Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's final round at Valencia:
Marc VDS all set for season finale in Valencia
Gosselies, Belgium – 4 November 2014: While Tito Rabat heads to Valencia this weekend as the newly crowned Moto2 World Champion, the job is far from over for his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio.
The Finn, who will celebrate his 32nd birthday on Saturday, heads to Valencia determined to see off the challenge from Maverick Viñales for second place in the championship standings.
A run of form for the Spaniard that has seen him win three of the last four races means Kallio’s advantage in the standings is now down to 15 points, a gap that the Marc VDS rider is confident he can maintain this weekend in the final race of the 2014 season.
If Kallio achieves his aim of finishing second in the championship this weekend at Valencia, it will be the first time that a team has finished one-two in the intermediate class standings since Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano did it for Yamaha back in 2000.
For Rabat the pressure is off and the 25-year-old Spaniard is looking forward to racing in front of his home crowd as the newly crowned World Champion this weekend. However, wrapping up the championship with one round to go hasn’t changed Rabat’s approach and he heads to Valencia looking for his eighth win of the season.
For Moto3 rider, Jorge Navarro, this weekend marks not just a return to a track he knows, but also to his hometown. The 18-year-old Valenciano has scored points with 12th place in the last two races and is keen to break into the top ten in what will be his final appearance for the Marc VDS Racing Team in front of his home crowd this weekend.
“I’m happy to be heading to Valencia without the pressure of having to fight for the championship, as it means this weekend will be a little more relaxed than previous races. It will be an unbelievable feeling to race for the first time as the World Champion in front of my home crowd, but while the pressure is less the goal remains the same. I will be pushing like always in Valencia, because a win would be the perfect way to end what has been an almost perfect season. Who knows, maybe less pressure will make me faster!”
“It is important for me to finish the season with a good result this weekend in Valencia. I need to secure second place in the championship at the final race and, if all goes well this weekend then I think this is possible. Valencia has been a good track for me in the past and 15 points is still a relatively big advantage with only one race remaining. It’s always good to end the season with a win, as it carries you through the long winter break and, probably most importantly, Valencia will be my final race for Marc VDS and I’d like to sign off after four years from the top step of the podium.”
“This weekend is a very important one for me, as I live very near to the circuit and this is very much my home race. It’s also my final race in Moto3 for the Marc VDS Racing Team, so it’s even more important to end the season with a good result. Valencia is a track I like a lot and we arrive in Spain off the back off two good races in Australia and Malaysia. If we can continue in this direction then, hopefully, I can improve on my best result in Moto3 this weekend, with a top ten finish being the ultimate target on Sunday.”
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia ready for the season finale
Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Locatelli ready for the final event of the 2014 season
The Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo is part of the MotoGP Championship calendar since 1999 and this weekend will hold the eighteenth and final race of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship. For San Carlo Team Italia it will be an opportunity to end the season on a high note, which had been fully dedicated to the professional training of young riders following the philosophy of the Federazione Motociclistica Italiana.
Following a not particularly lucky overseas triple-headers, Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O #3) has very carefully prepared for the last race of the season aiming to do well at a track where last year he arrived in the points, in fifteenth position.
Andrea Locatelli (Mahindra MGP3O #55) knows the rack since the last February IRTA test and is keen to make a good result to honor his last race with the San Carlo Team Italia Moto3 colors.
Virginio Ferrari (Riders Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"Valencia will close a season that definitely has not been easy for us but in the same time allowed us to verify the potential of our guys: Matteo and Andrea have grown race after race and have demonstrate to be two very skilled and professional riders. To be able to close the season with a good result would very positive for the whole team, especially after the overseas triple-headers didn’t give us the results we were hoping for. On paper Valencia seems a good track for our “package” and for the characteristics of our riders".
MAPFRE Aspar riders head for beloved home circuit
After their one-two last season both Nico Terol and Jordi Torres are optimistic of signing off in style in Valencia
The stadium-style theatre of the Ricardo Tormo Circuit provides the perfect venue for the MotoGP World Championship curtain call this weekend, with the grandstands sure to be packed out for the season finale. The Spanish fans always come out in force to support the home riders and after three 'flyaway' races the paddock is happy to be back in Europe for one final showdown at this tight, twisty and technical circuit.
The GP de la Comunidad Valenciana is always an exciting appointment for the MAPFRE Aspar Team's Moto2 riders but this season it holds extra significance as they look to end a disappointing season in style. Nico Terol and Jordi Torres scored a famous one-two in this Grand Prix last season and Terol has unforgettable memories of the 2011 event here, when he was crowned 125cc World Champion. It is also an emotional weekend for the pair as they contest their final race with the MAPFRE Aspar Team before heading off for pastures new in 2015.
Jordi Torres: “I want to sign off in style in the last race of what has been a tough season. The bike works perfectly at Valencia, we showed that last year in what was a brilliant race for myself and Nico. That one-two is a base for us to work from this weekend and I am sure that like myself, Nico wants to say goodbye to the team that has given us the most in a positive way. Valencia is always special for us, it is a different weekend to anywhere else and the support of the home fans gives you an extra boost. I am sure it will be a nice but intense weekend and I am excited about Sunday's race. It is a demanding circuit but I like it and it suits our bike.”
Nico Terol: “We are almost at the end of a very difficult season for me but to have my future sorted for next season means I can go to Valencia feeling more relaxed. This is a special Grand Prix for me - I won here last year, I will have all my friends and family here and I even have a corner named after me. I always ride well at Valencia and even though it has not been a good season for us we are going to finish it well; one way or another. Valencia is where I feel at ease, it is where this bike felt best in testing and we did a good job with it there. I achieved my dream of becoming World Champion together with the Aspar Team and I owe a huge part of my career to this team. After five years together I want to say goodbye in the right way. I think we all deserve a good result.”
Juanfran Guevara ready to end the season on a high
After fulfilling his objective of learning and improving throughout the season the MAPFRE Aspar youngster wants to sign off with a strong result in the team's home race
It seems like only yesterday that the lights were switched on at Losail to signal the start of the 2014 season but already the curtain is set to fall once more, with seventeen races down and just one more to go at Valencia this weekend. As it has done every season since 2002, the Spanish circuit plays host to the final round of the campaign and once again this year it will see the final champion crowned. After their epic battle in Malaysia last time out, Alex Márquez and Jack Miller will battle it out to become Moto3 World Champion on Sunday, with the Spaniard currently leading the Australian by eleven points.
After signing for the MAPFRE Aspar Team at the start of the season the objective for Juanfran Guevara was to grow and develop as a Grand Prix rider. Despite struggling to get up to speed in the first half of the season his development since then has been rapid and after finding a set-up he was comfortable with he has gone from strength to strength since the summer holidays. Unfortunately luck has not been on his side and the results have not always reflected his pace but Guevara is determined to sign off in style this weekend before launching a more competitive assault on the championship next season.
Juanfran Guevara: “The year has gone past quickly. It seems like only yesterday we were at Losail and here we are ready to finish! Overall it has been a positive season for us, we have made good progress in the second half of the season and even though we have been unlucky in a few races we have met our objective of improving and learning. That gives us a strong base for our 2015 project but for now I am looking forward to going to Valencia and finishing this campaign with a positive result. It is my team's home race, an important weekend, and I want to perform well in Valencia. Our intention is to improve on what we have already achieved this season. Our approach to each weekend is working well at the moment so we want to keep that going.”
Jack Miller faces title showdown at Valencia
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, second in the overall standings, will fight for the Moto3 title at the last meeting of the season in Valencia. Teammate Karel Hanika wants to close rookie year with another good result.
11/05/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
Eight months after the season began under the floodlights in Qatar, the Moto3 World Championship comes to a close in Valencia. The destination of the title is still to be decided, with Jack Miller arriving at the season finale in second place with 251 points, 11 off the lead. His Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, Karel Hanika, will try to have a weekend like that of the Malaysian GP, where he earned his best result of the season with ninth place.
Jack Miller has to overcome an 11-point gap if he is to be crowned Moto3 World Champion. The Australian will seek victory at Cheste and hope that his title rival Alex Marquez does not place on the podium. The Valencian track is well-suited to Miller’s riding style, who holds 5 wins, 4 podiums and 8 poles so far this season.
Teammate Karel Hanika will complete his first World Championship season at the Valencian Grand Prix. The Czech rider has shown great progress throughout the season, and at the most recent round in Malaysia he achieved his best result to date. Hanika reaches the last event of the year 18th in the overall standings, with 38 points. The Valencian track is the first in four rounds that is not new to the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, who rode there in preseason.
The first free practice session will begin on Friday at 9am local time. The qualifying session is scheduled for Saturday at 12:35pm and the decisive Moto3 race will be held on Sunday at 11am.
8 JACK MILLER
"The Comunitat Valenciana Circuit is one of my favourites. It is a very special track, where I've always enjoyed the atmosphere –especially for the big races– and it is always full. I’ve never actually finished a race there, but I think I have had good performances. We will have to start setting the bike up from scratch, because even though we were there in preseason the conditions are completely different. We must seize this last chance for the title. We'll see what happens in this very decisive race."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"At Valencia I want to repeat the result I got in Malaysia, or at least have a strong showing. I’ve already ridden there in preseason testing, and it didn’t go at all badly for us. The feeling that I have at the track is pretty good, although it is not my favourite one. We have to think that it’s just another race, and show that we are just as strong as in Sepang. I hope to finish the year with a good result."
Husqvarna riders look to close the year with good results at Valencia
Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo want to give Husqvarna positive finish to 2014 Moto3 campaign.
11/05/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
The Moto3 World Championship holds its final event of the season this weekend, the Valencian GP. The Husqvarna riders want to have a strong weekend to end 2014; Danny Kent arrives at the event ninth overall with 116 points, whilst Niklas Ajo is fifteenth with a total of 52.
Danny Kent wants to close the season with Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo by continuing his excellent form from recent races. The Brit won at Valencia two years ago, for his second Grand Prix victory, and has a target in mind for this weekend: Seventh place in the overall standings is just six points away for Kent, currently held by Italian Enea Bastianini.
Niklas Ajo has had a harder time in this final part of the year. Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider has been unable to enjoy consistent form in recent races due to various circumstances. The Finn hopes to have luck back on his side this weekend, aiming to close the season with a Top 15 finish in Valencia and in the overall standings.
The final race of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship will take place at 11:00am on Sunday. Free Practice begins on Friday at 9am and qualifying will be held on Saturday at 12:35pm.
52 DANNY KENT
"The Comunitat Valenciana circuit is very nice. Everybody has ridden there many times because it is a very popular track, where preseason tests are held each year. After the fourth place in Sepang, I can’t wait to get back onboard my Husqvarna. In 2012 I won at Valencia in the rain, so I hope that this weekend’s race is another good one for us. I like the track a lot, so the threat of rain doesn’t worry me."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"Valencia is a circuit I like a lot. In fact, it is one of my favourite ones. All riders know the track very well because it is a popular preseason venue. We’ve all put in many laps here. I want to forget the results of the final stretch of the season, in which different problems have prevented us from scoring points. I'm sure that if we are lucky we can have a good last race."
SIMEON AND BALDASSARRI READY FOR SEASON FINALE IN SPAIN
After eight months of racing, the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 is preparing for the final stage of the 2014 Moto2 World Championship, to be held this weekend at the Ricardo Tormo circuit at Valencia. For Xavier Siméon this is a good opportunity to redeem the disappointment suffered at Sepang, where physical problems didn’t allow him to score points. The Spanish track, in fact, is favorable to the characteristics of the Suter, a bike that last year occupied the top three spots in the race.
For Lorenzo Baldassarri, Team Gresini Moto2, this last Grand Prix of the season is a good chance to try to claim a top ten finish after a quite positive flyaway triple header, with the 14th place finish at Phillip Island and the 17th position collected both at Motegi and at Sepang.
XAVIER SIMEON “Despite the disappointment of Sepang, where I was slowed down in the race by physical problems, we can say that the long trip outside Europe was positive for us: both at Motegi and at Phillip Island we entered the top ten and I felt comfortable on the bike, so we are confident ahead of the round that will close a year during which we have been struggling more than expected. Anyway, I think that the Valencia circuit suits well our bike, therefore we can be competitive: I'd like to finish 2014 with a good result that can repay the great work that the team has always done throughout the whole year”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI “The last race of the season has arrived really soon, it seems like yesterday that we started the World Championship! Valencia is a track I know very well, I’ve raced there many times since I was a child and actually Valencia is the track where I did my first motorcycle race. In the last three races I collected some good results: I could get something more, but above all the flyaway triple header for me was the opportunity to gain a lot of experience. For this reason, I’m confident ahead of the last Grand Prix: hopefully we can be competitive right from the first practice and then maintain a good level until Sunday”.
JUNIOR TEAM GO&FUN MOTO3 DUO LOOKING TO END THE SEASON ON A HIGH AT VALENCIA
The long 2014 Moto3 season comes to an end this weekend at Valencia, venue of the last Grand Prix on the calendar: after the demanding trip to Japan, Australia and Malaysia, the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 riders will be back on a track they know very well and where they have already shown a great potential during winter testing.
Niccolò Antonelli, who finished in the top ten in the last four races and very competitive in the scorching Sepang heat (seventh on the finish line, but less than two seconds behind the winner), will try to give a final assault on the podium at a track where he played a dominant role in winter testing.
The same goes for his teammate, Enea Bastianini: the rookie from Rimini, who has already clinched the title of “Rookie of the Year” will try to make good use of the references collected during winter testing ti be back in the fight for the podium, a target he managed to reach three times so far, in Barcelona, Brno and Silverstone.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI “We come from a positive streak of results, always in the top ten: this means that we have been very consistent in performance, but in Valencia we would like to do something more. In Malaysia I fought till the end, crossing the finish line very close to the winner, but I was unable to battle for the podium. It would be nice to do it in the last race of the season: we just need to a race like the one we did in Malaysia, where we were competitive, but with a bit more determination in the final stages”.
ENEA BASTIANINI “Valencia is definitely an event in which all the riders want to get a good result, in order to end the season well: I really like the track, I have already done some testing there in the past and I will try to exploit this advantage. The last few races for me were a little complicated because I had to learn new tracks and, moreover, it was the first time I was travelling so much: it was tough! In Malaysia, especially, I struggled with the heat, while in Valencia we will have standard conditions from this point of view. I’m confident, because in the winter tests I was already strong and I hope to be able to replicate that performance during the race weekend”.
LOWES LOOKING TO END SEASON ON A HIGH AT VALENCIA
Sam Lowes is looking to end the 2014 Moto2 World Championship on a high this weekend as he heads to Valencia, Spain for the final round of the season.
It has been a year of highs and lows for the British rider, who has largely impressed in his debut Grand Prix season with seven top ten finishes, most notably a sixth place in the opening race in Qatar and a career-best fifth in Australia. Having to deal with the challenges of riding one of only three Speed Up machines on the grid, the team have struggled to find the pace at some rounds but recent changes to the team’s structure have left Lowes feeling much more positive.
The 24-year-old rider has never raced at the 2.5 mile Circuito Ricardo Tormo but participated in the pre-season test at the Spanish circuit earlier this year.
Just twelve points behind tenth-placed Luis Salom, Lowes could secure a top ten championship position this weekend with a strong result.
Remaining with the Speed Up Team for 2015, the 2013 World Supersport Champion believes a strong result in this season’s final race will bolster morale ahead of next year.
Sam Lowes: “I’m a bit gutted that it’s the last race of the season. It’s been a good year but it’s been difficult too. We’ve not done too bad but I feel we have a lot more potential. I enjoy Valencia, it’s a nice little circuit and I’ll be going out to end the season on a high before heading into 2015. For us, next season started back in Aragon when a few changes were made to the team and I feel we’ve already made a lot of progress to put ourselves in a stronger position.”
Valencia To Decide 2014 FIM Moto3 World Champion
With MotoGP and Moto2 titles decided, Moto3 stands to be the real nail-biting race this weekend in Valencia. Can Jack Miller overturn an 11 point deficit and take the title or will Alex Marquez keep his cool and be crowned champion? The Moto3 Manufacturer title is still to be claimed too. Honda currently has a nine point lead over KTM, both having taken eight wins each.
Riders in Moto2 have nothing to lose so it will be all-out to claim the final win of the year. Maverick Viñales has won three of the last four rounds so a battle will be on for a fifth victory which may be enough to lift him to runner-up to champion Esteve ‘Tito’ Rabat depending on Mika Kallio’s result – the Finn currently holds second place.
Valencia 2013 saw Nicolas Terol take his third Moto2 win of the year with Pol Espagaro having already taken the title. In Moto3, Maverick Viñales won the race to claim the title in a gripping season finale in more ways than rubber on tarmac.
The 4.005 km circuit was resurfaced in 2012 which increased abrasion levels. The track, with five right and nine left hand corners, is now mellowing and higher temperatures help race consistency with lower temperatures making bike set-up more important over race distances.
Tyre allocation and colour codes:
Fronts 120/75R17, 3 x soft 1 (black Dunlop on yellow) and 5 x medium 2 (black Dunlop on silver)
Rears, 195/75R17, hard 3 (hard - yellow Dunlop on black ) x 5 – 195/75R17 special hard 4 (white Dunlop on black) x 4
Fronts: 95/75R17, 5 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver) and 3 x Hard (yellow Dunlop on black)
Rears: 115/75R17 , 6 x Medium (black Dunlop on silver)and 3 x Soft (black Dunlop on yellow)
The riders will have three sets of wet tyres with an additional set being permitted if all sessions are declared wet.
Race Stat: Record Breakers
After 17 rounds, 47 records have been broken out of a possible 68 in the two categories. 24 new circuit records and 23 best lap times have been set by 5 different riders in Moto2 and 11 different Moto3 riders. Rabat and Miller have broken the most records so far taking seven each.
Clinton Howe, Operations Manager Motorcycle Grand Prix
“What a season it’s been! We had a great weekend in Sepang where we welcomed Tito Rabat as a new Dunlop champion. This weekend we will have another to join him. It would be a brave person to predict an outcome – Moto3 has been incredibly close this year at every race. Both Alex and Jack have earned nine podium finishes – Jack has taken five wins this season compared to Alex’s three but the Spaniard’s consistency has been rewarded with a strong points tally. Jack has the tougher job but also has been the stronger finisher at the last two rounds. Anything can happen in Valencia and it could easily go either way on 9th November.”