Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's Malaysian GP at Sepang:
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia arrives in Malaysia to wrap up overseas tripleheader
Ferrari and Locatelli ready to tackle the last overseas race following Motegi and Phillip Island.
With the Malaysian Grand Prix, which will be held at the Sepang International Circuit next Sunday, San Carlo Team Italia will be tackling the last of the three overseas races traditionally scheduled in October.
Putting behind them an unlucky weekend at Phillip Island, Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O #3) and Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra MGP3O #55) are determined to start off on the right foot the Malaysian round, keeping their focus on the goal to finish their 2014 season in a high.
“Bigin” and “Loka” have prepared well to cope with the tough weather conditions that characterize the Malaysian Grand Prix, to be ready for the 18 laps – race on Sunday.
Virginio Ferrari (Riders Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"The GP of Sepang is going to close the overseas tripleheader and it’s our duty to try to end this demanding month of October as best as possible. In Australia Matteo has been affected by a massive crash on Friday but he had his confidence restored after we found a good setup for his bike in the warm-up session. Andrea was performing well but he crashed out of the race and was unable to get the most he could from it. It’s great news that “Loka” hasn’t suffered any consequences from the incident and he will head to Malaysia with Matteo and the team ready to make the best out of the weekend".
Riders return to Asia for exotic Sepang date
After two productive races in Japan and Australia, Jordi Torres aims to raise level again
It is time for the Moto2 riders to show what they are made of as a hectic intercontinental schedule reaches its climax this weekend with the third races in as many weekends. Fresh on the back of visits to Japan and Australia comes a Malaysian Grand Prix that sees the paddock moves from fresh spring temperatures to a tropical heatwave. The penultimate round of the season presents Tito Rabat with a second opportunity to seal the intermediate category title and with a 41-point advantage to protect it would take something out of the ordinary to deny him on Sunday.
So far the 'flyaway' races have been kind to Jordi Torres, who has scored points in both races to add to his eighth place at Aragón. The MAPFRE Aspar rider is gradually increasing his level of pace and performance in a strong finish to the season and he is determined to maintain this form in Malaysia. His team-mate Nico Terol needs to take another small step forward this weekend to join Torres in the battle for points, but after a solid weekend in Australia he has something to build on at Sepang.
Jordi Torres: “To be honest it doesn't bother me at all to have three races back-to-back because I get to spend a lot of time with the team and I love that. There is a great relationship between us all and we get to spend a lot of time reflecting on what has happened on track each weekend, which helps us to improve. Now we go to Kuala Lumpur, a city I love, although I can't say the same about the track. It is hard for me to find confidence on the track surface there and the long straights are not good for us. Anyway we will work hard to find the best possible set-up and try to make up as much as we can in the twisty sections. We had a pretty decent result there last year so we'll do our best to repeat it this weekend.”
Nico Terol: “We took a little step forward in Australia, which gives us more confidence going to Malaysia and hopefully we can continue in the same way. We have to look at the short term so if we finished 18th at Phillip Island then the goal at Sepang is to make the points. We will have to push hard in practice, especially in qualifying, because we know how important grid position is in this class. It is a wide circuit, quite well suited to my riding style, and I like it. It has never been a good track for me in the past though so let's see if we can have some fun on the bike this weekend.”
Another chance to turn bad luck around in Malaysia
After being bumped off by another rider at Phillip Island, Juanfran Guevara hopes to recover lost points in Malaysia
The Moto3 riders make the long journey back from Phillip Island towards Europe this week but first they must stop off in Malaysia for the last of three intercontinental back-to-back races at Sepang. A physical circuit by its nature and for the testing atmospheric conditions, the riders also have to deal with the accumulated fatigue of racing in Japan and Australia over the past fortnight, and it is now when their hours of training is put to the test. Despite victory for local hero Jack Miller at his home track last Sunday, Álex Márquez still leads the championship by twenty points with two rounds to go and could therefore wrap up the title this weekend.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Juanfran Guevara is desperate to turn his fortunes around in Malaysia after bad luck struck again at Phillip Island, where he was knocked to the ground by the irresponsible action of another rider and saw a golden opportunity to build on his first front row start wasted. It is a shame for Juanfran that just when he has been showing his best form he has hit a terrible run of misfortune but he will work hard once again to turn things around at Sepang.
Juanfran Guevara: “We did a great job in Japan and Australia but we weren't rewarded in either race. We even qualified on the front row at Phillip Island but we are not getting any luck in the races at the moment so hopefully we can turn that around this Sunday. Everybody in the team is doing their bit and I know that sooner or later the good results will come. So we are not going to let our heads drop, just keep working hard and let's see if we get better luck in Sepang. I like the circuit, I always liked the look of it even before I started racing in the World Championship and it was always a dream of mine to race there one day. We have been hit by bad weather in the last couple of races but I'm sure our hard work will be rewarded in the end.”
SIMEON AND BALDASSARRI READY TO FACE THE TROPICAL HEAT IN MALAYSIA
The Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 is going to take part this weekend to the penultimate round of the Moto2 World, the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit. Xavier Siméon, who claimed a tenth and a ninth place finish at Motegi in Phillip Island, is convinced he can take a further step forward to fight for the top positions: the 25-year-old rider, in fact, found the necessary confidence with his Suter machine, showing a great pace in Australia.
Also Lorenzo Baldassarri, Team Gresini Moto2, is willing to close in the best possible way the long flyaway triple-header: the 17-year-olde rookie put on display a great final part of the race at Phillip Island, crossing the line in 14th position and thus returning to collect points, like he did during the season in Barcelona and Assen.
XAVIER SIMEON “We’re coming from two positive races, which give us a nice confidence boost after a negative period: the target then is to continue to improve and close in the best possible way the flyaway triple-header. In Sepang we will find very different conditions from those encountered in Australia, so I don’t know what to expect; what is certain is that we found a good base set-up, which gives me confidence. There is still something to find to stay on top, but we are on the right path, so I’m confident”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI “Between Japan and Australia we were able to make a nice progression, returning to collect points: we want to continue to improve in Malaysia, despite Sepang will be once again a new track for me aboard a Moto2 machine. In the beginning I will try to learn the circuit trying to follow more experienced riders, then I'll have to try to be fast by my own: Phillip Island helped me a lot to complete a lot of laps alone durign practice, because later I found the same pace also in the race”.
ANTONELLI AND BASTIANINI MOVE ON TO MALAYSIA LOOKING FOR VALUABLE POINTS
The penultimate round of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship, the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit, represents an important opportunity for the riders of the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3, Niccolò Antonelli and Aeneas Bastianini, to collect valuable points and try to gain positions in the overall standings before the final showdown in Valencia, scheduled for next Sunday November 6th.
Niccolò Antonelli, who entered the top ten in the last three races, is looking for a little improvement that can allow him to stay in the leading group and fight for the top positions, while his teammate Enea Bastianini will try to grab the seventh position in the Championship, only 5 points away despite the retirement in Australia as a result of a technical problem.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI “Sepang is a track where I’ve always felt at ease, but this year will use a different bike, so it’s difficult to make a prediction: we will wait the first practice session to see how it goes and to see if I can adapt quickly . In any case I hope to be able to find the sensations I had in Japan, because in Phillip Island I struggled more than expected. Anyway, now I know that I can keep a good race pace, so it will be important to try to start from a more advanced position on the grid, and then try to stay with the leading group”.
ENEA BASTIANINI “Like Motegi and Phillip Island, also Sepang is a completely new track for me: I hope to like it and to be able to learn it quickly, because I want to come back after the Australian disappointment, where I was forced to retire and where, however, I was not completely comfortable with the bike. The main target will be to improve ourselves, trying to solve the small problems we had at Phillip Island. The good thing is that in Australia also my direct rivals in the standings have not racked up points, so if I can get a good result in Malaysia, I can still try to gain a position in the Championship”.
Jack Miller hoping to tighten up title fight in Malaysia
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider arrives in Malaysia having cut 5 points off the gap to Moto3 series leader. Karel Hanika wants to complete flyaway tour with another positive result.
10/22/2014 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Sepang will host the final race of the Moto3 World Championship’s flyaway trio of events this weekend. With the title still up for grabs, Jack Miller –second in the overall standings– will try to further cut the gap to the series leader in the penultimate race of the season. His teammate, Karel Hanika, will debut at the Malaysian circuit and will have to adapt to the high temperatures and high humidity typical of the track.
For Jack Miller this will be the fourth time he has contested a Malaysian Grand Prix in lower cylinder class. After taking a fifth victory of the season at his home circuit of Phillip Island, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider wants to keep up his good feeling with his bike and claim another win to shake up the standings. Miller is currently second overall with 231 points, 20 off the lead.
Karel Hanika will have to turn to videogames again in order to learn the Sepang track. The Czech rider is making his first visit to Malaysia. After passing challenges in Japan and Australia with flying colours, Hanika wants a good weekend with a Top 10 finish at the end of it, to add further points to his tally. The Moto3 rookie is 18th in the overall standings, with 31 points.
Free Practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix takes place at 9am local time on Friday. The qualifying session is scheduled for Saturday at 12:35pm local time, with Sunday's race at 1pm.
8 JACK MILLER
"I'm eager to start the Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit, especially after the victory at home in Australia last week. It is, alongside Phillip Island, one of my favourite tracks. I really like the layout and I think the characteristics are well suited to the KTM and my riding style. It is true that there are two long straights on this circuit, so during training we will also work on this, but I don’t think the race will be decided on a slipstream. As we saw over the past two years, the winner was decided at the last corner. Anyway, we will look at all options. I really want to start riding at this track and go up against the high temperatures of Malaysia."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"We'll see what happens this weekend. This is the third consecutive week, after Japan and Australia, that I have to learn a completely new circuit for me, but so far things haven’t gone badly for us. It was important to get points from both races, so I hope to continue in the same way this weekend. Friday will be devoted to learning the track and I think it will not be a big problem, because the last two weeks we have done so really quickly. I’m sure here it will be a little different because the weather will make it very hard. Anyway, I think I will like it because it looks nice and has all kinds of corners. I hope to enjoy this Grand Prix and get a good result."
Husqvarna riders optimistic ahead of Sepang visit
Niklas Ajo and Danny Kent look to complete flyaway rounds with further strong performances.
10/22/2014 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
The Moto3 World Championship heads to Malaysia this weekend, where the penultimate race of the season takes place. The Husqvarna riders arrive at the Sepang circuit, one of the longest in the calendar, in great form. Both had mixed fortunes in Australia, but Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo hope to get a good result at a track that is characterised by heat and humidity.
Danny Kent faces the final stretch of the World Championship in his best shape of the season. After failing to score points for only the second time this season at Phillip Island due to an unfortunate crash, the Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider wants to regain the good form of recent races. The Briton, currently 9th overall with 103 points, dominated several free practice sessions in Australia and Japan, and took the second pole position of his career at Motegi.
Niklas Ajo managed to break a run of bad luck at Phillip Island. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider staged a great comeback at the Australian circuit, where he gained ten places to cross the finish 9th line. The Finn, 14th in the overall standings with 52 points, hopes to conclude the Asian excursion with another positive result.
The first free practice of the lower cylinder category will take place on Friday at 9am local time. The qualifying session is scheduled for Saturday at 12:35pm and the race at 1pm on Sunday.
52 DANNY KENT
"Malaysia is a special circuit. It is the only place where the humidity is so high. This, in addition to the temperature, makes it a very hard Grand Prix for riders. The layout is also difficult because it is very wide, so in the first free practice we will need to put in some laps to find a good line. We come here from Phillip Island, which is completely different. I like the track and I want to finish off the breakthrough we have made in the last three races with a good result. I hope to take another step forward here and finish the season as high up as possible."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"I really like the Sepang Circuit, which is very wide compared to the other tracks and different from the rest. It is also one of the longest on the calendar. I hope to continue the same as we did in Phillip Island –except the qualifying session. We were in the Top 10 in every session and even in the Top 5. I hope we can repeat that this week and be in the lead group in the race."
Gino Rea excited to return to the home of his maiden Moto2 podium
As the Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix gets under way tomorrow at the Sepang International Circuit, Gino Rea described his excitement to return to one of his favourite tracks on the Moto2 calendar. In 2012 Rea achieved his first Moto2 podium in fantastic fashion at Sepang, finishing the race in 2nd position. Gino comments on the weekend ahead:
“It’s great to be back here in Sepang as I have good memories here from 2012. I like the circuit a lot so I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike. It’s always tough here because of the heat but I’m excited to get going tomorrow. My goal is to battle for the points as we did in Motegi.”
Moto2 Free Practice 1 begins tomorrow at 10.55 local time. Follow AGT REA Racing on Facebook www.facebook.com/agtrearacing and Twitter @AGT_REA_Racing for updates throughout the race weekend.
LOWES IN GOOD SPIRTS AHEAD OF MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX
Sam Lowes heads to Malaysia in good spirits this weekend for the penultimate round of the 2014 Moto2 World Championship after scoring a career-best result last time out in Phillip Island.
Held at the Sepang International Circuit, this weekend’s race is the last of three back-to-back flyaway rounds before MotoGP returns to Europe for the final round of the season in Spain next month.
Last week in Australia, Lowes demonstrated his capability to fight at the front in a race long battle with the top five riders. Struggling with deteriorating front grip in the closing stages, the Briton crossed the in fifth place just 1.5 seconds from a podium finish.
Content with the progress made by his Speed Up Team in the last few rounds, Lowes is confident of ending the season on a high.
However, Malaysia poses two challenges for the 24-year-old: Having never ridden there before, he will be faced with the task of learning the 3.444 mile circuit and what’s more is that he’ll have to do so in Sepang’s sweltering temperatures and high humidity.
Sam Lowes: “I’m really pumped after the result in Phillip Island. I’ve not ridden at Sepang before but the track looks mega. Things weren’t looking so good for us earlier this season but I’m really happy with the progress the team has made since Aragon. I feel I’m in a position where I can fight for podiums and I know there’s more to come. I’m looking forward to getting out there and learning the circuit and hopefully we’ll get a decent result on Sunday so I can go back to Europe on a high!”
Five Moto2 and Moto3 Riders Head To Sepang With Eye On Title
This year Sepang is the penultimate round of the FIM Moto GP Championships and the five riders who can take titles know that the Malaysian round is just as critical as the finale next month.
Maverick Viñales won the Moto2 round in Australia last weekend, his third win of the year, but maximum points did not keep him in the race for the season victory with both Rabat and Kallio scoring enough points to make them the only ones remaining as potential champions. In Moto3 Alex Marquez, Jack Miller and Alex Rins have only 41 points separating them with fifty still available. Miller won in Australia and has won more races in 2014 than any other Moto3 rider but needs to overturn a 20 point deficit to Marquez to be crowned.
The Sepang track is 5.5km with two long straights, ten right and five left turns. Malaysia is renowned for its climate with rain generally appearing each day and high humidity making the track feel slippery. Records were broken in both classes in 2013 and with the standings leaders on a charge it is likely that the 2014 specification tyres will see more fast times set throughout the event.
Last weekend at the Phillip Island track, it was another all-medium top-six in Moto3. The medium specification tyre has proved itself repeatedly and become a firm favourite with the riders. Marquez set the new circuit record in qualifying while Miller took a new race lap record while winning in front of his home crowd. Moto2 riders all chose the medium front tyre and the softer of the two bespoke special hard compounds with Rabat setting a new record in qualifying.
Tyre allocation and colour codes:
Fronts 120/75R17, 3 x 123 (hard - yellow Dunlop on black) and 5 x 302 (medium - black Dunlop on silver)
Rears, 195/75R17, 9854 (soft - black Dunlop on yellow ) x 5 – 195/75R17 9855 (medium - black Dunlop on silver) x 4
Fronts: 95/75R17, 5 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver) and 3 x Hard H2 (yellow Dunlop on black)
Rears: 115/75R17 , 6 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver)and 3 x Hard (yellow Dunlop on black)
The riders will have three sets of wet tyres with an additional set being permitted if all sessions are declared wet.
Race Stat: Winners Galore
As all-Dunlop series, Moto2 and Moto3 competition is an important factor in the tyre design to ensure exciting racing between different riders and chassis. Of the 15 rounds so far, there have been six different winners so far in each of Moto2 and Moto3. Moto2 has seen 12 different riders on the podium while 11 have stood on the Moto3 rostrum.
Clinton Howe, Operations Manager Motorcycle Grand Prix
“The weather here can change things and even if rain doesn’t affect the sessions it can change the grip on the track by raining heavily overnight. We have plenty of experience of the track and conditions and will help riders get as much grip as possible.
“What’s exciting is that this race could be the most critical of the year. At the moment we’ve got at least two contenders for each category but a no-score round for any of them could easily put them out of contention.”