The Estrella Galicia Moto2 and Moto3 teams, as well as the Red Bull KTM team, issued the following press releases after private testing at Almeria, and ahead of official testing at Valencia:
Preseason begins for Repsol Moto3 riders
First test of the year for Fabio Quartararo, Jorge Navarro and Maria Herrera at Almeria. Next Tuesday they will return to action in Valencia.
The 2015 season has begun for the Repsol riders in the Moto3 World Championship. The reigning champion and runner-up from last season’s FIM CEV Repsol, Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro, were back onboard their Honda NSF250RWs at Almeria for testing. They were joined by Maria Herrera, riding a Husqvarna, for two days at the southern Spanish circuit.
Strong winds and lower temperatures prevented the Repsol riders from completing more than a few laps yesterday, but today they had good conditions in which to begin their preparations in earnest. Quartararo, Navarro and Herrera put in 76, 75 and 105 laps, respectively, to end their first test of 2015 with a positive feeling.
The three Repsol riders in the lower cylinder category will be back on their bikes on Tuesday, February 10th, at the Circuit de Valencia, for three more days of testing.
Fabio Quartararo 76 laps 306 km
"Yesterday it was very difficult to ride at this circuit because it was very windy, but today the gusts of wind were not as strong and we could work better. During the morning and afternoon we went out on track more often, which allowed us to work intensely on the development of the new Honda. In this test we focused mainly on getting a good feeling onboard the bike, after a two month break since the end of the FIM CEV Repsol. This bike is a lot like the one I rode last year, but now I'm riding with faster riders so it is really fun. I look forward to continuing riding at the next test, in Valencia next week".
Jorge Navarro 75 laps 302 km
"These two days of testing have been useful for both me and the team to get back into competition mode. It was the first time I have ridden at this circuit, although we could not do it yesterday because it was very cold and windy. Today the conditions had improved a lot and in the morning I could go out and continue learning the circuit. In the afternoon we began to make some small changes to the bike, and with used tyres I felt much better. When we put new tyres on and I wanted to push a little more, I crashed, but fortunately I'm fine. I’m happy with this first day and we are already thinking about Valencia".
María Herrera 105 laps 422 km
"I am very satisfied with these two days of testing; we have improved a lot. At first I felt a little strange after going so long without getting on the bike, but quickly I regained the good feeling and we have progressed from yesterday -mainly because today it was not so windy. I also felt very comfortable working with the team, as they had already welcomed me very well at the first test we did, last year in Valencia".
Red Bull KTM Ajo debut for 2015 in Almeria
Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika are reunite with their KTM bikes during two days of testing at Almeria Circuit.
02/06/2015 - Almeria Circuit, Spain
After a two-month winter break, the Red Bull KTM Ajo team started their 2015 preseason this week with two days of testing at Almeria Circuit in Spain. The trio of riders on the team for this year’s Moto3 season are Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika, and they were able to get back onboard the new KTM –despite the cold and strong winds that plagued much of the test.
Putting lap times to one side, yesterday the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders had a positive feeling after their first runs with the bike –which they last rode back in November. On Friday, Oliveira (55 laps, 221km), Binder (48 laps, 193km) and Hanika (64 laps, 258km) used the increased track temperature and lower winds to reach positive initial conclusions about their new KTM machines.
From this moment on, Oliveira, Binder and Hanika will have little time to rest. Awaiting them are two consecutive weeks of testing, taking in the Official IRTA Tests for the Moto3 and Moto2 classes. The first begins next Tuesday 10th to Thursday 12th February at Valencia, the scene of the final Grand Prix of last year.
44# Miguel Oliveira
"The goal here in Almeria was to shake off the cobwebs after two months without riding the bike, and to better understand both the bike and the team. In the end this has proved to be a very positive two days; we added important kilometers to the clock with the new KTM. Now we go to Valencia for an official test, with a good initial feeling which makes a big difference. There we will work to try to get the most out of the setup and learn all that we can."
41# Brad Binder
"I’m very happy to return to action after a long break. It was the first test of the year, but I already felt very good with the new KTM; that is not something that would not normally happen after spending two months without getting onboard a race bike. I’m pleased about that. Yesterday was basically to get our feeling back. Today the weather was better right from the start, with higher temperatures and much less wind compared to the previous day. I enjoyed myself on the bike. At first we were trying things out because I was not entirely comfortable, which is normal when you are on a new bike, but lap-by-lap we improved by adapting the setup to my riding style. I finished the day very satisfied. Now we are prepared for the next test, in Valencia."
98# Karel Hanika
"I am very excited to get back riding with the KTM and to reconnect with the team after the winter break. I have enjoyed the two days of testing at Almeria, despite the cold and strong winds. Basically, the testing took place today, because yesterday we were just finding our feel again. We tried to put in the maximum number of laps, alternating between different setups for future tests. We felt comfortable and this is very good, allowing us to put in consistently good laps at the end of the day. In short, I am happy with this first test and eager to get to Valencia."
Team Manager - Aki Ajo
"It was important to participate in these first two days of testing in Almeria, in order to be prepared in the best possible way for the first official IRTA test of the year next week in Valencia. We thought it was important to have this first contact to confirm that everything works well, that everything is well organised and to allow the riders to reconnect with the KTM. Hopefully next week the weather is more favourable in Valencia and we can continue to move forward."
Two World Champions keen to get back on track in Valencia
Gosselies, Belgium – 9 February 2014: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS will get their 2015 Moto2 campaign underway at Valencia on Tuesday 10th February, with the first of three pre-season tests.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex Moto2 bikes will both be piloted by reigning World Champions this year, as Tito Rabat returns for his second season with the team, where he will be joined by new signing Alex Marquez.
Rabat dominated the championship last season and he returns with the number one plate this year determined to do the same. The 25-year-old Spaniard is the first Moto2 World Champion to defend his title and he is keen to get that defence off to a flying start with a strong showing in Valencia this week.
For Marquez the three pre-season tests will be critical, as the reigning Moto3 World Champion makes the transition to the hotly contested Moto2 class. The 18-year-old Spaniard impressed with his pace during post-season tests in 2014, but heads to Valencia determined to close even further the gap to his more experienced Moto2 rivals.
“I have been working towards the new season over the winter, training hard in Almeria so that I’m ready to defend my number one plate. It will be good to get back to work with the team. I don’t have any specific plans for Valencia, other than to get a feel for the bike again, improve my performance, improve my riding style, work on the areas that need work while retaining the strong points from last season. I’m sure my Chief Mechanic, Pete Benson, will have some changes to try on the bike after thinking about it over the winter, so we’ll definitely have things to test, but my approach will be like last year; focussing only on myself, my job and working hard to stay at the top.”
“The data from the post-season tests showed that my corner speed was good and that I was on the gas early, but at the moment I’m still losing time on corner entry. So, the main focus for me during the Valencia and Jerez tests will be on braking. It’s the biggest difference between Moto3 and Moto2 and it’s where I can find the most improvement. I need to find my braking points on the Moto2 bike, but I also need to build my confidence with the bike, to allow me to brake both later and harder into the turns.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“There is no doubt that we head to Valencia with a big target on our back. Not only will we have the defending Moto2 champion riding for us, but the reigning Moto3 champion as well. It means that we’ll be under the microscope and all the title hopefuls will be gauging themselves against our performance. Sometimes it’s good to have pressure like this and I have every confidence that the team, and our two riders, will live up to expectations. We’ve worked hard over the winter to be ready and I’m looking forward to getting the season underway at last.”