Press releases from the Moto2 & Moto3 teams after an incident-packed Malaysian Grand Prix:
Third consecutive top 10 result for Livio Loi
After another bizarre race Livio Loi recorded his third consecutive top 10 result. In the GP of Malaysia, the third of the flyaways, RW Racing GP’s Belgian crossed the line in ninth just before the Moto3 race was red flagged because of rain.
In the tricky conditions - the track was dry but there were some damp patches - Loi was one of the just 17 riders who crossed the line after a number of huge crashes took out the others. One of the 17 was Brad Binder, who finished last at three laps back after he too had crashed.
Loi was almost taken out as well. First in the first lap, then in the final one, when he had a -slight problem with his bike and Maria Herrera ran into his back. Right after the incident race direction decided to call it a day for the Moto3 riders in lap 14 because the rain came in, making it too dangerous to continue.
Livio Loi - 9 (+14,445)
“First of all I want to say sorry to Maria. I couldn’t do anything about it. I almost crashed myself a few times, but I have been lucky. It was a crazy race - another one. We didn’t have much time in the dry in the practices and that made it difficult to setup the bike. I think the team did a great job. There were still some damp spots on the track and that made it very hard. After the crash in the first lap - one I could only just avoid - it was very difficult to keep confidence, but I kept my head cool and found my rhythm again. It has been a good series of results for us, with fifth, seventh and ninth, but I'm happy we move back to Europe now for the final race of the season.”
Johann Zarco becomes two-time Moto2 World Champion
Ajo Motorsport rider takes first opportunity to win second consecutive Moto2 title, winning the Malaysian GP.
10/30/2016 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Johann Zarco avoided taking the title battle to the final round at Valencia, becoming Moto2 World Champion at the Malaysian GP this Sunday. The Ajo Motorsport rider becomes the first two-time champion in the class, retaining the title he won last year. A win at Sepang allowed him to maintain his lead over Thomas Luthi and Alex Rins and clinch the only title still up for contention in Grand Prix racing in 2016.
6 wins and a further 3 podium finishes made Zarco the dominant force in the intermediate class. The most decorated French rider in the history of the World Championship has this year recovered from a slow start to put together a run of 4 wins and a podium in 5 races, then mathematically take the title at the first available opportunity.
With this latest World Championship, Ajo Motorsport also make history. It is their second title in as many years in the Moto2 series, and their second this season -having also become champions in Moto3.
Bagnaia Claims Victory in Malaysia to Light up Diwali Weekend for Mahindra Racing
Sepang International Circuit, 30 October 2016: Aspar Mahindra Team’s Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia surged to his second and the MGP3O’s third win of the 2016 season at today’s Malaysian GP, taking the lead on lap two, then surviving a race of attrition as his closest rivals joined an ever-growing crash list.
The win, at the 5.543-km circuit close to Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport, was a massive boost to the Italian teenager’s hopes of finishing high up in the championship, lifting him back to third overall after losing ground in recent races as the victim of other riders’ errors.
It was Mahindra’s third win this year, with John McPhee taking sister-manufacturer Peugeot’s MGP3O to victory at Brno, confirming the strength of the only Indian constructor in the World Championships, on the day that the nation is celebrating the festival of Diwali.
Bagnaia’s first win of the year was at Assen in the Netherlands, by a margin of 0.030 of a second, typical in the closest class in the series. Today’s victory was by a yawning gulf of 7.108 seconds, after he was the sole survivor when three riders fell out of the leading group on the second lap.
At that point he lay third in a close pack. Now Pecco was alone, and from there he had only to focus and concentrate, on a track where treacherous conditions saw only 17 finishers out of 31 starters.
After 14 of the scheduled 18 laps had been completed – more than the required two-thirds distance for a full result – the race was red flagged, with results taken from lap 13.
Bagnaia had been a candidate for victory even without the crashes of his rivals. Strong throughout practice in wet or dry conditions, he had qualified on the front row of the grid for the third time this year, and set fastest time in morning warm-up. In fact, Pecco was never lower than third at the end of any session at the Malaysian GP.
Second Aspar Mahindra Team rider Jorge Martin was one of many crash victims, involved in a multi-bike accident on only the first lap. The Spanish teenager got to his feet and escaped serious injury, but was later helicoptered to hospital to investigate a concussion.
Independent Mahindra team riders fared well with Marcos Ramirez sixth, repeating his first top ten of the previous weekend in Australia; and Darryn Binder likewise, finishing tenth. Stefano Valtulini and Lorenzo Petrarca also scored points, for 13th and 14th.
The Malaysian GP was the last of a trio of consecutive flyaway races. The season comes to an end at Valencia in two weeks.
Francesco Bagnaia – First Place
“I think this is the hardest race of my life. I was pushing to my best. When I saw I had opened the gap to second I thought I needed to concentrate more and I focused on the win. To win today is a great result after a sometimes tough season, especially recently. This is the third win for Mahindra and my second win, truly an amazing feeling for me.”
Mufaddal Choonia – CEO, Mahindra Racing
“It’s the Diwali weekend and I don’t think there can be a better Diwali gift for anyone in Mahindra today than a win here in Malaysia. It was such a difficult race due to the heat and humidity, and to keep pushing on in these conditions and win is absolutely monumental from Pecco. I am concerned however for the well-being of the riders who crashed in the race today, including Jorge Martin. I hope they are all fine. After we were robbed of a possible podium in Australia, we achieved an ideal result here. Pecco also moves to third in the championship, which is another fantastic result today.”
Navarro and Canet go unrewarded in Malaysia
The two Repsol riders crashed out in an accident-filled race, on a track surface that had numerous damp patches.
Raceday at the Malaysian Grand Prix was a difficult one for the Repsol Moto3 riders. Aron Canet had the briefest of races, as he was involved in a first lap crash along with Martin, Oettl and Bulega, when the former took down his fellow riders in the incident. Canet had to brake very hard and went off the racing line, finishing up on the ground. Teammate Jorge Navarro met a similar fate with 13 laps remaining of the race, putting his bike into neutral by mistake and crashing at Turn 15. The Moto3 World Championship concludes in two weeks’ time in Valencia.
"Today I made a mistake: I didn’t engage the gear correctly, the bike stayed in neutral and when I got it completely into first, I crashed. We were well placed in very difficult conditions and I was quite alert, because I had already had some scares. I hope we start the next Grand Prix in Valencia with better weather, because this weekend has been a bit strange; we have never had a completely dry track. Let's see if at the last race of the year we can do a good job and finish the season with a good taste in our mouths."
"There is not much to say. It's a shame to finish like this, because I think we were prepared to have a good race, but on a track with new asphalt and little grip after the rain this morning, there were still some unseen puddles. We started and at Turn 5 of the first lap, Jorge Martin crashed and I couldn’t avoid him. My hand hurts a little, but hopefully it's nothing. I want to thank Phillip Oettl, who was also involved in the crash and was concerned about me."
TOUGH RACE FOR THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 AT SEPANG
Bulega and Migno crashed in the first lap. The young rookie has a contusion on his right shoulder and knee. Dalla Porta, who rejoined the race after a crash, crossed the finishing line in 16th place.
Sepang (Malaysia), October 30th, 2016 - Bitter epilogue for the riders of the Sky Racing Team VR46 at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Nicolò Bulega and Andrea Migno are both involved in a crash a few corners after the start and they are forced to retire. After the red flag, Lorenzo Dalla Porta, also victim of a crash when he was fighting with the leaders, closed in sixteenth place.
No consequence for Andrea, back into the pits before deciding to retire from the race, while Nicolò, to the Clinica Mobile for having x-ray, suffered a clavicle acromion of the right shoulder and a contusion on his right knee. Despite the zero of today, the young rookie maintains the leadership in the rookie championship and he will fight for the title in Valencia. Unlucky epilogue for Lorenzo, fourth on the grid and on the asphalt in the third lap.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
A race to forget for the whole team. There have been many crashes in the first laps and also our riders were involved. For the first time we were riding in dry conditions on this new tarmac and probably something was wrong. It is a shame for Lorenzo, yesterday he made a great qualifying and today was battling with the strongest guys. Nicolò and Andrea were unlucky and they were forced to retire. Nicolò was the victim of a big crash and he suffered a contusion to his shoulder and knee.
I started from the end of the group so the plan was to push at 100% in the first laps for recovering positions. Unfortunately after a few turns, I found myself on the asphalt without being able to do anything to avoid it.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta
I hoped for a different ending for this race. Yesterday I scored the best qualifying result of my career and for today the goal was to fight with the leaders. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the third lap, I found myself on the ground. I rejoined the race and I finished at the end of the group.
Morbidelli and Márquez in superb form at Sepang
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli mastered treacherous conditions to finish a superb second in today’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
It was the fourth time this season Morbidelli has finished runner-up in a World Championship Moto2 race and a victory cannot be far away for the 21-year-old Italian.
Morbidelli’s rich vein of form began with his third place at Assen in June and he has now been on the podium seven times in the ten races since the Dutch TT.
Starting from second on the front row Morbidelli led the way for 13 laps in tricky conditions before Frenchman Johann Zarco made a slick move at turn four to win the 19-lap race. In doing so Zarco secured a second consecutive Moto2 World Championship.
In the closing stages Morbidelli was engaged by Jonas Folger in a tense fight for second but the hard riding Italian was up for the challenge to hold the position.
The race at the Sepang International Circuit started on a wet track in drizzling rain but with eight laps remaining the sun was out with riders on rain tyres on a drying track.
In blinding spray from 21st on the grid Álex Márquez made a dynamic start and staged a brave surge through the traffic to 12th on lap one. The Spanish star made some robust overtakes and got up to fifth on lap eight in a tight contest with Hafizh Syahrin, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Thomas Lüthi and Xavier Simeon before dropping to seventh at the finish.
In the championship standings Morbidelli is fourth on 197 points, just six points behind Álex Rins in the battle for third as he heads to the final race at Valencia.
Franco Morbidelli: 2nd
"I struggled a little to understand that with the championship already done why Johann kept pushing in second place but it was a nice race and congratulations to him for winning the championship. I was very fast in the wet conditions but when the track started to dry out I could not keep the same pace with Johann but I was able to hold second with is great for me and the team. I go to Valencia with a good feeling for the final race and to aim for third position in the championship.”
Álex Márquez: 7th
“I am happy because I made a really good race from so far back on the grid, I took a lot of risks on lap one after I made the best start of my Moto2 career. I got to fifth place but with the drying track and having pushed my tyres I was seventh at the end. It is a good result considering the problems in qualifying and I’m back riding at my best. Now we have a short break before the final race in Valencia, I’m motivated for a strong finish to the season.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"This was a really good race for both Franco and Álex. I knew that as the track dried out that Johann Zarco had a little more pace than Franco but he was faster than all the others to get another deserving podium. This is a boost for the team and it is nice to return to Europe with a bundle of points and now Franco can challenge for third in the championship in Valencia. Álex had a difficult starting position after a wrong tyre choice in qualifying but he had some great battles in a five-rider group that was a little scary. It was a good race by Álex. My congratulations to Johann Zarco for his second Moto2 World Championship.”
DI GIANNANTONIO SNATCHES 1 POINT IN EVENTFUL MALAYSIAN GP. UNLUCKY DEBUT FOR SASAKI
The Gresini Racing Team Moto3 wrapped up the intense flyaway triple header with today’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang: the team experienced another complicated race, with Fabio Di Giannantonio fifteenth on the finish line after a crash on the third lap and Ayumu Sasaki - called to replace injured Enea Bastianini - out after only two corners after he was hit by another rider.
Started from the seventh row of the grid, Di Giannantonio had already recovered several positions and was in eleventh position chasing the leading group when he crashed losing the front entering Turn 7, a point where a few moments before Binder, Mir and Dalla Porta, in the first positions, all crashed at the same time. Fabio was then able to re-join the race, crossing the finish line in fifteentt, thus gaining an important point in the Rookie of the Year battle against Nicolò Bulega and Joan Mir, both retired today.
The race of the other Gresini Racing Team Moto3 rider, Ayumu Sasaki, lasted only two corners: the 16-year-old Japanese was hit by another rider right after the start, at Turn2, and he was forced to retire.
FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (15th)
“Before the race I was really motivated because in the warm-up we found a good compromise to make a good comeback. I had a pretty good start and despite a bit of chaos at the first two corners, where several riders crashed, on the second lap I was already eleventh. I was pushing to try to catch the lead group, then under braking at Turn 7 I saw some riders falling in front of me: I was already braking, I suddenly lost the front and I could not avoid the crash. We will analyze the data to better understand what happened, maybe there was oil on the track or a wet area that I have not seen, because after all I was not pushing too hard. It’s a pity: one point is better than nothing, but it remains a small consolation. We hope to make up for that in Valencia!”.
AYUMU SASAKI (DNF)
“Unfortunately in the crash I hit my head and I don’t remember very well what happened. It’s a shame to end this experience in this way, on the very first lap... Among other things this morning the Warm Up was positive so I was expecting to be able to have a good race. We were unlucky, but it was still a wonderful experience to debut in the World Championship!”.
“It was a really complicated race: in the end with Di Giannantonio we brought home an important point for the Championship, but as happened in Australia we lost a good opportunity. Now it’s missing only one race and we are already looking forward to Valencia, where we hope to be able to have a ‘normal’ race weekend, because the last two have been very strange”.
Rodrigo finishes the race at Sepang in seventh position, tough day for Guevara
The penultimate race of the 2016 Moto3 World Championship was held today, at the Sepang International Circuit.
The day started off with similar conditions to the sessions on Friday and Saturday: the riders had to face the warm up on a track with various wet patches. Despite that, Gabriel Rodrigo managed to take advantage of the session to check some final touches to the KTM setting. Gabriel had a good start from the fifth position on the grid: during the first few laps he fought to stay with the leading group, confirming his competitiveness. In the second part of the race, the critical conditions limited his options to fight for the podium and the Argentinian youngster crossed the finishing line in a solid seventh placement.
Guevara and his crew worked during the warm-up in order to achieve a better feeling on the bike with mixed conditions. In the race, Juanfran started from the sixth row of the grid. On the second corner, another rider made the Spaniard crash out, which meant that he was forced to abandon the weekend without having the chance to fight for a good result.
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 7th
“The conditions in the warm up were complicated: just like in the previous days, the track was humid. There were a few extra patches, compared to the sessions on Friday and on Saturday, so we decided to use wet tyres. Really the track wasn’t wet enough and I wasn’t feeling too confident. We didn’t take any extra risk and we just completed a few laps to make sure everything was in order. In the race, I started well and I got to the second position, I was with the leading group. The track was pretty much dry, but there were some areas with water that made things more complicated because of the high temperature, especially on used tyres. After the first three laps, when I was feeling fine, I started losing the front wheel each time I was pushing and eventually I got left behind from the group. I saw many crashes and in the end I decided to play smart. Lap after lap, the track was more complicated and on days like this it’s better to be smart rather than fast. The result doesn’t feel as good, because I didn’t feel that competitive, but in the end this is my best result in the World Championship. It’s a great achievement after scoring 0 points in the last two races, now we can leave and be happy, and we can look forwards to Valencia to keep working.”
#58 Juanfran Guevara: not classified
”In the race the conditions of the track improved a lot, it was when the track was at its best for the Moto3. At the beginning I was quite confident, because there was a chance to achieve a decent result. Right after the start, I managed to overtake some guys, till the first turn. It was all a bit messy at the start and I wanted to stay out of it, but a rider crashed out and he hit me. It hurts because we’ve faced three difficult weeks, each Sunday things don’t seem to come together. In these three Grand Prix events, during the practice sessions we had a decent pace, but things didn’t work out in the race. It’s a shame, since the team worked really hard. We go home with three bad results, but we know we did all we could. We’ll get to Valencia looking forwards to making up for this and to ending the year with a good result.”
Second podium of the year for rookie Bendsneyder in Malaysia
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes third place at Malaysian Grand Prix affected by difficult track conditions. Binder finishes seventeenth after a crash.
10/30/2016 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
The 2016 Moto3 Malaysian Grand Prix ended with Red Bull KTM Ajo taking their sixth podium at the circuit, this time through Bo Bendsneyder. The Dutch rookie achieved third place in a race brought to an early end by a red flag, claiming his second rostrum finish of the season. The race was affected by high humidity on the track, which caused numerous crashes -including for new World Champion Brad Binder, who finally finished seventeenth.
Binder was one of the first to suffer from the high humidity, falling at Turn 7 of the third lap alongside three other riders while fighting for first position. Behind him, Bendsneyder managed to find his pace and moved into the podium spots 12 laps before the end.
As the Red Bull KTM Ajo team performed an incredible effort to get Binder’s KTM back on track, Bendsneyder continued his chase for second place. Once he had moved into the position, a red flag forced the race to conclude ahead of schedule, with the placings as of Lap 13 counting as definitive. That meant the Dutchman finished third, with Binder seventeenth.
The Moto3 World Championship, already won by Binder, comes to a close in 2 weeks’ time in Valencia. Bendsneyder occupies fifteenth position overall, thanks to his 16 points earned today.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"I haven’t got much to say about the Moto3 race, because I cannot understand why there were so many crashes; I think it has to be analysed. It was a shame that Brad [Binder] crashed when he was in the leading group. We should be happy that he is ok and has not suffered any injury. I am very happy with Bo [Bendsneyder] and his second podium because with each race he is showing that he is more mature. The whole team are doing a great job helping him, in all respects; he is also very strong mentally. Next year I am sure he will get great results."
41 BRAD BINDER
"For me the race was over earlier than expected, but I was enjoying myself on the bike. I do not know why, but both the rider ahead of me and some behind me slid after going over something. There was something on the track. It is unfortunate and disappointing, because I think we had the pace to fight for the victory. I cannot thank the team enough for the work they have done to get the bike ready again and get me back on track. They did an amazing job in just 5 minutes!
Once on track I felt good, and it was easy to ride fast. It was good to see that I could remain competitive. I have to be happy because throughout the season we were lucky and this has happened to us when the Championship has already been decided. Now we have to enjoy the last race."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"I am very happy to finish the Malaysian Grand Prix with my second podium of the season. I was riding behind Jakub [Kornfeil] for a few laps and was able to pass him on the final laps. It's a shame because in the end, due to the red flag, we went back to the previous lap for the final standings -where I was third. It's a pity, but getting on the podium again -at a circuit where I had never ridden before- is something incredible. I want to thank the team for all the work they have done over the weekend. Now we want to finish the season in Valencia with another good result."
Impressive Vierge speeds to 8th - Vinales conquers Sepang challenge in 10th
Tech3 Racing Team rider Xavi Vierge produced a superb display today at the Malaysian Grand Prix to record his career best result in the intermediate class after storming from 25th to 8th aboard the Mistral 610. The young Spaniard kicked off his day by surging to 4th in the morning warm up where the track was mainly dry albeit with some wet patches on the asphalt. This performance left the 19-year-old confident for the race, which he began from the ninth row of the grid after a tricky qualifying. Nevertheless, Vierge bolted forwards when the lights went out as the rain lashed down, and he ended the opening lap in 20th, having leapt up five places. The Tech3 rider quickly started riding a formidable and consistent rhythm, which resulted in him notably moving up nine positions by the close of the sixth lap. He continued his hot pace and then overtook the former 2016 title contender Alex Rins on the 11th lap. With only a short distance remaining, the ever-improving Spaniard was running in 8th and he determinedly pushed onwards before shooting across the finish line in this placement having overtaken a total of 17 riders. The incredible perseverance of the 19 year old sees him complete the flyaway races in a highly positive manner and now Vierge looks on to the season finale in Valencia with utmost confidence.
On the other hand, Isaac Viñales powered through the rain to complete the round 17 battle in 10th after delivering an expertly calculated ride today at Sepang. The intermediate class rookie commenced the sprint from the seventh row of the grid and he concluded the first lap in 26th having slipped back seven places. Yet, he focused and immediately began his recovery charge as his solid pace allowed him clinch 17th with one-third of the race having passed and he muscled his way back into the top fifteen at just over the mid way point of the event. In the last section of the GP, Viñales was heavily involved in the fierce pack of five fighting for ninth and he moved into the lead of the group on lap 17. The Spaniard swapped positions several times but he produced the 6th fastest time of the race on his last lap to notably seize 10th at the chequered flag, having moved up nine places from his grid placement. The strong result leaves the Tech3 rider fired up for the final Grand Prix of the season in his home country in two weeks’ time.
Position: 8th - Championship: 22nd - Points: 33
“I am very happy with today’s race result. Yesterday in the qualifying, things were tricky and after a tough session where I fell after being touched by Marini and also where we had some traction issues when I got back on track, I was only able to qualify in 25th. However, the team and I amended the situation and as a result, I rode a good lap time with both the slick and wet tyres in the morning warm up where I finished in 4th. In the race, I believed in myself and the bike plus, I never gave up when I tried to pass other riders. Eventually, I ended up in 8th which is vital because there is now only one point between me and Luca Marini for the rookie of the year title. We will continue this battle in Valencia, but I have to say thanks to the team for their work and I look forward to getting back on the Mistral 610 soon."
Position: 10th - Championship : 24th - Points: 19
“I am pleased with my performance today where I clinched my second top ten finish of the season aboard the Mistral 610 and I feel that I deserve this because I pushed hard in what was a challenging race where there was a lot of rain. After the beginning of the GP, it took me a few laps to get up to speed, however, once I was in a good rhythm, I caught a lot riders and eventually, I concluded the fight in 10th which I am happy about. The outcome marks a positive end to the flyaway GP’s for me, and now I am looking forward to getting back on the track in Valencia, after a short break, where I aim to close the year with another point scoring result."
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager:
“It was a really great day for the Tech3 Racing Moto2 team and now we can head back home with smiles on our faces. With regards to the weather, it was tough again because we had almost no completely dry track time and nearly no fully wet. Yet, Xavi was fast throughout the weekend and we were hopeful for him yesterday but then Luca Marini touched him in the second lap of qualifying and that ruined his session. Anyway, he didn’t give up and even though he had some pain in his right hip, he dug deep and then finished the warm up in 4th. As for the race, he did an incredible job and he ended up in 8th after qualifying in 25th. However, I have to say that I truly believe that he could have completed the GP in the top five if the crash yesterday did not happen. Nevertheless, he got eight points for his efforts today which is valuable because our target is for him to seize the rookie of the year title and now Marini is only one point ahead so there will be a big fight in Valencia. His results in the previous three Grand Prix’s, including this one where he started from almost last, show the progress that he is making and we are very happy with Xavi. Meanwhile, Isaac also had a great race. It took him a little bit longer to get into his rhythm but once he got going, he was fast and his final lap was the 6th quickest time of the GP. He reached the chequered flag in 10th and that is a solid performance. We know that Isaac’s potential is high but sometimes I think that it is important for him to believe a bit more and have a positive feeling. I hope he finds this in Valencia so that both him and Xavi can have strong results next time out in Spain.”
Zarco seals Moto2 World Championship with victory
Ajo Motorsport rider ensures Moto2 title in Malaysia at first available opportunity with win number six of the season.
10/30/2016 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Johann Zarco made history on Sunday at Sepang by becoming the first two-time Moto2 World Champion. The Ajo Motorsport rider was able to seal the title at the first available chance, winning the Malaysian GP and retaining the honour that he won last season. On a completely wet track which was drying out during the race, the Frenchman set a frantic pace on the final laps for his sixth win of the year. In addition, he became the first French rider ever to take two World Championships.
Heavy rain came down when the Moto2 riders were on the grid at Sepang. Using wet tyres, the riders undertook the 19-lap contest very cautiously, and poleman Zarco dropped down two places on the opening lap. However, he would swiftly regain second place behind Franco Morbidelli, whilst title rivals Thomas Luthi and Alex Rins languished further down the field.
As the track dried out, Zarco began to up his pace and establish an advantage –as he had done in qualifying on Saturday. With 6 laps remaining, he made a pass at Turn 4 that put him into the lead, then broke away to cross the line more than 3 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.
The 25 points earned at the Malaysian GP give Zarco an insurmountable lead in the overall standings of 37 points, meaning that the final race of the season at Valencia will be a title celebration for the two-time Moto2 World Champion.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It's hard to find the words today; it has been a fantastic day here in Malaysia. When we started the project in Moto2 two years ago I would never have imagined that we would win the title twice in consecutive years. As everyone knows, winning the second title is even more difficult mentally than the first, which is why it is something really special. I am very grateful to have a rider like Johann [Zarco], the whole team we have, the partners, everyone around us... It is difficult to find the way to express my gratitude at being part of this project, with so many wonderful people around it. Thank you."
Born in Cannes (France) in 1990, Johann Zarco’s passion for motorcycles began as a child. A meeting with Laurent Fellon, an expert in the world of motorcycle racing, was instrumental in launching his career. In 2003 he debuted in the Italian Pocket Bike series, as well as participating in various championships in Italy and Europe. In his first year of competition he finished fourth at the Pocket Bike European Championship in the Junior C category and during two years (2005 and 2006) he placed second in Europe in the Pocket Bike Mini Junior and Senior Open classes.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"It's great to be the first two-time Moto2 World Champion of Moto2, and it's hard not to cry at a moment like this. It was a good race in wet conditions for me, as although I was not the fastest. I had a good pace and could follow Franco [Morbidelli]. Then the track began to dry out and, like yesterday in qualifying, I felt a lot better than my rivals, found my line and was able to find references. It is great to take the win and the title. A lot of things went through my mind on the last three laps, and I had to be very focused, but the advantage of three seconds made me more confident –if not calmer.
I want to thank the Ajo Motorsport and everyone who has supported me. I love all my family, and also my ‘motorcycle family', and wish the best for them. It is very nice to be World Champion for the second time with them. This title has been more exciting than last year’s, because the situation was different, it was harder and I had more pressure on me. Now it’s time to celebrate with everyone and go to Valencia without pressure."
Baldassarri a step away from podium, Marini ninth leads the Rookie of the Year standings
The Malaysian Gran Prix has just ended under a grey sky with flashes of rain; the riders of the Forward Racing Team were again the great protagonists of the race. Although the race was declared wet, the sun made an appearance on the Sepang circuit after few laps as the track started drying up.
Lorenzo Baldassarri was caught in a collision of the first corners as he made contact with Tom Luthi, he lost some positions and he found himself in the middle of the pack. "Balda" did not lose his nerve and began to close the gap with sensational overtaking until he reached the group fighting for the Top5. Ten laps from the end of the race the Italian started pulling away from the chasing riders securing the final fourth place.
Luca Marini, who started eleventh on the grid, put his signature on a great performance finishing with an incredible 9th place. "Maro" was able to well understand the circuit, despite being his first time ever in Malaysian soil and ended the race on a high as he posted the fastest lap. Luca now holds the championship lead of the Rookie of the Year standings with 34 points tied with Oliveira, the vibrant race Valencia will decide the winner.
Lorenzo Baldassarri – 4th
"It was a race in difficult conditions because the track dried out shortly after the start. After a few corners I made contact and I broke the clutch lever but I kept calm and tried to concentrate close the gap with the group running in front of me. I knew I could not reach the podium so I decided to better manage my pace and bring home this excellent fourth place that gives us some very valuable points. "
Luca Marini – 9th
"Today it was easy to make mistakes and that's why I did not want to take any risks in the beginning. I waited to find my pace and I slowly recovered the gap. At the beginning of the weekend I set a goal to get back in the Top10 and I'd say we did great. We are first in the Rookie standings now and that gives me great positivity and motivation: I’m looking forward to Valencia for the fight! "
Giovanni Cuzari – Team Owner
"Going home after the "trio" with these results is very encouraging. “Balda” did the impossible today to hit the target that we set after a difficult weekend, he made the team work his strong point and he brought home a great placement. I wish to comment Maro's race with great pride as it was one of his best performance of the season: he went through the whole weekend very wisely exploiting the great job he does with the team and with the VR46 Riders Academy. With this ninth place, Luca is now in the lead of the Rookies ranking of the class and that keeps us ambitious and ready to give our best in the final round. It will be an important race in Valencia but now the boys and the team have nothing more to prove: they did a season at the highest level. "
Top Five for Quartararo and Locatelli in Sepang
In a race characterized by falls and a red flag, the French and Italian won important points but bitterness for Joan Mir, betrayed by the asphalt while leading the race.
At 12:00 local time a thrilling lightweight class race began, drama was immediate as a number of front-runners fell early. Among them was Bulega, vying with Joan Mir for the Rookie-of-the-year title. Soon the Spaniard moved into the lead of the race.
Unfortunately, at Turn 7, the treacherous asphalt betrayed the leading group by putting an end to their dreams of glory and with only Bagnaia staying upright. Mir, Binder and Di Giannantonio all fell in unison, an unbelievable sight and a clear sign something was not right on track.
Meanwhile, the other two riders of Leopard Racing team, Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Locatelli gave their all going for position after position after a difficult start to the race. On lap two the teammates found themselves paired in fifth and sixth temporarily, with the French ahead of the Italian.
It was an elimination race where as many as 13 players fell. By half race distance Bagnaia had already built up a lead of over eighth seconds. Behind Quartararo jumped on Rodrigo, putting Bendnseyder and Kornfeil, and a potential podium, right ahead of him. Simultaneously, Loka duelled with ‘the landlord’ Pawi.
The 20 year old from Selvino showed his talent and was soon back in front of the chasing group. But with four laps to go, the accident of Maria Herrera saw Race Direction bring out the red flag, preventing Quartararo form launching an attack on the podium, with Locatelli crossing the finish line behind him.
In the standings Joan Mir remains stationary at 124 points and decide the Rookie of the year title in the last race, while Andrea Locatelli consolidates a position in the Top Ten with 96 points. Fabio Quartararo advances to twelfth place (81 p.). Next up on the 11 to 13 November in Valencia is the last round of the season in 2016.
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO - 4th:
"It was a very strange race, marked by many falls. At the start I did not feel at ease because of the oil left on the track in a corner and I lost so much time from the leading group. Then I started to get a good rhythm, I do not understand the red flag: shame because I could fight for the podium."
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI - 5th:
"I am pleased to have brought home more valuable points and go up in the standings. It has been a difficult weekend and unfortunately we did not get so much time on the bike in the dry, and maybe we could have had a better setup. All in all this Asian treble has gone well: a podium and a top five, a sign that we have done quite a good job."
#36 Joan MIR - NC:
"It was a real shame, but lucky I did not have any serious injuries. From what little it lasted it was a very good race because I felt I had the margin to run away or stay in front for the whole race. In that corner there was oil on the track from a previous fall: I was the first to pass. I want to thank my team because today they handed me a bike fast enough to fight for victory."
Kent and Nocco out of the points in Malaysia
After a good start to the race, the British Leopard Racing rider fails to end in the points, Nocco forced to retire with an error while in the Top20.
At 13:20 local time the lights went off on the intermediate class Moto2, decreeing the beginning of the race on a wet track for a downpour that hit just after the end of Moto3. Morbidelli flew away early but was chased by Zarco and Folger; while Pons and Lowes fell on the second lap.
A great start for the riders of Team Leopard Racing, Danny Kent was incredible off the line and by the fourth lap he was in the points, fighting with three rivals. Alessandro Nocco was not far behind and advanced rapidly towards the Top20, fighting against the most experienced Nakagami.
Unfortunately the 19 year old Italian made a mistake and lost precious time, but managed to return in the penultimate position in front of Wilairot. His bike did not react the same as before and Nocco was forced to pit after the excellent performance of qualifying and early in the race.
Meanwhile Danny Kent struggled with the same issues as in Qualifying as the track began to dry and ended 18th, out of the points. The next event is scheduled in Valencia at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Cheste during the weekend of 11 to 13 November, for the last round of the season in 2016.
#52 Danny KENT - 18th:
"Again, outside the points and not where we want to be. I qualified in 24th and I had a great start, I was in a good group but as soon as the track dried it was just like Qualifying. I had the same problems as in Qualifying where I just had no drive at all. Not happy to be outside the points but we still keep going."
#20 Alessandro NOCCO - NC:
"Unfortunately I was not able to do better. Yesterday in qualifying I had a different set up and today we did not use it because of the uncertain weather. I was still pushing hard to try to recover, but in the last corner I closed the front. I tried to return to racing, but there was nothing to do."
BITTER END OF FLYAWAY TRIPLE HEADER FOR THE TEAM FEDERAL OIL GRESINI MOTO2
Today’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit marked the end of the long flyaway triple header of the 2016 Moto2 World Championship: for the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2, just back from the disappointment of the two races in Japan and Australia, was another bitter race, with Sam Lowes forced to retire after just two laps due to a crash.
Started from thirteenth on the grid in a wet race, the 26-year-old British rider was in tenth position when he went down at Turn 9. The team now flies back to Europe, where November 13 in Valencia is scheduled the final race of the season.
SAM LOWES (DNF)
“I started the race slowly to avoid risks, but suddenly crashed and I don’t know why. After two disappointing races we wanted to redeem us here in Malaysia, but conditions have certainly not helped us during the weekend. I’m very sorry”.
“In this flyaway trip unfortunately we didn’t collect any points: we need to change gear, make fewer mistakes and stay focused to return to bring home the result. Today we faced difficult conditions again, but the situation was the same for everybody. Congratulations to Zarco for the winning the Championship, he deserved it”.
8th Place for KIP in Sepang
Ono Sidelines the Race
Rd17 SHELL MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX : Sunday, October 30 2016
Ambient: 32℃ : Track: 40℃
Honda Team Asia rider Khairul Idham Pawi had a checkered flag for eighth place at the Malaysian Grand Prix today.
In the morning Warm Up, KIP demonstrated his superb adaptability in the difficult condition with putting his name on the top of the time sheets over and over again. He concluded this session in second quickest. In the race which has started under the sweltering heat and humidity, the seventeen-year-old home favorite made fantastic battle in front of his home crowd, despite many riders had crashed out due to the difficult condition. The race was red-flagged when another rider crashed on lap14, and the result was confirmed on standings as of lap13.
Meanwhile, the Japanese rider Hiroki Ono did not participate in the race due to a slight dizzy caused from concussion when he had high-sided in yesterday’s qualifying. He will be concentrated on recovery to prepare for the final round in Valencia in two weeks’ time.
Khairul Idham Pawi (8th)
“It was a very good for me because my team worked very hard for me and thanks to their effort I was able to get variable championship points in front of my family, friends, and fans who always support me. In the race, I was waiting in the group to make a move at final lap and it was when red flag was shown. If there was no red flag, I could’ve finished fifth place. Anyway, we have solved the problem we had yesterday and now I can ride very comfortable. We will try harder to get better result in Valencia.”
Hiroki Ono (DNS)
“It’s a shame because I was confident to make a good race if the race is dry, however, in the morning warm up, it was very difficult to concentrate and focus on my sight, so we have decided not to participate in the race. After going back to Japan, I have check-up in the hospital tomorrow, then have some rest and prepare for the final round in Valencia with full fitness.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“KIP obtained his best result in dry conditions for his home race and I am very happy about it. He will keep this competitiveness if only he manages what he had found in today’s warm up. For Ono, considering what had happened in today’s race, it was the right decision that he would not participate in the race. All he needs is rest for now, because we have another opportunity to race in Valencia.”
HAFIQ AZMI MASTERS THE TRICKY SEPANG CONDITIONS TO SCORE MORE POINTS FOR PEUGEOT MOTOCYCLES SAXOPRINT
The 19-year-old Malaysian rider was again a surprise to tackle the challenging conditions during today’s race with style, finishing in eleventh position whilst Albert Arenas had to retire after crashing out of the race in a promising position.
Teams and riders were greeted on race day morning by bright skies and hot temperatures. Though the weather remained stable for the entire race distance, the track’s conditions were extremely tricky and caused an incident-packed action with many riders fell. The race was stopped by red-flags due to another heavy incident at turn 15 with four laps remaining.
Hafiq Azmi, who replaced injured John McPhee this weekend in Malaysia, remained calm from the start to the finish line to please all team members in Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT with an excellent ride to eleventh place. In doing so he collected five championship points for him and the team in his very first race after two years without racing.
For Spaniard Albert Arenas, the race was over just after a couple of laps when he low-sided whilst battling for a possible top ten position.
Now the championship heads back to Europe with one race left in two weeks at the Valencia circuit in Spain.
#12 Albert ARENAS, DNF (World Championship position 34th, 2 points):
“First the objective was to make a good start which I achieved. Then I started to recover positions and when I was racing in 13th position, I was catching up to the group in front of me, which was fighting for the last top ten positions. I was almost there but then I lost the front in turn nine. I was fighting and breaking so late and hard in every corner to stay with them. The crash happened without any warnings and I couldn’t avoid the fall. I tried to continue because everything was ok after the crash in that slow hairpin but the engine stopped and I couldn’t re-start it. For sure if I would have been able to continue the race and then to finish it, I could have collected some point or even finishing in the top ten. I’m really sorry for my team but we still have one more chance to make it better. Also, thank you to the team for their work and they also helped and supported me so great during this first oversea trip in the last three weeks. It was a great experience.”
#38 Hafiq AZMI, 11th (World Championship position 32nd, 5 points):
“First, we can be happy with our result today of course. But on the other hand, I’m not completely satisfied because I expected more coming from my side in terms of riding. But it was a tough race from the start to the finish line. My start wasn’t the best one because it’s a big difference coming from a 600cc Supersport machine. Anyway, as soon as I got my rhythm my goal was to stay with the riders in front of me. I would like to fight for positions but in the end I did my own race riding alone throughout the entire distance. It was obviously that I’m lacking experience with this kind of a race bike after two years off. And therefore, I’m not pleased about my performance because I would like to take benefit from this opportunity to learn and watch other riders which are more experienced racing in Moto3. But to finish the race and in addition in the points is really good for me and the team. So, a big thank you to all people who gave me this awesome opportunity this weekend, I’m really grateful. This weekend also had shown that I’m still competitive in this class so I’ll try to return to world championship level soon. Finally, I would like to express my thanks the team and my crew for their great work because the bike was working good at any time. I enjoyed this weekend, including the race and could improve lap by lap. So this gives me confidence and now I’m hungry for more.”
Terrell THIEN (Team manager):
“This race was a strange affair at all. We saw many crashes, which obviously were caused by the new tarmac which never completely dried out. Also during today’s race there remained many wet patches particularly in breaking zones. So, for this it was a really big task to finish this race for all riders. We were lucky with Hafiq to finish it, even more we are happy about his eleventh position. Hafiq did a great and brave job throughout the whole weekend, so he really deserves this result. In addition, it also confirms our decision to race with him here at Sepang, a track he knows well. On the other side in our garage we were a bit unlucky with Albert who could have finish in the top ten today. But he endured the same bad luck as many other riders too. Fortunately, he escaped harmless as well as there no damages to the bike. In the end it was a very educational Asia/Australia trip for the team over the course of the last three weeks. Unfortunately, that we had one very sad moment when John suffered this nasty crash at Phillip Island last Sunday. But after surgery on injuries to his left hand he is ok, the operation went well. The fracture is fixed by two pins which will be removed in five weeks in Melbourne again. He now is looking forward to be discharged from the hospital today to continue his recovery in Australia. Again we wish him all the best and a pleasant stay there even if it isn’t a nice way to spent that long time that far away from home. Good luck John and thank you to the team for their excellent job done this weekend.”
A Day to Forget for IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia
Rd17 SHELL MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX : Sunday, October 30 2016
Ambient: 31℃:Track: 35℃
Under the rain soaked difficult conditions, IDEMTSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami had a checkered flag for twenty-first place at Sepang International Circuit today.
Starting from twentieth position on the grid, the Japanese rider had to fight against not only his rivals but also drenched tarmac. He tried everything to control the bike till the end and had a checkered flag to complete the race
Another IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia man Ratthapark Wilairot crashed out at turn2 on lap5 when he was trying to recover his positions. The Thai rider re-joined the race right after the fell-off, then finished the race in twenty-fourth place.
Takaaki Nakagami (21th)
“It was the most difficult race in this year. I didn’t have a feeling at all with rain tires and the nineteen lap race felt like very long and torturing myself. We will change our mindset for the next race in Valencia, which I should be competitive again.”
Ratthapark Wilairot (24th)
“I would like to take it positive that I learned a lot from these conditions. When I crashed, I didn’t push hard and there was no information before I lost front. Anyway, I was able to re-join the race and had checkered flag, which is positive. I will try harder for the final race of this year.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Nakagami was not able to find a good compromise in changeable conditions, which was why he had to struggle. Obviously, we have to find something what we missed in this weekend. It’s a pity for Ratthapark that he had crashed, nevertheless, I am happy to see his determination with his re-joining the race right after the crash. Definitely, he will show this strong spirit once again in Valencia.”
Remy Races To 13th In Malaysian Rain
After the disappointment of crashing out of his home GP a week ago, Remy Gardner bounced back with a display of true aussie grit to finish 13th in Sunday's 19 lap Malaysian Moto2 GP at the Sepang International circuit.
Confident and riding well from the opening Free Practice, the #87 Tasca Scuderia Racing rider qualified 9th, a stunning lap giving Remy his best ever grid position.
Race days in Malaysia are always a bit of a lottery weather wise and with a wet track Gardner knew it would be a test of skill throughout.
Forced wide and off the track early on, he dug deep and after finding his rhythm carved his way through the field to finish just outside of the top ten in thirteenth after splashing his way past his rivals.
Remy Gardner: "On one hand I am happy to be back in the points but I'm a racer and I wanted more. I made a good start and was up to 5th or 6th by the second corner but Baldassari took me wide at turn 3 which meant I dropped way back. I lost so much time and looking at my pace at the end of the race I was lapping pretty fast especially as it dried. I think I had the 5th fastest lap and only just short of the best. Who knows what could have been but for now I will enjoy the result. Thanks for all the support. One race to go - see you all in Valencia."
The history maker: Zarco’s journey to Moto2™ crown number two
Zarco's signature backflip to celebrate his second title
The newly crowned 2016 Moto2 World Champion, Johann Zarco.
Ajo Motorsport rider becomes the first to defend the Moto2™ Championship and the first Frenchman to win more than one title in Grand Prix racing
Johann Zarco took his first steps towards a life filled with racing when he began competing on minibikes in Italy, finishing second overall in 2005 and 2006. He then joined the Red Bull Rookies Cup during its inaugural year in 2007 and became their first champion, with four victories and seven podiums in eight races. Two years later, the pilot from Cannes, France made his debut in the 125 World Championship with the WTR San Marino Team, where he ended the year in 20th position - improving to 11th the following year.
In 2011 the Frenchman evolved, jumping to the Avant AirAsia Ajo Derbi team. The new combination conquered ten podiums together, pushing for the 125 title until the end. In Motegi, just four races from the season finale, Zarco took a career first victory - but finished second to Spaniard Nico Terol in the Championship. His solid performance earned him 262 championship points and also got him a ride in the Moto2™ World Championship with Team JiR in 2012.
It was not an easy rookie season for Zarco aboard the MotoBi, but he was near the podium on several occasions, including the Portugese GP. He ended the year with 95 points; inside the top ten. 2013 saw him join the Came Iodaracing Project mounted on the more competitive Suter frame and that saw Zarco deliver on his potential with two podiums - a third in both Mugello and Valencia. Again, the Frenchman became a rider to watch.
For 2014 Zarco joined the new Caterham squad, riding a revised Suter frame. It was a mixed season with four podiums and several crashes, especially during the early part of the year. Then in 2015 came the turning point, as Zarco rejoined Aki Ajo under the Ajo Motorsport banner in the Finn’s newly formed Moto2™ team - on much-desired Kalex machinery. Aside from Qatar, 2015 was a year without fault and at round three in Argentina, Zarco took his first win in the class. He took the Championship lead, and it subsequently grew with each round. Repeated triumphs were repeatedly celebrated with a trademark backflip, with a highlight of the season proving his run of three wins from the Czech GP to the San Marino GP. It was in Motegi, where he took his first victory back in 2011 on the 125cc Derbi, that Zarco was crowned the 2015 Moto2™ World Champion.
2016 has been less straightforward. It was Garage Plus Interwetten’s Tom Luthi who kicked off the year in charge of the Moto2™ title standings, as the Swiss rider took victory in Qatar – but Zarco was quick to reassert his position as reigning Champion as he took the win next time out. Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) was the man with the toughest start to the year off the podium– but Texas saw the Spaniard rule the Circuit of the Americas to take his first victory of the year, and the fight was on.
Zarco went on an incredible winning spree throughout four of the fives races from the Catalan GP onwards, and after his win in the Austrian GP, was 34 points clear at the top of the Championship – but then the dominoes began to fall. Brno saw the Frenchman on pole in the dry but struggling on race day in difficult conditions, before a battle with Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) for the podium at Silverstone sent both off towards the gravel trap. Lowes fell, Zarco rejoined, and the Frenchman was given a 30-second time penalty for the incident, which classified him in P22 – one place behind re-mounted Lowes with neither scoring.
Zarco had a good race at Misano, finishing the race in P4 from pole, but the Aragon GP the following weekend was a difficult one for the reigning Champion; qualifying in P5 and finishing the race eighth. It was another small gain for Rins in the title fight, leaving the two rivals only one point apart at the top and seemingly confirming a two horse race as the flyaways approached.
Zarco was then back on the podium at the Twin Ring Motegi as late-charging Championship challenger Tom Luthi took victory, before the Frenchman had a difficult weekend in Phillip Island outside the top ten and Luthi was the key rival once again, taking a stunning photo-finish win. Zarco then had a new rival in second in the title fight, with the Frenchman 22 points clear of Luthi as the paddock headed for Sepang.
After a weekend of challenging track conditions in Malaysia, Zarco took his second crown. Beginning the race from a pole position that had seen him over two seconds clear of his closest rival in qualifying - Franco Morbidelli (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) - Zarco started the rain soaked race cautiously before choosing his moment to pounce for the lead. Once ahead and on clear track, the Frenchman simply disappeared - taking another victory to cap off the twists and turns of the 2016 title fight in amazing style. Crossing the line with a wheelie despite the wet, the Frenchman and a body double celebrated with two trackside backflips to mark the Ajo Motorsport rider's record second title. And a record result it is, as Zarco becomes the first Frenchman in history to win more than one world title in Grand Prix racing, the first man to defend the Moto2™ title since its introduction in 2010, and the first man since 3-time MotoGP™ Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) to retain the intermediate class crown - 10 years after the Mallorcan's first 250 title in 2006.
Six wins and another crown: the 2016 Moto2™ World Champion is Johann Zarco - with the Frenchman now gearing up to move into the premier class with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 in 2017.
Monsieur Moto2's road to the title
We review the 17 races that have allowed the Ajo Motorsport rider to be crowned Moto2 World Champion for the second consecutive year.
10/30/2016 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
6 wins and a further 3 podium in 17 races have earned Johann Zarco a second Moto2 World Championship title. The Frenchman has continued to make history with the Ajo Motorsport team in the class. From his first win at Argentina and run of four wins in five races, to clinching the title in Malaysia with a win, there are some of the most memorable moments of the season for Zarco.
1. QATAR GRAND PRIX (12th)
The reigning World Champion began his title defence at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Zarco, who started from the front row, lost all chance of a podium finish after being penalised for jumping the start and incurring a ride through penalty. Nevertheless, the Ajo Motorsport rider was able to finish in twelfth place and take his first 4 points of the season.
2. ARGENTINA GRAND PRIX (1st)
The Ajo Motorsport rider, who started from second position on the grid, adapted best to the harsh weather conditions that accompanied the race in Argentina. From the start of the race, Zarco was part of the front group alongside 3 other riders, who accompanied him until the last three laps. At that moment, the Frenchman was able to leave his pursuers behind and cross the finish line in first position.
3. GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS (3rd)
A second consecutive podium for the Ajo Motorsport rider followed at Austin. Johann Zarco, who took off from second position at the Circuit of the Americas, joined four other riders in the group fighting for third place. With five laps remaining, the French rider outpaced his rivals to complete the podium and take valuable points, putting him just 2 behind the series leader.
4. SPANISH GRAND PRIX (5th)
After a difficult weekend at the fourth race of the season, in which Zarco started from fifteenth on the grid, the Frenchman managed to climb ten places to finish a creditable fifth at Jerez.
5. FRENCH GRAND PRIX (24th)
The World Championship moved on to Le Mans, the home race for Johann Zarco. The Ajo Motorsport rider unfortunately suffered a crash on Lap 17, however, and finished in a lowly twenty-fourth position, taking his first 0 of the season.
6. ITALIAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
Mugello hosted a second win of the season for Zarco. After starting from the second row of the grid in a chaotic race which featured a red flag, he was able to take the win after fighting with other riders for first place. With this victory, the Frenchman placed fourth overall with 81 points.
7. CATALAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
On a weekend marked by the tragic loss of Moto2 rider Luis Salom. Johann Zarco was determined to dedicate a pole position and second consecutive victory to his late friend. Despite having a difficult start and being relegated to third position, the Frenchman was able to recover and moved into second after just two laps. From this moment, the Ajo Motorsport rider bided his time and with seven laps remaining was the race leader, a position he never relinquished.
8. DUTCH TT (2nd)
Assen saw a third consecutive podium for the Ajo Motorsport rider. He started from second on the grid, lost many positions at the start and was down in eighth on Lap 2. Despite this, Zarco was able to recover seven positions and finish in a fantastic second position, a result that gave him the lead in the standings for the first time this season.
9. GERMAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
A fourth consecutive podium went Johann Zarco’s way with victory at the German Grand Prix. This, coupled with a crash for rivals chasing him in the overall standings, made him outright leader with a 25-point advantage over Alex Rins. The race started under adverse conditions, which caused a loss of positions for the Ajo Motorsport rider. Despite dropping to sixth place, he fought back to take a fourth win of the year.
10. AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
After the three-week summer break, Johann Zarco picked back up from where he left off, taking another victory at a new circuit on the calendar: The Red Bull Ring. Fifth on the first few laps after starting from pole position, Zarco moved up the field to lead the race when there were 9 laps remaining, holding the position until the chequered flag. After this victory, the Ajo Motorsport rider increased the gap over the rider in second place in the fight for the World Championship to 34 points.
11. CZECH REPUBLIC GRAND PRIX (11th)
The weekend at Brno was a tough one for Johann Zarco. After practice sessions in which the Ajo Motorsport rider showed he had the pace to win, everything changed on race day. Rain significantly hindered the French rider who, despite getting a third pole position of the season, lost sixteen places on the opening five laps. He would take five valuable points for the championship that weekend, allowing him to stay Moto2 leader with a 19 point lead.
12. BRITISH GRAND PRIX (22nd)
Another tough Sunday followed at Silverstone. With three laps remaining and in the leading group, a crash with another rider ended Zarco’s hopes of a podium. Race Direction hit him with a 30-second penalty that relegated him to twenty-second position, despite crossing the finish line in sixth place.
13. SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX (4th)
The following weekend, the Frenchman came fourth at Misano. He had started from seventh place, took 13 valuable points and remained on top of the Moto2 World Championship classification. After riding in a group of six riders, he crossed the finish line in a creditable fourth place.
14. ARAGON GRAND PRIX (8th)
Johann Zarco, who took off from fifth position, was relegated to tenth after a tricky start output. The Frenchman rode alongside a group of four riders for much of the race until, with 10 laps remaining, he managed to recover two positions and finished in eighth. The Ajo Motorsport rider went into the flyaway rounds as overall leader by 1 point.
15. JAPANESE GRAND PRIX (2nd)
The run of three consecutive races began with an important podium for Johann Zarco –his eighth of the season. The French rider, who on the early laps rode patiently, knowing there was a lot at stake, decided to push for the podium with 11 laps remaining. He claimed a brilliant second position and a valuable 20 points, giving him a cushion of 22 over second placed Alex Rins.
16. AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX (12th)
At a Phillip Island circuit that had been difficult for him in the past, Zarco rode a cautious race. After a fall for Alex Rins, he preferred not to take risks and crossed the finish line in twelfth position, extending his lead to 22 points over new second-placed rider, Thomas Luthi.
17. MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX (1st)
Johann Zarco had his first chance to clinch the title at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, and did not want it to go to waste. A win crowned him Moto2 World Champion for the second consecutive year, becoming the first man to defend the title and doing so with one race to spare.
Moto3 - 3570 Team Italia achieves the points at Sepang
Stefano Valtulini (13th) and Lorenzo Petrarca (14th) get the first seasonal points after a weekend of constant improvement.
3570 Team Italia gets the points with both its riders at Sepang International Circuit (Malaysia), the best way to end the three extra- Europeans rounds and a prove of constant and gradual improvement in terms of performance. After a strange race, won by Francesco Bagnaia (Mahindra), a rider with a past in Team Italia, Stefano Valtulini finishes 13th preceding his teammate Lorenzo Petrarca, achieving respectively 3 and 2 points for the championship standings.
After a brilliant start, Valtulini e Petrarca were close to the top-20 already on the first lap, and they didn’t make any mistake, improving their lap times gradually. The achievement of their first points in the World Championship rewards the engagement of 3570 Team Italia in 2016, reaping the rewards of the hard work of the team, which has constantly supported the riders in their World Championship debut season.
Closing the Sepang weekend with a total of 5 points, 3570 Team Italia will face the last round of 2016 Moto3 World Championship from 11 to 13 November at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo, in Valencia.
Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #43) 13th
"I am happy, we needed this result. At the start it wasn’t easy, due to the track conditions, but lap after lap I succeeded in finding a good pace and the confidence to get that result in top-15. Three points are useful for our moral and to finish these three extra-European rounds with a positive result. I want to thank the team and all the sponsors, we’ll do our best to repeat in Valencia."
Lorenzo Petrarca (3570 Team Italia - Mahindra MGP3O #77) 14th
"To reach the points was our goal and we succeeded. At the start it wasn’t easy: the track was slippery, many riders crashed and it was really difficult to understand the right trajectories. Lap after lap, the situation has improved and, at the end, with the red flag, I set my fastest time, in line with the front group. I am happy and we can leave Malaysia in the best way. I want to thank the team and our partners that made it possible."
Emanuele Ventura (3570 Team Italia - Team Manager)
"Regardless the result, we are satisfied with our riders’ work. In such a difficult conditions, never faced before, Stefano and Lorenzo proved their worth, setting remarkable times, in line with the front group at the end of the race. This double place in the points is an injection of confidence for our riders and a big satisfaction for the whole team and for our sponsors that have supported us throughout the season. In the last two races we have been constantly in top-20 and, also this year, both our riders have been in the points. An important goal, despite many difficulties, and a sign that we did something important.".