Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Le Mans:
Jack is back
Important victory taken on final lap for Red Bull KTM Ajo rider at Le Mans, extending his World Championship lead to 30 points. Karel Hanika crashes out on lap four when fighting for points.
05/18/2014 - Le Mans Circuit, France
Jack Miller sent out a message to his rivals at the French Grand Prix, claiming a third win from five races in the 2014 season and extending his World Championship lead to 30 points. A hard-fought victory for the Australian came only after a frenetic final lap, in which Miller gave his all to take the chequered flag first. Teammate Karel Hanika was unfortunate in the race, crashing on lap 4 having started from his best grid position to date.
Right from the start, Miller made his intentions clear with a magnificent line on the opening chicane to take the lead. He would maintain the top spot until lap 4, when the leading group began to make their moves. Continuous overtakes relegated the Red Bul KTM Ajo rider to fifth, almost two seconds behind escapee Alex Rins, but the Australian was able to fight back and set up a grandstand final lap. He took the last lap perfectly, defending his position and crossing the line 0.095s ahead of his nearest rival.
Karel Hanika did not have luck on his side on Sunday. Starting from row four, the rookie was able to latch onto a large group and maintain a strong pace, until a crash for the Czech rider left him unable to continue. His fall at Turn 8 of the fourth lap ended his participation in what had been a positive French Grand Prix up until then.
After five rounds, the overall standings have Jack Miller on top with 104 points –30 more than second place. Karel Hanika has 8 points to his name, and is currently seventeenth. Next up on the calendar is the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello in two weeks’ time –where Red Bull KTM Ajo were victorious last year.
8 JACK MILLER
"It was a great fight and that's why I'm extremely happy. The bike worked really well. I would say it was as if it was on rails, but actually it was moving about a lot. That was my fault as I was accelerating too early to compensate a little for the power I lacked. It was a fun race and it's always nice when you win a fight like this, so I'm very happy."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"It’s a shame because I think I did not start badly. I was in a large group up at the front and gradually found a quick pace that I was comfortable riding. However, at Turn 8 of the fourth lap my rear wheel slipped and I went down. I'm disappointed because I expected more from this race. Now it's time to forget about this and focus on Mugello, where we need to finish the race and get back amongst the points."
AKI AJO - TEAM MANAGER
"I have to say that today, once again Jack [Miller] was my hero. He did a very good job. If I’m being honest, when there were a few laps to go I was not sure that he could fight for the win. I was even worried about the podium getting away from us, but Jack did an outstanding job on the last two laps; it was incredible. We suffered from a lack of speed compared to the Honda that made Jack’s race more difficult. However, our chassis has worked really well here and he was very happy with that. I know that at the factory they are working hard and that we are working well as a team. Now we need to do so a little more ahead of Mugello.
Regarding Hanika, it was not a good race for him. The position from which started was good and he was fighting to keep it. Unfortunately he crashed and his race was over. We must remember that he is starting his career in the World Championship. He has to be given time –us as well– and now we have to continue working."
Kallio claims fantastic French Moto2 win
Le Mans, France – 18 May 2014: Mika Kallio strengthened his Moto2 World Championship challenge with a fantastic French Grand Prix victory today, handing the Marc VDS Racing Team a fourth win in five races to continue a dominant 2014 campaign.
Kallio took the lead from Simone Corsi on lap 19 and the ice cool Finn rode a faultless final phase of the race to take a second successive win by just over a second.
It was a double celebration for the Marc VDS Racing squad in Le Mans today in front of proud team owner Marc van der Straten.
Spanish rider Tito Rabat secured his fourth podium of the season after winning an exciting battle for third against Maverick Viñales and Luis Salom.
A second double podium of 2014 for the Marc VDS Racing squad sees Rabat and Kallio split by just seven-points in the Championship chase heading to the next round in Mugello.
Today’s 24-lap Moto3 race ended in disappointment for Livio Loi after he moved up from 25th on the grid to finish outside of the points in 20th.
Mika Kallio // Race Winner
“I am so happy to win this race because the start of the weekend wasn’t easy. We used the same setting we used to win the race at Jerez, but the bike didn’t work on this track. I couldn’t stop the bike on the brakes, but from Friday we have made the bike better and better and it felt great in the race. I pushed at the start but couldn’t open a gap like in Jerez. I decided to cool down when Corsi passed me and waited for the right time to attack. I pushed very hard in the final laps and when I saw I had a one second gap I knew I could manage it, even though it is never easy to win in Moto2. It is a great win for me but also for my crew, who were brilliant all weekend.”
Tito Rabat // 3rd
“The weekend went really well until the race. From FP1 I had a good rhythm and the team did a great job. In the race I didn’t make a good start and many riders passed me. I tried to push but it wasn’t possible to go, even with my usual smooth style. At the end I tried to overtake Corsi, but I made a mistake at Turn Four and went wide and that denied me second. I’m happy because this is the first time I’ve finished at Le Mans for many years but we have some work to do because Mika has had two really good races and he is looking very strong.”
Livio Loi // 20th
“I am not happy with the whole weekend here in Le Mans. I came here very confident I could achieve a positive result after a good test in Almeria. But from Friday I’ve not had any confidence with the bike to push comfortably at the limit. I need to re-group for Mugello and come back strong because the potential of the package that I have here with the Marc VDS Racing Team is much higher, as we saw in Argentina.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"That was another phenomenal ride from Mika. The way he managed the gap to Corsi in the final laps was very impressive, and it feels fantastic to take our fourth win of the season. It is even more special with Marc here again to share in our success. Tito’s podium could be very important in the final reckoning, but to see both our riders on the rostrum for the third time this season makes me incredibly proud to be part of this project. It was another disappointing result for Livio today, well below what we expected from him after his performance in Argentina. When his feeling with the bike is perfect he’s happy to race, but that perfect feeling is very rare indeed at this level and he needs to understand that we expect 100% commitment from him all the time, not just when it suits him. We’re not getting that at the moment and this needs to change, and fast.”
SUPERB BASTIANINI FIGHTS TO THE END AT THE FRONT IN FRANCE AS ANTONELLI CRASHES OUT
The French Grand Prix has seen mixed fortunes for the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3, with the young rookie Enea Bastianini taking a superb seventh place finish and showing an outstanding performance, which saw him fight until the last corner for the top positions, and another withdrawal for Niccolò Antonelli, who crashed out of the race during the seventh of the 24 scheduled laps.
After a great start, Bastianini was able to stay with the leading group, then he battled in the final laps for podium positions being one of the fastest riders on the track: an incredible performance considering that this waw only the fifth race in the World Championship for the 16-year-old from Rimini and that he had never seen before the Le Mans track. Thanks to this result, Bastianini can now count 25 points in the overall standings, where he’s in eleventh place, first among the rookies.
Niccolò Antonelli’s fall happened at turn 5 due to the loss of rear grip.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (DNF)
“Unfortunately I made a mistake and I lost the rear at turn 5: this morning I thought I could make a good race, but in the early laps I realized that it would be difficult, because I was not feeling comfortable, and in the end I also crashed. I’m really sorry”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (7th)
“It’s been a fantastic and exciting race: in the last laps I was one of the fastest riders on track and I thought that it would be possible to get on the podium, but unfortunately I had several riders in front of me to overtake and I didn’t succeed. In addition, three corners from the finish line I lost the rear and as a result Marquez and Vazquez passed me, otherwise I could have finished the race in fifth place. It was very nice to to fight with the best riders of the Championship and I'm delighted for this! I hope I can still be there with them at Mugello”.
“I'm really pleased for Bastianini and very happy with his fantastic ride to seventh place today. Seeing him battling on equal terms at the front of the race with the best riders of the Championship is something special, considering that is a rookie. Enea showed once again his fighting spirit and I believe that he learned a lot during this race, because he's been able to stay with the strongest riders till the end. I’m really sorry and obviously a little disappointed for Antonelli’s fall: we will continue to push hard to help him, to try to stop this long negative period, but Niccolò must try to stay more calm and avoid mistakes”.
Second consecutive podium for Rins
Alex Rins finishes second after again challenging for the win up until the final corner. Alex Marquez places fifth in a hard race, having fought for the podium.
The French Grand Prix offered excitement right up to the final metres of the Moto3 race, which was decided on the last lap. A large group of up to ten riders finished less than two seconds apart, and Alex Rins and Alex Marquez crossed the line in second and fifth place, respectively. They did so after a final lap full of overtaking, from which Jack Miller emerged victorious.
The race was a display of the quality of the Moto3 class, where excitement is practically guaranteed. The fastest riders in practice all led the race at different stages, with several of the frontrunners trying to escape. Rins attempted to go it alone for a few laps, but the constant overtaking and persistence of his rivals would lead to a group of ten riders fighting for victory and the podium until the end.
On a thrilling final lap, both Rins and Marquez took advantage of the mistakes of their rivals and the typical chaos of a Moto3 finale. Rins finished second and Marquez fifth, as Jack Miller took the win and extended his World Championship lead. Miller heads the standings with 104 points, with Rins fourth –33 behind– and Marquez fifth –44 behind.
The sixth round of the World Championship will take place in a fortnight at Mugello, with the Italian Grand Prix.
Alex Rins 2nd at 0.095 sec.
"I am very happy with this second position. The important thing is that I felt very comfortable with Miller and Vazquez early on in the race. I tried to escape; I guess they must have had a scare to have dropped so far back. It is difficult to maintain this pace alone, and as they had me as a reference, they caught up with me. It was a fun race without much trouble for me –I heard that others had difficulties, but maybe I was lacking a little aggression. Anyway, I'm happy with this result, which is very good both for me and for the team, for Honda and for the championship. At Mugello we will continue to work hard."
Alex Marquez 5th at 0.931 sec.
"I think that I had a good race. I started seventh, but gradually was able to move up into second. Although the gap was very large, I was able to reduce it –but at the end I was unable to feel comfortable and found it hard to stick with the lead group. We need to improve a few aspects of the setup to give us a boost, so we will continue trying to develop ahead of the coming races. After the test in Aragon we have made a step forward, but there are still some things that aren’t working well and we will have to improve them progressively."
GUEVARA WIPED OUT ON FIRST LAP IN FRANCE
MAPFRE Aspar rider taken out in turn nine after positive start
A hot and close weekend on track in the Moto3 class continued through to the race today as the sun shone on an epic battle for victory. A pace that at one stage dipped into the 1'42s was maintained by a large lead group and after 24 intense laps Efren Vázquez made his final move on Jack Miller in turn eleven, only for the Australian to fight back with a strong move around the outside to claim the victory. As the Spaniard ran wide his compatriots Alex Rins and Isaac Viñales took advantage to complete the podium positions.
Juanfran Guevara started from eighteenth position with the clear objective of holding his ground in the first two corners and attempting to make up positions from there. The MAPFRE Aspar rider's plan worked perfectly for the first half of the opening lap but it was ruined in turn nine after another rider made contact and sent him to the ground – fortunately without suffering injury.
Juanfran Guevara (DNF): “We knew the start would be tricky but we managed to hold firm and then started to make up positions. Once we got through the first two corners I focused on setting a consistent pace and I felt comfortable. I tagged onto a fast group but before we got to the end of the first lap I was knocked off by another rider. I suppose it was a racing incident, these things can happen but when it is the same rider that knocks you off for the second time, having already done it in Qatar, it makes you wonder. We have some improvements planned for the next race in Italy so hopefully we can have more luck there.”
Kent takes personal best French Grand Prix finish
Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider takes further 3 points for World Championship tally, whilst Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo’s Niklas Ajo DNFs after a crash.
05/18/2014 - Le Mans Circuit, France
The fifth race of the Moto3 World Championship season took place on a sunny Sunday at Le Mans. After fighting as part of the third group in the race, Danny Kent crossed the line in 13th place. Garage-mate Niklas Ajo was unable to complete the contest, crashing out three laps from the end.
With this result, Kent claimed his best finish to date at Le Mans, where last year he placed 15th in the Moto2 class. Starting from the fourth row of the grid, the Briton was part of the third group for a large spell in the race, fighting for 14th. He concluded the contest second in the pack, alongside Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider added a further 3 points to his haul for the season, and is now tenth in the Moto3 standings with 26.
Niklas Ajo was unable to take the chequered flag to cap a strong weekend. The Finn took off from fifth on the grid, but a lack of feeling on the straights prevented him from staying with the lead group. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider dropped down to eleventh, along with Zulfahmi Khairuddin. Three laps from the end, on the exit of the chicane, he suffered a crash which ended his day.
The next round of the Moto3 World Championship takes place at Mugello on June 1st, with the Italian Grand Prix.
52 DANNY KENT
"We suffered a lot today, above all on the straights where I was losing a lot of places. On the corners, however, I was able to keep up a good pace without problems. I can’t be fighting so far down the field, with newcomers to the World Championship. I need to demand more of myself and be further up the field. We need to find solutions to our braking issues and find more speed. This definitely was not the weekend that we were expecting, put we need to keep pushing and giving our all in order to do better at the next race."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"To tell the truth, I felt comfortable in the first group, but I could not stay there, because on the straight I was losing positions throughout the race and could not keep up with the frontrunners there. I tried to make up time on the corners to counter this. Later on I got behind Zulfahmi Khairuddin and I felt comfortable riding behind him, but I had to push hard on corner exits to catch him on the straights. At the exit of the chicane I went past the limit and crashed. It's a little frustrating because we did very well in practice. Now we have to work hard to solve our issues from today, and think about Mugello."
DISAPPOINTING FIRST LAP CRASH FOR SIMEON AT LE MANS. BALDASSARRI CROSSES THE FINISH LINE IN 20th
The French Grand Prix is unfortunately finished very early today at Le Mans for Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: after a good start, in which he managed to recover two positions, the Belgian rider crashed during the first lap, at the entrance of Turn 9. Though he was not pushing hard, Siméon has suddenly lost the front and was forced to retire after the fall.
Lorenzo Baldassarri was instead able to cross the finish line aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine in 20th position, despite the Italian rookie raced with an injured right foot as a result of yesterday’s high side during qualifying.
XAVIER SIMEON (DNF)
“I’m very sorry for the team and for all the fans who came to see me from Belgium. I made a good start but then I suddenly lost the front under braking at turn 9 and honestly I can’t give an explanation of what happened: I was still straight and I started to brake twenty meters earlier than usual, so I was not forcing. Despite difficult practice sessions, in which we have always been a bit far from the top, this morning in the Warm Up the situation had improved, so we thought we could have a good race, with a good rhythm. Too bad for the crash: now we have to stay focused and for sure this episode will not change my approach for the forthcoming races”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (20th)
“I’m happy because I achieved my goal, that was crossing the finish line: I wanted to race despite the injury and the choice turned out to be right: this race it’s been very useful to gather experience because in all the other occasions – apart from Argentina where, however, I have been hampered by an engine oil leak - I was not able to finish the race. I felt a bit of pain in my right foot only in the early stages, although later my left shoulder started to hurt, because I was pushing hard on the left side to compensate the lack of strength on the right side, so in the end I struggled”.
“Unfortunately Simeon has not even finished the first lap: we analyzed the data, and apparently Xavier didn’t make any mistake, so it was a very strange fall. It’s a pity, because we knew we could have done a good race. I’m glad that Baldassarri crossed the finish line: it was important for him to race, regardless of the result, in order to get more confidence and gather as much information as possible ahead of the upcoming events”.
Lonely race for Ana Carrasco and Scott Deroue
The French Grand Prix ended up to be a lonely race for both Ana Carrasco and Scott Deroue. Carrasco finished the race in 22nd position, Deroue in 25th, one lap down after he had to visit the pits because of a small technical issue.
Carrasco and Deroue both had a decent start of the 24 laps long Moto3 race. Deroue quickly found his place in a group with Grünwald, Schouten, Loi and Ferrari. But as the race progressed, he had more difficulties to stay in the group.
In lap 13 Deroue entered the pits after his dashboard came loose and the vibration bothered him too much. The issue was solved quickly and Deroue rejoined the race, but on a lap down.
Carrasco lost the advantage she gained in the start when Guevara crashed in the first lap and lost connection to the group when Danilo crashed in lap 3. It took a few laps to find the rhythm again but when she had it, she managed to pull away from Rinaldi and Ramos. She was able to lower the gap and get closer to the group ahead of her, but couldn’t reach them anymore.
Ana Carrasco – 22 (+52.239)
“I was jammed in Danilo’s crash and lost connection. That’s a real pity because I had a good start and a really good pace. I was determined to make up as much as possible and I knew I was getting closer, but the gap was too big. It wasn’t a great weekend overall and the result could and should have been much better but I made a good race.”
Scott Deroue – 25 (+ 1 lap)
“My start wasn’t too bad, but I didn’t gain positions. I tried to stay with the group but I couldn’t because the dashboard came loose which bothered me too much. I decided to pull in to have it fixed. I went on to gain experience but I didn’t enjoy the remaining laps as I was riding alone. I absolutely don’t like riding all alone, because there is no target to focus on. It wasn’t my weekend and I am truly disappointed, but I have learned quite a lot.”
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia closer to top-20 in France
Matteo Ferrari 21st at Le Mans, Michael Ruben Rinaldi 23rd
The fifth round of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship at Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans has provided San Carlo Team Italia with some interesting feedback that will be useful for the rest of the season. While Jack Miller (KTM) won a spectacular battle for the top step of the podium, the Italian pair of the federal squad got the best of some new setup solutions to improve the feeling with their Mahindra MGP3O.
As he had done in Jerez, Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O # 3) addressed the race with great determination arriving in 21th and constantly improving his lap times compared to the practices. Solid race also for Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Mahindra MGP3O # 34) who was replacing the injured Andrea Locatelli (expected to return in action in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello). The Italian Moto3 vice-champion has completed the race in 23th position gaining an undoubtedly useful experience for the continuation of his career in motorcycle racing.
The next appointment of San Carlo Team Italia will be the Gran Premio d'Italia at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello on the next June 1st.
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 21st
"Today it went a little better compared to our previous races, but understandably I cannot be satisfied with this results. During the first part of the race my pace was not too bad, I could manage to fight back the other riders’ attacks. Sticking to them I had the confirmations of where we need to focus our work on: we're still losing too much out of the corners and, of course, we still lack some power. Taken as a whole it was not a bad race because we have learned a lot for the rest of season".
Michael Rinaldi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #34) 23rd
"I can be quite satisfied with today. I hadn’t rode a Moto3 for a while, not even testing one during the winter and finishing the race in 23 th position is not so bad. In the early phase of the race I could keep a good pace but then I gradually lost ground from the 4-5 riders in front of me. At that point, I decided to take no risks and to complete the race. I would like to thank the San Carlo Team Italia and the Italian Motorcycle Federation for the opportunity they gave me and now I go back and focus in the European Superstock 600 Championship, looking to build on what I learned in this weekend at Le Mans".
Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"Thanks to the latest setup’s changes we tried in this morning’s warm-up we were able to improve the handling of the bike as both our riders could confirm. The good speed of Matteo in the first part of the race and the improvement of around two tenths in his race-pace confirm it as well. We will try to build on this from the next races with Matteo that today performed well in the battles with his rivals, whilst Michael has got a valuable experience that undoubtedly will help him in the future".
Hafiq Azmi equals best finish of the season at Le Mans
SIC-Ajo Team rider finishes race in 16th place on debut at French circuit .
05/18/2014 - Le Mans Circuit, France
Hafiq Azmi had a great race at the fifth round of the Moto3 World Championship, finishing in sixteenth position. The SIC-Ajo Team rider managed to complete his fourth consecutive race of the season, on his debut at the Le Mans circuit. This is the second time that the Malaysian rider has come close to taking points, after doing so previously in Argentina.
With a completely clear sky and a track temperature of 30°C, conditions were good for Hafiq Azmi as he started from nineteenth on the grid. The Malaysian rider was part of a large third group in the fight for points, alongside more experienced riders like Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira. Finally, Hafiq Azmi completed the 24 laps in 16th position, in a race won by Jack Miller.
After flirting with the points-awarding positions at Le Mans, the SIC-Ajo Team rider will have the chance to fight for a better reward in two weeks at Mugello. The Italian Grand Prix on June 1st will be Hafiq Azmi’s first visit to the famous track.
38 HAFIQ AZMI
"This was a difficult race, because the other riders in my group had much more experience than me. I made a good start and kept my place in the group. First I was with Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Niklas [Ajo] and Kornfeil. Then Kornfeil escaped and I stayed back with Oliveira. After that I had a problem, I made a mistake and another rider passed me and opened a small gap. I tried to reach them again, but I began to notice that the tyres were moving around. On the last 3 laps I was catching Oettl in 15th place, but it was just not possible. I'm happy, but we have to try to give more in the next race and be more consistent."
Schrotter scores points again in Le Mans
Marcel Schrotter produced a spirited ride to 11th in gloriously sunny conditions to succeed with his intention of scoring championship points, at the Le Mans circuit for the Tech3 Racing Team’s home race. The German rider began in 17th at the 4185-metre track and undertook a solid start before proceeding to ascend to 14th position by the end of the first lap. He then set into a consistent groove and chipped away at the riders in front in a determined manner and held 12th position on lap 16. His persistent efforts saw him run a series of very consistent lap times and finished in 11th as he collected important additional championship points for the Tech3 Racing Team.
Ricky Cardus endured a disappointing end to a promising weekend, after falling in the early stages of the 26-lap sprint, having qualified excellently in 8th position. The Spanish rider bravely re-joined the race, but despite his best efforts to attempt to salvage a result at the team’s home grand prix, he was too far adrift from the pack, despite lapping the same times as the riders in the middle of the field. Cardus will aim to make amends at the next Grand Prix in Mugello.
Marcel Schrotter : 11th - Championship : 15th - Points : 17
“I can be happy with the result today even though I was just outside of the top ten which is what I was aiming for. It has been a difficult weekend for me and during the practice sessions I was much lower in the standings than I wanted. So to recover and get 11th position in the race is very encouraging and to collect more points is very important. I am happy to go away with a decent result at the team’s home race as they worked really hard to help me prepare for race day and we finally made some good progress so overall I am pleased and confident for Mugello.”
Ricky Cardus : 26th - Championship : 16th - Points : 13
“I am disappointed with today’s result after such a competitive qualifying. My start was ok, but then I was touched by another rider, ran wide and got shuffled back a few positions. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous at the beginning, as I wanted to pass the competitors and get myself in the best possible positions for a strong race. However, I went to make a move on Pasini, and unfortunately crashed. I am sorry to him and also to the Tech3 Racing Team because we were sure of a good result. Now I will take the positives from the weekend and see how I can improve furthermore in Mugello.”
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager :
“It was a strong weekend for the Tech3 Moto2 team until today. Ricky especially, gave us a lot of reasons to be hopeful and confident as he was really fast in qualifying and missed the front row by the smallest of margins. We were feeling good for the race but unfortunately he didn’t get a good start and wanted to do too much too early. It’s a big shame, but on the German side of the garage, Marcel managed to collect some valuable points at our home race. He had a reasonable start, got his head down and was really consistent which was great. Overall, we know that the potential of both riders as well as the Mistral is higher than our performance today showed so we will carry on working in Mugello in a couple of weeks.”
DIFFICULT WEEKEND CONCLUDES FOR MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS
Jordi Torres finishes French round in seventeenth place with Nico Terol in 21st
What looked set to be a close race in the Moto2 class proved to be less combative than expected at the front as Mika Kallio pulled out a gap over the group to take his second win of the season, closely followed by Simone Corsi and Luis Salom. Tito Rabat, Maverick Viñales and Jonas Folger circulated in a group around 2.5 seconds behind them and there was little movement until the nineteenth lap when Kallio put distance between himself and Corsi as Rabat reeled in Salom before passing him for the final podium position.
It has been a tough weekend for the MAPFRE Aspar Team and there was no reward for their hard work today as Jordi Torres and Nico Terol were unable to ride around the front-end problems that have dogged them all weekend. Despite a productive test at Valencia last week the team were unable to solve the problems that appeared on Friday at the French track and Torres could only finish in seventeenth place with Terol, on the occasion of his 150th Grand Prix, in 21st.
17th Jordi Torres: “We haven't found the best set-up for the front end this weekend and we suffered from a lot of chatter. Even so we kept working hard in every session and tried everything we could to improve. We went for the hardest front tyre today after trying it in the warm-up and we thought it might smooth out the vibrations but it didn't perform as well in the higher temperatures. It feels really bad that in such a great team we are so far back but we know we have the potential to be at the front so at Mugello we will keep working to make it happen.”
21st Nico Terol: “After the crash in Jerez I came here not 100% fit but at least I was able to ride. It has been a tough weekend for us though because of the lack of confidence in the front end of the bike. Obviously nobody likes to be this far back but we will just keep working hard like usual. It is not the first time we have been in a tight spot but we know that through hard work we will return to the top. I have a great team that never gives in and in Italy we will keep fighting to turn the situation around. Last year we had a great result at Mugello so hopefully this track can be the turning point to our season.”
Great Podium finish for Corsi at Le Mans
The French Grand Prix saw the NGM Forward Racing rider Simone Corsi on the second step of the podium at the technical and demanding track of Le Mans at the end of race where he was leading and fought hard with Mika Kallio, who finally took the victory.
Corsi made a very good start and was leading the race, when with 10 laps to go Kallio overtook him. For Corsi and the team, this is the first podium of the 2014 season and with this result Simone maintains the 5th position the world championship.
It was another unlucky weekend for Mattia Pasini, who was obliged due to an incident with Cardus on the first lap.
“I’m really happy, after three 5th places it’s great to be back on the podium. We worked well during the whole weekend and I was able to ride fast since the beginning. I made a good start and pushed hard since the first lap. I was leading but Kallio had a stronger pace. We will keep on working in this direction for the next races. I look forward to race in Mugello, I like a lot this track and I aim at confirming another strong performance. I'd like to thank the team and the sponsors for the great support.”
“My race finished on the first lap. Cardus touched me and I couldn’t do anything to avoid him. After having struggled in the weekend I had found a good feeling and I wanted to get a good result. Now I look forward to Mugello.”