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Aug 16, 2014 - 05:41 PM
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Antonelli Locks Down Front Row Start At Brno Bastianini Powers Through Pain
Posted by: newsla on Aug 16, 2014 - 05:37 PM
Antonelli Locks Down Front Row Start At Brno Bastianini Powers Through Pain To Qualify In 9th

Niccolò Antonelli will start tomorrow’s Czech Republic Grand Prix from the front row of the grid aboard the Junior Team GO&FUN Moto3 machine: the 18-year-old Italian rider claimed this afternoon the third fastest time - 2’08”006 - during an eventful qualifying session, disrupted in the first stages by a light rain, and subsequently stopped to restore the air fences following a crash of Philipp Oettl.


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In the final stages of the session Antonelli joined the track at the right moment to take advantage of the slipstream, not being slowed down by traffic, and he closed a great lap, just 0.3 seconds behind today’s pole man, Alex Marquez.

His teammate, Enea Bastianini, was back on track today after the heel injury sustained yesterday in FP2: despite the pain, the rookie from Rimini produced an incredible display to impressively qualifying in 9th position with 2’08”396 and therefore tomorrow he will start from the third row of the grid.

NICCOLO' ANTONELLI (3rd - 2'08"006)
“During all practice sessions I made all laps by myself, without any reference in front of me, and this helped me to get a good rhythm. Today, however, we knew that in qualifying it would be crucial to follow some slipstreams: I was aware of my good pace, we just needed to choose the right moment to avoid traffic, and we succeeded. In the afternoon we also improved the bike set-up from this morning, and as a result we are back at the top. I'm very happy for this, but now we need to focus on tomorrow’s race, which is the most important thing”.

ENEA BASTIANINI (9th - 2'08"396)
“Today everything went well! This afternoon I had less pain on my right foot compared to this morning, therefore I was able to ride better on right corners, while I have no problems on left handers. After yesterday’s crash, today I had to regain the feeling with the bike, but one lap behind Marquez and Vazquez was enough to get me back; In fact in the following lap I got my fastest time, even though I was alone. I'm very happy. Tomorrow I hope to finish the race without difficulty, since I have not had any particular problem today: we will try to stay with the front group, otherwise if it won’t be possible we will try to get the maximum, anyway”.

“I’m very happy for Antonelli: the front row start is important for his morale in such a hard time for you because of the recent collarbone injury. Niccolò produced a nice ride and he chose the right time to do it in a qualifying session certainly not easy, first disrupted by rain and then stopped with a red flag. Enea was incredible: considering the fracture in his right foot, he made phenomenal qualifications. The first and the third row is a good result ahead of tomorrow’s, even though we will face a tough race, but I believe that tomorrow both our riders have the potential to fight with at the front”.

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