Apr 7, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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Losail Circuit, in Qatar.
FIM Moto3 World Championship
Losail Circuit, Qatar
April 7, 2013
Race Results (all on Dunlop tires):
1. Luis SALOM, Spain (KTM), 18 laps, 38:26.859
2. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (KTM), -0.417 second
3. Alex RINS, Spain (KTM), -0.423
4. Alex MARQUEZ, Spain (KTM), -0.701
5. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (KALEX KTM), -0.916
6. Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN, Malaysia (KTM), -17.489 seconds
7. Miguel OLIVEIRA, Portugal (MAHINDRA), -17.566
8. Arthur SISSIS, Australia (KTM), -19.355
9. Niklas AJO, Finland (KTM), -28.966
10. Efren VAZQUEZ, Spain (MAHINDRA), -28.995
11. Danny WEBB, UK (SUTER HONDA), -29.440
12. Brad BINDER, South Africa (SUTER HONDA), -29.499
13. Jasper IWEMA, Netherlands (KALEX KTM), -39.216
14. Alexis MASBOU, France (FTR HONDA), -39.415
15. Romano FENATI, Italy (FTR HONDA), -39.451
More, from a press release issued by KTM:
ALL KTM SWEEP OF OPENING MOTO3 GP IN QATAR CORRECTION SALOM ON KTM
Red Bull KTM Ajo factory rider Luis Salom of Spain rode a masterly last two laps to break away from a hard fought pack of five KTM-driven Moto3 bikes to steal victory in the opening GP of the season fought under lights on the Losail Circuit in in Qatar.
Salom’s move was a copybook performance in the closing stages of the race reminiscent of last year’s World Champion Sandro Cortese of the same factory team. Cortese has now moved up to Moto2 and Salom has slipped very comfortably into his place with teammates Fahmi Khairuddin of Malaysia and Australian teenager Arthur Sissis.
Spanish talent Maverick Vinales was second, riding a great race having to deal with the pain of a yet to heal hand injury. He lost the top of his finger in a training crash recently and had to have corrective surgery. He only had the stitches removed in Qatar. Alex Rins and Alex Marquez completed the four way, all Spanish, all KTM sweep, underlining that this year’s Moto3 series is set to deliver the same thrilling racing action as the debut series did in 2012.
It was clear from the moment that the riders accelerated off the start grid that this was going to be a battle between a handful of riders who quickly made their presence felt. Salom started on pole, the first of his career but right alongside him was Vinales, who this year is also riding a KTM. Rins, also on a KTM, joined the battle at the front in the opening phase along with Jonas Folger of Germany on the very competitive Kalex-KTM.
These riders jockeyed for position swapping the lead back and forth during the middle phase of the race and while Folger lost a little ground, running wide into the dusty part of the track, Marquez, brother of Marc and Rins’ Spanish teammate joined the action at the front of the pack. ?
While Marquez and Rins battled for the lead in the final laps it was clear that it was going to go down to the wire and that a good slipstream action in the closing stage could decide the winner. Salom made the break in the closing stages of the second last lap and immediately put enough distance between him and the others to make it stick.
Salom’s victory meant that the Red Bull KTM Ajo Factory Team has begun the season with the same winning ways as it closed 2012. Khairuddin finished sixth and Sissis was eighth to underline the team’s strength.
Pit Beirer, Head of KTM Motorsports was in Qatar to watch the opener. “This year we made another big step with the bike and clearly this has paid off. There has been a tremendous amount of work by the mechanics and engineers both at the Mattighofen factory and with the teams and I have to thank them for that. It looks like this year KTM has really arrived back in the road racing scene.” He said all indications are that there will be a lot of competition between the teams running the KTM Moto3 bike and KTM-drive Kalex. “Competition is going to be tough and it’s going to be a very exciting year,” he added.
Moto3 Results Rd. 1 Qatar
1, Luis Salom, Spain, KTM, 38’26.859
3, Maverick Viñales, Spain, KTM, +0.417
2, Alex Rins, Spain, KTM, +0.423
4, Alex Marquez, Spain, KTM, +0.701
5, Jonas Folger, Germany, Kalex-KTM, +0.916
6, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Malaysia, KTM, +17.489
7, Miguel Oliveira, Portugal, Mahindra, +17.566
8, Arthur Sissis, Australia, KTM, +19.355
9, Niklas Ajo, Finland, KTM, +28.966
10, Efren Vazquez, Spain, Mahindra, +28.995
13, Jasper Iwema, Netherlands, Kalex-KTM, +39.216
17, Philipp Oettl, Germany, Kalex-KTM, +50.846
19, Toni Finsterbusch, Germany Kalex-KTM, +51.218
20, Ana Carrasco, Spain, KTM, +51.266
22, Jakub Kornfeil, Czech Republic, Kalex-KTM, +53.745
25, Florian Alt, German, Kalex-KTM, +55.236
26, Eric Granado, Brazil, Kalex-KTM, +1’03.601
Moto3 Standings after Round 1
1, Salom, 25
2, Viñales, 20
3, Rins, 16
4, Marquez, 13
5, Folger, 11
6, Khairuddin, 10
7, Oliveira, 9
8, Sissis, 8
9, Ajo, 7
10, Vazquez, 6
13, Iwema, 3
Moto3 Manufacturers Standings after Round 1
1, KTM, 25
2, Kalex KTM, 11
3, Mahindra, 9
More, from a press release issued by MAPFRE Aspar Team:
JONAS FOLGER PLACES FIFTH AND SETS NEW LOSAIL LAP RECORD
MAPFRE Aspar rider fights with leaders until final lap, setting a new lap record and claiming fifth place. Teammate Eric Granado places 26th in Moto3 debut
At 7pm local time in Losail, the first Moto3 race of the year kicked off the season. With better conditions than before, but still some sand on the asphalt, the lower cylinder category riders went off into the night for an entertaining race. The first four on starting grid moved ahead straight away, led by Alex Rins. The pack broke free of the rest after three laps and the intensity increased, with the pace established in the 2'07s -much higher than in practice and qualifying. Alex Marquez was the surprise name in the fight, adding a fifth name to what had been expected to be just four candidates for the win. However, in the end the win went to Luis Salom, heading a Spanish podium that also included Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins.
MAPFRE Aspar rider Jonas Folger opened his account with eleven points at the first race of the year, having fought amongst the leaders for the entire race. The German competed against the same rivals who had challenged him in qualifying, and was ready for more of the same on Sunday night. Folger passed many of his rivals on the brakes in a show of poise and calm, although he would lose ground on the straights of the Losail circuit. He placed fifth at the chequered flag, after setting a new circuit record on lap 6 with a 2'06.839.
Teammate Eric Granado had the disappointment of his bike stalling before the warmup lap, and he could only watch as the rest of the field began ahead of him. Once his problem had been resolved, the MAPFRE Aspar rider took off from last on the grid. However, he managed to finish the race -his first in Moto3- and picked up experience and a 26th place.
5th Jonas Folger: "The weekend has been fabulous. Things went well in all of the practice sessions and I was always in the top positions. All these factors gave us great confidence for the race. I had an optimal setup, was confident and I started well. At first I kept myself quiet behind the lead group, seeing what was going on. As the laps passed, I realised that on the finish straight I could hardly keep a slipstream and lost a lot of ground. I honestly do not know the reason for that: We were cornering like everybody else and I was catching people on the brakes, but on the main straight I was losing out. In the end we finished in fifth place. I expected better, but I'm calm because we gave our all throughout the weekend. Also today we ran with the lead pack until the end. We will analyse what might have happened, in order to improve at the next round."
26th Eric Granado: ""My first race in Moto3 was a little hard, but this is only the beginning and I have learned a lot this weekend. I gained experience and the team helped me discover the points upon which I need to improve. The bike stalled on the grid and I had to start from last, which was a pity. At the start I passed some riders, yet I still think a little more aggression is needed to advance up the order without so much hesitation. Now we have to think about the next race in Austin -a new circuit for everyone- where I hope to gain further experience."
More, from a press release issued by San Carlo Team Italia:
MotoGP Moto3 - Tough start for San Carlo Team Italia FMI in Qatar
Fenati is 15th, Bagnaia 23rd at his world-stage debut
Losail Circuit in Qatar, which hosted the first round of the Moto3 world championship, proved to be a hard match for Italian riders.
With spaniards on KTMs fighting for the podium (Salom won in 38'26.859), Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#5), who took second place here in 2012, scored the only point for Italy by taking 15th place after fighting head-to-head with Iwema and Masbou.
Francesco Bagnaia (San Carlo Team Italia FMI FTR Honda#4) had to postpone his first Top-15 finish and scored 23rd place in his world-stage debut, 15 seconds behind his teammate. The rookie, however, stays positive as his arm is getting stronger and he is gaining valuable experience.
Romano Fenati, 15º, 39'06.310 (download HD photo )
"I had issues with braking and it was a difficult race overall. Last year I was fast, this year I struggled to catch points. We knew it was hard and we'll keep working patiently. We'll get out of this together with the team. Now we head to Austin, a new track for everyone, and we'll try our best."
Francesco Bagnaia, 23º, 39'21.550 (download HD photo )
"It was a hard week-end. I was struggling a lot early on, but we solved some of the issues. I'm happy with the effort we put in everyday. I'm looking forward to Austin. I'll be 100% and we're confident we can have a good race."
Roberto Locatelli (Technical Coordinator, San Carlo Team Italia FMI)
"Our first race of the year was pretty hard. We struggled to capture points, but it was important to get started nonetheless. We just need some more time to adapt the bike. We need to look forwards, this hard race just fits within a tough season start for us. We're still looking for the solution, but we're here to work and we won't give up."
Next race MotoGP Moto3 USA (Austin) april 21