Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying:
Navarro, Quartararo and Herrera ready for final race of 2015
Second and fourth row starts for Jorge Navarro and Fabio Quartararo, respectively, with Maria Herrera just 9 tenths off the top in twenty-second.
The starting grid for the final Grand Prix of the 2015 season was decided this Saturday, with the Repsol riders in the Moto3 class finding out where they will begin the contest in Valencia. Jorge Navarro will do so from the second row, after setting the fifth fastest time in the qualifying session, Fabio Quartararo's eleventh place puts him on row four, and Maria Herrera will take off from 22nd and the eighth row.
In the morning session, the free third practice, Navarro again showed that he is on top form. The home rider set the second fastest time, 0.190s off Miguel Oliveira, who topped the timesheet. Quartararo was eleventh in the morning practice, 0.599s off Oliveira, and Herrera was twenty-third and just over one second down.
The qualifying session was again affected by heavy traffic on track, although that did not prevent Navarro from settling into the top positions from the start. In the end, the Repsol rider placed third after his last lap, but was subsequently overtaken by two riders. His best time, 1:39.525 ensured him fifth on the grid for tomorrow.
Fabio Quartararo continues to recover from his injured right ankle, and showed his improvement by setting the eleventh fastest time. He was just 0.322s behind John McPhee –the surprise poleman today. Maria Herrera took twenty-second position, 0.960s off the quickest time on a day in which the fastest 23 riders were separated by less than 1 second.
Tomorrow 's Moto3 race will start at 11:00am local time.
Fabio Quartararo 11th 1:39.686 34 laps 136 km
"I feel very good ahead of the race, because I put in many consecutive laps even though I thought I was going to get tired after so much time without riding. But I'm riding very focused and really enjoying myself, so I do not notice any fatigue. It was a very difficult qualifying session, because I always rode alone and a slipstream is very noticeable with times so tight. But I'm happy because I had a very good race pace this afternoon and in the morning with very worn tyres. Although there are many riders within seven tenths of each other, I think we will again see a group of about eight to ten riders at the front."
Jorge Navarro 5th 1:39.525 36 laps 144 km
"Today was another very positive day for us. This morning we managed to improve the bike and I felt very comfortable from the very first laps on old tires. Putting on new tyres got us up to second, but I could have gone fastest if another rider hadn't have fallen in front of me. In the qualifying session I continued with the good feeling and I knew I could do very well. It was a shame that I had my best time crossed off for having cut the track. I thought I was within the limit, but the team confirmed to me that I went a little wide. Those are the rules and they must be followed. At the very end, with the last set of tyres, I had the typical Moto3 qualifying experience: Nobody wanted to push, everyone was sitting waiting and in the end I had to push by myself. I managed to improve my time and in the end I was fifth, which is not bad. But the important thing is that for tomorrow we have a good pace and I think we can fight for the win."
Maria Herrera 22nd 1:40.324 35 laps 140 km
"In the last free practice I improved a lot from yesterday but I knew that in the qualifying session I had to take another step forward, both with my riding and my lines. I had been forcing things too much on the corners. I managed to make those improvements and was more comfortable. At the beginning of the qualifying session I rode in a group, but on the last laps I could not find any slipstream and could not lower my time. In any case, I ended up happy. I was nine tenths off the pole position and I think tomorrow we have the pace to fight for points."
Oliveira and Red Bull KTM Ajo #READYTORACE
Miguel Oliveira will fight to take the Moto3 title from the second row in Valencia. Karel Hanika and Brad Binder will start from the third row at the last race of the year.
11/07/2015 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
The grid for the final, decisive race of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship was set this Saturday. Miguel Oliveira, one of the two candidates for the title, will start from fourth place, with teammates Karel Hanika and Brad Binder in eighth, and ninth, respectively.
Oliveira had said yesterday that he and his team knew the way to go in order to take a step forward, and he demonstrated just that in FP3. The Portuguese, like Binder and Hanika, used his first two stints to work on his pace for the closing laps of the race tomorrow. With fresh tyres on his third runout, Oliveira set the fastest time of the weekend so far: 1:39.293. Binder and Hanika also improved their times from yesterday, climbing to ninth -1:39.827- and fourteenth place -1:40.021-, respectively.
As is customary, the Moto3 qualifying practice was not an easy one. Karel Hanika suffered a crash at Turn 2, 8 minutes in, but was able to keep riding after a quick trip to the pits. Despite fitting new tyres, the Red Bull KTM Ajo riders struggled to find room on track through which to set the fastest lap. It was only on their last stint that Oliveira -fourth, 1:39.503- and Hanika -eighth, 1:39.617- set their best laps, with the Portuguese only a tenth off pole. Meanwhile, Binder's time of 1:39.666, set mid-session, earned him ninth.
Tomorrow's Moto3 race begins at 11am local time. If Oliveira is able to win and rival Danny Kent places 15th or lower, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider will be crowned World Champion.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"Today we have done what we needed to do, which was to get onto front two rows of the grid. I would rather be on the front row, but I'm happy because we have done a good job with the tyres we will use in the race and I am confident for tomorrow. There will be riders who will make things difficult because they also want to win, but the strategy is clear: Push hard, not make things tricky when overtaking and protect my line. I do not know if I can get away, but I will try to be consistent and push hard. I feel no pressure and have a lot to gain, so I have to believe in myself and go for it."
41 BRAD BINDER
"We improved in practice and I had a good feeling with the bike, which is very positive for the race tomorrow. I have to keep working and pushing hard but I feel confident. I find it difficult to plan this Grand Prix, but tomorrow the one who has to win is Miguel [Oliveira], who is fighting for the championship. Today he did a great job in the qualifying session and tomorrow he has a good chance of winning the race. I have to be smart and try to have his back."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"It's a shame that we crashed so early on and missed the first and second stint, since I couldn't ride on the limit and had to check that everything was working properly. I had a good pace despite not being 100% comfortable. We made some changes between yesterday and this morning and the front end was better, but the rear wasn't feeling great and so we sought a compromise.
We've got a good setup and I even think we could have gone better. After the fall I was not very comfortable but I tried to do the best I could. The third row is not a bad place from which to start. I'm happy with the result. Tomorrow either Miguel [Oliveira] or Danny [Kent] could win the title. Miguel is very strong but it all depends on where Danny finishes. There are many riders and a lot can happen. Brad and I will try to ride our own race and stay ahead of Kent."
THINGS GET NOT EASY FOR LEOPARD RACING’S DANNY KENT WHILST EFREN VAZQUEZ STARTS FROM THE FRONT ROW
Championship leader Danny Kent endured a tough qualifying session today as he faces a big task ahead of him when starting into tomorrow’s shootout from the sixth row. On the other side of the team’s garage Efren Vazquez and Hiroki Ono pleased their crews with a third and a tenth spot on the grid respectively.
Whilst the fantastic weather remains stable also for day two of on-track action at the 4 kilometres long Valencia Circuit, things changed for the 21-year-old Briton Danny Kent significantly. After the Honda rider set the fastest lap time yesterday, Kent wasn’t able to qualify better than in 18th position for the most important race in his career. Meanwhile Miguel Oliveira, Kent’s only title contender, took some advantage on his side, as he will head into the season’s finale from fourth spot on the grid.
However, Kent just needs to score two points to be crowned Moto3™ World Champion if Oliveira wins the race. A clever race and to avoid any troubles riding through the wild Moto3 pack will be the key point for success. All members in Team Leopard Racing are hoping for good luck for Danny Kent in his big challenge.
For the latter of course are the same words from teammate Efren Vazquez, who experienced an unforgettable qualifying for him as he will start from the front row in his very last Moto3 race whilst Japanese rider Hiroki Ono delivered an astonishing performance too with a fine fourth row start for tomorrow.
The World Championship decisional shootout gets underway on Sunday morning at 11:00 pm. After 24 demanding laps at the tight and twisty circuit in Valencia we all will find out the new champion.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ, Grid position 3th - 1´39.463 (15/15):
“Well, I think we did a great job during this qualifying and I’m so happy to start from the front row tomorrow because it will be a very special occasion for me personally. Tomorrow’s Moto3 race will be the very last one for me in my career. So from this point I’m so pleased that I was able to give my family as well as my team somewhat unforgettable. But the most important thing has to come tomorrow with a great race performance because I want to move from this great team after this fantastic season with a strong result for the last time. On the other hand I’m sorry for Danny about his qualifying but in one month or five years nobody will remember how he has won a championship. The only thing I can recommend to him is that he just has to finish in the points so he needs to ride clever and avoid any troubles to achieve that. I’m pretty sure that he will manage his race well and he wins the championship. I wish him good luck for tomorrow.”
#52 Danny KENT, Grid position 18th - 1´40.013 (15/16):
“Of course it was a difficult qualifying and definitely the most worse of the year. It’s frustrating because we made the job a lot harder for ourselves. We made the gearbox a little bit shorter compared to the rest of the weekend and I reached the limiter too many times around one lap, so I lost out at many places. So for tomorrow we will make a chance to the gearbox and we also will try to improve the feeling with the bike. On the other hand we made little steps forward in respect to the bike’s setting from yesterday but we need to work on that too. In terms of pace we’re not that far away but unfortunately we were not able to put one lap together. During each lap more or less one sector got worse. The only thing we can do now is to try to do a good and clever race tomorrow because it could be one of the biggest days in my career. Anyway, the main thing is to stay on the bike and finish within the top 14.”
#76 Hiroki ONO, Grid position 10th - 1´39.668 (15/15):
“I’m so satisfied because this weekend went really great thus far. We were able to keep the momentum from yesterday, as FP3 was a success too. We found some improvements this morning for which my feeling got better but in general, I’m very pleased how this weekend went from FP1 till now. Everything was very, very good as we improved the bike’s setting step by step as well as I was very focussed on my job and I didn’t do any mistake. This of course is an important aspect too. So I wish I can continue this way during tomorrow’s race and I hope Danny will not get nervous for the race and he can win the title.”
BASTIANINI SECURES SECOND ROW START AT VALENCIA. NINTH ROW FOR DI GIANNANTONIO
The starting grid of the last round of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship, scheduled for tomorrow at Valencia, will see Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racer Enea Bastianini in second row: the 17-year-old rider from Rimini set the sixth fastest time, 1’39”581, in this afternoon’s Qualifying session at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, with a gap of only 0.2 seconds from the poleman, Brit John McPhee.
His team mate Fabio Di Giannantonio, who is replacing injured Andrea Locatelli and making his debut in the World Championship, will start instead from the ninth row with the 27th fastest time, 1’40”552: the 17-year-old rider from Rome, who set a good 1’40”072 this morning in the third round of free practice, was unfortunately unable to repeat the same performance in Qualifying, because of traffic and a fall without consequences that snared in his latest attempt to ride fast.
ENEA BASTIANINI (6th - 1'39"581)
“I’m satisfied with second row: tomorrow we will start from a better position compared to what happened in the last three races and we can say that we returned to our standard! In my last attempt I was improving my lap time, but I lost ground in the final sector: it’s important to have a rider in front of you at turn 12, in order to be as fast as possible in turn 13, but alone just a little mistake it’s enough to get slower. In any case I’m happy: I did my best lap time with the harder tyre and I have great confidence with the bike, I can ride well. We just need to check the behaviour of the bike going into the corner when I release the brakes, so tomorrow morning in the Warm Up we will try to improve this by trying a few changes”.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (27th - 1'40"552)
“This morning went very well: I was comfortable with the bike and Enea helped me to get a good lap time. This afternoon in Qualifying I could replicate the same performance, but I always found a lot of traffic and it also must be said that I’m not used to face hard-fought sessions. At the end of the session I had in front of me Binder: I tried to push harder, but at some point I opened the throttle too early and I crashed with an high side. I feel sorry for the guys who need to work hard: I will try to repay them back tomorrow with a good Warm Up and a good race”.
“The second row start is a good result: Enea is competitive and he showed he can stay with the fastest, so we are confident for the race tomorrow. We want to round off the season in the best possible way and we believe we have what it takes to get an important result. Di Giannantonio went very well this morning in the last practice session and improved himself in these two days. Obviously the lack of experience played a big role in Qualifying, but considering that this is a debut from all points of view for Fabio, I’m very happy with his performance”.
Moto3 - San Carlo Team Italia is ready to make its best at Valencia race
Stefano Manzi and Manuel Pagliani close the gap from the top during official qualifying practice.
San Carlo Team Italia riders will face a comeback race at Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, with encouraged signs and remarkable progress made during this second morning. In the only official qualifying session that allowed John McPhee (Honda) to gain pole position, Stefano Manzi and Manuel Pagliani ended with a gap a little more than 1" from the top.
Stefano Manzi, third best Mahindra rider into ranking, showed very good performance for the next race specially during FP3 session where he was not far from his reference group. Manzi has positive chances to made a very good race, in line with the past races.
This is the same for Manuel Pagliani who during his first experience at Valencia was able to close his team partner gap, finding the answers he searched during the free practices.
Stefano Manzi (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #29) 29th
"Obviously I can't be satisfied from my row place, but we have a different potential for this race. With a little solutions we will try on Warm Up, I’m sure we will able to gain ground and make a very good race."
Manuel Pagliani (San Carlo Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #96) 27th
"Today I run well, without trails help or other riders references. We have a discreet lap time for the race, we run with a certain constance and we are in line with the group that precedes us. We only lost qualifying lap, that 2/3 tenths we could allow us the top 20. Anyway, we will try to made a good starting in order to show our potential during the race."
Cristiano Migliorati (Sport Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"The race appears hard, but from this day we can obtain some positive things. Our riders run with times of 40"5-40"6, a little more than 1" from the pole and half a second from the best Mahindra. If we run tomorrow with the same time, from the second lap to almost half race, I’m sure that both riders will go close or reach points. Our technical skills allow them to maintain a race pace of 40"5, so we hope with Stefano Manzi and Manuel Pagliani to make a good result in order to close this season positively."
Remarkable Rabat takes pole for Moto2 farewell
Valencia, Spain - 7 November 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat will start his final Moto2 World Championship race from pole position after a masterful qualifying performance in Valencia this afternoon.
Back to full strength after his recent left arm injury that ruled him out of the three flyaway races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia, the 26-year-old delivered a breathtaking lap of 1.35.234 to secure the 16th pole position of his career by well over a tenth-of-a-second.
Today’s exceptional qualifying performance gives Rabat the perfect platform to try and bow out of Moto2 from the top step of the podium tomorrow, with the season finale taking place in front of a sell out crowd of over 100,000 fans at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
A third crash of the weekend in the 45-minute qualifying session prevented Álex Márquez from improving on the 14th place he secured at the end of this morning’s third practice session.
The 19-year-old fell heavily at turn 12 for the second time this weekend and a best lap of 1.36.272 puts him in the middle of the fifth row of the grid for tomorrow’s 27-lap race.
Tito Rabat: 1st – 1’35.234
“I am super-happy to have taken this pole position in my final Moto2 race. All the hard work to recover from my arm injury has paid off and I have to say a big thanks to my team as well because they have done a great job in giving me a bike that allows me to push to the limit with a lot of confidence. I can now look forward to the race knowing I have a great opportunity to finish my Moto2 career with a victory. It will be tough but I look forward to the challenge and hope this chapter in my career ends on a high note.”
Álex Márquez: 14th - 1’36.166
“This morning wasn’t too bad despite the crash and I started qualifying confident I could challenge for the top 10 and improve. The second crash at turn 12 was strange and honestly I am struggling to understand why I fell. It was a crash I didn’t expect at all and after that I couldn’t improve because I didn’t have the best feeling on the bike. The warm-up is going to be very important to try and recover a good feeling and then make a good race to end my first Moto2 season in a positive fashion.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“What else can you say about Tito? I could never have believed it was possible for him to return and take pole position here but you can never underestimate his drive and determination. He has been off the bike for quite some time now but it looked like he’s never been away. He might not be World Champion anymore, but today he produced the performance of a true champion and he is already the hero of the weekend. It is a shame that Alex crashed in qualifying because I don’t think he has been able to show what he is capable of. Tomorrow morning will be crucial to help him recover some confidence but I think the top 10 is well within his grasp.”
Front row for Zarco to round off 2015
Ajo Motorsport rider takes definitive step forward in qualifying session and takes second on the grid for Sunday.
11/07/2015 - Comunitat Valenciana Circuit, Spain
Johann Zarco took second place in qualifying for the Valencia Grand Prix, making a major breakthrough in the afternoon session. The Frenchman had made improvements in the final free practice, but it was only in the grid-deciding run that he got up amongst the fastest riders of the weekend. Showing his best pace so far, the Ajo Motorsport rider clocked a 1:35.372 lap that gave him a front row start for the season finale. It is the thirteenth time he has been on the front row, from eighteen races.
With a setup for his Kalex quite different to that used yesterday, Johann Zarco took less than half of the FP3 session to lower his best time from yesterday. Conducting two long runs, the Ajo Motorsport rider was searching for pace with Sunday's race in mind. A best lap of 1:36.237 placed him in eleventh position on the timesheets.
An improved feeling came quickly in qualifying. Zarco and his team made the required changes and managed to set their first 1:35 lap of the weekend, putting the Frenchman on provisional pole after 15 minutes. He continued to shave tenths off his times before his first trip back to the pits, and on his second stint he put in his fastest lap -1:35.372 for second place. His time was just 0.138s off pole position.
The last Moto2 race of the season starts at 12:20pm on Sunday. Zarco needs just 4 points for a new intermediate category record, and could increase his existing record for podiums in a single season.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"We have taken a big step forward. I had to push hard to take second position, but that's normal because we are in Valencia and everyone is riding very fast. Tito [Rabat] is very motivated to get the runner-up spot and take victory before moving up to MotoGP. For me it is also very interesting, because I have many things to learn and I want to prepare for next year. After having some problems yesterday and this morning, getting second position and starting from the front row gives us a good opportunity to have a good start to the race. I will do my best to get the win, but my first goal is to finish the race, because after a fantastic season I want to sign off with a smile."
ROMANO FENATI SHINES IN THE SPANISH QUALIFYING: FIRST ROW FOR THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 RIDER
The rider from Ascoli Piceno will be getting away from second spot on the grid. Fifth and sixth rows for Andrea Migno and wild card Nicolò Bulega
Valencia, November 7, 2015. Romano Fenati shone during the qualifying session at the Ricardo Tormo circuit and tomorrow he will get away from the front row in second. The Sky Racing Team VR46 rider, who today was the fastest of the Italian riders, is determined to give his best in the last race of the World Championship, where he will be fighting for third place in the overall standings. Already third at the end of the last FP session this morning (in 1'39.532), Romano completed qualifying in 1'39.450.
Good performance also by Andrea Migno (1'39.952) as he finished fifth and tomorrow will be getting away from fifth. Surprise pack Nicolò Bulega, the wild card rider for this last race of 2015 season in Valencia continues to amaze: he ended the third session of FP among the top riders and tomorrow will be starting from sixth row (sixteenth spot in 1'39.964) after riding among the fastest for most of qualifying that, however, cost him a crash on turn 5.
During the Moto3 race preceding the Moto GP grand finale, the three Sky Racing Team VR46 riders will show off liveries dedicated to Valentino Rossi: the aim is to support the 9-time world champion’s comeback in the race in which he will be fighting for his tenth title.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
It was a good qualifying, we developed an effective strategy and we will now be starting from front row in the last race of the calendar: it is a positive result to build next season on. We are ready for the race. Also Andrea put in a good qualifying and I think tomorrow he will have good chances of finishing in the top ten. After a fruitful morning session, Nicolò tried to give his best in qualifying as well but he crashed. Anyway, it's amazing what he's done in just two days. We have got a great team.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
I am very satisfied with this qualifying because getting away from the first row in the last race of the championship is very important to have an extra motivation for the upcoming season. We did a great teamwork with Andrea and Nicolò, very useful ahead of next season as well. The bike is improving every day thanks to the work my team is doing. I'm happy with Andrea’s performance too as he improved a lot. Nicolò is doing a great job, this outing as a wild card will be key for him to get ready ahead of next week’s Moto3™ World Junior Championship final in Valencia.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
I am not 100% satisfied as I could have done more. 15th place is a good result anyway, which is stemming from gradual improvement. We’ve got a good pace and I’m convinced this last race on the Spanish circuit will give us great satisfaction.
NICOLO' BULEGA / Rider
It was a pretty good day. My desire to do well in qualifying made me push even harder, so I crashed. Getting away from 16th in my first Moto3 race is still a good result, though. The bike is already performing better than it did yesterday and, although we are all very close on the track, I think I can pull off a good comeback race.
Second row for Baldassarri in Valencia
The series of positive results continues for Lorenzo Baldassarri and the Forward Racing team, competing this weekend at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia for the last race of the 2015 season. The Italian rider got an excellent fifth place in qualifying and will start from the second row for the race. Good session also for Simone Corsi, ninth.
Baldassarri, after struggling to find the right feeling with his Kalex, shined in qualifying by scoring a positive 1.35.694 which earned him fifth place just under half a second from the pole. The young Italian is confident for the race where the goal is to approach the podium to end his first season with Forward Racing in the best possible way.
Good result for Simone Corsi, ninth on the grid. The Italian, still looking for more grip at the rear, will start from the third row with a personal best of 1.35.896. Corsi aims to close his adventure with Forward with a sweet final note.
"I'm happy with what we have done today in qualifying. Yesterday I struggled, but I was focused and, with the team, I made a solid step forward. I still lose something on the rear, especially on corner exit, but the overall feeling is positive. I am satisfied, this was what we needed!".
"I am pleased with what has been done this weekend. The feeling is good and I’ll start tomorrow from the third row trying to stay with the leaders. In qualifying I suffered the lack of grip, but the race pace is good. I’m losing something in terms of confidence on the rear, but I'm sure we can do well tomorrow".
EARLY FINISH FOR SIMEON IN VALENCIA QUALIFYING AFTER A CRASH
The Grand Prix of Valencia, last round of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship scheduled for tomorrow at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, will start uphill for Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: the 26-year-old Belgian rider will have to start from 23th place, after crashing in this afternoon’s Qualifying, during his first fast lap with new tyres. Siméon fell due to the loss of the front of his Kalex under braking into the last corner: the damaged bike did not allow him to continue the session and improve, so his best lap time remained 1’36”588.
XAVIER SIMÉON (23rd - 1'36"588)
“Unfortunately I crashed in my first fast lap with new tires: I lost the front under braking for the last corner and it was a bad fall. The bike was badly damaged and it was impossible to continue the Qualifying. Too bad, because we could have done much better today. It’s been undoubtedly a difficult weekend so far, but after the free practice this morning we were more confident for Qualifying and I had a good feeling with the new tyres. Tomorrow we will have an uphill fight, but I will still give the maximum to bring home a good result to thank the whole team and greet them in the best possible way”.
“It’s a pity, actually today we have not had the opportunity to express our potential in Wualifying: Xavier crashed at the end of his first fast lap and it was not possible to continue. This morning we got some improvement in the third and final free practice session, so we were confident that we can get a good grid position. It won’t be easy tomorrow, but we remain focused to try to successfully close the season”.
Disappointing last qualifying of the season
Despite being injured, Livio Loi had hoped for a better result in the final qualifying practice of the season than 25th. With his best lap time of 1.40,496 Loi was faster than in the earlier sessions of this GP in Valencia, but the difference to the front runners remained more or less the same: 1,132.
It was obvious Loi didn’t feel comfortable on the bike. The team tried to setup the bike in the best possible way to make Loi feel better and the RW Racing GP rider himself tried his best to run as fast as he could, but it just wasn’t there. At the short and twisty Ricardo Tormo circuit the differences were utterly small, with 23 riders within one second and Loi just came short of going just that little bit faster to gain some positions.
“Unfortunately so far it is a bit of a flat and mediocre performance,” RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen admits. “We sincerely hoped we could end quite a sparkling season in a more convincing way.”
Livio Loi – 25 (1.40,496)
“It’s a shame, but I can’t make it any better. I’m hampered by a sore knee and that doesn’t make me feel confident enough to push harder. We had some issues with the bike as well, but those were not the real reason for this result. I’ve tried to make the best of it but that wasn’t enough for a more satisfying result. Tomorrow I’ll grit my teeth to pull out all the stops and bring in some more points.”
Resolute Schrotter ready to fight in final race for Tech3 at Valencia
Marcel Schrotter will contest his last Moto2 Grand Prix for the Tech3 Racing Team from the 7th row of the grid after a full effort in qualifying today at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The 21 year old continued to battle to find a solution to the grip issues which he was suffering with throughout the weekend and leapt straight into gear when QP commenced. After pushing throughout the session, his final qualifying time was just over a second from pole position. Now the German rider looks on to the 27 lap race tomorrow where he aims to close the season positively by fighting to a point scoring finish.
Meanwhile, Xavi Vierge will kick off the Gran Premi Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana in front his home crowd from right behind his teammate. Vierge began day two by finishing the morning’s FP3 session in 20th position which left him confident of producing a rapid time in the qualifying practice. Here, he pushed onwards and eventually rode a lap which placed him at the head of the 8th row but the time was over six tenths of a second quicker than his previous best. The 18 year old will now aims to close the 2015 season with a strong run aboard the Mistral 610.
Marcel Schrotter – Position : 21st – Time : 1'36.470 - Laps : 17
“It goes without saying that I am disappointed to qualify in 21st position for the last race with the team as I really hoped that we could have had a strong performance today. Having said that, we are struggling with some issues that have affected us before which limits my riding ability. In turn, this makes me feel less confident on the bike and I wasn’t able to ride how I wanted to. I tried to adjust my riding style as well, but there were no improvements unfortunately. This is a big shame as I really pushed and I hoped that at this event we could get back into the positions that we were in last season. Yet, the race is tomorrow, so I will do my absolute best to finish with the team in a good way and clinch some points. There were some issues in qualifying but now we have to analyse them, so I am sure we can turn it around and find something in the warm up which will help us for the race. The ambition is to finish in the points, as always and I am determined to fight all the way.”
Xavi Vierge – Position : 22nd – Time : 1'36.563 - Laps : 24
“Despite the fact that I improved in all areas from yesterday, it was not enough to get higher up the grid today, yet I am still confident that I can have a strong race at this circuit, which I know well. We have to be pleased with the work that we undertook, but we need to make another step forward. However, the main day is tomorrow and we still have a bit of time to alter a few small things. Nevertheless, all of the work that the team and I have undertaken this weekend has been positive, so I must say thank you to the guys for their efforts. Tomorrow we will see how things go, but I am ready to fight right until the finish flag in order to close the year on a high note..“
MCPHEE ON POLE AS KENT STRUGGLES
Contrasting fortunes for the two British riders in qualifying for the vital final round of the Moto3™ World Championship at the Grand Prix of the Comunitat of Valencia in Spain this afternoon. On the day that he signed a new contract for next season Scotsman John McPhee took pole position, while Danny Kent before the most important 24 laps of his life round the Ricardo Tormo circuit qualified in a lowly 18th place after a hectic final ten minutes. McPhee crashed in those final ten minutes, but Kent got caught in the traffic to qualify on the sixth row of the grid. The 21-year-old Wiltshire rider on the Leopard Honda has only to finish in the top 14 tomorrow to become the first British rider to win a Grand Prix World Championship since Barry Sheene in 1977. His only rival for the title, Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira, has to win to have any chance and starts from the second row after qualifying fourth.
Jorge Lorenzo decimated the lap record to taker a crucial MotoGP™ pole position while his championship rival Valentino Rossi crashed out. Rossi, who leads Lorenzo by seven points starts from the back of the grid in the 30 lap showdown after receiving three penalty points following his clash with Marc Marquez in the last round in Malaysia. Lorenzo is joined on the front row by the Repsol Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa. It was a great 15 minutes session for Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith who both start from the second row after qualifying fifth and sixth respectively. Scott Redding has had a difficult weekend to qualifying 20th with Eugene Laverty 24th after a fall early in qualifying one.
Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes qualified tenth in Moto2™ despite a crash early in the session which was led by former World Champion Tito Rabat.
John McPhee celebrates his new contract with pole in Moto3