Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying for the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring:
Alex Rins takes third pole of the season
Alex Marquez improves times from yesterday, placing tenth due to traffic on track late on in qualifying.
On a colder day than yesterday, the Moto3 riders completed the second day of practice for the German Grand Prix on Saturday. In the morning practice session and with the threat of rain present, Rins took the second fastest time –behind Salom– and Marquez was ninth.
In the qualifying session, the two Repsol riders led the way on the early laps, with Marquez third and Rins fifth. With 26 minutes to go, Rins rose to provisional pole –a position that he maintained until the end and added to his top spot tally. It was his third pole of 2013, repeating those of Austin and Jerez, and his fourth in short GP career.
Teammate Marquez was not able to improve upon his times on the last laps of the session, due to heavy traffic on track. However, the youngster is confident of his pace and is ready to have a strong race tomorrow.
FP3 - 1:27.407, 21 laps, 77 km.
QP - 1:27.300, 22 laps, 81 km.
"Today we had a great workout, but we all know that the points are decided tomorrow and not today. It will be a tough race, but we will start from pole. There are many riders with the pace to keep up at the front and we will have to improve a few things from previous races. In particular, we will have to watch out for the final laps, which are where we've been losing out recently. We are positive about tomorrow because we have a good pace on our own and the team are working well."
FP3 - 1:28.063, 21 laps, 77 km.
QP - 1:27.818, 22 laps, 81 km.
"The second day in Germany went quite well for us. We have taken steps forward and that's the most important thing, because on each run we improved our times. I think we have a good pace for tomorrow, but we have to finish off improving some details of the setup. I'm not entirely happy with tenth on the grid, as I was improving my times before I hit traffic. Tomorrow we will try to make a good start, slot into the front group and try to stick with it for as long as we can."
Another excellent qualifying for Iwema
Jasper Iwema rode another excellent qualifying. After qualifying 11th in Assen two weeks ago, he evolved to 9 on the Sachsenring for tomorrows Grand Prix of Germany. Jakub Kornfeil, the other rider of RW Racing GP, was hampered more than expected by the effects of his crash from yesterday. He will start the Moto3 race from the sixth row on the grid.
The first day of the German GP wasn’t that good for Jasper Iwema. The second day it showed from the beginning he found a better setup for his Kalex KTM. In the third free practice on Saturday morning he was in the top 5 for a long time, but eventually dropped back to 14.
In the qualifying session in the afternoon he put his head down right from the start. Iwema found the pace and as a result also the confidence. He planned the session neatly and played his cards right. When he was in the middle of traffic, he fell behind to bring himself in a position to close the gap to the group in front of him.
Jakub Kornfeil suffered more than expected from the effects of his crash in which the foot peg hit his leg just below the knee. The crash also had an effect on his confidence to get to the limit. The Sachsenring is one of the shortest circuits of the season and therefore the differences are small. Every tenth of a second means a position forth or back. In the case of Kornfeil being less than half a second slower than his team mate meant almost ten positions back. The Czech will start from 18th spot.
Jasper Iwema (9): "I had a very good day. I quickly found my rhythm and did my lap times mainly on my own. That is a good sign and good for my confidence. It was not just a few good laps. My race pace is good as well. I’m relieved with two good qualifications in a row, but the final result definitely has to be better than in Assen. I realize very well the starting position doesn’t mean it will be an easy race. The Sachsenring is physically demanding and it will be a long and tough fight. I will do my very best for a good result.’’
Jakub Kornfeil (18): "Obviously I’m not satisfied with 18th. My leg hurts and that made it difficult to ride with full confidence. Having a good night’s sleep to recover will be important to be in better shape tomorrow. I’ll have to have a good start of the race to get through the first lap and get closer to the front. It’s going to be a hard race for sure.’’
ANTONELLI FINDS FORM AT SACHSENRING
Niccolò Antonelli bounced back from a disappointing performance yesterday to rediscover his form and self-confidence at Sachsenring. The Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 rider qualified thirteenth fastest to secure himself a posi tion on the fifth row of the grid for tomorrow's German Grand Prix whilst his team-mate Lorenzo Baldassarri will be three places behind him after struggling to repeat his impressive result from yesterday.
Niccolò Antonelli (13th 1’ 28” 073) “Today went a lot better because I had more confidence with the bike and felt like myself again. Maybe because of the two crashes yesterday I couldn't concentrate properly but today I focused really hard and I was pleased with the mental strength I showed. Maybe it could have been even better but I am still happy. ”
Lorenzo Baldassarri (16th 1’ 28” 216) “I am happy but not exactly delighted because I feel I could have qualified better if it wasn't for a strange vibration on the front of the bike on my last run. It was a shame because I think we showed in practice that we were capable of qualifying closer to the front than this but in any case I feel good and if we get a good start tomorrow then we stand a chance of hanging on to the lead group.”
Fausto Gresini “Niccolò managed to go faster than yesterday and even though Lorenzo had some difficulties it was a positive day overall. Unfortunately we weren't able to qualify as the top Honda and that is disappointing but we will continue to work hard and try to get this project on the right track. ”
MotoGP Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia FMI on third row in Sachsenring
Best QP of the year for Fenati, who seizes 8th place. Bagnaia is 23rd but not far from the frontrunners
During the Moto3 qualifiers in Sachsenring, topped by Rins with a 1'27.300, the gaps were narrow. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) climbed the rankings, cutting nearly a second off his previous best and seizing his best QP of the season so far. The Italian closed in eighth place (+ 0.510).
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) also had a positive run, making steady progress and getting closer to the front. The rookie, in a particularly narrow standing, closed in 23rd position but just + 1.306 from pole and eighth tenths from third row.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5)
"I'm very happy. The team and I worked hard and were able to make the most of qualifying tires. Starting closer to the front will be a huge help during the race. We will start with the right spirit to try and get our best result of the year."
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4)
"I improved a lot since yesterday but unfortunately the gaps are very narrow and I didn't make it as close to the front as I wanted to. That said, the bike is a lot better in corner entry and with a small improvement during WUP I can have a strong race."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"QP went well. Romano will be able to attack since turn 1 and race at the top. Pecco also made a strong progression and is not far. Both have a strong pace, and we're all hopeful. We just need to stay focused during WUP and we can get great results."
JONAS FOLGER BOUNCES BACK FROM CRASH TO QUALIFY FOURTH
MAPFRE Aspar rider heads up second row at home Grand Prix as team-mate Eric Granado qualifies 31st after also crashing
Yesterday's hot Moto3 pace at the Sachsenring intensified on the second day, with a new benchmark of 1'27.013 set in FP3 compared to 1'27.208. Expectations were high for the 1'27 barrier to be broken in qualifying this afternoon but in the end it didn't quite happen in a session that saw Alex Rins and Luis Salom battle for pole position chased closely by the likes of Jonas Folger, Efren Vázquez and Miguel Oliveira.
MAPFRE Aspar Team rider Folger's crew did a great job to get the German back on track in front of his home crowd just ten minutes after a crash early in the session. Jonas reciprocated the hard work of his mechanics by making up ten positions within just two laps before ending the session fourth fastest, just over two tenths off pole. MAPFRE Aspar Team rookie Eric Granado also recovered from a couple of scares today, the Brazilian youngster crashing in the first turn this morning and the final turn this afternoon. Thankfully he escaped unhurt and will line up 31st on the grid tomorrow.
4th Jonas Folger 1.27.579 (13 laps): “We wanted to test out the hardest tyre this morning but I crashed and that made the session difficult. We knew it was a risk but we wanted to know if we could use it for the race. Obviously it's not the best choice for this track in these conditions but luckily I was unhurt and the mechanics were able to put the bike back together quickly. After that I tried to forget about it and push for a fast time. I made up a lot of positions in a couple of laps and managed to qualify fourth. The chassis we tried yesterday worked well but it means this race is still a test so we well have to see how it goes and try to make it to the end. I know it has potential so I would like to at least be on the podium and I think we can do it."
31st Eric Granado 1.29.175 (18 laps): “I am annoyed because I took a long time to find my way around the track and had two crashes. I managed to get back on track and improve my time this morning but this afternoon I just didn't feel good on the bike and didn't have confidence. Almost at the end of the session I was in a good group and setting a fast time but ended up crashing again. It hasn't been our best day but we will look at where we went wrong and try to put it right tomorrow to pay the team back for their efforts.”
Second place for Luis Salom despite shortened track time
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will make front row start tomorrow, despite not completing qualifying due to mechanical problems. Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis will take off from twelfth and fiftteenth, respectively.
13/07/2013 - Sachsenring
The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider this afternoon achieved a creditable second position on the starting grid for tomorrow's German Grand Prix. With 5 minutes remaining and on his first lap on new tyres, mechanical problems prevented him from finishing the session. After feeling very comfortable in the morning, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Arthur Sissis concluded the day with twelfth and fifteenth place.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team had taken excellent results in the last free practice session of the weekend. The good feeling from yesterday continued, with Luis Salom setting a new lap record of 1:27.013 at the head of the timesheets and Arthur Sissis fourth with a best lap of 1:27.614. Like his teammates, Zulfahmi Khairuddin also lowered his times from yesterday and concluded eleventh fastest, setting a lap of 1:28.223.
In the main course of the day, Red Bull KTM Ajo riders kept up their good form. Luis Salom was quickly amongst the frontrunners, but had to save a crash when out on new tyres and suffering mechanical problems. The Spaniard was thus second fastest, setting a best time of 1:27.840. Zulfahmi Khairuddin, twelfth (1:28.047), came up to traffic late on, whilst Arthur Sissis, took fifteenth position (1:28.089).
The eighth Moto3 race of the season will be held tomorrow from 11am local time and Luis Salom will look to score his fourth consecutive victory –a feat that no rider has achieved in the Moto3 class thus far.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:27.300
2. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:27.480 +0.180
3. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 1:27.559 +0.259
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:27.579 +0.279
5. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 1:27.599 +0.299
12. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:28.047 +0.747
15. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 1:28.089 +0.789
"I was lucky to make a save on the corner where we had the incident. It's a shame, because it was the first lap on new tyres, we knew we could push hard and did not have time to use them to the fullest. I'm happy with the time anyway, although we could probably have lowered it. The most important thing is that this morning we did a lap in 1:27.0, I had a very good pace, just like yesterday, so we can be happy about tomorrow. The work has been very good so far. I guess the race will be like the last one, with a large group at the front and very difficult."
"It was a very positive morning. I was feeling good and riding with a very steady pace in the morning session. In qualifying we made a few small adjustments to the setup, but I noticed them more than I expected. That's why, when we put the new tyres on, I was unable to push to the maximum. Tomorrow we will use the settings we had in the third free practice, because I have a better feeling with that and I can run a higher pace. I’ll see if I can finish in the top five, but we'll see, because my pace today was pretty good. I have confidence about this race."
"The qualifying session went well, I had a good feeling from the beginning to the end. In the last part of the session we put a new tyre on the rear and I managed to find more grip, but I ran into a group of riders on the track and couldn’t get a clean lap in. In any case, it was a good day and I did a 1.28, although I think a 1.27 was possible without traffic. Tomorrow I hope to be in the leading group, I have to focus on the race and I have a lot of confidence in both the team and myself."
Hard fought ninth row for Niklas Ajo
Avant Tecno KTM rider takes twenty-fifth best time in qualifying session for the German Grand Prix, riding with an injured right wrist.
13/07/2013 - Sachsenring
Niklas Ajo today continued one of his most difficult weekends so far this season. With a small fracture in his right wrist, the Avant Tecno KTM rider managed to lower his lap times in each session, qualifying twenty-fifth for the German GP with a 1:28.671 time. The position puts him on the ninth row of the grid.
The young Finn tried to focus on his work and put his injured right wrist to the back of his mind in the third free practice session of the weekend. The results were satisfactory, as in the initial part of the session he was in the top fifteen. At the end of the run he managed to reduce his time from Friday by over seven-tenths (1:28.914) and take 21st.
Despite continuous pain in his right wrist, the Avant Tecno KTM rider was able to improve constantly. In the qualifying practice, a personal best lap of 1:28.671 on his fourteenth of eighteen times around the Sachsenring put Niklas on the ninth row of the grid.
Heading into tomorrow's race (11:00am local time), Niklas Ajo will fight for a top fifteen finish that he has achieved every time he has visited Germany in the World Championship.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:27.300
2. Luis Salom (KTM) 1:27.480 +0.180
3. Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra) 1:27.559 +0.259
4. Jonas Folger (Kalex KTM) 1:27.579 +0.279
5. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 1:27.599 +0.299
25. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 1:28.671 +1.371
"My wrist still hurts when I'm riding. I need to have injections for it to not hurt as much, but although at first the pain itself was less, it intensified as the laps went on. I suffered a lot. I rode the best I could on the bike, and just tried to find the best feeling for the race tomorrow. I hope to complete it in the best possible position."
PRADITA UNABLE TO MASTER SACHSENRING
Doni Tata Pradita's struggles at Sachsenring continued today as the Indonesian rider failed to get to grips with the notoriously technical German track. The eighth round of the Moto2 World Championship takes place here tomorrow a nd for Doni it will be a case of trying to learn as much as he can and make up positions where possible after qualifying back in 33rd position.
Doni Tata Pradita (33rd 1’ 27” 263) “I am really struggling here! In some of the corners I have been able to improve my riding but I am still having too much difficulty in some of the others. We haven't improved today as much as we would have liked so tomorrow we have to try and do better. Hopefully we can get a good start and make up some positions.”
Fausto Gresini “Doni has struggled to find his way around this track. His riding style is not suited to it and he is struggling to adapt. After making good progress in recent races this weekend has been a bit of a setback.”
WILAIROT UNABLE TO IMPROVE PACE AT SACHSENRING
Ratthapark Wilairot was unable to significantly improve his pace on the second day at Sachsenring this afternoon and therefore faces a fight through the pack as he aims to score points in tomorrow's German Grand Prix. Unfortunately once again “Feem” was unable to fulfil his potential and challenge for the kind of grid position that he is clearly capable of.
Ratthapark Wilairot (25th 1’ 25” 884) “This morning wasn't too bad and I was quite confident for the afternoon but I just couldn't get up to speed in a few of the corners. I didn't feel confident and couldn't push the bike like I wanted to. Hopefully we can get a good start tomorrow and make up positions.”
Fausto Gresini “Unfortunately at the moment Feem doesn't seem able to produce his full potential on track. He doesn't seem sure of himself and at the moment he's struggling to make the difference and fight for a good result. ”
Kent confident of top 15 finish in Germany
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent is confident he can fight for a second top 15 finish of the 2013 Moto2 World Championship campaign in Germany tomorrow after an incredibly close qualifying session at the Sachsenring.
The Moto2 category has developed a reputation for enthralling and close qualifying and racing and today was no exception at the tight and twisty German venue.
Kent’s best lap time of 1.25.695 put him in 22nd position on the grid for tomorrow’s 29-lap race, but in yet another fiercely fought qualifying session he was only 1.030s away from the best lap time and just over 0.5s away from the top 10.
The British rider has felt much more comfortable on the Mistral 610 machine this weekend and he is optimistic he can battle his way through the pack to finish inside the points for the second time in his rookie Moto2 campaign.
Fresh from a career best result of 13th at the previous round in Assen, Louis Rossi arrived in Germany brimming with confidence that he could continue his impressive form and show once again the high potential of the Tech 3 Racing package.
The Frenchman though is facing a difficult task in tomorrow’s race having only been able to qualify in 27th position. A best time of 1.26.154 certainly wasn’t an accurate reflection of Rossi’s potential and his determined efforts to climb further up the grid were thwarted by a fall at the first corner in the closing stages of this afternoon’s session that cost him precious time on track.
Danny Kent 22nd 1.25.695 – 26 laps :Danny Kent
“I’m a little bit disappointed with qualifying today because I’ve felt good on the bike this weekend and I was certainly looking to be inside the top 20 on the grid. But I have to stay positive because we have done a very good job and the lap times are really close. Another few tenths and I am in the top 10 and the main thing for me will be to get a good start and be aggressive in the first laps to recover as many places as possible. It will be tough but I still believe that I have an excellent chance of scoring some points.”
Louis Rossi 27th 1.26.154 – 20 laps :
“Compared to Assen where I had a very good feeling with the bike I have been struggling a bit here in Germany and I am very sad about that. This morning I crashed on new tyres and I didn’t find an explanation for this. In qualifying I started with the first run to get the confidence back and on my last run I improved my lap time but I crashed right at the end at the first corner. This was very disappointing because I am sure I could have been much higher up the grid. The race will be difficult starting in 27th because it is not so easy to pass on this circuit, but I will do my best and try to learn as much as possible to make me stronger for future races.”
Third row for Redding and Kallio after close Sachsenring qualifying
Sachsenring, Germany - 13 July 2013: The Marc VDS duo of Scott Redding and Mika Kallio will line up together on the third row of the grid for tomorrow's German Moto2 Grand Prix at the Sachsenring. Redding finished in eighth position and Kallio ninth, in a tight qualifying session that saw the top 20 separated by just one second.
Redding struggled to find a good feeling with his Kalex Moto2 machine during the early part of today's 45-minute qualifying session, but improvements through minor changes to the set up of the bike meant he headed out for his final run with confidence restored. The 20-year-old Briton looked all set to claim a position on the front row of the grid with his last flying lap, but lost vital tenths avoiding a slower rider and ended the session eighth.
Kallio headed out for qualifying looking for a top six starting position but, like his Marc VDS teammate, fell short of his target by the narrowest of margins. The 30-year-old Finn impressed with a string of consistently fast laps in qualifying, but just wasn't able to find the final tenth of a second that would have seen him on the second row for tomorrow's race.
Starting position is critical at Sachsenring, as the tight, right-hand, downhill turn one is notorious for first lap incidents. The 34-strong field arrives at high speed on the opening lap, and the temptation to go deep into the corner on the brakes to make up places is one that some riders find impossible to resist. With the chance of more than one rider out-braking himself into turn one, staying clear of trouble will be a priority for both Redding and Kallio tomorrow.
Livio Loi will start tomorrow's 27-lap German Moto3 Grand Prix from the ninth row of the grid, after qualifying in 26th position at the Sachsenring this afternoon. The 16-year-old Belgian was aiming to qualify inside the top 20 today, but got held up through the final sector on his fastest lap and missed his target by just one tenth of a second. Despite his starting position Loi remains optimistic about tomorrow's race, having lapped consistently in the 1'28s bracket throughout today's practice and qualifying sessions with the bike in race trim.
Scott Redding #45: 8th - 1'24.963
"I was struggling a little at the beginning, but then we made some changes and the bike got better, then a few more changes brought more improvements and it started to come better again. Unfortunately I caught Gino Rea on my fastest lap. He was looking back and he saw me, but he didn't move over let me through. Instead he stayed on the line, maybe looking to hook on for a tow, but going around him cost me maybe one or two tenths and disrupted my rhythm. We need to look again at the bike tonight, to find a little more consistency because it's a long race and 29 laps around here is hard work. Today was my worst qualifying of the season so far, but if we can avoid any trouble in turn one on the opening lap, then we'll see what we can do in the race."
Mika Kallio #36: 9th - 1'24.990
"Top six was the target in qualifying today, but I just couldn't seem to find the couple of extra tenths needed and missed out by the narrowest of margins. I'm not worried for the race, as I've been consistently quick in every session this weekend. What will be important tomorrow is avoiding any trouble in turn one on the opening lap and then managing the tyre in the first part of the race, because this track is hard on tyres, especially the left hand side of the rear. The track is also hard on the rider, as there isn't really anywhere that you can take a breather. This means it's important to stay relaxed on the bike or you wear yourself out well before the end. There are many things to think about in the race, but we will see how we handle it tomorrow."
Livio Loi #11: 26th - 1'28.684
"It wasn't a particularly good qualifying for me, but the biggest problem was my last run of the session. I got one fairly clear lap at the start and set my fastest time, despite getting held up a little in the final sector. On the second flying lap I made a mistake and that meant I started the third and final lap in a big group and it wasn't possible to improve any further. So, I start from 26th position on the grid tomorrow, which isn't ideal, but the times are very close. I need a good start tomorrow, and then it will just be a case of trying to pick up as many places as I can over the 27 laps of the race."
JORDI TORRES, GETS REWARD FOR HARD WORK IN SECOND ON GRID
MAPFRE Aspar rider close to pole after working hard all season and in line for podium challenge; Nico Terol, 12th, but also approaching race positively and with good pace
Jordi Torres made a statement of intent with what was at that point the best ever Moto2 lap of Sachsenring -1’24.634- on Saturday afternoon. The MAPFRE Aspar rider was leading the way on the timesheet and was being followed by several riders on track as he and Espargaró did battle for P1. The times dropped right towards the end of the session and the likes of Terol, Simeon, Redding and Simón joined Torres and Espargaró in the charge for pole on their last laps. Ultimately it was Simeón who took it by just 0.013s from Torres and 0.039s from Espargaró. A close race is anticipated with 21 riders qualifying within a second of pole.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jordi Torres has nothing to prove on Sunday having demonstrated his pace and perfect set-up on Saturday. He briefly set a record time in QP and secured his best Moto2 grid result to date. The rider from Rubí was pleased to be so close to pole and hopes to capitalise on his good form tomorrow. Nico Terol is also in good shape in Germany and expects a good race. The Spanish rider looks back to his best this weekend, has been on the pace throughout practice and is showing good consistent 1’25 lap times. He qualified 12th and was just 0.4s from pole. He looks like a serious contender at round 8.
2nd Jordi Torres 1’24.678 (24 laps): “We’ve been at the top all weekend but I still had some doubts going into QP. I was nervous about not being able to stay at the top although morning practice helped my confidence. The team fixed a front end problem brilliantly and I’m really pleased with this result, my best so far in Moto2. I’ll give it everything in the race start and see what happens with the front riders. I’m going to watch carefully and see how much I can learn in the race. Hopefully I have a podium chance. I need to be alert in the opening laps and being towards the front helps not to get caught up in the pack.”
12th Nico Terol 1’25.095 (25 laps): “I’m very pleased with our work this weekend and the pace I am achieving. This is not my best track and I’m working extra hard, but the feeling is back. The confidence comes from being towards the top and I only needed one fast lap to be further up the grid. We were only four tenths from pole, we’re full of energy and ready to race. I’ve done several laps in the low 1’25 region and I know that sort of pace would bring a good race result. The start is key as it’s a difficult first corner. We have to fight hard not to lose any positions and we’re up for that battle. I’m happy because I feel that I’m back to riding the way I know best.”