Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams:
Jorge Navarro and Fabio Quartararo take step forward in Brno
Pair take third and fourth on the grid for Czech GP, with Maria Herrera thirty-second.
Saturday was a positive day for Repsol riders Jorge Navarro and Fabio Quartararo. In a crazy qualifying session, with heavy traffic making it very difficult to set a clean lap, the pair found space to shoot to the front and second row.
In the morning practice session, both proved to be capable of riding with the frontrunners. Quartararo was 3 tenths off the top spot in second, with Navarro sixth and 7 tenths down. Maria Herrera, who continued improving her times in every session, finished twenty-eighth.
In the qualifying session, heavy traffic on track looking for an important slipstream made things tough. Navarro and Quartararo were patient and waited for their moment. Four minutes from the end of the session, Navarro set his fastest time on lap 13 of his 15 completed. Pole position was snatched from him in the last minute, as he was overtaken by Niccolo Antonelli and Danny Kent. Third on the grid, he took a spot on the front row with a lap 0.115s quicker than fourth-placed Quartararo.
Herrera, was caught up in the traffic during qualifying, concluding the session thirty-second.
Fabio Quartararo 4th 2:07.815 30 laps 162 km
"The most positive thing is that, unlike yesterday when we were lagging behind, today we changed the suspension setup and gearing and I felt much better. Yesterday I found it hard to get into the 2:10s and this morning it was much easier to set a 2:07 by myself, with a good pace. In the afternoon I felt the same on the bike, although the conditions were much worse, but I managed to set a very good lap. Despite another rider getting in my way and having to abort a lap, the most important thing is that we have a good pace for the race tomorrow."
Jorge Navarro 3rd 2:07.700 30 laps 162 km
"It was a difficult qualifying session. Everyone knows that slipstreams are very important here and there was a lot of traffic. On my first run I put on new tyres, although not the compound that I like the most. Nevertheless, I found a good feeling quickly. On the second run I had a little scare and I focused more on getting a good pace than on setting fast times. On the last stint I was able to complete a good lap, which was almost perfect, although it was a shame that in the last sector I had to avoid a lot of riders waiting for a tow. I'm happy, because so far it's been a good weekend for us. We are improving session after session, which is important, and we have a good pace for tomorrow. I hope to have a good race; it will be hard, run in a group and very hot."
Maria Herrera 32nd 2:09.724 27 laps 146 km
"Today things did not go the way I wanted. Yesterday I crashed in the first free practice, and since then we have had to work against the clock to make up for lost time. I couldn’t find a good slipstream in the qualifying session – something very important on a track that I am finding hard. I don’t have a good pace riding alone. There was also a lot of traffic and on all my fast laps I came up against riders who were waiting. Tomorrow I hope to make a good start and fight in a group, learning a lot."
FRONT ROW START AGAIN AT BRNO FOR LEOPARD RACING
Saturday’s qualifying practice at the demanding Brno circuit in the Czech Republic delivered once again a crime story in the battle for pole position, which Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent missed out by a margin of 0.002 seconds to qualify for second position for tomorrow’s grid, whilst Efren Vazquez was a bit unlucky in his timing though he will start from eight position. The team’s rookie Hiroki Ono suffered physical issues last night so he will leave the line from 18th position tomorrow.
Scorching conditions remained for the second day of practice even though some clouds darkened the sky in Brno, but the weather stayed stable for the all-important qualifying practice at lunch time today. The 45 minutes long session displayed a drama for thousands of seconds when the series dominating Danny Kent from Great Britain failed to beat the fastest lap time, set by Italian rider Niccolo Antonelli, in his final attempt. However, Kent sees himself in a strong starting position for Sunday’s round eleven of the year.
Experienced Spaniard Efren Vazquez, who currently lies in fifth position in the standings, underlined his strong form again since the Sachsenring race just before the summer break throughout both days of practice, but he missed an all-important fast group of riders for a good slipstream in his time attack towards the end of the session. Anyway, Vazquez remains confident for the race due to the fact that his personal fastest lap time during qualifying is really strong as well as he and his crew worked hard for a perfect race setup.
On the other side of Leopard Racing’s garage Hiroki Ono didn’t feel well due to healthy issues today so the young Japanese rider obviously isn’t happy with 18th position.
The Moto3™ Grand Prix of the Czech Republic gets underway on Sunday morning at 11:00 pm with a race distance of 19 laps around the 5.4 kilometre long demanding track in Brno.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ, Grid position 8th - 2´08.283 (12/12):
“Well, we finished in eight position after qualifying practice which doesn’t really match our expectation but which isn’t too bad either. I was a bit unlucky when I entered the pits for changing the tyres because as I went out on track I was pushing for a lap time alone. But considering just 0.6 seconds off the pace without any slipstream at this track underlined our good performance overall. In addition we did a really good rhythm with both tyre options lapping well inside the 2´08 barrier. This of course is really important for the race. However, the most important progress we’ve made throughout these two days is that we’re working hard on breaking area so for our final setting we’re also quite strong in this respect. I think we can look forward with confidence to tomorrow’s competition.”
#52 Danny KENT, Grid position 2nd - 2´07.669 (14/14):
“Yeah, I would say we can be happy with this qualifying even though we missed out pole position by a margin but we can’t complain about second place, because we’re in a strong position to start the race tomorrow. Though the plan is as always to win the race, to pull away even if there are some riders, who are capable to race a strong pace. Anyway, we’ve a good feeling with the bike and our pace is quite strong, too. So we can look forward to tomorrow. We’ve made some changes to the bike due to less windy conditions today and for sure we’ve made progress with new tyres, so this of course is the most important thing. But in general we improved in all areas during today’s sessions.”
#76 Hiroki ONO, Grid position 18th - 2´08.645 (14/14):
“Well, this morning again we made some progress compared to yesterday which was positive, but during qualifying practice it took a long time before I was able to set decent and fast lap times. I don’t feel so good due to some healthy issues with headache and I’m a bit rheumy today. So I’m definitely not pleased with 18th position for the grid, but I think if I recover till tomorrow’s race I can do very well.”
Seventh and nine row for the Sky Racing Team VR46 at Brno
Fenati expected to pull off a comeback race as he got stuck in traffic during qualifying after an enthralling performance in FP3
Migno at work to stay in the top 15
Brno, August 15, 2015. Seventh and ninth row respectively for Romano Fenati (19th) and Andrea Migno (26th) at the bwin Grand Prix České Republiky. It was a two-sided Saturday for the Sky Racing Team VR46 celebrating August Bank Holiday at the Automotodrom Brno: after a shining morning for Fenati who took to the track relying on a great set-up and on the chance of topping the session, qualifying was badly affected by traffic and by the impossibility of finding the right slipstream. Both riders, in fact, failed to find a tow to follow late in the dying moments of the session, when, on the whole, the other riders’ times had been cut just thanks to slipstreams. Also set-up problems did not help Fenati to put in a comeback, as he lost the feeling with the front.
Getting away from behind won’t be an insurmountable obstacle on the Brno track as it features long and fast corners where making passes is not that hard. Romano’s aim will be to look for a comeback to catch up with the leading group, whereas Migno will have to make the most of the positive aspects of the track to finish in the points.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
Unfortunately today’s qualifying was the worst of the season. Until this morning Romano had always been able to keep a good pace, enjoying a good feeling with the bike. In qualifying, on the contrary, he struggled a bit and that is why we will have to start again from scratch to get ready for a race expected to be very tough. The good thing is that this track welcomes comebacks, so we have to think positively. Migno went pretty well all weekend, too bad he failed to make the most of qualifying, but I'm sure he’ll have the chance to stay among the top 15.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
It was a dark day for us in qualifying, we have strived hard as usual, but there have been a few problems on the front that did not make me trust the fresh rubber. We’ll try to do our best this time around as well.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
It was not a good qualifying, but tomorrow we’ll have good chances to stay in the top 15 group. My feeling with the bike is not optimum, but I’ll try to make the most of the warm-up to set a good race pace.
Red Bull KTM Ajo ready for race day
Brad Binder, Karel Hanika and Miguel Oliveira complete positive second day at Brno and take spots on second, third and fourth rows, respectively.
08/15/2015 - Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic
This afternoon at the Automotodrom Brno, the starting grid for the eleventh race of the year was decided. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders, who throughout the free practice sessions have found a good pace, all took places on the front four rows. Brad Binder took sixth place, just ahead of teammate Karel Hanika. Twelfth was Miguel Oliveira, who was not able to ride as fast as he had in FP3.
The third free practice session of the weekend was used by Oliveira and Hanika to lower their times from the first day. The first to do so was Hanika, who set a time of 2:09.331 and then focused on working with used tyres . He was twenty-fourth in the session. Oliveira, in third with a 2:08.076, improved his previous best lap by almost a second and had a better pace when riding alone. Binder –setting a 2:08.803 lap, was unable to improve his best for a third consecutive session and was fourteenth.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo emerged on track together to help one another set the fastest lap in qualifying. The result was positive, as they occupied the top three spots momentarily. In the last five final minutes of the session, Binder and Hanika found improvement for sixth –2:08.115– and seventh –2:08.116–, respectively. Oliveira had to settle for twelfth place –2:08.495.
The weather forecast for the race tomorrow appears unfavourable for the Moto3 riders, as the chance of rain is high for the 11am start.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"The free practice this morning went very well and we showed a great pace that is sure to be important for tomorrow. However, in the afternoon it was more windy and the wind had changed direction. That affected us all a bit. I wasn’t lucky enough to catch a good slipstream that would have helped us in these conditions, so it was not a perfect qualifying session. Anyway, we know that this isn’t the best lap we are capable of setting. Tomorrow in the race we will have to work hard, but I think we can be in the front group and fight for the win; as always, it is our main goal."
41 BRAD BINDER
"The qualifying session went very well. From the first lap I set good times, and on the second run I rode alone and it went well. On the final run I had a good pace once again. I was able to catch a small slipstream, and it was enough to shave a few more tenths off my times and put myself on the second row. I think my pace is really good and I did my laps with a race tyre, so that's an advantage for tomorrow.
Sixth place is a good place to start the race, so I will give the maximum from the beginning and see what happens. If the forecasts are right and the race is in the rain, then no problem, because I love that. I have great confidence in the wet, so whatever the conditions may be, I feel strong for tomorrow."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"Yesterday was a difficult day for us and I found it very hard to find the right setup and riding style. Today the whole team worked hard to giveus the best possible solutions and in practice this morning we improved a lot, setting steady times. In the qualifying session we took another small step ahead: The team did a very good job, I felt comfortable and I ended up quite satisfied.
We still have work to do on some corners, and we will study that this afternoon and tomorrow we will make some changes for the warmup. I think in the race there will be a large group at the front –and I hope to be part of it. After the step forward we have taken today, we have more confidence in the bike, I feel more comfortable and hopefully I can be in the fight."
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia wants move up at Brno
Manzi and Ferrari will start from eleventh and twelfth row.
Today italian riders gained very good positions during official qualifyng at Moto3 World Championship on Automotodorm Brno, theater of the eleventh seasonal meeting. Niccolò Antonelli (Honda), 2011 Italian 125cc Champion with Team Italia FMI, achieved the second pole position during his World Championship career with a gap of 0"002 from the championship frontrunner Danny Kent, during a session with modest detachments also for San Carlo Italia Team riders.
Even if grid position is not the best one, Stefano Manzi is working on his progress way and he’s reaching 2'09" target. He also has good assumptions to show his value starting from eleventh row (31st).
Instead Matteo Ferrari had some difficults (2'10"595, 35th) and he will have to start from last lines but he’s determinated to repeat the good performace of 2014 Championsghip despite a start from twelfth row.
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 31st, 2'09"653
"Starting position doesn’t give us the right credit, but that was one of the most positive qualifyng of the season. Thanks to all team job I showed my riding feeling, this is confirmed from the fact I maintained a constant rhytm during all session. The grid position is not the best, but we haven’t a bad rice step. I start at my best in order to defend myself among the brawl and obtain a result that will reward the good job that we made."
Matteo Ferrari (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #12) 35th, 2'10"695
"I’m very disappointed because during qualifying round I wasn’t able to realize the necessary performance step that I would. This morning I spent all the session with used tires, so during qualifyng I belevied to let down again my references. I run in 2'10"6 that is far from my last year time of 2'09"0, so I can’t be satisfied to be back. Look positive things with the team, we realized some important progress for the race, that give us the right assumptions to regain some positions. Tomorrow I’ll do my best and try to close this weekend very well."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sports Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"We will star from last lines and we can’t satisfied, but during the day we made some progress that could render our race more interesting. Manzi has kept on his slow, positive performance run in high 2'09" with an ideal time of 2'09"0. On a long, large track with many overtaking chances I’m sure that Stefano will be able to play tomorrow run in 2'09". About Ferrari, he had more problems than his partner despite he was able to make progress than the first two free practices rounds. Matteo ideal time has an half second gap from actual time of qualifycation and it suggests will have margins for improvement. Make one other step, tomorrow we will apporached to our target: nothing is lost and we won’t surrender!"
DIFFICULT BRNO QUALIFYING DELIVERS FIFTH ROW FOR BASTIANINI. EIGHTH ROW FOR LOCATELLI
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racers Enea Bastianini and Andrea Locatelli will start tomorrow’s Czech Republic Grand Prix from the fifth and eighth row, respectively.
Enea Bastianini set the 15th fastest time with 2’08”598, without improving his performance from this morning’s final free practice session; the 17-year-old rider from Rimini struggled again with set-up issues and he will try some other changes to his Honda NSF250RW machine during tomorrow morning’s Warm Up in order to try to be more competitive in the race.
His team mate Andrea Locatelli has instead closed the Qualifying in 22nd position with a time of 2’08”901. Despite a fall in the third free practice session this morning, and a poor feeling with the front end, the 18-year-old rider from Selvino still managed to improve his performance in Qualifying and tomorrow he will try to take a further step forward ahead of the race.
ENEA BASTIANINI (15th - 2'08"598)
“There is not much to say, unfortunately... This is one of my favorite tracks, where I’ve always been strong, but this year it seems that we can’t be fast. We had problems all weekend, and today I couldn’t do what I wanted with my bike, which is moving a lot. I’m disappointed, because my plan for tomorrow’s race was to try to fight with Kent, but with this pace it will be impossible. However, the race is tomorrow: we must stay focused, face the problems and make the most of tomorrow morning’s Warm Up to try to change something else on the bike”.
ANDREA LOCATELLI (22nd - 2'08"901)
“I’m not very happy with the result, but overall not disappointed, considering how the weekend started. My morale was also a bit down for the crashes I had yesterday and this morning, and my bike set-up was not perfect, but I did my best in Qualifying and we managed to improve a bit, so I’m pretty satisfied. This morning we tried to soften the bike and initially this solution seemed to help me on the corners, but the bike continued to move a lot and I had still no feeling on the front end entering the corners. Tomorrow starting from the 22nd position won’t make things easy, but the gap from the other riders is not too high: we will continue to work to make a few more steps forward ahead of the race. The weather also is uncertain, so maybe it can remix the cards”.
“We are very disappointed with today’s Qualifying session: we couldn’t exploit our potential and tomorrow we will be forced to start from the back of the grid with both our riders. So far we couldn’t find a good consistency, accusing several issues, but we remain focused hoping to find some solutions, in order to try to recover some positions in the race”.
Back down to earth with 29th in Brno
In the third free practice at Brno it looked like Livio Loi had found his way around. But in qualifying for the Czech Grand Prix he could not live up to it. Loi ended the QP in 29th with a lap time of 2.09,473.
After winning the race in Indianapolis a week ago Loi and RW Racing GP are back down to earth. “This definitely isn’t the position where we belong,” team manager Jarno Janssen noted.
“We know that our level should be anywhere between 10 and 18, so 29th is a real comedown. We have tried many things with the bike but none was the solution we were looking for. After the morning session we were hopeful, as Livio showed quite some improvement and 19th was not too bad, but it looks as if he is putting too much pressure on himself in qualifying. Of course it is a positive thing that he really wants to do the best he can but it seems to be working out in the opposite way, which is a real pity and very difficult to turn around. We’ve had more bad qualifications but quite good results in the race after all, so let’s wait and see what tomorrow brings.”
Livio Loi – 29 (2.09,473)
“I wish I had the answer, but I don’t. We’ve tried several set-ups with the bike but I can’t get it working properly. I just don’t feel comfortable at all. It is a bit of the same story as last week when I qualified in 26th, but that ended on a very high note. Who knows what will happen tomorrow…”
SIMEON TO CHALLENGE BRNO CONTEST FROM 19th ON THE GRID
The Czech Republic Grand Prix, scheduled for tomorrow at Brno, promises to be not an easy challenge for Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: the 25-year-old Belgian rider in fact will start from the seventh row of the grid with the 19th fastest time, 2’03”083, obtained in this afternoon’s qualifying session.
Siméon today didn’t find the necessary speed to catch his rivals, lowering the lap times achieved during the free practices by only 0.4 seconds, thus the gap from pole man Zarco was of 1”4, which however reduces to just 0.6 seconds from sixth fastest.
XAVIER SIMÉON (19th - 2'03"083)
“We are still struggling: we tried various set-up solutions, but we cannot solve our problems. Tomorrow I expect a very tough race and honestly at this moment it is difficult to make a prediction, because the gap we accused today is really high. Our priority is to take some points for the Championship: if we succeed we can’t say to be satisfied, but that we were able to defend ourselves, aware that this is not our position”.
“We are experiencing a difficult weekend: on this track we are struggling a lot; today’s result doesn’t reflect our potential and of course it’s not the position that we want to occupy. The team is working hard and tomorrow we will try some other changes to the bike set-up to see if we can give something more in the race. We can’t fight for the top positions, but it would be great if we could gain half a second on our pace, in order to fight fot the top ten. The race is long and difficult and the track offers many overtaking opportunities: we will try to make the most of it to recover positions”.
Rabat and Márquez star in Brno qualifying
Brno, Czech Republic - 15 August 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS enjoyed its strongest Moto2 qualifying performance of 2015 in hot and humid conditions in the Czech Republic this afternoon, with Tito Rabat on the front row and Álex Márquez claiming a season best seventh on the grid.
Rabat ducked under his own 2014 pole position record of 2.01.911 to secure his ninth front row start of the season, while the reigning Moto3 World Champion qualified inside the top 10 for the first time in his debut Moto2 campaign.
Conditions were slightly cooler than yesterday’s scorching heat, but ambient temperatures still hit 30 degrees and track temperature nudged a fraction over 40 degrees.
Rabat and Márquez brilliantly capitalized on the more favourable conditions, though grip was still hard to find on the bumpy and slippery 3.357 miles Brno track.
Rabat’s best lap of 2.01.873 came as a result of radical overnight set-up changes to make him more comfortable on his Kalex machine and he will start in between main title rivals Johann Zarco and Álex Rins on the front row for the 20-lap race.
Márquez missed the second row of the grid by just 0.093s and the 19-year-old was delighted to comfortably beat his previous best qualifying result of 12th position.
Tito Rabat: 2nd - 2’01.873
“It would have been good to be on pole again here in Brno but the most important thing is that I am on the front row. We have worked well to improve the bike in every session and now I think we are ready to fight for the win. I was fast yesterday but not comfortable on the bike but today was much better. We have been working a lot on the setting of the bike in race trim, because it will be a long and difficult race over 20-laps in this heat. I think the fans could see another really exciting race like in Indianapolis where four or five riders will be battling for the win.”
Álex Márquez: 7th – 2’02.535
“I really like this track a lot and it is a good boost to build on our recent good work to get my best grid position in Moto2. My rhythm for the race is not bad but I still think we can improve so I can keep a competitive pace to the end and challenge for the top six. Qualifying so high up gives me a great opportunity to learn from the fastest riders in Moto2 and I certainly believe I can get my best result of the season.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It is a shame that Tito wasn’t able to get pole position but I think we made the time attack maybe a little bit early because Rins was able to improve right at the end of the session. But it is still a front row for him and a very positive day because it is the best qualifying performance by the team, with Álex finishing seventh. I’m happy with Álex because we know he is good on fast tracks like Brno and the good thing is he has the pace for a number of laps and is not just fast for one lap. We can certainly expect him to have a strong ride tomorrow if he has some luck, which hasn’t always been the case this season.”
Fourth row for Corsi and Baldassarri in Brno
The qualifying session of the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at Brno ended with both Forward Racing riders in the fourth row. Lorenzo Baldassarri and Simone Corsi will start tomorrow's race from the eleventh and twelfth place respectively.
Baldassarri, with a good 2.02.711, sits at the limits of Top10 behind Folger with the aim of getting close to the head of the race tomorrow. The young Italian finished a few tenths from the front row and is confident for the race.
Motivated at the start also his teammate Simone Corsi. Despite a fall in the last minutes before the checkered flag, the Roman, with a time of 2.02.728, closed 12th in the timesheets and is targeting the positions behind the podium.
Simone Corsi - 3
"I'm quite satisfied with qualifying today. Despite the mistake at the very last, we did a good job and tomorrow we start on the fourth row for the race. It will be important to take a good start and stay close to the front riders".
Lorenzo Baldassarri - 7
"I'm convinced we can do a good race. I’ll start in eleventh place near Simone ready to get a good result. The feeling is good, I have to improve a bit my pace but I’m confident I can stay close to the head of the pack".
Fifth pole position for Zarco
Ajo Motorsport rider sets new record for Automotodrom Brno to start from pole position.
08/15/2015 - Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic
Johann Zarco took a comprehensive pole position in the qualifying session for the Czech GP. The Ajo Motorsport rider today claimed his fourth pole from the last five GPs, and his fifth of the season. His 2:01.614 time was a new record at the Automotodrom Brno and gives him the opportunity to start from the front of the grid tomorrow.
With one eye on tomorrow's race, Zarco went out strong in the last free practice session of the weekend. Despite not fitting new tyres, the Frenchman remained amongst the fastest throughout the session. Looking for the ideal pace for tomorrow, the Ajo Motorsport rider saved the soft tyres for the afternoon, finally completing the final practice session in eighth -2:02.821.
The Ajo Motorsport rider used the new tyres on his first run in qualifying. A set of four flying laps from Zarco featured two at record pace. The second, in 2:01.614, went unrivaled for the rest of the session, giving him pole position with a time put in during the opening 10 minutes. His nearest rival was 0.259s slower.
The Moto2 race begins at 12:20pm tomorrow, and Zarco will be after his tenth consecutive podium. He has won the race on three of the four occasions in which he has started from pole position.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"Taking a fifth pole position of the season means we are doing a good job with the team, so I want to thank everyone for their efforts. Tomorrow it will be harder to maintain a good pace throughout the race, but Brno is a track I like, I feel good riding here and I'm very happy to have taken pole. I want the victory, which would be important in the fight for the championship, but I have to be careful with Alex Rins -who even though he is debutante is second in the World Championship- and Tito Rabat, who is also on the front row."