Previews of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
Kallio and Rabat ready to resume rivalry at Mugello
Gosselies, Belgium – 26 May 2014: The iconic Mugello circuit plays host to round six of the Moto2 World Championship this weekend. Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat head to Italy determined to continue the Marc VDS Racing Team’s 100% podium record in 2014.
It’s a big ask for the two Marc VDS teammates as neither has ever finished on the podium at Mugello before. However, with four race wins and three podium finishes between them so far this season, that’s a situation both Kallio and Rabat are confident of rectifying this weekend in Italy.
Kallio is the rider on form at the moment, having taken back-to-back wins in Jerez and Le Mans to close to within seven points of his Marc VDS teammate at the top of the championship standings. But the Finn knows he will have a fight on his hands this weekend, as Rabat, who celebrated his 25th birthday on Sunday, looks to reaffirm his position as championship favourite.
The Marc VDS Racing Team’s Moto3 rider, Livio Loi, showed his potential with fourth place in Argentina, but the suffered the disappointment of finishing outside the points in Jerez and Le Mans. The 17-year-old Belgian heads to Italy this weekend looking to rediscover both his confidence and his pace aboard the Kalex-KTM Moto3 machine.
“I don’t know what it is about Italian tracks, especially Mugello, but I never seem to get the results I was expecting there. I like the track a lot, with the changes in elevation and the fast corners, but many times in the past we’ve had problems at Mugello. I hope this time will be different, as I feel more confident going into this race off the back of the two wins in Jerez and Le Mans. We just need to continue working as we did during the last few races and, hopefully, I will finally be able to add Mugello to the list of tracks at which I’ve finished on the podium.”
“We go to Mugello with the same aim as we’ve gone to every race so far this season; to win. I like the track, it’s one of my favourites on the Grand Prix calendar, but it hasn’t always been so kind to me in the past. This year is different though, as I feel better prepared than ever and we head to Italy off the back of two race wins and two podiums, which means the confidence is high. Mika has had two good races and has closed the gap at the top of the standings, but it’s still too early to be thinking about the championship. With 13 races still to go, we need to remain focussed on the race by race approach that has worked well for us so far this season.”
“In Argentina the feeling with the bike was good from the first practice and that gave me the confidence to push in every session and in the race. The situation in Jerez and Le Mans was different, as the feeling with the bike just wasn’t there and we ended up chasing a set up all weekend. It knocks your confidence when this happens, and confidence is all-important. When the feeling with the bike is good even a small improvement has a big impact on lap times, because you’re confident enough to push harder. This is what we’ve been missing the last two races and, hopefully, it’s something we can rectify this weekend in Mugello.”
ANTONELLI AND BASTIANINI PREPARE FOR HOME GRAND PRIX AT FAST AND FLOWING MUGELLO
This weekend the 2014 Moto3 World Championship arrives in Tuscany for the sixth round on the calendar and the home race for Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3’s Niccolò Antonelli and Enea Bastianini.
The Mugello track is a favourite for both riders, where the incredible atmosphere from the home fans gives them the extra motivation to perform. Enea Bastianini showed an excellent performance at Le Mans: the 16-year-old rookie will aim to build on his seventh place in France with another solid result on home soil. Having adapted quickly to the hard-fought Moto3 World Championship, Enea is currently 11th in the overall classification with 25 points.
His team-mate, Niccolò Antonelli, is confident that his home Grand Prix could stop the negative period that has been going on for four races: so far, the 18-year-old rider from Cattolica has in fact collected points only in the opening round in Qatar.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI “I’m having a hard time, so I think that right now the best thing to do is to keep calm and face every Grand Prix without setting myself any goal: therefore, even at Mugello, I will not ask myself anything, apart from to stay as calm as possible. Now all the top 12 riders in the championship are very strong and they are showing very similar performance: it would be nice to be able to stay with them for the whole race. I love the Mugello circuit, and I always got a lot of satisfaction here, since I started racing: at Mugello, for example, I got my first podium in the Italian Championship. I’m very happy everytime I race here and I hope to collect another beautiful memory”.
ENEA BASTIANINI “It would be great to be able to stay again with the top riders in the championship, as happened at Le Mans: I already know the track very well, having competed here in 2012 with the 125cc, and also last year in the Moto3 Italian Championship Moto3. It’s a very wide track, so it’s important to take the right lines, then we’ll see how it goes”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “The Italian Grand Prix is always a very important race: on one hand, Bastianini will try to repeat the excellent performance showed in France, on the other hand, the home Grand Prix could be the right opportunity for Antonelli to find the right direction after some negative races. We will follow Niccolò very closelu: in this moment he needs a full support from the team: after all, we also need him and we want to see him again performing at the highest levels. This one won’t be an easy race for Enea who, however, he showed more than we expected so far, so we have a great confidence in him, albeit without putting too much pressure on him”.
THE TEAM FEDERAL OIL GRESINI MOTO2 HEADS TO MUGELLO CONFIDENT AND MOTIVATED
The Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 is back on track this weekend for the sixth round of the Moto2 World Championship, the Italian Grand Prix at the picturesque Mugello circuit: after the fall during the first lap of the French Grand Prix, Xavier Siméon will aim to bring back his Suter in the top positions on a fast and flowing track, on which the Belgian rider has already proven to be extremely competitive.
The spirit is high even in the Team Gresini Moto2 garage: Lorenzo Baldassarri, in fact, is recovering well from the injury to his right foot and he will try to take advantage of the home Grand Prix for improving the 20th position obtained at Le Mans, trying to collect his first World Championship points.
XAVIER SIMEON "We head to Mugello with a lot of motivation: the Le Mans crash will have no impact on my approach to the race weekend; we are even more focused and determined to work hard. I like the track a lot and last year I did a good race: I was in fourth position a few laps from the end, before a contact with De Angelis forced me to retire. On this circuit you need to be smooth, but also very precise on the various ‘esses’, places where you can earn a lot of time, but also lose it. We start from a good base with regard to the setting of the bike, so I am convinced that we can achieve a good result”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI “Now my right foot is looking good and the hematoma is almost entirely disappeared: I’m still doing therapy to be in the best physical condition ahead of the Mugello race, although obviously the fracture will take a bit of time to heal completely. At Le Mans I managed to race and I also completed the race, therefore I’m optimistic ahead of Mugello because I had time to recover my injury. I worked hard also to recover the right strenght in my right arm, because in France, apart from the right foot, the lack of strenght - following the shoulder injury of Jerez - annoyed me more than anything else. Mugello is one of my favourite tracks: last year, when I tried for the first time the Moto2 for a few laps, it was beautiful, so I'm looking forward to starting the first free practice on Friday”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “After the disappointment in France, Xavier has a great desire to fight back: I like his attitude, always fighting, and I think that he can give us a great satisfaction in our home Grand Prix. The Mugello is also a track that should suit the characteristics of our Suter, so hopefully we can get a good result. Even Baldassarri will have many motivations: despite the recent injuries, Lorenzo managed to cross the finish line at Le Mans and at the Mugello track, where he took his first steps in Moto2, will certainly have the opportunity to do well”.
Red Bull KTM Ajo head to Tuscan hills on top of Moto3 mountain
Jack Miller leads series by 30 points after five rounds upon arrival at Italian GP. Karel Hanika hopes for strong performance at first visit to Mugello.
05/28/2014 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
The Mugello circuit in Italy hosts the sixth round of the Moto3 World Championship this weekend. A 1.14km start/finish straight and numerous rolling chicanes are trademarks of the track, considered one of the most beautiful on the calendar. Jack Miller comes into the weekend with a 30-point advantage in the overall standings –a first for any rider after five races in the three years of Moto3 competition. He was the winner of the most recent round, held at Le Mans in France. Karel Hanika is intent on getting back to the form he showed at the start of the season.
Three wins and an additional podium from the opening five races of the season have put Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Miller in a great position at the top of the World Championship standings. Despite his points advantage, the Australian is still taking things race-by-race and looking for the best results possible at every round. Last year at Mugello he achieved his joint best qualifying result of the year, then placed inside the Top 10 on race day. This will be his third Italian Grand Prix.
A crash at Le Mans has failed to dampen Karel Hanika’s spirits, as the rookie recognises the great job done alongside his team and the value the experience from practice has given him. This weekend he has a new challenge ahead, having to learn a fourth new circuit of the season. The Czech hopes to finish the race and earn a result similar to those taken at the start of the campaign.
The Italian Grand Prix will follow the standard timetable for European rounds, with the first practice sessions held on Friday and the race at 11am local time on Sunday. Last year, Red Bull KTM Ajo took the race win.
Husqvarna riders look for Top 10 return at Mugello
Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo confident of making a good performance at round six: The Italian Grand Prix.
05/28/2014 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
"Al Mugello non si dorme" –At Mugello one doesn’t sleep– is the motto of the Italian Grand Prix. Held at one of the most beautiful and special circuits on the Moto3 calendar, the Italian Grand Prix hits Tuscany this weekend and expectation is at a high for the ‘tifosi.’ Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo will attempt to get back into the top ten positions on raceday onboard their Husqvarna bikes.
At the Italian track, famous for its 1.14km straight and speedy chicanes, Danny Kent placed fifth in 2012. It remains his best ever placing at the track, and the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider is confident of another strong weekend at a venue which should suit his riding style, buoyed by his feelings from the opening rounds of the year. The Briton has placed in the points at every Grand Prix so far in 2014.
Niklas Ajo is ready to make amends at Mugello after failing to finish the French Grand Prix a fortnight ago. The Finn had experienced a positive weekend at Le Mans, equalling his best qualifying position to date in the World Championship but DNFing on race day. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider placed eighth at Mugello last season, after a spectacular comeback from twenty-third position on the grid. This weekend his aim will be to keep up with the frontrunners in the leading group.
The action at Mugello begins on Friday morning with the opening practice sessions, with the sixth race of the year taking place at 11am on Sunday, June 1st.
52 DANNY KENT
"I like Mugello a lot. It is a fast track with plenty of connected corners, and I think that it will be good for us. It is that type of layout that suits my riding style best, and at which I have felt best this year. At Le Mans, for example, we suffered a little exiting the slow corners, so I hope to feel better this weekend. Mugello has a very long straight, but I think that we have a good sixth gear and can take a good result. I am confident of a good performance."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"Mugello is a beautiful track, with a flowing layout and with some very fast chicanes and a long home straight. It is this straight that we need to work on in practice, in order to find the best top speed possible. If we do a good job, as we did at Le Mans, then we can get another opportunity to be up in the leading group. We need to improve our corner exit setup from Le Mans. I can’t wait to get back on my Husqvarna and finish a good race, after my last DNF."
Moto3 - Home race for San Carlo Team Italia at Mugello
Andrea Locatelli returns alongside Matteo Ferrari after an absence of two races
San Carlo Team Italia prepare for the first home race of the season, the Gran Premio d’Italia at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, sixth round of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship. The Federal team will line-up both his official riders thanks to the return of Andrea Locatelli next to Matteo Ferrari after an absence of two races for an injury.
The two riders of the San Carlo Team Italia will seek to make the best of their knowledge of the Tuscan track. At Mugello Matteo Ferrari had taken victory in the historic first race of the CIV Moto3 in 2012, carrying out a strong performance also last year in the World Championship round.
Having recovered from the double-injury to his right hand and right radius suffered at the Circuit Termas de Rio Hondo last April, Andrea Locatelli returns on his Mahindra MGP3O # 55 with the aim of reaffirming his strength at a track that has seen him winning the Italian Moto3 Championship, and making an impressive debut as a wild card in the last year’s Italian Grand Prix.
Starting from the first session of the weekend Friday morning, San Carlo Team Italia will proudly display a special logo that celebrates the 100th anniversary of CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee) on his Mahindra bikes.
Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"Our expectations for our first home Grand Prix of the season is to finally obtain a better result, in line with our plans. The wide experience our riders have got at this track should be useful, on paper at least, to make a good work over the weekend. The target is to move up the order, getting at least into the top-20. The engines’ limitation, as for the 2014 regulations, means that we won’t have any important technical news: the team will therefore seek to optimize the package at our disposal. Matteo has always gone well here in the past, since he was racing in the CIV, and the same can be said of Andrea, who will be back on his bike this weekend. He has recovered well from his injury, has trained and prepared for this return. His form should be around 90%, although we’ll have to wait for the first practice to really understand where he is".
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS HOPING FOR CHANGE OF FORTUNE IN ITALY
Nico Terol and Jordi Torres, second and sixth last year at Mugello, hope it can be turning point of this season
“Mugello is a rider's circuit.” Nico Terol knows as well as anybody the nuances of one of the most technically challenging circuits on the MotoGP World Championship and the Spanish rider is hoping to put all of his experience to good use this weekend as he aims to turn around a difficult start to the season. The sixth round of the Moto2 campaign takes place at the long, fast and flowing track, featuring legendary corners such as Arrabbiata, in the midst of the Tuscan valleys. Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio have shared four of the five victories between them so far this season but there will be no end of riders looking to end their domination this weekend, not least the Italians riding in front of their passionate home support.
MAPFRE Aspar riders Jordi Torres and Nico Terol both love Mugello and they are hoping it can be the circuit where their respective seasons turn around. The pair struggled to find a set-up for Le Mans but know that the Italian circuit has completely different characteristics to the French one and should suit their bikes much better. Terol finished second after this circuit last season after fighting for the victory whilst his team-mate Torres took a solid sixth – results that give the MAPFRE Aspar pair grounds for optimism going into this weekend.
Jordi Torres: “We had a good result at Mugello last year with sixth place so we know it can be a good track for us and well suited to our bike. We had a few set-up issues in France so we will have to work very hard from this Friday to try and turn the situation around. We can't afford another result like Le Mans. We want to be closer to the front, we know we are capable of it and that's what we will be fighting for this weekend. We have to make drastic changes if necessary to get back on the right path but what is clear is that we can't stand around with our arms folded. Mugello is one of the most beautiful circuits on the calendar and it has a great atmosphere so I always love racing there.”
Nico Terol: “The start of the season has been much harder than I anticipated and we're suffering because things are not turning out as we hoped. But we have to keep working hard in order to turn the situation around. The objective is to enjoy ourselves on the bike again as soon as possible and I am sure that if I can have fun then we can find the way forward. I finished second last year at Mugello after fighting for the win so it's a good circuit for me and I love it there. It is a difficult track to get right and you need a perfect line to get a good lap time and to enjoy yourself. There are sections that require bravery, there are corners that link into each other and some really fast sections. Usually I enjoy riding this track so hopefully we can take the step we need to rediscover my confidence this weekend.”
JUANFRAN GUEVARA HEADS TO MUGELLO, ONE OF HIS FAVOURITE CIRCUITS
MAPFRE Aspar rider confident his updated package can be well suited to the Italian track
Even though just two riders have featured on the top step of the podium in five races so far this season (Jack Miller and Romano Fenati) the battle for victory remains wide open as the Moto3 World Championship heads to Italy for round six. For one weekend every year the fresh air of the Tuscan hills around Mugello is tainted with the whiff of burning rubber and fuel, creating a unique and special atmosphere for the riders to savour. This long and demanding circuit always provides great racing, especially in the minor category, where the races are invariably decided in the final few metres of Mugello's never ending home straight.
MAPFRE Aspar Juanfran Guevara was unable to make it even to the end of the first lap after being taken out by another rider at Le Mans but the Spanish youngster still heads to Mugello on a wave of optimism. Guevara counts this circuit as one of his favourites and with an updated chassis to try from Friday's free practice he is confident the characteristics of his bike can suit the layout of the legendary Italian racetrack.
Juanfran Guevara: “Mugello is one of my favourite circuits on the whole calendar. It is difficult and demanding with some spectacular corners that require a lot of concentration. I think the characteristics of the track can suit our bike because we have good top speed and a good aerodynamic package, which you really need down the long straight at this track. We will also have a new chassis update for this weekend that we will test on Friday. It is a modification on the front part of the chassis that hopefully gives us a bit more confidence and feel that we have been lacking in the last few races. The objective is to qualify closer to the front and avoid any nasty surprises like what happened in France.”
AGT REA Racing out to bridge the gap to the leaders at the Mugello Grand Prix
Following a positive performance at the Le Mans Grand Prix just two weeks ago, the AGT REA Racing Team will compete in the Gran Premio d'Italia at the Mugello circuit this weekend. After qualifying 1.2 seconds from pole position at Le Mans, Gino Rea is hoping to continue to progress in Italy during the 6th Round of the Moto2 World Championship.
Gino Rea. “I’m looking forward to getting to Mugello. It’s been a tough start to the season but we showed some good improvements over the last race weekend at Le Mans. Hopefully we’re going in the right direction and can continue to progress. I don’t have much experience at the Mugello circuit as I’ve only raced there once in 2012 but I really love the circuit itself and the atmosphere that it brings. I’m looking forward to relearning the circuit and hoping that we can improve on the Le Mans weekend and bridge the gap to the leaders.”
The Gran Premio d’Italia begins on Friday (May 30th) with Moto2 Free Practice 1 at 09.55 UK time. For live updates throughout the race weekend ‘Like’ AGT REA Racing on Facebook www.facebook.com/agtrearacing or follow the team on Twitter www.twitter.com/AGT_REA_Racing.
TEAM GRESINI MOTO2 WELCOMES FAST DESIGN AS MAIN SPONSOR FOR THE ITALIAN GRAND PRIX
Fast Design Group, a leading company in engineering innovation and consultancy, will act as the Team Gresini Moto2 Main Sponsor for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
The Fast Design logo, already present from the beginning of the year on both Niccolò Antonelli and Enea Bastianini Moto3 bikes, will brand the Suter machine of the 17-year-old Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri, engaged in his debut season in the intermediate class of the World Championship.
The partnership between the Team Gresini Moto2 and Fast Design will continue in the Dutch TT scheduled for next June 28th and in the British Grand Prix of next August 31st.
Fast Design's mission is to support major industries when carrying out their projects. For this reason, Fast Design is not simply research and technological development, but also knowledge, highly skilled professionalism, and a high quality service at a competitive price. Fast Design Group has been working for years alongside several leading companies in the motorcycle industry, providing services ranging from freehand sketching, modeling of aesthetic surfaces of A, B and C class, up to the engineering of body parts, chassis, and other technical components of two-wheeled vehicles. Fast Design consists of a highly trained and experienced team of professionals and has several offices in Italy and worldwide.
Mugello – Where Dunlop Starts Planning For 2015
On 3rd June riders will test at Italy’s Mugello track with Dunlop introducing new front and rear specifications for both Moto2 and Moto3 for the 2015 season. Before that, on 1st June, riders will be competing in the sixth round of the FIM World Moto2 and Moto3 championships at the same circuit.
After the less aggressive Le Mans track where high temperatures suited the soft compound, the track at Mugello in northern Italy warrants the harder compounds. The high mechanical grip surface has yielded good performance from the Dunlop tyres in previous years.
The undulating nature, combined with the nine right hand and six left hand corners and one of the longest straights on the calendar puts the tyres and riders through their paces. Front stability is an important feature of the tyre at this track because of the demands through general downhill braking and turning and both compounds and constructions need to be strong. After the softer specifications for Le Mans, the allocation returns to the medium and hard options for both categories.
Fronts 120/75R17, 4 x 302 (medium - black Dunlop logo on silver background) and 4 x 102 (hard - yellow Dunlop on black)
Rears, 195/75R17, 4 x 997 (hard - yellow Dunlop on black) and 5 x 9855 (medium – black Dunlop on silver)
Fronts: 95/75R17, 5 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver) and 3 x Hard (hard - yellow Dunlop on black)
Rears: 115/75R17 , 6 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver)and 3 x Hard (hard - yellow Dunlop on black)
The riders will have three sets of wet tyres with an additional set being permitted if all sessions are declared wet.
Race Stat: Six out of six – it’s a record breaker
Rider confidence was high at Le Mans with the tyres performing well in the warm temperatures on the low abrasion track. Six different riders broke six different records:
• Efren Vazquez # 7 Honda - set a new circuit best lap of 1’42.491 to grab pole position.
• Francesco Bagnaia # 21 KTM - set a new race lap record of 1’42.636 on lap 13/24
• Jack Miller # 8 KTM - set a new race distance best time. 34 seconds quicker than previous Moto3 races at the track
• Jonas Folger # 94 Kalex – set a new circuit best lap of 1’37.619 to secure pole position
• Maverick Vinales # 40 Kalex – set a new race lap record of 1’37.882 on lap 18/26
• Mika Kallio # 36 Kalex – set a new race distance best time over previous races
Clinton Howe, Operations Manager Motorcycle Grand Prix
“This is a great circuit with the variations in levels and the corner demands. We know that our tyres perform well here and the riders are now used to these specifications so there are no unknowns. We’re looking forward to more good racing – both categories had fantastic races in France last time out. But it will also be good to look to the future with the testing on the Tuesday with some 2015 specifications.”