Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Mugello:
Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro improve their lap times during the day at Mugello
Despite some difficulties, the Estrella Galicia 0.0 riders took a step forward in qualifying today at the Tuscan track Mugello. After a crash without major consequences, Quartararo sits 13th and Navarro is 18th on the grid for the Italian Grand Prix.
The Arrabiata corners, the slow corners, the fast corners and the ups and downs that make up the Italian track, have proved less difficult obstacles for the young riders of the Estrella Galicia 0.0 Team than on day one. Experience is vital here as Mugello is such a technical circuit and the initial kilometers put in yesterday by Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro helped them to take a step forward today, on a day when both significantly improved on their Friday times.
Quartararo closed the third practice session by registering the fastest time of the morning. It was on the penultimate lap when the young French rider stopped the clock at 1’57.407s, finishing ahead of ‘veterans’ Miguel Oliveira and Danny Kent. Across the Estrella Galicia 0,0 box, Jorge Navarro also climbed the standings and greatly improved on his times from yesterday.
In the QP session, the good progress of the Estrella Galicia 0.0 riders was not reflected in their final positions. Fabio Quartararo suffered a fall at turn 10 he was running in provisional pole position and therefore he waved goodbye to a top position as his best time of 1’57.741s left him in 13th position on the grid.
Jorge Navarro followed in the wake of his teammate as they worked together, but then had to continue alone. Jorge, who achieved an important step forward in his own lap times, stopped the clock in at 1’57.905s and will therefore start tomorrow’s race from 18th position.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
13rd, 1:57.741, 26 laps, 136 km
"We have good enough pace to be competitive tomorrow."
"Today we did a good job. This morning we put on new tyres and we had very good pace, so we were able to take advantage. In the qualifying session I saw that [Romano] Fenati was very strong and I was going very fast on the uphill corners, so I pushed a lot, but then I could not avoid the crash. I'm happy though because we know that the race tomorrow will be run in a group, so the starting position is not so critical and we have a good enough pace to be competitive tomorrow."
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
18th, 1:57.905, 33 laps, 173 km
"I rode with good pace on the used tyre, so we are positive for the race tomorrow."
"From Friday morning we have been improving in each session, both in lap times and the feeling with the bike. I rode with good pace also on the used tyre, so we are positive for the race tomorrow. In the QP today perhaps we needed a couple more laps in the slipstream to improve by a few tenths, but everything was very tight and that is reflected in the grid.
After analyzing all the data yesterday, today I found the circuit easier and saw everything more clearly. I think both the team and I have worked hard and tomorrow we have to go hard from the beginning because we are a little behind on the grid. If we come out focused to do things well, tomorrow could be a good day."
Hanika equals best QP performance at Mugello
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will start tomorrow from fourth on the grid for second time in his Grand Prix career. Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder will take off from 4th row.
05/30/2015 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
Karel Hanika converted his good work in free practice into a fourth position on the grid for Sunday’s Italian GP at Mugello. The Czech rider thus equalled his best result in a qualifying session in the World Championship. Less happy with the day were Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder, who placed eleventh and twelfth, respectively. The duo will start from the fourth row of the grid after missing out on a slipstream.
The three Red Bull KTM Ajo riders took an important step forward in the final practice session of the weekend, the trio improving their times from yesterday. Oliveira, second with a time of 1:57.592, led the way for much of the 40 minutes, setting a great pace with a single-stop strategy. Binder was seventh with a 1:58.010 lap and felt comfortable with his new setup, whilst Hanika —the fastest rider in the early stages— concluded sixteenth with a 1:58.671.
Oliveira continued to occupy the top positions during qualifying, but in the latter part of the session the Portuguese was relegated to eleventh place with a time of 1:57.657. Oliveira set his best lap in the final minutes, but the time was disallowed as he was deemed to have exceeded the limits of the track. Binder was just 0.39s slower than his teammate, whilst Hanika steadily progressed to get into the Top 5 on his last stint. The Czech took fourth with a time of 1:57.329.
With this result, the young Red Bull KTM Ajo rider has equalled his best qualifying result in the World Championship, after doing so for the first time last year in Germany. The sixth Moto3 race of the year begins at 11:00am local time on Sunday.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"Today's result in the qualifying session was not what we thought we could get. At the beginning of the session we were at the head of the timesheets, but there was a moment in which we had to try to get a slipstream and improve our times and I didn’t manage it. Then I had my best lap cancelled. I'm a little upset by this and tomorrow I will have to make a comeback.
I have a good pace, but here this does not count for much in Moto3 because you are easily overtaken if someone gets a slipstream. We will fight hard and hopefully we can achieve the result we deserve."
41 BRAD BINDER
"Today was a day of ups and downs. Twelfth is not a great result, but we can have a good race tomorrow starting from the fourth row. We have to keep working hard with the team and I have to change my riding style a little, because with new tyres it is still hard for me to get comfortable.
For tomorrow's race we have to try to keep up with the leading group in the 6 or 7 first laps, with new tyres. It will not be difficult, but I have to be careful. Past these early stages, we will be stronger. In practice we have achieved a good pace."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"I am very happy because we deserved a good result like this. We have worked very hard all weekend with the team and we have a good pace, but at this circuit a qualifying session is a bit of a lottery with traffic and you never know. For example, Miguel [Oliveira] has been very fast in every session, but tomorrow he will start from the fourth row.
The race will be totally different from today's qualifying session. I hope that starting up at the front will help us to be in the leading group, although we have very fast riders behind us and we cannot forget about them."
KENT STRIKES BACK WITH SUPERB POLE IN ITALY
Leopard Racing celebrated another double front row start today as series leader Danny Kent smashed the existing pole position record by three tenths of second, but the sensation was the team’s rookie Hiroki Ono who set the second fastest lap time during this afternoon’s qualifying practice.
Perfect weather conditions with less hot temperatures and slightly more wind were the perfect opportunity for British rider Danny Kent to underline his top form today. Kent, who struggled to setup his Honda machinery properly for the fast and flowing Mugello Circuit yesterday, displayed a strong comeback to qualify for pole position for the second time this season.
However, Kent also underlined his team spirit this afternoon as he gave useful advises in terms how to take the utmost benefit of taking a slipstream along the 1,1 kilometres long main straight at the world famous Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello to his team mate and Championship newcomer Hiroki Ono. Though, Ono has proven his talent and cleverness when he stormed to P2 for tomorrow’s grid. In doing so the young Japanese rider also lapped within the existing pole record.
Meanwhile, Efren Vazquez, second fastest rider after Friday’s free practice sessions, experienced a difficult day due to some traffic on track, but also a possible penalty point in his mind due to riding in irresponsible manner during the latter stages of the timed session. So Vazquez will start from P15 into round six of this year’s campaign.
Starting time for Moto3™ Gran Premio d’Italia will be at 11am (GMT+2) on Sunday morning with a race distance of 20 laps.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ, Grid position 15th - 1´57.833 (15/15):
“It was definitely a difficult day for us and most probably we missed some luck during qualifying practice. Particularly during the latter stages of this session we had to be very concentrated because there were many riders waiting for good references and a slipstream. For our side we need to be careful because with one more penalty point due to irresponsible riding I need to start from the last row. Of course we would like to avoid this. Due to this situation I tried to push alone all session long, except one time towards the end I got a slipstream even it wasn’t the best. I’m pleased with my lap time because the gap to the front isn’t that big, despite Danny and Hiroki of course. But most important is that I got good confidence with the bike by every session and I also think our race pace is quite good. It will be a tough job tomorrow but we’ll do our best to fight for a top position.”
#52 Danny KENT, Pole position - 1´56.615 (9/12):
“I’m really, really happy with today’s pole position because it was an amazing lap. You know we struggled to find a good setting for the bike yesterday, but we made some changes to the bike for FP3 this morning and again I had a good feeling immediately. So for this a big thanks to my team for all their efforts. We went into qualifying practice very confident because we knew our pace is competitive. But it all came better as we set a new pole record. Also congratulations to Hiroko for his first front row start, he did an amazing job, but it also underlined our strong pace today. It will be a tough race tomorrow because a big group will fight at the front, but we’re in an excellent position to take the most of it. I’m confident for tomorrow’s race but I won’t say I’ll be able to pull away like I was capable to do so in Austin and Argentina. Of course there is always a chance to pull away, firstly due to our strong pace, but by the long straight at this circuit there is even a big opportunity to lose half a second if you’re without any possibility to use a slipstream. Maybe I can open a gap by half a second throughout a lap but at the end of the straight the group will be at my tail again. But never say never, we will push 100 percent to deliver a great race tomorrow.”
#76 Hiroki ONO, Grid position 2nd - 1´56.904 (14/16):
“I’m so happy about this result because especially after my small crash this morning it came somewhat as surprising. However, it didn’t affect me actually but the position was really bad. So for this afternoon we went back to yesterday’s setup, of course with some small adjustments to compensate and further improvements. I felt so great with the bike and during qualifying practice all parts of the puzzle came together. It was really an amazing lap by using the slipstream perfectly. Now I look forward to tomorrow’s race with even more confidence.”
Sky Racing Team VR46
to start from front row at the Gran Premio d'Italia with Romano Fenati
Rider number 5 is going to get away from third spot, last time it happened was in 2012. Migno will be looking for solutions and slipstreams ahead of the race
Barberino di Mugello, May 30, 2015. Strategic qualifying for the Sky Racing Team VR46 that tomorrow at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM will see Romano Fenati getting away from the front row in third. Last time this happened was in 2012 (Misano race). Great teamwork to enable number 5 rider to claim a good spot on the grid: the whole team, that yesterday had already got good results with Fenati finishing among the top group in the timesheets, has been carrying on with the strategy implemented right from the start, thus ending the third FP session in fourth in 1'57.663 and the qualifying session in third in 1’57.319.
During the race, Andrea Migno will have to focus on slipstreams and set-up solutions: today he finished 24th in 1'58.331 (in the third FP session, this morning, he ended in 20th in 1'58.828).
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
I am very pleased. We are doing a good job and the great positive is that the strategy we have been implementing since the start of the season is finally yielding great results.
I want to thank the whole team that has been pursuing all the objectives in an exemplary way. Without them, it would not have been possible to get that far. Tomorrow’s race will be a tough one, it will certainly be a group race, but today Romano has shown he is up to it.
For Andrea it will be key to take a great slipstream, but I’m sure he will have good chances to finish among the top 15.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
It was a hard-fought qualifying session. We decided to implement a different strategy, put on new tyres during the second run because we knew that in the last run the race to the Moto3 pole would have been a deadly one and maybe into the large group we could not make the most of the tyres. So we preferred setting the time earlier and then just wait. I am very happy and I want to thank my team, my chief engineer and all the staff. We are doing a great job and we have to continue on this path.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
There are still a few problems we could not fix. We hope we’ll pull off a good race tomorrow, it will certainly be a group one, but we’ll try and keep up with to the top group even if it won’t be easy. But we’ll have to find the perfect bike set-up first.
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia aims for move up in race
Hard qualifying for Stefano Manzi (29th) and Matteo Ferrari (30th).
Qualifying Practice at Mugello Circuit didn’t give great satisfactions to San Carlo Team Italia riders. During a shift where the frontrunner Danny Kent (Honda) crashed last track record of 1'56"999 with new time of 1'56"615, Stefano Manzi and Matteo Ferrari didn’t exceeded twenty-ninth and thirtieth place.
Placed both at tenth row line and divided only by 25 thousandths, the two San Carlo Team Italia riders will fight a comeback race, motivated to do their best to honor the first 2015 home Grand Prix.
However this work day pointed out some positive things like the progress in plan lap with the two riders stabilized at 1'58"6 and the cohesion of team purposes that wants to find appropriate countermeasures in order to solve current problems and be back on top during tomorrow race.
THIRD ROW FOR GRESINI RACING TEAM MOTO3 IN MUGELLO QUALIFYING
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 riders will start tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix from the third row of the grid: Enea Bastianini and Andrea Locatelli in fact set respectively the seventh and the ninth fastest time during this afternoon’s Qualifying session at Mugello.
Bastianini, who had a great start to the weekend yesterday morning, being the fastest in the first free practice session, confirmed himself very competitive today during a hard fought Qualifying session where the slipstreams on the long the finish straight played a key role. Enea is nevertheless satisfied with the third row start and tomorrow during the Warm Up he will try to refine the set-up of his Honda NSF250RW, especially regarding the behaviour of the rear end into the corner, in order to be able to fight for the podium in the race.
Together with Bastianini, Andrea Locatelli will line up on the third row tomorrow, his best qualifying result since he claimed the front row (third fastest time) in the Americas Grand Prix at Austin. A sign that the 18-year-old rider from Selvino found the right confidence to return to fight with the fastest.
ENEA BASTIANINI (7th - 1'57"393)
“It was not an easy Qualifying: the slipstreams played a key role in the long straight and in a moment you can drop from first to tenth! Anyway, I’m quite happy with the result, starting from the third row with the seventh fastest time is positive for the race. We still have to fix some set-up issues on the bike, because on corner entry I feel the rear of the bike moving and this today didn’t allow me to have a good cornering speed. Tomorrow morning during the Warm Up we still have time to try to improve the situation”.
ANDREA LOCATELLI (9th - 1'57"551)
“We can finally say that we are back to our standards! Yesterday I was already feeling comfortable with the bike, with the same confidence that I felt in the first two races of the season. This year the level has risen a lot and we could see it in today’s qualifying, with 18 riders who lapped under the 1’58” mark. This means that it’s not allowed to relax for a moment, otherwise you lose many positions. Tomorrow, therefore, I expect a very tough and long race. Tomorrow morning we will try to understand where we can improve further, to try to stay with the leading group in the race”.
“Honestly, we were hoping to get something more with Bastianini today, but we are satisfied; with Enea we are not very accustomed to start from an advanced positions on the grid, so we’re not too scared. Enea has a quite good rhythm and tomorrow morning we will try some new solutions to try and take a few more steps forward. Locatelli returned to ride at a good level: the home race is helping him to regain confidence and definitely this performance will be useful for him to return to a good consistency”.
Rabat third in record-breaking Mugello qualifying
Mugello, Italy – 30 May 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat starred in a record-breaking Moto2 qualifying session in Mugello today to secure a deserved place on the front row of the grid for the 21-lap Italian Grand Prix.
The reigning World Champion smashed Pol Espargaro’s 2012 circuit best lap of 1’52.369 by over 0.5s to lead the practice timesheets by almost 0.2s this morning.
Rabat was again on record pace in qualifying this afternoon and his lap of 1.51.874 was a massive 0.7s inside his own lap record to ensure he claimed a fifth front row start in six races this season.
Alex Marquez also enjoyed a positive qualifying session, with the 19-year-old looking well set to claim his first top 10 grid position in Moto2 at one stage.
He shaved 0.8s off his quickest practice pace to set a best time of 1.52.536, which left him less than half-a-second off the top five. He will start from 15th place and is confident he has the speed and consistency to battle for a first top 10 finish in 2015.
Tito Rabat 3rd - 1’51. 874
“I’m happy to be on the front row. I couldn’t push at my maximum at times in the session because there was a lot of traffic and it made it hard to find a good rhythm. But it was actually good practice for tomorrow because the race is going to be a big fight! We can improve the front feeling with the bike for the race but I am confident I can fight for the win.”
Alex Marquez 15th - 1’52.536
“I’m closer to the front in terms of the time gap and I am happy about that. But we need to be stronger in qualifying because starting from 15th always makes the first part of the race quite difficult. I am happy with the bike and my rhythm is not so bad and I think I can stay in the battle with the second group.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It has been an excellent weekend from Tito so far. He dominated practice and it was great to see him become the first rider to break into the 1’51s. Qualifying is always difficult because a lot of riders wait and he had the whole field behind him. I think we only missed pole position because he didn’t get a slipstream but I’ve no doubt he is going to be very strong in the race. Alex has been much stronger this weekend than previous races and can definitely fight for a top 10 finish. He has the pace and I am happy to see the progress he is making.”
SIMEON MAKES BIG PROGRESS AT MUGELLO, MISSING OUT ON SECOND ROW FOR ONLY 0.015 SECONDS
Aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex, Xavier Siméon produced a strong performance this afternoon at Mugello during the Qualifying session for the Italian Grand Prix: the 25-year-old Belgian rider has in fact lowered his lap times obtained in the morning by 0.8 seconds, going down to 1’52”155, eighth fastest time.
Despite the disappointment of having missed the start from the second row for only 15 milliseconds, Siméon now looks forward to the race with great confidence, having lapped on good times with great consistency: a pace that will allow him to fight for the top positions tomorrow.
XAVIER SIMÉON (8th - 1'52"155)
“On the one hand I’m very happy because today we lapped very fast and with great consistency, but on the other hand I’m disappointed to have missed the second row for only 15 milliseconds. We are four riders separated by only a tenth, and I’m the last of this quartet! It’s a shame, because compared to this morning we have taken a huge step forward, removing eight tenths to our lap times. The good thing is that if we can keep this pace in the race tomorrow, we can do really well”.
“Today Simeon made a great step forward, proving that he can count on a very good pace, which can surely allow him to fight for the top positions tomorrow. We remain a bit disappointed for having missed a start from the second row, but we know that in Moto2 the fight is always very close. Here in Italy of course we want to do particularly well, so now we are already focusing on the race, trying to do the best we can”.
Zarco to start from second row at Italian GP
Ajo Motorsport rider takes sixth on the grid at Mugello Circuit after late qualifying session push.
05/30/2015 - Mugello Circuit, Italy
Johann Zarco will start the Italian Grand Prix from the second row, having set the sixth fastest time in qualifying. One of the most consistent riders in free practice at Mugello, Zarco left it until his final lap to set his best time, riding alone without the all-important slipstream that so often plays a role on the long straight.
In pleasant weather conditions in the morning, Zarco began the third and final practice session with worn tyres and the aim of finding a good feeling with his bike for tomorrow. On his second stint, with fresh rubber, the Frenchman improved lap by lap to stand at the head of the timesheet, ten minutes from the end of the session. Maintaining the pace throughout the final stint, Zarco ended FP3 third with a best time of 1:52.034.
Determined to take a good position on the grid at Mugello, Zarco quickly assumed a spot in the Top 10. With a total of four runs on the Italian track, the World Championship leader pushed during the last part of the session to ascend the order, and he eventually clocked a 1:52.140 time on his very last lap –riding by himself to take sixth.
The Moto2 Italian GP takes place tomorrow at 12:20pm local time. Leading the overall standings, Johann Zarco will be chasing his fifth consecutive podium finish.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"I expected a better position in qualifying, but sixth place is not all bad because the second row is a good place to start tomorrow.
Yesterday went pretty well and we improved in free practice this morning, but this afternoon I had to push a lot to get good lap times. I need to know what happened and find a good pace for the race tomorrow.
I set my fastest lap with no slipstream, which helps you to drop two or three tenths. I tried to get a tow, but when the other riders saw me they stopped. It is something that often happens in the QP in the lower cylinder classes.
I am calm and I feel good on the bike, which is the most important thing. We'll see what happens tomorrow, the race pace will be the most important thing and I think I can be in the front group and fight for the podium."
Loi sixteenth in very close qualifying
RW Racing GP’s team manager Jarno Janssen expects the Moto3 race of the Italian Grand Prix will be a lottery. “Looking at how close the results in qualifying are, anything can happen.” Therefore Janssen was not too unhappy with his rider Livio Loi qualifying in sixteenth for tomorrow’s race at the Mugello circuit.
The qualifying session itself was a bit of a lottery already, with some unexpected riders at the front and some unexpected riders further down. Catching the right slipstream at exactly the right moment was crucial. That was why Livio Loi made a ride through pit lane with just minutes left on the clock: to find a better position in the long stretched field of riders, many of which waiting for a tow.
Loi came back on track together with Miguel Oliveira and Niklas Ajo – both being fast in the free practices, in which Loi himself didn’t do bad either with tenth in the morning session. Unfortunately it proved to be the wrong train as all three of them missed the boat. With his 1.57,875 Loi was nonetheless only 1,260 from the record breaking pole time Danny Kent set.
Livio Loi – 16 (1.57,875)
“Actually things went pretty well today. I’m satisfied with my basic race pace, that should be good for a decent top 10. It’s just a pity I missed the right tow at the end of the session. It’s no excuse, don’t get me wrong – it’s just too bad. It is almost impossible to set a really fast time on your own here at Mugello, especially at the 1100 metres long straight. The race will be a slipstream festival too and I expect a long chain of at least fifteen, maybe twenty riders at the front. So a good start will be of huge importance again.”
Schrotter to contest Mugello fight from the seventh row
Tech3 Racing Team rider Marcel Schrotter will start the sixth round of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship from 19th on the grid after enduring a tricky qualifying session at the Mugello circuit. The young German started his campaign confidently as he continued his work to improve the setup of the Mistral 610, yet he was unfortunate to fall which disrupted his session. Nevertheless, he bravely remounted the Mistral 610 and completed 16 laps in total, setting his fastest time of 1’52.880 on the final lap. Tomorrow, he will aim to climb through the intensely competitive intermediate field and back into a point scoring finish, to wrap up what has been a challenging weekend for the 21 year old German.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Tech3 Racing Team garage, Ricky Cardus will start the Mugello fight from the head of the eighth row of the Moto2 grid after experiencing a tough practice, despite his best efforts. The 26 year old Spanish rider plugged away in the qualifying session as he attempted to turn around his difficult weekend so far and as the chequered flag fell, he had completed 18 laps in total around the 5245 metre circuit. He concluded the shootout with a best lap of 1’53.279 which he set on his last one. Tomorrow, he will start the race from 22nd position and will intend to pick his way through the Moto2 field and back into the top 15.
Marcel Schrotter : 19th - Time : 1'52.880- Laps : 16
"I consider this track to be one of my favourites on the calendar, but we have been quite unlucky so far this weekend. On the first day of action here, I showed that I could get a strong finish, but today has been really tough. I had a crash in qualifying which is hard on us as I have had a few falls in the recent weeks. We need to have as much time as possible on the track to be able to continue to improve the bike so when you lose time because of a fall, it can be a real issue. In all honesty, I’ve only had one good practice this weekend therefore, we already knew it would be a tough qualifying. However, I gave it my absolute all and now we need to remain positive and keep our heads up. We have to make progress with the feeling of the bike and come back fighting stronger than ever. I’m sorry to the team for the extra work I have created but I will try my very best in tomorrow’s race to end the weekend on a high."
Ricky Cardus : 22nd - Time : 1'53.279 - Laps : 18
"I’m pleased that I managed to improve my lap time by over half a second from the morning practice, yet of course, I am not happy to start so far back. The top riders are very quick here and I tried my best to produce a good lap time even though the pace was so rapid. I gradually improved throughout the day after we changed the tyres and made some adjustments to the bike and when we swapped to the hard rear tyre, I felt more comfortable and my confidence increased. I made a few mistakes so I decided to pit and when I returned to the track, I even managed to improve my lap time even though I was disturbed by another rider. However, the biggest confidence boost from today is that I have a much better feeling in the front which is a solution to an issue that I have struggled with all year. Still, the most important day is tomorrow and my ambition is to get a great start and then overtake as many riders as possible, so I can thank the team for their continuous support."