After an intense winter testing period, including visits to Almeria, Valencia and Jerez, the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 is finally en-route to Qatar for the first round of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship. Niccolò Antonelli and Enea Bastianini head to the Losail International Circuit, on the outskirt of Doha, with a clear goal in their minds. Antonelli has proved to be able to fight for race wins and the championship title, after topping often the timesheets during pre-season: despite struggling to match his previous lap times at the final test in Jerez, the 18-year-old from Cattolica remains confident of opening his 2014 campaign with a good result. Adding to the spectacle of the curtain raiser in Qatar will be the floodlit nature of the first race: an exciting atmosphere for Enea Bastianini, who will race his first World Championship Grand Prix. Aged only 16, the youngster from Rimini had had two positive outings at Almeria and Valencia, but then struggled to find a good rythm at Jerez. His goal at the moment is to try to enter in the top 15, in order to open his points account.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI “We arrive in Qatar with great confidence because we know that we have everything we need to be competitive and to stay on top: we have proved it during all the winter tests, although the last session in Jerez was a bit disappointing. Our rivals are very strong, so for sure it will not be an easy challenge, but if we work well we can be protagonists. During the winter we have reached a good chassis set-up, although we need to make some more adjustment in order to improve: we'll see how it goes day by day during the race weekend”.
ENEA BASTIANINI “In a few days I will race my first Grand Prix and certainly it will be an exciting experience. During the race weekend I will face a completely new situation, with short practice sessions in which it will be important to work methodically, avoiding mistakes: definitely a different rhythm from that to which we are accustomed in testing. On paper, the first race is the more complicated for me: I have no experience, and I don’t even know the Losail Circuit, and above all, the level of the Championship is very high. My goal is to try to get into the points; it will not be easy, but we'll try”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “We are approaching a very important season: during the winter Antonelli has proved to have the right potential to fight with the fastest riders, even though the final test in Jerez didn’t go as hoped, with Niccolò slowed down by two untimely crashes. However, it should be said that during all these tests we have always maintained a useful approach, without looking at lap times. Therefore I think that the situation will balance during the Grand Prix weekend and we expect to be competitive with him. Niccolò got immediately to grips with the KTM: during the pre-season I saw a mature rider, with more self-confidence, ready to start season in which he knows he is called to make the most of his two years of experience in the category. Also in Moto3, as in the other two classes, we will see a debut: Enea Bastianini is very young and he has very little experience: of course, at this stage we do not expect anything from him, but we will simply help him in his growth path, putting him in the best conditions to learn, then we will see”.
FACTS AND FIGURES
3 - 2014 marks the third year of the new Moto3 formula, which replaced in 2012 the 125cc two-stroke with 250cc four-stroke engines.
33 - The racing number of Enea Bastianini is also the number of entries of the 2014 Moto3 World Championship.
236 - The maximum speed (km/h) registered last year by a Moto2 machine on the “speed trap” at the end of the start/finish straight.
2004 - It dates back to 10 years ago, with Andrea Dovizioso, the last world championship title of an Italian rider in the lightweight category of the World Championship – back then, the 125cc two-stroke.
Thursday 20 March
18:00-18:40 - FP1
20:55-21:35 - FP2
Friday 21 March
19:00-19:40 - FP3
Saturday 22 March
18:00-18:40 - QP
Sunday 23 March
19:00 - Race (18 laps)