15th place on the grid, Brad had a great start and immediately showed good pace and started overtaking many riders including Luis Salom, Rossi, Faubel and Oliveira. Brad felt very comfortable on his KALEX-KTM and knew he could reach a podium position, so he stayed focused and just thought about going as fast as he could without making any mistakes. Once he reached the third position, British rider Danny Kent pushed him wide while trying to overtake him, and Brad consequently dropped down to 6th position. Nevertheless, Brad didn't give up and it didn't take long for him to get back to the position he belonged to.
The last few laps were certainly the most breath taking of his career: the whole RW Racing GP Team was trembling and smiling at the same time in the garage, especially at the end of the race, with 3 laps to go, when Brad was able to make a fantastic overtake on the Malaysian rider!
Brad stayed in 3rd until the last corner of the last lap, when Khairuddin passed him to grab the podium, but what a race it was, and what a fight right up until the end! When Brad came back to the the pit box everyone was waiting for him and even MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow came to congratulate him!
Now the MotoGP season is over, but Brad will be making an appearance in the last round of the Spanish Championship next weekend, also here in Valencia, with his new team Ambrogio NEXT Racing.
Brad Binder : " It was a great race! I gave my best and I'm so happy about this 4th place: not just a top 10 but a top 5, finally a great result! I believe we could have been up there even earlier, but luck hasn't been on our side..until now! Finishing the season this way feels so good. I'm just speechless, but I'm also sad because this is not only the last race of the season but also my last race with RW Racing GP. I would like to thank everyone : my Mom, Dad and Daz for the huge sacrifice they have made for me this year, Des for working with me since I started racing, my friends, our team manager Johan Stigefelt, my mechanics Rob and Dominique and my Crew Chief Jan, the owner of RW Racing GP Roelof Waninge, KTM and Kalex, my Team Mate - Luis Salom, my manager Steve Burgess, my sponsors Tutti Frutti, Pole Position Travel, Sweep, Arai, and Alpinestars, Karen Landi and Ella Scaglioni for taking care of all the Media and PR, Donovan and Nikki from Racerzone for my awesome website, Rob Portman and last but not least all my fans on Twitter and Facebook for the fabulous support! Now a new adventure will start for me."
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "What Brad did was incredible. Absolutely fantastic! We couldn’t believe our eyes when we saw him coming forward. And Luis’ achievement was great as well. I’m so proud on how he decided to back off and secure second in the championship. It is a great day for our team. It’s an honour to be a part of this. I’d like to thank everybody: Kalex and KTM and all our other partners and suppliers. It is a pity to see our riders leave but we keep in touch and we wish them all the best in the rest of their careers. And we welcome our new riders Jasper Iwema and Jakub Kornfeil. But first we celebrate.’’
2013 – Brad signs with Fiorenzo Caponera’s Worldwide Communication Team – Ambrogio Next Racing
Brad is delighted to have signed with Fiorenzo Caponera’s Worldwide Communication Team – Ambrogio Next Racing. Brad will partner Danny Webb in next season’s attack on the top rank of the Moto 3 Class.
Fiorenzo Caponera (team principal): “Both Brad and Danny are choices of mine, it doesn't always happen that I can line up the guys I want, but this time I could. We are all excited to be in a position to do what we love most, working with young talented riders to give shape to their future”.
Brad will make his debut with Ambrogio Next Racing at Valencia next weekend when he competes in the Spanish Championship.
SHAME ABOUT THE START!
Niccolò Antonelli did his best in the final round of the 2012 Moto3 World Championship today but he lost crucial ground in the early stages of a wet race as he struggled for confidence in the tricky conditions. Once he built his confidence the youngster once again showed his class, clocking similar lap times to the guys at the front and recovering enough ground to finish in the points and as the top Italian on the day.
Niccolo’ Antonelli (13th) “At the start I didn't have any feeling and a few guys came past. That's a shame because after that once I got into my rhythm I was able to ride well and make up positions. Now the season is over and we can start to look to the future and build on the experience we have gained in this first season in the World Championship. Thanks to Fausto Gresini and everybody who has believed in me. I will listen to their advice now as I continue to build my career in the future. ”
Fausto Gresini “Niccolò struggled at the start in the wet because he didn't have confidence in the tyres so it was a difficult situation for him to manage but as the laps went by he gradually built his pace. I am pleased with the way he finished the race. He was the top Italian after a good comeback and that's a good way to finish his first season in Moto3. Now he can start to look ahead with more conviction because he has the talent and he also has the means to display it.”
Niklas Ajo ended the GP season in great way
Niklas Ajo ended the first Moto3 GP season in a great way at wet Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain. The Finn had a great start with his black KTM bike from 22nd place of the grid and in the end finished ninth.
“I am really pleased. This was a good ending for this season and I took my place from where I belong, which is in top ten. This year has been full of ups and downs but the end of the season was good. I have learnt a lot”, Ajo says.
Ajo improved his place by five during the first lap. At his best he was eight when eight laps remained. Before that Ajo had passed Spanish riders Luis Salom and Maverick Vinales, who ended second and third in championship standing after German world champion Sandro Cortese.
“The beginning of the race could have been perhaps a bit better but in the half way I made perhaps my best performance of the season. At that stage I had same lap times with the leading group. Later on my tyres started to wore out and I couldn´t push any harder but instead I tried to keep my position in difficult conditions”, Ajo sums up the 24 laps race.
In the last lap 18 year old Ajo had a tough fight over ninth place with GP winner
Salom. That fight was won by Ajo with 65 thousandth of seconds.
“I have won tough battles in my own group quite many times this season and that of course feels good.”
The Spanish GP was a big celebration for Finnish Team Ajo Motorsport who took triple victory in Spain.
Briton Danny Kent passed Cortese in last curve and crossed the finish line 56 thousandth of seconds before the world champion. Beside Kent also Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin had extremely hard final lap and made his way to third 0,114 seconds after the winner.
Niklas Ajo was 23,180 seconds from Kent. His season´s best result is from Assen where he was eight. In world standing Ajo ended up 19th with 40 points.
Kallio masters tricky conditions at Valencia to finish seventh
Valencia, Spain - 11 November 2012: Mika Kallio stormed his way through the field to take a hard fought seventh place, after starting today's Moto2 Grand Prix of Valencia from the sixth row of the grid. Scott Redding was disappointed to finish outside the points in the final race of the season, but a lack of mid-corner grip meant he was unable to fight back after a first lap collision.
Rain during the morning, followed by sporadic showers throughout the day, meant that the Moto2 race started in wet conditions, but with a dry line already starting to appear in some corners. Kallio got a good start from the sixth row of the grid, quickly picking off places in the opening laps and moving up through the field as riders crashed out of the race in the tricky and changing conditions.
The Finn, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Thursday, eventually finished seventh and was the first Kalex rider home. The result brought his points tally for the season to 128, securing him sixth place in the Moto2 World Championship standings.
Redding got a good start from the third row of the grid, but got pushed wide on the entry to turn one and then was hit by another rider going into turn two. Both incidents cost the 19-year-old Briton time, but it was a lack of mid-corner grip in the damp conditions that robbed Redding of any chance to fight his way back into the points.
The Marc VDS rider eventually finished the race in 22nd position, bringing to a close his most successful Grand Prix season to date. Redding ended fifth in the final championship standings, with four podium finishes to his name.
The Marc VDS Racing Team will return to Valencia for a one-day test tomorrow, before heading to Albacete for two further days of testing on Wednesday and Thursday. At Albacete Kallio and Redding will be joined by Livio Loi, who will contest the 2013 Moto3 World Championship for the team.
Mika Kallio #36: 7th
"I am a little disappointed with the result today, because I was expecting to be faster. I tried to push from the start to stay with the leading group, but it just wasn't possible because I had no rear grip and the rear wheel kept coming round on me on the entry to every corner. Scott has had exactly the same problem in the wet and today it cost me any chance of ending the season with a good result. We start testing for 2013 tomorrow and, if the weather is the same as today, we need to focus on finding a solution to this problem. We're not the only ones suffering from it either, as the results showed quite clearly today. Seventh wasn't such a bad result given my starting position, but I expected more today."
Scott Redding #45: 22nd
"As soon as we saw the weather we knew today was going to be tough. I got a good start, but was pushed wide in turn one and then in turn two I was hit so hard by someone that I was winded for the first two laps. We knew set up was going to be an issue in the wet; it was a little bit better than it was in Malaysia, but there was still little grip and I was struggling mid-corner. Finishing out of the points is not how I wanted to end the season, but I can take some consolation in finishing fifth in the championship, my best finish so far."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Mika ran a good race today, battling his way through the field in conditions that caught out many riders. I know he wanted to end the season with a better result, but given the problems he's had with the tyres here during practice and qualifying, I think he can be satisfied with a job well done today. The same is true for Scott, who I know fancied his chances of a podium if it was dry. But, unfortunately, it was wet and he struggled with grip issues that meant he wasn't able to come back after the turn two collision. We ended the season with Scott fifth and Mika sixth in the championship, which makes this our most successful season to date. But we are aiming higher in 2013 and we will start working towards that with the test tomorrow. We will also welcome Livio Loi to the team this week in Albacete and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do on a Moto3 machine."
Khairuddin ends the GP season on podium
AirAsia-SIC-Ajon Team´s Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin did a great job during the whole first Moto3 season. Today Khairuddin made his way with KTM bike to the second podium position of his career on wet Ricardo Tormo circuit in Spain.
Khairuddin started from 17th place of the grid but made a strong performance and crossed the finish line third only 0,114 seconds after the winner Briton Danny Kent.
“I am extremely happy”, Khairuddin rejoices, “All in all this was a great season. That is mainly thanks to my team and all who supported me.”
During the 2012 season Khairuddin made many times Malaysian Road Racing history. He finished second from pole in front of his home crowd at Sepang circuit. Also at Ricardo Tormo circuit he had a good pace and managed to keep his head cool.
“I took the beginning carefully but after that I improved my pace in difficult conditions. In the last curve I took a little risk and managed to pass Binder (Brad).”
The final lap was extremely good for Khairuddin. He was the fastest one of all the leading group riders. Khairuddin also made the fastest lap time of the race at that stage when he got ready for the final battle four laps before the finish line.
“After not that great qualifying I really believed in Fahmi and I was right. Once again a really strong performance from him”, team leader Aki Ajo praised Khairuddin who ended up seventh in championship standing.
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia plays defense in the wet in Valencia. Tonucci scores more points.
On a damp track in Valencia, Team Italia riders Tonucci and Fenati wrap-up the season in 14th and 18th place respectively.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) started well from fourth row and stayed close to the front early on, but eventually lost the pace. With track conditions improving, he found his rhythm back and secured points in 14th position. Tonucci thus ends his 2012 championship with 45 points to his tally, 18th in the general standings and with a third place in Motegi as his best result.
The positive warm-up made Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) hopeful for a strong race, but the rain changed the tarmac conditions and the young rider struggled, especially in the beginning. He still fought hard, closing in 18th position, less than a second from the Top 15.
Kent won the race ahead of Cortese and Khairuddin.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 14th, + 34"660
"I got off a good start today but after four laps the front runners upped the pace and I couldn't replicate. I took some risks, after which I opted to stay calm and defend my position. It was still good to score a few points. My experience with Team Italia FMI ends today, and I want to thank FMI and the team for assisting me in those wonderful years. I'm hopeful and confident as I embark on a different adventure for 2013."
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 18th, + 51"826
"Unfortunately the weather spoiled this race as well. I can't be satisfied with this result, but I still made good progress in my first year in the championship. Now I will spend the winter training even harder to prepare next season. Many thanks to FMI and the team for this great season. I hope to share even more successes in the future."
Paolo Sesti (FMI President)
"It's been a great season for Team Italia. After a tough winter, which coincided with a bike change, our team worked hard to cut the gap and we achieved a more than positive result. We launched Fenati and Tonucci, both of whom gave us great results. We're happy to entrust the latter, a more mature and ready rider, to another team, and wish him the very best. We're getting ready to tackle 2013 with Fenati and Bagnaia. Team Italia will grow even stronger!"
Takahashi in the points at the last GP of the season
It has not been the season that he would have wished for but Yuki Takahashi has fought until the very last race, managing to take home two points in the championship. The Japanese did not have an ideal beginning of the race but battled until the end and finished in 14th position at the Gran Premio de Valencia.
Bittersweet debut for Mattia Pasini who touched with another rider and crash at the beginning of the race but managed to rejoin and finish the race, getting in very fast lap times.
Yuki Takahashi – 14th
“This season was really hard for me, I never had a year like this before. The team has worked really hard at every single race and finally I got points. The position for the team was good but for me it means a lot, especially to be able to do it at this last race of the season. I want to say thank you very much to everyone; the team, our sponsors my mechanics especially. Thank you!”
Mattia Pasini – 25th
“I am satisfied with the work done this weekend. I made a little mistake at the beginning of the race: it could be because I was not use to the start in this category. I think I have done a good race and a good comeback aside from that mistake. Thinking in terms of next season, we have collected valuable data. Its better to make a mistakes today in order to be better performing next season.”
Pietro Caprara – Moto2 Technical Director
“First two points for Yuki in a race in which we have seen him fight a few battles. He has had a good pace but had an unfortunate start. Mattia could have much better and he not had a bad start. He did a great comeback and towards the end of the race his lap times were interesting because his pace was good enough to be in seventh or tenth place.”
NO JOY AT VALENCIA FINALE FOR 'FEEM'
Ratthapark Wilairot's 2012 season did not end in the manner he had hoped, the Thai rider crossing the line in 24th place at Valencia.
Ratthapark Wilairot (24th) “I am very disappointed with this result, especially for the team. I didn't have a good feeling with the bike and I struggled throughout the race. Now I want to put this season behind me, especially the last part of it because it hasn't been fun. I need to think about next season and work hard with the team because I know they will give me the necessary means to express my full potential.”
Fausto Gresini “It is a disappointing way for Feem to end a disappointing season. Now we have to start looking ahead to next year and thinking about ways we can work together and establish a programme that will see him make the most of his potential.”
REA FALLS SHY OF THE PODIUM
As expected Gino Rea went on the attack for the podium in the Moto2 race today as wet conditions provided the promise of a potential podium. Unfortunately an untimely crash saw him slide out of the lead positions although to his credit he was able to remount and score points in twelfth.
Gino Rea (12th) “Not how I wanted to end the season to be honest! We finished in the points but we should have been on the podium, minimum. I got such a good start that I thought I had maybe jumped it so I was half expecting to get a penalty. Maybe that distracted me, plus I also got hit a couple of times in the early stages of the race and lost positions when I should have been making them up. I worked my way through but got stuck behind Aegerter for too long, which was my fault. When the track started to dry I lost the front and crashed but thankfully at least I was able to rejoin and get some points. Overall it was a good and bad day. I'm just disappointed we couldn't finish it on the podium.”
Fausto Gresini “We knew Gino was capable of a great result today and really give the team something to cheer about. Unfortunately he didn't manage it but hats off to him for trying.”