Press release previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
Rabat and Márquez ready to race at home
Gosselies, Belgium – 8 June 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat heads into this weekend’s Monster Energy Grand Prix of Catalunya in Barcelona quietly confident, after taking his first win of the season last time out in Mugello.
The win saw Rabat move up to second in the championship standings, just 31 points adrift of series leader, Johann Zarco. It is a gap that the reigning Moto2 World Champion is keen to close even further this weekend, on a track at which he won from pole position just 12 months ago and where he’ll have the fervent support of his home crowd.
Álex Márquez also heads to Barcelona with his confidence buoyed by a solid performance in Mugello. The reigning Moto3 World Champion was forced to fight his way through the field after a difficult start, only to have to do it all again after narrowly avoiding the incident between Álex Rins and Franco Morbidelli that saw the Italian crash out of the race.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider can also count on the support of a partisan home crowd, many of whom will make the short trip from Márquez’s home town of Cervera to cheer him on, at a track on which he won the Moto3 race 12 months ago.
“I won in Barcelona last year, but this year the situation is very different. The championship is more closely contested and I made too many mistakes at the start of the season, allowing other riders to take advantage. The win in Mugello was good, as it put me back in contention for the championship, but now we need to focus on the weekend ahead. The approach will remain the same; work hard with the team to ensure we’re in the best shape possible for Sunday’s race and then, when the lights go out, push for the win. Barcelona is always a special weekend, because it’s my home city, so I hope we can give the crowd something to cheer about on Sunday.”
“Mugello was a positive weekend, because we rediscovered the direction that was missing in Le Mans, so we’re in a better position going into Barcelona. This is my home track; one that suits my riding style and a circuit at which I won the Moto3 race last year and have won at previously in the Spanish championship. I need to adapt to the Moto2 bike there, but I think we can do better than in Mugello, where a finish inside the top eight was possible with a better start. While racing in front of your home crowd always brings a little more pressure, it also adds motivation too, so I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Tito dominated in Barcelona last year but this year the championship is much more closely contested, with three or four riders able to match his pace in both qualifying and the race. In Mugello he got the better of them all to take his first win of the season, which means he will go into this weekend more confident. But this is Tito we’re talking about, so his search for further improvements from both himself and the bike will continue. A win this weekend would be perfect but his first priority must be to beat Zarco, to reduce further the gap at the top of the championship standings. Álex made another step forward with the bike in Mugello, even if his finishing position after an incident packed race didn’t really reflect this. With his home crowd behind him, and on a track he likes and has won at before, I’m confident we will see Álex battling for a top ten finish this weekend in Barcelona.”
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 ready to take on home Grand Prix
After previously competing at familiar circuits at Jerez and Le Mans, Fabio Quartararo and Jorge Navarro head to the Catalan Grand Prix and a track where they have an abundance of experience.
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 are back at a familiar location for this weekend’s World Championship round. The Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit also hosts the Spanish FIM CEV series, meaning both reigning champion Fabio Quartararo, and 2014 runner-up, Jorge Navarro, have already raced there. They come into Round 7 of the campaign with added motivation for another home race.
After finishing the Italian GP and adding nine more points to his tally, Navarro hopes for an even better result this coming Sunday. Teammate Quartararo DNFed at Mugello due to a small crash midway through the race, and lies seventh in the overall standings with 52 points.
The action begins for the riders and their crews from Friday, June 12th at 9am, when the first free practice session for the Moto3 class opens the weekend’s proceedings. Last year, Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 achieved their first victory of the season in Catalonia, courtesy of Alex Marquez.
Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya
Did you know?
The track measures 4.7 km in length and 12 metres wide, with five left-hand corners and 8 right-handers, and a home straight 1.47km long. The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was built in 1989 by the local government, Montmeló town council and the Catalonia Royal Automobile Club (RACC).
The circuit hosted what was known as the European Grand Prix until 1995, when it was denominated the Catalan Grand Prix. That same year, the round in Catalonia closed the 13-race season on October 8th. In the 125cc race, future Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Team Principal, Emilio Alzamora, finished second. He shared a podium with two fellow Honda riders: Racewinner Haruchika Aoki and Tomomi Manako.
Last season, the circuit saw wins for both Márquez brothers in their respective categories. Álex Márquez took victory in Moto3 and Marc Márquez triumphed in MotoGP. Tito Rabat was victorious in Moto2, meaning the winners in all three classes were riders born in Catalonia.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
7th in the overall standings with 52 points
"I go to the Catalan Grand Prix very motivated, because after failing to score points at Mugello I want to do well at Montmeló.”
"I go to the Catalan Grand Prix very motivated, because after failing to score points at Mugello I want to do well at Montmeló. It is a track with which I am familiar and I go there with a lot of confidence, because last year I had a very good pace there in the FIM CEV. I think this is also one of the most beautiful circuits at which I have ridden, so I can’t wait to get onboard my Honda and get to work."
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
13th in the overall standings with 21 points
"Our goal is to work as we did in Italy, going session-by-session and looking to gain confidence with every run."
"We are returning to a circuit that we already know, because I've raced here many times. I raced there most recently in the FIM CEV last year, and that went pretty well. After the result we obtained in Mugello, and our finishing the race there, I am very focused and eager to do a good job along with the team. Our goal is to work as we did in Italy, going session-by-session and looking to gain confidence with every run, in order to get a good feeling ahead of the race on Sunday. This is the home Grand Prix for the team and hopefully we can do a great job and get the best results possible."
GRESINI RACING TEAM MOTO3 HEADS TO CATALUNYA PREPARED FOR A NEW CHALLENGE
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 riders Enea Bastianini and Andrea Locatelli will commence the Gran Premi de Catalunya this weekend and are fully optimistic of seizing a pair of strong results as the Moto3 paddock moves to Spanish soil. Round 7 of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship will be contested at the fast and challenging Catalan track of Montmelò, where another hard fought race is expected.
Enea Bastianini will be back on the circuit where last year he took his first ever Moto3 podium: the 17-year-old rider from Rimini, currently second in the overall standings with 78 points, will try to reduce the gap from the Championship leader, English Danny Kent.
Andrea Locatelli arrives in Barcelona in high spirits after hitting again the points at Mugello: the 18-year-old rider from Selvino found a good base set-up that allows him to make the most of his Honda NSF250RW machine and aims to return to attend the first positions as it happened in the first two Grands Prix of the season.
“Montmelò is a track where last year I found myself immediately at ease, taking my career-first podium, so I think that I can be fast also this year, even if I will race with another bike. In addition, it seems that the base set-up we achieved during the last races is allowing us to be competitive on all tracks and that makes me confident ahead the start of the weekend. We are looking for another strong result and we will also try to close the gap in the Championship from Kent, who already collected a lot of points. It won’t be easy to beat him, but we will try to do it!”.
“In the last Grand Prix I started to feel comfortable on the bike and in fact I managed to do a good race, despite being affected by a rear tyre issue. I’m therefore confident ahead of this event, on a track that in some ways is similar to Mugello. We will start from a good base and we will try to take another step forward; from my side I will try to be consistent right from the start, in order to try to stay with the fastest riders thus gaining even more confidence. During these days I also took advantage of the hot weather to train hard, so I feel ready for this new challenge”.
“We arrive in Barcelona in good shape: Bastianini at this track last year scored his first podium in Moto3 with a stunning second place finish and also Locatelli, after the positive performance ha has shown at Mugello, seems to have found his way back to be competitive. The target is to pick up a good result with both riders: on the one hand, with Enea, we will try to recover points on Championship leader, while Locatelli wants to continue his positive trend, improving the placement obtained at Mugello”.
SIMEON LOOKING FOR ANOTHER STRONG RESULT IN CATALUNYA
The seventh round of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship is taking place this weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo. Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 will try to follow the sequence of positive results of the last three races - in which the 25-year-old Belgian rider got a fifth, an eighth and a sixth place finish, respectively - trying to fight again for the top positions.
Eighth in the overall standings with 49 points, Siméon will work together with his technicians on the Kalex set-up looking for more rear grip on corner exit, to take a further step forward in competitiveness and thus try to fight for a podium finish.
“We head to Barcelona after a sequence of three positive races where our performance has been constantly growing, so I’m confident that we can continue to fight for the top five. To stay at the top we just need to work on the bike to try to be even more competitive, because in some areas we lack something compared to the fastest. In particular, we are looking for more rear grip on corner exit, yet managing to retain an agile bike. If we succeed, we will have all it takes to fight with the fastest. I like the track a lot, so we will attack!”.
“Siméon has been very consistent in the last three races, bringing home three good placements and important points for the Championship; right now we are missing just a few little things to be able to fight for the first positions, so in Barcelona we will work hard to find those few tenths that will allow Xavier to fight at the front. We can do it!”.
Moto3 - Race in Catalunya for San Carlo Team Italia
Stefano Manzi and Matteo Ferrari ready for the seventh round of 2015.
The 2015 season of San Carlo Team Italia in the Moto3 World Championship goes on at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. After the first home Grand Prix at Mugello on 31st May, Stefano Manzi and Matteo Ferrari will try to improve their position in the standings, leaving behind a series of races that didn't give to the team the expected results.
After conquering his first point ever in the World Championship, thanks to the 15th place on the finish line, Stefano Manzi wants to reach high levels at Montmelò, a track where he has already raced in the past and that should adapt to his riding style. Hunt of the top-15 also for Matteo Ferrari, determined to learn from the work done in the last period, in order to improve his feeling with the Mahindra MGP3O 2015.
The two riders of San Carlo Team Italia will get out on track at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday 12th June for the first free practice, followed by the only session of qualifying on Saturday, which will decide the starting grid of the race scheduled on Sunday at 11 am with 22 laps to do.
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"In this first part of the season we have not been able to put into effect on Sunday the work done in the practice. The diligence and the professionalism of the team is out of question, so in Barcelona we will try to reach our slightest goal: the points. Once we have achieved this goal, we will try to reach even more ambitious goals, but for now the top-15 for both our riders must represent our first "target". We will be working with the most commitment from the first free practice of Friday, to carry on the path with our riders, trying to getting closer to our reference group. As always at Montmelò, the big Catalan crowd will be loud, racing in front of a big audience is always very special and it's an extra motivation to do our best."
Johann Zarco heads to Catalonia in good form
Ajo Motorsport rider and Moto2 series leader goes to Barcelona looking to achieve his sixth consecutive podium finish.
06/10/2015 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
The seventh race of the Moto2 World Championship takes place this weekend at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit. Series leader Johann Zarco is confident after taking a valuable second place finish at the Italian GP. The Frenchman will try to maintain his excellent form and get onto the podium for the sixth consecutive race, in order to increase or maintain his current 31-point lead in the standings –his biggest to date.
Zarco, World Championship leader with 109 points, comes into the Catalan round motivated and eager to fight for victory after a spectacular start to the season. Last year he was third in the race –his best finish in Catalonia– and this year he wants to do even better onboard his Kalex. The Frenchman will try to take as many points as possible to continue fighting for the title and increase his points advantage.
The Moto2 Catalan Grand Prix takes place on Sunday at 12:20pm local time. The Ajo Motorsport rider will aim to break his personal record of 5 consecutive podiums from 2011 –the year in which he was 125cc World Championship runner-up for Ajo Motorsport.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"The Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit is a good circuit that also has some fast corners, like Mugello, so we will have our adrenalin through the roof. Last year I got onto the podium and was very happy, so this season I want to fight for victory. I think we have everything in our power to do it. I'll be focused on this as I aim to have good practice sessions and be consistent from the start of the weekend. It will, more than ever, be the key to this round. Tyres will also play an important role, because at this track it is usually hard compounds that are used. Studying them in detail will be decisive.
Although we have an advantage in the championship, it is too early to speculate. We should enjoy the moment and take advantage of our positive momentum."
Red Bull KTM Ajo look to keep up momentum in Catalonia
Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika arrive at Catalan GP eager to keep with leading group and take team’s second consecutive win.
06/10/2015 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
The Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit hosts the seventh round of the Moto3 World Championship this weekend's. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders are eager for the race to come around, as it represents a good opportunity to continue their upward trend and they are optimistic about a good outcome at the Catalan track. After taking their first victory of the season thanks to Miguel Oliveira, the three-time World Championship-winning team in the lower cylinder category hope to be protagonists on the podium on Sunday.
Miguel Oliveira arrives with his confidence bolstered by the first Grand Prix win of his career, taken at the most recent round at Mugello. The Portuguese also has fond memories of Barcelona, as in 2012 he finished the Moto3 race in third place to claim a first World Championship podium. This season he has already taken second place at Jerez and the victory in Italy –and will look to continue closing the gap to the riders currently occupying the top three positions in the overall standings.
Ninth in the standings is Brad Binder, who finished the Italian GP in tenth position but wants to improve his feeling on the bike this weekend. The South African wants to try different setups in order to take another step forward, and last year he fought for the podium in Catalonia –placing sixth. Also aiming for a spot on the rostrum is teammate Karel Hanika, who after leading the race at several points in Mugello, will look to round off the great work done at the last Grand Prix.
The Catalan GP keeps the regular schedule for European events, running from Friday to Sunday with the Moto3 race at 11:00am local time. The last victory for Red Bull KTM Ajo at the circuit was by Luis Salom in 2013.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"The Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit is a special track, as it is where I took my first podium in the World Championship. I hope to enjoy myself on the bike, just as I did at Mugello, and go on the attack right from the first practice session. Although it is a track where I've always been very fast, it’s not one of those that I like the most.
Anything can happen at Barcelona and one mistake can prove costly, because it's hard to recover ground lost when you make an error. I do not think that at the end of the race there will be a large group at the front. That’s why we must be consistent during the race and avoid mistakes if we are to have a chance to be up there. We've taken the pressure of ourselves after our first win, so I hope this helps us to achieve the best possible result."
41 BRAD BINDER
"This weekend I want to make a few tweaks to the bike and try different setups. This will be the first objective of the GP, to find out with what setup I feel most comfortable and can stay at the front. It will not be easy, but the results could be very positive. It’s sure to be very useful.
I like the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit and last year I was very close to getting on the podium. I can’t wait to give it some gas."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"At the last Grand Prix we were working very well and I think we can get a good result at Barcelona. If we can find the ideal setup for this track, I’m sure we can at least be as strong as at Mugello.
It is a circuit that I like, basically because it's like my second home race. Throughout the year I spend many weeks training in Catalonia. Last year we had some good sessions, but we must not relax and should keep improving. I hope to be in the fight to be on the podium again."
Sky Racing Team VR46 looking for confirmation at the GP Catalunya
Fenati thirsty for glory after a back-to-back win and a podium finish. Migno at work to stick to the point-zone
The Sky Racing Team VR46 gets back to Spain for the second of the four scheduled Spanish GPs, after Jerez and before Aragon and Valencia race weekends: the Gran Premio Monster Energy de Catalunya.
A win at Le Mans and a podium finish in the home GP propelled Romano Fenati right in third place in the Moto3™ World Championship standings with 67 points. The young talent from Ascoli Piceno has thus reconfirmed himself as the most successful Italian rider in the four-year history of the Moto3 World Championship (2012-2015). Romano is also the only Italian rider who has ever won a GP in this class.
Now that he has clinched his third point-zone finish in the home GP, Andrea Migno is ready to get onto the Catalan circuit, a place that holds happy memories: it was right here at Montmelo, that the rider from Romagna made his debut in the Moto3 World Championship in 2013. With 12 points collected so far, Migno is currently fourth in the special ranking "Rookie of the Year", for riders who make their debut in the Moto3 class.
The Sky Racing Team VR46 is the most social team of Moto 3 class, leading Facebook, Twitter and Instagram rankings with over 90,000 followers.
On top of that, on the Team Official Page it will be possible to view in real time the Race Control dedicated to Moto 3. The section, accessible from the home page, will display race positions in real time, lap times, gaps and intermediate results.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
On this track physical condition will be key as it is usually very hot. After a great race at Mugello rounded off with a podium finish for Romano, we are in high spirits but also aware that we cannot relax and rest on laurels as we must continue on this path. Migno will face a track he knows well enough and I'm sure he will be able to be in the top 15.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
Last weekend race was awesome, we were all close till the very last corner and grabbing a podium finish in the home GP is an incredible feeling like few others. The third place gave us an extra push, the team is continuing to fine-tune the set-up of my KTM and I’m carrying on with my training. We are heading into the Catalunya GP wishing to do well and show we can stay there and fight till the end.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
I am happy with the steps forward we have done so far, now we want to continue to improve. My aim is to get points and show I can keep up with the other riders.
LEOPARD RACING TO CONTINUE CHAMPIONSHIP TARGETS IN CATALUNYA
The Moto3™ World Championship moves to another classic event of its 18 races including calendar as the Gran Premi de Catalunya just around the corner of Barcelona hosts round seven of the series this weekend.
Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent arrives in Catalunya’s capital Barcelona with a comfortable 46 points lead over Italian rider Enea Bastianini, but the ambitious Englishman from Chippenham, who dominated this year’s campaign with three race wins and further two rostrum finishes thus far, is eager to extend his lead further at the fast and flowing 4,7 kilometres Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Team mate Efren Vazquez targets to recover from two DNFs during the last races in Le Mans and Mugello respectively in order to keep his championship hopes alive, although the team’s young Japanese rider Hiroki Ono eyes with his first top 10 finish this weekend at a track he knows from appearances in Spanish Championship in the recent years.
Likewise the Mugello circuit last time also the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya features numerous fast and flowing sections throughout a lap but also the Catalan track features ultramodern facilities and up-to-date safety standards so the event is gladly visited from most of the MotoGP community. The 21 lap race gets underway at 11am this Sunday morning.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ - World Championship position 5th (60 points):
“Barcelona of course is one of my home races so it will be a busy weekend for me, particularly because of that fact that so many friend attends to visit this grand prix. For sure we want to keep our level like during the last race weekends but hopefully we just need more luck in order to see the chequered flag this time. Barcelona is always a special race for me because I like the track so much there and in front of all my friends I want to perform really strong. Anyway, I’ll give my utmost for a strong result and to regain our position in the championship.”
#52 Danny KENT - World Championship position Leader (124 points):
“After the Mugello race I straight went back home to England where I’ve been working hard on my fitness so that I’m able to come to Barcelona very strong and determined. I really look forward to this race with the same plans as always and that’s to work 100 percent on my own pace during free practice sessions in order to head confident and well prepared into the race on Sunday morning. I’m feeling good and happy to get back out on the bike although the most important thing for us is now just to continue faultless and keep collection as many as valuable points and try to increase our championship lead.”
#76 Hiroki ONO - World Championship position 17th (13 points):
“I know the Barcelona circuit well from former races in Spanish Championship. Likewise Mugello the track’s layout there is favourable for my riding style so I really look forward to this weekend to improve my level further. After crossing the line two times in 13th position I think the next step is to come soon with a top 10 finish. Hopefully all come together this weekend where I like the track and it’s ambient atmosphere due to the Spanish race fans.”
Catalunya Sees New Dunlop Moto Tyre Introduced In Third Consecutive Event
• Dunlop#ForeverForward Table Closes At The Top
Following the positive reception of the new tyres for Moto3 at Le Mans and Moto2’s new hard front specification tyre last time out in Italy, Dunlop will be debuting the new special hard ‘S1’ rear tyre for Moto2 machine at the Catalunya Grand Prix.
Mugello proved to be a record breaking weekend with records with new Dunlop tyres contributing to times being slashed by riders in the 2015 FIM World Moto2 and Moto3 Championships. In Moto3 Brad Binder and Danny Kent set the new race and circuit fastest laps. Moto2 saw Tito Rabat break his own race lap record but Sam Lowes broke Pol Espargaro’s circuit best lap by an impressive 0.855 seconds.
Catalunya 2014 Highlights
It took Marquez seven races to take his first win. The Spaniard had a comfortable lead on home ground, crossing the line over three seconds ahead of the rest. Another home victory went to Rabat with an even bigger margin of over four seconds to Viñales and 11 seconds to the rest.
Fact: Only one non-medium tyre raced in Moto3 at Catalunya. The faithful medium favoured by all but one rider proved a popular choice, with Alex Marquez using them to set a new circuit best lap of 1:50.232 in qualifying. The race was fast too – a staggering 40 seconds faster than in 2012.
Simon Betney, International Event Manager, Dunlop Motorsport:
“It’s good to be introducing another new tyre for Moto2 after positive feedback from Mugello. No one chose the Hard ‘3’ front for the race but the Catalunya track is a higher energy track so it could well be top choice this weekend for the race. It will also be interesting to see how riders feel about the new special hard ‘S1’ – we could have a race win on the race debut for both.”
Dunlop #ForeverForward League
The top three remain the same in the Dunlop #ForeverForward League for riders with the most place gains in a race but the table has closed up considerably with 16 riders separated by just 14 points between positions two and 17. Alexis Masbou was Mugello’s highest scorer with 14 place gains showing how wide open the competition is after six rounds.