2012 Phillip Island Moto2 And Moto3 Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the qualifying on Saturday at Phillip Island:
Oliveira shines at Phillip Island
Portuguese rider to start from second row in sixth, after a qualifying session in which Viñales was eighth, Rins sixteenth and Álex Márquez nineteenth.
At a new circuit for him, Phillip Island, one of the most difficult of the season, Miguel Oliveira is enjoying a great weekend of practice. He placed sixth in qualifying today. Maverick Viñales will start one row back in eighth, after a tight session in which Álex Rins and Álex Márquez took sixteenth and nineteenth, respectively.
Rins, Oliveira and Viñales had been in the top ten in the morning session. The current leader of the Rookie of the Year standings, Rins, was seventh on the timesheet, 6 tenths off Sandro Cortese at the top. 0.190 back, teammate Miguel Oliveira was eighth. Viñales was 9 tenths off the German in tenth and Álex Márquez was nineteenth.
Despite being one of the most beautiful circuits on the calendar, with its landscapes, rises and falls and linked corners, Phillip Island is never an easy appointment. And even less so for rookies, as they have to learn a fast track full of blind Álex Rins proved this with a crash in the qualifying session after losing grip on a bump. He could continue, but a little over a quarter of an hour remained and it started to rain slightly. Few riders managed to lower their times from then on and Sandro Cortese took pole position, with Miguel Oliveira sixth, nine tenths back, after stopping the clock at 1'39.262.
Just a few thousandths of a second separated him from Maverick Viñales, who will start from eighth after claiming a time of 1'39.387. Álex Rins, who was able to continue riding after his crash, was not far behind, but with 16 riders within a second of one another he was relegated to the sixth row. He will start one row ahead of Álex Márquez, who will take off from nineteenth.
FP3 - 1:39.741, 20 laps, 89 km.
QP- 1:39.287, 13 laps, 58 km.
"This was a difficult session because of the changing weather conditions. Eventually we qualified in a position a little far back, but this is a circuit where you can overtake well and a good first lap we can get into the top group. I think it's all very even, Cortese is a step ahead, but we will try to be there with him. I think I'm strong, but there are still some things to improve, so we'll see what we can do tomorrow. With so many straights, this track is difficult for us, but tomorrow we will try our best to make everything possible. I'm happy because I'm back riding and finding a good feeling on the bike."
FP3 - 1:39.605, 19 laps, 86 km.
QP- 1:39.262, 15 laps, 67 km.
"Today was a difficult day, but in the end we were able to achieve our goal, which was to have the bike ready for the race tomorrow. The first session was a little quieter than qualifying, as in the afternoon it rained at the beginning and towards the end, affecting our times. Faced with this situation we decided to go out as soon as possible to make a quick time. Here we been working well and I am comfortable on the bike, so tomorrow I hope to make a good start and reach the front group, where I hope to be for the whole race."
FP3 - 1:39.415, 20 laps, 89 km.
QP- 1:39.649, 16 laps, 71 km.
"We went quickly at the start of qualifying because there were spots of rain, but I ran off track at a braking point and wasn't able to make the most of my hot lap –in which I was putting in a good time. Then I went back out with new tyres, but I had a small crash at turn nine, where I am having the most difficulty at this track. We will start far back tomorrow, so we have to make a good start, move up and have a good race."
FP3 - 1:39.753, 21 laps, 93 km.
QP- 1:40.336, 15 laps, 67 km.
"Today was a difficult day. The crash yesterday made us miss an entire practice and that put us up against it today. I haven't managed to feel good on the bike, so tomorrow we will have a lot of work to do in the warm up. I don't know what we can aim for in the race; we don't have much pace but I will try to learn and gain experience at this track, the we'll see how we end up."
'FRONT ROW FOLGER' READY TO FIGHT FOR ANOTHER WIN AT PHILLIP ISLAND
MAPFRE Aspar rider repeats second place on grid from Malaysia and hopes to continue podium run
As black clouds blew in from the ocean and threatened to wash out qualifying practice for the Moto3 class at Phillip Island there was an entertaining and open battle for pole position from the moment the session got underway this afternoon. By the halfway stage the new World Champion Sandro Cortese had risen to the top, closely followed by his compatriot Jonas Folger, and the German pair were the only riders able to break the 1'39 barrier as the rain finally came in the shape of a light drizzle. Several riders took to the track in the closing stages as the conditions dried but none were able to make an impact on the front row positions.
Second place was an identical qualifying result to last week at Sepang for MAPFRE Aspar rider Folger, who is keen to follow up with back-to-back podiums. After dominating free practice yesterday he showed race-winning pace this afternoon, clocking three laps in the 1'38s and two in the 1'39s within a total of just ten laps. Jonas finished the session just three tenths off pole and is widely fancied to put the MAPFRE Aspar Team colours on the podium again tomorrow. Luca Amato has far more modest ambitions as he continues to adapt to a category that is proving more difficult than he expected. Tomorrow he will start from 28th on the grid as he continues gathering experience in Moto3.
2nd Jonas Folger 1.38.727 (10 laps): "My feeling on the bike today was fantastic, like yesterday, and even though the conditions were different we have improved again. After working hard on the setting all weekend we went with what we knew we needed for a fast lap time this afternoon and we set a consistently quick pace. Sandro was fast too so I hope things are the same tomorrow so that I can follow him in the race. Taking into account the fact that there is another half a second back to the third fastest rider today I think the two of us could push and make a break. If the weather is kind I will be trying to get away from the first lap because our pace is strong and we need to try and impose it. We'll be fighting for the podium again and hopefully for the win."
28th Luca Amato 1.43.029 (17 laps): "The final free practice this morning was quite positive and we took a big step forward. The setting we found was good and gave me good feedback. In the afternoon the conditions change and I lost a little confidence. I was struggling to find my reference points and that's a shame because the bike is fast and performing well but I just don't feel comfortable on it. Tomorrow we will work hard in warm-up to find the feeling I had this morning and hopefully I can have a better race."
NICCOLO RULED OUT OF QUALIFYING BY HEAVY FREE PRACTICE CRASH
A heavy crash for Niccolò Antonelli in turn 10 on just his third lap of free practice this morning made for some anxious moments in the Team San Carlo Honda Gresini Moto3 garage and although the teenager thankfully escaped largely unhurt he was unconscious for a few moments and therefore ruled out of the rest of the day's action by the circuit medical staff. Antonelli will undergo further checks tomorrow morning before a decision is made on his participation in the race.
Niccolò Antonelli “I had a huge crash and suffered a heavy blow to my head that left me unconscious for a few moments. As a precautionary measure the doctors preferred that I didn't take part in qualifying this afternoon and tomorrow they will perform some more tests to decide whether I can race. I want to get out there because I think I could have a great race even if I have to start from last position. We'll see tomorrow!"
Second 'match ball' for Márquez
Repsol rider claims third on the grid for Australian GP, taking off from the third row
One year ago, Marc Marquez starred in one of the most spectacular comebacks in living memory, starting from last position on the grid and finishing third. For tomorrow's race, the Spaniard will start from the front row and needs only to finish in the top fourteen to become World Champion, regardless of what his rivals do. Rival Pol Espargaró budge will start from the pole as the title chase goes down to the wire.
Having missed one of the free practice sessions yesterday, the third run out this morning allowed Marquez to make up for lost time and put in 21 laps on his Moto2 machine. He finally stopped the clock in 1'34.573 milliseconds, 0.555 off the best time set by Scott Redding.
In qualifying, the Repsol rider was again strong from the start, setting the second fastest time behind Pol Espargaró, but Scott Redding was also very fast, later splitting the two Spaniards. After a brief shower with 20 minutes remaining, forcing a wait in the pits of some 10 minutes for the wind to dry up the asphalt, Marquez and the rest of the field were back on track in search of pole. The Repsol rider was able to improve his time, but not his place on the grid. He will take off from third, behind Espargaró and Redding.
FP3 - 1:34.573, 21 laps, 93 km.
QP - 1:34.408, 18 laps, 80 km.
"We have to be realistic; the difference off pole is fairly large. We gradually improved our times and our setting, but Pol is in great form. We are having difficulties finding our best setting and also missed the first session, so we are a little further back. We have the warm up to go, with room for improvement. In the race we will try to get a good start in order to be as far up as possible."
Niklas Ajo in good pace in Australia
Niklas Ajo has a confident mind before the season´s penultimate Moto3 GP held on Sunday at Phillip Island circuit in Australa.
“The pace is in a good level and I have a good feeling for riding”, Ajo says, “My starting place is 15th but it´s not that bad place to aim for the top ten in here.”
Ajo´s fastest time with his KTM-bike in the qualifying was 1.39,631, with which he was only four tenths of a second from the first row. Saturday morning´s free practice session improved Ajp´s self esteem even more as he was fifth with a time that was two tenths of a second faster than his time in the qualifying.
“That practice session was really good and I managed to improve my lap times all the time. The same good feeling carried me to the qualifying, which I started with used tyres. But unfortunately then it started to rain when I returned to the track. I wasn´t able to improve my time anymore.”
The flags indicating the track was wet were shown 16 minutes before the end of the qualifying session. Ajo decided to stay at the pits during the end of the session.
However, Ajo, who rode the Phillip Island´s 4,4 kilometres long, chilly and windy circuit 13 times went once more out to check the situation when there were five minutes left.
“It rained so much at the back side of the track that I decided to return to the pit box. There was no reason to take any risks.”
In the three last GPs Ajo has made his way to the points thanks to good starts.
“I will just try to continue the same way here in Australia by taking a good start.”
The pole position of the Australian GP was taken with a time of 1.38,334 by Ajo Motorsport´s German rider Sandro Cortese, who secured the championship last Sunday in Malaysia. He was 0,393 seconds faster than his country man Jonas Folger taking the seventh pole position of the season.
QP AT PHILLIP ISLAND: EIGHTH TIME FOR IANNONE, ANDREOZZI ENDS TWENTY-SEVENTH
The third free practice and the qualifying session were held today, for the sixteenth event of the Moto2 World Championship for the 2012 season.
It was a positive morning for Iannone: the rider from Vasto improved his lap time of more than one second from FP3, making some important steps forward for the race rhythm and finding some valid choices for the setting, which allowed him to get close to very competitive times. Some short rain showers compromised the qualifying session for the riders of the middle class. Iannone did all he could to set some good lap times, in spite of the changeable conditions. The rider from Vasto ended with his best lap of 1'34.714, which puts him in the third row of the starting grid for the race of tomorrow.
Today’s sessions were used by Andreozzi and his technicians to complete a good number of laps, which were important to define some choices for the setting and helped Alessandro to know the track better and improve his style, with the data that was gathered. Alessandro eventually closed the qualifying session with the twenty-seventh time.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 8th with 1'34.714
“Considering the trouble we’ve had to deal with lately, the result of this qualifying practice isn’t that bad. Our objective is, however, far from this, and from that side I can’t really say I’m satisfied. For tomorrow we’ll plan some modifications for our Speed Up and in the warm up we’ll check if these ones can help us or not for the race.”
Alessandro Andreozzi #22 - 27th with 1'37.293
“This morning we managed to make some steps forward since the practices of yesterday. The session of the afternoon allowed us to keep improving and to set some lap times that weren’t that bad. This is a tough track, changeable weather and continuous changes in the track conditions are factors that don’t help us in working at our best. Generally speaking I’m quite satisfied, we’ll try to make more progress tomorrow.”
GLASS HALF FULL FOR FEEM
Ratthapark Wilairot was disappointed not to be able to improve his lap times from the morning to the afternoon sessions at Phillip Island today but the Thai rider is focusing on the positives and hoping that the good feeling he has found with his bike here can help him make up positions from 23rd on the grid in tomorrow's race.
Ratthapark Wilairot (23rd 1’ 36” 026) “I am disappointed because we found a good setting this afternoon but we didn't manage to improve the lap time or the position. I need to concentrate more and not be so nervous when the time comes to push the front. Hopefully tomorrow we can find some more confidence in the front so that I can push from the first lap and hopefully fight for some points.”
Fausto Gresini “Usually the lap times in the afternoon are faster than the morning but it was the other way around for Feem today despite the fact he had more confidence and a better feel for the bike. He and the engineers will look at the data tonight and try to work out where he is losing ground so he can make more improvements ahead of the race tomorrow.”
REA HELD UP IN PHILLIP ISLAND QUALIFYING
Gino Rea missed out on a clear opportunity to qualify inside the top twenty riders at Phillip Island when he was held up by slower riders on each of his three flying laps this afternoon. It was a shame for Gino but his feeling with the bike continues to improve and there is plenty of optimism in the garage ahead of tomorrow's race.
Gino Rea (24th 1’ 36” 163) “That was frustrating. We improved the bike, my pace and my feeling but on each of the three laps when we tried to push for a fast time before the rain came I ran into other riders waiting for a tow through the final two sectors. I think we could have easily been in the top eighteen riders or so but the important thing is we have found some improvements and hopefully we can make some more progress tomorrow."
Fausto Gresini “I was confident Gino could have a good qualifying session today but I didn't take into account the amount of slower riders who would get in his way. Gino has at least shown that he has taken another step forward and improved his confidence in the bike. I am confident that tomorrow he can make up a few positions and score points.”
Smith and Simeon set sights on top 10 in Australia
Tech 3 Racing Team riders Bradley Smith and Xavier Simeon will launch their bid for the top 10 in tomorrow's AirAsia Australian Moto2 Grand Prix from 15th and 16th place on the grid respectively.
The Tech 3 Racing pair have had to battle constantly changing weather conditions at the fast and flowing Phillip Island track, with gusting winds, cold temperatures and rain showers all playing a part in this weekend's action.
Looking to build on a promising 13th position at t he end of practice, Smith was just about to commence his attack on soft rubber when he suffered a high-speed fall at Turn 8 on his 11th lap in this afternoon's qualifying session.
The 21-year-old was able to walkaway unhurt in the spill but with his Mistral 610 extensively damaged, Smith was unable to take any further part in a session that was disrupted by a short and sharp rain shower.
Smith's best time of 1.35.169 left him 15th on the grid, but despite missing precious time on track, he was less than 0.5s away from the top seven and he remains confident he can fight for a top six in tomorrow's race.
One place further back on the grid is Belgian teammate Simeon, who was only 0.141s behind after he set a personal best time of 1.35.310.
He has overcome niggli ng technical issues that have cost him precious time on track and disturbed his bid to find the optimum set-up with his Mistral 610 machine. But each time he tried to push for a fast lap time in the closing stages of qualifying, he encountered slower riders cruising close to the racing line and he is certain that had he found clear track in front of him he would have been challening for a much higher starting position.
Bradley Smith 15th 1.35.169 – 10 laps:
“First of all I want to say sorry to my Tech 3 Racing Team because it was an unfortunate mistake on my part. I had just put a new soft tyre in and I saw that it was starting to rain a little bit, but I wanted to do at least one or two laps. The soft tyre would definitely have improved my lap time and my grid position, so I made a mistake and I really feel s orry for it. The positive is that I didn't get hurt because that part of the track is very fast. It is a shame because we have been improving the bike in every session, but it has been a tough weekend. We still have some ideas for tomorrow to try in the warm-up, even if I'm afraid that the front group is not catchable. I believe that a realistic target for tomorrow might be an eighth place but of course I will be aiming for even better. Hopefully we will find some small improvements in the warm up, especially in the last sector where we lose a lot, and that section is really important for the race.”
Xavier Simeon 16th 1.35.310 – 15 laps:
“We have improved a lot since yesterday. The bike felt really good after I had an engine failure after just four laps yesterday and this morning we had a small problem and I spent quite a lot of time in the box. I didn't ride too much during the practice sessions, so we lost a lot of set-up time and a chance to build up my rhythm. We tried a new direction this afternoon and it definitely worked. It is a shame I couldn't capitalise on how good the Mistral 610 felt because at the end of the session when I was ready to push and take profit of the changes we had made, there were so many riders waiting to follow somebody that it was impossible to get in a clear lap. That's why I'm a little bit disappointed to be only 16th on the grid because I think my potential was higher. I'm still confident I can get in the points and finish this long trip with a positive result at this fantastic track.”
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS TARGET WARM-UP IMPROVEMENTS
Jordi Torres improves to qualify 20th but Nico Terol struggles to ninth row start
A light rain shower just fifteen minutes from the end of qualifying practice at Phillip Island sent the riders scurrying back to the garage and saw the grid positions virtually decided before the final battle. It was a deserved pole position though for Pol Espargaró, who dominated the session ahead of Scott Redding and Marc Márquez. It promises to be a thrilling battle at the front, where Espargaró needs a victory and fifteenth place or lower from Márquez to take the championship to the final round. Any other outcome and the latter Spaniard will be crowned World Champion tomorrow.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jordi Torres feared that this circuit would not be suited to his riding style and it has proven to be the case for the Spaniard, who has nevertheless worked hard in every session to turn things around. The hard-braking rookie is adapting as best he can to the flowing nature of this technical layout and is slowly improving. After qualifying twentieth fastest he needs more improvements tomorrow if he is to challenge for points. Meanwhile the situation is even worse for his team-mate Nico Terol, who has set-up issues that he needs to resolve in warm-up if he is to leave Australia with a positive result from 26th on the grid.
20th Jordi Torres 1.35.609 (19 laps): "We realised that we went the wrong way with the setting yesterday so we tried something different today and it was better. We did a long run which helped us to find some time and learn to be a bit smoother around this circuit. We had a couple more changes planned for the afternoon but only managed to try one because of the rain. Even so I am quite satisfied and I think we have the pace to challenge for the top fifteen, which is our main objective tomorrow. Phillip Island is a very difficult circuit and it is a big challenge for me to get a result here because it is not my kind of track. If I can start linking the corners together properly in the race tomorrow and finish it well I'll be happy."
26th Nico Terol 1.36.550 (17 laps): "We improved the front end setting this morning and resolved some of the problems from yesterday but they resurfaced in the afternoon. We kept trying things to get the bike turning better but without positive results and it's a shame because I love this track but I'm not enjoying myself this weekend at all. I can't find any confidence when the weight transfers to the front. It has been another tough day but we are here to work hard and we will keep doing that until we find a solution. We need to look at where we can improve the bike this evening and I need to work out how to improve my riding."
Front row start for Redding at Phillip Island
Phillip Island, Australia - 27 October 2012: For the sixth time this season and for the second race in succession, Scott Redding will start from the front row of the grid in tomorrow's 25-lap Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Mika Kallio faces a tough race tomorrow, after qualifying on the fifth row of the grid in 14th position today.
Redding ended this morning's final free practice session at the top of the timesheet, after bettering both the lap record and pole position record at Phillip Island with a lap time of 1'34.018, set in the final third of the 45-minute session.
The 19-year-old Briton carried the same pace into qualifying, briefly topping the timesheet before being demoted to second place by Pol Espargaro, who put in an impressive lap shortly before a rain shower arrived to disrupt proceedings. Redding looked set to challenge Espargaro's time right at the end of the qualifying session, but lost out and had to settle for second on the grid after a near highside coming onto the Gardner straight.
Kallio struggled in free practice to find a front-end set up on his Kalex Moto2 machine that provided the confidence necessary for the Marc VDS rider to push at the ultra-fast Phillip Island circuit. Kallio's crew made improvements to the set-up for qualifying only for the 29-year-old Finn to be held up in traffic on each of his pit exits.
Despite qualifying in 14th position, meaning he will start tomorrow's Australian Moto2 Grand Prix from the fifth row of the grid, Kallio remains confident that with further improvements to the bike during tomorrow's warm up he can fight for a top ten finish in the race.
Scott Redding #45: 2nd - 1'34.264
"The rain yesterday meant we were a bit short on dry track time, but we managed to make up for that today and I was fastest in the final free practice session this morning. I thought I'd be able to go quicker in qualifying, but the rain arrived just as I was building up to try and better this morning's lap time. Espargaro has been fast and consistent all weekend, but I was really surprised when he put in such a fast lap and so early on in qualifying. He will be the man to beat tomorrow; I need to stick with him from the start and not let him get away at the front. As the race progresses we know the tyres will drop off a lot and, when that happens, I think the advantage will swing in my favour. I want a race win before the end of the season and I think I have a good chance of getting it here tomorrow."
Mika Kallio #36: 14th - 1'35.071
"I struggled today with the front end of the bike; I just couldn't seem to get the feedback I needed to push for a quick lap with any confidence. We made some changes that gave some improvement, but it was still a problem going into qualifying. Unfortunately I had a couple of other issues to contend with in qualifying. My ideal lap was about half a second quicker than my fastest lap, because it was difficult to string a good lap together with all the traffic. I don't mind riders waiting for a tow, but when they do it on the racing line and make no effort to get out of the way of faster riders then it's not only frustrating but dangerous too. We've had meetings about this with race direction, who promised penalties, but it was the same story today. Tomorrow I need to get a good start and then try and pick off riders as quickly as I can if I'm to leave here with a top ten finish.
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Scott has been close to the top of the timesheet all weekend here, despite the infamous Phillip Island weather disrupting three of the four sessions, including qualifying. If it's dry tomorrow then I'm confident that Scott can race for the win. In the early stages he'll need to stick like glue to Pol Espargaro, who has shown incredible speed and consistency here, if he is to mount a challenge as the race progresses and grip becomes more difficult to find. He'll also need to keep a close eye on Marc Marquez, who I'm sure will be keen to seal the world championship with a win tomorrow. Mika struggled today, both with a lack of confidence in the front end of the bike and with traffic in qualifying. It will be difficult for him tomorrow, but we've seen him fight his way through from the fifth row before and I'm confident he can secure a top ten finish tomorrow."
MotoGP Moto3 - Team Italia on 4th and 5th row in Phillip Island
Changing weather conditions made life hard for Team Italia. Wind gusts early on and shower toward the end meant the riders struggled to find the rhythm and could not take advantage of a fresh set of tires to post the times in the last few minutes.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) took six tenths off his best time and closed in 10th position with a 1'39"451 (+1"117 behind poleman Cortese). Still, he is less than three tenths from first row, and showed a promising race pace and top speed.
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) also improved, though less than his teammate. He lapped in 1'39"595 (+1"261) at his first qualifying session on this track, which granted him 14th position on the grid.
Both riders hope to improve during warm-up.
Alessandro Tonucci (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#19) 18 laps, 1'39"451
"The bike works well. The team did a great job and during warm-up I only have to focus on finding the best trajectories in T4 where I lose most of my time. I have to start well and stay within reach with frontrunners during the race, but I'm optimistic."
Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI FTR Honda5) 17 laps, 1'39"595
"We could have done better, but the weather didn't help us find a rhythm and a stable setup. I was stuck in traffic during the key moments, then the rain came in. It's a shame since, with those gaps, I could have ended in the front row. Hopefully I'll make another step forward during warm-up."
Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"The rain ruined our tire strategy and slowed down our riders. The gaps are narrow, which is a good signal for the race. Romano is not far from a definitive step forward, Alessandro just has to polish his lines. We hope to bring both of them far during tomorrow's race."
Khairuddin made his way to second row in Australia
Malaysian Zulfahmi Khairuddinin, who finished second from the pole last Sunday in front of his home crowd, continues strong performances.
AirAsia-SIC-Ajo Team’s KTM rider starts from second row for season’s 16th Moto3 GP tomorrow on chilly and windy Philip Island circuit in Australia.
Rain disturbed the qualifying for a while. It started 16 minutes before the end of the session but most of the riders returned to the track. Khairuddin was one of those cold-headed riders who managed to improve their times and made their ways up during the last minutes.
”I fell in the morning´s practice session but I managed to pull myself together for the qualifying and especially for the end of it. I am really pleased with this result”, Khairuddin highlights.
”My team did once again a great job and I managed to get back to the track on time. But I can´t deny that I took a risk when I made that time”.
The first podium position of Khairduddin has improved his self-confidence even more.
”I want to have more that kind of results and I do all I can so that I will ride in the leading group also in Australia. We will for sure have a tough race.”
The pole position for the season´s penultimate race was taken by Sandro Cortese, who already secured the championship for himself in Malaysia. He was 0,393 seconds faster than his countryman Jonas Folger, who qualified second.
Khairuddin was 0,895 seconds from Cortese and only 50 thousandth of seconds from the front row.
RW Racing GP confident for the race
Traffic and disruption by rain are the reasons Luis Salom and Brad Binder didn’t have the best ever qualifying results for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Nevertheless both riders of RW Racing GP and their team manager are confident for the race on Sunday.
After the first day it was clear both Salom and Binder had issues with the setup of the bike, especially the suspension. The team worked hard to improve the bike and it clearly showed in the last free practice. For Binder the better suspension settings meant he needed a gearbox update as well.
But in qualifying it was not possible for Salom and Binder to set a fast lap time immediately. Luis Salom found a lot of traffic in his way and after a bit of rain he couldn’t find his rhythm anymore.
Brad Binders rhythm was disrupted by the rain as well.
Luis Salom (9th): "A start from the third row shouldn’t be the problem. In Malaysia I was even further back. But it doesn’t make things easier. I didn‘t have enough time left to set a better lap time after the rain. There was no clean lap anymore. Nevertheless the setup of the bike is fine and I trust I can have a good result in the race.’’
Brad Binder (20th): "After we changed the gearbox everything went a lot better. It is a pity the session was disrupted by rain. I just couldn’t find my rhythm anymore. It’s another example of a bit of bad luck but I’m confident I can do well in the race.’’
Team manager Johan Stigefelt: "It was not perfect. But the good thing is all the issues we had are solved and the riders are not struggling with the bike anymore. We’ll go for it, like always.’’