Press releases from the teams after the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas:
INCREDIBLE VICTORY OF FRANCESCO BAGNAIA AT AUSTIN
After a wonderful battle with Alex Marquez, the rider of the Sky Racing Team VR46 crosses the finishing line in front of everyone at COTA and returns to the top of the World Championship. 13th Luca Marini.
Austin (Texas), April 22nd 2018 - Second win of the season for Francesco Bagnaia and the Sky Racing Team VR46 at the GP of the Americas.
Pecco, started from the second row of the grid, manages in the best way the consumption of the rear tyre and comes out as a winner from the battle with Alex Marquez in the last laps of the race, before launching himself alone towards the finishing line. Pecco returns on the top of the general standings with 57 points.
After a weekend overall positive, even if not yet at 100% of the physical condition after the injury last week at the Ranch, Luca Marini closes thirteenth, braked in the race by some problems to the gearbox.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
A truly incredible race! It was not an easy weekend, the crash on Friday was very bad and Pecco was not 100% fit. He did not give up, with the Team, he worked hard in qualifying and today in the race he used the right strategy. He had a good start and he managed the tyres in the best way. He has recovered till the head of the race. Luca also had a good weekend, the injury did not help him in the race, but he proved to be in a good condition and can be with the strongest guys from Jerez.
The weekend had not started in the best way. The crash on Friday was very bad and, in the impact with the bike, I took a big hit on the left side of my body. I was not 100%, but we did not give up and we continued to work for qualifying where we made a great step forward. It's the second win in three races for me and the Team, which means we are working in the right direction. This result, here in Austin, has a different value than Qatar. I have always struggled on this track, I had to adapt my riding style to this layout and today I managed the race in the best way. I had a good started, but I tried to keep the margin for the last laps. When I approached Alex (Marquez) I realized that he had more difficulty in pushing, I waited a few minutes and I tried to overtake him.
Compared to the whole weekend, during the race, I suffered more than I expected from my physical condition. I had a good start, I tried to stay with the first guys, but I struggled to keeping their pace. Also, a few laps from the end, I started to have problems with the gearbox and I was forced to reduce the pace. We start from Austin with the conviction of having given our 100%, we have worked hard and we are ready to face the races in Europe.
MARTIN BACK IN THE LEAD AFTER WINNING #AMERICASGP MOTO3 RACE
Jorge Martin has literally dominated the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas and, after the excellent pole position secured yesterday, he scored his second win of the season, the third in four races by counting in last year’s season finale at Valencia.
The Spanish rider of Team Del Conca Gresini made the right tyre choice today as he was one of the few to select the harder rear compound. After struggling a bit at the beginning – despite staying near the front – he unleashed all his potential in the final stages of the race and crossed the line with one and a half second margin over second position.
It was a great race also for Fabio Di Giannantonio, who even led the race for a while before making a mistake at turn 11, which made him drop down to fifth. Despite the setback, the Italian tried to do his utmost to get a top-3 finish but had to give up on his podium hopes at the last turned as he finished the encounter only 0.074 seconds from third place.
Courtesy of today’s win, Martin and Team Del Conca Gresini Moto3 return on top of the championship standings with 55 points – with Diggia 18 points behind in fourth. In the team standings, the Gresini team leads with 92 points and 31 over second position.
1st -JORGE MARTIN #88
“The race was very hard at the beginning because I opted for the hard tyre. I did well in staying calm and avoiding any danger at the beginning, but then with five laps to go I gave 100% and try to pull away while setting my pace. It wasn’t easy because Bastianini was coming in strong, but today I felt untouchable. I would like to thank the team for giving me a perfect bike!”
5th - FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO #21
"Today was so and so. We chose the medium tyre and towards the end of the race I had no more grip. It's a shame, because we showed great speed throughout the weekend and we wanted to battle for the win. I hope this will come at Jerez".
Superb races by Márquez and Mir in Texas
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Álex Márquez scored his best result of the season so far with a superb second place in today’s Grand Prix of The Americas.
The podium finish moved Márquez to equal second in the Moto2 World Championship, level with Mattia Pasini on 47 points.
Márquez started from pole position led for 13 laps and survived a couple of huge slides in a tense battle with eventual race winner Francesco Bagnaia.
While Márquez staged his dramatic bid for victory it was his rookie teammate Joan Mir who put in a sensational performance to finish fourth.
Mir’s race became a nightmare at turn one after the start when he was bumped wide by Luca Marini and dropped back to 24th place.
The young Spaniard then began a thrilling charge through the traffic and by lap 14 of 18 he was in fourth position and challenging for the podium with his stunning pace.
Mir set his personal best time of the race on the penultimate lap to finish just 1.6s out of third place taken by Miguel Oliveira.
The next race is the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez in two weeks.
Álex Márquez: 2nd
"This was a very important podium as we prepare for the European races with the tracks more suited to my riding style. I was able to run up front for many laps but the wind conditions changed a lot today and I had to save some crashes with the bike moving around. I did my 100% so I am happy for this result."
Joan Mir: 4th
"I am a little disappointed with this fourth place because at the end of the race I had the pace for the podium. I was in trouble at the first corner so it was difficult but this is racing. But the important thing is that I confirmed that our race pace was really high and better than I expected at this circuit. This is positive for the next races in Europe."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"This is a fantastic result for our team. With his rhythm over the weekend it looked that Álex could go away at the front but by the end of the race he was complaining of a lack of grip. So second position in this case is very good. For Joan it was a very impressive performance to finish fourth in only his third Moto2 race after being pushed wide at turn one. Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS is leading the teams' championship after three races so we go back to Europe with a lot of confidence."
AN EXCELLENT COMEBACK FROM MIGNO FINISHES JUST SHY OF THE PODIUM
Angel Nieto Team rider, twenty-first on the first lap, finishes 0.06 seconds off fourth position. Albert Arenas picks up hard earned point in fifteenth
The Circuit of the Americas saw Jorge Martín become the first rider to repeat victory in the Moto3 category this season. The Spaniard, who started from pole, has had the edge over his rivals during the weekend and although in the race he was involved in a large group of riders fighting for the win, he managed to break clear over the last few laps and cross the finish line with a second and a half advantage over Enea Bastianini and four seconds ahead of Marco Bezzecchi and the Angel Nieto Team's Italian Andrea Migno.
Migno started strongly from sixteenth position and went to the outside in turn one, where he encountered a couple of incidents and dropped back to twenty-first position. From there, the Italian gradually surpassed most of his rivals to reach the first group, around sixth position. Another incident cost him several positions again and he lost touch once more, fighting back to fourth and a total of seventeen positions during the race. His team mate Albert Arenas also completed a great race from twenty-fourth place on the grid, picking up his first point of the season to head to Jerez in high spirits.
4th Andrea Migno: "I'm happy because I had a lot of fun, it was a race with lots of overtaking and it ended with a very good result. At the start I started well, but there were a lot of contact and crashes in the first corner and I was held up. I had a good rhythm, I started to push, I saw that the front group were not getting away and little by little I got to them. In the last laps the tyres lost some performance, but I played my cards well and got a fourth position. I am happy for the race and for the team, we had not started as we deserved, but in this race we have done very well. It's up to us to continue like this. "
15th Albert Arenas: "It has been a race from less to more and I am very happy with the work we have done. After a difficult weekend we managed to finish a race in which many things have happened. An incident in the first corner set us back and left both Migno and me in the last group. From there I continued to climb, finding a good feeling. I think my fastest lap was at the end of the race, we went from less to more. We have fought a lot, I am happy for the team, because although it is not our objective this is a result that gives us strength and confidence heading to the Jerez race, where it is incredible to race. We're going to keep training hard. "
Eighth position for Canet at the Grand Prix of The Americas
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider is now second in the Moto3 World Championship, with circuit debutant Alonso Lopez close to the points on raceday.
Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez concluded the Grand Prix of The Americas weekend today, with both Estrella Galicia 0,0 riders finishing the only US round of the Moto3 World Championship season.
Track temperatures at the Circuit of The Americas were lower than on previous days in the morning, and the wind was slightly stronger, although the sun broke through a partially covered sky.
Canet set the seventh fastest time in the warmup, ahead of his start from second on the grid. Off the line, the Spanish rider slotted into third, as part of a tumultuous group at the front. He would drop down the order past the midway point of the race, riding in twelfth, although he recovered to finish eighth. The result puts Canet second in the overall standings, with 48 points.
Making further progress this weekend, World Championship rookie Alonso Lopez was eighteenth fastest in the warmup, some 7 tenths quicker than his best time from Saturday. In the race itself, he managed to avoid a crash at Turn 1 of the opening lap to ride amongst the Top 20 during the early going. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider then rode by himself, unable to reach the group ahead of him due to a lack of a slipstream. He would eventually gain positions and take the chequered flag in seventeenth. Lopez is now thirteenth overall, with 10 points to his name.
"We are motivated by the performance and commitment of our riders"
"Obviously the result is not what we were hoping for, although the positive thing is that, despite the situation, Aron Canet managed to take points that could prove to be invaluable in a season in which there are many races still to go. Aron lacked a little acceleration on the straight and also lost a lot of time fighting with Foggia. That led him to lose contact with the group at the front.
Alonso Lopez' race was very positive. He began with problems adapting to a completely unfamiliar circuit, and improved with great strides in every session before the race. He competed in a very hard fought contest, in which he kept improving. We return to Europe very motivated by the performance and commitment of our riders, and next up is Jerez, which is a 'home' round."
8th, + 7’971
"Now we have to continue working ahead of the Spanish GP"
"I struggled to keep up with the race pace; I had problems on the straight and I don't really know what caused that. We have to analyse the data still. At least we improved on the result that I achieved at this circuit last year, and my team did an excellent job throughout the weekend. At the beginning of the race I was in a good position but, as the laps went by, I had difficulties on certain parts of the track. The problem grew and then I found myself riding with several other riders whom I could not overtake. Despite the result, I think we are very strong. Now we have to find out what happened and continue working ahead of the Spanish GP, which we won last year. Without a doubt, we will work to try to match that result."
17th, + 23’516
"This experience has been very useful and necessary"
"Throughout the weekend it was difficult for us to achieve the necessary pace, because this is a circuit where the corners do not resemble those that we find at the European tracks. We improved day after day, and this experience has been very useful and necessary for next year's race. In the end I've learned the circuit and my pace was constantly improving. I gained several places on the brakes at the opening corner, but was clipped and I thought I was going to go down. I planned out the race calmly, as I knew that my pace wouldn't allow me to get amongst the Top 10."
Hard fought Texan battle for Gardner and Bendsneyder
The Tech3 Racing Team duo performed in a brave manner at the Circuit of the Americas today. Remy Gardner and Bo Bendsneyder previously have never had a taste of the ultra-demanding track and therefore had to work hard during the weekend in order to get to know the best lines and find a decent setup for their Mistral 610 machines.
Following some strong opening laps, Gardner ultimately showed a brave fight during the 18 laps competition to see the chequered flag in 17th. Meanwhile, Bendsneyder slashed his way from 23rd to eventually arrive inside the top 20. Both, Gardner and Bendsneyder look forward to commence the European season in less than two weeks’ time in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
Position: 17th – Championship: 12th – Points: 14
“I can’t say that I’m ecstatic over this race, as I really wanted to bring home some points. It would have been nice to conclude three flyaways with points in each. We knew that we were coming to this track with a disadvantage and I feel that we’ve made very good progression from FP1 on Friday, so I think we worked pretty well all weekend. In the race, I could have probably had the pace to run in the points group, but there was a couple of times that a rider passed me, another one touched me, so I was dropping places really fast. When I was on my own, I kind of re-gathered myself a little bit and had a decent pace. The gap to the leaders is quite positive, anyway, I’m a little bit disappointed to lose out on the points, but we worked really well this weekend. I think we should take all the positives to Jerez.”
Position: 20th – Championship: 24th – Points: -
“Finally, I felt quite well with the bike, just during the last few laps my left hand was destroyed, I had no power anymore and wasn’t comfortable riding anymore. We need to work on some points, but I think we already made a step. Therefore, I can’t wait to arrive back in Europe and start the next round in Spain.”
DENNIS FOGGIA CLOSE TO THE POINTS AT THE AMERICAN GP
The young talent of the Sky Racing Team VR46 fights in the first group for half of the race at COTA. Nicolò Bulega forced to retire due to a crash.
Austin (Texas), April 22nd 2018 - Dennis Foggia closed the GP of the Americas in 16th place, really close to the points area.
Started from the second row of the grid, Dennis, after a few corners, takes the lead of the race and is the protagonist in the group of the strongest guys for half of the race when he is forced to increase his pace due to the consumption of the rear tyre. He crosses the finishing line into 16th place after battling for the points until the checkered flag.
Forced to retire during the sixth lap, when he was in 20th position Nicolò Bulega who started from the 23rd box of the grid.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
A beautiful race for Dennis: he started really strong, he was very aggressive in the first laps and showed everyone his potential. Shortly before half of the race, however, the rear tyre started to fall more than we expected and this compromised his performance. Overall, I'm satisfied because he has a good feeling with the bike and he will be able to do great things at Jerez, a track he knows well. A pity for the crash of Nicolò, he started from the back, he tried but it is not easy to be competitive when you do not have the right confidence. We will continue to work with the whole Team to put him in the best possible conditions.
Unfortunately, it was a very complicated race. We had some difficulties from the first session and we noticed a problem with the bike in the middle of the weekend. We have to keep working on the chassis because that's probably is the key. On the straight we are strong and, having done this step, we can stay closer to the top guys.
It was a good race and the first laps I had a lot of fun. I had a great start and I tried to do my best. In the middle of the race, however, I started to lose confidence with the rear tyre and I was forced to keep up the pace. I tried to defend myself and arrive to the finishing line. Overall a very positive weekend: thanks to the work of the Team, I grew up and I arrived on Sunday in the best conditions. In the race maybe we could gather more, but in two weeks we will be in Jerez a track that I know well.
Second step of the podium for Bastianini in Austin
In the second part of the race, “the Beast” is the author of a series of amazing overtakes and comes a near-miss victory at the Circuit of the Americas: first seasonal podium for him and 5th place in the standings, now with 33 points as his number in the fairing. Difficult race for Dalla Porta that closes outside the points.
Finally the sun comes from behind the grey clouds, warming up the 5.5 km of the Circuit of The Americas (CoTA), venue of the third round of the 2018 season. The two Leopard Racing team riders, Enea Bastianini and Lorenzo Dalla Porta, confirm in the morning the pace and feeling with their Honda placing the Warm Up session paired in 8th and 9th position. The focus, however, is on the race, which will see them start from the 2nd and 6th row on the grid.
At 11:00 o'clock (local time, GMT -5) the CoTA’s traffic lights officially go off to the third round of the 2018 season. Enea and Lorenzo keep their positions at the start, engaging the brawl in the large group of rivals. Great inspiration for the Tuscan Dalla Porta, who on the third lap already sees the Top Ten close, while his teammate Bastianini is 6th, in contact with the leading group. The first 13 opponents are compact in a long train of a few seconds.
When Dalla Porta was already rejoined with the front of the race, he unfortunately goes straight under-braking the Corner 12: on the race’s halfway, he must start again with another comeback from the 18th position. At 8 laps to go, Bestia changes his pace, overtaking Foggia and Oettl, framing in his sights the leading trio. Lorenzo is blocked by traffic in the rear, while Enea is in full-5-struggle for only three steps of the podium at stake. The “Beast” passes his compatriot Bezzecchi with an amazing overtake and he is now in 3rd: in front of him there is the Gresini Racing duo Diggia-Martin.
The Spaniard tries to escape in the last 5 laps, but Bastianini turns into the “Beast” again and with another great overtake on Di Giannantonio, he is now to +0.8s by Martin. The two rivals outrun their pursuers, but Martin raises the pace and brings his lead over the Leopard Racing biker to over 1". Bastianini understands that situation and administers the last lap to taking home the his first seasonal podium, which relaunchs him in 5th place in the world championship standings.
Another 20 important points for the Leopard Racing team, who consolidates in 3rd place in the Moto3 class Teams’ standing. The today CoTA race closes the trio of events in the beginning of the 2018 season. The MotoGP paddock will back to Europe: the venue for the next round (4-6 May) is at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit for the 2018 Grand Prix de España.
#33 Enea BASTIANINI – 2nd
"I'm happy with this podium, I could have also taken it at the first race in Qatar, if I hadn’t made that little mistake. Here in America, finally in the dry, we managed to run a good race, especially against Oettl it was hard and in that phase I lost some time. But when I saw Martin get in front, I pushed hard to get stay with him, but he had already taken an important gap. In the last lap I managed the situation: I thought I could reach it, but I was on my limit and I didn’t want to compromise a good result as this podium. In the past years this track was struggling for me, but today I felt right on the bike; now let's look forward, I am ready to fight for the victory!"
#48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA – 18th
"Too bad for the race! I was almost the Top Ten, when unfortunately I came along at the Corner 12 with the neutral gear: I lost important time and all I could do was finishing the race. Such a shame for today, because the weekend started well, I was always on Top in the free practice, I felt confident for the race. Now we will go to Jerez with the idea of being able to make a good result on a track I like and that I know well."
First 3 points for Darryn Binder at Austin
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider finishes the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas in thirteenth place, opening his points account for the 2018 season.
04/22/2018 - Circuit Of The Americas, Austin, USA
In the third round of the Moto3 World Championship season, Darryn Binder was able to put incidents suffered at previous Grands Prix behind him. The South African claimed his first points of the season at the Circuit of The Americas, crossing the line in thirteenth after never dropping out of the Top 15.
It was not an easy task for the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider, starting from the fifth row, but he was able to avoid the typical incidents on the first corner and move his way up the order early on, completing the opening lap in tenth. From there, Binder stayed with the second group, in the fight for twelfth position along with other 4 riders. Always running a steady pace, Binder completed the 17-lap race in thirteenth.
With his first 3 points of the year in the bag, Darryn Binder is twenty-second in the overall standings in Moto3. Next up is the first European round of 2018, the Red Bull Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez on May 6th.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"In Moto3 we took our first points of the season, so we can be happy about that. In some way, I feel we could have got a better result this weekend here in Austin, after the practice sessions we had, but now the important thing is to improve step by step. I am very happy about the work and attitude that Darryn [Binder] is showing, so we truly believe that the best is still to come."
40 DARRYN BINDER
"I made a pretty good start, latching onto the group at the front, but I wanted to push too early and made a big mistake on the first corner that made me go wide. I got back on track but struggled to pick up the pace riding by myself. Later on, Rodrigo overtook me and I stuck with him. Thirteenth place is not the best result, and I think I could have done better, but at least we completed the race and took our first points, so that we can go to Jerez more confident."
Second consecutive podium for Miguel Oliveira
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider climbs nine places at the Circuit Of The Americas to take a second third place in a row. Brad Binder claims a hard fought sixth place.
04/22/2018 - Circuit Of The Americas, Austin, USA
Miguel Oliveira was able to place on the podium at the Circuit Of The Americas, one of the few tracks on the calendar where he had not been on the rostrum before, on Sunday. Coming through from the fourth row of the grid, the Portuguese worked his way up the order lap after lap, to finally finish in a magnificent third position. Brad Binder gained ten places to match his best result of the season so far: Sixth place.
Starting from the fourth and sixth rows, Oliveira and Binder did not have an easy task ahead. However, both got off the line well, completing the first lap in eighth and ninth place, respectively. From there, the Portuguese began to push and gain places as the laps went by. A key moment in his race came with 8 laps remaining, when he was able to get into third place and start a final charge. Despite escaping and cutting the gap to the rider in second place, he would finish just over 1 second behind, in third.
Binder followed his teammate, until getting stuck in the fight for fourth place with four other riders. The South African would only lose out on fifth position after being passed on the final sector.
After the first three races of the season, the Moto2 World Championship now heads to Europe. Miguel Oliveira will come into the Red Bull Spanish GP at Jerez -on May 6th- in fourth place overall with 43 points, while Brad Binder is eighth with 20 points.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"We should be very happy with the results of the Moto2 race in Austin today, and even more so after the qualifying session yesterday –which didn’t go as expected after a good Friday of Free Practice sessions. Racing is like that sometimes, so of course we need to analyse what happened on Saturday in depth. Today I am very proud of the team and our riders. I thank them for the work done throughout the entire weekend."
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"I am very tired after today's race, because it was a very interesting, demanding round, and also very tough when starting from a position so far back on the grid. The start was not easy, but in the end I was able to avoid contact with other riders on the first corner. Later, as the laps went on, it was difficult because we were skidding around a lot. It was not the perfect weekend for us, but we are back on the podium for the second consecutive race and this makes me happy. Now it's time to go back to Europe and face a circuit where we have ridden a lot: Jerez."
41 BRAD BINDER
"After today's race, I'm neither happy nor disappointed. I can't say how I feel. I was very comfortable on the first few laps, and very fast, but as the race went on my feeling got worse. On the final laps, with an empty fuel tank, my feeling with the front end didn't allow me to turn well. The important thing is that from a bad day like the one we had yesterday, we have been able to fix things with this sixth position, which is not bad. We want more and to do better at Jerez."
A COMEBACK TO EIGHTH TO WRAP UP NAVARRO’S #AMERICASGP
Jorge Navarro has put together a brave comeback at Circuit of The Americas, as the Spanish rider of Team Federal Oil Gresini was eighth at the end of the third race of the 2018 Moto2 World Championship. The 21-year-old from La Pobla de Vallbona got a good start from 19th place on the grid and did well in avoiding any contact at turn one before starting his charge to the top ten.
Navarro had a great battle, which lasted almost the whole race, with Baldassarri, which ended up with a successful overtake by the Gresini rider; this manoeuvre allowed him to get some important points ahead of the long European leg of the season, which will get underway in two weeks’ time at Jerez de la Frontera. The Spaniard currently lies thirteenth in the standings with 14 points.
With a top-5 pace – he was only 10 seconds away at the chequered flag from race winner Bagnaia – Navarro proved that an even better result would have been possible had he not started the race from such a poor grid position.
8th - JORGE NAVARRO #9
“I’m happy because today I had fun again on the bike. During warm up we made some changes that helped me quite a lot, then in the race we did our best. It was hard in the early stages because I lost a lot of ground due to the many riders ahead of me, but then with clear track ahead I could ride at my pace and do a great race. Too bad for the final laps, when I experienced a gearing issue and I got false neutral in many occasions. Without this issue, I could have maybe reached sixth place.”
Grand Prix of the Americas: Race
The first overseas three races of the season ended today and the balance, for the Marinelli Snipers team, is not what expected. At COTA, where last year Romano Fenati was author of an amazing victory, the team didn't get beyond the sixteenth position with Romano in Moto2 and the twentieth position with Tony Arbolino in Moto3. Now, we have to be ready for the battle. We need to work hard and the team has to keep the focus and find the right motivation to face the next European races.
Romano Fenati: "We really work hard during the weekend and, honestly, the feeling with the bike was good and we were confident. In the race we lost in acceleration and I had some difficulties in overtaking. We still need to work a lot. Now we move to Europe, aware to have collected experience and important data useful for the next races".
Tony Arbolino: "I started well, by keeping the internal line of the corner and I positioned immediately behind Oettl, in twelfth position. I was riding well in the first part of the race, then I started to lose positions and I was no more able to recover. It's a shame but we absolutely need to arrive at Jerez confident and full of energy"!
BITTER CONCLUSION IN TEXAS FOR THE FORWARD RACING TEAM
The American Grand Prix it’s over and it left a bad taste in the mouth of the Forward Racing Team, even if the big comeback of the cadet of the VR46 Riders Academy, Stefano Manzi, had made some hope to be able to arrive at the points area.
The good weather and tarmac conditions allowed the young riminese to pass from the 28th position to the 15th in just 11 laps, recording the 13th best lap at only 6 tenth from the first one. Overtaking after overtaking and a competitive race-step, these have brought Manzi always a bit closer to the compact leading group. Unfortunately, a fall in the full of recovery, due to the closing of the front as a result of a strong entry into the brakes, it forced him to prematurely go back at the box.
The race of the Brazilian rider was uphill, but he still managed to recover two positions from the starting position. The constancy of the times recorded by Granado give to the team the hopeness in an improvement, also seen the important reduction in the gap compared to the top of the ranking.
The next appointment is fixed for the weekend of 4-5-6 May, in the circuit oh Jerez.
Stefano Manzi - DNF
"This Grand Prix could had definitely a different End. I started very far from the head group but I managed to make a good comeback and this makes me realize that the work we are doing is certainly good. With the mistakes of last year, in I preferred to be quiet at the first corner, in fact, also this year there have been many contacts. From that moment I started my ascent. I felt good on the bike and I had a good rhythm. I was battling with a large group that came up to the third position, but unfortunately at some point I entered the crowds and when I put the gear back I had taken too much speed, I closed the front and I could not hold it. It's a shame because I was doing really a good race, but I am emotionally very charged and when I will be at home I will train even harder to do better at the Jerez Grand Prix. However, I thank the team for the great work and all the sponsors for their support.”
Eric Granado - P22 (+38.579)
“I am very happy to have finally turned three consecutive days in dry conditions. I learned a lot from this race. I started well and I had also gained three positions. At some point I may asked too much to my bike and I did a straight that made me lose 5 positions. Later I managed to find a steady pace and I reduced a lot my distance from the heading group. Of course I am not satisfied with the final position but I want to be positive and continue to do further progress. I still have a lot of work to do at home, on concentration and physical fitness, in fact I paid a lot the tiredness at the end of the race. I can’t wait to get back on my bike at Jerez and give my best. I thank the Team and the sponsor for all their support and for giving me this opportunity.”
Giovanni Cuzari - CEO Forward Racing Team
"Making a general balance, this weekend in America was definitely positive. We managed to improve a lot compared to the first race of the season and this makes us confident in the future. The fact that there would be a lot of work to do, it’s something we knew from the beginning, nobody said it would be easy, but the constant progress of Eric and Stefano's great comebacks makes us understand that we are moving in the right direction. Let’s remember that today Manzi started from the 28th position and managed to record the 13th best time in the race. Instead Eric had been missing from this circuit for 3 years, and in any case he reduced considerably, during the weekend, his distance from the leading group. From the next race we are back in Europe, in Jerez, a track that we know and on which we have done several tests. See you at Jerez for the first GP of the European championship."
Rodrigo puts in a solid comeback in the race of the Austin Grand Prix, tough day for Masaki
Austin, United States
Today the Moto3 riders got out on track for the warm up and the race of the USA Grand Prix.
Rodrigo confirmed his competitiveness with a great warm up in the morning: the Argentinian set the best time of the session, gathering the final data for the dry set-up of his KTM. In the race, Gabriel started from the fourth row. On the first lap he crashed out and that sent him back to the last position. However, Rodrigo didn't give up. Lap after lap he showed a consistent pace, coming back to the 12th position and finishing a difficult race with four points.
This morning Masaki and his crew worked to achieve a better feeling on the American track. Kazuki started the race from the 27th position on today's grid, and he did all he could to improve his performance throughout the seventeen laps. Eventually the Japanese rider crossed the finishing line in 22nd position.
#19 Gabriel Rodrigo: 12th [RACE]
"This could have been a great day, and because of that I'm quite disappointed. However, I think I made one of the most important steps of the season, because this is a track that I don't really like and I've always struggled to be competitive here. This morning in the warm up it looked like we figured out some top-notch modifications for the bike. We prepared a bike that was rather different from the one I normally use. I had to adapt a lot my riding style, but it worked. I felt comfortable, I finished the warm up in first position and I started the race fully motivated after that session. I knew I could do well and that I had a strong pace, but I did a rookie mistake. I would like to apologise to the riders who crashed and also to my team, because it was my mistake. In the last few races I started from the front and that meant that I could choose the line that I wanted to use. Maybe because of the lack of habit to start from the back, today I found myself forced to close and go where the track was dirty. The asphalt outside the line is very slippery, I should have closed the throttle a lot more than I did. That's why I crashed out. On the other hand I'm happy because I didn't think twice, I started running straight back to my bike and I began to push hard from the turn after where I crashed. I got as close as twelve seconds from the rider in first position and halfway through the race I moved up to nine. I managed to come back from the last spot to the 12th and my pace would have got me in the Top-5. It's a shame because we could have finished a rough weekend with a good result, but things didn't really work out. I'll keep the positive side that we gained from the change we made on the bike and how competitive I was in the race. I'm sure that in Jerez things will be different."
#22 Kazuki Masaki: 22nd [RACE]
"Today's race was tough, I finished in 22nd position. In the beginning I managed to follow the group and things were alright, because I could stay with many riders and keep the pace. Then the grip of the tyres started to drop and my times were slower. Because of that, I ended up on my own and I couldn't keep the same rhythm as in the first few laps. I'm very disappointed because this is not the type of result we want. Anyway the next round is in Jerez and I know the track, I was there a few times in the past. I think I have the chance to do better. I'll push hard starting from FP1 in order to improve and reach the top group."
NTS RW Racing GP fights back in the race
In Sunday’s race at the demanding Circuit of The Americas, Steven Odendaal and Joe Roberts pulled through the field to achieve the team’s season best result after what was a difficult weekend for them.
Right in time for Sunday, the sun came back after two cloudy days of practice at the enormous Texan circuit. Temperatures also increased till the third Moto2™ race of the year got underway at lunch time. Both, NTS RW Racing GP and its riders Steven Odendaal and Joe Roberts each took their lessons from practice sessions and qualifying though they were facing again a new challenge on race day due to the changed conditions.
Nevertheless, Odendaal as well local boy Roberts never gave up, coming from the far end of the starting grid to show fighting spirit and willingness to tackle the tricky Austin track to end the weekend in style for them and the Dutch based team. Whereas Odendaal came home in 21st position, Los Angeles native Joe Roberts needed some laps to get familiarized with a massive change to the bike’s setup, finishing his home race in 23rd position finally.
The championship moves now to Europe where in two weeks Jerez de la Frontera awaits the paddock for the highly popular Gran Premio de Espana.
#4 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS), 21st:
"It was a difficult weekend for me because starting with such a difficult FP1, it was hard to recover. On the other hand, it was a very important weekend for me to learn about from it. Finally, we achieved a result which indeed is not what we wanted but it is better than we qualified. So, I’m happy with that. Overall, we just need to work and improve and see how we can go forward."
#15 Joe ROBERTS (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS), 23rd:
"It was quite a difficult weekend for us even if I didn’t mind racing at home. But in any case, it was nice to race here, at my first home grand prix. We always try to find something to make the bike working better and during this morning’s warm up we thought we found something. But the difficult thing is that you go out with used tyres in warm up. So, this was not really an accurate presentation of how the race is going to be. Therefore, starting the race with new tyres, it felt quite difficult to do the lap time with this big change that we made in the morning. But as soon as the tyres wore down, we started to go much faster. I started to catch my team mate and it ended up doing faster lap times. We now know that this setting works well with used tyres, but the beginning of the race is most important part. Therefore, we need to work for this and going now to Jerez, we know that we were quick there during the tests. So, we know what to do and try to get a better result there."
Jarno JANSSEN (Team manager):
"For sure, it has not been an easy week for us but in the end, Steven could finish pretty strong. Sure, we hoped for a little bit more, but we are still working hard to improve both the bike and the riders. Therefore, it was a weekend where we learned a lot from. These three oversea races were a hard task for us because of lacking data and knowledge with our new package. We had to start from zero with everything. But now we go back to Europe where we have more data, especially from Jerez, and we hope that we can make a step in the right direction there."
An incredible race for Redox Prüstel GP at Grand Prix of the Americas. Marco Bezzecchi takes next podium in third place and Jakub Kornfeil fights for a thrilling catch-up a fantastic 7th place.
Press release America GP
It should be turbolent right at the beginning of the Grand Prix of the Americas. In the first corner there were several crash victims. Fortunately, both Redox PrüstelGP pilots were spared, with Bezzecchi once being very tight. After the first corners the riders field had sorted a bit.
Marco Bezzecchi, who pushed very hard from the start, was able to stay at the top of the leaderboard for a long time. Unfortunately, the grip level of the tires decreased in the final laps. But Bezzecchi did not give up and pulled everything out of his KTM machine. In the end, he was rewarded with another podium finish and the best KTM result in third place.
Jakub Kornfeil, who started from 21st place after an unfortunate qualifying, also rode a spectacular race to catch up today. Kornfeil soon fought his way to the front group. Also with him at the expense of his tires. From round 8 Kornfeil had strong problems with his rear tire. Thanks to his perfect feeling for the bike and well-functioning front tire, Kornfeil took a very good 7th place with only 1 second behind Bezzecchi.
With these top rankings, the Saxon team Redox PrüstelGP landed the best team result of its history. With powerful motivation and two podium places in the luggage, the team now travels back to Europe. Station 4 in the race calendar is called Jerez de la Frontera, located in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia. On the 4.428 km long Circuito de Jerez are from 04.-06. May 2018 again exciting competitions of the MotoGP classes will take place.
#84 Jakub Kornfeil (P7)
"The race today was very difficult. I had to fight for place 21 in the top group to Marco. My lap times were very fast but from the middle of the race I had a lot of problems with the tires. I had to adjust my riding style to avoid a fall. Nevertheless, I did not want to lose the connection to the top group, continued to ride fast times - but at the same time tried to ride a bit smarter and more mature and avoid hectic overtaking maneuvers. Fortunately, this plan worked out and I was able to get a good 7th place for the team. That makes me very happy."
#12 Marco Bezzecchi (P3)
"The race in America was incredible, but at the same time very exhausting. We used medium tires for the race today. Due to the hard push and the many overtaking maneuvers, the tires were heavily stressed, unfortunately too strong. Towards the end of the race I could no longer hold my lead. But we have given everything to finally reach the podium. I succeeded in that. Many thanks to our team for the great work. I am very grateful for that."
Florian Prüstel (Managing Director)
"To be honest, I'm overwhelmed with today's result. It's our best team effort so far. At Marco Bezzecchi we knew that it can go far ahead. Of course, it was more than fantastic for Marco to finish on the podium for the second time after only three races. Even today we did not expect the grand catching up of Jakub Kornfeil. That makes me very happy, because Jakub was also a bit unlucky in the past sessions in Argentina and also here in America. The result approved the team's current strong performance and I am extremely satisfied and overjoyed that the entire team, including the riders, has been rewarded for their great work today. At this point, of course, we must thank our sponsors and partners, who accompany our way so faithfully and always keep our backs. Thanks a lot for this!"
Nagashima Finishes 19th in Austin
Rd.03 RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS: Sunday, April 22, 2018
Ambient: 21℃ / Track: 33℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Tetsuta Nagashima crossed the finish line 19th in today’s Grand Prix of the Americas. Teammate Khairul Idham Pawi completed the race 25th.
Nagashima maintained a consistent pace and gained positions throughout the 18-lap intermediate category race which started at 12:20 pm local time (GMT -5). The Japanese rider fought hard with his competitor until the final turn on the final lap. In the meantime, Pawi rode the demanding Texan track tenaciously and reached the checkered flag in 25th place.
The Spanish Grand Prix begins on May 4, with the first Moto2 class free practice session starting at 10:55 am local time (GMT +2).
Tetsuta Nagashima (19th, 39'57.261, +27.245）
“In the final stages, I battled with Barbera up until the final turn on the final lap. it was a very tough race because I started low on the grid, but I think I did a good job. Also, we found a good direction to follow to improve our bike, so it was a very productive weekend for us. Now we have to prepare well for the next race in Jerez.”
Khairul Idham Pawi (25th, 40'16.982, +46.966）
“In the race, I felt my bike was heavy, which made it difficult to quickly change direction and trace a good line. We are improving the rear movement little by little, but it was not completely fixed yet. For the next race, Jerez is one of my favorite tracks. I will try my best to get a good result.”
Hiroshi Aoyama- Team Manager
“Although Tetsuta improves his feel on the bike, he still cannot get a good result. We will look into the reasons and find a way to improve his bike. Pawi isn’t confident on his bike yet, so he needs to try further to improve his riding. We will try hard to work on their bikes. Our riders will be back stronger next weekend at Jerez.”
Atiratphuvapat 23rd in Austin
Rd.03 RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS: Sunday, April 22, 2018
Ambient: 17℃ / Track: 22℃
Honda Team Asia rider Nakarin Atiratphuvapat finished 23rd in today’s Grand Prix of Amaricas. Teammate Kaito Toba was involved in a multi-bike crash on the opening lap and retired from the race.
The 17-lap contest for the lightweight category started at 11:00 am local time (GMT -5). Starting from the 13th grid on Row 5, Atiratphuvapat struggled to gain a positive feel with his bike and had to settle for 23rd place. Meanwhile, Toba, starting 28th on the grid, was caught up in a four-rider incident at Turn 1, just after the start. Although he managed to rejoin the race, Toba decided to go back to the garage and retire at the end of the opening lap.
The first Free Practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix is set to start at 9:00 am local time (GMT +2), on May 04.
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (23rd, 39'51.231, +38.562)
“In the morning warm-up session, I could not gain speed. Maybe I tried too hard to work out the problem, and that's why lost confidence in the race. I am disappointed with today’s result because I didn't have as good a feel as I had in yesterday’s Qualifying. I will try hard for the next weekend in Jerez to get my positive feel back.”
Kaito Toba (DNF)
“Although I could gain some positions right after the start, a rider in front of me crashed at Turn 1, and I could not avoid him. It was a very tough weekend for me, but I believe tomorrow is another day. I will give my best to get my rhythm back for the next race weekend at Jerez.”
Hiroshi Aoyama- Team Manager
“Even though Nakarin didn’t get a good feel today, he is a talented rider who should’ve finished the race within 15 to 20 seconds off the winner. 38 seconds behind is too much. I believe he will improve his riding to be more consistent. Unfortunately, Kaito was involved in a multi-crash at Turn 1. If he had started the race from a better position, he wouldn't have been caught up in the incident, so I hope he will learn from today’s result and improve his qualifying.”