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Oct 28, 2013

More From The MotoGP World Championship Event At Motegi

FIM Moto2 World Championship. Takaaki Nakagami (30) in action.
Motegi Frustration For Laverty And Cudlin

Following a run of desperate bad luck in recent rounds of the MotoGP World Championship, whereas both Michael Laverty and Damian Cudlin left round 17 at the weather-affected AirAsia Japanese Grand Prix without scoring points, it was a lot more encouraging performance by both riders for the Penrith-based PBM MotoGP Team.

After the debacle of tyre wear in Australia the week previous, bad weather and even earthquakes threatened to disrupt the penultimate round of the series at Motegi and Friday's free practice sessions were washed out completely.

Saturday's slightly improved conditions saw both Ulsterman Laverty aboard the CRT-specification Aprilia ART and Australian Cudlin riding the PBM-chassised Aprilia qualify on row seven and eight of the grid respectively going into Sunday's dry race.

Laverty, from Toome in County Antrim, on the Rapid Solicitors and Aprilia ART got the better start and was challenging just outside the points for the opening third of the race with German-based Cudlin aboard the unique Rapid Solicitors and PBM machine trailing just behind.

With both riders having had very limited experience at the track and especially in the dry conditions, they didn't have the optimum settings but battled on regardless as they circulated inside the top 20 for most of the race.

Unfortunately for Cudlin, he inadvertently held up eventual race winner Jorge Lorenzo in the latter stages and was reprimanded afterwards by Race Direction and for Laverty, he ran low on fuel in the last couple of laps and eventually had to push the machine home such was his determination to finish. Laverty was classified in 19th position at the end of the 24-lap race with Cudlin in 21st.

Laverty dropped one place to 25th overall in the MotoGP World Championship standings in his debut season. In the Claiming Rules Teams (CRT) class, Laverty occupies tenth whereas PBM occupy eighth in the Constructors Championship and 12th in the Teams Championship in their debut season with their brand new British-built machine.

Michael Laverty: "Starting a race with only 18 laps under my belt in the dry was always going to make things difficult. I got gradually faster throughout the race as I figured the circuit out and managed to catch back up to Petrucci. I began to run out of fuel on the penultimate lap and had to nurse it home so I wasn't able to make a pass. I ran dry on the home straight and had to push it the final 100 metres. I enjoyed Japan and the Motegi circuit although it was a little bit frustrating with the lack of track time this weekend meaning we didn't reach our true potential."

Damian Cudlin: "The weather really didn't help us at all this weekend as the one thing we need on the bike is time and going straight into a dry race with very limited track time wasn't ideal. I got into a good rhythm and was riding my own race and I apologise if I held Jorge up but the flags were not clear to me. I'd like to thank the team for their hard work as it has been a difficult couple of rounds but I am happy to record another finish."

Phil Borley, Technical Director: "The good weather we were hoping for at Motegi arrived too late to be of any help to our riders as they both were looking for as much track time as possible. In the race we did not have the pace to challenge for the positions we should be and so we return home from the flyaway races with little to show for our hard work. Nevertheless, we will keep trying hard and hope to finish the season with some positive results at Valencia."

The final round of the MotoGP World Championship takes place at Valencia on November 10th. For more information, please visit the team's website and

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:


Franco Morbidelli gathered valuable experience with his second Moto2 race appearance of the season in place of the injured Thitipong Warokorn at Motegi. Despite limited track time due to the inclement weather conditions here this weekend the young Italian adapted well to the circuit today and with some dry track time in practice he could have feasibly scored a much better result.

Franco Morbidelli (18th) “It has been another nice experience for me here. I would have liked to have had more time to learn the track but the circumstances were very unusual and it wasn't possible. It's a shame but I know I could have been even faster in this race today and I think I can go home happy with my Japanese adventure.”

Fausto Gresini “This was a great experience for a young rider like Morbidelli and he did a good job – I am sure that with a few more laps he would have finished further up. Apart from the result I think this weekend will prove to be a big positive for him. ”

More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:


Doni Tata Pradita had a weekend to forget at Motegi, where his preparations for the race were severely hampered by the adverse weather conditions. The Indonesian rider did his best to fight back in the race but just when he was making up positions he crashed out.

Doni Tata Pradita (DNF) “I am disappointed because after picking up points at Phillip Island I was determined to have a similar result at Motegi. Unfortunately it couldn't have gone much worse and we have finished the weekend with a crash.”

Fausto Gresini “I feel sorry for Doni because I know how hard he is working at every race. The point at Phillip Island was a nice boost for him but repeating that feat here at Motegi was always going to be a very difficult task.”

More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

Incredible comeback by Alex De Angelis at Motegi

The AirAsia Grand Prix of Japan ends on a positive note for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team with two of their riders in the Top10. A second start of the race was necessary today after an accident in the first turn after the start involving several riders caused Race Direction to Red Flag the race. Alex De Angelis and Mattia Pasini we able to make a good race and cross the Motegi finish line in 7th and 10th place respectively.

Starting from the 22nd place on the grid Alex De Angelis was able to make a remarkable comeback at the Japanese track. The rider form San Marino took full advantage of a great start and kept a good pace for most of the race, allowing him to regain many positions. A positive day too for teammate Mattia Pasini, despite the brakes problems he suffered he was able to get in the Top10. Ricky Cardús and Simone Corsi were less fortunate: the Spanish rider was battling to remain in the Top15 but made a mistake that cost him the points this weekend and ended up in 17th place. Roman rider Simone Corsi was unable to finish the race as he crashed early on while he was on 3rd place.

The next ad last race of the season will take place in two weeks time.

Simone Corsi

“Unfortunately the race did not last very long for me today. I was able to do a good start in both the first and and second start of the race. I made it to 3rd place after the first turn but I didn´t have good grip on the rear tire after we chanegd the tre for the re-start. While fighting to narrow the gap with the riders ahead of me I crashed. We have to look forward and think of the last race of the season in Valencia.”

Alex De Angelis

“Considering that I started the race in 22nd place on the grid I would have to say that I am definitely happy with todays race result. Today we finally had lady luck on our side: on the re-start of the race I was able to get a good start and considering that there were less riders I was able to gain several positions. In the first laps I was able to overtake riders, I had a good feeling after the warm up session but towards the end of the race I was trying to maintain and fight to keep my position. I finish this third race in a row with a smile on my face.”

Mattia Pasini

“I am only halfway satisfied with today´s results but after finishing two races in a row out of the points I should be happy to be back in the Top10. It has been a strange race, we had very little time on track and practically gone out to race almost blindfolded. Unfortunately this track seems to have magnified the braking problems that we´ve been having these last few races, I tried to do my best but halfway through the race, while fighting between the 5th and 8th positions, it became really difficult for me to stop the bike and I decided to take home the best possible result without risking a crash. Congratulations to Pol for winning the championship today.”

Ricky Cardus

“I was ready for a good race, I knew I could do well. On the re-start of the race I started off really well but as I was battlign to regain positions I made a mistake and crashed. I re-joined the race but at that point I was last. I decided to push as hard as I could and finish the race with the best possibel result, managing to finish in 17th place. I believe I could have finished close to the Top10 today but because of my mistake I wasn´t able to.”

More, from a press release issued by KTM:


Alex Marquez of Spain emerged the winner in the final meters of the Moto3 GP of Japan at the Motegi circuit to give KTM its 20th consecutive victory. But the penultimate round of the 2013 season saw more drama than any other race this season and shook up the championship standings not once but several times.

At the end of one of the most action packed races of the season, Spain’s Maverick Vinales (KTM) was second and Jonas Folger of Germany was third on the Kalex-KTM.

While the younger Marquez brother celebrated his first Moto3 victory it had also been a heart stopping race for the three title contenders and KTM riders Luis Salom, Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales.Most of all, however for the Red Bull KTM Ajo factory team. First they saw Fahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia crash in the opening corner then the race had barely got underway when Isaac Vinales took out championship leader Salom. ??Having started with a lead of just five points in the championship Salom then went into damage control. He scrambled back into the race at dead last and was setting fastest lap times from the back of the pack in a valiant attempt to get back in the points. Then in lap seven of the 20-lap race he pushed too hard, high-sided and ended in gravel. Certain that this was gong to ruin his chance at the title, he returned to the pits to an equally dejected team while his arch rivals Rins, Vinales and Marquez battled it out at the front.

Then, three laps before the end of the race, Rins also high-sided and was out of the points, temporarily setting up Vinales as a potential points leader going into the final round in Valencia. Vinales and a very ambitious Alex Marquez then fought they way to the finish, exchanging the lead back and forth in a battle that saw Marquez squeeze out the victory in the final meters.?

The championship now goes to the final round in Valencia on a knife’s edge with Salom still in the lead by two points from Vinales with Rins five points behind the leader. Everything points to a great race for the sport, the Spanish fans and for KTM, who are in line to take their second World Championship title after Sandro Cortese of Red Bull KTM Ajo won the first ever Moto3 title in 2012.

Motegi 2013 will go down as one of the most dramatic Moto3 races to date. As a typhoon passed across southern Japan on Friday and Saturday, the circuit was either shrouded in fog or deluged in rain forcing all free practices on both days to be cancelled. Teams had only a slightly extended and still partly wet qualifying session and Sunday’s warm-up to set up the bikes only to be greeted with clear blue sky on Sunday for the race.

Moto3 Results Round 16 (of 17)
1, Alex Marquez, Spain, KTM (20th consecutive victory for KTM), 39:45.953
2, Maverick Vinales, Spain, KTM, 39:45.980
3, Jonas Folger, Germany, Kalex-KTM, 39:53.703
5, Miguel Oliviera, Spain, Mahindra, 40:01.842
5, Fenati, Italy, Honda, 40:04.276
6, Jack Miller, Australia, Honda, 40:04.385
7, John Mc Phee, Honda, UK, 40:04.392
8, Niklas Ajo, Finland KTM, 40.11.903
9. Nicola Antonelli, Italy, Honda, 40:11.903
10, Brad Binder, South Africa, Mahindra, 40:18.886

Other KTM
11, Jakub Kornfiel, Czech Republic, Kalex-KTM, 40:19.020
12, Livio Loi, Belgium, Kalex-KTM, 40:19.621
13, Philipp Oettl, Germany, Kalex-KTM, 40:19.621
16, Arthur Sissis, Australia, KTM, 40:28.112
18, Ana Carracso, Spain, KTM, 40:32.440
19, Erich Granado, Brazil, Kalex-KTM, 40:32.958
21, Toni Finsterbusch, Germany, Kalex-KTM, 40:34.449
24, Alex Rins, Spain, KTM, 40:52. 831
DNF Luis Salom
DNF Zulfahmi Khairuddin

Championship standings after round 16 (of 17)
1, Salom 300
2, Vinales, 298
3, Rins, 295
4, Marquez, 200
5, Folger 163
6, Oliviera, 144
7, Miller, 110
8, Masbou 84
9, Vazquez, 17
10, Kornfeil, 68

Other KTM
12, Khairuddin 65
14, Ajo, 62
15, Sissis 59
18. Oettl. 27
21, Loi, 8
23, Iwema 8
24, Granado 7
28, Carrasco 1

Manufacturer’s Standings
1, KTM 400
2, Kalex-KTM 171
3, Mahindra 162

More, from a press release issued by JIR Moto2 Team:

Nagashima's progress ends in 20th at his debut GP

The rain and bad weather have finally given way to sunshine and mild temperatures at the Motegi circuit, allowing Moto2 riders to compete in the race of the Japanese Grand Prix in dry conditions.

The race, however, was marred by an incident in the first corner which involved Mariñelarena, Redding and Rabat forcing the Race Direction to give red flag and so shorten the GP to 15 laps. The incident had also sadly put Englishman Redding out of the championship hunt.

Tetsuta Nagashima - the rider deployed by Team JiR for this weekend, took advantage of the 40-minute session granted in the morning to get to grips with the dry set up and set up for the race thanks to the advice and experience of the Technical Team. At the second green flag he was able to find a good starting point and from the position of the middle grid he immediately snapped up a couple of positions reaching the following group. Unfortunately for him the greater experience of the other Moto2 riders started to make a difference on a dry track and the young Japanese had to give best to their experience. For him a 20th place finish leaves the memory of a good weekend thanks to the progress he made in the short time available.

The race was won by Spaniard Pol Espargaro , who with the help of Redding not taking points today meant he won the 2013world championship title with a race to spare. To him the compliments of the staff of Team JiR.

GP of Japan – Race classification:
1. Pol ESPARGARO - 28'15.162
2. Mika KALLIO - +1.344
3. Thomas LUTHI - +3.379
4. Xavier SIMEON - +8.420
5. Julian SIMON - +10.315

20. Tetsuta NAGASHIMA - +55.138

GP of Japan – World Riders Championship:
2. Scott REDDING - 224
3. Esteve RABAT - 204
4. Mika KALLIO - 185
5. Dominique AEGERTER - 151

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

West conquers 11th place, Sucipto fights with the best of the world

In an action-packed Grand Prix of Japan, QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West conquered a strong eleventh place, whilst his teammate Rafid Topan Sucipto enjoyed a thrill ride with the best of the world before crashing out four laps from the end of the Moto2 race.

Both riders had a good start, but couldn’t take advantage of their positions, as the race was red-flagged during the first lap. Spaniard Tito Rabat had crashed at the exit of turn one and Scott Redding, Pol Espargarós only remaining rival in the title fight, hadn’t been able to avoid Rabat’s bike, which meant an end to Reddings race, shattering his last hopes for the championship.

West, one of the fastest, but also one of the most experienced riders in the Moto2 class, had almost a seventh sense when he pulled on a tight inside line in this corner and managed to avoid the melee. The 32-year-old Australian started well a second time and held 135h place after one lap, but struggled with speed and a lack of traction and found it difficult to get further towards the front. Only in the last two laos, he managed to get the upper hand in the group he was in to secure eleventh place.

Rafid Topan Sucipto, who had been the sensation in qualifying when he put his bike into fifth position, enjoyed a fantastic experience battling with the top riders of the Moto2 category. In the extended free practice session on Sunday morning, he started to adapt his Speed Up prototype to dry conditions, but neither his engineers nor the young Indonesian teenager himself expected his race pace to be as fast as it was. Learning from the top riders around him, Sucipto started to brake later and harder to the point of his front fork bottoming out under the brake force, which eventually made him lose the front going into turn one.

Fastest man on the track was Pol Espargaró, who pulled away to take his sixth win of the season and to celebrate the world title.

Anthony West – 11th
“My position is good and points are always good, but I am still disappointed. I was almost touching the rear tyres of many of the riders just trying to get in their slipstream so I could try and out-brake them in the next corner. Everything I did was a battle to get more speed out of the bike. In the end I beat the group I was with, so I am happy with that. But it was hard. From the beginning of the race, I had big problems with rear traction. Entering the corner I had no grip, then mid-corner I had no grip either and on the exit, the rear wheel would just spin out. It was difficult to ride. In the end our result doesn’t look bad, but I feel we are far away from where we should be. I feel I am riding the bike at the limit, but the bike shouldn’t be in this position. Luckily, I didn’t get involved in the crash after the first start. A lot of things have happened at the exit of turn one on this track, with people running into each other, so I was extra cautious. I saw a bit of movement and immediately went to the inside. I was glad I did, because I was right behind them when they all went down. Bad luck for the guys that got injured, it is never good to see a crash like that. I am just glad that I was able to avoid it!”

Rafid Topan Sucipto – did not finish
“I was a little bit nervous before the start, but I tried to relax on the grid and I was okay when the lights went out. After the first start however, I almost crashed because another rider banged into me. That’s why the second start was even more difficult for me. But I got away well again and when another rider hit the brakes really hard right in front of me, I managed to do the same and was able to follow for a while, which felt really good. My only problem was that when we tried to find the best possible set-up this morning, we still didn’t have the right references and when I was faster in the race, these settings didn’t match my pace with harder braking and later corner entries. Eventually I lost the front going into turn one, which was disappointing. But all in all I am happy with this weekend, because I was more competitive and I learned a lot. I also have a pretty good idea now how to improve our settings for the next race!"

More, from a press release issued by ItalTrans/AGP Racing:

Grand Prix of Japan
Motegi, October 27th, 2013

One of the most difficult GP ever, for Italtrans. Typhoon Francisco has soaked Japan for two days, upsetting the schedule for the race weekend: no free practices, and straight to qualifying, on Saturday afternoon. With no training, the session has bought several surprises, and not always welcome. Both Julian Simon and Takaaki Nakagami placed, on the grid, far from the position they had been targeting. On Sunday, a sunny day since early morning, a different story: Julian, who qualified 20th, in the race classified 5th, and Takaaki, 23rd on Saturday, climbed up to 9th. The race has been red-flagged in the early stage because of a crash, and restarted later on a shorter distance – 15 laps.

Julian Simon (28'25”477 - 5th ) “It hasn't been my best result this season – I got a fourth in Germany – but I'm quite happy with it. After the warm-up, in the morning, we were uncertain about tire choice: with a shortened race, almost everything would be decided at the start and in the first laps. I've been lucky, in the first corner: I got a great position, that allowed me to pass several riders. Then, I got stuck quite a long time behind a rider in front, who was slower but tough, ad lost my chance to stay with the winning guys. I want to thank the team for the great job done, in this three races in the Far East: we did a great step ahead, even if haven't been able to show it on all tracks. And we can do also better. Quite a lot better”.

Matteo Gnesi (Simon Race Engineer) “Julian marked a very good race pace, constantly around 1'52. If at the beginning he could overtake a slower rider more quickly, it would be easier. The bad weather meant we could not collect the usual amount of data, but are happy with how we have been able to use them, and with Julian's result”.

Takaaki Nakagami (28'33”576 - 9th ) “All in all, not bad. I did my best, in a very difficult week-end for the all squad. I want to thank them for the job done. With a race on the usual distance, and not shortened, we could reach a better result. I did a decent start, had a problem with the brakes in the early stages, but then have been able to ride at a constant pace. In the last laps I really gave everything I had”.

Claudio Macciotta (Nakagami Race Engineer) “Although we haven't been better than 23rd in qualifying, and with a race cut to 15 laps, Takaaki has been able to make up a lot of positions. He clocked his fastest lap just at the end – a proof that our set up and bike were good. Unfortunately, we had started too far on the grid to claim a better result. In the opening laps we had a problem with the brakes, probably because of the temperature. All in all, not bad”.

Luigi Pansera (Team Manager) “The team did a great job, as usual, bringing both riders into the top ten, even though starting from the back of the grid. Having not been able to show what our potential is – which is higher – is our regret. I hope Valencia can bring us again a podium, to close the season on a high, thus thanking our fans and Italtrans”.
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