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May 16, 2014

Salom Quickest In FIM Moto2 Practice Friday At Le Mans

Luis Salom (39). Photo courtesy of Dorna/

FIM Moto2 World Championship

Le Mans, France

May 16, 2014

Free Practice Two Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):

1. Luis SALOM, Spain (KALEX), 1:38.254

2. Esteve "Tito" RABAT, Spain (KALEX), 1:38.314

3. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (KALEX), 1:38.365

4. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:38.369

5. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (KALEX), 1:38.528

6. Simone CORSI, Italy (KALEX), 1:38.640

7. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), 1:38.659

8. Franco MORBIDELLI, Italy (KALEX), 1:38.703

9. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), 1:38.742

10. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SUTER), 1:38.788

11. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (SUTER), 1:38.823

12. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), 1:38.825

13. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), 1:38.877

14. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:38.918

15. Sam LOWES, UK (SPEED UP), 1:39.025

16. Mattia PASINI, Italy (KALEX), 1:39.066

17. Johann ZARCO, France (CATERHAM SUTER), 1:39.152

18. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (TECH 3), 1:39.161

19. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), 1:39.264

20. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (TECH 3), 1:39.313

21. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:39.420

22. Louis ROSSI, France (KALEX), 1:39.428

23. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), 1:39.518

24. Lucas MAHIAS, France (TRANSFIORMERS), 1:39.532

25. Gino REA, UK (SUTER), 1:39.715

26. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), 1:39.734

27. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), 1:39.772

28. Hafizh SYAHRIN, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:39.860

29. Lorenzo BALDASSARRI, Italy (SUTER), 1:39.899

30. Josh HERRIN, USA (CATERHAM SUTER), 1:40.307

31. Azlan SHAH, Malaysia (KALEX), 1:40.330

32. Roman RAMOS, Spain (SPEED UP), 1:40.572

33. Tetsuta NAGASHIMA, Japan (TSR), 1:40.984

34. Robin MULHAUSER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:41.287

35. Thitipong WAROKORN, Thailand (KALEX), 1:41.554

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

Difficult Start for Zarco on Day One in Le Mans

Circuit: Le Mans

Circuit Length: 4.185 m

Bike # 5 – Johann Zarco

FP1: P13; 1’39.164 – 22 laps

FP2: P17; 1’39.152 – 16 laps

Bike # 2 – Josh Herrin

FP1: P30; 1’41.360 – 22 laps

FP2: P30; 1’40.307 – 24 laps


FP1: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 16°, (track temp) 22°

FP2: (Conditions) Dry; (air temp) 22°, (track temp) 41°

The first day of practice at the French circuit of Le Mans saw the top 15 riders separated by less than one second throughout FP1 and FP2.

Frenchman Johann Zarco got off to a difficult start at his home Grand Prix as he struggled with the feeling on his #5 Caterham Suter throughout the two 45 minute sessions, improving in time but not position.

Meanwhile teammate Josh Herrin made his return to the team after recovering from a broken collarbone. Steadily chipping away at his time the American worked hard to put in the laps and get to grips with another new track.

Johann Zarco:

“Today has been a little disappointing because I’m quite far down in the classification. For sure we can say it’s less than one second and everyone is so close but my aim as always is to be at the top.

“I’m not able to be very fast because we have an issue on the bike that we are trying to fix. We made a big change to it in FP2 but unfortunately the problem is still there and so the lap times are not coming. We know the Caterham Suter is very sensitive but the team are working hard to find a solution and I’m confident that we can progress.

“I won’t give up this is for sure, so we will see tomorrow. I am able to be fast here and I don’t feel any pressure with it being the French Grand Prix, so we will continue to work hard and hopefully Saturday will be a better day.”

Josh Herrin:

“It’s the first time I’ve been back on the bike since Texas and my arm felt really good so I’m pleased about that.

“Riding at a new track is always a little difficult to start with and it means the first day is more about learning than lap times. This can make the rest of the weekend feel more like a catch up game, which is why I think come race day I am always at my best.

“I need to find a better mind-set for practice like I would do for the race, try not to stress too much, enjoy it more and just get into a rhythm.

“The track here at Le Mans is definitely more physically demanding as it’s quite tight, but it’s fun to ride and it’s got a good layout. Each session we are picking up the pace and I am feeling more comfortable so hopefully tomorrow we can continue to improve and go quicker again.”

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

West runs into problems in the afternoon – Ramos improves steadily and gains confidence

QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West made a promising start into the Grand Prix of France on Friday, but his hopes of matching the pace of the front runners in the Moto2 category were dashed in the afternoon when the 32-year-old Australian ran into unexpected difficulties. A set-up change that failed to improve his Speed Up prototype combined with tyre problems prevented West from improving his lap time on the Le Mans circuit. On Saturday, he and his team will try different solutions for chassis and suspension in order to battle for a better grid position than West’s 26th place so far.

Spanish team-mate Roman Ramos was a happy man on Friday afternoon, having improved his lap time by half a second from the morning to the afternoon. On the Le Mans track, which is famous for its stop-and-go characteristics with lots of hard-braking action, he found the right direction with the set-up almost immediately and is confident to go faster again when it counts in qualifying.

Anthony West – 26th in 1.39,582

“This morning, the bike felt okay, my only problem was a lack of rear grip at the exit of the corners, when I was opening the throttle. We tried to fix this for the afternoon, but instead, I found it a lot more difficult to do a good lap time and I had more problems than before. As soon as I brake, the rear steps out and I don’t make the corner properly. And when I am getting on the throttle, I am losing the grip immediately. The things we changed didn’t really improve the bike, so we have to go a different direction tomorrow, with something we haven’t tried yet. In the afternoon session, I also had tyre problems. One of them fell apart with chunks coming off the rubber, the other one was vibrating a lot even though it was perfectly balanced. It is the second time I had a rear tyre that wasn’t round and it is the fourth time I had a tyre with pieces coming out of it in only the last three races. This doesn’t help things when it is already difficult. I hope the tyres will be okay tomorrow!”

Roman Ramos – 32nd in 1.40,572

“This is another new circuit for me, but the good news is that the bike seems to work really well. We found the right direction, I am comfortable out there and I was able to improve my lap time by half a second from the morning to the afternoon. Even though our position in the classification is not that good, I am happy with the performance of the bike. I am confident that we can improve again tomorrow and that I have a chance to qualify within the first 20 or 25 riders. This is my goal!”

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

Rabat makes fast start in France

Le Mans, France – 16 May 2014: World Championship leader Tito Rabat made a fast start to the French Moto2 weekend in Le Mans today, the Marc VDS Racing taking second place on the practice leaderboard.

Quickest in sunny but cool conditions this morning, Rabat improved his pace to a 1.38.314 in FP2 and was only denied top spot by just 0.060s by fellow Spaniard Luis Salom.

Mika Kallio, who stormed to a dominant win in Jerez, was satisfied to end the day in a positive eighth position, the flying Finn’s best time of 1.38.659 leaving him less than 0.3s away from the top three.

Livio Loi ended a tremendously close Moto3 practice in 22nd position, with the top 25 on the timesheets covered by less than 1.4s. Improved turning and rear grip will be the Belgian’s focus ahead of Sunday’s 24-lap race.

Tito Rabat // 2nd // 1’38.254

“I am happy to have set the fastest time this morning and I only lost top spot in the second session by a very small margin to Salom. The lap times are very close at the top and I spent the whole day working on the set-up for the race. I am happy with the set-up we found but we need to improve because it is going to be a difficult race with so many riders already looking very strong.”

Mika Kallio // 8th // 1’38.659

“My pace was good and very consistent, particularly in the last exit. The most pleasing point is I used an old tyre from this morning for the whole of FP2 and I am only 0.4s slower. Tito used new tyres and I am not far off him on used tyres, so that is satisfying. We still have work to do because the bike doesn’t want to stop so good and I kept running wide, particularly this morning. It is easy to make a mistake when I push to the limit, so we need to find some more front grip.”

Livio Loi // 22nd //1’44.720

“I was almost one second faster in FP2 compared to this morning but I am too much at the limit to make the lap time. I still don’t have the best feeling with the bike and we definitely need to improve for tomorrow. The main issues are the second phase of turning where I feel I might run wide and I don’t have the full trust of the rear tyre under acceleration, so we need to find some more rear grip.”

Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal

“We have to be satisfied with how the French Grand Prix has started. Tito did a great job to be fastest this morning and finish second overall, because he has had some physical issues this week. We were worried it might have an impact on his riding, but clearly he is still very fast and competitive. Mika didn’t have an easy FP1 but he bounced back strong and I am sure he can fighting for the front row tomorrow. Livio is having a very up and down time right now. He was unbelievably strong in Argentina, not so good in Jerez, but then he had a great test in Almeria. Today was difficult again, so we need to find some solutions to help him be much higher up.”

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