The Misano World Circuit in Central Italy was the host for this weekend’s Gran Premio Aperol di San Marino e della Riviera de Rimini. This race marked the thirteenth round of the sixteen-round 2012 championship series. Bel-Ray supported Team Aspar Racing was in action with the team's racers competing in MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3 racing divisions.
In MotoGP class competition, the Bel-Ray sponsored Power Electronics team of Randy DePuniet and Aleix Espargaro arrived at Misano as the top CRT racers in the series. Espargaro held a slight four-point advantage over his teammate DePuniet prior to the weekend’s events. De Puniet leaves Misano with a three-point advantage. A ninth-place finish by DePuniet and an unfortunate DNF by Espargaro put the French rider ahead of his Spanish teammate.
"I am happy because when Hector (Barbera) touched me just after the back straight I was lucky not to crash,” said DePuniet after the race. He continued by saying, “I lost a lot of places and I was nearly at the back of the group. I needed to force things in order to regain ground. I reached Aleix (Espargaro) and stuck with him for seven laps. I didn't really feel very comfortable because after running off track, I noticed that the bike was locking up at the front on all the right handers. I decided to wait to pass my teammate. At the end of the race, he unfortunately had a mechanical issue and was unable to continue, so I'm sorry for him. We were able to complete the race, took a lot of points and are back in front in the CRT standings."
Espargaro was disappointed with his DNF but remains optimistic looking toward the end of the season. "It was a real shame to have the problem as I'd got away well. It was tough to get into race pace in the early stages but lap by lap I was getting more comfortable. Today I was quicker than I had been earlier in the weekend and once my teammate caught me I was able to fight properly with him. If I had not had that problem, I would still be provisional CRT leader, but now is not the time to worry about that. There are five races to go and we need to keep fighting."
With the season beginning to wind down, the Bel-Ray supported Mapfre Aspar Moto2 team of Nico Terol and Jordi Torres continue to make improvements to their machines. They continually strive for the ultimate in performance and handling, and each week has continued to be a learning experience. At the checkered flag, the Spanish duo was fifteenth and sixteenth place with Terol gaining the better position.
He spoke about his race following the day’s events. “Despite everything, I am happy because in the warm-up we found the way forward that we had at Brno again. Thanks to this way of working, we were able to make the bike turn much better. I lacked a bit of decisiveness at the end. I have a very fine style and get a bit thrown off my race when I come up against other riders, as it is hard to keep the same line. I will have to keep getting used to riding side-by-side with other riders in order to overtake more easily. I am satisfied because in the end we were able to make a comeback and pick up another point. I hope to continue like this at the next race; the team has worked very well and I am sure that we will be back to how we were at Brno, and in the race today, when we head to the next race."
Torres also spoke about his race and the continual improvements they’ve made to the bike this season. "At the beginning of the race I got blocked in by a lot of riders who passed me aggressively. I am not completely used to that and found it difficult to refocus. The fact that the race was restarted was very good for me, because I was able to learn more. On the restart I had trouble finding a gap, but I still stood firm and controlled my group. However, I made a mistake at turn six and the bike nearly went down, leading me to run off the track to avoid being thrown from the machine. I lost a lot of places then, which annoyed me and forced me to come back more focused. I started to put down a strong pace, the bike responded well and I was able to take sixteenth. It was another learning weekend for me; the mechanics worked to adapt to my riding style and I adapted to the bike more in each session. I am happy and hope to continue like this at Aragón."
The Moto3 class has consistently produced very close racing this season and this weekend’s race in Misano was no exception. Bel-Ray racer Jonas Folger of the Mapfre Aspar team finished the race in sixth-place despite crossing the finish line one second behind the race winner. Contact at the beginning of the race forced Folger’s teammate Hector Faubel to struggle as he was not part of the lead pack of racers setting the pace. He would cross the line in thirteenth-place with his efforts.
Folger was disappointed that he couldn’t keep his podium streak alive and will use his sixth-place finish as motivation for the rest of the season. "Today was a very close race and I finished just a second off the winner. I am happy because we did a great job this weekend. It is just a pity that we couldn't cap it off with another podium. Even though I didn't take another podium and I am annoyed about that, I will keep the motivation from this for the next race."
Faubel was disappointed with his thirteenth-place finish but content with his riding during the weekend. "At the start of the race I was going well and maintained my position. I went into the double 'S' on the inside, passing three riders. But there was a lot of contact and we lost touch with the lead group. Alongside (Zulfahmi) Khairuddin, I pushed hard to latch back onto the front pack and improved upon my qualifying times. I hoped that those ahead of me would slow each other down, but they never let up. I couldn't do much more. It is positive that we finished 14 seconds behind the podium finishers despite starting from so far back, but I am not happy with thirteenth. I think that we deserved a good result, but it wasn't to be here. We now have to keep working our hardest to place as well as possible at Motorland."
The series for all three classes continues on September 30 in Spain at the Motorland Aragon circuit.
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