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Jun 27, 2014

Rabat Earns Sixth Moto2 Pole Position Of The Season, At Assen

Esteve "Tito" Rabat (53). Photo courtesy of Dorna/

FIM Moto2 World Championship

Assen TT Circuit, Netherlands

June 27, 2014

Qualifying Results (dry conditions, all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Esteve "Tito" RABAT, Spain (KALEX), 1:37.311

2. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:37.462

3. Sam LOWES, UK (SPEED UP), 1:37.674

4. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), 1:37.699

5. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), 1:37.876

6. Simone CORSI, Italy (KALEX), 1:37.893

7. Johann ZARCO, France (CATERHAM SUTER), 1:37.921

8. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (KALEX), 1:37.960

9. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (TECH 3), 1:38.027

10. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (SUTER), 1:38.043

11. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), 1:38.129

12. Mattia PASINI, Italy (KALEX), 1:38.147

13. Franco MORBIDELLI, Italy (KALEX), 1:38.295

14. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), 1:38.306

15. Luis SALOM, Spain (KALEX), 1:38.309

16. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (TECH 3), 1:38.358

17. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:38.385

18. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), 1:38.407

19. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SUTER), 1:38.441

20. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), 1:38.464

21. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (KALEX), 1:38.546

22. Louis ROSSI, France (KALEX), 1:38.681

23. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), 1:38.851

24. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), 1:38.863

25. Lorenzo BALDASSARRI, Italy (SUTER), 1:38.963

26. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:38.992

27. Josh HERRIN, USA (CATERHAM SUTER), 1:39.091

28. Hafizh SYAHRIN, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:39.138

29. Azlan SHAH, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:39.368

30. Tetsuta NAGASHIMA, Japan (TSR), 1:39.419

31. Robin MULHAUSER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:39.747

32. Roman RAMOS, Spain (SPEED UP), 1:39.766

33. Gino REA, UK (SUTER), 1:39.769

34. Thitipong WAROKORN, Thailand (KALEX), 1:40.652

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

Rabat on pole at Assen

Assen, Holland – 27 June 2014: Tito Rabat will start from pole position in tomorrow’s Moto2 Dutch TT at the historic TT Circuit Assen. Mika Kallio will start from the head of the second row, after qualifying in fourth place this afternoon.

Having towed Dominique Aegerter around to claim provisional pole at the halfway point in the session, Rabat managed to find a clear track on his final exit and posted the fastest lap of the weekend to claim his sixth, and the Marc VDS Racing Team’s seventh, pole position of the season. The Moto2 World Championship leader goes into tomorrow’s 24-lap race determined to secure his fifth win of the season and increase further his advantage at the top of the series standings.

Kallio also had his sights set firmly on the front row today, but missed out by less than a tenth of a second after running into the usual traffic on track, as riders cruised on the racing line looking for a tow. Despite his disappointment at qualifying off the front row, the 31-year-old Finn is confident for tomorrow’s race, in which he’s once again targeting the podium.

Today Livio Loi continued his familiarisation with the KTM RC250R he’s racing for the first time this weekend in Assen. The 17-year-old Belgian made a big step forward in qualifying, with an improvement of more than a second providing a welcome boost to his confidence, although it wasn’t enough to see him qualify higher than 30th for tomorrow’s race.

Tito Rabat // Pole Position // 1’37.311

“I’m particularly happy to be starting from pole here at Assen tomorrow, because we’ve had to work hard for it this weekend. We’ve had some problems in free practice, but the team did a good job to find a solution each time. We need to find another small step for tomorrow in warm up, but we’re pretty much ready to race. We will need to see what the weather conditions are like tomorrow, because they’ve been pretty changeable so far this weekend, but a dry race would be good.”

Mika Kallio // 4th // 1’37.699

“I’m a little disappointed to have missed out on the front row today, because everything was good. My feeling with the bike was good, my preferred tyre option was working well and I definitely had the pace. You get maximum grip in the first five laps on a new tyre and, unfortunately, riders cruising for a tow held me up on two of these five laps. I’m not sure I could have matched Tito’s time, but with a clear run I’m confident the front row was possible. I’m happy with our race set up, and also that we can use our preferred rear tyre in the race and that the grip level is more consistent than before. The most important thing is that I have both the feeling with the bike and the confidence now.”

Livio Loi // 30th // 1’43.851

“We made a step this afternoon in qualifying and I improved my lap time by more than one second compared to this morning. Obviously I’d have preferred the improvement to come this morning, so that we could have built on it in qualifying, but it just didn’t happen. Now we need to continue moving forward and improving, firstly in tomorrow’s warm up and then in the race. Starting from 30th will make finishing in the points difficult tomorrow, but if I can leave Assen having made another step forward with the bike, ready for the next race in Sachsenring, I’ll be reasonably satisfied.”

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal

“Another good qualifying session for Tito and Mika. It might be Tito’s sixth pole position of the season, but he had to work harder for this one than the others and it came because he never gave up, he just kept pushing. Mika was unlucky to miss out on the front row only because of the traffic, as his pace has been good all weekend. There is no question that both riders will be strong in tomorrow’s race, the only question is about the weather, as it’s notoriously fickle here at Assen. Although it wasn’t reflected in his qualifying position, Livio managed a significant improvement this afternoon. Tomorrow he needs to use warm up and the race to improve further, because we won’t accept a similar performance at Sachsenring in two weeks time.”

More, from a press release issued by AirAsia Caterham Moto2 Team:

Assen Grand Prix Moto2 Qualifying

Circuit: Assen

Circuit Length: 4.542 m

Bike # 5 – Johann Zarco

FP3: P7; 1’39.413 – 17 laps

Qualifying: P7; 1’37.921 – 21 laps

Bike # 2 – Josh Herrin

FP3: P19; 1’40.332 – 14 laps

Qualifying: P27; 1’39.091 – 20 laps


FP3: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 18°, (track temp) 22°

Qualifying: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 20°, (track temp) 25°

Following a day of mixed weather conditions, the end of Qualifying saw both AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing riders making steady progress and achieving personal best lap times around the Dutch circuit.

#5 Johann Zarco: “Qualifying in seventh position is ok. The weather in the morning’s practice session was not consistent so we tried once the wet tyres and then once the slick tyres and I didn’t progress because I didn’t want to take too much risk.

“In the afternoon it was completely dry and we could push a lot so the lap time improved which is good, but I didn’t have as much of the positive feeling on the bike as I had yesterday. However we now have a very good reference, so for the race if we have dry conditions I can be confident to fight until the end and if it’s wet we will have to be careful, finish the race and take a good result.

“Starting on the third row is not bad and tomorrow is another day.”

#2 Josh Herrin: “I’m not too happy with my qualifying position but in general I think today went well as I was able to improve my lap time again.

“We’re one second off P10 which is good as it’s a tight group between me in twenty seventh and tenth place. My goal was to get into the 1m38s lap times and try and get near the top twenty but we’re only a couple of tenths away, so it’s not as bad as it looks.

“We’re starting from the tail end of the grid so it won’t be easy but I’ve been able to really improve my fitness lately and I feel a lot stronger and capable of doing consistent lap times.

“The guys are doing a great job and the bike is working well so we won’t be doing any big changes for tomorrow. Today I just wasn’t able to get a good clear lap as I kept making little mistakes, but I’ll put this behind me now and concentrate on tomorrow. I'm ready to race!”

Team Manager - Johan Stigefelt: “It’s been a pretty good weekend so far.

“With Johann we had some issues in first practice yesterday but now it’s becoming better and better. He struggled a little with his feeling on the bike in qualifying but his lap times were still consistent. We had hoped for a second row position but his pace is good, so hopefully he can make a strong start tomorrow and go with the front guys.”

“With Josh he has made a good step forward this weekend. Unfortunately his qualifying position is not great but his times are good and he is working hard. I’m confident he can do well in tomorrow's race and aim for similar results to Barcelona.

“So let’s see how the weather turns out because with mixed conditions like today anything could happen.”

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

Anthony West looks for new riding style - Roman Ramos slowed by strange front end problems

QMMF Racing Team riders Anthony West and roman Ramos ended a difficult qualifying session at the Dutch TT in 23rd and 32nd position. Both riders improved by approximately half a second in comparison to their best times on Thursday, but since the rivals in the Moto2 class also went faster, the additional speed did not make much difference in the classification.

After the session, West analyzed not only the set-up of his Speed-Up prototype but also his own riding style. Always one of the most fast and aggressive riders after the start of the race, the experienced Australian is now looking for a new approach that could give him this missing bit of extra speed in the heat of qualifying in order to be closer to the front on the starting grid.

Team-mate Román Ramos was full of confidence after taking 18th place in the third free practice session on a damp track, but got entangled with strange front end problems on a dry tarmac in qualifying and dropped back to 32nd place.

Anthony West - 23rd in 1.38,851

"I am faster than last year and I can do these times consistently, but it?s not enough. Everyone else is going faster, too. It?s always another half a second that I would need for a decent position on the grid. I need to change something in my riding to find it, but I am completely lost to what this could be. I just have to find what I am doing wrong and I need to change this for the upcoming races. I was a bit more competitive on a damp track this morning, so if it rains tomorrow, it will be possible to do a good result. But honestly, I prefer dry conditions ? I don?t look forward to the rain at all!"

Roman Ramos - 32nd in 1.39,766

"It was a difficult qualifying session. This morning in the third free practice session on a damp track, I was 18th and I was looking forward to repeat this performance in the afternoon. But then, in the dry qualifying, reality caught up with us. We have many problems and we have to keep working to solve them. I hope this solution comes quickly, because we are suffering a lot. During our tests in Alcañiz, the feeling with the new chassis was great and I went one second quicker per lap almost immediately, but here, the front is bouncing through the corners and it?s a persistent problem that we can?t get rid of!"

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

Second row for Simone Corsi at Assen

After the great satisfaction for the NGM Forward Racing MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro’s pole position, It was a positive qualifying session also for the NGM Forward Racing Moto2 Team with Simone Corsi finishing 6th and tomorrow he will take the start of the Dutch TT Assen from the second row of the grid.

A light rain complicated the session. Starting from wet, the track got gradually dry and in the end Corsi was able to set a positive 1.37.893, +0.582 from poleman Tito Rabat. Despite the incognita of the weather, Simone is very confident for the race and he is ready to fight with the front guys.

It was a good qualifying session also for Mattia Pasini who set his best lap time of 1.38.147, finishing 12th and tomorrow he will take the start from the 4th row. Mattia is determined to get a good result, repeating the strong performance he had in the last race in Barcelona (6th).

Simone Corsi

“I’m happy of today’s result. It’s important to start from the first two rows to avoid to remain packed in the group. Today it rained a little bit just before the start of the session but I hope to have a dry race tomorrow. I‘m confident for the race, I still lack a bit of feeling with the rear but the team is working hard in preparation of the race”.

Mattia Pasini

“I’m not completely satisfied with my final position but I have a good pace and I’m confident for the race. It’s crucial to make a good start to avoid to remain packed in the group and maintain the contact with the front guys. Tomorrow in the warm up we will make the last changes as I’d like to improve my feeling with the front”.

More, from a press release issued by Tech 3:

Cardus fires into the top ten in qualifying at Assen

Ricky Cardus undertook a promising qualifying session today to extend his competitive streak from Barcelona, by qualifying in 9th position and on the 3rd row for round 8 of the Moto2 World Championship despite tricky conditions at Assen. The Spanish rider’s relentless efforts yesterday saw him cruise to 9th place in the afternoon session as he sought to consistently remain in the top ten throughout the whole weekend. His final qualifying time was a 1.38,027 as the rain fell intermittently which was only slightly more than three tenths of a second from the front row as he continues to impress in the fiercely challenging Moto2 class aboard the Tech3 Racing Team’s exclusively made and designed Mistral 610. Tomorrow, Cardus will aim to add another strong result to his 2014 Moto2 campaign in the 24 lap dash around the legendary Assen circuit.

On the opposite side of the garage, Marcel Schrotter finished the Moto2 qualifying session in 16th place having undertaken a large upheaval and change to the setup of his Mistral 610 after suffering grip issues in FP2 yesterday. The modifications improved the rear feeling for the German rider who battled onwards through the mixed and tricky weather conditions before clinching the position which will see him head the sixth row of the grid. His lap of 1.38,358 was only half a second behind the fifth placed bike in the ever competitive intermediate class and tomorrow Schrotter will seek to once again climb the field with his sights set on a top ten finish.

Ricky Cardus – 9th – 1.38,027

"It is great to land 9th position in Assen as this is close to what I have been aiming for especially because there have still been a few minor problems with the front of the bike but regardless, both the position and lap times are pleasing so I am truly happy. Considering that I am normally struggling the most during qualifying, I am confidently looking forward to tomorrow as I am sure that we will improve the last small issues during warm up. I must say that I am really happy also for the Tech3 Racing Team as they are always working so hard and helping me with everything which is important for my confidence. Tomorrow I will aim to make a really strong start, keep calm and take the race step by step as it’s most important for me to score a good result."

Marcel Schrotter – 16th – 1.38,358

"It was a strange day in terms of conditions for everyone today. We didn’t get the best of starts yesterday, so we decided to go for big change on the bike which isn’t usually our style. Unfortunately we weren’t able to see how effective the new set up was due to the weather this morning. I only had the qualifying session to find out if this version of the bike works better for me and could enable me to produce a faster times. It was very different and of course had some positive and negatives aspects. We solved the rear issues but lost some feeling in the front, which we then tried to fix during the session. During the final minutes I decided to remain out instead of coming back into the pits to change the tyre. All in all we improved from yesterday, but I feel there is still a lot of margin for progression and my aim for tomorrow remains a top ten result as always. I want to say thanks to the team for the great efforts as they really try to teach me a lot about setups as well as how to improve my riding style."

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