Next stop Texas for the Mission Winnow Ducati team, on track at Austin for the third round of the MotoGP World Championship
After seizing a podium at Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) with Andrea Dovizioso (3rd), the Mission Winnow Ducati team is ready to resume action at Austin (United States) for the third round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for April 12-14 at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).
Andrea Dovizioso, who took a win and a third place this season so far, is currently second in the championship with 41 points to his tally and is keen to extend the podium streak to cut the gap from the lead, which is currently only four points. Dovizioso scored his personal best result at COTA in 2015, when he finished second. Danilo Petrucci, sixth in both races in 2019, is also determined to improve his personal statistics at Austin, where his best position at the finish is 8th (in 2017) and to continue his progress and get closer to the podium.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 2nd (41 points)
"The way in which we worked in Argentina will be a good starting point for our next race at Austin. Even though the track is not the most suitable for us, I'm confident that, if we manage to improve in each session as we did at Termas de Río Hondo, we'll be competitive come race time, which is the most important thing. Our goal at Austin is to step once again on the podium, which in some ways would count as much as a win, but we'll need to assess the state of the track before we make any predictions. Last year the tarmac was really bumpy, and I hope the situation has improved since then. We know each race is a different story, so we just need to stay positive and focused, continuing to work as we did so far."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 5th (20 points)
"I think our potential in Texas is higher than in the past, even though COTA is still a difficult track for us theoretically, as it features many tight, Formula-1-style corners and bumps that make it trickier to find the right setup. However, in Argentina, another tough circuit for us, we reacted well despite the fact that our weekend didn't begin in the most ideal way. In general, we struggle more than others under acceleration at high lean angles because of my weight, but we're improving in terms of tyre consumption. I want to further optimize how I manage the race as well, and to this end it'll be crucial to start further ahead on the grid. We'll need to work hard to fight for the top five once again, but I'm confident."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action on Friday, April 12th, at 9:55 local time (16:55 CET) for the first free-practice session.
Wednesday, 10 April 2019 13:42 Published in Rider and Team Releases
A 9.8 second victory for the untouchable Marc Marquez in Argentina as Jorge Lorenzo gains more points and crucial bike time.
Overnight rain in Termas de Rio Hondo didn’t deter the MotoGP field during morning Warm Up, both Repsol Honda Team riders running consistently in the top ten. Marc Marquez again finished on top, Jorge Lorenzo within a second and in 11th after the 20-minute session.
Forecasts were all proven wrong as the 25-lap Argentina Grand Prix ran without even a single drop of rain and instead the grid was met with ever-climbing track temperatures. A lightning start saw Marc Marquez convert his pole position into a one second lead after just a single lap, the reigning champion never once looking back. Lap after lap his advantage grew, Marquez over 12 seconds clear before the end of the race. Crossing the line 9.816 seconds ahead of second placed Valentino Rossi, Marquez claimed his first win of the season and his third win at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in untouchable style.
The victory was accompanied by Marquez’s biggest winning margin in a dry MotoGP race, his previous best coming at the 2016 Argentina GP (a gap of 7.679s) and is his 45th win in the premier class. Marquez leaves Argentina with 45 points and the championship lead.
Unfortunatley Jorge Lorenzo’s race got off to a difficult start as he dropped down to 21st from 12th after trouble getting off the line. However, consistent pace saw Lorenzo quickly return to points scoring positions and run at a pace similar to those fighting towards the front. Crossing the line in 12th, Lorenzo collects not only more points but also more race time on the Honda.
Honda now moves to the top of the Constructor’s Championship as a result of the victory.
The MotoGP World Championship prepares to travel to Austin, Texas for round three of the 2019 championship at the Red Bull Gran Prix of The Americas, April 12 -14. Marquez has won all six races at the circuit while Jorge Lorenzo has taken a pair of podiums previously.
“Today was a perfect day. I have been so concentrated since FP1 and everything worked well, just a tiny hiccup in FP4. But we kept pushing, pushing and in the race I knew that my strongest point was the first five laps. I put everything in and then I saw the difference, one second, two seconds, three seconds and then I settled into my rhythm and pushed a little less. I managed the tyres and the bike, it was a really sweet feeling with the bike.”
“First of all I want to say congratulations to the Repsol Honda Team and Marc Marquez for winning this race. Marc has been fantastic all weekend. In Warm Up we made quite a big step and I was able to be faster and I felt good for the race. Unfortunately we had some very unlucky things happen, at the start I hit the pit limiter and the bike wouldn’t go. When I realised I was at the back so I had to fight through, I was able to move forward but we can’t be happy with this result.”
Monday, 01 April 2019 10:39 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi saved the best for last at the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina weekend. He used his experience to cunningly make his move - a perfectly executed block pass - in Turn 7 of the very last lap, to take a superb second place. The final lap wasn’t lucky for team-mate Maverick Viñales. Though his challenge wasn’t all smooth sailing, he was looking competitive in the final stages of the race. He was lying in seventh place when another rider collected him on lap 25, resulting in an N.C. score.
Rossi had a strong start from fourth on the grid, held his position in the first corner, and shortly after moved up to second place. He aimed to prevent any riders from checking out at the front but didn't succeed, as he fell back to fifth in the busy group. Not for long, though: he steadily worked his way back to second place to lead the chasing pack.
Despite running wide on lap 7, he quickly made up for the lost time. When he was back in second place a lap later, the crowds were on their feet. As Marc Marquez was already over 6s ahead thanks to the battles of the chasing group, the Italian focused on defending his position.
While the number 46 rider’s tussles with Andrea Dovizioso for second place continued, the pair gradually broke away from the others. The Yamaha rider observed the riding style of his rival and perfectly picked the place and moment to pounce: on the last lap, in Turn 7, he put his YZR-M1 on the inside and made it stick. He crossed the line in second place 9.816s from first.
Viñales had a rocky start from second place on the grid, but was quick to slot into fifth, behind his team-mate. He made good on yesterday's promise to ride aggressively in the opening laps, moving past Jack Miller for fourth before crossing the line for the first time. However, the moment was short-lived. The Spaniard was swamped in the busy bustle of the front group and fell back to eighth.
He wasn’t taking it lying down, though. He earned back seventh place and pushed to the fullest to latch on to the group fighting for second. He was hanging in there but lost two positions as he ran wide with 9 laps to go.
Still Viñales didn’t give up. He had ensured his soft-soft tyre combination would last for the entire 25-lap race-length, and now he was about to pick the fruits of his labour. With five laps to go, he overtook Takaaki Nakagami for eighth. He had to close a 0.9s gap next and managed to reach the back of the group in front. He soon found himself in seventh position, but on the last lap disaster struck. Another rider accidentally clipped the back of Viñales’ bike, ending his challenge.
Today's results see Rossi climb to 3rd position in the championship standings with a 10-point gap to second and a 14-point margin to first. Viñales is now in 11th place, with a 36-point gap to first. Yamaha is third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP holds the same position in the team classifications.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in two weeks' time, when the MotoGP paddock touches down in the United States for the Grand Prix of the Americas, held at the COTA track in Austin, Texas.
"We are very happy and satisfied with this second place, though we are disappointed for Maverick. This weekend the team worked really well. We had some difficulties in FP1 and we were able to correct them and find solutions quite early on. This morning after the Warm Up, Valentino ultimately made the right decision for him, choosing the medium rear tyre. It has been a good team effort, so we really want to enjoy this second place. Maverick was feeling well on the soft tyres during Warm Up, so he decided to go ahead with them. However, already from the beginning of the race he was having difficulties when stopping the bike. We have to analyse this problem and try to understand it, because it's a pity he couldn't be as fast as this morning. To make matter worse, he was collected by Morbidelli on the final lap. It was a shame, but the most important thing is that both riders are OK. Still, the podium result is a good boost for us all and gives us good motivation for the next round."
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
"It's been a long time – since Sachsenring last year – that I've been on the podium. This second place is especially satisfying, because at the last two races last year, Malaysia and Valencia, I was lying in first and second place, but I made some mistakes. Finishing the championship like that was very difficult to accept, so also for this reason this result is so important for me, my team, and Yamaha, after a difficult period. I'm so happy! I tried to stay in front, because I expected to be faster, but today with the increased temperatures I struggled a bit more. Dovi stayed in front of me and rode a very good race with a good pace. We were able to break away from the guys behind us and be on our own. In that moment I knew I had to be very precise on braking to take second place, without making any mistake of even 1cm, else Dovi would pass me again. At that moment I was riding good, I entered very fast. I'm happy because, first of all, overtaking on the last lap is always special, and also because I did very good on braking."
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP RIDER
"I saw the replay of the incident with Franco and it was nothing. It was the last lap and we all tried to be at our best, so it's just one mistake, and it is what it is. Maybe at the next race I will make the same mistake, it's something you can explain, it's not a problem. The soft tyres were for sure the right decision, because in the first lap, though I didn't start well, I was overtaking many riders, so finally at the end of lap 1 I think I was third or fourth. So that was not bad. But the bike wasn't working perfectly, so we need to keep working and see if we can solve it for the next race. Honestly, I feel good at every track, we show good potential. It's always in the race that we have an issue. When the bike is there, I'm always in the top-3."
Monday, 01 April 2019 10:35 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Mission Winnow Ducati team stepped on the podium once again today at Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) with Andrea Dovizioso, third on the finish line. The Italian, who started from first row, dictated the pace within the group of riders fighting for the podium while chasing Marquez, and held second position for most of the race to fend off his rivals valiantly until the very last lap before facing a drop in tyre performance. Dovizioso's third-place finish marks his second consecutive podium in 2019 after a thrilling victory in Qatar and puts him in second position in the championship, just four points behind the provisional leader.
Danilo Petrucci, who started from tenth position on the grid after a difficult qualifying session, mounted a strong comeback and climbed back up to fourth position before facing, like his teammate, a tyre drop in the final stages and finishing sixth.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 3rd
"I'm undoubtedly happy with the podium, which was our goal ahead of this round on a historically difficult track for us. On the other hand, I'm not particularly satisfied with how the rear tyre performed, because we couldn't pull away towards the end of the race, which is the opposite of what we expected in light of what we've seen during practice. In the last lap, I couldn't shake off Rossi or pass him back, it would have been too risky and 16 points are still very important for us. For sure, we collected some interesting data, which we'll analyse in depth ahead of next race. Austin is yet another tricky track for us theoretically, so our goal in Texas will be to try to step once again on the podium."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 6th
"I'm happy because, after making some mistakes during qualifying, today we managed to give our best out there on track. Had I started a bit closer to the front, I probably could have fought for the podium until the very end, but I had to ask a lot to the tyres to climb back through the field and in the last couple of laps I was really struggling with the rear under braking, so I had to play defense. Still, I'm satisfied because we worked well here, improving day by day, and I want to maintain the momentum at Austin, where first and foremost I'll need to be stronger in qualifying. Our goal is to ride constantly at the front and score points, which will be crucial in such a long season."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action at Austin (United States) for the third round of the MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for April 12-14.
Monday, 01 April 2019 10:28 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team took to the Termas de Río Hondo track today, to prepare for Sunday's Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina. After a difficult FP1 session, Maverick Viñales' and Valentino Rossi's hard work paid off in FP2, when they secured third and sixth position respectively in the combined free practice results.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team had a testing start to this weekend's Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina but changed it all around in the afternoon. Wheelspin prevented riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi from being able to push to the fullest in FP1, but they came back strong in FP2, securing third and sixth position respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.
This morning Viñales calmly prepared for Sunday's race at the Termas de Río Hondo track, steadily upping his pace. He tried various tyre specs and bike settings, to reduce wheelspin in order to be able to put in a good challenge during the important FP2 session. He set a best morning time of 1'41.657s for 18th place, 1.830s from first.
The young gun again displayed his patience in FP2. He used most of the session to make some further set-up changes, before pouncing at the right moment. With 15 minutes of the available time left, the game was on. He quickened his pace to the 1'39s, setting a provisional third fastest lap before the general mini time attacks took place. He responded in the final minutes, concluding the session with a 1'39.345s lap for third place in the FP2 and combined free practice timesheets, 0.164s from first.
Rossi started the Argentina Grand Prix weekend on a more positive note. He worked diligently on his bike's setting in FP1 in preparation for the race on Sunday. Focusing on bike improvement rather than lap times, he ended the morning practice with a 1'40.827s best lap for tenth place, 1.000s from the top of the timesheets.
The Doctor used the second free practice to further fine-tune the balance of his bike, to match it to Termas de Río Hondo's layout, setting everything up for a final push at the end of the session. The Italian rider executed the plan to perfection. As various rivals were also trying to put in a hot lap, the Italian avoided traffic and posted a 1'39.441s lap, earning sixth position in both the FP2 and combined free practice results.
Friday, 29 March 2019 20:41 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Dovizioso tops the time sheets in Friday's free-practice at the GP of Argentina with the Mission Winnow Ducati team
The Mission Winnow Ducati team resumed action today at Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) for the second round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. In Friday's free-practice – characterized by extremely narrow gaps, with 21 riders within less than a second – Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci initially focused on the race setup and then went on the attack in the final stages of the second and last session.
Dovizioso made the most of the soft rear tyre to post a 1:39.181, about 1.5 seconds faster than his previous best in FP1, to claim the top of the time sheets, further confirming the competitiviness already shown in Qatar. Petrucci faced a slightly more difficult task after suffering an innocuous crash that nonetheless limited his time on track in FP1, finishing the opening day in 13th position with a personal best of 1:39.740, about five tenths of a second behind his teammate.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:39.181 (1st)
"I'm very happy, especially because we struggled quite a bit here in recent years and today, on the other hand, we found a good feeling with the bike right away. We are all extremely close so the lap time itself isn't too important, but I feel much better riding compared with last year here. I still don't know whether it'll be enough to fight for the podium, because there are many riders with a strong pace and this track is peculiar, especially in terms of grip, which is particularly low. Anyhow, we have an excellent base, we made some steps forward with the setup and I think we still have room for improvement."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1:39.740 (13th)
"All in all, we're not far from the front, but it's been a bit more difficult than what we expected today. We started off based on the data from last year, but the track was really dirty in FP1 and the crash made me lose a bit of confidence and time. Still, we made a good step forward in FP2, even though a small mistake in the first flying-lap prevented me from making the most of the extra grip offered by the new tyre. Andrea has shown we can be really competitive here, we have room for improvement and some ideas to try, so I'm confident we'll bounce back tomorrow."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action tomorrow (March 30th) at 10:50 local time (CET -4) for a third free-practice session, while qualifying will start at 15:05.
Friday, 29 March 2019 20:36 Published in Rider and Team Releases
A day of progress for the Repsol Honda Team in Argentina as Marc Marquez worked towards the race and Jorge Lorenzo made continual gains.
Clear skies welcomed the MotoGP World Championship to the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for round two of the 2019 championship. With the circuit in a good and clean condition, riders were able to get straight to work preparing for the Argentina GP.
Marc Marquez was immediately fast, jumping to the top of the Free Practice 1 timesheets and remaining there until the end of the session with a lap of 1’39.827. Free Practice 2 saw the ground temperature remain at 32°C as clouds gathered but culminated in an explosive time-attack shootout in the last ten minutes. The reigning champion cut his time down to a 1’39.497 and concluded the day eighth fastest.
On the other side of the Repsol Honda Team garage, Jorge Lorenzo began the process of adapting his Honda RC213V to the Argentinian circuit. A 1’41.340 saw the five-time champion conclude the opening session in 14th. Finding over a second during Free Practice 2, Lorenzo set a respectable 1’40.159 to finish a Friday which saw 21 riders within a second of the fastest rider.
Both riders and their crews have already begun preparations for tomorrow’s Free Practice 3 session at 10:50 local time with qualifying kicking off at 15:05 local time later in the day.
"I’m very happy overall. This morning we were fast and then also this afternoon we managed the session in a good way. I did what we needed to try and we are focusing on finding the best pace for race distance. We worked in the same style as 2018, concentrating on our work and our pace and what we needed to do. Of course, we want to improve more as the track keeps changing. It’s still very early to say what will happen on Sunday."
"We knew that coming to Termas would be difficult as it is a track I have not gone well at in the past because it is a very slippery circuit and still I am trying to catch up for the kilometres on the bike I lost. The position is not great, but we are still within one second of the top and improved a lot between the two practices. We will keep going and I will not lose concentration or focus, it is just a matter of time until we are there."
Friday, 29 March 2019 20:32 Published in Rider and Team Releases
The Mission Winnow Ducati team ready for a new challenge in Argentina for the second round of the MotoGP World Championship
After achieving a spectacular win in the opening race of the year with Andrea Dovizioso in Qatar, the Mission Winnow Ducati team is ready to resume action in Argentina for the second round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship, scheduled for March 29-31 on the Termas de Río Hondo track, located in the North of the country.
The Grand Prix of Argentina, which reached its 15th edition, will take place in the track located in the Santiago del Estero province for the sixth consecutive year. Andrea Dovizioso achieved his best result there in 2015, when he finished second, while in the past two seasons the Italian finished sixth and fifth, first among Ducati riders. Danilo Petrucci claimed seventh place in 2017 as his personal best result on this circuit, and is particularly determined to rewrite the stats.
Ahead of the GP, the FIM Court of Appeal ruled that the appendix mounted on the swingarm of the Ducati Desmosedici GP 19 of Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller is complying with the technical regulations and therefore can be utilized again during the 2019 championship.
"We were convinced we fully complied with the technical regulations and therefore we were confident about the ruling by the FIM Court of Appeal, so we can only express our satisfaction for the decision made, which further underlies the regularity of our endeavors," said Luigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager. "Now we simply want to focus on the upcoming race, which is bound to be another tough and exciting challenge."
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 1st (25 points)
"We started the season in the best possible way, winning the opening race in Qatar, but the championship is long and we know by experience we cannot let our guard down. We have a great base, we're working efficiently and we were able to make the most of our strong suits at Losail, especially in terms of acceleration and top speed, but we need to improve our mid-corner speed. To this end, the upcoming race will represent a good benchmark and will allow us to try some new solutions. Our goal is to be on the podium also on less favorable tracks to be in contention until the very last race."
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Mission Winnow Ducati) – 6th (10 points)
"I'm ready to tackle the next race with even more motivation after finishing sixth in Qatar. I need to continue to be fast, but also to improve my overall approach ahead of the race. The Termas de Río Hondo circuit is somewhat tricky to interpret, its layout is quite peculiar and in the past it's been generally dirty in the early sessions, which increases tyre wear and doesn't help finding the right feeling. Things can change real quick also in terms of weather, it'll be crucial to start off on the right foot to maximize the track time during practice. I'm confident: last year we found a good setup for the race and we'll try to restart from there, our goal is once again to finish within the top five."
The Mission Winnow Ducati team will resume action Friday, March 29th, at 10:50 local time for the first free-practice session.
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 16:06 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi gave another of his heroic MotoGP performances today in the VisitQatar Grand Prix, riding his YZR-M1 from 14th on the grid to a 5th place finish, just 0.600s from first. Maverick Viñales found a good rhythm late on in the race but wasn't able to challenge the front-runners. He took 7th place.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi pushed to the limit in the 22-lap race at the Losail International Circuit today, making up nine places to finish in fifth position. Maverick Viñales wasn't able to challenge until the final stages of the VisitQatar Grand Prix and crossed the line in seventh place.
Rossi had his work cut out for him, lining up in P14. However, with Fabio Quartararo starting from pit lane, the Italian found himself in 13th place entering the first corner. He gained another position in the opening lap and soon moved past Francesco Bagnaia and Aleix Esparagró to enter the top-10.
His rise in the rankings spurred him on. The Yamaha rider scrapped with Takaaki Nakagami in order to follow team-mate Viñales towards the front group. Knowing that saving tyres for the latter stages of the race would be crucial, Rossi kept his cool, but he had to put his head down when Franco Morbidelli passed him with 12 laps to go. Two laps later the number-46 rider returned the favour, using the slipstream to overtake his compatriot going into turn 1.
It was time to charge. Rossi overtook Viñales after lap 15. He then fought his way past Joan Mir and, with three laps to go, Danilo Petrucci was next. Once inside the top-5, the Doctor put his head down and dropped mid-1'55s laps but fell just short of being able to put in a move. He took the chequered flag in fifth place, just 0.600s from first.
Viñales started from pole but dropped to sixth place in the first corners. As he tried to get into a good rhythm, he fell back to eighth, but he soon started to fight his way back towards the front group. With 18 laps to go, he picked off Nakagami whilst being followed by team-mate Rossi.
The number-12 rider had a first look up the inside of Cal Crutchlow four laps later but decided the better of it. He maintained his tyres to get a second wind with eight laps to go, flashing two red sectors. He connected with the front group but didn't get to enjoy it for long, as Rossi soon passed him. With four laps remaining he found his way through on Mir to follow his team-mate.
The Spaniard posted two personal bests three and two laps before the end, trying to close an over-1.3s gap. However, he wasn't able to challenge the front-runners in the final laps. He crossed the line in seventh place, 2.481s behind the winner.
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team will be back in action in three weeks' time at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for the Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina, held from March 29th – 31st.
Monday, 11 March 2019 18:22 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Red Bull KTM launched the 2019 MotoGP year with Pol Espargaro and Johann Zarco scoring 12th and 15th positions at the Losail International Circuit but with a vastly reduced margin to the race winner.
Temperatures improved and the windy conditions that blighted Practice and Qualification on Saturday were not so prevalent for the first round of nineteen. The fans and viewers that turned their attention to the rapid, floodlit corners of the Qatari racetrack – fifteen years as part of the MotoGP calendar – were rewarded with three entertaining races split by fractions of a second.
KTM fielded a bold line-up of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Team and Red Bull KTM Tech3: the first time that four KTM RC16s were present on the premier class Grand Prix grid. Pol Espargaro, Miguel Oliveira and Johann Zarco ran close together for most of the race in the second half of a field that was closely packed, and often with only ten seconds dividing the majority of runners. Hafizh Syahrin struggled to find an effective rhythm and classified outside the points.
Espargaro was finally able to overtake his Portuguese brandmate and finished in 12th position: just 12.7 seconds away from winner Andrea Dovizioso. The gap was more than half the distance achieved in 2017 and 2018. Zarco recovered from a tough Saturday period and a grid slot of 21st to notch his first point on the RC16 with 15th. Oliveira forged an impressive early pace but in the second half of the race had to slow due to tyre wear and passed the chequered flag in 17th.
Pol Espargaro: “A mix of feelings but we must be happy because the gap to first place is not so far. We were close…but we also finished twelfth. It feels like it’s good, but also that it’s not enough. When you are close to the top guys you start to look what is going on and thinking about where we lose such a small gap per lap. I think we are talking 0.3 per lap: it is not much. I think it is in some acceleration. We are so close but twelve seconds away.”
Johann Zarco: “The beginning of the race was pretty good. I was controlling the bike well and the others were not much stronger than me. It was a good way to analyse the performance of the others. I’m happy because I expected to have some struggles but I saw other riders were also having problems: I know at the moment we don't have the package for winning, not even for the top five but with good work and good control I really trust that a top ten is possible and that is the target throughout the year. Let’s see in Argentina if I can catch it. I wanted it here but because of the up-and-down of Friday and Saturday finally I was not ready. That is part of experience, and doing 22 laps in a row was really important and the first time we do it. I have a factory team and I know they have the quality to make a strong analysis of this race.”
Miguel Oliveira: “The race was quite interesting. I was trying to keep up with this little group of Aleix Esparagaro and Taka Nakagami and after seven, eight laps to go I felt a big drop of tyre, I had a lot of sliding with vibration on the rear, so I honestly thought the tyre was going to explode. Obviously, I couldn’t do much. I’m disappointed, because I knew I could have finished in the points. It was quite hard to manage it, but anyway, I’m glad we finished the race, I had good fun and gathered some good information.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “It has been a difficult race for me. We have a big gap to the front and I don’t know how to explain it well. I couldn’t keep the pace and while I played with the electronics the gap got bigger and bigger. To be honest, I’m slow at the moment and I don’t have the confidence to push more. I try to learn from today’s race and improve further. I’m disappointed with myself, but we keep on working hard, we are patient and I hope it’s coming soon.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “Round one and generally we are really happy to have four bikes on the grid and have all four finish: this sounds like something quite easy but it is not always like that. Both Pol and Johann were quite happy with the performance of the bike and we know we have to improve our package and continue to grow. When we first came here we were thirty seconds from the race winner and we have to be realistic. This was never an easy track for us but in the middle of the race we were only 5-6 seconds away and this is very motivating for everybody in the team to keep pushing. We have eighteen more races now and we will try often as possible to get into these top ten positions.”
Pit Beirer, KTM Motorsport Director: “The first Grand Prix is done and I’m happy. All four guys were back in the garage healthy and being just 12 seconds from the winner means just half a second a lap. We had doubts and struggles all weekend at this track and some critical questions but 0.5 is still not too far and I know we can still improve and it will bring us right into the middle of a serious game. Johann was perhaps struggling the most of the group but managed to have a good race. We’ll build on this.”
Moto2 & Moto3
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder finished in 12th position for the first Moto2 Grand Prix with a new single spec engine – only the second time in the history of the category inaugurated at the beginning of the decade. Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin opened his account both with his new team and in the Moto2 category in 15th.
The 18-lap Moto3 race was the first of the day and was won by Kaito Toba with Aron Canet taking his KTM RC250 GP on the podium in 3rd place (the first of five KTMs in the top ten). Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Can Öncü completed his maiden Grand Prix in what is his debut FIM world championship season in 18th position.
The Gran Premio Motul de la República Argentina will represent round two of nineteen and will take place in three weeks time.
Monday, 11 March 2019 18:14 Published in Rider and Team Releases