2014 Argentina Moto2 And Moto3 Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualfiying at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina:

Jack Miller takes deserved second pole position

Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes second qualifying top spot of the season after leading every practice session. Hanika will start from sixth row.

04/26/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina

Jack Miller had a great second day at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, taking a second pole position in three races. The Australian was also the fastest in the morning practice session, before heading the timesheet from start to finish in the grid-deciding afternoon run. He set a new circuit record of 1:49.200 in the process. Teammate Karel Hanika was sixteenth in qualifying, after suffering a crash in the latter stages of the session.

Going three-for-three in the free practice sessions for the Red Bull Grand Prix of Argentina, Jack Miller was the leader of FP3 this morning and continually improved his lap times -ending up just 0.020 off the 1:50 mark. Before that, Miller selflessly took the time to help guide his teammate around the track, with Hanika making the most of the opportunity to set a personal best time of 1:51.232 and place seventeenth. A small crash at Turn 2 prevented the rookie from completing the final five minutes of the session.

Just like at Austin, Miller went out looking to seal pole position early on in qualifying. He was the first to go round in under 1:50, in the opening ten minutes of the session. However, his best lap came later, after a great job alongside his team to set a spectacular 1:49.200. Hanika also made the most of the strategy of accompanying his teammate to clock a 1:50.487, but fell at Turn 9 with three minutes to go and lost his chance of bettering a sixth row start.

Jack Miller leads the Moto3 standings and Karel Hanika is the top rookie to date, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo team will look to keep things that way at round three tomorrow. The Australian has taken two wins in a row and the Czech is fresh from claiming a first Top 10 finish. The race begins tomorrow at 11am local time.


“It's been a good day; we are happy with how the bike is working. We have done a good job and we have a really good setup for tomorrow's race. I have a lot of confidence in the bike and think that the tyres will hold up for the distance. We shall see what happens tomorrow, and I can't wait to get out there racing."


"Qualifying started very well, with a time that allowed me to momentarily go up to fourth place. Later on I didn't feel completely comfortable and we made some small changes, which gave us good results. I was on a very fast lap, improving my bests for each sector, when I crashed. We will start from sixth row, and I think that the race will be similar to Austin."


Niccolò Antonelli will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix of Argentina at the new Termas de Rio Hondo circuit from the fifth row of the grid. The qualifying session of the 18-year-old Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 rider has been strongly affected by a early crash. Thanks to the great work done by the team on his damaged KTM, Antonelli was then able to re-join the track, setting in the final stages the 15th fastest time, 1’50”370.

His team-mate, Enea Bastianini, ended up his qualifying with the 17th fastest time, 1’50”605: in only his third race in the Moto3 World Championship, the 16-year-old rookie has therefore improved the 21st position on the grid obtained both in Qatar and in Texas.

NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (15th - 1'50"370)

“Unfortunately, after only a few laps I made a mistake and crashed after hitting a rider in front of me. The bike was badly damaged, but the team did a fantastic job, allowing me to re-join the session. Anyway, at that point there was very little time left and therefore I couldn’t get what I wanted. I'm not happy, it's clear: I hope that tomorrow could be a better day. I’m always confindent that we can achieve a good result, although it won’t be easy”.

ENEA BASTIANINI (17th - 1'50"605)

“On the one hand I am happy, because I have improved the qualifying position obtained in the first two races; on the other hand, however, we are a little bit disappointed because we knew we could be faster. I had decided to push hard in the last two laps, but unfortunately there was a lot of traffic. In addition, the bike was not working like in the last free practice session. I continue to struggle in the last sector, the T4, in which I have particular difficulty in following the right line at turn 11. We’ll try to improve the situation tomorrow morning, during the warm up, then if I can get a good start we can have a good race and get some points”.


“I am very disappointed about this first part of the season; Niccolò’s results are below our expectations. We should definitely try to be more consistent from the beginning of the race weekend, and especially we need to avoid all these mistakes. Today the gap from the other riders was not so high, but we're not satisfied: we can and we must be more competitive. Enea’s growth process instead is going well: tomorrow he will have a chance to get some other points”.

Third and fourth row starts for Alex Rins and Alex Marquez

Difficult day for Repsol Moto3 riders who, despite improving their times from Friday, place eighth ‒Rins‒ and eleventh ‒Marquez.

Work at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit continued on Saturday, with qualifying for the GP of Argentina. Alex Rins and Alex Marquez will start from the third and fourth rows, respectively, for the South American race. Emilio Alzamora's proteges took a step forward in the sessions ‒topped by Jack Miller‒ and continued to lower their times.

In the third practice session, Marquez was just 4 tenths off the Australian and was third quickest. However, after shaving 3 tenths off his time in qualifying to set a 1:50.185 lap on his last time around, he placed eleventh on the grid. Eighth was Rins, who bested his Friday top time by more than a second in the morning, then clocked a 1:49.918 lap in qualifying after further progress.

Tomorrow Rins and Marquez will take off from the middle of rows three and four, respectively, for the race at 11am local time.

Alex Rins 8th 1:49.918 36 laps 173 km

"We've taken a big step forward, improving a lot from Friday thanks to the hard work that we have been doing with the team. I am happy; obviously there are riders who are a step ahead of us at the moment but in the race, with the wear that the tyres are suffering, I don't think that they will be as fast. If they do, then we will try to latch onto them. If we can't do that, then we will look to take as many points as possible."

Alex Marquez 11th 1:50.185 34 laps 163 km

"It is clear that in the morning we took a step forward compared to yesterday. I was much closer to the top time and felt more comfortable on the bike. In the afternoon we tried a different setup for the bike, which didn't work as we had hoped and didn't let me ride as I like. In warmup we will go back to this morning's setup, as I think that it was working well and still leaves us with room for improvement. In the race we shall try to take a good start, because as we saw in Austin Miller and Vazquez will try to open up a gap from the start. We shall need to overtake riders ahead of us in order to be able to play our cards on the final laps."

Kent takes front row start in Argentina

Danny Kent places third for Husqvarna's best qualifying performance of the season. Niklas Ajo also takes highest grid position of 2014 so far with seventh.

04/26/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina

The two Husqvarna riders in the Moto3 World Championship had their best qualifying showing of the year so far at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo. Danny Kent flew in the session to place third, turning his positive feeling from practice into a great position on the grid. Niklas Ajo took a big step forward to claim seventh and a third row start.

Despite conditions at the track not offering the best grip possible, Danny Kent continued to have a good feeling about the track -as he did on Day 1. Seventh in the final practice session with a time 0.7 faster than his Friday best, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider clocked a 1:50.570 that set him up well for qualifying. In the grid-deciding session, the result was excellent. The Briton used his experience to find the best time to set his fastest lap, putting in a 1:49.617 that was just 4 tenths off Jack Miller's pole lap.

With a 1:50.840 lap, Niklas Ajo improved by more than 1.5 seconds on his Friday top time. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider put the breakthrough down to an improvement in his riding, rectifying issues from the opening day. He later smashed this time in qualifying. After setting a 1:50 pace, the Finn then took a 1:49.876 lap that put him just 2 tenths off the front row.

The two Husqvarna riders will challenge the field starting at 11.00a.m. local time for their first race in Argentina -also their first in South America. Both will try to improve their results for a third consecutive race. At the last round in Austin, Kent finished eighth and Niklas fourteenth.


"I'm excited for my first front row position of the season. The first races were not as good as we expected, so we've taken the step forward that we needed. But the important thing is tomorrow: We have to make a good start, set a good pace from the first laps and try not to lose the lead group at any time. I’m looking forward to start the race."

Hafiq Azmi to start on tenth row in Argentina

SIC-Ajo Team rider improves with every session at third Grand Prix of 2014, claiming 30th on the starting grid for tomorrow's race.

04/26/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina

A third qualifying session of the season saw a third tenth row start for Hafiq Azmi. The SIC-Ajo Team rider claimed 30th on the starting grid for the Grand Prix of Argentina, and will be taking off from the same line of attack as at both previous races. The Malaysian had improved his times in every practice session undertaken.

The second day of practice began well for the SIC-Ajo Team rider, who went round in under 1:53 on his first stint of the final session. That was an improvement on his best time from Friday, and set him up to conclude FP3 with three consecutive 1:52 laps. The best of these was a 1:52.138, giving him 24th on the timesheets.

In qualifying the results were not as Hafiq Azmi had hoped, although he did set a new personal best lap of 1:52.133. He did this on the first time out of the garage, as excess traffic late on prevented quicker laps. However, in the final moments he again found a 1:52 pace which gives motivation for Sunday's race.

The first GP of Argentina at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo will take place from 11.00am local time. After improving his best race position at Austin with 24th, Hafiq Azmi is chasing further progress in his first full year in Moto3.

Hafiq Azmi to start on tenth row in Argentina

SIC-Ajo Team rider improves with every session at third Grand Prix of 2014, claiming 30th on the starting grid for tomorrow's race.

04/26/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina

A third qualifying session of the season saw a third tenth row start for Hafiq Azmi. The SIC-Ajo Team rider claimed 30th on the starting grid for the Grand Prix of Argentina, and will be taking off from the same line of attack as at both previous races. The Malaysian had improved his times in every practice session undertaken.

The second day of practice began well for the SIC-Ajo Team rider, who went round in under 1:53 on his first stint of the final session. That was an improvement on his best time from Friday, and set him up to conclude FP3 with three consecutive 1:52 laps. The best of these was a 1:52.138, giving him 24th on the timesheets.

In qualifying the results were not as Hafiq Azmi had hoped, although he did set a new personal best lap of 1:52.133. He did this on the first time out of the garage, as excess traffic late on prevented quicker laps. However, in the final moments he again found a 1:52 pace which gives motivation for Sunday's race.

The first GP of Argentina at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo will take place from 11.00am local time. After improving his best race position at Austin with 24th, Hafiq Azmi is chasing further progress in his first full year in Moto3.


"Overall today went better than yesterday. The circuit had more grip and the bike worked even better. I’m the most comfortable I've been on the bike and this allowed me to improve my times. In the qualifying session, I had a problem, because I lost the front and I almost fell several times. But I think it was a problem of the race line, which is still somewhat slippery. I've got my pace for the race and I feel comfortable. Tomorrow will try to give my best."

Impressive progression for Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco

With a more than reasonable qualifying practice under their belts Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco are ready for the Moto3 race of the Argentinean Grand Prix. Both RW Racing GP riders made over two seconds of progression and reduced the gap to the front runners impressively.

Deroue finished qualifying in 21st position with a lap of 1.50,831. Carrasco moved up to 28th in her final lap, in which she did 1.51,827.

The difference of approach is remarkable. Ana Carrasco working hard each session and improving bit by bit but steady, and Scott Deroue on the other hand who seems insipid in the free practices but all of sudden makes his move in qualifying.

RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen had a bit of a hard time. “This casual approach of Scott is quite a risk and palls on me but I can’t be mad at him because he is fast when he has to be. Qualifying in 21st is just a good job and thus I have nothing to hold against him. Maybe the travelling and the time differences are of some influence, but he obviously needs the pressure to perform.”

Ana Carrasco’s 28th position was therefore a bit disappointing, for her as well. Her progression on this second day was good and Carrasco set a number of good lap times, but she couldn’t make that one big step that would allow her to get further to the front.

“The competition is getting stronger and stronger”, Janssen explains. “Everybody is running faster. Compared to the frontrunners Ana has improved more. The gaps are smaller. But to overcome the gaps is the most difficult task there is. Of course Ana and the team would have loved to be further up in the results, and looking at the effort she would have deserved far more, but it is what it is.”

The Moto3 race will start tomorrow at 16.00 Central European Time.

Moto3 - Eight row for San Carlo Team Italia at Termas de Rio Hondo

Andrea Locatelli and Matteo Ferrari qualified in positions 22nd and 23rd respectively

Fully respecting the predictions, the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina) today has offered a thrilling Moto3 qualifying session. While Championship leader Jack Miller (KTM), took a second successive pole (his second in career as well), the two riders of the San Carlo Team Italia managed to contain the gap from the riders on front.

Both Andrea Locatelli (1’51″118, 22nd) and Matteo Ferrari (1’51″278, 23rd) broke trough the 1’52” barrier and made progressive steps forward over the weekend. Unfortunately their start from the eight row of the grid will force them to face an uphill challenge in the tomorrow race.

Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 22nd, 1'51"118

"We have been able to improve our grid position on our previous two races: this is undoubtedly positive, but truthfully, I expected to be a bit closer than I’m on the grid. We are cutting the gap from the front at each session, and the feeling with the bike is improving as well. Unfortunately, we are still suffering under the point of view of the engine power. The difference compared to the others is particularly noticeable on this type of very fast track. The race will be a bet, but I can assure that I will give it my best: if we want to try and fight for a good result it will be important to stick to the riders ahead of us".

Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 23rd, 1'51"278

"I’m happier than yesterday. This morning the team have found some set-up modifications that have worked well and I was able to improve my lap time by eight tenths of a second. The T1 is where I loose the most and if we could to sort that out tomorrow we would be able to stay with the riders just ahead of us: we’ll try some set-up changes in the warm-up hoping to improve further and to confirm the steps forward we made during the weekend".

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

"We are more or less as yesterday on the standings, but we have further reduced the gap to the front. This is a positive thing, which confirms the improvements we made so far and the strong determination of our riders. The gap due to our engine at this track is worth around one second. Despite this Andrea and Matteo are trying to get the most from their bike in order to continue to grow up together with the team".

Rabat storms to third straight pole in Argentina


Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina – 26 April 2014: A stunning late attack from Tito Rabat saw the Marc VDS Racing rider claim the first ever Moto2 pole position at the new Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina this afternoon.

A breathless lap of 1.43.961 kept the Spaniard’s 100% pole position record intact in 2014 at the end of a super close qualifying session that saw the top three split by just 0.077s.

Mika Kallio will start his 200th World Championship race from 14th on the grid, the Finn qualifying just under 0.4s from the top six on a day where he struggled for optimum grip on the abrasive new surface.

Livio Loi had a day to remember in South America, the Belgian teenager following up an outstanding fifth position in practice to secure a magnificent career best ninth position on the grid.

Loi’s best lap of 1.49.918 was just over 0.3s off the front row and gives him a golden opportunity to celebrate his 17th birthday tomorrow with a maiden top 10 finish in Moto3.

Tito Rabat // 1st // 1’43.961

“It has not been an easy weekend with the difficult track conditions, so I am very happy to be in pole position again. On the first day I had problems with rear grip and today problems with the front and it is very difficult to understand the grip because the track is changing constantly. We found a good solution and I made a very good lap time, but the most important thing is the race tomorrow. Many riders are very close and it will be key to make a good start and then a lot will depend on who can save the tyres the best for the final laps.”

Mika Kallio // 14th // 1’44.715

“I can’t be happy because 14th certainly isn’t a true reflection of my speed. I used the soft option tyres at the start of the session but then I had no more because this track is so aggressive for tyre wear that we’ve had to use a lot of tyres already. At the end I had to finish on the hard front and rear because I need to keep a soft option for tomorrow in case we decide that’s what we will race with. We’ve got a lot of information now with the hard tyres and I think for the rear we will have to use that one for the best performance over a race distance. The starting position isn’t good but my race pace is strong and if I can be cool at the start then anything is still possible.”

Livio Loi // 9th //1’49.969

“I am really happy to have scored my best ever qualifying result, but I don’t think ninth showed my true potential. I was really confident after the fifth position in FP3 and I am sure I could have been higher up the grid. But on one of my best laps I was 0.2s up on the best time in the first two sectors when Karel Hanika crashed right in front of me, so I had to pick the bike up. That would have been a very good lap and I am sure I could have been in the top five. I’ve got the speed and consistency and starting ninth gives me a great chance to get away with the leading group, so I’m looking forward to a really strong race.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“I am really happy with Tito because honestly I didn’t expect him to get pole position. Three consecutive pole positions is a first for Marc VDS Racing and it is a great achievement. It has not been an easy weekend for everybody with track conditions constantly changing. Sometimes you have no grip on the rear and when you solve it you have no grip on the front, but Tito and his crew worked incredibly hard to get the best balance for qualifying. Mika has had a difficult weekend and we have not found the best solution on the set-up for him. Hopefully we can find something he is more comfortable with for the race because normally the starting position is not a big issue for him and he can come through and fight for the podium. Livio has had a great weekend so far. He has always been competitive and he has been setting a fast and consistent pace on his own with no help to make his times. On his last lap he had to slow when Hanika crashed in front of him, and without that I think it was possible to see Livio on the front row. If he makes a good start tomorrow I think he can go with the leading group and that will be fantastic experience for him.”


MAPFRE Aspar rider gathers more vital experience and improves on Qatar and Austin grid position with twelfth

Jack Miller continued his domination of the timesheets in Argentina to make history as the first ever polesetter at the Circuito Termas de Río Hondo following today's Moto3 qualifying practice. Efren Vázquez gave the Australian the hardest time, closing to within 0.052 seconds to set up an interesting battle for victory tomorrow.

MAPFRE Aspar rider Juanfran Guevara continued his positive trajectory over the opening three rounds and after qualifying thirteenth in Qatar and Austin, scoring a career-best eleventh in the American round, he went one better today to secure twelfth place on the grid for the first ever race at Termas de Río Hondo. The Spanish youngster improved his pace by three seconds from yesterday and is confident that he can take another step forward in his Grand Prix education in tomorrow's race.

12th Juanfran Guevara 1.50.229 (18 laps): “I am happy because things went a bit better today and we were able to improve the lap times. Yesterday I was only able to manage the occasional 1'52 but today we were consistently in the 1'50s relatively easily. We continued in the same direction as yesterday, modifying the front end and improving my feeling. As well as following other riders for a couple of laps I also tried to set my own pace and the result was really good. We start from the fourth row and if we can get away well we can run with the front group. This is our best grid position of the three races so far so we are making progress and that is the most important thing.”

Schrotter aiming for success in Argentina

Marcel Schrotter produced a resolute ride to start tomorrow’s first ever Moto2 World Championship race at the Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina in 12th position.

With only one second covering the top twenty riders in the super competitive Moto2 class, the young German rose to the challenge at the newly constructed and fast flowing 4806 metre Argentinian circuit. After having electrical issues with his Mistral 610 losing nearly half of the 45min lasting session, which luckily was briefly red flagged part way through, as the circuit needed to be cleaned after a crash, Schrotter remained determined and produced quick laps at the end of the qualifying to finish with a 1:44.648 and just over 0.6 of a second off the leading time. The young German who showed steady progress throughout the weekend is now confident to battle comfortably inside top 10 during tomorrow’s race lasting 23 laps.

Ricky Cardus who continues to temporarily replace the recovering Alex Mariñelerena, rode with ever increasing confidence aboard the Tech3 Racing Team’s exclusively designed and crafted Mistral 610. A top time of 1:44.838 qualified the Spanish rider in 18th on the grid for tomorrows Moto2 race, having finished impressively in the preceding practice sessions. Cardus’ time was under a second from the leading rider, and he remains optimistic of a points scoring finish race at the Circuito de Rio Hondo in Argentina.

Marcel Schrotter- 12th: -1.44.648

“Overall, I am pleased with the 12th position for tomorrow after todays qualifying session. We had some electrical issues with the speed limiter at the beginning of the session as I was unable to deactivate it and unfortunately it took quite a while to solve the problem. Therefore, the red flag half way through the session was fortunate for us as we gained valuable minutes, but of course I was not able to work through my practice schedule anymore. It was tough, as every rider was improving constantly and with such a tight classification, every single tenth is precious. At the end of the qualifying I went out with a new rear tyre determined to ride over all difficulties to get myself in a good position for tomorrow’s race and moved up to 12th. I still did make a small mistake in the last corner, so I could have possibly been in an even better position. There are some advances to be made in getting the bike up to speed in the first day of practice, but after everything today, I am happy to have qualified in 12th and look forward to the race tomorrow”.

Ricky Cardus- 18th -1.44.838

“I am quite happy with my result today even though I did expect a better position after the results of the three free practice sessions. I was lapping comfortably with the hard tyre, which I even did my fastest lap with and waited for the last ten minutes to put on a soft one. But due to the ever changing grip level and the traffic on track, I could not take full advantage of it and I was unable to improve my time anymore. However, I’m confident for tomorrow as the weekend has been really positive so far and with a good start I will easily be able to fight for another point scoring finish and leave the first Moto2 race in Argentina with some Championship points in my luggage.”


Xavier Siméon will start the Grand Prix of Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo circuit from the front row of the grid. The Belgian rider, aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Suter machine, produced a fantastic qualifying performance taking the third place, just 77 thousandths of a seconds off the pole position, set today by Esteve Rabat.

A great satisfaction for Siméon - who narrowly missed two weeks ago the front row in the Grand Prix of the Americas - and of course a good starting position for tomorrow's race, which is expected very tight, with many riders with a similar pace.

Aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter, rookie Lorenzo Baldassarri set today the 21st fastest time, 1’45”159: the young Italian, who struggled to find the right set-up during these two days of practice, will therefore start the race from the seventh row, determined to make up positions in order to try to notch up his first points in Moto2.

XAVIER SIMEON (3rd - 1'44"038)

“I’m very happy to be on the front row: in Austin I was really disappointed to have lost it by the blink of an eye, therefore we arrived here with a great desire to succeed. Yesterday, after the first free practice, I was really worried because we were not able to do more than one lap with the tyres… but then we worked hard on the bike set-up and we improved a lot, session after session. Our pace is good, very similar to the riders in front of us, so tomorrow I expect a good fight. The tyres are still a question mark, because even if we are comfortable with the rear tyre, now we struggle a little bit with the front on the race distance”.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (21st - 1'45"159)

“Yesterday we struggled a lot, and this morning the situation was even worse: unfortunately we have taken a wrong direction and I also got a little nervous, because I couldn’t ride as I wanted. Eventually, though, we managed to find a good set-up by making some modifications both to the rear end and to the front end. As a result, In qualifying I was quite fast: in the end I tried to follow Vinales to try to improve my lap time, but I made a mistake with the rear brake and I went wide. I can’t wait to start the race to try to make a good recover!”.


“Siméon and the whole team did a great job, considering the difficult track conditions: it was definitely not easy but in the end we found a great compromise. Being in the front row is very important ahead of tomorrow's race: we are very close to the fastest riders and our pace is good, so we are very confident; we hope to finally finish the race with a good result. We need it. Baldassarri worked a lot on the bike during practice, but he struggled a lot. Hopefully tomorrow morning during the warm up he can do a few more steps forward, then we are sure that he will try his best in the race”.

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