Niccolò Antonelli kicked off his 2014 Moto3 World Championship campaign with a ninth place finish in the floodlit Grand Prix of Qatar, resulting the first Italian under the chequered flag. After a good start, who saw him up to third place at the end of the first lap, the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 rider pushed hard to stay with the leading group in the early stages of the race, but had to back off in the following laps. Later, Niccolò fought with determination within the second group of riders, closing ninth on the finish line. Although the race didn’t go as Antonelli had hoped, the 18-year-old Italian managed to get his first points in the 18-race long Championship. His team-mate, debutant Enea Bastianini, delivered a determined ride aboard his KTM, closing his first Moto3 race in 17th, going very close to open his points account in the World Championship.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (9th) “I made a good start and in the early stages I was able to stay comfortably with the leading group, but unfortunately later I accused some engine problems, as has happened to us throughout all the weekend. This problem may be caused by the placement of the ballast on the bike: we will make all appropriate checks to try to overcome it. Apart from the race result, I'm happy because during the race I had a good feeling and I was able to keep a good pace, but it’s clear that in the next race we want to achieve more. If we can solve these problems, we have the right potential to succeed”.
ENEA BASTIANINI (16th) “I can’t find words to describe how I'm happy: I could not get points, but I went close to do it. I made a good start, but unfortunately considering that I was starting behind I knew that it would be difficult to stay with the leading group. During the race I enjoyed a good fought with Loi, winning the sprint to the finish line. In this first race I learned so many things, so I am convinced that the next Grand Prix will go even better”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “Unfortunately, here in Qatar we struggled a bit over the all weekend and Niccolò’s race result is not what we expected, even though he fought with determination, making it the first of the Italians to the finish. Our goal, of course, is to be more competitive in the next Grand Prix. Enea made a beautiful debut, fighting hard and getting a placement really close to the points. A significant achievement in a category that is certainly not easy for a rookie”.Published on : Mar 22 2014