Apr 29, 2012
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by David Swarts
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Pol Espargaro (40). Photo courtesy of www.motogp.com
FIM Moto2 World Championship
April 29, 2012
Race Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):
1. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), 17 laps, 30:12.879
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (SUTER), -0.241 second
3. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), -0.483
4. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), -4.414 seconds
5. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), -4.837
6. Claudio CORTI, Italy (KALEX), -5.881
7. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), -6.149
8. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), -7.097
9. Toni ELIAS, Spain (SUTER), -7.866
10. Johann ZARCO, France (MOTOBI), -8.680
11. Bradley SMITH, UK (TECH 3), -9.382
12. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SUTER), -9.768
13. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (TECH 3), -10.433
14. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (SPEED UP), -31.366
15. Gino REA, UK (MORIWAKI), -31.504
16. Anthony WEST, Australia (MORIWAKI), -34.172
17. Simone CORSI, Italy (FTR), -34.450
18. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), -36.410
19. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (AJR), -36.803
20. Angel RODRIGUEZ, Spain (FTR), -37.449
21. Yuki TAKAHASHI, Japan (SUTER), -39.465
22. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (KALEX), -45.782, crash
23. Julian SIMON, Spain (SUTER), -46.163
24. Alexander LUNDH, Sweden (MZ-RE HONDA), -46.251
25. Roberto ROLFO, Italy (SUTER), -59.593
26. Ratthapark WILAIROT, Thailand (MORIWAKI), -59.987
27. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), -61.010
28. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), -1 lap, crash
29. Max NEUKIRCHNER, Germany (KALEX), -5 laps, DNF, crash
30. Mike DI MEGLIO, France (SPEED UP), -9 laps, DNF, crash
31. Marco COLANDREA, Switzerland (FTR), -11 laps, DNF, crash
32. Elena ROSELL, Spain (MORIWAKI), -13 laps, DNF, crash
World Championship Point Standings (after 2 of 17 races):
1. Marquez, 45 points
2. Espargaro, 41
3. Luthi, 27
4. Redding, 23
5. Iannone, 22
6. Kallio, 15
7. TIE, Rabat/Nakagami, 13
9. Smith, 12
10. TIE, Corti/Elias/Zarco
More, from a press release issued by Tech 3:
Smith and Simeon collect points in rain-affected Jerez race
Tech 3 Racing Team riders Bradley Smith and Xavier Simeon collected valuable World Championship points in a Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix cut short by rain showers this afternoon.
Smith and Simeon were both in contention for top 10 positions when rain began falling shortly after the halfway stage of another absorbing Moto2 encounter.
The race started under heavy cloud cover with damp patches still scattered around the Circuito de Jerez from earlier cloudbursts, but both Smith and Simeon quickly adapted to the tricky conditions to battle their way int o contention for a double top 10 finish.
Smith was producing another trademark display of aggressive riding to close down Johann Zarco and former Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias battling for ninth when rain spots started to fall on lap 15 of 26.
As conditions worsened, race officials were left with no option but to red flag the race seconds after leader Marc Marquez had started the 19th lap.
The result was declared from the standings at the end of lap 17, which left British rider Smith in 11th and just 0.7s away from the top 10.
Starting from 17th position on the grid, Simeon lost out in the frantic jostle for positions on the first lap and dropped back to 21st before he embarked on a thrilling surge through the field.
The Belgian pulled off a series of brilliant overtakes to move into the top 10 after only nine laps. And when the red flags were shown he was in hot pursuit of team-mate Smith and experienced Italian Alex de Angelis trying to move up from 13th place.
Bradley Smith 11th 12 points:
"I'm reasonably happy to have scored some points because I knew that starting from 19th on the grid it was going to a tricky race. We made some big changes to the bike compared to yesterday and the modifications seemed to work and that should help me be closer to the front in the next few races. It has not been an easy weekend with the weather playing a major part, so to come away with 11th place is still a really good result and a decent reward for my Tech 3 crew, who have worked tirelessly all weeken d to give me a competitive bike. I think we have definitely found a direction with the set-up of the Mistral 610 and now I am heading to Estoril later this week much more confident and expecting to be back competing for the top six, which is where we need to be."
Xavier Simeon 13th 3 points:
"The start of the race was good for me but very tricky because the racing line was dry but really slippery and that made it difficult. I had to be very careful while coming through the pack but I managed to make a lot of overtakes and I was in a really fast and comfortable rhythm. I caught the group with Corti and Elias but then de Angelis arrived and started to make block passes, so we lost contact with the group in front. While we were battling we lost some time and that allowed Bradley and Zarco to pass us. Unfortunately th e conditions changed and the race was red flagged. It was the right decision but I am disappointed because we did a good weekend and I could have finished close to the top six without the battle with de Angelis. My Tech 3 Racing crew did a fantastic job as usual and we can go to Estoril confident we can enjoy a positive weekend."
Herve Poncharal Team Manager:
"That was a very difficult race for everybody because the conditions were so unpredictable. Xavier and Bradley both got a good start and they recovered a few places in the early part of the race to make it an interesting battle for the top 10. There was a lot of overtaking but it was inevitable the rain would play some part in proceedings. Bradley actually looked like one of the most confident when some rain drops started to fall but the race was red-flagged when he was looking really strong. He was in the top 10 when the red flags came out but as the result was declared from the end of lap 17, it means he dropped back to 11th. We can't be too excited to finish 11th and 13th but it is a good result considering the starting positions. Bradley was less than 10 seconds behind the winner so that gives us reason to be very optimistic and confident for the forthcoming races. We believe we have a good bike, so hopefully we can show it in Estoril later this week."
More, from a press release issued by Team Thai Honda Gresini Moto2:
NO RESPITE IN THE RACE FOR WILAIROT
Ratthapark Wilairot has had little to smile about this weekend in Jerez and unfortunately his luck didn't change for the race today, the Thai rider struggling to strike up a working relationship with his new Moriwaki and unable to challenge for points today.Ratthapark Wilairot has had little to smile about this weekend in Jerez and unfortunately his luck didn't change for the race today, the Thai rider struggling to strike up a working relationship with his new Moriwaki and unable to challenge for points today.
Ratthapark Wilairot (26th) "We need to have a long look at the data because clearly this situation is not normal and this position does not reflect my potential. At the moment I can't do much more than this unfortunately so we need to work hard to find a solution as soon as possible."
Fausto Gresini "I am disappointed with the situation that Ratthapark finds himself in and determined to put a smile back on his face. The next race is in a week's time and ity will be difficult to fix things before then but soon we will put him in a position to demonstrate his true potential."
More, from a press release issued by Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2:
GINO REA PICKS UP FIRST GRAND PRIX POINT
Gino Rea picked up his first Grand Prix point today after finishing fifteenth in a Moto2 race of attrition at Jerez. It was an important confidence boost to the British rider following a difficult start to the season and he will get an opportunity to build on it in just seven days time when the Portuguese Grand Prix takes place at Estoril.
Gino Rea (15th) "The race has been the highlight of a tough weekend. I got a good start, I was up to thirteenth and I tried to hang in there as long as I could. Once the fuel load went down I struggled to keep my pace up and had a couple of moments where I almost crashed, like a lot of riders out there. It was a shame they stopped the race when they did actually because I'd just passed Iannone when they showed the red flag so that dropped me back a position. This race was a test for us to try some settings with the new bike and the good thing is that despite limited track time over the course of the weekend we can look back on it now and see that we have made progress. We only have a couple of days until the next round and I am glad because I can't wait to get back out on track."
Fausto Gresini "It isn't a brilliant result for us but it was important to get points on the board and we have taken a step forward from Qatar. It is pretty obvious that all the Moriwaki riders are having problems. This kind of result is not what we are aiming for but we have a week until the next race and a lot of hard work ahead to improve our situation."
More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:
Jerez, Spain - 29 April 2012: Scott Redding took a fantastic fourth place in today's rain shortened Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix at Jerez, with Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio finishing just three places further back in seventh.
A big crash in qualifying yesterday meant Redding started today's race from the fourth row of the grid, but the 19-year-old Briton got a flyer from the line and had moved up to seventh at the end of the first lap. He continued to make rapid progress, picking off riders in front of him, before taking the race lead from Tom LÃ¼thi on lap eight.
The battle at the front, which was fought out between Redding, LÃ¼thi, Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro continued throughout the race until the onset of rain made conditions treacherous. A couple of big slides in the worsening conditions saw Redding slip back to fourth and he was unable to close the gap back to the leaders before more rain caused the race to be red flagged.
Kallio got a good start from the second row of the grid, but dropped back to tenth after being pushed wide at turn two on the opening lap. The Marc VDS rider fought his way back through the field, to eventually join the group of five riders battling for the lead at the front of the race. The 29-year-old Finn looked all set to mount a serious challenge for a podium finish, but got caught out by the worsening conditions and ran off the track after a near highside.
Kallio kept the bike upright and was quick to rejoin the race, but ran out of time to close down the gap to the leading group and was forced to settle for seventh place when the red flag brought a premature end to proceedings.
Livio Loi went into today's 16-lap Rookies race determined to secure a top ten finish. The 15-year-old Belgian rider rode cleverly, in a race that saw many crashes, to eventually finish a creditable ninth.
The Marc VDS Racing Team head from Jerez straight to Estoril, the venue for round three of the 2012 Moto2 World Championship, which takes place next weekend.
Scott Redding #45: 4th
"I knew I had to push from the start if I wanted to make it to the front, so I stuck the elbows out, took a few risks and bumped my way past a few people. It was a good battle at the front, with some pretty hard moves from everyone, but then it started to rain around the back part of the track and I had a couple of big moments as the rear let go. After the second near highside I decided to back off a bit to see if conditions would improve, but then the real rain arrived and the race was stopped. It would have been good to finish on the podium, but having started from so far back on the grid, I'm pretty happy with fourth place today."
Mika Kallio #36: 7th
"I got away from the start in fifth or sixth, but then Mike di Meglio braked late at turn two and pushed us both wide. Fighting back through the field was difficult, because you had to go onto the damp part of the track to overtake, but I eventually managed to latch onto the back of the leading group. My plan was to sit in sixth for a few laps and then make a move for the podium, but then it started raining and I nearly went over the highside on the damp track. I was lucky, but I'm a bit disappointed because I think a podium finish was a possibility for me today. Now we must wait for Estoril next weekend and give it another go."
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
"I'm really pleased for both riders today, they did a fantastic job to finish fourth and seventh in difficult conditions. Once Scott got to the front of the race he was pushed hard by LÃ¼thi, Marquez and Espargaro, but gave as good as he got and looked all set to challenge for a podium, or maybe even the win. Then the rain came, he had a couple of slides and sensibly decided to back off. The three riders in front of him were taking a lot of risks, so I think he made the right decision. After a bad start Mika fought his way up to the race leaders, which is no mean feat in Moto2. He looked very capable of finishing on the podium today, but got caught out as the rain started to fall. He rejoined and continued pushing, but the race was red flagged before he could regain the leading group. It was a good result for Mika and Scott and a good result for the team. Now we must look forward to Estoril next weekend."
More, from a press release issued by Speed Master:
TOUGH DAY AT JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA FOR SPEED MASTER MOTO2 RIDERS
The Moto2 class put in a great show for its spectators, with today's race at the circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.
For Speed Master team, it was a tough day. Andrea Iannone started from the thirteenth position on the grid because of an anomalous problem during yesterday's qualifying session. After a good warm up, in the initial phases of the race the Italian struggled to get into a consistent pace. Once the first few laps were completed, Andrea managed to start his comeback, till he reached the fourteenth position. The race was finished by the display of red flags, because of rain, which prevented the rider from trying to achieve a better result.
Mike di Meglio, after a great start from the eighth spot on the grid, took part in the battle for the first positions during the first few laps, putting in a good performance. A crash on the ninth lap was the end of the race for the Frenchman, who was uninjured.
Andrea Iannone #29 - 14th
"Definitely we weren't planning to have a race like this one, but things don't always work out as we'd like. I want to thank my crew for their commitment, now we're going straight to Estoril and we'll do our best to fight for some worthy result."
Mike di Meglio #63 - crashed out
"I'm really sorry for how things went today. At the beginning of the race things were looking quite good: I was second and I was fighting in the leading group. I had some problems when braking on full tank and we'll have to work to improve that, but lap after lap the bike was more and more stable. I chose to wait a little and not to risk too much, staying at the end of the leading group. On the ninth lap, however, I braked before Kallio, who was in front of me, and I got very close to him. So I braked again, I ended up on a wet spot and I crashed out. It's a shame because we could have done a great race. We'll wait for Estoril to give it another try."
More, from a press release issued by QMMF Racing Team:
West storms to 16th and just misses a point
Rosell out of the race with an early crash
QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West was one of the sensations of today's Spanish Moto2 Grand Prix. The fearless Australian, who handles treacherous track conditions like nobody else in the World Championship, ignored damp and slick patches around the half-dry Jerez circuit to storm from 29th place on the starting grid to an impressive 16th place when the race was red-flagged because of another rain shower. With just another half lap, West could even have finished in the point rankings.
Spanish team-mate Elena Rosell also felt good on her Moriwaki bike today, but ran into bad luck when she got caught out in one of the damp sections of the track and crashed on lap five. Luckily, the only female rider in Grand Prix racing didn't get hurt and now looks forward to racing again at Estoril next week.
Anthony West 16th
"Just before they put the red flag out, I had passed Iannone, so I was quite upset when I realized the race was finished and I had missed out on a championship point. If they had waited 30 seconds longer, I would have passed the finish line in front of Iannone. But never mind, we did the best we could in very difficult conditions today. The bike was the best it has been all weekend thanks to the changes the team made to the set-up, but in order to be fully competitive, we need a big change on the bike itself. I know that Moriwaki is working very hard and that they have been testing a lot in order to be able to come up with a modified bike very soon, hopefully for the Grand Prix in Le Mans!"
Elena Rosell did not finish
"I ran into bad luck and crashed in the Nieto corner. In the Moto3 race, a whole bunch of riders has gone down there due to a remaining patch of water, and the same happened to me. I had a highsider and tried to hang on to the bike, but in the end I wasn't able to save it. I was especially upset and angry about the incident because I was making progress. I could match the lap times of the guys in front of me and there were many more laps to go in which I could have improved further and gained positions. But then, this corner came and I went down!"
More, from a press release issued by Mapfre Aspar Team:
ELÃAS TAKES TOP TEN FINISH IN GUTSY MOTO2 RACEDAY PERFORMANCE
Toni ElÃas takes 9th at Jerez after starting from 16th on the grid, whilst teammate Nico Terol continues Moto2 learning process.
The Moto2 Spanish Grand Prix did not reach its intended 26 lap duration, stopped 9 laps from the end due to rainfall. Just as Spanish rider MÃ¡rc MÃ¡rquez crossed the line in first place, Race Direction called a stop to proceedings due to the dangerous nature of the conditions. Pol EspargarÃ³ was declared the winner at Jerez, thanks to his having been the last leader of a lap completed by the entire intermediate class field. MÃ¡rquez placed second for a home one-two.
The MAPFRE ASPAR TEAM's two former World Champions were eager for some home success at Jerez, but leave Southern Spain slightly disappointed with not giving the 184,160 fans present reasons to be cheerful. Toni ElÃas, a former Moto2 title holder, continued to have problems with his front end in the Spanish GP, although he was able to improve his pace to match those at the head of the field. He had started the race from 16th on the grid, but had moved up to 9th by the end of lap one. His highest position was 6th on lap 10, before he dropped back slightly. His positives from race day were the improvements made in comparison with the Qatar season opener, but he is still looking to cut the gap of 8 seconds that separates him from victory.
Nico Terol continued to struggle on Sunday, but will be working hard to find solutions to problems experienced in his adaptation to Moto2. He and the team will have another opportunity to put things right next weekend, when the World Championship heads to Estoril for the Portuguese GP.
9th Toni Elias: "I see this race as a positive one, because we started from far back on the grid and we managed acomeback. However, we lacked pace. The track and the weather were really tricky for us and it would have been easy to crash out. We made progress, because we picked up points, but it isn't enough. If the bike was as I would have liked, then we would have been fighting for the win; we have to work more on the front end. We didn't run in fully dry conditions at any time this weekend, but we still managed to do better than in Qatar. I still have no front end feel. I am one of the best on the slow corners according to the telemetry, but on the fast parts of the track it is impossible to ride smoothly."
27th Nico Terol: "I couldn't wait to ride at Jerez, where we made good progress in preseason and had a good pacegoing,. This was the first weekend at which I rode with the Suter and in the wet I rode fairly well. I wanted to push harder later on and I got stuck -for example when I wanted to pass riders who I was always ahead of in 125cc. I have taken a step backwards and I don't want to be in this position. Qatar and Jerez have served as a learning experience, despite the results. I have to take some pressure off myself and just work on my own riding. I am going to recharge my batteries and enjoy riding this Suter and working with this great team, who I want to thank for their efforts. We have had some great times together, so to go from one extreme to another is difficult. The quality is there, so if wekeep calm we will get through this."