Tech 3 Racing Team rider Xavier Simeon put up a tremendous fight for the podium in the final Moto2 race of 2012 in cool and cloudy conditions at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia this afternoon.
In treacherously slippery conditions after rain fell in the build-up to the 27-lap race, Simeon superbly judged grip levels on new asphalt to jump from 13th on the grid into the top six on a frenetic opening lap.
The Belgian rider's confidence continued to soar and he gained two places on lap eight to move into third positi on behind Spanish duo Julian Simon and Nicolas Terol.
Simeon had just lost third place to Dominique Aegerter when he was unfortunate to succumb to the damp and tricky conditions at the start of lap 11. He lost the front-end of his Mistral 610 machine at the second corner but he was able to remount and finish his farewell appearance for the Tech 3 Racing Team in 27th position.
Bradley Smith was unable to mark his final appearance on the Mistral 610 with a top 15 finish after he found it difficult to find a comfortable feeling on the damp surface.
The British rider, who will join the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 MotoGP Team in 2013, showed his battling qualities to remain in the hunt for 11th until the final stages. He eventually crossed the line in 16th position.
The Tech 3 Racing Team now immediately turns attention to preparations for 2013, with Valencia Moto3 winner Danny Kent and Louis Rossi testing the Mistral 610 at the Ricardo Tormo tomorrow.
Bradley Smith 16th ? 109 points:
?Today wasn't the way I wanted to finish my time with the Tech 3 Racing Team in Moto2. It was a difficult race and I didn't have a good feeling throughout. I want to take this opportunity to thank Tech 3 Racing and all my crew for everything they have done for me in the last two years. We have had some great times together and I have definitely learned a lot. I know we have made the Mistral 610 more competitive than it was when I joined in 2011, and it was a shame that we couldn't get the results we'd anticipa ted this season. I'm now really excited to begin my new adventure with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team in MotoGP. It is going to be a big challenge but one I am up for, and I know with the support of Tech 3 and Yamaha I have a great opportunity. Finally I'd just like to wish Danny and Louis a successful 2013 because they are joining a great Team."
Xavier Simeon 27th ? 21 points:
?I have mixed emotions after that race because on one side I am really happy that I was battling for the podium and I could show my potential in very tricky conditions. But obviously I am very angry that I lost the chance to claim a podium because of the crash. It was my mistake and I lost the front because I had too much front brake going into the second corner. It was a pity because I am sure I could have stayed in the battle for the top three. It would hav e been great to finish my time with Tech 3 Racing with a more positive result. I want to thank Herve Poncharal and all of my crew for giving me a wonderful opportunity in the World Championship and I wish everybody associated with the Team a successful future.?
Herve Poncharal - Team Manager:
"Not collecting a point is not the way we wanted 2012 to end but at least Xavier put up a great fight in the beginning of the race and it was really exciting to see him battling for the podium. The conditions were incredibly difficult and he was looking very strong in the early laps. Unfortunately he made a small mistake at the second corner and that ended our challenge. It is a shame because we were very confident he was going get a good result. Bradley never really found a confident feeling with the bike all weekend and that's a pity because we were expe cting him to be much more competitive. We can now look forward to 2013 and I am really looking forward to welcoming Danny Kent and Louis Rossi to the Tech 3 Racing Team tomorrow. They will begin testing the Mistral 610 in Valencia and Danny arrives full of confidence after his fantastic win in Moto3 today. Once again he showed why we were so keen to sign him for 2013 and I am confident Danny and Louis will be very competitive next season. I'd also like to wish Xavier all the best for the future. He has never been anything less than 100% committed to Tech 3 Racing and the Mistral 610 project and it has been a pleasure working with him."
Tech 3 Racing Press Release
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