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May 4, 2013

Rabat Takes FIM Moto2 Pole Position In Spain

FIM Moto2 World Championship: Esteve Rabat (80).
FIM Moto2 World Championship
Jerez, Spain
May 4, 2013
Qualifying Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), 1:43.251
2. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), 1:43.698
3. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), 1:43.855
4. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), 1:43.950
5. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), 1:43.990
6. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (KALEX), 1:43.994
7. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), 1:44.008
8. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (KALEX), 1:44.017
9. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:44.055
10. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), 1:44.271
11. Simone CORSI, Italy (SPEED UP), 1:44.305
12. Toni ELIAS, Spain (KALEX), 1:44.320
13. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:44.341
14. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), 1:44.367
15. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), 1:44.402
16. Ratthapark WILAIROT, Thailand (SUTER), 1:44.437
17. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (MOTOBI), 1:44.532
18. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:44.742
19. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), 1:44.874
20. Mattia PASINI, Italy (SPEED UP), 1:44.882
21. Yuki TAKAHASHI, Japan (MORIWAKI), 1:44.904
22. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SPEED UP), 1:44.976
23. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), 1:45.050
24. Danny KENT, UK (TECH 3), 1:45.177
25. Kyle SMITH, UK (KALEX), 1:45.188
26. Dani RIVAS, Spain (KALEX), 1:45.313
27. Alex MARIÑELARENA, Spain (SUTER), 1:45.322
28. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (SPEED UP), 1:45.375
29. Steven ODENDAAL, South Africa (SPEED UP), 1:45.452
30. Johann ZARCO, France (SUTER), 1:45.494
31. Doni Tata PRADITA, Indonesia (SUTER), 1:45.581
32. Louis ROSSI, France (TECH 3), 1:45.796
33. Alberto MONCAYO, Spain (SPEED UP), 1:46.152
34. Rafid Topan SUCIPTO, Indonesia (SPEED UP), 1:47.055

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

Jerez, Spain - 4 May 2013: Scott Redding missed out on a second successive pole position by the narrowest of margins, but the 20-year-old Briton will start tomorrow's Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix from the front row after qualifying in second place this afternoon.

The Marc VDS rider has been consistently fast all weekend at Jerez, topping the timesheet in yesterday's second free practice session and ending the opening day second on combined times. Redding led the way in qualifying until the final ten minutes of the session, before being pushed back to second by a flying lap from Tito Rabat.

Mika Kallio looked to have solved his rear traction issues this morning, with the 30-year-old Finn finishing free practice in 9th position, despite a minor crash at turn six late in the session. However, with the track temperature rising ahead of the 45-minute qualifying session, the grip issues returned to hamper Kallio, who will start tomorrow's race from 15th on the grid.

Livio Loi's first Moto3 qualifying session was a real baptism of fire. The 16-year-old Belgian set his fastest time of the weekend on his first qualifying run, but was then held up by traffic on his next two pit exits. Loi will start tomorrow's Spanish Moto3 Grand Prix from the 7th row of the grid, after eventually qualifying 21st.

Scott Redding #45: 2nd - 1'43.698
"I've been fast and comfortable in every session, but Rabat's been strong all weekend and consistently quicker than me. In qualifying I was working hard and managed to hold onto pole for most of the session, until Rabat put it all together at the end. I haven't seen his lap, but I know it must have been something special; I could get to within a couple of tenths, but I felt really on the limit doing it. For me the front row is enough and we're pretty much set for tomorrow's race. The bike's working well, we know what to expect from the tyres, so we'll just have to see how we go."

Mika Kallio #36: 15th - 1'44.402
"Normally I come to Jerez looking to do well, as the track suits my riding style. This weekend, however, we just haven't been able to find the rear grip we need. We made some changes to the bike last night and there was a small improvement this morning in free practice but, as soon as the track temperature went up as it did for qualifying, the rear grip became and issue again. We'll look to make some more changes for the race, which we'll try out in warm up, but I think it's just going to be a case of full gas and go for tomorrow. The only good thing is that the race is a few hours earlier than qualifying, so the track temperature won't be as high as it was this afternoon."

Livio Loi #11: 21st - 1'48.742
"It wasn't a bad first qualifying. For most of the session I was able to run in the top 15 or 16, but then I hit a lot of traffic on my last pit exit and dropped to 21st on the grid, as other riders were able to improve their lap times. When you look at the times we're all very close, with only seven tenths separating the riders from ninth to 21st on the grid, so anything is possible in the race tomorrow."

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"Scott made every single lap in practice count, his consistency has been incredible and his confidence is sky high. He missed out on a second successive pole position only thanks to an exceptional lap by Tito Rabat, but Scott's race pace is good and we know he can maintain it on worn tyres. I fully expect him to be up at the front in the race, throwing a spanner into the works of what looks like being a Spanish party tomorrow. Mika had a tough day yesterday and, despite making improvements to the bike, just couldn't find the confidence he needed to qualify higher than 15th. We've seen him battle through the field before in races, so it come as no surprise when he does it again tomorrow. Livio learned a lot today. I know he's disappointed to only qualify 21st, but he made a few small mistakes and, when the field is as close as it is in Moto3, they can mean the difference between row four and row seven on the grid. Tomorrow he needs to focus on riding his own race. If he finishes top 20 on his debut then I'll be happy enough with that."

More, from a press release issued by MAPFRE Aspar Moto2 Team:


MAPFRE Aspar rider fifth in qualifying like at Motorland Aragon and Valencia last year, following a great last lap, whilst Nico Terol will start seventh. Terol's good race pace means he aims for second consecutive podium

The ground was baking at three o'clock in the afternoon at Jerez as the Moto2 riders went out for QP on Saturday. In fact it was so hot the temperatures actually slowed the riders down in comparison with their FP3 outing. More hot weather is forecast for Sunday but the intermediate class riders will race earlier in the day than they went out for QP on Saturday. Nonetheless tyre wear will be crucial and those who can take care of their tyres throughout the race are sure to have an advantage towards the end. There are several riders looking good for podium charges this weekend, though Rabat appears to be a step ahead of the rest in terms of race pace.

Jordi Torres showed again on Saturday that he is always more comfortable on Spanish soil, equalling his best ever grid spot of fifth, the same he achieve last year at Aragon and Valencia. A good reward for his weekend's work so far, improving his set-up gradually Jordi pulled out a great late lap in QP to achieve fifth and he is ready to race. From the second row he will aim for his best ever Moto2 race finish. Behind him in seventh Nico Terol has also been working hard all weekend to be ready for Sunday. His good pace in free practice and his confidence from his Austin victory mean he is aiming for the podium again.

5th Jordi Torres 1.43.990 (21 laps): "We worked hard on Saturday morning to ensure a good setting for QP especially focussing on rear grip. The heat in the afternoon meant it was slippy out there but the good preparation we did meant we were able to stay in the top ten constantly. Fifth is good, I'm pleased with that and we can get a good result in the race by fighting hard. We need to concentrate hard in the opening laps, which will be crucial and being up towards the front is very motivating. I want to gain the máximum possible experience from this. It's hard running with the top guys as they know the track so well. Rabat looks strong enough to pull away at the front but there should be a good fight for the podium behind him."

7th Nico Terol 1.44.008 (20 laps): "We've put the graft in throughout the weekend to be honest, but I'm still annoyed as I lost some time in T4 because of an error. That tenth of a second takes me from third to seventh. Overall I have to be satisfied with my good pace throughout the weekend though and the bike is improving gradually. I was enjoying sliding into corners which was helping me get round but we need more grip really. We need to work hard in warm-up but my team guys are doing well. Engine responsiveness is good and we're ready to race. I need to be focussed for the start and to fight well. There are plenty of laps in the race and we need to save our tyres, so we're pushing hard at the end."

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

Tenth place in qualifying: Anthony West finds good set, up and strong rhythm

After trying a variety of different settings on his Speed Up prototype in the free practice sessions, QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West nailed a perfect set-up when it counted in qualifying and was competitive throughout the session. The 31-year-old Australian set his best time of 1.44,271 minutes in only his fourth lap and held positions within the top six for a long time, before dropping back to tenth place when the fighting on the track and the slipstream gambles got increasingly hectic. Nevertheless, West is confident to score a strong result in the race, thanks to his fast and consistent pace.

Team-mate Rafid Topan Sucipto struggled with a lack of grip when the ground temperatures soared to 56 degrees in the afternoon. The 18-year-old from Indonesia also had a crash when braking for turn two and eventually settled for 34th place on the grid.

Anthony West – 10th in 1.44,271
“It took three sessions to find a good package, but all the things that we were trying finally paid off for the qualifying. As soon as I went out for the first lap, I felt good and rode straight away in the 1.44’s and I kept this rhythm the whole time. This pace is going to be perfect for the race, because a lot of guys are struggling to do these times and I was doing them easily. I just couldn’t put one extra-fast lap together that would have gotten me further up on the grid. I think I put a lot of pressure on myself, which causes me to force the bike too much and then I can’t go any faster. I need to start relaxing more and enjoy, then the lap times are going to be even better. But tenth is still a good place to start from. The bike was the best it felt all weekend and I am confident for the race!”

Rafid Topan Sucipto – 34th in 1.47.055
“I had a lot of problems in the corners today. As the asphalt temperature increased, the grip level of my bike dropped and I was sliding a lot. I was also struggling with some chattering and I was altogether slow out of the corners. I tried to make up for it braking a bit harder, which eventually caused me to crash going into turn two. It was a harmless lowsider, luckily nothing much happened. My aim for the race tomorrow is to finish in a good position!”

More, from a press release issued by Tech 3:

Kent and Rossi confident of positive race in Spain

Tech 3 Racing Moto2 riders Danny Kent and Louis Rossi remain optimistic and confident they can race to positive results in tomorrow's Gran Premio bwin De Espana at the Jerez track.

It has been a difficult weekend so far for both as they have found it a challenging exercise trying to find a good set-up with the Mistral 610 machine in scorching hot temperatures at the Circuito de Jerez.

Kent will start his third race for the French-based team from 24th position on the grid after setting a best time of 1.45.177, the British rider working his way three places higher up the rankings from where he finished practice.

Teammate Rossi too has found the first European round of the 2013 World Championship schedule a tough affair and the French rider will start his challenge in the 26-lap race from 32nd on the grid.

Rossi was able to pick up his pace throughout the decisive final qualifying session and on his final lap he set a personal best time of 1.45.796. That was less than a second away from the top 20 but Rossi is hoping an aggressive start will get in a battle that will help him gain vital experience in the ultra-competitive Moto2 category.

Danny Kent 1.45.177 - 19 laps :
"It has been a tough weekend so far. The track was very hot and greasy this afternoon and I'm disappointed with my grid position because I was strong in qualifying in Austin and hoping to be inside the top 20 again. I just need to get a good start and be aggressive and try and fight my way through as best as I can. The main problem is I'm losing a lot on the exit of the corner. Entry and mid-corner I am just as fast as the rest but on the exit I can't hold a line and we lose on acceleration."

Louis Rossi 32nd 1.45.796 - 20 laps :
"It has been a very difficult weekend for us so far. Unfortunately I crashed yesterday during the second free practice and since that time I have been trying to regain my confidence. But it's harder than I expected. I struggle to find a better feeling with the bike and we tried quite a few things to give me more confidence but maybe I am putting myself under too much pressure. Now we will just try to do a good start tomorrow and keep our head down fighting in the race. For sure the race will help us to collect some more information and experience to improve our performance during the next races."