Press releases from some of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after Sunday's races in Argentina:
Remy Gardner Produces Race Of His Life To Claim First Moto2 World Championship Podium In Argentina
Remy Gardner produced the race of his life in today’s second round of the 2019 FIM Moto2 World Championship to take a career first podium in second position for him and his ONEXOX TKKR SAG Racing Team.
A previous top six finisher in Argentina, the Termas Rio de Hondo Circuit was also the scene of Remy’s leg break a couple of years ago but thoughts of bad days in South America were banished after a ballsy twenty-three lap race saw the Aussie finish in an emotional second position, after a mature ride that clearly puts him into contention for more podiums, a maiden win and quite possibly the title!
Starting the weekend as he finished the opening round of the 2019 Moto2 World Championship in Qatar, the #87 Rider was in the mix from FP1, elevating himself to third overall at the end of the opening day before ending the combined Free Practice sessions fastest of anyone!
Unable to find the same feeling as he had a few hours earlier, Gardner eventually qualified seventh, still very much in contention for another strong finish come race day.
Fifth in Warm-Up underlined Remy’s pace around the 2.9-mile circuit and after a lightning start saw him move immediately into the top four the scene was set for Gardner to prove that round one was no fluke!
Forcing his way into third by the end of the opening lap he was up to second a lap later, wasting no time to hit the front where he looked comfortable, controlling the pace and stretching the leading group.
Maintaining his position out front until a few laps from home the podium could have slipped away for the second consecutive race after a hard move from eventual winner Lorenzo Baldassari, but Remy was in no mood to miss out on a top three finish, producing two stunning final laps to haul himself back to second at the flag.
The result sees him move into second position overall in the World Championship ahead of round three which takes place at COTA in the USA on the 14th April.
Remy Gardner: “You have no idea how long I have been waiting for this. I could’ve won it but Balda touched me and I got a bit out of shape on the brakes. I did it to the other guys so I’m not going to complain like a little girl, but I should have given him a bit more room and been a bit smarter with that tactic. I never gave up. Every time someone passed me, I was like no, I want this, and after losing out in Qatar by two hundredths when I saw Schrotter in front of me I thought, it’s not happening this time and so I just pulled my finger out and gave it everything. I have no words, I am a bit emotional. Massive thanks to the team, they have believed in me from the start and to everyone who has been sending tweets and messages on Facebook, thank you.”
Alex Márquez takes amazing third place in Argentina
Xavi Vierge suffers cruel luck as his bike stops on the warm-up lap but Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS team-mate Alex Marquez claims a brilliant first podium of the year.
After competing in an excellent seven-rider fight at the front, Alex Márquez took the chequered flag in an excellent 3rd place, 1.8s behind race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri.
Pole sitter Xavi Vierge was forced to retire on the warm-up lap due to a technical issue.
3rd, + 1.817s
Márquez started well from fourth on the grid, climbing into the top three on the first lap.
After passing Marcel Schrotter for 2nd on lap eight, he enjoyed a brief spell in the lead when fighting with Remy Gardner.
Despite having the speed in the closing laps, Márquez was unable to stop Baldassarri escaping in the final laps and instead chose to score 16 valuable points. He is now fourth in the World Championship.
“We knew it was important to be smooth in the beginning to try to be fast in the end”
“I am very happy. It was a difficult weekend but solid. We did a really good job. In FP2 I was struggling so much but we made a change and then straight away in FP3 I was going so well. A good weekend, but I still have some things to learn, especially when it comes to riding style and finding the limits of the bike. But anyway we did a good job all race. It was nice to be fighting with Remy Gardner during the race. It was good racing and everyone enjoyed it today. We knew it was important to be smooth in the beginning to try to be fast in the end. But when Baldassarri made that push in the closing laps I wasn’t in the right position to go with him. I’ll study that for the future. Today he was the most intelligent one and I need to pay a little more attention in Texas and to learn from this experience.”
Vierge had claimed his second career pole position on Saturday, breaking the outright Moto2 circuit record by 0.083s
The 21-year old showed strong pace in morning warm-up, posting a consistent twelve-lap run.
An electrical fault caused Vierge’s bike to stop on the warm-up lap, which meant he couldn’t make the start.
“We’ve had such great potential in these first two races but we haven’t been able to demonstrate it”
“It’s a big pity because we were doing a really good job. It was a similar situation to Qatar, where we were really strong but had a little issue in the race. And now here. We did such a great job all weekend and we had the pace to fight for the victory. We started the warm-up lap and everything seemed OK. Then at turn seven it just stopped. I tried to restart but it didn’t help. My race ended there. It’s such a shame because we’ve had such great potential in these first two races but we haven’t been able to demonstrate it. Anyway, there are 17 races ahead. We’ll try again in Austin.”
"I’m feeling mixed emotions. I am sorry for Xavi, happy for Alex "
“I have to say I’m feeling mixed emotions. I’m really sorry for what happened to Xavi because he was starting the race from pole and we had big expectations. We had a problem with one of the cables on the bike and it’s not the fault of anyone. In any case he showed he has really big potential and we will try and do a great job with him in the coming racing. With Alex we knew after testing that he has good rhythm. He showed his experience here in this class. He can run in good positions. He fought well in a big group and he got this first podium for the team. I’m so happy for this.”
Sixth place for Brad Binder in Argentina
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider crosses the line fifth, but receives a penalty. Jorge Martin crashes out, five laps from the chequered flag.
31/03/2019 - Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit
The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team experienced mixed fortunes in the second race of the 2019 season, held at Termas de Rio Hondo this weekend. Brad Binder was able to take fifth place, but Race Direction would later sanction him with a penalty for some manoeuvres that were deemed unsafe and he was dropped down to sixth. His teammate, Jorge Martin, suffered a crash in the final part of the race when he was riding in eleventh place.
Brad Binder, who started from the second row of the grid, dropped three positions at the start, completing the first lap in ninth place. However, the South African was quick to get on the pace, and on Lap 8 he reached the Top 5. With 7 laps remaining, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider gave chase to the leading group and after some intense final laps, featuring many overtaking moves, Binder crossed the finish line fifth. His penalty meant that he would instead be awarded sixth.
In his second race as a Moto2 rider, Jorge Martin had a difficult start, conceding two places off the line to go back into 17th. The reigning Moto3 World Champion managed to recompose himself, making progress thereafter to reach 11th. Despite the good pace, the Spaniard would eventually crash out at Turn 5 with 5 laps remaining.
Brad Binder is now 7th in the overall standings, with Jorge Martín 21th. The Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 riders will return to action from April 12-14th at Red Bull GP of The Americas, to be held in Austin, USA.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"We are positive, because the Qatar Grand Prix was very difficult for us, whilst this weekend we feel like we have taken steps forward. We had a test last week that helped us a bit, but there is still work to be done if we want to be at the front. Even if, the last few laps were very intense this is a positive result, since Brad [Binder] chased the first group. Jorge [Martin] suffered an unfortunate crash but he was having a solid race, fighting to enter the Top 10."
41 BRAD BINDER
"We worked very hard throughout the weekend and we have continued to take steps forward. Although we still had issues at some points, we took things in the right direction. In the race I was doing well, but I also made a few small mistakes. We need to be more relaxed. I'm looking forward to the next race in Austin. It's a good track and I'm going to give my best to keep moving forward."
88 JORGE MARTIN
"It was a positive weekend. The race was going well, as I came back from low down on the grid and could have fought for the Top 10, but a small crash prevented us from doing that. Our pace was similar to that of the top riders and I could have had a great race. We have to keep working hard. I came into this round off the back of a recent operation and had not been training, and that hindered us a little. The important thing is that we have found a good base for Austin."
GREAT RECOVERY FOR THE SKY RACING TEAM VR46 IN ARGENTINA
Started from the 22nd box of the grid, Foggia is eighth on the finishing line. Top15 for Vietti Ramus, best rookie.
Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), March 31st 2019 – What a race for the young riders of the Sky Racing Team VR46 in Argentina. Started from the second half of the grid, Dennis Foggia and Celestino Vietti Ramus both hit the points crossing the finishing line respectively into the eighth and 14th place.
Twenty-second at the start, Dennis immediately set his pace and, without ever losing the contact with the fastest guys, has reached the head of the race eight laps to the end and fought to defend his position till the checkered flag.
In the group of the strongest riders also Celestino, at the debut in Argentina and once again in the Top15. With the points scored today, Celestino confirmed the first place in the rookies ranking (13 points).
After a difficult qualifying, a beautiful race for both of our riders in the leading group from the start to the finishing line. I am satisfied: Dennis and Celestino have a strong strat and made a great recovery. They gave their best until the end!
A really fought race and a great recovery! I gave my 100% and I am very happy with the result because the temperatures were very high and during the last laps the tire was practically over. The eighth place is not our goal but, considering the grid position, it was good for today. Thanks to the whole Team, we did a great job.
I am happy for what I have done together with the whole Team, it was a great recovery! A pity for the last lap because I have left some doors open, I should have been more aggressive for not losing positions. It was a positive Sunday: the feeling with the bike was really good and we were able to move up into the rankings.
Points for Bendsneyder and Raffin in Argentina
NTS RW Racing GP leaves Argentina with three points in their pockets: two for Bo Bendsneyder who finished in 14th in the Moto2 race, one for Jesko Raffin who crossed the line in 15th place. The points did not come naturally. Both riders had to go all the way on the demanding circuit of Termas de Rio Hondo, where it was much more oppressive than the first two days of the Argentine GP.
The race was full of incidents, sliders and bikes that simply stopped. Even before the start: polesitter Xavi Vierge did not start because his machine stopped in the warm-up lap. The start of Bo Bendsneyder and Jesko Raffin was not perfect either and both had to give up positions.
For both the Dutchman and the Swiss it was a matter of not giving up, staying focused and seizing the opportunities that were offered, including by mistakes made by others. Both of them managed to crawl forward gradually. With two laps to go Bendsneyder came in fifteenth place and in the final lap he moved on to P14 on +23.007 from winner Lorenzo Baldassarri. In the final lap, Raffin managed to overtake Marco Bezzecchi and grab the last point.
NTS RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen was happy with the points and tenacity of his two riders. “It was certainly not an easy race, but by not giving up and paying attention, Bo and Jesko earned the points. The fact that they have both taken points and that we as a team have taken points in both races so far is a huge boost. It is a sign that we have made great progress compared to last year. All credits for this for our frame builder and partner NTS. Our machine has many strengths, but also a few weaknesses that need attention for the coming races.”
The next one is in two weeks: the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Jesko Raffin will once again replace the injured Steven Odendaal, who has to undergo a second operation at his foot.
Bo Bendsneyder (14th at +23.007): “It was a tough race, certainly in the beginning. My start was not great. It was much better in the training sessions. I lost some places at the start and on the straight. Catching up was very difficult and that made it even harder. I have continued to focus on myself and on staying in contention. That was the number 1 target. The fact that I was able to grab two points with that is great and I am very happy with that. We know what we need to improve for the upcoming races and I am confident that NTS and the team will solve that well as always.”
Jesko Raffin (15th at +24.736): “Points again, I am very happy with that. We were a bit behind at first, but we were able to take a big step ahead for the race. The team did a perfect job with that. I struggled to find my rhythm in the first part of the race. It was warmer and more humid than usual and therefore there was less grip. Things got better from the middle of the race and in the final lap I was able to grab the last point by overtaking Bezzecchi. I am proud that I was able to deliver NTS RW Racing GP points for the second time and I hope I can repeat it again in Austin.”
Leopard riders in the Top10 after a hard race in Argentina
Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Marcos Ramirez have finished 7th and 9th respectively at Termas de Río Hondo after 21 tricky laps throughout the Argentinian track. A bittersweet feeling after a non-expected result for the team, but solid points that consolidate it at the top of the teams standings.
Italian man Dalla Porta started from 4th position and lost some places after the first laps of the race. While trying to push, rivals didn’t put things easy although he managed to handle the situation. On the Spaniard side, Ramirez had difficulties at the beginning too, but as the laps went by, he started to overtake other riders and battled for the top10 positions.
When the race was coming to its end and while Dalla Porta was fighting for the first three positions, suddenly, teammate Marcos Ramirez appeared from behind. He had been struggling up until that moment, but recovered many positions and even got to the lead of the race when there were four laps remaining. He did a tremendous comeback and stunned everyone.
They say your first rival is your teammate and that is what Dalla Porta thought as he overtook the men he had in front, including Ramirez, and took the first position the lap immediately after. He was very determined and focused, but unfortunately, on the last lap another rider touched him and Lorenzo went wide. He finally crossed the line the 7th, while Ramirez finished the 9th.
A hard race where everything was possible, as usual in Moto3. However, even the result hasn’t been the expected, Leopard Racing occupies the first position on team’s standings, Dalla Porta is the 2nd on the Championship and Ramirez the 7th tied on points with Binder and Canet (the 5th and the 6th respectively). Now it is time to rest a little a bit. See you all at the Circuit of the Americas the 14th of April!
#48 Lorenzo Dalla Porta, 7th position
"I’ve suffered a lot, both in the straight and in braking points. At the end of the race my tyres were good in comparison to my rivals and I’ve tried to push. I though I could get the podium but another rider has pushed me to the outside and I’ve gone wide. It’s been a shame as I could have gotten a podium position. Anyway, I’m second on the standings and this is positive. I will arrive to Austin with the aim of winning, as every week. We have everything to do it so we will try. Many thanks to the team, they’ve done a good job".
#42 Marcos Ramirez, 9th position
"I expected more from this race as yesterday I felt good. Today I didn’t have the same confidence and I struggled to overtake other riders. I’ve tried, I even got to the top but I couldn’t do more. I couldn’t fight for the win but I wanted to finish at least among the first five. At least we’ve scored some important points. Everything is quite tight so we will try to fight for the first positions at Austin".
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 leave Argentina empty-handed despite hard work
Alonso Lopez makes a steady comeback, but is taken out of the race by contact with another rider. A crash in the warmup for Sergio García Dols prevents him from taking the start on his Moto3 World Championship debut.
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 Moto3 riders contested the Argentinian GP this Sunday at Termas de Río Hondo, amidst dry conditions despite an overcast sky and high humidity.
Sergio García Dols suffered a heavy crash in the warmup, and a slight concussion in the incident prevented him from completing his Grand Prix debut. He had previously missed the Qatar GP due to his being underage.
A promising fightback for Alonso Lopez ended with a crash with 9 laps remaining. The race was eventually won by Jaume Masia.
The third round of the Moto3 World Championship will be the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and will take place on April 14th.
Alonso set the seventh fastest time in the warmup, clocking a 1:50.296. The Spaniard would start from 17th on the grid, due to having encountered traffic in the decisive moments of Saturday's qualifying session.
He lost a place at the start of the race, but quickly won it back and began a spell of consistent progress, moving into eighth place with 9 laps remaining.
One lap later, he received a knock from John McPhee at Turn 13, and could not keep upright. He crashed out of the race, and leaves Argentina 12th in the standings, with 4 points.
"I was gaining places, but I crashed due to a mistake from another rider"
"I had a good pace, and in the warmup I consolidated it quite well by riding alone. In the race I was gaining positions little by little and, when I was preparing to move up into seventh place, I crashed due to a mistake from another rider. That halted my progress. I think in the end it was a matter of bad luck. I hope to continue with my progress and be back at the front in Texas."
The Spaniard suffered a crash in the warmup on Sunday. After a medical at the circuit, he was diagnosed with a slight concussion and was refused clearance to start the race.
Garcia Dols has been transfered to the Hospital de Santiago del Estero facility, where he will undergo a CAT scan. He will be aiming to make his full Moto3 World Championship debut in a fortnight's time, in the USA.
"The team have been unlucky in Argentina"
"Despite the good work done by Sergio García Dols in his debut weekend, it was a shame that he was not able to take the start after his warmup crash.
Fortunately, the doctors at the circuit have determined that he does not have any serious injuries. However, he felt a bit dizzy and as a precaution it was decided to give him a CAT scan at the Hospital de Santiago del Estero.
The team will keep a close eye on his recovery and we will work so that Sergio is in the best possible shape for the race in the United States.
As for Alonso, his progress was clear in the race. He fought back to move up places in a compact group, and was in a position to fight for the podium. It's a shame that he was taken out of the race thanks to a collision with another rider."
Bezzecchi finishes second GP close to the points - Öttl fights through to 19th
Following a start from the seventh row for the Argentina Grand Prix, Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider Marco Bezzecchi displayed a strong performance throughout his second ever Moto2 race. Although he struggled with pain in his right leg, the Italian grit his teeth to eventually finish in P16, just 0.645 seconds from his first point in the intermediate class.
Meanwhile, German rookie Philipp Öttl showed a consistent pace as well, learned a lot during the 23 laps at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit and transform his 29th starting position into a P19 finish on the line. Now the entire Red Bull KTM Tech3 crew is looking forward to round three in less than a fortnight in Texas.
“I’m happy about the weekend overall, but not very satisfied with the race, because my leg caused some issues after just six or seven laps. Later I created a lot of movement on the bike, because my leg was shaking a lot, so I had a lot of chattering. Anyway, I tried to push to take one point, but Raffin passed me on the last lap and I had no more energy to fight with him, unfortunately. Now I go home, try to recover the most and in Texas I try to get that first point.”
“I think today was not too bad. We are learning really a lot and I want to try to implement all of this. Now we’ll take a close look to the data, maybe we are able to do the next step in the USA. The race today overall was quite interesting. It’s an intense learning process, but I think analyzing everything in detail will help even more.”
“We can’t be too happy, but also not too unhappy with today’s Moto2 race in Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina. Clearly, the disappointment is to have lost the point during the very last lap with Marco, but I think all together, if we see the result of our two riders from round one in Qatar to round two here in Argentina, I think the whole Moto2 team improved a lot. The riders are a lot closer to the front, we reduced the gap significantly. We saw Marco fighting with guys that were quite fast all through the winter tests, which is a good sign. The start was ok, not ideal and during the early stages of the race he was catching up, doing interesting lap times, but as we were fearing the right leg, that was injured in Qatar has been a problem the whole weekend and in the second part of the race it was very, very difficult for Marco to have the energy to push and keep the speed. As we said earlier, loosing 15th position in the last lap is a bit of a shame, although one point is not the end of the world. Anyway, the positive thing is that he clearly feels better and better on the bike, the whole team is working better and it’s only round two. What we hope is that his leg is going to be better, also for him to train. Let’s carry on working. On the other side of the box, Philipp managed to have some fights with Tulovic and Dixon, also reduced the deficit to the front, but we were expecting him to be a bit closer to Marco. But it’s only the beginning and I think we need to keep our heads down, continue to push and to support our riders, which is also important for the riders to keep pushing, to keep working. As I said in Qatar, we are behind our two guys, the points are coming closer and closer and let’s hope we will get some points in Texas.”
First podium in career for Tony Arbolino at Termas de Rio Hondo circuit! The rider from Garbagnate, starting from the third position on the grid, fought for the whole race, one overtaking after the other. A well-deserved result that Tony has been waiting for several races. At the end of the last season, Tony showed an important mental step and he continued his growth path during the winter with his trainer Ivan Lopez and with the support of Jorge Lorenzo who bet a lot on Tony. Difficult race for Romano Fenati who is out today from the point zone. There are still 17 races and Romano will be for sure a protagonist of this championship but his season has still to start!
Tony Arbolino: "I am very happy for this podium, I have been waiting it for a long time and today I was feeling good. We worked well for the whole weekend and after Qatar, which was a difficult race for me, I worked hard. At the last lap when I have been overtaken, I thought for a moment that everything was lost but then I braked hard, opened the gas and got the podium,. I thank the team for the work done and even Romano as, after Qatar, he helped me a lot ".
Romano Fenati: "It was a quite difficult weekend. Yesterday I was feeling good as we solved braking problems and we did a good qualifying. In the first two laps the front closed in a couple of occasions in a strange way and this compromised my race. We'll do better for sure in Texas ".
POSITIVE MOTO2 RACE FOR SAMA QATAR ÁNGEL NIETO TEAM
Jake Dixon makes up positions to finish 17th, with Xavi Cardelús crossing the line in 21st
The Moto2 race in Argentina produced drama before it had even started, with pole setter Xavi Vierge, set to line up at the front of the grid for the second successive year at Termas de Río Hondo, unable to take up his position after breaking down on the warm-up lap. In his absence, Marcel Schrotter, Remy Gardner, Álex Márquez and Lorenzo Baldassarri battled for the win, with Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona close behind. In the end, victory went to Baldassarri, backing up his win from Qatar to consolidate his early championship lead. Gardner and Márquez completed the podium, with Lecuona finishing as the top KTM in fourth.
The Grand Prix of Argentina ended in positive fashion for the Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team, with Jake Dixon finishing just outside the points-scoring positions in seventeenth place after overcoming some brake issues early in the race. The British rider started from 27th on the grid after a penalty for another rider and he made up more positions throughout the race to eventually take 17th. His teammate Xavi Cardelús also made progress from his starting position to finish 21st in Argentina, the Andorran battling in the group over the early laps but eventually losing touch and riding alone for the final few.
17th Jake Dixon: “The bike is still not where we want it, I was struggling today under braking and couldn’t get the bike stopped as I’d like, which cost me a lot of time. Up until half distance I couldn’t work out the best way to ride around it, so it’s not ideal but we have finished the race and that’s a positive. Now we’ll continue to build on it in Austin.”
21st Xavi Cardelús: “The start of the race was positive, I was able to stick with the group but gradually they escaped. The difference was very small but enough for me to lose the slipstream and from there the gap increased. We will keep working on every aspect and try again in Austin.”
Ayumu Sasaki achieves best result to date with fifth place in Argentina
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider places inside the Top 5 at Termas de Rio Hondo. John McPhee completes the race despite suffering a crash.
This Sunday was a day to remember for Ayumu Sasaki, who crossed the line fifth at the Termas de Rio Hondo Circuit for his best result to date in the Moto3 World Championship. PETRONAS Sprinta Racing teammate John McPhee, who had once again been the fastest rider in the warm up and went on to lead the race, crashed with 10 laps to go, remounting to 21st place.
Starting from ninth, Sasaki made a great start that allowed him to form part of the front group. Throughout the 21-lap race, the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider was in the fight for the podium, which lasted right up to the last lap. The Japanese talent eventually crossed the line fifth, just half a second behind the race winner.
McPhee, who took off from 11th, kept up the same strong pace that he had shown all weekend, and was up at the front within the opening laps. He would briefly lead the race, but would drop back into the pack and with 10 laps remaining, crashed on the penultimate corner. The Scotsman remounted his bike to take 21st at the chequered flag.
Ayumu Sasaki leaves Argentina 10th in the overall standings, with a total of 11 points, whilst John McPhee remains on 3 points, in 20th. With 14 points, PETRONAS Sprinta Racing are 10th in the team ranking. The next round of the Moto3 World Championship season is the GP of the Americas, which will be held on April 12-14th.
Johan Stigefelt - Team Director
"Ayumu Sasaki achieved his best result in a race, so we are very happy. What I am particularly pleased with is his evolution throughout the weekend. We started with a bad feeling on Friday, but step-by-step we have been improving and in the race he was up there, which is very good. He had an impressive race, because the action was close and aggressive from the first lap onwards. Obviously, when you are so high up the order, you always want to finish on the podium, but these races are very difficult to predict and he did his best.
John McPhee was fast all weekend and had a good pace. He was a little far back on the grid, but he got to the front and managed to lead the race. He dropped back a bit and that ended up with him crashing. It's a shame because he could have taken a good result here, but we'll have to wait for the next race."
#71 Ayumu Sasaki
"The weekend had been hard. On the first day I struggled a lot, especially because this circuit is not one of my favourites. We had to adapt the bike and change many aspects of the setup, something that meant we found it difficult to be up at the front. Both my crew chief and the entire team worked very well, never giving up and supporting me a lot. At this circuit you have to ride very smoothly, which is not my style, so we have had to improve in that aspect. After the warm up we made some changes that allowed us to start the race with much more confidence. In the race I focused on staying inside the Top 5 for as long as possible, because if you don't do that, you can get left behind in races which run in groups. I'm very happy to have been fighting at the front and I enjoyed the battle. On the last lap I made a small mistake that took me away from the podium, but overall the result is very positive. Now we are going to Texas, to a circuit that is better suited to my riding and where we hope to place on the podium."
#17 John McPhee
"Honestly, I felt good until the moment I crashed. I got into the lead and I tried to push the pace in order to establish a gap, but I didn't manage to do it and I dropped back into the group. I was trying to find my way to the front of the race again, when another rider touched me; he must have damaged the back of my bike. I didn't notice the problem until the next corner, when I couldn't use my rear brake. It's a shame, but these things happen in racing. I'm hoping that, as this weekend we have found a great pace, we can carry it over to the next race in Austin."
SAMA QATAR ÁNGEL NIETO TEAM SALVAGE A POINT IN ARGENTINA
Raúl Fernández fights for whole race in lead group before finishing fifteenth, as Aleix Viu finishes his first race with the team in a creditable nineteenth
The Grand Prix of Argentina produced another stunning Moto3 race with no fewer than 18 riders doing battle for the win over 21 laps. KTM rider Jaume Masiá, fourteenth in the early stages, came through to take his first win of the season, with South Africa’s Darryn Binder and Tony Arbolino of Italy completing the podium alongside the Spaniard. Meanwhile Kaito Toba retained his leadership of the championship ahead of Lorenzo dalla Porta, with Masiá moving up to third.
The Sama Qatar Ángel Nieto Team salvaged a point from a Moto3 race in Argentina that saw Raúl Fernández fight in the lead group throughout the race, eventually finishing only his second race as a full-time Grand Prix rider just two seconds off the win in fifteenth place, a result that leaves him second in the chase for the Rookie of the Year title. His teammate this weekend Aleix Viu enjoyed a valuable weekend on the bike ahead of the opening round of the Junior Moto3 World Championship next week. Viu made a cautious start and lost touch with the lead group but he fought hard with a bunch of more experienced rivals and finally took nineteenth.
15th Raúl Fernández: “It was a really tough race, mentally very difficult. We have to improve because we were up there in the lead group but didn’t have enough to hang in there. I struggled a lot, I was running wide and trying to pick a line where I could get on the gas earlier and pick up a slipstream but I still couldn’t prevent them from passing me. We have to move on and learn from this and keep on the upward curve when we go to Austin”.
19th Aleix Viu: “The objective this weekend was to enjoy myself and learn as much as possible before next weekend, for the first round of the Junior Moto3 World Championship. It was a test weekend for my season and I think I passed. I could have pushed harder at the start to go with the group but I didn’t wasn’t to risk a crash. It was important to finish the race and for me that is mission accomplished.”
RODRIGO ALMOST HIT JACKPOT AT TERMAS
The Argentine Grand Prix brought some important points to Team Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 as Gabriel Rodrigo was among the leading protagonists of the race in front of his home crowd. Starting from the thirteenth place on the grid at Termas de Rio Hondo, the rider #19 immediately showed he had what it takes to be at the sharp end.
With the fastest lap of the race, a good number of overtakes and an excellent race pace, the Argentine rider moved all the way to the front on several occasions. The Barcelona-born talented youngster kept himself within the front group for the whole second part of the race and battled for the win until four corners to go, when a collision between his bike’s front tyre and an opponent’s rear tyre cost him a few positions. Today’s ten points, however, have given Rodrigo a good boost of confidence as well as a push upwards in the standings.
Riccardo Rossi manged to complete yet another race in the World Championship as he crossed the line 22nd– just like three weekends prior in Qatar. Same result, but different feelings for the young Italian, who made big steps forward throughout the Argentine weekend on a track that was completely new to him.
6th - GABRI RODRIGO #19
“I’m really happy, as I knew our grid position did not reflect our potential. During warm up we confirmed our tyre choice – the harder option – and we started the race with clear ideas on what to do. I was able to make my way past several opponents early on and I easily stayed near the front. Too bad for the last-lap mistake, though. I was leading and I could have surely been on the podium, but had a coming together with Binder and there was nothing I could do. It’s a big weight off our shoulders: we’re back near the front and we hope to do the same at Austin.”
22nd - RICCARDO ROSSI #54
“I had a good start and the pace was there. I was in a quite competitive group and my times were similar to the front of the field. I then lost the rear-end of the bike a little and that made me lose touch with the group I was in, and from then on, I simply could not close the gap with them again. I’m happy in any case, as we definitely improved from Qatar.
Longest trip of the calendar concluded in the top 20
In Sunday’s gruelling race, Lukas Tulovic came home in a deserved 18th place.
Lukas Tulovic, however, started his second race in his first full season in Moto2™ World Championship a bit upset. The penalty given by the race direction after qualifying, the ambitious racer wanted to make it up already at the start.
But as soon the lights went out, Tulovic didn’t leave the line greatly at the far end of the starting grid. So, then a grand prix race distance is nothing new for the 18-year-old from Germany’s Eberbach though today’s conditions with hot temperatures and extremely humid at the time of the race demanded everything from him.
The championship remains at the American continent for round three of the series at Austin’s massive Circuit Of The Americas in two weeks.
#3 Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing, KTM), 18th:
"Today, we’ve missed out a better result at the start already. My start was a bit far from optimally and then, I didn’t manage it to pass the one or another rider immediately. So, this was why a small gap opened to the group ahead of me, but I wanted to stay with them because I definitely wanted to race my own race alone."
"In doing so, I was riding too uptight instead to be relaxed as during Saturday’s sessions. I wanted to make up it everything in braking which was completely wrong in retrospect. I made too many mistakes running several times wide. I think, regarding to our speed we could have ended up further towards the front. Therefore, I’m a bit upset about myself because of today‘s race progress has shown that we could have going back home with a more nice result than with what came out in the end. But I know very well on what I’ve to work. I’m still a rookie in this championship and I’m here to learn. Above all, however, I’ve to prepare in a different way for conditions like this. With regards to the races in Thailand and Malaysia later this year, a certain conversion in my training plan is a must to be done, indeed. The race was brutally demanding, at the end I was totally exhausted."
Jochen KIEFER (Team manager / Technical director):
"We’re, of course, satisfied with the outcome of today’s race. But we went into this weekend with different prerequisites because Lukas didn’t know this track before, and practice time is limited during a Grand Prix though. But he did good again, improving step by step. We’re really happy with his lap times he was able to set ultimately, whether during practice sessions or during the race."
"Today, though, he was a bit too inconstant. He has to work on that because it’s an important point to grow up quickly in this championship. In addition, in this sweltering heat, he has reached his physical limits today. But Lukas immediately saw this himself and he is already thinking about how he can adjust his training. But so far, we’re doing a good job, we’re definitely on the right way with him and our project in general."
Black weekend for Kornfeil and Salac
The two Redox PrüstelGP riders fought hard all weekend in South America but eventually lost everything.
Especially in the free practice, Filip Salac struggled with some problems, while Jakub Kornfeil was lacking top speed all the weekend in order to independently ride constant fast times. In a crazy qualifying, the routinier managed to secure a Q2 place, but in the extremely tight Moto3 field, he couldn't prevail and so it was finally only the 16th starting position for the Czech rider.
On Sunday, heavy rain clouds hung over the Termas de Rio Hondo Cicurit and after there were still some wet spots on the 4.8 kilometer circuit in warm-up, the Moto3 race could be started as a dry race. But already in lap 2 and 3, all hopes of the Czech duo burst for this race Sunday.
On lap two, Tom Booth-Amos crashed after a close overtaking maneuver against 17-year-old Filip Salac, who also crashed after the two touched. Although the #12 rider was able to rejoin the race, he fought at the end of the field on P28 with his teammate Jakub Kornfeil, after he also crashed in turn 13 with 17 laps to go, dropping him back to P27.
Kornfeil continued to fight incessantly. The 25-year-old finally crossed the finish line 40,177 seconds behind race winner, Jaume Masia, finishing in 24th place ahead of his compatriot and team-mate.
Now it's time to move on and look forward, because in two weeks time, from the 12th to the 14th of April, the season continues in Texas at the Circuit of the Americas with the third race of the season.
Jakub Kornfeil #84
It was a difficult weekend and it got worse in the race. My start was not so bad and I was focusing on Rodrigo because he is usually really strong. Anyway that didn’t work out and the first corner was a bit messy and so I didn’t gain any positions there. I tried to push hard in the second lap but there was contact between me and Masaki in the second corner of the second lap. I dropped back to the end and then missed the exit and everybody overtook me on the straight. I was last and had to fight from the back. Luckily it was only the second lap, so the whole field was still close and I was working hard to keep up. But the group opened up and so I pushed hard in the corners because I didn’t have enough speed on the straight but then I lost the front wheel in turn 13. We studied the data because I wanted to learn from this incident and also to understand the bike and what I did wrong. Unfortunately we couldn’t find anything so this makes it even more difficult to prevent such crashes ih the future. My pace over the race was not so bad but I lost too much time with the two incidents. Zero points and a drop to 17th positions in the championship is pretty bad and I am feeling sorry for the team. We will now fully focus on Texas.
Filip Salac #12
In warm-up we already had a few problems with the rear grip but we fixed it for the race and I felt good in the first lap. I had a good start but then I made a mistake in the second corner and finally in Lap two, some other rider overtook me and he got a little wild. When he went to the ground he touched my handlebar and knocked me off my bike. In the middle of the race I wasn’t doing bad lap times and I was there with Jakub trying to get further to the group in front of us but the airbag of my leathers were open and so my chest protector went down and I could hardly move. It was a very unlucky race but I still want to thank my team, because we made some good progress over the weekend and I hope we continue to improve in Austin.
Florian Prüstel - Managing Director
Unfortunately the whole weekend did not go so well for us and we had difficulties to improve. The entire Moto3 field, but also Honda and KTM have moved closer together. Filip has shown a good development, especially as he rode on this track for the first time. The increase could be seen in every session, the more regrettable is the very unfortunate crash in the race. Jakub started quite strong in FP1 but in qualifying we were lucky to even make it into Q2, but in the end it was difficult to push for a good position. After his start he lost a lot of positions and finally crashed too. He fought strong at the end of the field. The gap was just too big. Now we move on and try to get better results in Austin. Nevertheless, many thanks to the team for their efforts this weekend.
SEVENTH PLACE FOR LUCA MARINI IN ARGENTINA
Another Top10 for rider of the Sky Racing Team VR46. Nicolò Bulega forced to retire due to a pain in his right forearm.
Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), March 31st, 2019 - The GP of Argentina closes with a beautiful recovery by Luca Marini for the Sky Racing Team VR46. Forced to retirement, for the recurrence of a pain in his right forearm, Nicolò Bulega when he was fighting for the Top10.
Luca, who started from the 13th place on the grid, thanks to a great start, kept in contact with the strongest guys and was able to manage the second half of the race in the best way. Protagonist of a duel with Binder till the checkered flag for the fifth place, he has crossed the finishing line in seventh place.
Forced to retirement, five laps from the end, Nicolò for the recurrence of a pain in his right forearm. A real pity for the young rookie at the end of a very positive weekend in the Top10.
Luca made a really great start: he was immediately in the group of the strongest guys with a great pace. A pity for the grid position, but this has to be a further motivation for us to make a step forward in qualifying. Nicolò was able to stay all weekend in the Top10. However, the pain in his arm compromised his performance, and in the upcoming days we will understand what to do.
As always in Moto2, it is essential to start in the front rows to be able to better manage the tire. Unfortunately, starting from the fifth row, in the first laps I have struggled and I have stressed more than I should the rear. Overall I have closed a good weekend: thanks to the change we made on the bike after the warm up I kept a great pace, especially in the final stages of the race. The feelings for Austin are positive and in these two weeks I will work to better prepare one of the most challenging races of the entire season before arriving in Jerez, where we will find the new tires.
A pity not being able to finish the race due to a physical problem. I was competitive all weekend, always in the Top10 and today I expected a different race. I'm really sorry, but the pain in my arm was unmanageable. Back in Italy I will do the necessary checks and we will understand what to do in the upcoming days.
FIRST POINTS IN MOTO2!
Autodromo International Termas de Rio Hondo
Rd.2 Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina
Ambient: 26℃ / Track: 35℃
Hiroshi Aoyama - Team Manager
In Moto2 both riders made a good start overtaking some riders and both was fighting to be in the points. Unfortunately, Dimas crash in lap 7 but with no problem that its important. About Somkiat he was fighting with second group till last lap in his first race at Moto2 category. Finish 10th in his first race its brilliant. Apart of that he has more space to improve so let’s start thinking in America to maintain this level.
23rd Dimas Ekky Pratama #20
I cannot be happy with this position, because I was fighting in 18th position. If I didn’t crash I was sure I can fight for the points. I change my mind for the race, my motivation was high and I made a good start. I was pushing so hard to be with the group but I lose the front in corner 13th. Thanks to my team they repair so quick the bike I can go on track again. I would like to give thanks to all my fans for his support, sponsors and team. See you in next race at Americas GP.
10th Somkiat Chantra #35
Today it was my first race at Moto2 category after the problem in Qatar. I am super happy finish in 10th position! In the first part of the race I feel very good and I push fighting with many riders but in the last 10 laps I feel very tight my arm and I have to change my riding style to be more smooth. In the end was very good. This cannot be possible without my team that always they work hard for me. Thanks to my fans, Thanks to the sponsors and Honda !
We continue as a leaders!
Autodromo International Termas de Rio Hondo
Rd.2 Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina
Ambient: 25℃ / Track: 29℃
Hiroshi Aoyama - Team Manager
Today’s race in moto3 was an strange and difficult race. The pace was not high but it was a big group. Both riders were very unlucky because other riders crash in front of them or hits them. Both riders never give up and fight till the end. In case of Kaito that he came from very far away, catch the group to finish in a good 10th position. For Ai was similar situation so we have to be positive and looking forward to Americas GP.
10th Kaito Toba #27
Finally, it was not bad because I continue as a championship leader but I was a little bit unlucky at todays race. At the beginning I was with the group fighting with many riders. I try to push but conditions were not the best so I keep calm. At 10 laps to go one rider crash in front of me and I lost too much time and group. I push too much and I catch them just at 2 laps to the end. I advance some riders and finish 10th. I am little disappointed but I have to learn for next races.
15th Ai Ogura #79
I did a good start and I was with leading group. I was comfortable in the group as I expect. I am disappointed because one rider hits me. I didn’t crash but my bike was damage. I continue to push from back, and I catch them but I was not able to fight to go in better position. Good point is that my motivation its high because I know I can be in front group in a normal situation.
The MV Agusta Idealavoro Forward Racing team leaves Argentina with a sour taste, but with a great desire to redeem itself.
The MV Augusta Idealavoro Forward Racing Team is back today on the hot track of Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina), for the second round of the 2019 season. After having considerably reduced the gap with the leading group during the two days of free practice and qualifying, the team has been able to collect even more data in view of the race in Texas.
Dominique Aegerter, who started from the seventh row, managed a comeback race that saw him recover 7 positions, reaching the 13th place and being in the points area. A crash at two corners from the end has unfortunately ruined his race to the crown of the important result. He resumed the race and managed to move into 20th position under the checkered flag
Stefano Manzi, who started from the eighth row, after a warm-up that took him just 9 tenths from the top, managed to make a good start in the race, which allowed him to gain 5 positions before crashing due to a contact with another rider, after a braking at the limit. At the medical center, the doctor detected an infraction of the distal radius of the right wrist without apparent fractures. Depending on the pain of the next few days, Manzi may have to be subjected to further examination.
Despite the final result the team is positive. The race of Dominique and the entire job made during the weekend, have proved that the direction taken is the right one. The riders and the team are already looking forward to the next round of the Moto2 World Championship in Texas (United States) on the weekend of 12, 13 and 14 April.
Dominique Aegerter – rider P20 +56.934
“When the weekend started, we knew that we had made progress. Starting from the practice to the race I was closer to the front than in Qatar. Today I finally fought for points and I didn't lose a lot compared to the front group; this was one of our goals. If I would not have crashed in the last corners, I would probably finish the race in 13th place at 16 seconds from the first so with less than 10 seconds distance in comparison to the first race and this is definitely positive. I pushed a lot and gave my 100% but unfortunately, I committed a mistake while I was looking for my limit. I am sorry for the unrealized result and for the team that has worked really hard the entire weekend to give me a better bike, but I guarantee that I will continue to work hard to get back MV Agusta and the team to the top”.
Stefano Manzi – rider DNF
“It was a pretty stupid crash because I was in the first lap launched, but unfortunately to pass another rider I had to hazard a braking a little bit hard to save as much time as possible and since I was not on the side, but behind him, the other rider didn't see me and closed the turn. When I got back, I didn't have time to stop and there was a contact. I had a bad crash but luckily, I'm pretty well. Now let's get back to work for the race in Austin”.
Milena Koerner - Team Manager
"A disappointing ending for the weekend, as we have not been able to reap the fruits of the good work done in the past two days. Compared to Qatar the feeling was very positive, as we were able to considerably reduce the gap with the leading group both in practice and on the distance race. Dominique did a really good job fighting for 12th position, but unfortunately on the last lap he committed a small mistake because he didn't want to give up and lose the position. It's a great disappointment because we would really like to have this result at the second race of our new born MV Agusta F2. We won't be discouraged and we will certainly try again in Austin in two weeks. On the other side Stefano, who had started the weekend a bit uphill, worked hard to close the gap he had with his team-mate. Both of them made a good start and they were initially both between 15th and 16th position, then unfortunately Stefano crashed causing a lesion of the distal radius of his right wrist and in the next few days he will certainly have to make further examinations to find out if there are any fractures. We are confident that he will be in good shape for the Grand Prix of Austin and that we can make up for today's result".
Comeback and first points of the season for Khairul Idham Pawi
PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider finishes 13th at Termas de Rio Hondo, after starting from 25th.
Khairul Idham Pawi claimed his first 3 points of the Moto2 World Championship season at the Argentina GP, finishing 13th. The PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider showed a solid race pace in the second part of the contest, which allowed him to move up the order.
The Malaysian rider, who started from the ninth row after placing 25th in yesterday's qualifying session, demonstrated the progress he had made over the weekend with a positive showing. After maintaining his position at the start, he was able to gain places and reach 17th on Lap 11.
With a clean track ahead, Khairul Idham Pawi was able to ride consistently until reaching the group that rounded off the point-scoring positions. On the final laps, the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing rider was able to overtake several rivals to cross the line 13th, getting his first three points of the season.
With this result, Khairul Idham Pawi is 18th in the Moto2 World Championship standings. The next event for the series will be held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, from April 12-14th.
Johan Stigefelt - Team Director
"We are very pleased with the progression we have made since we started this project with Khairul Idham Pawi. He had a very difficult season last year and he is getting faster and faster. From Friday he had a good pace, but in the afternoon he suffered a crash and lost some confidence, which also affected his qualifying. In the race he didn't make a good start, but he did make a great comeback. He had a very good pace and overtook many riders. KIP finished thirteenth, fulfilling our goal of finishing in the points. Now we just need to improve his qualifying, as he showed once again today that he is a great rider on race day. It's only a matter of time before he reaches the Top 10."
#89 Khairul Idham Pawi
"I'm very happy with the bike and especially with the team, since we worked a lot ahead of this race and the feeling was very good. I made some mistakes, but the tyre was wearing out very fast and I was trying to manage the situation. The positive thing is that I improved with every lap and was trying to reduce the gap to the frontrunners. We have achieved our first points of the season, so I am very satisfied. I want to thank the team who have worked very hard during the weekend. Now we just have to improve some small things in order to be better in the races."
AN UNFORTUNATE END TO A PROMISING #ARGENTINAGP FOR LOWES
Sam Lowes’s Argentine Grand Prix drew to an early close with 18 laps to go, as the Briton suffered a low-side at turn seven which took away all hopes and expectations for a possible good race result at Termas de Rio Hondo. From the third slot of the front row, Lowes had a good start, although he made a small mistake and went wide at turn one.
The standard bearer of Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 was running in sixth place in the early moments of the encounter before successfully overtaking Thomas Luthi, but after the aforementioned crash the former World Champion could not re-join the encounter.
This surely represents a wasted opportunity for Lowes, who had the speed to battle at the front of the field. In less than two weeks, however, Moto2 action will resume at Austin in Texas, and Sam will do his utmost to turn things around.
N.C. - SAM LOWES #22
“I feel sorry for the team, because this is my first mistake in many races. It’s too bad, because I feel we could have battled for the win or at least for the podium. I think I went just a little too wide and crashed when I touched the throttle. This track doesn’t get used much so going off line can be very costly. But we’ll be ready for Austin.”
Öncü leaves Argentina empty-handed
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto3 rider finishes 26th, after suffering a crash on Lap 7.
The second race of the 2019 Moto3 World Championship took place today at Termas de Rio Hondo and it was the second event as a full-time rider for the Red Bull KTM Ajo rookie, Can Öncü. The Turkish talent made a solid start to the contest, but a crash early on meant that he would be unable to place in the points. The Turkish remounted to finish 26th in the Argentina GP.
The 15-year-old took off from 23rd on the grid, and held his spot when the lights went out. The young talent managed to latch onto a large front group consisting of 22 riders, and was comfortable riding at the same pace as the race leader. The highest position he climbed to was 20th, before an unfortunate crash at Turn 1 of Lap 7 ended his progress. He would get back onboard his bike, gaining valuable experience but missing out on points.
Can Öncü and the Red Bull KTM Moto3 team will now prepare for the Red Bull GP of The Americas, which runs from April 12th-14th.
Aki Ajo - Team Manager
"Can Öncü had another weekend of his learning process. It hasn't been easy for him, since he had never ridden at Termas de Rio Hondo before. Nevetheless, he managed to be consistent -despite his unfortunate crash in the race. He is a young talent and we feel that these moments will help him to learn. I'm sure that during this year, after all these experiences, we will be able to aspire to good results."
61 CAN ÖNCÜ
"It was a positive day, despite the crash. We rode much better than in the first race at the Qatar Grand Prix -and were even able to fight with the front group. The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit was a new track for me and I tried to do my best, but this is racing. The important thing is that we have learned a lot, and in Austin we will put into practice all the knowledge we have acquired this weekend. I am sure that soon we can fight to be at the front."