moto3 / Extraordinary comebacks for Quartararo & Mir at Mugello
The French rider was author to a remarkable comeback from 18th on the grid, Mir crossing the line in the top tenth as Locatelli suffers an unfortunate fate and retires.
Two riders in the top ten the reward collected by the Leopard Racing team after a hard-fought battle. In ideal weather conditions, Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir became authors of a splendid race characterized by their comebacks. For the Frenchman it is his best result since stepping onto the KTM, while the Spanish rider confirmed his qualities as a real fighter.
At the start Joan Mir was able to win two positions and found himself in the large group of 12 riders at the front. The young Leopard did not hold back and attacked at every change. After five laps the rookie began to lose contact with the first pack, passed by teammate Quartararo.
Quartararo’s rise was rapid and soon he found himself in the top ten. The rider from nice showed his great ability into the San Donato corner, passing a rider of riders in one move. In eight laps he had gone from 18th to first and was leading the Italian GP. The audience in the stands added to the heated battle as the group continued to suck in more and more riders.
Andrea Locatelli made an unfortunate early exit from the race after a bad start saw him down in 25th. He tried to recover but lost the front and ended his home race in the gravel. He fortunately reported no consequences from the fall and will be ready for the next round.
Five laps from the end Quartararo returned to the head of the pack with a knife between his teeth, doing all he could to stay in control. Quartararo and Mir continued to battle inside the top ten but knew it would all come down to the last corner and the straight. A thrilling last lap saw the French rider do all he could to take victory, lining himself up perfectly for the slipstream. But a number of other riders did the same and passed Quartararo, who still managed to take fifth place.
It was an incredible seventh place for Joan Mir who gave 100%, the young rookie taking his third top ten in six races, cementing him in eighth place in the championship standings with 34 points. His teammates sit four points behind him, both Fabio Quartararo and Andrea Locatelli paired with 30 points in tenth place.
Tomorrow the team will stop at the Mugello circuit for a test day, ahead of the next race to be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in two weeks, the weekend of June 3 to 5 in 2016.
#20 Fabio Quartararo – 5th:
“It’s been a very positive day for us! The beginning of the race it costs me a lot, it was difficult in the first few corners, but then I started to climb positions, setting record times again and again. I managed to get the lead and I was in the lead for a few laps. I just want to say one thing: Thanks! To my team, because they did a great job and the bike was perfect; the sponsors have made this possible and especially thanks to my family that I’ve always been close to.”
#36 Joan MIR – 7th:
“It was a very good race, because it was the first time this season that I have been able to fight with the leading group. I am very happy for this seventh place! I had some problems at the beginning, I could not make the most of the slipstream in the straight and I wanted to keep in the first group, avoid the fighting and any danger so I lost some positions, but towards the end I made a good recovery. I want to sincerely thank the team for the work he has done on the bike.”
#55 Andrea Locatelli – nc:
“Immediately after the start two ‘Angry’ riders touched me, luckily there was a space to escape and I was able to get back on track; unfortunately the riders in front were already far away and without the tow it was hard to catch the group. Then, with 7 laps to go, at Turn 2 I closed the front and was unable to restart.”
Moto3™ Race – Gran Premio d’Italia 2016:
1 – Brad Binder / RSA / Red Bull KTM Ajo / KTM / 20 laps
2 – Fabio Digiannantonio / ITA / Gresini Racing / Honda / +0.038
3 – Francesco Bagnaia / ITA / Aspar Mahindra Team / Mahindra / +0.069
5 – Fabio QUARTARARO / FRA / Leopard Racing / KTM / +0.077
7 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / KTM / +1.532
nc – Andrea LOCATELLI / ITA/ Leopard Racing / KTM
Moto3™ World Standing 2016:
1 – Brad Binder 127 points
2 – Jorge Navarro 78 points
3 – Romano Fenati 67 points
8 – Joan MIR 34 points
10 – Andrea LOCATELLI 30 points
11 – Fabio QUARTARARO 30 points
Photo credit: Leopard Racing