Press releases after the first day of practice at Jerez:
Quartararo second at a circuit he knows well
Repsol rider sets second fastest time of the opening day and teammate Jorge Navarro goes sixth. Maria Herrera ends Friday twenty-third.
Sun and high temperatures welcomed the World Championship on their arrival to Jerez. The first day of free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix brought very good results for the Repsol riders in the Moto3 class. At a circuit where the three riders have ridden numerous times previously in the FIM CEV Repsol, Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro showed great potential with second and sixth place. Maria Herrera, also experiencing constant improvement since coming to the World Championship, ended the day twenty-third.
The conditions in the first morning session meant that many riders favoured a prudent approach. The cold and track surface condition meant that lap times were far from record pace. Fourth this morning, 7 tenths off the top time, Quartararo took a step forward in the afternoon to lower his best time by 6 tenths. That allowed him to move up to second overall, 0.0168 off Efren Vazquez’s pacesetting lap.
Teammate Navarro progressed throughout the first day. He set the eleventh fastest time this morning, subsequently lowering it by 8 tenths in the afternoon. He was sixth overall, half a second off Vazquez.
Maria Herrera started the day well, going fifteenth and 1.6s off the top in the morning session. In the second session, following a rise in track temperature, she was unable to improve her times while working on the setup of her bike, concluding twenty-third on the timesheets.
Fabio Quartararo 2nd 1:47.256 35 laps 154 km
"I really enjoyed myself, because this is a circuit I know and that I like a lot, but the track was a little hot today. It was a tricky day, because the setup we had in preseason testing at this circuit has changed quite a lot because of the track temperature. Even so, I have a good feeling with the bike. I had a little scare, but it was no problem and the conditions were the same for everyone. The important thing is that we have a good setup for the bike in the heat."
Jorge Navarro 6th 1:47.578 32 laps 142 km
"The conditions have changed significantly compared to the test in preseason; it is much hotter and it is harder to reach the times we set in the test, but the feelings are positive. After trying some things out in the morning, in the afternoon session I saw that even on used tyres the bike was working better. We decided to put the new tyres on and worked with them for two runs. I managed to keep up a pretty good pace and we have seen what we have to improve."
Maria Herrera 23rd 1:48.714 32 laps 142 km
"The first session went very well. With the team we focused on getting a feel of the circuit, because it’s been a long time since we last rode here. We saw some points to work on in the second free practice. We made some changes to the setup of the bike to try to brake better, but it didn’t go so well. With such high temperatures, the grip level is different and your references also change. Anyway, I think we're good for tomorrow, because we have reduced the gap to those at the front."
GOOD FEELINGS FOR BASTIANINI AND LOCATELLI AFTER FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT JEREZ
Gresini Racing team Moto3 riders Enea Bastianini and Andrea Locatelli spent the first day of practice of the Grand Prix of Spain, which is taking place this weekend at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera, working on their Honda NSF250RW machines obtaining a good feeling, especially in race configuration. Both the 17-year-old rider from Rimini and the 18-year-old rider from Bergamo have in fact maintained a good pace even with used tyres, then closing the combined classification of the times respectively in 10th and 15th position, with a limited gap from the top.
Tomorrow Bastianini will work on his bike the set-up looking for a better feeling on fast corners, while his team mate will be looking for a progress on exit of the slow corners.
ENEA BASTIANINI (10th - 1'47"886)
“In the afternoon session I felt at ease with used tyres: I always lapped with good times and even when the bike started to move a bit more I noticed that I could manage it easily. With new tyres I struggled a little more: this means that we could definitely get a better lap time, but in general we are satisfied. Right now our gap to the front is about 0.6 seconds, so tomorrow we will try to improve especially in T3 and T4 sectors, because today we tried a change on the set-up that didn’t give me a lot of confidence on the fast corners. If we can make progress in this area I think we can get closer to the top, because I feel already okay on slow corners”.
ANDREA LOCATELLI (15th - 1'48"238)
“This afternoon we were able to improve, finding what was missing in the first morning session, so we can say we’re back to the performances shown during the first two races. I would rather have closed the day in the top ten, but that's ok: after all we are all very close and I have always kept a good pace even with used tyres. This gives me confidence ahead of the race, which will be very long and very hot. Now we will try to take a further step forward that could help me in the fast corners, and especially on the exit of the slow corners. However I’m more than happy: we found the right way and the bike is working well!”.
“Today we worked especially for the race with both riders, thinking about the tyres and without looking for a fast lap, so we can be satisfied with how it went. We are already quite competitive and we have made progress improving many aspects of the bikes. Obviously, as in all the first days of practice, we know there is still much to do: tomorrow we hope to continue to progress”.
Red Bull KTM Ajo start the Spanish Grand Prix positively in Top 10
Red Bull KTM Ajo start first European event strong. Improvements in second free practice session put Hanika, Oliveira and Binder amongst the 10 fastest riders.
05/01/2015 - Jerez Circuit, Spain
The first Moto3 World Championship round of the year in Europe began on Friday at the Jerez Circuit. Karel Hanika, Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder completed the opening day in seventh, eighth and ninth respectively on the combined timesheets. The Red Bull KTM Ajo team did a thorough job of setting up their bikes, with configurations quite different to those used at the first three Grands Prix of the season.
Starting from scratch, Hanika, Oliveira and Binder faced the first free practice session with a clear objective of finding an optimum setup. In their three first stints, Hanika, Oliveira and Binder made steady improvements and rode inside the Top 10. Hanika finished in ninth place in FP1 and Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder placed just outside the Top 10 –in twelfth and thirteenth place, respectively.
With more confidence in the setups of their KTM bikes, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders pushed hard to start FP2. Despite track temperatures of almost 40 degrees, Oliveira –who could take a second consecutive pole tomorrow– led the second free practice session at one point, although at the end of the session Hanika placed ahead of him in sixth, with a time of 1:47.622. Oliveira was little more than a tenth of second slower, with a time of 1:47.788 almost identical to the best lap set by Binder in eighth –1:47.835–.
It was a positive day for Red Bull KTM Ajo, who are very confident that there is room for improvement ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session at 12.35pm –local time–.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"It was a fairly positive day. We understand the direction to take when we encounter unforeseen circumstances and this is what we had today. The conditions in the second session were difficult, with a lot of heat, which meant it was very difficult to make consistent laps. We have to improve our grip and the feeling with the rear, especially when I am leaning over. Tomorrow we will try to improve the tyre life and, as always, work with the race in mind."
41 BRAD BINDER
"The first session in the morning was very difficult, because in Argentina we worked hard to find the ideal setup for that circuit, today we decided to go with the same setting and it did not work at all.
For the second session we moved to a similar setup as in preseason testing and I felt much more confident with the bike. Every time I got on the bike I made improvements and I know that tomorrow if we resolve some things we can improve even more. In preseason testing the track temperature was much colder, and I do not know why I could go so much faster then. No one has set a 1:45 today; maybe tomorrow we might see one or two, but it’s not like in preseason testing. It is a completely different circuit, although I prefer how it was today in the second session."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"Today went quite well for the team and for me. We tried to do as we did in Argentina: Ride and complete a lot of laps. The feeling was not bad but in the first session we tried to find the differences between today's track conditions and those from the preseason test. In the second session it was very hot and I think we could have gone much faster with a slightly lower temperature, although this is the heat that we will likely have during the race, so we have to find the best setup for race distance and not just for a single lap.
Unlike the preseason test, today was sunny –but unfortunately for the riders the track becomes very slippery after a few laps. In preseason testing the times were better but this is the same for everyone. We are going in the right direction and I hope to continue like this tomorrow and Sunday."
LEOPARD RACING ON TOP AGAIN
Efren Vazquez made a blistering start into his home grand prix today as he set fastest lap time during this morning’s opening practice session.
For the very first time this year riders and teams were welcomed by hot weather conditions with track temperatures up to 39 degrees at lunch time at the famous Circuito de Jerez today.
It was the experienced Spaniard Efren Vazquez, who was recorded with the best marker of today’s first free practice sessions when he made a strong start into round four of the Moto3™ series at the southern Spain located circuit this weekend. Meanwhile temperatures increased significantly till lunch time so it wasn’t easy to better his morning’s lap time, but the Honda rider was always amongst the top riders of today.
Two times winner in the last two races, Danny Kent, was also a main protagonist today, even though he suffered a small crash this afternoon as he lost the front end, his very first incident this season. In comparison to his team mate, Kent was able to improve his lap time during FP2 and the series leader finished Friday’s combined timesheet in P4.
Meanwhile Hiroki Ono experienced a difficult start into the Gran Premio de Espana as a crash during this morning’s first free practice session affected his confidence for the conditions as well it cost a lot of time for the rookie.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ (FP1: P1 - 1´47.088 (15/15) / FP2: P4 - 1´47.523 (16/16)):
“Of course this was a great day for us because to start with the fastest lap time after the first free practice sessions into the weekend is always good and it also gives an extra boost. But most important is the rhythm I got for this conditions and the track. Also the feeling with the bike is already on a high level so for tomorrow we just plan small steps in terms of setting before we try and do our best during that much important qualifying practice.”
#52 Danny KENT (FP1: P3 - 1´47.458 (11/14) / FP2: P2 - 1´47.421 (11/13)):
“It hasn’t been a bad day but of course it wasn’t our best opening day at a race weekend so far. We just need to adapt to this conditions because it’s for the very first time this year we experienced hot temperatures, ambient as well on track, like today. We need to find a good feeling with the bike even we’re not miles away with our setting, but we need to fix some small things. I see a lot of room for improvement so I’m confident for the remaining weekend. We’ll work hard tonight in order to be ready for tomorrow. This small crash this afternoon doesn’t affect us in any way. Due to the hot weather we first tried the harder option of the front tyre when I lost the front end unfortunately. But it was absolutely nothing serious.”
#76 Hiroki ONO (FP1: P29 - 1´49.977 (11/15) / FP2: P32 - 1´49.854 (10/12)):
“Unfortunate I’ve to admit that today was definitely not our best day. We’ve to look a lot onto the bike but also to the rider himself, because I didn’t feel comfortable at any time. We need to look at the data in order to get back the confidence with my bike which I had during the last three race weekends. So this is our target for now. Unfortunate I had a crash this morning which costs a lot of valuable time. But I’m sure tomorrow I’ll find my form again.”
Moto3 - Uphill first practice for San Carlo Team Italia
Two crashes without consequence for Ferrari (25th) and Manzi (27th) complicate the first day of practice in Andalusia.
At the Circuito de Jerez (Spain), San Carlo Team Italia had to face different adversities during the first two sessions of free practice of the Gran Prix of Spain. Efren Vazquez (1'47"088) and Fabio Quartararo (1'47"256) were the leaders respectively of the first and the second session, while the riders of the Italian Motorcycling Federation ran into two crashes during the FP2.
Satisfied with the trade-off of the set-up of his Mahindra MGP3O, Matteo Ferrari (1'49"015, 25th) was protagonist of an high-side in the corner dedicated to Sito Pons. After being back on his bike, "Bigin" improved his times with the awareness that it was just a set back during a productive day of practice.
Same situation for Stefano Manzi (1'49"314, 27th), who crashed in the first lap of the FP2: a setback that won't compromise his confidence for the continuance of the weekend. The limited gap from the top is ,for the sixteen-year-old rider from Rimini, a good premise to improve his position in the standings tomorrow starting from the third session of free practice.
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #12) 25th, 1'49"015
"In the morning we used the same "M" tyre (medium compound) for the whole session,completing 20 laps without any problems. The gap of 2'' was not that much real, considering that the other riders had changed the tyres. In the afternoon I started with two "H" (hard compound), which has surely advantages, but also disadvantages: there was less grip on the back, and this is one of the reason of the crash. After getting back on the bike with the "M" tyre, I immediately improved my time and I found again confidence with the bike, which is absolutely positive. I am still confident for the continuance of the weekend; the starting points are not bad and we only have to improve the behaviour of the bike in corner speed."
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 27th, 1'49"314
"Unfortunately I crashed on the first lap of the FP2, and in that moment I lost some concentration. I got out on track trying to improve, but I wasn't able to do it. We will try to make progress tomorrow morning, to be at our best for the qualifying practice."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"We started in the right way this morning, but unfortunately in the afternoon two innocuous crashes complicated a little our work schedule, but surely not the whole weekend. We are still optimistic, considering that we are at just 1''7-2"0 from the pole and that we have all the requisites to improve tomorrow morning. We will find out how much we can improve just during the practice, but we have all the potential to improve our position in the standings."
Rabat shines in sizzling Spanish sun
Jerez, Spain – 1 May 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat impressed throughout the opening day of Moto2 practice in Jerez to set the fastest pace in scorching hot conditions.
Rabat was untouchable in cooler conditions this morning and his best lap of 1.43.198 was good enough to be quickest on combined times, with lap times hard to improve in FP2 after track temperatures rocketed by well over 10 degrees.
Rabat’s best of 1.43.439 was only 0.026s away from the best FP2 pace, and the reigning World Champion is confident that he can battle for a first podium of 2015 in front of over 100,000 home fans on Sunday.
Alex Marquez ended the day in 23rd place, with the rookie one of only 13 riders in the 31-strong field to lap faster as the heat intensified and grip levels reduced this afternoon.
He once again focused on improving corner entry performance, with his Marc VDS crew working on different engine braking and clutch setting strategies on his way to a personal best lap of 1.44.452.
Tito Rabat: 1st - 1’43.198
“I am really happy with how today went. I was fastest in FP1 when the conditions were a little cooler, but I was also very close to being quickest again when the track temperature was much hotter this afternoon. So we have already shown the bike is working well and I am happy we have consistent grip to be fast for the whole race distance, even in the extremely hot conditions like we experienced this afternoon. After a challenging start to 2015, I am really confident I can be fighting for the podium this weekend.”
Alex Marquez: 23rd - 1’44.452
“We worked a lot today to try and find a solution to some of the corner entry problems I have been experiencing at the start of the season. We worked a lot on engine braking and the clutch and we made a small step. We made some more adjustments for FP2 but we didn’t make the step I expected, so I can’t be happy. We are all working hard to improve and I am confident we can be fighting for the top 15 again on Sunday.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“After a difficult start to the season, Tito really showed why he is the World Champion today. He was fastest this morning and in difficult conditions this afternoon, with the grip clearly affected by the high temperatures, he was less than a tenth off the top again. So I am very confident we will see him back where he belongs on the podium again on Sunday. Alex and his crew are putting in maximum effort to make him more comfortable and confident on corner entry and I’ve no doubt that when they find a solution he will be pushing for the top 10.”
Zarco ready to fight for second straight pole position
Moto2 World Championship leader Johann Zarco starts the weekend of the Spanish Grand Prix fifth on the combined timseheets.
05/01/2015 - Jerez Circuit, Spain
The Spanish Grand Prix started with a first day of intense work for Johann Zarco. After his pole and victory in the Grand Prix of Argentina, the leader of the Moto2 World Championship standings went out with the intention of finding an ideal setup for a circuit with very different conditions than other tracks encountered this season.
The first free practice session was used to gain confidence on the Jerez track. Riding inside the Top 10 throughout the entire session, Zarco set his best time on the seventh of the 21 laps he completed –a time of 1:43.448 putting him fifth in FP1.
With increasingly high track temperatures, during the second session the Frenchman rode at a consistent pace on each of his three stints. With a total of 17 laps completed, the Ajo Motorsport rider went quickest on his penultimate time around, setting a 1:43.566. It did not quite match his time from the morning session but left him in third place in FP2, fifth on the combined timesheet for the day.
A third free practice session tomorrow will serve to finish setting up his Kalex ahead of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix –a session that will be held at 3:05pm (local time).
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"It was a very different day compared to the preseason tests. I could not go as fast as in the winter, although the situation is the same for everyone. The high temperatures at the circuit have made the bike slower; the grip is worse, so we have to adapt the bike to it because in the end, with the same setup from the winter we are not going very well.
As I have been saying since the start of the season, I have great confidence in the team and know we'll do well. We are not very far off, so I hope to get a better feeling on the bike and enjoy myself like I did today."
Positive signals for the Sky Racing Team VR46 on the first day of free practice session in Jerez
Romano long battling with the front group. Migno held back by shoulder pain, despite a good feeling with the bike
On the very first day of the Gran Premio bwin de España free practice sessions, on the Jerez de la Frontera track, the Sky Racing Team VR46 turned out to be a competitive team. In the morning FP1 session, Fenati was able to steadily keep up with the front group (5th fastest time 1'47.917), but then he was forced to lower the pace in the second session because of the traffic and clinched an overall 11th spot with 1'48.110.
A much more complicated European debut for Migno, having to bear with his aching left shoulder that prevented him from going beyond 26th spot in the first session (1'49.597). And yet the pain was not enough to curb the rider’s determination, as in the afternoon session he managed to improve his performance anyway, finishing 22nd (1'48.699).
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
I think we can be pretty satisfied. During pre-season tests here in Jerez we had not done very well and so I am pleased with today’s improvements. Romano battled among the top group, even if in the second session he was held back a bit by the traffic. Obviously there is still work to do but Romano looks very psyched up and motivated so I am sure he will be among the protagonists of the next two days on track. Unfortunately, Andrea’s performance was negatively affected by his still aching left shoulder following the recent crash at the ranch. Physically he is not 100% but I think he has good recovery margins ahead of Sunday’s race.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
This morning we pulled off a good first practice session, building on the positives from the Argentina GP. The afternoon session gave us the chance to test the new setting for the rear-wheel suspension and that helped us figure out what may be the best strategy to use in the race. Tomorrow we will continue to work looking for the best solutions to adopt in qualifying.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
My shoulder still hurts and that is not helping me, but I'm slowly improving. The bike is good but there are two corners of the track where I tend to slow down a lot and that’s what I must improve. I'm confident for tomorrow's qualifying. It will be crucial for me to get away as far ahead as possible because Sunday’s race will be a long and tough one, as the track temperature will get very high.
SIMEON READY TO ATTACK AHEAD OF QUALIFYING UNDER THE SPANISH SUN
The first day of practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez saw Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 immediately on the pace: beyond the eighth fastest time in the combined classification of the first two sessions – 1’43”645 , set in the morning - the 25-year-old Belgian rider was fast on old tyres showing a good race pace and in the afternoon, with worse track conditions because of the hot weather, he closed the second session in fourth position, just 0.3 seconds off the pace.
XAVIER SIMEON (8th - 1'43"645)
“It was a very positive first day: we knew that here it would be difficult to fix the bike, because the conditions change a lot between the morning, when the track is fresh and fast, and the afternoon, when it becomes slippery due to the high temperatures. In the second session we worked a lot on used tyres to try to improve in this configuration, and in fact even if I felt less at ease with the bike than in the morning, because of a change to the set-up that I did not like very much, we were able to be fast, so we're happy. Tomorrow we will try to explore another direction in order to be more competitive”.
“Xavier and the team did a good job today: we were fast both in the morning and especially in the afternoon, when the track conditions were worse because of the heat. As happened in the previous Grands Prix, here we have already been able to find a good potential for the race: tomorrow it will be important to get a good position on the grid, because here is fundamental to start well to try to fight at the top in the race. We have the pace to do well and we are convinced we can improve it further, so we'll just have to be ready at the start”.
Room for improvement in close competition
Although seventeenth was not the position RW Racing GP and Livio Loi had hoped for in the second free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, the team and rider are not unsatisfied with the results. With his 1.48,299 Loi was just a second off the fastest time of the first day and there is plenty of room for improvement.
In the morning session, with temperatures still relatively low, Livio Loi didn’t have the best possible start of the weekend. In the afternoon however the Belgian youngster, who turned 18 last Monday, was much more at ease and able to deliver some impressive laps, bringing him to a provisional sixth in the first fifteen minutes of the session.
In his third run he managed to improve his lap times dramatically but the higher temperatures made it difficult to go even faster.
Although the competition is close and the differences are small, there is still enough room for improvement, RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen thinks. “We are just a few tenths off from where we should be. The high temperatures in the afternoon had quite a big effect on the tyres. When it gets too warm grip drops, the bike is more difficult to control and it’s gets more difficult to set really fast times.”
Livio Loi – 17 (1.48,299)
“The circuit in Jerez has never been one of my favourites and somehow I always find it difficult to ride here. This morning was not good enough. I need to work on that, to enable myself to get in the right rhythm quicker and go faster in the following sessions. Yet I think we are on the right track. We know where we can find the improvement we need and the outlook for tomorrow is good.”