Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin:
Third consecutive podium for Binder
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes third place at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas on last lap. Bo Bendsneyder completes the race twenty-second.
04/10/2016 - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, USA
Brad Binder claimed a third consecutive podium of the season with third place at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas, coming through on race day despite seemingly not being as strong as at the opening two rounds of the season. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider showed that he always saves his best for Sunday and, after riding in fifth for most of the race, the South African gained two places on the last three laps to finish on the podium. He remains the leader of the Moto3 World Championship after Round 3. Bo Bendsneyder completed his third race of the year in twenty-second position.
Starting from the fourth row of the grid, the race was not an easy challenge for Brad Binder. He moved up five positions in the first sector of the first lap, then slotted in behind Fabio Quartararo as the two mounted an assault on the podium places. Despite being slightly separated from the Top 3 with 8 laps remaining, a mechanical problem for another rider enabled him to gain a position. However, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider would not settle for fourth, and hunted down Philipp Oettl to pass him at Turn 12 of the last lap.
Bo Bendsneyder had a tricky race in Austin. Setting off from twenty-third position, the rookie was caught up in a jam at the unique opening corner of the Circuit of the Americas. The Dutchman recovered from the setback to move up the order during the 18-lap race, crossed the finish line in twenty-second.
After two back-to-back races, the Moto3 World Championship will take a week off to travel to Europe. The next round takes place on April 22nd when the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain gets underway. Brad Binder arrives there as leader, with a total of 52 points. Bendsneyder is twenty-third with 2 points to his name.
Aki Ajo- Team Manager
"It definitely wasn’t our easy race, but we should be happy as Brad [Binder] has taken another podium and we are still leading the championship. The season is long and sometimes you have difficult races -even more than normal. Brad was intelligent again during the race; he did not push too hard because his feeling was not perfect with the bike today, but at the end he was very strong and scored another podium. I'm happy about that.
As for Bo [Bendsneyder], the weekend started quite well, although in QP he was unlucky with the condition of the track and did not get the result we had hoped to achieve. Today he started very far back. He also didn’t have a good feeling with the front end, so we must analyse what happened during the race. Despite all this, he was able to finish and gained more experience, which ultimately is what we are looking for with Bo."
41 BRAD BINDER
"Throughout the weekend I thought I would not be so lucky in today's race. We had a good feeling with the bike from the beginning, and I was able to ride comfortably. When there were 8 laps remaining, I wasn’t sure about what to do, because I saw that I could not keep up the pace of Quartararo and Oettl -so I suffered until the end. Everything changed when I saw Fabio begin to have problems and that Phillip was not going so strongly anymore. I didn’t want to push completely, but wanted to be consistent and cut the gap. In the end, on the last lap I managed it and took a third consecutive podium. I want to thank the whole team and hope that we can continue the same in Europe."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"The truth is that today's race was very tough. I had a lot of chatter throughout the race, so it was very difficult to go fast. I finished the race and I was able to compete with some other riders, but overall we have not had a good day. We need to keep working hard and keep learning from everything. I'm looking forward to racing in Europe; I know the circuits there, like at the next round in Jerez."
Romano Fenati wins thriller Moto3 round at Circuit of the Americas
3rd Rd. Moto3 2016 – Circuit Of The Americas (USA)
KTM rider Romano Fenati was the outstanding rider in the Moto3 class of the MotoGP Red Bull GP at the Circuit Of The Americas in Texas on Sunday coming away with the main prize after shadowing early leader Jorge Navaro through the first ten laps of the 18-lap race. Navaro went on to finish second and Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder took third to stay in front of the points by a margin of three. Fenati is now third in the championship after three of 18 rounds.
The Italian Romano Fenati from Sky Racing Team VR46 started from the second row and quickly overtook pole sitter and KTM rider Philipp Oettl in the second lap. He then tucked in behind Navaro and waited for his opportunity to make his move. His opportunity came in the ninth lap and once he hit the front, he gradually moved away and consolidated his lead to cross the line with over six seconds advantage.
Fenati: “In the first part I thought Navaro might get away but I never gave up. I pushed hard all through the race and lap-by-lap I tried to find my rhythm. I never lost my concentration.”
Brad Binder admitted he had struggled all weekend but still delivered an impressive ride. Like many of the top riders, he was classified further back on the grid than his usual starting position after rain made inroads into available track time during Saturday’s qualifying session. But when the race got underway, the South African quickly advanced from his third row start and sat in fourth and fifth until the closing part of the race. He sealed the podium third in the last part of the final lap to preserve his podium streak over the past three rounds.
Binder: “This weekend I never struggled before like that in my whole life. But in the last eight laps when I saw Fabio had taken the lead I knew I could get Philipp (Oettl) in the last lap.” Binder’s younger teammate, the rookie Bo Bendsneyder finished Sunday in 22nd place. It was the Dutch rider’s first time out on the challenging American circuit.
While Oettl of Germany went on to finish fourth, he can be satisfied to have taken his first career pole position and also to have managed to stick with the two leaders right up to the closing stages of the race.
Round three of the championship was a good day out for the Austrian manufacturer with four of the top five in class riding the KTM RC250 GP.
Another podium for Jorge Navarro
Repsol rider takes second in both GP of the Americas and overall standings. Teammate Aron Canet places seventh, having started from twenty second on the grid.
Jorge Navarro was back on the podium in Austin, repeating the second place he took one week before in Argentina. The Repsol rider opted to push hard from the opening lap of the Grand Prix of the Americas, in order to break away from the group, and his strategy paid off. Although he was not able to contend with the push of Romano Fenati, he nevertheless finished runner-up and claimed valuable points. Teammate Aron Canet had a great race, fighting his way back from twenty-second position on the starting grid to finish seventh and competing in a group of more experienced riders.
Jorge Navarro 2nd at 6.612 sec.
"We had a good race. I came out very strong, determined to break the group up from the beginning, because we wanted to try not to have too many riders riding together. It went well and I saw that I was pulling away, but gradually Romano [Fenati] began to recover ground. I made a mistake at the first corner, because I put the bike in neutral and went wide, and he passed me. I was behind Fenati for a few laps to see his lines and compare my bike with his, but I made another couple of mistakes. Today I was not so comfortable with the bike –there was a lot of movement with the rear-wheel– and as I saw that the group chasing us was very far back, I decided to be conservative and finish second, which is a very good result for the championship."
Aron Canet 7th at 16.309 sec.
"That was one of the most fun races I've ever had. I started from 22nd position and at the beginning of the race I was a little behind, because I ran wide at Turn 1 on the first few laps. Later on, I saw that Antonelli was getting past me and I decided to slot in behind him to climb up positions. When we caught up with Bastianini I attacked and I tried to get away, but I ran wide again into a corner and the two of them passed me. I managed to recover the lost ground, but Antonelli crashed and that made me lose focus, and I stayed in the group until the end."
Márquez scores first points of the season in Texas
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez scored his first points of the season with a dynamic charge to finish 11th in the Grand of the Americas.
It was timely return to form for the 2014 Moto3 World Champion who had crashed out of the opening two races in Qatar and Argentina. Starting 21st on the seventh row of the grid Márquez was in maximum attack mode and had surged to 13th on lap three of 19 before settling in 11th on lap five.
In the final laps of a closely fought race Márquez engaged Julian Simon and Marcel Schrötter in a tense battle for a top ten finish before he was slowed with pain in his forearms.
The problems that slowed Franco Morbidelli in qualifying meant a frustrating race for the Italian rider in Texas.
From ninth on the grid Morbidelli advanced to seventh on the opening lap before electing to salvage points on a difficult weekend at the demanding Circuit of the Americas.
Álex Márquez: 11th
“Even though I started 21st I had the pace to be running up with the second group with guys like Johann Zarco, so it means I have to improve in qualifying. I also suffered some problems with my arms in the final laps of the race so I need to check with Dr Mir to assess this issue. I felt good on the bike and believe I can race with the top riders but I am disappointed that the pain in my arms penalised me at the end of the race."
Franco Morbidelli: 14th
“It was a really difficult race and I didn't have good feeling from the start so we need to check the bike. I understood the best option today was to finish the race and score some points and pushed like hell until the end. I scored two points which is not what we wanted but in the circumstances it was the best I could do."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was nice fight back by Alex to score his first points of the season in this race, although he suffered some problems with his arms over the final six laps. This slowed his pace in the fight for a top ten finish. For Franco it was disappointing day considering that at the first two races he was fighting for the podium. We need to find the solution as to why Franco was 14th here."
GREAT VICTORY FOR ROMANO FENATI AT COTA
The rider of the Sky Racing Team VR46 won the race at Austin. Good job also for Nicolò Bulega and Andrea Migno, both in the points.
Austin (Texas, USA), April 10th, 2016. Romano Fenati won on his KTM the Grand Prix of the Americas at COTA. The talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46, after 18 laps, crossed the finish line in the first place with a gap of more than 6 seconds from Jorge Navarro.
Started from the fifth place of the grid, Romano was in second position after the first corner. 11 laps to the end, taking advantage of a mistake of Navarro, Fenati took the lead and started to set a constant pace, which allowed him to create an important gap over the others. Thanks to this victory, the Italian is third in the world standings with 38 points. For Fenati it is the first victory of the 2016 season, the sixth with the Sky Racing Team VR46.
Positive day also for the rookie Nicolò Bulega – who crossed the finishing line in 10th place - and Andrea Migno, 15th, who conquered the first points of 2016.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
It was a great victory for Romano, but also for the whole team. We did a great job during the pre-season and we are really happy. We have to continue working in this direction. It was a good race also for Nicolò and Andrea. Nicolò was in tenth place under the checkered flag on a difficult and technical track as this one. Andrea was in the points, his target, after a difficult weekend. We are ready for the race in Jerez.
ROMANO FENATI - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
It was an incredible race: I pushed from the first corner, but Navarro seemed faster. I was focused and I overtook him shortly after the first half of the race. Once in the lead I found a great pace, tried to manage the margin I was able to create. Thanks to the whole team for the great job done this winter and this weekend: we are on the right direction. I had a great feeling and I was able to push as I wanted.
ANDREA MIGNO - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
I reached my target and I am satisfied, but it was a very difficult race. I started from the 21th place on the grid and I struggled to find the right pace and feeling with the set up. This result is an extra motivation for the race in Jerez.
NICOLÒ BULEGA - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
I had not a great start and I lost some positions. I pushed to recover the group in front and, in the rush, I have damaged more than what we expected the front tyre. I preferred to control the situation till the checkered flag to conquer important points.
GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS
BASTIANINI SIXTH IN THE GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS. GOOD COMEBACK FOR 'DIGGIA', CLOSE TO THE POINTS
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racer Enea Bastianini crossed the finish line of the Grand Prix of the Americas, third round of the 2016 season, in sixth place: started from the front row, the 18-year-old rider from Rimini struggled to maintain a good pace in the early stages of the race with a full tank and failed to stay with the leading group composed of five riders: Navarro, Fenati, Oettl, Quartararo and Binder, the fastest when lights went out.
Later, midway through the race, Enea battled in the second group, though struggling under braking: this didn’t allow him to set his pace, which was gradually improving approaching the end of the race, crossing the finish line in sixth, a result that gives him 10 points in the Championship.
Bastianini’s team mate, rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio, performed a great comeback from the last row of the grid up to 17th position: a good result for the 17-year-old rider from Rome, who rode a determined race getting his best result of the season and going close to the point-scoring positions.
ENEA BASTIANINI (6th)
“Unfortunately, once again we’ve been very fast in the last part of the race, but we struggled in the early laps. At the moment it seems that we are struggling with the full tank and consequently in the early stages of the race I was not able to push to remain with the other riders in the lead. Then, halfway through the race, I found myself together with some riders who were stronger than me on the brakes: I could not brake as I wanted and the other riders were always overtaking me, breaking my pace. At that point I definitely lost contact with Binder and Quartararo. Too bad, I’m convinced that I had the potential to attack in the final stages of the race, but the races are like that. We need to work to be faster in the first part”.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (17th)
“I’m very happy with my race! Today I was starting from the back of the grid because of a bad Qualifying yesterday, but I started the race determined to recover. It was very nice to battle in the early laps, then at some point I saw that I was catching the group of riders in front of me, with Masbou, Rodrigo and Suzuki, so I tried to make my rhythm with a clear track. I managed to do good lap times, then I reached and passed them. Too bad only that I was not able to pass Masbou in the final lap, but we are in the top 20 for the first time and I’m delighted! We are close to the points, so now I look forward to the upcoming race in Jerez. Finally we go to Europe and I cannot wait to be there!”.
“Bastianini’s race was difficult, no doubt: we will have to try to understand why Enea is struggling to be quick in the early stages of the races, because in the second part he’s able to get some good lap times, like he did today. I’m a bit disappointed, because we know we have a great potential but we are not taking full advantage of it right now. Di Giannantonio rode a great race: after yesterday’s Qualifying he was worried, but today he made a good recovery, improving his lap times. Fabio is making experience and is growing, well done!”.
Bagnaia keeps Mahindra Racing points record alive in Texas
Austin, 10 April 2016:
Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia rode to a dogged 14th place in today’s Grand Prix of the Americas – pulling through from the sixth row of the grid to preserve the only Indian constructor in the championship’s full-house record of points in all three races this year.
This is Bagnaia’s second time scoring points, but far short of his first-race podium in Qatar.
The 19-year-old Italian had qualified on the sixth row of the grid, and moved gradually forward over the course of the 18-lap race. Riding with smooth consistency to make the most of his MGP3O’s strong points, his reward was to move up into the points.
Team-mate Jorge Martin failed to finish, after a tangle at one of the first-gear corners saw him fall without injury. He had fought through from 20th on the grid, and was gaining place inside a big group disputing top-ten positions.
The 5.513-km CotA circuit, outside the Texan capital of Austin, has several very slow corners, but is otherwise long, fast, and highly technical. The stop-start sections play against the sweet-handling Mahindra, which comes into its own on more rhythmic circuits.
The situation was complicated when changing weather hit the Saturday afternoon qualifying session. The track started damp, was briefly dry, then light rain started again. Any riders who had missed that brief window had to be content with lowly grid positions.
Peugeot Motocycles, Mahindra’s second brand in the championship, was just out of the points, with Peugeot MC SaxoPrint rider Alexis Masbou placed 16th.
The next race is the Spanish GP at Jerez in two weeks, the first round of the European season.
PECCO BAGNAIA – 14th place
It was a difficult race, with the big accelerations and long straight. I was able to improve my position, but in the end I couldn’t catch the group ahead. At least we got two points, and now we go to tracks that will suit us better.
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO Mahindra Racing
This was a race where qualifying played an extremely crucial part in the finishing positions. More or less, riders finished where they had qualified; and the weather played a big part in the qualifying order. Now we look forward to the European rounds at circuits that are a little more advantageous to our bike, while we bring development parts and updates to improve the overall performance of the bike.
Moto3 - 3570 Team Italia leaves behind a difficult weekend
Lorenzo Petrarca recovers positions and finishes 24th, Stefano Valtulini retires at Austin.
3570 Team Italia finishes this 'back to back' trip between Termas de Rio Hondo and Austin with a constant improvement in terms of performance of the riders. In the big day of Romano Fenati (KTM), rider with a past in Team Italia, who got his first seasonal victory at the Circuit of the Americas, Lorenzo Petrarca has finished the race in 24th place, while Stefano Valtulini has ended his race earlier.
Compared to the previous events of the calendar, Lorenzo Petrarca made encouraging progress, succeeding in battling with some riders with more experience in Moto3 World Championship. The number #77 of 3570 Team Italia has still many possibilities to improve during the next rounds on the agenda.
Difficult race and weekend for Stefano Valtulini, forced to retire due to physical pain after a crash in the official qualifying. The return to Europe of the World Championship will be an extra motivation for the rider from Bergamo to reach levels in line with his expectations and the team's ones.
Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77) 24th
"Today's race went better than the previous ones because I was able to battle with other riders and not just to ride on my own, but I am not completely satisfied. The final position has improved compared to the previous races, but now it's time to take another step. With the return to Europe of the Moto3 World Championship, I will try to be fast from Friday with the goal of improving further."
Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #43) DNF
"It was a difficult weekend and I struggled also in the race, due to the crash of the qualifying. We have to move on and I will do my best in the next face to give the right indications to the team. I will focus on this aspect in order to improve, thanks to the collaboration of the whole team."
Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)
"As a team we can't be completely satisfied: we could have done better. Today we have missed a little to reach a more convincing position: Lorenzo has recovered some positions while Stefano stopped due to pain, after the crash in the qualifying."
Guevara finishes 12th in the race at Austin, Rodrigo 18th
Austin, United States
The circuit of Austin, Texas, hosted the third race of the Moto3 2016 World Championship.
After a tough qualifying session on Saturday, the RBA Racing riders completed a very positive warm up, in which Rodrigo made an important step forward. In the race, Juanfran Guevara started well and approached the top-10 straight away. The Spaniard fought to hold a good position and, eventually, he finished 12th, grabbing four points for the Championship Standings.
Rodrigo worked hard and, after the difficult sessions he had during the weekend, he managed to have a good start of the race, getting close to the points. Despite the issues, Gabriel crossed the finishing line in 18th position, doing a race that was important to learn and progress with his team.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 12th
”The weekend went well, generally speaking. On Friday we started off strong and in all the sessions we were competitive. For the race, I was confident: we had a very good start from the grid. We got quickly among the first ten riders. I was feeling strong but after a few turns I realised I had too much chattering. In the beginning I thought it was normal and that it was going to diminish throughout the race, but it didn’t quite work out that way. It was complicated because I never had so much chattering, it was difficult to ride the bike in this way. We have to check the reason of this problem, because this situation came out of the blue. We had thought we could have been further in the front, but eventually it wasn’t possible. We saw that we can be competitive, we’ll keep working for the next GP.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 18th
“We started off the day well, in the warm up we tried out some new options and from the beginning I felt confident. We finished with the 13th time and that gave us some relief for the race. I knew that starting from the back of the grid meant that we had to do some very good first few laps, in order to join a fast group. I was aggressive in the beginning and that took me to the 14th position on the second lap. Afterwards I started to have some chattering and I lost a few positions. When the group broke I was in the rear and we got to fight for the 16th spot. On the last lap I was leading our group, but I almost crashed out and two riders got in front of me. In the end I finished 18th. Despite not getting any points, which is our main objective, I’m happy because we fixed a bit the situation. Now we know we can achieve it if we have a good qualifying session and if we fight in the race like we did today.”
LOCATELLI RETURNS TO THE TOP 5 IN AUSTIN
Locatelli offered light on a difficult day as gearbox issues denied Quartararo a podium and Mir withdrew.
The Grand Prix of The Americas was a race full of surprises for the Leopard Racing team in the Moto3 class. There was a wide range of emotions for the three riders today, but above all there was a belief that the right path has been chosen and results are just on the horizon.
It was a great start for Fabio Quartararo who, along with his teammate Andrea Locatelli, immediately found themselves in the chasing group. The French rider quickly moved to fifth position, while the Italian waited in eighth. From the back, Joan Mir started his comeback, but on the fourth land the rookie from Palma de Mallorca slid off at Turn 1 without the chance to continue.
Meanwhile, Quartararo was able to close down the leaders thanks to a top speed of over 233km/h, passing Binder with ease and then catching poleman Oettl. He would take third position from the German, the first podium of the season seemed within touching distance but then a gearbox issue slowed the 16 year old, forcing him to drop back.
All eyes were then on Andrea Locatelli, able to keep the pace and resist the attacks of his countrymen Bastianini, Bulega and Antonelli. The Leopard Racing rider came to the United States with a fever, but bit the bullet and managed to secure fifth place at the finish.
After taking fourth place in Argentina, it was another great result for the Italian rider who rises to sixth in the Championship with 24 points. Quartararo was able to bring home three points while Mir recorded his first DNF of the year.
The French and Spanish rider will be able to make it up in two weeks in Jerez de la Frontera, a circuit they both know well and have had many tests at.
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI - 5th:
“The race was decided at the start: the leading group immediately went away and I found myself in the second group after a small contact at the first corner. Unfortunately I was not 100% this morning, I still had a high fever. I kept hammering out a good pace, I wanted to go get Binder and Oettl. In the end we brought home a good fifth place. Though honestly here I was hoping for something more: America is America, a different track from the others and my favourite circuit. I want to thank my team for all their hard work.”
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO - 13th:
“It was a good race for us, the only fault came at the end. I'm happy because we made a further step with the bike and I'm looking forward to going to Jerez. We had done a great job here, I had a good rhythm and I was hoping to go to get Navarro, but there were not enough laps. At that point, however, I noticed something odd about the gear change; I'd like to have climbed on the podium but it will be better the next race.”
#36 Joan MIR - not classified:
“I'm not happy with how the weekend went. Today was strong in the first two laps I did a lot of overtaking and conquered many positions. Although I did not feel perfect on the bike, I climbed up to 14th place in just three laps. But when it was time to push again, I could not. I'm sure that in Jerez will be better and that we can have a good race like those in Qatar and Argentina.”
Weekend to forget for Forward Racing
A very unlucky race is over for the Forward Racing team at the Circuit of the Americas. Lorenzo Baldassarri and Luca Marini have been involved in a race to be quickly forgotten.
"Balda" managed to start in 12th position on the grid despite aching shoulders yesterday. Unfortunately, at the start of race, the Italian touched the white line that marks the starting space and was penalized with a ride-through penalty that saw him lose many positions. Nevertheless Lorenzo went back on track, finishing in 23rd place.
"Maro" had a problem while braking into turn 11 when he was aiming to get in the Top15. He lost control of his bike and crashed with another rider finishing the race in the gravel.
"Today there is little to be said, unfortunately I made a mistake at the start because I let the clutch go too hastly. I did the penalty and I gave my best until the end to get as many data as possible. I'm so sorry for me and for the team because we are working really hard. See you next time".
"A great shame today because I felt very good on the bike and very strong on braking. I lost some position at the start but I was recovering. Unfortunately, while entering turn 11, I missed a gear and I went straight hitting Mulhauser. I am very sorry for him and I hope he will return for Jerez. We are still improving, today we made a mistake and we will try not to repeat it. "
Double retirements for Moto2 in Texas
A difficult weekend for the Leopard Racing Moto2 team, both riders failing to see the finish line.
The third race of the Moto2 World Championship left a bad taste in the mouths of the Leopard Racing Team. After a troubled weekend spent chasing better feeling from the chassis and suspension, both riders were unable to finish the race.
For different reasons Danny Kent and Miguel Oliveira were forced to retire on the fifth and 11th laps. After an encouraging Warm Up, they were hopeful of salvaging something from the weekend. But as the lights went out, Kent’s bike bucked off the line and suggested not all was well with his Kalex.
It was a very different race for his teammate, who climbed from 20th to 14th place and was well on his way to closing in the front group. But at Turn 6 the Portuguese rider lost the front, he re-join for several laps but eventually pull in.
Stefan Keifer and his team will now roll up their sleeves and head to Jerez de la Frontera for the next round of the championship, determined to redeem themselves.
#52 Danny KENT - not classified:
“Finally it was a really disappointing weekend for me and the team. We’ve struggled throughout and to make things worse we went into the race and found we had a clutch problem so had to retire. It’s not what we want, sometimes this is part of racing. We had a lot of bad luck this week and I’m sure we can go to Jerez and return to where we should be. I feel we should be inside the top ten.”
#44 Miguel OLIVEIRA - not classified:
"Today was a short race for me, I lost the front at turn 6. Too bad, because I was running strong, I had made a good start and I had recovered 7 positions. My pace was that of the Top 10 and I was very close to the group fighting for 8th place. The end result is not what we hoped for, but we have made a step forward with the bike. We go to Jerez with the desire to improve."
TEXAS DELIVERS ANOTHER STUNNING PODIUM FOR LOWES, NOW CHAMPIONSHIP LEADER
Aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex machine, Sam Lowes rode another strong race today in Texas, in the Grand Prix of the Americas, crossing the finsh line in second place behind Spaniard Alex Rins.
Started from the front row and fifth position after a few corners, the 25-year-old British riders settled quickly into second place, scoring the fastest lap and passing Folger, Zarco and Aegerter in the early laps. Sam then was closely behind Rins for all the race, but in the final stages he could not launch the attack for the victory.
Like in Argentina a week ago, Lowes therefore stood once again on the second step of the podium: an important result which allows him to take the lead in the Championship with 47 points, one more than Alex Rins.
SAM LOWES (2nd)
“I’m happy with this second place, although of course I wanted to win. Congratulations to Rins, who was very strong today, but I was fast too and until about 7 laps to go I thought it was still possible to try to attack him, because I was feeling very good with the bike. A few laps later, though, for two consecutive laps I lost grip at the front on the last corner, so I decided not to take risks, finish the race and bring these 20 points at home, also because Rins was keeping great pace and it would still have been very difficult to catch him. It’s good to get two second places in two races and it’s nice to be leading the Championship despite the ride through in Qatar: it’s going to be a hard-fought championship in all races with the other two riders on the podium with me today, Rins and Zarco. Now we head to Jerez, a track I love, so I can’t wait to get there!”.
“Lowes did a great race: too bad only for the start, but it must be said that today Rins was really strong. Sam gave his best, setting also the fastest lap of the race, but in the final stages we struggled more with tyres and it was not possible to attack. The second place is good, however: I’m happy because in these three overseas races we have collected a lot and we are leading the championship despite the ride through in the first race, which penalized us a lot. The goal was to finish these two races in America in line with our rivals in the standings and I would say that the goal has been achieved. I’m happy for Sam and for the team: everything is going well and this is very important. See you in Europe!”.
Fierce fight brings Livio Loi to well-deserved eighth
With just four laps to go it didn’t look like Livio Loi was going to collect that much points. But in the final stage of the Moto3 race of the GP of the Americas RW Racing GP’s Belgian rider bit the bullet and scuffled his way up from the tail of the group to the lead. Loi finished in eighth and thus collected another 8 championship points.
Livio Loi’s start of the race wasn’t that great. He lost a few positions duelling with Brad Binder but already in the first lap clawed them back, to get back to the tenth place from where he started. Within the first few laps a group of five had formed, with Loi, Locatelli, Guevara, Danilo and Bulega.
The group was alternately torn apart and regrouped with the group in front of them when Antonelli and Canet came through from the back of the field. Loi couldn’t hang on to the steaming pair and had to settle for fourteenth in the back of the group.
The quintet with Danilo, Guevara, Bulega and Kornfeil stayed close together and when Antonelli crashed out and Quartararo got into trouble as well, they were able to move up and in the melee Loi grabbed his chances to fight his way from the back of the group to the lead, crossing the finish line in eighth.
RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen spoke of a difficult race and complimented his rider with his fighting spirit. “We had two exhausting weeks with these back-to-back races and the Circuit of the Americas is an extremely demanding track as well. Livio is bothered by pain in the upper arms since Saturday morning. He has received treatment and it was a little bit better, but it bothered him during the race and he simply had to back off a bit. It would have been easy to more or less give in and settle for fourteenth, but he didn’t. He pulled himself together, bit the bullet and got himself back in the fight to beat the group he was in. Great effort and well done.”
Janssen is pleased with the start of the season so far: two eighth places, 16 points, three top 10’s in qualifying including a front row start. “Just a pity of the result in Argentina. With just a little bit of luck we could have had a great result there as well. Overall we can be satisfied with these three races. Last year we brought home 4 points after three races. Now we already have 16 in the bag. That shows we are on the right way and gives confidence to continue like this.”
Livio Loi - 8 (+ 21,841)
“I lost a bit too much in the start fighting with Binder, but I managed to come back to tenth quite well. After 5 or 6 laps it got more difficult as the tyres began to wear out and my arms were hurting. I couldn’t move like I wanted and use my body like I wanted, which is pretty nasty in this track with much flicking from one side to the other, hard braking and accelerating. I was riding at 80 percent. Going into the final phase of the race I was a bit afraid I couldn’t keep up, but I thought ‘wait a minute. I’m not going to let that happen. I don’t want to finish just outside of the points again.’
While the others were slowing down a bit, I was able to keep the pace. I’m so happy I’ve been working on stamina so much over the winter. I could overtake the four others in the group and took the lead with five corners to go. I managed to keep the door closed and keep them behind me. It certainly was a fierce fight and I’m really happy I won.”
Podium for Zarco at Austin
Ajo Motorsport rider claims second consecutive podium with third at Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas.
04/10/2016 - Circuit of the Americas, Austin, USA
For the second consecutive week, Johann Zarco placed on the podium in a Moto2 World Championship race. This time he did so at the Circuit of The Americas, in Austin, USA, where he finished third –fighting for the position throughout the contest and making his definitive move with five laps remaining. Zarco had also placed on the rostrum in the 2015 edition of the Grand Prix.
The Ajo Motorsport rider made a good start to the race, holding onto his second place on the starting grid during the opening lap. Zarco was part of a group of five riders battling for third, first waiting patiently in second and then making his typical attacks with five laps to go –leaving his rivals with no chance of wrestling the position away from him.
After three races, the reigning World Champion in the Moto2 class lies third in the standings with 45 points. The top four riders are separated by just 4 points. The series now travels to Europe for the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain in a fortnight’s time.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"Once again I have to say I am very happy with this latest podium for Johann [Zarco]. The most important thing for the championship is always going for the best possible result, but it is not always possible to be amongst the top three. Getting two consecutive podiums is very nice and the situation in the overall standings is good. It is true that everything is very tight at the top, but it is only the beginning of the season. We are already focused on having more strong races like this one soon."
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"It was a great fight with the riders battling for third position, but I felt that I could be fast at the end. I would have liked to have followed Rins or Lowes, but it was too difficult. If I were to have been able to push as hard at the end as at the beginning, I would have been up there with the front riders. However, this is quite a tricky circuit for me and getting a podium is fantastic. I can be very happy to have fought like this and it was amazing. When I saw I was fourth, I thought I could risk things a little more, so I pushed and was able to get this third position. I think we've done a good job here and certainly we have learned from these two weeks in Argentina and Texas. Now it's time to rest and in two weeks we have to be ready for Jerez, because there will be many riders fighting for the top positions."
Tech3 duo persevere to complete challenging Americas Grand Prix
Tech3 Racing Team rider Isaac Viñales continued his learning process in the intermediate class by battling through the highly competitive field to finish 18th in the 19 lap sprint today in Texas. The class rookie undertook a decent start from the head of the ninth row and later jumped up to 22nd by the turn of the fourth lap. He then quickened his pace and closely followed his teammate as he determinedly looked to progress further. At the halfway point, he was running in 19th and then as the end inched closer, he stole 18th on the last lap before meeting the chequered flag in this position, having moved up seven places from his grid placement.
Meanwhile, Xavi Vierge delivered a relentless performance in Texas to finish his first Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas two places behind his teammate. The young Spaniard started from the 8th row of the grid and lunged forwards when the lights flicked off. He quickly set into his rhythm and with four laps completed, Vierge had risen up two places as he focused on ascending higher. At the midpoint of the Grand Prix, he moved into 18th and carried on his pace as the distance dialled down. On the final lap, Vierge continued his efforts before just slipping back to 20th as the physically demanding GP drew to a close. Nevertheless, the 18-year-old will seek to clinch a point scoring result at the next Grand Prix at the Circuito de Jerez, which is a familiar track for the former CEV race winner.
Position : 18th - Championship : Not classified
“I am happy with how this event finished because we managed to make another step forward this week which leaves me fully optimistic for the next Moto2 race. The GP was long and demanding, but I gave my all, and we have to be pleased with the job that we did. With our setting, there was some chatter that we weren’t able to solve, so the race was always going to be more of a challenge. Having said that, I’m pleased to get some more Moto2 experience under my belt, which makes me feel confident for the next Grand Prix which is in my home country, where I am sure that we can clinch a good result."
Position : 20th - Championship : 24th - Points : 2
“Overall, it was a tricky weekend for me and the Tech3 team, but we did our best. We had a tough time on Friday, but turned things around yesterday and we made some solid steps forward. This made me positive about the GP, but unfortunately, today was not our day. In the warm up, I tried to find the same feeling that we had yesterday but instead, we discovered a problem with the gears. In the race itself, I did my best but usually, my strongest point is braking late, but it was impossible to do this in the way I wanted to. Nevertheless, we will now focus on the next Moto2 Grand Prix at Jerez which is a track I know and I am certain that we can have a better time there.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager :
“It was a reasonably positive weekend for the Tech3 Moto2 Racing Team. After Argentina of course, we were hoping for another point scoring finish for one or both of our riders and the guys were close to achieving that, but it wasn’t quite enough today. Xavi did a good job throughout the weekend as he had to learn another difficult track. Still, he did pretty well in qualifying and we were optimistic for the GP. However, this morning in the warm-up we discovered that we had some gearbox issues. We tried to solve this in between the morning and the race, but in the Grand Prix, it got even worse. The positive news is that it was the third event of the championship so we will have a new engine in Jerez. Yet, I believe that we lost an opportunity to score several points as a top fifteen result was clearly on the cards. On the other side of the garage, Isaac rode the best GP of his young career in Moto2. He has been closer to his teammate in every race and for sure, this is promising. Anyway, both of them will know the track in Jerez because it is in their home country and hopefully we will be a lot more competitive and it goes without saying that this is the target. I want to wish a safe return to all the team who worked very hard and had a solid race, plus I believe everything will be different in Jerez.”
HARD RACE FOR PEUGEOT MOTOCYCLES SAXOPRINT IN TEXAS
Whilst Alexis Masbou missed this year’s first points scoring finish narrowly in today’s Moto3™ Grand Prix of The Americas, his teammate John McPhee endured an even harder race due to niggling gearbox issues.
Race start for round three at the amazing Circuit of The Americas was delayed by 15 minutes due to an oil spillage on track, but the weather remained stable and dry despite a cloudy sky today in Austin.
Both riders in Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT, Alexis Masbou and John McPhee, were very eager to repeat last Sunday’s first points scoring finish in Argentina somehow for the team as they left the line in a decent way from 15th and 17th spot on the grid respectively. Both got a good start but whilst French rider Masbou settled well inside the group fighting for the last points scoring positions till he made a mistake, McPhee’s race was destroyed early due to the shifting issues.
After 18 demanding laps at the 5.5 kilometres long track in Austin, Masbou came home in 16th position ahead of McPhee in 21st position. The newly formed squad now heads back to Europe with the hope for a further update in terms of technical side for the upcoming round in two weeks time in Spain.
#10 Alexis MASBOU – 16th:
“In my opinion we did a good race today because we had a good pace and we were not so far from the front. But we are too much on the limit to be fast like this. So riding every lap at the limit, I did some mistakes for which I lost the contact with the group in front of me. I immediately got my rhythm back and my pace was good again but for sure not good enough to come back to the riders fighting for the positions from tenth to fifteenth. For the remaining distance I was trying to keep my position but to finish in 16th just outside the points is somewhat of a disappointment for me. Even more actually, because after a good race like we did today. In any case, we did a good job with the bike but to leave Texas again without any points, I’m absolutely not happy about. Obviously, today nobody helped me by crashing out of the race but for sure we will keep fighting to score some points next time in Jerez without the need of the help of others.”
#17 John McPHEE - 21th (World Championship position13th, 9 points):
“It was definitely not an easy race for me. I got a decent start and I already managed to get the front of my group but of course it was just the chasing group. From the first laps I had massive problems with the gearbox. For this reason, the race was really difficult because I felt my riding was not so bad and I could run the pace to go with the guys like Alexis and the others at least. But for minimum 15 times I took neutral and the gearbox jumped out many times so it was really difficult and quite dangerous at the same time because I nearly crashed many times due to this. We know that Peugeot and Mahindra are working hard to improve this and I hope we come back stronger and be in the points once again in Jerez.”
Terrell THIEN (Team manager):
“Over the course of the weekend we turned around in circles. Our riders did the best what the bike allowed them do to, but honestly speaking, Mahindra now needs to do their homework in respect of the gearbox and gearing finally. We know that they have already a solution for this and we cannot wait longer, we need it very urgent. There are no more excuses because for weeks we’re working around these problems. On the other hand, we didn’t struggle so much in terms of horsepower this time, which was good enough to stay in a slipstream and to pass other riders but we still lack acceleration which we could solve with more corner speed. Chassis side we were also pleased after a look on the tyres but the main problems were to risk at lot if the gearbox is jumping into neutral many times.”
Podium Slips away from Nakagami
Strong 19th For Wilairot
Rd03 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas : Sunday, April 10 2016
Ambient: 23℃:Track: 28℃
In the middle of breathtaking battle for the third position, unexpected collision with another rider robbed Takaaki Nakagami of podium finish in the Americas GP, while his team mate Ratthapark Wilairot finished the race in nineteenth place despite injured shoulders.
Having had set fastest lap time in the morning Warm UP, Nakagami contested a scorching battle from the beginning of the race. The Japanese rider climbed up his position gradually by taking advantage of his strong braking and flawless riding. On lap16, when the group went into the turn1, Nakagami was hit by another rider, which made him fell on the ground. He rejoined the race immediately and finished the race in fifteenth place.
Meanwhile, Wilairot started the race from twenty-fourth on the grid, and tenaciously improved position lap by lap. He crossed the line in nineteenth.
The fourth round of the calendar, Spanish GP commences on April 22 and the FP1 for Moto2 class is set to start at 1055 local time (GMT +2).
Takaaki Nakagami (15th)
“From the beginning of the race, we battled for the third place and I started to move up my position to prepare for the attack in the final stages. Abruptly I was hit by another rider at turn1 and it was when my race has finished. I could’ve gotten the podium if he hadn’t collided with me. We will get back stronger in the next races.”
Ratthapark Wilairot (19th)
“It was very tough nineteen laps. I felt okay at the beginning, but my shoulder started hurting in halfway through the race. It was difficult to stop the bike and change directions. I tried everything to cope with them and managed to finish the race, which is very important. We will work harder for Jerez.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Nakagami made a good start and kept consistent lap time from the beginning. It is an achievement what we had tried in this weekend. Although he had to restart the race outside of the point scoring position, he managed to get one point, which is positive for the championship. Ratthapark had to struggle because of the injury he had sustained in FP1. Hopefully he will improve his physical condition before Jerez.”