Press release previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's races at Barcelona:
Redding and Kallio ready for Spanish showdown in Barcelona
Gosselies, Belgium - 11 June 2013: Scott Redding heads into this weekend's Grand Prix de Catalunya with a commanding 43 point lead in the FIM Moto2 World Championship standings, after back-to-back wins in Le Mans and Mugello.
The 20-year-old Briton could make it a hat-trick of wins in Barcelona, but he'll face tough opposition from the Spanish trio of Nico Terol, Tito Rabat and Pol Espargaro, who will be desperate to win in front of their home crowd and to reduce Redding's massive lead in the championship.
But it may not be only Redding that the Spanish Armada has to keep an eye on this weekend. Mika Kallio currently lies third in the championship - level on points with Terol in second - but the 30-year-old Finn heads to Barcelona with his sights set firmly on giving the Marc VDS Racing Team a one-two at the top of the standings on Sunday.
Livio Loi endured a difficult weekend last time out in Mugello, with set-up issues hampering his progress throughout practice, qualifying and the race, which ended with a 25th place finish. The 16-year-old Belgian made progress with the bike during a test at the Italian circuit on the Tuesday after the race and, as a result, heads to Catalonia with his confidence restored.
Scott Redding #45:
"We head to into this weekend knowing that this race is going to be a bit different. We're back in Spain, so it's another home Grand Prix for Terol, Rabat and Espargaro, which means they'll have the crowd behind them and they'll be strong. On the other hand, I head to Barcelona with a big points lead in the championship and I'm determined to leave with it intact. To do that I need to ride a smart race, stay out of trouble and pick up as many points as I can this weekend."
Mika Kallio #36:
"Despite finishing fifth in Mugello, my feeling with the bike just wasn't there and I need to get that feeling back if we're going to challenge for the podium in Barcelona. The priority is to be closer to the front from first practice onwards, because we know the three riders closest to me in the championship will be pushing hard and will be prepared to take bigger risks with their home crowd behind them. I'm still pushing for my first win in Moto2, and I've had some good results at Catalunya in the past, but if I finish on the podium this weekend then I'll be happy enough with that."
Livio Loi #11:
"While Mugello was a difficult weekend for me, we made a big step during the test at the track on Tuesday and my feeling with the bike was much better. Now we return to the Montmeló circuit, where I raced the opening Spanish Championship round earlier in the season. The bike worked well and my lap times were good there, so I'm confident that a finish in the points is a realistic goal this weekend."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"This is the second of four home rounds this season for the likes of Nico Terol, Tito Rabat and Pol Espargaro, so we already know they're going to be strong with the backing of their home crowd. But we will continue to do what we've been doing; focussing on our own race with Scott and Mika, which has served us well up to now. Livio had a difficult weekend in Mugello, but worked hard at the post race test to improve his feeling with the bike, with positive results. I'm confident this weekend in Catalonia we'll see him back in the points where he belongs."
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS HOPE TO MAINTAIN GOOD FORM AT HOME RACE
After his second place at Mugello Nico Terol is targetting another podium whilst Jordi Torres aims to close the gap at the top
Whether it is their experience of the Spanish Championship or the World Championship there is barely a rider on the grid that doesn't know every inch of the Circuit de Catalunya and every single one of them will be looking to make their knowledge count this weekend. The sixth round of the Moto2 World Championship takes place on Spanish soil with the last race at Mugello still fresh in the memory and Catalunya presents a similar challenge, with fast and flowing sections, changes of elevation and a long main straight. With Scott Redding threatening to break clear at the top of the championship, the British rider will no doubt face a Spanish armada on Sunday, with points and home glory up for grabs.
Nico Terol came closest to beating Redding last time out in Italy, the MAPFRE Aspar rider picking up a second place that moved him up to second in the standings on 58 points. Terol is starting to show the kind of form that saw him crowned 125cc World Champion in 2011 and he is determined to maintain it on home soil. Montmeló holds great memories for the Spaniard and he is aiming to add another podium to his collection on Sunday. Jordi Torres is hoping to be as close as possible to his team-mate on Sunday afternoon after taking another step towards the front of the pack at Mugello, where he equalled his career best result in sixth place. Torres, who hails from nearby Rubí, is eager to compete at his home track and close the gap even further to the podium positions.
Nico Terol: “Catalunya is always special, as are all the Spanish races. I have mixed memories of Montmeló because I have had some great results there but I also suffered a bad injury. Even so I love to race there. It's a really fast circuit with flowing corners and you need to ride to your best. It's the kind of track I like. We had another great result at Mugello and second place in that race gives me a real boost going into this one. We have been doing a great job since preseason and fortunately now we are reaping the rewards. We have a really good set-up for the bike although we had some chatter at Mugello that we need to iron out. The team is doing a great job and I am sure we can do it. The objective is to push hard from Friday and be consistently up at the top of the time sheets throughout practice and in the race. We are in great form right now and we have to keep it going.”
Jordi Torres: “The next race is at Montmeló, my home circuit, and I am really excited about it. Hopefully we can score another good result. We did a great job at Mugello and both Nico and I came away with good results, it was a great weekend for the team and hopefully we can have another one in Barcelona. We go into this Grand Prix fully motivated. We are seeing the fruits of our labour now so we will keep working in the same way as we did at Mugello. We have a good package and that means we can start work on Friday with some clear ideas and push hard from the start of the weekend. The fact I know the circuit is an extra source of motivation for me and although I have never raced at Montmeló with the MAPFRE Aspar Team I am sure we can perform to a very high level. The setting we found at Mugello should be useful this weekend because the two tracks are quite similar.”
DESTINATION SPAIN FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON
MAPFRE Aspar riders looking forward to measuring their progress after positive post-race test at Mugello
De un circuito rápido a otro que también lo es. El contingente mundialista, que celebró la pasada cita en el fastuoso trazado de Mugello, se dirige ya hacia el circuito de Cataluña para destapar la sexta cita del año. Y cumplir así el primer tercio de esta temporada 2013 que sigue desarrollando su grueso de carreras por el Viejo Continente. La pista catalana es rapidísima, sus casi cinco mil metros de longitud y su recta de más de un kilómetro la convierten en exigente como la que más. En ella la armada española siempre trata de dar lo mejor, arropada por la afición que se agolpa en puntos míticos como la zona del Estadi. La primera victoria, en el trazado catalán, de la joven categoría de Moto3 tuvo nombre español en 2012, tras lo visto en las cinco primeras pruebas del curso, todo apunta a que puede volver a sonar la Marcha Real el próximo domingo.
El test posterior al GP de Italia fue todo un éxito para los pilotos MAPFRE Aspar, en una sola jornada de pruebas ambos encontraron soluciones de ciclística que esperan poder contrastar a partir del próximo viernes en Montmeló. Jonas Folger llegará ligeramente condicionado, después de sufrir una caída practicando motocross el miércoles de la semana pasada, que se saldó con una leve fisura en su mano derecha. Esta semana guarda reposo con la mano inmovilizada, esperando subir a la moto el próximo viernes para comprobar el alcance de su dolor por la lesión. Afortunadamente las pruebas realizadas descartan una lesión grave. Su compañero, Eric Granado, se dirige a Cataluña cargado de moral después del excelente noveno puesto cosechado en Italia, y también después de encontrar algunas evoluciones en el test desarrollado el martes pasado en Mugello. El brasileño espera seguir cosechando grandes resultados en una pista que conoce bien.
Jonas Folger: “The test we did at Mugello last Tuesday was very positive. We had time to try all kinds of things and made some improvements to the set-up that could prove very useful. We learnt a lot of things and worked out the best way forward with the set-up of the chassis in the future. After the test I decided to stay in Italy and do some motocross training but had a stupid crash on Wednesday and hurt my hand. It looks like I have fractured a bone in my right hand so I've been resting up and trying to recover as well as I can. It is a bit painful but it's getting better every day and now I'm looking forward to seeing how it feels on the bike on Friday.”
Eric Granado: “Montmeló is a very fast circuit, like Mugello. We did a great job with the set-up of the bike in Italy, during the Grand Prix and in the test afterwards. We also come into this one on the back of my best result yet so my motivation and confidence is high and I am sure we can do a great job again. I have been racing at this track since 2006 so the fact I know the circuit is going to make things much easier for us. On Friday we will work hard to be as competitive as possible from the first lap and now that we've been up near the front the objective is to maintain that level of performance every week. I went back to Brazil last week to celebrate my birthday with my family so my batteries are fully charged.”
MotoGP Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia FMI ready for redemption in Barcelona
Romano Fenati hopes to have better luck after being taken out while fighting in the second group in Mugello, while Francesco Bagnaia is ready to score points in his "home track"
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), ninth last year in Montmeló but only one second off the podium, is looking for his first podium of the season after the tests done last week in Mugello. The Italian is ready to rejoin the action with a stronger race pace to fight against the KTM group.
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4), after several races on unfamiliar tracks, is ready to race on his "home track", where he scored great results in the past years in the CEV championship. The occasion is fruitful to score his maiden Top 15 finish, which he missed by just two seconds in Mugello.
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"I'm expecting a great race, as usual in Barcelona, a technical track that puts the rider's talent to a hard test. We made a definitive step to confirm the technical upgrades we received after Mugello, fine-tuning our base setup. We head to Barcelona with great enthusiasm and positivity, united to work patiently and help our riders' growth. We will need a good QP, so we'll start aggressively on Friday."
Red Bull KTM Ajo ride at "second home"
Second Spanish round of the year takes place this weekend at Montmelo (Barcelona). Luis Salom, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis have special motivation to do well at sixth Grand Prix of the campaign.
12/06/2013 - Catalunya Circuit
Six weeks after starting the European appointments of the season at Jerez, the series returns to Spain for the Catalan Grand Prix. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team head into the sixth round of the year off the back of a second win of 2013, courtesy of Luis Salom at Mugello. The team is also on a run of 18 consecutive podium finishes. Home rider Salom and teammates Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis are highly motivated for what is a home round of sorts for them.
Luis Salom took an intelligent victory at Mugello that helped him to consolidate his second place in the overall standings and close the gap to the leader –which is now cut to just four points. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider is looking to add another good result to his CV, at one of the few tracks that he has been unable to achieve success so far. The support of the fans will be an incentive to turn that around.
Teammate Zulfahmi Khairuddin visits the country where he spends the most days throughout the year when not at home. The Circuit de Catalunya is a perfect layout for his riding style and he qualified second for last year’s race.
Arthur Sissis lives in nearby Tarragona during the season. His main objective this weekend is to make up for a disappointing race at Mugello and return to the front. The Australian also celebrates his eighteenth birthday this Saturday.
Circuit information - Catalunya
Length: 4.727 m. / 2,937 miles
Width: 12 metres
Left corners: 5
Right corners: 8
Longest straight: 1.047 m. / 0,651 miles
"This is the second home race this season and we are eager to race at Montmelo. Riding in Spain is always exciting, because you have all your friends and fans cheering you on. It is very special. The Circuit de Catalunya is a track that I like, is very wide and has fast corners. For one reason or another I have never had a good result at this Grand Prix, so getting a good position here will be a motivation. It’s going to be a fun race."
"After the race at Mugello and the test we did last week, I have been wanting to get back to racing and get a good result. This track is not one of my favourites, but it’s not that I don’t like it. Turn 3, the long right hander, and the left hander at Turn 7 are the most fun parts. Last year I didn’t have a good race, so I hope that this will change. Saturday is a special day, so I hope to celebrate it with a good result on the bike."
"When the Catalan Grand Prix comes around I have a special feeling. I'm a little Catalan, I suppose! I think this is a great track, where I have always had a good feeling with the bike. This year will be more difficult because there are more fast riders every time. I'll have to work hard, especially in the practice sessions and the qualifying session, in order to have the best possible race.
The track has fast corners and allows you to reach high speeds, and I am very comfortable with this. Last year we had a good qualifying session, but the Sunday was difficult. With a bit of luck, this year we will improve."
Niklas Ajo looking to continue top 10 form in Catalonia
Avant Tecno rider KTM out to score points in second Spanish race of the season, and to keep up his personal best start to a campaign.
12/06/2013 - Catalunya Circuit
This weekend, round six of the World Championship sees the series return to Spain for a second time this year, for the Grand Prix of Catalunya. Niklas Ajo comes into the race after recovering fifteen places in the last round at Mugello, rising up the order to eighth. He has scored points at every race in which he has reached the chequered flag and this week the Avant Tecno KTM rider will aim for another top ten placing in every session.
The young Finn has 26 points to his name from 6 races -20 more than the total achieved last year at this point in the campaign. With these results, it is not surprising that Niklas Ajo is off to the best start to a season of his career. The Avant Tecno KTM rider knows what it is like to place in the points in Catalonia, as he moved up ten places to claim three points.
This year he will try to forget about last year’s tough race and try to continue to rack up points in the standings. The action at the Circuit de Catalunya begins on Friday, with Free Practice.
"I like this track, but it has never been easy for me. My favorite parts of this circuit are the last two fast corners at the end, which are great because you can feel the speed when cornering. I have memories of all kinds here, but generally positive ones. The race last year was really difficult because the traction control was activated and the bike lost a lot of power exiting the corners. My goal is to continue in the top 10 in every practice session, then to carry that over into the race! Also, I hope that this weekend I can get closer to the leading group."
PRADITA HOPES TO BANISH MUGELLO MEMORY AT MONTMELO
After a disappointing Italian Grand Prix that saw him wiped out by another rider after just a few hundred metres Doni Tata Pradita is looking to bounce back this weekend at the Montmelò circuit near Barcelona, Spain. The Indonesian rider made good progress during practice at Mugello and will now look to turn it into a top twenty result in the Grand Prix of Catalunya.
Doni Tata Pradita “I am really looking forward to the opportunity to put Mugello behind me. I know the Montmelò circuit well and I like it a lot so it is a good chance for me to consolidate my progress in this class. I have improved my riding style and adapted it more to Moto2 now so I am sure I can have a good race at this circuit. "
Fausto Gresini “It was a shame that Doni didn't get the opportunity to turn all the positive signs we saw during practice at Mugello i nto a race result. Unfortunately it was over for him after just a few hundred metres and he was very disappointed when he got back to the garage. He has the opportunity to put that behind him now in Catalunya and I am sure he will do it because he certainly has the determination. ”
WILAIROT FOLLOWS POINTS TRAIL TO SPAIN
After narrowly missing out on his first Moto2 World Championship points of the season at Mugello two weeks ago Ratthapark Wilairot is even more determined than ever to finish in the top fifteen as the series heads to Barcelona. The Thai rider completed a positive test following the race in Italy and he is now aiming to demonstrate his improved confidence with the bike at a similar layout in Montmelò.
Ratthapark Wilairot “After the race weekend and the post-race test at Mugello I am more certain than ever that we are in good shape to start picking up some top results and I want to start demonstrating my true potential in Barcelona this weekend. I like the track, it's good fun and I know I can be strong there. I am finding the feeling I need with the bike now and our main objective of scoring points is within our reach."
Fausto Gresini “Feem has the potential to be a consistent top fifteen finisher in this class. He proved it in the race at Mugello and especially in the test, when he was able to improve his pace again. He needs to concentrate hard now because he has the ability to do well at this level and I am still convinced that eventually he will do it.”
ANTONELLI AND BALDASSARRI LOOK TO BUILD IN BARCELONA
Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 youngsters Niccolò Antonelli and Lorenzo Baldassarri head to Barcelona this weekend looking to build on a positive weekend last time out in their home Grand Prix at Mugello. Niccolò was the first home rider across the line in the Italian Grand Prix and the top Honda, and he confirmed his positive recent progress in a post-race test. Lorenzo showed that he is adapting to Moto3 and he is looking to break into the fight for leading positions in the Grand Prix of Catalunya this weekend.
Niccolo’ Antonelli “Mugello was the best weekend of the season so far and I was really happy with our performance throughout practice and the race. The only downside was the amount of speed we were giving away to our rivals down the straight, which effectively denied us the chance to fight for an even better result in our home Grand Prix. We have to patient! I don't want to make a big thing about it and all I can do is focus on crossing the line as the first Honda, which is what I did at Mugello. Now we go to Barcelona on the back of a good result and a positive test, where we were able to try some new things that improved my confidence with the bike. Montmelò is a circuit I really like and we go there determined to have fun and to score the best possible result. ”
Lorenzo Baldassarri “Mugello was a really satisfying weekend and I think it can be a springboard for us. Being able to test at the same circuit after the race was also really important because we were able to learn a lot of things about the setup of the bike and now we go to Barcelona feeling confident that we can be ready to make more progress in practice and secure a good grid position for Sunday's race. Our main objective is to put some points on the board and we will be doing our best to achieve it this weekend.”
Fausto Gresini “The results at Mugello gave Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 an important confidence boost, as did the post-race test. Now Niccolò has a good feeling with the bike, he is highly motivated and at Montmelò I am sure he can build further on his recent progress. Lorenzo is also in increasingly good form despite the fact that it is difficult for him to adapt to Moto3 because of his size. Both our riders travel to Spain in good spirits and with the full support of the team as they look to score some top results. ”
The Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya - Round 6 of the Moto GP Season
With 5 Rounds of the Moto 3 Season successfully completed, Ambrogio Racing’s Brad Binder is exactly where he wants to be – 6th in the World Championship Standings – just one point off Alex Marquez, and the top Honda Rider. The KTM dominance is rivalled only by the dominance of the Spanish Riders with 4 of the top 6 spots being filled by Spaniards. Germany’s Jonas Folger is currently in 4th position, Brad in 6th representing South Africa. To have a South African rider feature so prevalently in the world rankings is indeed an accolade and worth celebrating.
The Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya will take place in Montmelo, 20km from Barcelona. The 4.727 km circuit was built in 1991 and is considered to be one of the best designed circuits of the recent era. In 2001 the Circuito de Catalunya won the coveted IRTA “Best Grand Prix” trophy. The circuit has a capacity of 104 000 spectators and is one of the most technical circuits on the calendar.
The weather for the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya looks really good, the average daytime maximum temperature will be around 28°C with a high of 31°C expected on Sunday afternoon. Unlike the mixed weather conditions at Mugello it is expected to remain predominantly dry.
““I’m feeling really confident going to Catalunya. I think it is possible to get a good result at this track. I enjoy the track and it suits my Suter Honda so I’m hoping for a top 5 result this weekend.” Brad Binder
Dunlop Encore For Moto2 and Moto3 Riders In Catalunya
Dunlop will bring exactly the same tyre options to the Spanish event as for the Mugello Grand Prix two weeks ago. Everything went smoothly in Italy with the two classes utilising both sets of tyre options during the weekend. This validation from previous events and rider input brings a great sense of satisfaction to Dunlop’s engineers.
In previous years Dunlop has made asymmetric rear tyres available for Moto2 to handle the eight right turns and five left turns that generally build up high temperature and wear in one side of the tyre compared to the other. After the 2012 race it was decided that the basic multi-tread rear tyre was more than capable of giving the riders the confidence what they wanted. Therefore this year both the 3855 and 3838 rear tyres will be allocated. In 2012 17 of the 32 riders chose the harder front 717 option for race. We will bring this again along with the common 302 front which is rapidly being favoured among all the riders this year.
In Moto2 last time out Scott Redding won his second race of the season beating his previous year’s distance race time by 2.492 seconds. History shows riders that do well at Mugello generally go well at the Montmelo track, as shown by Andrea Iannone last year. The Mugello tyre choice contained a good mix and the top six finishing rider selections included both options of fronts and rears.
Similarly the Moto3 podium held riders who had used both option front compounds. The new 'H' rear was not raced due to riders feeling they did not have enough time given the earlier weekend rain, although it was gratifying that later feedback included some riders suggesting that in hindsight they would have preferred the new harder rear. The post-race Moto3 test gave a better opportunity for the ' H' rear to be tested with Dunlop and riders happy with the findings. The Catalunya race tyre choices could prove interesting with riders now having experience of the compound.
Clinton Howe, Operations Manager Motorcycle Grand Prix
“We had a good couple of races in Mugello and we were able to supply a selection of tyres that worked for all Moto2 and Moto3 riders. We were a little disappointed that the new 'H' rear in Moto3 did not get it's chance but were happy with the results we got in the post race Moto3 test. Assuming the riders know more about this tyre now might well convince them that it could be a good option for Catalunya.
“The post race Moto3 test was a success concerning new tyre development. We managed to get information regarding two new fronts and two new rear tyres and will look at the data provided to see if and when it would be a possibility to introduce these in the future.
“The Moto2 post race test was interrupted by rain showers so it was disappointing not to gather any development tyre information other than one of the front tyre specs. The race itself was fantastic so it sort of makes up for any lost data in the test.”