Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona:
Rabat looking to win at home
Gosselies, Belgium – 10 June 2014: Moto2 World Championship leader, Tito Rabat, heads to Barcelona determined to continue the run of form that has seen him win three of the six races so far this season.
At the Montmeló circuit this weekend the 25-year-old Spaniard will be racing in front of his home crowd for the second time this season, but the Marc VDS rider remains unfazed by the added pressures a home race normally brings.
Rabat was second in last year’s Grand Prix of Catalunya but after the win last time out in Mugello, his third of the season, and a positive post race test at the Italian circuit, the Barcelona resident heads home this time with his sights set firmly on the top step of the podium.
One rider determined to upstage Rabat in front of his home crowd is his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio. The 31-year-old Finn has two wins to his name already, but had a difficult race to sixth in Mugello last time out. Kallio heads to Barcelona with renewed confidence, however, after a positive one-day test immediately after the Italian Grand Prix.
After a run of disappointing results Livio Loi is keen to get his season back on track this weekend, at a circuit at which he was strong last year. The 17-year-old Belgian rider also participated in the Mugello post race test and is hopeful that the set up work done there on his Kalex-KTM Moto3 machine will pay dividends this weekend in Barcelona.
“This is my home race and I want to win it. My time since the Mugello race has been spent preparing for this weekend, to ensure I arrive in Barcelona completely prepared and at the top of my game. People always ask if a home race adds more pressure, but more pressure than I already put on myself for every race it’s not possible to have. Home race or not, we’ll approach this weekend in the same way we approach every weekend.”
“The test at Mugello was important, because I had some issues with the front of the bike during the race weekend and we managed to make improvements in this area during the test. In the past we’ve run almost the same settings at Catalunya as at Mugello. Now my confidence in the front is better, but in order to challenge the guys at the front we need to find a little bit more in Barcelona. We have some ideas, but rain during the test meant we weren’t able to try everything. To continue the championship battle with Tito I need a better result than Mugello. This weekend we need to improve and I need to keep my teammate behind me.”
“Last season we had similar problems with the bike, but the big difference with the race in Barcelona was that we tested there beforehand. This made a big difference when we went to the track to race, because we pretty much had the set up right from the start. This year we go there without the benefit of a test at the circuit, but I head to Spain with a positive feeling after a successful test in Mugello after the race. I like the track very much and I think I can be fast there. We need to see how we go in the first practice, but I hope I’ll be able to do a good result this weekend.”
JUANFRAN GUEVARA CONFIDENT OF CONTINUING GOOD FORM ON HOME SOIL
MAPFRE Aspar rider ready to compete in front Spanish fans on the back of his career-best result last time out
The Moto3 World Championship returns to Spain this weekend with just two riders - Jack Miller and Romano Fenati – with wins to their names so far this season but with any number of contenders for the top step of the podium at the GP of Catalunya. The seventh round of the season is sure to play host to another wide open battle in the minor category of Grand Prix racing, with a host of riders looking to overturn the domination of the Australian and the Italian on Sunday.
MAPFRE Aspar Juanfran Guevara travels to Barcelona still on a high following his career-best result in the last race in Italy. Eighth place for the Spanish youngster at Mugello was a huge boost for his self-confidence but also showed that the chassis updates incorporated into his bike for the Italian race have improved his package and should help him compete for another good result this weekend. After fighting in the lead group and seeing he has the pace to be a contender at World Championship level, Guevara cannot wait to put on another strong showing in front of his home crowd on Sunday.
Juanfran Guevara: “We came away from Mugello with a very positive result and to see we have the pace to run at the front is a source of great confidence. We go to Catalunya feeling very motivated and determined to continue improving our performance. We used a chassis update at Mugello that really improved the overall set-up of the bike and we will try to improve it even further this weekend in Barcelona. The last round proved how important it is to qualify well and we will be working hard to repeat our grid position from Italy. Hopefully I can keep growing and gathering experience next weekend. The Circuit de Catalunya is one of my favourites alongside Mugello and it has always been a good track for me.”
SIMEON IN DETERMINED MOOD FOR CATALUNYA
The Moto2 World Championship arrives this weekend in Catalunya for the seventh round of the season: after the Mugello, Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 are determined to return to a good level of competitiveness on the fast track located on the outskirts of Barcelona.
The Belgian rider participated in the Mugello post race test and is hopeful that the set-up work done there on his Suter machine will pay dividends this weekend: Siméon tried different suspension solutions, and a new bodywork, but above all he was able to work calmly on the set-up of his bike together with the team, finding improvements and solving some of the problems encountered during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.
On the other side of the garage Lorenzo Baldassarri, Team Gresini Moto2, heads to Spain in full strength, with the injuries to his right shoulder and right foot now completely healed and is therefore confident to improve the results obtained in Le Mans and in Mugello, where he crossed the finish line in 20th and 23rd place, respectively.
XAVIER SIMEON “For the first time this season, during the Italian Grand Prix we struggled a lot: however, the test at Mugello was important because we did a good job on the bike set-up and we were faster than we did in the race, and this is positive. We therefore look to Barcelona confident that we can return to the levels shown in the previous races, and fight at the front”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI “I have raced many times at the Circuit de Catalunya: in the 80cc Catalan Championship, in the Spanish PreGP championship and also in the CEV, where I also fought for the victory. It's a track I know very well and that I really like. In Mugello it was important to finish the race because it allowed me to understand many things; in addition, during the test we carried on two days after the Grand Prix, we were able to make further progress, so we head to Barcelona confident that we can have a good race. Physically I'm fine now: both the shoulder and the foot will not give me any problem”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “At Mugello we had the worst race of the year, because we've been always in trouble; Fortunately, we could take advantage of a testing day after the Grand Prix, which was very important because it allowed us to work hard on the bike set-up. Both riders improved their pace and confidence, therefore the race in Barcelona will be interesting because we expect to return competitive and collect the results that we know we can get with Siméon and Baldassarri”.
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS LOOKING FORWARD TO SECOND HOME RACE OF THE SEASON
Jordi Torres and Nico Terol aim to continue positive progress on Spanish soil
The Moto2 World Championship enters its second third this weekend as the seventh round of the season takes place on the outskirts of Barcelona at the Circuit de Catalunya. This is the second round to take place on Spanish soil this season, following Jerez, and the local riders can once again count on the partisan home support as they battle for success in the most combative of all international level motorcycle racing categories.
Whether it is in the 125cc World Championship or the Moto2 Spanish Championship both MAPFRE Aspar riders know what it is like to win at the Circuit de Catalunya and that experience could be crucial this weekend as they continue the battle to turn around a difficult season so far. Jordi Torres benefitted from some major changes to his set-up at the last race in Italy whilst Nico Terol is particularly determined to shine in front of the home supporters after missing the Jerez round through injury.
Jordi Torres: “I am very excited about the upcoming GP of Catalunya, which is really close to my house. It is a special race for me and the track suits me so I am going to be giving everything to score a good result. We took a step forward with the set-up at Mugello so we will work from this base and try to be even more competitive this weekend. We made some important changes to the bike at Mugello and after making progress there we need to build on it and adapt the set-up to the Circuit de Catalunya. I love the track, the fast corners suit my style and I am sure this can be a good race for us.”
Nico Terol: “I couldn't race at Jerez because of injury, which came at a bad time because we were just finding some confidence, so I am really motivated ahead of this next home race in Barcelona. We have had a tough season so far but I am really looking forward to this weekend and I am at full strength, hopeful of a good result. I have some great memories of this circuit, including my victory there in the 125cc class, so the objective is to enjoy myself again and work hard to put things right. I won three races last season and I clearly haven't forgotten how to ride. I have a team of fighters, myself included, and we will not stop until we find a set-up for this bike that allows me to ride freely again. It is a demanding circuit but it is also a lot of fun.”
THE JUNIOR TEAM GO&FUN MOTO3 HEADS TO CATALUNYA BUOYED BY MUGELLO PERFORMANCE
After the sensational performance put on display at Mugello, finished unfortunately a few corners from the finish line with the rookie Enea Bastianini involved in the accident caused by Australian Jack Miller, the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 will be back in action this weekend for the seventh round of the season, the Grand Prix of Catalunya at the fast Montmelo track near Barcelona.
Already among the fastest riders at Le Mans and in the fight for the podium at Mugello, 16-year-old Bastianini will try to confirm himself as one of the fastest riders in Catalunya, on a circuit on which, however, he has never put the wheels. On the other side of the garage, instead, Niccolò Antonelli is looking for the right serenity to finally finish a race and replicate on Sunday the speed he has already showed many times during practice.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI “I like this circuit and I cannot wait to get back on track to try to change the direction of my season: I think that the best thing to do is only to try to finish the race, without setting any goal for this weekend. We are working hard, without giving up, because we know that sooner or later the wheel will turn and this negative period will come to an end”.
ENEA BASTIANINI “I’ve never rode on this circuit, if not... virtually, with the PlayStation! Watching last year's race, my first impression is that it’s a very fast track, with nice corners, so I guess I will like it. Unfortunately at Mugello everything went well until the last lap, when they made me fall while I was fighting for the top positions: we want to make up for this disappointment and we will do our best to be again on top!”.
FAUSTO GRESINI "Bastianini must only confirm the potential shown in the last two races, but obviously he’s a rookie so we don’t expect anything from him, even if he’s already doing everything very well. There is still a bit of disappointment for what happened on the last lap at Mugello, but Enea is keeping calm because he knows he can do well again. Among other things, he did very good lap times also during the Mugello post-race test, so we are confident. Niccolò, instead, is undoubtedly living a hard time and he needs to start picking up some results: of course we will continue to help him with doing our best, with the hope that this race could be a turning point for his championship”.
Red Bull KTM Ajo confident ahead of Catalonian visit
Jack Miller looks to bounce back from Mugello result and Karel Hanika aims to continue good work.
06/11/2014 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
Jack Miller and Karel Hanika come into the second Spanish round of the Moto3 World Championship season off the back of contrasting results. The Australian will be out to increase his lead at the head of the overall standings, whilst his rookie teammate has his sights set on a second consecutive Top 10 finish. Both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders are confident and prepared following a positive day of testing last week at Mugello.
The Catalan Grand Prix will be a home race of sorts for Jack Miller, who this year resides just over 100km away in Tarragona. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider has had good times at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with his first point taken there in 2011 and a best result of seventh from last season. The Australian hopes to be high up the order this weekend at one of his favourite tracks, in order to put a first DNF of the season firmly behind him.
Karel Hanika has still not had any first-hand experience of this weekend’s venue, as for the third consecutive time this season he will debut at a track. Happy with his Top 10 finish at Mugello and the improvements made on the subsequent testing day, the Czech rider hopes to continue progressing in his rookie season and stay with the leading group for the duration of the race.
The Catalan Grand Prix will be the seventh round of the season and the second of four to take place in Spain. Practice begins on Friday at 9am, with the race starting at 11am on Sunday.
8 JACK MILLER
"I have good memories of Barcelona. There was where I took my first World Championship points, and last year wasn’t bad at all for me. It is one of my favourite tracks, where my results have always been favourable, so I hope that this year is the same. It is a little different to Mugello; I think it is more suited to my style as it has some hard braking sections. I can’t wait to get there and to ride with some of the new settings that we tried out last week at Mugello. I think that we can be stronger and faster than we were at the last Grand Prix."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"I’ve never ridden at the circuit, so once again it’s going to be a first time at a track for me. It seems really nice, so I hope to be able to get a result similar to those that we have been taking recently. Both at Le Mans and at Mugello we worked very well, so we are going to continue working in the same way. Session by session our lap times keep improving, and this is important. We also have to work on the setup of the bike, using the base that we found at the Mugello test. I am very happy with the work that we did in Italy and am confident that in Barcelona we can do the same. The aim will be the same: Get into the Top 10 and keep amongst the frontrunners."
Moto3 - In Catalunya San Carlo Team Italia aim to build on Mugello results
Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Locatelli to attack at Montmelò after conquering the first points in the Italian Grand Prix
After scoring their first championship’s points in their home-race at Mugello, San Carlo Team Italia Moto3 are keen to continue on the same way in the seventh round of the season set on June 13-15 at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona-Montmelò.
Author of a great performance at Mugello marked by the fourteenth place finish and the conquering of his first two championship points this season, Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O # 3) will do anything to repeat himself in Catalunya, thus continuing his technical and professional growth alongside his team.
Back in action at Mugello after two races of absence due to injury, Andrea Locatelli was among the protagonists of the Italian Grand Prix, albeit particularly unlucky on race-day. Anyway 'Loka' has found a good setup during the post-race testing session at the Tuscan track, successfully trying several setup changes that have further improved his feeling with his Mahindra MGP3O #55.
Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"The achievement of the first championship points at Mugello has to be a starting point for us for the rest of the season. It is just right to underline how much Matteo and Andrea, who are always more and more confortable on their Mahindra, are proving their commitment, talent and professionalism, all important values for them to grow under the personal and professional point of view. We were also able to make significant strides forward in terms of competitiveness during the Mugello post-race testing session. The setup’s changes we made have helped our riders to gradually improve their feeling on the bike and to get closer to our reference group. In Catalunya we aim to continue on this path, trying to optimize the "package" at our disposal in order to defend ourselves in such a high level competition"
Husqvarna riders aim to consolidate good feeling in Catalonia
Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent head to Catalan Grand Prix confident of good showing, following positive day of testing at Mugello.
06/11/2014 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
The World Championship heads to Spain for the second time this season, for round seven of the Moto3 campaign. Husqvarna riders Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent are prepared for the Catalan Grand Prix after undertaking a day of testing at Mugello last week, making an important step forward with their bike setups. Both begin the weekend in Barcelona with 27 points to their name in the overall standings.
After the best performance of his World Championship career to date with fifth place in Italy, Niklas Ajo is keeping his feet on the ground and continues to work as hard as ever to repeat the result. Although it will be tough, as the Finn has not taken points from his last two visits to Catalonia, the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider is confident of continuing his positive season and claiming a good result at one of his less favoured tracks.
The Italian Grand Prix weekend did not go as well as hoped for Danny Kent, but the Briton claimed a valuable point in the race. The subsequent day of testing on Tuesday was also valuable for the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo man, who was half a second faster at Mugello than during the weekend. With a new setup, Kent hopes to continue adding points to his tally –as he has done at every race to date this season.
The Catalan Grand Prix takes place this Sunday from 11am. However, work for the Husqvarna riders begins this Friday with the opening practice sessions.
52 DANNY KENT
"The Barcelona circuit is similar to Mugello, with a long straight and some long corners. It is a nice track, at which I have ridden for many years. It isn’t the best track for me, but I like the layout as it is fast. I have some good memories from there, because last year I took one of my best Moto2 results in Catalonia. I hope to repeat my good feeling this year. After the day of post-race testing in Italy, I think that we are more than ready. The aim has to be to work, work and work. That is the only way that we will obtain good results."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"The aim for the Catalan round has to be to work in the same way that we have been recently: Focused right from the first practice sessions. We have to do our own work, try to be consistent and find a good pace that helps us for the race. We want to keep in the leading group and fight to be as high up the order as possible –we won’t set ourselves limits. Fifth place in Italy was good for my confidence, but we need to keep our feet on the ground. I am happy and raring to go, but we need to work ever-harder. This isn’t one of my favourite tracks, but there have been other circuits that I don’t like so much this season which I have been able to adapt to this year. We shall see what happens this weekend."
Dunlop Moving Closer To 2015 Specifications
Dunlop’s FIM Moto2 and Moto3 World Championship riders will be racing in Spain on 15th June at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya with another test taking place two days later for Moto2 tyre testing to further develop the 2015 specifications.
Following the racing at Mugello, this circuit is another track with high mechanical grip and has eight right hand and five left hand corners in addition to a 1.047km straight.
The forces in the right sides of tyres are extremely high. Stability is an important factor because of the mechanical grip – riders are travelling faster through the turns because fo the grip level which in turn generates higher temperatures. The tyres need to be capable of withstanding the demands because high temperatures could result in lateral movement. To meet the needs, Dunlop is nominating the hard+ compound in two different construction - 067a and 067b for the rear. For the front the medium and hard compound tyres will be available. Moto3 riders will have the option of medium and hard compounds for both front and rear.
Two days after the races, Moto2 riders will be testing potential 2015 specification tyres. This follows testing at Mugello two weeks ago when, in mixed weather conditions, riders put the new fronts and rear specifications to good use. If not for rain showers more could have been achieved but what was learned was very satisfactory and a good starting point for confirmation testing in Barcelona.
Tyre allocation and colour codes:
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, 5 x 067a (special hard) and 4 x 067b (special hard)
Fronts: 95/75R17, 5 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver) and 3 x Hard (yellow Dunlop on black)
Rears: 115/75R17 , 6 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver)and 3 x 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: Running Away With It In 2013
Pol Espagaro and Tito Rabat raced away to finish first and second, separated by just 81 thousandths of a second. Impressively third placed Luthi was over six seconds behind – that’s long enough for record breaker Matts Valk to solve the Rubik’s cube.
Clinton Howe, Operations Manager Motorcycle Grand Prix
“Catalunya certainly gives our tyres a good work out but we know that we have good options for the riders. We had a great race last year and hopefully our riders will be on as good form this year. We expect the pace to have improved with the 2014 tyres and we will be interested to get the feedback on the 2015 options that we will test following the race which should have even better operating windows.”