Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the final round of the season:
MARTIN WRAPS UP 2017 IN STYLE WITH MAIDEN WIN AT VALENCIA
After nine pole position and eight podium finishes, Jorge Martin took a well-deserved maiden Moto3 World Championship win today after a superb performance at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo Circuit – the track which hosted this weekend the season finale of MotoGP.
After heading the field in both previous days – except for FP1 – the Spanish rider of team Del Conca Gresini Moto3 kept a cool head and a superb pace for all the 24 laps of the encounter around the twisty 4km home track to clinch a long-awaited first trip to the top step of the rostrum.
It was a Sunday to forget for Fabio Di Giannantonio, who had his eyes set on the podium before a scary coming together with Ramirez on the main straight – from which he fortunately escaped unhurt.
“This was a superb and crucial win for Jorge” says an ecstatic team Manager Fausto Gresini “who deserved it all year long. It was tough year for him due to the injury, but he was able to wrap it up in style. It was a difficult end to what was an up-and-down season for Fabio, but he did quite well anyway this year. I’m pretty sure next year our team is going to be even more competitive!”
1st - JORGE MARTIN #88
“I wanted to pull away right from the start, but then Rodrigo tried to pass me and from then it was not easy. When I got back to the front and saw that I had a two-second gap I kept pushing until the end. It was not easy to stay fully focused but today – maybe for the first time this weekend – I did not make any mistake, and that never happened before. To win the last race of the season is truly amazing, but we will back on track in two weeks and we must work hard to try and get to the top in 2018.”
DNF - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #21
“We were on the right path to finish the season on a high note, but we still had a bit of back luck chasing us. I was hoping to finish on the podium but I don’t really know what happened on the straight: I can’t even define what it was and I don’t think it was 100% my fault, but in any case I crashed out and threw away a good chance for good race. Now we must keep our head down and work hard for next year.”
Oliveira wins and Binder places third in dream season finale
Portuguese wins third consecutive Grand Prix and is joined on the podium by Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate, as the project’s first season in Moto2 comes to a close.
11/12/2017 - Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Spain
The first season for Red Bull KTM Ajo in Moto2 finished in the best way possible at the Valencia GP, as Miguel Oliveira took a third consecutive victory in the race. In addition, Brad Binder was also on the podium for the third round in a row, placing third.
Unlike his two previous victories, at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit Miguel Oliveira had to fight his way through the field. At the start of the race, the Portuguese rider joined teammate Binder and another rider in pursuit of first-placed Franco Morbidelli, progressing to second place in 10 laps. Despite the gap of 1.8 seconds between he and the Italian, Oliveira upped his pace to catch and overtake him with 6 laps remaining, capping the season with a win.
A similar script was followed by Binder, who rode behind Oliveira and closed in on the podium spots for a final assault on Lap 12. Increasing his pace, the South African broke away from the rider in fourth, but was unable to catch the pair out in front. The 2017 rookie rounded off the rostrum and continued his excellent progress made in the final stage of his rookie season.
The duo, who will continue representing Red Bull KTM Ajo in the Moto2 World Championship next season, finished 2017 with Oliveira in 3rd place overall -241 points- and Binder in 8th -125 points. Post-season testing at the end of KTM’s first campaign in Moto2 kicks off on Thursday at Jerez.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"This end to the season in Moto2 has been incredible, and we couldn’t have asked for more. Three wins and three further podiums, in three races. I have no words to describe it. None of us could have expected this; I don’t know how to express how grateful I am to everyone. We have to thank the riders, the staff, KTM, Red Bull and all the partners. Without them we could not be where we are. We are all very motivated for next year, we have a great challenge ahead and we face it with great enthusiasm."
41 BRAD BINDER
"I am very happy to be back on the podium. Unfortunately I made some mistakes during the race, but you learn from everything. I want to congratulate Miguel [Oliveira] and Franco [Morbidelli], because they did an incredible job both today and throughout the season.
It's an incredible feeling to think about how we started out in Qatar, finishing the race 20th and 34 seconds behind the winner, and to now see that we have taken three consecutive podiums. We have undergone an incredible evolution over the course of this year. Every time I got on the bike I learned something, I learned how to handle the KTM better and now I have almost mastered it perfectly.
I look forward to seeing what next year brings!"
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"It was a dream final Grand Prix. I came to this race in Valencia with the sole intention of having fun and we achieved that; I am very happy with this result. We would never have imagined that we could put together a run of three consecutive victories. I cannot thank the team and KTM enough for all the effort they have made throughout the season. It has been a very good season for us and I'm sure that next year we can do even better and fight for the title -which should be the goal."
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 close 2017 season with Aron Canet third in Moto3 final standings
Spanish rider crosses the line in ninth at the Valencian GP, earning third place overall. Enea Bastianini finishes fiveth at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
The final round of the Moto3 World Championship season took place this Sunday, and the Valencian GP was held amidst excellent weather conditions. Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders Aron Canet and Enea Bastianini both concluded the season with positive results.
Aron Canet came into the race aiming to seal third place in the World Championship, and showed his motivation in the warmup by setting the fourth best time. At the start of the race he slotted into the Top 10, then battled to leave behind the second group and catch the first –led at the time by teammate Bastianini. As the laps went by, the fight for positions intensified and positions were rapidly swapped. Canet would eventually cross the line in ninth place, achieving his goal of third in the standings with 199 points. He thus ends a brilliant campaign, in which he has won three races.
Bastianini was tenth in the warmup and occupied fourth at the beginning of the race. During the opening laps, the Italian assessed the strategies of his rivals and found himself in second position, amidst a group of riders chasing runaway leader Jorge Martin. Shortly after, he left the pack behind, but when the race reached its last lap he was relegated to fifth position. Bastianini concludes the season in sixth position with 141 points.
"Aron Canet's progress this year is reflected by his third place in the standings"
"Our two riders have been competitive throughout the weekend and we had the hope of fighting for the podium or for the victory, but Jorge Martín maintained a very strong pace and our riders did not managed to position themselves well on the last lap. It’s a pity, since in Moto3 the margins are minimal. Aron Canet's progress this year is reflected by his third place in the standings, which has been a great experience for him. Enea Bastianini has also had a very positive end to the season, and it is just a shame that he could not reach that good level before."
5th, + 3.999
"I'm happy to have finished high up"
"I'm happy about our race. At the beginning I tried to push very hard to be up there with the leader, but I saw that it would not be possible. I still insisted, at least to escape from the riders behind me. I pushed the tyres a lot and at the end of the race I was really on the limit. I'm happy to have finished high up and to say goodbye to the Estrella Galicia 0,0 team with a race like that. The team have treated me really well. This season I have been taught a very good and intense method of working, and to remain focused at all times. I would have liked to have been able to dedicate a podium to them, but it wasn’t possible -even though I gave my all."
9th, + 5.218
"I am very happy to have achieved third in the standings"
"We can look back on the season positively. Finishing third with three wins, two further podiums and two pole positions in the Moto3 World Championship is something I would have taken if I had been offered it at the beginning of the season. We have gained valuable experience for next year. I would say that this race has been the most difficult of the year, since I had to make calculations about positions as Jorge Martin escaped. I preferred just to stay in the Top 10. I was afraid I would be taken out by another rider in a racing incident. In the end we did not have any mishaps and I am very happy to have achieved third place in the standings."
BURN OUT MOTO3
CHAMPIONSHIP: MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
TEAM: MARINELLI RIVACOLD SNIPERS TEAM
RIDERS: FENATI N. 5 - DANILO N. 95
BIKE: HONDA NSF250RW
DATE: 12 NOVEMBER 2017
CIRCUIT: VALENCIA - COMUNITAT VALENCIANA
Test of character of Romano Fenati, able to be one of the protagonists of the race in a difficult weekend. The rider from Ascoli plunged the balde in the second part of the race fighting for the podium until the last corner. Second in the Campionship, fourth in the race: a good way to close the Moto3 career waiting for the test with the new Kalex to repeat the duel with Mir in the middle class. Jules Danilo, after a difficult race start closed nineteenth. Even the French rider is leaving the Moto3 and will be in the middle class next year.
Romano Fenati: "I am happy as I imagined my last Moto3 race like this: full of overtakes until the end and with a final burn out. I am leaving this class as vice champion and I think it's good. I am looking forward to try the Moto2 which is physically more congenial for me. I 'll tell you more after the first two days of test we will do next week but I am confident".
Jules Danilo: "I really wanted to get a better result in my last moto3 race but, after a contact with Pagliani in the first laps, I lost ten positions and the contact with the front group. I would like to thank my team and my chief technician for the job done this year. It was a difficult season but we always believe in our work and we improved in the final part of the season".
Guevara wraps up the 2017 season with a sixth position in the race at Valencia, crash for Rodrigo
The Moto3 riders got out on track today for the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana.
This morning’s warm up was important for Guevara and his crew, who could confirm the final decisions for the KTM setting. The Spaniard could move up a couple of positions right at the beginning of the race, reaching the Top-10 immediately. After few laps, Juanfran managed to join the battle for the podium. In spite of a couple of tricky moments, Guevara crossed the finishing line within the Top-10, ending in sixth position and grabbing 10 points for the 2017 Championship Classification.
Rodrigo was once again one of the fastest on track in this morning’s warm up, setting the fifth fastest lap. In the race, Gabriel put in a strong start from the front row, fighting straight away for the lead. On the third lap, the Argentinian crashed out and was forced to abandon the race.
#58 Juanfran Guevara: 6th [CARRERA]
“I’m happy with this weekend, all the team did a great job. Generally speaking this was a positive Grand Prix, we were very fast in the free practices and, in spite of not setting a competitive lap in the QP, we made up in the race: we got as far as the second position. This race was affected by quite a few tricky moments and touches with other riders, but as a whole it worked out fine. I’m satisfied with the comeback, we wrap up the year with a good base for the upcoming season, it’s quite important to finish on a high note. This sixth position moves us up in the Championship Classification, getting us closer to the Top-10. I believe that through the year we had a solid progression, I think both the team and I did a good job. We made a step forwards and I’m really looking forwards to starting the Championship again next year. However, before that I think we all need a bit of holidays in order to recharge our batteries ahead of 2018.”
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: not classified [CARRERA]
“This was the last race of the 2017 season and we had been competitive in the practices, we hadn’t made any mistake. However, maybe the desire to do well was excessive and that meant that our only mistake was in the race. It’s a shame because my objective was clear: I wanted to follow Martín, who had shown a great pace beforehand. In little more than a lap, we had managed to make a gap between the Top-3 and the rest. I think this was a race in which we had options to finish on the podium, or at least to fight for it. We keep learning from our mistakes. All the team deserved a good result here, but this is part of our job. We proved that we were competitive during the second half of the season, so we hold on to that bit. I’m sure that next year we will be very strong and that we can fight for the front positions, that’s our plan. We’ve learnt a lot and I’d like to thank my team for all the work they did this season. 2018 will be better.”
16TH PLACE FOR ANDREA MIGNO AT VALENCIA
The rider of the Sky Racing Team VR46 closes the season outside the Top15, second KTM rider in the standings.
Valencia (Spain), November 12th, 2017 - With the 16th place of Andrea Migno at the Valencia GP, the 2017 season ends for the Sky Racing Team VR6 in Moto3. Started from the 24th box of the starting line-up, Andrea recovers till the limits of the Top15 but fails to center the points area.
With today's zero, Andrea remains at 118 points in the overall standings (ninth) and loses the title of best KTM rider in favor of Ramirez. Andrea wins the Forever Forward Award, Dunlop's award to the rider who has recovered the highest number of positions during the season (129).
Due to the consequences of the crash in FP2, where he has reported the fracture of the right talus, Nicolò Bulega did not attend the race.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
It was not the result that we hoped for closing, after three years, our adventure with Andrea. Starting fro the bottom of the group compromised the race and the recovery till the second group was not enough to achieve the points needed for the title of the best KTM rider in the standings. Today we close an incredible growth path with many good memories, including the victory at Mugello. I wish Andrea a future full of personal and sporting satisfactions.
A race below our expectations: I'm disappointed, after the winning in Mugello, our real goal for the season was the title of best KTM rider in the standings. It was a difficult weekend, despite the work we done, I was never competitive and I'm sorry to have closed my experience in this Team in this way. It's been three fantastic years, I've had everything a rider can ask for and I've taken so much satisfaction.
Morbidelli ends season with second place in Valencia
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli completed his Moto2 World Championship season with a controlled second place in today’s final race in Valencia.
This was the 12th podium of Morbidelli’s brilliant season, which included eight race victories, more than double that of any of his rivals.
With six pole positions to his name Morbidelli was the dominant rider in Moto2 in advance of his move to MotoGP in 2018 with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS
Morbidelli and teammate Álex Márquez engaged in an early battle in the 27-lap race with Morbidelli leading the race from lap four to 22 before conceding the front running to eventual winner Miguel Oliveira.
Márquez started from pole position after a superb qualifying performance and was looking set to challenge for the podium.
But after a long battle with Brad Binder the podium assault faded with Márquez eventually finishing in fifth place as he struggled with grip levels. .
Márquez won three races and scored three poles in the 18-race season and finished fourth in the championship with 201 points.
Morbidelli’s Moto2 World Championship campaign ended with the Italian rider on top with 308 points.
Franco Morbidelli: 2nd
“This second place in Valencia is a great way to finish in Moto2 before starting the new chapter of my career in MotoGP. Early in the race I had a nice battle with Álex and then when I got to the front I pushed hard to make a gap knowing that Miguel Oliveira would try to chase me down late in the race. I gave everything to fight him for the win over the final five laps but today he was the faster rider.”
Álex Márquez: 5th
“From the first lap I did not have the same feeling and grip as in qualifying and the warm-up which was a little strange. I was expecting better than fifth place but I finished the race and we know what problems we have to work on to improve for next year. I am motivated and focussed to start the job at the test in Jerez later this week.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“I was hoping for a double podium here but we knew that the KTM riders were coming on strong late in the season. It was important for both Franco and Álex to finish the final race of the year and overall we have to be happy with the victories and podiums that delivered us the world championship this year. Now we start work for 2018 from the test in Jerez on Wednesday, we have a big job ahead of us.”
Hard fought race for relentless Gardner - Misfortune strikes Vierge in final Tech3 GP
Remy Gardner finished his full year in Moto2 with a determined fight in the challenging season finale. Gardner leapt forward when the lights went out and quickly set into his pace as the sun shone down on the Valencia circuit. Eventually, he crossed the finish line in 22nd to close the difficult weekend, but he confidently eyes up for the forthcoming 2018 tests.
Meanwhile, Xavi Vierge’s memorable season ended in an unfortunate way after he fell from 7th. The impressive Spaniard lunged forward from the third row and quickly joined the tussle for 5th. However, his luck changed on the 17th lap, marking a frustrating end to his highly positive time with Tech3. The entire team would like to thank Vierge for his efforts over the years and wish him luck for the future.
Position: 22nd - Championship: 21st - Points: 23
“I can’t hide how truly disappointed I am with this race. We tried a new setting and it didn’t suit me. I really struggled and in the end, I just made sure that I made it to the chequered flag. Hopefully, when we test this week and next, we can make a big step forward and try to start getting everything ready for the 2018 season, because we need to improve."
Position: DNF - Championship: 11th - Points: 98
“I am really frustrated with how the race finished today. Throughout the weekend, everything was so good and I started the GP with my objective being to finish in 10th in the championship. However, I had the same issue as last year in Valencia. As soon as I started, I felt that the bike didn’t slow down when the same amount of pressure was applied as normal and I couldn’t control the brakes as fully as I wanted to. In every corner, I did my best but when the tyres dropped, I fell. It’s a big shame because today could have been a very good race, yet, we had an issue that we couldn't control and a crash. I have to say thank you to the Tech3 Racing team for the amazing two and half years together.“
“This will be my final press release for the 2017 season, and we had a great time with Xavi Vierge so I want to thank him once more for his efforts as well as his never give up attitude. He made a real step up this year and he was riding another very strong race here in Valencia. Unfortunately, he crashed which was a big shame because we all know that he is going to leave us tonight and it would have been great to celebrate one final top eight finish which was highly possible. Thank you Xavi for everything you have done and we will miss you for sure. On the other side of the garage, Remy has had a tough weekend and he finished in 22nd. I think that he needs to find some consistency and it's a shame that he’s losing his teammate, who was a good reference for him. We are 100% behind Remy, which is why we signed him for another year. Yet, right now it’s a bit confusing about what is going on and it is disappointing. Anyway, the team will start testing in Jerez this week and then the week after in Valencia. Hopefully, he can find a new feeling for the 2018 season. Thanks to the entire crew, everyone worked very hard and now we will start preparing for 2018.“
Close Formation Finish for Mahindra’s Farewell
Valencia, Spain, 12 November 2017: Four Mahindra MGP3O machines crossed the line for the last time in today’s Valencia Moto3 GP close together, and within just 1.8 seconds – bowing out with a final close fight among colleagues and team-mates.
The final round of the 2017 Moto3 World Championship also marked Mahindra Racing’s withdrawal from the series. Mahindra is India’s only motorcycle manufacturer competing in a world championship, having entered MotoGP in 2011 to further develop its expertise in two-wheels and increase global brand recognition. The USD19 billion multinational company, based in Mumbai, soon found success. Within its first year of competition, Mahindra Racing achieved its first pole position, coming at the final round in Valencia as the 125cc two-stroke class came to a close.
The dawn of the four-stroke Moto3 era saw Mahindra Racing as one of only three manufacturers to develop and supply their own chassis and engine in the form of the Mahindra MGP3O. Success came quickly with Miguel Oliveira taking Mahindra Racing’s first pole of the four-stroke Moto3 category at the TT Circuit Assen in 2013, followed by a debut podium at the Malaysian GP the same year.
In 2014 Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder claimed three podiums between them. But Mahindra Racing’s best season came in 2016. Italian Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia achieved the Mahindra MGP3O’s debut victory in a thrilling race at the legendary TT Circuit Assen for the Mahindra Aspar Team, making Mahindra Racing the first and only Indian manufacturer to win a Grand Prix race. Two more wins would follow, one for John McPhee on the Peugeot in the Czech Republic and a second for Bagnaia in Malaysia - helping the Italian to achieve fourth overall, Mahindra Racing’s highest placing in the Riders’ Championship.
Despite a difficult start to the 2017 campaign, the MGP3O achieved a final podium at the Twin Ring Motegi thanks to Marco Bezzecchi on the CIP Mahindra, a debut podium for the Italian and the CIP team.
Having challenged and beaten the established racing order, Mahindra Racing leaves the Moto3 World Championship with its name in the history books. In just 123 Grand Prix starts, Mahindra Racing achieved three race wins, 14 podium finishes, three pole positions, over 700 Manufacturer points and the still-standing Circuit Record around the Sachsenring.
Mahindra Racing will now focus on its team in the Formula E electric car racing series, in which it recorded a first victory this season. The shift is in line with the Mahindra Group’s ambition to emerge as a global leader in electric mobility solutions. The company is already a leader in electric mobility in India, and is the only Indian company that offers EVs for sale. Earlier in the year Mahindra announced its ‘EV 2.0’ strategy to develop a comprehensive technology and product roadmap, leading to the development of next generation EVs for consumers around the world.
Mufaddal Choonia, CEO Mahindra Racing
“Obviously, this was quite an emotional day – our last time, at least for the moment, after seven years and some very proud moments. We weren’t able to add to our points score today, but at the same time our riders showed the strength of our package, keeping up in a close fight. As always, better qualifying positions would have meant better finishes.
“Mahindra has had some real highs over the last seven seasons, most especially our three wins last year. We can be proud also of our riders, past and present. Mahindra Racing gave chances to young riders who have gone on to great things – like our first podium man Miguel Oliveira, now a strong race winner in Moto2; and last year’s double Mahindra winner Pecco Bagnaia, this year’s top rookie in Moto2. And of course Jorge Martin, who won today’s Moto3 race.
“This year we have also brought in young guns – like Marco Bezzecchi, who got his first podium on a Mahindra at Motegi. He and our other youngsters will have a big future, and we can be proud of our part in it. Grand Prix racing has been a pleasure and a privilege for all of us.”
Bendsneyder and Antonelli take points on farewell to 2017 season
Red Bull KTM Ajo riders close the season with 12th and 14th place, respectively, as they end both the 2017 campaign and their time with the team.
11/12/2017 - Ricardo Tormo Circuit, Spain
The Red Bull KTM Ajo team concluded the 2017 Moto3 season with both riders taking the chequered flag at Valencia. Bo Bendsneyder was 12th and Niccolo Antonelli 14th, as the pair took points in the season finale. It was the final race for the pair with the team, before leaving for other ventures in the World Championship.
Bendsneyder fought to pursue the podium group at the start of the race, gradually giving chase to the riders at the head of the field. Although he would not be in contention for the rostrum come the end of the contest, the Dutchman’s good pace led him to battle for a spot in the Top 10. He would eventually cross the finish line in 12th position and add 4 points to his tally for the season. Bendsneyder leaves Red Bull KTM Ajo after two years, in which he has twice been on the podium.
Antonelli began in the same group as his teammate, despite the fact that a crash by another rider in front of him created a gap. Relegated to fighting for points rather than for a podium, Antonelli bested three other riders to clinch 14th. The Italian rider also departs the Red Bull KTM Ajo team, following a season in which his best result was a second place at Motegi.
At the end of the 18-round 2017 season, Bo Bendsneyder finishes 15th overall in the Moto3 World Championship with 65 points. Niccolo Antonelli was 18th with 38 points.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"The positive thing about the last Moto3 race of the year is that both riders finished the race and we took points, although of course we would have liked to have placed higher. Especially in Bo [Bendsneyder]’s case, this weekend he had the potential to be in the fight for the to positions, but he lost a bit at the beginning of the race and at this circuit we lack a bit of acceleration on the straights. If we stop to analyse it, then it’s likely his height and weight are the causes.
I want to thank both riders and the team for all their work, and all the partners for making this 2017 season possible. Tomorrow we will begin motivating ourselves for the next campaign."
23 NICCOLO ANTONELLI
"We weren’t able to be too fast this weekend. I'm not too happy with the result either, but I gave everything I had to try and have a good race. During the first six or seven laps I stayed with the group, although after a crash by another rider I lost contact a bit and then it was hard for me to close back the gap.
I am very satisfied with my experience with Red Bull KTM Ajo. It has been a tricky season and we have struggled sometimes, but we have taken positives from those moments of suffering. I want to thank the whole team for this year. Now a new adventure begins for me, and I wish them all the best."
64 BO BENDSNEYDER
"If we look at the times and the pace, then we had a good race. When Mir caught up I was able to follow him and reach the next group, although afterwards it was very difficult to overtake because I lost a lot of time on the straights. The feeling with the bike was very good and, although this was not the result we had been hoping for, it has been without doubt one of our best weekends.
I want to thank all the Red Bull KTM Ajo team; I've learned a lot from them. We have experienced good moments and some bad ones too, but they have been there supporting me at all times. Now I have to take all of this experience and try to apply it to Moto2 next year."
Mahindra Pull&Bear Aspar close season with battle for top 20
Lorenzo dalla Porta ends his stay with the team with a twentieth position, Albert Arenas taking 23rd
It took until the final race but Jorge Martín achieved the one thing missing from his season at Valencia as he stepped onto the top step of the podium for the first time. The Spaniard has set pole position nine times this season and has eight podiums to his credit, with victory today sealing fourth in the championship. Behind him Joan Mir took second place to break the record number of points scored in the category, previously held by Aspar Team rider Álvaro Bautista, after recovering from nineteenth position. In third place was Marcos Ramírez, scoring a second podium of the season to mark him out as one of the riders to watch in 2018.
The Pull&Bear Aspar Team's relationship with Mahindra came to an end with a total of two wins, eight podiums, a pole position and a fourth in the championship as the standout moments. The race in Valencia today marked the end of an era as Lorenzo dalla Porta crossed the line in twentieth position with his team-mate Albert Arenas in third. The Italian paid the price for a bad start, which distanced him from the group, whilst his team-mate Albert Arenas was simply happy to see the end of the race as he finished 23rd despite his hand injury. The Spaniard has enjoyed his first season with the Pull&Bear Aspar Team and he is looking forward to a new challenge together with the team and a new bike in 2018.
20th Lorenzo dalla Porta: “That was a tough race, made harder by a bad start. I wasn't far from the group but on the first two laps a gap opened up that I wasn't able to close. We finish the season with a twentieth position and I feel bad because I think the team and myself deserve better. We have given our best but it wasn't enough. So now we have to look ahead to a new chapter. I am grateful to the team for their support this season, we have learned a lot of things that will serve us well in the future.”
23rd Albert Arenas: “To finish the race with a strong pace was a success for us. Yesterday in qualifying I felt okay for a few laps. I was happy to be back on a bike but today was a case of pushing as hard as I could over the opening laps to be as close to the front as possible when the pain in my hand kicked in. Over the first three laps I struggled to keep pace, especially under braking, but then I forgot about my hand until near the finish. We have fought this season to be the top Mahindra in the championship, it is just a shame that I have had to miss a few races through injury. Now I am more excited than ever to get started with the new bike.”
Grand finale in Spain: Pulkkinen in adversity, Kornfeil moves up to 18th position
Press release race Valencia GP
The last race of the season held some ups and downs for the team of Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT: Kornfeil finishes his season as best Peugeot/Mahindra rider after crossing the line in 18th position, but Pulkkinens comeback was prevented by a technical problem and therefore he couldn´t end his race better than in 29th place.
One last time this weekend the Circuit Ricardo Tormo provided the perfect scenery for the ultimate showdown of the season.
Starting from ninth row both riders of Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT planned a final comeback to give the 2017 campaign a positive end.
Unfortunately young Fin Pulkkinen was ruled out of the fight by a technical problem right after his – until then – good start to the “Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana”.
A problem with the shifter forced him to the back of the grid and then back into the box. His crew could fix the bike so he could use his sixth gear again but a better result was far out of reach by then.
Still the Rookie didn´t give up and showed a good performance with similar lap times like the guys in front of him. Anyway a better position than 29 was not possible eventually.
For Kornfeil the start into his final race worked out much better. He came off the line well and overtook a few riders in the first lap already. Being in 18th place he fought hard to stay with his group but lost the contact lap by lap especially on the straight.
Having to race alone for half of the race the Czech struggled to go a really fast lap time. With constant laps until the end of the race he managed to stay in front of the group behind him and crossed the finish line in 18th place eventually.
Even though the Peugeot Motocycles SAXOPRINT pilot couldn´t secure points again he finishes in 22nd place in the world championship and therefore as the best Peugeot/Mahindra rider.
#84 Jakub Kornfeil (P18):
„This time I came off the line very well. I tried to use the riders in front of me as a slipstream on the straight and I found a good line in the first corner. I already gained a few positions so this worked out well. After this I was going behind Oettl and I was trying to stay behind him and follow him and Migno. When they started their attack I lost the contact more and more in every corner and then I was alone for the rest of the race. After that I just tried to make my race and make constant lap times to stay in front of the group that was chasing me. Here I really have to say thank you to my team. The mechanics kept me updated perfectly during the race and also during the whole season they did a really good job. Also thanks to my chief mechanic who did a fantastic job and understood me really well. And last but not least also thanks to Prüstel GP team and all our sponsors who stayed with us during this difficult season and always supported us.”
#4 Patrik Pulkkinen (P29):
“From the line I actually thought this could be a really good race. My start was good and I felt good on my bike but then I realized I had a problem with my shifter. I couldn´t shift into sixth gear anymore and that was it. I had to come back to the box and my mechanics had to fix this. After that I had quite a good pace alone and I had the feeling this could have been a good day but in the end there was nothing I could do anymore. Still I am happy with the weekend because until this technical problem we worked really good and improved a lot.”
Florian Prüstel (Managing Director):
“For Patrik it is really a pity how the race worked out. Because of his problems with the shifter he had to come to the box and therefore lost any chance to make his way up the grid. After having a good weekend its extra unfortunate for him. Jakub on the other side had a good start and could improve his position in the beginning but couldn´t stay with his group. When he lost the contact to the group he gambled away a better result. In the end he was quite lucky that the race was over because the guys behind him came closer and closer. Still we are happy we finished as the best Peugeot/Mahindra bike and could therefore reach one of our goals. We have to thank the whole team for the good work during the year and also thank you to our sponsors for the unconditional support.”
MiracleMir, a hero's return to Valencia
The 2017 World Champion says farewell to the Leopard Racing Team with an incredible comeback in his last Moto3 class appearance. Starting from the pit-lane, Livio Loi ends 27th.
The third lap: Joan Mir is behind Gabriel Rodrigo. At Turn 8, the Argentine fell and the Leopard Racing Team's World Champion was forced to widen his trajectory to avoid him and ended up in the gravel. Joan Mir returned to the track again in 19th position, never so behind this year, even in the Rio Hondo round.
With the world title already in his pocket, with every record of the category passed, and having nothing to prove, the Majorcan let the red mist descend. He did it for the Leopard Racing Team, which in these two years has been his family, as well as for all his numerous fans here in Valencia. Mir again transformed into MiracleMir and started hammering the lap times out, reducing the gap between his opponents and quickly moving up the order.
Without hesitation, the #36 goes to the top five, recording the highest peak speed (227.2 km/h) and was soon gaining 0.2s in each sector on Martin in the lead, now six seconds clear in front. Four laps from the end, Joan Mir passed three rivals at Turn 1 and completes his comeback to second position that he would keep up to the finish line. Martin wins the first race of his career, the Spanish podium is completed by Marcos Ramirez in third.
The Majorcan is thus dismissed from the Moto3 class with the absolute record of points (341) and leaves the Leopard Racing Team after two exceptional season, featuring the Rookie of the Year (2016) and World Champion (2017) titles.
See you Joan, we wish you the best for your new adventure, but you will always be in our hearts!
#36 Joan MIR - 2nd:
"It was a pity about what happened on the third lap: for the rhythm I could have fought for victory over Jorge [Martin]. I want to remember this last race in Moto3 with a special flavor for this comeback and for the warmth of the whole audience. I could not match Valentino's record, but I gave it my all and tried it until the end. Today is also the last experience with Christian Lundberg, who has accompanied me in these two seasons: together with Leopard Racing we have formed a family, true and united, it will not be easy to find another."
#11 Livio LOI - 27th:
"It was a very difficult race, starting from the pit-lane I was already 15" behind last. In practice, a race already lost on departure. I want to thank the Leopard Racing Team for the work done together this year."
STUNNING FOURTH PLACE OF BAGNAIA IN VALENCIA
The Sky Racing Team VR46 rookie celebrates the debut in the category with the 5th place in the overall standings. Forced to retire after a fall, Stefano Manzi.
VALENCIA (Spain), November 12, 2017 - Francesco Bagnaia ends the 2017 with a beautiful fourth place at Valencia GP. The Sky Racing Team VR46 rookie closes the Championship in fifth place with 174 points.
Bagnaia, eighth on the starting grid, is the protagonist of an incredible second half of the race. He is able to impose his pace and recover from the sixth to the fourth position.
Forced to retire for a crash in the initial stages, Stefano Manzi after a really uphill weekend.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
I can only be happy with the results of this first season in Moto2. Pecco has gone beyond all our expectations: four podiums, consistently in the Top5 and the rookie of the year. The team did an amazing job, we grew with commitment and constancy from Qatar till today. Close with a fourth place, after a great recovery, is a great way end the 2017. Now is the time to enjoy these satisfactions. Even Stefano has made a good job during these races and next year he will continue his grow path.
I'm very happy with this rookie season: if I think of Qatar, we really did a great step forward. Both me and the whole team who did a great job throughout the Championship. At the beginning of 2017, the Top10 in the overall standings was my goal and today I closed in the fifth place. It was a great race: in the last laps I was able to impose my pace and I recovered till the fourth position. In the first stages is always a bit tough for me to stay with the first guys and this is an aspect we have to continue working on for the future.
End the season with a crash is not what I hoped for me and the Team. Unfortunately it was a tough weekend: I was not able to be competitive and to find a good setup. However, I want to thank everyone: it was a first year in Moto2 and my growth path was really good thanks to the job done with the Team.
NAVARRO CRASHES OUT OF FINAL MOTO2 RACE OF 2017
Jorge Navarro has completed a difficult final racing weekend of 2017 in front of his home crowd after returning to the track for the first time since injuring his left hand at Phillip Island three weeks ago. The rider of Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 took part in today’s 27-lap race knowing his fitness condition was far from ideal and he had an encouraging first part of the encounter which saw him moving up from 24th to 16th.
A false neutral at turn 11, however, led to a crash for the Valencian rider, who was looking for some better luck after riding through the pain barrier for the whole weekend. Unfortunately, a first medical evaluation at the circuit revealed a fractured right scaphoid, which might require surgery should further exams confirm the diagnosis.
Navarro ends his rookie Moto2 season in 14th place with sixth place as best result – scored in Catalunya, at Sachsenring and Aragón - and a tally of 60 points.
“We know how talented of a rider he is” says Team Manager Fausto Gresini “and we know he’ll do well next year, that’s we have re-signed with him for another year. His first season was a positive one until Aragon and until then is progression was clear and consistent. The three flyaway races and the hand injury have made things worse for the last part, but what’s important now is that we can take a break and come back stronger next year.
NC - JORGE NAVARRO #9
“I was making up several places in the race but I was really at the limit, so I ended up crashing between turns 10 and 11. In order to try to protect my left hand – which was already injured – I landed on the right one and hurt myself: a disastrous weekend which ended up with a fractures scaphoid. I would like to undergo surgery as soon as possible so I don’t have to stop for two months or so, but we need an MRI first to have a full picture of the injury.”
Fantastic finish: impressive comeback for McPhee at Valencia
P8 from 22nd on the grid: goodbye and good luck from the British Talent Team
John McPhee had a difficult qualifying day at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, but the British Talent Team rider put in an incredible turnaround on race day to take eighth from 22nd on the grid.
The Scot moved up slightly off the line but was left with a mountain yet to climb, slicing his way up to just outside the top ten before bridging the gap and continuing his march forward. The British Talent Team took P8 at the flag and another solid haul of points in his final race for the team.
That's the season now over and the British Talent Team's swansong sung, with three podiums, 131 points and seventh in the standings wrapped up. Goodbye, and good luck to John McPhee!
John McPhee, P8: "It was nice to finish the season off with a race-long battle in the group fighting for the podium. I had a lot of work to do coming from 22nd on the grid but I'm satisfied with the progress made. Of course we're always looking for more but today I feel like we've done a good job to finish P8. I need to thank my team for all their hard work this year and to all my sponsors and fans for their continued support. Roll on 2018!"
Forward Racing concludes 2017 season inside the points
Bright sunshine greeted the Forward Racing Team duo of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Luca Marini on the ultimate day of the 2017 Moto2 World Championship season. Thereby, Baldassarri was able to recuperate 16 positions and to finally reach the points, while Marini was fighting hard to complete the last Grand Prix in the best possible way.
As soon as the lights went out Baldassarri initiated his chase for glory. Starting from the last row of the grid, the 21-year old made up four positions already on the first lap and kept progressing impressively to arrive in 17th by half-time of the race. Following 27 demanding laps, Baldassarri ultimately saw the checkered flag in 15th place in order to close the season in 16th of the overall standings.
On the other side of the Forward Racing Team garage Marini recovered two places in the course of lap one, after starting from 26th. Yet, the talented Italian made some progress to arrive in 23rd at the line, although he struggled to find the usual good feeling with his 2017 Kalex machine. Despite various difficulties, Marini was able to improve eight places in the overall standings in comparison to the previous year, finishing his second year in the intermediate class of the World Championship inside the top 15.
Lorenzo Baldassarri - 15th (+33.150)
“Honestly today's race has taken an unexpected turn. We had to leave almost from the last position but remained calm and I followed my target, which was to recover as many positions as possible. I was engaged in a great fight for the 15th position that was worth a point and after all, it's really a good result, considering our starting position. I was even 14th in the last lap, but while fighting with Fernandez we touched and therefore I lost it again. With this result I can leave the Forward Racing Team with a smile. I want to thank all those I've worked with in these three years, during which I certainly grew a lot, especially this year, which was particularly complicated for me. I had many disadvantages and a lot of bad luck, but the team always believed in me and I never stopped believing in them and I continued fighting.”
Luca Marini - 23rd (+54.931)
“The race itself was very difficult. I don’t know why, but during the weekend something went wrong and I just couldn’t find the feeling I was looking for. The good thing is, that I know I gave my 100 percent, but it was not easy, because I wanted to do a good job for the last one, but it was impossible. Overall, it was a decent season, I improved a lot. I want to say thanks to all the guys in our team, because they worked really well, plus we had fun this year, which is the most important thing. In addition, I want to say thanks to Giovanni, as together we did a great job during these two years and I’m glad that I was able to arrive where I am now. It’s just a pity for the final part of the season, because I wanted to do something more, for the team and for me in order to show what we are capable of. I think, that we didn’t received what we deserved, but in any case, it was a positive experience, I enjoyed the time spent here a lot and now I’ll start a new adventure. Thank you to everybody.”
Giovanni Cuzari - Team Owner
“First of all, I want to thank both, Lorenzo and Luca, our fantastic guys and our dear partners, who all played an important part this season, characterized by highs and lows. Through there have been some difficult weekends, our sponsors always supported us and backed us without any excuse, therefore, I am very grateful. As for today's race, we knew from the beginning that it wouldn’t be easy, especially after both of our riders had to overcome many obstacles during the weekend. Lorenzo did well, focusing entirely on his comeback and the goal of bringing home a decent result from his starting position. In general, Lorenzo did not have an easy year, but looking back over these past years together, we have experienced some exceptional moments and for this I want to thank him. For Luca, it was a pity we couldn’t see him off today with a smile on his face, but overall, we appreciated its incredible progress during these two years spent together. I'm really happy that he has grown so well and I'm grateful for all his achievements, especially with the help of his crew. Now we have to turn the page and start a new chapter of our fascinating story already next week with our new entries Stefano Manzi and Eric Granado!”
Nakagami Concludes Final Moto2 Race in 7th,
Rd.18 GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA:
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Weather: Dry Ambient: 22℃ / Track: 25℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami finished 7th in the grand finale of the 2017 season, the Valencia Grand Prix. Malaysian Teammate Khairul Idham Pawi also completed the 27-lap race, reaching the checkered flag in 25th place.
At 12:20 pm, Nakagami started from 7th on the grid for his final Moto2 race. Although the Japanese rider was in 5th position at Turn 1, he struggled to work the front tire and could not improve his pace. Nonetheless, he refused to give up, giving his best to cross the line in 7th place.
Pawi had rear grip issues, struggling to set good lap times throughout the race. Despite his difficulties, he tried everything to improve the situation and completed the race.
After finishing all 18 races of the 2017 Moto2 World Championship, Takaaki Nakagami is classified 7th in the final standings. Pawi concluded his Moto2 debut season in 27th place.
Takaaki Nakagami （7th, 43’34.289 / +18.446）
“In the race, from around Lap 10, I struggled to get a good feel with the front tire. I changed my riding to deal with it, but it didn’t work until the end of the race. I am disappointed with this result, but I tried everything because it was my final Moto2 race. Looking back on these six years in Moto2, I learned a lot as a rider and as a person. I will take advantage of this experience in next year’s MotoGP.”
Khairul Idham Pawi （25th, 44’25.913 / +1’10.070）
“Today, we went back to the setup that I felt better with, and it gave me confidence in braking. I struggled, however, at the exits. As a result, the race was very difficult for me. I tried many things on the bike, but nothing improved. We will try to solve this issue at the Jerez test in this week. Anyway, I would like to thank my team who always helped me in my first Moto2 season. I will train very hard this winter to be more competitive next year.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Pawi didn’t have good rear grip and struggled to improve his pace all through the race. I feel sorry to make him suffer such a difficult race. This week we have testing at Jerez for two days. It is his favorite track so that he will be able to bring back a good feel to move on for next year. For Taka, it’s a pity not to get a good result because it was his final race in Moto2. But, from this Tuesday He will be MotoGP rider. I believe his future is very promising because he can make good use of the Moto2 experience and develop as a strong rider in the premier category.”
Atiratphuvapat Finishes 21st at Valencia,
Rd.18 GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA:
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Weather: Dry Ambient: 20℃ / Track: 20℃
Honda Team Asia’s Moto3 rookie Nakarin Atiratphuvapat finished today’s Valencia Grand Prix in 21st place. Teammate Kaito Toba reached the checkered flag in 24th place.
Starting the race from the last grid position on Row 11, Atiratphuvapat successfully jumped up to 26th in the opening lap. After that, he set a consistent pace and kept improving his best lap time until the end. Toba started the race from 20th grid. The Japanese rider lost positions down to 27th at the start, and although he tried to regain lost places, a congested group hampered him from moving up to the front.
Having finished the 2017 season as Moto3 World Championship rookies, Toba and Atiratphuvapat will start preparation for next year with Honda Team Asia, aiming to be more competitive and to live up to their original potential in the forthcoming 2018 season.
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat （21st, 40’36.822 / +34.629）
“My objective for today was following the group in front of me. But when the race started, I was able to do better than I had expected. I felt my physical condition improve to 85%, which is why I rode better today. I told myself not to push too hard in the race. I guess it also helped to ride in a relaxed way and improve my times lap by lap. Today, I enjoyed the race and learned a lot. Knowing that there are many riders faster than me, I will train hard this winter and come back stronger in 2018.”
Kaito Toba （24th, 40’37.923 / +35.730）
“I made a mistake at the start and it cost me. I tried to regain my positions from there, but struggled to set a fast pace, and the race has finished before I had a good rhythm. I am very disappointed with this result because I felt very good this weekend. I will never forget this bitterness, and try hard in the winter testing to be more competitive next year.”
Tadayuki Okada - Team Manager
“Although Nakarin’s physical condition is still far from perfect, he had a very good race today. He had an excellent start and kept on fighting until the end, so I am very proud of him. On the other hand, Kaito could not reach a strong pace during the race. I feel sorry that he struggled from the start to the end of this season. By training hard this winter, I strongly believe they will be able to bring out their potential next year.”