May 19, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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The race circuit at Le Mans, France.
FIM Moto2 World Championship
Le Mans, France
May 19, 2013
Race Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):
1. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), 22 laps, 36:43.583
2. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), -1.090 seconds
3. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (KALEX), -1.234
4. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), -1.701
5. Johann ZARCO, France (SUTER), -1.859
6. Mattia PASINI, Italy (SPEED UP), -12.272
7. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (MOTOBI), -12.378
8. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), -29.712
9. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), -30.479
10. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SPEED UP), -31.235
11. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (SUTER), -31.535
12. Simone CORSI, Italy (SPEED UP), -31.675
13. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), -31.917
14. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (KALEX), -35.778
15. Louis ROSSI, France (TECH 3), -45.045
16. Danny KENT, UK (TECH 3), -45.151
17. Alberto MONCAYO, Spain (SPEED UP), -55.456
18. Yuki TAKAHASHI, Japan (MORIWAKI), -59.886
19. Doni Tata PRADITA, Indonesia (SUTER), -62.095
20. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), -66.414, crash
21. Steven ODENDAAL, South Africa (SPEED UP), -108.007, crash
22. Hafizh SYAHRIN, Malaysia (KALEX), -1 lap, crash
23. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), -2 laps, crash
24. Rafid Topan SUCIPTO, Indonesia (SPEED UP), -3 laps, crash
Finished through pits
25. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (SPEED UP), -89.658, crash
Not enough laps completed
26. Gino REA, UK (FTR), -10 laps, pitted
27. Toni ELIAS, Spain (KALEX), -3 laps, DNF, crash
28. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), -5 laps, DNF, crash
29. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), -16 laps, DNF, crash
30. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), -18 laps, DNF, crash
31. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), -20 laps, DNF, crash
32. Kyle SMITH, UK (KALEX), -22 laps, DNF, crash
33. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), -22 laps, DNF, crash
34. Ratthapark WILAIROT, Thailand (SUTER), -22 laps, DNF, crash
World Championship Point Standings (after 4 of 17 races):
1. Redding, 76 points
2. Rabat, 52
3. TIE, Kallio/Aegerter, 47
5. Espargaro, 41
6. Terol, 38
7. Simeon, 35
8. Nakagami, 29
9. Zarco, 28
10. De Angelis, 22
More, from a press release issued by MAPFRE Aspar Team:
MAPFRE ASPAR RIDERS EXPERIENCE DISAPPOINTING SUNDAY DEVELOPMENTS AT LE MANS
Nico Terol and Jordi Torres conclude positive weekend with double DNF
For the second consecutive day, the Moto2 riders had less adequate conditions in which to ride tan their Moto3 counterparts. There was the same grey sky, damp track and dry race declaration, but with the addition of a light drizzle as the French GP began at 12:20pm. The treacherous surface caught out up to fifteen riders over the course of the 22-lap contest. Pol Espargaró led the way early, alongside Takaaki Nakagami, but the former fell alongside teammate Esteve Rabat and the latter would also crash, on lap 6. The 'Museum' corner claimed the races of Espargaró, Rabat, Nakagami, Thomas Luthi, Nico Terol and others over the course of the contest. Scott Redding eventually won after a solo escape, as the red flag was shown three laps from the end due to rain.
Starting from sixth on the grid and with the pace to match the leaders, Nico Terol experienced disappointment on Sunday afternoon. A serious of setbacks meant that he would eventually take a DNF for the race, ending a good weekend on a sour note. The condition of the asphalt impeded the Spaniard from picking up temperature in his tyres, dropping positions as a result. After a steady comeback from the MAPFRE Aspar rider, escaping from a rival who had slowed him down, he found himself in eighth place and riding solo. However, on lap 17 he crashed at Turn 7, losing the front end and going to ground.
MAPFRE Aspar teammate Jordi Torres suffered a similar fate, albeit earlier on in proceedings. He was flung from his bike after clipping the grass on the home straight, just after completing the second lap.
Nico Terol (DNF): "I don't think that we deserved to finish the weekend in this way, because we had done a great job and had always been amongst the frontrunners. I found it hard to get a feel for the bike on the opening laps, because the tyres weren't heating up and I was swamped by another rider which put me off. When I left him behind, the lead group had already broken free. I focused on running my own pace, to see if I could progressively cut the gap. However, right at the end I ran slightly wide on a corner, hit a damp patch and lost grip. It is a shame because today, considering the condition of the asphalt, we should have tried to preserve as many points as possible. We should still be optimistic, and happy with the great job we did all weekend. I am sure that the energy I have within will be useful for the next race."
Jordi Torres (DNF): "We were facing a new track this weekend and it was harder than we expected to get used to it. After all the work that we had done over the past few days, we had hoped to improve our performance for the race or at least learn something from this French GP. Despite the track condition being difficult, I tried to take a positive approach to the race. Off the start, trying to change from second to third gear, I hit a false gear and lost places. I was patient after that and attempted to push hard to regain positions, but I lacked rear grip. On the second lap I wanted to get so tight behind the rider who was in front, that I clipped the astroturf on the home straight and the bike spat me off. I am ok after the crash, and focusing on Mugello."
More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Racing Team:
One step forward for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders
The Le Mans GP comes to an end for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders and their SpeedUp bikes, leave the French Grand Prix taking home points that will be important for the championship.
An excellent performance for Mattia Pasini who after finishing in the Top10 in yesterday’s qualifying session has finished today in sixth place. A very impressive comeback by Alex De Angelis and Simone Corsi, starting in the back the grid and finishing in eleventh and twelfth positions respectively. Unfortunate end of race for Ricky Cardús after a very good race in which he finished in twenty fifth position after the race was red flagged due tot he rain.
The data gathered here at Le Mans will be helpful for the upcoming home race at Mugello in two weeks time.
“I am not happy with the race results, especially with the fact that after the race was red flagged we lost some positions but I have to say that we did better than yesterday during qualifying. I have the feeling I wasted a good race, had I qualified better yesterday the today’s comeback could have allowed me fight to gain a few more positions. The Mugello race will be important for me, for the team and the sponsors, we are hopeful.”
Alex De Angelis
“Another amazing race even if the weather conditions today were really difficult, specially with the wet patched. The track was not completely dry as you could probably tell by the many crashes and it was complicated to find the right balance between opening gas and letting go of it too much. A real shame they red flagged the race, I could have done better.”
“I am really happy with today’s result. The track conditions made it really complicated for me to keep the balance of the bike. I had very good feeling and made a very good start, managing to stay with the front group the first few laps. I made a small mistake that compromised my pace and after that I was not able to keep up with them. I was with Di Meglio´s group when I saw the first drops of rain and I decided not to take an unnecessary risk and kept my position. A real shame because if it hadn’t been for that initial mistake I could have been fighting for the race, nonetheless I am very happy with the work we have done this weekend and for the progress we are making at every race. I am really looking forward to the race in Mugello.”
“I was doing really well today in general, I was fast in the warm up in the morning but unfortunately I crashed the lap before the end of the race. Up to that point it had been a very good race, I was with the second group between ninth and twelfth place. I was feeling confident but played the price for a mistake I made due to my lack of experience, going wide on one of the turns just as it started raining. It’s clear we have made considerable progress from the Jerez race to this one. I am acquiring experience and this is making me improve and its all thanks to the team.”
More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:
Le Mans, France - 19 May 2013: Scott Redding secured his first win in the Moto2 World Championship with an impressive ride to victory in today's French Moto2 Grand Prix, which was ended prematurely by the onset of heavy rain. Redding was joined on the podium by his Marc VDS teammate, Mika Kallio, who made it a perfect day for the team with a second place finish in the race.
Redding's victory, the first by an English rider in the intermediate class since Alan Carter's win in Le Mans exactly 30 years ago, saw the 20-year-old Briton retake the lead in the championship standings with a 24-point advantage over Tito Rabat who, along with his Pons teammate Pol Espargaro, crashed out of today's race in the difficult conditions.
Kallio's second place saw the 30-year-old Finn promoted back to third place in the championship standings, just five points behind Rabat and 29 points off the top spot.
Redding lost ground at the start but, together with teammate Kallio, quickly fought his way back into the top five, as the tricky mixed conditions claimed a number of victims in the early stages of the race. The two Marc VDS riders eventually forced their way to the front, with Redding taking the lead and Kallio squeezing past Xavier Simeon into second place. And that's how it ended, as the red flag was brought out with three laps to go due to heavy rain falling on what had been declared a dry race.
In today's Moto3 race Livio Loi missed out on another points scoring finish by the narrowest of margins, crossing the line in 16th position at the end of the 24-lap race. Wild card rider Jules Danilo's Grand Prix debut ended in disappointment, as the 18-year-old Frenchman crashed out of the race after losing the front at the Dunlop Chicane on lap 14.
Scott Redding #45: 1st
"It's an amazing feeling to have taken the win today, in what were very difficult conditions. It's a fitting reward for the team, who have all worked so hard for this win and, to them, I have to say a big thank you. I also owe a lot to Marc van der Straten for his support, so it was great that we had the chance to stand together on the top step of the podium today. The win also puts me back on the top of the championship standings, but this time with a bit more of an advantage, so I'm happy with that. Now we go to Mugello, where I'll definitely be looking for more of the same!"
Mika Kallio #36: 2nd
"We went with a slightly different setting today and that, combined with the weather conditions, meant I wasn't quite sure what to expect in the race. But the plan was the same as Jerez; to make up as many places in the first few laps by being aggressive and, once again, it worked. I got held up by Domi Aegerter and Xavier Simeon at one point, as both are difficult to pass, but I pushed through into second because there was a good chance the rain would bring out the red flag, which is exactly what happened. It's a good result for me and it was good for the team to have two riders on the podium today. Now we need to focus on Mugello, and making sure we have the bike set-up right for the first practice session."
Livio Loi #11: 16th
"I'm a little disappointed to finish outside the points today, but I was losing out on the straights on every lap. I don't know if there is an issue with the engine, but every time we hit the straights four riders would just drive straight past me. I was pushing hard to make up the lost positions in the corners, but it just wasn't possible."
Jules Danilo #95: DNF
"Obviously I'm disappointed that my Grand Prix debut ended this way, in the gravel trap, but up until that point I was having a good race and I was putting in some good times. I got caught out on the entry to the Dunlop chicane, as Toni Finsterbusch braked earlier than I was expecting. I went to pass him on the outside, but hit a damp patch and lost the front. I'd like to say thank you to the Marc VDS Racing Team for their support here in Le Mans, and I look forward to joining them again at the Sachsenring."
Marc van der Straten: President, Marc VDS Racing Team
"Congratulations to Scott, to Mika and to the whole team on a fantastic result here in Le Mans. It doesn't get any better than a one-two finish! To stand on the podium with both of our Moto2 riders was a real pleasure for me, especially as we were joined by my fellow countryman, Xavier Simeon, who finished third on Scott Redding's bike from last season. With our riders taking first and second, and Xavier on the podium in third, it's been a very good day for Belgium here at Le Mans."
More, from a press release issued by QMMF Racing Team:
West battles to ninth place – Sucipto celebrates happy-end after an early crash
In difficult conditions with cool temperatures and a partly damp track, QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West battled bravely to ninth place at the French Grand Prix. Despite a lack of tyre grip and feeling for the limit of his bike, the 31-year-old from Australia moved up from eleventh place after one lap to take ninth place on lap seven, defending and re-gaining this position time and time again against a fiercely attacking group of opponents.
Team-mate Rafid Topan Sucipto suffered an early setback when he was involved in a crash of another rider in the opening lap. But the teenager from Jakarta grit his teeth and continued a lonely race, which awarded him with an eventual 24th place.
Anthony West – 9th place
“My first lap was quite fast, so I was feeling good and was on a strong way. But then I faded and went back and back. I couldn’t stay with the front group, mainly because it felt as if I didn’t have any grip. I don’t want to just blame the bike because it sounds as if I’m making excuses, but I am having a really hard time with it at the moment. I don’t feel that I was on the pace at all and it was a real struggle to ride the bike. I just held off the guys behind me as much as I could. The good part was that I was strong on the brakes, which made it hard for the others to pass. And if they passed, I fought back. But I had to take big risks. It’s frustrating, because last year everything was going so well with the bike, it felt like we made big improvements each race. Now it seems that at a certain point we were going the wrong direction. We’ve got a new chassis with another big change to try in Mugello and we really hope that this will work, because otherwise we might have to go back to what we had last year and re-start in order to find out where we went wrong. Our new bike has many good points, but there are other points that make it harder to ride at the same time!”
Rafid Topan Sucipto – 24th place
“I had a good start and I was in quite a strong position when another rider had a big crash in the fourth corner, which forced me off the track and caused me to crash as well.. The bike was okay and I was able to continue, but of course I was dead-last and it cost me to find my rhythm again. It was a lonely race but at least I made it to the chequered flag!”
More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens Racing:
Bad luck for Toni Elías at Le Mans. After starting from the last position, due to the change of the radiator in pit-boxes, a fall prevents him from completing a great comeback
Kyle Smith is hit by another rider and forced to retire
Le Mans, 19 May 2013.With the track in difficult conditions because of the rain fallen previously, it started the Moto2 race. But before the beginning of the fourth round of the championship, the Avintia Racing team suffered the first setback of the day when being on the starting grid ready for doing the warm-up lap, the mechanics of Toni Elías found a hole in the radiator of the Manresa rider bike. A bike that was led to the pit-boxes and thanks to the work of all the mechanics and technicians of the Avintia Racing team -both Moto2 and MotoGP-, it was possible for Toni to begin the race from the grid but, of course, from the last place of it.
This circumstance caused that the race development was completely different from the expected. Toni had to attack from the beginning to move up positions, with the involved risk. The track was in tricky conditions, with dry lane but with wet areas and that demanded lots of concentration and touch. An evidence of this was the large number of falls during the race. Elías was protagonist of a great comeback which took him to the ninth position, but with nineteen laps remaining, he fell and the possibility of achieving a deserved good result by the Blusens Avintia rider vanished. Toni returned to the track waiting for the rain and a new race start, but the liquid element appeared too late, just at three laps to go, moment in which the race director decided to definitely stop the race.
Kyle Smith did not avoid the bad luck that seemed to chase the Blusens Avintia riders at Le Mans. After a good start, in which he placed himself in the top twenty, Kyle was hit by another rider and forced to retire in the first part of the race. Smith expects his luck will change at Mugello and to begin to straighten his debut season.
24 Toni Elías (NC): It has been a real shame. The truth is that we are not being lucky. In general it has been a difficult weekend but we have worked well, we have improved a lot but we have not had reward. During the weekend we have tested several things and yesterday we found a very good path. Today, in wet, we have been the quickest in the warm-up and, for the race the truth is that we had a good pace. We have been unlucky with the radiator, but thanks to the team, that has been a clan working, I have been able to start the race from the grid. Beginning from the bottom has been a handicap, it has forced me to push hard and maybe that is why I have fallen. It upsets me because I was moving up well, we had very good pace and I think that we could achieve a good result. But for me it is important the fact that we were riding quickly, we have done very correct things with the set-up of the bike and we have taken a step forward that will be noticed at the upcoming races. I hope the bad luck will go away and that we will see the other side of the coin as soon as possible.
9 Kyle Smith: (NC): I am annoyed because it is the second consecutive time that I do not finish a race. It has not been an easy weekend. On Friday I was a little lost with the set-up and it was very hard for me to be quick. On Saturday we made a positive leap and today in the warm-up, in wet, I have been ninth. Everything seems to be good for the race. I have started well and riding in a good group, but suddenly I have braked and the bike has disappeared from my legs! A rider has slipped and hit me from behind. I hope that things will go much better at Mugello.
More, from a press release issued by ItalTrans/AGP Racing:
Grand Prix of France
Le Mans, May 19th, 2013
The crash has been the end of the big dream of everybody, in the box – to get the first victory after the first pole. Nevertheless, nobody has changed mind – Takaaki, for them, at the moment is the best.
The Japanese, who started from the first place on grid, got immediately the lead. He handed it to somebody else, but just for a couple of laps. Than, got back at the front, opening a little gap. He crashed at lap seven, while was a solid leader and – this is what he says – because of a small mistake, and not over the limit. Not at all.
Julian had a better day, and the race has been the best moment of his weekend. Eighteenth on the grid, he finished in eight position, at the end of a solid race: just once he lost a position, for one lap. In any other moment, his race was a constant progressing towards the top ten.
Julian Simon (13'13”295 – 8°) “A precious performance, that gives back to me confidence. The race has been a tough one, also because of the weather. I started well, then I got jammed in the traffic but, as soon as I have been able to get my rhythm, the situation improved quite a lot. I'm looking forward to competing in Mugello, which is the team's home race, and I absolutely want a good result – we all deserve it”.
Pierluigi Aldrovandi (Simon race engineer) “Julian has won the second group, and that is the maximum he could get, starting so back in the grid. He has been able to clock good lap times. This is a result that has restored his confidence, and we are happy”.
Takaaki Nakagami (dnf) “I was not over the limit; I had something more in my pocket. Simply, I did a mistake: a small one, but a mistake. I lost the best line and, trying to get it back, I did a sudden maneuver, and lost the bike. I'm upset, of course, but more than that I'm sorry for the team. We will do try again in Mugello, in a fortnight”.
Claudio Macciotta (Nakagami race engineer) “So it's racing – a common, but true phrase. Nevertheless, we are satisfied by our work – Nakagami has been great and consistent both on dry and wet – and, being so fast, he will soon have another chance”.
Luigi Pansera (Team Manager) “In my opinion, Takaaki was unbeatable, today. Just a crash could halt him. What a pity. But our target is more and more close. For both our riders: Julian offered a good performance, and he's very close to be back to the maximum level”.