Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
All KTM sweep of opening Moto3 GP in Qatar
Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider Luis Salom of Spain rode a masterly last two laps to break away from a hard fought pack of five KTM-driven Moto3 bikes to steal victory in the opening GP of the season fought under lights on the Losail Circuit in in Qatar.
Salom’s move was a copybook performance in the closing stages of the race reminiscent of last year’s World Champion Sandro Cortese of the same factory team. Cortese has now moved up to Moto2 and Salom has slipped very comfortably into his place with teammates Fahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia and Australian teenager Arthur Sissis.
Spanish talent Maverick Vinales was second, riding a great race having to deal with the pain of a yet to heal hand injury. He lost the top of his finger in a training crash recently and had to have corrective surgery. He only had the stitches removed in Qatar. Alex Rins and Alex Marquez completed the four way, all Spanish, all KTM sweep, underlining that this year’s Moto3 series is set to deliver the same thrilling racing action as the debut series did in 2012.
It was clear from the moment that the riders accelerated off the start grid that this was going to be a battle between a handful of riders who quickly made their presence felt. Salom started on pole, the first of his career but right alongside him was Vinales, who this year is also riding a KTM. Rins, also on a KTM, joined the battle at the front in the opening phase along with Jonas Folger of Germany on the very competitive Kalex-KTM.
These riders jockeyed for position swapping the lead back and forth during the middle phase of the race and while Folger lost a little ground, running wide into the dusty part of the track, Marquez, brother of Marc and Rins’ Spanish teammate joined the action at the front of the pack.
While Marquez and Rins battled for the lead in the final laps it was clear that it was going to go down to the wire and that a good slipstream action in the closing stage could decide the winner. Salom made the break in the closing stages of the second last lap and immediately put enough distance between him and the others to make it stick.
Salom’s victory meant that the Red Bull KTM Ajo Factory Team has begun the season with the same winning ways as it closed 2012. Khairuddin finished sixth and Sissis was eighth to underline the team’s strength.
Pit Beirer, Head of KTM Motorsports was in Qatar to watch the opener. “This year we made another big step with the bike and clearly this has paid off. There has been a tremendous amount of work by the mechanics and engineers both at the Mattighofen factory and with the teams and I have to thank them for that. It looks like this year KTM has really arrived back in the road racing scene.” He said all indications are that there will be a lot of competition between the teams running the KTM Moto3 bike and KTM-drive Kalex. “Competition is going to be tough and it’s going to be a very exciting year,” he added.
Superb race for Rins and Marquez in Qatar
After leading the race, Alex Rins takes podium finish in third place, just ahead of Alex Marquez in fourth.
Sunday night was a great race for the proteges of Emilio Alzamora. Alex Rins, starting from third on the grid, moved to the front of the lead group on the opening corner, whilst teammate Alex Marquez completed the opening lap in sixth. Rins ,alongside Salom, Folger and Viñales, broke away from the rest of the field early on, and only Marquez was able to catch back up.
The race would be decided between five riders, including Rins and Marquez as they set out a strategy for the final laps. All bar Folger took a turn in leading the contest on the final laps, and on the final pair of times around, the two Repsol riders battled for the win. Salom snuck in to get past the dueling competitors and take the win, with Viñales second and Rins third –just 0.006 behind. Two tenths back on Rins, just missing out on a podium, was Marquez, who placed fourth.
After this exciting start, the Moto3 World Championship returns in two weeks at Austin, for the Grand Prix of the Americas.
3rd at 0.423 sec.
“It was a very difficult race. Initially I though I was able to push in order to get away, but that did not happen. I saw that Salom latched onto me and I let him go in order to avoid wearing down both rear tyre. The end of the race was tough and very difficult. everyone was parallel on the straight and I was in the middle, which made me have to open up. At that point I lost a little time and Salom took the opportunity to leave me behind. No one expected that Alex [Marquez] would be at the front ─he had a good race. Both the team and I are very happy with the work done.”
4th at 0.701 sec.
“Yesterday's qualifying didn't go all that well. I was ninth but knew that I could improve a lot in the race. In fact, I was convinced that with a good start and stuck with the front group, I could fight amongst it. I did not know if we could maintain the race pace, but we did know that the final laps would be difficult with the tyre wear suffered here. The race finish was a pity, because the last lap was so close after going at the limit the entire way. But we tried, and for me this result is like a victory. In short, we're very happy with my first time at this circuit. Now we already have to prepare for Austin, a new circuit for everyone. We are facing the challenge with great gusto and confidence about continuing in the same way."
First points for Iwema with RW Racing GP
Jasper Iwema grabbed up his first 3 points of the 2013 season in the opening race in Qatar. Under the floodlights of the Losail Circuit the Dutch rider for RW Racing GP finished 13th in a hard fought battle. His team mate Jakub Kornfeil was less happy. Hampered by electronic problems the Czech dropped back from 10th position to 22 in the last two laps of the race.
The first Moto3 race of the season had two faces for RW Racing GP, with a happy Jasper Iwema and a disappointed Jakub Kornfeil.
Kornfeil lost a few places at the start and dropped back to 10. He was dueling with Niklas Ajo for place 9 when, in lap 10, he ran wide in Turn 13. The Czech came back on track in 13th place and fought his way back to 10 in lap 14. But in lap 17, the penultimate lap, his bike started to slow down.
Kornfeil dropped back to 17th, fought himself to 14th – just behind his team mate Iwema – but dropped back to 22nd in the final lap, leaving him empty handed and frustrated.
Team manager Jarno Janssen felt sorry for Kornfeil. "It is very frustrating when you are fighting for a top 10 finish and the bike starts to slow down. You can’t do anything about that. We are analyzing the data to find out what is the exact problem, but it looks like an electrical problem. Hopefully it doesn’t have anything to do with Jakub’s crash in qualifying.’’
Iwema on the other hand had a good race. Iwema was in the medical center until half an hour before the race due to food poisoning. Nevertheless he won a few places at the start and entered the first corner in 15th position. Alexis Masbou cut off the connection with Danny Webb, leaving Iwema fighting for 14th position. In a hard fought battle with John McPhee, Jack Miller, Romano Fenati and Masbou, Iwema came out the strongest. After his team mate Kornfeil fell back Iwema moved up to 13th and was able to hold off the others in an intense last lap fight.
Janssen: "Jasper did very well. It is difficult to gain points in this field of riders, but he showed what he is capable of. These 3 points are very well deserved, especially when you know where he came from.’’
Jasper Iwema (13): "I ate something wrong yesterday night and was very sick this morning. I went to the Clinica Mobile and they gave me salted water and ice to cool down the fever. I had a good start but I had to find my rhythm in the first two laps. When the adrenaline came in, Masbou was in my way and I lost the connection to the group in front of me. It was a hard battle and I am really happy I could stay in front. It feels so good to be back in the fight for points.’’
Jakub Kornfeil (22): "There is not much to say. I am very disappointed and frustrated. I was fighting so hard for top 10 and then this electronic problem came up all of a sudden. There was nothing I could do.’’
JONAS FOLGER PLACES FIFTH AND SETS NEW LOSAIL LAP RECORD
MAPFRE Aspar rider fights with leaders until final lap, setting a new lap record and claiming fifth place. Teammate Eric Granado places 26th in Moto3 debut
At 7pm local time in Losail, the first Moto3 race of the year kicked off the season. With better conditions than before, but still some sand on the asphalt, the lower cylinder category riders went off into the night for an entertaining race. The first four on starting grid moved ahead straight away, led by Alex Rins. The pack broke free of the rest after three laps and the intensity increased, with the pace established in the 2'07s -much higher than in practice and qualifying. Alex Marquez was the surprise name in the fight, adding a fifth name to what had been expected to be just four candidates for the win. However, in the end the win went to Luis Salom, heading a Spanish podium that also included Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger opened his account with eleven points at the first race of the year, having fought amongst the leaders for the entire race. The German competed against the same rivals who had challenged him in qualifying, and was ready for more of the same on Sunday night. Folger passed many of his rivals on the brakes in a show of poise and calm, although he would lose ground on the straights of the Losail circuit. He placed fifth at the chequered flag, after setting a new circuit record on lap 6 with a 2'06.839.
Teammate Eric Granado had the disappointment of his bike stalling before the warmup lap, and he could only watch as the rest of the field began ahead of him. Once his problem had been resolved, the MAPFRE Aspar rider took off from last on the grid. However, he managed to finish the race -his first in Moto3- and picked up experience and a 26th place.
5th Jonas Folger: "The weekend has been fabulous. Things went well in all of the practice sessions and I was always in the top positions. All these factors gave us great confidence for the race. I had an optimal setup, was confident and I started well. At first I kept myself quiet behind the lead group, seeing what was going on. As the laps passed, I realised that on the finish straight I could hardly keep a slipstream and lost a lot of ground. I honestly do not know the reason for that: We were cornering like everybody else and I was catching people on the brakes, but on the main straight I was losing out. In the end we finished in fifth place. I expected better, but I'm calm because we gave our all throughout the weekend. Also today we ran with the lead pack until the end. We will analyse what might have happened, in order to improve at the next round."
26th Eric Granado: ""My first race in Moto3 was a little hard, but this is only the beginning and I have learned a lot this weekend. I gained experience and the team helped me discover the points upon which I need to improve. The bike stalled on the grid and I had to start from last, which was a pity. At the start I passed some riders, yet I still think a little more aggression is needed to advance up the order without so much hesitation. Now we have to think about the next race in Austin -a new circuit for everyone- where I hope to gain further experience."
Solid Start to Moto 3 Season for Ambrogio Racing's Brad Binder
The Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar was an overall solid weekend for young South African Brad Binder. A strong off season aboard his Suter-Honda with consistent testing results meant that Brad was eager to get out on track as quickly as possible, and that was seen when he lead the first charge of the Moto3 swarm out of pit lane in Free Practice One. Unfortunately a construction sight near the Qatar track meant that sand on the circuit was worse than usual, making the first half of FP1 little more than a cleaning session. Regardless Brad put in a solid performance finishing 7th with a lap time of 2:10.249 after doing several longer runs with teammate Danny Webb.
Thursday’s second session saw Binder cut almost 2 seconds off his time and maintain his top ten spot. The improvement was due to a combination of vastly improved track conditions and Brad’s growing knowledge of the circuit, having only raced there once before.
The third free practice session, and only Moto3 session on Friday saw the track once again become covered in dirt and dust, causing lap times to drop by over a second for the majority of riders. Brad and British teammate Webb again flew in formation for much of the session, learning from each other and working on a solid race set up. Despite a small slide after running off line Brad finished with a 2:10.242 and 12th overall.
Qualification on Saturday night didn’t go to plan for Brad, finishing in 17th and sixth Honda, 0.4 behind his teammate. With Moto3 Qualifying being the first session on Saturday the track was once again covered in dust and sand, something that didn’t help Brad’s tires when he briefly ran off. The warm-up session later in the evening was also difficult for the young South African despite being able to improve his time by 0.2 of a second.
The night of the race rolled up and Brad was determined to overcome his tough qualifying session, knowing from warm up and the off-season that he had the pace for the top ten. Brad had some trouble getting off the line due to the dust and dirt on the track, causing his wheels to spin up and him to weave across the track. Brad quickly recovered and along with teammate Webb began to hunt down the likes of Nikolas Ajo and Jakob Kornfeil as they all fought for a top ten finish. The four riders, along with Efren Vazquez all fought for 9th through 13th, each spending various amounts of time at the front and the back of their group.
Despite fighting tooth and claw with the others a drag to the line was the decider, with Brad losing out to teammate Webb by just .059 of a second. A 12th position means 5 valuable Championship Points for Brad Binder - a good start to what promises to be a great season!
“It wasn’t the best weekend, but it’s a solid start. The track was so slippery all weekend; if you stepped off line at all it was like dirt tracking or something. I obviously wasn’t super happy with qualifying and I think we could have been a lot higher up with a better grid spot. The race was good, hard, but still good. Being top Honda is also good and is what we’re aiming for this year, other than consistent top ten finishes.” Brad Binder
Salom wins under Losail floodlights
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes first win of the season in Qatar. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis place sixth and eighth, respectively.
07/04/2013 - Losail International Circuit
The first Grand Prix of the season saw a first victory for Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Luis Salom. Teammates Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis also finished high up the order, in sixth and eighth, respectively, after starting from the fourth row of the grid.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders made a great start. Arthur Sissis gained five positions on the first corner, while Luis Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin held their places from the starting grid. During the first part of the race, the Spanish talent escaped along with four other riders at the head of the pack, while Zulfahmi Khairuddin recovered positions to slot into the same group as Arthur Sissis ─in the battle for sixth place.
After an intense battle at the front of the race, and a thrilling final lap, Luis Salom crossed the line in first place, winning by 0.417 over his nearest rival. This is the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider’s third Grand Prix victory. Zulfahmi Khairuddin was sixth and Arthur Sissis finished eighth, riding an excellent race after starting from the eleventh and tenth on the grid.
The riders now have a week of rest, before traveling to the United States for the first ever Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, on April 21st.
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 38:26.859
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) +0.417
3. Alex Rins (KTM) +0.423
4. Alex Marquez (KTM) +0.701
5. Jonas Folger (Kalex-KTM) +0.916
6. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +17.489
8. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +19.355
"The race was rather good, although very difficult. I think we can still improve some aspects, so we want to move forward. The entire team have done a great job since we started working together and today was the result of the hard work done by all. I'm going to take the opportunity given to me Aki Ajo, Red Bull, Air Asia and KTM and give my all. We will see what results come our way, but I'll give everything to do a good job."
"The start was very good and on the opening laps I was in the top group. We were going very fast, but with as the laps went on I did not feel so good and I could not keep up. I formed a group with Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Miguel Oliveira, fighting for sixth place, but in the end I was passed. I already feel like riding more races and seeing what happens at the next race in Austin."
"I am very satisfied with the race. The team worked very well throughout the entire weekend. During the practice sessions we had to work hard, and that is the same thing I did at the start of the race. I was passed by many riders, but I managed to recover and climb to sixth. However, I was unable to catch the leading group. Despite this, I'm very happy with the result at the first race and I hope to improve in Austin."
"I'm very happy, because it is always difficult to start a season when the bike is brand new. We also rode last year with KTM, but the bike this year is different. It has improved in many ways, so we are delighted with this new bike . I have to say I am very happy with the performance of our riders and our technical team, which worked very well, as always. All three riders did an excellent job. I'm glad to see that Luis [Salom] was able to remain calm and knew how to interpret the race. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis are back, which is very important."
MotoGP Moto3 - Tough start for San Carlo Team Italia FMI in Qatar
Fenati is 15th, Bagnaia 23rd at his world-stage debut
Losail Circuit in Qatar, which hosted the first round of the Moto3 world championship, proved to be a hard match for Italian riders.
With spaniards on KTMs fighting for the podium (Salom won in 38'26.859), Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), who took second place here in 2012, scored the only point for Italy by taking 15th place after fighting head-to-head with Iwema and Masbou.
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) had to postpone his first Top-15 finish and scored 23rd place in his world-stage debut, 15 seconds behind his teammate. The rookie, however, stays positive as his arm is getting stronger and he is gaining valuable experience.
Romano Fenati, 15º, 39'06.310 (download HD photo )
"I had issues with braking and it was a difficult race overall. Last year I was fast, this year I struggled to catch points. We knew it was hard and we'll keep working patiently. We'll get out of this together with the team. Now we head to Austin, a new track for everyone, and we'll try our best."
Francesco Bagnaia, 23º, 39'21.550 (download HD photo )
"It was a hard week-end. I was struggling a lot early on, but we solved some of the issues. I'm happy with the effort we put in everyday. I'm looking forward to Austin. I'll be 100% and we're confident we can have a good race."
Roberto Locatelli (Technical Coordinator, San Carlo Team Italia FMI)
"Our first race of the year was pretty hard. We struggled to capture points, but it was important to get started nonetheless. We just need some more time to adapt the bike. We need to look forwards, this hard race just fits within a tough season start for us. We're still looking for the solution, but we're here to work and we won't give up."
Podium for Redding at Qatar season opener
Doha, Qatar - 7 April 2013: The Marc VDS Racing team got their 2013 World Championship campaign off to a flying start, with Scott Redding riding a superlative race to second place and Mika Kallio bringing his Kalex Moto2 machine home in fifth position.
Once early race leader Takaaki Nakagami had been despatched, Redding and Pol Espargaro put on a racing master class, going wheel to wheel on the Losail International Circuit until the final lap, when Espargaro held on to take the win.
Kallio was forced wide by another rider in the opening laps and was pushed back to tenth as a result. The 30-year-old Finn fought his way back through the field, only to lose the slipstreaming battle for fourth place to Dominique Aegerter at the finish line.
Redding is the heaviest rider on the Moto2 grid, while Kallio is the lightest. Proof, if any was needed, that the combined minimum weight limit introduced for this season has levelled the playing field for everyone.
Scott Redding #45: 2nd Position
"I'm happy to get the season started with a podium here in Qatar. I lost the clutch on the sighting lap, which is a problem we had in practice and qualifying. The guys managed to fix it on the grid, but it wasn't right for the first few laps and the bike was really aggressive on corner entry. In the end I just feathered the clutch going into the turns until it sorted itself out. I wasn't expecting to lead here, so I didn't really have a plan once I got to the front, other than to keep a good rhythm and maintain my pace. It was a good battle with Pol; I thought I had him on the last lap, but he's a tough rider and I couldn't quite make it through. Next time I know to try that little bit harder to push him into a mistake. Thanks to the team for their hard work, and thanks also to Marc van der Straten for his support."
Mika Kallio #36: 5th Position
"The chance of a podium for me was gone in the first few laps, unfortunately. I got pushed wide in one turn and, in Moto2, it's not just one rider than goes up your inside when that happens. After that it took a while for me to find my rhythm and start moving back up through the field. It was hard to overtake, because our engine doesn't seem to have the push we need out of the turns, but I eventually fought my way through to fourth, only to be pushed wide in the final turn by Aegerter. I tried to slipstream him to the line, but I just didn't have the power from the engine to do it. It could have been better today, but fifth will do for the first race."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"What a race, and what a start to the season for the team. Scott rode a superb race, from lap one until the end. He closed down the early leader and then fought out a fantastic battle with Pol Espargaro, only to lose out on the final lap. It was a real spectacle, and one I hope we'll see time and again this season. Mika isn't too happy with fifth, because he was also looking for a podium here, but he should be pleased with such a good result. He lost out in the early stages, but rode a good second half of the race to finally finish inside the top five. So, a great job by everyone in the team, a fantastic start for both riders and now we just need to carry this momentum into the remaining rounds, starting in Texas in two weeks time."
FIRST POINTS OF THE SEASON FOR MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS
Jordi Torres comes close to top ten with strong comeback and Nico Terol places fourteenth
After months of inactivity, the Moto2 World Championship returned as fierce as ever for 2013 at the Losail International Circuit. At 20:20 local time, the riders faced off again in an entertaining race. Takaaki Nakagami took charge early on, but his escape attempt was closed down by Scott Redding and Pol Espargaró. That duo left the Japanese rider behind later on and would be the candidates for victory. Espargaró took it in the end, with Redding second and Nakagami third. The best action would occur behind the trio, including the MAPFRE Aspar team's duo for 2013.
MAPFRE Aspar riders Jordi Torres and Nico Terol took their first points of the season on Sunday night. After making a breakthrough in yesterday's warmup, the duo were optimistic about their chances in tonight's race. Torres started from sixteenth on the grid, and was able to keep his cool amidst a crowd of riders. He eventually placed a creditable eleventh place, at a track where he was making his debut. He was only just outside the top ten in the opening round of the year.
Nico Terol twice ran wide at the Losail track -once at the start and again at the midway point. The Spaniard was able to recompose himself from the setbacks and finish fourteenth, learning a lot from the first battle of 2013 and gaining an appetite for the second race of the season in a fortnight.
11th Jordi Torres: "If I had of had less difficulty learning the track and more time to work seriously on the setup as a result, then I could perhaps have fought for better positions. Today in the race I maybe lacked a little grip on the rear. At the beginning of the weekend we had problems gaining confidence with the front end, but yesterday in the warmup we took a big step forward. We started from zero at this track, so the workload built up. We were able to keep composure in the race, despite some problems that I was fortunately able to deal with. I am happy, because we finished the weekend well, mainly because the team did such a good job. I still need to adapt my style completely to this bike, but we are on the right path. On the opening lap there was a melee and I made a mistake, but in general I am happy with my performance. I have learned a lot and hope to continue like this in Austin, where the track being unknown will level the playing field."
14th Nico Terol: "I arrived very prepared mentally for this first race of the year, and was ready to fight for the top spots. I set off from seventh, and at the end of the straight I tried to pass Kallio in order to not lose any places. However, the bike wobbled and I almost flew off it. That was the moment in which various riders got past me, and I lost a little concentration. After that, the typical Moto2 battle began for me. At the start, with a full fuel tank, I had trouble overtaking. I got up to eighth and again had an issue, when I tried to get past Zarco on the straight and ran wide. I am a little annoyed, because I could have finished higher up the order, but I am satisfied with the work done by the team and myself this weekend. I took a risk at the start of the race that didn't turn out well for me, but I have learnt a lot tonight. One of those things is that on the opening laps you have to push, but also do so with calm. I am convinced that in the next race we will get a better result."
DISAPPOINTMENT FORTEAM GO&FUN GRESINI MOTO3 IN QATAR
Unfortunately the opening race of the season last just a couple of minutes for Niccolò Antonelli, who crashed in Qatar after contact with Nicklas Ajo. His team-mate Lorenzo Baldassarri struggled to make an impression on his full Moto3 World Championship debut and will look to improve his confidence and feel for the bike in the next race.
Niccolò Antonelli (DNF) “There is not much I can say other than that I am bitterly disappointed. We got a good start and I was feeling confident in the bike. I made up four or five positions and was in a fast group but Ajo pushed me wide and I lost the front. This is not the first time it's happened. ”
Lorenzo Baldassarri (28th) “That was a bad race and I am not happy with how my debut has gone here. Winter testing didn't go too bad and I was expecting more from my first race but we have struggled all weekend to get a feel for the bike and it has been difficult for me. Now I want to look forwards and try to make up for this in the next race."
Fausto Gresini “We can't be anything but disappointed tonight. Niccolò got a really good start and was making up positions when he touched with Ajo and came off worse. It's a shame because otherwise he would have surely had a good race. We have to be positive and look ahead to the next race in the USA because this is only the first round and we have plenty of time to make up the lost points. Lorenzo has had a tough weekend but he can learn from the experience and has the courage and determination to improve.”
DONI TATA PRADITA FINISHES FIRST MOTO2 RACE
Doni Tata Pradita met with his modest objective of making it to the end of his first ever Moto2 race tonight, the Indonesian rider fighting against pain in his right forearm to cross the line in 24th place.
Doni Tata Pradita (24th ) “By the end of the race I couldn't take the pain in my forearm any more but I was determined to make it to the flag. I am happy with the way the race went and with the whole weekend because we have made constant progress and now I want to continue like this. Maybe we will need to operate on the forearm before we go to the USA.”
Fausto Gresini “Bravo Doni for the progress made over the weekend and for finishing the race despite the pain. Things can only get better in the next race.”
WILAIROT'S RACE RUINED BY JUMP START
The first race of Ratthapark Wilairot's season was over virtually before it had started tonight, the Thai rider losing several positions after being penalised for a jump start and then crashing when trying to recover positions on his return to the action.
Ratthapark Wilairot (DNF) “I don't agree with the jump start. I am disappointed for me and the team because I felt good on the bike this weekend. After that I committed the mistake of pushi ng harder than I needed to in the position I was in, I went over the limit at the wrong time and that is also really disappointing.”
Fausto Gresini “It is a shame but Feem's weak spot has shown through again. He was too nervous and it has ruined what could have been a good race for him. A jump start and a crash is a bit too much. He needs the help of the team now because we believe in him and we will give him everything he needs to show his true value.”
QATAR: ZARCO ENDS 12th IN MOTO2, PESEK IS 18th, TECHNICAL PROBLEMS FOR PETRUCCI IN MOTOGP
The Qatar's evening races for the Came Iodaracing Team began with the Moto2 challenge. The Frenchman Johann Zarco, made a good start to recover some positions from the fourteenth starting place. On the first lap, Zarco managed to take the chase, managing to get into the top ten. Towards mid-race battle with the other drivers, some difficulties feeling his Suter, Zarco did not allow to remain in the top ten. With lap passing, due to lost of the the confidence with the bike, the French rider of the Team Came Iodaracing began to suffer severe pain in the arms that limited his performance in the final part of the race. Under the checkered flag, Zarco finished his first race of the 2013 season with the 12th place, which is worth 4 points in the Championship. The Moto2 race in Qatar was won by Pol Espargaro (Kalex), with Scott Redding (Kalex) and Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) second and third respectively.
In the MotoGP race, won by Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) with Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) second and Marc Marquez (Honda) third, the two Came Iodaracing riders were not able to achieve quite positive results. Lukas Pesek, who started from the fifth row with the fifteenth time, finished 18th in the race. Bad luck for Danilo Petrucci that had some mechanical problems on his Ioda-Suter-BMW when he was in the CRT's lead group looking to reach some points.
LUKAS PESEK - MOTOGP RIDER - QATAR GP - 18 ° "I'm not entirely happy with my race, but I'm not even disappointed. For me, this was the first race in MotoGP and it was important to finish it. So my target was to do it, but I yet to experience many things. Certainly this is not the position that suits me, I would get the goal is to get them to take some points. "
DANILO PETRUCCI - MOTOGP RIDER - GP QATAR - DNF "What a shame I made a pretty good start and managed to engage the group of the best CRT's. Then I was Struggling with Barberà, then trying to overtake Edwards I made a straight. When back in track, I started to push to recover, but the bike is turned off. I left the track, but the engine is not turned on. A real bad luck in the first race of the season. "
Johann Zarco - PILOT MOTO2 - QATAR GP - 12 ° "I'm pretty disappointed to have finished the race out of ten. I made a good start and was immediately in the second group, but towards the end I did not have the right feeling with the bike and so I started doing more force on the handlebar. At this point my arms began to ache and I couldn't be able to stayin the middle of the other riders to race for the podium. Unfortunately, we still have to fix something in our bike, but I am sure that with the team we can solve everything. "
The Came IodaRacing Team will be back on track for the second race of the 2013 season, the GP of the Americas in Austin, Texas, United States, from 18 to 21 April.
First points for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team in Qatar
The tenth edition of the Qatar GP has come to an end under the floodlight in Qatar where the NGM Mobile Forward Racing Team
has taken the first points of the season.
Simone Corsi and Alex De Angelis have both finished within the points with their SpeedUp finishing seventh and eight respectively.
Unfortunately Mattia Pasini and Ricky Cardús were not able to cross the finish line today; Pasini touched with Mike Di Meglio, causing him to crash and a high side stopped Cardús. After a medical checkup at the Circuit Clinic with the assistance of the Clinica Mobile, the possibility of having Cardús sustain fractures after his crash was discarded.
Simone Corsi – 7th
“We disserved the fourth place after being with the front group. I started the race really well and gained many positions during the start of the race but the front guys were catchable, they had a different pace. The fourth place was within our reach and it was also important for us in terms of the points for the championship. Throughout the weekend I’ve had a problem on my forearm that got accentuated during the last few laps making me unable to push, as I would have wanted. The feeling with the bike for Austin is very good, a new circuit for all of us.”
Alex De Angelis – 8th
“The eighth place is a good placement for being the first race. I struggled a bit with the full tank during the first few laps, making me lose a few positions. I tried my best to remain close to the front group and when the others started having problems with the tires that’s when I decided to attack. I came back and take positions to get close to the fast guys and could have possibly finished the race in a better position. My last lap time was my fastest. We have data to work with, we have to keep working.”
Mattia Pasini – Not Classified
“We had an unfortunate weekend, didn’t achieve what we expected but we have to look think and think towards the upcoming next
race. We have to place better in qualifying. We are a very united team and I thank my crew for the work they have done these last few days. We have to hold on tight and think about Austin.”
Ricky Cardùs – Not Classified
“Before my crash I had a good pace and was going really fast. I could have gotten a good result today but I made a mistake and crashed. In this moment I am a bit banged up because of the crash but thankfully the doctors have excluded any possible fractures.”
Dr. Michele Zasa – Clinica Mobile
“Cardús has suffered a high side. In the crash he hurt his left ankle and his lower back. The x-rays have shown no fractured and he should be fully recovered within a few days.”
Promising Moto2 debut for Kent in Qatar
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent made a promising start to the new 2013 Moto2 World Championship in Qatar tonight after the British rider superbly fought his way through from outside the top 25 to finish just three places away from a points scoring position.
Starting from 26th on the grid at the floodlit Losail International Circuit, Kent took full advantage of an improved front-end feeling following overnight set-up tweaks to quickly mount a charge for the top 20.
Kent found himself in familiar company for most of the race when he diced at close quarters with Sandro Cortese, which was reminiscent of some of their memorable tussles during last year's Moto3 World Championship campaign.
Running a fast and consistent pace throughout the 20-lap season opener, Kent finished in an encouraging 18th position, giving the Briton plenty of confidence that he will quickly emerge as a consistent contender for the top 15 in the ultra-competitive Moto2 category.
Frenchman Louis Rossi's Moto2 debut unfortunately ended in premature fashion when he was ruled out of contention for a points scoring finish in the early stages.
He was just about to break into the top 20 when he crashed out unhurt on lap four.
Danny Kent 18th:
“I'm pretty satisfied with my debut in Moto2 because my pace was consistent and around the group that finished around 13th and 14th, so that is positive. But I gave myself a lot to do starting from 26th and I've been struggling all weekend to find a good set-up. It was only in the warm-up last night that we made some big changes and though it was a completely different bike to what I've been using, I was immediately 0.7s faster than my best lap in qualifying. It gave me some more confidence in the front and I am really happy to finish inside the top 20 in my first Moto2 race. I am lacking a lot of experience compared to some of the rest who have been in the class since it started in 2010, and it is going to take a bit of time to get up there.”
Louis Rossi DNF:
“Of course I'm disappointed because I wanted to go home with a better result than a crash and I would like to say sorry to my team because they did a really go job this weekend helping me each day more to understand more the Mistral 610 machine. The start itself was not too bad and I was recovering some places and closing the gap to (Toni) Elias when I lost the front tyre in Turn 15. It is a long season and we have plenty of time to prove our potential and now I just want to look forward to Austin with the confidence that we were improving our lap time and performance on every single day.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“It has not been an easy winter with a lot of new things to learn for Danny and Louis and it is a difficult step to move from Moto3 to Moto2. They have found it quite difficult but we have seen progress being made and we clearly have a lot of potential to improve. Tonight was a good chance for them to gain some experience and Danny did a really good job. His times would have been good enough to be in the top 10 at some stage. He was fast and consistent at the end of the race and he was able to fight with Sandro Cortese, who is the benchmark for us because they were so close in Moto3. He wasn't far behind Sandro so it was a decent beginning of the season. Louis had a good start and was fighting even in front of Danny with riders like Elias when we crashed out. As we know in Moto2 a slight mistake is enough to destroy the work of the whole weekend but he has shown us already that he can be a success in this tough category. I think our Mistral 610 project will help them both gain experience and improve their skills and I'm looking forward to the next few races.”