Press releases from the Moto3 and Moto2 teams after Sunday's race at the Circuit of The Americas:
BRILLIANT DOUBLE PODIUM FOR TEAM DEL CONCA GRESINI MOTO3 IN TEXAS
The third Moto3 Grand Prix of the year has drawn to a close at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas, with Team Del Conca Gresini’s Jorge Martin and Fabio Di Giannantonio on the podium in second and third, respectively, at the end of the 12-lap sprint race. Courtesy of his so-far best result of the season, Martin narrows the gap to the top of the standings to only six points, while Di Giannantonio’s first rostrum finish of the year is a boost of fresh confidence for the Italian rider.
The initial race was stopped on lap 3 due to the crash occurred to Japan’s Kaito Toba. At the restart, Di Giannantonio got an amazing launch off the grid and was third in the opening stages of the race, while Martin was not too far in fifth. The two riders put up a battle with several other opponents and, in the final lap, they headed the group fighting for second place. At the last corner, Di Giannantonio tried to make the final move to his team mate but Martin was able to get a better drive out and cross the line in second place, with “Diggia” completing the podium.
This third consecutive podium is so-far the most important of 2017 for Martin, who managed to finish ahead of both championship leader Joan Mir (8th) and former second-placed rider John McPhee (7th); by doing so, the 18-year-old Spaniard has moved up one place in the title race, while Di Giannantonio lies now 6th in the standings.
Fausto Gresini is obviously very pleased with today’s result. “The last time we had a double podium was 2004 and to be doing that in America has a special taste” says the team manager and former double world champion. “It was a difficult race: I can’t recall the last time I was so nervous! A big thank you goes to the team and the riders who did an incredible job. Now we need to continue this way!”
The fourth race of the year will take place on Martin’s home soil, as the Moto3 World Championship will race at Jerez de la Frontera on May 7th.
2nd - JORGE MARTIN #88
“I was feeling good, maybe a bit less in the second race as the bike was sliding a bit more and that led to some moments that I had to save. I felt I could race at the front, I was fast although I was still not 100% under braking. We take this second place and the win will come soon, but right now it’s important to be consistent. When Canet crashed I thought I could catch Fenati, but he had an incredible place. I say it again: the win will come.”
3rd - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #21
“This podium is what I needed after the difficult start of the season: in Qatar I was far from the top positions while in Argetina it was a disaster, so here the goal was to push 100% and get a great result. I was really riding at the limit and beyond, and in the end I tried to pass my team mate for second but it was a little too late for that. It was really important for to get this result not just for me, but also for the guys and all the team.”
Fourteenth place for Antonelli in Austin
Italian rider adds two points to his tally after finishing 14th in the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Bo Bendsneyder crashes out of the American round.
04/23/2017 - Circuit of The Americas, Austin, USA
The Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas concluded with a fourteenth place finish for Niccolo Antonelli on raceday. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider took further points for the overall standings, adding to those picked up in Qatar, in a race divided into two parts due to a red flag. Teammate Bo Bendsneyder suffered a crash on the second lap of the first start, and was unable to continue.
The Moto3 race was red flagged on Lap 3, and restarted with 12 laps ahead. However, the red flag had come just after Bo Bendsneyder has gone to ground, having lost the front end at Turn 8 of the second lap when riding in fourteenth position.
In the second part of the race, Niccolo Antonelli gained a position off the start that he conceded by the end of the first lap. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was not able to keep up with the pace of the leading riders, and finally dropped into the group fighting for eleventh place. A pass on the final corner allowed the Italian to claim fourteenth place.
With the first three races of the year already in the books, Niccolo Antonelli also occupies fourteenth place in the overall standings, with 11 points. Bo Bendsneyder is twenty-ninth. Following the only US round of the 2017 season, the Moto3 World Championship makes its first trip to Europe in a fortnight's time, on May 7th in Jerez.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It's clear that today things didn't go as we wanted, and we cannot be happy with our performance in Moto3. After today's race in Austin it is time to meet and analyse in depth what areas we have to focus on and improve so that, at the next race, we can take steps forward."
23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
"I made a good start in today's race. However, as the laps went by I didn't feel comfortable under braking and lost many positions as a result, until I found myself inside a large group of riders. I couldn't do any more. At the end I just tried to complete the race without crashing and continue gaining experience on the bike. We have to look at the telemetry and study what has happened, to improve and get a better result in Jerez."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"Today's race was a disaster after the crash I had. There was a bit more wind than this morning and I lost the front end. I've looked at the telemetry and I hadn't done anything differently, but that's racing.
It's a great shame, so I'm already thinking about the next race. During our time here in Austin we have improved a lot and been strong when riding alone, and that is what we have to take away from this weekend. Apart from this sad outcome, the weekend had not been the best, but it had been positive. Now we have to turn our focus to Jerez and complete the race, fighting until the end."
Grand Prix of the Americas: Race
Test of force for the "bomber" from Ascoli. Romano Fenati won the Grand Prix of Austin by giving 4.5s to the other riders. The team strategy to keep a good tyre in case of restart and the strategy of Romano to stay with Canet and make him nervous were successful. The Championship re-opens for the first Italian on the highest step of the podium in this season. Reborn even Jules Danilo. The French rider of the Marinelli Rivacold Snipers team, started from the twenty-first position on the grid, recovered positions until the thirteenth, in front of his ex teammate. The team thanks all the ones who have allowed this great result, especially his sponsors which are not only sponsors but real supporters.
Romano Fenati: "At the first start Canet took immediately a great advantage and I thought I was able to fight just for the second or third place at that moment. Then the red flag and the restart. We decided to put a new M tyre at the front and this helped me to push more and was fundamental. I gave the maximum after the second start to stay with Canet, I had to overtake him and then it was the right strategy. I started to cry some laps to the end when I understood I came back competitive. I am really happy and I want to thank all the people who believed in me, my family, my friends and the team, everyone helped me a lot. I dedicate this victory to all of them and to my land".
Jules Danilo: "I am happy for the points even if the tenth or eleventh position was possible today. I pushed a lot to catch the group in front of me and I did it but unfortunately a contact with Binder made me lost a couple of positions and important points. Anyway we have to look at all the positive things and now we are on the right direction. We found back the feeling and our championship starts now".
Mahindra Within Sight Of The Points In America
Austin, Texas, 23 April 2017: Mahindra completed the third of the opening three fly-away MotoGP races today just two places away from the points, and are looking forward to regrouping when the European season begins in a fortnight.
It has been a difficult start for the only Indian constructor in the world championships, with a new line-up of riders, including several rookies, finding their way on the Mahindra MGP3O in the ultra-close Moto3 class.
Now, after the far-away rounds in Qatar, Argentina and today in the USA, the team returns to its base in Italy, with the chance to put the final polish on the new machine, and help the riders to return to steady strong finishes, as a follow-up to the three wins in Mahindra’s best-yet 2016 season.
The top Mahindra finisher at the long and spectacular 5.513-km Circuit of the Americas was 18-year-old Italian rookie Marco Bezzecchi, part of the CIP team, who finished 17th, his best result so far in his first full season. Two places higher and the former Italian CIV champion would have scored World Championship points for the first time.
Next was official Aspar Mahindra Team rider Albert Arenas, who gained one place from his qualifying position, finishing 21st in a race that was shortened from 18 laps to 12, after the first attempt was red-flagged on the third lap.
Today’s race was won by Honda-mounted Romano Fenati, with the winner of the first two rounds – Joan Mir – dropping to eighth in the race, showing the volatility of the lightweight class championship.
Mahindra will be working hard and planning to profit from that volatility when racing resumes in Europe in the Spanish GP at Jerez in two weeks.
Marco Bezzecchi, CIP Team
“A good race. I made a mistake at the start which compromised the whole race for me. It was a shame because I had a good pace and I could have been in the first 15. A bittersweet feeling but we’ll do better in Europe. The bike and I are working very well together and I feel we can keep getting stronger and be in the points more and more.”
Mufaddal Choonia, Mahindra Racing CEO
“Another disappointing weekend where we go away without points, but we can see some good potential in our rider Marco Bezzecchi, who has had two decent outings in the first three GPs. He was 12th when he crashed out in Qatar, and he was close to the points here. Now we go back to Europe, to familiar tracks to our riders, and we’ll be working flat out to get back where we belong – fighting for good race finishes.”
Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders experience mixed fortunes at GP of The Americas
Enea Bastianini confirms his progression with fourth place in US race, while Aron Canet's otherwise impeccable weekend ends in a crash.
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders took part in the third Moto3 race of the 2017 season this weekend, at the Circuit of The Americas. After strong showings in practice, Enea Bastianini and Aron Canet came into the race optimistic of success; The Italian had found his best pace since the start of the season, and the Spaniard was on pole position for the contest. However, a red flag interrupted the race before the completion of three laps, leading to a restart -reduced to 12 laps.
Enea Bastianini left behind any difficulties to place third after the initial start, but a crash between a compact group led to the red flag being shown and his good work being cancelled out. On the restart he was up into seventh, at the back of a group trailing leaders Canet and Fenati. On the following laps he gained a position due to his teammate's crash, but began to lose contact with those ahead of him at the halfway point.
However, in the final stages of the race Bastianini went on the attack again, and fought until the last corner for a place on the podium. He crossed the line in fourth, less than 2 tenths off third place and claiming his first points of the season.
Arón Canet once again topped the timesheets on Sunday morning, this time with the best lap in the warmup. In the first part of the race he pushed hard and had escaped from the rest of the field, but all that effort was neutralised when the race was red flagged. In the second running of the race, the Spaniard continued to push, and even set a new circuit record when trying to break away from Fenati. However, he crashed at Turn 19 in his attempts to extend the gap to the Italian. It was a bittersweet weekend for Canet, who showed he was the fastest rider on track but leaves Austin without further World Championship points.
"A lack of experience led to Aron Canet's mistake"
"Enea Bastianini and his crew are doing a great job. We are helping him to improve more in practice, and that is reflected in the races. We are achieving a good dynamic in our work, and if we continue in this way I believe podiums and victories will come. Today a lack of experience led to Aron Canet's mistake. Maybe he felt too strong in practice and afterwards in the race he wasn't able to manage the second start better. In Moto3 you have to be able to deal with veterans like Fenati."
"I'm satisfied because I managed to be in the group at the front"
"I'm satisfied because I managed to be in the group at the front. I rode the whole race at the limit, and it was entertaining for me fighting with [John] McPhee in that group. I was even able to reach [Jorge] Martin. I knew that the last sector was where I was finding it a little hard but, even so, I tried with all my effort to pass him -eventually going wide. However, I am happy, it was a nice race and I hope we continue in the same way."
"I made a mistake that I have to learn from"
"We had managed to escape in the first part of the race; I already a 1 second advantage and was riding quite comfortably. Then they showed the red flag. When we began the race again, [Roman] Fenati tried to stop me getting away, but it was difficult for him because I had a much faster pace. I pushed a little more, looking to get a gap of a few metres. At Turn 19 I accelerated a little earlier than usual, and it was there that I made the mistake. I crashed out, and now I only hope that things go better in Jerez. We have to take away how strong we have been this weekend. The behaviour of the bike has been perfect and I made a mistake that I have to learn from."
Mir retains championship lead, Loi ends in the points
The Spaniard crossed the line in eighth to retain the championship lead. The Belgian fought in a large group of opponents and conquered the points. A red flag on the third lap saw the race cut to 12 laps.
At 11 local time (20°C air / 28°C asphalt), the lights at Austin's CoTA went out and the third race of the 2017 season began. Leopard Racing Team's duo were located on the first row with Joan Mir, thanks to a last lap dash in Qualifying, while his team-mate Livio Loi opened the sixth row.
At start Mir remained glued to pole-setter Canet as Loi kept his position while wrestling with Oettl and Migno. On the second lap, Canet already had a one second advantage but it was all in vain as Japan’s Toba fell at Turn 14, causing Race Direction to bring out the red flag. A quick re-start race with only 12 laps.
Mir chased the lead once again, joined by the likes of Martin. Marinelli Rivacold's Fenati began to duel with Canet for first place, while Mir grappled with the Del Conca Gresini duo and launched a chase of the two fugitives out the front. Meanwhile Loi climbed to 14th position. But soon drama struck as Canet suffered a high-side, leaving the command of the race to Fenati. Loi also passed Rodrigo, climbing to 12th place provisionally and heading the third group.
The winner, who has already won on this track, eased away into the distance while a red-hot battle raged for the final two steps of the podium. Eight riders were involved in the hectic battle, all with 1.5 seconds. In the last laps Mir’s rear began to slip, forcing the Spaniard to give up positions in the heat of battle and crossed the line in eighth position; Livio Loi gritted his teeth to claim the last point of the day.
Joan Mir leaves Texas still at the top of the table with 58 points, but his opponents are very close. Jorge Martin (52 p.) is the only rider to climb on the podium this year at all rounds and Romano Fenati (45 p.) has found some of his old speed. Belgian Livio Loi keeps the Top Ten dream alive with 15 points in total. Now back to Europe, in two weeks running in Jerez de la Frontera: the challenge is open!
#36 Joan MIR - 8th:
"It was a very difficult race for me. We went off well but after a lap I felt grip problems. Throughout the weekend we never found a setup that pleased us. Such a pity! In the last laps I could not fight as I wanted because the rear wheel slipped a lot and I was really at the limit. This is the circuit I like the least on the calendar. I cannot wait to go to Jerez to fight like in the first two races."
#11 Livio LOI - 15th:
"The race was not good, I'm really angry. I lost a couple of positions in the start, but then I managed to get a good pace and came to the group where I was slow, losing sight of the guys in front. I should have done better in qualifying to better my grid position, especially on this track. There is speed and we can point to the podium: now we will go to Jerez to do well."
Rapid Vierge speeds to 9th in Americas GP – Luckless Simon hit on opening lap
Xavi Vierge clinched his third top ten finish of the 2017 World Championship after producing a mature and accomplished ride in Austin, Texas today. The fired up 19 year old launched forward from 12th on the grid and jumped up four places by the close of the first lap. He then ran a formidable pace around the gruelling circuit throughout the 19 lap sprint, before eventually meeting the chequered flag in 9th. The result marks a positive finish to what was a testing weekend for the Spaniard, who notably sits in 5th in the championship standings.
Meanwhile, Julian Simon, who stood in for the injured Remy Gardner, suffered misfortune as his race finished at the first turn on the opening lap after he was taken out by Stefano Manzi. The Tech3 Racing Team would like to thank Julian Simon for his efforts over the Americas Grand Prix weekend.
Position: 9th - Championship: 5 - Points: 25
“I am very happy with the result after what was a tough weekend for me and my team. There were a few problems when we initially got going here on Friday, but the crew worked really hard and we managed to turn it around. The bike felt good in the GP, and I rode a solid rhythm but unfortunately, the riders in front were just out of reach. However, to finish inside the top ten again and to currently be 5th in the championship is very positive. Next, we will start the European run, and there, I need to work in order to make a step forward so that I can get closer to the front-runners. Thanks to the Tech3 guys for their efforts this weekend and I’m excited to get back on the track at the next round in my home country."
Position: DNF - Championship: Not classified
“The race finished in a really unfortunate way and it’s a big shame to end the weekend like this. I felt positive in the morning warm up and I had a good feeling about the Grand Prix. When the lights went out, I undertook a solid start, but then my GP ended almost immediately because another rider hit me. Fortunately, I am ok and there is no serious damage. Anyway, I have to say thank you and all the best to the Tech3 family for the rest of the season. I enjoyed working with the team and the experience was great, plus, the Mistral 610 has very good potential."
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager
“It was another strong result for Xavi and the Tech3 Racing Team. We knew that the opening three races would be tricky, but to come out with Xavi sitting in 5th in the standings, as we head to Europe, is very important as well as pleasing. He had a really good start today and a great battle. However when two-thirds of the GP had been completed, he understood that the gap to the guys in front of him was a bit too big, so he made the sensible decision to bring the bike home and collect some valuable points which helped him secure 5th in the standings. There were a lot of accomplished riders behind us and we are proud of his achievement, plus we are third in the constructors championship. Thanks to Xavi for his speed, his attitude and his approach to the race. On the other side of the garage, unfortunately, it seems like it doesn’t matter who is on that bike because it has not finished one lap in any of the three GP’s so far. This time it was Manzi who hit Julian, and I think that this is dangerous and for me, he should be penalised. The bike is destroyed, Julian could have been badly injured, and we all know that races cannot be won at the first corner. I am sorry for the entire crew, but things will turn around. Remy will hopefully be fit and we hope that Europe will be more positive for bike number two. Finally, I must say congratulations to Xavi Vierge and also I have to give Julian a very special and big thank you for his professionalism and his speed on the track. I think a point scoring finish would have possible, but he was unfortunately taken out. Julian’s attitude was perfect and he gave us some really important information, so I want to thank him again for replacing Remy."
Morbidelli continues winning streak in Texas
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli continued his stunning winning streak in the Moto2 World Championship with a dominant victory in Texas today.
Morbidelli’s win in the Grand Prix of The Americas completes a hat trick of victories to open the 2017 season, adding to wins in Qatar and Argentina.
Morbidelli is the first rider to win the opening three races in the intermediate class since Daijiro Katoh in 2001. Katoh won the 250cc World Championship that season.
After leading from pole position at the start Morbidelli had a tight battle with teammate Álex Márquez who also shared the lead before running wide at turn five and dropping to fourth.
That left Morbidelli unchallenged for the victory in sunny and warm conditions apart from a brief mid-race surge from Tom Lüthi who finished second, 2.6s behind.
Morbidelli was untouchable in Texas taking pole position, race win and the fastest lap with a new record for the 5.5km Circuit of the Americas of 2’09.948.
Birthday boy Márquez, who turned 21 today, suffered a disappointing end to the race as he rode through the pain barrier with arm pump. He settled for fourth place and championship points after a thrilling battle with Takaaki Nakagami who claimed the final podium position.
Morbidelli has a maximum score of 75 points after three rounds with the European section of the season starting next week with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. Márquez heads to his home race with 24 points and sixth place in the standings.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st
“This is a great moment for me and the team, we are in fantastic shape for the championship and I hope we can continue in this way. It was a nice battle with Álex early and then I tried pulling away and got a 1.5s gap and thought to just control the race. But I messed around too much and then I saw 0.5s to Lüthi so I decided to push all the way to the finish. I forgot about trying to control the race and just went for the win.”
Álex Maárquez: 4th
“The mistake early in the race was a key moment for me but then also towards the end I struggled a lot with arm pump, the layout of this track is not easy for me. But I am happy to get fourth and good points for the championship. To be honest when I saw my pace in practice I was a little surprised, this is not a good track for my style but I am positive going to the next race in Jerez. It would have been nice to win on my birthday but you have to control your emotions and score points.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It is great for Franco and the team to win three consecutive races and to score maximum points before we start the European part of the championship. Alex rode a good race and fourth is nice result for him, it was important for him to finish the race. I am going home with a smile on my face after this result from our Moto2 team.”
Guevara comes back to 6th position in the race at Austin, Rodrigo misses out on Top-10
Today the Moto3 riders got out on track to take part in the third race of the 2017 World Championship, in the circuit of Austin.
The end of the weekend was positive for Guevara. The Spaniard and his crew took advantage of the warm up to solve the doubts that came along because of the temperature change. The race was interrupted because of a crash, but the second start didn’t cause any damage to Juanfran’s performance. Thanks to the consistent rhythm, he moved up quickly towards the Top-10 from the thirteenth spot on the grid and, on the last lap, he fought to grab a great sixth position.
This was an important race for Rodrigo, after two complicated Grand Prix events. Gabriel started from the fifth row of the grid: on the first few laps, he managed to stay close to his teammate, putting in his best effort to stay up in the front. Eventually the tyre choice wasn’t favourable in the second part of the race. However, in spite of it all, the Argentinian crossed the finishing line just missing out on Top-10, in eleventh spot.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 6th [RACE]
“In the end we got a good result today. We improved the work we did in the last two races and we could prove our level. The beginning of the day was a bit complicated, because in the warm up we had some data that wasn’t really clear. We were quite cautious when we finalised the KTM setting, we chose the options that worked best in normal conditions yesterday. The race was strange, the red flag at the beginning made it all a bit complicated. We started again from the same position, but this time I think we chose the right tyre compound. We used the soft for the front and the hard for the rear, I guess we might be the only ones that went for this combination. The soft tyre was useful on the first few laps, whereas the hard one helped us on the last laps, when we could overtake a few riders. In the end we finished in sixth position, close to the podium: each time we’re getting closer. The team did a great job during this weekend.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 11th [RACE]
“This hasn’t been the beginning of the season that we were hoping for, considering the solid preseason we had. After two tough races, with a broken collarbone and the physical issues I had in Argentina, we got to Texas, and this is one of the circuits that I like the least. However, we managed to change that and to turn things around: we scored five points, I believe the team deserves it. Actually I know that this isn’t where I should be and I can’t say that I’m happy with the result, but it was an important step. It’s the first safe step we take after the injury and I think this will give me the motivation and confidence I need to be fighting in the front, just like in the preseason. Now we leave for Jerez, a circuit where we did a great job in the tests. We have a strong set-up and I’m sure that things will go smoothly from there, we can stay in the front, where we should be. We look forwards to the next GP.”
FIFTH PLACE FOR NICOLO BULEGA AT AUSTIN
At the GP of the Americas, the young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46 is the first KTM rider under the checkered flag. 12th his teammate Andrea Migno.
Austin (Texas, USA), April 23rd, 2017 - Nicolò Bulega, fifth, is the first KTM riders at the Americas GP on the Austin track. The young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46, who started from the fourth box of the grid, is the protagonist of a very tough race, but manages to remain in the front group until the checkered flag and conquers 11 important points in the championship.
In the Top15, in the 12th position, also Andrea Migno, 19th in yesterday qualifying and locked in the rear of the second group in first laps. Andrea confirms that he is one of the most constant riders of this season with a fifth place in the overall standings (25 points).
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
I am very happy with Nicolò's race: this track is really difficult to face on KTM, but he has done his best to be able to stay with the strongest guys. Even Andrea did a good job, but his performance was conditioned by yesterday's qualification. It's not easy to recover positions on a track like this one.
Compared to Qatar and Argentina it was not an easy race, unfortunately the starting grid position has affected my performance. On a track like this, it is not easy to overtake and recover positions. We did a good job, the feeling with the bike is positive and I'm ready for Jerez.
I came back to the front group and this is something to enjoy. It was not an easy race, with KTM we struggled a bit and it was difficult to keep the pace of the Honda until the finishing line. I'm happy with this result and I can not wait to back on track at Jerez, a track that I really love.
10 more points for Oliveira
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider has another good performance at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, placing sixth. Substitute rider Ricky Cardus finishes fourteenth.
04/23/2017 - Circuit of The Americas, Austin, USA
For the second consecutive race, the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team managed to score points through both of their riders. In a first appearance for the KTM Moto2 bike at the Circuit of The Americas, Miguel Oliveira achieved a meritorious sixth position, adding 10 more points to his tally and maintaining third position in the overall standings. Ricky Cardus, standing in for the injured Brad Binder, claimed two points on his first Grand Prix apperance with the KTM machine, thanks to his fourteenth place.
Starting from seventh place, Miguel Oliveira gained a position on the first lap. The Portuguese climbed to fifth thanks to a crash from another rider, and defended the position upon seeing that riders ahead of him had broken free. He would eventually concede the place 7 laps from the end, having made a mistake on the entry to Turn 1.
In his first race with the KTM Moto2 bike, Ricky Cardus scored two valuable points. The Spanish rider dropped two positions on Lap 1, and as the laps went by he rode in a group of five riders in the fight for tenth place. An error in the final stages forced him to settle for fourteenth place.
With this third round of the season concluded, Miguel Oliveira has a total of 43 points and lies in third position in the overall standings. Brad Binder is sixteenth with 7 points and Ricky Cardus 21st with 2. The Red Bull Grand Prix of Spain is next up in two weeks' time, on May 7th at the Jerez Circuit.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"Finally, it has been a positive weekend for our Moto2 structure. The performance was not like what we had in Argentina, and we have to accept this, but it is normal, because this is a very different and new track for us, at which we debuted with the KTM. The results have been positive: Both the sixth position for Miguel [Oliveira] and the points for Ricky [Cardus]; We have to be happy. It has not been an easy weekend but it is necessary to have these difficult times to learn, understand and improve this project."
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"It was a tough race. We knew from yesterday that our pace was not the best -at least to fight for victory. I started quite well and was able to get close to the front of the race. But the truth is that I was not fast enough. I couldn't catch them, I had my pace in the high 2:10s, but couldn't keep in the low 2:10s. When I realised that, I was content to defend the fifth position. Unfortunately, I skipped a gear going into the first corner and Aegerter passed me. I tried to hold out a little but was not close enough to overtake him.
Overall, this was an important weekend for gathering data about the bike and discovering points that we need to improve. We continue to work hard. Now we are off to Europe, and tracks for which we have more data and have ridden more. We need to keep our chins up, as the work that the team are doing is very good."
88 RICKY CARDUS
"We took off from tenth, a good starting position. On the first few laps I took things with a little more calm, not trying to win everything at the beginning. In the first half of the race I had a few more problems and I had trouble keeping up the pace. In the second half of the race I started to use my head a little more. I felt a little more comfortable and when I was caught by some other riders, I started to fight with them. At first they got away, but later on I caught them again. With three laps remaining I was able to fight for tenth or eleventh place, but I made a mistake. I put the bike in a false gear and went wide. These things happen, and we have to work so that they don't happen again.
I want to thank the team at Ajo Motorsport, KTM and Red Bull, for giving me this great opportunity. I also want to give a lot of encouragement to Brad Binder who is a great rider and is missed here."
McPhee cuts Championship gap in Texas
BTT rider closer to the top after solid seventh at COTA
It was a more difficult race weekend third time out in 2017 for the British Talent Team, but John McPhee qualified in a solid ninth for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas and moved forward in the race to finish up seventh – crucially cutting a point off the small gap to the top of the Championship.
Fighting throughout just behind the battle for the podium, the Scotsman was only just over a second off finishing on the rostrum for the third time in a row - beating Championship leader Joan Mir over the line by little more than a tenth to cut that crucial gap.
Now third in the standings after the third race, McPhee will be back on familiar ground at the next round at the Circuito de Jerez in two weeks - having enjoyed good track time at the venue in testing and looking to move forward once again.
John McPhee, P7: “It was a difficult weekend for me on a whole but to come away in 7th position and so close to the podium again, I think we can be reasonably happy. For whatever reason this circuit didn't seem to suit our bike setup and I struggled over the weekend to find the pace I needed. Finally in the race I felt good on the bike and was able to fight. The most important thing this weekend was that I secured valuable championship points and closed the gap to Joan Mir. Now after three strong races I'm excited to get back to Europe and continue in this way.”
MORE POINTS FOR NAVARRO IN TEXAS
Jorge Navarro continues his learning year within the Moto2 World Championship by scoring two more points at Circuit of the Americas in Texas. The sole rider of Team Federal Oil Gresini was 14th at the end of the 19-lap, third race of the 2017 season after a great battle with Luca Marini and Ricky Cardus.
The former Moto3 title contender did not enjoy the best of starts from 13th and lost some places on the opening lap of the race. Despite the setback, Navarro kept his composure and was able to make up some ground; he then entered a good battle for the top-10 and ran as high as 11th during the long American encounter.
After starting to experience some pain and discomfort in his left shoulder, which was surgically repaired last November, Jorge ran wide following an overtaking attempt for tenth place and dropped down to 14th, which turned out to be his final position at the chequered flag.
Nevertheless, it was a positive performance in the eyes of team manager Fausto Gresini: “It’s clear that Jorge is improving and it’s a shame that he was limited by his shoulder in the final stages of the race. We still lack something at the start, but his race pace was good and so his performance today. I’m confident we will see him soon in the top 10.”
14th - JORGE NAVARRO #9
“It was quite a tough race for sure. It was a bit chaotic at the start and I lost some positions as I had to slow down to avoid any incident. I was feeling great on the bike, though, and my pace was good. I moved up three places but halfway through the race my left shoulder started to bother; the situation got worse in the final six laps and I went from battling for a top-10 result to struggling to stay in the points…”
TOUGH RACE FOR THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 AT AUSTIN
At the US GP, Francesco Bagnaia is really close to the points and is 16th under the checkered flag. Stefano Manzi forced to retire in the initial stages of the race.
Austin (Texas, USA), April 23rd, 2017 - Francesco Bagnaia closed the US GP in the 16th position really close to the points. After a really challenging weekend on the tough and demanding Austin track, Pecco, fifteenth on the grid, is protagonist of a good start in the group with his direct rivals for the title of rookie in the category, but due to a lack of feeling with the rear tyre he was forced to reduce the pace.
Race finished before we expected for Stefano Manzi, forced to retire a few meters after the start. Stefano, 29th on the starting grid, was involved in an accident at the first corner.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
Manage this GP with Moto2 for the first time was not easy. Pecco has worked hard but needs more confidence with his Kalex. He was close to the points and this is important. Stefano finished the race few meters after the start due to an accident at the first corner and he could not do anything to get back on his bike.
I knew it would not have been an easy weekend on this track: we started with the right foot on Friday, while yesterday and today we struggled a little bit more. We have to continue working on the setting to have more confidence, but I'm sure things will be better in Jerez. We have many test data for set up a good base.
It was not an easy weekend: this track is really demanding and difficult to interpret. Unfortunately, the race was over a few meters after the start and I could not do anything to try and recover positions.
Grand Prix of The Americas – RACE 3
Darryn Binder – 10 position
Marcos Ramirez – 16 position
The American GP raced today has confirmed for the Team Platinum Bay what it has been already seen in the first 2 races of the 2017 World Mororbike Championship. Darryn is growing race after race and he is increasingly strengthens his achievements. Daz’s performances are no more casual as it happens for the younger Rider, but they are the result of a technical and strategic evolution of the Rider. Certainly Darryn still makes sometimes small mistakes … but the concreteness of his growth is evident. For Marcos, however, the situation seems a little bit more complex, but the Team has confidence in its Rider, we look forward to seeing him in the European races where he could surely make us some pleasant surprise.
Marini shows strong comeback to finish inside the Top 10 in Texas
The third race of the 2017 Moto2 World Championship got underway in perfect conditions today at the Circuit Of The Americas, in which Forward Racing Team’s Luca Marini performed at his best to secure a Top 10 result. Meanwhile Lorenzo Baldassarri’s hunt for glory got unfortunately interrupted by an accident caused by another rider.
Marini got off a great start to overtake ten riders during the first lap to inherit 13th position after the first 5.5 kilometers of the demanding encounter in Texas. The talented 19-year-old quickly found himself in a very competitive group of riders, where he showed a fantastic performance to catch one after another to finally finish the 19 laps sprint in an excellent tenth place.
On the other side of Forward Racing Team's garage Baldassarri suffered huge misfortune during the opening lap. Already in turn one, he lost several positions due to a contact with another rider and while trying to make up them up, another competitor took him out of the Grand Prix of the Americas in turn 12. Luckily the 20-year-old came away unharmed and he now set his sights onto the next round.
In less than two weeks of time the Forward Racing Team will be back in Spain to tackle the first European round after the initial oversea triple of the championship. Baldassarri and Marini, who occupy respectively the seventh and eighth spot in the overall standings, are already fired up for the next outing in Jerez.
Luca Marini – 10th (+21.418)
“I’m really happy about the race today and satisfied overall. It was tricky, as I started quite far back, which felt like starting from Tavullia to Austin, but the opening stages were just great fun! In the first laps I overtook many riders, which I prepared in the previous days. The feeling with my bike was really good, so I want to say thanks to the whole team, to all our sponsors, especially Temporary and also Giovanni, because he trusts in us from the bottom of his heart. In addition, I want to thank everybody, who was working that hard with us this weekend. Personally, I wasn’t perfect, but we worked a lot on every detail, were ready for the race and reached a great result. Now I can’t wait to get to Jerez, which is one of my favorite tracks.”
Lorenzo Baldassarri – DNF
“Apart from the early finish, we were able to take away many positives from this weekend. We learned a lot here. At the start, I had a good feeling and was optimistic to score another decent result. Therefore, it was a real pity how quickly everything ended. Straight away going into corner one I had a contact with another rider, but I had already recovered three positions, when Hernandez run into me in turn 12, an incident which brought my race to an end. I was braking quite hard, but he missed his braking point and hit me. It was just bad luck, so now I have to refocus and think about the next round in Jerez.”
Giovanni Cuzari – Team Owner
“This weekend has been a tricky one. On the one hand, there is great happiness for the fantastic performance shown by Luca. He managed to score a brilliant Top 10 finish, though starting from the eighth row on the grid, a true display of determination and fighting spirit. This underlines one more time his growing process, which is an important reason for us to be confident with regard to the upcoming 15 GP’s of the season. On the other hand, the only thing we can say about Lorenzo today is, ‘that’s racing’. Unfortunately, these incidents can happen. He crashed out in corner 12 during the first lap due to a collision with Yonny Hernandez, which absolutely wasn’t his fault. So, his race was basically over before it even started, which is a pity, because his goal for this season was to be truly consistent and taking home points from all the races. Altogether we have to say, that the weekend started with a few difficulties, yet the team worked very hard to turn around the situation for today’s race. But after the qualifying positions from yesterday, we didn’t give ourselves an easy task. Therefore, for the European rounds, the goal is to deliver a better qualifying performance in order to avoid this kind of situations we had with Lorenzo today. Above all, we’re happy with our riders and their commitment, as well as the intense work the crew did and of course, we want to thank our sponsors for their huge support.”
TOP-5 FOR UNLEASHED AEGERTER IN AMERIKA
The 26-year-old Swiss rider in Kiefer Racing displayed a stunning role in Sunday’s race at CoTA, confirming his performance of the previous day; team mate Danny Kent withdrew from the start.
After a dull and cold day two of practice, the weather presented itself from ist most beautiful side on Sunday so, round three of this year’s Moto2™ series was carried out under lots of sunshine and much more comfortable temperatures. Dominique Aegerter was also in a good shape. Just one day after his brilliant qualifying performance, when he stormed to sixth position on the grid, Aegerter also rode an unleashed race.
After a good start, it took a while for Aegerter to pass his direct rival in the battle for fifth, Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira. But after 19 laps riding in determined mood, he crossed the line just 10 seconds behind race winner Franco Morbidelli. This fact underlines the package’s potential in Kiefer Racing.
After a busy start into the championship with three races in overseas, the series continues in two weeks with the meanwhile traditional opening race in Europe at the Gran Premio de Espana in Jerez de la Frontera.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER, 5th (World Championship position 10, 18 points):
"We are very happy about this fifth place in the race. Of course, it was a tremendous help starting from the second row. I left the line well and I was able to follow Miguel (Oliveira) straight away. I also had the feeling that I could go faster but he was very strong under breaking so it was impossible to find a way to overtake him. But then, he made a mistake which was a welcome opportunity for me. But as soon I was ahead of him, I was a bit too hot and I made some mistakes by myself. It took two laps to get back into my rhythm though as soon I found it again, I was able to continue posting strong lap times."
"However, the most pleasing thing is that we have finished just ten seconds off the race winners time. It might have been much more possible today if I could have pass Miguel a bit earlier. But this race was that much important for us all, the team, Suter Racing and also for me, because it gave us a confirmation that if all the puzzle pieces are on their right place then our potential is very big. About this I’ve been convinced for a long time. If everything is right, then we are very fast as we have proved this impressively yesterday and today. So, I’m happy and I also would like to thank the team, all sponsors and patrons for their hard work and great support."
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
"After a difficult start into the weekend, we were able to improve enormously toward the end, especially during qualifying and then also in the race. For the race itself, we did a really great job. This, of course, also applies to Dominique, who delivered an outstanding performance in both, qualifying and the race. With today’s fifth place, he clearly confirmed the potential of our bike, as well as his one, and what is possible with cohesion and purposeful work. After this pleasingly outcome of the Austin GP we look forward to the first race in Europe in Jerez now, where we hope, of course, that we are able to continue making progress like this."
"As for Danny is to say, that he told us after the warm up session this morning, that he doesn’t want to participate in the race because he doesn’t feel physically capable of doing so. This is, of course, difficult to understand from the team’s point of view. Further proceedings in this matter for the upcoming race will be announced till this Thursday."
Dominique Aegerter storms to fifth place in Texas
Kiefer Racing Team rider Dominique Aegerter stormed to a fantastic fifth place in Sunday’s Grand Prix of The Americas in Texas, celebrating the best result so far with the all-new Suter MMX2 prototype. Fellow Suter rider Marcel Schrötter from Team Dynavolt Intact GP conquered eighth place and completed a successful weekend for the Swiss engineering group.
Things had looked bleak for Aegerter up until the third three practice session on Saturday morning, when he was down in 29th position and found his bike hard to ride on the bumpy and difficult Circuit of The Americas. “It was tough to get the bike to turn and enter the corners”, he said.
But in a remarkable turnaround and with a complete change of the chassis settings, chief engineer Jochen Kiefer and his crew gave Aegerter a fully competitive bike for the afternoon, where the 26-year-old rocketed to sixth place in qualifying.
Starting from the second row of the grid in the race, Aegerter briefly dropped to seventh, but then clawed his way back to sixth and fifth, winning an epic fight with Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira on the KTM factory machine, which is also a new entry in the Moto2 class. “We still have some work to do, as the turning of the bike could still be further improved. But all in all, we’ve shown today that the bike has great potential. I am happy – and convinced that, very soon, the bike will be a challenger for podium finishes”, beamed Aegerter.
The mood of the Swiss rider, who won the German Grand Prix in 2014 on an earlier version of the Suter MMX2, was in stark contrast to his British team-mate Danny Kent. Unable to recognize the bike’s and his team’s potential, Kent withdrew from the race on Sunday and, later on in the day, also walked away from his contract with Team Kiefer Racing.
“In practice, three Suter MMX2 bikes were in the top eleven. And in the race, both Dominique and Marcel demonstrated how competitive our package is. Dominique finished just ten seconds behind the race winner and just one second behind Alex Márquez, the early race leader. Marcel was not far behind. Taking this into consideration, Danny’s decision is certainly not easy to understand”, said team manager Stefan Kiefer. “But of course, we will respect his decision. By mid next week, we hope to be able to announce the replacement rider for the upcoming Grand Prix at Jerez.”
Nakagami on the Podium in Texas, Pawi 25th
Rd.03 RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Ambient: 21℃ / Track: 33℃
After a breathtaking 19-lap battle among the leaders, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami crossed the finish line in 3rd place, in the Grand Prix of the Americas today, while team-mate Khairul Idham Pawi finished the race in 25th place.
Having set the fastest lap time in the morning warm-up session, Nakagami contested a scorching battle in the lead group from the outset. The Japanese rider climbed up to 3rd on Lap 13 by taking advantage of his strong braking. He maintained flawless riding until the end, and crossed the checkered flag in 3rd for a podium finish.
Meanwhile, Pawi started the race in 28th position on Row 10, tenaciously moving up the field to cross the line in 25th place.
Round 4, the Spanish Grand Prix commences on May 5, with free practice for the intermediate class starting at 10:55 local time (GMT +2).
Takaaki Nakagami (3rd, 41'26.887, +6.809)
“I am very happy to finish the race on the podium today because this is one of my favorite tracks, but I didn’t have good results here until now. From the beginning of the race, I stayed calm and found the opportunity to overtake, then kept consistent pace till the end. Now we go to Europe with this momentum, so I am very motivated. In Jerez, we will give our best to stop Franco (Morbidelli)’s lead!”
Khairul Idham Pawi (25th, 42'28.215, +1'08.137)
“Although we have almost solved our front issue, the problem with the rear sliding was still there in the race, and it was very difficult to keep a good rhythm. In Jerez, I felt good in pre-season testing, so hopefully we will fix our problem in the next race weekend.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Taka’s race pace was almost identical to the lead even after he moved up to 3rd, and consequently he took podium for the second time this season, which was good. However, we didn’t win the race, so we need meticulous preparation for the next one in Jerez. Pawi had a difficult race because he couldn’t improve his lap times. We will compare data with pre-season testing to find the best solution for him.”
Difficult Sunday for Honda Team Asia: 24th, Toba DNF
Rd.03 RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS: Sunday, April 23, 2017
Ambient: 20℃ / Track: 30℃
Moto3 Thai-rookie Nakarin Atiratphuvapat crossed the checkered flag 24th in today’s Grand Prix of the Americas, while team-mate Kaito Toba was unfortunate to crash out and retire.
The race which has had started at 11:00 am local time (GMT -5) was red-flagged on Lap 2 due to Toba's crash at Turn 14, then restarted for a 12-lap sprint. Thanks to the team’s swift work, the bike was fixed and Toba was able to join the resumed race, but he fell again losing the front at Turn 2. Atiratphuvapat had a good start from 32nd on the grid, moving up through the traffic. He saved himself from a high-side crash during the race managing to cross the finish line.
The first free practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix is set to start at 09:00 (GMT +2) local time on May 5.
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (24th, 27'57.249, +41.408)
“The start was good, so I wanted to follow the group, but the distance became bigger and bigger. When I tried to chase them, I was high-sided and thought ‘No, I cannot control it!’ But somehow I saved it and escaped. After that, it was very difficult to concentrate, so I am happy to finish the race. Today’s experience was a very good lesson to me.”
Kaito Toba (DNF)
“After moving up through the field successfully at the begging of the race, I tried to push harder. That is why I opened the throttle a little bit earlier and got high-sided. My team did a fantastic job to fix the bike and I could join the second race. Unfortunately, I felt something was still wrong with the steering and lost the front at Turn 2. My crash in yesterday’s Qualifying and low grid positions caused what happened today, so I will never repeat such a mistake again.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Thanks to the great effort from our team, Toba could join the resumed race from pit-lane. Unfortunately, the bike wasn’t fixed completely and there was a small glitch in the steering, which was why Toba lost the front. It was a tough race for us, but we can learn many things from this bitter experience. Atiratphuvapat pushed too hard in the race and made a mistake. Luckily, he escaped from the crash, so I think he also learned the importance of composure.”
12 lapper restart in America
Press report race Americas GP
Two attempts were needed to find a winner of this years “Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas”. A crash shortly after the start induced the grid to a restart for 12 more laps. Jakub Kornfeil secured a 23rd position in the end. Patrik Pulkkinen finished as 27th.
Right on time for the highlight of this race weekend the sun came out again and provided the perfect scenery for a thrilling race at the Circuit of the Americas.
Having to start from row eight on the starting grid Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT pilot Jakub Kornfeil was in the throng of the 32 Moto3TM pilots. But only after 1 lap the race had to be cancelled due to a crash. This meant restart for the riders. Starting from their original grid positions the pilots were back on the circuit for another 12 laps shortly after.
Even though Kornfeil had a good start in both races he couldn´t start his chase for better positions. He and his crew decided to go with a different rear tyre for the second race which wasn´t the ideal decision in the end. After some laps he lost the contact to the riders in front of him and couldn´t close this gap again. Having no slip stream during the following laps his lap times got slower and he had to settle for 23rd position.
Patrik Pulkkinen had quite a good start and stayed with his group for a few laps. After some time, a few pilots managed to get away from the group and Pulkkinen was on his way to follow them. But because of the many overtakings he was involved in he lost the contact in the end. Having to deal with all those battles he showed that he has punch and finished as 27th.
After staying overseas for the first races of the season the MotoGPTM circus is now heading back to Europe. The next race will be held on the 07th of May in Jerez, Spain.
#84 Jakub Kornfeil (P23):
"Just like the whole weekend the race was very hard for me. I had a good start but after one lap the race was stopped. For the restart we decided to change the tyres which was quite a risky decision to be honest. We did it anyway but in the end it wasn´t the best choice. I didn´t feel too comfortable on the bike and couldn´t stay with my group for very long. During the race the tyre got worse and worse. After I lost the slipstream it was very hard for me to go fast lap times and close the gap. Like the whole weekend I wasn´t 100% fit and I couldn´t push as hard as I wanted to. I am really disappointed now and I am sorry for the team but it´s important to not hang our heads now. I am looking forward to Jerez now to come back stronger."
#4 Patrik Pulkkinen (P27):
"So on this weekend we had more or less two races. It´s quite a pity that the first race was red flagged because I had a really good start and could pass many riders. My second start wasn´t as good but I still managed to stay with my group for some time. Then a few riders got away and I wanted to follow them but couldn´t in the end. When Pagliani passed me, I wanted to stay behind him but I always got involved in fights for positions which outbraked me. I am sure I could have closed the gap if I had been able to go my laps as I wanted to. Anyway, I am happy I could win this fight in the end and secure the 27th position. I know there is still a lot of work for me so I am focusing on that now."
Florian Prüstel (Managing Director):
"Regarding Jakub´s Performance we are not fully satisfied again. To be honest we hoped for a better result today. He didn´t feel well during the whole weekend but fought very hard in the race. Unfortunately, he wasn´t rewarded for this. We still have a deficit regarding the power of the bike compared to the other manufacturers so in combination with Jakub´s infection we couldn´t do any better today. It´s hard for us but we have to keep our heads high and continue to work hard. We are satisfied with the improvements Patrik made during the weekend. He had a good start to the race and stayed with his group for as long as possible. If it wasn´t for the many overtakings Patrik could have gone faster, but for now this was all he could do. I need say thanks to my team for working so hard and doing their best during the whole weekend. Now we need to work with our riders intensively. Jakub has to get fit again and Patrik will continue to work on his fitness. Back in Jerez we will be back again stronger."