FIM Moto2 World Championship
Twin Ring Motegi, Japan
October 12, 2014
Race Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):
1. Thomas LUTHI, Switzerland (SUTER), 23 laps, 42:50.219
2. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (KALEX), -1.209 seconds
3. Esteve “Tito” RABAT, Spain (KALEX), -3.631
4. Johann ZARCO, France (CATERHAM SUTER), -7.797
5. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KALEX), -8.472
6. Julian SIMON, Spain (KALEX), -8.881
7. Franco MORBIDELLI, Italy (KALEX), -11.203
8. Hafizh SYAHRIN, Malaysia (KALEX), -17.509
9. Ricard CARDUS, Spain (TECH 3), -18.424
10. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (SUTER), -21.192
11. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), -22.646
12. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (KALEX), -23.303
13. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), -26.077
14. Gino REA, UK (SUTER), -26.708
15. Luis SALOM, Spain (KALEX), -28.921
16. Louis ROSSI, France (KALEX), -29.312
17. Lorenzo BALDASSARRI, Italy (SUTER), -31.192
18. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), -33.956, crash
19. Ratthapark WILAIROT, Thailand (CATERHAM SUTER), -41.606
20. Florian MARINO, France (KALEX), -42.031
21. Randy KRUMMENACHER, Switzerland (SUTER), -42.133
22. Nicolas TEROL, Spain (SUTER), -44.568
23. Tomoyoshi KOYAMA, Japan (NTS), -45.571
24. Azlan SHAH, Malaysia (KALEX), -51.944
25. Thitipong WAROKORN, Thailand (KALEX), -52.398
26. Yuki TAKAHASHI, Japan (MORIWAKI), -53.160
27. Roman RAMOS, Spain (SPEED UP), -58.088
28. Robin MULHAUSER, Switzerland (SUTER), -66.689
29. Marcel SCHROTTER, Germany (TECH 3), -75.937, crash
30. Chalermpol POLAMAI, Thailand (TECH 3), -82.685
31. Axel PONS, Spain (KALEX), -6 laps, DNF, crash
32. Anthony WEST, Australia (SPEED UP), -10 laps, DNF, crash
33. Mattia PASINI, Italy (KALEX), -12 laps, DNF, crash
34. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), -16 laps, DNF, crashed twice
35. Sam LOWES, UK (SPEED UP), -20 laps, DNF, crash
36. Riccardo RUSSO, Italy (SUTER), -23 laps, DNF, crash
World Championship Point Standings (after 15 of 18 races):
1. Rabat, 294 points
2. Kallio, 256
3. Vinales, 224
4. Aegerter, 143
5. Luthi, 141
6. Zarco, 117
7. Corsi, 100
8. Morbidelli, 72
9. Salom, 67
10. Cortese, 66
More, from a press release issued by Marc VDS Racing Team:
Rabat extends championship lead with podium finish in Japan
Motegi, Japan – 12 October 2014: Tito Rabat extended his championship lead to 38 points over his Marc VDS teammate Mika Kallio, with a hard fought third place in the Japanese Moto2 Grand Prix at Motegi. Kallio was strong at the start of the race but a loss of rear grip saw him drop back to finish fifth.
The two Marc VDS riders were involved in a titanic battle with Johan Zarco and Maverick Viñales for third place in the opening stages of today’s race, which allowed eventual race winner Tom Lüthi to build up an unassailable lead at the front.
Rabat managed to battle his way through into third, as rear grip problems saw Kallio unable to match the pace of this teammate, with the Finn eventually dropping back to be caught and passed by Zarco for fourth at two-thirds race distance.
Rabat set his fastest laps of the race as he tried to chase down Viñales for second, but his compatriot had too much in hand today and the Marc VDS rider was forced to settle for third and the increasingly important championship points at the chequered flag.
Jorge Navarro’s race was ended prematurely when Jakub Kornfeil crashed in front of him and the 18-year-old Spaniard hit the Czech rider’s bike in the tunnel. It was a bitterly disappointed Navarro who returned uninjured to the Marc VDS pit box, as he was battling in the group contesting ninth position when he was brought down.
Tito Rabat // 3rd
“Today was a little bit difficult for me. My start wasn’t so good and the first lap was a bit of a disaster. Afterwards I was putting in some good lap times and, when I got through into third, I tried to follow Viñales, but without taking too many risks. But this was impossible; I started to enter into the corners so early, tried to brake so late and was a little bit slow exiting the corners. This sometimes happens when you have the pressure of the championship. At the end, I’m happy because I rode an intelligent race to get onto the podium, but I’m not happy about the last part of the race. We will go to Australia now and we will start there like we did here on Friday.”
Mika Kallio // 5th
“I’ve not much to say really. The same thing happened today as in the last few races, where seven or eight laps into the race I could feel I was losing rear grip and accelerating out of the turns wasn’t so easy. Step by step it got worse, as did the lap time, which meant I couldn’t stay with the group. With a full tank I felt really good on the brakes and could attack in the first laps, but when the bike gets lighter then it starts to get complicated. It’s strange that we’ve had this problem only in the last few races when we were winning before that. We need to think about what we can do, because we need to finish the season as strongly as we started it.”
Jorge Navarro // DNF
“I got a good start and managed to push through on the inside at the first corner, which put me in a good group battling for a top ten position. Unfortunately, on lap ten, Kornfeil went out wide on the brakes at the end of the downhill straight, got on the gas too early to compensate and went flying. His bike was right in front of me and I couldn’t avoid it. I am very disappointed because the team have worked hard all weekend and I was doing a good race. Now we will have to wait until Australia to do the best result possible.”
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“Both Tito and Mika pushed as hard as ever today, but there was just no answer to Lüthi and Viñales, who were both strong here at Motegi. I know Tito will be a little disappointed not to have won from pole position, but he leaves Japan with an even bigger lead in the championship and that will be some consolation. The rear grip problem that Mika has had the last few races is something for which we need to find a solution, and fast. That will be our focus in Australia next weekend. Jorge was unlucky today. He was riding a good race and battling for a top ten finish, only for him to fall victim to another rider’s crash.”
More, from a press release issued by AirAsia Caterham Moto2 Team:
Strong fourth place finish for Zarco at Motegi
Circuit: Twin Ring Motegi
Circuit Length: 4.801 km
Race Length: 23 laps
Race: Dry; (air temp) 20°, (track temp) 28°
Qualifying on the front row AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing rider Johann Zarco made a good start to his Japanese Grand Prix, moving into second place on lap one. Despite being unable to close the gap on race leader Thomas Luthi, the Frenchman battled hard to hold back Vinales and Kallio, before crossing the line in fourth position.
Starting from row eight on the grid Ratthapark Wilairot initially struggled to find his pace in the opening laps of the race. Building his rhythm the Thai rider worked hard to rein in the riders in front and despite a technical problem claimed back valuable positions and a top twenty finish.
#5 Johann Zarco: P4
“I’m happy with fourth position because we have to think about the Championship and our target of fifth place, maybe now even fourth is possible. We got many points today so I am very happy for this.
“Even the race was quite good. I had a good start and was second, but not able to be faster than this 1m51.8s time and I could see Luthi was looking quite comfortable in front. When I started to fight with Vinales I missed twice the shift down with the gearbox. I tried to adjust my clutch but it was even worse, so I needed to adapt my riding style to keep the pace. Finally the feeling was quite good, even when I was in fifth position, so I tried to keep calm and do as well as possible the line and my riding. In the then end I was faster than at the beginning of the race, so I overtook Kallio and then I could even keep a distance to save this fourth position.
“I’m disappointed to miss the podium because we had a good chance here in Japan but overall it has been a good weekend. The race is always difficult in Moto2 and many things can happen, so it’s good to finish like this.”
#14 Ratthapark Wilairot: P19
“My start wasn’t too bad but I didn’t feel like I could push going into the first corner and so I lost some positions. I tried to go with the group and be there with the same lap time that we did in morning warm up. The feeling on the bike was not too bad, we just had a small technical problem, but we know now that in Philip Island it will be better.
“I am happy with the set up and to finish in the top twenty today. Also I did my best ever lap time around here, so there are many positives from this weekend. We know we have a good pace to be in the points, so I’m looking forward to getting to Philip Island to see what we can do there ”
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager: “Fourth position for Johann today is good and we are coming away with thirteen points from the first of these three overseas races, which we are happy about.
Maybe we were initially hoping for a little bit more because we thought we had a strong enough pace to stay within the top three, but nevertheless sometimes it is like this and its hard to always be fighting for the podium, so I think Johann did a very good job today. He had some issue with his clutch in the middle of the race and had to adjust his riding style, which we saw on TV cost him quite a bit of ground to the other guys. Anyway it was a good weekend overall and we increased our Championship points which is the most important, so lets move onto Philip Island and see what we can do there.
“Ratthapark had a difficult start to the race and didn’t do so well in the first couple of laps, but as he got into a rhythm he was able to do good lap times on his own. He then got into a small group and closed the gap to the front. He was not so far off from the other riders and to finish in nineteenth is not so bad. It was one of his best races so far. We will keep working and our target as always is to step into the points with him and that is what we have to do in the next race.”
More, from a press release issued by QMMF Racing Team:
West falls fighting for points – Ramos finishes in 27th place
QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West battled his way from 29th position on the starting grid to 21st place and started to aim at the point rankings, when he crashed out the Grand Prix of Japan in the twelfth of 23 laps. West’s third fall of the weekend was once again caused by front end chatter, a problem that occurred so quickly and unpredictably that West didn’t have the chance to react.
Team-mate Ramos, who had started from 36th place on the grid, also gained several positions and battled within a group of riders for most of the race for an eventual 27th place. Now both riders look forward to the next Grand Prix on Phillip Island in Australia, which is not only the home Grand Prix of Queensland-born Anthony West, but a fast and flowing track that suits the characteristic of the Speed-Up prototype.
Anthony West – did not finish
“I had three crashes this weekend and all of them happened exactly the same way. It’s the type of crash you can’t really do anything about. It’s not because I am pushing to hard on the brakes or because I’m too hard on the gas or anything. It happens in the middle of the corner. When I’m releasing the brake trying to go through the corner with some speed, it’s just chattering and losing the front. Normally you lose the front when you are pushing too hard into the corner, when you are too hard on the brakes or a bit off-line. But this weekend, I kept losing the front after releasing the brakes. From nowhere, the bike develops a violent chatter and then loses the front. It happened to me a few times and I saved it, but it happens so fast that it’s difficult to predict. Some laps it doesn’t happen at all and you pass the corner with no problem, and then some laps, for no reason, it has this big chatter and then loses the grip in the front. The bike has improved from last year and I was consistently one second faster on this track than last year, which is a big improvement, but everyone else has gone so much faster as well. Trying to stay with them just meant pushing the limits and I crashed. I feel sorry for the guys that had to work a lot this weekend with no results in the end. I was hoping to get some points. I could see I was close and I tried to push, but the bike didn’t want to do any more than that. Now I look forward to the next one in Phillip Island. Hopefully I can keep it upright and give the mechanics a rest for the weekend!”
Roman Ramos – 27th place
“It was a complicated race for us. We improved by half a second in the warm-up this morning and in the race I improved a bit more, but it wasn’t enough to get the better result we had hoped for. Now we have to think of the next race in Australia. We have to work very hard to get the set-up right and to have a good bike that allows us to attack and to fight for better positions. Australia seems to be a track that suits our bike and my riding style a bit better, so we’ll see if we can achieve the result that we all deserve!”
More, from a press release issued by AGT Rea Racing:
Gino Rea scores first dry race points of 2014 at Motegi
Gino Rea scored his first dry race points of 2014 at Motegi finishing in 14th position. Rea had qualified in 23rd for the Japanese Grand Prix following brake and electrical issues throughout the weekend. The team were able to overcome these problems for the race allowing Gino to battle his way to 14th, making up nine grid positions. Rea scored AGT REA Racing their first points in a dry race in the 2014 season showing just how far the rookie team have come. Gino Rea comments on a great outing at Motegi:
“That was just the way I had hoped to finish off a hard weekend. I had a good pace here from Friday’s FP1 but with front brake and electrical problems I could only qualify 23rd. We got it fixed for the race and I was able to focus on passing riders in front of me to get up to 13th. I got onto the back of the group that led to 8th but I couldn’t make any more progress. I struggled a little in the last third of the race and Nakagami re-passed me. It’s nice to mix it with riders that have been on the podium this year and it shows our progress as a team. Phillip Island isn’t one of my favourite circuits but hopefully we can continue this momentum for the rest of the season. It’s taken a while but I’m glad to say I finished in the points in a dry race.”
Team Principal, Dave Peterson: “I guess I was concerned after FP2 when the brake issues showed up. But I really got concerned during FP3 with the electrical problems. The team worked hard to sort those problems out and I was assured that the warm up would go flawlessly. It didn’t as Gino came in after one lap then again after another lap with what turned out to be a shifter problem. But, Gino still matched his best lap time of the weekend with only two laps to go at the end of the warm up and I was hopeful for the race. Gino really surprised me by turning in his best lap times of the weekend during the race and steadily moving up from 23rd to finish 14th in the points. I couldn’t be more pleased. The team really worked well this weekend despite the problems.”
The AGT REA Racing team now travel on to Australia for the next flyaway race at Phillip Island next weekend.