Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Barcelona:
Miller finishes just off podium and extends series lead
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes fourth place at Catalan Grand Prix and increases overall standings advantage to 7 points. Hanika fourteenth as he adds two more points to tally.
06/15/14 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
After overnight rain, the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit dried out for the Moto3 race this morning. Jack Miller was not feeling as comfortable as at previous rounds, but after an excellent final lap he was able to fight for a place on the podium. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider eventually crossed the finish line in fourth place. Fourteenth place went to Karel Hanika, taking points for a second consecutive race.
A good start for Miller put him in a position to latch onto the first group of nine riders, just behind breakaway leader Alex Marquez. The Australian remained at the back of the pack until the last lap and, from eighth, staged a great comeback that allowed him to reach the last sector with a chance at the podium. Fourth position increases his advantage over Romano Fenati in the standings, as the Italian placed fifth today.
Teammate Karel Hanika placed in the second large group, consisting of 8 riders fighting for eleventh position. After 22 laps of continuous overtaking, the rookie came home fourteenth and put two more points onto his tally in the overall standings.
After seven rounds, the Moto3 World Championship is led by Jack Miller with 117 points -7 more than Fenati. Hanika lies eighteenth with 16 points. The next event, the Dutch TT, is the only race of the season to take place on a Saturday (June 28th).
8 JACK MILLER
"All weekend, and also a little at Mugello, I noticed that I had some chattering with the bike, especially when changing direction on the two fast corners at the end or at Turn 3. I couldn’t turn the bike in and open the throttle when I wanted to. But I'm happy to come here, finish fourth and concede the least amount of points possible. Until the last lap I was confident that I could pass, but I did not think that I could get up to fourth place, so I'm happy about that. We did a good job today, we continue to lead the World Cup and we have to think about Assen now, where I think we can do a better job."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"It wasn’t a bad race, and I made a very good start once again, but again another rider pushed me off on the first lap and I lost touch with the first group. I had to fight in the second group, where there was a lot of overtaking, and I learned a lot from that. I had to work hard. I think I could have been first in that group, but on the last lap the tyre was completely spent after all the fighting throughout the race. I was unable to overtake and, when I tried, I went wide. Fourteenth is not the result I had been hoping for, but I learned a lot in this race."
AKI AJO - TEAM MANAGER
"We have to be happy because Jack [Miller] managed to score some very important points that allow him to continue leading the standings –even extending the advantage slightly. However, obviously you always have to consider what the things that did not go so well were, preventing you from fighting for the win which ultimately is our goal. Since yesterday afternoon he has had some chattering problems on some corners and we have to see how far we can go towards solving this with this riding style –which is a little different to Jack’s usual style. Obviously we also have to analyse the setup, but I don’t think it's something really serious and it is probably just that he didn’t find the best feeling today. Despite this he had a really good final two laps.
It is always a joy to see Karel [Hanika] fighting in a group, because he needs that experience. He was once again riding well, although he’s not very happy and that's normal. I like that he always wants more. The step that he needs to take in order to reach the lead group is very small at the moment and he will definitely get there during the season. As I always say, you have to give yourself time, because it will come."
Marquez and Honda take step up with victory
Repsol rider achieves second victory in the World Championship, the first with the new Honda. Rins retires on lap 4 with a mechanical issue and Herrera crashes on lap 2.
Alex Marquez took victory at the Catalan Grand Prix after escaping from the start. The Spaniard claimed the second win of his career in the Moto3 World Championship and an important first triumph for Honda with the new Moto3 NSF250RW. Teammate Alex Rins and Maria Herrera were less fortunate today: The former was forced to retire on the fourth lap with a mechanical issue, whilst the latter DNFed after a crash on lap 2.
Taking advantage of the excellent pace he showed in practice, Alex Marquez broke away from the rest of the field on the very first lap, extending his lead as the race progressed to take a home victory, which places him fifth in the World Championship with 85 points. He is 32 behind series leader Jack Miller. Teammate Alex Rins braved an injury from yesterday to take the start, but a gear shift issue ended his race on lap 4. Also failing to finish was Maria Herrera, who was riding in twenty-second when she clipped a fellow rider on lap 2 and was forced to retire from the contest.
The next round will be held in two weeks at the historic circuit of Assen, where the race will take place on Saturday, June 28th.
Alex Rins - retired
"It was a difficult day. In the warmup I went out without a painkilling shot and was hurting a lot, so for the race we decided that I would get the injection and I felt good whilst I was riding. Today we made a mistake, and I say 'we' because we are a team. It was also a group mistake when I crashed at the Japanese Grand Prix last season".
Alex Marquez 1st 41:11.656
"I'm happy, because it was a great weekend. We knew we were a little behind in the overall standings, but we were reassured because we had improved the bike in testing at Mugello. Yesterday I got my first pole; it was very special to do that at this Grand Prix, in front of the home fans. Today I knew it would be a difficult race, so I wanted to start well to gain an advantage and I succeeded in doing so. On the first lap I was already a second and a half quicker than the group behind me. As the race progressed everything was easier, because I was very focused throughout. I had a very good race and I'm very motivated ahead of the next round: The Dutch TT."
Maria Herrera - fall
"I started pretty well and was able to overtake two rows of riders. I got into the second group and tried to push. But on a corner another rider clipped the back of my bike and I was knocked off-track. On the next lap I was recovering places and when trying to push on the brakes and overtake another rider, I lost the front. I couldn’t avoid contact with him. We worked hard this weekend, I know the bike better now and my times have improved, so although we have not completed the weekend as expected, I'll take that from this GP."
Hard fought but difficult Catalunyan GP for Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco
The physical and mental pain from her crash in qualifying pursued Ana Carrasco in the Moto3 race of the GP of Catalunya, giving the Spanish heroine a very hard time. Despite the pain she fought as hard as she could not to finish last and she succeeded. Scott Deroue was part of the photo finish to determine the ‘battle of the lowlands’ and ended in 26th.
Deroue had a good start and moved up from 28 to 23 to 21. Already in the third lap a group of eight was formed that was about to battle for 19th to 26th all the way down to the finish line. In the final lap it was between Deroue, fellow Dutchman Bryan Schouten and Belgian Livio Loi for 24th. A finish photo was needed to point out Schouten beat Loi by 0,001 and Deroue by 0,070.
RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen was satisfied about the first part of Deroue’s race. “It is difficult to stay in the front of such a big group, but that is something Scott has to get used to. When Loi lost the connection to the front part of the group, Scott couldn’t get past him. At this level you can’t just see what happens and wait for a chance: you have to be in the front all the time and make your own race.”
As for Ana Carrasco Janssen was just as disappointed as the girl herself. “We knew it was not going to be easy as Ana still suffered from yesterday’s crash. The adrenalin of the race eases the pain a bit, but it still is hard to fight through it.”
Scott Deroue – 26 (+38,606)
“I had a good start and a good fight in the group of eight I was in. We were changing positions all the time. It is hard to keep the pace high in such a group. It’s unbelievable how strong the competition is with guys like Sissis and Loi. Unfortunately Loi and Schouten had just a little more breath left in the final corner, but it was a good fight.
Obviously I’m not satisfied with the position. I know there is more in it; it just isn’t that easy to get it out at the right moment.”
Ana Carrasco – 30 (+1.01,152)
“I’m still pretty battered from yesterday’s crash and my whole body hurts. The forces on your body in a race don’t make it less painful. I did what I could, but the 22 laps were really tough. Anyway I’m happy I didn’t finish last.”
Niklas Ajo, eighth, misses out on podium on the last lap
Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider fights at the front until final lap, making save to finish eighth. Danny Kent -seventeenth- places outside the points for first time this season.
06/15/14 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
Fifteen days after achieving his best result to date in the World Championship, Niklas Ajo was back fighting for a place on the podium in Moto3. The Husqvarna rider finished eighth at the Catalan GP after an excellent weekend, both in practice and in the race. He fought for second place until the final lap. Red Bull Ajo Husqvarna rider Danny Kent rounded off the second group, which fought for eleventh, and took a seventeenth place that would not allow him to score points for the first time in 2014.
Niklas Ajo had an amazing race today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. After holding fifth place off the line, the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider found a spot in the first big group. Up to 9 riders were around him during the 22-lap contest, with Alex Marquez ahead of them all after an early escape. Patient in the first half of the race, Ajo attacked with three laps to go and was second into the final lap. A scare at Turn 9, in which he dislocated his left elbow, saw him lose the place and finally cross the finish line in eighth position.
Danny Kent was unable to score points for the first time this season. The Briton, who gained four places at the start, was up in the second group. After countless overtaking moves, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider placed just outside the Top 15, in seventeenth.
With 35 points, Niklas Ajo lies twelfth in the Moto3 standings, whilst Danny Kent has 27 and is fourteenth. The cathedral of motorcycle racing, Assen (Netherlands) will host the next round on Saturday June 29th.
52 DANNY KENT
"The race did not go too badly. We were in the group fighting for tenth place and I felt confident. But on the last five laps I lost a lot of grip on the rear, suffering a lot even to stay in the group, and I did not manage to score any points. It's frustrating and I'm a little confused about what is going on, because this year we are working hard on the things that I have to improve and we have not yet succeeded. We have to sit down and think about where we can get better."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"It was a good race, but I made a mistake on the last lap. I pushed a little too hard and I entered the corner too fast, so the rear wheel slid out. However, the whole weekend was very good, we were able to fight in the front group with ease, without having to ride at the limit until the last lap. I made a rookie mistake on the last lap, because I really wanted to get on the podium, but we have improved a lot. We must be very happy about this and remember that we have to keep working hard. In this category the situation could change at any time, as all riders are improving at every race. We have to maintain this level and work hard."
BASTIANINI DELIGHTS WITH CAREER-FIRST PODIUM IN BARCELONA. ANTONELLI CRASHES ON THE FIRST LAP
Junior Team GO & FUN Moto3 rookie Enea Bastianini claimed today at Circuit de Catalunya his career-first Grand Prix podium thanks to a fantastic second place finish, after a hard-fought race who saw the young Italian racing with the right mix of intelligence and grit.
Starting from the front row, Bastianini kept cool in the early laps, then he engaged a long battle with the others riders of the group right behind Alex Marquez, the only rider who managed to go away and in the end winner of the race. On the last lap, Enea was able to place his KTM ahead of more experienced Efren Vazquez, Jack Miller and Romano Fenati. A great performance considering that the 16-year-old rider from Rimini was only on his seventh Grand Prix, on a track on which he had never raced before this weekend.
Thanks to this result, Bastianini is now in eighth place in the overall Championship standings with 45 points.
His team-mate, Niccolò Antonelli, was unfortunately forced to retire following a crash: the 18-year-old Italian went down on the first lap as he lost the front at turn 12.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (DNF)
“I was entering a quite fast corner, where is unusual to crash, when I suddenly lost the front… I honestly can’t explain why. Before entering the corner I was already down on the ground, then I also hit the barrier. Right now I feel a little bit of pain everywhere, but in general I’m fine. Now I will analyze all the data with the team in order to better understand what happened”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (2nd)
“I am very happy, it’s been a fantastic race from the beginning! I fought hard at the front and in the end I also managed to win the battle for second place. Too bad only that Marquez was able to go away, but we couldn’t really keep his pace. Yesterday getting my first front row was a dream, but now I'm living a dream even bigger! It’s very nice to be already at this level: honestly when I made my debut in the World Championship I was confident that I would succeed, but only in the final part of the season; we are a bit in advance ... and it’s better! I want to thank very much the team, because they are teaching me so many things and they are helping me to grow: in this Championship the level is very high and to be competitive you must always be at the maximum also with the bike, and the team is doing an amazing job. This podium is dedicated first and foremost to my parents, who have allowed me to be here, and to the whole team”.
“Today Bastianini made a fantastic race: I think that it’s an outstanding achievement for him getting the first podium in Moto3 after only a few races, and on a track he didn’t even know. Yesterday he got the second fastest time in qualifying and today he was able to repeat the same result thanks to a really smart performance: Enea raced like an experienced rider. I’m really excited and happy to have given him this opportunity. With regard to Niccolò, also this weekend he was not able to finish the race after the good work done during practice: it’s certainly a very difficult moment for him, and it’s not easy for us as well. We will continue to do our part, trying to help him, but when the race starts, he rides the bike by himself”.
Guevara fights back from crash to take 28th place
MAPFRE Aspar rider fights as part of group to take points, but ends up crashing seven laps from the flag. Spaniard picks himself back up to finish Catalan GP
The heat remained intense today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya when the Moto3 riders took to the grid at 11am. Álex Márquez also upped the heat, taking the victory from pole. The Spaniard broke away right from the opening lap, something fairly predictable considering his pace yesterday. Although in the first third of the race the pace was in the low 1.51s, and a fastest lap of 1.51.299 was set, the majority of the race was run at a slower pace. Times were nearly 2 seconds slower than yesterday’s pole time of 1.50.232. Márquez rode alone with a 4-second advantage at one point, and behind him Bastianini claimed second, ahead of third placed home rider Vázquez.
After starting well, having to avoid another rider crossing in front of him and losing several places on lap 1, Juanfran Guevara calmed his nerves and began the race afresh. After the chaos off the line, the MAPFRE Aspar rider managed to position himself in a group encompassing eleventh to eighteenth place. Despite not having the best feeling with his bike, Guevara was able to manage the race. However, with seven laps remaining he fell at the La Caixa corner. Picking up his bike, he finished the race in 28th position.
28th Juanfran Guevara: "My start was pretty good; it’s just too bad when we were just 200 metres in I had a rider cross in front of me. I had to brake in order to avoid him and lost several places. Luckily, afterwards I was part of a good group, fighting for positions close to the top ten. However, today I did not have a good feeling with the tyres. I don’t know if the track conditions changed after the rain or whatever, but I did not feel comfortable. Yesterday we made some changes and the findings were positive, so I was totally taken by surprise to lose that feeling overnight. During the first few laps on the new tyres the bike responded well, but from the middle of the race I noticed a lot of vibration. Near the end I lost the front and went down at Turn 10. Luckily I was able to get back up and finish the race.”
Stunning recovery crowned by personal bests for Cardus and Schrotter.
Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team’s Ricky Cardus rode to a superbly executed 7th place finish in his home race at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya. Having endured a difficult qualifying session where he started the 23-lap sprint in 20th position, Cardus undertook a phenomenal start to overtake ten riders in the first lap. He remained with the leading group before becoming embroiled in a battle for 9th with Alex De Angelis where they exchanged notable passes. Cheered on by his home crowd and family, Cardus took the plunge on lap 14 to overtake De Angelis and consistently held the chasing rider to successfully meet the chequered flag in 7th position, his best finish in his entire Moto2 career and a fantastic result for the Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team with their self designed and manufactured Mistral 610.
Marcel Schrotter showed supreme resolution to clinch a very hard fought 9th place finish in Catalunya. The young German rider started the race from 17th on the grid having experienced a challenging qualifying session and completed the opening lap in 21st position. Nevertheless Schrotter quickly began ascending through the order, working his way up to 16th position on lap three. At the midpoint of the race he was involved with a fierce scrap with 6 riders for 11th which lasted until the chequered flag. The young German, whose perseverance was admirable, forcefully managed to overtake another two riders on the final lap to seize 9th and complete the Tech3 Racing Team’s most successful double finish this season, highlighting the ever growing potential of the Mistral 610.
Ricky Cardus : 7th - Championship : 16th - Points : 22
"The first thing I need to say is thanks to all the team, sponsors, Herve and the Tech3 staff. All weekend the team and I have worked very hard with various settings, trying to resolve a few issues we experienced and I have to say that we have done a great job. We improved the bike step by step and during the race I felt very comfortable with it. My start was brilliant and I managed to stay with the leading group for the first few laps before finally taking 7th at the chequered flag. I am truly happy about today’s result especially taking it here in front of my friends and family as well as considering how far back I started on the grid, it makes me feel even better. During the next week we will firstly test here and then later in Aragon and I am already looking forward to getting back on the bike and improve our confidence even more for the upcoming races. "
Marcel Schrotter : 9th - Championship : 14 - Points : 28
"I can’t feel anything other that joy after clinching a top ten finish after qualifying in 17th. I had a great start but then ran a little wide so I dropped a lot of positions straight away. Luckily, I quickly found my rhythm although it took me a while to get to the group. I am particularly happy with my overtaking today as my personal target was trying to be more aggressive. Unfortunately I ran a bit wide during the last lap which allowed three riders to pass me. However I didn’t want to give up and with just two corners to go, I went for it and regained two places on the back straight that gives me a boost in confidence. Aside from everything being positive, I still have a slight bittersweet taste as if I had a better qualifying position I could have got into the top 6. That will be my aim for the next race, but still 9th is a great result for the team especially together with Ricky performing that well as well"
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager :
"The Mistral moto2 bike just seems to click with the Catalunya circuit and I will never forget our first victory in Moto2 occurring here with Yuki Takahashi in 2010. Today Ricky and Marcel produced a very exciting show. Ricky had an incredible start and all through the race he pushed hard, made no mistakes and ended up taking a fantastic 7th place finish which is his best ever result in Moto2. We are happy to have him in our team after what happened during the preseason and with every race he is confirming the trust we placed in him. On the other hand Marcel had another really strong race too. Despite a tricky open to his race he got his head down and pushed hard to climb all the way up to 9th. To consider he started from 17th, this is a brilliant achievement. Our two bikes were once again in the top ten and it’s our best result of the season so far in Moto2. This is a great reward to not only the riders who did a super job but also the team who have been working very hard and deserve big congratulations. There are two test days coming up now, one here on Tuesday before the Tech3 Moto2 team is heading to Aragon for second test later this week. Hopefully we can continue to stride forward and get another positive result in Assen."
Luck goes against Jordi Torres at home round
MAPFRE Aspar rider crashes when pushing for third place, following a spectacular fightback
Although the outcome of the Moto2 race in Catalonia was similar to recent rounds, the start was somewhat different. There were a series of crashes early on that broke up the field, but Esteve Rabat pushed hard from the start, showing that his dominance in the practice sessions had given him the pace to win. Mika Kallio and Maverick Viñales tried to hold him back, but Rabat would overcome them both. Rabat claimed the win, with Viñales second in a Spanish one-two. Johann Zarco rounded off the podium.
Although Rabat took the victory at the Catalan round, it would be unfair not to talk about the man who provided more excitement than anyone for most of the race. MAPFRE Aspar rider Jordi Torres, who made a spectacular comeback through the field, unfortunately went unrewarded when he crashed with seven laps to go. Sixteenth on the grid, Torres gained four places on the first lap, one more on the next lap and continued the trend. Only the misfortune of a fall at Turn 10, when trying to overtake Thomas Luthi for third, prevented a successful day for the home rider.
Also unlucky was teammate Nico Terol, who lacked feeling with his bike due to of excessive bouncing and sliding. He completed the race in twentieth position.
Jordi Torres (DNF): "At the start of the race there was a crash at the end of the straight and several riders slowed down without explanation. I lost a few positions as a result. After that I wasted no time; whenever I came up to another rider, I pushed to pass him without a second thought. Fortunately in the race I felt far more comfortable than during practice, but I took some risks at times too. I saw that Luthi was going a little wide, I released the brakes to stop the bike running off-track, took a little bump and went down. It was a shame because here we wanted to get a good result, as this is a very special track for me."
20th Nico Terol: "Today I started pretty well, but at the end of the straight several riders fell in front of me and I was trapped, so I lost several positions. As the race progressed I noticed that there was a lot of chattering on the front end, the bike did not turn in the way I wanted and I was sliding around. Today I had very little feeling on the bike, I couldn’t ride comfortably at any time. Now we must move on from this. The positive is that we have a test next Tuesday here, and I hope it will help us to get out of this strange rut. I hope we can calmly analyse our situation and find a setup that will help us for the immediate future."
Moto3 - Difficult race for San Carlo Team Italia in Catalunya
Instructive weekend for Matteo Ferrari (21st) and Andrea Locatelli (29th)
Overcoming the adversity of a weekend marred by a series of unfortunate problems the two San Carlo Team Italia riders gained significant experience in today's Moto3 race at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona. In the great day of winner Alex Marquez (Honda) and runner-up Enea Bastianini (author of a masterpiece race), the pair of the Federazione Motociclistica Italiana has spared no efforts in the 22-laps race.
After struggling with a flu that prevented him to take part in the Friday morning practice session, a determined Matteo Ferrari finished his race in twenty-first place at the end of a great comeback following a poor start. The 2012 Moto3 European Champion showed a good progression and posted lap times at top-15 level; very encouraging signs for the coming rounds.
Andrea Locatelli has been equally praiseworthy, although his final position (29th) does not repay the professionalism and commitment he showed over the weekend. At his first ever race in Montmelo, the current Moto3 Italian Champion has gained good experience and he’s looking forward to move up the order in two weeks at the TT Circuit in Assen, the next round of the World Championship.
Masterful Rabat wins at home
Barcelona, Spain – 15 June 2014: Tito Rabat gave his home crowd something to cheer about today, as he took his fourth win of the season in masterful style in Barcelona. After leading the race on the opening lap, Mika Kallio dropped back to eventually finish fourth, after struggling for rear grip from lap six onwards.
Rabat, starting from pole for the fifth time this season, narrowly won the drag race with his teammate to lead the race into turn one, but found himself pushed back to third as first Kallio and the Maverick Viñales forced their way through. The 25-year-old Spaniard retook the race lead for the final time on lap three, eventually pulling away from the pursuing Viñales to win by over four seconds.
While Rabat celebrated the win, Kallio was left frustrated after narrowly missing out on the podium on the final lap of the race. The 31-year-old Finn led the opening lap, but with rear grip dropping off just six laps into the race he fell back into a fierce battle with Tom Lüthi, Dominique Aegerter and, in the final stages, Johann Zarco. On the final lap Kallio forced his way through into third, but was pushed back to fourth by a hard, but fair, move by Zarco just three corners from the chequered flag.
Rabat’s win puts him 34 points clear at the top of the Moto2 World Championship standings, with his Marc VDS teammate, Kallio, now second, with a 26 point advantage over Viñales in third.
Livio Loi looked set to fight his way into the points today, as he battled his way through the field from 23rd on the grid. The 17-year-old Belgian had just made contact with the group disputing tenth place, but a mistake saw him drop back down the order to eventually finish 25th.
Tito Rabat // Race Winner
“I’m very happy with the whole weekend. In the race I made a good start and I enjoyed a good battle with first Mika Kallio and then Maverick Viñales, but then I pushed very hard to get away and managed to pull a gap at the front of the race. It’s always special to win at home, because you can feel the support of the crowd, but now we need to focus on the next race at Assen, to make sure we arrive there at 100% and ready to try and win again.”
Mika Kallio // 4th
“The first four laps were okay, but then we had the same problem we had in qualifying, with the rear grip dropping completely down. After that there was nothing to do anymore. This problem we have with the really hard tyre has always been the same for me, especially here in Barcelona. This time was a little worse, because the tyres are even harder than in previous years. Hopefully they’ll bring tyres to Assen and Sachsenring that are at the softer end of the range. Anyway, I passed Lüthi at the end of the back straight for third, but then he came back and pushed us both wide. That meant we couldn’t get back on the throttle and it allowed Zarco to come up the inside. We touched and I ran wide, and that was it. I’m disappointed not to be on the podium, but satisfied that at least we picked up more points.”
Livio Loi // 25th
“Obviously I’m disappointed with the result. We knew it was going to be a tough race starting from 23rd position on the grid, but I got a good start and made up some places, only to get pushed off the track on the entry to turn one. I fought my way through to the head of the group I was in, but then five or six riders would pass me on the straight every time. Eventually I managed to close on the group ahead of me, but then made a small mistake and dropped right back. I’m not happy with the result. We still have some issue with the bike but, even so, points could have been possible today but for the mistake.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“It was a great race by Tito today, although him and Mika nearly gave me a heart attack going into turn one on the opening lap! Once he’d got through into the lead again on lap five, Tito did a great job of controlling the race from the front, winning in front of his home crowd with a comfortable margin. He’s now 34 points ahead in the championship and 60 points clear of the first non-Marc VDS rider. That’s a good position to be in. Mika was strong in the opening stages, but encountered the same grip issues with the harder tyre that he’s had previously. He did well to finish fourth and was unlucky to lose out on the last podium place so close to the finish. Livio was given a clear target at the start of the season and, unfortunately, his result today means he has fallen short of this goal. We need to sit down as a team and decide where we go from here, because we’re not here to finish outside the points every week.”
Bad luck and early end for Hafiq Azmi on raceday in Catalonia
SIC-Ajo Team rider is hit from behind on lap 2, taking him out of the Catalan GP.
06/15/14 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
Hafiq Azmi suffered further misfortune on Sunday at the Catalan Grand Prix, with an unlucky collision with another rider eliminating him from the race. The SIC-Ajo Team rider was hit from behind on only the second lap of the contest and, although he suffered no serious injury, he was unable to complete the race.
The young Malaysian rider had started from the seventh row of the grid and got off the line well, gaining places on the straight. However, on the first corner he was blocked in and was relegated back down the order. Despite feeling comfortable and beginning a fightback, he was hit from behind by Maria Herrera at Turn 10 and his day came to a premature conclusion.
The next round of the Moto3 World Championship takes place in two weeks’ time in Assen. It is the only Saturday race of the year, and will be held on the 28th of June.
38 HAFIQ AZMI
"Today was a bad day for us. I made a good start, but on the first corner a large group of riders blocked me and I had to let off the throttle, so I lost positions. I was able to recover some places, but on the next lap, when behind Luca Grunwald, someone clipped me from behind at Turn 10. I was unable to prevent the crash, which was a shame.
I'm a little sad because I have not been able to finish the last two races, but I have to learn from this. At Assen I hope to complete the whole race and get a good result."
SIMEON FIGHTS BACK BEFORE CRASHING. ROUSING RECOVERY AND FIRST POINTS FOR BALDASSARRI
The difficult Catalan race weekend ended with a crash for Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 and Xavier Siméon: started from the 21st place on the grid a complicated qualifying session, the Belgian was forced to retire with 5 laps to go as he lost the front at Turn 10 while he was battling for a top ten position. However, before the crash Siméon was able to keep a good rhythm as he achieved a better feeling with his Suter compared to what happened during practice.
In the Team Gresini Moto2 garage Lorenzo Baldassari celebrated his first World Championship points with the 11th place: the 17-year-old rookie, who started 24th on the grid, made a great comeback and in the final stages he also tried to enter the top ten fighting with Marcel Schrotter and Anthony West, in front of him under the chequered flag.
XAVIER SIMEON (DNF)
“My feeling with the bike during the race was good: now the situation is more clear. Essentially, we find it hard to exploit the potential of the new Dunlop hard tyres, a problem that is accentuated in qualifying; for this reason we started back on the grid. However, we can be more competitive on the race distance: after a few laps, when the tyres started to drop, our pace was very similar to that of the fastest riders. I also managed to reach the group of riders in front of me, even though the low grip level forced me to make many mistakes. In the end I tried to push to open a gap, but I fell as I lose the front. Too bad, I was feeling confident and I didn’t expect it. I want to thank the team so much, because they rebuilt my bike after the warm up crash, and they did a great job, as always”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (11th)
“I’m very happy! It was a tough race but I never gave up, riding with determination from start to finish. Also during the race we struggled with lack of grip, but lap by lap I started to learn how to ride the bike making it sliding and how to raise it quickly out of the corners, collecting valuable experience. It’s a great feeling to get the first points: in the final stages the top ten was within my reach, I was in ninth position but then I came together with Anthony West and Schrotter passed me. Anyway, this result is very important, now we want to start from here and continue on this direction”.
“This weekend we have never been competitive, but in the race Xavier was going quite well, if we consider the situation we saw during practice and also his warm up crash, which certainly didn’t help him. Too bad for the retirement, we lost another opportunity to collect some important points. Baldassarri has instead taken his first points in a tricky and difficult category like the Moto2 World Championship: a result that we hope will be a good starting point for further growth. Now we have two important days of testing at Aragon, during which we will try to solve the problems we faced during the last two races”.
Off track excursion leaves AGT REA Racing in 22nd position at the Catalunya GP
AGT REA Racing came away from the GP Monster Energy de Catalunya in 22nd position following an off track excursion into the gravel trap on lap one. After avoiding the initial crash of the race at turn one, Gino Rea lost time when he overshot turn five and entered the gravel trap, falling into last position. It was a lonely race for Rea as he was unable to make up ground however his lap times would have left him competitive within the top 20.
Despite a frustrating finish to the weekend, AGT REA Racing were delighted to welcome Nick Davis to the team as their new crew chief. The team are anticipating better fortunes in the rounds ahead.
Gino Rea: “The race was a real shame. After I avoided the crash in turn one, I ran off the track and through the gravel and by the time I re-joined the race I was a long way behind everyone. From then on I was pretty much on my own and only caught a couple of riders. It is a shame because my lap times were similar to the group in the top 20. If I hadn’t have ran off I think I could have been in that group and maybe we could have come away with a season’s best. We still have a lot of work to do and we need to be able to qualify higher so I’m looking forward to moving on to the next race.”
Team Principal, Dave Peterson: “We are happy to welcome Nick Davis to the team. He brings a level of professionalism and communication that we haven’t had until this point. Hopefully we will see results of that professionalism in Assen.”
AGT REA Racing hope to ride at the Aragon circuit this week to make up for their season's testing deficit. The team's 8th Grand Prix appearance will take place at Assen, Netherlands on June 28th.