2012 Silverstone Moto2 And Moto3 Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying on Saturday at Silverstone:
CARETTA TECHNOLOGY - Silverstone GP - Qualifying Practice
Despite a technical problem that stopped at 10 minutes from the end of the practice, Alexis gets the third time on the grid and will start from the front row. Miller delayed by setting problems gets the 24th time.
Alexis Masbou: "I'm glad, we worked well and I am convinced that I could do better becouse I found traffic and I had been forced to stop for a problem with the exhaust. Tomorrow I will try to realize."."
Jack Miller: "It was not an easy session practice: we still have problems with setting and we work hard to try to solve them. I hope to find better grip and to make a good race tomorrow."
Maverick Viñales completes trio of consecutive poles
Repsol rider makes the most of dry track to put down best time in qualifying. Rins and Oliveira place tenth and eleventh at Silverstone.
Repsol Media Service - Great Britain, Silverstone Circuit - Saturday 16/06/2012
The starting grid for the Moto3 British Grand Prix was decided this Saturday afternoon, and it was Repsol rider Maverick Viñales who took the top spot by almost two-tenths of a second. Fellow Repsol competitors Álex Rins and Miguel Oliveira placed tenth and eleventh, respectively.
Weather conditions continued to play a big part at Silverstone but, although there was a constant threat of rain, the track remained dry for both practice and qualifying for the Moto3 class. Sandro Cortese was fastest in the morning, closely followed by Viñales and Oliveira, second and third. Álex Rins had a good run to take sixth.
In the final minutes of the session, Miguel Oliveira and Álex Rins suffered crashes. The Portuguese rider hit the brakes too hard on turn 17 and locked up the front, unable to prevent a tumble. Rins slid when spots of rain had begun to fall at the end of the session, sliding out on the final chicane —turn 16.
Both riders were able to go out for qualifying session on fixed bikes. In that session, Viñales defied the strong wind to put himself on pole, ahead of Efren Vázquez —who had used Viñales for a tow. The Repsol rider then upped his pace and ensured first place on the grid for the third time in succession. It is his sixth pole in the World Championship.
On their first visit to Silverstone, Álex Rins and Miguel Oliveira will both occupy spots on the fourth row for tomorrow’s race. The duo clocked the tenth and eleventh best times in qualifying, respectively. Both had problems with the strong wind at the British track, needing to look for a tow in order to complete a decent lap. That meant a repeat of the familiar sight of riders waiting for competitors to pass, with the side effect of an over-abundance of traffic on track.
FP3 - 2:18.022, 14 laps, 83 km.
QP - 2:16.187, 14 laps, 83 km.
"That was a very positive session, because I felt comfortable in difficult conditions. We were able to ride in the dry and hope that things are the same tomorrow. With this wind and with the track being so long, we have more difficulties to face than normal. We got a fast lap in at the right moment.
I am very happy to be back on pole at the circuit where I did so for the first time in my career last year. I feel good about tomorrow and I am focused. It will be a tough race contested in a group, very difficult to escape from the other Moto3 riders. We will see what happens."
FP3 - 2:18.208, 10 laps, 59 km.
QP - 2:18.090, 15 laps, 89 km.
"Things went well in the morning. We continued with our work in the afternoon, although things became more difficult towards the end of the session when everyone was looking for someone to latch onto. We went out to try and make the most of the new tyre, but it was hard to get a solo ride and it was so windy. In any case, I think that we have the pace to be up at the front.
Silverstone is a very long track, so we need to get a good start and get amongst the front group on the opening lap. This will be an important factor to bear in mind. We have been able to work a lot on our settings, as two dry sessions are sufficient to analyse different configurations."
FP3 - 2:18.562, 15 laps, 89 km.
QP - 2:17.908, 14 laps, 83 km.
"That wasn’t all bad, to tell the truth. We had improved on our best time from the morning practice session just one lap into qualifying, then I managed to put in my fastest lap on my first stint with soft tyres. There were too many people looking for a tow in qualifying. We need a little more pace to be up at the front, but this is a circuit to which we have adapted quickly and I think that we can have a good race.
It will be a little trickier if it rains, although the asphalt maintains an acceptable amount of grip. We still need to improve our pace in the wet, but if the race is dry then we can be part of that second group.”
Salom on the pace at windy Silverstone
Luis Salom will start the British Grand Prix from the second row of the grid. At a windy but dry Silverstone circuit the Spanish rider for RW Racing GP set a time of 2.17.485. That was good enough for sixth place. Salom was even a bit faster, but ran over the line exiting the corner before the straight, which is forbidden. Riders who run off at that place of the track lose their time set in that lap. The difference for Salom was that he was set back from fourth to sixth on the grid.
Salom was clearly on the pace at Silverstone: he was the fastest Moto3 rider in sector 2 and once again had one of the highest top s peeds.
Brad Binder was looking at a fast time but got stuck in the traffic of the last lap. Therefore the South African could not improve and had to settle for the ninth row of the grid with 2.20.080: a time he had set in the sixth lap of his first run already.
Luis Salom (6th): "The bike is fast! I understand the new chassis now and I am starting to feel more and more confident with it. The team worked will this weekend so far. I am happy with that. I can follow the other fast riders easily. I have a good feeling for the race.’’
Brad Binder (25th): "I am a bit frustrated because I think I could have been further up the grid. The bike was working well, but I seemed to be in the wrong place on the track all the time. Silverstone is very wide and that makes it more difficult to find the good lines. There was a strong wind and everybody was waiting for one another for a slipstream. It was a mess actually. When I thought I found the right pace, I ran into traffic and ruined my last chance for a fast lap time.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "I am disappointed about Brads place on the grid, because I believe he is faster than it showed. I’m sure he can do a good race anyway, if he has a good start. He can do that, but it will be difficult. Luis looks better and better. He is becoming friends with the bike again.’’
MotoGP Moto3 - Positive QP for Team Italia FMI: Fenati is 9th, Tonucci 12th
In a cold yet dry afternoon in Silverstone, the two Italian riders seized 3rd and 4th row spots.
Romano Fenati, still coming to grips with an unknown track, confirmed his quick learning skills: Fenny posted a 2'17"904 (1''7 behind poleman Viñales) without taking advantage of anyone's slipstream. Tomorrow he will start from the third row in 9th place. Alessandro
Tonucci also had a strong QP, showing a constant growth and improved feeling with his FTR. Tonu wrapped his best qualifier of the season: he is 12th with a 2'18"151.
Given the stable improvements in lap time, both riders are confident about tomorrow's race.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 9th, 16 laps with a 2'17"904
"The weather was so uncertain. After FP3 I thought it would be a wet qualifying session, but it was dry instead. We found a great setup and I hope the weather doesn't spoil the race tomorrow. I think I have a strong pace."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 12th, 16 laps with a 2'18"151
"Today was a big step ahead for us. I kept a good pace throughout the qualifying session, staying in the Top 10. In the second half of the session, the traffic slowed me down a little bit. I plan on sticking with the front runners tomorrow and have a great race."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"Great teamwork today. Having both riders so close shows how competitive we are. Tonucci and Fenati can do really well tomorrow. We hope for stable weather, and during the warm-up we will try a couple of different solutions for the race."
BANKIA ASPAR RIDERS WAITING ON RACEDAY IMPROVEMENT AT SILVERSTONE
Alberto Moncayo and Héctor Faubel looking for solutions for Sunday in warmup after qualifying 16th and 23rd, respectively
At 1pm local time, qualifying for the Moto3 British Grand Prix kicked off at Silverstone under cloudy skies and with a strong wind blowing around the circuit. The threat of rain forced the hand of the teams as they sent their riders out early, looking to clock a fast time in the dry. Masbou, Vázquez and finally Viñales were the only leaders in the session, but whether they will break free tomorrow -with the weather an incognito- remains to be seen.
Yesterday there was a point in the second sector of the Silverstone circuit that was frequently cut by the Moto3 riders as they overpushed, leading to the cancelation of their lap time. This was repeated today on the exit to the final corner in Moto3, just before crossing the finish line. BANKIA Aspar rider Héctor Faubel had two of his best laps scrubbed for such an incident and, like teammate Alberto Moncayo, he had trouble finding top pace in qualifying due to strong winds and early traffic. Moncayo qualified 16th and Faubel 23rd, requiring a fightback on race day.
16th Alberto Moncayo 2.18.832 (16 laps): "We started the weekend well yesterday and this morning we made great inroads, so the feeling was positive. We were not expecting to struggle so much to find our pace in qualifying. At the start there was a lot of traffic, making it impossible to have a clean run at a lap. I managed to get a decent lap in, but it wasn't what I was hoping for. I am not satisfied with my performance today, but at least I think I have pace and like the new chassis. We have improved the engine performance a little, which motivates us ahead of tomorrow's race. It will be a tough one, but we are here to work hard."
23rd Héctor Faubel 2.19.707 (16 laps): "In England you always have the uncertainty of the weather, and that's exactly what we faced at the start of qualifying. In the end it didn't pour with rain though. Besides this, there is a strong wind here this weekend that has brought the return of our front end problems. We have tried to find a solution but we are still finding it hard to get on the pace. However, at the end of the session I put in a couple of good laps -which were later cancelled out for some reason. I don't know why that was, because I don't think that I cut across at any point on the track. We will be starting from far back tomorrow, but we have the pace to move up the field and I hope that we can."
NICCOLO' RISES ABOVE FEVER AT SILVERSTONE
Suffering from a fever that reached up to 39°, Niccolò Antonelli took a creditable fourth row position for the British Grand Prix in Saturday qualifying. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini rider showed his determination in the session, but could not find a definitive fast lap due to the traffic present in the final moments of the rin. He feels that a few small adjustments and an improvement to his physical condition promise a good race tomorrow at Silverstone.
Niccolò Antonelli (13th 2’18”238) "Today I felt very ill and had a lot of problems with fatigue, but I think that I made a good showing for myself. It is a shame that in the final minutes there was such chaos and traffic on the track impeding us putting in a fast lap. Anyway, I am convinced that with a little technical improvement we can improve my confidence and go well with the bike tomorrow."
Fausto Gresini "Today Niccolò had a high fever and still managed to ride well. Maybe he could have done a little better, but everyone was waiting for each other at the end of the session and there was nobody trying for a fast lap. He was a little annoyed, but the race is tomorrow and he has a good pace. We are of course hoping that his physical condition improves for tomorrow."
Márquez seals second row start on difficult day
Crash in third free practice session forces extensive work on bike, culminating in fifth place in qualifying.
Repsol Media Service - Great Britain, Silverstone Circuit - Saturday 16/06/2012
Repsol rider Marc Márquez had a difficult day in preparation for the British Grand Prix. In the morning practice session his progress was interrupted just two laps in, and when he went back out on track with ten minutes remaining a crash ended his session. In qualifying, the Spaniard set himself the objective of recovering confidence and finetuning his setting after the complete reconstruction of his bike. The end result was fifth place at the end of the session.
With rain making frequent appearances, Marc Márquez managed just four laps in the morning practice session. After twenty minutes waiting in the pits for an improvement in conditions, he went back out when the track had dried. Two laps into his second run, however, the Repsol rider fell on turn eight —the track's fast right hander. He was unhurt, but his bike was severely damaged.
After a few hours of hard work from the mechanics to put the bike back together, Márquez was back for qualifying. A strong wind did not help his cause and he had to adjust his machine's setting to the unique Silverstone track. With little time available and a mid-session break due to further rainfall, Márquez clinched fifth on the grid and a second row start for the British Grand Prix. He will use the warmup to make the final adjustments to his bike.
FP3 - 2:20.370, 4 laps, 24 km.
QP - 2:08.864, 15 laps, 89 km.
"I had a pretty hard crash this morning, but I was lucky to escape unharmed. It was very windy in the afternoon and I wasn't able to find the ideal setting, but we nonetheless took fifth place for tomorrow's race. Maybe we aren't as close to the frontrunners as in other races and we are missing a little bit, but we have the warmup tomorrow in which to try things out. We will take a look at all the data in order to cut a few tenths off our times".
Smith to start home race challenge from second row
Bradley Smith will start his challenge for a second successive British Moto2 podium from the second row of the grid after producing his best qualifying performance of the season in blustery conditions at Silverstone this afternoon.
The Tech 3 Racing Team started the session confident he could challenge for a front row place on the grid for only the second time in his Moto2 career after finishing an impressive third on the combined practice timesheets.
He carried the momentum gained in practice into qualifying and Smith put his Mistral 610 machine in contention for the top three throughout in a session dominated by a fierce and unpredictable wind.
It looked like his best lap of 2.08.844 would secure him his best qualifying result since he was third on the grid in Mugello last season, but a late charge from Catalunya winner Andrea Iannone bumped him back to fourth.
Smith was only 0.228s behind compatriot Scott Redding and heading the second row of the grid is the 21-year-old's best startign position since he was fourth at the Twin Ring Motegi in Japan last October.
Smith produced one of the standout performances of 2011 at Silverstone when he put on an overtaking exhibition in atrocious conditions to fight his way from 28th on the grid to second. Having demonstrated his fast and consistent pace all weekend, Smi th is brimming with confidence that he can battle for the rostrum again in tomorrow's 18-lap race.
The strong and unpredictable winds that have battered the super fast and technical Silverstone circuit all weekend has made it a difficult return to action for Xavier Simeon. The Belgian rider missed the previous round at Catalunya after breaking bones in his left hand and foot following a heavy qualifying crash in Le Mans.
Simeon has been building up his speed and confidence again on the Mistral 610 machine and he was able to lap well over a second quicker in qualifying than he managed in practice. A best lap of 2.10.987 put Simeon in 24th place on the grid.
Bradley Smith 4th 2.08.844 – 18 laps:
“Today continued our excellent weekend and right from the start of practice yesterday we have done a fantastic job and been right in contention for the top three in every session. That has been a great boost for all of us at Tech 3 Racing after a difficult start to the season and I can't wait for the race now. We've found a really good setting with the bike that gave me a lot confidence and even in really tricky conditions today I was fast and competitive. The wind made it really tough to control the bike but that lap of 2.08.8 was just about perfect and I thought it was good enough to be on the front row. It is a shame that I just missed out, but having not started from inside the top 10 all season, I'm not complaining. We need to see what happens with the weather but the bike feels really good on worn tyres, so I believe if I am in the hunt for the final laps then we have a great chance of being on the podium. That would be amazing for the British fans an d for the crew at Tech 3 Racing who have been working incredibly hard to put me in this position.”
Xavier Simeon 24th 2.10.987 – 16 laps:
“It hasn't been an easy return because my injuries are still giving me some pain but in every session I am gaining strength and feeling more comfortable. The disappointing aspect is that I am not as close to the top 15 as I hoped to be. I am making improvements and getting faster each time I am on track but I am still not as quick as I need to be. The target will be the top 15 again but it is painful to change gear and also braking is difficult without maximum power in my arm. I have to thank the staff at the Clinica Mobile because they have done a great job but I know it will be a long and difficult race. This is a physical track with lots of fast changes of direction and the win d has also put extra stress on my body. If I can battle my way into the points I will be very satisfied and be physically stronger in Assen.”
SECOND POSITION FOR IANNONE IN THE QUALIFYING PRACTICE AT SILVERSTONE, DI MEGLIO FIFTEENTH
The riders from the Moto2 class got out on the track for the third free practice session and the qualifying session for the Hertz British Grand Prix.
After beginning the morning practice on dry track, the riders from the middle class had to return to their pit boxes after a sudden shower, in order to wait for a chance to work with clearer conditions. In the last ten minutes at disposal, Iannone went out on the track again, ensuring a time within the top 5. In the qualifying practice, Andrea proved to be among the fastest riders, setting some great lap times, finally grabbing the second spot on the starting grid for tomorrow’s race.
The morning conditions limited the work schedule for Di Meglio and his crew, who chose to try out some modifications on the setting of the Speed Up machine during the qualifying session, ending the practice with the fifteenth position. Mike, together with his technicians, will decide now how to face tomorrow’s race.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 2nd with 2'08.396
“This was a tough qualifying session, but I’m happy with the result we achieved. The wind was pretty strong, and it looked like it was going to rain in any moment. This result proves that our project is growing, and I’m happy I can give some satisfactions to my crew, in this way I can thank them for all the work they do every day. Tomorrow’s race will be difficult, we’re all very fast, and specially the weather will play a big role.”
Mike di Meglio #63 - 15th with 2'10.080
“I ended the qualifying practice in fifteenth position. It isn’t such a brilliant result, but in this session we decided to test a modification that was quite important, which could have helped us in improving. In the end, the bike was working a little better, but we still have some work to sort out. I was struggling because of the wind, we’ll try to find a soultion with the fairing to make it easier to control the bike. We’ll see what happens tomorrow, I’m quite sure we can comeback and I think there’s a chance to fight for some points.”
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS CONFIDENT OF RACEDAY FIGHTBACK AT SILVERSTONE
Toni Elías and Nico Terol take 22nd and 27th place on the grid after suffering difficult weather conditions, but remain confident of a positive race
The Moto2 class contested qualifying at Silverstone with the need to set a fast lap time early as an insurance policy against potential rainfall. The rain did indeed arrive, 16 minutes from the end of the session, but that did not drop the pace of the intermediate category competitors. Redding and Smith were once again looking for a top home time, but were again bested by Spaniard Pol Espargaró at the end of qualifying. He, along with the Brits and Andrea Iannone, are the main favourites for victory tomorrow.
There was a morning crash at Silverstone for Toni Elías, affecting the Spaniard's work schedule for qualifying. The MAPFRE Aspar rider struggled to recover his feel for his Moto2 machine in the afternoon, and placed 22nd after clocking his best time on his thirteen of sixteen laps. Elías still believes that a good race is possible on Sunday afternoon and will be doing all that he can to ensure that is the case. Teammate Nico Terol also had problems, due to the strong wind that complicated matters at the British track. He also has faith in his team and the upturn in results experienced since the French GP, so will be pushing for points on race day.
22nd Toni Elías 2.10.473 (16 laps): "I had a stupid crash this morning on the fast part of the second sector. The bike ended up against the wall and, although my team repaired it perfectly, it didn't feel the same in qualifying. We will look to see if everything is in order tonight and check that there are no issues caused by the crash. We started with a great pace yesterday and were expecting more from this second day. Tomorrow we start from near the back and it will be a hard race, but I am going to try and do as well as possible early on to recover positions. We shall see what setting to use, but I believe that a fightback is possible."
27th Nico Terol 2.11.713 (18 laps): "In the afternoon session we made a radical change. We loaded more weight on the front in order to get the bike cornering better on the fast corners. It looks as if we have a little improvement and I felt a lot more comfortable on corner entry, but the problems start when we open the throttle. Maybe that is because of the wind, but the bike was driving over to the rumble strip on every turn and I couldn't pick it up. It was a tough session, but we aren't going to settle. We have been getting better with every race, we are working very hard and I am sure that with some hard work ahead of tomorrow we can move up the field."
Front row for Redding at British Grand Prix
Silverstone, England - 16 June 2012: Scott Redding will start his home Grand Prix from the front row of the grid, after finishing third fastest in tricky conditions during this afternoon's qualifying session. Mika Kallio will start from 18th on the grid, after struggling with set-up issues throughout free practice and qualifying.
With rain threatening right from the start of this afternoon's 45-minute qualifying session, Redding wasted no time in staking his claim for a front row start. The 19-year-old Briton topped the timesheet with his third lap and then went on to improve his time further as the session progressed.
Redding was knocked back to second place by a hard charging Pol Espargaro, but looked all set to reclaim pole position with his final flying lap, until Tom Lüthi had a near crash right in front of him and he lost vital tenths as a result.
The weather for tomorrow's 18-lap Moto2 race remains unpredictable, but Redding is confident he has the pace whatever the conditions.
Kallio was severely hampered by machinery problems during today's free practice and qualifying sessions. The 29-year-old Finn was unable to dial in the front suspension to provide the level of feedback required and, as a result, struggled to get the bike turned in the blustery conditions.
Kallio tried a number of changes to the bike during practice and qualifying to try and rectify the problem, but without success. The Marc VDS rider and his crew have since been through the data, which points to a mechanical issue with the front forks and this will be investigated further this evening.
Scott Redding #45: 3rd - 2'08.616
"The conditions during qualifying were really tricky. The wind was really strong in places, but it was also completely unpredictable. Just like yesterday you had to take your chance at a fast lap whenever you could, which is one of the reasons we just went for it from the start, the other reason being that it looked like it was going to rain at any second. I was looking good for my first pole position but, once again, it eluded me. The front row will do nicely though. I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. We've got a good set-up whatever the weather decided to throw at us but I'd prefer to race without the wind that has caused so many problems the last two days. Hopefully I'll be able to give the crowd something to cheer about tomorrow, as their support has been fantastic all weekend."
Mika Kallio #36: 18th - 2'10.202
"The bike just hasn't felt right all day, despite us changing virtually everything we could to improve things. On turn in there is no feeling from the front and the bike is moving around a lot underneath me. The same is true on corner exit when I get on the gas, the front of the bike is all over the place and it's moving around a lot more than it should. We weren't able to solve the problem in practice and qualifying, but looking at the data now it seems we have a mechanical problem with the front forks. These will now be stripped and, I hope, that's what the problem turns out to be so we can fix it. If it's not that, then we have some serious thinking to do tonight."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"With high winds and rain showers it can't have been too pleasant for the British fans sat out there on the circuit today, so I'm glad Scott gave them something to cheer about during qualifying. He did a great job, banging in a quick lap right at the start just in case it rained, but then going on to improve further when it stayed dry. He was close to his first pole position, but the front row is good enough for the race tomorrow. I know he'll be aiming for his first Moto2 race win tomorrow, but I'll be happy if he finishes on the podium. Mika had a disappointing qualifying session, after struggling with the bike. It looks like we have a problem with the front forks, but we'll know more once they're out of the bike and stripped down. If we can fix the problem then I'm confident that a top ten finish is still a realistic goal for Mika in the race tomorrow."
REA QUALIFIES IN TOP FIFTEEN AND IS READY FOR HOME RACE
Gino Rea rides at home this week and showed his motivation with a solid performance in qualifying for the British Grand Prix. The Briton placed fifteenth in the afternoon session at Silverstone. He improved his confidence with the bike and is ready to show his form at his favourite track on race day.
Gino Rea (14th 2’10”077) "It seems like everything is going well this weekend and naturally I am happy with this. I’m riding at home, so of course I want to have a good race tomorrow. It looks promising and if we find a little more rear grip, then we will be perfect for the race. We have made some important steps forward and I am very happy for myself and for the Team."
Fausto Gresini "Our progress is bearing fruit and I think that it isn’t just the boost of it being Gino’s home race. I’m sure that riding in front of his home fans is a help to him, but above all I think that Gino is adapting to the Suter and making progress. He will be able to have a good race tomorrow."
''FEEM'' OPTIMISTIC ABOUT SILVERSTONE RACE
Things could have gone slightly better at Silverstone on Saturday, but ‘Feem’ is optimistic about tomorrow’s race and motivated to put in a strong performance. Traffic on track did nothing to help his quest to grab a fast lap time, as riders waited for a tow and clogged up the circuit. Tomorrow’s race will show his true pace and offer a chance to fight back through the field.
Ratthapark Wilairot (19° 2’ 10” 276) "I feel like we improved with the bike. I think that this track is especially good for Suter. We tried a new setting, but five minutes before the end I had some trouble, because Simón and Terol held me up a little bit. If I hadn't come across them, then maybe I could have got a slightly better time, but it is difficult to say."
Fausto Gresini "The progress that we have made is tangible at times. Moto2 is a very difficult category and it takes very little to drop positions. I think that ‘Feem’ can have a good race tomorrow, even starting from nineteenth. I think that he can target a top fifteen finish."