“We’ll see in the Parc Fermé”: The Moto2 ™ and Moto3 ™ candidates are gearing up for an attack on the crown
Bastianini, Lowes, Marini, Bezzecchi, Arenas, Ogura and Arbolino speak to the media in two press conferences ahead of the event in Portugal
Thursday 19th November 2020
At the Grande Premio MEO de Portugal there is everything to play for in the Moto2 ™ and Moto3 ™ classes. The title contenders took part in two special press conferences prior to the event.
In Moto2 ™, championship leader Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) was supported by second overall Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS); 14 points behind third-placed Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46); 18 points behind and Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46); Fourth overall and 23 points back as everyone battles for the crown.
Here are a few important quotes!
ENEA BASTIANINI: “Right now the feeling is incredible. It’s been a fantastic season with three wins and seven podiums and the teamwork has been fantastic. Now it’s the last race and my last race in Moto2, and I hope to be quick on this track too. This is my first time here and Portimao I think is not that easy but tomorrow I will try to do my best to be the fastest in qualifying and we will see what happens on Sunday but I am confident be quick and the team is ready.
“It’s important to learn from other riders because I think six or seven riders were on this track, not with Moto2 but with other bikes. Luca with the Moto2. But I hope that I can learn a bit in the first few runs, but after I think that it is possible to be fast and the plan is to be in the first or second row in qualifying and fight in the race. “
SAM LOWES: “If you come to the last race of the year and have a chance at the championship, the season is good. It’s easy to look at the last few races and say they have been bad, but the championship is long and you have to be in every race. These guys were unlucky and had an unfortunate race, we all come here with a great chance. I’m looking forward to it, I’ve been to this track, I have fond memories, in 2011 I rode for the Parkalgar Honda team, which is sponsored by this track, is a good place for me. I won here in 2013 and I can say that this circuit is beautiful and great to drive, it will be a fun weekend for everyone.
“At the end of the day, I might get a bit of an advantage from that, but these guys are great drivers, they’ve been fantastic on every track all year round. When we get to qualifying and the race, everyone will be in rhythm. Maybe it will help me a little tomorrow, my hand is still so maybe I can manage the session differently, but when it comes down to it everyone will keep the pace. And for me – I was here for the last time in 2013! So I know the route, but now that I’m getting older, it’s hard to remember that far back …! “
LUCA MARINI: “First of all, it’s fantastic to be here in Portimao. I drove here in the Moto2 European Championship, my first Moto2 race! It was just amazing. The track is amazing, a roller coaster as everyone says. And I hope I can enjoy the whole weekend, try to be quick and enjoy the weekend until the last moment. I try to do my best, work harder than any other weekend because it’s my last Moto2 race and I want to make the most of it. My crew is very well prepared for this race and we want to enjoy it. “
“I don’t think that previous experience helps that much, the asphalt was different, the tires were different, the motorcycle, the engine, everything was different. It was my first race in Moto2, I can’t remember anything! And in the world championship they are the best drivers in the world, so being on a track for the first time isn’t a problem for everyone. It’s all about finding the right setup because it’s a strange track, difficult with different points, hard braking, but you need good flow in fast corners. I think it’s important to find a good setup right from the start and to work well in FP1 and FP2 in order to be ready for qualifying. “
MARCO BEZZECCHI: “I’m really looking forward to arriving here and fighting for the championship. It’s very important because I didn’t expect it at the beginning of the season. That’s a big result for me, then it will be difficult because 23 points, even if you win, something has to happen for the other drivers, so it would be very difficult. But it’s not a big problem for me, I want to focus myself and my team on having a normal race weekend to fight for victory and the podium and finish the season as well as possible. Obviously when you’re fighting for the title you always think a little bit about it, it wouldn’t be normal to say otherwise, but my main goal is to have the best possible race, the closer to victory the better, but when I get there not the title, it’s ok.
“Ultimately, this season was important. Since I’m from 2019, where I fought a lot and didn’t get any result, podium places or anything like that, I’m very happy with the season that I had. two wins, seven podiums … that’s very nice. Sure, when I look back I don’t want to make some mistakes, but in the end you can’t turn back time. Here we are and we just have to try to look ahead, be focused and try to fight to the end. “
2020 Moto3 World Championship contenders (from left): Ai Ogura, Albert Arenas and Tony Arbolino. Photo courtesy of Dorna.
In the Moto3 ™, there are now three competitors left. They were led in the press conference by table leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3), who is eight points ahead of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) in the Portuguese GP, with Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) 11 points the top after his win last time.
ALBERT ARENAS: “It’s something special to be here and to take the lead in the last race of the season. From the start it was really good for us to win in Qatar and then there was lockdown and everything. Nobody knew whether we would restart or not. The restart and the win gave me a lot of confidence for the season. It’s true that we’ve had some bad moments, but races are like that. We managed to lead the championship despite those bad moments and that made us stronger. I think I’ve made a lot of improvements in driving and approaching the races, I’m ready for the weekend. “
And racing on a brand new track?
“It will be a special moment and a great challenge or it will be safe. I think it’s good for everyone because we are all starting from scratch. We’ll see who will set the pace sooner or if someone can make the difference! Let’s see how it goes, I’m definitely looking forward to riding this route on my bike and seeing how fast we can go. “
KI-OGURA: “Since the beginning of this year we have done a really good job with my team, we started the first race on the podium and then got a lot of podiums, but we still don’t have a win. Now I am able not to think about the championship and let’s just enjoy the last race. We are ready to give everything. Let’s enjoy the weekend.
“My motivation this weekend is more the victory than the championship. No pressure, normal, I’m ready to enjoy the race. “
TONY ARBOLINO: “Our goal is always the same. Our goal on this track this weekend is to win the race and try to be competitive in all conditions and drills. We were a little unlucky but we got the win and I’m in a perfect position, we work so hard to find everything the same way, we push, all the same, so that gives me so much energy for the weekend, We won the last race. What can I say? I am so motivated to do a good job. I can’t think of the championship, but it doesn’t matter, I just want to win the race and that’s my mentality, I’ll give everything for it and when we see what we’ve achieved in the parc ferme.
“I can’t wait to start tomorrow. I was here in 2015 and 2016, and as far as I can remember, I really enjoyed this track. We’ll see with new tarmac, but seeing the other Moto3 races here looks very pleasant. I can’t wait to start the weekend, work and do something good. “
That’s a wrap from the Moto2 ™ and Moto3 ™ contenders for the crown on Thursday. Watch as they hit the track for practice on Friday as we count down to the final showdown on Sunday, with the Moto3 ™ title decided at 11:00 GMT before Moto2 ™ at 12:20 .