After the floodlit Grand Prix of Qatar, which has seen Niccolò Antonelli first of the Italians to the finish line in ninth position, and Enea Bastianini protagonist of a great debut, finished just a step away from the points, the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 heads to Texas for the second round of the season, the Grand Prix of the Americas, scheduled from 11 to 13 April at the Circuit of the Americas, the spectacular facility located on the outskirt of Austin. The track represents an interesting challenge for Moto3 riders: although it’s not the longest in the calendar - surpassed in length by Sepang and Silverstone - the Texan circuit is the one where the riders of the smallest class take longer to complete a lap: 2’16”345 the record set last year by Alex Rins’ KTM, however most likely destined to collapse this year, given the high level of competitiveness shown in the opening round of the championship, with lap times lowered of no less than one second compared to 2013. After a first Grand Prix below the expectations, Antonelli has a clear ambition: the young Italian wants to return to show his full potential in order to fight at the front, while rookie Bastianini - who already raced last year at the Circuit of the Americas, with the MotoGP Rookies Cup - will try to get his first championship points, a goal narrowly missed in Qatar.
NICCOLO' ANTONELLI “The Circuit of the Americas is a very special track: last year, during the first edition of this race, we faced difficult conditions, with very little grip on the asphalt, and we struggled a lot to be competitive, but this year we expect to make a good race. As we have seen in Qatar, the level of the championship has risen a lot, also because of the technical challenge between the two major manufacturers involved, and the result is that the first 10 riders are all very close: I like this situation and is no doubt a further incentive to improve. Our goal is obviously to continue to stay in the leading group, and if we can overcome some of the difficulties encountered during the first Grand Prix, I am convinced that we can also try to stay at the front”.
ENEA BASTIANINI “Compared to the Grand Prix of Qatar, I will start this race weekend with a slight advantage: in fact, I had the opportunity to race at this circuit last year in the MotoGP Rookies Cup, even though we should consider that with the Moto3 the reference points and the lines changes - I realized it during winter testing at Jerez - so for sure I will need some time to adapt myself to the track. The circuit is very unique and I like it a lot, because it puts together some nice fast corners and a slower part. I’m arriving in Austin with a race of experience behind my shoulders, in which I learned a lot, so I hope that this time will go even better: the goal is to score some points. We can do it, after all we almost did it in Qatar!”.
FAUSTO GRESINI “We hope that in Texas Niccolò can regain what he lacked in Qatar, going back to being a protagonist, fighting for the top positions. During the first Grand Prix we saw how the level of Moto3 is high, with the first ten riders capable of lap times significantly lower than those recorded in the previous season. The competition is very tight, but we have the potential to do well, so we hope that Austin will give us a lot of satisfaction. Enea behaved really well in his debut race, so we are confident, although we will continue to consider the upcoming races as an opportunity for him to make further experience, without putting too much pressure on him”.
FACTS AND FIGURES
5 - Following a red flag, last year's race was held on only 5 laps, with the top three riders - Rins, Vinales, Salom - separated by only half a second on the finish line.
131,082 - The three-day attendance at last year’s Grand Prix of the Americas, 61,000 of which on race day.
Friday 11 April
09:00-09:40 - FP1
13:10-13:50 - FP2
Saturday 12 April
09:00-09:40 - FP3
12:35-13:15 - QP
Sunday 13 April
11:00 - Race (18 laps)