Doha: QMMF Racing Team rider Anthony West fought his way from 19th place on the starting grid to a fantastic seventh place at the Grand Prix of the Americas, thrilling the audience with stunning attacks and overtaking manoevres on each of the 19 laps of the Moto2 race.
The 32-year-old Australian had found the right set-up for his Speed-Up bike in the warm-up practice and was visibly comfortable on the Texan track, moving up to 15th on the opening lap and breaking into the Top Ten on lap two, before getting entangled in epic battles with Spaniard Ricky Cardús and, later on, Swiss rider Tom Luthi.
Team-mate Roman Ramos was a step behind with the set-up of his bike. The Spaniard looked strong during the first half of the race, in which he recovered from his 32nd grid position to hold 18th place for a while, but then dropped back and finished in 21st position.
“Since our qualifying was not so strong, I had to make a good start. It went okay, but I was on the outside going into the turn one and I had to accept the risk of that. I was very lucky because I saw out of the corner of my eye some people crash and touch my rear wheel as I was exiting the corner. I had a small slide and I was lucky not to get taken out, it was very close. I then passed a lot of people on the opening laps and felt really strong,” West said.
“We had made some more adjustments to the bike in the warm-up practice this morning and it felt good, especially with a full tank of fuel. I passed a lot of riders before I got stuck with Ricky Cardús who fought like crazy. I sort of got held up with him, trying to pass him and get away from him, so I lost Corsi. When I got a clear track to catch Corsi, the fuel load had become lighter and I ran into problems with chattering. I also had some trouble with the gearbox. Every time I went from first to second, I got neutral, so I had to shift really early before the full revs. The group behind me got closer and Luthi caught up.
“We fought a lot during the last laps and I made a small mistake on the last lap going into turn one, which allowed him to make his final move. But nevertheless, I am happy with our strong result and the points we scored. We are improving the bike slowly but surely. Hopefully, we can start with this good feeling at the next race in Argentina,” he added.
“It was a difficult and hard race. We had a few problems with the bike and I couldn’t ride the way I would have liked to. Now we are looking ahead to the next race in Argentina, which is a new circuit for everybody. I hope I will feel more comfortable on the bike there, because this weekend, we suffered quite a bit, as we never found the best possible set-up. But I am sure that we will be much better in Argentina and that we will fight for positions higher up in the classification,” Ramos said.