Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's incident-packed races from Phillip Island:
Sixth place for Romano Fenati in the scrap of the lead at the Aistralian Motorcycle GP
After leading the group for much of the race, the Sky Racing Team VR46 rider misses out on the podium on the last lap.
A crash forces Andrea Migno out of the race on lap 7
In a race affected by crashes and sudden lead changes on the tricky Phillip Island track, the scrap for the lead at the Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix saw Romano Fenati cross the line in sixth after 23 hard-fought laps. The rider on the Sky Racing Team VR46 stayed in the lead for much of the race ahead of the front pack fighting for the podium until the very last lap, when a contact with Jakub Kornfeil made his chances of staying in the top three go up in smoke. After a flying start that immediately burst him into the lead, then Romano lost some ground also due to the yellow flags, but made up for it in no time with a great performance that brought him back in first with ten laps to go. Andrea Migno was forced to an early finish as he crashed out on lap 7.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
It was a hard-fought race, very enthralling with many competitive riders in the lead group, especially at the beginning. Romano stayed always in front, only to definitively lose ground in the last two laps. Too bad because with a performance like his, he would have deserved to step on the podium. Sure enough, we’ll have to do something more next time out, but the encouraging fact is that we are always in front. Migno crashed out just when he was close to the point-scoring zone, we will have to work harder in order for him to stay up in the top fifteen.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
It was a very tough race, I had a great pace when riding alone, but in the group I couldn’t brake harder so as to be stronger. That is why, in the last laps I failed to give that 3% more needed to make the difference at the cross line. We’ll give it another shot in Malaysia.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
The crash spoilt it all, but our first objective is still to be able to qualify higher up on the grid. Today’s feeling was good, but we were getting away way too far behind and that penalized us a lot. We will have to take more risks in qualifying.
Jorge Navarro takes fourth at Phillip Island
Repsol rider misses out on podium by 0.009s in close race. Maria Herrera claims best result of the season with eleventh. Fabio Quartararo withdraws from race after warm-up.
Just 9 thousandths of a second separated Jorge Navarro from his third consecutive podium, as the Repsol rider narrowly missed out in Australia. He stayed in the leading group throughout the race, showing patience and keeping away from incidents. The leading group was whittled down from sixteen riders during the first half of the race to six eventually battling for victory.
Binder, Oliveira, Fenati, Kornfeil, Vazquez and Navarro contested a final lap with continuous overtaking, and only Oliveira was able to carve out a small advantage which enabled him to ride smooth lines in the lead. Navarro battled for one of the two remaining podium places with Vazquez and Binder, missing out on a third rostrum in a row by just 9 thousandths of a second. After finishing fourth, Navarro continues in eighth place overall.
Fabio Quartararo decided at the end of warm up this morning not to take the start, instead flying to Barcelona to continue with the recovery of his right ankle.
Maria Herrera had a great performance in the second group in the race. At the start of the race, the Repsol rider slotted into eighth and was on the tail of the fastest riders in the class. She finally finished eleventh ‒a valuable result at a difficult track that she visited for the first time this weekend.
After the sixteenth round of the 2015 season, the World Championship now heads to Sepang, where the Malaysian Grand Prix takes place next weekend.
Fabio Quartararo not classified
"This morning in the warm up I did not felt very comfortable riding, and I decided to stop before the end of the session because my foot had swollen up and I felt pain. We went to the Clinica Mobile at the circuit and the team decided it was best not to participate in the race today, in order to continue my recovery."
Jorge Navarro 4th at 0.170 sec.
"It was a thrilling race. At first the group was very large, as I knew it would be, and thanks to the slipstreams we saw riders who are not always at the front up in contention –which led to many crashes. In that regard I was lucky, because I did not get involved in any incidents. I let the laps go by, because I knew it was important to save my tyres for the end. It’s a shame that, three laps from the end, I ran wide and lost a second to the group, but later I was able them to reach again. However, by then I had lost a good position to fight for victory and was the last in that pack. I was unable to keep climbing positions until the end, but I'm happy with the work we have done. This is part of the learning process for this year."
María Herrera 11th at 7.573 sec.
"It was a difficult race, with so many slipstreams. I rode pretty well and remained in the points. At a certain point we began to continuously overtake one another, and I tried to calm myself down. I knew it would be a long race and it proved to be so, because many riders crashed out. During the race I fought with experienced riders in the World Championship, such as Antonelli and Bastianini, and I am very happy because we have made a small change in between the warm up and the race that worked very well. I finished in the group competing for seventh and, although another rider got in my way on the home straight and I could not finish higher up, I'm very happy."
Mahindra feels the highs and lows in Australia
Philip Island, 18 October 2015:
Mapfre Team Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia had one of the rides of his life in today’s Australian Grand Prix – scything his red Mahindra MGP3O through from a lowly 26th on the grid, and setting the fastest lap of the race as he joined up to play a leading role in a fierce battle at the front.
The Italian teenager put the only Indian machine in the championships in front of a pack of nine riders elsewhere on the scenic 4.448-km seaside circuit, as the cream of the Moto3 crop battled over inches. His fastest lap came on the third of 23 laps, just over two tenths short of a new record.
But misfortune was waiting on the tenth lap. Still at the front of the group, Bagnaia was sent flying after contact with another bike while braking for the tight MG corner.
At the same time, team-mate Jorge Martin was also demonstrating the strength and potential of the MGP3O. The Mapfre rookie was 20th on the grid, but rapidly cut through the jostling pack, joining and moving to the front of the big midfield group chasing the front men.
The Spaniard, last year’s Red Bull Rookie champion, continued his progress, and with five laps left was right up to seventh place.
Again, problems lay ahead. Martin slipped off at a tight corner, but was able to remount and still finish in the points, in 15th place.
With third Mapfre rider Juan Guevara also crashing out, it was eventually a disappointing day for the official team – but with both Bagnaia and Martin underlining the strength and potential of the MGP3O, there were still positive aspects.
Rookie Remy Gardner (CIP Mahindra) was the top finisher on the Indian machine, claiming a career-best tenth at the circuit where his father, double 500 champion Wayne Gardner, won the inaugural race in 1989.
The next race is the Malaysian Grand Prix, in just seven days.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO, Mahindra Racing
In the end, luck played a bigger part than anything else. Bad luck; and we’re thoroughly disappointed. At one stage Pecco was leading, having the race of his life. He’d come from a miserable starting position to lead, and set the fastest lap, which clearly shows the strength and fight in the rider, as well as the Mahindra machine. Martin did something similar in another good ride going from 20th to seventh before he crashed. But these things can happen in racing, as we saw in a race with a number of accidents
Top ten finish for Márquez in Australia
Phillip Island, Australia - 18 October 2015: Álex Márquez continues to show plenty of progress in his rookie Moto2 season with the reigning Moto3 World Champion finishing ninth at today's Australian Grand Prix after a difficult weekend at Phillip Island.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider came from 18th on the grid to enjoy an action packed day that saw him cut through the mid-pack and fight with Randy Krummenacher throughout the race. Having held him off by less than a tenth of a second the result marked a sixth top ten finish of the season for Márquez.
Having struggled at the start of the race the 19-year-old Spaniard eased his way into proceedings and was able to make plenty of progress throughout the field once he started to gain confidence. However, having been forced to start the race with a front tyre that had already done 12 laps, Márquez was held back in the closing stages of the race.
The next round of the Moto2 World Championship will take place at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia next weekend.
Álex Márquez: 9th
"I think that over the weekend we had a lot of problems and it was difficult for me to have a good feeling on the bike. I had a bad start but then I recovered some positions and improved more and more. On the sighting lap I had a bad feeling with the front tyre so we started the race with a 12 lap old tyre. It wasn't a big problem, but in the last ten laps I was making some mistakes and I couldn't keep my rhythm. Malaysia is a circuit that I like and we need to go there with more motivation. If we arrive there with 100% motivation we can have a good result."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It was a difficult weekend and starting from position 18 and finishing ninth is not bad. I think that Álex was missing a little bit of rhythm because the group that he was initially fighting with finished sixth or seventh, so I think that it was possible for him to stay with them and gain three or four places."
A CRASH CAUSED BY KENT ENDS BASTIANINI'S WORLD TITLE HOPES AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Enea Bastianini’s World Title hopes has unfortunately ended in today’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island: the 17-year-old Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racer was taken out of the game with 9 laps to go, when he was involved in a crash caused by his rival for the Championship, Danny Kent.
Bastianini, who until then produced a great comeback that halfway through the race led him close to the top, was following closely Kent and Antonelli, when the English rider hit the Italian also involving Enea in the crash. Luckily the medical checks in the Clinica Mobile only showed only a microfracture of the ring finger of his left hand, which should not bother Enea in the upcoming race in Malaysia, where the main target will be to regain the second position in the Championship, now held by today’s race winner Miguel Oliveira.
The other Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider, Andrea Locatelli, was forced to enter the pits with to 8 laps to go because of his physical issues, result of the crash he had during Qualifying in Misano.
ENEA BASTIANINI (DNF)
“Kent was in too much hurry to get back in front, he made a mistake and I ended up right in the middle of the crash. It’s a shame, because these last two races certainly didn’t go as we hoped: in Japan we still defended well, but here we had some set-up problems during practice. I knew that I could still emerge in the race today and everything was going pretty well. Even after a mistake I made when I was catching Fenati, with a small off-track excursion, I was convinced that I could close the gap to the leading group. But I have not had the opportunity to do it... Luckily in the fall I had only a small fracture to a finger of my left hand, that is not bothering me. It’s also a shame to lose the World Title in this way: I’m very disappointed because I believed in it, but now it’s all over because of a crash caused by my rival. However, I think that this year perhaps Kent deserves it more than me... Now our main target is to take back the second place in the standings: we will have to fight hard to do that, because in the last three races Oliveira has been very strong”.
ANDREA LOCATELLI (DNF)
“Unfortunately I couldn’t continue the race and I had to stop: at one point I even went off the track, almost crashing. Already before the start I was very tense, I was feeling pain in my neck and lap after lap the situation has steadily worsened. Friday I was quite good, but then as the days passed, it was increasingly difficult to ride. I’m disappointed, because I thought I could do it, but actually I still need to be patience. However I try to stay positive, even if it’s hard”.
“Today we were starting the race far behind, but Bastianini made a good start and he was doing a good comeback race. Unfortunately, when he was fighting to catch the leading group, Kent made a risky maneuver on Antonelli, causing a crash in which Enea was involved. It’s a pity, because in the last few races we have lost a lot of points: now the battle for the World Title is over and now we also have to fight to take back second place in the overall standings. Locatelli still suffered the consequences of the crash at Misano and he was not able to finish the race: we are trying to help him to pick up the pace, but it won’t be easy for him until he is not physically fit”.
Loi one of sixteen non-finishers in dramatic race
The Moto3 race of the Australian Grand Prix will certainly go into the history books as one of the most dramatic and chaotic races with no less than sixteen non-finishers. Unfortunately Livio Loi was one of them. RW Racing GP’s Belgian rider was taken out in the fifth lap.
Only nineteen riders made it to the finish of the 23 laps race at Phillip Island, where the conditions were just fine.
With a start from the second row on the grid the outlooks for Livio Loi were good. The young Belgian made a great start, going into the first turn in fourth, but along the way of the first two laps he was caught in the slipstreams and dropped down to twelfth.
When rookie Joan Mir tried to overtake Loi in lap 5 the Spaniard took the bend way too sharp. He touched Loi’s front wheel, causing the number 11 to crash. Angry and frustrated Loi escaped without injury.
“It’s very unfortunate, as it was not Livio’s fault, but this is part of racing too,” RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen commented. “We’ve had two great weekends but in two back-to-back races we have lost at least 20 points, which is a real shame. We certainly had deserved more than another crash.”
Livio Loi – DNF (+ 19 laps)
“Of course I’m pretty fed up, but I can’t blame myself for anything else than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I dropped back a bit from the start, but I didn’t worry at all as the field was so close that nothing was lost yet. In such close battle you easily lose six positions in one turn or on the straight, but I saw the group was falling apart a little and that was good for me. But then Mir came passed and cut me. Two good weekends and still empty-handed; that’s frustrating. Finally we seem to have qualifying sorted out and now it’s the races that suck. I really wish everything would converge just once for a change.”
LEOPARD RACING’S EFREN VAZQUEZ SCORED A SECOND PLACE WHILST DANNY KENT CRASHED OUT OF THE RACE
The colourful turquoise Moto3 squad endured an unlucky outcome of the Australian round today as series leader Danny Kent missed out his chance for winning the world title today again due to an unfortunate race crash, which was also the case for substitute rider Joan Mir, whereas Efren Vazquez’s second place in that action packed race was the highlight today.
It’s obvious that summer time isn’t far away at the southern hemisphere as bright skies with ambient temperatures and some light winds accompanied race day at Phillip Island for the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. It seems all went according to plan as the Moto3 pack left the line on time at 1:00pm local time.
The Leopards with Danny Kent and Efren Vazquez both settled well within the lead grouping straight away but in that huge group hard fought battles for positions appeared in every corner during the early stages of the race till Championship favourite Danny Kent was hit by another rider in breaking point for the Melbourne Hairpin. Although, the season dominant rider recovered quickly after this incident where he ran wide through the right-hander but a couple of laps later, Kent was hit a second time by another rider but this time he couldn’t avoid a fall. Fortunate for Kent, he escaped unhurt from this nasty crash which is the same for Niccolo Antonelli and Enea Bastianini, who where also involved. After Bastianini did not finish the race, it’s now Portuguese rider and later race winner Miguel Oliveira, who Kent needs to pay attention on in the fight for the world title.
Meanwhile to that drama, the team’s experienced Spaniard Efren Vazquez put in a great show as he steps quickly into Kent’s footsteps to hold the flag for Leopard Racing today. A group of five riders were fighting for victory at the picturesque Phillip Island racetrack alongside Vazquez, such as the likes of Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder, Jorge Navarro and Jakub Kornfeil. But Vazquez had a clever strategy for the last lap to pass Binder using his slipstream to his full benefits.
Young Spanish rider Joan Mir underlined his great talent this weekend in South Australia, as he delivered a great job over the course of the three days with a stunning performance in the early stages of the race when he found himself amongst the leading group till the point he crashed out of the race which was not his fault.
The Moto3™ World Championship heads immediately to the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend for the penultimate round of the action packed series this year.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ – 2nd World Championship position 6th (155 points):
“It was a crazy race but a great battle too, fighting for the podium till the line. It is a hard fought second place finally, so I’m really happy for. At least we were a bit lucky today, opposite to some other races recently like in Motegi last week. However, it just wasn’t luck because we worked so hard this weekend. A big thanks to my mechanics for their job but also to my crew chief, who gave me a really fast bike all weekend long. After this long-waited podium, I already look forward to the last two races where I will continue in the same way like here at Phillip Island and just try everything to catch up one or two positions in the championship till the season concludes. I’m sorry for Danny as he missed this big chance today, it wasn’t his fault so he was really unlucky. But I’m confident that we as a whole team will manage to bring home the title next time out.”
#52 Danny KENT - NC, World Championship position 1st (244 points):
“Honestly speaking, I’m a little bit disappointed about the outcome of the weekend because I felt really strong on the bike during every session and also in the race today. I felt very confident that we could have left the island as champions. I was racing in the leading group and it was really easy to stay with them but one time in breaking zone for the hairpin I was hit by another rider, which was the first time to push me wide and I dropped back many positions. But I was able to recover quickly as I found myself in sixth position just two laps later. Then I was hit again, which took me out of the race. So now Enea (Bastianini) is out of the title run but we need to pay all attention to Miguel Oliveira who lies 40 points behind us. We need to keep working hard in the last two races, starting fully focussed next week in Malaysia.”
#36 Joan MIR - NC:
“Well, I’m happy to learn a lot in this race but I’m also sorry for the team to be not able to finish it. After a great a start, I found myself in the front group and from then on, I thought I could do a strong race today. But McPhee crashed in front of me and I couldn’t avoid a crash too. However, I didn’t have anything do lose in this race because the target was just to learn for the future, which I managed well. Honestly speaking, I didn’t expect to fight in the front group in my very first race at the world stage but as I said thanks to my great start I was able to do so, even if it lasted just a couple of laps. Finally my big thanks to the entire team for their warm welcome to me.”
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
“Of course we’re happy with Efren for his second place today. He rode a clever race to achieve this strong result and he was our only rider out of three on the podium today. However, this second place is over-shadowed by Danny’s drama who was on the run to finish this race on the podium too, but he suffered such an unlucky outcome as first he was pushed wide by Francesco Bagnaia. He then put in a great show by recovering so quickly back closely to the top five before Danny and Niccolo Antonelli crashed out of the race at the same time. Luckily he remains unhurt from this nasty crash but in the end we didn’t collet a single point. Therefore, we still need ten points to win this championship in the last two races, which is annoying meanwhile as we missed another big chance today. On the other hand we are happy with Joan’s performance throughout the weekend in his very first World Championship appearance. Joan of course is very talented rider, what he showed not at least in the race. Unfortunate for him he crashed out too because McPhee low-sided in front of him. Overall, it’s nice to leave the island with a second place scored by Efren, but we endured an unlucky weekend again here.”
Victory for Oliveira and podium for Binder in Australia
Portuguese takes fourth win of the season and teammate accompanies him on podium in third. Hanika earns two points after great comeback.
10/18/2015 - Phillip Island Circuit, Australia
Red Bull KTM Ajo earned their best result of the season this Sunday at the Australian circuit of Phillip Island, thanks to a victory for Miguel Oliveira and third place for Brad Binder. Both riders came up trumps in an intense race, in which there were many crashes and plenty of overtaking. Karel Hanika finished fourteenth, after crash when in second position. With this result, Oliveira moves up to second in the overall standings and remains in contention for the title.
Early on, the three Red Bull KTM Ajo formed part of a packed first group of 15 riders, which gradually reduced in number due to multiple crashes. With 17 laps remaining the trio occupied the top three positions, until five laps later, at Turn 4, Hanika went down.
Oliveira and Binder remained at the front in a group of six riders, defending their positions. The Portuguese clinched the win, with Binder only missing out on second place due to a slipstream. Meanwhile, Hanika picked his bike back up after his crash, did not give up and soared up through the field, taking fourteenth and adding two more points to his tally.
After this great result and with two races of the season remaining, Oliveira rises to second place in the classification and lies 40 points off the lead, still in with a chance at the Moto3 World Championship. Binder is seventh with 126 points and Hanika seventeen with 43. Next week the trio continue the action at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"The truth is it was a crazy race. On the final laps I saw that the group was not very big and I could relax a little, but I was clear that I wanted to finish first or second. Before the race I wasn’t too sure about my strategy, but I knew I wanted to go into the last lap in second and that is which I opened up at Lukey Heights to let Kornfeil pass me, looking to slipstream him on the straight.
That enabled me to start the last lap with a little gap and I was able to defend very well for the entire lap. I'm happy for my team, as this was a very important victory and we all worked hard for it.
Obviously with fifty points still up for grabs and us being forty off the top, anything is possible, although my focus is to continue as we have been doing at the two remaining races. As we saw in this race, anything can happen, and in the end you also have to have some luck. Moto3 is a class in which everyone is fighting up to the final moment, and every metre of the track counts."
41 BRAD BINDER
"It was not an easy race. I was riding in the leading group when, with 9 laps remaining, someone touched my front brake going into the first corner and I had to run wide. Luckily I was able to continue riding and push hard to latch back onto the front group. Other than that, the race went well overall, but I'm a little disappointed because I thought I could definitely finish first or second. I pushed very hard on every lap, even after going off-track, but eventually I was slipstreamed almost at the finish line for second. I have to thank the team because the bike was fantastic, with amazing handling. I'm sure I could have done better and I’m a little sour about the result, but that's racing. I’m glad to be back on the podium and eager for more at Sepang."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"I'm a little disappointed at the end of this weekend, because in the race we were in a position to fight in the leading group. It was not easy to get to the front of the race, because my start was not very good and I had several touches from other riders on the first three laps, which caused me to lose positions. Finally I found my pace and made up positions to put myself into the leading group.
I was into the Top 3 and, although I tried not to make mistakes, I made one at Turn 4 and lost any chance I had of a podium. I was able to pick the bike back up and score two points, but it’s a shame because I think if I had not suffered the crash I would have been a clear candidate for the podium. I want to thank the team because the bike worked very well, so we'll try again in Malaysia."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"It's been a great day for us, because it is not easy to get two riders on the podium and we have to be very happy about this. I am particularly pleased with our improvement over recent races, in the second half of the season. KTM have made updates that have been very good and our team have worked very hard on setups that allow us to feel strong. Thanks to all of them and especially the riders. We hope to continue in the same way at the two remaining races and fight for victories in them.
After this race, we need to focus on the World Championship, because thanks to Miguel [Oliveira] we are in the fight for the title. With the results from today, our only goal should be to win the two remaining races."
Zarco takes seventh in Australia
New Moto2 World Champion places seventh in Moto2 race at Phillip Island.
10/18/2015 - Phillip Island Circuit, Australia
After winning the Moto2 title a week ago in Japan, this Sunday Johann Zarco crossed the finish line at the Australian Grand Prix in seventh position. After starting from that same position on the grid, the Ajo Motorsport rider maintained a steady pace throughout the race, matching the times he had set in practice. With this result, Zarco moves even closer to the record for points in a single Moto2 World Championship season.
Starting from the head of the third row of the grid, Zarco held his position at the start. After gaining a place on Lap 2, the Frenchman saw his chances of a podium finish slip away and decided to maintain his pace –with the aim of claiming further points for his tally by the end. The Ajo Motorsport rider moved between fifth and eighth place during the 25 laps, finally taking the chequered flag in seventh place.
After the sixteenth round of the season, the new Moto2 World Champion has a total of 318 points to his name. His lead in the overall standings increases to 104 more than the rider in second place. Next weekend, at the Sepang circuit, the Frenchman will try to continue breaking records.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"The day started well, with third place in the warmup and me being able to relax when riding. However, the race itself was very difficult. At first I thought that as the laps went by I could be stronger than my rivals, but in the end as more laps passed, the bike was skidding so much that things were only getting worse. I wanted to finish the race, because I had suffered two crashes on my previous visits to this circuit and that's not good for confidence. It was a good weekend for learning and I think we have done well. I’m sure this will help us in the future."
AKI AJO - Team manager
"It was not our best day in Moto2, but we can't be disappointed after winning the title and the race we had last week in Japan. In this sport, sometimes there are weekends like this, where the rider does not feel entirely comfortable from the first practice onwards. But every GP is different and I am convinced that at the next races, starting with Malaysia, we will be back in the fight for the podium."
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia conquers the points at Phillip Island
At his third race Manuel Pagliani is 13th on the finish line, Stefano Manzi out at the start.
A strange race of the Moto3 World championship at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit has given a new satisfaction to San Carlo Team Italia. In a race won by Miguel Oliveira (KTM), the second Italian on the finish line is Manuel Pagliani, thirteenth at his third presence in the World Championship, a great result to finish a weekend of constant improvement. Outcome to be forgotten for Manzi (14th in the grid), out at the second turn because of a crash.
Started from the 32nd place of the grid, Manuel Pagliani was author of a comeback race proving a convincing pace constant on 1'37". Overtaking after overtaking, the 2014 CIV Moto3 Champion succeeded in recovering until the 13th final position, being able to resist the attacks of other riders, which allowed him to reach a prestigious place that earns him three points.
San Carlo Team Italia gets the third in a row position in the points in the last four races, while the race of Stefano Manzi finished at the second turn due to a crash. A conclusion that doesn't compromise an Australian weekend with several positive result to be remarked for the sixteen-year-old rider from Rimini, sixteenth in qualifying and, due to penalisations to other riders, started from the fourteenth of the grid.
Manuel Pagliani (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #96) 13th
"I am truly satisfied with the result, but also with the pace that I kept. Only at the end I lost some ground, but for most of the race I was at 6" from the firsts. I still miss a little of endurance at the end of the race, but this result is a good dose of confidence for the following races. I am very happy and I want to thank the team, the FMI, my family and all the sponsors that made this result possible at our third race together. A place in the points that makes us proud."
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) DNF
"I made a mistake and this precluded us the possibility to achieve a result within our reach. At the second turn I got the trajectory wrong and, on dirt, I lost the front and I crashed. It's a pity because we could have done better today. With the team we worked well in these three days, we are living a good moment and we are ready to improve in few days in Malaysia."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sport Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"It could have been a complete special day: it was for the great race of Pagliani, but we could have completed the work with a good result of Manzi. Manuel proved his potential racing with a costant pace on 1'37" that was our goal. For most of the race he was at few seconds from the firsts, then at the end he limited the gap from the winner and resisted the attacks of Hanika, Tonucci and Martin in order to achieve this positive thirteenth place, keeping high the level of concentration. At his third race in World championship he took his first three points, a result that is useful for Malesia. Talking about Manzi, unfortunately his race finished after few meters: he hurried at the start and he finished out of trajectory and on dirt in Turn2,losing the front and crashing in just one moment. It's a shame because he could have finished in top-10 today, he will improve for sure because his potential and talent are out of discussion."
SIMEON SECURES TOP FIVE FINISH AT PHILLIP ISLAND AFTER A GREAT COMEBACK
Xavier Simeon collected a well-deserved fifth place finish in today’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island thanks to determined race aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex machine. Started from the sixth row, the 26-year-old rider made a good recovery, reaching the top ten positions already halfway through the race and then pulling himself in sixth position. Following the retirements of Luthi and Folger, Siméon took fourth place before battling in the last two laps with Japanese Nakagami, crossing the finish line just behind him.
Thanks to this performance, Xavier and the team get a good result after some difficult races and also important points for the Championship, which now sees Siméon in seventh place with 107 point, with only two races remaining.
XAVIER SIMÉON (5th)
“Already yesterday I knew I could count on a good pace, but this morning in the Warm Up we made a change to the set-up that allowed me to be even faster: I found a bike that allows me to push hard and get good lap times, so I started the race very confident. I knew that the hardest part would be the first laps, and that it was necessary to make a good start: at the beginning I was calm, then lap by lap I was able to do a lot of overtaking and recover. In the final stages Nakagami had a little more grip than me in one corner and I couldn’t stay close enough to be able to attack him on the last lap, but that’s okay. I’m really happy to have found a good level of competitiveness and also for this good top five finish, after the disappointment of Motegi”.
“This morning’s Warm Up was very important to prepare for the race: Simeon immediately enjoyed the bike and we found the right way to be even faster. The race promised to be difficult anyway, after a crash in the Warm Up and considering that we were starting from the back. Xavier, however, was very good, remaining calm in the first laps and then attacking. A very nice fifth place, a good result we’ve been missing for some races. I’m happy for Xavier and for the whole team!”.
Schrotter fights through pain to bravely seize 12th at Phillip Island
Tech3 Racing Team rider Marcel Schrotter fought tirelessly to close a tricky weekend with a solid points scoring finish in the 16th round of the 2015 World Championship aboard the Mistral 610. Despite the 22 year old nursing an injured right elbow after a heavy crash in FP3 yesterday, he confidently looked towards the race and then bolted forward from 20th on the grid when the battle began. The young German pushed through the intensely competitive pack and completed the opening lap in 17th as he stuck into his race rhythm. After aggressively manoeuvring through the fierce field, Schrotter was back in the points after four laps but slipped back two places one lap later as he dived into the four way fight for 15th. With ten laps having been completed, the brave German fought with Cardus and Corsi whilst continuing his speed as the race distance counted down. With 8 laps left to run, Schrotter was riding in 16th before moving back into the points again on the 19th lap. Yet, this was just a brief point in his climb upwards, which then progressed a couple of laps later when the 22 year old moved into 13th position as he carried on his fight with Corsi right until the end of the race. By the time the chequered flag was shown, Schrotter had expertly sped past the Italian rider to snatch 12th place.
Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the Tech3 Racing Team pit box, Xavi Vierge produced a determined performance at the meandering Phillip Island Circuit to finish in 19th position. The Spanish youngster who was visiting the 4.4 kilometre circuit for the first time, qualified in 25th position and when the lights went out, he shot forward as he looked to climb through the field. After a typically frantic opening Moto2 lap, Vierge crossed the line in 21st having overtaken four riders as he joined the pack of four battling for 19th. With a third of race distance almost completed, the 18 year old was involved in a tough battle with Syahrin where the two exchanging passes frequently. The Spaniard then brilliantly dived past Raffin to clinch 19th as he tried to continue his ascent with the finish line inching closer. In the final stages of the race, Vierge was once again involved in an intense battle with Simon and Raffin, before crossing the finish line in 19th place in his 8th Moto2 World Championship race.
Marcel Schrotter – Position : 12th – Championship : 19th - Points : 31
“In the end, it was a satisfying outcome to the weekend that was particularly difficult for me and we have to be pleased with the final result. Yesterday I had a big crash where I damaged my elbow and knocked my head, but during the race, with the adrenaline and some painkillers, I felt much better than I did in warm up. I tried to push as much as possible at the beginning of the GP but there was a small technical issue, which we now have to analyse, as my bike cut out a few times. Therefore, I lost a few positions and the group in front moved away. Anyway, I joined the pack with Morbidelli, Corsi and Cardus as we all fought together. We switched places several times but after a while, I saw that my pace was quicker than Corsi’s. I also realised that we were catching Morbidelli, so I tried to not interrupt Corsi too much and I sat behind him. This meant that I could relax a bit and that was good for my arm also. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t come together in the end and we couldn’t overtake Morbidelli, yet I am happy that I managed to finish at the front of the small group. Seizing 12th was a solid result after the really challenging weekend that we had and the team did a great job here. We need to make another step forward at Sepang, but we will take this positive momentum over to Malaysia and then do our best as we aim for another strong finish.“
Xavi Vierge – Position : 19th – Championship : Not Classified
“Fortunately, I can leave this amazing track feeling satisfied after a positive close to another weekend of learning in the Moto2 class and I collected a lot of knowledge today which fills me with confidence for the future GP’s. Ever since, I joined the Tech3 Racing Team I have had to learn nearly all of the tracks, as well as who my rivals are and I’ve had to take everything step by step. Now, I feel we are really getting somewhere. It was certainly a challenging weekend because although the track was brilliant, it was physically demanding as well and there was a lot of wind, which made the battle even harder. I started the GP well and after setting into my race rhythm, I managed to stay in the fight with Syahrin and Simon. Lap by lap I made progress, but I wanted to finish ahead of both of them, yet this wasn’t possible this time so I stayed calm and concluded the race as I didn’t want to risk crashing out. However, I gained a huge amount here and I look forward to racing again on my Mistral next week in Malaysia. Thanks to the team for their superb work and also, thanks to the sponsors.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager :
“It was a good end to the Australian event and we are very pleased with both rider’s results. Marcel had a massive crash and really hurt his right elbow yesterday so last night we were not even sure if he could race today as the pain was too much when he was braking on the track. Anyway, he did and I was more than happy to see him have a good start and then get into a strong group with Corsi and Cardus. In the end he got the best out of them and finished in 12th, which is a great performance when you consider how bad he was physically. Therefore, I want to thank him for trying that hard and hopefully his condition will be much better in Malaysia. On the other side of the pit box, Xavi learnt a lot and had a solid race. You can clearly see that he’s learning as he set his fastest lap on the very last one in the GP. He was fighting with Syahrin and Simon who are really experienced and fast Moto2 riders so for sure, he’s gained a lot of knowledge. I’m pleased with what he achieved today and when you compare his performance with that of Edgar Pons who is his main rival in the Spanish CEV championship, Xavi finished 11 seconds ahead, which is very positive. So it’s mission completed for both guys and we will celebrate a bit tonight before we head to Sepang where we can hopefully repeat this result.”
Superb third place at Phillip Island for Baldassarri
It was a really great race for the Forward Racing team today at the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Lorenzo Baldassarri, in fact, riding his Kalex, scored the first career podium crossing the line in 3rd place. Good job also for Simone Corsi, 13th under the checkered flag.
Baldassarri, who started in 9th place, after a big fighting during the first laps, found the right feeling and pace and he did a great recovery on Zarco and Folger closing in 3rd position. For the young Italian rider of the VR46 Riders Academy, in the Championship from 2013, this is the first podium.
After an hard race, Simone Corsi finished in the points, 13th at the end. Corsi, starting from the fourth row on the grid, immediately lost the feeling with his bike. He struggled until the checkered flag and he got 3 points.
"I expected more from this race, but from the first laps I lost the feeling with my Kalex. I struggled a lot but I arrived to the finish line and got three points. Congratulations to Lorenzo for this podium: is a great result for the whole team”.
"I'm really happy! I scored the first podium of my career on my favorite track. It was a great race: I struggled at the beginning, but then I found a great pace. I recovered on Zarco and then on Folger. When I saw on the board P3 I kept concentration. I just want to say thanks to all the team for the work they made. We started to work together at the beginning of the season, we grew up together and this is an incredible result for everyone. Thanks also to my family, the VR46 Riders Academy and all the sponsors for their support”.
Best Moto3 finish yet for Husqvarna Laglisse rider Maria Herrera
ELEVENTH PLACE FOR SPANISH RIDER IN ROUND 16, PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Husqvarna Laglisse rider Maria Herrera of Spain on Sunday wrapped up a very positive weekend at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia at Round 16 of the MotoGP Moto3 World Championship. Herrera launched her race weekend with a best ever qualifying position at eleventh place and went on to finish in the same position after what developed into a turbulent and dramatic race.
Maria Herrera: “I was going quite well and improved some positions but I could see that the riders in the front group were a little aggressive and were overtaking a lot, so I tried to stay calm during the opening laps. I was very comfortable with the bike. We made some changes for the warm-up and I think we were right because I was able to pass some riders. I’m very happy about this great race because we were competitive against very strong riders.”
For the Spanish rider it was her season’s best performance and on a track where she has never raced before. Her young Italian teammate, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, like Herrera also making his debut at the sweeping Australian GP circuit, also had a strong first half to the 23-lap race before being involved in a multi rider crash.
At the half way mark both riders on the FR 250 GP machine were still in contention with Herrera in ninth position and Dalla Porta in eleventh. Three laps later Dalla Porta’s hopes of a good finish ended in the gravel, while Herrera powered on to complete the race. Dalla Porta, who only moved up from the Spanish National Championship to join Herrera in the team in the summer break, was however in good company. Almost half the field of starters, some 16 riders in all, failed to complete the full race distance.
After being involved in the multi rider crash, Dalla Porta attempted to get back into the race but realized at the next corner that damage to his bike would not allow him to continue.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta: “The race was going well and I was able to make up some positions. We had a good race set-up and I felt comfortable in the group but when (Danny) Kent crashed I couldn’t do anything to avoid hitting his bike because it was right in front of me. I got back on the track but the bike was not able to continue and I had to retire. I am sorry for the team, and for me, because we had chances to do well here. Now we have to think about Malaysia, which is another new circuit for me, and there we hope to have a good result.”
Conditions for the race were near perfect but competition was very tight and with many riders taking advantage of the multiple slip streaming possibilities, the race was peppered with incidents.
Teams now move north to the Sepang circuit in Malaysia for the last of the three overseas races, and the penultimate round of the championship. They then return to Europe for the final round in Valencia, Spain, which will give Herrera an opportunity to shine in front of the enthusiastic Spanish fans.
Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix - Rd.16
#30 Takaaki Nakagami
【Race】 4th position
#25 Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman
【Race】 21st position
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami showed stunning performance at Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, scoring 4th place. While, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman finished in 21st place.
Starting from second row 6th position on the grid, Japanese rider Takaaki Nakagami completed first lap in 7th position. He lost his position to 10th momentary due to the close race, but from the 6th lap he began to pick up his pace with the 1’33s, keeping the position 10th until mid-way. However, from the 14th lap he built the momentum shortening the difference which there was more than 1 second with the rider front of him. He improved the position steady one by one, and at the 3 lap remaining he reached in 4th place and took checkered flag.
Teammate Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman, starting from 5th row 15th position on the grid, improved 2 positions at second lap and reached in 12th in good pace with the 1’33s. However, he crashed at turn 4 in 21th lap, rejoined to the race but finished in 21st place.
Tadayuki Okada (Team Manager)
Both riders made good start but Nakagami struggled to find his pace at the beginning of the race. We have to work harder in order to resolve the problems which he suffers to pick up the pace.
I’m really disappointed for Azlan that he crashed at 21st lap because he was having good pace. Next race in Malaysia is Home GP for him, so I expect that he try to finish in higher position!
#30 Takaaki Nakagami
Despite I made good start, I struggled to pick up my pace and to follow fast pace of top riders at the beginning of the race, and lost the position to 10th. From 6th lap which I started to have good rhythm, tried to hammer down toward the final lap. Many riders slowing up, but I could keep up the pace to the end, happy to finish in 4th place, but we have still problems to resolve. Overcoming the problems on grip and setting of the rear, I’m sure that I can battle in top group. I try to secure the podium at next GP in Malaysia!
#25 Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman
I’m really disappointed to crash with 5 laps remaining as I was feeling very well with machine and having good rhythm. I rejoined and tried to finish the race, but I’m so sorry for the result in 21st place. Next GP is Home race for me, so I will do all my best to have good result!!