Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Brno:
Rins claims third consecutive pole position
Winner of the last two races, Alex Rins to start from head of grid on Sunday. Alex Marquez places sixth despite qualifying crash.
Repsol Media Service - Czech Republic, Brno Circuit - Saturday 24/08/2013
The last two times that the young protégé of Emilio Alzamora has take pole –in Germany and Indianapolis– he has won the race. Alex Rins, in his second season in the Moto3 World Championship, currently holds three wins, three second places and two thirds, in addition to pole at half of the circuits at which he has competed: Austin, Jerez, Sachsenring, Indianapolis and, as of today, Brno. His teammate, Alex Marquez, placed second in Indianapolis last week and today had a more dramatic qualifying session than Rins, finishing sixth after suffering a crash in the final moments.
Third fastest this morning in the third practice session, with Marquez in sixth, Alex Rins started qualifying by quickly setting the best time. The Repsol rider remained there for almost the entire session and topped it off with a fast lap on the thirteenth of fifteen completed, leaving second placed rival Maverick Viñales more than half a second behind.
On the other side of the garage, Marquez also had a good start to the qualifying session –showing excellent pace. However, moving up to fourth with 8 minutes remaining, he fell at Turn 11 with three minutes still on the clock. That ended his chances of improving his position, but he will start from sixth place and the second row tomorrow.
FP3 - 2:08.271, 15 laps, 81 km.
QP - 2:07.622, 15 laps, 81 km.
“Today went very well for us. I think that we had a really good qualifying session, despite the nervous moments that you have at this track with everyone chasing a tow. When I rode alone I was able to go fast and I tried to push on my hot lap. It ended up working out for me. We have good pace for the race and I expect it to run in groups like always this season. The smartest rider will be the one who wins. Also, rain is predicted for the race."
FP3 - 2:08.433, 15 laps, 81 km.
QP - 2:08.649, 15 laps, 81 km.
“The second day of practice wasn’t all bad. In the morning we had a very good pace, I rode alone and am very comfortable at this track. In the qualifying session it was a little difficult at the start, with so much traffic on track. I also crashed at the end, which didn’t allow me to improve my times; I think I could have gone quicker. The second row isn’t too bad, so we will have to be focused for tomorrow and give 100% in the race. The pace of the top riders is fairly even, although Rins had an excellent lap in qualifying. In the race we will try to make a difference in the final moments, as I think there will be a large group right up until then."
SIXTH ROW STARTS FOR TEAM GO & FUN GRESINI MOTO3 AT BRNO
Despite crashes for both Niccollo Antonelli a few moments before the end of qualifying and Lorenzo Baldassarri during free practice this morning, it was a positive day overall for the Team GO & FUN Gresini Moto3 pair at Brno. Both riders will start from the sixth row of the grid with Antonelli in 17th and Baldassarri 19th but they are hopeful of making a strong start and battling for the points.
Niccolò Antonelli (17th 2’ 09” 432) “I am not happy about the crash because I am sure I could have set a much better lap time and qualified further up the grid for tomorrow. Unfortunately I lost the front and wasn't able to save it but we will try to make up for it tomorrow. The main thing will be to get a good start. ”
Lorenzo Baldassarri (19th 2’ 09” 811) “Despite the crash this morning, which left me with pain in my back, finger and foot, I was able to get back out on track this afternoon and do a decent job. That makes me happy and confident for tomorrow. Obviously I won't be fully fit after this morning's crash but hopefully with the help of the Clinica Mobile staff I will be in good shape.”
Fausto Gresini “I am a little disappointed about Niccolò's crash because I am sure it cost him a better position on the starting grid but the race is tomorrow and even though he starts from the sixth row of the grid I am sure he can finish much closer to the front and pick up some good points. I was pleased with Baldassarri's performance because after a crash this morning he showed his character and courage and set a decent lap time.”
Not the result RW Racing GP hoped for
Jakub Kornfeil and Jasper Iwema had not been able to improve their positions on the starting grid for tomorrows Moto3 race in the Czech Grand Prix. Kornfeil will start his home race from 12th, on the fourth row. His team mate Jasper Iwema had to settle for 26th.
Kornfeil was able to improve his best lap time of yesterday with more than a second. Unfortunately that didn’t bring him any further to the front of the starting grid as the front runners improved over a second as well. Iwema improved just a little bit compared to FP2.
Team manager Jarno Janssen could not tell what the problem was. "It’s hard to determine if there was any. Sometimes a problem exists only between the ears. I have the feeling both riders have been searching desperately for something that wasn’t there. In the end it comes down to the same result: it was just not good enough.’’
Jakub Kornfeil (12): "I was not unsatisfied with my speed. Improving with more than a second is not bad at all. Unfortunately I ran into traffic in the final few laps and could not improve the position. I was in the group behind Luis Salom, which was a fast group. If I had been right behind Luis I could have end up in the top 8. But there were a few riders between us that were not so fast and I lost the connection.’’
Jasper Iwema (26): "We have tried a few things in FP3 but that didn’t give us any advantage. Half way in the qualifying practice we went back to the settings we used in FP2. I felt confident with that setting, but we had lost too much time searching and trying different things. I know it was not good. I have to go faster. The positive side is that I had been able to ride my best lap times on my own. Again, it is going to be difficult in the early stages of the race tomorrow. We have to stay out of trouble.’’
MotoGP Moto3 – Difficult day for San Carlo Team Italia in Brno
Rins dominates QP with a record lap, Fenati is 22nd, Bagnaia 31th
During Moto3's QP in Brno, Alex Rins bested his opponents by over half a second taking the new lap record for the smaller class with a 2'07.622. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), despite the constant improvements, could not get past the 22nd position on the grid, but counts on a competitive pace with race tires.
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) confirmed the progress made with the front-end setup, but suffered grip issues with qualifying tires and closed in 31th position.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 22nd, 2'09.880
"We had some setup issues and it turned out to be our worst QP of the year. Still, we won't panic. We will analyze the data with the team and we hope to come back strong during the race, which hopefully will be dry."
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) 31th, 2'10.322
"The front was feeling good, which proves the good work done yesterday, but with the soft tire I was lacking grip. I still managed to improve my times, and I am more confident in corner entry, so we can have a good race with the medium compound."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"It clearly was a disappointing QP for us. We have our work cut out for us, but we stay united and confident to make a good progression during WUP. Both riders have a good pace in race setup, the weather is still a question mark, but if the rain comes we will be ready."
Sunday, August 25
10:00 - 10:20 WUP
FOLGER TO HEAD UP THIRD ROW AT BRNO
MAPFRE Aspar rider qualifies in solid seventh position for tomorrow's race as his team-mate Eric Granado equals his best grid in fifteenth
After Maverick Viñales set the pace yesterday and Luis Salom this morning, today was the turn of Alex Rins to step to the fore, the Spaniard raising the bar to dip into the 2'07s and comfortably seal his third consecutive pole position in the Moto3 class by over half a second. Just two tenths cover second place to seventh, however, making for what promises to be a wide open battle for the podium tomorrow.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger is one of the riders keen to challenge for a top three finish after making a radical switch to his Mugello set-up for qualifying this afternoon. The gamble paid off for the German rider, who will line up in seventh place at a circuit where he celebrated a memorable victory last year. Eric Granado will be hoping for a repeat of his Mugello result tomorrow after equalling his best grid of the season, recorded at the Italian round. The Brazilian youngster finished ninth in that race after qualifying fifteenth and despite a crash this afternoon he is confident of a strong challenge for points tomorrow.
7th Jonas Folger 2.08.716 (12 laps): “We went out in qualifying with the set-up from Mugello, a similar circuit to this, because it worked well there and we wanted to try it. It felt better than anything we have found so far this weekend and even though it wasn't ideal I felt more comfortable. We made some modifications to the rear suspension, which cost us a little time, and did some tyre tests to narrow down our options for tomorrow. The feedback was good but we need to try a couple more things in warm-up tomorrow. Seventh place is not exactly what we were hoping for but to be just a couple of tenths off the front row shows that we can be fighting in the lead group tomorrow. Hopefully it doesn't rain so that we can keep learning about this bike.”
15th Eric Granado 2.09.401 (14 laps): “We have equalled our best grid of the season from Mugello. I was struggling for confidence on the rear yesterday but thankfully that wasn't the case today and I felt good on the bike. I dropped my times relatively easily this morning and felt good this afternoon, improving my lap times again towards the end and doing some tyre tests for the race. My last run was behind my team-mate Folger and I learnt a lot from him. He has some smooth lines and that helped me tighten up my own riding. I had a crash four minutes from the end but it's nothing major and I will be ready for the race.”
Niklas Ajo to look for fightback in Brno race
Avant Tecno KTM rider to start from 20th on grid for Czech Republic GP, occupying a spot on row seven.
24/08/2013 - Brno Circuit
After the grid for the Czech Republic GP was decided this afternoon, Niklas Ajo will focus on making a similar start to at Indianapolis last weekend. The Finn is looking for a points finish at Brno, and will begin the race from 20th after clocking a 2:09.858 lap in qualifying.
The ambient temperature of 18º —22ºC on track— early in the morning complicated things for Niklas Ajo in the final practice session of the weekend. The Avant Tecno KTM rider could not lower his times from yesterday and had to make do with a lap of 2:10.607 as his best of the session. That was the 22nd fastest lap of the run.
In qualifying, Niklas was able to go faster than on Friday. Despite not feeling completely comfortable with the front end of his bike, he put in his quickest lap on his last time out. He needed just two laps in order to go round in under the 2:10 mark and claimed a seventh row start for Sunday.
Round ten of the year will take place later than is customary, at 2:30pm local time.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 2:07.622
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 2:08.189 +0.567
3. Alexis Masbou (FTR Honda) 2:08.459 +0.837
4. Jack Miller (FTR Honda) 2:08.483 +0.861
5. Luis Salom (KTM) 2:08.639 +1.017
20. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 2:09.858 +2.236
"We could not find the best feeling possible in the qualifying session for a faster lap. We had some small problems with chatter and now we have to see if these problems come from my riding or are a mechanical issue. Anyway, tomorrow we will try to be strong from the beginning, to get a good result. I'm hoping to make get a start like we had in Indianapolis, so we can try to fight for points."
Points still the target for Loi at Brno
Brno, Czech Republic - 24 August 2013: Livio Loi will start tomorrow's Czech Republic Moto3 Grand Prix from the eighth row of the grid, after qualifying in 23rd position at Brno this afternoon. Jules Danilo will start his second wild card appearance of the season from 34th on the grid.
Loi has struggled all weekend to find a good feeling with the Kalex-KTM, specifically with a lack of feedback from the front, which has left him lacking confidence in the bike through the faster turns on the Brno circuit. Loi's crew managed to make improvements to the set-up ahead of this afternoon's 40-minute qualifying session, which allowed the 16-year-old Belgian to improve his previous best lap by more than 0.7s.
For Danilo it's been a tough weekend so far. The 18-year-old has had to readapt to the Kalex-KTM machine after two races aboard a Suter Honda, as well as learning his way around a circuit at which he's never raced before. Danilo managed to improve his lap time with each free practice session, but dropped back to 34th position in qualifying after missing a fast wheel on his final flying lap."
Livio Loi #11: 23rd - 2'09.922
"We made some changes to the setting of the bike today, moving nearer to the set up we had last weekend in Indianapolis, and there was a small improvement. On corner entry the bike still doesn't want to turn in, which means I'm exiting wide and can't get on the gas, which loses me time. We'll look again for more improvements in warm up, but I think a decent result is possible tomorrow. My starts have improved and, if I can get away with the group in front, a points scoring finish is still a realistic target."
Jules Danilo #95: 34th - 2'11.338
"At the start of qualifying I was in a quick group, which helped me to find a good rhythm straight away. After we switched to the soft rear tyre, which I really like, I was again in a fast group, but I didn't realise just how quick I was going and pulled into the pits after going 0.8s quicker through the third sector. When I returned to the track I was on my own and couldn't make the time. I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow and, if I can get away with the group ahead of me, then achieving my goal of a finish inside the top 25 is possible."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It's been a difficult weekend for Livio. You need confidence in the front tyre through the fast turns here at Brno, but the lack of feedback is causing Livio some issues. The bike wants to run wide on corner entry, which means he's missing the apex, running wide and then has to wait to get on the gas. Small changes made a difference in qualifying, but it's still going to be tough for him tomorrow. Even so, if he gets away cleanly and rides at the level we know he can, he could well be in the points tomorrow. Jules has made steady progress, improving his lap time in every practice session. He was unlucky to miss out on doing the same in qualifying today, after making a mistake with his first fast run, but I'm confident he'll achieve his goal of a top 25 finish tomorrow in the race."
More information and high resolution images are available on the Marc VDS Racing Team website at www.marcvds.com.
PRADITA MAKES PROGRESS IN QUALIFYING
Doni Tata Pradita followed the instructions of his team in qualifying practice at Brno this afternoon to make small improvements to his lap times but there is still a lot of work to be done before tomorrow's race. The Indonesian rider still needs to fully understand certain sections of the Brno layout but tomorrow provides an opportunity for him to learn and hopefully make up some positions.
Doni Tata Pradita (32nd 2’ 05” 509) “I made some improvements but not enough to hang on to my position from yesterday. I am still struggling with a few sections of the track, especially in terms of corner exit speed. Hopefully I can get a good start tomorrow and stay in touch with the guys immediately in front of me.”
Fausto Gresini “So far Doni has not made the progress I was hoping for here. He still has a lot to learn about this track and it is costing him time. Tomorrow he needs to try and learn from some other riders and hopefully make up positions.”
WAROKORN BATTLES THROUGH THE PAIN AT BRNO
Thitipong Warokorn paid the price for a crash yesterday as he struggled to complete laps at Brno, narrowly qualifying for the race as he struggled through the pain of a thigh strain. The Indonesian rider did his best to compete but he was forced to return to the garage before the end of the session and now faces the difficult challenge of recovering as best he can before tomorrow's race.
Thitipong Warokorn (34th 2’ 08” 747) “I was really struggling today with the pain from yesterday. I managed to set a qualifying lap and as soon as I did that I came back into the garage to try and recover as much as I possibly can before tomorrow's race.”
Fausto Gresini “Thitipong showed courage to ride today but there was no point taking unnecessary risks and I think the decision to come back in was the right one. It was important to qualify for the race and he did that.”
Kallio targets podium after qualifying strongly in Brno
Brno, Czech Republic - 24 August 2013: Mika Kallio has his sights set firmly on the podium in tomorrow's Czech Moto2 Grand Prix, after qualifying in fourth position this afternoon at Brno. Scott Redding has endured a difficult weekend so far at Brno, with set-up issues leaving him only 13th on the grid after qualifying.
Kallio has been consistently fast all weekend at Brno, a track that the 30-year-old Finn rates as one of his favourites, and one at which he's finished on the podium previously. The Marc VDS rider went into today's 45-minute qualifying sessions looking for a front row start in tomorrow's race, but missed out by the narrowest of margins and will start from the head of the second row.
Redding and his crew have tried a number of set-up changes to eliminate the front-end chatter and lack of rear grip that has plagued the 20-year-old Briton, but to no avail. Despite qualifying only 13th, his worst qualifying performance since the 2012 German Grand Prix, Redding remains upbeat and confident that his crew can find something in warm up ahead of the race tomorrow.
Mika Kallio #36: 4th - 2'02.658
"I'm happy enough with qualifying, despite just missing out on the front row. We came here with a new plan for practice and qualifying, which has worked well. I've pushed on in every session, passing slower riders immediately, riding my own pace and improving my rhythm. As a result I've been one of the most consistently fast riders on track all weekend, which is good for the race. The bike is good, I'm happy with both tyre options, so there's no reason why I can't push for a podium, and maybe even the win, in tomorrow's race."
Scott Redding #45: 13th - 2'02.996
"In every session so far I've been struggling with front-end chatter into the turns and then no rear grip when I get on the gas on corner exit. We've modified the set-up to try and improve things but, unusually for the Kalex, the difference is barely noticeable, even when the changes are quite big. We need to find something for warm up tomorrow, that's for sure. We know it's possible, because we saw in qualifying that a couple of riders suddenly solved a similar issue, but now we need to find the solution for ourselves. Whatever happens in warm up, starting from the fifth row of the grid tomorrow means the race is going to be tough. I need the points to protect my lead in the championship, and that will be my priority here at Brno."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Mika is always fast here at Brno. He likes the track, the layout suits his ultra-smooth riding style and he's been consistently quick all weekend. It's a shame for him that he missed out on the front row start he was looking for, but second row is good enough to give him a chance to fight for a podium finish tomorrow. For the first time this season Scott has struggled to find a good feeling with the bike in free practice. We need to look closely at the data tonight to see if we can find something for warm-up tomorrow, because even a small improvement could be critical. The good thing is that Scott remains positive and confident that, with a little help from his crew, he can secure a good result tomorrow."
More information and high resolution images are available on the Marc VDS Racing Team website at www.marcvds.com.
Kent finds fast form ahead of Brno battle
Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent showcased his full potential on the French-built Mistral 610 machine this afternoon to storm to a season best grid position in a close Moto2 qualifying battle at the Brno track.
The British rider will start tomorrow’s 20-lap race from a promising 12th position, with Kent’s best lap putting him less than 0.050s away from securing a first top 10 start.
Kent has been in fantastic form all weekend and signs that he is making huge strides in adapting to the demands of the fiercely fought Moto2 category were evident in practice when he delivered an outstanding performance.
Kent powered his Mistral 610 machine to the fifth quickest time on combined times at the end of FP3, a lap of 2.03.123 a stunning improvement of almost two seconds compared to his speed in yesterday’s opening session.
The former Moto3 winner continued to impress in this afternoon’s qualifying session and at one stage he had thrust himself into contention for the top six in pleasantly warm conditions.
His final pace of 2.02.956 was only a fraction over 0.7s away from pole position and just under 0.4s away from World Championship contender Pol Espargaro on the front row. Kent is now confident he will be able to mount a strong challenge for his second points scoring finish of the season ahead of his vital home race at Silverstone next weekend.
Kent’s fantastic pace was unfortunately not matched by fellow rookie Louis Rossi, despite his crew working non-stop to improve his confidence and feeling on the Mistral 610 machine.
The Frenchman will start from 28th position on the grid, with a best lap of 2.04.299 not denting his confidence that he can fight for a positive result in tomorrow’s 10th race of 2013.
Danny Kent 12th 2.02.956 – 19 laps
“I’m very happy with my qualifying today. I’m just 0.3 seconds away from second position, but what’s even more important is that I’ve been consistently fast during all the practice sessions this weekend and my race pace is really promising. The crucial point for tomorrow’s race will be the start, but I’m convinced we will battle for a good top 10 finish. I also want to thank my team because after the difficult race last week in Indianapolis they really helped me to improve my feeling and my confidence each time I went out on track. Now I would love to reward their hard work with a good result.”
Louis Rossi 28th 2.04.299 – 18 laps
“It was a really difficult qualifying for us. We expected so much from this track and also from the bike as Danny was fast all the weekend. Unfortunately we started on Friday morning with some issues on the bike and we’ve still not been able to find a good feeling, even though my team tried everything to help me. I was sure we found the right direction for qualifying but a tyre problem during the last run obstructed us once again and we could not show the improvement. But I have no excuses because Danny clearly showed that our bike is really competitive at this track. if I’m sure the race will be a tough one tomorrow but I’ll give it my all to learn as much as possible.”
TORRES AND TEROL IN THE TOP TEN AND READY FOR A GOOD RACE
MAPFRE Aspar work hard on set-up as the Catalan rider finishes 6th and the Valencian 9th
Espargaró, Kallio and Nakagami were the top riders in free practice and eventually it was the Japanese rider who came out on top in qualifying. Hundredths of a second were making all the difference in one of the tightest ever Moto2 QPs and Nakagami left it late to come good, even though he has shown good race pace all weekend. Nakagami finished 0.397s ahead but the rest were tightly bunched behind him. Espargaro and Rabat registered exactly the same time, with the former awarded second by virtue of a faster second best time.
Reaching the top spots in Moto2 today was highly competitive and the MAPFRE Aspar riders rose to the challenge. Yesterday they both worked on grip and corner stability and today they put their improvements into action. On Saturday morning both Jordi and Nico improved their feeling with their bikes and lap times subsequently improved too, as they finished FP3 9th and 7th respectively. Early in the QP session they both still sought improvements but managed top 10 positions with late efforts in the final minutes. Jordi ended up 6th and Nico 9th, with both ending the day pleased with their results and impatient to start Sunday’s race in the Czech Republic.
6th Jordi Torres 2’02.690 (18 laps): “It’s amazing that at such a long track we are all so close in terms of lap times, especially the top riders, but that shows how good this category is. You would think there would be bigger gaps at this circuit but it’s the other way round. We haven’t quite got there on set-up but we are nearly there. The bike is competitive but let’s see over a race distance. Tyre life is key but that’s the same for us all. In warm-up if the weather is good we’ll work on braking stability. Other than that the bike is great and the team has worked really hard. We can take advantage of slipstreams if we’re in a group race tomorrow. It’s going to be war from start to finish and I hope to be up front.”
9th Nico Terol 2’02.852 (17 laps): “We did a great job and were so close to the front row, but that’s how it goes in Moto2. We had a chattering issue this afternoon and we fixed it but on the final lap I lost control and had a light crash. If it wasn’t for that I could have improved my best time more but anyway I’m still pleased with our work and the top ten position. I like this circuit and if I get a good start I hope to finish the race well. It’s going to be tight as we saw from QP today, with so many riders who hope to be up front. We need to be alert as it looks like it might rain. If the race is dry we have to fight from start to finish, if it rains we all start from scratch.”