Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's Czech Grand Prix:
Arenas Bounces Back to Points After Back-Row Penalty
Brno, Czech Republic 6 August 2017: Aspar Mahindra team rider Albert Arenas, in his come-back ride after missing three races due to injury, claimed a brilliant place in the championship points today, overcoming a time-sheet penalty that meant he had to start from last on the grid.
The 20-year-old Spaniard surged through on a damp 5.403-km Brno circuit from 32nd place to finish 12th, having caught and moved into the thick of a group disputing sixth place. Arenas was less than four second from the front of that pack.
Back in the saddle for the first time since a last-lap crash in the Italian GP on June 4, Arenas was hit with the penalty because of a technical time infringement in practice. He and another rider were moved back 12 grid places as a result.
Arenas started his salvage work from the fall of the flag. On the first of 19 laps, he had already cut through from 32nd to 21st place, and he continued to make progress throughout the 44 minutes. By mid-race he was already up with a group of top fast riders, where overtaking was more difficult. Even so, he continued to make progress.
It was an encouraging experience for the only Indian constructor in the World Championships, but also disappointing. Had he started further forward, a strong top-ten finish would have been well within his grasp. Last year a Mahindra wearing a Peugeot badge was first in a wet race at Brno, with another MGP3O second.
Today, the next-best Mahindra rider was Arenas’s team-mate Lorenzo Dalla Porta, 19th, one place ahead of Jakub Kornfeil on the Saxoprint Peugeot, a rebadged Mahindra MGP3O.
The race was won by championship leader Joan Mir (Honda). The next race is the Austrian GP, next weekend.
Albert Arenas, Aspar Mahindra Moto3
“I’m really happy to be back and with this result. Coming from last to 12th is quite incredible! But it was really difficult, I had to stay fully concentrated the entire time. I felt really good at the start and I pushed and began to overtake riders. I saw that everything was going better and better so I kept going. It was difficult because if I made a small mistake, the gap became very big. The key was that I felt good in the wet right at the start of the weekend and we could build from there. A big thank you to my doctor, physios, trainer and team who all worked so hard to get me fit and achieve this result.”
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
“That was a great salvage job by Albert. It’s not only that he finished 12th from last on the grid, which is very commendable, but even more that there were not a lot of accidents in the race, so this was a genuinely hard-earned position. It is a shame he started so far back. He clearly had the pace of the riders from fifth to tenth. We cannot stress enough the importance of a good grid position – but after where he did start, we are happy with today’s achievement.”
Podium for Aron Canet after strong comeback at Brno
Spanish rider places third in Czech Grand Prix. Enea Bastianini almost scores points despite starting penultimate due to a penalty.
Estrella Galicia 0.0 riders Aron Canet and Enea Bastianini faced a tough race at the Czech GP on Sunday. Weather conditions were tricky for the entire Moto3 field, as the warmup was undertaken in the dry and by race time rain forced the riders to change tyres once more.
Hindered by his starting seventeenth on the grid, Aron Canet started regaining positions in pursuit of the packed group at the front, setting the fastest lap time twice in the process. His pace led him to reach the frontunners when the race was entering the last ten laps, and the reward for his comeback came in the final stages, when pushed through to take a deserved third place on the podium. Canet is now third in the overall standings with 126 points.
Enea Bastianini, who started in the penultimate spot on the grid due to a 12-point penalty, began to recover ground immediately after the start, moving into the top 20. He was embroiled in a battle with a group of riders and gradually moved further up the order, finishing seventeenth on a weekend full of complications.
"Aron Canet made a great comeback"
"Aron had a great race, made a great comeback and his result is very positive. He had a good feeling in the wet, riding at his own pace and passing all the riders in his way, constantly cutting the gap to the leader and setting several fastest laps. The weekend has not been easy; we had very different track conditions than at the test we did in the middle of July, in which he was very fast. Today it was important to finish as high up as possible, because the top three in the race were the top three in the World Championship. We have dropped as few points as possible and that allows you to stay in the fight.
Enea has had another difficult weekend. The penalty that put him twelve places further back on the grid made it very difficult to fight for a good position. At the start of the race there was also a collision between two riders that hindered him. We will continue working hard; now there are circuits that he likes coming up, so we will see if we have better luck."
"It was a really difficult race"
"It was a really difficult race, because I was starting from the backon the grid. The first corner was tough because there were many ridersthere. On the second corner I was able to recover some positions, but there was a crash right in front of me and I dropped to last place. As the track dried out I was able to regain a lot of places and catch the group ahead of me, and I was fighting for points. I just needed another lap to fight for those positions. It’s a shame."
"This podium feels as good as a victory"
"I took off from 17th position, but I started to have good grip with the rear tyre and after four laps I realised that I could continue to improve my pace. I passed two riders without any difficulty, had a good feeling and I focused my attention on the second group, which was three seconds ahead of me. I thought it would be difficult to reach them, but I managed it. I then had the front group with Mir, Fenati, Guevara and Bendsneyder ahead of me, but Joan [Mir] and Romano [Fenati] increased their pace and I couldn’t really catch them. I had a great fight with Bendsneyder and Guevara and, in the end, this podium feels like a win on such a tough weekend.”
Rapid Vierge powers to 5th in Czech GP – Impressive Gardner snatches 9th
Tech3 Racing Team rider Xavi Vierge produced a remarkable performance to complete the dramatic Czech Grand Prix in 5th, which equals his best finish in the Moto2 class. The young Spaniard charged forward when the lights went out and moved up eight positions on the first lap. Vierge continued his climb, however, the red flags were issued at just before the midway point due to rain. As a result, the race distance was reduced to six laps and when it restarted, Vierge continued his hard work. He battled furiously in the ultra competitive group before meeting the chequered flag in 5th, which marks a fantastic comeback after missing the two previous Grand Prix’s due to injury.
Meanwhile, Remy Gardner sealed his best result in the intermediate class as he notably finished the sprint in 9th. The young gun kicked off the fight from the ninth row of the grid and after a positive start, he was running in 23rd before the race was stopped. When the frantic six lap dash commenced, Gardner took advantage and stuck into a superb rhythm as he aggressively moved through the field. His determination paid off and he sped across the finish line in 9th, after starting the Grand Prix from 26th on the grid.
Position: 5th - Championship: 10th - Points: 51
“I am happy with today and very pleased with my comeback. Yesterday was tough, yet in the warm up this morning, I may have only completed one lap before it started raining, but I knew that the bike felt great. When the race started, the track was not in the best condition due to the wet patches, however, I had a really strong start and I began to ride fast and also quicker than yesterday in qualifying, which was positive. Unfortunately, the GP was stopped because of the rain, so after that, we had a six lap sprint. Here, I lost a lot of positions when it began, but I got back up the field. When I reached 5th, I tried to push to get on the podium but it was impossible to catch the riders in front. I could keep the gap the same but I just couldn’t close in on them. Anyway, 5th today and 10th in the championship is great, so thanks to Dr Mir, all of the medical staff who have helped me and everyone at the Clinica Mobile who have aided me with my hand. I also have to say thank you to the Tech3 team for their fantastic work.”
Position: 9th - Championship: 21st - Points: 13
“It was a very positive day and we really turned it around from yesterday but even though it was a bit unexpected, I am delighted to get my best result in the Moto2 class. We were lucky that the race got red flagged and the rain came because I was strong and I played it smart. I was waiting for everyone to fight with each other and when they did, I got through on the inside and managed to overtake two riders at a time so I gained places fast. I used my head, tried to keep cool and I finished right behind Morbidelli, but I didn’t want to risk anything with the championship leader so I played it safe behind him! I’m extremely happy but we’ve got a bit more work to do, however, we will come back in Austria and hopefully, we can have another good result.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team Manager
“It was an incredible weekend altogether for the Tech3 Racing Team. There was a lot of disappointment and sadness on Friday when we heard that Xavi will officially embark on a new adventure next year. Of course, we wish him luck for this, but you can imagine that everyone here was sad because Xavi is part of our team and our family. However, to reward us, and after coming back from a serious hand injury, he finished third in the wet FP1 and dry FP2 practice sessions on Friday. Therefore, we knew that he was back to his full potential after the tricky time that he has had following the crash in Assen. Today he was just amazing. Qualifying was not easy for him yesterday and he began from quite far back, but he had a strong start and fast pace and he was running in 8th when the red flag was issued. His restart was not ideal in the second race but he showed great determination to equal his best finish in Moto2. I would like to thank him a lot and also congratulate him. We know how hard he was trying to recover, and no matter what happens in the future, we are very proud of him and he has helped to write some important chapters in the Tech3 history books. I am also really happy with Remy Gardner because the short six lap race gave him the chance to shine. I hope this result and his performance shows the light at the end of the tunnel for him after the injury that he sustained in Argentina. He worked really hard with a lot of pain in the last few GP's but today he was only a few metres behind the championship leader at the end, so we are very proud of what he did. To have both riders inside the top nine is a great achievement and let's hope this is going to boost the spirit of the team and we will start FP1 in Austria on a positive note.”
Bendsneyder takes strong fourth place at Brno
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider claims best finish of the season so far, in very difficult conditions. Niccolo Antonelli places twenty-fourth.
08/06/2017 - Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic
The Czech Grand Prix was one of the most difficult of the year so far in terms of weather conditions. The race began on a completely wet surface, and ended with the asphalt completely dry. Bo Bendsneyder was able to adapt perfectly to the conditions, placing fourth and only missing out on the podium on the last lap. Niccolo Antonelli did not manage to get comfortable at any time, completing the contest 24th.
Rain falling before the Moto3 riders took to the grid lead to Race Direction declaring the race wet, with all the riders opting for cut slicks. From sixth position, Bendsneyder made a great start, completing the first lap in second position. The Dutchman escaped alongside Juanfran Guevara and the pair alternated spells in the lead until the final laps. With the track drier, the pair were caught by three other riders, with whom they battled for the podium. In a thrilling last lap fight for third place between three riders, Bendsneyder had to settle for fourth position.
For Niccolo Antonelli, the Czech GP was a very difficult 19 laps. The Italian, who had enjoyed a good warmup in dry conditions to place fifth, never felt comfortable in the race and was relegated to a large third group. He crossed the line 24th at Brno.
The second half of the 2017 season continues with the Austrian GP next week, a home round for Red Bull and KTM. There, Bendsneyder and Antonelli will start thirteenth -38 points- and nineteenth -16 points- in the overall standings.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"Today was a good race for Bo [Bendsneyder]. Unfortunately we lost out in the fight for the podium on the last lap, but in any case, I have to say that it has been a good weekend for him. He has shown very positive improvements over the last few races, and mentally every day he is getting stronger and stronger. We must continue in this way.
Niccolo [Antonelli] had a difficult race, but we have to understand that he came here having missed two races through injury. We have to wait until he recovers 100%."
23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
"I'm not happy with the race. It’s not that I expected to win because I'm still not fully fit, but I was hoping to add some points. I expected it, but I didn’t feel very good on the bike. I was sliding a lot when entering corners. I wasn’t comfortable in these wet conditions, although on other occasions I have been able to go fast.
The positive thing is that in the morning the bike went very well in the dry, which is important. We will do better at the next race and if it is dry, we have a good base. If it is wet we will work to understand what isn’t allowing us to be faster."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"Today's race was very difficult. The most positive thing is that the whole weekend went very well. We were competitive in all kinds of conditions. Unfortunately we finished fourth, when we had been fighting the whole race to be on the podium. The problem in the race was that on the last few laps, when the track was drying out, other riders came through at a better pace than us. It is not only a question of the bike, but also of the rider. I think this was the problem that meant we couldn’t follow them on the last two laps. In short, I gave my all, I finished fourth but in the end I think it has been a very positive weekend."
Guevara fights for the victory at Brno, crash on the last lap for Rodrigo
Brno, Czech Republic
Today’s race marked the conclusion of the Monster Energy Grand Prix Cesky republiky.
The mixed conditions in the warm-up prevented Guevara and his crew from defining the final details of the setting, as planned yesterday. However, the Spaniard put in a perfect start from the third spot of the grid, getting to lead the race since the first few turns. Juanfran managed to stay within the top positions, lap after lap, eventually crossing the finishing line in 5th place.
The day began with a solid warm-up for Rodrigo, who set the third best lap time. Gabriel started from the pole position in today’s race, fighting since the beginning to stay with the leading group. Gabriel was defending his place in the Top-10 when he crashed out on the last lap, on turn 7. He managed to rejoin the race and he closed the race in 26th position.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 5th [RACE]
“I’m really happy. We had a great race, despite the tricky conditions. We got out on track on rain tyres, at the beginning the track was quite wet. I felt strong since the beginning, I moved up to the first position straight away and I was leading throughout most of the race. I had a very good feeling on top of my KTM, I was confident. We only had some minor issues, which we could actually work out while the track was drying up, adapting the riding style. Maybe at the beginning I pushed a bit too much, because by the end I couldn’t pull away and make a gap to try and win the race, or at least end on the podium. Eventually I finished in fifth position, it’s a shame because I believe today we deserved something more. What matters is that this weekend we were competitive both on dry and wet track. We collected some important points for the Championship, as well as moving up one position in the Classification.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 26th [RACE]
“It was a shame to finish the race in this way, because after all we were having a good weekend. We were competitive on dry tarmac and we improved a lot in wet conditions, when this morning in the warm-up I could set the third time. We managed to stay in the front also in the race and fight to get into the Top-5, lap after lap. Obviously I didn’t want to make any mistake and basically I didn’t have to deal with any tricky moments. However, with only few turns to the chequered flag, I had a contact with another rider. I entered the following corner a bit off the line and, since I was outside the dry area, I ended up crashing out. We have to keep the positive side: we scored a pole position and we proved our competitiveness, which is something that can’t be taken away. We’ll be back to action in Austria in just few days: we’ll go there fully motivated, in order to keep working in the same direction.”
Márquez masters wet track for brave Brno podium
A masterful wet track performance in a chaotic Moto2 race delivered Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez a superb second place podium at Brno today.
The rain interrupted Czech Grand Prix was decided over a frantic six lap dash that produced a dramatic contest for the tenth round of the Moto2 World Championship.
With light rain falling Márquez dashed from fifth on the second row of the grid to settle in second place, which he controlled all the way behind race winner Tom Lüthi.
It was a brave performance with Márquez still recovering from a neck injury suffered when he crashed out of the previous race in Germany. The Spanish star dedicated his podium to countryman Angel Nieto, the legendary 12+1 World Champion who passed away last Thursday.
The weather conditions conspired to spoil the race winning chances of Franco Morbidelli, who was leading the initial dry track race when it was red flagged on lap eight because of rain.
Race officials declared the restart for the Czech GP would be six laps over a distance of just 32.4kms.
But Morbidelli could not reproduce his fast wet track pace from Friday practice and was forced to fight for eighth place as he dropped back into the frantic fight of the chasing pack.
Morbidelli continues to lead the championships on 182 points, now 17 points clear of Lüthi with Márquez third on 133 points.
Álex Márquez: 2nd
“I feel really good to get this podium after my injuries in the previous race in Germany and then a difficult period in the summer break. I tried to go for the win for Ángel Nieto but today Tom Lüthi was too good. But I want to dedicate this podium to Nieto - the Maestro - and I will never forget him, he was a true legend of motorcycle racing.”
Franco Morbidelli: 8th
“I was struggling on the wet track, wasn’t that fast and got swallowed up by the group in the opening laps and the race was big fight for positions. I had to work really hard to get this eighth position; many hard battles and I risked a lot and nearly crashed a couple of times. But I’m happy to get some points and still lead the championship. Now we have to understand why I wasn’t fast today, I didn’t expect this after being strong in the rain on Friday.”
Michael Bartholemy - Team Principal
“I have mixed emotions after this result. I am very happy for Álex and this second place, which puts him back in third place in the championship and he can go to the next race in Austria with a lot of confidence. But for Franco it was shame to be leading the race in the dry when the red flag came out and then lose valuable points in the restarted race. Now it is important we go to Austria and go for a good result to maintain the lead in the championship.”
11TH PLACE FOR ANDREA MIGNO IN BRNO
The young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46, after a difficult start, was close to the Top10 under the checkered flag. Difficult race for Nicolò Bulega, painful to his left hand and unable to interpreting the mixed conditions of the tarmac.
Brno (Czech Republic), August 6th , 2017 – After a good recovery, Andrea Migno is 11th on the finishing line at the Czech GP, second Italian and fourth KTM rider. The young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46, who started from the 14th box of the grid, after a difficult start, was able to set his pace and getting close to the Top10 in the final stages of the race.
More difficult Sunday for Nicolò Bulega, victim of an high side yesterday in FP3 and painful to his left hand, struggled to find the right feeling in mixed track conditions and is 23rd.
A Sunday with a particular weather: we started on a full wet asphalt and we crossed the finishing line in mixed conditions. Andrea did a good job: he struggled in the first laps, but he was able to reduce the gap. Difficult day for Nicolò, who was painful on his hand after the high side. Unfortunately, he did not find a good feeling with his bike.
A really difficult race for both track conditions and grid position. I started from the 14th box of the grid, I did not get a good start and I was forced to recover. The first laps I struggled to find the rhythm, then I started to recover positions. Overall, we were competitive during all the weekend and this is an extra injection for the whole Team for the Austrian GP.
It was not the race I expected: I did not get a good start and it was difficult to keep the rhythm of the strongest guys in mixed track conditions. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the right feeling.
A SUNDAY TO FORGET FOR DIGGIA AT BRNO
Without Jorge Martin, who was sidelined by the pain in his recently-operated right ankle, Team Del Conca Gresini Moto3 took part in the Czech GP Moto3 with the only Fabio Di Giannantonio. From the third row of the grid, the young Italian could not find his rhythm on the wet strip of asphalt of the Automotodrom Brno and, therefore, he finished no higher than 21st place.
It was a difficult race for Fabio, who lost a lot of ground in the early stages and found himself at the back of the field. He was visibly disappointed, especially because Brno is one of his favourite tracks on the MotoGP calendar and one where he did well last year (3rd place in the race).
On a good note, Diggia will not have to wait too long yo try and make amends for today’s performance, as the MotoGP paddock will head straight to Austria, where the second of two back-to-back races will take place in exactly a week’s time.
21st - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #21
“It’s been quite an unusual race: I had no feeling whatsoever in the first few laps; I tried to improve my pace and I partly did it, although I was still not as quick as the guys at the front. At one point, the gap was so big that it was basically impossible to make it back to the front and, when I found some consistency with my pace, my feeling with the bike was still too little. I didn’t feel comfortable in these conditions from Friday already, and things surely didn’t improve today. We also have to look at the bright side, though, which was my speed on the dry. We will try to make amends in Austria.”
Joan Mir's Sixth Symphony
The music does not change, not even after the summer break. The talent of Palma de Mallorca conquered the field for his sixth victory and increased his lead. From the highest point on the podium, a special dedication for Angel Nieto.
At 11:00 local time, the lights of the Brno Automobile Motorway, host of the Grand Prix České republiky and the tenth round of the 2017 season, were turned off. On the starting grid again affected by rain, the Leopard Racing Team duo started from the second and third 2nd row respectively with Joan Mir and Livio Loi, concentrating on the 19 laps of race after showing their speed throughout all of practice.
Mir made a steady start to sit in third position behind the poleman Guevara and the Dutch KTM of Bendsneyder. Meanwhile Livio Loi, after a discreet and encouraging start, suffered from obvious front end problems, resulting in a slow slide out of the point scoring positions. On the seventh lap, Joan Mir was overtaken by his main rival in the standings, Romano Fenati. The pair pushed each other and the leading four opened up a bigger and bigger gap.
Aron Canet, who, with fast laps, destroyed the gap and arrived to contend the podium. At that point Joan Mir put his head down and tried to break away, followed by the ubiquitous Fenati. The two got rid of the other two KTMs and became locked in battle for the final three laps, one on one for the win. With the racing line now dry, the talent of Palma de Mallorca left his Italian rival no room and closed all the doors, crossing the finish line in first.
With his sixth season, and his second consecutive after the Sachsenring, Joan Mir’s championship lead has increased to 42 points over Fenati. This is also the first victory in the Czech Republic in the short yet successful history of the Leopard Racing Team. But above all, right from the Champion of Palma de Mallorca, comes a special dedication to the unforgettable Angel Nieto and his family on the podium.
#36 Joan MIR - 1st:
"The break made me good! Indeed, from the first day I arrived, after what had happened to Angel [Nieto], I wanted to dedicate a victory to him. I've been busy since the free practice, but the conditions (the same we had today in the race) were not easy and I thought of a complicated race. Today, as the track dried up, I always felt comfortable on the bike and I really want to thank the whole team for the work done. I knew that with a dry track I could keep a good pace. When I saw that the second group was reaching us, I stopped my lazy times and I was in charge: it is not easy to push if there is only one dry line. I could not think about anything else and I did not want to relax, because all my rivals are very fast, and they always comes right back. This victory is for Angel and his family: if it had not been for him, neither I nor many others would have begun to follow motorcycles. It would be nice to name him the circuit of Jerez."
#11 Livio LOI - 27th:
"It was a very difficult race. I tried to push at the start, but already in the first curves I felt that I was closing the front. The situation did not improve even when the track was drying. Too bad: because this was the right race to bet on the podium. It was a positive weekend, apart from the race. Now we will go to Austria, we hope to be able to duel with the top of the class."
Romano Fenati, today, has beat another taboo, removing the pin from the voodoo doll of the wet races by getting his first amazing podium in wet conditions. Even if 5 second places are a lot, 6 podiums in total, in 10 races, would be an incredible result for every rider. Romano, in his best year, is demonstrating to be the only rider able to stay with the Spanish Mir and he's Italian, do not forget it. These two guys, almost of the same age, are doing a different sport and the only one who, sometimes, seems to have their pace is the other Spanish Aron Canet. Just few days from the Grand Prix of Austria but the Marinelli Rivacold Snipers team is continuing to believe and is "sharpening the pin" to cancel another taboo.
Romano Fenati: "I am really happy of this race as on the wet we improved a lot. Honestly I didn't think to go so fast in the first part of the race and this is like a victory for me. In the last laps Joan and I did another sport! I pushed at the maximum and I also risked. Now we move in Austria where I never raced but I hope to do well".
Jules Danilo: "Today I was feeling good with the bike but I did a mistake. In the attempt to recover positions I entered too tight, the front closed and I crashed".
MORE POINTS FOR NAVARRO IN CZECH REPUBLIC
Jorge Navarro continues with his streak of positive results by finishing in 11th place, on board his Kalex #9 machine, in a surely not easy Moto2race at the Automotodrom Brno in Czech Republic.
After qualifying with a superb fifth place – only 0.131s away from pole – the expectations on Navarro’s race performance were as high as ever: weather conditions, however, did not allow for a smooth encounter, as the race was stopped after 8 laps due to rain and then restarted with a new print encounter of only six laps. On such short distance, Navarro did a good job in staying upright and add a handful of points to his rookie season tally.
With today’s performance, the 21-year-old rider of Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 moves up another place and he is now 14th – with 39 points under his belt. No time to rest, however, as the Austrian GP is already around the corner.
11th - JORGE NAVARRO #9
“it’s been a crazy day for sure: the track was still damp in few places after the first start so I chose not to take too many risks in the first laps. At the restart, instead, it was hard to get a feeling to the wet set-up and track in such a short amount of laps. I’m still happy with how the weekend has gone, though, because yesterday we were really close to the first row while this morning we were fastest in the warm up. We did all we could in the race and scored some important points. It feels good to be back from summer break with this type of form.”
Podium in the rain for Miguel Oliveira at Brno
Portuguese rider finishes third in the Czech Grand Prix, the first podium in the wet for the KTM Moto2 project. Brad Binder is twelfth in a race shortened to 6 laps.
08/06/2017 - Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic
The Moto2 Czech Grand Prix was divided into two parts, the first dry and a final six laps in wet. Miguel Oliveira showed what had already been apparent in practice, that he felt comfortable in all kinds of conditions. The Portuguese took third position, for his fifth podium of the year and a first in the rain. His Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate finished twelfth, taking more points for his tally in his rookie season in the class.
The first part of the Moto2 race took place in the dry. Oliveira and Binder made a great start, but on the eighth lap, when they were up in second and sixth position, respectively, Race Direction brought out the red flag due to rain. Upon the restart, in a six-lap sprint, Oliveira again got off the line well, although two riders risked more in the first half-lap and escaped. The Portuguese improved his pace lap after lap to cross the finish line in third position.
Binder also enjoyed a good first lap, but a collision with a rival later on relegated him to eleventh place. Immersed in a group of six riders in the fight for eighth position, Binder finished twelfth.
With this second consecutive podium, Miguel Oliveira is fourth in the overall standings, level with the third placed rider with 133 points. Brad Binder is seventeenth with 29 points. The next race will be the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring next weekend.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It has been a very good weekend for us in Moto2. Our riders have had a good performance in both dry and wet conditions. Unfortunately Brad [Binder] didn’t feel comfortable in the second race. But for me it has also been a good weekend for him. For Miguel [Oliveira] it has been a very positive weekend, especially with his podium, but also because he managed to be up there in every session. In my opinion, one of the most important things that we take from this GP is that we were strong in wet conditions, when we had not been previously. So we have taken a new step forward."
41 BRAD BINDER
"Honestly, in the dry race I felt really good. I knew that if I could keep with the riders at the front during the first five laps I could start to go faster, because with a full tank it was much more difficult. When I latched onto the lead group again I was confident, but then it started to rain and they stopped the race. It was a little disappointing because I had the leader right in front of me. I was only 1 tenth off the fastest lap of the race.
I have worked very hard this weekend and twelfth position is not enough for me. The good part is that in the second race I felt good in the rain at first, although contact with another rider made me lose time and go wide. I kept pushing, but I didn’t do it in the right places. The positive thing is that I learned how to handle a Moto2 bike in rainy conditions, because without a doubt I had made many mistakes earlier this season. I am happy; these are not the results that I expected but we will continue working. I think overall it's been a very good weekend, the best since I've been in Moto2. I'm sure we can find a way to get to the front."
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"It was a very difficult race. We were lucky that it was short, because at the end it was very tricky when the rain fell again.
In any case, I was able to make a good start, although in just half a lap, Luthi and Marquez pushed hard and I lost contact with them. I was also fighting with the riders behind and I think I lost a little time with that. Later I was able to cut the gap, but I needed a few more laps. It was a very difficult race, I couldn’t do any better than third. I am pleased that we were able to improve in these wet conditions because we were not able to do so in some of the previous races. I'm very happy."
SEVENTH PLACE FOR FRANCESCO BAGNAIA IN BRNO
After an incredible race due to the weather, the Sky Racing Team VR46 rider scoresd the seventh place. Twenty-first Stefano Manzi.
Brno (Czech Republic), August 6th, 2017 - Francesco Bagnaia closed the GP of the Czech Republic on the seventh place after a really strange race. Started from the fourth box of the grid, the young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46 was close to the podium before the red flag was exposed by the track marshals due to the weather conditions. On the grid for a second starting procedure for a race of only 6 laps, Pecco crossed the finishing line in the seventh place, the first rookie.
A difficult race to handle for Stefano Manzi who is 21st under the checkered flag (19th on the grid of the second starting procedure).
A really difficult conditions and a very particular race to handle considering the length of only 6 laps. With dry tarmac Pecco had the potential to stay in the Top group, while on the wet he struggled a little bit more. He closed the weekend at the seventh place: a good result for a rookie who faced a race on the wet. Stefano did not get a good start and he could not approach the points area.
It was a pity for the rain that forced the track marshals to expose the red flag otherwise it could have been a different race. In the first start I was able to stay with the first guys – close to the podium. I had a good feeling and I managed the bike at its best. Even in the wet the confidence was good, but we still lack something to be really competitive in these conditions. Overall it is not bad to close a wet race at the seventh place.
A race really difficult to handle, also considered the length. Overall I found myself more comfortable on the bike today than the rest of the weekend, especially with the front.
Positions 20 and 30 for Kornfeil and Pulkkinen in Brno
Press release race Brno GP
Even though the riders of Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT had a good start to the 10th race of the season they merely finished 20th and 30th, respectively, in the mixed conditions of Brno.
Already this morning the teams realized that this race won´t be an easy one again. Having mixed weather conditions at the Automotodrom Brno the riders had to deal with a wet track at first and then with a dry track.
Following grid penalties for two riders Jakub Kornfeil could start his race from 23rd position. On the wet track he had a good start putting him 11th where he could stay at first.
During the ongoing race the track started to dry presenting difficult conditions for all riders. On a half wet half dry track Kornfeil didn´t have enough grip to stay with the other riders and so he dropped behind to 17th place. There he kept fighting for positions between 20 and 25. In the last third of the race the track became more and more dry giving the local hero a better feeling for the bike again. As a result the Czech could at least secure place 20 and therefore the first position in his group.
Also young Patrik Pulkkinen had a good start to the race. Climbing up from 29th to 25th position he could fight right in the middle of one group. When the track started to dry it became difficult for him as well feeling the same problems with the grip. Having to fight at the end of the grid already his rising self-confidence on the dry track came too late to get a better result than 30th in the end.
Now the Moto3TM teams head straight to Spielberg for the Grand Prix of Austria next Sunday.
#84 Jakub Kornfeil (P20):
„Well the start was good. In the wet I could overtake some riders and had a really good feeling for the track. Unfortunately during the race the surface started to dry which made it harder for me. I just didn´t had enough grip. In these mixed conditions I couldn´t follow the other riders. In the end when the track was really dry the feeling as well as my lap times got better and better – unfortunately too late to get a better position.”
#4 Patrik Pulkkinen (P30):
„Just like the whole weekend this race was very tough for me. The start was very good and I gained some positions but after that it didn´t worked out as it should. In the beginning in the third corner there was a crash in front of me that made me lose positions because I had to avoid a crash myself. After that I just couldn´t find the right grip level to start attacking again. Instead I lost positions. The front was very good but I had a lot of problems with the rear.”
Florian Prüstel (Managing Director):
“There is not much to say about today´s race. Again the results are not what we expected. Jakub had a good start but the longer the race lasted the more positions he lost. On the half wet half dry surface he couldn´t stay with the other riders unfortunately. That’s really a pity because it was his home race. Patrik´s race was quite similar. He had a good start but in the end he came last once again. After this weekend we have a lot of work to do for Austria. Anyway I have to say thanks to the team because they did a good job once again, especially yesterday after Jakub´s crash. Also thank you to all the sponsors who came here to support us.”
McPhee slices through to sixth in a stunning #CzechGP comeback
British Talent Team back in the battle at Brno
John McPhee had a difficult Saturday at the Czech GP when he qualified P19, meaning there was some serious work to do on Sunday to get back in the fight for good points. But after topping Warm Up, the Scot was more than up for the challenge in the race - moving up into the top ten after a good start and then getting his head down.
The BTT rider fought his way through in the tricky, drying conditions and made his way to the front of the second group, then managing to hold off those behind to cross the line sixth - an important and impressive haul of points as the second half of the season gets in gear.
McPhee is now fourth in the Championship, with the second half of the season now underway and some good points bagged at Brno. The next target is Austria - next weekend!
John McPhee, P6: "Today was a good day. Starting off with topping Warm Up was a nice was to start and a step in the right direction with the bike. The race was always going to be difficult coming from 19th on the grid but I feel like we've done a good job. Obviously I was disappointed not to be closer to the podium battle but I'm heading to Austria with more points on the board and stepped up to 4th in the Championship. Good job to my team for all their hard work this weekend."
Marini storms to furious fourth in Brno to celebrate best career result
The Czech GP was a thrilling affair for Forward Racing Team’s Luca Marini and Lorenzo Baldassarri, as well as for the entire Moto2 World Championship. Thereby, Marini was able to master the changing conditions perfectly to conquer fourth position, while Baldassarri grit his teeth during his comeback.
The weather played an important role in today's proceedings as some rain during warm up in the morning reshuffled the highly competitive field, yet the asphalt dried out again for the beginning of the race. However, after just 7 laps the rain began to fall again above the 5.403-kilometer track, which forced the competition to be interrupted with 13 laps to go, before the race got restarted with a shortened distance of 6 laps.
Marini, who launched his fantastic battle from the third row quickly found himself in a hard fight for seventh. At the time the race got red flagged, he was in ninth, which was also the place he had to occupy at the start of the final sprint. Lap by lap the 19-year old recovered positions and even passed Francesco Bagnaia in lap three on the outside to conquer fourth, which he bravely defended until the chequered flag in order to bring home his career best result on the world championship scene.
Meanwhile Baldassarri did his best to overcome the pain caused by a broken ankle he sustained at the Dutch GP. Opening the tenth round of the season from 19th on the grid he got involved in a hardly contested clash and had to restart the race from 23nd position. Already in course of the first lap he was able to regain two places with a good feeling in wet conditions. With a final effort, he crossed the line in 18th with growing confidence on his way to the next Grand Prix.
In just five days’ time both Forward Racing Team protagonists get the chance to be back on track for important Championship points when the whole circus is settling over to Spielberg, Austria.
Luca Marini - 4th (+9.190)
“First of all, I have to say, that I’m really happy about this result. It was not too easy to regain the positive feeling after the red flag and the restart, but I quickly felt truly good on the bike. I saw that the other riders had slightly more difficulties to find their rhythm in the wet conditions, so I tried to attack at the beginning of this sprint race, thereby I found my way up to fourth position. Afterwards I tried to close the gap to Oliveira, but I couldn’t catch him anymore. I’m very satisfied, especially because fourth place is my best career result until now, which is really important for me. It’s the ideal way to restart the season after the holidays.”
Lorenzo Baldassarri - 18th (+25.607)
“Overall, it was a strange weekend. The conditions were truly odd today, but anyway the race itself – especially the second part – was nice. In the dry I started well inside a good group, but the feeling was not great and I had to risk quite a lot, so I tried to make up for it on the break, but with these maneuvers I lost the group and was just fighting behind. In the rain, I really enjoyed myself. I had a good rhythm, but it was not easy, as I had a lot of riders to pass and I was still not very strong in the breaking points. It was good fun anyway and a relief to be back. Now I try to recover even more and continue my work next week, which was quite good, although I was not at 100 percent physically.”
Giovanni Cuzari - Team Owner
“This was an incredibly exciting race today and I’m proud of both, Luca and Lorenzo as well as our entire crew. Luca played his cards well in this short-wet race, he rode very clever and showed a strong display to first gain positions and later when the rain got heavier, he safely brought his fantastic position home. On the other side, Lorenzo was intelligent to not force anything, but to give his best in order to regain his feeling on the bike, especially in these tricky conditions. I’m sure he’ll be back to full fitness and show his strong performance very soon. Together with our sponsors, which I’m truly grateful for their support, we can now look forward to a marvelous second half of this season.”
Pawi a Solid 14th in Brno, Nakagami 24th
MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX CESKÉ REPUBLIKY: Sunday, August 06, 2017
Weather: Dry - Wet
Ambient: 20℃ / Track: 22℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Khairul Idham Pawi showed strong determination to finish 14th at the Czech Grand Prix today. Teammate Takaaki Nakagami finished the race in 24th place.
Round 10 of the intermediate category's 2017 campaign started at 12:20 pm (GMT +2). The race was soon red-flagged due to rain and restarted, for the 6-lap dash with the grid positions based on the standings as of Lap 7. Pawi, starting from the 13th grid on Row 5, contested a strong battle against his competitors to cross the finish line in 14th place and scored his first championship points in the Moto2 class. Meanwhile, Nakagami started the race from 15th position. Although he struggled to improve his pace under difficult conditions, the Japanese rider managed to reach the checkered flag.
The next Moto2 race, the Austrian Grand Prix commences on August 11 at Red Bull Ring circuit, with Free Practice 1 starting at 10:55 local time (GMT +2).
Khairul Idham Pawi （14th, 14’01.976 / +22.940）
“To be honest, I preferred the dry race, because I was very bad in the wet in Germany, It was not an easy race for me, but the result was not so bad and I took my first championship point in the Moto2 class. This weekend I worked very hard with my team to improve myself, and now I gained confidence. I am happy about that. I will try harder for the next race in Austria, to get better results!”
Takaaki Nakagami （24th, 14’08.499 / +29.463）
“This weekend I was very slow in both weather conditions, and we couldn’t improve anything. Even though my team did their best to make improvements, we didn’t find a solution. We will stay calm and try to find something for the Austrian Grand Prix.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Pawi did a very good job today. All through this weekend, he managed to keep this position in any condition so that we can expect better results for the second half of the season. For Nakagami, we will go back to the standard set-up for the next weekend to regain his riding feel.”
Top 10 Finish for Atiratphuvapat in Czech Grand Prix,
Rd.10 MONSTER ENERGY GRAND PRIX CESKÉ REPUBLIKY: Sunday, August 06, 2017
Ambient: 19℃ / Track: 21℃
Honda Team Asia’s Moto3 rookie Nakarin Atiratphuvapat contested a nail-biting battle in the lead group in today’s 19-lap Czech Grand Prix and finished 10th. Teammate Kaito Toba reached the checkered flag in 29th place.
The race for the light weight category started with damp track conditions due to rainfall in the morning. Starting from 15th on the grid, Atiratphuvapat was off to a good start, and overtaking riders lap after lap, moved up to 3rd position on Lap 5. Then, as the tarmac was drying out, many riders started catching up to the Thai rookie. Atiratphuvapat refused to concedes place until the final lap, reach the checkered flag in a brilliant top 10 finish.
In the meantime, Toba started the race from 22nd place on the grid. Only three turns into the race, two riders crashed at in front of him, forcing the Japanese rider to lose time. As a result, he was a fair distance from the lead group, but persisted until the end, gaining valuable data for future races.
The Austrian Grand Prix, only a week away, begins with Free Practice 1 at 9:00 (GMT +2) local time.
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (10th, 44’ 55.227 / +10.913)
“At the beginning of the race, I had a good start and comfortably moved up the field. When the track started drying, I struggled to find a good line because some parts of the track were still wet, which cost me some positions in the group. In the final stages, some riders caught up with me, so, I said to myself ‘You have to push more!” Anyway, I enjoyed the battle with them. For the next race in Austria, I will try my best to get championship points again.”
Kaito Toba (29th, 45’ 29.317 / +48.013)
“In the opening lap, two riders crashed in front of me, and I had to slow down, which cost me until the end of the race. In the middle of the race, I improved my lap times and overall feel, but the lack of rhythm at the beginning affected my whole race. In the next race, I will adapt to the situation as quickly as possible.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“If today’s race had been fully wet until the end, Nakarin would have fought for the podium. However, considering the fact that he rode here for the first time, he did a very good job. It was a very positive weekend for him, and he learned a lot from today’s race. Kaito was a little bit too careful when riders crashed in front of him. Next weekend he will reset his mindset, and keep motivated to fight for a good result.”
UP AND DOWN BRNO
Kiefer Racing endured a devastated race day in the Czech Republic with its Swiss rider Dominique Aegerterer, whereas the team’s newcomer Tarran Mackenzie was able to round up the weekend with a clean ride during the shortened wet race on Sunday.
Changeable weather conditions characterized round ten at the picturesque Brno circuit. After summer weather on the previous day, a front carrying rain arrived in South Moravia last night again and it did not take long in coming for a first brief shower. This morning’s warm up session took place under mixed conditions. But after morning rainfall, the track began to dry out quickly so this means that all riders and teams appeared with a dry setting and slick tyres at the grid.
The 26-year-old Dominique Aegerter had to endure bad luck immediately after the start when the gear shifter at his machine broke. When the rain came back a bit later, the ambitious rider hoped to be able to make up ground again.
On the other hand, Tarran Mackenzie provided the team a glimpse of a bright light on a weekend that brought many up and down for the German Moto2™ squad. The 21-year-old rider from Scotland confirmed his clearly increasing learning curve with a faultless performance during the race which was shortened to six laps, even under rainy conditions.
The second part of the season starts with a tight schedule this month too as the series moves over straight to the next race in Austria in just one week.
#6 Tarran MACKENZIE (Kiefer Racing, Suter MMX2), 26th:
"Well, this was a very strange race. In the dry, it wasn’t so good so I was quite happy when the rain came. During FP1 in the wet I struggled very bad with five second from first though, my front-end feeling in the wet was a lot better today whereas the rear was always spinning. I found it hard to accelerate out of the corners but I tried to manage it as best I could and I could beat a few riders so for this it's ok and I’m happy with. But my pace in dry conditions yesterday was a positive thing. So, if we can carry this on in Austria, just keep improving and if we can keep progressing too, which is what we must do. Not many days to get we ride in Austria so, I can’t wait for it."
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (Kiefer Racing, Suter MMX2), NS (Championship position 11th, 50 points):
"From the beginning, this race was like a evil for me. First, the gear shifter broke and then I wasn’t allowed to re-start. After the necessary pit stop to fix the gear shifter, I hoped for rain. This happened later, so I was for a short time lucky. But a few minutes later I suffered bad luck again. When I saw the red flags for the first time I entered immediately the pit lane. This was my mistake, because I didn’t reach 75 percent of the overall race time. Thus, for the second time, we now leave a race empty-handed. We wanted to start the second half of the season with a strong result."
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
"In the end, of course, the disappointment prevails. Until Saturday afternoon’s qualifying, thing went quite pleasant this weekend with Dominique. We finished ninth and eight in the dry practice session but in qualifying he was sent into the gravel by Simone Corsi. Fortunate, Dominique got not injured but the bike was pretty much damaged after a multiple rollover and beyond that, we got it back into the pit very late. However, we were able to fix it in the short time, so that Dominique could improve his time in the last laps and to start from P21 into the race. This starting position, however, doesn’t correspond to our performance level. Apart from that, there is not much to say about his race. Immediately after the start, the gear shift is broken and as the race was red-flagged, he was less than 75 percent of the overall race time at this point. Dominique have missed ten, 15 seconds. So, for this we leave Brno empty-handed."
"With Tarran, we could see a clear increasing learning curve. On a track which is very long, he was just 1.8 seconds off Saturday’s pole position time. It was for the first time that he managed to stay less than two seconds. Therefore, it is clearly to see that he is getting better and better familiarized with the bike. Beyond that, Tarran did a solid race during this short run in the rain. His lap times were similar to those of the riders who finished in the range of P15. From his starting position, however, it was impossible to move forward. In any case, these six laps in the wet were an extra bonus to his solid performance during this weekend."
Axel Pons just misses points in rainy Brno
RW Racing GP and it’s Barcelona born rider experienced a crazy race day in the Czech Republic due to constant changing weather conditions.
The weather has changed again for Sunday. Already this morning’s warm up session took place under mixed condition, starting on a dry track before the rain came. The same happened during the race at lunch time when it was red-flagged after six laps. The re-started Moto2™ was shortened to a six laps distance. Whilst Axel Pons struggled in the dry he got into an even better rhythm after the re-start to display a great recovery. Unfortunate, the Kalex rider lost valuable time at the start which cost him some possible points in the end. Pons crossed the line in P16, just a whisker behind 15th placed Hafizh Syarhin.
The second part of the season starts with a tight schedule this month as the series moves over straight to the Austrian Grand Prix in just one week.
#49 Axel PONS, 16th (Championship position 22nd, 13 points):
“Unfortunately, it has been truly a very strange weekend and it ended even more confusing. Today’s race wasn’t like a race because going out on track for just six laps two times is more or less nothing. In addition, both races took place under different conditions with one started on a dry track and the second stint under rainy conditions. Anyway, you never got into real racing mode before each was stopped. So, I’m a bit disappointed about today’s happenings because after the long break in which I couldn’t ride so much I was particularly looking forward to this weekend.”
Jarno JANSSEN (Team manager):
“We think that either conditions could have been difficult for us because as we already could see yesterday, the level of the riders is extremely high and the lap times were extremely close during qualifying. So, we knew that it was going to be a hard fight to achieve some points today. But when the race was started on a dry track we thought that this could be good for us but Axel was a bit complaining about the speed of the bike. Then, obviously, it was to see that the rain is coming and this meant that the race is going to be re-started. But, these six laps didn’t play to our advantage. Again, we had a difficult opening lap where Axel lost too many positions. But then, he was able to fight back to the points scoring positions till the last lap. Unfortunately, it was the last lap and we couldn’t improve anymore. So, for this we think, if we had this race under rainy conditions for the entire distance we could have done a great result. But unfortunately, it is like it is and we have to take this P16 and going to the next one.”