Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the races at Termas De Rio Hondo:
#ARGENTINAGP: ANOTHER PODIUM FOR MARTIN AS DI GIANNANTONIO IS FORCED TO RETIRE
Team Del Conca Gresini Honda’s Jorge Martin and Fabio Di Giannantonio have played a big part in today’s second race of the Moto3 World Championship at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, although there very different outcomes for the two riders. While Martin scored his second podium of the year – another third place behind Mir and McPhee – Fabio di Giannantonio was forced to an early retirement after a coming together with an opponent.
Starting from the front row of the grid on board his NSF250RW machine, Martin showed once again all talent as he led the race in the early laps and stayed in contention for the win up to the last turn. The young Spaniard made some incredible moves towards the end of the encounter, when the battle for honours was down to five contenders. Courtesy of his second rostrum finish of the season, Martin consolidates his third place in the standings.
There were opposite feelings on the other side of the pit-box, as Fabio Di Giannantonio was on the receiving end of a collision with fellow Italian Niccolò Bulega with nine laps to go, while he was running in sixth: the young Italian ended up in the gravel trap and, despite all efforts to remount his damaged Honda machine and try to re-join the race, he was forced to retire moments afterwards.
Team manager Fausto Gresini was obviously unhappy with how Di Giannantonio’s race was cut short: “I really hope these incidents will stop, I really don’t like the behaviour of this rider towards Fabio. He tried a similar move during practice and then he did the same in the race, with more success. I’m hopeful that this will desist soon.”
3º - JORGE MARTIN #88
“We did a great job during the weekend, because we knew we were a little bit behind in the beginning. We were struggling a bit under braking whereas Mir and McPhee were very strong, so third place was realistically our best possible result. We are very close to have everything it takes to win, but for now we take these precious 16 points home: with all these races and so many podium contenders, consistency is the key.”
DNF - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #21
“We were doing well and I felt quite strong, but unfortunately another rider decided to spoil our race. We were quite far from the leading group but still had the pace to bridge the gap. We need to stay focused and motivated, even with today’s DNF. There’s still time and a lot of races to make up for it.”
Make ours a double: McPhee on the podium again in Argentina
BTT make it two out of two after another last lap attack
John McPhee has taken another incredible podium finish at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, as the British Talent Team rider fought for the win from his impressive pole position set on Saturday. Launching a last lap attack on eventual winner Joan Mir, McPhee was just unable to make it through – but took another rostrum finish in P2, consolidating his early second position in the points standings.
Just losing the lead to Jorge Martin off the line, McPhee kept calm and carried on as he battled in the front group – escaping in the top group of five and staying in podium and victory contention throughout. On the final lap, the Scotsman was in second and able to close in on leader Mir – but couldn’t quite get through as it came down to the final complex of corners, on the final lap.
The incredible start to the year sees McPhee two for two on podiums – both second places – and the Championship top three remains the same following the replicated podium at Termas de Rio Hondo: McPhee in second with 40 points, just 10 off the top after the first two races of the season.
Next it’s time to saddle up for Texas and the Circuit of the Americas, as Moto3™ get ready for round three – with track action beginning in just under a fortnight.
John McPhee, P2: “It was definitely an exciting race and well done to Joan because he rode a fantastic race the whole way through and set the pace – to be honest I wasn’t expecting the pace to be that fast all the way through, and he was the one doing the hard work. I knew I had the advantage on the brakes and I tried to line it up thinking maybe I could get a fast run in on him and do a block pass in the final turn, but he braked so late, I went in a bit too hot and both of us went a little bit wide – I was lucky to stay on and it’s good to get more points on the board. I’m a bit frustrated not to get the win but it’s a long season and we’ve got some really good points.”
Grand Prix of Argentina: Race
Seventh place for Romano Fenati in the Grand Prix of Argentina. The rider from Ascoli, starting from the sixth position on the grid, lost positions in the initial phase of the race. A problem occurred on the grid (he couldn't put the gear to neutral and the clutch overheated) and a contact with Antonelli in the first laps, Romano had to recover positions from the 19th. At the fifth lap he signed the fastest lap (1'49.415) and started to get back. He finished in a good seventh position with important points for the Championship. Twenty-second position for Jules Danilo who did his best after a week end in no good physical conditions. In two weeks a new race weekend in Texas.
Romano Fenati: "At the beginning of the race I lost contact with the group ahead and I lost time in the traffic. We could do much better, we will try again in Texas".
Jules Danilo:"It was a difficult race. I didn't start well but I pushed a lot to recover positions. My pace and my time was good but not enough to catch the group in front of me. I won't stop working and in two weeks, in Texas, we will try to start in the right way".
Mahindra Relish Fight-Back After Tough Argentine Race
Termas de Rio Hondo, 09 April 2017: Mahindra were just three places away from the points in today’s Argentine GP, second round of the 2017 World Championship series in the ultra-close Moto3 class.
But close is not good enough for the only Indian constructor in World Championship racing, especially after three race victories in 2016, and the team is looking forward to fighting hard in the remaining 16 rounds.
While teams and riders face one more “flyaway” race in two weeks in Texas, Mahindra’s Italy-based race engineers will be striving to maximise the obvious potential of the new-this-year version of the 250cc MGP3O, and looking forward to the start of the week-in/week-out grind of the European season.
For the six Mahindra riders – five of them Grand Prix rookies – the goals are still clear, on a completely revised MGP3O machine that showed strong speed potential and the bike’s trademark impeccable handling in pre-season tests.
Today’s race, run over 21 laps of the fast and rhythmic lakeside Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, in the northern reaches of Argentina, brought a second victory to Honda-mounted Joan Mir.
The top MGP3O finisher was again experienced Czech racer Jakub Kornfeil, improving on his Qatar result two weeks ago, in 18th place on the Peugeot MC Saxoprint machine, badged for Mahindra’s sister company. The official Aspar Mahindra Team riders had mixed fortunes. Albert Arenas was 25th, after coming back from a heavy crash on Saturday. Team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta retired to the pits.
The next round is the US Round, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in two weeks.
Mufaddal Choonia, Mahindra Racing CEO
“Clearly we are extremely disappointed with the way the first two races have gone. We have to really put our heads down and see where we can improve. Our first target is to get as many Mahindra riders in the points as possible. We knew it would be difficult considering five of our six riders are rookies, which makes our job even harder. But these are not excuses. We need to get going.”
Albert Arenas, Aspar Mahindra Team
“Our goal was to try to take advantage of the starting position to catch a good group and hold on for the race. However we didn’t make the right tyre choice, and that spoiled everything. The tyre was completely gone… it was like being on water; I was almost crashing all the time. From there, I just tried to stay on the bike and finish the race.”
Top-10 for Guevara in the Argentina Grand Prix, crash for Rodrigo
Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina
Today the circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo hosted the second race of the 2017 Moto3 World Championship.
After taking advance of the warm up to define some final improvements to the set-up, Guevara began today’s race with strength. Starting from the seventh spot of the grid, the Spaniard joined the fight for the top positions in the first few laps. Halfway through the race distance, Juanfran got involved in a couple of contacts with other riders and he lost touch with the front guys, crossing the finishing line in ninth position.
It was a rough day for Rodrigo, who had to deal with a stomach flu last night. Despite his physical condition, the Argentinian took part in the warm up and he confirmed a competitive pace, getting close to the Top-10. In the race, Gabriel started from the fifth row of the grid, and he approached the leading group straight away. Rodrigo was putting in his best effort to defend his position among the fastest guys on track, but with ten laps to go he crashed out and that was the end of the Argentina Grand Prix for him.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 9th [RACE]
“It was a decent race. In the warm up we had a couple of minor issues right at the beginning, but we fixed them straight away and we could go on working. In the race we were starting with confidence. Our objective was to fight with guys at the top, but maybe in this case we didn’t achieve the best feeling with the soft rear tyre. Halfway through the race we lost a bit of pace and a couple of contacts with other riders made me move away from the leading group. I tried to come back as soon as possible and in the end we crossed the finishing line in ninth position. We ended in the Top-10 and that’s a good result, we were really close to the lead in a track that wasn’t too favourable to us. We were competitive during this weekend, after all. I believe we can make a step forward in the next race, especially once we get to tracks that are more suitable for us.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: not classified [RACE]
“It was a tough weekend. We worked very hard to be here in Argentina, after the collarbone injury I suffered in Qatar. Despite it all, we proved that we can be competitive, but in this case bad luck tracked us down. Last night I barely slept two hours because of the stomach flu, I even had to go back to the hotel between the warm up and the race because I was feeling weak. However, in today’s race we were in the leading group and I’m satisfied with that. We worked and put in our best effort each day: because of that it’s hard to leave without any reward, but I know we’ll come back soon. Now we look forwards to Austin, where we’ll do all we can to have a good race and recover after what we have lost in these two Grand Prix events.”
Bastianini and Canet leave Argentina without worthy reward for hard work
Arón Canet places eleventh due to tyre problems. Enea Bastianini finishes twenty-seventh after brilliant comeback followed by a crash.
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 team undertook the Moto3 Argentinian GP this Sunday, which began at 13:00 local time in dry conditions.
Arón Canet made a great start and was immediately riding in the lead group along with Martin, McPhee and Di Giannantonio, taking the lead on Lap 6 at the head of a huge group of almost 20 riders. However, an uncharacteristic drop in performance from his rear tyre meant that he lost contact with the group of five riders who fought for the victory. On the final laps, Canet was involved in another lively fight with Toba, Guevara, Ramirez and Binder, finishing in eleventh position.
Enea Bastianini made a praiseworthy start, in which he rose from fifteenth place to the top ten. He suffered a crash with eight laps remaining, having run wide at Turn 5 following a fall for Di Giannantonio. In spite of this, the Italian immediately got back on track, crossing the finish line seventeenth.
"We have to admit that it is a pity, but racing is like this"
"Arón Canet has been competitive all weekend. Everything was going well in the race, but he had had a problem with a defective tyre that made him lose any chance of being on the podium – even though he had the pace and everything necessary for that. We have to admit that it is a pity, but racing is like this. With Enea we also had highs and lows, because he is getting closer to his true potential and, until he crashed, he was having a great race in the front group. That he finished the race after his crash is quite a show of determination."
"It was a shame about the crash, because I think we were having a good race"
"From the beginning I felt very good on the bike, and that allowed me to make up positions as the laps progressed, despite the fact that I started with a hard rear tyre. It hindered us at the beginning, but we were sure it would give me a boost at the end. When Fabio [Di Giannantonio] crashed, I had to go wide at Turn 5. I went onto an area with little grip on the track and when I opened the gas, I fell; It's a shame because I think we were having a good race, but fortunately I was not hurt and I was able to complete the 21 laps. However, I am taking the positives from the weekend, which is that we are improving and that we have taken a step forward in some aspects."
"I was performing at the same level as the top riders"
"Today we were ready to fight for the victory or to be on the podium -we had the pace for it. I started well, fighting in the front group, and I even got to lead a race for the first time this season. However, I think we had a defective tyre. If it wasn’t that, then we don’t understand what the problem could have been, because we had ridden a lot with used tyres here and something like that had never happened to me. It was as if was riding with a wet tyre -it was impossible to accelerate well. There was a lot of movement with it. At least we finished the race, we took some points and have the satisfaction of knowing that I was performing at the same level as the top riders.”
EXTRAORDINARY MIR TAKES COMEBACK VICTORY, LOI FIGHTS AND ENDS SIXTH
The duo Leopard Racing Team were the authors of two great comebacks at the Termas de Rio Hondo. Mir won the Grand Prix having started in 16th place, Loi finished sixth overall after a hard-fought race. Deja-vu on the podium, the same as in Qatar, Joan Mir consolidating his leadership.
The lights went out at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo and racing began at round 2 of the Moto3 World Championship. The Leopard Racing Team duo were on the fourth and sixth rows respectively on the grid, Livio Loi (12th) and Joan Mir (16th). But the talent of Mallorca has proven time and time again able to recover from the back. He was confident heading into the race after showing dominating pace in Free Practice.
Mir recovered immediately at the start, passing his teammate Livio Loi, and on the first lap was up in tenth place. The Belgian, Livio Loi, was engaged in a fight at the edge of the points, in 14th provisionally. After catching the leading group in just two laps, Mir began his masterpiece: the Spaniard setting a good pace and jumping his opponents one by one, taking command of the race. It took just six laps for him to reach the lead!
The Scot McPhee approached menacingly and on the eighth lap passed using the slipstream of Mir, but the Spanish rider responded at the next corner, closing the door behind him.
Meanwhile Loi passed Suzuki and Bulega, reaching the top ten. Halfway through the race, the first 5 riders with Joan Mir began to break away while Di Giannantonio and Bastaniani slipped away. Livio Loi was uncontrollable, moving to sixth place and leading the second group, challenging the likes of Fenati.
With seven laps left, a mistake saw Mir drop down the order but in one lap he recovered all his lost positions, regaining command of the race. Opponents were approaching and trying to study the lines of the leader, Mir able to close all doors ahead of the final lap. Joan Mir crossed the line and took victory at the Argentine Grand Prix in front of John McPhee and Jorge Martin; recreating the podium in Qatar: the Moto3 Championship dominated by the ‘J.M. Trio’ this year.
But above all, Joan Mir was able to establish himself as the creator of another amazing comeback from 16th place. For the talent of Palma de Mallorca this is his third career victory, his second consecutive win of the season, consolidating his leadership with a perfect score (50 p). The Leopard Racing Team was also overjoyed with Livio Loi, having fought like a lion throughout the race, holding off a hard bone as Fenati. The Belgian now occupies seventh position in the overall rankings (14 p).
#36 Joan MIR - 1st:
"What an incredible race! It was hard for me especially in the start and, once I arrived in the front group, I had to manage it in the best way. We started the championship great, but it's just the second race - everything can change in an instant, we must keep our feet on the ground. In truth I did not think I could win this race, because I started so far back; I tried to stay calm. It was a totally different race from Qatar, but I am very happy and want to thank the whole team!"
#11 Livio LOI - 6th:
"It was a good race, too bad only for the first ten laps, I was caught up in traffic, sometimes with close calls with my opponents. Meanwhile leaders had already run off. Too bad, because I had the speed and pace to battle in the first group. I never gave up and I want to thank the whole team for the work we have done together. We continue like this!"
ARGENTINA GP: FIRST MOTO2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINT FOR NAVARRO
Jorge Navarro has taken his first Moto2 World Championship points as he rode his Federal Oil Gresini Kalex Honda machine home in 15th in today’s 23-lap encounter at Termas de Rio Hondo, his second in the middleweight class of MotoGP.
The 21-year-old Spaniard got an OK start from 20st place on the grid and by lap 3 he was already up to 17th place; he then did his best to catch up with a big group ahead of him and towards the end of the race he finally entered the top-15. On the last lap, he was promoted to 14th place following Marquez’s crash but was pipped at the line by Aegerter and returned to 15th at the chequered flag.
The next race of the Moto2 World Championship – the last one before the start of the European season – will take place in a fortnight’s time in Austin, Texas.
15º - JORGE NAVARRO #9
“After what was a bit of a strange weekend weather-wise, today we tried a couple of changes to the bike setup during warm up which gave us a good direction. We got to the race with the bike I was still not fully comfortable with, but we have a lot of positives to take with us: we finished the race – that’s a first in Moto2 - we gathered a lot of data and we learned from some mistakes!”
Morbidelli master class delivers second win of the season
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli took control of the Moto2 World Championship with a superb victory in today’s Argentine Grand Prix.
In the process Morbidelli became the first Italian rider to win consecutive races in Moto2 following his opening round victory in Qatar.
It was a master class by the 22-year-old Italian who dominated the 23-lap race with a perfectly executed front-running strategy at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
Morbidelli set the pace from the start with teammate Álex an almost constant shadow in second place with the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS pair dominating the race.
After briefly taking the lead into turn five on lap 21, with Morbidelli immediately responding to go back in front, Márquez set himself for a last lap challenge for victory.
But a 1-2 finish went begging when Márquez high-sided at turn seven on the final lap, an undeserving end to his brave podium challenge after a tense battle with Morbidelli.
Márquez rejoined to bring his battered Kalex home in 21st position.
The race was run in dry and cool conditions after practice and qualifying had been interrupted by rain.
Morbidelli has a perfect score of 50 points after two races to hold a 14 point championship lead over Tom Lüthi going into the next race at COTA in Texas.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st
“This is an amazing feeling, two victories in a row, just incredible and I hope I can keep this momentum going. I was pushing really hard from the start and very quickly I saw that Álex was going very fast close behind so I was ready for the fight. With a lap to go I had + 0.3s and pushed even harder for the win and did not know Álex had crashed until I took the chequered flag. It was a pity his race ended like this.”
Álex Márquez: 21st
“For sure today I had a chance to go for the victory so it is really disappointing. I made a mistake in the last lap and I am not sure what happened but sometimes it is like this, when you go down you have to get back up and be even stronger. I want to thank my team, I destroyed a bike in practice and we made more changes after the warm-up and I had a perfect bike in the race. This year I am more confident on worn tyres at the end of the race but today I made a mistake. I’m not happy but there are some positives to take from the weekend.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"This was a fantastic race and it is 2014 since both of our riders were fighting for victory on the last lap. The battle between Franco and Álex went on until just a few corners from the finish and it's a shame it ended the way it did. But I am very happy for our team, as we have shown we can be very competitive with both riders challenging for the victory. For Franco you cannot do more than win the opening two races of the season, it was an excellent performance from him.”
Vierge delivers superb run to clinch 5th in Argentina GP - Gardner experiences unfortunate end to round 2
Xavi Vierge turned heads by powering to his best ever finish in the highly competitive Moto2 class with an expertly calculated ride to 5th today in South America. The young Spaniard bolted forward from 8th on the grid and fought for the entire 23 lap race in an ultra-competitive pack of riders. He eventually hit the front of the group on the last lap before meeting the chequered flag in this notable position. The result marks a second top ten finish this season for Vierge, who continues to impress aboard the Tech3 designed and built Mistral 610.
Meanwhile, Remy Gardner was luckless today in Argentina as he fell on the opening lap after being taken out by another rider. The young Australian sustained a broken ankle in the fall and will travel to Spain tomorrow where a decision will be made regarding surgery. The entire Tech3 Racing Team wishes Remy a speedy recovery.
Position: 5th - Championship: 5th - Points: 18
“I am so pleased with our performance across the whole weekend and to finish in fifth today is a great conclusion. In every practice session, we ended up inside the top ten and the Tech3 team worked tirelessly throughout the three days. Antonio, my Crew Chief, found a step in-between the warm-up and the race, and thanks to this, I was able to deliver the performance that I did. I am really happy, so I must say thanks to the guys for their efforts and also to KYB because the feeling with the suspension and the Mistral is amazing. I’m improving and getting closer to the front at every round and the result today motivates me fully for the next GP in Texas."
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager
“It was a fantastic race for Xavi Vierge today in Argentina, but before I discuss his superb performance, I must express how concerned and upset we all are about what happened to Remy Gardner. He was having a good weekend and we know he is fast, but this is the second round in a row that he has been taken out by another rider. Today it was Nakagami, yet, not only could Remy not finish his GP, but he has also broken his right ankle. Now he will fly to Barcelona to see Dr Mir and on Tuesday a decision will be made about whether surgery will be performed or not. At the moment it’s difficult to say if our rider will compete in Texas, but we are fully behind him and we wish him a swift and successful recovery. As for Xavi, he had a fantastic race and qualified really well on the third row. When the sprint began, he had a great start, as usual, and kept with the front group before becoming involved in a tough fight with Sandro Cortese amongst other riders. I am more than proud to have seen him stay in that pack and then pass the other competitors to finish in his best ever position of 5th. This result puts him 5th in the championship standings and we are delighted with him and the incredible job that he is doing with us. However, I can’t leave the track completely happy because we have two fast and strong riders and we want to have both of them racing. So we have mixed feelings, as we are sad for Remy and we hope he can return soon and push Xavi. Yet, on the other hand, we are happy for Xavi who gave the team a great reward for their hard work. I also must say thanks to KYB for their excellent suspension and we are very proud to work with them."
PRESS RELEASE 2017
Argentina Grand Prix – RACE
Darryn Binder – 12 position
Marcos Ramirez – 13 position
Again a race that can be considered positive for the Team Platinum Bay. In the Rio Hondo race both the Riders has reached the point zone, confirming the good season start of the Team. Some small regrets as it regards the wonderful race of Daz, he has been for many laps in the top position and has also fight for the 5th place.
Difficult Moto3 race for Red Bull KTM Ajo in Argentina
Bo Bendsneyder completes second GP of the year in twenty-third position after a difficult start. Niccolo Antonelli suffers a crash on Lap 2.
04/09/2017 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, Argentina
The second race of the year for the Moto3 World Championship was a tough one for Red Bull KTM Ajo. Niccolo Antonelli and Bo Bendsneyder, who started from the fifth and sixth row, respectively, suffered misfortune in the Sunday showdown, and leave South America without the results that they had hoped to achieve. The Dutchman was able to finish the race in 23rd position, after a difficult start, while the Italian crashed out on the second lap after being clipped by another rider.
Niccolo Antonelli made a good start, crossing the line fifteenth on the first lap. However, on the seventh corner of the next lap, contact from a rival rider meant that he was eliminated from the race. Bendsneyder dropped down the order when the lights went out, being relegated to 29th. Little by little he was able to gain positions, finally completing the 21-lap contest in 23rd.
Following the first two races of the season, Niccolo Antonelli is ninth in the overall standings with 9 points and Bendsneyder, twenty-seventh. The next round of the Moto3 World Championship will be held in two weeks’ time, at the Circuit of the Americas in the USA on April 23rd.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"There is little we can say about today's Moto3 race. It is clear that we are quite disappointed with the results and about not being able to get any points. I can’t remember a similar race for our Moto3 team, but racing is like that. Sometimes you have these moments and you have to use them to grow and learn. It is very important to analyse and study what happened today and look ahead. Difficulties make us stronger.
Niccolo [Antonelli]’s race was over very soon, which is always a shame, but it is even more disappointing when it is because of another rider knocking you over. That happened to Bo [Bendsneyder] in Qatar and now it has happened to Niccolo. I feel especially badly for him, because he had improved his work a lot in recent weeks. We are looking forward and I am sure that Niccolo will fight for the top positions soon.
With Bo's race we still have to analyse what happened both today and throughout the weekend. It looks like he has lost a little confidence and we have to work to get that back after the good preseason he had."
Bad Luck Continues For Gardner In Argentina
Remy Gardner’s unlucky start to his 2017 Moto2 World Championship continued in today’s Argentine GP aboard his Tech3 Moto2 Mistral machine – the #87 rider taken out on the opening lap for the second consecutive race sustaining a broken ankle in the fall.
Gardner, who failed to finish the season opener in Qatar a fortnight ago aboard his Tech3 Moto2 Mistral machine after being taken out there too had been in fine form all weekend running inside the top 6 during Free Practice, looking confident in both the wet and dry conditions at the 2.986 mile Termas De Rio Hondo circuit.
As in Qatar, rain played a huge part in shaping the grid with rain falling shortly before the sole Qualifying session and as the circuit dried the riders all pitted to switch to dry tyres. A mistake at on Remy’s final lap sent him wide meaning he was unable to extract the ultimate lap time but nevertheless he was optimistic of making another good start and fighting for points.
Thankfully the weather on Sunday morning was dry and with no threat of rain the warm up session was used to finalise the race set-up, with Gardner once again right in the mix.
A lightning start saw Remy making up places at turn one before the Aussie youngster was skittled out of contention for the second consecutive race.
A frustrated Gardner will now return to Barcelona where a decision will be made on whether or not he needs surgery.
Remy Gardner: “I don’t know what to say. The bad luck has to stop soon. I felt good all weekend, we made a positive start on Friday and I was running well inside the top 10 in FP1. Qualifying we got caught a little bit by the weather but I made a mistake on my last lap and that left me deep on the grid. In the race well what can I say? I made another decent start and then got caught up in someone else’s accident. I will now fly back to Barcelona where Dr Mir will assess my ankle which was fractured in the crash and we will decide whether or not I need surgery.”
FIFTH PLACE FOR ANDREA MIGNO AT RIO HONDO
The young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46 is the first Italian and the first KTM under the checkered flag. Sixteenth Nicolò Bulega after a penalty for a race contact with another rider.
Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), April 9th, 2017 - After a race in the leading group, Andrea Migno is the first Italian and the first KTM to the finishing line of the Grand Prix of Argentina at Rio Hondo. Started from the eighth box on the grid, the rider of the Sky Racing Team VR46 was one of the protagonists of the race. With the points scored today, Andrea is in fourth place in the standings (21 points), first Italian and KTM.
Sixteenth his teammate Nicolò Bulega, thirteenth to the finishing line, but downgraded by two seconds by the Race Direction due to a contact with Fabio Di Giannantonio nine laps from the checkered flag.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
Andrea did a great job! He was fighting in the leading group and has shown he can stay with the strongest guys. I am very happy for him and for the whole team, they did a great job in these days. Nicolò had a good weekend, but the contact with Di Giannantonio has compromised his race. I'm sorry for what happened and we take the full responsibility for the incident.
A great race in the leading group from the first to the last corner. It was what I wanted for myself and for the team beacuse they did a great job from the beginning of the season. I had not a great start but I quickly reduced the gap with the top guys. In the last laps I tried to do my best, but I was losing something in terms of speed. We have to continue in this direction.
Unfortunately it was not the race I hoped for: I had a good start, but the decline of the rear tyre forced me to reduce the pace. I lost many positions and, in the rush to recover, I had a contact with Di Giannantonio, who unfortunately was forced to retire.
Miguel Oliveira and Red Bull KTM Ajo take first podium in Moto2
Portuguese rider places second in Argentina. Brad Binder fights back 15 places and finishes ninth, taking his first points of the season.
04/09/2017 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit, Argentina
In their debut season in the intermediate class, Red Bull KTM Ajo only needed two Grands Prix to achieve their first big success. The team took their first podium in Moto2 at the Argentinian GP, courtesy of Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese claimed an incredible second position that is also his personal first rostrum in Moto2. It is the best position for a Portuguese rider in the history of the intermediate class, and caps a perfect weekend in which he took a podium, pole position and the fastest lap of the race. Rookie Brad Binder finished in ninth position, having climbed 15 places, and collected his first points in Moto2.
Oliveira had made history in getting pole position, and did likewise in the race with an excellent second place. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider dropped a couple of positions on the opening laps, and was third behind Morbidelli and Marquez. The Portuguese pushed hard to catch the two after they escaped, but it was a last-lap crash by one of them that allowed him to move up a place.
Starting from the eighth row of the starting grid and not 100% physically, the challenge for Brad Binder in his second Moto2 race was big. After making an excellent start and gaining seven places on the first lap, the South African gradually overtook several riders to place in the group battling for sixth place. He completed the 23 laps in ninth position.
After the first two GPs of the year, Miguel Oliveira is third in the overall standings with a total of 33 points. Brad Binder is thirteenth with the seven points he took today.
The bad news on Sunday was for Brad Binder. The discomfort in his left arm -injured in preseason- forced him to go to the medical centre and then undergo x-rays. The medical staff have decided that he will have to undergo another surgical procedure over the next few days.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"The Moto2 race in Argentina went very well. It is only the second race for this project and we have already achieved a podium, so many thanks to all those who are working for this. These are great times for everyone involved in this project, especially for Miguel [Oliveira] who has also done a great job during the winter. I always repeat that this is a long term project, but that it is very important to get good results at the beginning in order to continue with very high motivation. Our goal is, of course, to be at the top of this class and to be fighting for the championship one day, but we're going step by step.
I also want to emphasise that I am very happy with what Brad [Binder] did today in the race. He had a great race and a great fight. We all know how difficult his winter has been, due to his arm problem. Especially today, we had to decide whether to ride or not, because we were not sure about the pain in his arm. It was very necessary to have this performance -even more so now that we know that he is going to have another operation and will miss some races."
41 BRAD BINDER
"Today has been a really good day for me. Since I started riding with this new bike, I hadn't felt comfortable. Yesterday night I was thinking and wondering why, since I had not had any big scares and things seemed to always be under control, so I did not understand why I was so slow. Today I went out on track and I gave 110% from the first laps to the end. Something changed in the warmup. The biggest problem has been that overnight I had a lot of pain in my arm, and this morning it was very swollen. Today I had some x-rays done; we saw that it was broken again and that the plate had moved, so I will have to undergo another operation and rehab it again.
I want to thank the whole Red Bull KTM Ajo team, KTM and my crew for giving me an incredible bike. It's amazing to get my first Top 10 in my second race and I cannot wait to get back on track."
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"Getting this second position today in Argentina is fantastic. The start of the race was not easy, since I had a few scares when I was in the leading group. Then two riders escaped ahead of me and I was not able to keep up. Little by little I tried to catch them as I think I had better pace, but I didn’t know if it was good enough to pass them. I tried and never gave up. On the last lap I saw that Marquez had crashed. It was a shame, but I made the most of it to climb one step further up on the podium. I am very happy with this result; it is a reward for the good work we have done over the course of these past few months."
Baldassarri scores fantastic fourth in Argentina, Marini takes important points
The second race of the 2017 Moto2 World Championship got underway in dry weather today in Argentina, after the changing conditions have played an important role for the Forward Racing Team duo of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Luca Marini during yesterday’s practice sessions at Termas de Rio Hondo.
Baldassarri got off a good start from the fourth row of the grid to find himself in seventh place at the end of the first lap. While progressing further the 20-year old made up an additional three positions and showed great determination to eventually pass the chequered flag just missing out on a podium finish. Today’s result sees Baldassarri leaving the South American venue in fourth place in the championship standings.
His teammate, Luca Marini, who is just in his second year on world championship level, kicked off the race in a decent manner and settled in a huge group between fifth and 15th position. With an immense effort, the 19-year old was able to fight all his way to the line, just missing out on a Top 5 finish by less than two seconds. Thanks to his resolute performance, Marini scores crucial championship points in order place himself in seventh overall.
The third round of the season is set to kick off in Austin, Texas in just ten days’ time.
Lorenzo Baldassarri – 4th (+15.577)
“Honestly, I’m happy, because we did a really good job this weekend inside our Forward Racing Team garage and took home very important points. Most of the time we’ve been on top of the time sheets and were competitive. During the race itself, I started very well and tried to stay with the leading group, yet at a certain point I commenced to struggle with my rear tyre, mainly at the exit of the longer corners. Therefore, in the end, I had to lower my rhythm, because I was afraid to not be able to finish the race. Anyway, I brought home this fourth position, which is a strong way to end up our Argentinean week. Now we are looking forward to the next round in Texas and I’m sure we will be even more competitive there, thanks to our continuous improvements.”
Luca Marini – 12th (+26.456)
“Altogether, I’m quite satisfied about today’s result, because we finished another decent race, gathered even more experience and improved in general. Anyway, it was not too easy to bring home these important points, as my feeling with the bike wasn’t as good as in Qatar two weeks ago. Now we have the opportunity to analyze the data we collected today in order to find possible modifications to try if a similar situation happens again in the future. The next round of the season will be Austin, a track that I didn’t enjoy too much riding on last year, but we’ll do our best, working hard from the word go and stay focused.”
Giovanni Cuzari – Team Owner
“Fourth and seventh place in the Championship standings is a clear proof, that the work and perseverance are paying off and producing excellent results. Today's race was a tricky one for our riders, who have shown determination and the strong desire to always be competitive. Congratulations to Lorenzo for his good fourth position and to Luca, who showed his constant improvements with a twelfth-place finish. We know that there is still a lot of progress to be made, plus we will definitely continue to work on our top speed to facilitate the riders to overtake easier. For the rest, I can say, that I’m really thrilled, plus again the team did a great job over the entire weekend. I want to thank our sponsors for the precious help, plus the VR46 Riders Academy, who oversees the preparation of our guys in order to always arrive at the races in top form.”
SEVENTH PLACE FOR FRANCESCO BAGNAIA IN RIO HONDO
At the second race of the Sky Racing Team VR46 in Moto2, Pecco is in the Top10. Important progress for Stefano Manzi, 23rd.
Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), April 9th, 2017 - At the second race of the Sky Racing Team VR46 in Moto2, Francesco Bagnaia achieved for the first time the Top10 after he was seventh under the checkered flag of the Argentine Grand Prix. Important progress for Stefano Manzi who ending in the 23rd place.
Bagnaia, 13th at the start, took advantage of the change on the setup of his Kalex decided after the warmup session. Competitive until the last corner, Pecco is seventh, first rookies in the category and eighth in the overall standings with 13 points. The protagonist of a good start his mate Stefano Manzi, who was close to the points zone until few laps from the finishing line when he was forced to reduce the pace for the pain in his knee. Stefano has closed in 23rd place after having recovered ten positions.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
I am very satisfied with today's race. Pecco was able to show a great performance and held a good pace for 23 laps. Over the weekend he has taken another step forward on the setting and the confidence with his Kalex and crossed the finishing line in the Top10. Also Stefano closed a positive trip in Argentina: he has made important progress, gaining experience on his new bike.
This morning in the warmup we tried a new solution that was very productive and we decided to make a step in the same direction for the race to better manage the rear tyre. It was the right choice and I was in the leading group until the last corner. I made some overtaking, then in the last lap I left so many open doors, but I'm happy. We have a great setup base for Austin: we're getting closer.
It was a good race: I had a good start and I was in the second group for several laps. Then the knee pain and inexperience have forced me to reduce the pace. Overall, I'm satisfied because we made important progress in these days.
Kornfeil finishes 18th in eventful race
Press report race Argentina GP
The race in Argentina was an exciting one, providing a lot of fights and overtakes, but Jakub Kornfeil couldn´t implement the comeback the squad was hoping for. After starting from 8th row Kornfeil was fighting in the middle of the grid during the whole race and finished 18th in the end. Patrik Pulkkinen completed the race as 26th.
After the really tight qualifying yesterday, everyone was hoping for an exciting race at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo and they were not disappointed. Having dry conditions and not so warm temperatures all pilots were fighting for the best positions from the beginning.
Just like during the opening race in Qatar, Kornfeil was stuck in positions between 19 and 21. Starting from 8th row he was in the middle of the grid and had to deal with a lot of overtakes. Going back and forth between the positions he couldn´t build up a decent pace to start the chase for positions up front. In the middle of the race he lost the contact to the faster riders in front of him, leaving him on the track on his own. He was able to keep the pilots behind him at distance, but without slipstream he couldn´t gain ground. Having missed the fight for Top 15 results, the squad has to settle for 18th position.
For young Patrik Pulkkinen his second Moto3TM race was a much more positive experience. In line with his performance during the whole weekend, he managed to improve his lap time again, reducing the gap to the top guys. His plan was to stick with the riders around him, but he couldn´t quite go the same pace as they did yet. After completing the total of 21 laps, he crossed the finish line in 26th position.
Now the squad of Peugeot MC SAXOPRINT heads home for one week to be well prepared for the next race on the 23rd of April. This time the riders will be back on track in Austin, Texas.
#84 Jakub Kornfeil (P18):
“I think my performance during the race was good. I tried to make a good start and stay with the group for as long as possible. With my fresh tyres, I could do this at the beginning of the race, but unfortunately I couldn´t stay with them until the end of the race. At the moment, the guys are just a bit faster than I am. We are a bit disappointed about that, but we have to stay focused now and keep on working. I have to say thanks to the team, because they were working very hard to give me the best bike possible. Now I look forward to Texas and hope we can make another step forward.”
#4 Patrik Pulkkinen (P26):
“The beginning of the race was actually pretty good. I improved my lap time by one second, which was a very big step for me. Unfortunately, the riders in front of me were a little bit faster. They went around 0.5 seconds faster than me in the beginning, so I couldn´t stay with them for the whole race. I still tried to push, but without the slipstream its getting more difficult to ride and I started to make some small mistakes. But my biggest problem for me in the end was, that in the middle of the race I got something stuck in my boot and I couldn´t fully move my feet. Anyway, I am happy with my weekend. At the beginning of this weekend my best lap time was 4 seconds slower than the one of the top guys, but in the race, it was only 1.9 seconds, so I managed to close the gap again. Now I need to concentrate on going constant lap times and I need to continue to work like this.”
Terrell Thien (Team Manager):
“Today´s race was a difficult one for us. We had a good setup, Jakub was highly motivated and ready to fight, but the bike is just not as good as the other ones right now. Our biggest problem right now is exiting the corners. If Mahindra can find some improvement there, it would be very helpful for us, because right now we are missing the last step to be in one line with the fastest guys. We hope that we can get some improvements for the bike in Europe, so we can continue to work to get better results in the next races.
About Patricks performance I have to say he is doing pretty well. He is always motivated and concentrated and improves day by day, but he still needs some more time. Also, a big thanks to the team. They were working very hard during the weekend and did the best they could.”
RW Racing GP leaves Argentina with no points
Axel Pons was victim of a collision on Sunday, taken out of the race just after two laps.
In contrast to yesterday’s mixed condition, the weather remained dry for race day in Argentina. Apart from that fact, the new entry to the Moto2™ class from the Netherlands did not have luck on their side today. 26-year-old Axel Pons, who qualified for 15th position on the grid, had a solid start and a safe ride during the opening lap but then he got involved in a collision with French rider Fabio Quartararo, who crash in his bike. So, the team’s rider from Barcelona could not do anything to avoid crashing out of the race. Fortunate, he escaped unhurt and will be fit in time for the next race in America.
The championship continues in two weeks with their visit to the United States, racing for round three at the enormous Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
#49 Axel PONS, DNF (World Championship position 15, 6 points):
“Obviously, it’s a pity because it was important to don’t have any collisions with other riders during the opening laps, which went quite well. Then, little by little I could build up my rhythm and starting to move forward. But then, unfortunately, Fabio (Quartararo) fell and hit my bike. I could not do anything to avoid crashing out of the race. Luckily, I escaped unhurt, I’m ok. So, after this disappointing conclusion of the weekend we have to look forward and keep strong. In two weeks, we will be back again.”
Jarno JANSSEN (Team manager):
“Well, the race was shorter than we had hoped because we got tangled in a collision together with another rider. Unfortunately, Axel had nowhere to go and then our race was over. We were pretty much unlucky today because you work all the weekend for the race and this is finally the moment that you have to do it and, you also need that little bit of luck. We hope that Axel will be ok after some rest in the next week and we hope too, that we will be strong in Austin.”
KIEFER RACING LEAVES ARGENTINA WITH SOME MORE POINTS
For the German Moto2™ squad, the long-haul trip to South America didn’t end completely satisfactory.
In contrast to the previous day, weather conditions were stable on race day in the spa region of Termas de Río Hondo. Despite dark skies, it remained dry. Kiefer Racing’s rider line-up with Danny Kent and Dominique Aegerter qualified for 12th and 18th position on the grid respectively. After some encouraging displays during practice sessions it was the goal to finish inside the top ten with both.
But already during the early stages it was obviously, that Kiefer Racing had to reduce their expectations for the season’s second race. After a poor start by English rider Danny Kent, he never came any further in the ranking than P15 before he crashed out of the race in lap 15. Team mate Dominique Aegerter, on the other hand, left the line much better but also the 26-year-old Swiss rider had just as much difficulties overtaking other riders.
The Championship continues in two weeks with the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
#52 Danny KENT, DNF (World Championship position 19, 3 position):
"This outcome of the weekend is very frustrating. My start today was not the best. But as soon as I got in my rhythm, I was able to be faster than the group ahead of me, which was up to sixth position. But I always was following the group down the order and could never set a pace that would have been fast enough to pass the guys in front of me. I really had to risk a lot to leave a few riders behind me at least. Finally, I crashed in turn seven, when the front folded without any warnings.
"This was actually even more disappointing because I had never to endure such issues before. I absolutely could do nothing to prevent this stupid fall. This long trip to Argentina didn’t really pay off for us. But we must keep our head high and continue working hard in order to prepare for Austin. This race will hopefully turn the hand so we can show our true potential finally."
#77 Dominique AEGERTER, 14. (World Championship position 14, 7 points):
"It was a very difficult race for me. I always gave everything and was at the limit every time. In our big group, I never could really attack because I was physically and also with the bike constantly at the limit. Our starting position in 18th was certainly no help because during the opening laps I had a lot to risk. In doing so, I already may have spent a little too much of our reserves for the finish. We must continue working hard to get the overall package forward. But I’m already looking forward to Austin, where I like the track a lot."
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
"We definitely can’t be satisfied with the outcome of today’s race. Before going into the race, we hoped that we would be able to finish in the top ten. But course of the race quickly showed that a maximum between ten and 15 is possible. Unfortunate, Danny crashed later and did not collect points whereas Dominique was able to take two points in 14th. Overall, we can’t be happy with what we showed this weekend."
Sandro Cortese takes heroic eighth place in Argentina
With an impressive ride aboard the all-new Suter MMX2, German Sandro Cortese scored eighth place at the Grand Prix of Argentina on Sunday. Marcel Schrötter, his team-mate at Intact-Dynavolt GP, took eleventh place. With Dominique Aegerter in 14th position, three of the four Suter riders in the Moto2 category took world championship points. Danny Kent, Aegerter’s team-mate in German Team Kiefer Racing, crashed out of the race.
Sandro Cortese is still in discomfort after the surgery on his right ankle back in December, and even though he was fast on both practice days and took seventh place in qualifying on Saturday, there were still doubts about his possible performance in the race. “When he gets off the bike, it’s easy to see how tough it is for him and how much he has to grit his teeth to push to the limit. Even though he can do one or two fast practice laps, 23 laps in the race are a whole different challenge”, said Intact-Dynavolt team manager Jürgen Lingg.
But on Sunday, the former Moto3 world champion surprised everybody in his team and probably himself as well. Eighth after one lap, he quickly moved up and took fifth place on lap four. The fun riding his bike that close to the front was obviously stronger than any pain, because the 27-year-old managed to defend his position lap after lap, keeping a big group of tough rivals such as Italian Simone Corsi or his own teammate Schrötter under control. Only two laps from the end, he made a small mistake, which allowed three of his opponents to squeeze past. Cortese dropped back to ninth, but re-gained eighth place when Spanish rider Alex Márquez crashed out of second place. “It could have been even better, but it is still a good result. We now have a base that we can build on”, smiled Cortese after the race.
“I expected Argentina to be a really difficult Grand Prix for us, because it’s a new track for our bike. But we had a few ideas how to adapt the Suter MMX2 from the first race in Qatar to the track here at Termas de Rio Honda and it was spot on, with slightly softer springs on the rear and slightly harder ones on the front. Both riders were happy with the bike from the beginning and the data looked good as well, which confirms once again that our new bike has enormous potential”, said Jürgen Lingg. “All we need at this stage are more kilometers. Our riders are starting to use the advantages of this bike and they just need to ride more and more in order to find the best possible riding style and to gain confidence pushing the bike to the limit.”
Pawi Finishes 24th in Argentina, Unlucky DNF for Nakagami
Rd02 GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA: Sunday, April 9, 2017
Ambient: 20℃ / Track: 26℃
After a difficult 23-lap race, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Khairul Idham Pawi crossed the finish line in 24th place, while his teammate Takaaki Nakagami crashed in the opening lap, in today’s Argentine Grand Prix.
Cloudy skies covered the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo during the warm up session in the morning. Nakagami consolidated his strong race pace by setting a lap time in the 1m 43s range, and clocked the second fastest time for the session.
Conditions for the race that started at 2:20 pm local time were nearly a carbon copy of the morning. The Japanese rider tried to jump a few positions from his 22nd start, but instead fell at Turn 1, and retired. Pawi did his best to keep his bike under control, and reached the checkered flag in 24th place.
The Grand Prix of the Americas begins on April 21, with the first Moto2 class Free Practice session starting at 10:55 am local time (GMT -5).
Khairul Idham Pawi (24th, 40'49.107, +59.071)
“It was a very difficult race for us because we could not completely solve the front and rear problems that we have been suffering from since Friday. I’m definitely not happy with today’s result, but I tried my best just to finish the race. Although it was a good experience, we have to overcome these issues for the next race-weekend.”
Takaaki Nakagami (DNF)
“In the morning, I felt good on my bike, which gave me confidence for the race. Still, I crashed at Turn 1 on the first lap. I apologize to my team, because they had worked very hard all through the weekend. I am also very sorry to Remy Gardner, because my bike slid on the track and took him out as well. We have to turn this mishap into a good lesson to win the next race in Austin.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Although we are headed in the right direction to solve Pawi’s problems, he cannot ride comfortably on his bike yet. We understand it is a turning issue so that we have to fix it as soon as possible. For Nakagami, the risk of starting from the back of the grid subsequently made him crash. The best way to avoid these risks is by qualifying well. We have to improve in this area.”
Solid Top 10 Finish for Toba in Argentina, Atiratphuvapat 24th
Rd.02 GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA REPÚBLICA ARGENTINA: Sunday, April 9, 2017
Ambient: 21℃ / Track: 24℃
Moto3 rookie Kaito Toba finished 10th place, scoring 6 world championship points in only his second grand prix, in today’s 21-lap Argentine Grand Prix at Autódromo Provincial Termas de Río Hondo. Teammate Nakarin Atiratphuvapat also fought well until the end, finishing in 24th place.
In the morning warm up session, despite cool conditions due to heavy cloud cover, both Honda Team Asia riders took advantage of the 20-minute session to validate their race setups.
Under a sky that had not changed all morning, the race started at 1:00 pm. Toba, starting from Row 6 on the grid, battled against experienced riders, and gradually gained positions. The 16-year-old Japanese reaching the checkered flag in 10th place. Atiratphuvapat maintained his concentration until the end, crossing the finish line in 24th place, gaining experience.
Free Practice for the Grand Prix of the Americas is set to start at 9:00 am local time (GMT -5), on April 21.
Kaito Toba (10th, 38'45.456, +12.079)
“Today I enjoyed the 21-lap race a lot! I was in a good position right after the start, and what I learned is that you have to push harder from the beginning, otherwise you cannot catch the lead group. I chose the harder option for the rear tire, which gave me good pace until the end of the race. We should not be satisfied with today’s result because we always have to aim higher than where we are now. Knowing the next race will be a tougher one, we will try harder.”
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (24th,39'08.595, +35.218)
“In the beginning, I managed to keep up with the group in front of me. But it was hard to overtake them because I had to start from the back of the grid. Then I lost ground and had to race on my own. My rear-end kept on sliding and was very difficult to manage, but I concentrated on maintaining consistent lap times. For the next race, we will plan well for the race weekend.”