moto3 / Quartararo & Mir conquer the Top 10 at Montmelo
The two teammates were protagonists of the top ten in the second half of the race; Locatelli lost the front at the end.
The lights went out at 11:00 o’clock to begin the seventh round of the 2016 season of Moto3 class. For Leopard Racing it was not an exciting start, with the team’s three riders losing ground in the first meters of the race. The trident of Leopard Racing began to climb, settling firmly in the second group led by Fabio Quartararo in 11th place.
The French rider had shown sparks of his potential yesterday after qualifying. It was a fun race full of attacking, the17 year old from Nice dealt with overtaking and the brawl well. His progress was followed by teammate Joan Mir, working not to lose touch with the leading group and to gain positions, on the edge of the points. In his home Grand Prix, the rookie of Palma de Mallorca on his KTM has honoured the memory of his friend who died tragically, Luis Salom.
It was a harder race for Andrea Locatelli, hurt by the unfortunate qualifying session and forced now to chase. He got stuck in traffic in the first part of the race, but in the second half the Italian found himself battling with experienced campaigners Loi and Guevara. To make matters worse, to avoid contact Loka was forced to run wide, losing positions.
Shortly after the middle of the race Joan Mir arrives at the Top Ten; in the meantime Quartararo fought openly with Di Giannantonio. Locatelli lost the front not long after, forced to remount in last place. Many falls were seen in this Grand Prix: Quartararo and Mir did well to take advantage of it and be finished in the Top Ten.
Three laps from the end, the two teammates were paired in seventh and eighth place, the first six all far ahead. Like two weeks ago in Italy, in Barcelona it was a final sprint at the finish line. Locatelli unfortunately ended 19th, out of the points. Spaniard Jorge Navarro scored his first career victory in front of his home crowd.
In the standings Joan Mir sits eighth with 42 points with Fabio Quartararo in tenth (39 p.) while Andrea Locatelli loses 2 positions (30 p.) The next round will take place on the TT in Assen, Holland, on the weekend 24-25-26 June 2016.
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO – 7th:
“It was a difficult race because I did not get a good start and was pushed around in the first corner, suddenly I found myself twentieth. But I did not give up and moved up to seventh place. I really enjoyed myself, but the group ahead was really fast today. We have to analyze our data and improve on different aspects, especially for Assen which is one of my favourite tracks.”
#36 Joan MIR – 8th:
“It was a difficult race and in the first laps I had practically no rear grip. I made the most of the tyres and I went to catch the group in front. It was a shame because with I turned my pace up the tyres were already going off. It’s not much, but I would also dedicate my race to Luis Salom, I will always carry in my heart.”
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI – 19th:
“At first I had recovered some positions and I was hooked to the group, but at Turn 9 a rider crashed in front of me and I had to leave the track to avoid them, losing many positions. I started to recover and could run in 12th position, but at T4 I closed the front. We must look ahead to the next races will be crucial to achieve a good qualifying.”
Moto3™ Race – Gran Premi de Catalunya 2016:
1 – Jorge Navarro / SPA / Estrella Galicia 0,0 / Honda / 22 laps
2 – Brad Binder / RSA / Red Bull KTM Ajo / KTM / +0.564
3 – Enea Bastianini / ITA / Gresini Racing / Honda / +0.817
7 – Fabio QUARTARARO / FRA / Leopard Racing / KTM / +13.605
8 – Joan MIR / SPA / Leopard Racing / KTM / +13.672
19 – Andrea LOCATELLI / ITA/ Leopard Racing / KTM / +42.985
Moto3™ World Standing 2016:
1 – Brad Binder 147 points
2 – Jorge Navarro 103 points
3 – Romano Fenati 80 points
8 – Joan MIR 42 points
10 – Fabio QUARTARARO 39 points
12 – Andrea LOCATELLI 30 points
Photo credit: Leopard Racing