Preview press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix:
Red Bull KTM Ajo begin flyaway rounds with Moto3 title in hand
Following Brad Binder's Moto3 World Championship coronation at Aragon, he takes on the Japanese GP in the first of three consecutive rounds outside of Europe. Bo Bendsneyder looks to adapt to an unfamiliar track.
10/12/2016 - Twin Ring Motegi, Japan
Brad Binder comes into the fifteenth round of the 2016 season as the newly crowned Moto3 World Champion, after an historic weekend at the Aragon GP. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider can now focus on enjoying himself and adding to his win tally for the season, starting with the Japanese GP. The round at Motegi is the first of three races in Asia. Bo Bendsneyder begins one of his biggest challenges of the year, taking on three consecutive events at three circuits completely unfamiliar to him.
Binder has two records in his sights in the Moto3 class: The number of wins -7- and points -325- in a single season. Last season at Twin Ring Motegi he finished outside the points (17th), having crashed when riding third. In 2014 he completed the rostrum in the Moto3 race.
Bendsneyder takes on three completely new circuits to him in the space of three weeks. The rookie will first try to make a quick adaptation to Motegi, with the aim of keeping adding points to keep him in the Top 15 overall.
In recent years, Red Bull KTM Ajo have one win (Danny Kent in 2012) and a podium (Miguel Oliveira in 2015) at the Japanese Grand Prix. This year's race will be held at 11:00am local time on Sunday.
41 BRAD BINDER
"What has happened over the past two weeks has been amazing. After the Grand Prix I had three days with constant phone calls and media duties. It has also been very nice to see the support and messages of congratulations from people. Now, it's time to get back to work, and I am looking forward to getting back on the KTM -it's been a long two weeks without it! I have promised the team that I will go for it at each remaining round, with no effort spared. The first challenge will be at Motegi, a circuit where last year I was riding well until I fell in the wet. I think the track is pretty good for me. I got a podium there in 2014, so I hope to do that again this Sunday."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"The flyaways are a challenge for me and hopefully we can get great results, but we are facing three tracks that are totally unknown to me. I can't wait to start for travelling to countries where I've never been before. I've been watching a lot of races at Motegi from previous years, and I have also played a lot of games on my console to at least learn the corners and their characteristics. That is precisely the most important thing for these three races; learning the best lines as quickly as possible. These three races are all at very different circuits, so I hope everything goes well and that I can learn from three intense weeks."
Zarco travels to Motegi with fond memories
Ajo Motorsport rider starts flyaway rounds at a track where he was proclaimed World Champion last year -and where he took his first win in 2011.
10/12/2016 - Twin Ring Motegi, Japan
The start of the three-round flyaway series in the Moto2 World Championship could not come at a better time for Johann Zarco. The Japanese track of Motegi hosts the first of three consecutive Grands Prix this weekend and, after four difficult events, the Ajo Motorsport rider will try to place on the podium at a circuit where he took his first win in 2011 (in 125cc) and celebrated being crowned Moto2 World Champion last season with another victory.
Zarco was handed the title on the Friday after his only rival suffered an injury that ruled him out of the race. However, he marked the occasion in style with pole position and the race win at Motegi. The 2015 Japanese Grand Prix is an event that he will never forget and will serve as motivation for this weekend's contest. After missing out on the podium at the last four races, the Frenchman aims to take a third career rostrum at the famous Twin Ring circuit and defend his lead of the overall standings.
The Moto2 race takes place on Sunday at 12:20pm local time.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"It is true that in the last few races we have not been able to keep the points advantage we had in the overall standings, but we are thinking positive. We are still in a great position of first in the World Championship, and this is very important. We are working to fight for the title and we are up there.
This is a time of the season that I like, but it is very hard. It's three consecutive weeks that will demand a lot from us and can define the final outcome.
Motegi will always be very special to me. I got my first victory in the World Championship there in 2011 and last year I was proclaimed World Champion, with another win. I don’t think I could have a better memory. I hope to get another good result this weekend."
Nagashima to make second wildcard appearance of 2016 at home GP
Japanese rider will join the Moto2 grid once more this weekend, at a track where he debuted in the World Championship in 2013.
10/12/2016 - Twin Ring Motegi, Japan
After gaining miles and experience at MotorLand Aragon in his first wildcard appearance of the year, Tetsuta Nagashima will get another chance to show his skills in the Moto2 World Championship this weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix. The fifteenth round of the 2016 season is a home race for the Japanese rider, born in Kanagawa, and he previously made his Grand Prix debut at Motegi back in 2013.
Nagashima arrives in Japan two weeks after scoring another podium finish in the Moto2 European Championship -the seventh in nine races- and he is still in contention to finish second overall with one round remaining. In his previous Moto2 wildcard showing for the Ajo Academy in the World Championship this season, he finished 23rd at the Aragon GP.
The Japanese rider will try to match his best result to date in the World Championship (20th), which came on his Grand Prix debut in 2013 at Motegi. He was able to equal the result in 2014 at Austin and Assen.
The Moto2 Japanese GP will take place at 12:20pm local time on Sunday.
45 TETSUTA NAGASHIMA
"I'm really looking forward to this second wildcard appearance of the season. It is even more special because it comes at home, in Japan. We have had three intense weeks, with two races: The wildcard at Aragon and the FIM CEV race at Jerez -where I managed to get onto the podium. We arrive here in form and prepared. I have ridden at Motegi many times, although I don't have great memories of the track. Hopefully that will change this weekend and I will be able to at least improve on my performance from MotorLand Aragon. Getting into the points would be a great reward for the whole team."
Oliveira and Kent en route to Japan
The two Leopard Racing team companions are expected at the Twin Ring Motegi, a circuit where both have had great success before.
Getting ready for the final rush of the season 2016, the Moto2 World Championship heads for the Asian triple trip that will see the riders in action this weekend at the Grand Prix Motul Japan. The Twin Ring Motegi, Honda’s bespoke test track, is 4.8 km long with 14 corners and is in the Kanto region.
In the Leopard Racing team there are high hopes for for the physical condition of Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese rider, back from the broken right clavicle sustained in FP1 at Aragon, has already been operated on and will try to get on track this weekend after receiving the 'OK’ from the doctors.
Last year at this track, the Portuguese talent conquered second place behind the winner Antonelli after having started from the second row. Even his teammate can boast a good record at Motegi: on this track the English rider conquered the first of two pole positions in Moto3 in 2012 and in 2014.
The 22-year old from Chippenham, confirmed for next season in the Stefan Kiefer run team, wants to redeem himself from difficult race of MotorLand and is aiming to return to the upper echelons of the league to fight with the best in class.
The Team Leopard Racing prepare for the Asian triple
The three standard-bearers of the Moto3 class are ready to face the Asian trip that will start this weekend at Twin Ring Motegi, Japan.
The Moto3 World Championship enters its final phase with the young riders heading for Asia: in three weeks they will have three consecutive races, starting with the Grand Prix of Japan.
Opened in 1997, the Twin Ring Motegi entered the World Championship calendar in 1999: the track was built as a test track for Honda, measuring 4.8 km and divided into 6 left-handers and 8 right.
With the world title already awarded to the South African Brad Binder, the interest moves to the title of Vice-World Champion and that of Rookie-of-the-Year, both within the reach of the Spaniard Joan Mir. The 19 year old from Palma de Mallorca arrives in Japan strong fourth overall in the standings after another excellent comeback.
His team-mate Andrea Locatelli will definitely want to leave behind the unfortunate interlude of Aragon, where he failed to get into the points. The 19 year old from Selvino has always come out with hard fought comebacks that bode well for the weekend.
Points in the previous Grand Prix of Aragon is also a stimulus for the Frenchman Fabio Quartararo to leave behind the difficulties encountered so far, and reappear in the upper echelons of the grid, finishing his last season in Moto3 in the best way possible.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 face final stretch of 2016 season
Riders Jorge Navarro and Aron Canet head to Japan second and thirteenth, respectively, in the overall standings.
The Moto3 World Championship heads to Japan this weekend, for the first of three flyaway rounds. Estrella Galicia 0,0 go to Motegi with rider Jorge Navarro in good form, following his victory at the Aragon GP. He was on the podium at last season's Japanese GP, making a great comeback to take third place in the wet.
With four races remaining in the 2016 season, the 20-year-old lies second in the overall standings with 143 points to his name. With the title now not up for grabs after Brad Binder became World Champion at Aragon, Navarro is embroiled in a battle for second place, leading Enea Bastianini by just 4 points.
Aron Canet placed seventh at a familiar venue at the Aragon GP, but now travels to three entirely new circuits for him. His aim is to continue gaining valuable experience and learn for next season, and the first opportunity to do this comes in Japan this weekend.
Practice for the Japanese GP at Motegi -a home circuit for manufacturer Honda- begins on Friday at 9am local time.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
2nd in the overall standings with 143 points
“The aim will be to enjoy ourselves, pick up as many points as possible and fight to get onto the podium"
“Motegi is not one of the tracks that I like the most, because my riding style doesn't suit its characteristics. However, last year we made improvements and were competitive in both the dry and the wet. We placed third in the race, for what was my first podium in a wet race; that's a good memory that I have and I come into this weekend very motivated. These past two weeks at home have been good for me to rest and prepare for the coming races, so as to be as strong as possible. It's not just been getting ready for Japan, but for all three flyaway rounds. The aim at the flyaways will be to enjoy ourselves, pick up as many points as possible, fight to get onto the podium and bring as much joy as possible to the team."
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
13th in the overall standings with 118 points
"Motegi is a track that I think will suit my riding style, but it is a new track for me"
"We are coming into the three Asian rounds and I'm very impatient, because it's something I've been waiting to experience since I was little. In addition, I can't wait to get to know Japan and compete there, because when I had Japanese rider Sena Yamada as a teammate he told me many things about his country. Motegi is a track that I think that will suit my riding style, but it is a new track for me and I will have to work very hard with my crew to try to have a good race. I would like a good result to keep me motivated for the following two rounds in Australia and Malaysia."
LOWES PREPARED TO KICK OFF THE INTENSE FLYAWAY TRIPLE-HEADER AT MOTEGI
Sam Lowes and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 prepare to face the most intense and important phase of the 2016 campaign, including the traditional three consecutive races outside Europe leading up to the grand finale in Valencia. The first event is scheduled for this weekend in Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, where the 26-year-old British rider, fresh from the stunning win at Aragon, is determined to get another great result to keep alive the fight for the World Title, which sees him opposed to Johann Zarco and Alex Rins.
The Championship standings sees now Lowes in third place, 40 points behind Zarco and 39 behind Rins, with four races left to play.
“We have been really strong in Aragon, taking pole position and victory, so we head to Motegi bringing a lot of confidence with us: I’m feeling good and I think that in Japan we can fight again for the win. It will be important to start in a good way the triple-header of races outside Europe, because the fight for the World Title is definitely not over, and we will keep pushing until the end: a good result at Motegi would give us even more confidence ahead of Phillip Island and Sepang, other two good tracks for us. Anything can happen, I feel great and I want to give everything!”.
“We are preparing a very important phase of the Championship: the victory at Aragon gave us momentum in the title fight, in which we are still in contention. It won’t be easy, but Sam has proven to be in great shape so we will not leave anything to chance. The gap in terms of points is still high, so we will face every Grand Prix without thinking too much at the standings, but simply trying to give our best!”.
BASTIANINI AND DI GIANNANTONIO HUNTING FOR MORE PODIUMS AS TRIPLE-HEADER KICKS OFF AT MOTEGI
This weekend at Twin Ring Motegi begins the most intense phase of the 2016 Moto3 World Championship, which will see Gresini Racing Team Moto3 riders Enea Bastianini and Fabio Di Giannantonio facing three consecutive races outside Europe, the Grands Prix in Japan, Australia and Malaysia before the traditional grand finale in Valencia.
After the splendid performance shown at Aragon, with both riders fighting for the win until the last corner, the goal of the team is to be once again at the top. Enea Bastianini, in particular, after being very close to hit the big target in the last two events, will try to claim the first win of the season. The 18-year-old youngster from Rimini, on the podium in five of the last eight races, is going through a great moment and is determined to fight to regain the second position in the Championship, now occupied by Jorge Navarro.
The other Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider, rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio, in Japan will face the first of three completely new tracks: for the 18-year-old rider from Rome, who enjoyed of a surprising middle part of the season with nine consecutive top ten finishes, including three podiums, is therefore approaching the probably more complicated part of the season. Fabio is still confident to be able to quickly learn the track and be able to enter once again the battle for the top ten positions.
“I have always felt very comfortable at Motegi: the track suits my riding style, having a lot of hard braking points and accelerations from low speeds. Last year the race was held under the rain, a condition in which I was not able to give my best yet at that time, but we still managed to take a quite good result. The goal for this year is to stay on front: we want to confirm the excellent performance shown at Aragon, possibly trying to get our first win of the season, which we have been chasing for a while”.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO
“I trained a lot ahead of this long trip: in Japan, as well as in Australia and in Malaysia, I will face three tracks that are completely new for me, but we will still try to remain in the Top Ten. I’m saying this since the beginning of the Championship, and I still think that being able to stay in the Top Ten at every race is a very good result for a rookie. We will try to do this also at Motegi, although this will be my first visit at Twin Ring; hopefully I will learn the track quickly”.
“We are going through a great moment, so we head to Japan confident to complete another positive weekend: both at Misano and Aragon Enea came very close to victory, so it would be great to finally hit the big target. We have all we need to succeed, we just need to keep working like we did in the last few races. Di Giannantonio, who turned 18 yesterday, will instead face a completely new track: the so-called triple-header is probably the most complicated part of the season for a rookie; however, Fabio has grown a lot since the beginning of year, so we expect a good performance also from his side”.
Morbidelli and Márquez take momentum to Motegi
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez begin the crucial triple-header flyaway races in Japan this weekend with confidence sky high after their stunning double podium finish last time out in Spain.
An outstanding maiden Moto2 podium from Márquez and a superb fourth rostrum in the last seven races from Morbidelli in Motorland Aragon delivered the first double podium finish for the Belgian-based Marc VDS squad since Mika Kallio and Tito Rabat finished second and third respectively in the 2014 Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
Morbidelli and Márquez now make the long trip to the 4.8km Twin Ring Motegi track determined to be fighting at the front of the field once again in what promises to be another all-action 23-lap battle.
With 75-points up for grabs in just three weeks and Japan followed immediately by key races in Australia and Malaysia, Italian Morbidelli is looking to strengthen his strong challenge for third place in the overall rankings.
Morbidelli is currently fifth in the standings and the 21-year-old trails Sam Lowes by just 21-points heading into the most demanding stage of the World Championship campaign.
Márquez heads to East Asia determined to demonstrate the fighting spirit that earned him an exceptional second place at Motorland Aragon last month.
The 20-year-old has a terrific record at the Twin Ring Motegi, which is part of a vast motorsport and leisure complex that first joined the World Championship calendar in 1999.
Two of the Spaniard’s four wins in the Moto3 category came at the Twin Ring Motegi and the last in 2014 was pivotal in helping him capture the World Championship that year.
“After such a strong and positive race in Aragon I am really looking forward to travelling to Japan to begin the flyaway races. The whole team worked very well in Aragon throughout the weekend to give me a very competitive package for the race and I am optimistic we can continue in that good direction at the Twin Ring Motegi. Unfortunately I missed the race in Japan last year through injury but I had a good result in 2014. It is not an easy track because the layout is stop and go and you need to be very strong in braking. This three-week period in the season is quite demanding but I really enjoy it. It certainly isn’t a vacation but three weeks away from home can be a lot of fun and I will try to enjoy them.”
“We are ready to start the three flyaway races from a very good starting point after the fantastic race to second place in Aragon. I enjoy racing in Japan and I’ve had a lot of success there in the past in Moto3, so I hope it can be the same again in Moto2 this year. The next three races are always a tough challenge and you must keep 100% concentrated to be at your best level in all of them and remain free from injury. I’m fully prepared after a couple of good weeks training after Aragon and of course my motivation is very high to try and repeat the podium from the last round. My objective for the next three races is to be consistent in all of them and gain strong points in tracks where I struggle like in Malaysia.”
PEUGEOT MOTOCYCLES SAXOPRINT JETS TO JAPAN FOR THE FLYAWAY OPENER
The championship’s round 15 this weekend at the vast Twin Ring Motegi in Japan marks the first of three races in Asia and Australia.
After a busy stage of the season with five races starting mid of August till end of September, the series returns to action with the Grand Prix of Japan this weekend. The championship is set to head into its final stage with just four races remaining, again with a tight schedule but this time connected with a lot of traveling and long haul flights as the Moto3™ World Championship goes far east for the annual oversea triple header in Asia and Australia.
After the first long distance flight, the French German based Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT Moto3 team arrived well in Japan. Whilst the challenging Twin Ring Motegi is no longer a strange affair to Scottish rider John McPhee, team mate Albert Arenas gains his first experiences outside from Europe at all. Feeling unfamiliar to the differences to Europe in many aspects just for the moment, Arenas is confident that he finds himself again as soon as he closes the visor and puts his leg over the Peugeot Moto3 machine for the first exit on Friday morning.
Time schedule for the weekend is common to the most European rounds but there is a seven hours’ difference in time to be noted so the 15th points haul of this season is set to get underway this Sunday at 11:00 am local time which means 04:00 am CET.
#12 Albert ARENAS:
“Honestly, I’m pretty excited because this is my very first trip outside from Europe. I’m really looking forward to this triple header in the upcoming weeks. At the moment I’m just a bit confused with this big difference in time and feeling somewhat of tired. There are also some things to get used to it but I’m very confident that everything is in the right place as soon I’ll put on my helmet tomorrow morning. However, I’ll race for the first time in Motegi but I did some laps with a scooter already and my first impressions are amazing. I think that I’ll like this track due to its some really hard breaking points and long straights. It’s a pretty long circuit but I feel ready to start working on track and with the team in order to enjoy this weekend a lot.”
#17 John McPHEE:
“I look forward to these three races because I did pretty well in the last years at the triple header in Asia and Australia. I think we did a big step forward with both the bike and my riding over the last races so I hope we’re able to continue this strong way and fight inside the points in every race. But the target is to try and get inside the top ten. I look forward to the last part of the season and try to make the best job as always. In particular for the Motegi race, where I achieved some really strong results here in the past and first of all trying to be positive at all. It seems the hard breaking areas are really good for our Peugeot machine but on the downside there are some long straights coming from first gear corners. This maybe could be a small negative aspect but we will know more about it tomorrow at least. Anyway, we’ll push 100 percent and see where we finish this weekend.”
Moto3 - The triple extra-European round for 3570 Team Italia starts
Stefano Valtulini and Lorenzo Petrarca challenge on Twin Ring Motegi
Respecting the tradition since several years, for 3570 Team Italia October is the month of the triple extra- European rounds of World Championship. Between Asia and Oceania, the team gets ready to face three races in a row in three weeks, starting from the forthcoming Grand Prix of Japan.
At the Twin Ring Motegi, the two riders of 3570 Team Italia will discover a completely unknown track, trying to improve their positions in the standings during the weekend. Starting again from the positive aspects of the last races, Stefano Valtulini and Lorenzo Petrarca are motivated to finish positively their season as a rookie in Moto3 World Championship.
A purpose supported by the determination of the whole team, motivated to start the triple extra-European trip with a remarkable result in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)
"We start back from Japan! With Motegi starts a series of three races in a row, where the team will be focused on the constant improvement of performance. The Twin Ring is a track particularly demanding in terms of set up, it will be essential make the bike more manageable as possible in the several and difficult braking points of the track. The track has many difficult points, and where going to focus on them to reduce gradually the gap from our reference group."
THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 IS LOOKING FOR RESULTS IN JAPAN
This weekend, Motegi circuit will host the first race of the overseas. Migno, Bulega and Dalla Porta are ready to fight with the fastest guys.
Motegi (Japan), October 13th, 2016 - There will be three weeks of intensive work for the Sky Racing Team VR46 with three races in a row. The long oversea trip begins from the Twin Ring in Motegi, which will host the Japanese Grand Prix. After the positive test at Aragon, Andrea Migno, Nicolò Bulega and Lorenzo Dalla Porta are ready to fight in these races.
Andrea, with the strongest guys at the Aragon GP, is motivated to show his best on the japanese track. Important race also for Nicolò who is battling for the rookies Championship. Back on track after the big crash at Motorland, he is ready to achieve important results at his first time at the overseas. Positive feelings also for Lorenzo, who is recovering from the shoulder injury. His goal is the Top10.
Length: 4.8 km
Left turns: 6
Right turns: 8
Longest straight: 762 m
Race laps: 20
Race distance: 96 km
2015 Moto3 Podium: Niccolò Antonelli, Miguel Oliveira, Jorge Navarro
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
We expect three weeks of hard work with three decisive races in a row. Bulega is fighting for the Rookie of the Year and he is closed to the second place in the Championship. He will race on a three completely unknown tracks and, as always, he has to stay focused and give his best to approach these new circuits. It will be a tough fight up to Valencia with the other rookies. Andrea is motivated to show his best. At Aragon he back to compete with the strongest guys and, compared to his team mates, he knows better this trip and he can achieve important results. Lorenzo can also close the season in a good way: he is recovering from the shoulder injury and his goal is the Top10.
I’m really motivated for the Japanese GP. At Aragon I came back to fight in the leading group and in the last test we did a really important step forward. I like all the three tracks we're going to face in the upcoming weeks and this is certainly a good starting point to close in the best way the 2016 season.
For the first time I leave with the team for the long October trip with three races in three weekends with three completely new tracks! I have to work hard to adapt my riding style as soon as possible to the new tracks. We are fighting for the Rookie of the Year and it will be a great fight up to Valencia. In the big crash at Aragon I was really lucky and I have not reported major consequences, so I'm looking forward to getting back on my KTM and push at 100%.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta
I face this long trip for the second time in my career. At Aragon test, we did a great job and this means that we can be more competitive here. The next three races will be in a row and my goal is being closer to the Top10.