2013 Assen Moto2 and Moto3 Friday Post-Qualifying Press Releaes

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Assen:

Front row for Redding and third row for Kallio at Assen

Assen, The Netherlands - 28 June 2013: Scott Redding will start from the front row of the grid for the sixth time this season, after qualifying in third position for tomorrow's Moto2 Dutch TT at Assen. Mika Kallio put in his best qualifying performance since the opening race in Qatar to secure eighth position on the grid for tomorrow's 23-lap race.

With rain affecting two of the three free practice sessions here at Assen, Redding was still working on race set-up during the early part of today's 45-minute qualifying session. The 20-year-old Briton's fastest lap, just 0.145s off that of pole sitter, Pol Espargaro, came after changes to the set-up of his Kalex Moto2 bike, but Redding is convinced there's still more improvements to be had ahead of warm up tomorrow.

Kallio finished this morning's red flag disrupted free practice in third place, after making the most of the dry conditions right at the end of the session. The 30-year-old Finn was disappointed not to have qualified higher up the grid, but remains confident for tomorrow's race, after finding a good feeling with the bike in both wet and dry conditions.

Livio Loi will start tomorrow's 22-lap Moto3 Dutch TT from the head of the sixth row of the grid, after qualifying 16th in difficult conditions this afternoon at Assen. After rain this morning, conditions were mainly dry for the 40-minute qualifying session, although damp patches remained in places to catch out the unwary. Loi quickly got a feel for the tricky conditions, with his fastest lap just 1.354s off pole position and enough to secure him 16th position on the grid, despite not feeling completely comfortable with the set-up of his Kalex-KTM machine.

Scott Redding #45: 3rd - 1'38.879

"The changeable weather means we've had little time to refine the dry set-up this weekend, so we were still working to improve the bike during qualifying. The lap time was there; I didn't feel particularly comfortable doing it and I was a little bit too much on the limit, but that's the way it is sometimes. I was hitting the rev limiter a bit too much in sector two, where I was losing most of my time, so we need to look again at the gear ratios tonight. It's almost there, but we're just missing a little something right now. If it's dry tomorrow then we've got a few ideas to try in warm-up, just to improve slightly our race set-up, but we could race with what we've got now if necessary."

Mika Kallio #36: 8th - 1'39.294

"After running consistently towards the top of the timesheet all weekend, and finishing third quickest in this morning's session, I'm a little disappointed not to have qualified further up the grid today. I was pushing hard, but the lap time just seemed to stay the same and I got pushed back by a bunch of riders who always seem to qualify well but then struggle to match their qualifying pace in the race. But the gap to the front is small, my feeling with the bike is good and I'm confident for tomorrow's race. If I can get a good start and stay with the leading group on the opening laps then anything is possible, including a podium finish."

Livio Loi #11: 16th - 1'44.942

"Overall I'm happy enough with my qualifying position, but problems with the bike meant that it wasn't possible to run qualifying pace consistently today. I'm struggling to get the bike turned in for the faster corners, it just wants to run wide, and the front doesn't feel very stable mid-corner either. This is where you make your time here at Assen, so we need to find a solution for the race. I need a good start in the race, as the times from sixth to 16th are very close and it will be a big battle in the opening laps. If I can get off the line cleanly and then stay out of trouble I think a top ten finish is a realistic goal for tomorrow."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

"Mika has been on the pace since the opening free practice session here at Assen and his confidence in the bike has been boosted as a result. He'll start from the third row tomorrow, his highest grid position since Qatar, and I'm confident he has the race set-up and pace to challenge for the podium tomorrow. Scott felt a little bit on the limit in qualifying today, but still managed to drop into the 1'38s bracket, one of only four riders to do so, to secure his sixth front row start of the season and I'm confident he'll also be challenging for the podium tomorrow. Livio has learnt an important lesson about maximising track time when the weather is changeable, as it has been here at Assen, and I'm happy to see him qualifying just outside the top 15. I know he's aiming for a top ten finish tomorrow, but we'd be satisfied with him finishing in the points."

Alex Marquez close as can be to pole, with Alex Rins fifth

Marquez ties qualifying time with poleman Miguel Oliveira at Assen. Rins 0.085 off top spot, to start from second row.

On a dry track and with no rain falling, the Moto3 riders undertook their qualifying session for the Dutch TT this afternoon. Of the Repsol riders, rookie Alex Marquez came close to taking his first World Championship pole position –only missing out to Miguel Oliveira on a technicality. Teammate Alex Rins, who made a mistake under braking during his last hot lap attempt, will start from fifth.

In the morning, in the third practice session, Rins set the fastest time in the wet and Marquez was third quickest –0.612 off his teammate. In the afternoon the track dried and the qualifying session featured a close fight for the fastest time between several Moto3 stars: Rins, Viñales, Salom, Oliveira and Folger fought tooth and nail for pole position, which eventually went to Oliveira. Marquez had clocked exactly the same time as the Portuguese, but World Championship rules state that in the event of a tie, pole is decided by the second fastest lap between the two parties. This, Marquez will take off from second on the grid.

Rins will begin the race from the second row, after claiming the fifth fastest time. He made a costly mistake under braking during his last lap, which prevented a push for pole. Despite this minor setback, he was just 0.085 slower than Oliveira. Rins has a good pace and is a favourite to battle for the win tomorrow. The top five riders, were separated by the slimmest of margins in qualifying, indicating a close contest tomorrow in the Netherlands.

Alex Rins

FP3 - 1:56.783, 15 laps, 68 km.

QP - 1:43.673, 18 laps, 82 km.

“This morning we went quite well in the wet. We set the fastest time of the first session, with a very good pace. In qualifying we managed a fairly positive pace and time. I was 0.085 off pole, so I guess tomorrow will be a race run in a front group. There are many riders ahead, so we have to think about things on the bike, without going crazy. I am happy with the work we have done today. If tomorrow is a dry race in the end, we can do well, as I feel more comfortable in those conditions. If it is wet, then I am calm because this morning we set good times.”

Alex Marquez

FP3 - 1:57.395, 16 laps, 73 km.

QP - 1:43.588, 20 laps, 91 km.

“The qualifying session went very well. At first I struggled a bit, because I was slow to change my riding style from the wet to the dry, but step-by-step we have improved. On the last lap I was able to push as much as possible and take second position, so I'm pretty happy. I still lack some pace for tomorrow, but I think we have to be satisfied. The race will be tight because, as we have seen, the top five are very closely matched. I will try to give 100%, be vigilant at all times and focused from the start. It will be a tough race.”

Second row for Salom and third row for Sissis

Luis Salom takes fourth on the grid for TT Assen, despite missing final 6 minutes of qualifying. Arthur Sissis places ninth, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin misses out on the session after morning crash.

28/06/2013 - Assen Circuit

The starting grid for the 65th Dutch TT was decided this afternoon in Assen. Luis Salom will be the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider highest up on the grid, starting from the second row after clocking the fourth fastest time. One row further back is Arthur Sissis, with the ninth fastest lap of the session. Zulfahmi Khairuddin suffered a hard blow during the third practice session and missed qualifying to undertake medical tests at Assen hospital.

It did not rain in the morning, but a completely wet track at Assen meant slick tyres were out of the question for the final free practice session. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders had to start from scratch with the setup of their bikes in the rain. In the end, Luis Salom achieved the fourth best time, Arthur Sissis the ninth quickest lap and Zulfahmi Khairuddin the twenty-sixth. The Malaysian rider was unable to complete the session after suffering a crash on his eighth lap.

After a visit to the circuit’s Medical Centre, he was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure. His participation in the Assen TT is pending the results of tests there.

In the afternoon qualifying session, Luis Salom and Arthur Sissis were given the chance to ride on a completely dry track. Content with his pace and having set a fast lap of 1:43.671, the Spanish Red Bull KTM Ajo rider had a run-off on the first sector as he looked to avoid traffic. He was unable to put his bike back in gear and missed the final six minutes of the session. Arthur Sissis again placed in the top ten, with ninth position from a time of 1:44.470.

Tomorrow’s race at the historic Dutch track is held an hour later than usual for European rounds —12pm— and is the only race on the calendar that takes place on a Saturday. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, with a 1:44.004, holds the lap record from last year.

Results (Qualifying practice)

1. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 1:43.588

2. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:43.588

3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:43.649 +0.061

4. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:43.671 +0.083

5. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:43.673 +0.085

9. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:44.470 +0.882

Luis Salom

"I missed the last six minutes of qualifying because I had a little problem with traffic and was been forced to go wide. I stopped the bike and tried to restart it several times, but it wouldn’t get going again. That leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. We knew we could improve our time and continue with the pace that we had, which is the most important thing for the race. We've done a good job and we are very happy with the bike and the job the team are doing. I can be satisfied with these first two days of the Grand Prix and keep calm ahead of tomorrow.

I'm sure that in the race we can do a good job, whatever the conditions may be. Hopefully it will be dry, because it is less risky like that, but if it is wet then I'm happy with the setup that we have from this morning."

Arthur Sissis

"Thanks to the work done between yesterday and today, it was a pretty good qualifying session. We found a good setup for the race. It has been difficult due to the track conditions, with some areas of the track cold and wet and others windy, plus the traffic slowed the pace down. I think I could have gone quicker —in fact, I set my time by myself— so tomorrow can be a good race. The feeling in the wet is not bad, and we set a pretty fast pace in the morning."

Iwema starts his home race from 11th

Jasper Iwema will start the Moto3 race of the Dutch TT from the fourth row. The Dutchman had his second best qualification ever in his GP career. Doing so he gave the initial impetus to an orange party at his home race. His RW Racing GP team mate Jakub Kornfeil was less lucky. He will start from 18th position.

Iwema silenced the critics by delivering his best qualification since the Dutch TT of 2010, when he qualified in sixth, under high pressure. Especially in the fast sections 2 and 4 Iwema performed very well.

Halfway through the session he was in 13th position already. For a moment it seemed to be the final standing as raindrops started to fall down on the circuit of Assen. But the rain stopped and lap times dropped quickly after.

Iwema went back to the pits for a few changes on his Kalex KTM and after that also his lap times dropped instantly. The 1.44.812 he did in his 16th lap was the ninth time at that moment. In his last four laps Iwema came near to another improvement but had to settle for 11th, much to the satisfaction of his team RW Racing GP.

His Czech team mate Jakub Kornfeil struggled to 18th and was not happy with that. The problems with his bike were solved, but Kornfeil could not find a clean lap. He was held up by traffic and was far from satisfied.

Team owner Roelof Waninge: "Jasper did a great job. To perform under the high pressure of your home race is difficult enough. He was at the right places at the right moments and showed what he is capable of. We all know Jasper is very good at starts so we are looking forward to a good result. Jakub had some bad luck, but I’m confident he’ll have a good race.’’

Jasper Iwema (11): "I’m very pleased. We made a few more improvements to the bike, but the most important is that I was able do to some good laps. At three-quarters of the session many riders went in but I decided to stay out because it gave me more space. I could stay in my own rhythm and improved my lap times. It is nice to start from the fourth row, with ten riders less in front of me to what I’m used of.’’

Jakub Kornfeil (18): "I was waiting for a group, but no one wanted to ride in front of me. All the time I was leading a group and as soon as I let someone pass they closed the gas. Very frustrating. I did 1.45.0 on my own but with a nice slipstream I could have been at least a second quicker. I’ll have to do make a good start and see what happens in the race. Anything is possible, as always.’’


Niccolo Antonelli and Lorenzo Baldassarri lived up to the high hopes they had set in free practice yesterday with a solid performance in qualifying at Assen this afternoon. Niccolò's lap time was good enough for tenth place on the starting grid whilst Lorenzo can target a points finish from fifteenth. Both riders are hoping to make good starts tomorrow and avoid any confusion at the start of the race so that they can stay in touch with the lead group.

Niccolò Antonelli (10th 1’ 44” 769) “I am satisfied especially because I set my lap time on my own without using a slipstream like a lot of my rivals did. I am sure I could have gone faster but this just means I have even more confidence in what I am capable of tomorrow. It will be important not to get too excited at the start tomorrow and lose contact with the front guys. I am confident and hopefully we can have a dry race. ”

Lorenzo Baldassarri (15th 1’ 44” 931) “Not bad! Maybe it could have been even better if I had realised I was improving my time on my final lap. It's a shame but in any case I am satisfied with our grid positions. Now the most decisive thing will be the start tomorrow because we can't afford to lose concentration and lose positions that we then have to make up in the race. ”

Fausto Gresini “I am happy because we have two riders in the top fifteen and that's important for us. It shows the hard work that we have been putting in all season that so far has not borne fruit. Both Niccolò and Lorenzo did a good job today and even though it maybe could have been even better for both of them this is good because they are in a position to fight for a top result.”

MotoGP Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia FMI in seventh and eighth row in Assen

Francesco Bagnaia improves by more than two seconds in the dry to post the 19th best time, Romano Fenati is 22nd

Moto3 riders, fearing the rain, made for a hectic qualifying session in Assen. San Carlo Team Italia riders, also due to heavy traffic, could not climb the ladder in the late minutes (1'43.588 the joint pole signed by Oliveira and Alex Marquez).

Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) made progress with front wheel setup, cutting over two and a half seconds off his previous best and closing in 19th position (+ 1.529).

Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), after completing his work on race pace, was not able to find the flying lap in the end and will start from 22nd position, right behind his teammate on the grid.

R. Fenati

F. Bagnaia

Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) 19th, 1'45.117

"We made a huge step forward with our rhythm, cutting the gap by over two seconds in the dry. With a small change to the front fork I gained a lot of confidence. We still have work to do, but I am much closer to the setup I want for my riding style."

Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 22nd, 1'45.235

"It was a tough QP, obviously I wanted top grids. We worked well still, both the team in the pits and me trying to find some slipstreams. Our pace is OK, we just missed the fast lap. I'll try a comeback tomorrow."

Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)

"It was a positive QP overall. The conditions were the opposite of what we thought, with rain in the morning and a dry track in the afternoon. Pecco made some great progress, while Romano posted a similar lap time. We need a dry WUP to complete the circle and do a good race."


MAPFRE Aspar rider, still suffering pain in his right wrist, shows great form in QP to qualify sixth

The Moto3 riders at Assen today were unable to improve on the best Thursday times, due to the track conditions at the famous Dutch venue. Rain and cool temperatures hindered the riders. Oliveira was on top for much of the QP with Folger, Salom and Viñales pushing him hard for pole in the last ten minutes. They were the first riders to reach the 1’43 mark, but the times improved further towards the very end. Oliveira jumped backed to the top with a 1’43.588 best time, matched by Márquez, but the former’s second best lap time gave him pole, whilst the front two rows are split by just 0.3s. It promises to be a great race tomorrow.

Jonas Folger was sixth and was within touching distance of pole, having also set the third best time on Friday on his return from injury. He set best times in the first three sectors several times in QP, but decided against pushing too hard on his injured wrist, preferring to save himself for the race. He looks to be firmly amongst the group of top six riders who will contest victory on Saturday, in terms of his lap times, but he knows it will be a challenge over the 22 lap distance. Eric Granado meanwhile, will start from 27th on the grid. He suffered two crashes in the morning and pushed hard in QP on the dry track improving on his best Thursday times. He knows he has a big challenge ahead in the race but is determined to show his best.

6th Jonas Folger 1.43.901 (13 laps): “The team and I are pleased with the job today. We have some chattering to eliminate on the soft tyres but I felt good riding out there. The logical choice is to use intermediate tyres and the most positive thing is that I rodeo n my own in QP, with a good pace and decent lap times. Tomorrow we’lll have to see how my hand is in the race, I’ll need painkillers. I’ve adjusted the riding style for the injury and it’s been ok. To be fighting for pole when injured is pretty good and I want to be in the front group on Saturday. It will be a hard race again with plenty of contenders for the win.”

27th Eric Granado 1.45.626 (18 laps): “On the wet track this morning things went well initially. At the beginning of the session I felt great on the bike but at the end I had two unexpected crashes, although I got away with it really as I just hurt my back slightly. But I just couldn’t get on the pace in qualifying, I felt a bit out of shape early on and although I improved on my best dry time it wasn’t enough. I got into a group towards the end to try and follow someone but we all got in each other’s way. I feel like I could have done better and my grid position isn’t great. So we need to fight hard in the race and ride with hunger.”


ASSEN, June 28, 2013 - Great satisfaction for the CAME Iodaracing Team at Assen after the official qualifying sessions of the Moto2 and MotoGP classes.

Johann Zarco got his best qualifying in the Moto2 class, with the second fastest time in the qualifying session of the Assen's TT Race in 1.38.833. Zarco then will start next to Pol Espargarò (Kalex), author of the pole position and close to Scott Redding (Kalex) third. The Dutch week end, until now, is very positive for Zarco that managed to hit all the goals he wanted to score, being able to always be in the top positions in all practice sessions.

JOHANN ZARCO - MOTO2 RIDER - QP 2nd TIME - FIRST ROW - 1.38.833 - "We will see what will happen with the weather tomorrow in the race but my goal is the podium. I saw that my opponents are very strong. Both Espargarò that Rabat are able to run very well without difficulty. But I feel good too with the bike and the track. I have to thank the team that has worked well giving me a bike that can fight with the best. Tomorrow I will do everything I can to make the best possible result, starting forward on this track was a goal that I wanted to hit, and we did, the only unknown now is the weather that we will find in the race tomorrow. "

In MotoGP class, Danilo Petrucci led the Ioda Suter BMW of the CAME Iodaracing Team in sixteenth place overall with a time 1.36.695, which also serves as the fourth time between CRT bikes. Petrucci, which will start tomorrow's race from the sixth row, was improving his references on the last lap at his disposal, but was slowed by Andrea Dovizioso with Ducati. Lukas Pesek also improves his lap times in the qualifying session. The rider from the Czech Republic led the Ioda Suter BMW number 52 in the eighth row, getting the 23rd fastest time of the day in 1.38.704, despite some difficulties trim for never having tried it on dry asphalt.

Danilo Petrucci - MOTOGP RIDER - QP 16 ° TIME - 1.36.695 - "I'm happy because until now we had a great weekend. I have to thank the team because the bike now has really grown a lot and we have reduced the gap towards our opponents. It's shame that the last qualifying lap Dovizioso have slowed down me in the last chicane, but I'm still happy with the lap times this weekend where we worked mainly in anticipation race with worn tires. "

LUKAS PESEK - MOTOGP RIDER - QP 23 ° TIME - 1.38.704 - "Unfortunately we knew that we could have set up problems in the dry because we hardly ever shot in this condition. However, we are improving because we are reducing the gap to our competitors, but we know that there is still much to do. But we know that we are taking is the right way. The wet things go a little better, we will find conditions that will come tomorrow. "

Niklas Ajo equals best grid position of 2013

Avant Tecno KTM rider to start from seventh at TT Assen –a third row placing.

28/06/2013 - Assen Circuit

Niklas Ajo will start from the third row of the grid for the TT Assen. The Avant Tecno KTM rider repeated his best qualifying performance of the season –seventh place at Austin– with a 1:44.330 lap this afternoon. In the morning and on a completely wet track, the young Finn suffered a scare that prevented him from undertaking the quantity of laps that he wanted in rainy conditions.

Despite a lack of rain, the Moto3 riders used wet tyres for the final practice in Assen. The session did not start well for the Avant Tecno KTM rider, who suffered a light crash on his third lap. Excellent work by his team brought him back on track by the end of the session for four more flying laps –the best of them a 2:03:937.

In qualifying, Niklas Ajo used slicks and waited until the last run-out in order to ride in the 1'44s for the first time. He repeated the feat twice more, setting his best time of 1:44:330 on his final lap.

The only race on the calendar held on a Saturday, the TT Assen starts at 12pm local time.

Results (Qualifying practice)

1. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 1:43.588

2. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:43.588

3. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:43.649 +0.061

4. Luis Salom (KTM) 1:43.671 +0.083

5. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:43.673 +0.085

7. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 1:44.330 +0.742

"It was a good qualifying session. This morning it was a difficult practice session, cold and on a completely wet track, and I had a small crash on the opening laps. I was able to go back out, but the feeling was not ideal. Anyway, if it rains tomorrow in the race we must improve our setup in order to find the best feeling possible. However, I am confident that we can do well.

In the dry, I'm very comfortable. I have been able to ride at a good pace by myself. I have been going step by step and feeling better with every lap. It took me until the end to set my best lap but I'm happy with it. In the end, a top ten is always good, because it’s enough to have a chance to get to the front."


Jordi Torres, 16th, hopes for good race at new track for him, whilst Nico Terol is confident he can resolve rear grip issues

Moto2 is the most closely fought World Championship category and the evidence was clear again on Friday at Assen with the top 21 riders all qualifying within a second of each other. The rush was on at the beginning of the Moto2 QP with the track dry but the clouds overhead threatening rain, meaning all the top riders got a quick time in the bag. Later in the session there was less movement at the top with Espargaró clear in P1, and with Zarco placing himself second late on and Redding showing his consistency in third.

Jordi Torres finished free practice feeling slightly groggy due to a crash in FP3 at turn 11. Nonetheless he worked hard in the afternoon to continue his adaptation to another new circuit and was amongst the group of 21 riders who qualified within a second of pole. His best time came on the 20th of 21 laps and placed him 16th. He is happy with his feeling on the bike and will make some front end adjustments in warm up. On the other side of the MAPFRE Aspar box Nico Terol has been hindered by rear wheel issues and has qualified 26th. He is still upbeat and will work to find a solution.

16th Jordi Torres 1.39.482 (21 laps): “I like this circuit and I think we’re doing a good job overall. I lost the front end in the morning and crashed but in the afternoon we continued the hard work and our performance was better. The lap time doesn’t match that improvement and I think in clearer conditions we would be doing much better at what is a new track for me. Anyway I think I’ve got the hang of this track and in warm up we will modify the front to try and improve the front end feeling. If we achieve that we can push the bike harder and our corner speed will improve. It will not be an easy race but as I said I like this track and I think we can get a good result.”

26th Nico Terol 1.40.014 (22 laps): “We’re having a tough weekend and we don’t like being in these positions. The feeling is not good. At Montmeló we were looking for more pace and the team made a lot of changes to try and help me. But I feel like we’ve lost the direction a bit. No-one said Moto2 was an easy category and we need to keep working hard. We’ve been competitive at some races so we know we can get back on top when we find the way forward. We will just keep working and developing until we get there.”


Despite some positive signs in this morning's final free practice Doni Tata Pradita was unable to confirm his progress in qualifying practice at Assen this afternoon. The Indonesian rider struggled for confidence and made a series of mistakes that cost him time and grid positions for tomorrow's race.

Doni Tata Pradita (32nd 1’ 41” 875) “I am not happy because I expected to do better this afternoon but I couldn't find the same confidence with the bike that I had this morning. In the first session I was riding well but this afternoon I made too many mistakes under braking. We'll see tomorrow if we can get back to our best and make some ground up in the race. ”

Fausto Gresini “For an inexperienced rider like Pradita it is not easy to get to grips with Assen and Doni has struggled at times this weekend. His problems were accentuated in qualifying and we just have to hope for better tomorrow.”


Ratthapark Wilairot's starting position for the Dutch TT may not be the best but the gap to the riders in front of him is narrow enough to suggest that the Thai rider can fight for points tomorrow. An improved feeling with his bik e despite a slight power deficit that the team hope to fix in tomorrow's warm-up has given Wilairot the confidence to aim high in the seventh round of the season.

Ratthapark Wilairot (22th 1’ 39” 783) “I am quite happy because even though I am 22nd on the grid our lap times are not too far off the top guys. If we can improve our pace in the two fast sections of the track during the warm-up tomorrow I think we will be ready to have a good race here.”

Fausto Gresini “Once again Feem has shown he has the potential to fight for points. He is still lacking a little something but if the team can help him find it in the warm-up tomorrow morning he is in good shape to fight for a top result.”

Rossi and Kent focus on top 15 in Assen

Tech 3 Racing Moto2 duo Louis Rossi and Danny Kent are optimistic they can both finish inside the points in tomorrow’s Dutch TT after encouraging qualifying performances at the historic Assen track.

Rain in two out of three practice sessions wasn’t the ideal preparations for this afternoon’s all-important dry qualifying battle, with the inclement weather restricting the time available for Rossi and Kent to fine-tune the set-up of their improving Mistral 610 machinery on slick tyres.

French rider Rossi was still able to show a promising pace ahead of tomorrow’s 24-lap race and a best lap of 1.39.660 secured him 19th position on the grid. The gap to the best pace was the most pleasing aspect for Rossi today and his time was only 0.926s off pole position and less than 0.5s behind the top six.

British rider Kent will start the seventh round of the 2013 campaign from a further six places down the grid in 25th, but that position certainly didn’t represent the hard charging teenager’s true potential.

Kent was less than 1.2s off pole position with a personal best of 1.39.928 and after a confidence-inspiring first top 15 finish at the last round in Catalunya, he is determined to register more vital World Championship points in tomorrow’s race.

Louis Rossi 19th 1.39.660:

“I think we can be quite happy with our performance in qualifying because we made some good improvements after the weather disrupted a lot of time to find a good setting with the Mistral 610. After Barcelona I understand a lot more about the bike and the riding style and the Tech 3 Racing Team has done a good job this weekend to give me a competitive package. I have a good rhythm and my objective is to fight for the points.”

Danny Kent 25th 1.39.928:

“Obviously it is not great to be down in 25th but the times are very close. I am only 1.2s off pole position and I was the same gap off in Barcelona but I was much higher up the grid in 17th. I managed to get some points in Barcelona and that is my goal again here in Assen. I didn’t have a lot of confidence with the bike today but hopefully the warm-up will be dry and we can work on improving the set-up for the race.”

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