Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the race in Argentina:
Thrilling second place for Alex Marquez
The Repsol rider moved up 12 positions to fight for victory until the last corner in an intense race; Alex Rins crossed the line in fifth.
The return of the World Championship to Argentina saw Alex Marquez put on an electrifying performance in the Moto3 race. After a poor start, the Repsol rider soared from fourteenth position at the end of the first lap to pass under the chequered flag in second place. Teammate Alex Rins bounced back from a difficult weekend to contest among the riders in the lead group to finally finish in fifth.
The start for both riders from the third and fourth row was not spectacular, with Rins remaining in eighth position at the first corner, while Marquez lost three positions to rank in fourteenth at the end of the first lap. From there both riders began to recover positions which included Marquez setting the fastest lap of the race, even faster than the pole position time from yesterday. Marquez caught up a group of three riders that included Jack Miller, Romano Fenati and Efren Vazquez.
During the final laps of the race, Rins’ pace slowed and he settled back to fight for fifth with Vazquez. Up ahead, in an exciting finale ensued that included riders touching in the penultimate corner, Marquez repeated the second place he had in Qatar, this time behind Fenati and ahead of Miller in third.
With this result, the World Championship heads to Jerez next week with Miller in the lead with 66 points, Marquez in fourth with 40 and Rins fifth with 35.
Alex Rins 5th at 5.530 sec.
"In the end it was a fairly successful result. After how it went for the whole Grand Prix, we’re happy with this fifth place. This weekend has been the most I've learned in all the races that I’ve been in. In the race today, at first it was difficult to overtake other riders to get ahead, but little by little I was able to reach the lead group. It was a shame because Efren [Vazquez] was a little wide in a turn and I lost contact with them, which ended my opportunity for a better result. The important thing is that we have not stopped working, the whole team is working hard and we have to focus on Jerez."
Alex Marquez 2nd at 0.099 sec.
"It was a very difficult weekend and I think we worked very well all three days. Yesterday we had a hard time in the qualifying, I made a mistake, but in today's warm-up we found the solution for the race. I knew I had to concentrate, but I didn’t start well and in the first corner I went wide and many riders overtook me, which made it hard to get back ahead later. I tried to concentrate again and continue in my line, and gradually we made it to the front group. The last lap was fun, we were in front many times and I really enjoyed it. This result gives us good motivation for Jerez."
IMPRESSIVE TOP TEN FINISH FOR BASTIANINI IN ARGENTINA. ANTONELLI 25th AFTER A FALL
Enea Bastianini celebrated today at Termas de Rio Hondo his first top ten finish in the Moto3 World Championship: aboard the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 KTM machine, the 16-year-old rookie clinched a well-deserved tenth place in the Grand Prix of Argentina, charging through the field from 17th place on the grid and thus confirming himself as one of the most promising rookies of the 2014 campaign.
After suffering a fall yesterday during qualifying, Niccolò Antonelli crashed again today during the ninth of the 21 scheduled laps, as he lost the front at turn 9. The 18-year-old Italian rejoined the race at the back of the field, eventually riding his KTM across the finish line in 25th place. Before the mistake, Antonelli had managed to climb up several positions, battling inside the group of riders fighting for a position close to the podium.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (25th)
“I really don’t know what to say, except that I’m very sorry: the race was going well, I was able to recover several positions and I was inside the leading group, but at a certain point I lost the front at turn 9: honestly I didn’t expect it, maybe the tyre performance was already dropping down. We hope to fight back in one week at Jerez”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (10th)
“I'm so thrilled about this result! At the start I lost a bit because other riders forced me out of the line in a couple of corners, and that's why I couldn’t stay with the leading group, but then I made a nice comeback from the 17th to the 10th position. In the first half of the race I made some good passes, while in the second part I was able to maintain a good advantage - slightly more than a second - on Masbou and Guevara. I'm also happy because we I was catching the riders in front of us, so in the next race we might as well try to stay with them”.
“I’m disappointed and concerned about Antonelli’s situation: he managed to score only 7 points in the first three races, while our ambition was to stay in front. I continue to believe that this is a goal within our reach because the potential of the team and of the technical package is really high: Niccolò, however, must start to finish the races without making mistakes: this unfortunately happened only in Qatar, where the result, moreover, was below our expectations. On the other hand, I’m very happy about Bastianini’s performance. Enea is a good surprises of this early season; he’s improving his results race by race and also here he didn’t make mistakes. There are all the conditions to grow further during the season”.
Third consecutive podium for Miller
The Australian Red Bull KTM Ajo rider completed the Red Bull Grand Prix of Argentina to stand on the third step of the podium. Hanika did not finish the race due to a crash.
04/27/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina
For the first World Championship event at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo today, Jack Miller finished on the podium once again in the Moto3 championship. The Australian, who fought hard for the win until the final lap, mounted the podium for the third time this year. Following two wins, Miller achieved a third place, allowing him to keep the World Championship lead in the junior category. Karel Hanika was not able finish the race after suffering two falls .
With a good start from pole position, Jack Miller quickly took up with the lead group of riders. The race leader changed various times over the 21 lap race, with Miller and Romano Fenati swapping places at the front for the majority of the race. In a breathtaking final lap battle, Miller was first into the penultimate corner, but after being hit by the Italian -a move that was investigated by race direction- was relegated to third place.
Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie Karel Hanika had an unlucky day. After a sixth row start, the Czech rider suffered a fall in the first lap that put any hopes of finishing in the points out of the question. Hanika still reentered the race with the intention of adding important track time in his first year in the World Championship. A second crash in the final laps ended the rookie’s participation in the race.
After three podiums and with 66 points, Miller leads the overall standings with a 17 point advantage over the second -placed Fenati. Miller’s teammate Hanika is ranked seventeenth with 11 points.
The World Championship heads directly to Jerez without pause, where on May 4th the Grand Prix of Spain will host the first European event on the calendar.
8 JACK MILLER
"It was a good race, very serious. At first I focused on doing my laps, pulling ahead as planned, with a little fighting with Fenati. We managed to open a gap and we ended up as a group of four riders. My strategy on the penultimate lap was to let Marquez pass, but I also let Fenati by. It didn’t upset me because on the last lap I could take advantage of the slipstream of two bikes on the back straight. I made the move to overtake them but I didn’t manage to get by Marquez and I had to pass him in the next corner. In the second to last corner I had the inside and was about to accelerate and I was hit from behind. I went into the dirty area of the track but was able to save the podium position.
Overall I'm happy with the race, we have done our best, and I'm sure that if I hadn’t been hit I would have won the race. Anyway, we scored more points in the standings, so that is positive."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"We started the weekend with a good feeling in free practice, but the qualifying session didn’t go quite right and we were forced to start from the back. But I made a good start. In the first corner I was hit by another rider and lost many positions. After the back straight and in a lot of heavy traffic, I had the first crash, where the bike was badly damaged. I wanted to continue, but then eventually fell again. It was the wrong end to the weekend, but we have to forget it and look toward the next race."
GUEVARA CLAIMS FOUR POINTS AND MAKES STEADY PROGRESS IN ARGENTINA
MAPFRE Aspar rider recovers from early mistake to place eleventh at Moto3 round three
Two riders had been the favourites for victory in Argentina this week, based on their practice performances. Jack Miller and Efrén Vázquez had dominated in Moto3, with a pace faster than the rest of the field. The situation was not repeated, however, on race day at the Termas de Río Hondo circuit. Over the course of 21 thrilling laps, various riders were in contention for the victory. Twelve riders were at the front early on, reduced to three and then extended to four by the final laps. Times began similar to those of the qualifying session’s pole lap, but dipped to the low 1.50’s by the end. Romano Fenati was one of the most aggressive on track so much so that he collided with Márquez and Miller on the final corner. Race Direction elected to rewatch the incident, but in the end the Italian was awarded the victory. Márquez and Miller completed the podum.
Juanfran Guevara completed a weekend of progress in Argentina with an twelfth place finish. The Spaniard had come close to a Top 10 finish at the previous round, and his objective for this race was to take another step forward. He started strong and latched onto the lead group, but on the second lap he made a small mistake which dropped him back from the pack. After refocusing and finding a consistent pace, he battled with Alexis Masbou for most of the contest before taking twelfth, adding four points to his account and setting a fastest lap of 1.50.114.
12th Juanfran Guevara: “The start and the opening two laps of the race were positive and we were able to join a good group. I had hoped to stick with that group for the entire race. It’s a shame that on the second lap I made a mistake. At the end of the back straight I ran wide and almost went off the track, which led to three or four riders overtaking me and I lost contact with the lead group. At the start the race was quick, making it impossible to recover the metres that I lost with that error. Although we had a good race, I think I would have done much better without that incident on the second lap. The positive thing is that we were able to keep upright, as many riders went to ground. We were really suffering with the tyres today. The overall verdict of the weekend is positive, because we found a good pace and gained more experience, so I am satisfied.”
Top ten results for Husqvarna riders
Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent successfully completed the Red Bull Grand Prix of Argentina in eighth and ninth place for their first visit to the South American track.
04/27/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina
The Husqvarna duo had a satisfying end to the Grand Prix at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo and took the factory's best combined results so far in the Moto3 World Championship. Niklas Ajo crossed the line in eighth place, followed by Danny Kent in ninth. This was the Finn’s best finish of the season and the Briton's second consecutive top ten.
The Husqvarna riders completed the first few laps in good standing, riding within the large lead group of about 15 riders. Kent paced toward the front of the pack with Niklas further back, with both hanging onto the lead group for the first third of the race.
In the following laps, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider found himself in a second group just ahead of the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider. With four laps remaining, the duo found themselves fighting each other for eight place. Arriving nearly together at the finish line, Niklas advanced just ahead of Kent by less than one tenth to finish in eighth position.
In the overall Moto3 standings Danny Kent is now eight with 18 points, while Niklas Ajo sits in fourteenth with 10 points. Husqvarna is now third in the standings. This round in Argentina completes the first overseas dates on the calendar and in just one short week the first European date will take place at the Circuito de Jerez.
52 DANNY KENT
"We had a good start; I put myself in the lead group and was going at the pace of the qualifying session. After the first ten laps, the front tire was very worn and I almost crashed several times. On the last lap I overtook my teammate, but after his final move, I finished ninth. I'm happy because in general this weekend we took an important step forward in free practice and in the qualifying session. Also in the set up for the race. All we need to analyze what happened with the front tyre and keep improving for Jerez."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"Today's race was pretty good, as we were up with the front group for most of the race until the front tyre went off. That meant that I needed to slow down a little as I was sliding around. We had a few problems all weekend and we don't know if this is down to my style, the bike or something else. We need to find the reason for this. I feel bad for Danny Kent, because of what happened on the final corner, but I think that it was a racing incident. I am happy that Danny was able to finish the race, and now we are looking ahead to Jerez."
Rabat takes commanding win in Argentina
Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina – 27 April 2014: Marc VDS Racing Team rider Tito Rabat claimed his second pole position and race win double of 2014 today, after a commanding Moto2 success at the new Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.
The Spaniard delivered a flawless performance to lead the 23-lap race from start to finish, with his second win in the opening three races stretching his World Championship lead to 28-points heading to the European phase of the campaign in Jerez next weekend.
Mika Kallio rode a determined race in his landmark 200th Grand Prix appearance, the Finn capitalising on major set-up modifications to improve rear grip. His seventh place moved him into second position behind Rabat in the World Championship standings.
Livio Loi had double reason to celebrate today after marking his 17th birthday with an inspired ride to fourth, the Belgian rider missing a stunning maiden podium by a margin of just 0.084s.
Loi’s stellar performance on a weekend in which he also scored a career best qualifying result, saw him fight for the win with Romano Fenati, Alex Marquez and Jack Miller in a nail-biting battle that was only decided at the final corner.
Tito Rabat // 1st
“From the outside it might have looked like an easy race but on the bike it was incredibly difficult. It is not easy to keep maximum concentration and I knew that if I made a small mistake Simeon was ready to attack. I am really happy because I made a good start and led the whole race. I have to say a big thanks to my team because they gave me a fantastic bike and the tyre choice was perfect. We go to Jerez with a nice lead in the championship but I can’t relax because Mika is now second and he will be pushing hard as always.”
Mika Kallio // 7th
“The bike in the race was the best it has been all weekend and we found a lot more rear grip and tyre life, which have been the biggest issues. I started so far back and the riders outside of the top 10 are completely crazy in the first two laps. They don’t know where to brake and they always run wide and mess up your rhythm. I lost a lot of places, so to get back to seventh was the maximum I could achieve. I’m not satisfied because the race could have been completely different with a better qualifying and with my pace I had the chance to battle for the podium. I’m second in the championship but Tito has pulled a good advantage, so we have to improve."
Livio Loi // 4th
“That was an incredible way to celebrate my birthday. It was an unbelievable race because I lost some places at the start, but once in my rhythm I just kept passing and moving forward. I saw the leading group wasn’t far away so I kept pushing and all of the time I was closing the gap. At the final corner I couldn’t take the inside line, so I had to go round the outside and I was still very good on the brakes, even on the dirty part of the track. But Fenati touched Marquez and Miller and I had to pick my bike up. I’m a little disappointed to just miss out on the podium after such an amazing race but this weekend has been massive boost for my confidence. Now I have showed I can be there and I want to thank the Marc VDS Racing Team for always believing in me.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Our first trip to Argentina has certainly been one we won’t forget in a hurry. Tito did a fantastic job and it always an impressive achievement to lead for the whole race in a category as tough as Moto2. He managed the race really well and it is great to have a good advantage in the championship at this early stage. I’m happy with Mika’s job because now we are 1-2 in the rankings. Qualifying is so important and starting 14th was not ideal but he fought his way back and scored some crucial points. And Livio was just phenomenal. Marc van der Straten and I have always believed he has the talent and it was a great day. With a bit more luck he could have finished on the podium and he learned more in those 21-laps than he did in the whole of last year. I am sure this is the boost he needs to become a consistent top 10 finisher.”
Scott Deroue just misses out on first point, steady race for Ana Carrasco
In only his third Grand Prix ever, Scott Deroue had his first world championship point at his fingertips. The Dutch rookie entered the final lap of the Moto3 race in Argentina in 15th position, but unfortunately was defeated in the last corner, ending the exciting race in 17th. Ana Carrasco entered the last lap in 20th, was almost knocked off and crossed the line in 23th.
Both riders of RW Racing GP had a good start of the race on the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo and came through the jostling of first lap without major trouble. Already after a few laps the groups were formed in which they would battle for most of the race.
In the case of Deroue it was a quartet with Azmi, Khairuddin and Schouten. Unfortunately they soon lost connection to the riders ahead and thus only the battle for a single point was left. The four changed positions all the time and neither of them let go.
Deroue was leading the group going into the final lap, having a championship point in his hand. In a desperate attempt to grab the point Azmi touched Deroue a few times, forcing him to run wide and thus opening the door for Khairuddin who gratefully took the opportunity.
After her cannonball start that shot her from 28 to 23, Ana Carrasco needed a few laps to find the pace and rhythm. She found herself back with Oettl, Sissis and Ramos in the range between 20th and 26th position.
Carrasco as fighting in her group as well and managed to ride a steady pace. She led the group into the last lap but was happy to finish at all, after Kornfeil came through aggressively from the back of the field as if there was a podium finish at stake, leaving Carrasco in 23th.
Scott Deroue – 17 (+38,669)
“My start was excellent and I was well within the top 10, but the jostling and pushing in the first corner was so rough and I lost some positions. In the first few laps I unfortunately was stuck behind Azmi and lost connection to Bastianini, who got away. That was a pity.
The battle with Azmi, Khairuddin and Schouten was tense and exciting. I fought my way up to the lead in the penultimate lap. All four of us were racing at daggers drawn, all of us wanted that single point. The final lap was madness. Azmi tried to overtake and banged his bike against mine and we both ran wide, so Khairuddin was able to grab it.
I’m absolutely satisfied with the race and it was really good to fight for points. Next time it has to be mine.”
Ana Carrasco – 23 (+1.00,112)
“My start was great and I gained a lot, but it took too long to find the rhythm. It was difficult to get to speed and therefore I lost connection to the group I should have been in.
I was determined to get best out of it and I was fighting for 20th in the final lap when all of a sudden Kornfeil bashed through, almost knocking me off.
I’m not pleased with the result. The race and the battles were good, but overall my pace was too slow and I was too far behind. Luckily the chance for revenge is not too far away: I’m looking forward to Jerez next weekend.”
Hafiq Azmi just misses out on points in Argentina
SIC-Ajo Team rider gains 14 places for sixteenth position -his best finish to date.
04/27/2014 - Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina
Hafiq Azmi completed the Grand Prix of Argentina on a high note. The race saw the Malaysian rider fight to the last lap for his first points in the World Championship. After holding fifteenth position, the SIC-Ajo rider crossed the finish line in sixteenth place, his best result so far in the championship.
Azmi started the day in excellent form, marking fourteenth position on the time sheet during the warm up session -his best result in a practice thus far in the World Championship. Just a few hours later, the Malaysian rider launched from the tenth row of the grid to quickly move up ten positions in the very first lap. The SIC-Ajo Team rider moved up to a group of four riders contesting for fifteenth place. After leading the group with only two laps to go, Hafiq Azmi missed finishing in the points by only half a second.
After this third round of the calendar, the GP Circus travels straight to Europe without a break to begin a series of six races, with the first on the continent taking place in Jerez next week.
38 HAFIQ AZMI
"This race went much better than the previous ones. I got a good start and tried to latch onto the group with Bastianini in. However, I began to battle with Scott Deroue, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and a few other riders in the group. I tried to break away, but it was difficult. In the end I found it hard to follow the pace of the group and I had to push hard, which led to my mistake on the penultimate lap which kept me out of the points. I am happy with sixteenth place."
XAVIER SIMEON SOARS TO BRILLIANT SECOND PLACE AT TERMAS DE RIO HONDO
Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 rider Xavier Siméon rode to a fantastic second place finish in today’s Grand Prix of Argentina, third round of the 2014 Moto2 World Championship. The Belgian rider, who started the race from the third position on the grid, immediately jumped into second place, behind Esteve Rabat, and managed to maintain that position for all the 23 laps of the race
After a third place finish last year at Le Mans, this second place represents Siméon’s best result ever in Moto2 to date: a performance that redeems the first two unlucky races of the season, where Xavier and the team had already shown great potential.
Aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter, Lorenzo Baldassarri completed his first Moto2 race, although the young rookie - after a good first half of the race - slipped back in 28th position as a result of an oil leak from the engine ending up on his right foot, forcing him to make several mistakes.
XAVIER SIMEON (2nd)
“I had a good start, maybe the best ever, then I could make my own rhythm and I tried to follow Rabat, even if he was slightly faster than me. In the early stages of the race with the full tank, however, I didn’t want to stress too much the front tyre because I didn’t know if it would be good for the whole race. Anyway, I managed to maintain the second place also when Salom was close to me, then I was able to open a good gap of about 3 seconds. At that point I knew it would not have been possible to reach Rabat, so I managed to keep the concentration and brought home the result. I want to thank the team because he’s doing a great job; we could already be on the podium at Austin, but there I did a mistake, but finally here we had that bit of luck that we missed in the first two races. I am very happy, now we want to continue like this”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (28th)
“This morning, after the warm up, we made a change to the bike set-up for which has not been positive, because already in the first few laps of the race the rear tyre was sliding a lot. In addition, I got off the line at the start really bad, and after that, trying to recover, I went wide three or four times, due to an engine oil leak that made me slip my right foot from the footpeg and from the rear brake lever. Everytime I lost a lot of time to get back on track, because it was very dirty off the line. I then went wide another last time, at the first corner, and at that point my race was basically over. I tried my best to the end, but I was really too far from the points”.
“Xavier did a fantastic race: he started really well and in the early stages he managed to follow Rabat, fighting for the victory. He missed a very little speed to be able to catch him, and even though he fought really hard, at a certain point he realized it would have been difficult to reach Tito, so he stayed focused to bring home the second position. Moreover, after two retirements, it was essential for us to cross finish line. After the misfortune of the first two Grands Prix, this second place is like a win for us, no doubt! I'm also happy for the team, which has been waiting for a long time for a great satisfaction. I’m really sorry for Baldassari, who suffered an engine oil leak of oil that ended in his boot, making him slip his foot from the footpeg. Too bad, because in my opinion he could get some points: Lorenzo pursued this goal, that is certainly within his reach, in all these first three races, but so far we’ve been a little bit unlucky”.
A defective tire ruined Krummenacher's race in Argentina
Rio Hondo, April 27, 2014 – It has not gone as expected the GP of Argentina for Iodaracing Moto2 Team and Randy Krummenacher .
The Swiss rider, startedwell from the eighth row of the grid. In the early laps of the race he managed to bring him in the points , passing many riders. After that, a strong vibration appeared on his Suter and this forced him to slow down.
The bike vibrated so much that Krummenacher, in the middle of the race laps, lost the seat of his bike and this did not allow him to drive with the confident needed for maximum control. Under these conditions, Krummenacher ended his race in twenty-seventh place.
Once the box has been found the cause of the excessive vibration of the motorcycle in the anomalous state of the rear tire that appeared marked by numerous depressions on the tread .
RANDY KRUMMENACHER – Moto2 RIDER # 4 – GP ARGENTINA – 27th -“I am very disappointed with how the weekend ended up. It was a real shame because I was able to get a good start and I would certainly finish in the points if it were not for the problem of vibration. That anomaly appeared only a few laps after the start, the bike was moving so much that it was even difficult for me to see properly, then I also lost the seat to the vibrations . Than I did not have the right grip for maximum drive condition and so I had to slow down. Now I cannot do anything but wait until next week to bounce back in Jerez . “
Moto3 - Unlucky GP for San Carlo Team Italia in Argentina
Knocked down by another rider, Locatelli suffered a fracture in the radius of his right hand while Ferrari crashed out and retired.
The third round of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship which took place today at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina) was a race to forget for the San Carlo Team Italia. Hit by Karel Hanika in the early stages of the race, Andrea Locatelli suffered a nasty crash in which he broke the head of the radius of his right hand. It’s an injury that puts at risk the participation of the Italian Moto3 Champion in the next Grand Prix, scheduled in a few days at Jerez de la Frontera (Spain).
To complete a dark day for the Federal Italian squad, Matteo Ferrari suffered a small solo crash from which he came away unhurt but unable to re-join the race and to confirm the progresses made during the yesterday’s official qualifying.
The race saw Romano Fenati clinch his first win of the season. The Italian rider brought back the Italian flag on the top spot of the Moto3 podium two years after his last victory (2012 Jerez GP while he was racing for the Team Italia). To 'Fenny' and the Sky Racing Team VR46 the compliments of the FMI President Paolo Sesti.
Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) DNF
"There's really not much to say. I got a strong start and I was confident to make a good race when I have been hit by Karel Hanika braking into the corner at the end of the long straight. I felt immediately the pain and unfortunately later the x-rays showed the fracture. I just have to wait for further and more detailed examinations, hoping to be able to get back on my bike as soon as possible".
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) DNF
"Another race to forget. It’s a shame and I’m very frustrated for how the weekend ended. I leave from Argentina looking forward to take my revenge in the next races, starting from Jerez next week".
Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"It could not go worse than that. Unfortunately, on the first lap Andrea has been knocked down at turn 5 by Karel Hanika: as a result of this contact “Loka” has suffered a severe bruise on his right hand and, unfortunately, later on the x-rays showed a fracture in the radius of his right hand. The doctors recommend a period of rest that would result in the impossibility to take part in the next Grand Prix at Jerez de la Frontera in a few days, in order to fully recover for Le Mans. We will decide the best rehabilitation therapy together with the Italian Motorcycling Federation medical staff to allow Andrea to recover as soon as possible and in the best way. Regarding Matteo, a small crash forced him to retire from a difficult race for our team".
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS FINISH GRAND PRIX OF ARGENTINA TENTH AND FOURTEENTH
Jordi Torres and Nico Terol, 11th and 25th on the grid, respectively, fight back on race day to move up the field and take World Championship points
After a spectacular Moto3 race had laid down the gauntlet, the Moto2 field could not quite keep up the showmanship in Argentina. The intermediate category contest was not the thrilling race that other rounds have been, but the winner was still well deserving of his trophy. The pace at the Termas de Río Hondo track was high, largely due to runaway leader Esteve Rabat. The Spaniard pushed hard from the start and was never caught, replicating the consistency of his practice performances. He arrived at the finish line by himself, with Xavier Simeon and Luis Salom also arriving alone at the chequered flag to complete the podium places.
The MAPFRE riders needed to get back to normal after a chaotic GP of the Americas, and they did so with some positive results. Jordi Torres and Nico Terol were both able to ride calmly and consistently over the course of 23 laps in order to complete the Argentinean round. Torres started from eleventh on the grid and was stuck in the middle of a group on the opening corner and forced to ride onto the outside of the track, leaving him thirteenth after Lap 1. Despite his feeling not being as positive as in qualifying, dup to elevated temperatures, the Spaniard was able to maintain a 1’44 pace to claim a positive tenth place finish.
On the other side of the MAPFRE Aspar garage, Nico Terol could finally smile at the end of a Grand Prix weekend. The Spanish rider had taken zero points from the opening two rounds, but was able to come back from twenty-fifth on the grid to finish fourteenth. With two points to his name, he was back having fun onboard the bike as well.
10th Jordi Torres: "The truth is that we had quite high expectations for this race, because our pace was consistent all weekend and we had a quite positive feeling. Also this morning in the warmup session we took a step forward with our setup. In the race the temperature was much higher and that hurt us; it seems that the heat affects our bike, so we have to work on this. At the start, on the first corner, I was clipped by another rider who almost knocked me off the track . These things happen when you're right in the middle of the pack. On the second lap I also lost several positions and I had to fight back. We will have to learn to be more effective in qualifying to get us higher up the grid and away from trouble. Although I managed to finish the race in tenth place –a great result- today I did not had the feeling I had over the rest of the weekend. I noticed that the bike was leading me -and not the other way round. I had a hard time controlling it at some points and we need to find the source of these problems to correct them and to be more competitive at the next race."
14th Nico Terol: "In racing, when you are very far back on the grid it is tough. But I was able to deal with that today. This morning in the warmup session I felt very comfortable. I'm happy because I enjoyed riding the bike and I was close to the top spot. In the race itself I lacked a bit of intensity to imitate the feeling from this morning. Still, I rode very comfortably, overtaking many riders and trying to gain as many places as possible. At the end I was riding in no man's land and on an empty tank, and could feel that when braking it was harder to keep the bike in line. Nevertheless, I managed to close the door well to stop Nakagami from passing me. I'm happy because today we put the weekend right and we finally managed to complete a race this season. That was needed to restore our confidence."
Schrotter storms to strong finish in Argentina.
Marcel Schrotter produced a sterling display to finish just outside the top ten, in 11th position at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Northern Argentina, for the first ever Moto2 round at the track.
The German rider had a good start, keeping his 12th place on the starting grid in the first sector, but then dropped back to 20th position after contact with another rider during the opening lap. However, Schrotter remained focused and rode with grit, and began ascending up the field with a rapid and consistent pace during the following laps at the sun soaked Argentinian circuit. He moved up to 13th place before becoming involved in an exhilarating battle for 8th with six additional riders midway through the race. The Moto2 rider remained with the ferocious pack, until crossing the finish line in a hard fought ride to 11th in what was another encouraging performance by the 21 year old German and the Tech3 Racing Team at the new South American round.
Marcel Schrotter produced a sterling display to finish just outside the top ten, in 11th position at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo in Northern Argentina, for the first ever Moto2 round at the track.
Ricky Cardus’ hopes of scoring his third set of consistent points for the Tech3 Racing Team, as he replaces Alex Mariñelarena during his recovery process, came to a bitter end when he unfortunately fell during the second lap in today’s Moto2 race in Argentina. Having qualified in 18th, the Spanish rider once again undertook a solid start and moved up to 16th position in the first lap before crashing out uninjured, in what was a disappointing end to an otherwise positive weekend at the new 4.803 metre Circuito Termas de Rio Hondo.
Marcel Schrotter - Race : 11th - Championship : 14th - 12 Points :
“I am quite happy with the result, even if I wanted to finish the race inside the top ten. The beginning of the race was tough as it always is in Moto2. Every rider is really competitive, and even if I try to be aggressive, and brake as late as possible and protect my lines, there are still riders attempting to get past. It’s difficult to stay out of the danger with the overtaking and after contact with another rider I lost numerous positions. But once everything had calmed down, passing was still not easy because of everybody being in the slipstream on the long straight, so we got to the corner a lot faster. Also there was no wind today and I had to modify all my braking points. Many riders made lots of mistakes, so I just tried to remain calm and get my rhythm, without losing the group and tried to come back. In the end, the race was not too bad, and the lap times were quite good so I am pleased to score another points finish. We need to work on the start and the first few laps. If we can improve there and keep our positions then I think we will have a better result in Jerez. “
Ricky Cardus - Race : DNF - Championship : 15th - 10 Points :
“I am disappointed with my performance today. I felt a little nervous and I was too keen to move up the field as quickly as I did. Starting at the rear of the field is never easy, and I tried my best to solve this by overtaking, but I pushed too hard and crashed out on lap two losing the rear of the bike. It was my own fault, I just wanted too much too quickly and I am sorry for the Tech3 Racing Team, because the aim was to be competitive for the whole weekend, and to continue like I did in free practice. Of course, I remain optimistic and look forward to racing at Jerez, where I am certain I will be able to get a good, points scoring result.”
Herve’s Poncharal :
“It was a bitter sweet day for the Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team. We were expecting both of our riders to be fast. Ricky was really impressive in the free practice sessions, but unfortunately like in Texas, he seems to have a few difficulties coping with pressure. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to transform his good work with the team into a promising qualifying position. But he still had the race to go and was just a bit too aggressive in the two opening laps and crashed, which is a great pity as we know he has the speed to finish inside the top ten. Alternatively, Marcel has been working really well throughout the weekend. He delivered a great performance and achieved 11th in a very strong group which was an exciting battle with Lowes, Torres, Cortese and Folger. I am very happy with what the Moto2 team is doing now. Marcel is taking it step by step, and after three races we are in a much better position than we thought we would be. For the next race we can go with a lot of optimism especially for the Spanish rider Ricky Cardus.”