Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the races in Assen:
Miller unfortunate at Assen but maintains Moto3 lead
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider crashes on Lap 2 of Dutch TT when trying to break away. Hanika crashes when fighting for fourth.
06/28/2014 - Assen Circuit, The Netherlands
Jack Miller left the Dutch TT with the same seven-point lead in the Moto3 World Championship that he took to Assen. A crash at the start of the second lap meant he had a poor return for his excellent weekend. His Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, Karel Hanika, was also unable to finish the race, crashing 6 laps from the end when fighting for fourth place –a result that would have been his best finish in the World Championship.
Starting from pole position, the championship leader’s strategy was clear: Impose the pace shown in practice to try to escape from the pack. When the lights went out, he took the holeshot and gained tenths of a second over his rivals with Alex Marquez on his tail. At the end of the first lap the duo held more than a second’s advantage over the rider in third place, but when Miller reached the first corner he lost the front end and crashed. With the Australian out, Marquez took victory.
What could have been the best race finish to date for Hanika also eneded prematurely. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie gained two positions off the start and was up into the first group, behind Marquez, Rins and Oliveira after they had escaped. Fighting at all times at the head of a group of ten riders on Lap 16, Hanika suffered a highside when braking at Turn 9. Although he tried to remain in the race, two laps later he had to return to the pits.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders have their next Moto3 challenge on July 13th, at the German Grand Prix. Jack Miller still leads the overall standings with 117 points, whilst Karel Hanika is nineteenth with 16 points. The German round will be the last race before the summer break.
8 JACK MILLER
"It’s a shame. From the start I pushed really hard and I was able to open a little gap. On the first corner of the second lap I broke a little earlier than normal and I hit a small bump that made me crash. I went in a little crazier than I thought and the bike slid down. I was unable to save the crash, and it was unfortunate because I was really enjoying the whole weekend at this track. We had worked hard and had a good setup. Now we have to focus on Germany. Fortunately we are still at the top of the standings, but we have to do well at Sachsenring.
My foot is fine; thankfully it was protected because it was struck by the rear tyre. I had to push the bike off me. I was lucky not to have suffered any serious injury."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"Despite the crash, I am very happy with the feeling I had in the front group. I could fight for the podium for a long time in the race. Some riders were going pretty crazy in the chasing pack, so it was a real battle. On one of the laps I made a mistake and that is why I crashed. The rear wheel slipped out a lot and made me jump. If I race like this at the next few rounds, I think we can get onto the podium.
I learned a lot today. The battle was very similar to that of two weeks ago in Barcelona. Now we have to focus on Germany."
FIGHTING FIFTH FOR ANTONELLI IN THE NETHERLANDS. BASTIANINI RETIRED
Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3’s Niccolò Antonelli rode to a hard fought 5th place in today’s Dutch TT at the historic circuit of Assen. The young Italian took advantage of starting from second row on the grid, then he set into a steady rhythm to stay for all the race with the riders battling for the top positions.
In a race where many riders, including Jack Miller and Romano Fenati, have made mistakes, Antonelli rode without taking risks resulting as the first Italian under the chequered flag and taking a great confidence boost ahead of the rest of the season.
It was, however, a day of mixed emotions for the Team as rookie Enea Bastianini unfortunately fell during the first lap after performing strongly in the free practice sessions and qualifying.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (5th)
“I made a good start and soon I found myself in third place, but then on the last corner Hanika passed me making me lose time, and at that point it would be too risky to try to catch the first two riders, which were able to go away. In the early stages I was feeling comfortable, but at the same time I also knew that it was too important to finish the race, so I stayed behind all the riders in the group and I didn’t take any risks. Anyway, in the last two laps I tried to fight the best possible position: I did a very good last lap and I managed to take fifth place. Surely we could do a little better, but that’s okay. This result gives us a lot of confidence and we take it as a new beginning: in the next race we will start from here”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (DNF)
“On the first lap, when we entered the last corner, Fenati went wide in front of me and took me out of the line: I had to go a little straight to avoid to touch him, then when I came back on the right line, Vazquez hit me; in my opinion he could have been done a trajectory a bit wider. Too bad we have not even finished the first lap, because I had made a good start and I was in the leading group. We will try to make up this disappointment on the next Grand Prix”.
“Today for Antonelli was essential to finish the race, so this result is very important: probably, Niccolò was probably a bit slowed by the fear of making a mistake, so I think that he didn’t push at his maximum, but in spite of it he claimed a good fifth place which is a big confidence boost for the upcoming races. I am very sorry for Enea, who immediately fell on the first lap in a day when he could confirm his potential. Unfortunately, Fenati’s mistake took him out of the on the last corner, then when he came back on the right line he has been touched by another rider and he couldn’t do anything to avoid the crash”.
Marquez and Rins take first one-two with Honda
Resounding second consecutive victory for Alex Marquez and great second place for still-injured Alex Rins. Both riders now close to series leader.
A first podium double for Alex Marquez and Alex Rins came at the best possible time, as title rivals Jack Miller and Romano Fenati crashed at the Dutch TT. A win for Marquez and second place for Rins brought the Repsol riders closer to the head of the overall standings in the Moto3 class. Marquez is now 7 points behind Miller and third in the standings, with Rins fourth and 10 points off the top.
The race began with Miller leading the group and pushing hard. The Australian crashed on Lap 2, leaving Marquez in the lead and pushing to extend his advantage to as much as 3 seconds.
Behind him, Rins was also able to escape from the group and managed to reel Marquez in after his teammate made a mistake on the brakes. The duo rode together until Rins made an error of his own and lost touch. That was when Marquez broke free and took his second consecutive win. Rins battled with Miguel Oliveira, who caught up with him by himself, and waited behind the Portuguese until the entry to the chicane before the straight. Rins took second, despite still suffering from an injury to his left foot.
After this double, the Repsol riders will enjoy a well-deserved rest ahead of the next race, which takes place in a fortnight’s time in Germany.
Alex Rins 2nd at 2.960 sec.
"This second place somewhat offsets all that we suffered this weekend; I am very happy. In the race, when I was behind Alex [Marquez] and he ran off the track I was able to catch him, but I could not follow him because I started to make mistakes –partly because the pain in my foot prevented me from concentrating fully. Later, when Miguel Oliveira passed me, I focused on studying his lines and finally I was able to pass him."
Alex Marquez 1st 38:07.648
"I am very happy to get a second straight win. It was a very strange race and I had a hard time from the beginning, because the track conditions had changed a lot from yesterday. On the early laps I was not entirely comfortable and there was a risk of crashing. I had a scare on the first lap, because it was very windy and the wind was lifting the bike up. I made a mistake and was caught by Alex [Rins]. From mid-race onwards I improved and at the end I felt very comfortable. I knew I could keep up the pace that we had and, when I saw that I was breaking away, I tried to stay focused. I'm also happy for the team and for Honda, because they are doing a great job."
Danny Kent returns to Top 10
Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo matches his best result of the year -eighth position-. Niklas Ajo suffers a crash and injures right ankle.
06/28/2014 - Assen Circuit, The Netherlands
The Husqvarna riders had mixed fortunes at the Dutch TT, which was eventually held in the dry. British rider Danny Kent had his best race of the year, finishing in eighth place after fighting for fourth right to the finish line. Niklas Ajo, meanwhile, suffered a heavy crash on Lap 7 when riding with the front group.
Danny Kent’s eighth place matched his previous best result of the season, taken at Austin. Starting from eleventh position, Kent held the position off the startline, gaining a place on the first lap. From the early stages he was amongst the large front group, consisting of 14 riders who gradually let Marquez, Rins and Oliveira escape at the head of the field. In the end, seven riders fought for fourth place, including the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider, who placed inside the Top 10 once again.
Niklas Ajo started from the front row of the grid for the first time in his career, but his chances of a dream podium finish ended at Turn 7 of Lap 7. A highside in the middle of the first group ended his day early and sent him to the circuit’s medical centre, where he had his battered right ankle assessed. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider will travel to Barcelona for another medical examination to analyse his condition.
After eight races, the Husqvarna riders -Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent- are tied on 35 points in thirteenth and fourteenth, respectively. The last race before the three-week summer break, the German Grand Prix, takes place between July 11th and 13th.
52 DANNY KENT
"Undoubtedly we have taken a step forward. All weekend we worked better, both me when I put in a lot of laps by myself, and with the team as we showed in the race. I'm a little disappointed because I think I had enough pace to go with Oliveira and try to catch the two at the front, but every time I took the lead of the group, other riders overtook me on the straights and then were slower on the corners. That allowed the leaders to escape and I couldn’t fight for the podium. It’s not that my bike was slower -the Husqvarna worked really well- but in this class it is very easy to take advantage of a slipstream to gain positions on the straights. Overall I'm pretty happy and we have to continue like this. At Sachsenring we will try to take another step forward."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"Today was not my day. Firstly I suffered a heavy crash in the warmup, on the last chicane of the circuit, having just put on slicks. For the race I had an injection in my left hand because it was very sore, but I was able to get out there and stay in the first group. On Lap 7 I had a highside that I could not save. My right ankle is the one most affected and therefore I'm going to Barcelona for a further review and to decide the next steps to take. I hope to be ready as soon as possible."
Hafiq Azmi falls after fight for points
SIC-Ajo Team rider finishes 29th at the Dutch TT despite a crash when in the first group.
06/28/2014 - Assen Circuit, The Netherlands
Hafiq Azmi had a mixed day at the Dutch TT on Saturday. The young Malaysian rider finished the eighth race of the year in twenty-ninth position, after riding for the first time as part of the first group. A crash on the sixth lap prevented him from keeping in the points, but he would complete the race.
Finally the race was dry, and track temperatures were up to 25ºC. The SIC-Ajo Team rider made an excellent start from the eighth row of the grid at Assen –where he had not competed for two years. Hafiq Azmi was up into 14th position, closing out the lead group which pursued the already-escaped Marquez and Rins. The rookie, who had the possibility of his first points of the season, fell at Turn 1 of the sixth lap. The Malaysian picked up his KTM and completed the 22 laps.
Hafiq Azmi will have the chance to fight for points again at the next race meeting, which will take place at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany in two weeks’ time.
38 HAFIQ AZMI
"I'm a little disappointed once again with this race, because I had a good pace. I started from 23rd position and made a good start, which allowed me to get up to 14th after the first lap. From then on I tried to stay with the group, on Binder’s back wheel. However, on Lap 6, at the first corner, my front wheel slipped out and I crashed. I was able to push start the bike and continue the race, but it was a bit damaged and riding it felt totally different. I could not keep up the pace, but I focused on finishing the race and gaining further experience. The bike worked very well today, much better than in qualifying, and I thank the team for helping me to ride more comfortably."
NO LUCK IN TYRE GAMBLE FOR SIMEON AT DUTCH TT. STUNNING RECOVERY CROWNED BY TOP TEN FOR BALDASSARRI
The gamble of starting with slick tires in today’s Dutch TT, raced with ever-changing track conditions, didn’t pay for Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: the Belgian rider, who struggled in the early stages in the wet, was hoping for the track to dry out quickly, but unfortunately he was forced to return into the pits for wet tyres when the rain started again to fall after a few laps. In the end, Siméon crossed the finish line in 25th place.
Started with wet tyres, Lorenzo Baldassarri made a great comeback from 25th place on the grid, bringing the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine in ninth place, his best result of the season after the 12th place finish claimed in Barcelona two weeks ago.
XAVIER SIMEON (25th)
“We waited until last minute before the start and then we decided to take a big risk to start with slick tyres. There was only a light rain at that moment and based on my past experience I knew that this track would have been dried out very quickly, but we were unlucky because after 4 or 5 laps it started to rain again, so I had to come back into the pits to change tyres. I rejoined the track just to finish the race in front of many Belgian fans today, because at that point we had no hopes to get a good result. The race result is very bad, but the positive thing that we can take from this weekend is that we are again competitive, as we showed during practice”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (9th)
“I’m very happy because I was able to manage in a good way a very difficult race: in the beginning I felt very comfortable in the wet and I was able to recover many positions; later, when the track was gradually drying out, I could push harder, but I took a big risk on a wet patch, which made me lose some time. In the end I also tried to catch Rabat and the group of riders in front of me, but I preferred not to take too many risks. Overall I’m pleased with this result because I entered the top ten for the first time and I also improved the position obtained in the last Grand Prix in Barcelona”.
“Siméon took a gamble choosing the slick tyres before the start: Xavier thought that the track would dry quickly, but unfortunately it started to rain again. Frankly I do not agree with his choice, but now it’s easy to talk to and anyway he’s riding the bike by himself. Too bad, we leave the Netherlands actually with no result after the good competitiveness showed during practice. Baldassarri made a really strong performance in his first Moto2 wet race, fighting also with Rabat: we are happy with his 9th place finish, thanks to which he collected some other good points. This means that Lorenzo is growing”.
Good fight for Scott Deroue and Ana Carrasco in team’s home race
Having a good race and a good result is always important but racing in front of your home crowd there is an extra dimension. Therefore Scott Deroue wasn’t happy with finishing the Dutch TT in 20th position. His Spanish team mate Ana Carrasco finished in 24th.
Deroue made a good start from 21st on the grid, moving up to 16th position. But after a lap or four the Dutch rookie got into trouble and couldn’t match the fight in the big group of riders changing positions all the time.
Towards the end of the race Romano Fenati suddenly rejoined – after a crash – just in front of Deroue. This offered Deroue the chance to close in to the group again but a mistake of another rider forced him wide, losing a position again. Only thanks to a crash with three men involved in the final chicane Deroue was able to move up to 20th.
Ana Carrasco, accompanied by a sexy umbrella boy on the grid, took advantage of that crash as well by finishing 24th after a race long duel with Livio Loi, who she beat.
Scott Deroue – 20 (+ 38,766)
“The start was great, but already after a few laps the grip of the rear tire dropped. All weekend my bike was terrific, but in the race I had chatter, especially in the fast corners in the final sector. I lost the connection with the group. They don’t wait for you, not even in your home race… I’m not happy with the race and with the result, but overall the weekend was good. A home race is really different to the other races, with my family and friends around and a lot of obligations with media and sponsors. There was some extra pressure of course, but I really enjoyed racing in front of my home crowd and the contact with my fans.”
Ana Carrasco – 24 (+52,269)
“It’s a real pity qualifying wasn’t too good, because in the race my pace was good. I had an exciting fight with Loi and we dueled from start to finish. The results is not bad, especially when you look at the practices. I’m quite satisfied. It was a good race and I beat Loi again.”
Schrotter braves tricky conditions to score points again
Marcel Schrotter and Ricky Cardus had to face a chaotic intermediate class race in Assen, after torrential rainfall at the beginning of the 24 lap sprint caused the start to be delayed as the Moto2 world championship experienced its first wet race of the eight round of the 2014 season.
Marcel Schrotter’s never say die attitude saw him ride to a hard fought points scoring finish in 12th position after a challenging race in unpredictable conditions. The young German rider began the Iveco Daily Dutch TT from 16th on the grid before becoming entangled in the typically frantic Moto2 start and slipping back to 19th at the end of the first lap. He remained resolute and set into a solid rhythm and undertook some ruthless overtakes to climb back up to 14th by lap 18, before overtaking Simone Corsi for 12th on lap 22. The German rider missed out on 11th place by the blink of an eye on the last lap, but collected a further batch of well deserved world championship points as he now looks towards his home Grand Prix next round at Sachsenring
On the other side of the Tech3 Racing Team garage, Ricky Cardus just missed out on the final points scoring position after remounting from a fall in the early stages of the race. The Spanish rider began round 8 of the Moto2 World Championship from 9th on the grid after a solid qualifying and held this position at the close of the first lap. Cardus later fell during lap four, however quickly rejoined the race to mount a formidable recovery charge. The Spanish rider closed a staggering gap of 41 seconds to finish 1.7 seconds behind 15th as well as posting the 4th fastest lap time of the race.
Marcel Schrotter - Race : 12th - Championship : 13 - Points : 32
"I think we did well today considering the conditions have not been easy at all. At the beginning of the day the weather was fine, but we knew it could change every moment therefore we made a plan of action just in case regarding strategy, tyre choices as well as set up aspects and it turned out to have been a good idea . However, I didn't feel too confident during the opening laps when it was wet so rode safely to avoid crashing. But when the track dried a little, the set up of the Mistral ended up being a good one as it wasn’t too soft. I saw that I was faster than the two riders in front of me and if I had one more lap I could have been into the top ten. This weekend was really tough, so to take some points is a good reward for our hard work. Now I look forward to my home race, next round where I will get back on track to finally score a really strong position in front of my home fans."
Ricky Cardus – Race : 16th - Championship : 17 - Points : 22
"Today was not an easy day. I started the race quite well after we finally got going due to the delay with the rain, but in the opening stages the visibility inside my helmet was poor which made everything a little trickier. Then I unfortunately fell during braking on lap four but after getting back on the Mistral my lap times were strong, as well as my rhythm and I managed to overtake a lot of other riders. However, I am disappointed to finish just outside the points as I was so close and I want to say sorry to my team as I know that due to my crash we missed out on an excellent opportunity to score an important result as I lost more than 50 second in that lap. But I will have to move on from here, turn the page and head to Germany where I will aim for the top ten again."
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager :
"With a strong rainstorm coming down just before the start of the Moto2 race we all knew the Dutch TT would have been a chaotic appointment of the 2014 World Championship. However, after the promising performances of Ricky and Marcel during the weekend we were confident of a strong finish. There have been different tyre choices on the starting grid and I'm convinced we took the right decision to make both riders start on full rain tyres. Ricky had a good start and a strong pace straight from the beginning, but unfortunately he, like many other riders, made an avoidable mistake and crashed. He picked up the bike to show a strong climb up the field but by that time he was already way too far down to reach the leading positions. That's a real shame and a disappointment, as this year is a good opportunity for him to show his true potential and today in my opinion, he missed out on a podium chance. Marcel instead took it very consciously, maybe even a bit too much, and it took him some time before he found a confident rhythm. Half way through the race his pace was very strong and he managed to climb up the field entering the top 15. But once again the question is why we are just able to ride fast towards the end of the race and it clearly has been a missed opportunity for him as well. Therefore we have still a lot of work to do before going to Germany in two weeks."
Jordi Torres starts well at Assen
The MAPFRE Aspar rider ends the day fifth after improving on his last lap of the afternoon, with Nico Terol ending the day 21st
Moto2 was the last of the three world championship categories to see the riders running record pace on the first day of practice at the Dutch TT. With temperatures at a comfortable 20 degrees, and with the sun shining for most of the day the riders could enjoy their time out on the track. In the afternoon Aegerter dominated much of the session, but was surpassed right at the end by Rabat and Lowes. The Catalan rider set a best of 1.37.869, half a second quicker than the existing record from 2012(1.38.391).
The MAPFRE Aspar riders had smiles on their faces by the end of the day in Holland. Both had a good feeling on the bike, but with differing results. Jordi Torres closed the sessions with the fifth best time, set on the last of his 23 laps in the afternoon practice. The Rubí-based rider was well aware that the last section of Assen was the key, and saved it until the end to put in a 1.38.319 to around half a second off the leader. He was satisfied with his result and the feeling with his bike. Nico Terol was a bit further back, in 21st position, but the Alcoy rider believes he has improved in both the set-up of his bike and in his comfort on board it.
5th Jordi Torres 1.38.319 (45 laps): “The first day at Assen has been productive, we’re happy with how it’s gone. In italy, we made a step forward, in Barcelona another, and here I am convinced that we will keep improving. We are pushing hard in every session, mainly working on getting comfortable with the front end. Tomorrow we will be trying not to load up the front so much, so we can be quicker through the corners. We made lots of slight modifications, and don’t need to make too many big changes. The aim is to adapt to this track’s unique configuration, make the most of the material we have and try to improve the front end. In the second session we tried a rear tyre that we didn’t like, so we went back to the one we used in the morning and thanks to that we could lower our lap-times and finish fifth.”
21st Nico Terol 1.39.089 (46 laps): “Despite being down the order somewhat, I’m quite satisfied. I want to be optimistic because I’ve improved my feeling in both sessions. This race is different to the others because we’ve made steady progress without hitting a wall. We are close to making significant steps forward, but we need to stay focused because Moto2 is as tight as ever. Today I saw that we need to improve in the first and third sectors. In the second and fourth I’m getting by quite well. I like this track, but I’m finding it tough with the Moto2 bike. The feeling is good though for day one, and I hope that we can continue to progress tomorrow and keep the upward trend.”
Unlucky race for NGM Forward Racing at Assen
The Dutch TT was difficult and caotic as it can be here at Assen due to the changeable weather conditions. The start of the race was delayed due to heavy ran and a hailstorm when the riders were already on the grid.
When the race restarted, Simone Corsi made a very good start, taking the lead of the race. Despite the tricky conditions, Simone was able to ride with a good pace, gaining a margin of 10 seconds. Unfortunately with 13 laps to go, Simone crashed at turn 11, loosing the head of the race. He re-joined the race and finished in 13th position, gaining 2 points that allow him to maintain the 5th position in the championship.
It was a strange race for Mattia Pasini who started from the 12th position in the grid and was third in the first lap. Unfortunately Mattia made a mistake on the third lap due to the difficult track conditions and crashed. He re-joined the race but crashed a second time with 10 laps to go and finally he finished in 17th position.
“I made a good start and I tried to take the lead as I had a good pace. Unfortunately I crashed. The conditions were very tricky and it was easy to make a mistake. It’s a pity because I lost a great opportunity for me and the team. But races are like this and I look forward to Sachsenring”.
“I started well and I caught Simone and West taking the third position. The conditions were very demanding and it was easy to make a mistake. I crashed on the third lap at turn 5 but I could re-join the race. I had a good feeling and I recovered several positions. I could have finished in the top10, but the track started to dry and the conditions were really uncertain and I crashed a second time. It’s a pity because I had the pace to make a good race”.
Podium finish for Kallio in treacherous conditions
Assen, Holland – 28 June 2014: Mika Kallio mastered the most treacherous conditions encountered so far this season today, to claim a well deserved third place finish in the Moto2 Dutch TT. Tito Rabat rode intelligently to finish eighth, in a race that saw many crashes as riders fell foul of the changing track conditions.
Heavy rain ahead of the race saw the start of the Moto2 Dutch TT delayed for 20 minutes, with the riders eventually starting on wet tyres, as there was standing water on some parts of the circuit, despite the sun and wind conspiring to dry the track rapidly.
Kallio almost fell victim to a highside in the early stages of the race, but managed to gather the bike up and re-join the race after a brief off track excursion. Although he struggled for grip on a fully wet track, when a dry line appeared at half race distance the 31-year-old Finn forced his way through the field to join the battle for the race lead. In the end he was unable to mount a challenge on eventual race winner, Anthony West, and was forced to settle for third place at the chequered flag.
Rabat’s race got off to an even worse start when he crashed on a damp patch at turn eight on his way to the grid. The 25-year-old Spaniard managed to get his Kalex Moto2 machine back to the pit box, where his mechanics took advantage of the delayed start to make running repairs.
In the fully wet conditions at the start of the race Rabat, who started from pole position, was looking strong, but as the track dried he started to lose the feeling with the bike and, with riders crashing all around him, opted to play it safe and take the points for eighth place.
Livio Loi endured a difficult first race aboard his KTM RC250R at Assen today, as a result of making changes to the bike after qualifying yesterday. The 17-year-old Belgian opted to run on wet tyres in warm up and was unable to test the changes, which turned out to be a step in the wrong direction during the race, which he finished in 25th position.
Mika Kallio // 3rd
“At the start, when the track was completely wet, my feeling with the bike wasn’t good. I didn’t have any grip, but I knew from the part wet practice session in Mugello that, as soon as the track started to dry, the feeling would be better. I nearly didn’t find out, as I almost highsided myself out of the race in the fully wet conditions, but as a dry line started to appear I was able to push much harder and eventually catch the two guys at the front of the race. In the end my lap times were getting quicker, but the same was true of West and Viñales, so I couldn’t find a way past. It’s good to be on the podium, and it means I’ve closed the gap slightly on Tito in the championship, but now we’re starting to see other riders coming strong, like Viñales, so it’s not just Tito I need to keep an eye on. I’m happy with the podium today, as it could have been a very different story in such tricky conditions.”
Tito Rabat // 8th
“I made a pretty good start and I was competitive in the first part of the race. In the rain I had a good feeling with the bike and I was able to push, which was good for me. But later, when a dry line started to appear, it was really difficult for me to keep the line and to match the speed of the other riders. From that point I just tried to do my best and pick up as many points as I could. The crash as I went to the grid for the first time caused some damage to the bike, but the team did a great job to get it fixed and ready for the race, so many thanks to them.”
Livio Loi // 25th
“We made some changes to the bike after qualifying and, unfortunately, as we were on wet tyres for this morning’s warm up, the first time we got to test the changes was in the race. They didn’t work. Instead of an improvement they actually made the bike more difficult to ride and the rear was coming up on me every time on the brakes, and then sliding away from me in the corners. I’m disappointed, obviously, but now I need to focus on the next race at the Sachsenring. The plan for Germany is to use the original settings from yesterday as a starting point and work from there. Hopefully we’ll be able to make further progress with more time on the bike and push for a better result in the final race before the summer break.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Today’s race was run in the worse conditions imaginable. We had to start on wet tyres, but it was obvious that the track was going to dry out very quickly, which is exactly what happened. Mika rode a clever race; holding off in the wet conditions when he was struggling for grip and then pushing hard once a dry line appeared and his feeling with the bike was better. He did a good job, as did Tito, who rode a solid race to pick up more points with eighth position, in conditions we know don’t suit him. I’d also like to say a big thank you to the team, who did a great job getting Tito’s bike back together so that he could take his place on the grid for the delayed start. Livio will be disappointed with his result today, mainly because the change to the KTM hasn’t worked the miracle he maybe expected. The bike won’t do the job for him; he needs to work and he needs to improve significantly in the next race at Sachsenring. He knows what we expect, and now he needs to deliver.”
Juanfran Guevara’s race ruined by another rider
MAPFRE Aspar rider taken out on penultimate corner at Assen, metres before the finish line
Miller and Bastianini crashed before the end of the opening lap. Fenati went long on the final sector and Márquez took the advantage, favoured by Miller’s crash. That was how the Dutch TT began. A strange race, the Assen round saw Márquez lead, with Álex Rins hunting him down before catching his teammate on Lap 9. However, a mistake saw Rins drop off again. Márquez would take his second win in a row after riding alone from then on, with Rins and Miguel Oliveira rounding off the podium. Although Fenati made a comeback, he ended up outside the points after a crash. The top five riders in the Moto3 class are now separated by just 15 points.
Juanfran Guevara would have done a perfect job today, had it not been for another rider knocking him down on the penultimate corner of the final lap. The MAPFRE Aspar rider had started from nineteenth, and was prudent in the early going in order to make a comeback later. He was part of the second group for a large part of the race, with those from eleventh to twentiefth, and was ready to claim a points finish at Assen. However, he was smashed into from behind and could not complete the contest –although he thankfully escaped uninjured.
Juanfran Guevara (DNF): "I feel pretty frustrated after the crash, as I wasn’t expecting someone to knock me off like that. Although we started from far back, I was riding the whole race between eleventh and fifteenth as part of a group. I was enjoying myself. After the crash I felt a little dizzy and I had a strain in my elbow, but luckily I'm fine. I’ll try to look on the positive side; this weekend is when we have we best understood the bike, we have defined a good working method in every session and both my mechanics and Kalex technicians helped me a lot. All this will serve us well ahead of the next race. It is frustrating to see another rider take you out just metres from the line, but now we have to move on and think about the next Grand Prix."
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia in the points at TT Assen
Matteo Ferrari finished 13th; positive performance for Andrea Locatelli (17th)
The positive trend of San Carlo Team Italia in the Moto3 World Championship continued today at TT Van Drenthe Circuit at Assen. In a quite thrilling race that saw Alex Marquez (Honda) on the top step of the podium for the second Grand Prix in a row, the two riders of the federal team have made a good performance getting a positive and promising result.
Yesterday Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O # 3) was confident for the race having showed a good pace in the practices. A pace he was able to match today on his way to finish in thirteenth position at the end of a remarkable comeback. For the 2012 European Moto3 Champion this is the best result of the season and the second top-15 place out of the last three races, having closed fourteenth at Mugello.
Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra MGP3O # 55) made a convincing recovery in the race following a strong performance in the Warm Up (6th) on a partially wet track. The Italian maintained a good speed over race distance ending up in 17th place, a fraction away the points. For "Loka" the balance of the Assen weekend remains positive, with all the premises for further improvements in two weeks at Sachsenring, the last venue before the summer break.
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 13th
"I'm definitely pleased to have gained some more points, but in the same time there is a degree of sadness too: looking at my lap times I could aim at a place in the top-10. Our setup was fine, I had a good feeling with the bike, but unfortunately I made a poor start again. I could make up some of the lost ground passing a few riders but I lost contact with the group ahead of me and then it was impossible to close the gap. We will work together with the Mahindra technicians to find a solution to try to start better in the next races, optimizing the characteristics of the clutch. I am convinced that if we solve this problem, we can aim at results more in line with our growing potential".
Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 17th
"It was a bitter race for me. Getting so close to the points understandably leave me with some regret for not having achieved this goal, but at least we can look with confidence to the next races. In this morning’s Warm Up we made the 6th lap time on a damp track, showing we can stay with the top riders. Unfortunately in the race I was missing a little bit of acceleration out of the last hairpin and I couldn’t stay with the others. But I didn’t give up and I made some good passes taking some risks into the corners to fight back the riders in my group. It’s a bit of a shame, but being in my first season in the World Championship, for me each race is a good experience for the future".
Virginio Ferrari (Team Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"Today Matteo and Andrea made a good race and showed again they are two skilled riders, but we must look forward. The race of Matteo was partially compromised at the start where we know we have some problems: if we solve this little problem we can stay in the group ahead of us. In any case Matteo has demonstrated his value, and the same can be said about Andrea. Now it's up to us to continue this growth "step by step." In the last races we have made great strides forward reducing our gap from the front by over a second. We must work with the Mahindra technicians to the engine map in order to get a smoother power delivery, the ideal for the riding style of our guys. Sorting out this aspect, which actually costs us around 3 or 4 tenths of a seconds, we can get into the group racing for a top-10 position, a target in line with the talent and the peculiarities of Mattheo and Andrea".
MAPFRE Aspar riders take risks without reward
Nico Terol and Jordi Torres gamble on slick tyres, but strategy fails to pay off and they finish far back at Dutch TT
Today in Assen the Moto2 class experienced a chaotic race. Moments before the start of the formation lap, rain fell on the venue for the Dutch TT, with thunder and hail to follow. The riders returned to the pits and the start was postponed until 12:40. The race was declared wet, even though the sun was out. Most riders used wet tyres, and there were plenty of crashes and entries into the pits. Sam Lowes and Simone Corsi both tooked the lead before crashing out. Anthony West took over at the halfway stage, and won the craziest race of the season. Maverick Viñales and Mika Kallio completed the podium.
After seeing the rain that fell just before the Moto2 race, and which forced the organisers to temporarily postpone the start, the MAPFRE Aspar took the brave decision to start the Dutch TT on slick tyres. Starting from low down on the grid, they were hoping for a long shot at a good result. Their plan would have paid off, had the track dried out as the laps went by. However, soon after the race started it began to rain again and both Nico Terol and Jordi Torres were forced to come into the pits and change tyres. After going back out on wets, Terol placed 22nd and Torres 26th.
22nd Nico Terol: "Today we have took a gamble going out with slicks, because we thought the track would dry out soon, but that was not the case. We knew it was a gamble but we wanted to try, and had it not rained we would have had more chance of achieving a good result. It rained at the beginning of the race and I had to go into the pits to change tyres. It was a shame because with these tyres I have had very good pace -I guess enough to finish in the top seven. The feeling in the wet was very good. I want to thank the team for this weekend, as they did a great job like always."
26th Jordi Torres: "On the grid we opted for slick tires, hoping that -as this track drains very fast- after the first few laps we could go faster than the rest of the field. We knew that we would suffer for the first four or five laps, with the hope that soon a dry line would be created. However, after the warmup lap it started to rain again. I completed two laps, but could see it was very difficult and dangerous so I decided to enter the pits to put on the wets. Once you enter the pits, for whatever reason, you lose all your chances of a good race. This race has helped us to find a good feeling in wet conditions, so now we have to think about the next race."
Heroic ride from AGT REA Racing to collect first Moto2 World Championship points at the Assen GP
AGT REA Racing were elated to finish just outside the Top 10 in 11th position on Saturday after qualifying 33rd for the Assen Grand Prix.
Gino Rea made an incredible start to the race, making up 19 places in the initial laps. The team continued to progress, moving into 9th in the early stages. Despite drying track conditions setting the team back to 11th, on the 13th lap Gino set the fastest lap of the race. On the following lap, however, Gino had a huge rear slide at the extremely fast Ramshoek corner at turn 15 forcing him off the track and into the gravel.
Remaining onboard the Suter machine, Rea rejoined the race again in 11th but had lost contact with the group in front. With 4 laps to go, the team had gained another position to make it into 10th but as the track continued to dry, Rea lost two positions towards the end, being overtaken by Syahrin and Schrotter. Gino fought to re-pass Schrotter to take 11th to the flag.
AGT REA Racing picked up their first Moto2 World Championship points of the 2014 season and naturally both rider and team principal were delighted.
Gino Rea: “It’s a nice outcome to a very difficult weekend. I’m so happy to bring points on board for the team after a challenging and tough start to the year. I’m also glad to stay on the bike. I was having lots of moments throughout the race but when I had the big moment at the fast turn 15, I ran off the track. I thought I was definitely going to crash, so to stay on the bike, rejoin and finish 11th was a relief. To also come from 33rd on the grid was tough. I tried to make up as many positions in the first part of the race and I did. But I made too many mistakes and got caught up in the group.”
“I smoothed things out but I was struggling really bad with the rear of my bike and then had that big moment which left me out of touch with the top 10. We still have a lot of work to do to improve our package so we’ll keep plugging away. A huge thank you to everyone involved in the AGT REA Racing team and to our sponsors American Green Technology and LIVESTRONG.”
Dave Peterson, Team Principal: “I couldn't be more pleased with Gino and the team’s performance today. It was touch and go when G decided to go ‘all rodeo’ and ‘ride the tank’ through the gravel trap! But he held on to bring the team our first points!”
AGT REA Racing will be back in action at the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring on July 13th.