Anthony West scores two points and valuable knowledge – Ramos ends a tough race in 23rd place
With a heroic ride to 14th place at the French Grand Prix, QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West bounced back from a disappointing qualifying session and scored valuable world championship points for the fifth time in five races so far. The 32-year-old Australian had a great start from 27th position on the grid and was in 18th position after one lap. From there, he kept gaining positions and climbed up to 13th and even 12th place as the race went on, but lost two positions again on the last lap due to tyre wear. Nevertheless, he and his team were in good spirits after the race, since they had found a new way to improve corner speed, which should help West in the races to come.
Team-mate Roman Ramos had a tough day against a group of riders with a similar pace, but eventually managed to win the battle against Azlan Shah and Robin Mulhauser to score 25th place.
Anthony West – 14th place
“My start was good and as usual in the race, I somehow managed to get towards the front. But I had to fight a lot with the bike. I had chattering, I had sliding and it seems to be a constant battle from entry to the exit of the corner. At the end, those guys got me. I did the best I could to hold them off, but I wasn’t able to. The bike feels strong in the first six, seven laps. I can fight, I can brake hard, I can get on the gas and fight with the other guys. But then the bike seems to drop off and get worse. I have more chattering and less grip and then the bike doesn’t turn. It’s sensitive to any change and becomes difficult to ride. But all in all, we are making progress: In the last three races, we just tried to get rear grip because this had been my main problem. Now we changed our approach. I think I am overstressing the bike in the corners trying to make it turn like the other guys are turning. We are stressing the tyre so much that I am losing grip on the corner exit. That’s why we decided to make the bike turn in the middle of the corner rather than just looking for grip. In the warm-up this morning, I went faster than I did in qualifying, thanks to our new set-up. The last three races, we have been chasing the wrong problem with the bike. From now on we have to work a bit differently!”
Roman Ramos – 23rd place
“It was a difficult and tough race. The bike didn’t behave as well as in the third free practice session, where it was at its best and I liked it a lot. In the end, I was suffering and I was much further behind in the field than I had hoped to be. Now we are looking ahead to the next race at Mugello, where I will try again to be closer to the group of riders I should be up against. We will work hard and try our best to improve!”
More, from a press release issued by KTM:
MILLER WINS NAIL-BITER FINISH IN LE MANS MOTO3, EXTENDS CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
Red Bull KTM Ajo factor rider Jack Miller of Australia came out on top after the closest and most exciting of Moto3 races so far this season when he came from third and out-braked his opponents to steal the victory and move 30-points in front in the points.
Miller's factory teammates in the Red Bull KTM Ajo garage broke into wild celebrations when he crossed the line nine hundredths of a second ahead of Alex Rins of Spain. KTM rider Isaac Vinales took the minor podium place. The race, round five of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship was certainly one of the most gripping and hard fought that this relatively new racing discipline has witnessed and also delivered KTM’s fifty-first GP victory.
Jack Miller: “It was a great fight and that's why I'm extremely happy. The bike worked really well. I would say it was as if it was on rails, but actually it was moving about a lot. That was my fault as I was accelerating too early to compensate a little. It was a fun race and it's always nice when you win a fight like this, so I'm very happy."
The Australian was by no means sure of the victory until the closing seconds. Rins, Vinales and veteran Efren Vazquez were all right in mix going into the final corners. But Miller held his nerve in the hard-fought braking battle and the big loser was Vazquez who went wide and finished sixth after a desperate attempt to seal his first career GP win.
Miller started on the second place on the grid, his fifth consecutive front row start. He got away well but five laps into the 24-lap race, as the lead changed quickly back and forth, it was already clear that there would be at least five contenders for the podium places.
Tension mounted as the race progressed and it became impossible to call as the field of potential winners expanded to seven riders. But in the final stages it was Miller, Rins, Alex Marquez and Vazquez who emerged as the favorites. ??There was a lot at stake for the Australian who had a narrow five-point lead before the race and was being closely challenged on the points table by both KTM rider Romano Fenati of Italy, who has shared the GP wins with Miller, and Vazquez. Fenati started back at tenth, was in the mix right up to the seventeenth lap but then retired with a technical issue.
Miller’s Red Bull KTM Ajo factory teammate Karel Hanika crashed out in turn eight on the sweeping Le Man’s circuit in the early part of the race.
Miller leaves Le Mans with an impressive 30-point lead ahead of Fenati and with three GP wins from five rounds. He has also taken three pole positions and has only been off the podium once, after he finished fourth in Jerez, last weekend.
Round Six is on June 1, the GP of Italy at the Mugello Circuit
Moto GP of France – Le Mans Circuit - Round 5
1, Jack Miller, AUS, KTM, 41:30.582
2, Alex Rins, ESP, Honda, 41:30.677
3, Isaac Viñales, ESP, KTM, 41:30.812
4, Francesco Bagnaia, ITA, KTM, 41:31.069
5, Alex Marquez, ESP, Honda, 41:31.513
6, Efren Vazquez, ESP, Honda, 41:31.522
7, Enea Bastianini, ITA, KTM, 41:31.608
8, John McPhee, GBR, Honda, 41:31.803
9, Alexis Masbou, FRA, Honda, 41:32.157
10, Jakub Kornfeil, CZE, KTM, 41:32.755
16, Hafiq Azmi, MAL, KTM, 41:53.523
DNF, Romano Fenati, ITA, KTM, 33:24.698
DNF, Niccolo Antonelli, ITA, KTM, 10:31.520
DNF, Karel Hanika, CZE, KTM, 5:21.036
DNS, Eric Granado, BRA, KTM
Moto3 Standings after Round 5
1, Miller, 104
2, Fenati, 74
3, Vazquez, 72
4, Rins, 71
5, Marquez, 60
6, Viñales, 44
7, Kornfeil, 37
8, Bagnaia, 36
9, Masbou, 35
10, Kent, 26
11, Bastianini, 25
17, Hanika, 8
18, Antonelli, 7
Moto3 Manufacturers Standings after Round 5
1, KTM, 125
2, Honda, 96
3, Husqvarna, 28
More, from a press release issued by Husqvarna:
Kent picks up more points at Le Mans Moto3
12th place for Danny Kent in Le Mans Moto3
British rider Danny Kent picked up more Moto3 championship points on Sunday when he finished twelfth in the fifth round of the season, the Moto3 GP of France at the sweeping Le Mans circuit.
Kent is tenth in the points after Le Mans in what is shaping up to be a very hard fought battle for the title. He has scored points in all five races so far and is currently ranked tenth. The Husqvarna team is new to the Moto3 competition in 2014.
Husqvarna rider Niklas Ajo came close to a top ten finish but exited the race in the closing stages, after what had been up till then a good weekend at the French circuit, including a season’s best qualifying that put him on the second row of the grid. Ajo is in fifteenth place in the points reckoning.
Kent said he struggled a lot on the straights but was able to make up time in the corners on the Le Mans circuit. He also took a critical look at his own riding when he said. “I can’t be fighting so far down the field, with newcomers to the World Championship. I need to demand more of myself and be further up the field. We need to find solutions to our braking issues and find more speed. This definitely was not the weekend that we were expecting, but we need to keep pushing and giving our all in order to do better at the next race."
Factory team manager Ajo said Danny’s start position was not perfect. “In the beginning he could not improve but finally at the end of the race he was showing good lap times and good speed but of course by then it was too late.”
Riders next compete at the circuit in two weeks time.
More, from a press release issued by Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2:
DISAPPOINTING FIRST LAP CRASH FOR SIMEON AT LE MANS. BALDASSARRI CROSSES THE FINISH LINE IN 20th
The French Grand Prix is unfortunately finished very early today at Le Mans for Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: after a good start, in which he managed to recover two positions, the Belgian rider crashed during the first lap, at the entrance of Turn 9. Though he was not pushing hard, Siméon has suddenly lost the front and was forced to retire after the fall.
Lorenzo Baldassarri was instead able to cross the finish line aboard the Team Gresini Moto2 Suter machine in 20th position, despite the Italian rookie raced with an injured right foot as a result of yesterday’s high side during qualifying.
XAVIER SIMEON (DNF)
“I’m very sorry for the team and for all the fans who came to see me from Belgium. I made a good start but then I suddenly lost the front under braking at turn 9 and honestly I can’t give an explanation of what happened: I was still straight and I started to brake twenty meters earlier than usual, so I was not forcing. Despite difficult practice sessions, in which we have always been a bit far from the top, this morning in the Warm Up the situation had improved, so we thought we could have a good race, with a good rhythm. Too bad for the crash: now we have to stay focused and for sure this episode will not change my approach for the forthcoming races”.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (20th)
“I’m happy because I achieved my goal, that was crossing the finish line: I wanted to race despite the injury and the choice turned out to be right: this race it’s been very useful to gather experience because in all the other occasions – apart from Argentina where, however, I have been hampered by an engine oil leak - I was not able to finish the race. I felt a bit of pain in my right foot only in the early stages, although later my left shoulder started to hurt, because I was pushing hard on the left side to compensate the lack of strength on the right side, so in the end I struggled”.
“Unfortunately Simeon has not even finished the first lap: we analyzed the data, and apparently Xavier didn’t make any mistake, so it was a very strange fall. It’s a pity, because we knew we could have done a good race. I’m glad that Baldassarri crossed the finish line: it was important for him to race, regardless of the result, in order to get more confidence and gather as much information as possible ahead of the upcoming events”.
More, from a press release issued by San Carlo Team Italia:
Grand Prix de France 2014
Le Mans (France)
May 16-18, 2014
Moto3 - San Carlo Team
Italia closer to top-20 in France
Ferrari 21st at Le Mans, Michael Ruben Rinaldi 23rd
The fifth round of the 2014 Moto3 World
Championship at Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans has provided San Carlo Team Italia
with some interesting feedback that will be useful for the rest of the season.
While Jack Miller (KTM) won a spectacular battle for the top step of the
podium, the Italian pair of the federal squad got the best of some new setup
solutions to improve the feeling with their Mahindra MGP3O.
As he had done in Jerez, Matteo Ferrari (Mahindra MGP3O # 3) addressed the race
with great determination arriving in 21th and constantly improving his lap
times compared to the practices. Solid race also for Michael Ruben Rinaldi
(Mahindra MGP3O # 34) who was replacing the injured Andrea Locatelli (expected
to return in action in the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello). The Italian Moto3
vice-champion has completed the race in 23th position gaining an undoubtedly
useful experience for the continuation of his career in motorcycle racing.
The next appointment of San Carlo Team Italia will be the Gran Premio d'Italia
at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello on the next June 1st.
More, from a press release issued by Tech 3 Racing:
Schrotter scores points again in Le Mans
Marcel Schrotter produced a spirited ride to 11th in gloriously sunny conditions to succeed with his intention of scoring championship points, at the Le Mans circuit for the Tech3 Racing Team’s home race. The German rider began in 17th at the 4185-metre track and undertook a solid start before proceeding to ascend to 14th position by the end of the first lap. He then set into a consistent groove and chipped away at the riders in front in a determined manner and held 12th position on lap 16. His persistent efforts saw him run a series of very consistent lap times and finished in 11th as he collected important additional championship points for the Tech3 Racing Team.
Ricky Cardus endured a disappointing end to a promising weekend, after falling in the early stages of the 26-lap sprint, having qualified excellently in 8th position. The Spanish rider bravely re-joined the race, but despite his best efforts to attempt to salvage a result at the team’s home grand prix, he was too far adrift from the pack, despite lapping the same times as the riders in the middle of the field. Cardus will aim to make amends at the next Grand Prix in Mugello.
Marcel Schrotter : 11th - Championship : 15th - Points : 17
“I can be happy with the result today even though I was just outside of the top ten which is what I was aiming for. It has been a difficult weekend for me and during the practice sessions I was much lower in the standings than I wanted. So to recover and get 11th position in the race is very encouraging and to collect more points is very important. I am happy to go away with a decent result at the team’s home race as they worked really hard to help me prepare for race day and we finally made some good progress so overall I am pleased and confident for Mugello.”
Ricky Cardus : 26th - Championship : 16th - Points : 13
“I am disappointed with today’s result after such a competitive qualifying. My start was ok, but then I was touched by another rider, ran wide and got shuffled back a few positions. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous at the beginning, as I wanted to pass the competitors and get myself in the best possible positions for a strong race. However, I went to make a move on Pasini, and unfortunately crashed. I am sorry to him and also to the Tech3 Racing Team because we were sure of a good result. Now I will take the positives from the weekend and see how I can improve furthermore in Mugello.”
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager :
“It was a strong weekend for the Tech3 Moto2 team until today. Ricky especially, gave us a lot of reasons to be hopeful and confident as he was really fast in qualifying and missed the front row by the smallest of margins. We were feeling good for the race but unfortunately he didn’t get a good start and wanted to do too much too early. It’s a big shame, but on the German side of the garage, Marcel managed to collect some valuable points at our home race. He had a reasonable start, got his head down and was really consistent which was great. Overall, we know that the potential of both riders as well as the Mistral is higher than our performance today showed so we will carry on working in Mugello in a couple of weeks.”
More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:
Great Podium finish for Corsi at Le Mans
The French Grand Prix saw the NGM Forward Racing rider Simone Corsi on the second step of the podium at the technical and demanding track of Le Mans at the end of race where he was leading and fought hard with Mika Kallio, who finally took the victory.
Corsi made a very good start and was leading the race, when with 10 laps to go Kallio overtook him. For Corsi and the team, this is the first podium of the 2014 season and with this result Simone maintains the 5th position the world championship.
It was another unlucky weekend for Mattia Pasini, who was obliged due to an incident with Cardus on the first lap.
“I’m really happy, after three 5th places it’s great to be back on the podium. We worked well during the whole weekend and I was able to ride fast since the beginning. I made a good start and pushed hard since the first lap. I was leading but Kallio had a stronger pace. We will keep on working in this direction for the next races. I look forward to race in Mugello, I like a lot this track and I aim at confirming another strong performance. Id like to thank the team and the sponsors for the great support.”
“My race finished on the first lap. Cardus touched me and I couldn’t do anything to avoid him. After having struggled in the weekend I had found a good feeling and I wanted to get a good result. Now I look forward to Mugello.”