Oct 24, 2012
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
From a press release
issued by Bel-Ray
Matthias Himmelmann (left) and the Muench Racing Team in victory lane at Daytona International Speedway.
The 2012 MotoGP championship series is winding down. Following this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, there are only two rounds remaining. Under difficult weather conditions, Bel-Ray backed Team Aspar racers experienced mixed results.
Power Electronics teammates Randy DePuniet and Aleix Espargaro have been locked in a season-long battle for the top position in the CRT class. Coming into Malaysia, Espargaro held a slim two-point lead over DePuniet. A season's best eighth place finish by Espargaro, coupled with an unfortunate DNF by DePuniet enabled Espargaro to extend his lead to ten points with just two races remaining.
Heavy rains during the event forced a red flag, stopping the race after thirteen laps. Unfortunately for DePuniet, it was too late, as a crash on lap ten due to the worsening conditions put him out of the race. He spoke about the unfortunate circumstances following the event. "Today I made a pretty good start; on the first few laps I felt fine. But when the rain intensified, I started to lose confidence. Aleix (Espargaro) overtook me, I tried to follow him but he was going very fast, so I tried just to keep my position at all costs. I knew it would be difficult to re-pass him, so the most logical choice, seeing the state of the track, was to try and pick up as many points as possible. When it started to rain more, I couldn't see anything at all. On lap ten, the final corner, I ran through too much water and lost the front. It's a pity, but we can't wallow in this and at least we are just ten points behind Aleix. We have to focus on catching him however we can; it will be difficult, but we won't throw in the towel."
Espargaro was very happy with his season's best finish and his lead in points over teammate DePuniet. "I am very happy, because today we took a big CRT victory in a tough race. I started well and battled with some of the satellite riders at the start, then Randy (DePuniet) passed me at a good pace and I struggled to keep with him. Soon that intensity dropped, so I decided to pass him again. Later, I caught up with (Hector) Barbera until it started to rain more heavily and it was almost impossible to stay on the bike; on every corner, both wheels were sliding around. Seeing Randy had crashed, I decided to focus on staying upright and taking as many points as possible. That was a valuable result and we must continue like this in Australia, in order to reach Valencia calm and able to enjoy the weekend. I think the decision to stop the race was the right one because the way the track was made it too dangerous for the riders."
Mother Nature was not kind to either Bel-Ray backed Mapfre Aspar riders Jordi Torres and Nico Terol this weekend. Monsoon rains delayed the start of the afternoon's Moto2 and once underway the continued deluge caused crashes for both racers putting them out of the competition.
Despite the crash and DNF, Terol was able to find some positive experiences from the weekend. "We started the weekend very well, so I think it was a shame to finish it like this. I had a couple of scares before, in the end, I locked up in turn four and went down. This weekend, the positive was that we were quick in the dry. I searched for the limit in each session, so I think in Australia, we deserve a good result and we will fight for that."
Teammate Torres had a difficult time getting comfortable with the track and his bike setup, something he will work on at the next round in Australia. "We knew from the start that it was going to be a difficult race because the asphalt was very slippery. I didn't feel comfortable at any time, found it hard to go fast and it looked as if the bike wanted to throw me off continuously. Just before the race, we made a change to the front suspension. I felt very strange in the wet, which is odd because the setup that we had for such conditions was very good. I fought on every corner to stay upright, until in the end the bike spat me off. The front tire had gone off in a very strange manner, so the mechanics will investigate what might have happened."
Bel-Ray backed Team Aspar racer Jonas Folger scored his fourth podium in six races with a strong third place finish. He led the event early, showing a form that will be tough to beat at the remaining two rounds.
Folger spoke about the excessive heat and humidity and how he was able to overcome them for his podium finish. "Today we had a very tough race. Although the pack split from the start, and we were a small group at the head of the race, it was hard to ride in the heat. The asphalt had changed a lot and the tires didn't have the same grip as during the rest of the weekend. We also had to adjust our setup to the heat. I think that we should be very happy with our performance this weekend. After dominating practice and qualifying second, my aim was to win. We lead the group, were very competitive and finished third after a very tight race, which is reason enough to be satisfied. Since I joined the MAPFRE Aspar Team, we have shown great form and there are still two races remaining, so we have to continue like this until the end of the season."
Folger's teammate Luca Amato also experienced a lack of grip with his tires, but was able to overcome them and gain six positions during the race, eventually finishing twenty-fourth. "The race today was very hard, and dragged on for me because of the heat. On the opening three laps, I was able to overtake various riders. Afterwards, I noticed that the bike was continually trying to throw me off. I think that it was down to the rear suspension being slightly too soft. Lap after lap, I saw the bike step out more and more, which would also have affected tire performance. Every time that I got on the gas, I felt like I was being thrown off. I rode alone in 24th, concentrating on avoiding crashes and riding steadily to the line. The bike has great potential and I am going to try and find a better feel for it to improve my pace in the class."
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More, from a press release issued by Muench Racing Team:
Only Steve Atlas was faster German E-Bike-Team wins silver medal
Strong performance of MUENCH Racing Team at 2012 TTXGP World Series Final
Cassel/Wurzburg/Daytona. 42 years after the MUENCH brand and their "Daytona Bomb" reached for the one hour world record, the MUENCH Racing Team won the runner up title during the TTXGP World Series Final in Daytona last weekend. The 2010 and 2011 champion Matthias Himmelmann finished behind this year's champion Steve Atlas (Brammo) and ahead of Eric Bostrom (Brammo).
Since last Thursday fans got to witness suspenseful e-bike races in line with the AHRMA (American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association) and its "Biketoberfest" at the DAYTONA International Speedway. The MUENCH Racing Team around driver and TTXGP European champion Matthias Himmelmann happened to be the only European competitor. Team Zongshen, which is also well-known in Europe, cancelled their participation shortly before the race. Amongst others, Himmelmann raced against the team of e-bike manufacturer and TTXGP North America champion Brammo and TTXGP Australia champion Jason Morris (Team Catavolt) for this year's season finale.
True to the form the Americans raced off from the finish line. Brammo driver and former AMA SuperSport champion Eric Bostrom took the lead right from the start. "Asphalt Assassin" Steve Atlas on a Brammo Empulse RR took the second position, closely chased by Matthias Himmelmann on his MUENCH TTE2. Then, just for a snatch Eric Bostrom had a weak moment and the hotshot from Cassel, Matthias Himmelmann, took the chance, passed him and secured the second place after a suspenseful duel. The leader, Steve Atlas, however, safely brought home the championship title on home grounds.
"žThe second Place was all we were capable of against the fast Brammos. Nevertheless, we are satisfied and happy. This year's season finale was very tough. Brammo raced a top speed of 260km/h and we accomplished a top speed of 250km/h. The e-racing sport has never been faster. We would like to thank all of our fans, sponsors and partners for keeping their fingers crossed and we are looking forward to next year's season", announced the MUENCH Racing Team on their Facebook fan page shortly after the race. The team will return to Germany on Wednesday.
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