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Oct 14, 2013

More From The World Championship Races At Sepang

Romano Fenati (5) leads a group of Moto3 riders at Sepang.
Sepang, Malaysia: Mika Kallio took a hard fought fourth place in a restarted and shortened Malaysian Moto2 Grand Prix, while Scott Redding saw his championship lead reduced to just nine points after he finished seventh today.
Redding got a flyer from tenth on the grid to move into fourth at the first turn, with Kallio in fifth, but the race was red flagged when Axel Pons crashed on the opening lap and started a chain reaction that saw five riders end up in the gravel.
The race was restarted over 12 laps with the riders starting from their original grid positions. Both Marc VDS riders were involved in incidents at turn one, with Kallio pushed wide by Dominique Aegerter charging down the inside and Redding forced to sit up as Xavier Simeon got in too hot and collected Alex De Angelis on his way to the gravel trap.

Kallio lost three places as a result but set a new lap record as he chased hard to close the gap back to the battle for fourth place. The Finn then struggled to find a way past Aegerter, as his late braking style slowed them both. The delay in passing the Swiss rider meant that the 30-year-old Finn was unable to bridge the gap to the battle for second place, which was being fought out between Pol Espargaro and Tom Lüthi
The evasive action required to avoid the turn one crash left Redding down in tenth position, but the 20-year-old Briton had forced his way through into seventh by the end of the opening lap. Redding passed Takaaki Nakagami to take sixth at the halfway point in the race, but was unable to hold off the last lap challenge of Johann Zarco and had to settle for seventh at the chequered flag.

Redding now heads to the next race at Phillip Island determined to go all out for the win, as he seeks to reassert his authority on the championship that he's led for much of the season.

Livio Loi missed out on a points scoring finish by less than one second in today's Malaysian Moto3 Grand Prix, which the 16-year-old Belgian finished in 18th position.

Loi got a good start from 15th on the grid and had moved into 13th position by the end of the first lap. The Marc VDS rider then started to struggle with the bike skipping in the turns, especially under braking on corner entry. Despite his best efforts, the problem meant he was unable to hold off the challenge of those riders behind him and he eventually slipped back to 18th at the chequered flag.

Mika Kallio #36 // 4th
"Our goal here was the podium, so I'm not so happy with fourth position today. In both starts the first few corners were a big problem. I braked as late as possible, but both times Aegerter charged up the inside and pushed me out, losing me a lot of places. I posted the fastest lap of the race to catch them again, but it was really difficult being behind Aegerter. He's so late on the brakes, and so slow mid-corner, it really disrupted my rhythm. By the time I got past him the group ahead was over a second away, so there was no chance to catch them. It's disappointing, because my pace was easily quick enough to run with the front three, but the delay at the start meant I never got the chance to show that"

Scott Redding #45 // 7th // @Reddingpower
"Just as I started to tip in to turn one at the restart I saw someone coming through, trying to win the race in the first corner, so I put the anchors on as Simeon wiped out himself and De Angelis in front of me. That was it for me, because to run the same pace as the front-runners on the straights I needed to be with them, like in the first race, not chasing to catch up like at the restart. I did my best, but when you've got two straights back-to-back like this, it's really hard to do anything. No matter how hard I brake, or how much corner speed I carry, I can't make up the losses from the two straights. Now we need to go to Australia and win. At this point in the championship, with just three races remaining, it has to be all or nothing. We've lost points at the last three races, so now is the time to put it on the line and win again."

Livio Loi #11 // 18th // @LivioLoi
"I don't know what happened, but from the first lap onwards both the front and the rear tyres were skipping when I tipped into the turns. I have no idea what the cause was, as we haven't had this problem all weekend, only in the race. I expected more given the feeling I had with the bike yesterday, so I'm really disappointed."

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
"Mika rode a good race to finish fourth today. It's just unfortunate that he got pushed out in the first few corners and then held up for so long by Aegerter, otherwise he could easily have been involved in the battle for second. Scott got a great start first time around but, unfortunately, lost out at the restart because of the crash in front of him in turn one. The important thing is that he kept his head and finished in the points. The championship is much closer now, with just nine points in it, but we knew it was going to be close after these last three races. But, Scott still leads the championship and we head to Australia determined to extend that lead once again. After a good qualifying performance we expected Livio to finish in the points today. He put up a good fight, but again there was an issue with his feeling with the bike, which we need to address ahead of the next race at Phillip Island."

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

Top15 for Corsi and Cardus at Sepang

After a very good start at Sepang, NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders Alex De Angelis, Simone Corsi and Mattia Pasini were fighting in the front group in the first few laps but only two of them managed to cross the finish line after the second start of the race at the Shell Advance Malaysia Grand Prix.

Simone Corsi took full advantage of his 11th position on the starting grid by making a very good start and finishing the race in 11th place, leaving behind the last two GP weekends where he didn’t get in the points. Also finishing in the Top15 is teammate Ricky Cardus finishes in 14th place, who seems to have found the feeling with his SpeedUp bike at the Sepang circuit. The Spanish rider is confident for the next race that will take place in Australia.

Very bad luck for Alex De Angelis and Mattia Pasini constrained to retire at Sepang. Zarco took out De Angelis after exiting the first turn on the first lap of the second restart of the race after the multiple crash incidents for which the race was red flagged. Mattia Pasini had a technical problem two laps before the end of the Moto2 race that prevented him from finishing the race.

Simone Corsi

“I started off well today. In the first laps I was fighting for the 7th place and believed I could do better even if I knew I didn’t have a good race pace. I was not able to stay with the front group and I ended up in 11th place but I am happy because I really needed to finish in the points. I didn’t have a good feeling at this track, I hope to do better at the next race in Australia.”

Alex De Angelis

“After the first start of the race I realized during the first lap that we had potential to put up a good fight with this bike even if the weekend had not gone well at all for us. During the restart of the race I had an even better start and was very confident, I knew the race was shorter and thought that I could do really well. Zarco took me out after the first turn and my race ended there.”

Pattia Pasini

“It has been quite the bitter weekend for me. Not only did the race finish badly for me, I was constrained to retire after a technical problem, but we had not been very fast all weekend and had a hard time finding the setting. We have to put this weekend behind us and look forward to Australia.”

Ricky Cardus

“I am satisfied with finishing in the Top15 and taking two points for the team. I would have liked to begin the season like this and be able to fight for the Top10 but I have struggled a lot to find the right feeling with the bike this season. The team has always believed in me and this has allowed me improve step by step. We have three more races before the season ends and I hope to finish it with good results in order to thank the team for believing in me.”

More, from a press release issued by San Carlo Team Italia FMI:

Shell Advance Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix
Sepang Circuit (MAL)
11-13, ottobre 2013

MotoGP Moto3 - Third consecutive Top 10 finish for San Carlo Team Italia FMI in Sepang with Romano Fenati. Strong comeback from Francesco Bagnaia

A spectacular Moto3 race in Sepang saw championship leader Luis Salom win by a narrow margin over Alex Rins and Miguel Oliveira. Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) scored his third consecutive Top 10 finish (and was again the first Italian under the flag) thanks to a comeback through the pack that granted him ninth place. Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) shared a similar race, and despite starting from the last position he was able to climb back to 16th place, missing the Top 15 by only a tenth.

Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5) 9th, 40'49.393
"After the WUP the bike worked very well. I lost some time in the pack during the race, it took me a while to catch Folger, but I'm heading to Australia on a positive mood because the team and I worked well and improved the setup. A better QP is the priority."

Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) 16th, 41'14.136
"After an unfortunate QP, I was able to fight hard in the race. Despite the traffic, with a perfect bike, I was almost able to score points despite being last on the grid. Almost, but the competition is fierce and we are ready for a rematch."

Roberto Locatelli (FMI Technical Coordinator)
"The race went quite well. Both riders improved their positions significantly since QP. Romano has shown his usual grit, he really deserves a Top 5 but the circumstances still didn't allow us to live a smooth week-end. Pecco also had a wonderful race, showing great character after the bad luck he suffered yesterday and finding a strong pace."

More, from a press release issued by KTM:


Luis Salom of the Red Bull KTM Ajo factory team on Sunday pulled off a victory in Malaysia that was one of the hardest fought and closest of the current season to extend his lead in the World Championship points.

The Spanish rider, whose win gives him seven for the current season acknowledged that it had been a tough fight after he sealed the race in the final corner of the sweeping Sepang circuit. “This was incredible,” he said. “I think it was the toughest race this year but I the final lap was really beautiful,” Salom said after the race.

Salom started on pole but the 18-lap race soon evolved into an encounter with the usual suspects who are rivals for the championship title – the three other lead Spanish riders Alex Rins, Alex Marquez and Maverick Vinales all on KTM Moto3 racing machines. But when it came to the crunch it was Salom’s finely tuned race craft and his brave late braking in the final corner that gave him the win. All 14 rounds in the 2013 season have been won on KTM machines by Salom, Rins or Vinales and all five lead riders in the points are on KTM-driven machines with Jonas Folger of Germany following Salom, Rins, Vinales and Marquez riding the Kalex-KTM.

Vinales, the only current Moto3 rider to have won in Sepang (in 2011) shot from ninth on the grid at the start and was a major player during the race only to lose out in the final corners. While 14 points now separate Salom and Rins, Vinales, a pre-season favorite for the title, now has a deficit of 26 points to the leader and only three races remaining to get back in the action.

Rins had much to gain as he went into the final corner. He fought hard and fast for what might have been his third consecutive victory this season and acknowledged that his teammare Alex Marquez had helped him during the race.“The race was so difficult. I was first in the last lap but finally he (Salom) passed me in the last corner.”

Had Rins finished in front of Salom he would have tied with the championship leader in the points as the competition goes down to the wire. The final three rounds will be in in Australia, Japan and Valencia.

It was a disappointing weekend for Salom’s KTM factory teammate and home-town favorite Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who last year thrilled his fans by taking his first podium here in Sepang. Fahmi fractured his wrist in the last round in Aragon, Spain and was initially declared fit to race. He rode in the qualifying but on race day he was declared unfit and was a non-starter. Arthur Sissis, the third rider in the Red Bull KTM Ajo factory team finished back in 19th place.

Moto3 riders reconvene next weekend in Phillip island, Australia for Round 15 of the 17-round season.?

Moto3 GP of Malaysia
Round 14 (of 17)

1, Luis Salom, Spain, KTM 40:42.441
2, Alex Rins, Spain, KTM 40:42.510
3, Miguel Oliviera, Portugal, Mahindra, 40:42.510
4, Alex Marquez, Spain, KTM 40:43.223
5, Maverick Vinales, Spain, KTM, 40:43.496
6, Jack Miller, Australia, Honda 40:43.518
7, Alexi Masbou Honda, France, 40:47.457
8, Jonas Folger, Germany, Kalex-KTM, 40:48.718
9, Romano Fenati, Italy, Honda 40:49.393
10, Philipp Oetl, Germany, Kalex-KTM, 40:53.403
Other KTM
12, Niklas Ajo, Finland, KTM, 41:03.453
13, Jakub Kornfeil, Czech Republic, Kalex-KTM 41:11.884
15, Anna Carasco, KTM, 41:14.020
18, Livio Loi, Belgium, Kalex-KTM 41:14.910
19, Arthur Sissis, Australia, KTM 41:17.250
DNF Erich Granado, Brazil, KTM
DNF Toni Finsterbusch, Germany, Kalex-KTM
DNF Jasper Iwema, Netherlands Kalex-KTM
DNF Malik, Malaysia KTM
DNF Asmi, Malaysia, KTM
DNS Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Malaysia KTM (declared unfit before race – fractured wrist in last round at Aragon)

Championship points (three rounds to go)
1, Salom 284
2, Rins, 270
3, Vinales 258
4, Marquez 162
5, Folger 137
6, Oliviera 131
10, Khairuddin 60
12, Sissis 59

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

West turns things around and conquers three points, Sucipto rides steadily to 25th place

After going through a working marathon of chassis testing on the practice days, QMMF Racing Team riders Anthony West and Rafid Topan Sucipto finished the Malaysian Grand Prix on a high note.

West, who had qualified in 23rd position, battled his way through to 13th place and conquered not only three world championship points but also gained confidence for his upcoming home-race in Australia. The 32-year-old Australian would even have targeted the top ten rankings if he didn’t have a certain lack of speed in comparison to his immediate opponents. But altogether, he and his team were still very happy with the result and with what they had learned throughout the weekend for the ongoing development of West’s Speed Up bike.

Sucipto, who had started on 33rd place on the grid, got past a first-lap incident that sidelined five other riders. The young talent from Jakarta kept his calm and took part at the second race, which was shortened to twelve laps. Whereas a total of nine riders weren’t classified, Sucipto made the best of his steady speed and crossed the line in 25th position.

Anthony West – 13th place
“I was disappointed that they re-started the race, because I had such a good start, I was 15th on the first lap. I was also hoping for a difficult and long race, because I am usually strong in these kind of conditions and could have had an advantage towards the end. But the race got shortened and after having had problems with the engine all weekend long, I realised how slow it was in comparison to the others in the race. I felt stronger than the group I was in, but I wasn’t able to pass and get away from them, so I was stuck with them all race. I can’t complain about the last two races because we had a god engine with no gearbox problems. But since we changed engines for this Grand Prix, I am having problems again, also with these erratic gear changes from sixth to fifth, which are a malfunction that couldn’t be fixed for the race. But all in all, it was still good, because we made a lot of changes this weekend and we actually learned a lot. I hope we can progress throughout the next races and finally start to get our head around this bike and get it turning. I am looking forward to my home race at Phillip Island, which is a beautiful place with lots of greenery, with the ocean in the background and a track that is one of the last real rider’s tracks left in the world. I hope I can put a good show on for all the Australian people the way I did last year and I also hope I can reward my team with a good result for all the great work they’ve done!”

Rafid Topan Sucipto – 25th place
“I am happy with the race today. My lap times were consistent and they could have been even better if we had concentrated on the set-up of my bike rather than adding these chassis tests. But I know that all the additional work will pay off in the races to come, because we learned a lot. At the next race in Australia, I want to push harder, put up a fight and be more competitive!”

More, from a press release issued by Tech 3 Racing:

Kent equals career best Moto2 finish in searing Sepang heat

A record Malaysian Grand Prix crowd witnessed Tech 3 Racing Team rider Danny Kent equal his career best Moto2 World Championship result today in a restarted race at the spectacular Sepang International Circuit.

The British rider claimed a fantastic 12th position in a battle that was shortened from the original 19-lap distance to 12 laps following a multi-rider first lap accident that gave Race Direction no option but to halt proceedings.

Once the action got underway again in physically demanding heat that saw air temperatures nudge over the 30 degree mark, Kent made a brilliant start from 16th to fight his way to the brink of the top 10 on the opening lap.

He dropped back to his starting position but then mounted a superb counter attack that thrust him back to the head of an exciting five-rider tussle involving former Moto3 adversary Sandro Cortese, Anthony West, Ricky Cardus and Marcel Schrotter.

Kent remained ice cool under pressure and rode an immaculate final few laps to keep the group behind him to score points in successive races for the first time on the French designed and built Mistral 610 machine.

An aggressive start was also pivotal in helping Louis Rossi enjoy one of his best performances in the second half of the 2013 Moto2 World Championship.

Starting from 22nd, the French rider was able to set a fast and consistent rhythm to move quickly inside the top 20. He continued to move forward in the rankings and climbed into 17th, but just ran out of time in his bid to make a pass on home crowd favourite Hafizh Syahrin.

Today’s race was the third race in succession that Rossi has finished inside the top 20 and he is looking to mount a strong challenge for the points scoring places next weekend at the magnificent Phillip Island track in Australia.

Danny Kent 12th – 12 points:
“I am really happy to get back in the points and it was good to get a better position than Sandro because he has been my benchmark all season after we moved up together from Moto3. It was a really good battle with a strong group behind me and I am content that I kept my pace consistent without giving anybody the chance to take 12th off me. I think I could have pulled away from the pack but all weekend I’ve been having some issue with brake fade and it happened again in the race, so I had to change my style and it took me a few laps to adapt. But I am pleased and I enjoyed being in a fight and I can look forward to another strong race in Australia, which is a track I like.”

Louis Rossi 17th – 3 points:
“I am happy to have had another strong ride but part of me is also a bit disappointed because I think I could have scored some points. Unfortunately I made a couple of small mistakes in the first laps and I lost contact with the group. I am pleased with how I came back strongly and I kept fighting right to the end. I am close to the points again like in the last couple of races, so now I have to focus on making another step to ensure I finish inside the points at Phillip Island.”

Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“I am really happy with the performance of both Danny and Louis this weekend. We know both of them will be leaving Tech 3 Racing at the end of the season but they continue to show incredible professionalism and dedication to getting the best results possible. Danny had a great ride and I think the battle he was in was one of the best in the race and it kept an incredible crowd entertained right to the line. That race should give him some confidence and hopefully Danny can show more of this determination and speed at Phillip Island. Louis was also very strong today and without a couple of mistakes I think he could have been involved in that group fighting with Danny. To see Danny though back in the points and winning a very intense battle including Sandro Cortese, who is our reference point, and Louis also performing well on a tough circuit for rider and machine, we can go to Australia optimistic that the Mistral 610 will be competitive.”
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