Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Valencia:
SEVENTH FOR ANTONELLI IN ACTION-PACKED SEASON FINALE. BASTIANINI 11th
The 2014 campaign of the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 came to an end today at Valencia with another double points scoring finish: started from pole position, Niccolò Antonelli crossed the finish line in seventh place after fighting for the podium positions in the early stages of the race, while Enea Bastianini just missed out on the top ten claiming the eleventh place.
Always in the top four in the beginning, Antonelli dropped down to ninth after a slight contact with Alex Marquez on lap 10: then the 18-year-old rider from Cattolica remained in the fight in the leading group, but without the possibility to catch again the top three riders, Jack Miller, Isaac Vinales and Alex Marquez, the last who clinched today the World Title.
His teammate, Enea Bastianini, enjoyed a positive second half of the race: started well from the seventh row of the grid, the 16-year-old rookie from Rimini was immediately in 12th place, but he struggled to find a good rhythm in the first half of the race, slipping out of the points. Anyway, Enea was able to make a comeback in the final stages setting also his best performance, 1’39”689, which is the sixth fastest lap of the race.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (7th)
“It was a very difficult race: at the beginning everything was going perfectly, I was up in front, fighting for the podium, but then I lost several positions due to a contact with Alex Marquez. After that it was very difficult to recover. All in all, the seventh place is a positive result to end the season; plus I've always been quick all weekend, winning also my first pole position yesterday, so I’m happy”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (11th)
“At the beginning of the race I had no confidence with the bike: although I made a good start, I was not able to maintain a pace that allowed me to stay in the top ten and as a result I slipped a little behind. I couldn’t ride how I wanted but then, with five or six laps to go, I started to feel more at ease. In fact, I got my best lap time, a good 1’39”689, in the final stages. Too bad, if we would be able to find this rhythm from the start, we could even fight for the podium. Today I am a bit disappointed, but in general I can be happy with my first season in the World Championship, in which I got three podium finishes and I won the Rookie of the Year Trophy”.
“Today Antonelli was starting for the first time from the pole position in a race that promised to be definitely not easy: a hard-fought race in which however Niccolò performed well, keeping podium positions in the first part of the race and coming under the checkered flag very close to the winner. Enea instead struggled more in the first half of the race, recovering positions in the final stages and taking a spot in line with its results. We finished the season once again with both riders in the points, and this is positive. I want to thank the whole team, KTM, GO&FUN and all those who have supported us in this project”.
Alex Marquez crowned Moto3 World Champion in Valencia
Repsol rider wins title after an uncomfortable race, in which he placed third. Teammate Rins, fifth, played a great supporting role and ends the season fifth overall. Maria Herrera places 27th despite collision with another rider at the start of the race.
After 18 races and 450 points contested, Alex Marquez became Moto3 World Champion for 2014 thanks to just 2 points. To round off a great year, his teammate Alex Rins secured third position in the overall standings.
The race was uncomfortable and, as had happened in recent races, featured continuous overtaking at every turn. At the front, Miller tried to keep the lead whilst Marquez controlled his rival. A large group featuring Kent, Vazquez, McPhee, Rins and Viñales were very active trying to mix things up at the head of the pack. Rins played a great supporting role, covering the back of his teammate when necessary.
With two laps to go, Miller and Viñales fought for the race victory. It went to the Australian, but Marquez was half a second behind in third place and had done enough to seal the title. Like his brother Marc in 2010, on his 46th Grand Prix appearance Marquez was proclaimed World Champion. This is also the first season in which two brothers have won a World Championship.
Rins crossed the finish line in fifth position, shielding his teammate to the end. Maria Herrera was less fortunate, and contact with another rider when avoiding another incident meant that she would have to ride with a broken gear shift lever from the opening lap onwards. Although Herrera was able to complete the race, she placed twenty-seventh.
Alex Rins 5th at 2.251 sec.
"It was a race that I would do all over again right now. I had a lot of fun and time flew by, even though I did not have a good feeling with the bike. I saw that I didn’t have a chance of winning the race, because the rear tyre would not have lasted, so I decided to try to help my teammate. I shouldn’t forget that thanks to him I've got where I am. We've been riding together since 2010 and over the past two years he has taken a big step forward –that has made me grow as well. I have to congratulate him for the championship win and also thank the team for all these years together."
Alex Marquez 3rd at 0.995 sec.
"I am very happy. It has been a very eventful race, with some complicated situations, but yesterday I felt very strong and I knew I could handle those moments calmly. I was very competitive at all times during the race. Getting this title is the result of all the hard work we’ve done this season and is a reward for never losing patience and always wanting to get better and better. I wanted to win this title cleanly, and that’s what we did. I knew that if a difficult situation was created then I could play the same game, but finally we were able to take the title cleanly. Now the important thing is that we won."
Maria Herrera 27th at 52.879 sec.
"Normally I make good starts and today I took advantage of this. I moved up three rows around the outside, looking for a gap in the group on the first lap. However, at the end of the straight another rider fell and I had to dodge him, and in the process I hit someone else. The gear lever broke in the contact and I dropped back. The race was difficult for me, but under these conditions I'm happy with the lap times I managed to do. This weekend I have not had very good luck, but I learned a lot for the FIM CEV Repsol race next week."
Miller ends the season with a win
Red Bull KTM Ajo wins the last race of the year in Valencia, missing out on the Moto3 title by just 2 points. Karel Hanika takes second consecutive Top 10 finish.
11/09/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
The Moto3 World Championship came to an end in Valencia with a thrilling race, won by Jack Miller. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider gave everything he had in the season finale, but the third place taken by Alex Marquez meant that he missed out on the title by just 2 points. Miller concludes the campaign as the rider with the most wins (6) and pole positions (8) this year. Teammate Karel Hanika rounded off the season with another Top 10, scoring points for the fourth consecutive race.
A great start for Miller saw him out in front on the opening laps. He maintained the lead throughout the race, save for a few exchanges of position with Isaac Viñales. With 5 laps remaining, an incident involving other riders relegated him to sixth. Miller refused to throw in the towel, fighting back onboard his KTM to regain lost ground and win his sixth race of the year.
Karel Hanika placed in the Top 10 for the second consecutive race, improving over the course of the 24-lap contest. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie struggled to pick up pace with new tyres, but as the laps went by he latched onto the front group to cross the finish line 4 seconds behind his teammate, in tenth. In the overall standings, Hanika concludes the campaign eighteenth with 44 points.
With his sixth win of the season, Miller gave KTM the Moto3 constructors title for the third consecutive year.
8 JACK MILLER
"Today we tried every way we could to win the World Championship. We gave all we had. I pushed like hell the whole race and left nothing in reserve. It was all or nothing today. I gave it my best. I cannot thank my team enough for all the work they’ve done all year. It was nice to also receive support from my teammate, from Danny [Kent], and from KTM riders like Isaac Viñales.
I am especially grateful to KTM, Red Bull, Ajo Motorsport and the partners, as they have done a job that I could never have imagined. Thank you very much for everything, it’s been an amazing season."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"It was not the best race we've had. Still, the start was quite good, as I stayed at the front. I had a lot of difficulty with the new tyres on the first three or four laps, and that's why I lost some positions. Later I could not overtake a few riders, but I had a good pace riding alone and was able to reach the first group again. The important thing is that we remained there throughout the race.
I'm happy with the result and want to thank the team for all the work they have done throughout the season. Now we will begin to focus on testing, but will not forget this season, which I have enjoyed very much."
AKI AJO - TEAM MANAGER
"This weekend and this last race of the season have been really good. All our riders have shown great pace and everyone has done a great job. I especially highlight the performance of Jack [Miller], who has been sensational throughout the weekend. He has proven to be faster than anyone else on track. He did a very consistent job and was focusing only on getting ready for the race. Other riders were very strong and aggressive against him, but he remained focused and demonstrated this with a great race and a great victory. Of course, we all feel a little disappointed because we did not win the World Championship, but the entire team, the partners and all of our group are proud of the work we have done. I am grateful to all the people who are involved in this project and who have supported us throughout the season. We have to look ahead and keep our heads held high.
As for Hanika, I am very happy with the last few races he has had. He has really improved. The season has not been easy for him, but he has had great progression in recent races, always being near the top and finishing here inside the Top 10 for the second time. I think this should be a great starting point for next season."
Unsatisfying end of difficult season for RW Racing GP
While Jack Miller won the final race of the season and Alex Marquez was crowned as the Moto3 world champion, Scott Deroue was not able to finish the Grand Prix of Valencia. It was an unsatisfying end of a difficult season for RW Racing GP.
Scott Deroue had a good start of the Moto3 race but soon began to lose ground. It looked like he simply didn’t have the energy anymore to try and fight himself a way forward. It’s been a long and difficult season and all the impressions of his rookie year suddenly came over Deroue and after 8 laps of struggling the youngster decided it was better to stop.
It just wasn’t the year RW Racing GP had imagined and expected. Now that it has ended the team is looking at the future. “We would like to thank KTM and Kalex for the past three years,” RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen said. “We’ve had some great successes together and we are grateful for that. This year was more difficult than we hoped for, for everybody. We surely will look back to learn but from now on we will mainly look forward to the new season and our cooperation with Honda. We thank Honda for their faith and are looking forward to the partnership.” As soon as possible RW Racing GP will announce who will be riding the Honda.
Juanfran Guevara completes 2014 season in the points
MAPFRE Aspar rider overcomes clutch and front tyre problems to finish fifteenth at Valencia
Jack Miller took victory in the final Moto3 race of the season at Valencia but third place for Alex Márquez was enough to seal the World Championship at the end of a gripping race. Miller rode a strategic race at the front, holding up the pace to create a large group, but Márquez stood up to the challenge and held his ground in a combative battle to seal the title by just two points from the Australian.
Juanfran Guevara produced a battling performance of his own to overcome a series of problems and finish in the points. The MAPFRE Aspar youngster almost overheated his clutch on the grid and lost several positions after qualifying tenth, but he was able to find his rhythm and recover ground as the race progressed. Despite tagging onto the back of the lead group the Spaniard was unable to maintain his pace until the end due to a front tyre issue and he was forced to settle for a single championship point in fifteenth place.
15th Juanfran Guevara: “Whilst I was waiting for the lights I couldn't find neutral and the clutch got hot, it was a miracle it didn't overheat. It was hard to get off the line but I was able to get going and make up some positions to stay in touch with the lead group. Halfway through the race the front started to move around and I lost some pace and positions. At least I was able to finish in the points. I have learnt a lot this year and we have built our experience and pace. 2014 has been an important season of learning for me. Now we have to assess everything, take a look at where we were lacking and prepare well during preseason to be more competitive in 2015”.
Rabat close to victory in season finale
Valencia, Spain – 9 November 2014: Marc VDS Racing Team rider Tito Rabat came within 0.133s of ending a fantastic 2014 Moto2 World Championship on the top step of the podium at the Ricardo Tormo track in Valencia today.
The new Moto2 World Champion kept ice cool under race long pressure from Thomas Luthi to lead on the run to the finish line.
But just metres away from celebrating what would have been a richly deserved eighth win of the season, Rabat experienced a minor fuelling issue and had to settle for second position.
Rabat’s 14tth rostrum from an 11th pole position helped the Spaniard reach an impressive tally of 346 points, which set a new record in the intermediate category.
It was a frustrating farewell to a fantastic four-year spell with the Marc VDS Racing Team for Mika Kallio after a mistake by Maverick Vinales at the final turn on lap one ruled the Finn out of contention.
A point scoring finish on his final Moto3 appearance for the Marc VDS Racing Team appeared well within Jorge Navarro’s grasp before he crashed out unhurt on lap 10.
Tito Rabat // 2nd
“It is a pity that I could not end the season with a victory because I think we deserved it. It was a hard battle with Luthi and I couldn’t relax for one second because he was pushing really hard. Conditions for the race were cooler and I was sliding more and that consumed more fuel. Coming out of the last corner I had a small issue and unfortunately it meant Luthi could take the win. I am sorry for my fans but it has still been an unforgettable season and I am pleased that I could set a new points record.”
Mika Kallio // DNF
“A crash on the first lap caused by a stupid mistake of another rider was not how I planned to end my relationship with Marc VDS. Viñales missed his braking point and hit me and we both crashed. The only good thing is that it was him that took me out otherwise I could have lost second in the World Championship. I wanted to at least be on the podium, so it is hard to accept because I couldn’t reach two big goals I had. I wanted to reach 300 points for the first time in my career and also finish all 18 races. It was still a fantastic season for the team to take a 1-2 in the Championship and I want to thank all at the Marc VDS Racing Team for their support since 2011. It has been a fantastic relationship and together we have shared some of the best moments in my career.”
Jorge Navarro // DNF
“I am really disappointed not to finish. I got a bad start but was fighting back to get into the points when in turn 11 Guevara and Fenati touched and I braked to avoid hitting them and I lost the rear. It is a shame but I’d like to say a huge thanks to Marc VDS Racing for giving me this great opportunity in the World Championship. I have gained a huge amount of experience with them and I look forward to a new challenge in 2015.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“I was in shock when I saw Tom Luthi cross the line first but I am not too sad because Tito rode a great race. It was a great battle with Luthi and just a small problem coming out of the last corner cost us the win. It is the only mistake we had in 18 races and Tito set a points record that will be very hard to beat in the future. I am very sorry for Mika because it was a big mistake from Viñales but we secured the 1-2 in the Championship and that is an amazing accomplishment. I’d like to pay tribute to Mika for all he has done for the Marc VDS Racing Team since 2011. He has been the consummate professional, a great competitor and fantastic ambassador for Marc VDS. We would not be in the position we are now without Mika because he was crucial when we changed to Kalex. He guided our project back then and I wish him luck for the future, as long as he doesn’t beat us in 2015!”
Mixed fortunes for Husqvarna riders in season finale
Danny Kent places fourth at Valencia, whilst Niklas Ajo crashes out just before the chequered flag.
11/09/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
The Valencian Grand Prix closed the 2014 Moto3 World Championship season this Sunday. The Husqvarna riders had a strong race in the season finale, with mixed luck for both Danny Kent and Niklas Ajo. Kent, who started from eleventh on the grid, just missed out on the podium after crossing the finish line in fourth place. Niklas Ajo was up into tenth before crashing with four laps to go.
Danny Kent concluded the season showing the same high level as at the previous rounds. The Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo rider staged a great comeback, gaining seven places in the race. On his final push to get onto the podium in the last two corners, the Briton could not get past Alex Marquez and crossed the finish line in fourth place.
Less fortunate was teammate Niklas Ajo. The Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo rider was enjoying a good race with a great pace, joining up with a large front group. However, with four laps to go he suffered a crash that prevented him from scoring points.
With this result, Kent finishes 2014 eighth in the Moto3 overall standings with 129 points. Niklas Ajo, with 52, finishes fifteenth.
52 DANNY KENT
"Once again we have shown that we can ride in the front group and at a high level. We were able to fight for the podium until the last moment. This weekend went a little like in Sepang; we struggled to set a good time, but our pace was very high. I'm happy with the race we had, but I feel disappointed that Jack [Miller] did not win the World Championship.
Personally, I am very pleased with this second half of the season. I'll try to start next year just like I finished this one. Hopefully it will be a great year. I want to thank my team a lot, especially Aki Ajo, for the excellent work they have done all season."
31 NIKLAS AJO
"The race was quite difficult. Despite everything I felt very strong braking and fast when cornering, but I could not follow the other riders on the straight and I really don’t know why. I'm a little disappointed and I apologise to my team for these problems we have had in recent races. We have to work hard for next year to get more consistent results. The final position in the World Championship is not what we would have liked, but the team have worked hard all year so I can only say thank you to them and improve next year."
Hafiq Azmi brings season to a close in Valencia
SIC-Ajo Team rider finishes 23rd in last race of the season in Valencia.
11/09/2014 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
The Moto3 World Championship ended its 2014 campaign in Valencia today. Hafiq Azmi could not say goodbye to the year with another good comeback and, having achieved his first points at the Malaysian Grand Prix, closed the last race in the 2014 World Championship in 23rd place.
The SIC-Ajo Team rider made a good start, in which he maintained his position, but a mistake made him lose touch with the front group. Gradually Hafiq Azmi picked up the pace, but he was not able to make one of his trademark fightbacks through the field. Finally he crossed the finish line in 23rd, matching his grid position, and completed his fifteenth race of the year –his tenth in a row.
Today's race was won by Jack Miller and the Moto3 World Championship title by Alex Marquez, following a fight amongst the front group. With his result, Hafiq Azmi ends the year 28th in the overall standings, with 3 points.
38 HAFIQ AZMI
"This race in Valencia was particularly difficult, because many people know this track very well. Everyone had a very high pace and was very fast. The start was not so bad, but I made a mistake and the riders ahead of us were able to open a gap. I am very happy with the work the team has done –not only in this race, but throughout the season– and I appreciate it very much. I could not ask for more. This means a lot to me. I still have a lot to learn, but hope to be back in the World Championship. I hope for another opportunity to show people my talent. I will keep working hard."
Moto3 - 2014 season comes to an end for San Carlo Team Italia
Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Locatelli finish in 25th and 26th places, respectively.
San Carlo Team Italia wrapped up the 2014 Moto3 season today at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana, with Matteo Ferrari and Andrea Locatelli finishing in 25th and 26th places, respectively, on a day that saw Alex Marquez crowned 2014 Moto3 World Champion thanks to his third place result that put him 2 points ahead race winner Jack Miller (KTM) in the World Standing. Forced to start from the bottom of the grid, the two riders of the Federazione Motociclistica Italiana have made a consistent race honouring their last commitment of the season.
With the Moto3 World Championship just concluded, San Carlo Team Italian wish to thank all his partners and all those who have ensured the smooth-running of the project, allowing some young Italian riders to gain a precious experience for the future which is the main target of the 'Progetto Team Italia' carried on by the Federazione Motociclistica Italiana and San Carlo.
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #3) 25th
"Starting so back on the grid my main target was to simply do my best. Under this point of view I’m satisfied because I posted some decent lap times and, when I had the occasion, I fought hard with the other riders".
Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #55) 26th
"It was important for me to finish my experience with San Carlo Team Italia in the best way but, unfortunately, I had a tough race. I almost immediately lost contact with the group ahead because another rider crashed out just in front of me. From that moment I made a lone race. I did my best and I’m pleased with the pace I was able to keep over the race distance without making any mistakes. I completed the race, an important thing to gain experience for the future. I wish to thank San Carlo Team Italia for giving me the opportunity to take part in my first full World Championship racing season. I’ve learnt a lot and now I’ll move on with my career putting into practice what I’ve understood".
Virginio Ferrari (Riders Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"Today at Valencia we wrapped up a difficult season in terms of results but our riders have achieved their goal: they have gained a top level experience that will be good for their careers, taking as less risks as possible in the same time. Their commitment since the winter tests has been praiseworthy. They have overcome every difficulties demonstrating their value and their true potential that has never been called into question".
Emotional day for MAPFRE Aspar Team at Valencia
Spanish team says goodbye to both its riders as Jordi Torres finishes the season in the points and Nico Terol battles to eighteenth
The final Moto2 race of the season at Valencia looked certain to go the way of newly-crowned World Champion Tito Rabat, especially after he made an early break from pole position with only Thomas Luthi able to stay in touch. The Swiss rider made the most of Rabat's lead to clock a new Moto2 circuit record (1.35.312) and was then in the perfect position to capatilise when, after dominating for 26 laps, the Spaniard's bike gave up at the end of the 27th and a technical problem handed the victory to Luthi.
It was an emotional home race for the MAPFRE Aspar Team, who said goodbye to both Moto2 riders at the end of a tough season. Jordi Torres was determined to finish the campaign in style after two crashes yesterday and he made constant overtakes from 25th on the grid to score solid points in an impressive eleventh. Nico Terol also bade farewell to the MAPFRE Aspar Team today, signalling the end of a five-year relationship that saw him crowned 125cc World Champion in 2011. The Spaniard leaves the Grand Prix paddock after 162 appearances, including 50 in Moto2.
11th Jordi Torres: “It is a satisfactory end to the season after a great race today. We were starting from a long way back but we were able to build and make up positions after a disastrous qualifying session yesterday. I was really keen to sign off from the team in a positive way today. It has been a long hard season but every member of the team has fought every step of the way. Nobody has thrown the towel in and everybody deserves a lot of credit for that. I want to thank them all from my heart for all the support I have received over the last two years. We have become like a small family and I will remember that. Everything I have achieved has been thanks to Jorge and the MAPFRE Aspar Team. I want to wish them all the best and I hope we will all see each other again in the future.”
18th Nico Terol: “I tried to be more relaxed than ever for the race, it was the last one of the season and my last in Moto2. I tried to finish in the best way possible but I couldn't help feel a certain nostalgia because it is the end of an era after the best years of my career together with the MAPFRE Aspar Team. This has been a tough season and I feel terrible that we have finished it without finding a way through. Myself and my mechanics have tried everything possible to turn the situation around but as we all know everything is so tight in Moto2 and it is not easy to move forward when things aren't just right. Now the season is over I feel like there is a weight lifted from my shoulders. It has been tough year but I have had an incredible time together with the MAPFRE Aspar Team. I want to say thank you to Jorge because he has stuck by my side through the good times and the bad. He has been a great boss and an even better friend. With this team I finished as a championship runner-up, fighting with Marc Márquez no less, and then as 125cc World Champion.”
TEAM FEDERAL OIL GRESINI MOTO2 ENDS THE SEASON ON A HIGH WITH SIMEON FIFTH AND BALDASSARRI TENTH
The Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 and Xavier Siméon ended the long 2014 Moto2 campaign on a high, hitting the top five in the Grand Prix of Valencia held today at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
The 25-year-old Belgian rider rode a determined race, recovering quickly from the tenth position on the first lap to the fourth place thanks to a pass on Aegerter with four laps to go. On the last lap, however, Siméon was overtaken by Luis Salom, closing fifth under the checkered flag. For the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 this represents the second best performance of the season after the second place finish in the Grand Prix of Argentina.
Aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter, Lorenzo Baldassarri hit the top ten, fighting for almost all the race with Marcel Schrotter and Anthony West: the Italian rookie managed to overtake the German and the Australian, but then the gearbox coming in neutral forced him to give way to his rivals just in the final stages of the race. With this placement, the fourth in the points, Baldassarri ended his first season in the Moto2 World Championship with a good haul of 20 points.
XAVIER SIMEON (5th)
“At the start of the race Zarco went a little bit wide at the first corner and in doing so he made me losing six or seven positions, but then I kept calm and I was able to come back. When I was fifth I saw that every lap I was coming a little bit closer to Aegerter, so I pushed very hard to catch him, and in the final stages I was able to even pass him. Unfortunantely, Salom passed me in the last lap and I couldn’t pass him again, but anyway I’m happy to finish in the top five. All the team deserves it: I’m very happy to give this result to the guys. I’m happy also because since Japan we have been improving in every race and to end the season like this is a good way to face the intense winter preparations ahead of 2015. We started and we finished the season very well, but now we need to be consistent also in the middle part of the year! All in all we can say that this season has been positive, for some ways, because now we know that we can stay up in front. We just need to do this for 18 races, not only for a few… We will give our maximum during the winter to be ready for this new challenge!”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (10th)
“I started the race from behind and as a result there has been a bit of confusion in the early laps; the riders in front of me were able to open a gap, but then when I could make my rhythm I was able to stay in the fight with West and Schrotter. I was faster than them, so I overtook them, reaching eighth place. Unfortunately at some point, coming into the first corner, the gearbox came in neutral and I lost time, even risking to fall. Both West and Schrotter passed me and in the end I have not had a chance to fight back. However I’m satisfied for this top ten result, it's a good way to end the season and I hope that also the team is happy”.
Grand Prix de la Comunitat Valenciana
Valencia, November 9th, 2014
Brad Binder would be a solid contender for the prize for the best opening lap (if there were one): kicking off from 16th on grid, the South African crossed the first finish line in 9th position, overtaking 7 riders. Then he progressed to 7th in lap 12, and then back to 9th to the end. For further information, it is to be stressed that he was better placed at the last corner before the final straight, but lost a position and, unfortunately, that meant that he had to cede the rank of best Mahindra in the Championship Classification for just one point.
Jules Danilo was able to pass three riders at the start, but had to surround at lap 7 because of a crash.
Brad Binder (40'15”231 - 9th) “At the beginning, my bike was really good and the performance great but, as the race went on, the performance didn't remain. This is not the way we wanted to finish the Championship, unfortunately”.
Jules Danilo (dnf): “Disappointing end of the year. We struggled quite a lot all the weekend in T2. In the race I was behind a group fighting for position 20 and pushing, with lap times faster than qualifying, but while hard-braking I went wide and crashed”.
Fiorenzo Caponera (Team Principal) “Just one more point was needed to fully achieve our target. We knew even before the start that the race would be difficult: this is a kind of track that levels the performances, and you cannot make a big difference from a technical point of view. Plus, this was the last race, which is always an unpredictable game. It's a pity, because the race itself, and notably the first part, showed that the bike was good, and probably we could get something more. There is a bit of regret, but we are already focused on the future: the 2015 season is going to begin shortly, when we are due to test, from November 27th, in Almeria (Spain)”.
Schrotter concludes 2014 with a superb ride to 8th
Tech3 Racing Team rider Marcel Schrotter closed the season in positive style by surging to 8th place in a typically intense Moto2 battle at Valencia. The young German rider began the 27 lap sprint from 6th on the grid after clinching his season’s best qualifying performance yesterday, but was shuffled back to 9th by the end of the first lap. Following this, Schrotter set into a strong race rhythm as he intended to close down the group in front. By the 11th lap around the 4005 metre circuit, the 21 year old rider was in 8th and locked in a fierce battle with two other riders. He undertook some formidable passes, with the trio exchanging positions frequently over the proceeding laps. Schrotter remained fully determined and fought all the way to the chequered flag to superbly clinch 8th and successfully achieve his ambition of securing tenth in the world championship standings aboard the Mistral 610.
Meanwhile, Ricky Cardus completed his year with a tireless ride to 12th place in the last appearance of the 2014 season for the Spaniard. He started the race from 20th on the grid after enduring a tricky qualifying campaign, yet undertook a brilliant start to overtake seven riders and climb to 13th by the beginning of the second lap. Cardus then dropped back to 18th one lap later, but remained resolute and commenced his climb back through the pack before reclaiming 13th on lap 4. The Spaniard was up to 11th by the turn of the 9th lap as he powered onwards to gap the four pursuing riders before eventually crossing the line in 12th position. This concluded his season with another strong points scoring result in the ultra competitive intermediate class as he finished in 18th in the world championship standings.
Marcel Schrotter - Position : 8th - Championship : 10th - Points : 80
“All in all, I am pleased with my result today and to complete the season with an 8th place finish is positive especially as we struggled a bit at the beginning of the weekend. After the uphill start, we managed to turn it around with a great qualifying which left me confident for the race. I would have liked to have been in the group in front of me fighting for 4th which I feel is where we should and can be, however, another top ten result is still something to be very pleased about. I also captured 10th in the championship standings, which is a big achievement and something we are all really satisfied with as it was our aim for the 2014. The second half of the season was quite strong and I hope we can continue in this way in 2015.”
Ricky Cardus - Position : 20th - Championship : 18th - Points : 45
“After the tricky qualifying that I had, I am pleased with the result today, because I had the pace to run close to Marcel in 8th but unfortunately I made some mistakes which prevented me from finishing any higher. However, I rode the whole race on my own and still managed to consistently make strong lap times which is certainly something to be happy about. Now that the Moto2 season has finished, I will head back to Jerez for the test. The main aim for this winter is to prepare myself mentally as well as physically in order to be able to begin next year at full strength in order to repay the team and Herve for resigning me who I must also say thank you to for their great guidance and work this year.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager :
"Today was the almost perfect way to end the season for us and I really want to say thank you to both riders for the great job they have done in 2014. They showed a lot of dedication and were definitely team players which is what we need and like in this team. The atmosphere in the garage has not been at this level since we started the Moto2 project, so I want to thank everyone for this, as it’s now a pleasure to come to the pit box as everyone has a positive frame of mind. Marcel has had a strong season with us. When he first arrived, he was a bit shy and lacked some confidence however he has progressed well and did a really good job especially in the three flyaway races where he realised that he is part of our family. He completed the year with an 8th here, plus in the top ten in the championship which is encouraging in terms of a good start next year. On the other side of the garage, Ricky did an exceptional job. We know that he came in as Alex Mariñelarena got injured, but he understood immediately why he was here and he has consistently given solid performances as well as possessing a positive spirit. I am really happy to have him on board again next season and his level is definitely better than his final ranking in the championship. To have both guys in the top twelve is an achievement in this class, so again I must say thanks to the riders and also the whole team and now we all look forward to an even more competitive championship in 2015"
LOWES ROUNDS OFF 2014 WITH 7TH IN VALENCIA
Sam Lowes ended the 2014 Moto2 World Championship on a high today with a top eight finish in the final race at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Valencia to round off a successful rookie campaign.
Lowes showed strong pace throughout the weekend but struggled to complete a single fast lap in qualifying leaving him to start Sunday’s race from 14th on the grid.
The British rider rocketed off the line and was fighting within the top five in the early stages. As the race went on he dropped back to seventh position but dug in deep to bring it home over twelve seconds ahead of Marcel Schrotter in eighth.
This result marks Lowes’ eighth top ten result this season and concludes a challenging but successful rookie campaign for the 2013 World Supersport Champion. Despite the strong results, including a career best 5th place in Australia, a few tough races mean Lowes closes the 2014 season 13th in the championship standings, just eleven points from the top ten.
Sam Lowes: “I’m happy enough with that. You always want more but I dug in and did my best to go from 14th on the grid to finishing 7th. It’s not my best result but I feel good to have finished with a solid top eight and knowing I can be on it next season. The team has worked very hard in the last few races and it’s led to a positive end to the season. I know I’m ready to make that next step up and I can’t wait for next year."
Lowes will remain with the Speed Up team for the 2015 Moto2 season with testing getting underway early next year.
Pit in after 2 laps? Make that 27! Gino Rea bravely fights to the flag at Valencia
After deciding to line up on the Moto2 starting grid for the final grand prix of the 2014 season, Gino Rea planned to enter the pits a couple of laps into the race. As the team awaited his retirement in the early stages, Gino had other intentions and bravely fought through the pain of his broken foot to the chequered flag twenty seven laps later. Crossing the line in 24th, Rea explains his last minute decision to fight on:
“Just finishing the race was a bit of a surprise for us. The only reason I lined up on the grid was encase it rained. Of course, once I was on the grid I had to start the race and I got a really good start and made up some positions. At turn 2 I saw Cortese crash so I did my best not to be involved in the collision and had to take evasive action into the gravel. After I rejoined, I decided to put my head down and ended up catching and passing a small group. Then I started to catch the group battling for points but I just couldn’t keep the pace without putting too much weight through my foot. As I said before, the focus for me is to be able to test in the coming weeks so I backed off the pace and just brought it home to finish 24th. I’m going to have my foot x-rayed now to see if the bones have separated more since Thursday”.
AGT REA Racing will not test at Jerez next week to allow Gino more recovery time. It is not yet confirmed whether Rea will test before February 2015 due to the Moto2 testing ban in December and January. Keep updated throughout the off season on the team's Facebook www.facebook.com/agtrearacing and Twitter @AGT_REA_Racing.