Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races at Jerez:
Brad Binder takes sensational first career Moto3 victory at Jerez
4th Rd. Moto3 2016 – Circuito de Jerez (ESP)
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder took his first career Moto3 victory on Sunday at the Jerez circuit in the most spectacular way possible, starting at last position, number 35 on the grid. The South African rider’s bike was deemed to have had a technical infringement in one of the practice sessions and this bumped him from second on the grid to the last place.
Three other riders fought a battle of attrition for the minor podium places, which finally went to KTM rider Nicolo Bulega of Italy (Sky Racing Team VR46) in second and Italian Francesco Bagnaia in third. Three other KTM riders secured top 10 positions – Joan Mir at sixth, Romano Fenati at seventh and Philipp Oettl in tenth. Bo Bendsneyder, Brad Binder’s rookie teammate in the Red Bull KTM Ajo team finished 21st.
The race glory however belonged to Binder: “I knew I could still do it even though I started last because all weekend I was working really hard on old tires and I had a really good rhythm. I knew it was going to be so difficult for the first few laps. I’m so happy. It was great to get my first win and from last position was incredible.”
The South African moved through the pack in the opening phases on his KTM RC250 GP with ease and confidence, and by only lap three had moved up into the points. And while Jorge Navarro, Bagnaia and Bulega distanced themselves from the pack in the early stages, Binder steadily picked off the other riders to move up to fourth in just the ninth lap. From then on he trimmed the gap of nearly four seconds to be on the tailpipe of the leading group by lap 14 of the 23-lap race and to move in contention for the win. He took the lead in the 19th lap and hit the gas to finish more than three seconds ahead of his rivals in what will go down as one of the most spectacular and memorable Moto3 races in the history of the sport.
Binder now goes into the next round of the championship with a 15-point lead from Navarro, who finally had to settle for fourth place after a nail biting battle for the minor podium places.
Spain’s Aleix Viu takes opening Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup
The Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup season got into action with first of two races at the Jerez international circuit on Saturday with Aleix Viu of Spain picking up an impressive win. A group of eight riders broke away to seize the major part of the race action before Viu, with three other riders dominated the lead in the second half of the 16-lap race. He finally managed to hold off his main attackers, Japan’s Ayumu Sasaki and Spanish compatriot Raúl Fernández in the last stretch and they went on to take the minor podiums.
Viu: “I knew they would try and pass into the last corner so I braked very, very late and hung on. I felt comfortable in the race, didn’t have to take chances and really enjoyed it.” All riders compete on the KTM RC250 RB bike.
Japan’s Sasaki put up a valiant fight for his podium second to get his season off to a positive start, while Fernández said he missed a little feeling in the front of the bike going into the corners. Probably the most disappointed rider was Kaito Toba who took an impressive pole position but slid off his machine in the opening lap.
BRILLIANT PODIUM RETURN FOR MAHINDRA IN SPAIN
Jerez de la Frontera, April 24, 2016
Aspar Mahindra rider Pecco Bagnaia claimed his second top-three podium finish of the four-race-old season at the Spanish Grand Prix today, keeping his head in a fearsome front-runner battle that lasted the full 23 laps of a typically intense Moto3 race.
Bagnaia had put the Mahindra MGP3O in third place at the opening round in Qatar. The Spanish podium return marks the start of the European season, and confirms the confidence of the only Indian constructor in the World Championship that the more traditional and technical European circuits will better suit the sweet handling of the all-new 250cc racer.
With machine development still at an early stage, Aspar Mahindra riders Bagnaia and Jorge Martin had kept the points coming in over the next two races in Argentina and the USA; and hopes were high for a strong result in Spain after Bagnaia qualified a strong fourth.
The 19-year-old Italian was promoted to the front row when pole qualifier Brad Binder (KTM) was put to the back for a technical infringement – and he made the most of it from the start.
Bagnaia led on the track twice over the 23 laps of the 4.423-km circuit in the south of Spain, holding on strongly and awaiting a last-lap climax as a three-bike battle became four-way when Binder caught up. The South African managed to move clear to claim a classic career first win, riding from last to first.
The last lap saw the remaining trio – Bagnaia, his fellow VR46 Academy graduate Nicolo Bulega (a GP rookie) and Spaniard Jorge Navarro – exchange places repeatedly, each hunting for any advantage. They were still virtually side by side into the crucial final hairpin. Bulega’s KTM was narrowly in front over the line, then Bagnaia and long-time race leader Navarro (Honda). Second to fourth was covered by less than two tenths of a second.
The team’s joy did not extend to second rider Martin, an early crash victim after he was hit by another rider soon after the start.
The next round is the French GP at Le Mans, another twisty circuit where Bagnaia finished third on the 2015 Mahindra MGP3O.
PECCO BAGNAIA – Third Place
“That was a really, really difficult race. Navarro took a really fast pace from the start to stay in front. Because he was so fast, I tried to stay behind him and pass him in the final lap. Finally I finished third. Congratulations to Nicolo for a great race, and thanks to Mahindra and the team: the bike was really good, and I am looking forward to the next races coming up.”
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO Mahindra Racing
"Two podiums in the first four races of a season is the best start for us as a constructor since we began grand prix racing. Once again, Pecco proved that he has the talent of a champion – congratulations to the VR46 Academy in Italy, which is producing such a lot of talent for the Moto3 grid. Results like this really motivate us to push even harder to keep improving. We started with our technical update plan from this Jerez GP onwards and we will continue to bring in important updates over the next two or three races.”
Mir the saving grace for Leopard Racing at difficult Spanish GP
Disaster for Andrea Locatelli and Fabio Quartararo as they are involved in the mistakes of others in Jerez.
The 2016 Grand Prix of Spain was a difficult and gruelling race for the Leopard Racing team. In the Moto3 class all the riders lined up on the grid having taken great encouragement from Warm Up, which was postponed by over half an hour due to heavy morning fog.
At 11 o’clock the lights went out for round four of the 2016 season, but it would be a cold shower for two of the three Leopard Racing riders. Fabio Quartararo, who was fourth in the 20 minutes Warm Up session, came into contact with the Mahindra of Jorge Martin and fell.
The 17 year old from Nice was forced to abandon the race. It was an equally unlucky race for Andrea Locatelli starting in 27th. The young Italian made a strong start to the race, but was brought down at Turn 6 by two of his rivals as they came into contact.
The hopes of Leopard Racing then rested on the shoulders of Joan Mir, the rookie having started sixth on the grid after Qualifying in seventh. An expert of the Jerez circuit, he was involved in a large group of seven rider vying for fifth. The 18 year old pushed the gritted teeth for the entire race, attacking at every turn and attempting to move ahead as often as he could.
Mir would eventually cross the line in sixth place, 0.2s back on experienced campaigner Jakub Kornfeil and taking home ten more championship points. With these ten points, Mir occupies 13th in the standings. The next event will take place in two weeks at the legendary Le Mans circuit where Locatelli and home hero Quartararo will be out for redemption again.
#36 Joan MIR - 6th:
“It was a very fun race with a close battle with a lot of guys. From the very first lap I had some grip issues in the rear, not a great feeling when I opened the throttle. I tried to give it my best, halfway through the race I had the same pace as the leaders. I fought till the end with Fenati, Kornfeil and Bastianini. Hopefully we can take another step in Le Mans.”
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO - NC:
“I had a bad start, losing two positions at once. Immediately after at Turn 6 I was hit by another rider out of no where. The blow was hard, I tried to push the bike but I couldn’t continue.”
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI - NC:
“It was a difficult race because we started far behind. In the first laps I had made up a few places but then I was involved in a crash that forced me to retire. We must continue on this path to work harder and harder, we have the motivation to get the results for sure.”
Spanish GP turns out a race to forget quickly
The Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez wasn’t a weekend for Livio Loi. Things didn’t work out the way he hoped for and so Loi concluded the Moto3 race in 17th. Empty-handed.
Having to start from 19th on the grid (after moving up a place due to a penalty for Brad Binder who was relegated to the back of the grid) was not what he wanted already, after qualifying in the top 10 for three races in a row. RW Racing GP’s Belgian rider knew he would have to fight his way up in the pack but he also knew that might be problematic as he is bothered by a painful arm since Austin.
In the first half of the race Loi was around 19th of 20th but he moved up to 17th and even 14th at one point. Leading the group he tried to get away but in the slipstream a number of riders overtook him again and bothered by the sore upper arm Loi could not respond.
Livio Loi – 17 (+ 36,085)
“Better forget about this weekend quickly as it wasn’t good. We’ve been struggling all weekend. It’s a real pity after the good results in the opening races. I tried to save my arm, hoping I would have something left in the final stages of the race and then try to attack, like I did in Austin, but it didn’t work out like that. When I got to the lead of the group I wanted to pull away but I couldn’t and they passed me again on the straight. It wasn’t a nice group to fight in as one rider was sabotaging it all the time by running wide and pushing everybody off the line. That cost me P14. I have to admit I made a little mistake myself as well in shifting, but that didn’t cost me a position. It was just a bad race. It happens sometimes. Congratulations to Brad Binder. Very impressive what he did by winning the race after starting from last.”
Morbidelli finishes impressive fourth in Jerez
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli scored his best result of the season so far with an impressive fourth place in today's Spanish Grand Prix.
The 21-year-old Italian is now tenth in the championship standings after four races.
In warm and sunny conditions Morbidelli slotted into fourth place on the opening lap behind eventual race winner Sam Lowes and Jonas Folger.
While the Italian had high hopes of a podium finish he quickly realised that he did not have the pace to run with the lead group.
In a crash strewn race with only 19 finishers Morbidelli took the calmer option of securing fourth, fighting off a strong mid-race challenge from Lorenzo Baldassarri in the process.
Birthday boy Márquez, who turned 20 the day before the race, could not capitalise on a strong qualifying performance and was upset to make an early exit before his home fans at a packed Jerez circuit.
From ninth on the grid Marquez was on the charge and challenging for fifth place on lap three when he crashed losing the front end at turn two.
Franco Morbidelli: 4th
"I made a good start and I had brief fight with the lead group but I realised I was slower than the top three guys, so I settled into my own rhythm to control fourth place. I wasn't fast in winter testing here so this is a really good result and my target is now to score more points and climb up in the championship. The team has helped me lot to be calmer in the races and this is paying off."
Álex Márquez: DNF
"I felt really confident before the race but then the track conditions changed compared to qualifying and I made a mistake, I closed the front completely. I am really disappointed especially for the team because this weekend we had done a perfect job and I think I had the potential to finish fourth or even challenge for the podium. Based on our good work this weekend I think we can expect better results to come at the next races."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"It was difficult race for many riders with a lot of crashes so fourth place for Franco was an impressive performance after two difficult races in Argentina and Texas. After qualifying we hoped to challenge for the podium but I am happy with this result. Unfortunately Álex was fighting for a good position and had his third DNF in four races and this is difficult for him to accept. Álex again showed his pace but we know that finishing races is the important target."
Jorge Navarro misses out on podium on final corner at Jerez
Repsol rider finishes fourth after breathtaking last lap. Teammate Aaron Canet suffers a crash when riding eighth.
The Moto3 Spanish Grand Prix featured an exciting battle at the front, in which Repsol rider Jorge Navarro played a big part. The Spaniard pulled away from the rest of the field along with Nicolo Bulega and Pecco Bagnaia, but the trio were caught by Brad Binder –who had started from the back of the grid due to a penalty from Race Direction- before the end. Navarro continued in the battle for the podium, but would miss out on the rostrum on the final corner when overtaken under braking. He was the last rider in the group, but fourth in the race to add 13 points to his World Championship tally. Following the race at Jerez, he lies second in the overall standings -15 behind Binder.
Teammate Aaron Canet was also having a good race, riding as part of a second group. Unfortunately, a crash ended his race early when he was up into eighth place.
Jorge Navarro 4th at 3.513 sec.
"I took the lead and set the pace. I tried to break away from the group, but when Binder caught up I realised that the race was going to be decided between the four of us. When Binder passed me, I stuck to his rear wheel, but after two laps I had some problems with the front and didn’t feel as confident as I would have liked. I pushed hard at the end, but I was overtaken when braking for the last corner. It’s a shame, as fourth is not the position we wanted or that we deserved, but the points are important in terms of the overall standings."
Arón Canet not classified
"It's a shame to finish my home Grand Prix this way. When I was riding eighth in the second group, with 18 laps to go, I got ready to overtake another rider and found myself on someone else’s line. I had to brake harder than normal to try not to hit him, losing control of the bike and leaving myself unable to prevent the crash. I went to the Clinica Mobile and I have a bruised right shoulder, but it is nothing more than that so I'll be fine for Le Mans. Now I have recover and work towards the French GP, at a circuit that I know because I rode there last year in the FIM CEV."
Binder goes from last to first for epic maiden victory at Jerez
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes first Moto3 win at Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain, scaling 35 positions. Bo Bendsneyder completes the race 21st.
04/24/2016 - Jerez Circuit, Spain
Brad Binder claimed his very first Moto3 victory at the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain, and did so in spectacularly unexpected style. Due to a penalty given to him by Race Direction, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider began from last on the starting grid -35th-, but was able to pass the entire Moto3 field to cross the finish line first at Jerez. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder placed twenty-first in the race.
Binder was required to make a strong start if he was to overcome the odds on raceday, and the South African did just that. In two laps, he had gained 19 positions; by Lap 6, he was up into the Top 10. With a pace in the 1:47s, he continued to move his way up the order and caught three riders who had escaped at the front at the halfway mark. With 6 laps remaining, Binder took the lead and broke away for the win.
Bendsneyder started from seventeenth position and began the race well, but got slowed down by a group that exchanged numerous passes and lowered their pace as a result. On one such tussle, the Moto3 rookie was involved in an incident with another rider and was relegated to 29th. He was able to make a slight recovery before the end, and the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider completed the race 21st.
Brad Binder is the first ever South African to win a Grand Prix in the lowest cylinder class, and the first from his country to win a Grand Prix in any class since Jon Ekerold won the 350cc race at Monza in 1981. The victory also allows him to increase his lead in the overall standings to 15 points. Bo Bendsneyder lies 25th in the table, with 2 points.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It was an incredible race. Of course, we expected a good result, because Brad [Binder] has been getting stronger and stronger with every race. Also, during the weekend he had been consistent and fast, but we were worried about the starting position on the grid. I was not completely sure, but he showed that it was possible and we are very proud of him and his comeback. It's been a difficult weekend for Bo [Bendsneyder]. We know he can do better and we need to analyse why this weekend has been so difficult. It is not an easy circuit for him, and let’s not forget that he is a rookie and needs to continue learning."
41 BRAD BINDER
"I had imagined that my first victory would be difficult to achieve, but I didn't think I'd get it from last on the grid. I knew there was a possibility of doing this, because I have been very strong all weekend, but actually managing it was incredible. I am very grateful to my parents, Red Bull KTM Ajo and Aki [Ajo]. It's a great day for me, for my country and I hope for many more people as well."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"My start was really good. Then I was overtaken by some other riders a little later, because I went too wide, and that made me lose focus. However, I was able to recover and I found the pace to fight for the points. I was involved in an incident with another rider, in which I lost almost 12 seconds, and from then it was impossible to fight back. I finished without crashing, I'm happy and I am already looking forward to the next race."
Double DNF for Leopard Racing in Jerez
Neither of Leopard Racing’s Moto2 riders were able to finish in Spain, the pair crashing out.
An exciting and difficult race unfolded at the Andalusian track of Jerez today, the fourth round of the 2016 season taking place in front of thousands of wild fans. After a cold and misty morning, the sun broke through and near ideal conditions greeted the Moto2 riders on the grid. The protagonists sat, waiting for the start lights.
At the start, Miguel Oliveira was able to maintain his position and was able to edge his way into the group ahead after several laps. Meanwhile Danny Kent was hampered by traffic, unable to shake his rivals. The Brit, struck with a penalty after Qualifying, was circulating outside the points until he lost control of his Kalex on the fifth lap and retired.
His teammate, running at his ‘home’ race as Jerez is the closest circuit to Portugal, continued his great charge. Lap after lap he overtook his competitors and fenced his way from 15th to 6th. The 21 year old was on the cusp of the top five until, with just six laps to go, he lost the front at Turn 4 and his race ended in the gravel.
A double DNF did not reflect the potential and is no reward for the hard work done by Stefan Kiefer and his team. But now it’s time to analyse the data and focus on the French GP, starting on the 6th of May.
#52 Danny KENT - NC:
“Another bad weekend. Out of five of us in Leopard four crashed. Big apology to the team as this is not what we want. But I was able to make some steps forward with areas. We have a week and a half to go back home and work hard on my fitness to come back to Le Mans with the best fitness I can. We’re not so far way, it’s just small things we need to improve. In Moto2 where everything is so close, if you’re 0.3s off your outside the top ten.”
#44 Miguel OLIVEIRA - NC:
"For sure I did not expect this ending after such a great start. We fell trying to get into the top five, so for this reason I rate it as a positive race apart from falling. I made a step forward with my setting and team and improved in areas where I struggled during testing. I want to take the positives and carry them forward to the next race and get a good result."
Stefan Kiefer - Team Manager:
"Finally we were really unlucky this race as both riders crashed. But I think that we did a really big step forward with both riders. Especially in this race, Miguel was in sixth until five laps from the end. You could see he was really strong and only losing half a second to the top guys. It’s important to have made this big step and we’re now optimistic for Le Mans."
Harsh race at Jerez for Baldassarri and Marini
Jerez does not bring luck to Luca Marini and Lorenzo Baldassarri of the Forward Racing team that, despite a great Friday and Saturday, lost the chance to earn big points in the standings because of two crashes fortunately without consequences.
Baldassarri, sixth on the grid, lost time at the start because of a contact at the first corner. "Balda" then began to push returning in fifth place and chasing down Morbidelli. Unfortunately the Italian fell after losing the front in the entrance of turn one. He was able to rejoin the race and went on to close in 17th position.
Good start of the race for Marini who managed to stay with the leaders and was comfortably in the Top10. Unfortunately for "Maro" a slip, again without consequences, caused him to lose contact with the pack forcing him to close in 16th place.
"What a disappointment for the crash! I was going fast and on the last lap I felt I could reach Morbidelli but I exaggerated on the brakes, I hit a bump and I lost the front. I really feel very sorry for myself and for the team, I lost some positions at the start for a contact at the first corner but I recovered lap by lap and I got back into fifth. I want to thank the team, Giovanni and the VR46 Riders Academy who supported and helped me to recover after Qatar crash. We will return even more motivated in Le Mans”.
"What a pity here in Jerez; we were strong all weekend and we proved we deserved the Top10. I got a good start, the first laps I felt good and I could match the pace of the leaders. I am very sorry for the fall, I did not give up even after that and I pushed hard to learn as much as possible and then put it into practice in the next races".
FIRST PODIUM FINISHES IN MOTO3 FOR NICOLÒ BULEGA, 2nd AT THE SPANISH GP
Started from the pole position, the rookie of the Sky Team Racing VR46 was the protagonist of a perfect weekend. Seventh Romano Fenati. Points also for Andrea Migno, eleventh
Jerez De La Frontera (Spain), April 24th 2016. The Sky Racing Team VR46 is celebrating the first podium finishes for Nicolò Bulega in Moto3. After a great race, the young italian rider has crowned this incredible weekend - at the Spanish Grand Prix - with the second place. After the pole position of yesterday, that he conquered after a perfect qualifying, Nicolò was one of the protagonist of the race. In the leading group since the beginning with Navarro and Bagnaia, Nicolò gave the maximum from the start till the checkered flag - also when Binder was coming from the end of the group. Started the last lap in 4th place, Bulega has pushed hard till the last corner and crossed the finishing line in 2nd place.
Romano Fenati, despite he struggled to find the right feeling and pace on this track, was 7th. Positive day also for Andrea Migno, who got the points. Andrea, due to the wrist ingury was not able to push as he wanted.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
Nicolò has done an incredible race. It is not easy to manage the tension of the pole position at 16 years old, but he has remained focused. At the last corner he found the strength to make a great overtaking and he crossed the finishing line in 2nd place. We are really happy. Romano closed in seventh position after a difficult weekend - he struggled to find the right feeling. Andrea, despite the wrist injury, did a great job. It was a great day for us - but we can not give up and we have to stay focused.
ROMANO FENATI - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
I was 7th under the checkered flag after a difficult weekend. I struggled to find the right feeling in the free practices and I could not push as I wanted. In the race I got a good start, I was fighting in the second group but I was not able to keep the pace in the last laps.
ANDREA MIGNO - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
I crossed the finishing line in 11th position after the wrist injury: is a good result for me. After the start I was in the second group, but I could not be aggressive as I wanted because of the pain. We did a great job this weekend and we have to continue in this direction at Le Mans.
NICOLÒ BULEGA - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
What an incredible race. I got a good start, immediately I was close to Navarro and Bagnaia and I kept their pace during the race. Nine laps to the checkered flag Binder has joined us, he had another rhythm and I could not stay with him. I kept the concentration for not make mistakes. I had not the same pace of Navarro and Bagnaia but at the beginning of the last lap, I thought: I have to try till the last corner. I left the brakes and closed my eyes and I crossed the finishing line in 2nd place. I got in Jerez the first pole position of my career in the Championship and the first podium. A part of a dream come true. I want say thank to my family and the whole team: without their support nothing would be possible.
BASTIANINI 8th AT JEREZ AFTER A COMPLICATED RACE. DIGGIA'S HUNT FOR POINTS STOPPED BY PAWI ON THE FINAL LAP
The Spanish Grand Prix, held today at the Jerez circuit, saw Gresini Racing Team Moto3 racer Enea Bastianini crossing the finish line in eighth position after a complicated race, in which the 18-year-old rider from Rimini failed to replicate the good pace showed during practice.
The race saw right away the first three riders opening a gap, while Bastianini, who started from the second row, was right away fighting in the first group of riders. In the following laps, Enea was not able to make a difference, complaining about some set-up issues, especially under braking. Thanks to today’s placement, Bastianini has now 29 points in the overall standings.
The excellent performance of the other Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider, rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio, has instead been stopped on the last lap, when on the final lap Malaysian Pawi attempted a risky overtaking maneuver at the fast Turn 12, hitting the 17-year-old Roman, who could not prevent the fall. The first World Championship points thus vanished just two corners from the end for “Diggia”, which was in 14th position.
ENEA BASTIANINI (8th)
“Unfortunately today I had similar sensations to those in the previous races: I was struggling on corner entry and I couldn’t be fast even on the exit. The other riders were always passing me under braking and I’ve had some difficulties during the whole race, especially in the first part, but also in the final stages. Unfortunately I was not able to collect more today: it’s a pity doing races like this because we know we have a good potential. The bike can go fast and I know I can be fast, but now we need to figure out how to solve these problems”.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (DNF)
“Until the last lap the race was very good and everything was going according to plan: I had a good start and in the first few laps I battled in the first group of pilots, then they split into two groups and I found myself in the second one. It continued a great battle, but I was often leading the group to make the pace. I pushed until the end, on the last lap I was leading the group in fourteenth position. Then unfortunately at Turn 12, a fast corner where usually you don’t make overtakes, Pawi made a risky maneuver, hitting me and taking me down. I’m disappointed because he didn’t allow me to take my first points, but the satisfaction of having done a good race remains. My feeling with the bike and the team is constantly improving, so I’m happy for that!”.
“It was definitely a tough race: Bastianini struggled with some set-up issues and the result is not the one we expected. Frankly, after practice, during which Enea showed a good pace, we thought we could do more today. Actually we could not keep the same pace, it was difficult to chase the fastest riders and then Enea was also slowed down by the fight in the first group of riders. The eighth place is not the result we are looking at, but it went like this: we have to look forward and stay focused. I’m very sorry for Di Giannantonio: Pawi knocked him down in the last fast corner and Fabio couldn’t do anything to prevent the fall. Fortunately he came unhurt, but it’s a real shame because today 'Diggia' would have collected his first championship points, a well deserved result in a difficult race. After the race Fabio was a little disappointed for that, but he will try again soon!”.
Vinales clinches first championship points in Spanish Grand Prix
Tech3 Racing Team rider Isaac Viñales rode relentlessly today in Andalucía as he sealed his debut point scoring finish aboard the Mistral 610. Viñales kicked off his round four battle from the head of the ninth row and undertook a solid start before completing the first lap in 22nd. He then quickly set into his rhythm and after 10 laps, the young Spaniard was running in 15th as he maintained his consistent pace. The distance dialled down as Viñales carried on pushing and after a dash to the flag he ended the GP in 13th, marking a positive end to his debut Moto2 race in his home country.
On the opposite side of the pit box, Xavi Vierge suffered bad luck in today’s race as fell on the first lap at turn five whilst aiming to move through the pack. The incident marks a disappointing end to the weekend for the 18 year old after undertaking solid progression during the practice days. Nevertheless, Vierge fully intends to bounce back at the Tech3 Racing Team’s home Grand Prix at Le Mans in a fortnight’s time and battle to a point scoring finish.
Position: 13th - Championship: 24 - Points: 3
“Overall, I am very happy with the result of the weekend even though the race was obviously quite tough. At every Grand Prix we keep taking steps forward which is a big boost for us but of course, we need to continue doing this. I improved my rhythm a lot this weekend and it’s clear to see that we are getting closer and closer to the front. This makes everyone in the team happy and so I am looking forward to the next event and I will do my best for the Tech3 Racing Team at their home GP."
Position: DNF - Championship: 25 - Points: 2
"Today’s outcome was a real shame because in the morning warm up, we made two adjustments to the bike and my feeling was much better than yesterday. These changes meant that the grip increased which is vital for the race and therefore I felt confident about what I would be able to do, plus my rhythm yesterday was good. When it started, I got away well and caught up to Zarco which was my plan. However, in turn six Wilairot struck me so I crashed and the bike hit me also. I am disappointed because this was the first European round and in front of the Spanish fans so it’s pity for the team and I. Now, we will focus on Le Mans and hopefully we can get a solid result there. ”
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager :
“The start of the Moto2 Grand Prix was not so good for the Tech3 Racing Team when we saw Xavi, who had a reasonable start, taken out by Wilairot. We were a bit worried because he didn’t move for a little while but then when he got up and walked away we were relived to see him uninjured which is the most important thing. Then we saw Isaac pushing and passing some riders as he climbed up the order. The last part of the race was consistent and he put a lot of pressure on Pasini as well as Syahrin, but he wisely chose to not try anything crazy in the final lap. Three points is positive for him and his confidence, in what was only his fourth GP in the Moto2 class. In addition, it’s good for the team to get another point scoring finish. We could have had two riders inside the top fifteen and I feel really sorry for Xavi because he is putting in a lot of effort. Yet, unfortunately when you start so far back this is something that can happen when you are in the middle of the group. However, we need to take the positives, Xavi is unhurt and Isaac scored his first points. Furthermore, we gathered a lot of data and hopefully we can perform even better in Le Mans in front of the French fans.”
Both RBA Racing riders fight for the top-10 in the Grand Prix of Jerez
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
The fourth Grand Prix of the Moto3 World Championship was held today, at the Andalusian track of Jerez de la Frontera.
The day started off with lots of fog, which caused a delay for the warm up: the riders from RBA Racing took advantage of the session for the last few modifications to the setting of their bikes.
In the race, despite a complicated start, Guevara fought to come back and to stay close to the top-10. The Spaniard got together with his teammate on the eighth lap, eventually crossing the finishing line ahead of Rodrigo. With today’s 12th position, Guevara grabs four points for the Championship Standings, moving up to the 15th placement in the Classification.
It was a very positive day for Rodrigo: the Argentinian, after a good start, got within the top-10 in the first few laps of the race. Gabriel put in his best effort to maintain a good rhythm in the race and, in the end, he finished in 13th position. Rodrigo achieves his first points in the World Championship, confirming the important progress made so far during this season.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 12th
”We started from the seventh position on the grid. This wasn’t one of our best starts, I made a mistake and I lost a few positions. In this way the first few laps were challenging, I had to push too hard. At the beginning of the race I had to wear out the rear tyre too much, which meant we were struggling a bit in the last laps and that forced us to adapt to a slower pace. With a good start we could have battled at least on the initial laps, but in any case we take the chance and learn from this race. On Friday the situation was even more complicated, but eventually we got four points. On the one hand it’s good, because we sum it with the previous results. On the other, we know that it’s time to make a step forward to be in a better position of the classification. During this weekend we put together plenty of important data that will be handy for Le Mans: it’s a circuit with a layout that recalls Jerez in some parts. We are looking forward to getting to France to start working there, we hope the weather is fine in order to do our best.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 13th
“This was the first race in Spain, we really wanted to get a good result. We spent a few races getting really close to the points, but we still hadn't achieved it. The weekend started with some issues, we were feeling strong because we had a good pace, but we were still lacking one good lap to be in a better position. Here everybody was really fast, since we all had tests here in Jerez. The QP didn’t work out well, we were quite in the back of the grid. In any case we had some very good laps at the beginning of the race, reaching the top-10. It was positive and it gave me a boost of confidence. We made a step forward also in the setting of the bike, my team did a great job. In the end, despite losing touch with the front group, we could stay within the points. I’m happy and I’d like to dedicate this result to my team.”
Johann Zarco makes comeback to score Top 5 finish
Ajo Motorsport rider shows fight of a World Champion and gains 10 places at the Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain.
04/24/2016 - Jerez Circuit, Spain
Johann Zarco was able to leave the Jerez Circuit with a good result after a difficult weekend, fighting back on race day to take a very creditable fifth place. The Ajo Motorsport rider, who started from fifteenth position on the grid, gained places lap after lap to score 11 important points for his World Championship tally.
Taking off from the fifth row, the reigning Moto2 World Champion had expected a difficult race. After losing a position on the opening lap, the Frenchman overtook riders for four consecutive laps, breaking into the Top 10 by Lap 5. On the remaining laps, 3 crashes for riders ahead of him, plus passes of an additional pair of rivals, allowed him to cross the finish line in fifth.
With this result, Johann Zarco lies third in the overall standings with 56 points. Next up for the Ajo Motorsport rider is the French Grand Prix at Le Mans –his home round– in a fortnight’s time.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"We should be happy with the result Johann [Zarco] achieved today, because it has been a difficult weekend. It was similar to last year's race, and it is not easy for him to find a good pace at this track. But in the end he reacted like the champion he is, with the team also supporting him, and they never surrendered. Fifth place is very good for us."
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"I'm happy with fifth place. I was ready to overtake off the start, but I could not do so because it was too risky. However, in the end I was able to find a good pace and gradually improve my position.
At the end I benefited from crashes for other riders, because everyone was going all-out.
The overall verdict is that this weekend has been positive, because it has helped me to improve my feeling on the bike and understand it a little better. It is positive for the future."
SAM LOWES STORMS TO MASTERFUL JEREZ VICTORY
Aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex machine, Sam Lowes delivered a master class victory in today's Spanish Grand Prix at the Jerez circuit. Started from the pole position, the 25-year-old British rider took the lead on the second lap, keeping it until the checkered flag thus claiming his first win of the season.
Lowes rode a flawless race with Jonas Folger who followed him at short distance up to 10 laps to go, then he opened a gap on the German crossing the finish line with more than a two-second gap. Spaniard Alex Rins climbed to the third step of the podium.
With this victory Lowes extends his lead in the Championship with 72 points, 10 more than Alex Rins.
SAM LOWES (1st)
“It was a long race, no doubt! I knew that Folger had a good pace and I knew that also Rins was in the game, so I was expecting a tough race. The track conditions have changed several times over the weekend and today have changed again, with higher temperatures. However, here we have made many tests in the winter and thanks to this work the bike always worked very well. After the two second places, obtained racing two strong races, I was confident ahead of this event. I wanted to try to win and I did it, so I’m very happy for this first victory of the season. Now we look forward to Le Mans and the rest of the season!”.
“It was a perfect day! We were waiting the victory from the first race and we are very happy to have achieved it today! I was a bit worried after the crash in the Warm Up, because you never know how you can react to a mistake, but today Sam was super, as always, and the team worked very well. This victory is very important because Spanish riders were racing at home, and because this was the first European race of the season. Leaving Spain collecting 25, and with a 10-point lead in the standings, is undoubtedly very positive, but we don’t want to start making calculations because it doesn’t make sense at this time. We just need to keep working well, having fun, and try to make other races like this!”.
Pawi Scores Two Championship Points
Race to Forget for Ono
Rd04 Gran Premio Red Bull de España : Sunday, April 24 2016
Ambient: 18℃ : Track: 25℃
Moto3 rookie Khairul Idham Pawi finished 14th place and scored 2 championship points in the twenty-three lap Spanish GP today. His team mate Hiroki Ono had to retire the race after being hit by another rider at the exit of turn6 on lap3.
Pawi, who had started from 24th on the grid contested fierce battle from the beginning of the race. His smart tactics to save the tire until the final moments worked perfectly, which rewarded him to finish ahead of the pack. With his scoring 2points today, the 17 year old Malaysian is standing 9th in the championship.
Meanwhile, his team mate Hiroki Ono started the race with strong determination to overcome his right foot injury, however, he was hit from behind by another rider when he veered to the gravel to avoid the rider who had crashed in front of him.
Now Honda Team Asia are headed to Circuit de Catalunya to have one-day private testing on next Friday.
Khairul Idham Pawi (14th)
“Today, I enjoyed the battle in the group and scored two points, which is very important because I did not get points at Austin. My tactics was staying in the group but to push too hard until the final laps to save the tire. Now I can’t wait going to Le Mans!”
Hiroki Ono (DNF)
“I was hit by someone from behind when I avoided the crash in front of me. I am very disappointed because we had a good setup and I had a good feeling with my bike at warm-up in the morning. We will try hard for the testing on next Friday to make a good race in Le Mans.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Good job for Pawi. His strong determination brought him this result. Our bike is very competitive and his riding is improving consistently, so we can expect better result for the next race. For Ono, I am sorry for him because we know this DNF is not his responsibility. Obviously his physical condition is improving day by day, which will motivate him to keep going and aiming high.”
PEUGEOT MOTOCYCLES SAXOPRINT TO MISS LUCK AGAIN DURING THE RACE
The team’s riders, Alexis Masbou and John McPhee, had to retire after both crashed in the race but they gave always their best efforts to round up the Spanish round in style.
Whilst bright skies above the world famous Circuito de Jerez joined the race day, the new Moto3 team Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT endured a disappointing outcome of round four.
Leaving the line from 30th position, the experienced rider from France, Alexis Masbou, delivered a great start and even better opening laps to see him racing in a big group fighting for the last points scoring positions soon. Masbou used all his experience and fought hard but unfortunately he lost the front at halfway stage of the race when breaking too hard once. Due to this low-sider he was forced to retire but showed immediately fairness like a real sportsman sending his apologizes to South African rider Darryn Binder who was a victim of this incident.
So Masbou missed his first points today which was truly possible to gain. However, already earlier this race, team mate John McPhee crashed out of the race too, recovering well and closing the gap to the top 20 riders after a bad start.
The series head now into a two weeks break before Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT to face it’s biggest event of the year with the French Grand Prix in Le Mans.
#10 Alexis MASBOU – DNF:
“Of course it’s always a shame to conclude the weekend in this way. But this time even more because we were able to fight for points for the very first time this year. At the time of my crash I tried to pass Darryn Binder but Pawi closed the line in front of us so I had to break a bit harder and I lost the front. I’m really sorry for Darryn because it was a nice battle with him till that point. It’s disappointing again because starting from P30 on the grid to come back to 14th position in the race is for sure something positive to keep carry with us.”
#17 John McPHEE - DNF (World Championship position18th, 9 points):
“I’m so sorry for my team to crash out of the race today. But I pushed as hard as possible to try to make a good result to comeback from far down on the grid. In the end it was really difficult for me because I had some small problems with the gearbox again so overall it was a difficult task to go much faster. Nevertheless, we will continue to work and push harder to improve for Le Mans where we hopefully experience a stronger weekend in two weeks’ time. Sorry again for my team, today it was my mistake.”
Terrell THIEN (Team manager):
“Again we tried everything we could do and we tried to setup the bike more adapting to this circuit. But we were lacking engine power from the very first moment Friday morning. Running through this circumstances we never gave up and tried to make the best out of the situation. However, Alexis was able to fight for points today but unfortunately he crashed out of the race whilst he did his utmost to open his points tally finally. We were hoping so much for a position Alexis was fighting for which was at the same time our level this weekend. In any case, Alexis had to give all his efforts to race for a position like this and it’s a pity that he couldn’t bring it home. On John’s side, he endured niggling gearbox issues during all free practice session but he was able to start to setup the bike in proper way Saturday afternoon finally. Well, he wasted his start but as for which we know him well he fought back till he crashed too because he had to give all his efforts.”
Moto3 - 3570 Team Italia moves on after Jerez
Lorenzo Petrarca out during the race due to a crash, but he's already thinking of Le Mans.
The first European Gran Prix of 2016 Moto3 World Championship at Jerez de la Frontera didn't give satisfaction to 3570 Team Italia. With Stefano Valtulini, who didn't take part in the race due to the injury to his left shoulder during the qualifying at Austin, all the hopes were on Lorenzo Petrarca.
The rider from Teramo, who has improved constantly during the weekend, finished the race during the second lap after a crash with resulting contusion to the foot. A setback that shouldn't compromise his participation to the next Gran Prix, in two weeks, at Le Mans.
In today's race, the leader of the championship Brad Binder (KTM) got the victory, ahead of the Italian Nicolò Bulega (KTM) and Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra).
Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77) DNF
"Unfortunately during the second lap I crashed and my race finished too early. I got a contusion to the foot, but I should be fine for Le Mans. I am sorry for the team, with the progress of the last days, we could have recovered many positions and do a great race."
Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)
"A race and a weekend to forget. Lorenzo crashed during the second lap, an episode that frustrated all the steps forward of the weekend. After this crash he got a contusion to the foot that shouldn't compromise his participation to the Gran Prix of Le Mans. For us it was a negative weekend, but we will keep on working hard to carry on our growth path."