Written by William MOODY
Tech3 Racing Team rider Xavi Vierge produced a memorable performance to clinch 2nd position at the Japanese Grand Prix today. An oil spill in the morning Moto3 warm-up caused a large delay, which resulted in the intermediate class race being cut short to a 15 lap sprint. Here, Vierge had a strong start and he leapt forward from 3rd on the grid whilst the rain lashed down. He settled into a formidable rhythm and battled at the front of the field but kept focused to hold 2nd in the final laps, before soaring across the finish line to claim his first podium in the Moto2 World Championship.
Meanwhile, Remy Gardner powered through the rain to clinch a well-deserved 12th place finish at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan. The young Australian began from 19th and pushed forwards as the distance dialled down. He worked his way up the field before lunging into 12th on the final lap to close the weekend positively. The result leaves Gardner fully fired up for his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island next week.
Position: 2nd - Championship: 11th - Points: 78
“I am so happy. It has been a very challenging weekend and the track conditions have been tough, but yesterday was a good day and today was even better! I finished the race in 2nd, which is amazing, and it is a dream come true. I have to say thanks to the Tech3 Racing Team for believing in me and working hard every day. Also, to my family who help to motivate and push me. Finally, of course, I have to thank my sponsors because without them none of this would be possible.“
Position: 12th - Championship: 19th - Points: 21
“It was not a bad close to the weekend, yet, I can’t help but feel that we were not as strong as we usually are in the rain. It was the wettest that it has been throughout the three days, which may have affected things and I struggled a bit with the grip. However, I managed to salvage something as I had a good battle with Marcel Schrotter on the last lap and I came out on top at the finish line. It was a decent weekend overall, but now it’s time to go home to Australia and see all the fans which I am looking forward to. I must say congratulations to Xavi who rode really well today."
“The result is an incredible feeling for the Tech3 Racing Moto2 Team. We knew that there was a good possibility to do something exciting in the race after the qualifying because 3rd place for Xavi was already a great achievement. We were hopeful but with the conditions being tough and with the GP being shortened, we knew that a strong start would be crucial. The track was very slippery yet not only did Xavi qualify like a true champion but today he rode like a lion. When I saw him losing a few places halfway through the sprint, I thought that maybe a top five would be interesting. However, you could see that he wanted the podium and he caught the guys in front of him to finish 2nd, which is more than a dream. I would like to thank the whole team because I know how hard they work and they don't often get a reward like this. Great congratulations to Xavi Vierge who rode incredibly and we are really happy, so thanks to him. We cannot forget about Remy, who had a tricky qualifying, but he got his head down. Although he was in the middle of the pack, and his visibility was limited due to the rain, he managed to get back to 12th and clinch some points. We know that he is improving all the time and he had a good weekend also. 2nd and 12th are very pleasing so congratulations to everyone and I hope we can celebrate a bit tonight because tomorrow we will catch the plane to Australia and there we will have a new chapter to write."