Repsol Moto3 riders make great start to Indy weekend
The Moto3 riders were once again in charge of kicking off a Grand Prix weekend —their tenth of the 2012 season. Indianapolis was the venue, and the lower cylinder clases were back in action after missing the Laguna Seca round. The summer break was well and truly over as the riders prepared for Sunday’s race. The fastest Repsol competitor was Miguel Oliveira, third today, followed by Maverick Viñales in fourth —just 98 thousandths of a second slower. Álex Rins was sixth on his first visit to the US track, whilst Álex Márquez made his full official debut (not as a wildcard this time) and placed seventeenth.
After a huge storm last night, the return to work after the summer holiday was affected by a track still wet from the downpour. Wet tyres were required, although sunshine and warm temperatures eventually dried out the asphalt right from the end. Nonetheless, the surface was still slippery. Despite this, Oliveira and Viñales came out strong in the morning to place amongst the top riders in fourth and sixth, respectively. Danny Kent had dominated the morning session.
A very positive adaptation was made by Álex Rins who, on his first encounter with the track this morning, placed tenth and was less than two seconds off the best time. Like him, the current leader of the Spanish Championship, Álex Márquez was also undertaking his first laps of The Brickyard today. Márquez has been confirmed as a full time rider for the rest of the season with the Ambrogio Next Racing team after a good showing in three wildcard appearances at Jerez, Estoril and Catalonia. In the first session, the brother of Moto2 rider Marc Márquez was nineteenth, 3.492 seconds off the top.
In the second session, with track conditions much better thanks to improved grip on the asphalt, Viñales and Cortese took the initiative from the beginning. Their pace was significantly faster than in the first session, dropping their times by over four seconds. By the end of the day Oliveira also taken a step forward, finishing third with a time of 1’49.596. He was 0.289 seconds off Cortese, with Viñales stopping the clock at 1’49.694.
Continuing his excellent progress, Álex Rins ended the day 0.679 seconds from the top in sixth. Álex Márquez was seventeenth, 1.999 seconds away in the opening practices for his fourth Grand Prix.
“I am very happy with today’s practice. The first run out on a wet track went very well. At Sachsenring I lost a little confidence in the wet, but today I felt very good. We worked mainly on the chassis today, because we need to make a few improvements with the engine, but I think that tomorrow we will solve the issue and be more competitive. In the afternoon I rode very comfortably, especially when setting my own pace. The track is a little dirty, but after practice sessions for Moto2 and MotoGP I am sure that tomorrow it is going to be in good condition.”
“I’m happy with the results after the first day of practice, even though in the morning the track was not in very good condition. However, after struggling a bit with the bike, we took a fourth and a third place from the two sessions, so we can be satisfied. We must keep working hard, because we still have much to do, especially in certain areas of the technical side of things. I hope that, after chatting with the technicians, we can continue to progress with our search for a setting tomorrow and have another positive day. I am satisfied with the work done by the team and I think that we are going in the right direction.”
“Considering that it was the first time that we have ridden at this track, today was not too bad. Obviously we need to improve on many things to be up there at the front, but we’re not too far from the first group of riders so I think that we can take the fight to them, if we keep going in the same way. We need to make a few small changes to the bike, then I am sure that we will find a faster pace. The bike has worked well and after two sessions we can approach tomorrow with much more confidence.”
“The first day at Indianapolis has been quite positive for us. We were not far off, but there are still some details to polish. My re-encounter with the team has been fantastic and I’m very happy to be able to take this opportunity that they and the sponsors have given me. We will keep on working tomorrow.”
Source: Repsol Media