Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's thrilling and emotional races:
Brad Binder fights back for courageous second in Moto3 of Catalunya
7th Rd. Moto3 2016 – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (ESP)
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider and championship leader Brad Binder put in a heroic final lap at the Moto3 GP of Catalunya on Sunday to fight back to second place. The South African turned up the gas after having a very near miss in the last stages of the 22-lap race when he almost crash out after he was bumped by another rider. Binder went on to finish second behind Jorge Navarro of Spain while Italian Enea Bastianini was third.
Bastianini was followed across the finish line by the Sky Racing Team VR46 duo Romano Fenati and Nicolo Bulega on their KTM machines to give the Austrian brand three of the top five finishers. Fellow KTM riders Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir finished 7-8.
Brad Binder, who had won the previous three races on his KTM RC250 GP, started on pole and got away fast to lead the race in the initial stages. Already with a reputation for his superb race tactics, he stayed firmly anchored in top group and was frequently in the lead. In the second half of the race it became clear that Navarro was going to be his main challenger for the win but it was the incident with KTM rider Argentina’s Gabriel Rodrigo that spoiled Binder’s chance of making it a Moto3 class record of four consecutive wins.
Speaking immediately after the race, Binder was philosophical about the outcome: “When I was sitting behind the group I knew I had battled in the first sector but in the last three I was a lot quicker. I don’t know where Rodrigo was trying to go, but I had the inside curve. But I am so, so lucky not to have crashed out. On the one hand I’m disappointed because I thought on the last three laps I was a lot stronger than the other guys. But at the end of the day I’m so happy to be on the podium because it definitely could have been a zero.”
Race incident aside, Binder lived up to his reputation as a ‘never give up’ rider who this season has also won after starting from the last position in the grid. He was particularly fast and very impressive in the final lap when he dived under both Bastianini and Fenati to finally secure his podium second. With it, he leaves Barcelona having conceded only five points in his impressive, 44-point lead in the championship.
It was an emotional weekend for the MotoGP paddock, and particularly for Binder after the fatal accident on Friday of his friend, the talented and popular Luis Salom. Binder’s Red Bull KTM Ajo team, in which the Spaniard had one of his best racing seasons in 2013, displayed a racing bike in the pit garage with Salom’s #39 and a tribute message that read: “You will always ride with us #39”.
Double trouble in Spain for Mahindra pair
Montmeló, 05 June 2016:
Aspar Mahindra riders Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin endured their worst race of the season so far in today’s Grand Prix of Catalunya – the first time in seven races that at least one of the factory-backed Mahindra MGP3O riders has not finished in the points, with each falling out of the race.
It was especially cruel for Bagnaia, who had started from the third row of the grid and was holding his own in the usual leading pack of ten or more riders, with high hopes of being in position to attack in the closing stages to claim a classic fourth podium finish of the season.
Through no fault of his own the 19-year-old Italian was sent flying off the track and out of the race, when another rider lost control and hit his back wheel.
Martin also suffered distressingly bad luck after steadily working his way up from 22nd on the grid to a good position in the points, which would at least have preserved a perfect scoring record for the factory-backed team.
With less than six of the 22 laps of the 4.655-km circuit outside of Barcelona remaining, Martin slipped off on the first corner set, and was unable to restart.
It was left to customer-team rider Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate Mahindra) to preserve the perfect points record of the only Indian constructor in the championship. Darryn, younger brother of points leader Brad Binder, finished a career-best 12th, claiming his first World Championship points.
The race, which brought a first win for Honda-mounted Jorge Navarro, was run on a reconfigured version of the circuit, after a tragic accident on the first day of practice that took the life of Spanish Moto2 rider Luis Salom. For the rest of the weekend, MotoGP adopted a slower version of the track, using chicanes already in place to slow Formula 1 cars.
Mahindra Racing and the Aspar Mahindra team and riders joined the motorcycle grand prix community in expressing heartfelt condolences to Salom’s family, friends and team.
The next race is the Dutch TT at Assen, in three weeks.
PECCO BAGNAIA – DNF
“I’m frustrated. It was really tough out there; the track was hot and slippery but I was in the leading group and had the pace to challenge the top five. Unfortunately I was pushed out by Guevara … nothing I could do about it. The bike was handling the conditions pretty well, and I’m disappointed I couldn’t bring home a result for the team. But now we will prepare for Assen, and hope we can get back to good results there.”
DARRYN BINDER – 12th Place
“I’m definitely happy with the result – getting into the points has been a long time coming. I probably could have done a bit better, but unfortunately the group broke up and a few riders skipped the chicane which made the gap bigger, so I lost the slipstream. I was on my own for most of the race. It was hot out there and started to get greasy at the end … but my bike felt good and very controllable throughout.”
MUFADDAL CHOONIA – CEO Mahindra Racing
“Sometimes in racing there comes a weekend that you need to forget. This has been one of those weekends. It is unfortunate that it comes straight after our third podium finish of the season at Mugello. We just need to put it behind us and keep working to improve in what is already our best-ever season.”
Moto3 - Unlucky race for 3570 Team Italia in Catalunya
Stefano Valtulini out in the first phase of the race, Lorenzo Petrarca finishes 22nd.
3570 Team Italia completes the Grand Prix of Catalunya with results under the expectations. In a race won by Jorge Navarro (Honda), Lorenzo Petrarca finishes 22nd, while Stefano Valtulini is out after a contact on the first lap.
Author of a great start, at Turn 5 Valtulini had a contact with Masbou and wasn't able to finish the race, compromising,unfortunately, a potential good result that could have been the perfect way to end a weekend of constant improvement. It was a good weekend neither for Petrarca, who finished 22nd with more problematics than expected after the encouraging results of the practice.
3570 Team Italia has raced today in mourning for the premature passing of Francesco Gentile, Sales Manager Auto-Commercial-Moto-Racing Fuels of TotalErg Lubrificanti, passed away yesterday night due to a sudden illness. Big passionate of motorcycling, his professionalism, his kindness and his human values have been precious for the engagement of Team Italia in sport, participating to the development of CIV, with a great collaboration based on respect and esteem. The Italian Motorcyclist Federation and all the members of Team Italia are close to the family of Francesco and his colleagues of TotalErg in this difficult moment.
Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77) 22nd
"During the Warm Up I had a good feeling,unfortunately in race it wasn't like that. From the first laps I felt a unusual vibration on the back tyre that didn't allow me to ride as I like. With the team we will try to understand what hasn't worked today."
Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77) DNF
"We were confident and optimistic for today: it could have been a great race for us but unfortunately it finished too early. I started well, but at Turn 5 I had a contact with Masbou and I crashed. We are disappointed for this result, now we need to look forward and use the work done this weekend for the next races. My left shoulder hurts a bit after the crash, we will check it in the following days, in order to be fine for Assen."
Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)
"Unfortunately we couldn't realise the progress of the weekend in race. Stefano crashed on the first lap after a contact with Masbou: it's a pity because we have the right premises to get a good result. Concerning Lorenzo, with new tyre he hadn't the same good feeling of the morning. We will verify what hasn't worked and try to find a solution."
Jorge Navarro takes first victory in Moto3 World Championship
Repsol rider wins Catalan GP, with Aron Canet a creditable sixth.
Jorge Navarro claimed his first Grand Prix victory at the Catalan GP this Sunday, winning a tight Moto3 contest in which no rider was able to escape from the pack. Always amongst the top positions, Navarro launched his definitive attack on the final laps that allowed him to open a slim gap to his pursuers. The Spaniard crossed the finish line with an advantage of 0.564s over the rider in second place, World Championship leader Brad Binder. Navarro's teammate, Aron Canet, had another good race, riding in the lead group and finishing in sixth.
The next round of the Moto3 World Championship is the Dutch TT Assen, which takes place on the 24th, 25th and 26th of June.
Jorge Navarro 1st 48.18.228
"This win feels glorious -and even more so with the way we earned it. In sporting terms it has been a very good weekend for us, because I had a race like this in mind since Friday, with the idea being to start well and push hard. The improvements brought here by Honda have helped me a lot too. Today I started the race thinking only that I had to win, that today was the day; I wanted the win for me, for my team and to dedicate the victory to Luis Salom."
Aron Canet 6th at 1.581 sec.
"This is like a home race for me and I love how the fans spur us on at this circuit. I'm happy with the race I had. It was difficult because at first Jorge [Navarro] was in the lead and I was able to follow him, but when I took over at the front I found it hard to pull away from the group and lost positions. Later on the group was reduced, but at the end of the race we were able to recover the 1.5 second advantage that they had established. We finished sixth and I think I could have done even better. We'll see how things go at Assen."
Fierce fight costs Livio Loi points
A crash in the final lap of the Grand Prix of Catalunya cost Livio Loi valuable championship points. Loi entered the last lap in promising 13th,but a crash of Karel Hanika while fighting with Loi cost RW Racing GP’s Belgian rider just enough positions to finish outside the points.
Livio Loi was lucky he didn’t crash while fighting for the points. The battle in the group of some six riders was fierce and positions changed rapidly in the final stage of the Moto3 race. In a desperate move in turn 7/8 Karel Hanika came in too hot and highsided, next to Loi. The Belgian had to give all he had to keep the bike upright, had to cross through the grass and came back on track in 19th to finally end up in 16th, 1,220 seconds from John McPhee, who was lucky to grab the last point.
The race at the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya was difficult from start to finish and saw no less than 13 riders DNF. The track was altered on Friday night after the fatal crash of Luis Salom. The new turns 10 and 12 brought extra complications to the race, as no one had ever raced the track like this before. It was obvious in the first few laps the bunch of Moto3 riders had to get used to the layout in race conditions.
In the messy opening phase of the race Loi lost a few positions and could not keep in touch with the leading group. Every time he made up the difference but lost it again at the long straight where he couldn’t benefit from a slipstream.
Halfway through the race a group had formed with Loi, Guevara, Locatelli, McPhee, Suzuki and Hanika fighting for the last few remaining championship points. With five laps to go Loi got into contention for the points, swapping places from 17th to 15th, 14th, 13th. The outlook was good when he entered the last lap in 13th, but the battle became even more fierce as all of the group wanted as much points as possible and this battle caused Hanika to crash out. Guevara, Suzuki and McPhee took maximum profit, while Loi lost out.
Livio Loi – 16 (+ 34,986)
“It’s a shame that even the last possible positive outcome of this weekend went wrong. We had been struggling with the setup of the bike all weekend, but in the race it was pretty good. I had the confidence to fight. In the beginning it was quite difficult, but as the race continued it went better and I managed to get in the front of the group. They overtook me on the straight every time, but every time I managed to get back. It was quite a good fight actually and the outlook on three points was pretty good as I was half a second ahead of the rest, when Hanika came in way too hot and crashed while he was next to me. I could just avoid hitting him and had to run really wide in order not to crash myself. I saw the rest of the group pass and knew I wouldn’t be able to catch them anymore. The best I could do was finish and it is a real shame it was in 16th: just outside of the points.”
FENATI AND BULEGA CLOSE TO THE PODIUM AT MONTMELO’
The young Italian talents of the Sky Racing Team VR46 battled with the front guys till the last corner and they crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth place. Migno - who crashed at lap 7 - is 18th
Montmelo (SPA), June 5th, 2016 - It closed with two riders in the Top5 the Catalan GP for the Sky Racing Team VR46 at Barcelona. Romano Fenati and Nicolò Bulega crossed the finish line respectively in fourth and fifth place.
Thanks to a very good start, Romano immediately reached the front group becoming the protagonist of a great race full of overtakings. Second one lap to go, the young Italian lost the podium just at the last chicane. Behind his team-mate is Nicolò fifth after a tough start. For the young rookie is the third time in the Top5 in seven races.
Andrea Migno, who crashed at lap 7 at turn 10 when he was battling for the Top10, re-joined the race and closed the Catalan weekend with the 18th place.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
As usual in Moto3, the races are decided at the last corner. It is a pitty for the podium, but I am happy because we have two riders in the Top5. After the zero at Mugello, for Romano the fourth place is good. Nicolò did a great job even though he had not a 100% good feeling with his KTM. Andrea, fast all the weekend, unfortunately crashed at the beginning. He re-joined the race and he crossed the finishing line.
ROMANO FENATI - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
I battled with the front guys throughout the race, but at the last chicane I did not close the door and Bastianini overtook me on the finishing line. It was a good race, with a lot of overtakings and it's a pitty for the podium. Overall I am happy with the job done: I struggled to find the right feeling on this track and the fourth place is a good result.
ANDREA MIGNO - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
I had a good start, I was in the second group battling for the Top10, but I had not a great feeling with the front tyre. At seventh lap I crashed at turn 10, I re-joined the race and the only thing I could do was cross the finishing line. I am sorry: we did a good job, I was fast all the weekend and I was confident for the race.
NICOLÒ BULEGA - Pilota Sky Racing Team VR46
It was a good race: a real fight from the start to the finishing line. I'm happy: I achieved the Top5 again after a difficult start. I lost something in terms of speed but I recovered some positions and I was with the fastest for the whole race.
Márquez misses podium chance in home race
A sudden mid-race crash cost home race hero Álex Márquez the chance of podium finish for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS in today's Grand Prix of Catalunya.
It was a disappointing outcome for Márquez who eventually finished 18th in the 23-lap race. Márquez's teammate Franco Morbidelli finished 11th.
Morbidelli's bid for a top ten finish was slowed by late race grip issues after the 21 year old Italian made a strong charge in the opening laps from a distant 18th on the grid.
Morbidelli had crashed three times in Saturday practice and was determined to bring his bike home undamaged. He was disappointed not to capitalise on the pace which saw him second fastest in the morning warm-up session.
Morbidelli had moved to tenth on lap six before pacing himself to ensure a points scoring finish.
Meanwhile Márquez was within reach of a career first Moto2 podium when he inexplicably crashed at turn 10 having closed to within 0.8s of third placed Tom Lüthi.
Márquez had started seventh and was racing comfortably in fourth for eight laps before crashing on lap 12 and then remounting to finish a despondent 18th.
The race was run on a revised layout using the Formula One track configuration because of safety concerns following the tragic accident on Friday that claimed the life of Luis Salom.
Álex Márquez: 18th
“I had absolutely no warning of the crash, everything was perfect and then suddenly I was on the ground. I think I made really good race and I felt confident on the bike but in the end it is like this. We have a bike that is really fast and stable but we had this problem of no warning in the race, I had no feeling about the crash."
Franco Morbidelli: 11th
“I didn't go crazy in the first part of the race because I wanted to make sure I finished for the team after crashing three times on Saturday. But I made a mistake on lap one and this cost me the chance to go with the group for a top ten finish. With a new tyre I was comfortable and fast but then after some laps I felt big drop in grip and focussed on just getting the best result possible so I'm happy I did that. I am just ten points out of the top five in the championship which is my goal for the season."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“In many ways this was disappointing race for us with Álex crashing out of fourth position on a day when it was possible for him to finish on the podium for the first time in Moto2. Another crash after a difficult start to the season was not an ideal outcome in his home race. For Franco we thought he could go with guys like Jonas Folger, who finished seventh, but we did not find a set-up that allowed Franco to manage the grip over the race distance. We need to find a solution for this."
Tireless Vinales completes challenging Catalan GP
Tech3 Racing Team rider Isaac Viñales just missed out on a top fifteen finish in the gruelling 23 lap sprint at the Catalunya circuit today. The Spaniard endured a tough qualifying campaign yesterday and kicked off the Grand Prix from 27th position. However, he remained focused and then launched into action when the lights went out and jumped up three places by the close of the first lap before setting into his race pace. He continued to push as he targeted the final point scoring position and fought all the way to the chequered flag before meeting it in 16th having gained eleven positions from his grid placement.
Meanwhile, Xavi Vierge suffered an unfortunate end to his home GP and crossed the line in 20th after producing a determined performance at the physically demanding circuit. The 19-year-old Spaniard began the fight from the head of the eighth row of the grid and lunged forward before crossing the opening lap in 21st. He set into his race rhythm as he posted consistent lap times and after continually progressing, he was running in 15th in the final third of the event. However in the closing moments of the GP, he made contact with another rider which caused him to fall, but he bravely remounted to complete the event in 20th.
Position: 16th - Championship: 23 - Points: 3
“Overall, I am not thrilled about the result but we have to look at the positives as we made progress from yesterday, even though we ended up just outside the top fifteen. I started a long way back so the GP was always going to be a challenge, but I remained focused and I did my best. It’s disappointing to not score any points at my home race but now we will look towards the test and then Assen."
Position: 20th - Championship: 25 - Points: 3
"It was a difficult race for me today, but i gave it everything that I had. I started the GP well and I was confident about climbing up the field, however, my main objective was to complete the GP. Having said that, I really wanted to end up in the points so I pushed every lap but in the closing stages, Gardner touched me and I fell. It’s a shame because I was fighting inside the top fifteen, however these things happen in racing. Of course, the weekend could have ended better but we will try again next time at Assen and I must say thanks to the team for their hard work.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager:
“I have to admit that I was really excited for the entire race because both Xavi and Isaac were in the group battling for 15th. Until the last stages of the GP, Xavi was holding 15th position and even though it was just one championship point, it still means a lot to us and we wanted it. He was doing well, however unfortunately, he fell which is disappointing to say the least. On the other hand, Isaac ended up in 16th and just missed out on a top 15 finish. They were in a good battle with the group so it’s a shame that there was no reward for our efforts. We need to pick ourselves up and do better because everyone in the team is pushing really hard so to end up with a result like this is a real pity. However, we have a test in Aragon next week before we go to Assen and I hope we will find some useful information there because we have to move forward.”
Quartararo & Mir conquer the Top 10 at Montmelo
The two teammates were protagonists of the top ten in the second half of the race; Locatelli lost the front at the end.
The lights went out at 11:00 o'clock to begin the seventh round of the 2016 season of Moto3 class. For Leopard Racing it was not an exciting start, with the team’s three riders losing ground in the first meters of the race. The trident of Leopard Racing began to climb, settling firmly in the second group led by Fabio Quartararo in 11th place.
The French rider had shown sparks of his potential yesterday after qualifying. It was a fun race full of attacking, the17 year old from Nice dealt with overtaking and the brawl well. His progress was followed by teammate Joan Mir, working not to lose touch with the leading group and to gain positions, on the edge of the points. In his home Grand Prix, the rookie of Palma de Mallorca on his KTM has honoured the memory of his friend who died tragically, Luis Salom.
It was a harder race for Andrea Locatelli, hurt by the unfortunate qualifying session and forced now to chase. He got stuck in traffic in the first part of the race, but in the second half the Italian found himself battling with experienced campaigners Loi and Guevara. To make matters worse, to avoid contact Loka was forced to run wide, losing positions.
Shortly after the middle of the race Joan Mir arrives at the Top Ten; in the meantime Quartararo fought openly with Di Giannantonio. Locatelli lost the front not long after, forced to remount in last place. Many falls were seen in this Grand Prix: Quartararo and Mir did well to take advantage of it and be finished in the Top Ten.
Three laps from the end, the two teammates were paired in seventh and eighth place, the first six all far ahead. Like two weeks ago in Italy, in Barcelona it was a final sprint at the finish line. Locatelli unfortunately ended 19th, out of the points. Spaniard Jorge Navarro scored his first career victory in front of his home crowd.
In the standings Joan Mir sits eighth with 42 points with Fabio Quartararo in tenth (39 p.) while Andrea Locatelli loses 2 positions (30 p.) The next round will take place on the TT in Assen, Holland, on the weekend 24-25-26 June 2016.
#20 Fabio Quartararo - 7th:
"It was a difficult race because I did not get a good start and was pushed around in the first corner, suddenly I found myself twentieth. But I did not give up and moved up to seventh place. I really enjoyed myself, but the group ahead was really fast today. We have to analyze our data and improve on different aspects, especially for Assen which is one of my favourite tracks."
#36 Joan MIR - 8th:
"It was a difficult race and in the first laps I had practically no rear grip. I made the most of the tyres and I went to catch the group in front. It was a shame because with I turned my pace up the tyres were already going off. It's not much, but I would also dedicate my race to Luis Salom, I will always carry in my heart."
#55 Andrea Locatelli - 19th:
"At first I had recovered some positions and I was hooked to the group, but at Turn 9 a rider crashed in front of me and I had to leave the track to avoid them, losing many positions. I started to recover and could run in 12th position, but at T4 I closed the front. We must look ahead to the next races will be crucial to achieve a good qualifying."
Binder takes emotional podium for Red Bull KTM Ajo
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claims second place at a Catalan Grand Prix marked by the tragic death of Luis Salom. Bo Bendsneyder places eleventh, getting back amongst the points.
06/05/2016 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
A very difficult weekend for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team and the entire MotoGP paddock concluded on Sunday at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit. The world of motorsport had been rocked by the tragic death of the team's former rider Luis Salom on Friday, but the decision was made to continue with the race in his honour. The seventh Moto3 contest of the year finished with an emotional second position for Brad Binder, and Bo Bendsneyder took his best result so far this season with eleventh place.
A good start allowed Brad Binder to maintain the lead, but there was the typical cluster of Moto3 riders at the front on the opening laps. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was able to keep up with the group and led for much of the way, before contact with another rider left him down in eighth with 4 laps remaining. However, the South African gritted his teeth and fought his way back through the pack, crossing the finish line in second position.
Teammate Bo Bendsneyder also enjoyed a good race. The Dutchman took the best result of his rookie season so far, with an eleventh place finish that saw him just 0.030s off the Top 10.
With his second place at the Catalan GP, Binder extends his run of consecutive podiums to seven and remains the Moto3 World Championship leader with 147 points. He is 44 points clear of his nearest rival. Bendsneyder rises to 23rd in the standings with 7 points to his name
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"This weekend has been very difficult for the whole team and the whole MotoGP family. All that we can do is offer our most heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of Luis Salom. As for today's race, it is difficult to analyse anything in depth on a weekend like this, but I have to say that our riders focused well and did a very good job, despite it being such a tough day. I really appreciate it."
41 BRAD BINDER
"The important thing today was not the result, but paying tribute to Luis [Salom]. It has been a hard weekend for me and the whole team. We took another podium, which is very valuable after being down in eighth with four laps remaining. I was able to fight back and set my best times on the last two laps, allowing me to keep adding points to my tally and claim a seventh podium. If I had not made contact with another rider, then I think I could have been up there fighting for the win, but that's the way it went. It is not a time for celebrations today."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
“After what happened on Friday in Moto2, this Grand Prix means little to me. We rode only in order to dedicate the race to Luis [Salom] and his family at this difficult time. Sporting-wise, it was a good race, we did a good job and it was important to get back amongst the points."
DETERMINED BASTIANINI BACK ON THE PODIUM AT BARCELONA. TOP TEN FOR DI GIANNANTONIO
Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini clinched a beautiful third place finish in today’s Catalan Grand Prix of Catalunya at the Montmelò circuit: the 18-year-old racer from Rimini rode a determined race fighting in the leading group for all the 22-lap race, finally climbing on the third step of the podium thanks to a beautiful overtake on Romano Fenati on the final lip, under braking at the last chicane. A very important result for Bastianini, who is coming from a difficult period marked by the injury on his right wrist that forced him to miss the French Grand Prix.
Also the other Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider, Fabio Di Giannantonio, enjoyed a very positive race: the 17-year-old rookie from Rome made a good comeback from 18th on the grid to the ninth position under the checkered flag, thus hitting his target that was to enter the Top Ten. An excellent result, achieved despite a small mistake on lap six - and a crash at the same time by two riders ahead of him, which forced him off track - which make him lose valuable ground.
ENEA BASTIANINI (3rd)
“It’s a nice feeling to be back on the podium! Today I had a good set-up that allowed me to be strong, especially when braking, and as a result I was able to fight for the win till the end. When Fenati passed me with two laps to go, Navarro managed to open a little gap and I knew it would be difficult to catch him, and so it was. However, on the final lap I managed to make a nice pass on Romano, taking the podium, which was our target for this Grand Prix. I had not an easy period lately, but being back means that we never lost confidence and concentration. It’s also nice to be here because I’m back from an injury: this result is undoubtedly a great satisfaction for me and for the team and a big boost of confidence”.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (9th)
“I’m very happy with this result! Crossing the finish line in ninth place starting from eighteenth place on the grid is very good and we also hit the target we set ourselves, that was to enter the top ten. Too bad only for the episode that actually made me lose contact with the leading group: on the sixth lap I made a small mistake going a bit wide under braking and at the same time two riders crashed in front of me, forcing me to run off track to avoid the bikes. In the final stages I battled with Quartararo and Mir to try to get the seventh position, but they have been faster than me, especially on the brakes. Anyway I’m satisfied, this result shows that we are actually growing and now we want to continue on this path at Assen!”.
“I’m very happy for this podium! Enea lived a hard time and for sure coming back after an injury is never easy. Today, on a track he loves, he finally managed to get back on the podium fighting till the end with a lot of determination; in the final stages probably he could not launch the attack he wanted to try to win, but that’s okay: this result certainly gives moral to him and to the team. I’m also really happy for Di Giannantonio, who made a very good race: Fabio was starting from behind because of the penalization of five grid positions imposed after free practice, but he made a great comeback on a track he didn’t know. He collected important points and he showed once again his talent. I’m very happy, congratulations to the team, the riders and to all our supporters”.
Rodrigo fights for the podium in the GP of Catalunya, comeback for Guevara
The seventh race of the Moto3 World Championship was held today, at the circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya.
For RBA Racing it was a battled GP on both sides of the pit box, as the riders faced the day with bravery.
Juanfran Guevara, after the last checks in the warm up, started from the seventh row of the grid. Despite not managing to take advantage of the initial phases to climb up a few spots, Juanfran started promptly to set a consistent pace, moving up to the points zone. On the sixth lap, a crash stopped his progression. The Spaniard didn’t give up and eventually he finished the race in 13th position, grabbing three points for the Championship Standings.
The warm up was important for Rodrigo, who confirmed with his technicians some final improvements to the setting of his KTM, as he finished with the sixth best time. In the race the Argentinian started from the 19th position and he took full advantage of the first few laps to come back. Gabriel soon reached the leading group, taking part into an incredible battle for the podium and leading himself the race in different occasions. With two laps to go, Gabriel crashed out and he couldn’t rejoin the race.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 13th
”It was a tough race. We started from the rear of the grid, despite the good results in the free practices. On the first couple of laps I couldn’t find any space to move up quickly and that wasn’t giving me enough confidence to attack. Afterwards I started my comeback, I was 13th before I crashed out. The two riders that were ahead of me moved to the outside: since they were in my line, I had to brake not to touch them and I lost the front. I got back on the bike immediately and I tried to make it up. I saw I was 26th when I crossed the finishing line, but I knew it was going to be a difficult race for everybody. I decided to keep pushing, because with a bit of luck there was the chance to get to the points. Eventually my pace was good and we got three points for the Championship Classification. It’s not the result we wanted, after how the rest of the GP went, but at least we could finish the race. In the Standings we have a bunch of riders that are quite close and these points help us to stay with them, this is going to be interesting in the next few rounds.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: not classified
“Today in the warm up we did some changes to the bike that gave me extra confidence. We set a great pace on a long run and I was fully motivated for the race. We started from the back, but normally we do have some good starts and for that reason I was quite calm. I managed to begin well, I was aggressive on the first few laps and I got to the leading group. When I saw that I was among the first three riders and that not only I could follow them, but that I could overtake them, I did my best fighting. By the end of the race, I had some contact with Binder and that made me a bit nervous, since I lost touch with the front guys. I was trying to come back once again, but I braked too late, I got into a bump and the front closed. Eventually we can say that we did a superb job: I need to say thanks to the team, the bike was great. Now we have to keep going in this direction. Next week we’re off to Valencia for a test: there we’ll work to make a further step and in Holland we’ll try to make progress.”
Best result in Moto2 for Oliveira in Barcelona
The Portuguese is author to an extraordinary race and crossed the finish line in eighth place; his teammate Danny Kent had to retire after the first half of the race.
There was a strange atmosphere on the starting grid for the Moto2 class today at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the memory of the late Luis Salom in the mind of everyone. At the start, the two Leopard Racing riders maintained their positions obtained in qualifying, remaining locked in the tight tussle.
Halfway through the race there was a cold shower for Danny Kent, the 21-year old from Chippenham forced to pit due to a technical anomaly on his Kalex. The problem couldn’t be solved and the Brit was forced to withdraw.
Miguel Oliveira had an exemplary race, marked by tenacity and intelligence, two qualities that are typical of the Portuguese rider. The 21 year old circulated without mistake, and the blink of an eye was leading the attack on the riders in front and a few laps from the end entered the top ten.
The Frenchman Johann Zarco won the Grand Prix de Catalunya, with Rins and Nakagami on the podium. Miguel Oliveira passed Pons and crossed the line in 8th place: his best result in the intermediate class and the third consecutive race in the points.
Now he has 23 points while his unlucky team-mate is stuck with 12 points in the standings. The British will look for a better performance at the next race at Assen TT in just two weeks time.
#44 Miguel OLIVEIRA - 8th:
"It was a very difficult race, but I had very steady pace that allowed me to open a gap to the riders chasing me. I arrived at the gates of the Top Ten, but I felt I could do better. I pushed hard on the last lap and, right on the curve of the straight, I passed Pons to finish eighth. It is not the happiest weekend for our sport: I know I did a good race, but at the same time it is difficult to accept what happened to Luis Salom."
#52 Danny Kent - n.c.:
"Of course I’m disappointed with the result, another DNF. We were very unlucky with the problem we had with the front brake disc and pads. It’s been a tough weekend. We had some good moments but had a small crash in Qualifying which had us down in 21st. This is not how we wanted to start, we have to keep our heads high and keep working. Hopefully our bad luck leaves us soon."
More than a victory for Johann Zarco
Ajo Motorsport rider takes second consecutive win at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit in one of the saddest Grands Prix in living memory.
06/05/2016 - Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Spain
Johann Zarco concluded a tragic week for the world of motorcycle racing with a win at the Catalan GP, dedicating the victory to the late Luis Salom. The Moto2 World Champion fought throughout the race with Alex Rins, whom he overtook with 7 laps remaining to repeat his triumph from last year's contest.
Despite a poor start that relegated Zarco to third position, the Frenchman had got up to second place by Lap 2. He escaped alongside Alex Rins as they broke free from the rest of the group, and the Ajo Motorsport rider waited for his time to strike. When the moment arrived, seven laps from the end, he passed the Spaniard and would not relinquish the lead. Able to impose the great pace that he had shown in practice, Zarco established a 4 second gap before the chequered flag.
After seven rounds of the 2016 season, Zarco has 106 points and lies third in the overall standings, 2 points behind the rider in second place and 10 off the Moto2 series leader.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It's been a very difficult and strange weekend. All our thoughts and condolences are with Luis' family. I thank Johann [Zarco] for how he concentrated and worked in such difficult conditions for everyone -especially for him. He did a great job."
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"It has been a very hard weekend emotionally because of the loss of Luis. The pole position yesterday was important and I wanted to dedicate that to him, and this win is very nice because all the Moto2 riders were able to pay tribute to him on the podium. We all knew that this race was for Luis, to honour him. It was the best way to end the weekend."
Baldassarri makes a great Top15 comeback after making contact with Corsi, difficult day for Marini
A difficult Catalunya Grand Prix is over for Forward Racing Team and for the whole paddock which this morning said good-bye to Luis Salom with a minute of silence.
Lorenzo Baldassarri and Luca Marini went on track motivated and concentrated but were very unlucky during the race.
Baldassarri, 8th on the grid, had a good start and was on his way back to the Top5. Unfortunately, the Italian ended up in the gravel after a collision at the chicane, which was added to the track layout on Saturday. "Balda" did not lose his nerve and started chasing down the group in front of him and got back in the point-zone showing a fast pace toward the end of the race.
Bad day for Marini, who struggled to find the right feeling with the rear of his Kalex for the whole weekend. "Maro", starting 20th, took a lot of risks to get back into the points managing to recover the fifteenth position. While battling the Italian made a mistake ending in the gravel trap. After rejoining the track he was forced to stop as his bike was too damaged to continue.
"Mixed feelings today. We did a great job on the weekend and I was catching the Top5 when, for a contact at the chicane, I ended up in the gravel and I lost a lot of time. I did not give up, I tried to get my pace back as soon as possible and the last laps we were really competitive. It’s a shame we were not able to fight to stay in the front. The new part of the circuit is complicated, but I felt good although there was an annoying hole in the asphalt change. I wish to thank the team anyway, now we have to think to the next race".
"We have been struggling a bit all weekend because I could not find the grip that I expected on the rear. I fought from the beginning to get back in the points, but then I forced too much and I made a mistake when I reached the Top15. It can happen unfortunately, we'll be there again at Assen in three weeks".
Gardner Grabs Moto2 World Championship Point On Catalunya Debut
Remy Gardner returned to the World Championship paddock for the Catalan GP at the Catalunya Circuit making his Moto2 debut as a replacement rider in the Tasca Racing Scuderia squad, finishing an impressive 15th at the end of 23 closely fought laps.
Drafted in to replace Alessandro Tonucci a few days before the event Gardner went into Free Practice with no set-up, on a motorcycle he hadn't ridden and didn't disgrace himself lapping faster with each lap completed.
Free Practice 2 was cancelled after an incident that claimed the life of fellow Moto2 competitor Luis Salom who sadly passed away after falling at Turn 12. Remy and Wayne send their condolences to Luis's family, friends and team, and dedicate his point to the memory of #mexicano39.
After the decision was made late on Friday for the Catalan GP to continue, albeit with a revised track layout, Remy and the team set to work on further tweaks that would allow the Moto2 rookie to close the gap to the leading riders.
Step by step, lap by lap they improved, qualifying 24th in the sole grid deciding session. A further improvement in Sunday's warm-up session once again transformed Remy's Kalex machine giving him added confidence for a much stronger race.
With a sombre mood around the Montmelo circuit, Gardner made a good start ending the opening lap of the 23 lap encounter in 24th before gradually easing his way forward and into the top twenty.
As the race progressed the #87 was locked in a multi-rider battle for the final world championship point and with two laps to go Remy made his move, clinging on to take his first Moto2 World Championship point in his first ever Moto2 GP!
Remy Gardner - 15th: "What a debut. It was hard in practice as the bike was set up for someone else and we needed to change many things but the team listened and step by step we could improve. Every time we went out we went faster and we qualified just out of the top 20. We kept working and tried something in the warm-up which was another step in the right direction so we decided to race with it. The race was long, much longer than the CEV races but I am so so happy with the result. I stayed mentally strong and from the start was fighting hard with many other riders in the leading group. I kept pushing and was battling really hard with Vierge, I think we touched at least 5 times, guess we both wanted that final point. In the end I came out on top which is good and gives me some confidence for the rest of the year. It was a smart race and I am really happy. A big thanks to the whole Tasca Scuderia team and for those that got me back on the grid for the Catalan GP. It's easy to celebrate but it was a tough weekend with the accident on Friday that claimed the life of Luis Salom. My thoughts and condolences go this family, his team and his friends and my first Moto2 point is dedicated to his memory."
Remy's next outing is in a weeks time at round 3 of the FIM CEV Repsol championship with the Race Experience team which is scheduled to take place at the same venue as today's Catalan GP.
Gran Premio Monster Energy de Catalunya RACE Moto 3
12 ‘Darryn Binder – (4 points)
Karel Hanika – crashed in the last lap
Precious points thanks to twelfth place of Darryn Binder for the Team Platinum Bay. Instead bad luck again for Hanika crashed during the last lap and so forced to give up in placing himself in the points.Binder, therefore, was able to show part of his potential that too often remains unrealized because in free practice he is still unable to work methodically. Clear the message that the number one of the Team, Fiorenzo Caponera, launches for the umpteenth time to his young Rider: Binder will have to show greater concentration in the work on Friday and Saturday and then get important results in the race.
BRAVE RACE BY JOHN McPHEE TO SCORE ONE POINT FOR PEUGEOT MOTOCYCLES SAXOPRINT
The fierce competitor from Scotland rode a hard fought Catalan Grand Prix to came home in 15th position whereas teammate Alexis Masbou endured once again bad luck during a race.
Marvellous weather and fully packed grandstands accompanied round seven on Sunday in Barcelona but the atmosphere was still marred in the MotoGP paddock after the tragic death of Spanish Moto2 rider Luis Salom last Friday. Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT expresses again its deepest condolences.
However, the French/German based Moto3 outfit endured a difficult stay in Catalonia which marked the series’ second visit to Spain this season. The team’s riders were faced with several problems throughout the weekend but it came to somewhat of a happy conclusion - at least at the side of John McPhee who ended up in the points since a while. The 21-year-old battled for positions within a group up to four, five riders sometimes.
On the other hand, the weekend couldn’t go worse for Alexis Masbou who raced so close in front of his own fans jumping just across the border coming from South of France. The experienced 27-year-old rider was not in shape to do any competitive lap times during the previous days whilst his race was destroyed early on when Stefano Valtulini entered turn five during the opening lap far too optimistic, losing the front and put Masbou into the gravel too. But the young Italian proved as sportsman, visit the team’s box to apologize for his mistake.
The World Championship will take a three weeks breaks before race action returns at the TT Assen at its traditional date end of June.
#10 Alexis MASBOU – DNF:
“During all weekend we struggled a lot so for warm up we came back to our base setting we used since the start of the season and I immediately felt a lot more comfortable with the bike. But it was a too short time to improve the bike even more with this completely different setting. So we tried something for the race because we found out where we can improve in an easier way. However, my race wasn’t long enough to get any confirmation about that because in turn five another rider crashed and put me out of the race. It’s a pity again because I started well from far down the order and I already passed some rider till that incident happened. I’m really disappointed because at this time I already settled well with the group of John (McPhee) and Andrea Locatelli. In the end it was the group fighting for the last points scoring positions today. So this means if I could finish the race I would probably have scored my first point this season. But this is racing and for sure it wasn’t our weekend. We will take a few days now to rest and come back stronger in Assen.”
#17 John McPHEE – 15th (World Championship position21st, 10 points):
“For sure this was the hardest race I’ve had ever to fight for a single championship point. But after the way the season has been going it’s a nice feeling to be back in the points. I need to say thank you to the team and all people in Peugeot and Mahindra who helped me to achieve this. We all work really hard and we had some difficult race weekends recently but it looks that things are coming a little bit better step by step. Of course we will continue to push very hard and try to improve for the next race. In respect of the new chassis I’m happy with because it seems to be working better as well the bike overall was working good today. About the race itself I don’t have so much to complain expect at one moment three people crashed in front of me for which I lost the group ahead of us. Otherwise, I think I had the pace to go with them. But anyway, I need to be happy to take this one point and continue to improve.”
Terrell THIEN (Team manager):
“Well, on the side of Alexis we experienced a weekend to forget which resulted with the worst moment in the race already in turn five when he was hit by crashing rider whereas we are able to report a small highlight in respect to John’s race as he scored one single point. He rode a brave race as he was able to fight in his group. But most important we must keep working hard in order to get competiveness soon. At least and not to forget that we lost one of ours this weekend who loved and lived for his passion to race with motorcycles. Our deepest condolences to Luis Salom’s family and the SAG Team. We wish them the strength they need in this hard time.”
Enrico PELLEGRINO (Peugeot Motocycles, Project Manager Moto3):
“First I have to admit that we are very sad about what happened here last Friday. Our deepest condolences to the family of Luis Salom and to the SAG Team. Despite that we can be happy considering all the difficulties we endured throughout the weekend. We are sorry for Alexis because he faced different problems starting from Friday morning and during the race he couldn’t finish one lap because Alexis was taken out by another rider. But after this we are happy that John finished the race in 15th position. After a long time he scored one point but this is an important one for us and he showed that he was able to fight. This underlined that all this hard work we all are doing improves the performance of our bike and giving us results gradually. So we look forward that we further develop the team’s Moto3 machine and also the performance of our riders giving them the best support. At this point we must thank Mahindra because they supported us very well this weekend. So continue working together in this way we can achieve better results already in the near future.”
Honda Team Asia Leaves Montmeló With Empty Handed
Rd07 Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya : Sunday, June 05 2016
Ambient: 23℃ : Track: 34℃
After the nail-biting Moto3 battle, Honda Team Asia rider Khairul Idham Pawi tucked the front and fell off at turn10 on three laps to go. Consequently, his race had to finish there.
His team mate Hiroki Ono also made a strong start and contested a good battle within the leading group, however, at the entry of turn1 on lap three, Ono had to avoid touching the rider in front of him, and as a result, he was high-sided in the next corner. The Japanese rider was diagnosed fracture of the second finger of the let hand. He is supposed to have surgery on next Wednesday in Japan.
Khairul Idham Pawi (DNF)
“At the beginning of the race, I had a good feeling with my bike. But my rear tire started to slide on sixth or seventh lap, so I tried to apply throttle as deliberate as possible. In the final stages, when I regained my rhythm and tried to recover my positions, I lost front at turn10. I feel very sorry to my team because they did very fantastic job to make our bike very competitive. I will come back stronger in Assen.”
Hiroki Ono (DNF)
“I made a good start. I was able to follow the leading group with good rhythm and I was confident to battle with them till the end. But, at the entry of turn1 on lap three, I had to avoid the riders in front of me and unfortunately got high-sided in the next turn. I fractured my left index finger, so, after back to Japan, I go to hospital on Wednesday and will have surgery.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“In the middle of the race, Pawi was pulled away a bit from the leading group when his rear tire had started to slide. It was good to see his managing to recover from there to fight back again. I think he did a good race until crashing in the final stages. Ono also made a good start and tried everything to avoid touching riders in front of him, and subsequently, he was high-sided in the next turn. Obviously, it’s not what he was expected today. I feel sorry for the rider who was behind from Ono and collided. Anyway, we will give our everything to improve our bike to have our riders go faster.”
Nakagami Dedicates Podium to Luis Salom
Rd07 Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya : Sunday, June 05 2016
Ambient: 25℃:Track: 42℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami finished the Catalunya GP in third place. He dedicated the podium to his good friend and strong rival Luis Salom, who had succumbed to injuries following an unfortunate incident in second free practice on Friday.
Having set fastest lap time in the morning warm-up session, as is always the case with him, the Japanese rider maintained strong rhythm all through the race. Lap by lap, Nakagami overtook riders in front of him and arrived third position on lap seventeen. After that, he pulled away the riders behind him and crossed the line in the podium place for the first time since San Marino GP in last September.
Unfortunately, his team mate Ratthapark Wilairot fell down on lap twelve. He rejoined the race and tried to kept on riding, however, the Thai rider had to retire due to the damage on his bike..
Takaaki Nakagami (3rd)
“It was difficult to keep consistency because the track conditions became very hot in the afternoon. I tried maximum to overtake riders in front of me and enjoyed the battle with Lowes, Syarin and Luthi. I would like to dedicate this podium to Luis Salom and his family. We had raced together since Spanish championship days and I still cannot believe he’s gone. I will make a good race again in Assen and try to recover championship points as many as possible.”
Ratthapark Wilairot (DNF)
“I am very sorry to my team because they did fantastic job to give me a good bike. I am not 100% yet with my physical conditions, which made the race more complicated. In this weekend, Tady-san taught me a lot on riding and now I am improving step by step. I will consult my doctor when I go back to Thailand. I hope I will be better in Assen.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Well done for Taka. He deserves the podium today, because we all know it is where he finish the race. We have to improve more on our bike, because he is the rider to finish in higher place on the podium. For Ratthapark, even though he had to crash in the middle of the race, he learned a tot of things in this weekend. I believe he can make it happen in Assen.”