Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the Malaysian Grand Prix:
FRANCESCO BAGNAIA 2018 WORLD CHAMPION IN MOTO2 WITH THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46
First world title for the rider and the Team
SEPANG (MALAYSIA), November 4th 2018 - After an incredible season, Francesco Bagnaia writes his name and that of the Sky Racing Team VR46 in the list of the World Champions of the Moto2 class. For the young Italian rider - raised thanks to the support of Sky and the VR46 Riders Academy - and for the team, this is the first world title.
Yesterday's talents, are today's champions.
"For me, motorcycling is not an individual sport. When I go on the track, all of you are with me on the bike. There are you, Pablo, who put together a family, not a Team. Vale, my role model, and the other riders of the VR46 Academy. The support of David, of Carola – my sister - and the sacrifices of my Family. Idalio, my coach, my eyes off the track. And then Uccio, Elena, Remo, Luca, Carletto, Sergio, Miguel and Leo. Maro (Luca Marini) and all his crew, Albi, Lalla, all the guys of the Moto3 Team, Carlo, Elena, Babi, Gianluca, Ale, Cami. Without you I would not have grown up. I will never stop thanking you ".
JORGE MARTIN BECOMES #MART1NATOR AFTER SEALING THE MOTO3 WORLD TITLE IN SEPANG
The Sepang International Circuit is the stage for what is probably the most emotional day of Team Del Conca Gresini Moto3, with Jorge Martin who clinches the 2018 Moto3 World Championship with one race left in the season – Valencia, the track where one year he won his maiden race in the category.
Despite putting together an impressive tally throughout the 2018 edition of the championship, Martin had to wait for the penultimate race to clinch the ultimate prize: the 20-year-old from Madrid amassed 11 pole positions, 14 front-row starts, seven wins and nine podiums on the way to his first title as #MART1NATOR, a title that adds another important trophy to the ones already claimed by Gresini Racing with Daijiro Kato (2002) and Toni Elias (2010).
The journey of Jorge Martin with Team Del Conca Gresini began in 2017, a year in which the young Spaniard not only claimed eight podiums and one win, but also showed the potential for what turned out to be an epic 2018 season aboard his Honda NSF250RW machine.
2018 draws to a close with the sweetest taste in Martin’s mouth, despite a significant injury at Brno – very similar to the one suffered the year before – and the genuinely strong but fair rivalry with Marco Bezzecchi and with Fabio Di Giannantonio, who brought the fight to Martin at every race.
JORGE MARTIN - 2018 MOTO3 WORLD CHAMPION
"My whole life passed through my very own eyes. I come from a humble family and it wasn't easy to get here where we are now. I would like to thank everyone who supported me and helped me grow: from the "Cuna de Campeones" to the rookies cup to obviously Gresini Racing. I saw this title almost slipping off my hands in Thailand when I thought I wouldn't have raced, but we did and I wanna thank everyone, including my rivals. To be winning the title and taking the race win at the same time is probably the best thing in the world, so thank you once again!"
FAUSTO GRESINI - TEAM MANAGER
"I was not expecting to win the championship here. It has been a tough race, so it's twice as rewarding to win it here. Seven years ago we lost Marco here, so I would like to dedicate this title to him. Everyone in the team has been incredible. We are World Champions by getting the most pole positions and race wins and by winning both team and riders' classifications. It has been a perfect season, and we could still wrap it up with Diggia's second place!"
Aron Canet crashes out of fight for Malaysian GP victory
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider was in the lead when he fell, whilst teammate Alonso Lopez also went down when having one of his best races of the season.
A partially wet track and clear skies greeted Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez on Sunday at the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Aron Canet led the way in the warmup, ahead of his start from fifteenth place on the grid. Off the line he would drop places but regrouped soon after, ending the first lap in sixteenth before climbing his way up to eighth by Lap 6. A further push got him into the lead group, taking him to second behind Marco Bezzecchi. In a fight for victory involving a group of eight riders, Canet led the race for the first time eight laps from the chequered flag, but just a few moments later he lost the front end of his bike on the entry to Turn 1, crashing out. The Spaniard remains sixth in the World Championship with 128 points.
Eleventh place in the warmup showed Alonso Lopez’ consistent progress from the start of the weekend, and he tried to continue this in the race. Starting the Malaysian GP from seventeenth, he quickly moved up to tenth place in the early laps. Several overtaking moves followed as he hovered around twelfth place, but unfortunately he would go down 10 laps from the end, in a crash involving John McPhee and Dennis Foggia. This result keeps Lopez 23rd in the standings with 31 points.
The last race of the Moto3 World Championship season will be held on November 18th at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia.
“Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez both performed at a high level”
“Both Aron Canet and Alonso Lopez performed at a high level all weekend, and this effort was reflected in the race. Despite his crash in qualifying, Aron was having an impeccable race, coming back from outside the points. It’s a shame about his crash in the race, because he was on course to achieve a great result -the victory was clearly within his reach when he fell.
Alonso had also made great progress over the weekend, and in the last few races he had been getting closer and closer to the fastest riders. He hit a damp patch and couldn’t prevent the crash, but the positive thing is that he is getting more competitive all the time.”
Vicente Pérez recovers and takes 13th place at the GP of Malaysia
Reale Avintia Academy 77 Moto3 – GP of Malaysia – Sepang
In a fantastic battle, Reale Avintia Academy 77 rider Vicente Pérez recovered from 21st place to finish in 13th spot at the Moto3 Grand Prix of Malaysia.
Pérez had shown an impressive pace in qualifying on Saturday and only missed out on a second row start due to another rider getting into his way at the final corner of his fastest lap. Considering his speed, Pérez knew that he was able to recover positions in the race and this is exactly what he did. By mid-race, he even had options to fight for the Top Ten. In the end, he added three additional world championship points to his account.
In two weeks, the Moto3 world championship returns to Europe for the final round. The Valencia Grand Prix will be the home race for Vicente Pérez, where he hopes to be able to put up a good show again and finish the year with a strong result.
Vicente Pérez | P13
“I am happy. I had to start way back on the grid, but I managed to catch up in the race. The only pity is that I couldn’t finish within the Top 10. I was close, but in the end it wasn’t meant to happen. I had contact with another rider on the two last laps, which slowed me down considerably. The bike worked an absolute treat and I want to thank the team once again for the great job they’ve done. After two Grand Prix without a result, we managed to finish the overseas triple on a high note. Now we have to focus on Valencia, my home race, where I hope to finish this year’s championship in style.”
ARENAS JUST 0.038 SECONDS OFF ANOTHER PODIUM IN MALAYSIA
Ángel Nieto Team rider takes fourth after race-long battle in the front group
Jorge Martín did not want to leave it until the final round of the season and the Spaniard wrapped up the 2018 Moto3 World Championship at Sepang today. The former Ángel Nieto Team rider started from pole but after dropping to tenth place as main title rival Marco Bezzecchi hit the front, he gradually made his way back to take on the Italian. Bezzecchi was unable to maintain his pace as Martín escaped, and as the Spaniard took the win by three seconds the Italian got sucked into the group and finished fifth, ending his championship hopes. Lorenzo dalla Porta and Enea Bastianini completed the podium.
In Australia just 0.052 seconds were enough for the win and today in Malaysia Albert Arenas missed out on another podium by just 0.038 seconds, with a fourth place finish that solidifies his position in the top ten in the championship. The Spaniard fought throughout in the lead group and after a particularly tough battle with one rival he lost touch slightly, but was able to recover and actually held second place into the final bend. However, on this occasion Arenas lost out in the drag to the line, leaving him fourth but happy with almost 40 points to show for the last two races. His teammate Andrea Migno was similarly close to his objective, the Italian narrowly missing out on the points after taking advantage of some early damp patches to move up to thirteenth, before dropping three positions as the track dried.
4th Albert Arenas: “It was a hard fought race - difficult at the start because of the damp patches but I managed to stay in the front group and I was well place on the final lap. I lost a little ground in the battle with Binder and by the time I got away from him and caught the group again I was tired. At the end we just missed out on the podium but I am happy with the race and looking forward to finishing off the season with a good result at Valencia”.
16th Andrea Migno: “In the race I had the same feeling as in practice yesterday and I couldn’t keep the pace with the front group. When it was half damp at the beginning I was able to make the difference and recovered some places. But after that it was hard for me to keep the pace and I ended up fighting in the mid-pack.”
NORRODIN HEROIC AT HOME GRAND PRIX
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Sunday 4th November
Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.5 km
Today’s Malaysian Grand Prix saw PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider Adam Norrodin ride a sensational race in front of his home crowd.
Starting from pitlane, after receiving a penalty in yesterday’s qualifying, Norrodin was faced with the immense task of catching the Moto3 field from 28th place. Lapping in last position from the start of the seventeen-lap race, the young Malaysian showed grit and determination, achieving the fastest-lap time on three occasions. Catching the leading group, Norrodin exuded fight as he carved his way through the pack, up into a superb seventh place. Relentlessly fighting, the twenty-year-old dropped back to thirteenth place, but immediately began his pursuit to regain positions. Pushing beyond the limits on the penultimate lap, saw Norrodin make a small mistake and crash. Immediately re-joining the race Adam Norrodin finished in a heroic 23rd place in front of his home crowd.
Teammate Ayumu Sasaki battled his way through a difficult Malaysian Grand Prix, to conclude the penultimate round of the 2018 season, in 18th place.
Johan Stigefelt - Team Manager
“It was a very difficult race for Adam [Norrodin], because he had to start from the pit lane, but he did an amazing job. He worked hard lap after lap and finally could catch the front group, he even reached P7, which was incredible. Adam gave everything he had, he couldn’t do more and at the end of the race he crashed; It’s tough for him but this is racing. We are very proud of him.
It looked like Ayumu [Sasaki] was struggling with speed today, so we will have to look into this further. He fell backwards in the race and that was difficult for him. It has been a tough weekend, but we will do our best in the next round.”
#7 ADAM NORRODIN - P23
“Yesterday I was really unlucky due to the penalty I received from Race Direction. This was my last race at Sepang in the Moto3 World Championship and I really wanted to do my best in front of my family and the fans. I would like to thank everybody for their support and for keep believing in me throughout the weekend. It was looking impossible, but the crowd continued to cheer me on.
At the beginning of the race I just pushed hard, because I wanted a podium in my last home race here. I gave everything I had and finally could reach the leading group, but during the last laps I was not sure if I could fight for the rostrum. I struggled a lot with the throttle and my left hand and in the last corner, I pushed too hard and crashed. I will keep pushing to reach the win one day, I will come back stronger. Thanks to everybody for their support.”
#71 AYUMU SASAKI - P18
“I started the race quite well, but in Turn one another rider touched me and I ran wide, so I lost some positions – I went down to P17. I tried to overtake many riders in the following corners, but it was difficult to keep my place in the two last straights. I gave my best to regain some positions, especially in the braking areas, but then the temperature increased and it became very difficult for me to follow the leading group. Finally I ended in the back of the group; I’m disappointed with this result, as we had a good pace and the setting overall was great. We will analyse what happened today and try to come back stronger for the last race in Valencia”.
Alex Marquez finishes seventh in Sepang
The Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider could not capitalise on his pole position in a hot race while teammate Joan Mir finished tenth.
The rain stayed away with Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Alex Marquez and Joan Mir racing in sunny and humid conditions for the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
Alex Marquez was 14th in the warm-up after he had dominated practice and qualifying. Starting from pole position Marquez dropped back to eighth in heavy traffic on the opening lap but was fifth on edge of the lead group by lap five. However over the final five laps he conceded two positions to finish in seventh. Marquez is fifth in the standings with 157 points.
Joan Mir completed the warm-up session in 22nd position and from eighteenth on the grid knew he faced a long tough race. By lap three Mir was 14th and focussed on a top ten finish which he secured six laps from the finish of the 18 lap race after a long battle with Xavi Vierge. Mir is now sixth in the standings with 155 points.
The final race in the Moto2 World Championship will be held from November 16th to 18th at Valencia in Spain.
Alex Marquez: 7th, +7.690
“Until five laps to go I had a good rhythm”
“Firstly I want to congratulate Pecco Bagnaia and his team on winning the championship, he did an amazing season. For me from the first lap until five laps to go my race was not so bad and I had a good rhythm. But then I had a lot of problems, the same as always. We haven’t found something this year to be competitive and solve that problem. Now I look making good race in front of the fans in Valencia.”
Joan Mir: 10th, +18.547
“I never found the feeling with the bike this weekend”
“This was a difficult race and I never really found the feeling with the bike all weekend, I gave 100% but it was not possible for a better result and now I just hope to finish the season strongly in Valencia and try to be top four in the championship.”
Positive seventh position for Darryn Binder in Malaysia
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider was in the fight for the podium throughout the race in Sepang.
11/04/2018 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Darryn Binder finished the flyaway rounds with another great result in Malaysia, taking seventh position after fighting for the podium until the very last lap. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider was once again a protagonist in the lead group, continuing his great form in the final stage of the season. This is the fourth Top 10 of the season for the South African.
Starting from eleventh place on the grid, Binder had a scare on the first corner, overcoming the near miss and completing the first lap in fourth position. From that moment on, riding on a track which still had damp patches, he was part of the large lead group of more than 15 riders and led the race at various times. On the last 4 laps Binder battled for second and third right up to the finish line, eventually taking the chequered flag in seventh position -less than half a second off the podium.
Earning 9 points today, Darryn Binder gained two positions in the overall standings and is now seventeenth with 57 points. The South African will try to improve this position in two weeks’ time, when the 2018 Moto3 World Championship reaches its grand finale in Valencia on November 18th.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"It was another exciting and frenetic Moto3 race. Darryn [Binder] once again demonstrated the great form and strength that he has been showing since the Thai GP, fighting very well in the lead group. Unfortunately on the final laps he couldn’t latch onto the battle for victory, but throughout the weekend he was very strong. Now all that remains is to go to Valencia and fight for another podium."
40 DARRYN BINDER
"Today’s race in Sepang was good. We had not ridden a lot in the dry and at the time the race began there were still wet patches, so we had to be careful on the first few laps. At the same time, I didn’t want to be too cautious and I wanted to get to the front so that nobody escaped. I pushed very hard and in the end I started to suffer from the tyre wear. I gave my all, and at least we were fighting for the top positions again. I'm looking forward to the last race in Valencia and want to get a great result there."
Masaki finishes in the points at Sepang
The eighteenth race of the 2018 Moto3 World Championship was held today, at the circuit of Sepang.
The warm up of the morning was on wet track and, like in the previous days, Masaki tried not to take extra risks in such conditions. In the race, Kazuki started from the eighth spot on the grid, fighting for the Top-10 at the beginning. The Japanese rider managed to finish in the points, as he crossed the finishing line in 15th position.
#22 Kazuki Masaki: 15th [RACE]
"The warm up was in wet conditions: we decided to take it easy, because there was a very high chance we were going to race on dry tarmac anyway. I checked the bike and the condition of my hand, just to make sure everything was ok. In the race I had a pretty good start, which placed me within the top group at the beginning. I held a spot around the 8th position for a few laps, but afterwards I was overtaken. It was very hot and the bike was sliding more because of that. It was hard to stay focused on the long distance as my hand was hurting after a while. In the end I finished 15th. In spite of the injury and of the challenging weather conditions, we still made it to the points. This is quite good for me. In Valencia I'll try to push hard for the last race of the season."
AMAZING DOUBLE PODIUM IN MALAYSIA
Both riders of the Leopard Racing Team on the Sepang International Circuit’s podium at the end of a very exciting race.
Sunday morning opened finally with a perfect temperature (25°c) on 5,5 km of the Sepang International Circuit, venue of the eighteenth round of the 2018 season. The Leopard Racing Team duo, Lorenzo Dalla Porta & Enea Bastianini, started the day on the right foot and closed the Warm Up session in 2nd and 7th respectively, both showing a good pace and top speed.
At 10 o’clock local time, the traffic lights of the Malaysian Grand Prix switched off and the battle began, with Lore immediately gaining the Top10 while Bastianini trapped inside the traffic of the large group of Moto3 class. The Tuscan talent attacked the leading group and, with imperious brakings, from the 14th on the grid came to take control of the race in just 3 laps.
Enea was not far behind, and in the following lap got the Top10 too, facing a duel with his compatriots Arbolino & Diggia. On Lap7 Dalla Porta provisionally gave up the leadership, but the group went compact within 22 riders in just 4 seconds. Bastianini moved up again, he put Top5 in his target; at the same time Lore arrived behind the race leader Bezzecchi.
This crazy race went on and the positions repeatedly changed inside the same lap. In the last lap Martin took a self-safe margin by securing the victory, while Enea now in the Top5 and challenging the podium with Lorenzo up to the finish line.
For Lorenzo Dalla Porta it’s the fourth podium in the last 6 races that consolidates his fifth position overall in the world rankings, just 15 points from his teammate Enea Bastianini who, with the today’s third step in Sepang, becomes the record man of the Moto3 class with 24 podiums in his career.
For this amazing double podium (the fourth of their history) today, the Leopard Racing Team can attack the second place in the Teams’ ranking, 12 points from the Redox Pruestel GP. The MotoGP show returns in two weeks for the last round of the 2018 with the Gran Premio della Comunitat Valenciana.
#48 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA – 2nd
“It was a great race on a very difficult track. I had a good start and I immediately t knew hat I could push: if I reduced my rhythm for a moment, three rivals overtook me. So I tried to ride more aggressive and stay in the leading group. The team worked really well and I am very happy for my bike. When Jorge [Martin] overtook me, there were any contacts with other riders and then I couldn’t close the gap. Another podium today, also important for the upcoming 2019 season: next year we will try to win the world championship!”
#33 Enea BASTIANINI – 3rd
“It was a amazing race! After a not brilliant start, I managed to close the gap and bring me back to the leading group. The last lap was very difficult, because I had to protect myself from the rivals behind me and, at the same time, to try to overcome the guys in front. It's my 24th career podium, I'll go to Valencia to do the best I can.”
Eleventh podium of the year for Oliveira in Malaysia
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider takes second position after starting from the third row. Brad Binder finishes eighth at Sepang.
11/04/2018 - Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
The flyaway rounds for the Moto2 World Championship ended with the Red Bull KTM Ajo team taking a third podium from as many races, as Miguel Oliveira took second place in Malaysia. The Portuguese made a great fightback, battling for the win until the final laps. However, this result unfortunately was not enough to keep the title fight open until the last race of the season. Brad Binder finished the Malaysian GP in eighth position and helped Red Bull KTM Ajo remain leaders of the team standings.
Starting from seventh place on the starting grid, Oliveira made one of the great starts that have become his trademark this year, moving up into second place on the first sector. Despite giving up a position on the second lap, the Portuguese recovered second place on the seventh lap. He would try for the win until the chequered flag, but eventually came home runner-up as he missed out on the win by just a second.
Binder did not have an easy start to the race, dropping to twelfth place on the third lap. The South African never threw in the towel, however, and moved back up the order to finally place eighth –a position he defended for the last 6 laps.
Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder are now assured of second and third place in the standings, with 272 and 201 points, respectively. Their last goal for the season finale in Valencia is to seal the team title, and Red Bull KTM Ajo lead the way in the standings with a 22 point advantage.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"Miguel [Oliveira] had a great race. He has been fighting hard all weekend and was very focused and confident, so we expected a strong race. He fought until the end to win, because it could be the last chance to keep the title race open for Valencia. Unfortunately, despite his great performance, it wasn’t possible. Even so, we can’t be disappointed with the season we have had, because in the end our riders are second and third in the World Championship -but it is obvious that we all prefer to win. Congratulations to Bagnaia and his team.
For Brad [Binder] it was a difficult race because first he was caught in traffic and then it was impossible to climb positions, because he had grip problems. We need to analyse what happened.
We are very motivated for Valencia. We want to get a good result there and fight for the Team World Championship."
TOUGH WEEKEND FOR TUULI AT SEPANG
Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Sunday 4th November
Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.5 km
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider Niki Tuuli experienced a tough weekend at the teams Home Grand Prix, crashing out of todays Moto2 race.
The Finnish rider struggled to adjust to the track under the changing weather conditions, throughout the practice sessions, hampering his overall progression.
Despite being unable to complete the Malaysian Grand Prix, Tuuli remains positive that he can come back fighting at the final round in Valencia in two weeks time.
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager
“It’s been a difficult weekend for Niki [Tuuli]; with the way the weather has been, it’s made it a lot harder for him to find his rhythm here. He’s struggled to find a good pace and to find the speed; in addition to the huge crash that he suffered in Australia - I’m sure it also affected him somehow this weekend. In the race, he crashed in the last corner and it’s a pity because we wanted him to take away a good experience today. We will try to do better at the next round.”
#66 Niki Tuuli - DNF
“I’m really disappointed about the whole weekend; I had the same problem in every session. For me it’s just difficult to ride here; I don’t have any feeling to turn the bike in the fast corners and I loose the front so much. In the race the first couple of laps were OK and I passed a few people, but after that I just couldn’t hold my line, so I kept going wide. In the last corner I crashed; I’m very sorry to the team for that and the whole weekend. I always try my best but this time it wasn’t even close to what we needed. In Valencia I will come back fighting. I hope there I can find a better feeling. Thanks to PETRONAS and the team for their support.”
Malaysian Grand Prix: Race
Hot and spicy Moto3 race today at Sepang International Circuit. Seventeenth flaming laps for the second to last race of the year. Tony Arbolino stayed in the front group for the whole race among overtakes and slipstreams. Tony definitely deserved the podium but, in the last laps, he started to feel the physical stress: 3 days of fever and flu were debilitating and the rider from Garbagnate had to accept it. Steps forward in the last Gps and now his level is high and Tony can be considered among the protagonists of the next year.
Good performance for the wild card Makar Yurchenko who crossed the finishing line seventeenth. The kazakh rider, today, was facing only his second session on dry conditions, on this track and with the Honda. Makar demonstrated to be fast and constant.
A crash, 5 laps to the end, stopped Xavi Cardelus race in Moto2.
Tony Arbolino: "I stayed in front for the whole weekend and even in the race I was there. We did the step we were missing and I am convinced about that as we are preparing for the next year. I am feeling really strong in this moment. When Martin came in front I had the opportunity to stay with him. Unfortunately I made some mistakes in braking, I tried, I also did a good lap but this was not enough to stay with him. The most important thing now is that we are aware to be always competitive"!
Makar Yurchenko: "I am satisfied of this race, I crossed the finishing line seventh seconds from the first and that's incredible if we think that it's only my second session on the dry, with this bike, on this track and with this team. I am happy of the pace, constant and fast and to have been able to stay with the group".
Xavi Cardelús: "It's a pity as when I crashed I was progressing. I started well but I made a mistake at the first corner and this made me lose the contact. I tried to recover positions until the fifth lap when I lost the front. I am sorry for not finishing the race, for me and my tea, that worked hard and well on my bike".
FOGGIA AND VIETTI RAMUS FORCED TO RETIREMENT AT SEPANG
Two crashes, in the initial stages of the race, put the young drivers of the Sky Racing Team VR46 out of action.
Sepang (Malaysia), November 4th 2018 - A Sunday with an unexpected epilogue the one has just ended for Dennis Foggia and Celestino Vietti Ramus at Sepang where today was raced the Malaysian GP. Both riders of the Sky Racing Team VR46 were forced to retire due to two crashes when they were close to the strongest guys.
Started from the 16th box of the grid, Dennis immediately tries to impose his rhythm to reduce the gap from the leading group. At 18th place during the 8th lap, he was victim of a bad crash that involved, fortunately without consequences, McPhee and Lopez.
On the tarmac also Celestino who, in an attempt to conquer the third provisional position, after a good start.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
It's a real pity to finish the weekend with two crashes because we've been competitive since Friday on a new track for both of our riders. Celestino has a strong start and showed his potential by managing to stay with the first guys. Dennis was involved in a fall when he had started taking the pace of the front group and going up the rankings.
I'm sorry to have closed the weekend in this way. After a difficult start, I begun to take the rhythm of the group and to recover positions. A bad crash, but without consequences, and now we go to Valencia to end our rookie season at 100%.
Celestino Vietti Ramus
I tried to give my 100%: I had a good start, I was close to the first ones and I tried to get in front not to lose the rhythm. Unfortunately the track was not completely dry, I ended up on a wet area and I could not do anything to prevent the crash. I’m sorry, especially for the team because all the guys are doing a great job.
NAVARRO BACK IN THE POINTS IN MALAYSIA
The triple Asian trip draws to a close with a crescendo for Jorge Navarro, who is 13th
at the finish line of the Malasyan GP and gets back in the points after two tough races in Japan and Austria. Navarro’s weekend was heavily affected by rain: if we consider the fact that this was his first Moto2 appearance at the Sepang International Circuit, today’s result can still be considered a positive one.
Despite very little track-time available in practice, the rider of Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 was able nevertheless to find a good set-up for his Kalex machine: after an aggressive start to the encounter, however, Navarro decided to have more of a “safer” race.
Today’s result keeps Navarro in the battle for twelfth place overall with Lequona, who is currently ahead of him by two points.
13th- JORGE NAVARRO #9
“Today’s race was difficult. Yesterday we made some changes to the bike which we thought were necessary, but we couldn’t try them in warm up. Yesterday’s feeling with the bike was not good, so we still opted to use the new set-up without being able to test it out prior to the race. I wasn’t very comfortable with the front-end of the bike and I was going wide at every turn; I also had a couple of moments. I came very close to the top-10, but things did not improve so I concentrated on finishing the race and getting some points. Now it’s just Valencia left, and we’ll surely give our best there – as always.”
Toba 12th in Malaysia
Rd.18 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Ambient: 31℃ / Track: 41℃
Honda Team Asia rider Kaito Toba finished 12th in Sunday's Moto3 World Championship Malaysian Grand Prix. Teammate Nakarin Atiratphuvapat crossed the finish-line in 14th place. Both Toba and Atiratphuvapat successfully scored championship points.
Toba was on 19th grid for the 17-lap race, which had started at 10:00 am local time (GMT +8). Starting from Row 7, the Japanese rider struggled to gain his positions in opening laps. However, when he began setting almost identical lap times to the race leaders, the Japanese rider moved up his position and crossed the goal-line in top-12 place.
Meanwhile, Atiratphuvapat started the race from 23rd grid. He overtook ten riders and caught up to the lead group on the opening lap. He contested nail-biting battle with his competitors until the end of the race.
For the final race weekend of the 2018 Moto3 championship, Free Practice 1 of the Valencian Grand Prix is set to start at 9:00 am local time (GMT +1), on November 16 at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Kaito Toba (12th, 38’39.900, +5.101)
“I was too cautious in the opening few laps because there were wet patches here and there on the track surface. After that, I found a good rhythm and could set competitive lap times to catch up to the lead group. This weekend, we made progress every session. That’s why I was able to chase down many riders in the race. For the next race weekend in Valencia, my objective is adjusting to the variable conditions as quickly as possible.”
Nakarin Atiratphuvapat (14th, 38’41.862, +7.063)
“Right after the start of the race, I took a risk and pushed hard because I had confidence in mixed conditions. After ten laps, the track surface started drying out, and many riders began pushing hard. It was a very tough race, but I never gave up. I managed to follow, catch up, and fight against them until the end of the race. I enjoyed the battle with them. And most importantly, I learned a lot about how to manage tires, my competitors, and myself from today’s race. It was a very productive race for me.”
Hiroshi Aoyama Team Manager
“Both of our riders did very well today. Nakarin had to start the race from the back of the grid, so we focused our setup on the first part of the race in order to catch up our competitors. Even though he had to struggle a bit after halfway through the race, he never gave up and crossed the line in 14th place. For Kaito, he struggled at the beginning of the race. However, he started to chase down his competitors from the mid-stage. He could’ve fought in a better group if he had managed to move up his positions in the beginning. Anyway, I am happy about our riders’ strong performance in the race.”
VICTORY AND WORLD TITLE FOR THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 AT SEPANG
Francesco Bagnaia closes this incredible season with the title in Moto2. Party completed by Luca Marini at his first victory.
Sepang (Malaysia), November 4th 2018 - Francesco Bagnaia, third at the finishing line of the Malaysian GP, is the 2018 Moto2 World Champion with the Sky Racing Team VR46. After an incredible season with 8 victories and 12 podiums, Pecco won the title in the intermediate class. A special day completed by the first victory of Luca Marini, who has dominated the GP.
Pecco, a talent raised in the Sky project and the VR46 Riders Academy since 2014, rookie of the Year in Moto2 in 2017, is the true protagonist of the 2018 season. After winning the inaugural race in Qatar, he has successed in Texas , France, Holland, Austria, San Marino, Thailand and Japan and he has reached 304 points in the standings. With 16 podiums in the 2017/2018 biennium, all with the Sky Racing Team VR46, is one of the most successful Italians in the Moto2 category.
Historic day for the Team also crowned by Luca's first victory, second in qualifying yesterday, impressive in the warm up and able to impose his pace in the race dominating from the first to the last corner.
PABLO NIETO - Team Manager
It's a special day for everyone: for the riders, for Pecco and his family and all for those who have worked with so much passion, commitment and dedication to be here. It is a joy and an incredible satisfaction for everyone because we have seen Pecco grow from 2014 till today, because we have always supported him and this year has repaid us with a truly record-breaking season before an important new challenge for his career and his future. I do not want to think about the numbers, I want to remember this group of guys at parc ferme cheering for a milestone in which they believed for a long time. I want to remember a Championship where Pecco has given his 100% since the first race, has shown to have a great talent and to be able to manage every situation in the better way. And then the Luca's first victory. A lot of work, a very important step forward and today the awareness of being able to be there to fight alongside the strongest guys.
It is difficult to find the right words: we are World Champions. A unique, incredible emotion. I arrived here with a lot of pressure, I knew I could win the Championship and tried not to think of it. Then yesterday, after qualifying, something has changed. Everything started to become real. After the pre-season, I understood that we had the potential to fight for the title, but now it's different, we are World Champions after a record year with eight wins, poles and a great job from everyone. The list of people to thank is endless: Vale, Uccio and the whole Academy, Elena and Sky, my family, my sister and my girlfriend. Pablo and Idalio who were fundamental on and off the track. Then my team: David, Sergio, Peru, Carletto and Leo. It is everyone's victory. The last 10 laps was very hard, then the penultimate lap I started to cry and shout inside the helmet. A difficult race and Luca was great. He deserves it because he was close to the fastest all the weekend and one of the most competitive during the season.
What a race for the whole Team and what a victory! It was hard: I started immediately strong to try to stay ahead and breathe with these temperatures. I pushed because, after the warm up, I knew I was one of the strongest. I had a great feeling with the bike, I knew how to handle the tire and the physical effort. I was happy with the feeling with the bike, I tried to give 100% to put some space, but Miguel did not give up until the end. It is my first victory in the World Championship, a special day to share with the Team, the Academy, all those who have always supported me and Pecco who has done something incredible.
MALAYSIA MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX 2018 – SUNDAY
The Malaysian Grand Prix, the second last round of the season, held at the Sepang circuit, has been archived.
Unfortunately, the Forward Racing Team riders didn't get the best results, but they finished the race in the best possible way, fighting until the last lap.
Too many differences found by Topan, compared to the bikes and the championship to which he is familiar: the Indonesian rider has concluded his personal experience on the Malaysian circuit exhausted by the high temperatures and challenging driving conditions.
Viñales also struggled a lot on this track: braking difficulties influenced the entire weekend, but the Spaniard was able to manage to the best of his ability, finishing in twenty-fourth position.
Now it's time to pack up and return to Europe for the last round of the season in Valencia, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
Rafid Topan Sucipto - Rider - P26
"It was an exciting weekend: coming back to the paddock of the World Championship, the dream since I was a child, always gives strong emotions.
I would like to thank Forward Team for this opportunity, which I will always remember with pleasure.
I'm just sorry that I didn't have the right physical preparation to feel better on the bike and do something more. I hope to have another chance in the future, where I can show all my skills”.
Isaac Viñales - Rider - P24
"It was a difficult weekend, we worked hard but I couldn't find the right feeling with the bike.
I rode to the maximum of my ability, also suffering from the really difficult weather conditions.
Now we go back to Europe to prepare for the last race of the season, in Valencia, on what is for me a home race: I want to be ready to conclude the season at the Spanish track in the best possible way”.
Giovanni Cuzari - Team Owner
"First of all I want to congratulate with our ex rider Luca Marini for his first victory in career, really deserved, and with Bagnaia for the conquest of the world title, after a really hard-fought and exciting season.
I thank Rafid for the professionalism and willingness shown throughout the weekend: certainly to ride these bikes requires a different physical preparation than that of the Asian Championship. Despite the difficulties he has completed the race, so I just have to thank him and congratulate with him.
Isaac had a troubled weekend, where he could not find the right feeling: he completed the race, driving over the difficulties, with tenacity, deserving much more results.
Now finally we are coming back to Europe: I thank the warmth and affection of the Malaysian fans, as well as all our sponsors and partners who, also here, have shown their closeness and support. It will be nice to have them all back in the last appointment in Valencia in two weeks”.
Positive conclusion in hot Malaysia
On Sunday, a demanding long journey with four races within one month comes to an end and NTS RW Racing GP riders Joe Roberts and Steven Odendaal were close to what they were aiming for at the challenging Sepang circuit.
It was a long race day in Malaysia, starting very early this morning due to changed schedule in short-term, seeing starting time of the race two hours earlier than initially foreseen. In retrospect, the race direction did the right decision to do so as the races were held in dry conditions.
Meanwhile the Dutch based NTS RW Racing GP outfit with Joe Roberts and Steven Odendaal was all-set to tackle the demands due to the tremendous conditions in Sepang from eighth row, both making up ground early on in the race to close in P18 for the Los Angeles native Roberts whereas South African Odendaal failed to finish in the top 20 just narrowly.
In the second last race of the season, Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia has been crowned new champion in the intermediate class. So, congratulations to him and his SKY Racing Team VR46. The season ends in two weeks with the traditional finale in Valencia.
#4 Steven ODENDAAL (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS), 21st:
"It was such a difficult race for us because I battled a lot with front end and rear grip issues, especially towards the end of the race. These temperatures had a massive factor to the grip though this was the same for everyone. Honestly, there is nothing more to say just that I think that I did my best during the race I could and finished it to collect more information. So, let’s try to come back stronger to Valencia."
#16 Joe ROBERTS (NTS RW Racing GP, NTS), 18th:
"This race wasn’t so bad for us even if we didn't end up for what we were aiming for. But we were close to the points positions again which was good. At one point in the race was I thinking that I could get in front of these guys ahead of me but honestly, I didn’t have anything left in the last couple of laps to do so as I started to get a little bit overheated. But apart from that, it was a positive weekend overall because we have shown good practices and we have been inside the top 15 several times. I think for the first time in Malaysia this is not so bad, and I definitely can understand what I have to do for next year, preparing for this particular race."
Jarno JANSSEN (Team manager):
"For sure, Malaysia is a killer to race and to give your maximum over a 40-minutes race distance here is incredible. Unfortunately, both Joe and Steven found themselves coming into some difficulties towards the end of the race. However, I think we made a very positive step again, showing good progress and getting closer to our goal and this is to run with the guys for the points. If we look back on these last four races in overseas during the last month, it has been pretty demanding for everybody. For sure, for the riders even more but as said we made progress and therefore, we’re not so unhappy with."
Pawi Finishes 17th in Malaysia
Rd.18 Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix: Sunday, November 4, 2018
Ambient: 32℃ / Track: 48℃
IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Khairul Idham Pawi crossed the finish-line 17th in today's 18-lap Moto2 Malaysian Grand Prix. Teammate Tetsuta Nagashima crashed and retired the race.
Pawi was on the 25th grid for the race which started at 11:20 am local time (GMT +8). Supported by the enthusiastic cheer from his home crowd, the local hero steadily regained ground to take the checkered flag, only two places off point scoring positions. Meanwhile, Nagashima started the race from 16th grid. The Japanese rider made a mistake and lost the front at the final turn on Lap 7 when he tried to gain positions.
The final showdown of the 2018 season, the Valencian Grand Prix weekend begins on November 16 at the Ricardo Tormo circuit, with the first Moto2 class free practice session starting at 10:55 am local time (GMT +1).
Khairul Idham Pawi (17th, 38’54.491, +28.802)
“I could not manage the first lap very well, because it was difficult to find the right place to overtake other riders in front of me in the heavy traffic. After that, I tried to pass riders one by one. It was quite a demanding race under such scorching conditions, but I felt good with my bike to carry competitive speed in turns. Although my result was the 17th place, it was a very positive race because we could show a good performance. I want to thank to all my sponsors, Malaysian fans, and everyone who supported me this weekend. Next year, I will come back here to be stronger.”
Tetsuta Nagashima (DNF, 16’52.796, +11Laps)
“In the beginning, I struggled to pull away from the group because the KTMs are very strong in the braking area. After I get a lead from them, I tried to catch up the group in front of me with good rhythm. Then, I made a mistake and crashed. It’s a shame, but I had a pace to aim for a top-10 place so that I can prepare for the final race weekend with a positive mindset.”
Hiroshi Aoyama Team Manager
“Although Tetsu had made good progress this weekend, he crashed in the race. That’s racing, you know, however, I have to say it’s a pity. Pawi did a good race to catch up his competitors. His improved his race pace from Friday and Saturday, so, I am happy that he tried his best in his home race. I hope he maintains this momentum for the final race weekend in Valencia.”
Pratama fights Malaysian heat - Gardner ends strong race luckless
Dimas Ekky Pratama did a brave Malaysian Grand Prix today, finishing in 23rd after holding off the challenge of some more experienced Moto2 World Championship riders. The Indonesian, who took over the Mistral 610 of Tech3 Racing in place of the injured Bo Bendsneyder this weekend, made a huge step during a damp Warm Up session already and went into the race with confidence. In the early stages, Pratama already made up five positions after starting in P28 and had a tough race-long fight, which he eventually won.
Starting from the second row of the grid for the first time, Remy Gardner showed incredible fighting spirit on the first lap to defend his fourth position, directly behind the championship leaders. He battled hard to keep up with the front, did some amazing laps, but while giving it all he lost the front in the last corner of the fifth lap and had to retire from the race.
Dimas Ekky Pratama
Position: 23rd – Championship: 41st – Points: -
“I just tried to concentrate on the start and I had a quite good one. I wanted to keep the pace with the group, but I did a mistake on the fast corner, turn five – six and some other fast corners, so I went wide and some riders passed me. Later, I wanted to catch the group again, but did another mistake. Then I tried to manage the pace and keep my confidence to finish the race. Of course this is not a great result, but the important thing is that we improved towards the race and as I was riding this bike for the first time, I can say, I really enjoyed it. Thank you to Tech3 Racing and all sponsors for this opportunity. I’m happy, thank you!”
Position: DNF – Championship: 19th – Points: 28
“In the end, it was a disappointing race. I was really trying the first couple of laps and felt ok with the grip. I was honestly even held up a bit by Oliveira, so I was quite confident in the first three, four laps, but my tyre dropped quite fast. I was dropping places, fell behind Pasini and then Marquez passed me in the last corner, we touched a little bit, which just put me off my line a tiny bit and I guess I just came across a bit of dirty asphalt and lost he front. Anyway, I learned a lot in this small amount of laps of how to go with the front guys, but we were definitely struggling with the grip, especially now that it’s hotter. I’m really sorry to my guys! We need to move on now and I truly hope I can get all of us the result we deserve in Valencia.”
“The weekends are following each other and I almost have the same feeling like seven days ago in Australia. Dimas did an ok job, he did the best he could do and I want to thank him a lot for what he did. He helped us and next year, he’ll be a full Moto2 World Championship rider, so it was for sure a good experience. I’d like to thank him because all through the weekend he showed a great attitude, wanting to learn and never gave up. But of course the big disappointment is coming from Remy, because again – even better than Australia – he was so strong during all the practices and also in Qualifying he missed the front row by almost nothing. He started great, very aggressive from the beginning, which was what we needed. Clearly, he would have been in the front group until the end, a group of seven, eight, maybe nine riders. But the target was to be inside the top 10, which is always a great result for us. He left the race a bit too early. Anyway, he is learning, he is fast, but I think he must be feeling very disappointed and we also feel disappointed, because every Saturday night we dream, every Sunday morning we dream even bigger and it’s not coming. Thanks Remy anyway for what you do, but sure at some stage I think it’s good to try to control yourself and finish the race. This is not a blame, this is just something you have to go through for your knowledge. Last one in Valencia and hopefully we can duplicate the Qualifying session and maybe see the result.”
Marco Bezzecchi and the Redox PrüstelGP team miss the dream of winning the title of the world championship. Raised head it goes to Valencia to the last station of the season 2018.
Press release race MalaysianGP
Race Sunday started with the warm-up session of the Moto3™ class at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. Marco Bezzecchi and Jakub Kornfeil took advantage of the warm-up to prepare themselves for the race again and find their way into the right racing feeling.
The two Redox PrüstelGP pilots started from row 1 and 7 in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Marco Bezzecchi had a good start and was able to take the lead right at the start and lead the race. He could even ride out a small gap right away. He rode a very sovereign race and was able to secure some leading kilometers. The fact that the rider field rode very close to each other, there were constant overtaking maneuvers. Many riders started dangerous overtaking operations against Marco Bezzecchi, so he had to give up the lead to avoid a crash. Every single lap was a thrill. The whole team was very tense and watched the action from the box. Marco Bezzecchi had worked very well through the race until then - after the loss of leadership he was able to work his way forward again and again. Towards the end of the race, his rival Jorge Martin took the lead in the race and suddenly found a bigger gap. Unfortunately, Bezzecchi could not make up for this because he had enough to fight with the other riders around him. Bezzecchi did not have it easy and had to risk everything to stay far ahead in the race. For Marco Bezzecchi this time is P5 and Jorge Martin took the victory at the Malaysian GP. The victory of Martin had the dream of the world title 2018 burst. The team is very disappointed with the title fight for the championship, but also very happy and proud of the performance of Bezzecchi and the team. Marco Bezzecchi will now focus on the fight for second place in the championship and give everything again in two weeks in Valencia at the showdown of the season.
Jakub Kornfeil started from the starting position 21 in the Malaysian GP. He had a good start. It was not an easy race for him because of the tight field. He was able to work his way up lap by lap and quickly reached the points. Due to a mistake by Norrodin, Jakub was knocked down and was able to rejoin the race, but was disqualified because his airbag in the leather suit has risen.
The Redox PrüstelGP team did a really good job over the weekend and the past five weeks. The crew around Marco Bezzecchi and the crew around Jakub Kornfeil worked very hard to have a perfectly prepared bike for the race at the end. The next race will take place in Valencia in two weeks, which will be the last stop of the 2018 season. The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valencia will take place here on November 18th and the Redox Prüstel GP pilots will go hunting for the last points.
#12 Marco Bezzecchi P5:
"Unfortunately, I can not say much right now, I'm just very disappointed. We gave everything, but in the end, a little bit was missing. I thank all those who have made this way possible for me. And even if we have imagined the finale different, we can all be proud of our achievements. Thanks to my team, to KTM, to our sponsors and fans, and to Valentino Rossi and the VR46 Riders Academy, who all gave me the necessary support throughout the season. "
#84 Jakub Kornfeil NC:
"I felt pretty good in the race. Step by step, I was able to gain better positions for myself. In the final stages of the race, Adam Norrodin breaked very late in the last corner. We came side by side into the corner and he crashed right into me. I was able to rejoin the race, but my airbag in the leather suit was triggered, so my race finished early. I'm not happy about DNF because it was a great opportunity to catch up on Gabriel Rodrigo and Aron Canet. In general, I think we have made good progress throughout the race and that is positive. A big thank you to my team for the perfect job. Now we have to concentrate fully on finishing the season in Valencia as best as possible. "
Florian Prüstel (Managing Director):
"Marco showed us a great race today, he gave everything. It is a pity that it was only enough for 5th place, but Jorge Martin proved his strength once again and finished as the winner. The victory allowed J. Martin to further extend his lead and win the title prematurely. At the next and last race in Valencia, we will do our very best to reach our big goal to finish this season as Vice World Champion. I am very proud of the work we have done this season. In the first season with KTM, we are the best KTM rider and also the best KTM team. A big thank you to the team, sponsors and partners. "
SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION OF THE OVERSEA RACES
In the probably toughest race of the year, Kiefer Racing and Dominique Aegerter collected two more important points for the championship.
Due to a short-term change of Sunday’s schedule, it was a long race day in Sepang. The pretransfer of starting time with two hours earlier than initially scheduled has paid off, finally. After overnight rain showers again, teams and riders were greeted at the Sepang circuit in the early morning by bright skies and this was why the track dried out more quickly than on the previous days.
Meanwhile, the track’s conditions were almost perfect as the race got underway in the late morning. In contrast to days of practice, however, temperatures and humidity were very typically for this part of the world in Southeast Asia today. In the heat, however, Dominique Aegerter delivered a solid performance, resisting these adverse conditions to close this year’s Asia/Australian trip with a fine 14th place.
In the second last race of the season, Italian rider Francesco Bagnaia crowned himself as new world champion in the intermediate class. Congratulations to Pecco and his SKY Racing Team for the title winning season. The championship draws to an end in two weeks with the meanwhile traditional finale in Valencia.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (Kiefer Racing, KTM), 14th - Championship position 17th (42 points):
"As it was to be expected, it was a difficult race for us. Of course, we had hoped for more particularly after the Australian weekend. But we struggled a lot more here from the very first moment because the Sepang track isn’t that flowing like Phillip Island."
"During this weekend, we had issues in braking into the corners which we hardly weren’t able to solve due to the weather conditions. In the end, we benefitted somehow from the race and finished in P14. But this doesn't match to our targets at all. The conditions in Sepang, however, are that much demanding and just race day was the hottest of the entire week. Towards the end of the race it was hardly unsustainable because I’m started to get overheated. Now, hence, I’m completely exhausted. These flyaway races are always challenging so, I’m looking forward to some days rest at home and in Valencia we will give all our best once more."
Jochen KIEFER (Team manager / Technical director):
"Overall, we’re quite happy with the outcome of the oversea trip. It was a long and such demanding time for all of us. But the entire team always worked greatly and as an additional deposit we collected a well-arranged number of points in the last three races, P14 in Sunday’s race in Sepang has brought two more Points which is positive for sure."
"We’re also happy for Dominique, because he hasn’t race for several years in Malaysia. In view of these circumstances, he has delivered a good job in these physically demanding conditions throughout the entire weekend. So, for this a big thanks for his great efforts which is also valid at the same time for the whole team."