Press releases after Sunday's thrilling Moto2 and Moto3 races at Aragon:
The eighth miracle of Mir!
At his favourite circuit, MiracleMIR produced a perfect last lap to seize his eighth win and achieve something never done before in Moto3: eight wins in a single season. Mallorca's talent extends his championship lead 80 points over his rivals. A good showing too from Polanco, 24th.
The sun finally came to the MotorLand Aragon circuit, affected for most of the morning by an unusual and cold mist that forced the Warm Up to be delayed due to poor visibility and consequent postponed the race until 11:40 am local time and saw the race cut to just 13 laps. The two Leopard Racing Team riders, Joan Mir and Aaron Polanco (substitute for Livio Loi), launched from the second and the eighth row respectively.
A good start when the lights went out earned both riders several positions, jumping Foggia at the end of the first lap for the 4th position; Polanco became stuck at the rear in traffic and was 28th. The first four (Mir, Martin and the EG duo) seem to have more speed and moved ahead on the brakes. On the fifth lap, Oettl tried to put the wheel of his KTM in front, but Mallorca's talent immediately saw him overtaking the German. The on the seventh lap MiracleMIR attacked at the end of the straight to take the lead.
The group, however, recovered very quickly and Di Giannantonio was able to join the part at the front. Meanwhile, the rookie Polanco tightened his teeth and fought with more experienced riders, recovering five positions up to 23rd and put Binder in his view finder. The last lap started with Mir in fourth position, but the home hero felt the support of all his fans and did not disappoint. A simply sublime first lap saw him take control and then fend off all the attacks of his rivals, eventually cutting the line in first just ahead of Di Giannantonio and Bastianini.
For Joan Mir it is the eighth victory of the season, an absolute record for the Moto3 class since its establishment in 2012 as a World Championship. Mallorca's talent extends his lead to 80 points and the title is just a few points away. In Honda's home in Japan (Motegi, October 13th-15th), Leopard Racing Team Leader will play the first match-point ...
#36 Joan MIR - 1st:
"It was another amazing race! The race was short but intense ... shameless (laughs!) Because my tyre was at the limit. I really did not expect a win here: I felt the affection of the fans who came here for me and thank everyone. I tried to handle it in the last lap, but I had to be careful to not push too much. The braking was the most important, not just for this race, but throughout the season. In Japan there will be the first match-point, but I do not want to make the calculations for the title, I will continue in this way even in the last races. To be honest, I'm quieter now: this was a key battle! I would have liked to be Champion in Spain, but now I want it to come before Valencia (laughs)!"
#37 Aaron POLANCO - 24th:
"At the start I started well but at the first curve they all passed me. The whole race has been on the rise and is characterized by a beautiful battle; with the passing of the laps I gained more confidence and I was able to overtake several pilots. I came to take a group and I put my head on, but in the last corner I was pushed back a little. All in all I am very happy for this beautiful experience and for all the work done with the team. Now CEV is waiting for us here in Aragon, I'm convinced we will do very well!"
DIGGIA INCHES FROM FIRST WIN AT ARAGON AS MARTIN IS "ONLY" FOURTH
Team Del Conca Gresini Moto3 scored another podium finish in the 2017 Moto3 World Championship – the 11th this year – courtesy of Fabio Di Giannantonio, who from 14th place on the grid was able to make his way up to the front and challenge for the win up to the finish line.
With the race distance being reduced to 13 laps – from the 20 originally scheduled – due to some thick early-morning fog, the rider #21 got a great launch off row five and was aggressive enough early on to get back to the front within only a few laps. The strategy to enter the last part of the lap in second place might not have paid off, but it was racing at the very limit throughout the whole race – and especially in the very last sector. Twenty points are nevertheless a boost of confidence for the Italian, who is now three points ahead of his team mate in the standings.
It was a difficult race for Jorge Martin, whose performance might been affected by a not perfectly-performing tyre. The Spaniard could not join the battle for the win in the latter stages of the race and had to ride defensively to maintain his fourth place – even though he was only four tenths away from the winner at the flag.
Both Del Conca Gresini Moto3 riders will enjoy a two-week break before leaving to Japan for the first of three fly-away races. The goal will be to keep challenging for third place in the standings – which is now 36 points away from Di Giannantonio.
2nd - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #21
“I had a great race. I started from 14th position and I was able to make up so many places in so little time. I wanted the win and I did what I had to do: I was second at the last turn to try and win on the last straight: I think Mir did a bit of a dangerous move, because it takes nothing to get hurt at 250km/h. In any case it’s a great second place, it’s my second podium in a row and it’ll be important to keep the momentum going in the flyaway races.”
4th - JORGE MARTIN #88
“I got a great launch and tried to push, but Enea (Bastianini) was able to challenge me but I have to be honest: I didn’t have the right feeling, surely not the right one to be able to pull away. I didn’t have a good feeling with the rear tyre right from the start, so I think it wasn’t possible to do any better than fourth. Now we will try to find out what happened with the tyres but we’re still up there near the front, so that’s the most important thing.”
Podium for Bastianini in frantic race in Aragon
Italian rider finishes third and Aron Canet fifth, as both lead the race at different times.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Aron Canet and Enea Bastianini were big protagonists in the Moto3 Aragon GP, which took place over just 13 laps instead of the scheduled 20. The change in race length came about as a result of thick fog in the morning, which also delayed the warmup for the lower cylinder class.
Despite a crash on the Saturday, Aron Canet had taken third place on the grid for the race at MotorLand, and set the second best time in the delayed warmup session on Sunday morning. When the race got underway, the Spaniard remained comfortable in third, following teammate Enea Bastianini who was just a few metres ahead. Canet would take the lead with just 5 laps remaining, but constant overtaking led to a frenetic finale to the race. On the last lap he battled for the podium, and finished just 0.341s off the rostrum spots. Canet's fifth place allows him to cut the gap to second placed Romano Fenati in the overall standings to 18 points.
Taking off from second on the grid and starting Sunday with the tenth best time in the warm up, Enea Bastianini took the holeshot with a great start. On the following laps he was one of the fastest riders in a thrilling race that featured some ten riders in the lead group. With just six laps remaining Bastianini attempted to break away, but the group swallowed him up and he was forced to fight for a podium spot on the final laps. During the last lap he had victory in his sights, and only the leader of the World Championship, Joan Mir, was able to deny the Italian his first victory of the season. Bastianini is ninth in the overall standings with 103 points.
"Our analysis is very positive"
"Our riders looked very good today. Since practice, both they and the team have done a great job, which got us onto the front row. It was a sprint race after the problems with the fog in the morning, and the presence of such a long straight means that your strategies can break down in a moment. Bastianini was able to place well in the end, but Aron was hindered on the last lap. I think Aron could have fought to win the race. Our analysis, however, is very positive. Aron has taken points off Fenati in the fight for the runner-up spot and Enea has performed at his natural level, so we will try to keep this up until the end of the season."
3rd, + 0.051
"Our goal was to fight for the win"
"It was a nice race, right from the start, as we were fighting practically since the first lap with a very strong group. It was very important to stay in the top positions to avoid risks. On the last lap I started off third and our goal was to fight for the win, but I didn't expect a finale to the race like we had today."
5th, + 0.392
"We fought to get on the podium"
"It was a somewhat chaotic race, because of the distance being reduced to 13 laps and the very fast pace that was run. I was riding hard, braking late and controlling the group from start to finish. In the end both Jorge Martin and I made a small mistake, which made us lose contact with the front group. The goal was to fight for the victory and I wanted to do the best I could. In the end we took fifth place, but we fought to get on the podium."
GREAT RECOVERY BY ANDREA MIGNO IN ARAGON
In a race of only 13 laps, the young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46, 28th on the grid, cuts the finishing line in 11th place. Nicolò Bulega, 14th.
Alcaniz (Spain), September 24th, 2017 - In a sprint race, shortened by only 13 laps for the delay accumulated after the warm up due to fog, the young riders of the Sky Racing Team VR46 cross the finishing line respectively in 11th and 14th place.
Migno, from the 16th to the 28th box of the grid for a penalization in qualifying, is the protagonist of a great recovery and, in the last minutes of the race, is able to clear the gap with the group of the strongest guys. With today's result at MotorLand, Andrea breaks the 100-point wall and is currently eighth in the overall standings (103 points).
In the points also Nicolò Bulega, fourth on the grid and conditioned by the consumption of the rear tyre in the crucial stages of the race.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
A sprint race! This morning the fog forced the marshals to postpone the warm up and shorten the Moto3 race to only 13 laps. Andrea has a great start, has recovered many positions and, in the last laps, was able to clear the gap with the head group. Nicolò was with the first guys, was competitive for the most of the race, but struggled in the final stages.
The last laps I really had a great feeling. A pity for the qualifying penalty, which forced me to the bottom of the group, because in the race we have been very competitive. Considering the length (13 laps), I gave my the best since the first corners. We back to be fast and this is good news for closing the season in the best way.
I had a good start, but I left the clutch in the worst moment and I lost something. In the first part of the race I had a good feeling, I could ride as I wanted, but after the crash of Rodrigo, right in front of me, I was forced to give up some positions. In the last laps, the consumption of the rear tyre was different than we expected and I could not be as aggressive as I wanted.
Bezzecchi Runs Out Of Time In Shortened Aragon Race
Aragon, Spain 24 September 2017: Two weeks after Mahindra’s best race of the season at Misano, Italian Marco Bezzecchi ran out of time to claim more points at the Aragon GP, in a race shortened from 20 to 13 laps after thick mist forced a lengthy delay in the morning.
The 18-year-old Italian in the CIP Mahindra team qualified 17th, but stumbled at the start before closing on a huge leading group in a frantic dash. The top 18 were all across the line within just over 2.5 seconds after 66 kilometres of hectic, close racing.
Bezzecchi’s MGP3O was just off the back of this group, losing touch only on the final lap, after having fought throughout in the hope of finding a way up into the top 15 and into the points.
Mahindra’s other riders were out of luck. Aspar Mahindra team’s Lorenzo Dalla Porta was working his way up into the top 20 when he slipped off unhurt just after the halfway point of the race around the picturesque 5.0776-km circuit outside the country town of Alcaniz.
The next-best MGP3O rider was the second CIP rider Manuel Pagliani, who was 23rd after an early run-off meant he lost touch with the front group.
To be so close to adding further points was a disappointment to the only Indian constructor in the world championship series, but Bezzecchi’s speed was further proof that the MGP3O can hold its own with the front pack in the highly competitive Moto3 class.
With four races left, including three “flyaway” rounds in Japan, Australia and Malaysia, Mahindra can be confident of adding to its championship tally.
Marco Bezzecchi, CIP Mahindra
“A very tough race today. The rhythm from everyone was very high with the shorter race. I didn’t make a good start because I made a mistake with the clutch. In the first lap I tried to stay as close to the group as I could but I lost a bit coming out of the slow corners. I was able to make up a lot of time through the corners and eventually I was there, just at the tail of the group. I feel I’ve made a good race and I have learned a lot again. For sure I’m disappointed with the result because we walk away without points. I gave my best and will keep doing so in the next races, we must work hard there. A big thank you to the CIP team, the Mahindra guys and the VR46 Academy. Now we think of the triple.”
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
“We expect to finish in the points every race – so surely we are disappointed today. But at the same time Bezzecchi was with the lead pack, and again a better grid position and a good start would have helped him a lot. He was with the group until the last lap, but at the end he made sure of getting a finish. Now we look forward to the flyaways, and a good close to the 2017 season.”
Vierge clinches points on home soil – Gardner preservers in tough battle
Xavi Vierge completed the Aragon GP in 14th after delivering a determined performance in the challenging sprint. He began from the ninth row and quickly started running a rapid rhythm as he manoeuvred his way through the ultra-aggressive pack. The Spaniard duelled with Lorenzo Baldassarri right up to the chequered flag, which he met in 14th having impressively moved up 11 places from his grid position.
Meanwhile, Remy Gardner endured a demanding afternoon but rode relentlessly in the 21 lap sprint to finish 20th. The young Australian began from 17th and after a tricky start, he remained focused and maintained a consistent pace. He set his fastest time on the final lap and now confidently looks on to the upcoming triple flyaway races.
Position: 14th - Championship: 14th - Points: 58
“It certainly was a challenging weekend, but firstly, I have to say thank you to the Tech3 Racing Team as they worked really hard up until the race, in order to discover what the issue was and to give me the best possible bike. I am happy with how the GP went because I started from 25th but I got back to 14th, which means two points, and I will take the positives. Fortunately, tomorrow we have a test here where we aim to understand our situation more and then try to find a good setup for the Asia tour. Again, thanks to my crew for their efforts.“
Position: 20th - Championship: 19th - Points: 17
“The race was disappointing for me. After the first corner, Pons cut across and hit me, which meant that I nearly crashed and it caused me to lose a lot of time and positions. This put me on the back foot but then, one lap later another rider touched me before the back straight and I lost a second or two and a few more places so it didn’t start in a good way. In addition, the bike felt a bit strange and there was some chatter. We took the gamble but unfortunately, it didn’t pay off this weekend. Luckily, we have a test here tomorrow and we have work to do."
“It was a reasonably positive weekend for the Tech3 Racing Moto2 team. We knew our grid position was far from ideal but despite that, Xavi had a decent start, got his head down and pushed. He produced some really fast lap times, which were very similar to the riders inside the top ten, and occasionally even better. Xavi managed to get back up to 13th in the last laps but just lost out to Baldassarri on the final lap by only 0.070. However, 14th means two more points in the championship. It was a tough yet strong weekend and, as usual, he never gave up plus the whole team worked hard. This class is so competitive that I think to end up in the top 15 is a great reward and something to be proud of. I am also quite happy with how Remy did. We confirmed that he will stay with us for 2018 and he rode well in both the wet and dry conditions. In the race, he also pushed non-stop, but there was a small issue half way through which caused him to lose some time. Yet, in the closing stages, he was catching the guys in front of him who are strong Moto2 riders. Remy also set his fastest lap right at the end of the sprint, which is promising and we must remember that he is only 18 and it’s his rookie season. We are pleased with our boys, even if we want to do better than 14th and 20th yet, in this class it’s always a tough fight but we are working."
Magic Morbidelli wins at Aragon
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli scored his eighth and most important win of the season so far in the Moto2 race at the Motorland Circuit in Aragon today.
A nerveless Morbidelli held off a last lap attack from Italian rival Mattia Pasini in a breathtaking conclusion to the 21-lap race.
It was a magical performance by Morbidelli who made his race-winning move on Pasini at turn nine on the final lap.
Morbidelli had taken control of the front running from the end of lap one but refused to take a cautious approach for the championship when Pasini mounted his late race challenge.
The victory was the perfect response by Morbidelli to the setback of crashing out of the previous race in Misano, which compromised his world championship campaign.
The 22-year-old Italian has now moved 21 points ahead nearest rival Tom Lüthi who finished fourth today.
Unfortunately Álex Márquez’s physical condition did not allow him to capitalise on his brilliant front row qualifying position.
The local favourite was forced to retire from the race after experiencing numbness in his left leg due to the hip injury sustained two weeks ago in Misano.
In the early laps Márquez had settled in third place in a brave bid for a podium finish but made the wise decision to retire and regain full fitness for the next race in Japan in three weeks.
Franco Morbidelli: 1st
“Nothing changed with my approach today, I raced as I always do, giving the maximum and this is what came out. I tried to push at the beginning and open a gap but then Pasini was closing fast and I had a decision to make. Stay calm and ride for the championship or fight. I kept fighting and went for the win so this victory gives me a lot of satisfaction.”
Álex Márquez: DNF
“The pain was not the main problem it was that my leg was going to sleep because of the swelling in my hip and pressure on the sciatic nerve. Before the race I knew this could happen; I decided to try but it was not possible to finish the race in this condition. Now I need to recover and be ready for the next race in Japan.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“Before the race I spoke with Franco and said make a safe race and control Lüthi for the points in the championship. Of course he did the exact opposite! Afterwards when you have the win it is a really nice feeling but for many laps it was a very hard and tense fight against Pasini. If Franco had been conservative today you could not have blamed him, but he did a great job and made up for the zero points from Misano. Before the race I thought if Álex could make the distance with his physical condition then sixth place would have been a good result but it was the best decision for Álex to stop early.”
12th position for Guevara in the race at Motorland Aragón, tough day for Rodrigo
The fourteenth race of the 2017 Moto3 World Championship was held today, at the circuit of Motorland Aragón. Because of a thick fog in the morning, the warm up was delayed and, afterwards, the race was also reduced to 13 laps.
Guevara could finish the warm up with the 12th time, only 1.021 seconds off the fastest. In the race, the Spaniard came back quickly in the first few laps, joining the first group. Juanfran crossed the finishing line in 12th position, as he grabs four points for the General Standings.
In this morning’s warm up, Rodrigo confirmed a solid performance and set the fifth time. In the race, Gabriel started from the 12th spot on the grid and he joined immediately the leading group. The Argentinian was fighting in the Top-10 when another rider made him crash, with five laps to go to the chequered flag.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 12th [RACE]
“It was a tough Sunday. In the warm up we had a decent pace and the track temperature was quite good. In the race, which was shortened to thirteen laps, we were starting from the back, yet things worked out well at the beginning. I had a great rhythm and I was in the first group. However, it was difficult to move on and overtake other riders. Everybody was very fast, specially because we had less laps. We could save the day, we got four points which are important for the Championship, mostly after two races that ended in two crashes. Clearly this wasn’t our best GP, but we could also notice that this circuit wasn’t really favourable to the KTM machines. We’ll have to work to try and prevent this from happening again in the flyaway races, we’ll check where we can improve. The positive side is that we finished really close to the winner, only 1.505 seconds behind him. We’ll try to find the tenth that we lose in each lap and we’ll figure out a way to stay in the front group.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: not classified [RACE]
“This looked like a positive day at the beginning. In the warm up we found a solution to feel more confident on used tyres and also in fast corners, which is where we were struggling a bit. In the race we had a solid start, I set two hot laps and I began my comeback. I got up to the sixth position. Afterwards, I made some small mistakes, but I was still feeling fine on the bike, with options to attack at the end. I was in the leading group, but on the eighth lap another rider hit me on turn seven. When I realised what was going on I found myself already on the ground. It’s a shame because it wasn’t out mistake, we were having a good race after a difficult weekend. That’s how races are sometimes, we need to learn from this and try to be stronger for the flyaway races. I think we can achieve some good results there.”
NAVARRO HALF HAPPY WITH ARAGON RACE RESULT
The smile in back on Jorge Navarro’s face, although still not fully. The 21-year-old Spanish rider is back to the type of results expected out of what is still his rookie season in the middleweight class of MotoGP. Jorge put together a great race at the MotorLand Aragón – despite not having the pace to race with the leaders – to claim a very important sixth place finish at the line.
The rider of Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 got a great start from the second row and got in the battle at the front with six other rivals. The battle with Binder and Corsi, however, did not allow him to stay with the front-runners. Navarro was nevertheless able to edge the Italian opponent by 0.2secs to equal his best result of the season.
With the ten points collected today, Navarro overtakes Marini and Vierge in the standings and keeps himself in contention for a top-10 overall finish – he is only 7 points away from 10th place.
6th - JORGE NAVARRO #9
“It’s been a good race, although it left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Yesterday I had the pace to stay with the leaders, but today with different conditions my feeling changed. It has been a positive weekend nevertheless, maybe the best of the season and surely the best race start of the year. I enjoyed the battle with Corsi – one of the most expert riders in the class – and I’m sure it’ll help my learning curve.”
Bendsneyder and Antonelli miss out on just reward in Aragon
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 riders finish 17th and 18th, respectively, at MotorLand Aragon after fighting for points until the last lap.
09/24/2017 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team finished the Aragon GP more satisfied with their performance than their results, having battled for points throughout the race. Niccolo Antonelli finished 18th after an unlucky last lap, dropping down from 11th, while Bo Bendsneyder placed one position ahead, in 17th. The race was contested over just 13 laps and started late, at 11:40am, due to the thick mist that also forced the postponement of the warmup.
The progression of Antonelli, who started 20th, took him into the points with five laps remaining. Running a great pace, the Italian approached the lead group and was in 11th on the last lap. However, he went wide on the first corner and was clipped by another rider, relegating him to 18th place at the chequered flag.
Bendsneyder was also less than three seconds behind the leading group, but was unable to get into the points-scoring positions at any time during the 13-lap race. The Dutchman lost time on the long straight, having to recover the lost seconds on the corners. Nevertheless, he maintained a steady pace and fought in his group to finish right in front of his teammate, in 17th place.
After fourteen rounds, Bendsneyder is 13th overall with 48 points, while Antonelli is 20th with 16 points. The Red Bull KTM Ajo will extend their stay in Aragon for a day of testing on Monday.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It was another difficult weekend in Moto3. Friday was very positive, Saturday wasn't a bad day for us, except for the lap times in the qualifying. Although we know that it is a challenge in this class, we have to start from better positions on the grid. Today in the race we weren't far from the front, but we have to find some solutions because we just didn't manage to catch them, although our pace is not bad at all. "
23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
"It was a shame because on the first corner of the last lap, when we were fighting for some higher positions, I lost the rear a little and I had to run off track in order not to fall. It's a pity, because I was overtaken by six riders and I really wanted to take those points after how qualifying went. Today I felt much better; yesterday I had a fever that affected me a lot, but I felt good physically today. It was a very hard fought race, and I hope that next time we can do better."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"This circuit suits my riding style quite well, but only the corners; on the straights I lose a lot of time. We had a good pace, as even when the group was riding in the 1:59s I was putting in 1:58s, but whenever I caught them they would get away on the straights again. That happened throughout the race, although I am happy with the times we set. Tomorrow we have a test here, so we will try to find something that will help us on these sections of the circuit and we will try some new parts, which will also help us arrive more prepared in Japan."
Disappointing outcome of the “Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon”
Press release race Aragon GP
At the Grand Prix of Aragon the squad of Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT planned to build on the positive result of the last race and attack the top 15 but in the end Kornfeil and Pulkkinen only finished 25th and 29th.
Just like yesterday the start into the Sunday was under the weather. Due to persistent fog the warm up of the Moto3TM category had to be delayed and therefor shortened. Luckily the race which was delayed as well and started at 11.40am was held under beautiful sunshine.
Again the starting grid had to be revised after the qualifying because a bunch of riders where penalized for irresponsible riding. Kornfeil and Pulkkinen where the lucky ones moving up to 22nd and 29th position.
Following the delays of the warm ups race direction decided to shorten the Moto3TM race to 13 laps only and therefor the protagonists started full gas right away.
Kornfeil got of the line quite well but an overtake in the first corner made him go wide. He dropped down to 27th position and from there a position inside the top 20 was out of reach once again.
The extremely long straight at the MotorLand did one last thing and split up the grid into many little groups during the race distance.
Even though the experienced Czech could close the gap to the group in front of him while he was 27th he couldn´t finish better than 25th eventually.
Team mate Pulkkinen had to share a similar fate. He already lost a few positions at the start and an almost-crash afterwards made him lose contact to his group completely. Together with rider Toba he tried to catch the rest of the grid but the gap got bigger lap by lap and the Rookie crossed the finish line in 29th position.
Now it´s time for the teams of the FIM Motorcycle World Championship to prepare their 3 weeks journey to Asia in two weeks time.
#84 Jakub Kornfeil (P25):
“The whole race was a really though one. I didn´t feel good on the bike and couldn´t find a good rhythm. For the race we changed the rear spring to a softer one but I wasn´t really happy with that. I tried to push but instead of getting faster I was losing positions. From the moment Pagliani past me in the corner and I had to go wide everything was going in the wrong direction. I am really unhappy about today because during the weekend I felt really good and I was sure we can get a good result here.”
#4 Patrik Pulkkinen (P29):
“There is not much to say about the race. It was just not good. My start was bad and the rest of the race wasn´t any better. I almost crashed in the second lap and this made me lose the contact to my group. It was so hard to get back there because I had no grip in the rear and the gap got bigger and bigger. The only positive thing today was my first lap. I could improve my fastest lap time by one second compared to the other sessions.”
Florian Prüstel (Managing Director):
„On both sides this race was not good at all. At the beginning Jakub was doing well but after one overtake he lost the line and therefor his group. At such a short race distance it was not possible for him to make up for that. Patrik´s race already started quite bad and then he could only just prevent a crash. Positions 25 and 29 are simply a disappointment and we have to improve a lot overseas.”
Dalla Porta's comeback foiled by a crash at in Motorland
His Mahindra Pull&Bear Aspar teammate Albert Arenas finishes Aragon Grand Prix in twenty-seventh position
Joan Mir has one hand on the Moto3 title after scoring his eighth victory of the season in Aragon. Mir left it late to make his mark on the front pack, emerging over the final few laps to overcome Fabio di Giannantonio, Enea Bastianini and Jorge Martin to take a win that leaves him 80 points clear of Romano Fenati, tenth today, with Aron Canet a further 98 points back. With just a hundred points available, Mir could be crowned champion at the Japanese Grand Prix.
After starting from the back of the grid due to a penalty, Lorenzo dalla Porta's comeback at Motorland ended with a crash. The Mahindra Pull&Bear Aspar rider had made it up to the top twenty when he lost the rear and fell, hurting his ankle, although a visit to the medical centre ruled out any injuries. His teammate Albert Arenas fought throughout today's race with vibrations on the bike that he already felt yesterday, which prevented him from making much progress from the seventh row of the grid.
27th Albert Arenas: "It has been a strange end to a difficult weekend during which we have not managed to be fast or comfortable. From the third free practice I started to feel vibrations in the bike and it was no better in the race. I tried to fight to the end with the problem and focus on riding. We'll see what has happened, but now it's time to get ready for the Asian trip."
Lorenzo dalla Porta (DNF): "The crash was a pity because after the sanction and starting from the back I was making up positions and was already up to the top twenty. I opened the gas and I lost the rear wheel, it threw me into the air and I hit the ground. I did some damage to my right ankle and I had to go to the medical centre, but they ruled out any injuries, so from now on it's about thinking about Japan."
Miguel Oliveira gets back on the podium at Aragon
Portuguese rider takes third place at MotorLand Aragon, after an interesting race. Brad Binder makes another great fightback to place 5th
09/24/2017 - MotorLand Aragon, Spain
The duo of Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder once again brought joy to the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team this Sunday at the Aragon GP. Although he was not able to fight for victory, Oliveira claimed his sixth podium of the season after finishing third. Binder made his umpteenth raceday comeback -this time gaining 15 places- to finish fifth, his best position in Moto2, for the second consecutive race weekend.
Oliveira suffered during the initial laps, in which he kept in the fight for third place. After an intense tussle to escape from the pack, the Portuguese rider managed to open a gap and begin his pursuit of the race leaders. After cutting 3 seconds off the gap to both, only 6 tenths separated him from the winner at the chequered flag. The podium was Oliveira's sixth of 2017.
Binder has gained a reputation as the World Championship's 'comeback kid', and he produced another excellent performance this Sunday. Starting from twentieth position, the South African moved up eight places on the opening lap. On Lap 3 he was tenth, and with seven laps left he entered the Top 5. From this moment on, Binder went all-out and pushed for fourth position -which he would eventually miss out on by just 0.150s.
Oliveira and Binder come into the Asian flyaway rounds, which starts in three weeks' time, third -with 157 points- and tenth -with 67 points- in the overall standings. Before that, both will participate in a day of testing at MotorLand Aragon on Monday.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It's been an excellent day. The feeling is the same as after a big victory, because the two riders had a great performance, our KTM is performing very well and we had no problems during the weekend. Of course, we have to see how we can do better, but overall I am very happy and we will go into the coming races with a lot of strength."
41 BRAD BINDER
"To start from 20th position of the grid and finish 5th is reason to be more than happy. This morning in the warmup I felt much more comfortable than yesterday; we took a step forward and I went almost 3 tenths faster than in qualifying. Before starting the race I was a bit nervous, because I knew that if I worked hard and everything was perfect, I could have the opportunity to get close to the riders at the front. At first it was difficult because it's hard to pass riders on the opening corners here, but I was patient and overtook riders steadily.
I can't thank my team enough for what they have done today. I felt that I had the best bike on the grid. We have a test tomorrow, in which we will try some things and I would like to improve my riding as well; I think we can take another step forward."
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"It has been a very good and a very solid weekend. This podium is very important for us after not being able to score points at Misano. I felt very strong all weekend, but at the beginning of the race we lost some time that we weren't able to recover later on. Anyway, overall it has been a very positive Grand Prix for us. Now we have three races in a row that I like a lot, where I usually get good results, so I will be very focused and we will give everything at Motegi."
Gran Premio de Aragón: Race
There are tracks where the Marinelli Rivacold Snipers team can't express his potential. As in Austria, even at Aragon, we suffered for the whole weekend. Brakings and restarts do not put Romano and his Honda in the position to fight for the victory and crossing the finishing line tenth, after having won the GP of Misano with 30 seconds of advantage, is not what expected. Jules closed twentieth.
Romano Fenati: "Today I played defense. I was not able to overtake. I was missing power. I did all the race hanged and I crossed the line twice".
Jules Danilo: "Today we expected something more but during the race we had some braking problems which didn't allow me to follow the top riders after the start. I did my best today but now we have to analyze the problem and look forward"!
TOP15 FOR THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 AT ARAGON
Good placements for Francesco Bagnaia and Stefano Manzi respectively in the tenth and fifteenth position under the checkered flag.
Alcaniz (Spain), September 24, 2017 - Francesco Bagnaia and Stefano Manzi finish with good placements the Aragon GP at MotorLand. After a complicated qualifying, both riders of the Sky Racing Team VR46 are in the points respectively in the tenth and 15th place.
Bagnaia, the 12th on the grid, once again proves his race maturity, handling in the best way a problem on the gearbox that occurred just in the first laps of the race. Tenth the end of the 21 laps, Pecco confirms the fifth place in the overall standings with 130 points, first Rookie.
Great recovery for Manzi who started from the 27th box of the starting line. Stefano, twentieth after the first lap, was able to set his pace and was 15th under the checkered flag.
It was not an easy weekend for the Team and close with Pecco in the Top10 and Stefano into the points is a positive thing. Pecco was very strong in the last laps of the race, but we have to go back to work to give him the same confidence he had two, three races ago. Stefano made a great recovery showing another time the value of his growth path.
It was a toughest race than we expected: this morning I had a problem with the gearbox, which also appeared in the race, and with the brake lever that was touching the gas. In these conditions it was almost impossible to be able to push at 100%. I tried to do my best and I approached the group in front of me. The last laps, due to the consumption of the back tyre, I could not be aggressive, but overall I have conquered another important place in the Top10 and, in the standings, I approached Marquez and Oliveira. We have to go back to work and recover the same feeling of a few weeks ago.
I'm happy to have conquered the points area, but it was not an easy race. The qualifying was very difficult, the worst session since Silverstone, and I started from the bottom of the group. This morning in the warm up we tried a change and in the race I immediately recovered several positions at the first turn. I tried to set my pace and I back to the point zone. In the last 3 laps, I had a problem with the gearbox and I did not close very strong, but I'm happy with the race and would like to thank all the guys of the Team.
Forward Racing Team’s Baldassarri takes home hard-fought points in Aragon
The Aragon Grand Prix got underway today in bright sunshine, after some fog hampered the proceedings this morning. Thereby, Lorenzo Baldassarri was able to score vital championship points after some tough battles, while Luca Marini didn’t get the well-deserved laurels after a solid display over the weekend.
During this morning’s warm up, which was shortened by five minutes, Baldassarri and his experienced crew took advantage of the information collected yesterday and fine-tuned his race setup. Later on, when the 21-lap encounter got underway the 20-year old got off a good start, although he was involved in some hard duels during the initial laps, whereby he found himself shifted back in 18th position. From the second lap onwards, Baldassarri fought back to recover one position after another to finally complete the race in 13th, which.
On the other side of the Forward Racing Team garage, Marini improved with each outing during this weekend’s 14th round of the 2017 Moto2 World Championship. In warm up he was missing just half a second to the top of the timesheets. With a decent start, he managed to defend his position in the highly-competitive field and was waiting for the right moment to attack the top 10, when he could not prevent to lose the front of his Kalex machine in turn eight during the tenth lap of the race. Fortunately, the promising Italian came away from the crash without any serious consequences.
Now the entire Forward Racing Team takes a short break, before the World Championship heads over to Japan for the first stage of the annual triple oversea rounds, kicking off in less than three weeks’ time.
Lorenzo Baldassarri - 13th (+21.243)
“It was my target to finish the race and that’s what we did, plus we learned many things for the future with this bike, therefore I’m quite satisfied. I’m not completely happy though, as obviously, the result doesn’t reflect our potential. I started very well and passed the entire row in front of me in the first corners, but a bit later another rider overtook me aggressively and I went wide, so I fell back a bit. From there, it was difficult to catch up, because I needed some laps to feel comfortable with the bike again and until could reach the group in front of me, some time passed. Later on, I was doing well, but then the tyre started to drop towards the end and I could just manage to pass two more riders before the chequered flag came. However, I’m pleased to leave Aragon with some points and for sure we will be stronger in Japan in a couple of weeks.”
Luca Marini - DNF
“Overall, we headed well prepared into today's race. I knew that the MotorLand would be a difficult place for me, but thanks to our good work during the weekend, I had a quite decent feeling during the shortened warm up this morning. At the beginning of the race when the lights went out, I came off the line well and during the course of the first laps, I could keep the speed of the first group as I followed the guys in front, studying their lines. About the crash, there's not much I can say as I honestly don't know what happened. It's a pity as we missed out on a solid result today, but that's racing. To take the positives away, we clearly made a step also here in Aragon, which is one of the most difficult tracks for me. Now we'll analyze the data to come back stronger for the upcoming flyaway rounds starting in Motegi.”
Giovanni Cuzari - Team Owner
“This 14th round has definitely been a very tricky one for our Forward Racing Team. The facilities are ultra-modern, but the track layout isn’t easy at all. Lorenzo showed a solid performance today, taking home at least a few important points and it’s good to see him back finishing races after the recent difficulties. On Luca’s side, we did expect a complicated weekend as Aragon is definitely not his favorite track, but he has shown one more time how much he improved during the last twelve months, by being just half a second off the pace in this morning’s warm up. Unfortunately, during the race a minor mistake prevented him from finishing the 21 laps, but that’s all part of the growing progress. I’m sure he will be back even stronger in Japan. I want to thank all the guys in our team for their excellent work at all times and of course, we need to mention our fantastic sponsors, who make all this possible. The Spanish crowd was amazing today, but even more important for me personally was to have Martina and her family with us for this Aragon GP. Diseases like hers are still very unknown and the families affected need our help, therefore it has been a great joy to invited them and get the possibility to spend all this precious moments together.”
McPhee takes solid sixth at MotorLand
British Talent Team leave the #AragonGP with a good haul of points
John McPhee had a great race at MotorLand Aragon in what is almost another 'home' race for the Brit, taking sixth and some solid points to move up to sixth in the Championship.
Losing slightly off the line from his P7 grid position, the Scot stayed in the front freight train throughout the race and chose his moment wisely to begin moving through. Making progress through the latter laps - with the race distance shortened to 13 laps due to fog delays earlier in the day - the BTT rider was able to cross the line in P6; a margin ahead of the man behind and only two tenths off the top five. McPhee alse feels he could have done more over the full distance.
Now it's crunch time as the paddock prepares for the flyaways. First up is the Twin Ring Motegi, as McPhee aims to keep bagging the points to move up in the fight for the top five in the title.
John McPhee, P6: "I feel like we’ve had a really successful weekend as a team and we’ve managed to make a small step forward. All through practice and qualifying we’ve managed to up our game a little bit so it’s really good to see that everything’s working so well. I think with a couple more laps we could potentially have challenged for the win today, so the shorter race distance was disappointing but it was the same for everyone. Me and my crew chief made a joint decision to use the soft tyre – it could have been risky but it seemed to work pretty good. We started with a tyre that had already done a couple of laps in qualifying and it worked well, we were the only ones on that tyre to finish the race in the top twenty. It was a good achievement all round. I’m happy with how things are progressing, we’ve got a really clear progression now heading into the three overseas races and we know what we need with the bike and from me. I feel like we can up our game and really show our potential before the year ends."
8th for Nakagami in Aragon
DNF for Pawi
Rd.14 GRAN PREMIO MOVISTAR DE ARAGÓN: Sunday, September 24, 2017
Weather: Dry Ambient: 26℃ / Track: 37℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami finished 8th place to secure 8 championship points at the Aragon Grand Prix today. Malaysian Teammate Khairul Idham Pawi retired from the race on Lap 16 due to a mechanical failure.
At 12:40 pm, Nakagami started the race from 10th grid on Row 4. Although the Japanese rider, who had already set the 4th quickest time in this morning’s Warm Up, lost contact with the leaders in the beginning, he regained consistent pace and chased the frontrunners hard until the end.
Meanwhile, Pawi suffered from inconsistent engine revs and decided to go back to the pit box because he thought it was too dangerous to continue.
Race weekend for the next race, the Japanese Grand Prix, commences on October 13 at TwinRing Motegi, with Free Practice 1 for the intermediate class starting at 10:55 am local time (GMT +9).
Takaaki Nakagami （8th, 40’17.534 / +7.630）
“I lost some positions and couldn’t gain a good pace in the opening lap, which is why I finished where I did today. If I had ridden more aggressively in the beginning, I would have had better results, because I set a very competitive pace in the final stages. Now I realize I have to improve this area, and I think it is a positive thing that I learned from this race. I will fix this issue to be able to fight for victory at the Japanese Grand Prix.”
Khairul Idham Pawi （DNF, 29’23.400 / +6Laps）
“Right after the start, I had a strange feeling with the engine's revs. It was not consistent and really difficult for me to control. I would have liked to have finished the race, but I had to go back to the pit box, and decided to retire because I thought it was dangerous to keep on riding. For the next race in Motegi, I will do my best again.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“We knew Taka has a strong pace in the second half of the race, but he was not fast enough in the opening laps, which cost us today’s race. In Motegi, he can improve this area to be competitive to get good results. For Pawi, I feel sorry for him because we had expected him to improve his best lap time in the race, but the mechanical issue hampered our plans. We will look into what the cause of this issue was in order to be well prepared for Motegi.”
Toba Completes 13 Lap Sprint in Aragon
DNF for Atiratphuvapat
Rd.14 GRAN PREMIO MOVISTAR DE ARAGÓN: Sunday, September 24, 2017
Weather: Dry Ambient: 22℃ / Track: 30℃
Honda Team Asia’s Moto3 rookie Kaito Toba completed today’s Aragon Grand Prix, crossing the finish line in 28th place. Teammate Nakarin Atiratphuvapat had an unfortunate crash on Lap 3, and retired.
Due to heavy fog in the morning, the race for the light-weight category was shortened from 20 laps to a 13-lap sprint, starting at 11:40 am.
Toba was off to a solid start from a tough 27th grid, and kept his concentration until the end to bring his bike to the goal line. Atiratphuvapat had a fantastic start from the 26th grid, improving his position with fast pace. On Lap 3, however, another rider touched him from the outside, and the Thai rider fell at Turn 14.
For the next race weekend, the Japanese Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 is set to start at 9:00 (GMT +9) local time on October 13.
Kaito Toba（28th, 26’32.253 / +34.646）
“In the beginning, I had a good rhythm. But on Lap 3, I lost that good feeling with the bike's rear and on entering turns, so I couldn’t keep my pace anymore. I struggled throughout this weekend. For the next race in Motegi, I have to cut off this vicious cycle and get a good rhythm back.”
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat （DNF, 4’05.654 / +11Laps）
“Right after the start, I set a good lap time and improved my position. On Lap 3, another rider who had run off the track suddenly came back in front and touched from the outside, and I crashed. It’s a great pity that we couldn’t get a good result, but I try to keep positive because the next race is our team’s home grand prix.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Nakarin had a good start and improved his positions with a good pace, however, on Lap 3, another rider touched him from outside, and he fell at Turn 14. It’s a shame because he kept a good pace until the crash, which was not his mistake. Kaito didn’t get good rhythm this weekend. For the next race in Motegi, he knows the track very well, so I think he can get back his original competitiveness.”
Sandro Cortese celebrates best dry race of the year
Aegerter to stay with Suter and Kiefer Racing in 2018
Suter rider Sandro Cortese battled his way to ninth place at Sunday’s Grand Prix of Aragón, celebrating his “best dry race of this season” so far. The rider of German Dynavolt Intact team, who had also scored a Top Ten result in the rain at Misano two weeks before, was in best form again at the sunny and hot MotorLand Aragón and showed that the all-new Suter MMX2 is a contender for top results on any track and under any conditions. “I was fast on a wet track on Friday and I was fast again on Saturday and Sunday when the sun returned”, smiled Cortese. “Towards the end of the race, I got closer to the three riders in front of me, but I decided to bring this result home instead of taking too many risks. I am happy, because we are right on track with the settings of the bike. I now look forward to the upcoming races in Japan, Australia and Malaysia, on tracks that I like a lot.”
Dominique Aegerter, who had won the previous race at Misano in heavy rain, could not quite meet the sky-high expectations of his Swiss fans at Aragón. “MotorLand was never his favourite track”, said his German team manager Stefan Kiefer after Aegerter’s twelfth place in the race. “I was fast on the opening laps and I really hoped to score a result within the top seven, but the rear tyre degraded rapidly and it was increasingly difficult to control the bike. As the race went on, I also developed a back pain, because I was too tense on the bike”, admitted Aegerter.
The best news from his side had come on Thursday, when he and his Kiefer Racing Team announced the continuation of their successful partnership in the 2018 season. “I feel good in the team, I feel good on the bike, I get the full support from Suter Racing with the set-up and the further development of our machine, and I won a race at only the 13th Grand Prix weekend with the Suter MMX2. I am highly motivated and I really look forward to the future, because as we keep learning our way with the new bike, I know that we can achieve regular strong results in the future”, explained Aegerter.
The Grand Prix of Aragón also marked the return of Marcel Schrötter, Sandro Cortese’s partner in Team Dynavolt Intact. The Bavarian rider had broken the scaphoid bone in his left wrist back in July and had missed four races, but found back to his rhythm almost immediately aboard his Suter MMX2. Only the race presented too much of a challenge: Schrötter was in front of Cortese in the early stages, but dropped back with increasing pain in his wrist and retired towards the end, when he couldn’t control the clutch any more. “I am really disappointed and sorry for the team”, said Schrötter. “The only good thing is that we a have break of almost three weeks before practice starts for the next Grand Prix in Japan. This should give me enough time to recover more and to return to full strength!”