Orelac Racing VerdNatura rider Nacho Calero took a hard-fought for 9th place in a red flag interrupted race at Phillip Island today. The race had already been shortened from 18 laps to 15 because of tyre wear concerns. But then today’s race was red-flagged after three laps because of a crash. The race then became a 10-lap sprint and was won by Roby Rolfo on the very last lap. Despite bike problems, Nacho Calero continued to attack throughout the race and took a solid 9th position. His team mate Fahmi Khairuddin experienced problems in both starts today, but managed to finish 12th.
Nacho Calero - 9th
“The first start was OK but I had some problems going into the turns because the bike was moving around a bit. After the red flag, my second start was better but I had the same bike problems as the first time. I could catch the riders in front but I couldn’t push hard enough to pass them. Before the race my objective was to finish in the top ten, so I am happy that I achieved my goal.”
Fahmi Khairuddin – 12th
“I made up some places on the first lap of the first start but then I got hit from behind in turn 10 and was forced off the track and onto the grass. Luckily for me, the race was red-flagged and I had another chance. We put on new front and rear tyres for the second start but I made a little mistake in turn 2 and nearly highsided. I went off track and into the gravel. By the time I recovered the guys in front were gone and I could not catch them. It’s been a very difficult weekend but I want to say thank you to the team for the great job they did. Twelfth position is not what I wanted because I really believed that I could’ve made the top five this weekend.”
Giulio Bardi (Team Manager)
We worked three days this week because we knew tyre wear would be an issue and then the race was shortened to 15 laps. Then we had the red flag and the race ended up being 10 laps! We had a pretty decent set-up for 15-18 laps, so 10 laps was a bit of a problem. I am happy because Nacho had a good weekend. He finally realised he can be competitive and he got the job done. Of course, I am a little disappointed with Fahmi but today the luck was against him. Getting hit from behind is no fun and then he had a ‘moment’ in the second race. We’ve worked very hard these past days. We know the bike is good, is fast and has a respectable top speed. We scored some solid points today and are well up in the overall team standings, so it has not been a bad start to the season at all.”