Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Aragon:
Gran Premio de Aragon
Alcañiz (Spain), September 28th, 2013
Brad Binder has qualified within the top 15 at every session, while Luca Amato, who got the same result in the first practice, has not been able to confirm it in the following ones. The garage guys are still learning the new bike, and so the riders. A step ahead has been made from Misano, and the team are now looking for improvement also tomorrow, in the warm-up and race.
Brad Binder (2'00”814 - 14th) “Our position isn't so good as I would, but every time I get on the bike I feel more comfortable and confident. I can pass people, and sometime quite easily – this is my strong point, on the brakes. Tomorrow I believe we can do a better result than in qualifying – I just need a good start”.
Luca Amato (2'02”192 - 30th) “Not so good. In the first and third practice something was wrong with the clutch. In qualifying, at the beginning I got a good feeling, I had rhythm and my laps were faster and faster. Then I came in to change tires and push for a fast lap. We modified a little the setting, and I went out. Something was wrong with the acceleration, and the bike unfortunately was not pushing enough”.
Fiorenzo Caponera (Team Principal) “A big step ahead in comparison with Misano. We have now a better knowledge of the bike, and our riders began to adapt to it. We haven't had a great last lap – placing in a good group and playing with fast tows would be needed to improve. Anyway, every session is better and better, and day by day we are approaching more and more our targets. We can do a good race, tomorrow, and further improve”.
Third row for Salom and Sissis
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Spanish and Australian riders place eighth and ninth, respectively, in qualifying for Aragon GP. Zulfahmi Khairuddin —eleventh— will take off from the fourth row.
28/09/2013 - MotorLand Aragon Circuit
Luis Salom and Arthur Sissis will both begin the Aragon GP from the third row of the grid. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders took the eighth and ninth spots in qualifying for the race, held at MotorLand. One row behind, Zulfahmi Khairuddin will start from eleventh.
The day began with a final practice session in difficult conditions. On a track filled with damp patches due to overnight rain, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders tried out wet tires in the runout. After a few minutes, Luis Salom and Zulfahmi Khairuddin decided to come back into the pits and avoid any further risks, having undertaken five and four laps, respectively. Arthur Sissis was the rider with the most stints on track, with the tenth best time of the session: 2:12.175.
Right from the start of qualifying, the three Red Bull KTM Ajo men were up amongst the top ten. Despite improving their times, it was not until eight minutes from the end, with new rubber, that the trio set their hot laps. Luis Salom took eighth with a 2:00.275, Arthur Sissis was ninth and Zulfahmi Khairuddin eleventh. The Malaysian rider lowered his times in spite of a crash at Turn 11 with 21 minutes left on the clock.
The race begins at 11am tomorrow morning. Luis Salom was the winner at Aragon last year.
Results (Qualifying practice)
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:58.571
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:59.263 +0.702
3. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:59.282 +0.711
4. Philipp Oettl (Kalex KTM) 1:59.906 +1.335
5. Efren Vazquez (Mahindra) 1:59.932 +1.361
8. Luis Salom (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.275 +1.704
9. Arthur Sissis (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.337 +1.766
11. Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:00.378 +1.807
"We had a difficult time today. We were able to set the same times as yesterday, but not improve. I think that we could have gone faster, but some little setbacks impeded this. I am still happy, because we started the weekend well yesterday. If we do a good job between this afternoon and the warmup tomorrow, then we can have a good result in the race. We are working well with the bike and just need to perfect a few details."
"We started the qualifying practice quite good. In the opening minutes I was able to set a good pace, thanks to some small changes to the setup. With new tyres we were even able to go a little faster. Unfortunately, on the last lap I ran into a large group of riders and they stopped me from setting a better time. A top ten start is very good, so tomorrow we need to get a good start and go at it 100%."
"To tell the truth, this wasn’t the result that I was hoping for or expecting. We weren’t too bad in qualifying, but our aim for the race is a top ten finish. We have to focus on solving some aspects of the bike which are giving us problems, in order to go at full gas tomorrow.
I crashed at Turn 11 when I hit a bump in the middle of the corner. Despite this I am happy and want to continue to working hard to have a good race."
Rins blasts to pole with Marquez also on front row
Repsol rider takes sixth pole of the year and shares front row with teammate, third. Maria Herrera will begin her first GP from 31st.
Repsol Media Service - Spain, MotorLand Aragon - Saturday 28/09/2013
Alex Rins shone on Saturday at MotorLand, taking the Moto3 pole position with a spectacular time. The accolade is he Repsol rider’s sixth pole of the season so far, and came as he was the only rider to break the 1’59s barrier in qualifying. His fellow Spaniard, Maverick Viñales, was 7 tenths behind. Third on the grid goes to Alex Marquez, who pushed until the last of his 16 afternoon laps to set his best time of the day. Debutant Maria Herrera undertook her first qualifying session in the World Championship, placing 31st.
Morning rain made the opening session of the day an uneven affair, with the track still drying out gradually. Rins and Marquez took things with caution, putting in just 3 and 7 laps, respectively, whilst Herrera added kilometres to the clock.
In qualifying, Rins was simply on another level. After slotting into the top three for the majority of the session, the Spaniard used his penultimate lap to set a phenomenal 1’58.571. That was just over 1.2s better than his morning time, and enough to give him pole position. Marquez placed third, 7 tenths off his teammate, and Herrera will start her first World Championship race from the eleventh row of the grid. She was 31st in her maiden qualifying session.
FP3 - 2:11.377, 3 laps, 15 km.
QP - 1:58.571, 15 laps, 76 km.
“Qualiying went very well for me. I felt very comfortable on the bike, right from the start, and was able to keep a consistent pace going during the session. I also had a little luck, because on the two final laps I came up to a group of riders and was able to catch their slipstream. We will have a difficult race tomorrow and it will resemble Misano; it will be a contest between a small group at the front."
FP3 - 2:10.912, 7 laps, 36 km.
QP - 1:59.282, 16 laps, 81 km.
“Qualifying went rather well. I wasn’t expecting a front row start, because yesterday we had problems and I wasn’t completely clear about things. This morning, even though it was wet, we took a big step forward. I felt comfortable on the bike, and this is important for if it rains tomorrow. I think we need to work on a few details in the dry, but I believe that we can be up in the lead group. We will try to get a good start in order to do that, then see where we can end up."
FP3 - 2:14.241, 12 laps, 61 km.
QP - 2:02.194, 17 laps, 86 km.
“During the morning session I focused on finding a good feeling with the bike in the wet –as I hadn’t had that in the Spanish Championship here. So now we are ready to ride in the wet. In qualifying everybody started out quickly. It was a little different to what I am used to in the CEV Repsol and I need to learn from this for the future. In GP you ride at 100% from the off. I had some trouble lowering my times, so tomorrow we still need to perfect a few things. If we can improve our lines, then that will serve us well."
MAXIMUM CONCENTRATION REQUIRED FOR THE RACE
Niccolò Antonelli put in a solid qualifying performance at Aragon this afternoon despite this being a circuit that perhaps doesn't suit the characteristics of the Team GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 bike too well. The Italian youngster managed to qualify in fifteenth place although it wasn't such a good day for his team-mate Lorenzo Baldassarri who will have to try and make up positions from 29th on the grid.
Niccolò Antonelli (15th 2’ 0” 858) “We could have done better today but I am quite satisfied. Unfortunately Aragon is not a good track for our bike and I needed a good tow in order to do the lap time but I didn't get one. Things can change in the race though and if we get a good start then a top ten finish is not unthinkable.”
Lorenzo Baldassarri (29th 2’ 02” 150) “The bike wasn't bad today but we had problems during qualifying with traffic on track. I tried my best to get a clean lap in but it was very difficult and we don't have a good grid position for tomorrow. I will do my best to make a good start, get into a strong rhythm and make up as many positions as I can.”
Fausto Gresini “We have had a decent session considering that this is a circuit where our bike struggles compared to the others. Things could have gone better for our boys out there but I am still confident that with good starts we can see Antonelli fighting in the top ten and Baldassarri making up plenty of positions.”
Top 10 position for Kornfeil
Jakub Kornfeil will start from 10th position for tomorrow’s Moto3 race of the Aragon GP. RW Racing GP’s Czech rider set a terrific lap time of 2.00.362. His Dutch team mate Jasper Iwema was among the fastest ten for long in the qualifying practice with 2.01.144. Eventually this brought him to 22nd on the grid.
Kornfeil and Iwema did a great job improving their lap times drastically. How fast their lap times in this qualifying practice really are, is clearly shown by last year’s pole record of 2.01.715. This would have been good for 28th on tomorrow’s starting grid.
Jakub Kornfeil brought himself in perfect position to win important points for the championship. Both his most important rivals, Khairuddin and Masbou, are behind him on the grid in 11th and 12th. He has to beat both to climb in the overall ranking. Kornfeil is currently 10th in the championship but has his goal set on top 8.
The Czech was fast and steady for all of the qualifying session. He build up his pace intently, marking his fastest time in his final lap.
Also Jasper Iwema did some very stable laps. He was fast from the beginning, clocking 2.01.144 in his fourth lap already. At the time that was fast enough for fourth position. Iwema was close to improving his time a few times, but just couldn’t make it.
The Dutchman missed FP3 in the morning. While Kornfeil did 14 laps on the damp track (with rain tires), Iwema decided to wait for better conditions. When he finally went out (on slicks) he encountered a problem with the engine. Without setting a time Iwema had to go back in where his crew had no other option than to change the engine.
Jakub Kornfeil (10): "Top 10 was my goal and I’m happy with it. The bike feels good, my pace is good and I’m confident for the race. It’s going to be an interesting race, with my main rivals next to me on the same row of the grid. A good start is going to be very important to keep them behind me. A fast bike is important as well, with the long straight here. The Kalex KTM obviously suits the Motorland Aragon layout, with three of them in the top 10.’’
Jasper Iwema (22): "This is obviously a lot better than the previous qualifying practices. I was able to do some constant 2.01’s and that means my race pace is good. I’m confident I can fight for championship points again. The start will be crucial, with the first corner being quite square. I have to make sure I’m not fobbed off: head down, elbows out and full gas.’’
Niklas Ajo refuses to surrender in Aragon
The Avant Tecno rider will start tomorrow's Grand Prix of Aragon from twenty-sixth position after a rough weekend.
28/09/2013 - MotorLand Aragon Circuit
Niklas Ajo qualified with a best time of 2:01.607 at Motorland Aragon this afternoon, placing him on the ninth row of the starting grid for tomorrow's race. Although this was not his expected result, the Avant Tecno KTM rider has refused to throw in the towel and expects to improve in tomorrow's warm up session and then make comeback in what he hopes will amount to a great race.
Although many riders chose not to take advantage of the final free practice, Niklas Ajo set out in the session on rain tyres to complete the most laps of all the riders in the Moto3 class. With wet tarmac in some areas and dry in others, the challenging conditions in the forty minute round required the Avant Tecno KTM rider to focus and work hard. The efforts paid off, and Niklas Ajo ended the session with a 2:11.738, the seventh fastest time of the session.
Qualifying began with the tarmac completely dry, changing the set up and riding requirements, thus Niklas Ajo found himself not entirely comfortable with his own riding. However, in just his second trip out of the box, he significantly lowered his best time from the previous day. The Avant Tecno KTM rider continued to progress and on his final lap, set a best time of 2:01.607 time, placing him on the ninth row.
Niklas Ajo aims to put himself in the points in tomorrow's race, just as he did in his last outing at the Motorland Aragon circuit.
Results (Qualifying practice
1. Alex Rins (KTM) 1:58.571
2. Maverick Viñales (KTM) 1:59.263 +0.702
3. Alex Marquez (KTM) 1:59.282 +0.711
4. Philipp Oettl (Kalex KTM) 1:59.906 +1.335
5. Efren Vazquez (Mahindra) 1:59.932 +1.361
26. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno KTM) 2:01.607 +3.036
"It's a bad grid position and there is little else I can say. This morning, the weather wasn't a problem, in fact I like and usually go fast with these kinds of weather conditions. However, in the dry we are too slow, so we need to find a solution for this in the morning warmup. I tried to make the best of it, but I'm not comfortable with my own riding. Tomorrow I will try to do my best, to overtake as many riders at the start and see what happens."
JONAS FOLGER RIDES THROUGH ANKLE PAIN TO QUALIFY IN SIXTH PLACE
MAPFRE Aspar rider rounds out the second row after a valiant effort in QP, whilst Eric Granado improves from day one to qualify 25th
Overnight rain meant the Saturday morning Moto3 free practice was a tricky affair, meaning that the riders were full of enthusiasm in the afternoon outing and went full gas from the start of qualifying in perfect conditions. Rins was the man to match, having led from start to finish. Meanwhile the likes of Viñales, Márquez, Vázquez and even Folger, despite his recent injury, were also up near the top. Local rider Rins took three seconds off the existing Moto3 pole record and he looks determined to win Sunday’s race despite the threat of rain and the competition he faces from his rivals.
Jonas Folger put in a courageous display on Saturday for the MAPFRE Aspar team, riding through the pain barrier this weekend due to his left ankle injury sustained at Misano. He sat out the morning session but gave it everything in QP, building up from a safe approach in the opening laps to go full throttle in the last 15 minutes. On the last of his 11 laps he registered his best time to secure sixth on the grid. A great effort for a rider recovering from injury and he will need an epic effort to compete in Sunday’s race. Eric Granado took advantage of the wet track early in FP3 to lap near the top, then on the dry track at the end of QP improved his pace almost two seconds from his Friday best to notch 25th spot. He will go in search of more improvements in Sunday’s WUP.
6th Jonas Folger 2’00.156 (11 laps): “Today was a hard day for me as I was riding in pain. I took some painkillers but I can feel the pain in the bone with every movement. Despite the pain I was able to put in a few good laps in qualifying, improving my time right at the end. We’ll work on my ankle overnight to see if we can get into better shape for the race. It’s definitely going to be my toughest race of the year, I just need to focus and block out the pain. The bike setting is perfect so I just need to concentrate on racing for the best possible result.”
25th Eric Granado 2’01.520 (16 laps): “This morning it was difficult for us all in the wet, and we missed out on some valuable practice time. I tried to push hard in the afternoon but couldn’t get on the pace. We made some changes half way through the session and I was then able to improve on Friday’s best times. I tried a new fairing again today and I quite liked it. I improved on the new tyres, but not enough. We need to take a couple more steps forward as the top guys are riding so hard. We need to improve things in Warm Up in order to be more competitive.”
Kent confident of top 15 challenge at Motorland Aragon
A brilliant late attack in this afternoon’s Motorland Aragon Moto2 qualifying session put Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent in a strong position to fight for a top 15 finish in tomorrow’s 21-lap race.
The British rider saved his best for last in a closely contested session and a lap of 1.55.026 secured him 16th place on the grid to raise expectations that he can race to a third points scoring finish of his rookie campaign in the tough Moto2 category.
Kent lapped almost 0.5s faster than he managed in practice and his quickest pace was just 0.8s away from the top three, having found improvements with the set-up of his Mistral 610 machine in hot conditions that saw temperatures reach 26 degrees.
Kent was less than 0.3s behind World Championship leader and compatriot Scott Redding and this afternoon’s performance gave him a welcome boost of confidence heading into tomorrow’s race.
French rider Louis Rossi will start round 13 of this year’s World Championship from 23rd position on the grid. Rossi was unable to extract the maximum potential out of fresh Dunlop rubber to improve on his lap of 1.56.073 that he clocked on the fifth of 18 laps he completed in the session.
Danny Kent 16th 1.55.026 – 19 laps :
“I’m truly relieved because after a tricky weekend we managed to put ourselves in a promising position for tomorrow’s race. This weekend has been different to all the others and I didn’t feel confident at all with the tyres and that made us struggle quite a bit before qualifying. But for this afternoon we found a good setting and following (Thomas) Luthi towards the end of the session helped me a lot to understand where I could improve and I was able to show a decent pace. Now I’m confident for the race because if I can manage to start as I did in Misano, but without making too many mistakes during the opening laps, we can finally show our true potential.”
Louis Rossi 23rd 1.56.073 – 18 laps :
“The qualifying did not go according to plan, even though we started in a good way by improving our performance from the practice immediately. But when I went out with a new tyre at the end of the session I lost too much time looking for a slipstream, so I couldn’t take advantage of the new rubber. And I wasn’t able to make a clear lap because of the traffic during the last few minutes and that’s why the lap time does not show our potential. But I’m still confident that with a good start to the race I can fight with the riders in front of me and learn as much as possible for the rest of the season.”
WAROKORN STRUGGLING AT ARAGON
Thitipoing Warokorn could not have tried much harder but the Thai youngster struggled to improve his pace on the second day at the notoriously difficult Motorland circuit in Aragon, Spain. Warokorn has yet to discover the ideal line around this technical track but he is aiming to learn as much as he can by following the riders in front of him in the race on Sunday.
Thitipong Warokorn (30th 1’ 57” 053) “I have tried to learn the track here but I'm still struggling to put a fast lap together so all I can do tomorrow is get a good start, try to stick with the guys in front of me for as long as possible and learn from them. It is all part of the process of gathering experience at this level.”
Fausto Gresini “Warokorn has found it tough here at Aragon and he hasn't found his way around properly yet. Hopefully tomorrow he can get a good start and give himself the opportunity to learn the best line from some of the faster guys in front of him.”
PRADITA BATTLES TO IMPROVE ARAGON LAP TIMES
Doni Tata Pradita tried his best today to improve on his free practice lap times at Aragon and even though he didn't manage it in qualifying the Indonesian rider certainly learnt a lot about the technically demanding layout that he is hopeful of putting into practice in tomorrow's race.
Doni Tata Pradita (31st 1’ 57” 078) “At the end of the day I am fairly happy because even though I have not managed to improve on my best lap from yesterday I have learnt some good lines around this difficult Aragon circuit, so I am sure I can have a good race tomorrow.”
Fausto Gresini “Doni has tried his best this weekend to learn a difficult circuit and he managed to pick some useful things up today even though he didn't improve his lap times. Hopefully tomorrow he will have a good feeling with his bike in the race and be able to make up some positions.”
All to do for Redding and Kallio at Aragon
Aragon, Spain - 28 September 2013: Scott Redding and Mika Kallio will start tomorrow's Moto2 Grand Prix of Aragon from the fifth row of the grid, after both riders continued to struggle with rear grip issues during qualifying.
For Redding the lack of rear grip causes the rear tyre to spin up almost immediately he gets on the throttle, with the bike going sideways rather than driving forward. The problem is exacerbated by the flowing nature of the Aragon circuit.
Kallio struggled with exactly the same problem as his Marc VDS teammate, losing time in every turn, as he was unable to open the throttle and get the rear tyre to hook up. The 30-year-old Finn made a change to the rear suspension settings on his Kalex Moto2 machine late in the qualifying session but, while this increased rear traction, it made the bike significantly less stable on the brakes.
Both Marc VDS riders will sit down with their respective crews tonight and look through the data, in a bid to find some improvement ahead of tomorrow morning's 20-minute warm up.
Livio Loi waited until the dying seconds of this afternoon's qualifying session to post his fastest lap of the weekend, securing 18th position on the grid for tomorrow's Moto3 Grand Prix of Aragon with a time of 2'01.030.
It was an impressive recovery from the 16-year-old Belgian, after he struggled with set-up issues in the first free practice yesterday and overnight rain meant nothing was learnt in this morning's final 40-minute session, which was run on a damp but drying track.
Despite the lack of track time, Loi and his crew managed to make another step forward with the set-up of his Kalex-KTM Moto3 machine, improving further the Marc VDS rider's feeling with the bike. With additional improvements to evaluate during warm up tomorrow, Loi is confident that a points scoring finish is a realistic goal for tomorrow's 20-lap race.
Scott Redding #45 // 13th // 1'54.743 // @Reddingpower
"The problem was the same this afternoon as it's been all weekend; no rear grip. We tried to find something for qualifying, to improve rear traction through the faster corners, but we didn't really make any progress. At the end I was struggling to find space on track for a quick lap. I did a ride through but came out behind another big group of riders, which meant I never got a clear lap in. In the end I think my fastest time was done on my fourth lap, which is a bit ridiculous. We need to look at everything tonight to see if we can find some more rear grip for the race tomorrow."
Mika Kallio #36 // 15th // 1'55.010
"I was faster in FP1 yesterday then I was in qualifying today, which is not how it's supposed to work. The problem is complicated, but basically I can't open the throttle early enough on corner exit because there is just no grip at the rear. We made a big change to the bike right at the end of the session, which improved the rear traction, but then it was difficult to get the bike stopped for the slower corners. Unfortunately I was maybe trying too hard for a lap time at the end and making too many mistakes, but at least we know we're moving in the right direction set-up wise. We have some ideas to improve the bike further for the race, which we'll try in warm up tomorrow."
Livio Loi #11 // 18th // 2'01.030 // @LivioLoi
"We had a pretty good qualifying, but I need to put in a fast lap earlier in the session in future. My fastest lap came right at the end today, but I think I could have gone even quicker if I'd timed my qualifying runs better. Still we are losing some time in a couple of places, but we know where they are and we'll make some more small changes to the bike ahead of warm up, to improve things for the race tomorrow."
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
"Livio did a good job in qualifying today, especially having effectively lost two sessions to set up issues and the weather. He left it a bit late for his fast lap; if he'd done it earlier then I think it would have been possible for him to improve further before the end of the session. His feeling with the bike is also much better compared to yesterday and I'm confident he has the pace to finish in the points tomorrow. After the success of the last few races, to see Scott and Mika struggling to qualify on the fifth row is disappointing, but it's not the end of the world. If we can find just a small improvement in rear traction in warm up tomorrow then I think top five in the race is possible for them both."
MotoGP Moto3 – San Carlo Team Italia FMI in 13th place with Fenati in Aragon. Bagnaia close to the Top 15
Fenati is second on Honda-FTR and first of the Italians. Bagnaia takes 17th
Alex Rins dominated the qualifiers of Moto3 World Championship with a 1'58.571, pulling away from his opponents. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), after a FP3 slowed down by the rain fell during the night, fought hard to take 13th and confirm his leading status among Italian riders. Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) made constant improvements to close just a couple of tenths behind his teammate, in 17th position, and laid the foundations for a strong race.
Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 13th, 2'00.818
"QP went well, though I could have done better. In the final moments I got caught in the traffic and it's a shame as I felt I could go faster. I'm really confident about the race. We worked well on the setup and I can fight in the Top 10."
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) 17th, 2'01.026
"I'm very happy with today. My knowledge of the track helped me, but the team did a great job on the frame. I felt confident on the bike and I'm ready to score my maiden points tomorrow."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"The team worked well to improve the setup, making a significant step forward after a wet FP3. Pecco is at ease with the bike and the track, and Romano could have gone even faster if it wasn't for the traffic. We are ready for the race, where we hope to score a Top 10 finish with both our riders."
NICO TEROL ON POLE AND WITH VICTORY CHANCES
Having led three of the four sessions so far this weekend the MAPFRE Aspar man is on pole for the first time in Moto2 and has a good shot at victory; Jordi Torres fifth and looking for a podium finish
With MotoGP and Moto3 pole times from last year being beaten on Saturday at Aragon the Moto2 class was not to be left out of the party. The pace was hot in Moto2 QP with a good battle between Terol and Rabat at the top. Nakagami tried to stay with the pace, but the Spanish pair took things up a level in the final minutes and were the only riders able to go under the 1’54 mark. Terol came out on top with a 1’53.812, and he along with Catalan rider Rabat will be a victory candidate on Sunday. Unless Espargaró or Nakagami can prevent them escaping, Terol and Rabat could run away at the front.
A superb pole position lap, six low 1’54 laps and three more in the high 1’53 territory mean Nico Terol is being tipped for a win on Sunday. The MAPFRE Aspar rider has today shown that the test carried out at Alcarrás at the beginning of the week was a big success. He has arrived at Motorland looking strong, leading two FP sessions and dominating QP. He has achieved his first Moto2 pole and this is a track he likes, having won in the 125cc class here in 2011. He aims for the top spot on the podium. His teammate Jordi Torres has also produced eight laps in the 1’54 region and his fastest time, on the last of those quick times, puts him fifth on the grid. His Friday crash meant he was working against the clock on Saturday but he worked hard to make progress and has podium aspirations.
1st Nico Terol 1’53.812 (17 laps): “I’m really happy with how things have gone and to get my first Moto2 pole. It started well yesterday and that helped me set a fast pace today. Being well ahead in three sessions helps with confidence and I’m riding really comfortably. As well as the fast times our pace is amazing. I tried to go faster on new tyres but got caught in traffic otherwise I could have set another strong lap time. The Alcarrás test helped with grip and set-up and that’s been crucial. You see that any improvement you make with the bike in Moto2 can make a big difference as it’s so competitive. I feel calm because the feeling has been good all weekend and physically I’m better. Tito also has good pace and I want to get away strong at the start so the group can’t follow us in the race. We both have good pace but anything can happen in Moto2. I’m ready to fight for the win.”
5th Jordi Torres 1’54.564 (19 laps): “We had a lot to do today and early on I realized we would have to make a change which took up more time. We wanted to adjust the chassis stiffness in the afternoon but time flies in QP so we just went for it. Anyway we still have some good data to work on the chassis, although we still don’t know if increasing the stiffness is going to help us. We want the bike to give us more confidence in the front end which would give us more corner speed, so we’ll try something in Warm Up. Despite all this our pace is good and we should be with the front group in the race.”