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Jun 15, 2013

Pol Espargaro Runs Away With FIM Moto2 Pole Position At Catalunya (Updated)

FIM Moto2 World Championship
Catalunya, Spain
June 15, 2013
Qualifying Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), 1:46.410
2. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), 1:47.029
3. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), 1:47.076
4. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), 1:47.098
5. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SPEED UP), 1:47.149
6. Johann ZARCO, France (SUTER), 1:47.213
7. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), 1:47.258
8. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:47.418
9. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), 1:47.422
10. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:47.424
11. Mattia PASINI, Italy (SPEED UP), 1:47.475
12. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), 1:47.540
13. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (KALEX), 1:47.559
14. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:47.586
15. Simone CORSI, Italy (SPEED UP), 1:47.695
16. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), 1:47.731
17. Danny KENT, UK (TECH 3), 1:47.803
18. Kyle SMITH, UK (KALEX), 1:47.805
19. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (KALEX), 1:47.808
20. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), 1:47.808
21. Toni ELIAS, Spain (KALEX), 1:47.859
22. Yuki TAKAHASHI, Japan (MORIWAKI), 1:47.931
23. Louis ROSSI, France (TECH 3), 1:47.986
24. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (MOTOBI), 1:48.032
25. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), 1:48.064
26. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (SPEED UP), 1:48.140
27. Hafizh SYAHRIN, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:48.221
28. Ratthapark WILAIROT, Thailand (SUTER), 1:48.240
29. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), 1:48.308
30. Steven ODENDAAL, South Africa (SPEED UP), 1:48.313
31. Alberto MONCAYO, Spain (SPEED UP), 1:48.398
32. Dani RIVAS, Spain (KALEX), 1:48.587
33. Doni Tata PRADITA, Indonesia (SUTER), 1:49.059
34. Rafid Topan SUCIPTO, Indonesia (SPEED UP), 1:50.709

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

Barcelona, Spain - 15 June 2013: Scott Redding will start tomorrow's Moto2 Grand Prix de Catalunya from the front row of the grid, after posting the second fastest time in this afternoon's qualifying session, which was held in sweltering conditions. Mika Kallio will start from 12th position on the grid, after set-up issues left him unable to close the half-second gap to his Marc VDS teammate.

Fourth fastest in the cooler conditions of free practice this morning, Redding waited until the very end of this afternoon's 45-minute qualifying session before showing his hand. The 20-year-old Briton posted his fastest lap of the weekend with just minutes of the session remaining, to qualify on the front row of the grid for the fifth time in six races.

Kallio tested revised rear suspension settings on his Kalex Moto2 machine during this morning's free practice session, but was forced to switch back to the previous set-up due to a reduction in rear grip. The 30-year-old Finn managed to improve his previous best lap time by over half a second, but was disappointed to miss out on a position on the front three rows of the grid by just one tenth.

Both Marc VDS riders complained of a lack of top speed from their engines, which were supplied new for this race on Thursday afternoon. Neither Redding nor Kallio could pass out of the slipstream - crucial on the long main straight here at Catalunya - but were easy prey for riders coming up behind them. The team will look into the issue tonight, as a top speed deficit would be a major disadvantage in tomorrow's 23-lap race.

Livio Loi put in his best qualifying performance of the season so far in Barcelona, to secure 13th position on the fifth row of the grid for tomorrow's 22-lap Moto3 race. The 16-year-old Belgian improved his lap time by more than a second during this morning's final free practice session, while running in a fast group that included Alex Marquez and eventual polesitter, Luis Salom. Loi carried this pace into this afternoon's 40-minute qualifying session, finishing just two-tenths outside the top ten.

Scott Redding #45: 2nd - 1'47.029
"I'm happy, but also a little frustrated, because we had a problem with the engine during qualifying. The speed just wasn't there and I was struggling to pass slower riders out of the slipstream on the straight. It meant I had to out brake them into turn one instead and that cost me time. The tyres were dropping off after just three or four laps, which meant the rear was spinning up hard instead of driving forward. We need to have a little look tonight to see if we can find something more for tomorrow, but to be on the front row to keep the pressure on means I'm pretty happy with today."

Mika Kallio #36: 12th - 1'47.540
"The situation is not much different to Mugello two weeks ago. We made a change to the rear suspension set-up for free practice, which gave a better feeling, but it left us with little rear grip and we had to switch back again for qualifying. I managed to improve the lap time, but it's not enough. One tenth more and I'd have been top nine, which is always the target. The biggest problem is a lack of power from the engine. I can't overtake out of the slipstream, but other riders don't seem to have the same problem. This is something we need to look into tonight because it's going to make overtaking in the race very difficult. We're one place higher on the grid than in Mugello so the plan will be the same, I just hope the result will be too."

Livio Loi #11: 13th - 1'52.479
"This morning in final free practice we made a big step with the lap time. I was with a fast group and it was exactly what I needed, as I was able to run the same pace as them quite comfortably. This afternoon in qualifying it was quite hard, like always, because there are so many fast riders out there. I made my best lap time right at the start of my last run, but I was on an even faster lap, with at least one red helmet on the timesheet, when I hit traffic and had to back off. I'm happy enough with 13th position on the grid, but it would have been nice to have finished that last lap properly, which would probably have put me one row higher."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"I think Livio has learnt a lot this year already, and it was good to see him putting those lessons into practice today. His pace increased by more than a second in free practice, just because he was in with a fast group for most of the session. He carried that pace into qualifying, where he secured his best grid position of the season so far. If he races cleverly tomorrow then he could be in with an outside chance of a top ten finish. Scott qualified well today, on a bike that was visibly down on power. Mika had other issues with the bike, but he also commented that he didn't have the top speed he'd normally expect here. This is something we need to investigate tonight, as Moto2 is tough enough without giving away 10 km/h, as in Scott's case, on the straight."

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

West struggles with grip problems in the afternoon heat - Sucipto improves and gains confidence for the race

In a difficult qualifying session for the Grand Prix of Catalunya, QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West had to settle for a disappointing 25th place on the starting grid. After practice, the 31-year-old Australian and his team continued to work in their pit box, trying to assess the current situation and to find the reasons why fellow Speed Up rider Alex de Angelis was able to ride nine tenths of a second faster than West. In the end, it turned out that the bike’s behaviour with a certain lack of grip in the heat of Barcelona was the same for both riders, only that West currently has less feel for what the bike will do when pushed over its limits.
Young teammate Rafid Topan Sucipto had a much better day, steadily refining his cornering lines and his lap times. Even though his best time of 1.50,709 minutes didn’t change his grid position, the teenager from Jakarta is confident to be able to put up a fight in the race and to get a good result.

Anthony West – 25th in 1.48,064

“My engine is still vibrating, but it actually wasn’t that slow. The problem today was rear grip and some reactions of the bike that were very difficult for me to predict. Alex de Angelis, who was clearly faster than me today, had exactly the same issues, but he has the confidence to push anyway and to react to whatever the motorcycle does, whereas I’m struggling to find the right way to ride the bike. We have been changing a lot on the bike lately and I’m a little bit lost. I’m not riding the bike to its limit, to what it actually can do. We have to get back on track, try to pick it up and get a good result tomorrow. It’s going to be hard to get close to the front from 25th on the starting grid, but I’ll do whatever I can!”

Rafid Topan Sucipto – 34th in 1.50,709

“I had a good day. I finally discovered the right racing line around this track and the right braking points, so I managed to go faster and to get closer to where I’d like to be. My goal for tomorrow is to go faster again and to finish the race!”

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

Grand Prix of Catalunya
Montmelò, June 15th, 2013

Just 22/1000, and Takaaki Nakagami, for the first time in the season, has missed the first row. He's not very far from it, anyway – fourth, just one place down, and in a position that makes any result possible, on Sunday's race. Julian Simon has got a 16th place, in a session in which 21 riders are compressed in less than a second and half.

Takaaki Nakagami (1'47”098 – 4th ) “The grip is so low, and that has been the enemy since practice one. We tried different solutions, but have not been able to solve completely the problem. In qualifying we further improved, but that step ahead has not been enough for the performance we wanted. I believe, anyway, that a podium is a realistic possibility”.

Claudio Macciotta (Nakagami race engineer) “We did a different job than usual, and not bad. Our problems come from a very high temperature and very low grip”.

Julian Simon (1'47”731 - 16th ) “The difference from the pole is huge, but the situation is by far better if we consider the second fastest. After testing in Mugello, we tuned a few things, and here we got the benefit of it. To be honest, what I really need is more confidence – that is the element that, by himself, would bring us to fight for a position in the top five. About tomorrow, the plan is simple – a good start, and fight for a placement in the top ten”.

Pierluigi Aldrovandi (Simon race engineer) “I totally agree with Julian, and we are working flat out to prepare a bike that gives him confidence. I am convinced that what we really need is just a good week-end, to restore confidence and be competitive again”.

Luigi Pansera (Team manager) “All in all, a good session. True – Takaaki, for the first time in the season, is not in first row, but that doesn't make any difference, for his chances in the race. His consistency at very high level is great. Let's be positive, about tomorrow. I hope Julian can be rewarded by a good race, regaining confidence. His season would take a different way”.

More, from a press release issued by Blusens Avintia Racing:

Toni Elías does not get a good position on the starting grid and will have to move up at home GP

The rookie Kyle Smith performs his best qualifying of the season being eighteenth

Montmeló, 15 June 2013. The Blusens Avintia Moto2 team, that arrived at the home GP with great enthusiasm and focused on getting a good result, had a Saturday with bittersweet taste. While Toni Elías could not get a good position for the starting grid of Sunday, his teammate Kyle Smith managed to place himself in eighteenth spot, which is his best result in a qualifying session in his first year in the World Championship.
Under an intense heat, the Blusens Avintia men worked to find technical solutions that could allow Elías to obtain a good qualifying that would have permit him to start from top positions, but it was not possible. The rider from Manresa did not manage to finish on the expected places and tomorrow he will have to make a great comeback, as he made at Mugello.
The positive note was the debutant Kyle Smith who, after a good qualifying session in which he worked on the set-up of his bike and on obtaining a good pace for tomorrow, he managed to place himself in the eighteenth position, and only four tenths kept him away from the top ten. Without a doubt a good place to think about scoring points.

24 Toni Elías (21st, 1.47.859): We have improved in relation to Italy but it has not been enough because we continue starting far from the first rows. We have to work on getting more speed and a bit of traction. Today it has not been a good day, so we have to think of tomorrow, about testing things in the warm up and trying to do a good race. Because of the features of this circuit, it will not be easy to move up, but we will try with all our strength, I assure you it.

9 Kyle Smith (18th, 1.47.805): I am very happy with the work of this weekend. With so much temperature we had some problems that we have managed to solve working on it and that has allowed us to perform the best qualifying session so far this season. I have achieved the time riding alone, with some comfort and being at ease from lap to lap. Of course it will not be easy because this category is never easy and tomorrow with so much heat, it will be more difficult, but if I get a good pace like the one I had in the race of Mugello and I keep my position at the start, I will be very close to be able to score my first points.
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