Moto2: Round #5 AirAsia Caterham Race Report - Le Mans

Josh Herrin race action shot

AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing Press Release:

As the lights turned green at the French circuit of Le Mans, the AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing Team watched both riders make a good start.

Returning from injury Moto2 rookie Josh Herrin steamed through the field from 30th place to 21st on lap one. Getting into a rhythm the American pushed on to finish his first Moto2 race in a respectable 22nd place.

Teammate Johann Zarco took care into the first corner determined to finish with a good result at his home Grand Prix. After finding a better set-up and feeling more comfortable on the bike, the Frenchman began to chip away at the Moto2 field taking him up to 16th place within the first few laps. However the promising end wasn’t to be as a technical problem on the #5 Caterham Suter forced him to retire just four laps into the race.

Johann Zarco race action shot

Johann Zarco #5: DNF

“In warm up this morning we made a good step with the bike and then again just before the race. As I left pit lane it felt much better and as the race started I was the most comfortable I had been all weekend. After struggling from the beginning here in Le Mans we finally found the solution and it’s important for me and the team that we were able to do this.

“I started the race quietly because with the size of the Moto2 group and the tight chicane it can be very dangerous. The target was to finish the race and I was confident with my pace that I could fight for the points. I was feeling good on the bike and I had managed to move up to 16th place when suddenly the bike stopped. It’s disappointing because I know this was only the beginning.
 
“It’s strange how unlucky we are. I don’t know what we have done to have bad karma like this but we will keep going and when the opportunity is there, I will be ready to take it.

Josh Herrin race action shot

Josh Herrin #2: P22

“The start of the race was good. The feeling I got in that race was kind of like how I used to feel when I raced in AMA. I wasn’t up to pace in practice or qualifying so when we started my heart rate just went really high because I wasn’t used to going that hard and doing those times. It took a couple of laps to adapt but once I got going I was able to get into a rhythm.

“My shoulder didn’t hurt too much but after not being able to use it 100% to putting all my weight on my legs to compensate for it, it started to get harder towards the end of the race, which is when I lost a place. I’m a little disappointed in myself but I’ve been working hard at home so I can’t say that I haven’t been preparing. I’m pleased that we’ve finally finished a race and now I know what it takes. My confidence is a lot higher so I will go home feeling more positive but also really determined to come back even stronger for Mugello.”

Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager:

“It’s been another hard Grand Prix for us here in Le Mans.

“We saw at the start of the race that Johann’s bike was working better after trying throughout the weekend to improve the set-up. In the end we found the right step for him and he said in the few laps that he did, he felt a lot more comfortable. He was catching a lot of the riders and was up to sixteenth position when he had to stop with a technical problem. We are looking into what happened but it appears to be something to do with the electronics and the loom.

“I’m very sorry for Johann as it has been a disappointing time for him at his home race but as always he has continued to stay positive and worked incredibly hard.

“For Josh this was his first time back after injury and I’m pleased that he was finally able to finish a race, which was the target for the day. He now has a full race under his belt which is good for him and the team. To be able to do all the laps in his condition showed how he is physically and hopefully now we can continue to progress with him in Mugello.

“We have struggled all weekend to find good settings but we will continue to work hard and in Mugello we need to take a step forward and show where we belong.”

Notes:

Circuit: Le Mans

Circuit Length: 4.185 m

Race Length: 26 laps

Weather:

Race: Dry; (air temp) 23°, (track temp) 40°

Interview with AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing riders Johann Zarco & Josh Herrin:

For more information: www.caterhammoto2.com