Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Mar 21, 2014

Cortese Fastest, Herrin Climbs The Order During Moto2 FP3 In Qatar (Updated)

Sandro Cortese (11). Photo courtesy of Dorna/

FIM Moto2 World Championship

Losail International Circuit

Doha, Qatar

March 21, 2014

Free Practice Three Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

(Current Circuit Best Lap Record: 2:00.168, Stefan Bradl, 2011)

1. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), 2:00.579

2. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 2:00.595

3. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), 2:00.646

4. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (KALEX), 2:00.731

5. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), 2:00.839

6. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), 2:00.943

7. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (SUTER), 2:01.113

8. Johann ZARCO, France (CATERHAM SUTER), 2:01.222

9. Mattia PASINI, Italy (FORWARD KLX), 2:01.313

10. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), 2:01.339

11. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (KALEX), 2:01.432

12. Sam LOWES, UK (SPEED UP), 2:01.646

13. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), 2:01.665

14. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (TECH 3), 2:01.676

15. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), 2:01.826

16. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), 2:01.833

17. Simone CORSI, Italy (FORWARD KLX), 2:01.845

18. Josh HERRIN, USA (CATERHAM SUTER), 2:01.851

19. Louis ROSSI, France (KALEX), 2:01.900

20. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), 2:01.906

21. Luis SALOM, Spain (KALEX), 2:01.920

22. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SUTER), 2:02.022

23. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (TECH 3), 2:02.111

24. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), 2:02.153

25. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (SUTER), 2:02.221

26. Gino REA, UK (SUTER), 2:02.391

27. Lorenzo BALDASSARRI, Italy (SUTER), 2:02.497

28. Hafizh SYAHRIN, Malaysia (KALEX), 2:02.713

29. Franco MORBIDELLI, Italy (KALEX), 2:02.728

30. Azlan SHAH, Malaysia (KALEX), 2:03.442

31. Roman RAMOS, Spain (SPEED UP), 2:03.616

32. Mashel AL NAIMI, Qatar (SPEED UP), 2:03.848

33. Thitipong WAROKORN, Thailand (KALEX), 2:04.364

34. Robin MULHAUSER, Switzerland (SUTER), 2:05.033

35. Tetsuta NAGASHIMA, Japan (TSR), 2:06.022

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Moto2™: Friday pacesetter Cortese ahead of rivals

Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) was the man on the pace in FP3 for Moto2™ at the Commercial Bank Grand Prix of Qatar, leading Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) and Esteve Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team)

Cortese set down a 2’00.579s marker towards the end of the only outing for the intermediate class on Friday, but Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) stays fastest on combined times by 0.057s from the German.

Behind Cortese, Aegerter was just 0.016s off P1 whilst third placed Rabat provisionally led the session and finished 0.067s off the top.

Both in the top five, meanwhile, were impressive rookie Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) and the quickest Thursday rider Nakagami.

Completing the top ten were Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2), Johann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing), Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) and Mika Kallio Marc (VDS Racing Team).

There was a crash for Gino Rea (AGT REA Racing) at turn 6 but he walked away unhurt and ended up 26th.

More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:

Rabat and Kallio on the pace in Qatar free practice

Losail, Qatar – 21 March 2014: Tito Rabat finished today’s sole Moto2 free practice at the Losail International Circuit in third place, but remains second fastest overall with his time from yesterday. Mika Kallio remains tenth on combined times, after finishing this evening’s 45-minute free practice in the same position.

The top 15 remain separated by just one second, with only three of the top ten riders able to improve on their lap times from yesterday.

Livio Loi continued to learn the intricacies of both the Losail circuit and racing under floodlights in tonight’s third and final Moto3 free practice. The Belgian ended tonight’s 45-minute session in a creditable 16th place and is just 1.282s off Romano Fenati’s provisional pole position time.

Tito Rabat // 2nd // 2’00.574

“It was another good free practice session for us tonight. We managed to find a solution to a couple of small problems we had yesterday and now we also have a better idea of which tyre we will use for the race on Sunday. I found a good rhythm on the bike tonight and my pace was fast and consistent, but tomorrow we need to find just a little bit more for qualifying. Overall, I’m happy with today.”

Mika Kallio // 10th // 2’01.039

“For tonight we decided to try a few changes on the bike, mainly on the rear suspension and engine braking, but they didn’t bring the improvement we were expecting. My pace was good, but my feeling with the bike wasn’t as good as it was yesterday and I wasn’t able to push quite as hard for a fast lap. For tomorrow’s qualifying session we will go back to the settings from yesterday; we haven’t really lost anything because we know that these settings are good. We also go into tomorrow with a much better idea of which tyre we need for a fast qualifying lap and which one we’ll use for the race.”

Livio Loi // 16th // 2’07.403

“Overall I’m happy with tonight, which was all about continuing to learn my way around the track here in Qatar and minimising the mistakes that cost me time in yesterday’s two sessions. The feeling with the bike was mostly good, but we have a small problem with getting the bike to follow a line on corner exit. We also need to work on sector three, as this is where I’m losing all my time at the moment. Qualifying tomorrow is critical. My goal is to start on Sunday from the front four rows of the grid, but I will need to push hard tomorrow to achieve this.”

More, from a press release issued by AirAsia Caterham Moto2 Team:

Qatar GP – Free Practice 3

Circuit: Losail International Circuit

Circuit Length: 5.380 km

Bike # 5 – Johann Zarco

FP3: P8; 2:01.222 – 16 laps

Bike # 2 – Josh Herrin

FP3: P18; 2:01.851 – 16 laps


FP3: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 24°, (track temp) 25°

Day two in Qatar saw AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing team use free practice three as an opportunity to test their tyre options prior to qualifying and give both riders as much track time as possible.

Moto2 rookie Josh Herrin made good progress in FP3 finishing in P18 with a time of 2.01.851, whilst Johann Zarco despite being unable to advance on his overall time, worked hard to get into a rhythm and improve his time in sector three.

Johann Zarco: “Today we tried some small changes to the bike which was not better but I gave my information to the team so we know now what to improve.

“We tried different tyre options in the session but we didn’t use the best ones as we need to save them for qualifying and the race, which is why I was unable to go faster in FP3.

“After two days in Qatar we know now which way better to go. For qualifying the bike will be ready and I will be ready to improve my riding on this track and be very fast.”

Josh Herrin: “Today went well. We improved our position by 11 places and we pretty much met our goal set for the day by getting into the 2m1’s.

“For tomorrows qualifying I’m feeling confident and hope that we can improve again but to be realistic I would be happy with a low 2m1s lap time.

“The grid position is really important in this class so my aim for tomorrow is to be as high up the grid as possible. I will push to be within the top 15.”

More, from a press release issued by QMMF Racing Team:

Tough day for West and Al Naimi – Ramos happy with improvements

QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West was determined to improve on the second day of practice for the season-opening Grand Prix in Qatar. But after fixing an issue with the rear grip of his Speed Up bike, the 32-year-old Australian ran into unexpected problems with the front end and wasn’t able to match his previous best time despite taking considerable risks. West now hopes for another turnaround with new set-up solutions I qualifying on Saturday.

Spanish team-mate Roman Ramos had a better day, gaining confidence with small but consistent improvements in both riding and the set-up of his bike. However, the 23-year-old newcomer in QMMF Racing Team also suffered from a certain lack of confidence in the front end of his bike. Both crews of Ramos and West are working hand in hand to find last-minute solutions for the crucial qualifying session on Saturday evening.

Wild Card entry Mashel Al-Naimi had a tough day for completely different reasons. The 30-year-old from Doha started the afternoon with a hard-fought podium finish in the National Superbike Championship and found it tough to re-adapt to the Moto2 Grand Prix racer for the third free practice session in the evening. Late at night, Al-Naimi swapped bikes again for the second Superbike race and rewarded himself with the second podium finish of the day.

Anthony West – 24th in 2.02,153

“We went the wrong direction with the bike today. My time was slower, but to go faster was nearly impossible. I was almost half a second slower than yesterday, but I still felt as if I was much closer to crashing on numerous occasions, just trying to keep the corner speed. We had problems with a lack of rear grip yesterday and fixed that, but when I now try to turn into a corner, the bike is going straight ahead. And when I’m pushing to make the turn, I am losing the front. Our only choice now is to go back to what we had yesterday and start again!”

Roman Ramos – 31st in 2.03,616

“I am quite happy with this third practice session today. I felt more comfortable on the bike and I’ve been able to ride half a second faster than yesterday. We have still work ahead of us in our search for the best possible set-up, because I have a certain lack of rear grip and the front doesn’t give me enough confidence on the corner entries. We will keep working tonight on possible solutions that allow me to do an even faster lap in qualifying und to be higher up in the time sheets!”

Mashel Al Naimi – 32nd in 2.03,848

“Yesterday I had four practice sessions, two on the Superbike and two in the Moto2 class, which took their toll on my body. When I went out for the Superbike Warm-Up today, I was okay, but after about eight laps in the race, I started to feel really tired and I also kept thinking of my upcoming Moto2 practice, so it was difficult. Later on, when the Moto2 practice started, it was really hard to adapt again, because there is such a big difference between the two bikes. But after five laps, I found back to my rhythm and I was able to go faster than yesterday. Every time I go out on this bike, I improve a little bit. The team helps me a lot to fix the set-up and to choose the right tyre for a good result. I am not 100 per cent happy with today’s result, but at least we made progress and I hope I’m able to improve again tomorrow. In the race, I really want to get a good result!“

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:


The second night of the Qatar Grand Prix has seen Moto2 riders back on track for only one free practice session, the third and last before qualifying, scheduled for tomorrow from 6:55 to 7:40 PM local time.

Aboard the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Suter machine, Xavier Simeon has carried out important work to limit tyre wear ahead of Sunday’s race, trying various chassis set-up solutions. The experienced Belgian rider, like many others, he could not improve his best lap time from yesterday, closing the combined classification of the three sessions in 11th position, but he remains confident ahead of qualifying, convinced to have a good potential.

Rookie Lorenzo Baldassarri, riding the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter, has paid today a little inexperience, trying uselessly to follow other riders on the track. The Italian therefore lost some precious time and failed to progress from yesterday, remaining stationary at 2’01”745 (21st).

XAVIER SIMEON (11th - 2'01"101)

“Today we had only one practice session available, but we still managed to try several chassis set-up solutions looking for a better balance. The feeling with the bike is good, but unfortunately these changes have not resulted in improvements, even though they have enabled us to understand some important aspects that were not clear, so we are confident that we can improve tomorrow. If we take a small step forward, tomorrow we can be protagonists also in qualifying”.

LORENZO BALDASSARRI (21st - 2'01"745)

“I’m not satisfied about the job I did today: at the beginning I tried a tyre which was not good for me, losing some time, then with a new tyre I tried to follow other riders on the track in order to learn better the track. A choice that has not paid off and that made me lose the right way. Tomorrow we will resume work from where we left off yesterday”.


“Today we tried several adjustments on Siméon’s bike, that have allowed us to better understand some important things, thanks to which tomorrow we can take another step forward. Tomorrow, in fact, we need to be strong in qualifying. Baldassarri has not been the protagonist of a positive session: after trying a couple of soft tyres that he didn’t liked, he lost some time and he got a bit distracted, but it is very young and a day like this is quite normal. We believe that tomorrow he can still do well”.

Top 5 This Week