Elena Rosell was the first woman to race a Moto2 race during the 2011 season. Next year, she’ll be the first woman to race full time in the Moto2 World Championship class.
According to BikeRacing.IT, Rosell, a 25-year-old from Valencia, made her debut at the Assen circuit last year when she filled in for the injured Julian Simon.
Before her debut, Rosell said:
“I still can’t believe the opportunity I have this weekend… It is an opportunity I have been hoping for ever since I began racing and I have to thank the MAPFRE Aspar Team for the faith they have shown in me. I am going to make my Moto2 debut with one of the best teams and words can’t describe how that makes me feel…. I have a huge challenge ahead of me this weekend. A new category, new bike and new circuit… My objective is to enjoy my first race in the World Championship and try to learn as much as possible.”
Rosell’s debut, to put it nicely, was disastrous. Rosell crashed three times during the practice session and did not make the final qualifying.
But Jorge “Aspar” Martinez was still impressed with Rosell. He trained her and invited to race as a wild card at the Aragon and Valencia GPs where she finished 33rd and 25th respectively. Rosell also raced in the last three rounds of the CEV Moto2 Championship with the Aspar sponsored Team Laglisse.
Katja Poensgen, Nikoletta Kovacs and Marketa Janakova, have all raced at the world level but Rosell will be the first to race full time in the Moto2 class.
Michele Pirro will be stepping up to the MotoGP class for the 2012 season. Pirro, who won the final Moto2 race of the 2011 season will ride the San Carlo Honda Gresini CRT machine alongside Alvaro Bautista on the RC213V. Pirro’s bike will feature a FTR chassis and a Honda CBR1000R engine.
“We think that for a new project like CRT, the right thing to do was give Michele Pirro an opportunity to further demonstrate his potential,” Fausto Gresini said. “In the final round of the Moto2 World Championship, he certified that he has the technical and competitive qualities and we believe that in this new category of CRT he can be one of the protagonists.
“His victory in Valencia was impressive and memorable; he provided us all enthusiasm and encouraged us to want to be a part of this fascinating adventure. Also, we have keep in mind that we are a Italian team, this is important for us, and the decision to do this project with Michele is also the result of this standpoint”.
Michele Pirro added:
“I’m happy to have made this decision and proud to join the San Carlo Honda Gresini team in this interesting new adventure. It wasn’t an easy decision to make because of the fact that initially I had wanted to try to improve on the 2011 results I had in Moto2, but the growing confidence that Fausto Gresini had for me at the end of the season left me with no doubt about the choice to take. I feel honored to continue to be a part of this fantastic group and to work together with them on this ambitious project that represents the future of MotoGP. I hope to return the confidence they have in me with results and technical contributions to this exciting team.
The Aspar Team will have two champions in its garages in 2012. Toni Elias, who won the Moto2 Championship in 2012, will return to the class to defend after spending 2011 in the MotoGP. And Nicolas Terol, who won the 2011 125cc Championship, will be stepping up to the Moto2 class in 2012.
“I’m really delighted to return to the Aspar Team which is like a family to me because I was there in 2002 and 2003,” said Elias. “Many years have passed since then but I’ll work with the same technical team, and I know they have great potential. Added to that is the fact the bike is very strong. We’ll work extremely hard throughout the winter to be ready for next season, and I think we can have a very good campaign. We fought for the title together in 2003 and in the end we weren’t able to get it, so we have unfinished business there. This is an added motivation to fight for the title in 2012.”
Terol was also enthusiastic to be riding with the Aspar team.
“It was a fantastic achievement to take the last-ever 125cc title and it was something that had been a dream since I was a child,” Terol said. “It’s also helped me to make the step up to Moto2 with much more motivation. I knew if I won the title it’d help raise my confidence in myself. I’ll approach the season with great patience, without rushing but at the same time without slowing down, and always working hard to improve. Next week we’ll test at Jerez and during the winter I’ll work hard to be ready for when I get back on the bike. I feel privileged to have a team-mate like Toni, and I think the Aspar team has formed a great team which can achieve huge success.”
Reigning 125cc Champion Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) took his second Moto2 victory of his debut season in tricky conditions at the Iveco TT Assen, climbing 6 places in the Championship to put him second in the standings. The 18 year old finished in front of Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP) in second, the Turkish rider’s first podium of the season, and Bradley Smith (Tech 3) in third.
Both Sofuoglu and Smith lead the field throughout the race, battling with Spanish star Márquez and Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing), who made it up to second position before crashing out with only 4 laps to go. Mike di Meglio (Tech 3) was also an early front runner until he crashed out as well.
Anthony West (MZ Racing) rode a strong race to finish fourth, his best finish of the season so far. The Australian was chased by Alex de Angelis (JiR Moto2) in fifth and Mattia Pasini (Ioda Racing Project) in sixth, who welcomed the top ten finish after his DNF in the last round at Silverstone. Esteve Rabat (Blusens-STX), Thomas Lüthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland Kiefer Racing) and Max Neukirchner (MZ Racing) completed the top ten.
As the track began to dry the rain tyres started to wear and it became clear that the matter of staying upright was affected by the fast degrading tyres. The end of the race produced a number of crashes, including Championship leader Stefan Bradl (Viessmann Kiefer Racing), who fell in the chicane with 3 laps to go, failing to finish a race for the first time this season and seeing his Championship lead narrowed slightly. It was not a good day for Gresini Racing Moto2 team, as Michele Pirro followed his team mate Takahashi and crashed on the last lap.
[Press Release Courtesy of MotoGP]
Viessmann Kiefer Racing rider Stefan Bradl set an early fast time under darkening skies to put himself on pole position for the Moto2 race. He is joined by Marc Márquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol) and Simone Corsi (Ioda Racing Project) on the front row.
Having posted the fastest times in both practice sessions, Bradl stepped in front of the field early in the 45 minute Moto2 qualifying session, with a fast lap of 1’39.305 to give him his sixth pole of the 2011 season. Catalan Márquez posted an early lap 0.295s behind the German and Italian Corsi followed with a posted time of 1’39.700 to put him in third.
The skies threatened rain as the Moto2 bikes hit the track, and by the halfway point it started to fall. Riders entered the pits to wait it out or change tires, and in the last few minutes of the session most of them hazarded back out on the wet track to make the most of the already shortened weekend track time.
Tom Lüthi (Interwetten Moto2 Paddock), Yuki Takahashi (Gresini Racing) and Aleix Espargaró (Pons HP 40) make up the second row for the start of the race, while Kenan Sofuoglu (Technomag-CIP), Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing) and Michele Pirro (Gresini Racing) comprise row three. Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Racing) completed the top 10 of the qualifying session.
[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of MotoGP]