Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the races at the Motorland Aragon circuit:
STRONG TOP TEN FINISHES FROM BASTIANINI AND ANTONELLI AT MOTORLAND ARAGON
The Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 completed today a successful weekend at the MotorLand Aragon with both riders undertaking convincing displays and finishing inside the top 10 in round 14 of the Moto3 World Championship. Enea Bastianini and Niccolò Antonelli clinched the sixth and the ninth place respectively, thus collecting important points before the flyaway races outside Europe in Japan, Australia and Malaysia.
Started well from the second row, Bastianini immediately took third place, but then he couldn’t stay with the leading group: despite a run off the track halfway through the race, the rookie from Rimini always fought between the eighth and sixth position, keeping the latter until the finish line.
His teammate Niccolò Antonelli enjoyed a determined race, which saw him finish in the top ten despite the recent surgery on his right collarbone: the 18-year-old rider from Cattolica was forced to run off the track two times to avoid Guevara and Migno’s bikes, who fell in front of him, but he still managed to stay in the fight in the second group of riders, closing ninth under the checkered flag, the same position obtained in yesterday’s qualifying.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (9th)
“I’m very happy with this result because today we faced very difficult conditions, perhaps the worst I could find given my situation: especially in the early laps in fact the risks were so many. I lost rear grip several times and made some runs off the track; later I also had to avoid two crashes in front of me, those of Guevara and Migno, losing more time. I would have preferred the dry or a full wet race, conditions where we were competitive, but today we couldn’t ask for more and I’m satisfied. It was also important to ride the bike as much as possible in order to be fit for the upcoming races: in Japan I will be in better shape and I will try to return to fight for the podium”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (6th)
“I started the race well and in the first two laps I was able to stay in the leading group at the, but then I was not able to keep their pace, slipping back. Especially in the beginning the conditions were difficult, but I felt more at ease than in the second part of the race. Today I struggled to ride as I wanted and I made some mistakes. Difficult races can happen, now we look forward to Japan”.
“It was not an easy race at all: in these conditions Bastianini probably struggled even more, being the less experienced rider among the protagonists. In addition, Enea today was not perfectly comfortable with the bike and had to take a few risks too. All in all he did a good race, picking up important points for his championship. This experience will be useful for his growth. I’m happy for Niccolò, who managed to enter the top ten, a result which was not granted, given the recent difficulties he had, not least the recent surgery to his collarbone. He performed well and I’m satisfied”.
Guevara succumbs to chaotic conditions
MAPFRE Aspar rider unable to back up stunning practice pace with a top result after crashing out on damp track
After two stunning days of late Spanish summer at the Motorland it had to be today that the weather turned to autumn, with race day for the Grand Prix of Aragón getting underway in damp conditions. After a totally wet warm-up the track had begun to dry in time for the Moto3 race, which was declared wet even though the vast majority of riders opted for slick tyres. A race of attrition ensued as a number of riders fell victim to the precarious conditions, with the victorious Romano Fenati, Alex Márquez and Danny Kent sticking it out to take the podium positions at the end. With a crash for Jack Miller, Márquez now takes over at the top of the championship.
Juanfran Guevara's Motorland adventure had gone perfectly up until this morning, with a lap time in qualifying yesterday that smashed the circuit record and put him on the front row of the grid for the first time. The MAPFRE Aspar went into the race full of confidence but after recovering from a mistake on the second lap his luck ran out on lap four, when he was thrown from his bike as he tried to dodge a slower rider in turn three. Thankfully Juanfran was unhurt in the crash and he is reflecting positively on a weekend that has seen him confirm his growing promise as a podium contender, as well as signing a new contract with the MAPFRE Aspar Team for 2015.
Juanfran Guevara (DNF): “In general it has been a fantastic weekend for us, we have done a great job. We had a good pace in every session, we smashed the circuit record on Saturday and we had everything clear going into the race today. The warm-up gave us the chance to get a feel for the track in the wet and even though it was called a wet race we all went out on slicks, which proved to be the right choice. Unfortunately on the second lap I made a mistake and lost touch with the lead group, but then gradually I recovered the ground. Two laps later the rider in front of me braked too hard so I had to run off line and as soon as I touched the damp patch I was thrown into the air. It's a shame because looking at the pace of the race winner I think I could have been there fighting. Apart from the result it has a good weekend for me here at Aragón, especially with the announcement that I will continue with the MAPFRE Aspar Team next season. I am learning a lot thanks to this team and I think we can achieve great things together in the future.”
Best dry finish of 17th for AGT REA Racing at the Aragon GP
Gino Rea was happy to conclude the Aragon GP in 17th, meeting his Top 20 goal and finishing 7 places higher than his qualifying position. Rea put in a confident performance, battling within a big group of riders throughout the race and later coming out on top. The final result of 17th was AGT REA Racing’s best result of the season in dry conditions and the team are setting out to build on this progress in Japan.
“We achieved our goal coming into this weekend of a Top 20 finish in the dry. Qualifying held us back a little, starting in 24th and I didn’t have the pace in the first laps of the race. I was struggling in a few areas, the bike wasn’t at its best so I’m a bit frustrated that I didn’t get to battle in the group ahead which led up to 9th. Since we had a chassis update at Silverstone, we’re learning every time and we still have room for improvement. It was great to be in a big battle in the race and even better to come out on top. It’s our best dry result of the year so we go to the flyaway races to build on this.”
Dave Peterson, Team Principal:
“I’m proud of Gino’s performance today. He fought the whole time even though the bike wasn’t set up as perfectly as it could have been. With all the morning confusion of wet and dry settings, he still went out in the race and battled for positions, moving up the whole time. It was great to watch! The entire American Green Technology team performed extremely well.”
The team now prepare to travel to the back-to-back flyaway races of Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang, beginning with the Japanese Grand Prix in just under two week’s time. Follow the team on their Facebook www.facebook.com/agtrearacing and Twitter @AGT_REA_Racing for updates throughout the interim period.
Miller leaves Aragon empty handed
Jack Miller sees chance of podium go up in smoke after contact from opponent provokes fourth-lap crash. Karel Hanika, twenty-third, completes the race after a crash of his own.
09/28/2014 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team had a disappointing Sunday at the Aragon Grand Prix. Jack Miller was unable to cap an excellent weekend of practices with a positive result on race day, due to contact with a fellow rider at the start of the race sending him to ground. His teammate also suffered from a lack of luck, as Karel Hanika was caught out by mixed track conditions and crashed on lap two. Both remounted to take the chequered flag, with Hanika 23rd and Miller 27th.
Jack Miller made another of his superb starts, in a race that was delayed because of fog early in the morning. In half wet, half dry conditions, the Australian gained three places to lead after the opening lap. Out in front, the Australian entered the last corner of the fourth lap and was hit on the inside by another rider -leading to a crash. The incident -later examined by Race Direction- forced him to take a trip back to the pits. The Red Bull KTM Ajo mechanics got his bike back in condition to rejoin the race, and Miller completed the contest purely as a matter of pride.
Meanwhile, Karel Hanika moved up three positions when the lights went out. On the second lap, however, he lost the rear of his bike coming out of the corkscrew at Turn 9 and crashed. The Czech picked up his bike and completed the race in twenty-third position -despite a missing footpeg.
With 4 races remaining in the World Championship, Jack Miller is second with 195 points and 11 off the top spot. Karel Hanika is eighteenth with 24 points. The next race is at the Motegi Circuit (Japan), in a fortnight, and the October 12th round starts a run of three consecutive Grands Prix.
8 JACK MILLER
"In the crash, Marquez had tried to overtake me on the straight but did not have the pace to do so. On the entry to the corner I was on the dry line and went in normally. I knew Marquez would try to block off inside corner, but he did not cut the gas and made me fall off the bike. Sometimes these things happen -it's racing. I'm happy and I want to thank the whole team, because they were able to repair the bike after it was pretty damaged and I was able to get back on track for a few laps. Now we head to a circuit that I like and we'll see what happens."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"Friday was a good day for me and my team because we completely changed the bike and our way of working. This morning in the wet I also had a good feeling, but the race was bad for us. It was unfortunate for us, because everything was going quite well: I started from 17th but by the second lap I noticed I was losing a lot of grip on the rear wheel and my bike was sliding out on the second turn of the corkscrew. I don't think that it was entirely my mistake, but I'm sure I could have done better. Now it's time to focus on the upcoming races in Asia. If we continue to work as we have done this weekend, we can get good results."
Deroue crashes out in tricky conditions, Carrasco brings it home in 22nd
In a race that gave great opportunities to score his first world championship points, Dutch rookie Scott Deroue unfortunately crashed out of the GP of Aragon. His Spanish team mate Ana Carrasco did bring her bike home, finishing in 22nd.
The conditions at the Motorland circuit were tricky. The warm-ups were delayed due to fog and rain and so was the start of the Moto3 race. The race was declared ‘wet’ but there was a dry line on the tarmac and most riders went out on slick tires. Overtaking was risky in the first part of the race, with wet patches all over. Both RW Racing GP riders were told to be careful, as the team knew that finishing the race would give a huge chance on scoring points.
In his eagerness to get as close to the front as possible Scott Deroue forgot about the tricky conditions. In the third lap of the race he lost the front in the mini corkscrew (turn 8-9) and crashed out from 23rd position.
Ana Carrasco was close behind her team mate after an excellent start that saw her move up from 32nd on the grid to 25th. She managed to get even further to the front, but then made a mistake in braking and ran wide. Carrasco was able to save it, but had lost connection to the group that ended up fighting for points.
Ana Carrasco – 22 (+1.35,044)
“My start was good but in the first lap I had little confidence. Getting into a corner with a bunch of riders jostling and pushing each other in these conditions was quite scary. But after the first lap I got my confidence back and it actually was pretty good. Somewhere around lap 5 I made a little mistake and ran straight. I was able to save it and get back on track, but the group I was in, was gone. The remainder of the race was damage control. The result is not bad, but there definitely was more in it.”
Scott Deroue – DNF
“Such a shame! My start was not perfect and I was locked in the middle of the jostling so after the first lap I tried to fight my way up front. I didn’t do anything different in the corkscrew but all of a sudden I lost the front. I’m really upset because this was a huge chance of scoring points. But to do that, you must finish. There aren’t so many chances like this, in such a competitive field. I was so eager to get points, also as a reward for my mechanics and the whole team, as everybody is working so hard to make this possible. For sure the pressure is rising as there are only four races left.”
BAD LUCK STRIKES AGAIN FOR TEAM FEDERAL OIL GRESINI MOTO2 IN SPAIN
The Grand Prix of Aragon has unfortunately ended prematurely for Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: after just two laps, the Belgian rider was hit from behind by Anthony West and despite he was able to avoid the crash, he was forced into the pits with a damaged bike.
Aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine, Lorenzo Baldassarri closed the Grand Prix in 25th position: the Italian rookie slipped back in the early stages due to run off the track and as a result was not able to reach the points scoring positions.
XAVIER SIMEON (DNF)
“There’s not much to say... on the second lap, between turns 8 and 9, West hit me from behind damaging the rear of my bike, and it was impossible to continue. I wanted to continue to try to get some points, because at least I had the good luck to avoid the fall, but I had no power, therefore I had to return to the pits and retire. Too bad, we always do everything possible to try to return to a positive phase, but we cannot do anything in these cases. Now we have to stand up right away to try to be fast in Japan”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (25th)
“It was a very difficult race, I tried my best but unfortunately I didn’t have the right confidence to go fast. In the early stages I made an excursion off the track during which I lost a lot of positions, then I recovered, but when I reached a small group of riders in front of me it was not possible anymore to overtake, because the tyres were at the limit, so on the last I preferred to finish the race without risk. Let’s say that it was another important race to gain experience, even though very difficult”.
Alex Marquez takes lead of Moto3 standings
Repsol rider achieves creditable second place in a race affected by rain, moving to top of World Championship table. Rins takes fourth and remains third overall, 18 points behind his teammate.
Sunday at Aragon saw a change in the Moto3 overall standings thanks to Alex Marquez' second place finish. The Repsol rider holds an 11-point lead over Jack Miller, who crashed on the opening laps after an incident involving both riders. Alex Rins, who led in the early stages of the race, crossed the finish line in fourth place after making a mistake but cuts two further points from the difference in the overall standings. He is now 18 behind his teammate, with 4 races remaining and 100 points up for grabs .
The sun and warm temperatures of the past three days gave way to rain and lower temperatures on race day. The Moto3 race became a lottery, with a progressively drying track providing difficult conditions. Both Repsol Moto3 riders were able to manage the circumstances well, and Marquez fought to the finish line for the victory, finally placing second behind Romano Fenati. Rins finished fourth after making a few saves in very tricky spots.
The next Moto3 round –the Japanese Grand Prix– will be held in two weeks at Motegi.
Alex Rins 4th at 11.631 sec.
"I think today I had the possibility of being in the front group to try to win or get a podium, but we had a racing incident at Turn 1 and I came out badly from it, running straight on. However, we are closer than ever to the top, 18 points behind. Although I never want another rider to crash, we have moved a little closer with Miller's fall. We have been boosted before the flyaway rounds."
Alex Marquez 2nd at 0.057 sec.
"Today's race was difficult. At first we were a little scared because it was so easy to fall on the parts of the circuit that were wetter. I tried to stay focused at all times but I made some mistakes and went a little wide on some corners. On the last corner Fenati was very fast, whilst I lost a bit of grip on the rear wheel and could not pass him. I think the twenty points from today are very important. Regarding what happened with Miller: I passed him on the inside, rode my line on the dry bit of track and felt contact halfway into the corner. I didn't know what had happened because I was focused on keeping to my line. I think that what happened was a racing incident."
Second podium for Kent
Danny Kent takes third place at Aragon Grand Prix, fighting to the end for the win. Niklas Ajo takes risks in mixed conditions and places 25th after trip back to pits.
09/28/2014 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
The MotorLand Aragon circuit provided very difficult conditions for the Moto3 riders on Sunday morning, with a half-dry, half-wet surface. Danny Kent overcame the tricky circumstances to claim his second podium of the season, with a creditable third. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider fought for victory until the last moment, but was nevertheless able to add to his rostrum tally. Niklas Ajo, who started from 26th position, gambled with wet tyres but placed 25th after coming in to change to slicks.
The race was delayed because of fog early in the morning but got underway at 11.25am local time. The asphalt was neither wet nor dry, making things tricky off the start. Kent was the quickest off the line and took the holeshot, battling at the front in the early going. Despite running off track at Turn 1 later on, he rejoined the race and made a comeback from tenth place -consistently setting fast laps before reaching a podium spot with 7 laps remaining. In with a chance at victory, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider claimed third -just 0.283s behind the winner.
Niklas Ajo, starting from 26th on the grid due to a mechanical issue in qualifying, took a risk and used wet weather tyres from the get-go. His attempt to gain an advantage backfired, however, and he found himself riding on a dry track. Forced to return to the pits and change tyres, the Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider eventually crossed the line 25th.
With 93 points, Danny Kent lies ninth in the overall standings with 4 races remaining; Ajo is fourteenth with 45. The next race on the calendar takes place on October 12th in Japan.
52 DANNY KENT
"This has been our best weekend of the year, without a doubt. From the first session I felt great on the bike and was getting more comfortable and stronger every time I went out. Also this morning in the warmup we went fastest. We have adapted well to the mixed conditions of dry and wet and we have been fast. We knew that if we chose the right tyres for the race and made a good start, we had a great opportunity to be on the podium. I made a small mistake on the first corner and I dropped down to tenth position, which made the race that much harder.
Without that mistake I think that I could have been in the fight, but with less worn tyres and more grip. It was a shame not to fight for the win, although I tried to get there with a few slipstreams on the final lap. I'm still very happy to bring home another podium for the team, who are working well."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"The whole weekend has been pretty tough. In yesterday's qualifying session we had mechanical problems and could only put in one good lap. We started from 26th position, after being among the Top 5 during practice. That was a little disappointing. For the race we decided to take some risks because we were starting so far back, like putting the wet tyres on to see if we could move up some positions through that. However, it was a bad decision. I had to come in to change tyres in the end.
We are still not having much luck, but I hope that we get some soon because this situation is not good for me or for the team. Hopefully at the next race we will be in the position we deserve."
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia close to the points at MotorLand Aragón
Andrea Locatelli finishes in 18th despite the pain; Matteo Ferrari out of the game in the first lap
Todays’ Moto3 race at MotorLand Aragón in Alcañiz has been quite unsatisfactory for San Carlo Team Italia after a wet warm-up session quite promising for the colours of the Italian squad.
Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra MGP3O #55) has proved again his determination finishing in 18th position despite the pain with his right thumb for an injury sustained in the yesterday’s qualifying session. Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O #3) unfortunately crashed out the race in the first lap after a brilliant start from the tenth row of the grid.
Round fourteenth of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship has been filed away after seeing the fourth wins of the season for Romano Fenati, author of a brilliant recover to clinch his fifth success in career (the first one was achieved in Jerez in 2002 for the Team Italia colours). To 'Fenny' and the Sky Racing Team VR46 go the compliments of the FMI President Paolo Sesti and San Carlo Team Italia.
Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 18th
"I knew we were facing a tough race and so it has been. I had pain in my thumb: I still had the necessary sensibility in the throttle-opening phase but I had problem when I tried to push hard. Anyway I did my best to finish the race and I accomplished it. We hope things start turning in our favour in the next races".
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) DNF
"I made a strong start and I was really keen to achieve a good result but I crashed out the race in my first lap. I tried to saddle up again but the left footrest, on the gear side, got broken in the crash and I wasn’t able to re-join the race: Obviously I’m very sorry. I can do no other than look to the next races aiming to redeem this unfortunate weekend".
Virginio Ferrari (Riders Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"The positive side of today is that our riders proved again their great determination. Andrea has struggled with his injured thumb but he arrived close to the points, a result that could have been the right prize for his willpower. Unfortunately Matteo slipped off in the first lap: he was very keen to do well but these things are part of our sport as well. He will have a greater motivation to do well in the final part of the season".
Another Fantastic top ten finish from Schrotter in Aragon
Marcel Schrotter rode another positive and determined race at Aragon to successfully seize 10th position aboard the Mistral 610 today for round 14 of the Moto2 World Championship. Despite overnight rain which led to a damp start to the day and a delay to warm up due to visibility issues, the Moto2 race was deemed dry. Schrotter opened his 21 lap Aragon sprint from 10th on the grid and undertook a confident start to finish the first lap in 9th position. Then the young German set into his race rhythm and became quickly locked into a fierce battle for 7th place and looking to climb higher. He snatched 8th on lap 5, but slipped back to 13th six laps later. However, Schrotter remained resolute and rode with git back to 11th position two laps later, joining the battle for 9th. With five laps left until the end he brilliantly overtook Sandro Cortese for 10th and set his personal best time with two laps remaining as he went on to complete the race in this hard fought position.
Meanwhile, Ricky Cardus rode to a fiercely challenged 14th position in front of his home crowd at the 5078 meter MotorLand Aragon circuit to collect another valuable pair of world championship points. The Spanish rider commenced the Aragon race from 19th on the grid but had a superb launch to lunge forward to 12th, overtaking an amazing seven riders by the close of the first lap. From here, Cardus quickly closed down the one second gap to the next rider as he sought to move up the field and by the 5th lap he was running in 10th. With 5 laps remaining Cardus had been shuffled back to 14th but was still in the hunt for a higher position as he set his fastest lap of the race just before the last one as he made a fearless late charge to try to clinch the next position, before crossing the line in 14th.
Marcel Schrotter - Race : 10th - Championship : 15th – Points : 17
“I have to be truly pleased with this result considering that we finished less than 2 seconds from our best positions of the season, even though we had to face numerous difficulties this weekend. We lost a lot of time on Friday due to the crash and couldn’t get the bike set up, which meant we effectively had to start on Saturday. Everyone got stuck in and helped me to get into a good position in such a short time and I want to say a massive thanks to the whole team. With today’s result we can be happy and proud of what we achieved as we are once more back in the top ten. Step by step we are making good improvements and I'm sure also that the results will reflect this before the end of the season as I still aim to finish inside the top ten in the final Championship standings.“
Ricky Cardus – Race : 10th - Championship : 15th – Points : 17
“Today was a tough race for sure but I am happy that I have achieved another point scoring result. It goes without saying that I would have liked to finish inside the top ten in front of my home crowd but still, to take home a few Championship points is a positive result for us. I made a good start plus had a strong feeling with the bike and concentrated 100% in the race. However, especially towards the end I was lacking grip on the rear tyre and it was a tough fight to keep my position. At a certain stages I decided not to push further as I had a few moments and really wanted to avoid crashing out. I want to thank the team for the fantastic job they have done during this GP and now I am confidently looking towards Japan where I will try to be even more consistent and closer to the top ten.”
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager :
"Today was a good race from both of our Moto2 guys. Marcel and Ricky were in a strong group and both of them were able to kick off the race in a positive manner. However, Ricky’s start was something really special coming from so far down the grid. They pushed hard and were in a very exciting battle which I think was the most competitive one in the race. To have both riders finish in the points is positive and I am truly pleased with today's result. Marcel’s pace was consistent throughout, he retained his grid position and didn’t slip back in the middle of the race like he sometimes does. In addition, this is a great achievement considering that his race weekend just started on Saturday after the huge crash on Friday. As for Ricky, his performances were convincing throughout this Grand Prix and although I am sure he will be disappointed with 14th, its good to be back in the points with both boys. Now we will head to the three flyaway races and it’s very important to go there with both riders fully healthy and highly motivated."
Rabat extends championship lead with podium at Aragón
Aragón, Spain – 28 September 2014: Tito Rabat finished second in the Moto2 Grand Prix of Aragon, extending his lead in the World Championship over Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio, who finished seventh today.
It was Kallio who made the early running, leading the race for the first four laps, but the 31-year-old Finn started to struggle for rear grip after eventual race winner Maverick Viñales passed him for the lead. Lacking drive out of the turns, Kallio eventually dropped down the order to finish seventh.
As Kallio was dropping back, Rabat was pushing on, eventually passing Johann Zarco for second at half race distance, before posting his fastest laps of the race as he tried to close the gap to race leader Viñales. The 25-year-old Spaniard managed to close to within a second of his fellow countryman, but simply ran out of laps and was forced to settle for second and a place on the podium.
Rabat now leads the Moto2 World Championship by 33 points, more than one win, from his Marc VDS teammate Kallio, with just four races remaining.
Jorge Navarro looked all set to claim a top ten finish in today’s Moto3 race but, like many of his rivals, the 18-year-old Spaniard was caught out by the tricky mixed conditions and crashed at turn three while running in 8th position.
Tito Rabat // 2nd
“Yesterday I crashed in qualifying then this morning I had a difficult warm up in the wet, so I’m happy to finish on the podium today. It was lucky that the rain held off, other than a few spots during the race. I got a good start, tried to push straight away, but then I got into a fight with Mika. We lost two positions and once I’d got past Mika I had to pass Aegerter and Zarco, by which time Viñales had gone. I tried to push on and close the gap, but congratulations to him as he rode a clever race and never let me get close enough. I want to say a big thank you to the team because, when you have a difficult weekend, it is them that keep you calm and help you focus on what’s important. Now the focus is on Japan. New race, new country, new weekend, but the same aim; try to fight for the win.”
Mika Kallio // 7th
“The first part of the race was good. I got away at the front and then tried to stay calm, ride smoothly and conserve the tyre as much as possible. When Viñales came past I could stay with him at first, but then the rear grip started to drop off, the rear started spinning up and I was struggling to drive the bike out of the turns. It dropped me back into the group behind and we lost some time battling for position. I wasn’t getting the drive onto the straight, so I couldn’t pass under braking, but the others could and there was nothing I could do to stop them. I don’t know what the problem was, because we made no changes to the bike and the tyre doesn’t look so bad. Maybe the cooler conditions played a part, but there was just no grip and it’s something we need to look into.”
Jorge Navarro // DNF
“I got away from the line pretty well and the feeling with the bike was good over the opening few laps. Conditions were difficult today; there was a definite dry line, but also a lot of wet patches on the track. I was inside the top ten when I just touched a wet part of the track at turn three and crashed. I’m really disappointed because I had a very good opportunity to make a good result today. Sometimes racing is like this, especially in these conditions, so now the focus is on Japan.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Once again Tito has shown his calibre, coming back from a difficult qualifying yesterday to extend his championship lead with second place today. It was a good race from him and I’m pretty sure he’d have been challenging for the win if he hadn’t been held up by the battles in the opening laps. I know Mika will be disappointed with seventh today, but there was little else he could have done once the tyre started to go off. It’s a long straight here at Aragon and if you don’t get the drive out of turn 15 then you’re in trouble. Tito may have extended his lead, but Mika hasn’t given up on the title yet, as I’m sure we’ll see in Japan. Jorge was unfortunate in what were tricky conditions for the Moto3 race. He was inside the top ten and going well, but just touched a wet patch on the track and crashed, as did many other riders today.”
Torres finishes weekend well and leaves Motorland with positive feelings
The MAPFRE Aspar rider, who yesterday suffered with the set-up of his bike, showed his talent to finish in eighth place
The Moto2 race began on a wet track with Kallio pushing hard to try and break away. The Finn initially achieved his objective, reducing the lead group to just six riders. Viñales, Zarco and Aegerter stayed with him, with Rabat behind but remaining in control. After the opening frenzy, Kallio, Rabat, Zarco and Viñales, the same protagonists as last time out, began to lap ahead of the rest. Then Viñales pulled ahead with three superb laps giving him sufficient advantage to claim victory, though Rabat tried to strike back in the last laps. Meanwhile, Kallio faded and Zarco gladly took his place on the podium. Eventually the Spaniards finished as the front two with Viñales winning, Rabat second and third place for Zarco.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jordi Torres stepped up to the plate today in tricky conditions. Free practice was encouraging, but the rider from Rubi slightly lost his way in QP and started in thirteenth position. He knew today would be a big challenge in his third home race of the year. From the start he pushed hard to stay with the lead group but later rode a lonely race to finish eighth. With today’s result today he matched his best finish this season, achieved at Losail in the opening race of 2014. Nico Terol however was unable to repeat his performance last year when he won at Aragon, after he got caught up towards the back of the field at the race start and could not fight back.
Jordi Torres 8th:"During the weekend we have been changing our work plan a lot to look for new solutions and I think that was the key, as today we took a step in the race. I gave it my all but I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike. I need to have a little more confidence when leaning over to brake hard and let the bike run. Today's race helped us to understand where our biggest problems are. Anyway I enjoyed the race today, and I'm happy because we have taken a small step on the way forward for the future. The feeling and today's result help us go into the flyaways with a lot of motivation."
Nico Terol 29th: "Although I got delayed on the grid I made a pretty good start. Today I really wanted it and on the first lap I was finding the riders I wanted to overtake, but I got hit from behind, went off track and I lost contact. I tried to keep the pace up but having no reference it was tough. I found Folger and he also took me off the track so I couldn’t follow him. I'm very sorry to conclude the weekend like this. I was calm and determined to fight at this Grand Prix but things are not going well. We have to keep pushing to toughen up and overcome this blip. I want the team to know I'm giving one hundred percent to try to improve."
Hafiq Azmi fights back through the field in bizarre race
SIC-Ajo Team rider gains 9 places at Aragon Grand Prix after crossing the finish line in 19th place.
09/28/2014 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
The fourteenth round of the Moto3 season was a tough battle for Hafiq Azmi. The Malaysian rider managed to finish his eleventh race in the Moto3 World Championship -his seventh in succession. After starting from 28th on the grid, the SIC-AjoTeam rider showed good pace throughout the race and completed his comeback to cross the line in 19th place.
Before the start was taken the race was declared wet, although the track conditions were mixed. Hafiq Azmi chose to use slick tyres as the track was beginning to dry, and his choice proved to be the correct one as the race developed. The SIC-Ajo Team rider experienced a few scares on a very treacherous asphalt, but led his group right to the end of the race and finished inside the Top 20.
The Moto3 World Championship begins a series of flyaway races from the next Grand Prix, held at the Japanese circuit of Motegi. Hafiq Azmi will continue his learning phase in the World Championship and try to fight for his first points.
38 HAFIQ AZMI
"The race was very difficult because of the weather. Some parts of the track were dry, others parts were wet; In these conditions it is very difficult. The start was good and I was able to overtake a few riders, but on the first corner I was on the verge of crashing. I was able to recover, but I noticed that the bike lacked power. I also almost suffered a highside and lost time because of that. The front group had established a big advantage. I tried to reach them but I stayed in the group with Localitelli, Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Granado in the Top 20.
I tried to find my pace as I was beginning to get a good feeling with the bike. This was thanks to the team, who have worked to give me a good setup. We made a good choice in opting for slicks. I thank them for their hard work and hope to do better at the next race."
TOP TEN FROM THE SEVENTH ROW FOR LOWES IN SPAIN
Sam Lowes secured a strong top ten finish in the 14th round of the 2014 Moto2 World Championship at Motorland Aragon in Spain this afternoon despite starting on the seventh row of the grid after missing out in qualifying.
Switching to Ohlins suspension for the first time this weekend, Lowes and his Speed Up team used Friday’s two free practice sessions to test the unfamiliar set-up and the Brit soon got up setting the sixth fastest lap time in FP1.
Having shown top ten pace across the weekend, Lowes was confident heading into Saturday’s qualifying session and was on the pace early on. However, when it came to setting a fast lap he struggled with chatter from the front tyre leaving him to start Sunday’s race in 20th position.
After overnight rain, conditions were tricky come Sunday’s race action and although the circuit had largely dried after warm-up, the run-off areas remained wet leaving riders with little room for error. Lowes made a strong start from the seventh row, fighting through to 12th place in the first eight laps. Stuck in a three way battle for tenth place, he lost ground on the riders ahead and by the time he’d fought through to ninth there were just four laps remaining for him to close the two second gap. Opting against taking risks to close the gap, the 24-year-old brought his Speed Up home in a solid ninth place to record his sixth top ten finish of his debut season in Moto2.
The result sees him move up to 13th in the Riders’ World Standings.
Sam Lowes: “It was never going to be easy coming from 20th! I got a good start and made quite a bit of the progress but in this class you can’t make your way through the pack without having a fight on your hands. I got a bit beaten up in the middle of the race but once I got into a rhythm I made it into the top ten and tried to chase down Torres but it was a bit too much and after a bad race in Misano I’m happy to get into the top ten and with a decent qualifying we could have been closer to the front. I’m looking forward to the last four races, the team have given me what I’ve asked for and we’re starting to work in the same direction so hopefully we can finish the season on a high.”
Lowes will be back in action for Round 15 of the Moto2 World Championship in at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit in Japan in two weeks.