Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races:
Mahindra Riders Pay the Price in Brave Grand Prix Battle
Spielberg, Austria 13 August 2017: Aspar Mahindra team rider Albert Arenas and CIP team rider Marco Bezzecchi paid the price of ultra-close combat in a huge multi-bike battle for championship points in today’s Austrian GP, crashing out together on the last of 23 laps of the scenic 4.318-km Red Bull Ring circuit.
The pair had been in close company in an enormous pack going for the final points, along with second CIP rider Manuel Pagliani, who had cut through from near the back of the grid to have several spells at the front of the second group.
Pagliani survived the last-lap carnage to finish 19th, barely four tenths from the front of the group going for 15th place. Neither of his fallen comrades were injured.
It was a brutally tough race round the ultra-fast and rather simple circuit in the wooded Alpine foothills, with big groups of riders fighting for every inch. Riders of the Mahindra MGP3O, the only Indian motorcycle in the World Championship, were hampered by qualifying positions, on a closely matched grid where mere tenths and hundredths of a second could make all the difference and over 20 riders were within one second in Qualifying.
The top qualifier, Aspar Mahindra rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta, was eliminated in the early stages, falling unhurt after another rider collided with him, but unable to restart.
This left the remainder striving to improve on their grid positions, with Arenas 20th, Bezzecchi 25th and Pagliani 30th. Spaniard Arenas was in his second come-back ride after injury, after returning to a points-scoring position one week ago at Brno.
By the finish they were to and fro in their group, with their eyes on the prize of the final points … but in the jostling pack their luck went the other way for Arenas and Bezzecchi while Pagliani missed the points, but had the satisfaction of gaining 11 places from his starting position.
The race was won by runaway title leader Joan Mir (Honda). The next round is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in a fortnight.
Manuel Pagliani, CIP Mahindra
“I gave my best for the entire race, from the first lap right until I crossed the line at the end. I was 100% on the limit but able to overtake many riders throughout the race. It was a tough race but a great battle in a big group. I was able to lead the group at many points and I did my best laps then. I’m happy to be the first Mahindra, it’s maybe my best race of the year. Now we focus on closing the gap to the front.”
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
“This was always going to be a difficult race, at a track where our bike’s strong point of sweet handling and fast cornering was less important than simple acceleration. It is not a subtle circuit. Once again, the penalty of poor qualifying was clear, but it was good to see our own riders and the independent Mahindra teamsters fighting hard anyway. We’re now looking forward to some tracks where our strengths will bring us back to fight for more championship points.”
Bad luck for Bendsneyder and Antonelli in Austria
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders suffer crashes at Red Bull Ring, after great work throughout the weekend.
08/13/2017 - Red Bull Ring, Austria
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team experienced misfortune to round off their home GP in Austria. Bo Bendsneyder and Niccolo Antonelli crashed eight and nine laps from the end, respectively, after the former had led the race in the opening stages. The result put a dampener on a positive weekend, in which the pair had enjoyed some very good practice sessions.
The race played out in a similar fashion to the Czech GP last weekend, with Bendsneyder taking the top spot on the second lap and maintaining the position during the next three laps. Part of a group fighting for the podium, Bendsneyder maintained a steady pace within the Top 10 until, with eight laps to go, he suffered a crash at Turn 1. Antonelli experienced the same bad luck, just one lap before his teammate, when another rider collided with him at Turn 4 when he was into the points and gaining places.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders will stay at the Red Bull Ring for a day of testing tomorrow. The next race take place in two weeks’ time, at the British GP from August 25th-27th.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"The final result is a shame because it had been a very good weekend in Moto3. Especially for Bo [Bendsneyder], who has proven to be very fast all the time and very consistent. Even at the start of the race he was incredibly fast. It’s a shame that he crashed, as in Moto3 you make a mistake and you pay dearly for it. It has also been a positive Grand Prix for Niccolo [Antonelli]. His fitness is better and he has been able to fight more.
We have to be positive and think that last year we had a great race at Silverstone, so we have to try to repeat that."
23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
"I made a good start to the race, but at the second braking point another rider hit me and I almost fell down -I was lucky to stay on the bike. That put me behind, but thanks to the work done in practice I was able to recover the lost ground to the large lead group. When I was very close to reengaging with them again, another rider hit me and that time I couldn’t do anything to save the crash. I hope our luck changes at the next GP and we can take a good result."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"The start was really good. When the group caught up with me it was very difficult to maintain the lead, because on the straight it was hard to follow them. I had to gain time on the brakes and, unfortunately, I slowed down before a corner and couldn’t avoid John McPhee. I want to apologise to him, because it was my mistake. I hope he’s ok.
Overall I think it has been a very positive weekend. From this race we have learned that riding alone we are very competitive, but in group battles it is difficult for us to follow others on the straights. We need to find something that will help us to improve ahead of the next race, because the path we are following is a good one."
Canet fifth and Bastianini tenth at Austrian GP
Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders both place in Top 10 after battle for slipstreams at Spielberg.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Aron Canet and Enea Bastianini took partin an exciting Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday morning. Under clear skies and having undertaken the warmup on a dry track, conditions for the race at Spielberg were ideal for the Moto3 field.
Canet has started the race from the front row, and was immediately part of the lead group. No position was safe as riders constantly battled for slipstreams, and the Spaniard dropped back as the laps progressed. In the final stages of the race, however, Canet fought his way back up into the large group and claimed fifth place. He remains third in the overall standings, with 137 points.
Bastianini had enjoyed an encouraging qualifying session on Saturday and in the Sunday morning warmup was again in fourth. Like his teammate, he was one of the quickest off the line during the race, and during the opening laps was part of the large group at the front.
After giving up some positions midway through the race, Bastianini made a late push to rejoin the pack chasing the solitary race leader, crossing the line in tenth position.
"We will continue to give our all at the next race"
"We thought we could have got more out of this race after the good practice sessions that Aron and Enea had, and their good pace. In the race, pace was key. They lost ground by getting caught up in the large group of riders and, although at least their pace got faster, it is what most affected the race. The team have done a great job, and it is normal to want to get the best possible result, so we all have to keep working to be more consistent in the final part of the race. At least Aron has cut the gap to Romano Fenati in the World Championship standings. Although the leader has got a little further away, we will continue to give our all at the next race."
"We have to look for the compromise that allows us to be even more competitive"
"The expectations for today were high. We made a good start, but on the straight I was passed by the other riders quite easily and then I had trouble recovering positions. The feeling with the bike was quite good and, although in some aspects we are still suffering a lot, in others we are really strong. We have to look for the compromise that will allow us to be even more competitive."
5th, + 3.502s
"We have cut the gap to second in the standings"
"It was a very difficult race because all the riders in the group braked very late and we got in each other’s way. At first I found it very hard, because I didn’t have a good feeling with the bike, so I had to keep changing and adapting my riding style. Finally I managed to ride faster and reach the group again. We did not finish on the podium as we would have liked, although we have cut the gap to second place in the standings. Even so, I think we have to be more ambitious ahead of the next race."
Gardner fights to point scoring finish in Austria – Vierge out of luck after first lap collision
Tech3 Racing Team rider Remy Gardner produced a determined display today to clinch a point scoring finish in the gruelling Austrian Grand Prix. The young Australian kicked off the sprint from the ninth row of the grid and quickly set into a solid pace. He continued to push as the race distance dialled down whilst he fought in a highly competitive pack, before eventually meeting the chequered flag in 15th.
Meanwhile, Xavi Vierge’s hopes of sealing a strong finish in the Austrian hills ended prematurely after he was unfortunately involved in a multi rider pile-up at the first corner on the opening lap. The incident marks a disappointing end to the weekend for Vierge who began the race from 9th on the grid. Nevertheless, he aims to bounce back with a top tier finish at the British Grand Prix in a fortnight.
Position: 15th - Championship: 22nd - Points: 14
“I have to say that this race was really tough and I gave it my all. The first lap went well for me but then I started to struggle with the bike. Every time I entered the corner, there was some chatter and so we have work to do but fortunately, there is not long to wait because we are back on the track tomorrow. I’m hopeful that we can make a big step in the test to get to the next level and I will do my best as always. As for today, it was challenging but I’m sure that we can have a more positive time in Silverstone."
Position: DNF - Championship: 11th - Points: 51
“It goes without saying that it’s a big shame about what happened today in the Grand Prix. I made a good start and at the first corner, I braked in the right place and I made sure that I was aware of the other riders because the first two turns are so tight. I entered the corner well but then half way through, Quartararo hit me. I lost the front and then another rider made contact, which made it impossible to save the crash. It’s a pity because during the weekend I had a good rhythm and the feeling with the bike was very positive. For sure, if I didn’t get hit then it would have been possible to score a strong finish. Anyway, the GP went like that but now we will focus on the test tomorrow where we hope to make another step which will allow me to fight near the top riders at the future rounds.“
“It was a disappointing day for the Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team. After the brilliant qualifying performance by Xavi Vierge yesterday, despite his crash on the first lap in qualifying, we were expecting a really strong race and a top ten result was a great possibility. Unfortunately, the first turn at this track is very tight and there was a bit of confusion at the braking point on the opening lap. Xavi was involved in that crash along with some other riders and that was game over which is a real pity because everyone worked hard, especially to get the bike repaired during the qualifying session yesterday. On the other side of the pit box, in a way, Remy was one of the lucky ones who could take advantage of this crash because he was up to 12th by the end of the first lap after starting from 25th. However, his pace was not good enough to fight with Syahrin, Corsi and the Pons brothers and he lost ground on them. At the end of the day, there is not much to be happy about, but we have a test tomorrow and I hope we can find some solutions to help Remy improve. I hope that Xavi will recover from the big disappointment today, and I also want to say thank you to the whole crew because they worked really hard and they deserve a better reward for their efforts. Again, I hope that the test goes positively and the results will make everyone ready to score a strong result at Silverstone.“
A RACE IN THE TOP GROUP FOR THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46
At Spielberg, Migno and Bulega back to front positions. Andrea, after a great battle in the group, is a victim of a crash when he was in second place. 11th Nicolò after a great recovery.
Spielberg (Austria), August 13th, 2017 - After a weekend of hard work, Andrea Migno and Nicolò Bulega return to fight in the group of the strongest guys at the Austrian Grand Prix. On the Spielberg track, the young talents of the Sky Racing Team VR46 have shown their potential since the early stages of the race.
Andrea, seventh on the starting grid, is one of the protagonists. After great overtakings, he is victim of crash at seven laps to the checkered flag when he was in second place. Back on his KTM, he crossed the finishing line at the bottom of the group, 21st.
Difficult start, but great recovery for Nicolò Bulega, 21st at the end of the first lap. Thanks to a good race pace, Nicolò back to the leading group, but was penalized by a problem on his left hand and he closed in 11th place.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
A real pity for Andrea. He had a great start, after a couple of races he returned to fight in the group of the strongest guys and he had the pace to be able to battle for the podium in the last laps. He gave his best, he made a great race, but unfortunately he took risks and made a mistake. Also Nicolò was fast: he has recovered a lot of positions and he was really close to the Top5.
Despite the epilogue, it was a great race: I back to fight with the first guys and I really enjoyed it. I took some risks and, unfortunately, I made a mistake. I had not 100% confidence on the front, but I was able to handle the bike in the best way. We were competitive all the weekend and we go to Silverstone aware of our potential.
It was a tough race: I had not a good start, but I was able to get back to the second group in the first laps. I had a good feeling with the bike, we did a good step on the engine and I was really fast in braking. I was in the group battling for the podium, but I started having some problems on my left hand. I could not brake as I wanted, and lost the contact with the first guys. It was a pity: I had the chance to gain some positions in the final stages of the race.
Morbidelli and Márquez claim superb one-two at Spielberg
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Franco Morbidelli and Álex Márquez dominated the Austrian Grand Prix with an impressive one-two at Spielberg today.
It was a superb performance by both riders who resisted race long pressure from Swiss challenger Tom Lüthi who finished third.
More importantly it was a crucial result for Morbidelli in his strengthening campaign to win the Moto2 World Championship.
This was Morbidelli’s seventh victory from 11 races and he is now 26 points ahead of Lüthi in the title chase, with Márquez consolidating third place in the standings.
With seven races remaining Morbidelli has 207 points with Lüthi on 181 and Márquez on 153.
The 25-lap race at the scenic and ultra-fast Spielberg track was a thriller from start to finish.
A feature was Morbidelli’s immaculate race management after taking the lead into turn one from the start and leading almost all the way to the chequered flag.
Morbidelli refused to wilt as both Márquez and Lüthi took turns in applying huge pressure, mostly under braking at turn three, in challenging for victory.
From lap three Márquez was engaged in a tense and at times shoulder-rubbing duel with Lüthi with the Spanish star gaining the advantage to secure second on the podium with two laps remaining.
A late challenge by Miguel Oliveira for the podium ended with the Portuguese rider crashing heavily on lap 21.
The last time Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS staged a 1-2 result in Moto2 was at the Grand Prix of San Marino in 2014 with Tito Rabat and Mika Kallio. Rabat went on to win that year’s Moto2 world title.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st
“This is a crucial victory for me in the championship and comes at the perfect moment after my poor result in Brno last weekend. I came here focussed to do a good job and although we started slowly on Friday my team worked very well and gave me a great package to go for the victory. I’m very happy for this win and thanks to everyone for their support.”
Álex Márquez: 2nd
“I had a lot of fun in this race especially the fight with Tom, which was very close. Late in the race I thought I had a chance to challenge Franco for the win but I made a small mistake at turn three and lost the gap to him. But I am very happy to be on the podium, it has not been an easy weekend at this track so this is an important result for me.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a fantastic race. You cannot do better than first and second, so a great performance by Franco and Álex. It was an important result for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS because both our riders were ahead of Tom Lüthi for championship points so I am very happy with this. I give my best wishes to Miguel Oliveira who appears to be OK after what was a nasty looking crash.”
MARTIN DEFEATS PAIN AND TAKES PODIUM AFTER SUPERB RECOVERY
The smile is back on Jorge Martin’s face as the Spanish rider of Team Del Conca Gresini Moto3 clinches a superb podium finish after an incredible Moto3 race – which he started from thirteenth position on the grid. Right from the start it was clear that Martin had a lot to give as he quickly made his way past his rivals and even found himself in the lead after a few laps into the race.
As the race progressed, both pain and fatigue started to pay their toll, but Jorge was able to draw some extra strength and fend off the many attacks coming first from McPhee and then from wildcard Masia and Loi, with whom he battled for third down the line in an exciting last lap.
Jorge’s tears in Parc Ferme perfectly summarised both the superb effort and the emotions of a boy who in 40 days went from fracturing his ankle to returning on the podium. Now he and the team simply need to wait for the full recovery before aiming even higher. Today’s podium allows Martin to move up to fourth place in the standings – and 32 points away from third-placed Canet.
Ten points away from his team mate in the standings, Fabio Di Giannantonio finished with a solid sixth place, even though the young Italian was expecting to get in the mix for honours today. He nevertheless scored some important points, which have given him some confidence back ahead of Silverstone and, especially, his home GP at Misano.
“It was a difficult race, given the fact that Martin hadn’t been racing the full race distance for a while” says an excstatic Fausto Gresini. “He had the toughest race of his career and his tears of joy showed how much he suffered during the race and how happy he was to be back having fun on the bike. Diggia had a great race too: the previous two races were difficult for him so sixth place is a good result, even though he’s not one who likes to settle for a good result.”
3rd - JORGE MARTIN #88
“It’s a podium, but even though I’m yet to know how it is to be on the top step, this one felt very much like a win. I thought I had the pace to go and get Mir, but the group of riders I was with didn’t allow me to. After all, with only six consecutive laps completed during the weekend, I wasn’t even sure I could finish the race. This is, without a doubt, the best podium of my career.”
6th - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #21
“I was expecting more from today, especially with how free practice went. But our pace was good and we did a decent race, which will help us build some confidence for the next one. Too bad for a small mistake with the gearbox setup which compromised our performance a little. I feel good and I’m sure next race we’ll be up there as well.”
Austrian Grand Prix: Race
Romano Fenati and Jules Danilo crossed the finishing line of the Grand Prix of Austria respectively in thirteenth and sixteenth position. Started from the fourth row, Romano stayed in the group ahead without succeeding in staying in the first positions. Now, with the technicians, we will analyze the situation but the rider from Ascoli is disappointed as he hoped in a different race after having obtained the second time in the warm up. His teammate Jules Danilo closed next to the pint zone. For the French rider the confrontation with the Japanese Toba was decisive.
Romano Fenati: "Today we did the maximum with what we had and I thank my team for the job done during this weekend. Honestly we missed power and we were losing in the straight. I couldn't overtake and I am very disappointed for that. Anyway, we have to see beyond and think about the next race".
Jules Danilo: "Today I was convinced to do well as the feeling with the bike was good. It was not easy to start from the twenty-first position but I thought I could recover positions fastly. I was blocked in a big group and I lost the contact. We now have to understand what happened and come back to the top ten".
Top-10 for Rodrigo in the Austrian GP, tough race for Guevara
The eleventh race of the 2017 Moto3 World Championship was held today, at the circuit of Spielberg.
In this morning’s warm up, Rodrigo and his crew completed the final setting improvements just ahead of the race, achieving the ninth best time. In the race, Gabriel had a solid start from the pole position, joining immediately the fight for the podium. The Argentinian maintained a consistent pace throughout the whole race, showing his determination and crossing the finishing line seventh, only 0.427 seconds off the Top-3.
Guevara started the day with a good warm up, finishing the session in fifth position. In the race, the Spaniard started from the second spot on the grid and he tried to stay in the front group. However, an unexpected change in the feeling with the rear of the bike prevented him from fighting together with his teammate, finishing in 14th position.
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 7th [RACE]
“I believe this was a very positive weekend. After achieving my second pole position in yesterday’s QP, we confirmed that the work done in the free practices was helpful in order to achieve a strong base for the rhythm for Sunday. In the race I started quite well, I got into the first turn in first position and I was fighting lap after lap within the Top-5, as well as holding a spot within the rostrum finishers in different occasions. The bike was working perfectly, I must thank my team for that: I’m happy with how it performed during the whole Grand Prix. In the end the other riders were very aggressive. I tried to find a gap to finish on the podium but, after the mistakes in the last two races, I didn’t want to end up with an error also here. We finished in seventh position, close to the Top-3: definitely it’s a good base to move forward in Silverstone, where we can push a bit more and take some extra risks. Tomorrow we are testing here for one day, in order to keep working and improve some details on the KTM, so we’ll be even stronger in the next race.”
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 14th [RACE]
“The day started off well in the warm up, we had a very positive feeling and everything seemed in place for the race. We were starting with an option to fight for the victory, things were quite clear and I was confident. Right at the beginning I got into a decent position, yet I started having some unexpected reactions from the bike, especially from the rear part. This type of things can happen, we’ll check the data from this race for the future and we’ll figure out where things went wrong. It’s a shame because we had a competitive pace during the whole weekend, we had the chance to be in the front. Tomorrow in the test we’ll work hard again, in order to focus and to get ready before the next race.”
NAVARRO CONTINUES POINT-SCORING ROLL IN AUSTRIA
Jorge Navarro continues his streak of solid race results with yet another top-10 finish after crossing the line in eighth place at the end of the 25-lap Moto2 World Championship race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.
The rider of team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 was lucky to avoid – for a matter of inches – a coming together between eight riders at the start. He then rode steadily in tenth place and, after a couple of near falls, he was promoted to eighth position after Oliveira e Viñales crashed out of the encounter.
The eighth points collected today helped Navarro moving up to thirteenth place in the standings, with the top-10 now only seven points away.
8th - JORGE NAVARRO #9
“It was a difficult race which wrapped up a tough weekend overall. During warm up we tried some adjustments which I didn’t really like, so we went back to yesterday’s settings. I was lucky to avoid the coming together at the start but I came really close, then I tried to stay focused and maintain my rhythm. I made a couple of mistakes which were almost identical to the ones I made yesterday, so all I wanted to do after that was to ride the bike home. An eighth place in such a difficult weekend is surely a more than positive result for us.”
FOURTH PLACE FOR FRANCESCO BAGNAIA AT THE AUSTRIAN GP
Once again, the young rookie of the Sky Racing Team VR46 is one of the protagonists of the race. Forced to retire after a crash, Stefano Manzi.
Spielberg (Austria), August 13th, 2017 - Francesco Bagnaia is really close to the podium at the GP of Austria. After an extremely mature race, the talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46, is just a few tenths from Luthi, third, under the checkered flag.
Pecco, fourth on the grid, struggles to find the right pace in the early stages of the race, but is really competitive in the final laps. He recovers the gap between Pasini and Luthi and cuts the finishing line in fourth place (first Rookie) and now he has 100 points in the Championship, fifth in the standings.
Race shorter than we expected for Manzi. Started from the bottom of the grid, Stefano quickly recovers positions, but is involved in the group incident at the first turn. Back on his Kalex is victim of another crash and is forced to retire.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
The fourth position always leaves something bitter in the mouth, but despite this, I can only be happy for the race. Pecco did a great job, he grew up weekend after weekend and I can only say thank you to him and the whole Team. He struggled at the start, but he was really strong at the end. Stefano was unlucky: after a good start, he was involved in the incident at the first turn and found himself at the bottom of the group. He tried to recover, but maybe the bike was damaged and he crashed again.
A really long race, especially for me because I was alone. I struggled at the start, then I tried to close the gap with the first group, but it was tough. I did my best, but for recovering, I came out of the track and I was forced to give the position to Pasini. I overtook him another time, and, in the last laps, I was really close to Luthi. I tried to do something without success. Overall a good weekend: we were competitive, but we have to continue to work to be faster in the first laps of the race.
A shorter race than I expected: I had a good start, I quickly recovered several positions, but at the first turn I was involved in an accident. I re - joined the race, but I was at the bottom of the group. I tried to recover, but I did not feel the same confidence, and after a few laps, I found myself on the ground without can doing anything to prevent it.
Mir confirmed as the 'Lord of the Ring', Loi in the podium mix
If this race were a painting, it would be framed by the Leopard Racing team to commemorate the domination of the Red Bull Ring thanks to Joan Mir's victory and Livio Loi’s podium challenge, the creator of a great comeback. For Mir it was a seventh win in 11 races, his third in a row as he becomes the undisputed leader of the Moto3 class.
At 11:00 local time, the lights of the Red Bull Ring, the 11th round of the 2017 season, went out. After the rain of recent days, the grid was kissed by sun and both Joan Mir and Livio Loi launched from the fourth row after having some of their best times cut in Qualifying for exceeding track limits. The penalty did not bother the Leopard Racing Team, confident of the feeling and rhythm highlighted throughout the Austrian weekend and confirmed in the bright Warm Up in the morning.
A slowish start due to the heavy traffic forced the two riders to lose a couple of positions in the first lap, but they soon locked themselves in the hunt for the head of the race. The talent of Palma de Mallorca put his head down to overcame all his opponents with an impressive array of passes to take command: from tenth to first in just 5 laps.
Behind him four riders sat closely, seemingly playing power with the situation, while his team-mate Livio Loi, who was 18th on the first lap, arrived in the top ten with flying speed. In the middle of the race, Joan Mir tried to stretch but the group recovered and as Loi made his way to seventh. Meanwhile from the back, Wildcard Jaume Masia attracted the attentions of everyone as he found himself in second, the first of Mir’s pursuers.
On the 15th lap, Antonelli and Migno ended their race off track, while McPhee and Bendsneyder were victims of contact at Turn 1. In the last five lap, Livio Loi moved himself onto the virtual podium in third place. The Belgian tried to capture Germany’s Oettl, but contact with Rodrigo saw him lose ground; Loi did not relent and retrieved the position, having only to give the third step of the podium to Spain’s Martin.
Joan Mir extended his advantage and crossed the line of the Grand Prix of Austria 2017 alone, taking his seventh win of the season in 11 rounds, his third consecutive after the successes of Germany and the Czech Republic. Palma de Mallorca's talent climbs to 215 points in the rankings and increases his lead to 64 points. But most of all, Joan Mir showed the whole world, exactly 1 year after his first career win, his growth and maturity. Now the undisputed leader of the Moto3 category.
#36 Joan MIR - 1st:
"It was a very hard race, but I wanted to win it! Throughout the weekend we worked very well with the team. In fact on this circuit we knew we had something more than the opponents and we saw today in the race! Departing from tenth I was worried a bit, but after the terrible start I had, I gave my best to recover. I did not want to be in the group because in this category it is always a risk. When I was in the lead and saw my advantage at just 0.5s I said it was time to push more and open the gap to everyone else. Before I was a patient pilot, this year I learned so many things, even to reason and handle delicate situations like this. My strongest point on this circuit was the braking. 64 points are so many, almost three races! It's a pity that we still have lots of other races [laughs]. Seriously, I'm sure I'm looking at the rankings but I do not want to make calculations. We have to stay with our feet on the ground and try to always go to points."
#11 Livio LOI - 4th:
"It was a great race, although the start was very difficult, losing positions and finding myself 18th in the first lap. From that moment on I began to attack, pushing further and further, with a great sense of motion. I came to the group before, but on the penultimate lap I was touched and lost ground. Even then I recovered, but the last lap was a lottery: I tried to take Oettl, but Martin went in the slipstream. I heartily thank the whole team."
Top 10 for Brad Binder and crash for Miguel Oliveira
South African rider gains ten places in Austrian GP to match best result in Moto2, placing seventh. Miguel Oliveira suffers a heavy crash when riding in fourth.
08/13/2017 - Red Bull Ring, Austria
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team experienced mixed fortunes on raceday at the Austrian Grand Prix. Miguel Oliveira suffered a heavy crash, from which he escaped without serious injury, when in fourth place and fighting for the podium. Teammate Brad Binder made a great comeback through the field, gaining ten places and equalling his best Moto2 result of seventh.
A spectacular start put Binder, who had started from seventeenth position on the grid, alongside Oliveira in seventh place. The Red Bull KTM Ajo riders exchanged positions frequently until the eighth lap, when Oliveira has launched an attack on the podium positions.
With five laps remaining and the Portuguese involved in the podium fight, a nasty crash at Turn 8 ended his race. Fortunately, the accident ended without serious physical consequences for Oliveira.
Binder has remained in a third group fighting for sixth position with Takaaki Nakagami. In the end, the South African ended his climb up through the field with a positive seventh place.
After the Austrian Grand Prix, Oliveira is fourth in the overall standings with 133 points, while Binder is sixteenth with 38 points. The next race for the Red Bull KTM Ajo team will be at Silverstone, in the British Grand Prix between August 25th-27th. However, tomorrow they will have a day of testing at the Red Bull Ring.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It's a shame about Miguel [Oliveira]’s crash. Luckily it looks like he has no serious injuries, but he's very sore. In spite of everything, we have to say that it has been a positive weekend. Maybe yesterday we had more difficulty and so the positions on the grid were not the best. Today in the race the two riders put in a great performance and regained confidence. In addition, Brad [Binder] finished in a very good position, which is positive. Miguel was incredibly fast while chasing the podium, and it’s just a shame that he crashed out. We have to take away the good things about the weekend and focus on the next Grand Prix."
41 BRAD BINDER
"The race went pretty well. I was fortunate to be on the inside of the first corner, so I found myself up in seventh after only one lap. That compensated for the fact that we did not have a good qualifying session, since we started very well. I pushed very hard in the beginning, although later the rear tyre dropped off a little and I made a mistake, so I found it hard to be able to fight with my group again. Overall I'm happy, it's been a positive weekend and I want to thank my team setting up the bike so well after a crash this morning in the warmup. I'm looking forward to the next race."
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"It was a very positive race. We had been able to close the gap to the front group after they escaped on the opening laps, and five laps from the end I could see that we had victory within reach. It was very important to take this step forward after having had difficulties in practice. It’s a shame about the crash; I lost the rear wheel and was thrown off the bike. Luckily nothing is broken, although my whole body is very sore. Tomorrow we have a day of testing, but I don’t know if I'm going to be fit in time."
Kornfeil finishes 20th again
Press release race Spielberg GP
After an exciting race, which saw many crashes, the Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT riders Kornfeil and Pulkkinen finish the „Nero Giardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich“ in 20th and 24th position.
After yesterday´s non-satisfying qualifying results the team were out to perform damage control at least – full attack was the moto today.
The Red Bull Ring definitely presented itself at its best. The sun was shining, the temperatures were pleasant and the fans came in flocks.
Besides all the good intensions the start of both Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT pilots weren´t as good as expected. Jakub Kornfeil was stuck in 27th position from the beginning and couldn´t make his way up forward.
With constantly fast lap times he tried to stay with his group but the lack of power in his bike made it hard for him to fight for position between 20 and 27. Due to many crashes he finished in 20th position and therefore in the middle of his group eventually.
Young Pulkkinen experienced a tough race as well. His intended comeback came to an end quite early in the race. Due to the jam in the first corners and a contact with other riders he had to go wide and lost the contact to his group.
Being stuck at the end of the grid with one of the wildcard riders he tried to close the gap but didn´t succeed. The many overtakes he had to fight slowed him down to much leaving him cross the finish line in 24th position.
This time the riders get one week off. After that it´s time for the “Octo British Grand Prix” in Silverstone.
#84 Jakub Kornfeil (P20):
“From the start to the end this race was really difficult for me. I was trying to push and I actually went really good lap times – always within 1:37.000. Anyway on the straights I was always lacking the power so I lost the slipstream and therefore the group. But I knew if I go a constantly fast rhythm I could catch them again and this was right. This was the only option I had so I made the most of it. Of course the position is not what we want but I am happy about the lap times and the fact that we made it until the finish line.”
#4 Patrik Pulkkinen (P24):
“I can describe my race in one word: bad. From the beginning nothing worked out. My start was not good and in the first corner it was just so crowded that I couldn´t open the throttle enough. We were more or less stuck and this was also the problem in the following corner. I had much more speed than the guys in front of me so I had to go wide to avoid a crash. When we were all sorted again I overtook some riders but then I got a hit at my rear and went wide again. I lost the contact to the group and that was it. I tried to close the gap but the one wildcard pilot overtook me again and again which slowed me down too much.”
Florian Prüstel (Managing Director):
„There is not much to say about the weekend. After the qualifying we knew it will be a really tough race for us. On this track with its many straights its incredible hard for us to stay with the other bikes. Jakub was fighting very hard to stay in his group and in the end he finished 20th due to a lot of crashes. Also Patrik had a hard race and finished 24th thanks to those crashes. It´s just a pity that we still weren´t successful even though the trainings weren´t too bad. I have to say thank you again to all our mechanics because they keep doing a really good job and are fully motivated every weekend.”
Marini and Baldassarri with missing luck in Spielberg
Race day for the eleventh round of the 2017 Moto2 World Championship season got underway today in bright sunshine with Luca Marini and Lorenzo Baldassarri performing really well during this mornings’ warm up, finishing sixth and eleventh, respectively. Unfortunately, the sun was just shining above the track, but not for the Forward Racing Team duo during the race, as both got innocently involved in a huge pile-up in turn one of the first lap and were unable to complete the competition.
Marini started the day well with a quick 1’30.267 during the cold warm up in the morning. Therefore, the 20-year old headed into the race with high hopes. Proceedings commenced really well, as immediately after the start he could make up several positions on his way up to the first corner, yet he couldn’t avoid to hit a bike in turn one, after a crash, which had happened right in front of him. After Marini’s fantastic performance in Brno last week, the talented Italian, who sits well inside the top 10 of the World Championship, can’t wait to try some new parts in tomorrow’s official test at the Austrian circuit.
On the other side of the Forward Racing Team garage Baldassarri showed a great pace as well during the first session on Sunday. Like his team mate he passed the first rivals rapidly after the lights went out, but was unfortunately involved in the first corner incident as he got taken out by another rider. After several checks in the medical center, the doctors confirmed that he walked away unhurt, besides a few bruises. Baldassarri is now looking forward to the British Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.
As Baldassarri feels a bit shattered after his crash, Lukas Tulovic will take over his 2017 Kalex for testing on Monday. The 17-year old German, who usually competes in the FIM CEV Moto2 European Championship in the Forward Racing Junior Team, will thereby get his first taste on the World Championship scene.
Luca Marini - DNF
“Honestly speaking, it’s just a pity. I started very well, overtook some riders already on the first meters and I felt quite fast. My pace was great and I thought I could do another strong showing today, but in the first corner it was impossible to avoid the incident. This year we are very unlucky, as again it wasn’t my mistake nor one by my team. It’s a real shame, but anyway, we now have to focus on Mondays’ test, because we can try some interesting modifications, plus I really wish it was Silverstone already. The British circuit is a track I truly like and I think that we can stay close to the front there, like I previously demonstrated this year.”
Lorenzo Baldassarri - DNF
“From this morning, I felt very good and though my right ankle still gives me a hard time, I was more than ready to bring home some decent points today. In the race, I started very well and already passed two riders in front of me, when another rider run into me in turn one. I couldn’t do anything and it’s a real bummer. Anyway, I have been lucky and I didn’t hurt myself further, so we can go to Silverstone with a positive frame of mind and some more recovery time for my body.”
Giovanni Cuzari - Team Owner
“The weekend has been truly positive, apart from what has happened today. As we could see Luca performing incredibly well and Lorenzo felt physically a lot better than last week. Probably, if the qualifying would have been a bit better and there weren’t as many riders in front, the risk of getting involved in situations like today, would have been a lot lower. Luca couldn’t avoid to hit the bike of Fabio Quartararo and had to pull out from the race with a flat tyre and for Lorenzo this kind of incident is exactly what he doesn’t need for his recovery, but fortunately, he came away without any additional injuries. Therefore, we can just hope that the luck will finally be back on our side soon. In any case, we keep our motivation high and are very positive for Silverstone, as we know both riders are incredible competitive. We want to express a huge thank you to our sponsors, who stay on our side despite all obstacles and still back us, plus share our passion.”
Axel Pons in the points again
RW Racing GP wrap up a tough weekend at the hilly Austrian race track with some more points in their pockets since a while.
The series’ visit to the marvellous Styrian landscape brought some smiles to the faces of RW Racing GP’s team members at the end of the weekend. 26-year-old Barcelona born rider performed strongly and fully determined to score some points after difficult races recently. Under great weather conditions, Pons, however, had to overcome some difficulties whilst battling for positions throughout the distance. In the end, he was involved in an epic battle with his younger brother Edgar whereas technical director Hans Spaan is already thinking about solutions for more top speed for the team’s Moto2 machine.
After a busy opening stage of the second part of the season with back-to-back races in Brno and Spielberg, the championship moves over to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in two weeks.
#49 Axel PONS, 13th (Championship position 22nd, 13 points):
“Well, in the end we were able to catch up a bit today and collected some points but I’m definitely not happy. We still face a lot of work ahead of us though, the bike’s handling was quite good this weekend. I think, however, there is still room for improvements of the whole package as well as I have to adapt better to this new way of riding the bike and what it requires from the rider. Although, every lap I did, I could understand it a bit better but the biggest problem is that we are still lacking in top speed. We struggled a lot to keep the speed with our rivals during the race. It was really hard and frustrating not being able to follow them in the slipstream either. But anyway, I’m sure that Hans will find a solution to try and improve this before we are going into the next race because if we will struggle with this issue in Silverstone again then we are really in fate because of the long straights there where top speed is crucial.”
Jarno JANSSEN (Team manager):
“We are happy because we finished in the points scoring positions today after some difficult weekends recently. But for sure, it was not an easy race because it was a hard fight like we already saw yesterday, lap times also were very competitive today. But we did a good job to finish in P13 which give us a lot of positive energy going into the upcoming races in Silverstone, Misano and Aragon. Yes, we are happy and looking forward to the next race. Beyond that, we are also pleased with Axel’s performance who did not have an easy day as he endured a little bit of bad luck this morning. But he recovered from this quickly and well and made his way through the tight pack during the race. He had an epic battle with his brother and it was good to see him coming home on top of it.”
#AustrianGP cut short for McPhee
British Talent Team rider collected at Turn 1 at the Red Bull Ring
>From a solid P5 in qualifying, it was looking good for British Talent Team rider John McPhee in the Austrian GP - and the Scot moved immediately up into the lead by Turn 3 on Lap 1 to prove his pace on race day.
Battling in the front group thereafter, McPhee fought hard to take another podium finish and was in the mix until finding his race prematurely cut short after contact with another rider.
With nine laps to go, McPhee was collected into Turn 1. Escaping unharmed, the Brit was then sadly forced into pitlane to retire - but next up it's Silverstone, with the home crowd sure to create a good stage for the Scot to use in his mission to bounce back quickly.
John McPhee, DNF: “I'm obviously angry and disappointed with the outcome today but really there was no avoiding what happened behind me. I felt strong throughout the race and was able to attack in all areas of the track which was a nice feeling. All weekend I've been fast so that makes it hard for myself and the team not to come away with a result - but on a positive note it's really nice to be heading to my home race in Silverstone feeling so good with my bike. I hope to turn things around and claim back the missing points on home soil.”
Nakagami 6th, Pawi 17th at Red Bull Ring
Rd.11 NEROGIARDINI MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX VON ÖSTERREICH
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Ambient: 21℃ / Track: 33℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami's competitive rhythm led him to 6th place at the Austrian Grand Prix today. Teammate Khairul Idham Pawi finished the race in 17th place.
At 12:20 pm (GMT +2), Nakagami started from the 12th grid. In the opening lap, a multiple rider pile-up at Turn 1 created a gap to the lead group. The Japanese rider kept his composure and steadily reduced the distance. He reached the checkered flag for 6th place scoring ten championship points.
From 31st on the grid, Pawi had a good start, moving to 19th by the end of Lap 1. He kept consistent pace and crossed the finish line just two places off the top 15.
The next Moto2 round, the British Grand Prix commences on August 25 at Silverstone circuit, with Free Practice 1 starting at 10:55 local time (GMT +1).
Takaaki Nakagami (6th, 37’48.197 / +8.827)
“Right after the start, there was a multi pile-up just in front of me. I was able to come through this confusion and pushed hard until the end of the race. We can say it was a good race because it was a difficult weekend. This weekend I feel I'm getting my competitiveness back. For the next race in Silverstone, we will try harder to fight for the podium.”
Khairul Idham Pawi (17th, 38’13.301 / +33.931)
“We made small adjustments in the Warm Up. It gave me confidence with the front. If we had made this adjustment earlier this weekend, we could’ve expected better results. Anyway, I gained more good experience this weekend and learned many things. We will try harder next weekend.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Although Taka could not catch the lead group, he set a very consistent pace to move up through the field from a lower grid start. He's now overcoming his struggle and is regaining competitiveness. Pawi improved his best lap time during the race and set a consistent pace. He learned a lot from this weekend’s experience, and I am happy about that, too.”
Toba 15th in Austrian Grand Prix, Atiratphuvapat DNF
Rd.11 NEROGIARDINI MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX VON ÖSTERREICH
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Ambient: 20℃ / Track: 25℃
Honda Team Asia’s Moto3 rookie Kaito Toba staged a fantastic chase down in today’s 23-lap Austrian Grand Prix finishing 15th. Teammate Nakarin Atiratphuvapat crashed on the final lap after a fierce battle.
Starting from 27th on the grid, Toba set a consistent pace from the early stages, and caught riders in front of him one after another. He arrived at the finish line in 15th position, scoring his first championship point since the Argentina Grand Prix.
In the meantime, Atiratphuvapat was off to a good start from 22nd grid, fighting to improve his position throughout the race. When the battle heated up on the final lap, the Thai rider fell at Turn 1 and was out of the race.
For the next race, the British Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 is set to start at 9:00 am (GMT +1) local time on August 25.
Kaito Toba (15th, 37’ 39.370 / +16.246)
“I finish 15th because I started from low grid position. During the race my pace was good, so If I had started from a better position, I would have finished higher up. To make it happen, I have to improve my weekend strategy and get a good grid position in Qualifying. Anyway, today’s result boosted my confidence.”
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (DNF)
“In the race, I had a decent start but didn’t get a good feel with the bike. That’s why I lost positions. On the final lap, I had to brake too hard to avoid a collision at Turn 1, then I crashed. I am very disappointed with today’s result. For the next race, I will change my mindset and try hard again.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Although Nakarin maintained 15th or 16th at the beginning, he didn’t have a good top-speed. Also, he suffered from vibration since the middle of the race, which made it difficult for him to use slipstreams. We will look into the data and find the cause. Well done for Kaito, because he caught up well and finished 15th from 27th grid. This result will drive his motivation for the next race to get better grid positions.”
BACK IN THE TOP TEN
Kiefer Racing was pleased about Dominique Aegerter's solid ninth place in Sunday's race in Spielberg and another brave learning step by the team's newcomer Tarran Mackenzie.
In great summer weather, the German Moto2™ team had reasons to be happy after a long time. Both riders were able to round up a solid weekend in the picturesque landscape of the Styria mountains with a strong performance.
Foremost, it was Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter who was glad to have seen the chequered flag again after some technically determined failures in the past races. The 26-year-old rider from the canton of Bern completed the Austrian Grand Prix in ninth position in the probably most balanced category in two-wheels racing.
Tarran Mackenzie, meanwhile, benefited from an utter chaos in the first corner after the start, but most important the young rider from Scotland was able to shine with fast lap times aside, thus confirming his rising learning curve.
After a series with three races in Central Europe, the championship moves over to Silverstone for the British round in two weeks.
#6 Tarran MACKENZIE (Kiefer Racing, Suter MMX2), 20th:
"It was quite my best race so far. Twentieth position is good though, many people crashed but our overall race time, which is always our main target, was much better, maybe 15 to 20 seconds faster than my previous best. So, I’m happy and also for that fact that I improved the lap times during the race over half of a second. Beyond that, I was able to race quite consistent. On Friday and Saturday, I struggled a little bit so I’m happy to turn it around in the race. My feeling with the bike was much better and we have a test tomorrow so, maybe we can test something to get a bit more comfortable and get ready for my British Grand Prix. I can’t wait for this race anyway."
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (Kiefer Racing, Suter MMX2), 9th (Championship position 9th, 57 points):
"I’m pleased with this race thus far. I recovered from 13th on the grid to ninth place on the line and I was just 15 seconds off the race winners time. In the last four races, I just could collect four points and I did not see the flag for three times. So, before going into the race I felt some pressure because the certain confidence had to come back. It was not easy to trust that everything will last until the end and that you are able to ride constant fast throughout the entire distance and that we will bring home a solid top ten result again. That was why I wanted to finish in ninth position. Towards the end, I did not risk anything to overtake Navarro though, first I was a little faster than him but I did not find a place to pass him. Of course, the top five are our goal, but after a few races in which we could not get the results we are always aiming for, we can build on a good weekend after today’s ninth position. We are actually not so far from the top. Under normal circumstances, we are around P10 and we will start from this level at the next race. In a next step, we must be more consistent and then to make the next stop to the top five again. But first I want to thank all the people for their support and motivation they gave me in recently. Thanks also to my team and Suter."
Stefan KIEFER (Team manager):
"Since a while, Spielberg was once again a solid weekend for us, in which we have succeeded too. With Domi in ninth position, we are very happy with and thanks to this we make up some ground in the overall standings. Nevertheless, we are glad to have a test on Monday here. On this occasion, we can try out the one or other thing and hopefully to catch up with some deficit."
"On Tarran it is to say that during the race a further progress was to be recognized. Not only in terms of his position, but foremost to his lap times which were half a second faster than his best effort to this point of the weekend. Tarran was just 1.5 second off the fastest lap time during the race. This was definitely a step in the right direction and you can see that he is gradually arriving in this category. Overall, we are satisfied with his performance and if he gets even more consistency and in doing so he will be able to set his lap times even often, which he can ride actually, then it will look even better soon."