Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the thrilling races at Assen:
Rins and Marquez fight for victory again
Alex Rins places third and Alex Marquez fifth in tight Dutch TT, decided on final corner.
Alex Rins and Alex Marquez were once again protagonists in the Dutch TT. Both Repsol riders were contenders for victory until the last lap of an intense race –eventually won by Luis Salom. The two proteges of Emilio Alzamora were part of a group of five riders, alongside Salom, Viñales and Oliveira, who fought for victory right to the end.
These five riders broke away from virtually the first lap of the race. Distancing themselves from the rest of the field, they stalked one another and put in some tight overtaking moves for good measure. Rins escaped mid-race and enjoyed a lead of just over 1.5 seconds, but after a few laps he was reeled in once more. From there, the race would be decided in the final stages.
Although both Rins and Marquez would lead the race, Salom would eventually win out. Viñales and Rins completed the podium and Alex Marquez finally had to settle for fifth place. With this result, Rins strengthens his third position in the overall standings and Marquez lies fifth.
3rd at 0.282 sec.
“It was a rather difficult race. We had a good start and that allowed us to slot into second. On the first few laps I tried to escape and I managed to get 1.5s ahead but, as we saw in practice, Maverick [Viñales] had better pace and caught me up. From that moment the battle with Salom, Oliveira and Marquez began, with some overtaking moves that are a part of racing. In the end we achieved a third place that is a good result for us, because in every race that we have finished so far, we have been on the podium. We hope to finish all the remaining Grands Prix in the same way.”
5th at 0.416 sec.
“We missed out on the podium by very little. The race was pretty hard; at first I did not feel entirely comfortable on the bike as I had grip problems with the rear when accelerating. Little by little I gained confidence and I was able to catch Alex [Rins]. In the end, I wasn’t aware that it was the last lap until we came to the slow corner at the back of the circuit. Then everyone swamped me and I couldn’t do anything. I'm happy with the result today, and we fought for victory until the final lap. We can be very satisfied with our first race at Assen, and now we just have to continue in the same way.”
SIXTH PLACE FOR JONAS FOLGER AT DUTCH TT
MAPFRE Aspar rider braves pain in back and legs to place sixth in Assen. Eric Granado completes race in 28th
At noon today, an hour later and a day earlier than the normal start time in Europe for Moto3 racing, the Dutch TT kicked off at Assen. The event was held in dry conditions, with rain holding off in the Netherlands. When the red lights went out, Álex Márquez took control until he was caught two laps later by Álex Rins. A battle for the lead took place between a group of five riders, whittled down from nine at the start of the contest. A speedy race, in which the fastest lap was quicker than the best practice time, ended with Luis Salom clinching victory on the final corner. Maverick Viñales was second, with Rins third.
A winning attitude was not lacking for MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger at the Dutch TT. Despite a recent injury to his right wrist, the German rider gritted his teeth and tried to get as positive a result as possible from round seven. Folger started from sixth on the grid, and had slotted into third within three corners. However, as the laps went by, he began to feel pain in his lower back and legs, due to changes made to his bike to lessen the wear and tear on his wrist. He dropped out of the leading pack, but was able to cross the finish line in sixth place.
Teammate Eric Granado had struggled to pick up the pace this weekend and started low down on the grid, eventually placing 28th in the Dutch TT.
6th Jonas Folger: "I started strong and I didn’t have any pain, so things kicked off well for us. But after eight laps I started to notice some pain in my lower back and legs. This weekend I had to change my riding position on the bike to help out my injured wrist. We opened the bars up and changed the geometry of the bike to avoid pain in my hand, but I ended up suffering with my lower back and legs. In the fast sections, where it is necessary to use your legs, I could not push hard because I had no feeling. As the laps went by, the bike was becoming increasingly shaky and I could barely hold it steady. So I had to slow down, losing touch with the leading group. Despite the setbacks, we managed to finish in sixth place and added more points to my tally. For Sachsenring, my home race, I will be fully recovered and trying to return to the podium.”
28th Eric Granado: "This weekend I found it quite hard to pick up the pace. The weather has not helped, and we would have needed more dry sessions to best adapt to this track and find a better feeling. Although I started from far back, I went out with the idea of trying to gain as many positions as I could. However, today I didn’t enjoy myself much –not like at Mugello, for example. I felt very stiff, could not find my best position on the bike and eventually paid the price. I expected more from this weekend, but now we have to analyse what we did wrong and see how we can improve for the next race."
MotoGP Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia FMI comes back through the field in Assen
Romano Fenati, 22nd on the grid, climbs back to 14th. Bagnaia is penalized by a contact during the first lap
During the Moto3 race in Assen, won by Salom ahead of Viñales and Rins, San Carlo Team Italia FMI riders faced an obstacle race. Romano Fenati and Francesco Bagnaia, starting from eighth and seventh row respectively, did not hold back.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), with a competitive race pace confirmed during WUP, climbed back through the field from 22nd position to join a group of 11 riders separated by only two seconds and close in 14th position under the checkered flag.
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) was also ready for a comeback race after improving his feeling on the front but was penalized by a contact with Vazquez. After going off the track, he joined the race back and finished 26th.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 14°, 38'55.714
"The race went well, we once again were able to come back, managing the tactical aspects of the race well with the whole team. I had fun, there were some contacts and it was fair game. We just need to start further ahead, as we had the rhythm. In Sachsenring we'll surely do better".
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) 26º, 39'11.371
"I started well and was 13th when Vazquez hit me from the back. I joined back the track in 30th place, and by then it was too late to catch the others. Looking at the bright side, I had a strong pace and could have easily scored points. Next time will go better".
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"It was a positive day overall. Our greatest opponent during the race was the QP result. Romano once again showed that, starting closer to the front, he is able to score a result worthy of his talent. Pecco was hit by another rider and lost precious time, he was just unlucky. Working better during QP we can score better results in Sachsenring."
Third consecutive win for Salom
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider wins TT Assen with spectacular move on final lap. Arthur Sissis, repeats top ten finish with eighth place, whilst Zulfahmi Khairuddin takes seventeenth from last on the grid.
29/06/2013 - Assen Circuit
Today’s Moto3 race in Assen was a spectacular contest, won by Luis Salom with another last lap overtake. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider now holds three wins in a row and increases his lead in the World Championship to ten points. Arthur Sissis achieved eighth place and Zulfahmi Khairuddin made a recovery from a big crash yesterday to finish seventeenth —after starting from last place on the grid.
Salom has now won in consecutive races at Mugello, Catalunya and Assen. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider holds four wins on 2013, and leads the overall standings as a result. Today, he held off attacks from first Alex Rins and later Maverick Viñales. With two laps remaining, he tried out a move at Turn 15 that he would later repeat for the win.
His teammates could also be pleased with this seventh race of the year. Arthur Sissis repeated a top ten finish for the second consecutive race, after an intense battle with fellow Australian Jack Miller.
One of the best news stories of the day was the rapid recovery of Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who missed the qualifying session yesterday through a heavy morning crash. He started from 35th on the grid, but made up seventeen places on the first lap. In the end, despite strong pain in his neck, he finished seventeenth.
In the overall standings, Luis Salom leads the way with 152 points, 10 more than his nearest rival. Zulfahmi Khairuddin lies eighth and Arthur Sissis, today adding 8 points to his tally, is eleventh.
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 38:20.086
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) +0.122
3. Alex Rins (KTM) +0.282
4. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) +0.378
5. Alex Marquez (KTM) +0.416
8. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +27.811
17. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) +36.169
Moto3 World Championship
1. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 152 points
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 142 points
3. Alex Rins (KTM) 117 points
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 73 points
5. Alex Marquez (KTM) 59 points
8. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 40 points
11. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 33 points
"Before the race the feeling was a little strange. Although we had gone fast before today, yesterday we had a problem in qualifying and in the warmup the track was really bad for us. There was a lot of traffic and I couldn’t put in a good last lap. However, I was calm as usual ahead of the race. I think we made a little mistake with the bike setup. It was very windy on the back of the circuit and this meant that I had to open up the throttle earlier, otherwise I wouldn’t accelerate. I was able to rectify the mistake I made last year on the last corner and in the end everything went well. I also think we did a good job with the team.
I would like to thank Red Bull, Air Asia, KTM and Aki Ajo for all the work they are doing for me, and especially my technicians and mechanics, because every day I am more pleased to be here."
"It was a good race. I got a nice start and was up with the front guys in the early laps. I was not able to stay with them because Jack [Miller] and I tussled too much and they escaped. Our battle lasted to the end, when I tried to overtake him on the final braking point, but he was very strong and I could not beat him today. However, finishing eighth after so many bad weekends is a step forward.
The whole weekend went well, even the qualifying session, and that makes a big difference in the race. I am very happy with the work we have done and hope we can continue this way."
"I was very lucky to be able to participate in the race. Today I felt pretty comfortable on the bike and I did well on the opening lap. After twelve or thirteen laps I had a lot of pain in my neck and couldn’t move it. I kept calm and, halfway through, I thought about making an attack with two laps remaining so as not to burn myself out. In the end, when there were five laps to go, my neck was completely stiff and I could not do so because of the pain. Starting from thirty-fifth position and finishing seventeenth is not bad. I think we could have done better, but we should be very happy with this result."
"In the end it was a very good day and the whole team is very happy. The first thing I want to do is highlight their work, because we have a very good group here for whom I am very grateful.
Fahmi [Zulfahmi Khairuddin] had a very hard crash yesterday and we were not sure if he could participate in the race today, so we have to be happy that all is well with him. He did not earn any points, but he was starting from 35th and improved a lot during the race despite a lot of pain in his neck.
As for Arthur [Sissis], he has improved greatly over the past two weekends. I see him smiling again, having fun on the bike. He is on the right track.
Once again, Luis [Salom] had an incredible race. It was not easy for him, working all weekend looking for the best setup. Although we have not found the ideal setting, he continued to work hard and kept calm, as is par for the course this year from him. He made another very good overtake on the last lap and I greatly respect his hard work."
Home race ends on a low note for RW Racing GP
The prospects for the home race of RW Racing GP were very positive. But the Dutch TT ended on a low note for the team. Jasper Iwema crashed out of the Moto3 race with four laps to go. Jakub Kornfeil finished just outside of the points in 16th position.
For Jasper Iwema the race was virtually finished in turn 3 of the first lap. After a great start from 11th on the grid he entered the first corner in 10th but in turn 2, the Madijk, he got into a scrape. The wind got a hold on the light Moto3 machines that were pushed to the inside of the track. Iwema, who was on the inside line, was pushed to the grass next to the track and came back on in 22nd position.
It took him a while to get back into the rhythm and by that time the group he was in had lost the connection. Iwema tried to follow Romano Fenati but could not hold the pace.
In lap 7 the gap had grown to almost 5 seconds and Iwema was riding alone. Although he rode very consistent lap times he could not get any closer. Iwema already had a few ‘moments’ with the front tire when in lap 18 he lost it in turn 3 (Ossebroeken).
His team mate Jakub Kornfeil had an equally difficult race. The temperature was 4 to 5 degrees lower than during qualifying on Friday and the wind was much stronger. The different circumstances were of huge influence on the Kalex KTM and bothered Kornfeil a lot. In the final lap the Czech gave all he had to grab the last championship point but just missed it.
Jakub Kornfeil (16): "It’s such a pity. I was on the limit the whole race but the machine simply could not go any faster. I could get to the one in front of me but couldn’t pass. We knew from other races that the Kalex KTM is not very fond of colder conditions. It was so hard to ride. It is a shame for the team, as this was our home race.’’
Jasper Iwema (DNF): "Finally I had a good qualification and now the race is such a blow. I was pushed aside in the first lap and that was more or less the end of my race. A real bummer because I had a great start. I was on the limit the whole time hoping I still had a chance. Because of the weather the front of the bike was much different than the other days. It was hardly a surprise when it broke away: it could have happened four, five laps earlier. But it is a shame to end the race like this. It could have been so much more.’’
Team owner Roelof Waninge: "It is a bad end of a good weekend. Jasper showed his strength in difficult conditions and I’m really proud of him. It is just a pity the race ended like this: the second consecutive time without points for our team. But both riders did their very best and the team has worked hard. We simply continue to the next race.’’
Rossi races to career best Moto2 result in Assen
Louis Rossi claimed a fantastic career best Moto2 result in this afternoon’s Iveco TT Assen, the Tech 3 Racing Team rider taking a determined 13th position at the legendary Dutch venue.
After mixed weather dominated practice and qualifying, today’s 24-lap race got underway in the best conditions of the weekend so far and Rossi wasted no time in launching an assault on the top 15.
Aggressive and confident moves saw him claim four places on the first lap from 19th position on the grid and three laps later his pace on new tyres continued to impress when he claimed a further two places to grab 13th.
Rossi’s superb performance in the early laps gave him the perfect opportunity to learn more about the high level in Moto2 and also the potential of the Mistral 610 machine in a close battle.
He was battling with experienced Moto2 race-winning talent like Thomas Luthi and Alex de Angelis and the knowledge gained will prove invaluable in helping Rossi’s development in the ultra-competitive category.
He finished 13th but the most pleasing aspect of his race was his pace on worn tyres in the final laps. A brilliant late surge saw him finish less than one second away from the top 10 and he set a personal best lap of 1.39.428 on the last lap.
That was over 0.2s better than his qualifying pace and only race winner Pol Espargaro, World Championship leader Scott Redding and Mika Kallio in fourth were faster on the final lap than Rossi.
British rider Danny Kent was also a fast starter this afternoon and like Rossi an aggressive first lap saw him move four places up the rankings to the brink of the top 20.
He gradually built up to a fast and consistent rhythm and shortly before the halfway stage he was poised to mount a charge on the top 15.
Unfortunately he was unable to maintain his pace and he slipped down the order to 20th, the teenager now looking to bounce back with a strong result at the next round in Germany before the summer break.
Louis Rossi 13th - 4 points :
“I can be extremely satisfied with today’s result and I am most pleased for my Tech 3 Racing Team because they have given me great support all season. We have had some bad times while I have been learning but we continued to work and never gave up on trying to improve and today we demonstrated more of our true potential. It is great to be back in the points and there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend. I did well in qualifying and this obviously gives you more of a chance in the race and my first lap was strong and I was immediately in the points. I was fast on new and old tyres and riding in that group with people like Luthi gave me a lot of confidence. But more importantly it was a huge help to building my experience. Hopefully now I can be strong again in Germany and be battling for more points.”
Danny Kent 20th – 3 points :
“Obviously I am not happy with how today’s race went. Coming into this weekend I was really excited because Assen is of my favourite tracks and after the positive result in Catalunya I was optimistic I would be in the top 15 again. But all weekend we struggled with the set-up and I was fighting the bike the whole time. All I can do is try and put this result behind me as quickly as possible and get to Germany and focus on being strong and in the hunt for the points again.”
Herve Poncharal –Team Manager :
“I am so pleased with Louis today because he did a fantastic job and this was the perfect way for him to bounce back from two very difficult races. Every session he has been like a different rider and it looks like the private test we did in Spain after Barcelona has really helped him and he has taken profit from that. Right from the start he was inside the top 15 and he just pushed as hard as he could for the whole race. I don’t think he could have got more out of the Mistral 610 package today and the way he rode will give him a lot of confidence. What was really important too is the experience he gained from racing with people like Luthi, de Angelis, West and Simon, who all have vast experience in Moto2. That will be priceless for the forthcoming races. He was fast and consistent throughout the race and to be almost as quick as the top two on the final lap is a great achievement and shows the potential Louis has. It also demonstrates that we are moving in the right direction with the Mistral 610. I really hope now that today’s result gives him the confidence to have a really strong second half to 2013, starting at the next round in Germany. It is a shame for Danny because he was confident after scoring his first points in Catalunya and he was happy and fast at the test. But it has been a difficult weekend throughout and we were expecting a lot more. He has the talent but I think he has to push more and believe in himself.”
Top ten finish for Niklas Ajo
Avant Tecno KTM rider back in the points with tenth at TT Assen.
29/06/2013 - Assen Circuit
Niklas Ajo was again able to enjoy a top ten finish this Saturday at Assen. The Avant Tecno KTM rider made amends for the last round of the World Championship with a hard-fought tenth place at the TT Assen. This result places him twelfth overall in the Moto3 standings.
A strong start from Niklas Ajo allowed him to catch the leading group in the race. The Avant Tecno KTM rider slotted into ninth on the opening lap as he closed off a compact group of riders. As the laps went by, the Finn decided to run his own pace and ride alone. After ten laps he found himself amongst a new group, in which places in the top ten were at stake. In the end, the young rider placed tenth in a race won by Luis Salom.
With this tenth position, Niklas Ajo adds six points to his overall tally in the standings led by Salom. He has picked up 32 points so far and lies in twelfth place.
"It was not the easiest day for me. Yesterday in the dry qualifying session we had a very good feeling. This morning's warmup was wet, then the race was dry. Also, I was not feeling well when I woke up and this bothered me a bit during the race. I will not make any excuses, but it meant I was not so fast, because I felt a little tired. On the first five or six laps I was near the lead group but I saw that it was better to slow down the pace and fight for points. At the end of the race I wanted to fight with the group that I was in, but I was passed by Masbou and I lost a place on the last corner.
Despite this, the weekend went very well and we have improved in the qualifying session for the last two Grands Prix. Although the result was not bad, I'm not entirely happy. The team did a great job this weekend and the development of the bike was good, but I think that I can do even better."
ANTONELLI TOP ITALIAN AT ASSEN
Niccolò Antonelli’s main goal at Assen was to place as the top Italian rider, and he achieved this today in the Dutch TT. He defended 13th place right to the finish line, taking a positive finish to a difficult weekend. Lore nzo Baldassarri also had a good performance, although problems mid-race meant that he placed outside the points.
Niccolò Antonelli (13th) "I'm happy I finished the race, because for me and for the team this was an important goal. Maybe I could have done even better, but I did not have full confidence in the front and I just wanted to keep calm and get through the race. I finished first of all the Italian riders and I also think that in the next round in Germany I can aspire to an even better result."
Lorenzo Baldassarri (20th) "I started well but then I suffered a lot on the exit from the hairpin, just like in practice. I lost ground there on every lap. I recovered, but later my tyres went off and I could not push any more. In the end I tried again, as a question of pride. Overall, however, I’m happy and confident for the future."
Fausto Gresini "The good news for the day was seeing both riders get to the finish line of a tricky race. In the pack there were so many riders that it gets tough and anything could have happened, but luckily both Niccolò and Lorenzo were able to complete the Grand Prix. Niccolò took home some points and was the top Italian, and I believe that his objective was reached. Lorenzo defended well despite a dip in the middle of the race, and we can see that his weight and height certainly don’t do him any favours. Now we have a race coming up that is better suited to the characteristics of our bike, where the differences in engine should not affect things too much, and we will try to use this to our advantage.”
JORDI TORRES PLACES IN TOP TEN AT ASSEN
MAPFRE Aspar rider moves up from 22nd to 9th in Dutch TT, whilst Nico Terol gains seven places to finish 18th
Twenty-four laps lay ahead for the Moto2 riders at 1:20pm local time, when the seventh round of the World Championship began. Although Pol Espargarò was on pole position, plenty of riders behind him were contenders for victory. Scott Redding got ahead of him early and attempted to break away, as the two title favourites battled for the lead. Espargarò led the way from lap nine, and would eventually win out in a tussle with Redding that lasted until the final lap. Dominique Aegerter took third place on the podium, after overcoming Johann Zarco, Esteve Rabat and Mika Kallio.
Today Jordi Torres made his racing debut at Assen, in what was always going to be a tricky race. He got off to a good start from fifteenth on the grid, but conceded seven places on the opening lap. The MAPFRE Aspar rider was able to hold his nerve and start a comeback from lap seven onwards. A few adjustments to his bike yesterday allowed Torres to enjoy the contest, and he moved up the order from 22nd to 9th by the end of the race –adding seven points to his overall tally.
Teammate Nico Terol also completed a modest comeback, starting from 25th on the grid and crossing the finish line in 18th. The Spaniard showed patience and was pleased with his riding on the final five laps of the Dutch TT. He will now put a difficult weekend behind him and focus on a test in Argentina –the next appointment on his calendar.
9th Jordi Torres: "I started well but I was not able to defend my position on the first few corners. I have to learn to control the situation with new tyres as they get up to temperature. I also need to be a little more decisive. After losing several positions on the early laps, when the race began to calm down I started to move up the order. Halfway through the race I began to make a comeback and I had a great time. I gained a lot of experience and I managed to be incisive in the second half of the race. This was the first time for me racing in Holland, the weather wasn’t helpful, but in the end we are happy with the result. I think we managed to increase our performance throughout the weekend.”
18th Nico Terol: "It was a tough weekend, like in Barcelona. Personally I learn a lot from the hard times, I just want to look forward now and keep working to redress this situation. I am convinced that this learning experience will help me in the coming races. Yesterday I didn’t find the best setup, whereas today, on the last five laps, I enjoyed riding. The bike has a good base setting, but I've lost my way a little with so many changes. Next week we are going to Argentina to test, and it comes at the right time. I'm not under any pressure, I hope to enjoy riding and find what I need to get back on the right path. You have to be calm, reset and look for the spark that worked so well in races like Austin and Mugello."
Redding takes second at Assen as Kallio narrowly misses out on the podium
Assen, The Netherlands - 29 June 2013: Scott Redding took a hard fought second place in today's Moto2 Dutch TT, after a thrilling, race long battle with his main championship rival, Pol Espargaro. Mika Kallio finished an impressive fourth this afternoon, but was disappointed to miss out on making it a double podium celebration for the Marc VDS Racing Team by just a tenth of a second.
Redding took maximum advantage of his front row start, slotting in behind pole sitter Espargaro before taking the race lead on lap two. A ten-rider group initially formed at the front of the field, but by half race distance Redding and Espargaro had pulled out a significant advantage over the pursuing pack, with the Spaniard leading the way. With four laps to go, Redding forced his way back into the lead and tried to pull away, but Espargaro managed to squeeze his way past the 20-year-old Briton on the final lap, to win by just one tenth of a second.
Starting from the third row of the grid, Kallio immediately tried to force his way through the pack and into the leading group, but was thwarted in his efforts by the traditional opening lap chaos of a Moto2 race. The 30-year-old Finn eventually fought his way up to sixth and onto the back of the group battling for third, moving up to fourth on the final lap. Kallio pushed hard to try and catch Dominique Aegerter for the final podium place, but had to settle for fourth after the Swiss rider beat him to the line by a wheel.
Livio Loi endured a difficult race today at Assen, losing places on the opening lap that he was unable to claw back over the 23-lap Moto3 race, due to problems on corner entry. Loi eventually finished in 23rd position. Struggling to get the bike to turn in and hold a line, especially through the faster corners, Loi was frustrated to be able to pass rivals on the straight, only to immediately relinquish the position at the next turn. The rookie was disappointed to finish outside the points, but took consolation from the experience gained as a result of another race completed.
Scott Redding #45: 2nd
"Normally I'd be disappointed with finishing second, but not today. It was a close race and it was good for me to know I could put pressure on Pol throughout, despite him having a bit of a speed advantage on the straight. I could pass him in sector one, but he'd just come back at me in sector two or sector four. In the end I went through and tried to pull a gap, because I knew it would be difficult to hold him off on the last lap if we were close. It was all going to plan, but then the bike jumped out of sixth gear and that was enough for him to close on me again. It was a close fight, and Pol made some hard moves on me, but I was smiling in my helmet for the whole race. It was great fun, so losing out on the win by just a tenth at the end wasn't as disheartening as it would normally be."
Mika Kallio #36: 4th
"I'm happy with fourth place, but also a little disappointed to miss out on a podium finish by such a narrow margin. It was difficult at the start because I was so much on the limit, especially on the brakes, that finding a good rhythm was almost impossible. But that's how it is in Moto2; if you don't ride the opening laps on the absolute limit then two or three riders will be up the inside of you at every turn. I joined the back of the group fighting for third, but it was difficult to find a way through to the front. The pace was high, so I was close to the limit for the whole race, but I managed to find a couple of extra tenths in the last lap to get past Zarco and Rabat. Unfortunately I couldn't quite catch Aegerter for third, but I'm happy enough with the points for fourth."
Livio Loi #11: 23rd
"It was not a good day for me here at Assen. I lost a couple of places from the start, but the first corner was a disaster. I got pushed to the outside and lost a lot of places as everyone came up my inside. I don't know what position I eventually ended up in at the end of the opening lap, but there weren't many riders behind me. Normally I'd be able to fight my way back towards the top 15, as I've done before, but I was losing ground on every lap because the bike just wouldn't turn in. It felt like the front tyre was barely connected to the track. The only positive to take from today is that I now have another 22 laps of Grand Prix experience under my belt."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Today it was easy to see why Scott and Pol are now considered the main championship contenders in Moto2. Both rode a fantastic race and they were a level above the rest of the field. Pol took the win by the narrowest of margins this time, but I suspect we're going to see these two battling on track together for the rest of the season and Scott will have plenty of opportunities to repay the favour. Mika also rode a great race to finish fourth, even if he is a little disappointed to miss out on joining Scott on the podium by just the width of a wheel! It will be a big boost to his confidence ahead of Sachsenring, which was his strongest track last season. I think Livio has now realised just how high a level he's racing at this season. When you miss something with the set up of the bike, it's 10 or 15 places you lose, not just one or two. But it's all experience for him, which he'll benefit from in the future."
ZARCO FINISHED IN 6th PLACE IN ASSEN, 16th PETRUCCI
It doesn't rain in Assen for the Dutch TT races, but the strong wind and the low temperatures of the asphalt have not made easy to ride to the riders.
In Moto2 good race for Johann Zarco that struggle for the podium up to the last corners, finishing in sixth position. The French rider of the Came Iodaracing Team didn’t start well from the first lirow, but he remains in the leading group composed by Espargarò, Redding, Rabat and Aegerter. The first two try to go away since the first turns but they don't succeed in immediately, their attempt also succeeds in the second part of the race thanks to the great battle among Rabat, Zarco, Aegerter and Kallio to compete for the third step of the podium. During the last lap the episode happens that decides the third place: an error of Rabat creates a heap among the four contenders that are grazed and to have the best is the Swiss Aegerter, that conquers the podium, behind Espargarò and Redding, followed by Kallio, Rabat and Zarco, whom to not crash with the Spaniard is forced to brake losing two positions. Despite the vanished podium, Zarco gets the sixth place in the Championship overcoming Terol.
In MotoGP Danilo Petrucci has closed in the 16th place, while Lukas Pesek is forced to retire for a muscular problem to the right arm at the tenth lap. The Came Iodaracing Team Italian rider, after a good start, tried to recover the group of the twelfth place. In the firts half of the competition seems to succeed reducing his gap from De Puniet, Pirro, Iannone and Abraham, but in the last laps, because of the usury of the front tyre, he had to defend the sixteenth place.
JOHANN ZARCO - RIDER MOTO2 – 6th PLACE: "I am not happy about the result because I have lost the sprint for the podium, but however it has been a positive week end with good practices and a race done with good times and in the first positions. Now we go to Germany with the target to improve more and to finsh on the podium”
DANILO PETRUCCI - RIDER MOTOGP – 16th PLACE: "I hoped to do better because in the last days we were very competitive, however we have paid the choice to use the hard front tyre that we had never used during the practice. This has given me problems of vibrations in the second part of the race where I have taken a lot risks and I had to defend the sixteenth position”.
LUKAS PESEK - RIDER MOTOGP – RETIRED: "Unfortunately I have suffered a lot the strong wind, my motorbike was "nervous" in the reactions and I couldn’t ride it as I wanted, then from the sixth lap I have begun to accuse strong pains to the right arm and I have been forced to retire”.
ASSEN A RACE TO FORGET FOR PRADITA
Indonesian rider Doni Tata Pradita had trouble at Assen throughout the weekend, and in the race he could not find the right pace to have a positive finale. Apprehensive at first, he gradually lost ground on those ahead of him. He now turns his focus to the next few rounds of the series, at slightly easier tracks than Assen.
Doni Tata Pradita (27th) "Unfortunately for me it was a very difficult weekend, because I did not adapt fully to the circuit. In the race, the situation did not change. I’m just going to forget about Assen and think about the next races."
Fausto Gresini "For a rider with little experience like Doni Tata Pradita, a difficult circuit like Assen is a tough obstacle to overcome. As is his nature he tried, but to no avail and eventually he was unable to show his true talent.”
WILAIROT FINISHES 21ST
For Ratthapark Wilairot, finishing the Dutch TT after the setback suffered in Barcelona on the last lap was definitely important. "Feem" was also keen to place in the points, but could not manage it after difficulties at Assen. Lack of confi dence with the rear saw his bike sliding out at many points of the circuit, preventing him from pushing as hard as he wanted.
Ratthapark Wilairot (21st) " I started well and for the first part of the race I had confidence with the bike. Then as the laps went by I lost that confidence, because the rear was sliding a lot on the two slow parts of the circuit. I was longing for a good result for me and for my team but it was not to be, which is such a pity!"
Fausto Gresini "I feel sorry for ‘Feem’ as once again he was unable to place in the points. He was consistent in the first part of the race, but gradually lost pace and ground. The only positive thing is that he finished the race, which is a small consolation important nonetheless.”
The Cathedral of Speed delivers tough racing weekend for the Binders
Assen’s unique traditions meant that the Iveco TT Assen was held on a Saturday as opposed to the usual Sunday. Brad knew that having qualified in 21st it would be a very hard race to continue his run of scoring in every round.
A damp warm up limited the time Brad and Ambrogio Racing had to experiment with their dry setting. Not wanting to risk a crash hours before the race Brad took the session easy, finishing in 19th but with several more ideas for a race setting.
The grid saw Brad even more focused than usual, determined to make the good start he needed to fight for points. The young South African was up into 16th by the end of the first lap and spent the next laps battling with the likes of Masbou and Isaac Vinales for a top ten finish. Eventually finishing in 15th, continuing his run of point scoring finishes, one of only 4 riders to do so in Moto3 this season.
“I guess it was a pretty good race all things considered. I had to push so hard from the word go to get up with everyone and there were a couple of scary moments. The bike felt really good today and a big thanks to the team for that. Again, if I had a better qualifying we could have been right up there with Miller or even up with the KTMs and Mahindra at the front. It would have been good if I could have held onto 9th, but the fighting in that group was vicious. Hopefully Sachsenring will be better for us. Also hope Danny’s wrist heals up okay, that was a nasty crash.” Brad Binder
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It was a long and tough weekend for South African Rookie Darryn ‘Daz’ Binder in the RedBull Rookies Cup at Assen. Having last raced with the KTM Moto3 bike in Jerez, Daz was eager to get back on after time off and racing in South Africa. After a few sessions it was like Daz and the KTM had never parted company, eventually qualifying an impressive 8th amongst a field of riders who have ridden the track for several years.
Race one started off well as Daz battled for a podium spot in a typically large group of fellow riders. A small collision with Bradley Ray would force Daz to the back of the grid for Race two. Shortly after, a crash ended Daz’s hope of points, although he did remount and valiantly made his way back up to 16th position.
Race two saw Darryn start from the back of the grid due to his penalty from race one. A good start saw Darryn put his head down and push on as hard as he could, finding himself in 10th after just a few laps. Unfortunately Daz pushed a bit too hard and crashed out as he began to battle for points, unable to restart the bike.
“A double zero really isn’t what I wanted from the weekend after fighting for the podium in the earlier races. I felt good in Race one and I was easily keeping with the front group until I crashed, it’s a real shame. It was also a big disappointment about the penalty, I pushed really hard in Race two and that just ended badly. Three crashes in one weekend, I plan to make up for it at Sachsenring.” Darryn Binder