2012 Assen Moto2 And Moto3 Thursday Press Releases
Press releases after the first day of practice at Assen:
Viñales and Oliveira head opening day standings at Assen
World Championship leader dominates opening Moto3 practice, followed by Portuguese. Fellow Repsol rider Álex Rins places ninth on first visit to Assen.
Repsol Media Service - Netherlands, Assen Circuit - Thursday 28/06/2012
A sunny day allowed the Repsol riders the chance to prepare well for the Dutch TT the seventh round of the World Championship for 2012. Maverick Viñales, winner of the recent British Grand Prix, was the fastest Moto3 rider on track at Assen. Fellow Repsol rider Miguel Oliveira was second, whilst Álex Rins placed ninth on his first appearance at the track.
As is traditional at Assen, Thursday saw the start of practice sessions for the Dutch TT. The morning session saw Viñales in fourth, with Oliveira and Rins sixteenth and eighteenth, respectively. The Portuguese was suffering from stability issues with his Moto3 bike, and his debuting teammate was getting adjusted to the tricky circuit.
Viñales improved tremendously in the second session, dominating and taking the quickest time of 1:44.312. He was seven tenths quicker than second placed Oliveira, and Rins came on leaps and bounds to end the day in ninth overall.
FP1 - 1:45.938, 17 laps, 77 km.
FP2 - 1:44.312, 17 laps, 77 km.
"I am very happy, because I have returned to a circuit that I like and which suits my riding style. We gave 100% today, riding very comfortably and putting in good times. We are working on different things, but on this opening day we focused on tyre choice. We tried to do as many laps as possible on the same rubber to test race performance. For the moment we are on the right path".
FP1 - 1:46.813, 16 laps, 73 km.
FP2 - 1:45.049, 19 laps, 86 km.
"In the morning we didn't have the best of starts to the weekend, as I didn't feel comfortable with the setup of the bike. In the afternoon we changed tack and immediately saw the difference. I think that this has ended up being a good result for the opening day. We have managed to get the bike balanced, although we still need to find some improvement in places particularly the third sector. In any case, we need to continue progressing with every session, in order to prepare for the race".
FP1 - 1:46.882, 18 laps, 82 km.
FP2 - 1:45.716, 19 laps, 86 km.
"This is the first time that I have ridden at Assen and I think that it has been a positive first day. We adapted quickly to the track, although we still need to improve things tomorrow. We are working on the setting and we know that there is room for progress in the fast section. That is where we shall try to shave some tenths off our times tomorrow".
Good start of home race RW Racing GP
Luis Salom and Brad Binder gave their team RW Racing GP a good start of its home race. Team owner Roelof Waninge was more than satisfied with the results of his riders in the Dutch TT at the illustrious circuit of Drenthe in Assen.
With Luis Salom finishing FP2 in fifth place after Brad Binder lead the standings for a while in the middle of the session the team is looking forward to the days to come. It looks as if the weather for once isn’t going to change dramatically, which means the team can continue to follo w the same direction.
Luis Salom (5th): "This result is ok. Fifth is fine, but a second off the pace of Viñales is not good enough. I’m sure I need a better lap time tomorrow in qualifying. But we know what to change for a little bit more speed.’’
Brad Binder (17th): "I wanted to be closer to the top 10, but I realize we still have a lot of work to do on the new chassis. This morning, in the first practice, it wasn’t good. The difference between the old chassis and the new one is really big. But it was fun and very motivating to be first for a while. ’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "The morning session was not so good. We tried something with the rear that didn’t work. But the second practice was ok. I’m happy with the results of Luis and it is good to see Brad make such an improvement. Tomorrow we have some new parts of KTM to test. Hopefully it makes us faster.’’
MotoGP Moto3 - Thursday study session for Team Italia FMI
After the first two free practice sessions, Fenati is tenth while Tonucci is 25th due to an electric problem.
As the tradition goes, Moto3 riders got on track on Thursday in Assen. team Italia worked on the bikes, trying different solutions ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session.
Romano Fenati confirmed his skill in learning new tracks, posting a best lap of 1'45"733 and improving by 8 tenths in between sessions. He is now 1"404 behind Viñales, who did the best lap with a 1'44"312.
Tonucci enjoyed a positive FP1, wrapped with a 1'46"951, but during FP2 he was not able to finish his job due to a problem with a sensor that prevented him from doing a last run.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5)
"The first outing in Assen was quite positive. I love the track, and in the morning I focused on learning the trajectories while in the afternoon on race pace. We still struggle in fast corners, but I'm working with the crew on the setup to solve it. I can surely improve tomorrow."
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19)
"We worked on the setup throughout the day, but in the afternoon I couldn't finish the session because of a problem with a sensor. I enjoy the track and I'm confident about tomorrow."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"The team and the riders worked well today. We can be strong this week-end: Tonucci is determined, and Fenati is improving each day. Tomorrow's qualifiers will tell us where we stand compared to our opponents."
POSITIVE ASSEN DEBUT FOR ANTONELLI
Niccolò Antonelli made an impressive start to life at Assen, adapting quickly to the Dutch circuit and lapping sixth fastest in this morning's opening free practice session. The Team San Carlo Honda Gresini youngster dropped to twelfth in the afternoon but with more track time and some improvements to his set-up over the two remaining sessions tomorrow Niccolò is confident of obtaining a good grid position for Saturday's race.
Niccolo’ Antonelli (12th 1’ 45” 891) "I am happy with today even though I know it could have been better. Now together with the technicians we will look at the data and try to make some small but important changes that will help us take a leap in quality. I love the track, it is great fun to ride and I am determined to secure a good result."
Fausto Gresini "Niccolò went quite well, sixth fastest this morning and twelfth this afternoon which is positive at such a technical circuit as Assen. He is on the pace straight away and I am confident for tomorrow. We will try to help him out from a technical point of view and give him a bike that will allow him to exploit his full potential."
MONCAYO AND FAUBEL GET INTO THEIR STRIDE AT ASSEN
BANKIA Aspar pair finish day one of Dutch TT in positive spirits after testing new solutions
A blanket of cloud created a greenhouse effect at Assen today as summer temperatures soared to a stifling 30ºC for the opening day of practice at the Dutch TT. However, the conditions provided a valuable chance for the Moto3 teams and riders to make use of dry track time for both of their opening two sessions, which saw some close lap times and extra traffic on track in the shape of wildcards Bryan Schouten and Julián Miralles.
BANKIA Aspar rider Alberto Moncayo, the only rider other than Sandro Cortese to have scored points at every race so far this season, is hoping to maintain his consistent run of form here and he started work in earnest fashion as he looks to make up for a lack of dry track time with his new chassis at Silverstone two weeks ago. This morning he was third fastest, finishing eleventh in the afternoon as he worked systematically and calmly on his set-up for Saturday's all important race. Héctor Faubel worked in similar fashion, spending the day on one set of tyres tyres but constantly pushing to improve his set-up and lap times, finishing in a satisfactory sixteenth.
11th Alberto Moncayo 1.45.797 (38 laps): "This morning we started out strongly and took a big step forward with the bike. We have changed the way we approach practice for Assen and I am concentrating on riding alone, setting my own pace. I felt comfortable and was able to test the chassis extensively. It gave me a lot of confidence and the engine improved under acceleration but we need to keep working to find more power in the bottom two gears and in terms of top speed. We tried something with the gearbox that didn't work out so we'll take a step backwards with that tomorrow but so far I am happy with our pace and the work done."
16th Héctor Faubel 1.45.971 (36 laps): "I am happy because looking at the lap times and our general pace it seems we have taken the right steps with the bike. I focused on getting my pace and my reference points together in the first session and then stayed on the same tyres from the afternoon to get some data for the race. We put some fresh tyres on at the end to set a fast lap but Rossi almost crashed right in front of me and I had to back off so I didn't hit him. We have some new parts to try for the engine tomorrow so I am sure the bike will perform better and we'll be leaving Assen with a good result on Saturday."
ASSEN GP: GREAT FIRST DAY FOR ANDREA IANNONE, DI MEGLIO 20TH
The riders from the Moto2 class got out on the track today for the first day of the Iveco TT Assen, the seventh round of the 2012 season.
Free practice n. 1 was very productive for Iannone and his crew. After arranging some minor improvements on the Speed Up machine, according to the needs determined by the Dutch track, the rider from Vasto set a series of quick lap times, setting the second best time. In the afternoon, Andrea confirmed the result of the morning practice, improving even more his lap time and verifying some extra changes to the setting.
The day started with a few tests for Di Meglio and his mechanics, who took advantage of the session of the morning to work on the rider’s feeling with his bike. The choice to step backwards and use the set-up of the beginning of the season helped Mike to get more confidence with his Speed Up. In the afternoon, the Frenchman moved forward, gathering some important data for tomorrow.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 2nd with 1'38.568
“I’m quite satisfied with the result we achieved in this first day of practice and for how we worked. That makes us hope and stay positive for tomorrow. I’m happy because we are moving forwards race after race, we improve and we manage to prove it. I need to thank my crew and Luca Boscoscuro, the owner of Speed Up. The bike works well and the modifications that were thought helped me in being competitive in today’s sessions. We’ll see how the qualifying practice goes and in particular the race on Saturday.”
Mike di Meglio #63 - 20th with 1'40.006
“We started this GP with the decision to go back to the bike we were using at the beginning of the season, so that I could have a better feeling on it. We still have some work to sort out, but we managed to make a step forward between the first and the second session. Tomorrow we’ll try to do the same, in order to be ready for the qualifying practice.”
Márquez warms up in Assen
Moto2 World Championship leader places fourth in first practice sessions for Dutch TT
Repsol Media Service - Netherlands, Assen Circuit - Thursday 28/06/2012
Sun and high temperatures in Assen greeted the Moto2 riders for the start of their seventh race meeting of the season, and Marc Márquez warmed up with the fourth best time in the intermediate class on day one. After experiencing difficulties at the last round, in which he placed third, the Repsol rider made steady progress in his search for the best setup for Saturday's race.
In the first session Márquez rode 21 laps, with his best time on the last of these (1'39.470). That put him sixth on the timesheet, 0.899 behind fastest rider Pol Espargaró. Following this, the Repsol rider discussed strategy and setup in the pits with his mechanics. The Spaniard is looking for the best configuration for his Moto2 machine on both the fast and slow sections of the tricky Assen circuit.
Márquez came out strong in the afternoon, leading the way in the early stages of the run and improving his times steadily. However, some of the solutions attempted based on the morning data failed to have the desired effect, and thus the afternoon information will be used on Friday to best prepare for Saturday. After 19 laps, Márquez' best time was a 1'39.642 lap that was 0.642 down on that of Espargaró —once again the fastest.
FP1 - 1:39.470, 21 laps, 95 km.
FP2 - 1:39.063, 19 laps, 86 km.
"We took things step by step, looking for a good base setting. Over the last few races it has seemed like we've been losing our way a little, but here we have started well and have plenty of data and conclusions to take from the sessions. Now we have to try a few things still, but our feeling is good.
It will be important to find the balance between setting the bike up for the fast sections and the slow ones, because this morning we had some problems and in the afternoon some different ones. We have improved things, but we've also got worse when trying to solve earlier problems".
ELÍAS POSITIVE DESPITE CRASH ON OPENING DAY AT ASSEN
MAPFRE Aspar rider third fastest in afternoon session until collision with Redding; team-mate Terol 19th
A slight change to the Ruskenhoek corner at Assen reset the lap records to zero for this year's Dutch TT but there is no doubt the Moto2 class has stepped up a notch, with today's pacesetter Pol Espargaró lapping a full second quicker than last year's poleman Stefan Bradl (1.39.305). Marc Márquez started the session on top but in the end it was his compatriot and closest rival Espargaró who struck the first blow of the weekend and with sixteen riders inside the same second it promises to be another exciting and unpredictable weekend in the intermediate category.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Toni Elias is amongst the hunting pack, lapping tenth fastest this morning and taking an impressive step forward this afternoon to position himself in third place until his progress was halted by Scott Redding. With 18 minutes remaining of the second session the British rider unwittingly crashed into the Spaniard from behind and Toni was forced to spend the remainder of the day's action watching from the pit garage. His team-mate Nico Terol was tired but happy after completing 45 laps over the two sessions, working on reducing rear chatter and finding a way forward with his set-up for tomorrow's qualifying session.
7th Toni Elías 1.39.160 (30 vueltas): "I am happy because the bike gets better every day and we have been making good progress over the last few races - we just haven't had a result to show for it yet. We have worked well on the first day here at the Dutch TT and it was just a shame about the crash. It happened just after we changed to a soft tyre, which could have been worth four or five tenths and a few positions. They say the soft tyre gives you a boost but I didn't get chance to see for myself. Redding took me out from behind and I couldn't do anything to save it. We were unlucky but we can't afford to think about that. Instead we have to be satisfied with the geometry and suspension settings we have found today. Every day takes us closer to our objective and now we just need a bit of luck."
19th Nico Terol 1.39.824 (45 laps): "I am happy because we improved my lap times and my feeling with the bike this afternoon. I am satisfied with our pace and consistency but we need to work more on the rear chatter issue, which comes in after the first few laps when the tyre heats up. It will be difficult to solve it completely but if we can reduce it tomorrow I'll be pleased. That would help me to ride more comfortably and shave a few tenths off my lap time. Overall I am happy that we have improved from Silverstone and I think we'll take another step closer to the front tomorrow."
Solid start to Assen weekend for Marc VDS
Assen, Holland - 28 June 2012: The Marc VDS Racing Team made a solid start to the Dutch TT weekend, with Scott Redding ninth fastest on the opening day and Mika Kallio just three places further back in 12th. Both riders were within one second of the fastest time, which was set this afternoon by Pol Espargaro.
Redding was happy with the progress made during today's practice sessions, but was disappointed not to get the chance to better his lap time further this afternoon, after a collision with Toni Elias brought his second free practice session to a premature end.
The Marc VDS rider took a blow to his knee in the resulting crash, but is confident that, although sore, the injury will not hamper him on the bike during tomorrow's final practice and the all-important qualifying, where his aim remains a position on the front two rows of the grid.
Kallio was also satisfied with the progress made during the opening day at Assen, although he was slightly disappointed not to finish higher up the timesheet. The 29-year-old Finn used today's two free practice sessions to test geometry and gearing options on his Kalex Moto2 machine, as well as evaluating the two different tyre combinations.
The Marc VDS rider will make a decision tonight on set-up for tomorrow's qualifying session, but with track conditions changing with every track session, will leave race tyre selection until after qualifying tomorrow. Like his teammate, Kallio has his sights set firmly on the front two rows of the grid for Saturday's 24-lap race.
Scott Redding #45: 9th - 1'39.232
"This morning the bike felt good and we were able to build up the pace slowly throughout the free practice session, tweaking the set-up slightly as the lap times came down. This afternoon our aim was the same, to work a little on improving our time through the third sector before banging in a couple of fast laps at the end. It didn't work out that way though, because I got caught out by Toni Elias cruising for a tow. He let Andrea Iannone go past and then pulled right in front of me when I was on a fast lap. I tucked the front a few times trying to get the bike stopped, but there was no way I could avoid him and down we both went. Cruising for a tow is dangerous and it's happening more often in both practice and qualifying. I took a big bang to my right knee, which has swollen up pretty good, but I don't think it's going to affect me too much on the bike tomorrow. I hope not, anyway."
Mika Kallio #36: 12th - 1'39.373
"Progress has been steady today, as we worked our way through a number of set-up options on the bike. The good news is that we had none of the problems we encountered at Silverstone, so we've been able to focus completely on evaluating changes to both the geometry and gearing with no distractions. I'm a little disappointed not to be at least inside the top ten on the timesheet, but the gap to the top is very small and I feel like I have something in my pocket still for tomorrow. We know what set-up we will go with tomorrow, although we're still 50/50 on tyre choice, as the track conditions will change between now and the race. I need to be on the front two rows of the grid for the race, so that's what we'll be aiming for in qualifying."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Both Scott and Mika made a solid start today, working their way through set-up options and building the pace throughout the first free practice session. They continued in the same way this afternoon, with Mika making further improvements. Scott should have finished today top five on the timesheet, but wasn't able to set a fast time at the end of the session after colliding with Toni Elias, who pulled in front of Scott while trying to catch a tow from Andrea Iannone. Something definitely needs to be done about riders cruising around looking for a tow, as it's dangerous. Scott thinks he will be okay for tomorrow, but we'll see during the final free practice session."
STEADY START TO DUTCH TT FOR REA
Gino Rea's progress on the opening day of the Dutch TT at Assen was perhaps not reflected by his position on the timesheets, the British rider finding far more confidence and improvement in his Suter machine than 23rd place suggests. The important thing for Rea was to build his feeling with the bike at another new track and gather pace and confidence before pushing for a grid position in tomorrow's qualifying practice.
Gino Rea. (23° 1’ 40” 199) "It was a positive second session. We changed a lot of things on the bike from the morning to the afternoon and it allowed me to ride it as I want, according to my own style. We did a lot of laps on the same tyre with some consistent lap times, much closer to the fastest rider on track. We have some more things to try tomorrow so hopefully we can continue to work in the right direction, which I believe we are doing right now, and close that gap further."
Fausto Gresini "Gino was able to find the confidence he has been lacking today and finally reap the fruit of a lot of hard work from the team. The final position doesn't reflect his true potential but it was important for him to establish a good feeling first of all. Tomorrow is another day and I am sure that if he can keep progressing like this he can qualifying in a good position."
WILAIROT CONTINUES TO MAKE PROGRESS AT ASSEN
Ratthapark Wilairot bounced back quickly from a crash in the opening free practice for the Dutch TT to make swift progress with the set-up of his Suter machine and show encouraging potential for the weekend ahead, finishing the day with the sixteenth fastest time in the Moto2 class.
Ratthapark Wilairot (16th 1’ 39” 554) "Finally today we lost time with electronics system this morning, the power wasn't coming in when I opened the throttle, but we fixed it okay. We started out with the same setting from Silverstone and I felt very comfortable with it, so I pushed hard and set the fourteenth fastest time but then maybe pushed too hard on the next lap and lost the front. Anyway, I feel good on the bike, step by step we are making progress and I think we can get closer to the top guys tomorrow."
Fausto Gresini "It was a shame about the crash this morning but Feem showed he has the pace to run in the top ten here. His feeling with the bike is good now and I am sure he will have the results to show for it before long. There are still a few things to put right with the set-up but a few tenths tomorrow will help him make up several positions."
CORSI BEGINS WELL IN THE CATHEDRAL
The sun shines in Assen for the first day of practice of the Dutch TT. The good conditions of the track allowed to all team to work in the best way.
Danilo Petrucci, in MotoGP class, has finished in 21st position with the time of 1’38.373. The Came iodaracing Team rider has worked a lot on the setting of his TR003 getting good lap times, very close to his opponents, and a good pace.
Simone Corsi begins in the right way here in Assen, The Cathedral of the Speed, closing at the 8th place with 1’39.182. The Roman rider, after the good race of Silverstone, was very competitive during all the practices of today with his FTR.
In Moto3 class Jonas Folger and Luigi Morciano have finishe in 34th and 35th position due to some technical problems to their TR002.
"I’m quite satisfied – Petrucci declared – because we are close to our opponents and I has also a consistent pace. We have still to work a lot on the front suspensions to reduce our gap and to be competitive for the race of Saturday”.
"I’m happy – Corsi said – we have worked a lot on the tyres for the race and we got good results. We have still to work on the rear suspension of my FTR to try to reduce the gap from the first two riders”.
"It’s an hard week end – Folger declared – we had some problems but the team is working hard on my TR002 to solve everything for the practice of tomorrow”.
"I was forced to the pit for some problems – Morciano said – but now everything is solved and Tomorrow I’ll give my best to get a good position on the grid”.
New engine parts for Finsterbusch – Lundh happy with new chassis set-up
MZ factory riders Alexander Lundh (Moto2) and Toni Finsterbusch (Moto3) have high hopes for the Dutch TT at Assen.
Even though their lap times are still far from where they want them to be – Lundh finished the day in 29th, Finsterbusch in 30th position – both riders are convinced of their chances to do much better in qualifying on Friday and the race on Saturday. Lundh is very happy with the new base set-up of his bike and only needs to adjust the gearing and his own riding in order to get a better result. Finsterbusch builds his hopes on new evolution parts for his Honda engine that he will use for the first time on Friday and that will give him the straight line speed he needs.
Toni Finsterbusch (Moto3) – 30th position in 1.47,601 min:
“I won the German Championship race here at Assen in 2010 and since I like the track, I’m aiming at a top 20 result in this Grand Prix. This afternoon things didn’t quite go according to plan because I tried several times to get the draft of a strong group of riders, only to be thrown out of my rhythm when the fastest guys would cut the gas. When I was riding by myself, I didn’t manage to get a good lap time, either, because I am quite tall and I don’t have sufficient top speed on the straights. But with new tires and good slipstream, we should be able to improve. Tomorrow, we will also use the same new Honda parts that the other Honda riders have, which should help as well.”
Alexander Lundh (Moto2) – 29th position in 1.40,993 min:
“That was quite a good day. We started with an all-new set-up in Silverstone and continued to improve it here at Assen. The bike work quite well and is the best we’ve had this season so far. I just had a few problems with the gearing in the slower corners, but I still did a lap in 1.40,9, which brings me within reach of the main Moto2 field, since the lap times are very close together. If we can find a better gearing, if we can fix a few little things on the bike and also in my head, we can go faster by one second tomorrow for sure. I like this track a lot, but I rode something like a Superbike here before. With the Moto2 bike, you can go the first four corners almost full throttle, but it takes time to get your head around to do that.”