2013 Assen Moto2 and Moto3 Thursday Post-Practice Press Releaes

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after practice on Thursday at Assen:


The opening day of practice for the Dutch TT at Assen provided a good base for Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3, who were able to get plenty of work done ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session. Niccolo Antonelli was satisfied with the job done despite citing a power disadvantage to the KTM bikes and he is confident of closing the gap tomorrow and on Saturday. Lorenzo Baldassarri is also in good form at a circuit where he has a Rookies Cup victory to his name and the youngster is also hoping for further progress tomorrow.

Niccolò Antonelli (14th 1’ 45” 269) “Overall I am quite happy because we have set quite a good pace without pushing too hard. Obviously we need to work to reduce the gap to the KTMs but I think that with the data we have gathered today the team can make some effective changes. I like the track and with a competitive bike I think I can run in the lead pack.”

Lorenzo Baldassarri (15th 1’ 45” 390) “For a first day I am happy and confident and looking forward to tomorrow and Saturday. I like the track and I have good memories here because of my win in the Rookies Cup. We have gathered some good data for tomorrow and I am sure we can make major improvements. At the moment we are losing too much on the exit of the tight corners and we need to work out how to fix it.”

Fausto Gresini “We are quite satisfied with how the first two sessions have gone here at Assen. Antonelli has set a good pace and could probably have improved even further if it wasn't for the rain at the end of the session. The objective for us today though was to figure out the potential of our bikes at this track because we are losing out a lot to the KTMs so we are just hoping that Honda can help as soon as possible. The team and the riders are working with the same determination as always. We know what we have and we will try to do our best with it.”

Salom repeats top spot in Assen

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider fastest on opening day for third successive Grand Prix. Arthur Sissis places ninth and Zulfahmi Khairuddin twenty-ninth.

27/06/2013 - Assen Circuit

The Cathedral of Motorcycle Racing today opened its doors to host the seventh Grand Prix of the year. The forecast showers held off until the last seven minutes of the second free practice session, and that allowed the Red Bull KTM Ajo team to enjoy a satisfying day's work. Luis Salom, with a time of 1:43.511, rode the best lap of the day, setting a new lap record. Arthur Sissis —ninth— was back amongst the top ten, while in 29th was Zulfahmi Khairuddin.

It was a good start to the Grand Prix weekend for Red Bull KTM Ajo. The first practice session of the weekend was not the wet ride threatened by the weather forecasts, although a track temperature of 17ºC was slightly chilly for the riders. Luis Salom and Arthur Sissis quickly got into the top ten on the timesheets. The Spanish rider led the first session for much of the duration, in the end taking the second best time of 1:44.658 and one of only two riders to go round in under 1:45. Arthur Sissis was fourteenth and Zulfahmi Khairuddin seventeenth.

The first drops of rain fell on the historic Assen track six minutes into the second session. This did not prevent riders from continuing with slick tyres. Luis Salom, after being the fastest in free practice at Mugello and Catalunya, repeated the feat at Assen. On his thirteenth lap, he clocked a 1:43.511 time —over half a second faster than the rider in second place. Meanwhile, Arthur Sissis completed a good first day with the ninth best time in the session —1:45.027. These last 40 minutes served for Zulfahmi Khairuddin to identify which aspects of the setup can be changed for tomorrow, after he recorded a time of —1:46.458.

In the qualifying session for the TT Assen tomorrow, the starting grid for the seventh race of the season will be decided.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)

1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.511

2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:44.038 +0.527

3. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:44.162 +0.651

4. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:44.210 +0.699

5. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:44.372 +0.861

9. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:45.027 +1.516

29. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:46.256 +2.745

Luis Salom

"The first day of practice went well. I rode alone to try to work on our own, and we are going well. After the test we did in Mugello, we have improved the feeling with the bike and found a good configuration with which to make improvements every day. Today we continued taking steps forward, so I'm very happy. The time we set in the afternoon is a good sign. In fact, I think we have improved the time from last year to 1:43.5 from 1:43.6. We'll see how it goes this weekend with the weather, but now it's raining and we do not know how the track will be on Saturday."

Arthur Sissis

"The practice sessions today were not bad. In fact, it has been a much better start compared with the first day of the last Grand Prix. In the morning we went pretty well, but the rear tyre was very worn by the last stint, so I could not improve too much on my time. In the afternoon I improved on the first lap, before it started to rain. With the rain the conditions were not the best and on the last run I put myself behind Luis [Salom]. Riding behind him has helped me to see what lines he takes on some corners. Overall it has been a good first day of practice."

Zulfahmi Khairuddin

"Today was not a good first day of practice, but the important thing is that I know where I'm going slower and where my mistakes are, so for tomorrow I think things will be solved. At the moment I have not felt entirely comfortable here. In Barcelona we had a good weekend and here I have not had the same feeling. It's normal that at every circuit you have to try different settings. Tomorrow we will continue to work and will make some changes to the bike. With a little luck the weather will improve and we will take a step forward."

Positive first day for Rins and Marquez

Repsol riders complete productive first day in Assen, with Rins fourth and Marquez fifth on timesheets.

Thursday 27/06/2013

The 65th edition of the Dutch TT kicked off this Thursday in Assen, as per the unique timetable for this historic event. Free Practice –brought forward a day from the usual GP schedule– saw Alex Rins and Alex Marquez finish the day pleased with their feeling and in fourth and fifth position, respectively.

With overcast skies and rain forecast for 2pm, the Repsol riders put in 18 laps each in the opening session. Rins took the third best time and Marquez the sixth, in a session that was the latter’s first experience with the Dutch track. In the second runout, rain finally arrived, albeit five minutes from the end. The Repsol riders had progressed beforehand, with Rins fourth –0.699 off top man Luis Salom. Marquez was fifth –0.861 off the fastest time.

The third practice session and qualifying take place tomorrow, with rain expected throughout the day.

Alex Rins

FP1 - 1:45.105, 18 laps, 82 km.

FP2 - 1:44.210, 14 laps, 64 km.

“It was a good session. In the first Free Practice we adapted to the circuit and then I completed a few good laps. In the afternoon it just started to rain when we had fresh tyres on. Yet despite the weather, we have done a good job ahead of tomorrow morning’s session, and although we need to refine a few things I'm happy because we are on the right path.”

Alex Marquez

FP1 - 1:45.509, 18 laps, 82 km.

FP2 - 1:44.372, 16 laps, 73 km.

“I am very happy with the first day of practice and, since the start, the circuit has been good for me. In the morning I went pretty fast and I thought it would take a little more time. The fast part is where I am enjoying it most, because they are the corners that best suit me. We know we have to improve a bit in the first sector –one of the slowest parts. In the afternoon we took a step forward and I lowered our time again, and that's very important. For tomorrow we can still improve some things, so hopefully the weather will be dry.”

Iwema in his element in Dutch TT

Jasper Iwema ended the first day in his home race with a decent 13th position. In the first free practice the Dutch Moto3 rider had a hard time trying to find the right set up for his Kalex KTM. In the afternoon he found it pretty quickly. His RW Racing GP team mate Jakub Kornfeil could not find the problems, leaving him in 33th position.

Iwema began the second free practice under pressure, because the morning practice was not good at all. Together with his crew chief Tim de Both he tried to figure out the correct set up for his bike. That was not an easy task and Iwema was struggling through the session.

In between the two practices Iwema and his team decided to change the set up radically. After a few laps in the second practice Iwema felt what the problem was. Only a few small changes were enough to improve almost two seconds in only six laps. His 1.45.258 took him to 8th.

It seemed there was more at stake, but a rain shower held up Iwema’s ambitions. He dropped back a little to 13th, but the result was enough to give him the confidence he needed so badly.

Team manager Jarno Janssen was obviously satisfied. "We all needed this. Jasper has shown he is capable of riding a good lap time. All ingredients are there, you just have to make a good soup out of it.’’

On the other side of the garage Hans Spaan, the crew chief of Jakub Kornfeil, was in doubt. Kornfeil could not ride his machine properly and felt a strange chatter. Changing the engine in between the practices was not the solution the team was hoping for. The information Spaan got from the data could not be found in the machine, which made it impossible to find a solution in time for the second practice.

Jasper Iwema (13): "We have made a good step and that is relieve. I’ve been working all morning together with Tim to find a good setup. After we tried something completely different it was clear what the problem was. It was a good practice session and I feel confident. We are at 80 percent now and tomorrow we’ll try to find the other 20 percent.’’

Jakub Kornfeil (33): "It was as if I was riding on ice. I feel a strange chatter that I have never felt before and we can’t find the cause. If there is a problem at the front or at the rear, you know where to look. But now it seems as if there are multiple problems, making it difficult to find out what it is. The team is working really hard and is giving every effort to solve it. I’m sure we’ll have a better bike tomorrow.’’

Satisfactory start for Niklas Ajo at The Cathedral

Avant Tecno KTM rider fourth fastest in opening practice session and twelfth in rain-affected second run.

27/06/2013 - Assen Circuit

Niklas Ajo had a very positive start on the first day of the TT Assen. The Avant Tecno KTM rider was very comfortable on the bike all day, with the fourth best time in the morning session and the twelfth best in the afternoon. Niklas Ajo saved his fresh tyres for tomorrow, after rain at end of the second session prevented him from trying out the new rubber.

Despite the low track temperature of around 17ºC, the Avant Tecno KTM rider felt comfortable with his bike and slotted into the top ten from the beginning of the first session. In the last run of the morning, the young rider was continually in the 1:45 range, achieving a best time of 1:45:281 –fourth quickest in FP1.

In the next 40 minutes of practice, Niklas Ajo continued his hard work. Amidst complicated conditions of intermittent rain and drizzle, the Avant Tecno KTM rider tested new setups for his KTM at the beginning of the session. As the laps went by, he continued to progress and improved upon his morning times with a 1:45:128.

Tomorrow Niklas Ajo will look to match his best position on the starting grid in the World Championship –fifth place. That was his result last year in qualifying for the TT Assen.

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2)

1. Luis Salom (KTM) 1:43.511

2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:44.038 +0.527

3. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:44.162 +0.651

4. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:44.210 +0.699

5. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:44.372 +0.861

12. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 1:45.128 +1.617

"The first day went well. This morning I quickly found a good feeling with the bike. I've always liked this track, so I set good times quickly with used tyres and, ultimately, also with new tyres. In the afternoon I went back to the used rubber, in order to save the fresher stuff for tomorrow and Saturday. We rode many laps with these tyres and it went well, then we made a change –but, as it started to rain, we could not do anything. I'm happy overall with how things have gone. The speed is good on old tyres, so for the race with new tyres it will also be like that."

MotoGP Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia FMI hindered by the rain in Assen

Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia worked on race pace, but cannot do a "time attack" because of late showers

Bad weather finally hit Assen during the Moto3 FP2. The riders still lapped mostly with dry setups, and Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) focused his work on suspensions, finding good sensations but failing to try a fast lap in the final minutes as the rain came. The Italian still improved by more than half a second, closing with the 23rd best time, + 2.431 behind provisional poleman Salom (1'43.511).

Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) also improved

significantly. At his debut on the technical Dutch track, the Italian took over one second off his best time but, like Fenati, had to give up on "time attack" because of the weather, closing in 32nd position (+ 3.245).

R. Fenati

F. Bagnaia

Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 23º, 1'45.942

"Today we focused on setting up the bike rather than doing a fast lap. I felt very comfortable but the rain robbed us of a flying lap. Unfortunately we couldn't even try a wet setup, but still we did a good job with the suspensions and I'm optimistic about tomorrow's qualifiers."

Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) 32º, 1'46.756

"Before the rain we worked on the setup we used in Barcelona to solve a few issues with the front. I really like the track, but I couldn't take advantage of new tires. Tomorrow the weather will be the biggest question mark."

Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)

"We worked hard today but, after completing the details, couldn't put together a flying lap because of the rain. We're a little further than we thought, but not worried. We stay focused on tomorrow, hoping that if it rains during QP we get some wet practice during FP3 as well.


Doni Tata Pradita's attempts to adapt to the Assen circuit were not helped by a downpour this afternoon. After a dry morning session under heavy clouds the heavens opened for the second free practice, leaving Pradita with plenty of work still to do tomorrow before Saturday's race.

Doni Tata Pradita (30th 1’ 53” 940) “It hasn't been an easy day with a dry track this morning and wet in the afternoon. I was struggling in the fast parts of the circuit but as the first session progressed I was gradually finding my way. Hopefully the weather will be on our side tomorrow so that we can make more progress.”

Fausto Gresini “Variable conditions like this certainly haven't made life any easier for our Indonesian rider. Still, Doni made progress in the little dry track time available and I am sure he will do much better tomorrow whatever happens with the weather.”


Ratthapark Wilairot had to contend with another crash today as he battled to get to grips with wet conditions at Assen. After a dry morning session the heavens opened for the afternoon, making life difficult for the Thai rider as he looks to improve his confidence with his Suter machine around this difficult circuit.

Ratthapark Wilairot (29th 1’ 53” 867) “We were doing a good job this morning and closed the gap to the top fifteen to just four tenths of a second. The team were reacting well to the data we were gathering and gradually I was building my confidence with the bike. Unfortunately this afternoon the rain came and things became more difficult, leading to a crash. Hopefully the weather is better tomorrow so that we can have a more productive day.”

Fausto Gresini “This kind of weather here in Holland is never a great help when you are trying to work on finding a set-up for your bike. If you crash then things become even harder. Hopefully things improve tomorrow. ”

Strong start for Redding and Kallio at Assen

Assen, The Netherlands - 27 June 2013: Rain disrupted this afternoon's second Moto2 free practice at Assen, leaving Scott Redding second on combined times with his lap time from this morning's cold but dry 45-minute session. A quick lap for Mika Kallio in the opening session for the Dutch TT saw the Finn end the day sixth on the timesheet, less than a second from provisional pole.

With the threat of rain ever present at Assen, Redding wasted no time in posting a quick lap during this morning's opening free practice. By the halfway point it was obvious that provisional pole position was going to be claimed by either Redding or his closest championship rival, Pol Espargaro. In the end it was the Spaniard who took the top spot on the timesheet, but only by one-tenth of a second from the 20-year-old Briton. This afternoon Redding was seventh quickest in the wet, after missing out on a final flying lap as the track was drying.

Set up issues during practice and qualifying have hampered Kallio in recent races but, here at Assen, the 30-year-old Finn immediately found a good feeling with his Kalex Moto2 machine. In the wet this afternoon Kallio posted the second quickest time, after improving rear tyre feedback during the session, but it was his time from this morning that saw him end the opening day sixth fastest, and confident of further improvements tomorrow ahead of qualifying.

Livio Loi ended this morning's opening free practice at the Dutch TT down in 25th place, but improved to 18th this afternoon after regaining confidence in his Kalex-KTM Moto3 machine following set-up changes ahead of the second 40-minute practice session. The onset of rain midway through the session stopped the 16-year-old Belgian improving further, but he remains confident of further progress tomorrow ahead of qualifying, where his goal is a top ten position on the grid for Saturday's 22-lap Moto3 race.

Scott Redding #45: 2nd - 1'39.102

"This morning was pretty good, other than a small mistake with the gear ratio that didn't really faze us that much. In the wet this afternoon it was also okay. When it was fully wet I was up there with the fast guys and the feeling with the bike was good, but then I dropped back a bit as it started to dry. We have some things to work on tomorrow if it remains wet, like traction out of the turn when hard on the throttle. If it remains dry then we'll just continue with what we're doing. Overall I'm happy with today, despite my session being cut short by a lap this afternoon when conditions were at their best."

Mika Kallio #36: 6th - 1'39.721

"Our plan was to try and be up there towards the top of the timesheet on the opening day and I'm glad the plan worked. It was good to get some laps in both wet and dry conditions today, as it could be that the weather is the same again for practice and qualifying and the race on Saturday. It meant we were able to confirm the settings with the new swinging arm, which we haven't had a chance to run in the wet before today. Initially I didn't have such a good feel for rear traction, but we made a few small changes and there was a definite improvement, but this could also have been down to the changing conditions. If it's dry tomorrow then we have a few things we want to try, but if it's wet then I think we already have a good set-up."

Livio Loi #11: 18th - 1'45.581

"This morning the feeling with the bike was really not good, as you can see from the lap times. We changed a few things, but the biggest improvement came from my confidence, which returned this afternoon. I came back in the line a little bit in the second session and it was a good practice, except for the rain that finally arrived just before the end. The important thing is that I had the feeling back and it was going better with every lap. I think my target of qualifying and finishing the race inside the top ten is still achievable, but we will see."

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