2014 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Friday Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after practice at Qatar on Friday :


GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

ANTONELLI CONFIDENT AHEAD OF TOMORROW'S QUALIFYING. GOOD PROGRESS FOR BASTIANINI

After the first two free practice sessions carried out yesterday evening, both riders of the Junior Team were GO&FUN Moto3 back on track tonight at the Losail circuit for the last 40 minutes of Qatar Grand Prix free practice. Niccolò Antonelli basically repeated the same lap times obtained yesterday - already under the previous lap record - keeping a small gap from the fastest riders and closing the combined classification of the two days in ninth position.

His team-mate Enea Bastianini, who is making his debut on this track, continued to progress, learning better trajectories on track and closing with the 20th time, 2’07”679.

Tomorrow the qualifications are scheduled from 6 to 6:40 PM local time.

NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (9th - 2'06"551)

“We're in pretty good shape for tomorrow qualifying: we can repeat these lap times with ease, so there is room for improvement. When I used new tyres I could not improve because I found a bit of traffic on track but it's okay. We will still try to refine some areas of the bike and then we'll see how it goes in qualifying”.

ENEA BASTIANINI (20th - 2'07"679)

“Today we have made ​​another step forward, both with regard to the bike set-up, and with regard to my knowledge of the track. I did a good lap time, improving from yesterday, using a medium compound tyre with which I had already did some laps, therefore I am very happy with the work we have done so far”.

FAUSTO GRESINI

“I think we did a good job during the three free practice sessions, although it will be necessary to improve some aspect of the bike ahead of tomorrow's qualifying. However, we are not far from the top, the timesheet is very short and anything can happen: we are confident and we think that Niccolò is capable to do well in qualifying. Enea has continued to improve without using the softer tyre, which means that he's going really fast for being a rookie”.


Deroue and Carrasco both faster on day 2

Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco both improved their lap times on day 2 of the Grand Prix of Qatar. Deroue was almost a second faster and set his best time on 2.07,984. That put him in 22nd in the third free practice and 23rd overall.

Carrasco had more difficulties to improve. Her 2.09,419 was good enough for 29th in the session and 30th overall.

The conditions at the Losail International Circuit were a bit different compared to the first day: a bit warmer but a lot less humid. It took most riders quite long before they could improve their times and not everybody was faster: twelve riders could not improve.

Scott Deroue set his best time in the 15th of the 16 laps he ran. Ana Carrasco did so in the 9th out of 13 laps. The Spanish girl was at grips with the Kalex KTM and complained about the steering and the power. The team will therefore change the engine overnight to see if it makes a difference.

Scott Deroue – 2.07,984 (22)

“I like this track and I am happy I am adapting quickly. Improving with 0,9 is good, but I only did two fast laps. Looking at the whole session it still is not very consistent yet. That is something I have to work on. The position is more or less according to plan: I was around 25th in testing and now I’m looking to move up to 20.”

Ana Carrasco – 2.09,419 (29)

“This is not where I want to be nor where I belong. I don’t feel confident with the bike in the corners. It is too agitated. It is hard to find a solution in the short time we have in a session. The team is analysing the data now to see what can be done. Hopefully it gets better tomorrow when we only have the qualifying session.”


Red Bull KTM Ajo work together in successful session

Jack Miller guides Karel Hanika around the Losail circuit during the third and final free practice session for the Grand Prix of Qatar.

03/21/2014 - Losail Circuit

The Losail circuit hosted a single Moto3 session this afternoon, with the last Free Practice of the weekend. Red Bull KTM Ajo riders Jack Miller and Karel Hanika continued to work on the development of their KTM machines, setting the fourth and ninth fastest times of the day, respectively, and improving on their best laps from yesterday. Both riders rode alongside one another for much of the session, allowing Hanika to learn firsthand the tricks of the track.

The Moto3 riders were hard at work for 40 minutes. Although placed at the head of the timesheets in the early going, Jack Miller would not improve his time from Thursday until the second half of the session -as did teammate Karel Hanika. The latter followed his teammate for several laps of an unfamiliar track and was helped considerably by the guidance. The rookie lowered his top time from the previous night by more than 1 second -2:06.631- whilst the Australian shaved almost almost two tenths off his with a 2:06.280.

The first key battle of the Moto3 World Championship season will be contested tomorrow with the qualifying session at 6pm local time. The best grid position achieved by Jack Miller at this circuit was taken last year, with a seventh row start.

Results - FP3

1. Romano Fenati (KTM) 2:06.121

2. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:06.182 +0.061

3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:06.273 +0.152

4. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.280 +0.159

5. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:06.323 +0.202

9. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.631 +0.510

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2-FP3)

1. Romano Fenati (KTM) 2:06.121

2. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:06.182 +0.061

3. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:06.190 +0.069

4. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:06.273 +0.152

5. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.280 +0.159

10. Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.631 +0.510

8 JACK MILLER

"It was a good day. I'm much happier than I was yesterday. Whenever I'm more comfortable with the bike, we are setting consistent laps. I am very satisfied with the work done, because even with used tyres the feeling is still great. We only put new rubber on for the final two laps and it was fine. We need to work a little more on the front grip to stabilise the bike a little more, but I am confident with the bike we have now and I think that we can do a good job.

The last two laps were pretty good, although we could have been faster had I not made a couple of small mistakes. I'm also very happy with the first, second and fourth sectors; on the third sector we have to adjust a little more, but in general things are positive."

98 KAREL HANIKA

"Today was another good practice session. We worked a lot with different configurations for the bike. First we improved the feeling with used tyres and, later, with new tyres, we were even better. I believe that tomorrow we can still take things a step further. I'd like to thank Jack [Miller] for the help he gave me on the track today."


Alex Rins and Alex Marquez continue to improve in Qatar

Repsol Moto3 riders take step forward on second day of practice at Losail. Rins sets second fastest time and Marquez the third.

Lap by lap, Alex Rins and Alex Marquez continue to show the results of the intensive developmental work undertaken in their garage. On the second night of action at the Losail Circuit in Qatar, the duo lowered their times from yesterday and pushed to the top of the timesheets. Rins concluded the night in second and Marquez was third.

The third free practice session of the Qatar GP started with more wind than on Thursday, preventing the top riders from lowering their previous best lap times in the early going. However, Rins and Marquez gradually improved the setup of their Honda NSF250RWs and gained confidence as they shaved several tenths off their fastest times. Rins stopped the clock at 2:06.182 and was 0.061s off the quickest man, Romano Fenati. Marquez followed with a time of 2:06.273.

Tomorrow sees the critical qualifying session to decide the grid for the race, which takes place on Sunday at 7pm local time and starts the 2014 Moto3 World Championship.

Alex Rins 2nd 2:06.182 15 laps 81 km

"We have taken a step forward from yesterday. Now that we have begun to go faster, I can understand the bike a little better and see its reactions. I am very happy with the times we have set and we will try to continue refining the setup to be ready for the race. The feeling with the bike today is much improved, even though it was harder to set good times because the conditions changed from yesterday. Today We had less grip. Having MotoGP run before us helped."

Alex Marquez 3rd  2:06.273 15 laps 81 km

"I think we did a good job today. From the start we tried a few things we'd had in mind and that we thought would allow me to ride more comfortablly, but on the first two stints the feeling was not what we had expected. I am happier with how I felt on the bike in the closing stages, in which our laps were pretty good. I'm not completely satisfied, because I think I could have ridden faster and I'm sure that we can keep improving. Tomorrow we have to be very focused, because we only have one session and we'll be the first to go out on track."


JUANFRAN GUEVARA MOVES UP MOTO3 ORDER

MAPFRE Aspar Team youngster makes up sixth positions thanks largely to suspension improvements

The second night of free practice at the Grand Prix of Qatar took place tonight and after enjoying two sessions yesterday the Moto3 riders had just one session tonight to work on improving their settings before Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race. Like yesterday Romano Fenati and Jakub Kornfeil were the two dominant riders tonight although a group of riders stepped up the pressure at the end of the session and Alex Rins finished just 0.061 seconds shy of the Italian, who finished on top for the third session in succession.

MAPFRE Aspar rider Juanfran Guevara completed fourteen laps inside the forty minute period and by the eighth one he was already going quicker than his best effort yesterday thanks to some positive changes to his front suspension setting. With two laps to go he pushed even harder to find six tenths compared to his time on the opening night and closed the gap to the top to just a second. After finishing last night in eighteenth place he closed in on the top ten tonight, eventually finishing twelfth.

12th Juanfran Guevara 2.07.111 (14 laps): “We are pretty happy because we have made a change to the front fork tonight and it had a positive effect. It gave us more stability in braking and now I can brake later and more aggressively. On the other hand we went backwards a little bit with the set-up in other areas and with the change in wind our gearbox setting proved too long and we lost some top speed. Anyway, we know how to fix that tomorrow and overall we have to be happy because we were lapping inside the top ten for most of the session and my feeling with the bike was really good tonight. Tomorrow the aim is to improve our speed in T3.”


Rabat and Kallio on the pace in Qatar free practice

Losail, Qatar – 21 March 2014: Tito Rabat finished today’s sole Moto2 free practice at the Losail International Circuit in third place, but remains second fastest overall with his time from yesterday. Mika Kallio remains tenth on combined times, after finishing this evening’s 45-minute free practice in the same position.

The top 15 remain separated by just one second, with only three of the top ten riders able to improve on their lap times from yesterday.

Livio Loi continued to learn the intricacies of both the Losail circuit and racing under floodlights in tonight’s third and final Moto3 free practice. The Belgian ended tonight’s 45-minute session in a creditable 16th place and is just 1.282s off Romano Fenati’s provisional pole position time.

Tito Rabat // 2nd // 2’00.574

“It was another good free practice session for us tonight. We managed to find a solution to a couple of small problems we had yesterday and now we also have a better idea of which tyre we will use for the race on Sunday. I found a good rhythm on the bike tonight and my pace was fast and consistent, but tomorrow we need to find just a little bit more for qualifying. Overall, I’m happy with today.”

Mika Kallio // 10th // 2’01.039

“For tonight we decided to try a few changes on the bike, mainly on the rear suspension and engine braking, but they didn’t bring the improvement we were expecting. My pace was good, but my feeling with the bike wasn’t as good as it was yesterday and I wasn’t able to push quite as hard for a fast lap. For tomorrow’s qualifying session we will go back to the settings from yesterday; we haven’t really lost anything because we know that these settings are good. We also go into tomorrow with a much better idea of which tyre we need for a fast qualifying lap and which one we’ll use for the race.”

Livio Loi // 16th // 2’07.403

“Overall I’m happy with tonight, which was all about continuing to learn my way around the track here in Qatar and minimising the mistakes that cost me time in yesterday’s two sessions. The feeling with the bike was mostly good, but we have a small problem with getting the bike to follow a line on corner exit. We also need to work on sector three, as this is where I’m losing all my time at the moment. Qualifying tomorrow is critical. My goal is to start on Sunday from the front four rows of the grid, but I will need to push hard tomorrow to achieve this.”


Kent and Ajo continue setting up Husqvarna machines in Qatar

Husqvarna riders finish sole free practice session with the twelfth -Kent- and twenty-second -Ajo- fastest times in the combined classification.

03/21/2014 - Losail Circuit

Only 40 minutes of free practice were made available for the Moto3 riders at the Losail Circuit on Friday. Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo had a single session with their bikes today, compared to two on Thursday. The Briton was eleventh fastest in the session and Ajo was twentieth, putting them twelfth and twenty-second in the overall classification for the weekend so far. Only the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider could lower his time from yesterday.

The last practice session allowed Danny Kent to take a step forward with the setup of his Husqvarna. However, it was not until the tenth of fourteen laps completed that the British rider placed momentarily inside the top three, after taking his best time of the weekend so far -2:07.040.

Meanwhile, Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider Niklas Ajo had a difficult time. He was twentieth with a 2:07.914 lap, experiencing some riding problems which did not allow him to go fast. Later he was scraped lightly by another rider and was unable to best his top time from Thursday.

Tomorrow the first qualifying session of the season will be held from 6pm local time. At Losail, Kent and Ajo's best starts both came in 2012, with a fourth and second row, respectively.

Results - FP3

1. Romano Fenati (KTM) 2:06.121

2. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:06.182 +0.061

3. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:06.273 +0.152

4. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.280 +0.159

5. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:06.323 +0.202

11. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:07.040 +0.919

20. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2:07.914 +1.793

Results (Combined practice time FP1-FP2-FP3)

1. Romano Fenati (KTM) 2:06.121

2. Alex Rins (Honda) 2:06.182 +0.061

3. Jakub Kornfeil (KTM) 2:06.190 +0.069

4. Alex Marquez (Honda) 2:06.273 +0.152

5. Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) 2:06.280 +0.159

12. Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) 2:07.040 +0.919

22. Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) 2'07.861 +1.740

52 DANNY KENT

"I'm not very happy with today. We still have problems with the bike and we need to improve, because we are 0.9s off the top and at the tests we were closer than that. I believe that we are not getting the maximum out of the bike, and also in today's session we were not able to find the perfect setup. However, we have also seen that we can set a good time by ourselves. I feel positive, tomorrow is another day and we shall see if we can resolve any doubts from tonight. We'll see how it goes tomorrow."

31 NIKLAS AJO

"The session today was not very good. Tomorrow we have to concentrate and try to recover the feeling from yesterday, because today we tried to change my riding style a little but things went wrong. It's better to focus on our own way of doing things and not pay much attention to whatever the others say. We need to get a good feel back, because I was lost with the change today and my confidence dipped. I have to concentrate more ongoing about things my own way."


Hafiq Azmi makes progress in Qatar

SIC-Ajo Team rider again lowers his best time at Losail, in the third and final free practice session.

03/21/2014 - Losail Circuit

The Losail Circuit floodlights would only light up the Moto3 field on one occasion today, as the lower cylinder category of the World Championship contested a single free practice session. In the runout, Hafiq Azmi added kilometres to his Grand Prix experience of Qatar and improved his times for the third consecutive session. His latest top time was a 2:08.768, the twenty-fifth fastest of the day and the twenty-seventh best of the weekend so far.

The SIC- Ajo Team rider continues to learn with every lap and keeps taking steps forward with his riding and understanding of the KTM. He put in a total of 14 laps today -75km- but it was not until the last two that he beat his time from yesterday. On his final lap he set a 2:08.768, more than half a second faster than any of his previous laps.

Tomorrow at 6pm local time, Hafiq Azmi contests the first qualifying session of the year. The runout will decide the starting grid for Sunday's curtain raiser. The Malaysian will try to improve on his best position in Grand Prix qualifying: A tenth row start at last year's Japanese GP.

Hafiq Azmi - SIC-Ajo rider

"Today we had a better feeling. We changed some things with the bike and we have improved some things to ride better, and now I feel more confident. From the very first lap I tried to ride by myself, just to try and get my own feel. I improved a little today compared to yesterday, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow."


MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS WORK HARD TO IMPROVE FEEL AT LOSAIL

Nico Terol and Jordi Torres focus on base setup in solitary session in Qatari desert

A change of start time from the opening night, a change in windspeed and a change in temperature acted as hinderances to the Moto2 field in Qatar as they chased an improvement in lap times. The intermediate class did not experience the typical gulfs in lap times normally seen on a second day of practice sessions, but yesterday’s laps were already quick in comparison with previous years. Night 2 saw Esteve Rabat again leading the way for most of the session, followed by Sandro Cortese and Takaaki Nakagami. Cortese pushed late on to take the top time, by less than a tenth of a second, and Dominique Aegerter snuck ahead of Rabat to go second fastest.

Lap times for the MAPFRE Aspar riders were similar to those of Night 1, although both Nico Terol and Jordi Torres improved their feeling with their machinery and continued to make progress. Terol started strong on Friday night, beginning the solitary session by setting his best time on his seventh lap. He put in seventeen laps, with his quickest time taking him to thirteenth.

Jordi Torres waited until the last of his eighteen laps to set his best time. His 2’01.826 lap confirmed a small improvement made with his setup during the day, and lifted him from 21st place to 15th.

13th Nico Terol 2.01.665 (17 laps): “I’m happy, because I started the session well, we steadily improved and we were fast with used tyres. The base setting is already more stable, which gives me plenty of confidence. In the middle of the session we made a change to try and get the bike turning in more, but we didn’t like it and reverted to the previous setup. I’m a little annoyed, because at the end of the session I felt capable of getting up into the top seven –I just didn’t put together a good complete lap. In any case, I know where we can improve and I’m calm about things.”

15th Jordi Torres 2.01.826 (18 laps): “I felt a little better on the bike today. The changes made in the third session have helped me to adapt to the circuit. I am liking the base setting for the bike and am picking up a good feeling with it, but in order to go fast we shall need to take a big step forward. I acknowledge that I am finding it tough to take every corner well on a lap, as I can’t get the bike running as I would like. My team are working around the clock to solve this. We shall check some things to make the bike turn in better, as this is going to help me to take corners faster.”


IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia

No. 25 Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman:

2:03.442 – 30th position

No. 30 Takaaki Nakagami:

2:00.839 – 5th position

The Free Practice 3 of the first round at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar was held at 19:55 local time.

IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami tried to improve his best lap time but he was struggling with traffic on the track while his flying lap at the end of the 45-minute session.

Malaysian rider Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman had shift issues and finished in 30th position.

Takaaki Nakagami:

We tried different setup from yesterday.

But I didn’t have a good feeling on my machine. I found a good point to improve my lap time during flying lap, but the traffic on the track interrupted my pace!

However, we know which points we have to wok on, and we will check data for the qualifying session tomorrow..

Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman:

We tried various setup but it’s been a difficult day to get a grip which I expected. I’m still looking for best suspension setup which suits with my riding form.

Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager:

It’s been a difficult day for both of them.

We tried different setup from yesterday but it did not go the direction which we expected.

Having had shift issues just after the session start, Azlan was unable to concentrate his riding. Anyway, we already found a solution for tomorrow’s session.

And we simply try to archive our best positions.


Moto3™ - The San Carlo Team Italia continues to work steadily at Losail

In the third Free Practice session improvements for Ferrari, confirmations for Locatelli

The San Carlo Team Italia worked hard in the Qatar GP FP3 preparing for the Moto3™ qualifying session scheduled tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. local time (4:00 p.m. Italian time). At the end of the 40 minutes spell, Romano Fenati (KTM - Sky Racing Team VR46) stayed on top of the timesheets with a best time of 2'06"121, while the San Carlo Team Italia pair aim to further improve during the race week-end.

Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Locatelli featured in 24th and 26th positions respectively. Ferrari, increasingly comfortable with his Mahinra MGP30 clocked a best time of 2'08"444, around six tenths faster than his yesterday best effort (2'09"027). Locatelli, still quite new to the track, set a best time of 2'09"039.

Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 24º, 2'08"444

"I’m happy because today went definitely better than yesterday: we found a good base for the set-up and we could improve our performances: not much in the single lap as in the race pace. Our ideal-time is not that far from our benchmark group outright pace and this makes me confident because I think that the team has found the right direction to prepare the race".

Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 26°, 2'09"039

"I’m reasonable satisfied with how today went, even considering I couldn’t better my yesterday’s best lap time. I probably made some little mistakes during my time attack and that’s mostly due to my lack of experience on this track. Losail has quite a demanding layout: if you try to push hard it’s very easy to miss the ideal line in several corners. It was good nevertheless to make experience for the future".

Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3™)

"We are growing: the riders are adapting more and more to the Mahindra bike that requires a particular riding style. Today there was a sole session and we used it to finalize the details of the set-up. When the lap times drop by half a second you have to face issues that don’t come out at a slower pace. Thanks to the hard work of the team and of our riders we are closer to our benchmark group, ready to make further steps forward in the Saturday qualifying".


GRAND PRIX OF QATAR

SIMEON FOCUSED ON CHASSIS SET-UP TESTING. A DAY OF EXPERIENCE FOR BALDASSARRI

The second night of the Qatar Grand Prix has seen Moto2 riders back on track for only one free practice session, the third and last before qualifying, scheduled for tomorrow from 6:55 to 7:40 PM local time.

Aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Suter machine, Xavier Simeon has carried out important work to limit tyre wear ahead of Sunday’s race, trying various chassis set-up solutions. The experienced Belgian rider, like many others, he could not improve his best lap time from yesterday, closing the combined classification of the three sessions in 11th position, but he remains confident ahead of qualifying, convinced to have a good potential.

Rookie Lorenzo Baldassarri, riding the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter, has paid today a little inexperience, trying uselessly to follow other riders on the track. The Italian therefore lost some precious time and failed to progress from yesterday, remaining stationary at 2’01”745 (21st).

XAVIER SIMEON (11th - 2'01"101)

“Today we had only one practice session available, but we still managed to try several chassis set-up solutions looking for a better balance. The feeling with the bike is good, but unfortunately these changes have not resulted in improvements, even though they have enabled us to understand some important aspects that were not clear, so we are confident that we can improve tomorrow. If we take a small step forward, tomorrow we can be protagonists also in qualifying”.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (21st - 2'01"745)

“I’m not satisfied about the job I did today: at the beginning I tried a tyre which was not good for me, losing some time, then with a new tyre I tried to follow other riders on the track in order to learn better the track. A choice that has not paid off and that made me lose the right way. Tomorrow we will resume work from where we left off yesterday”.

FAUSTO GRESINI

“Today we tried several adjustments on Siméon’s bike, that have allowed us to better understand some important things, thanks to which tomorrow we can take another step forward. Tomorrow, in fact, we need to be strong in qualifying. Baldassarri has not been the protagonist of a positive session: after trying a couple of soft tyres that he didn’t liked, he lost some time and he got a bit distracted, but it is very young and a day like this is quite normal. We believe that tomorrow he can still do well”.


Round Number: 
1
2014

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