Simon’s Estoril Podium Brings Great Morale Boost
In a change to the normal schedule, the Moto2 race kicked off the action on Sunday in Portugal. The intermediate class’ 37 riders took off at 11.15am local time, in search of the victory at round three of the 2011 season. There were twenty steady laps, followed by a breathtaking final six at Estoril. Stefan Bradl pushed hard from the start in order to open up a gap, and the riders experienced a tough time with the slippery asphalt. The race was fast (1’42) but the track made things risky all the same. Six laps from the finish, Bradl, Iannone and Simón were bunched up at the front. Iannone fell, Bradl and Simón were left to fight amongst themselves, and it was The German who took the victory. Yuki Takahashi rounded off the podium.
Julián Simón has always gone well at Estoril, although before this year he had never really had a result to match his abillity at the track. The MAPFRE Aspar rider was a clear candidate for the podium, and lined up third on the grid. He dropped down two places on the opening lap, but manager a complete fightback until reaching race leader Bradl on lap 21. The Spaniard eyed up a last lap move, but was blocked off well by his German rival. Last year’s Moto2 runner-up finally opened his 2011 podium account, with a great second place finish.
Teammate Xavi Forés had set out different goals for the race, knowing that his best strategy would be to try to gain more Moto2 experience with a steady ride. 31st on the grid, he gained both this experience and places to cross the line nineteenth -taking advantage of crashes from riders ahead of him. He will aim to get into the points at Le Mans.
2nd Julián Simón:
“Finally we have taken a step forward, and we got up amongst the frontrunners. We can’t relax, because at Le Mans we will have to carry on working in order to take the win. Stefan surprised me, above all on the last lap, because he closed every door. I wanted to pass him on the chicane, but he kept a good line to block my move. I am happy with second place, and with my performance. On the opening laps I was sliding around, in particular on the first and last corners. We had to be very careful, and I think that I had a very intelligent race. I’ve broken my hoodoo here, because I have always been fast here but never had a good race finish. The start to the season has been pretty uninspiring, so this podium and my improved feeling on the bike gives me a big boost in morale.”
19th Xavi Forés:
“The result was what least mattered to me today. We started from well back on the grid and were simple aiming to work on the bike for the future. The start was difficult, but as the race went on I found my pace and felt more comfortable. It was a difficult race, and the damp patches on the track made it hard to stay upright. We were stepping into the unknown a bit here, because we had changed the bike completely from yesterday. I think that we did the right thing, because I was able to improve my feeling compared with previous days. This bodes well for the future.”
Source: Aspar Media