Round 19 – Valencia
Race Day Stats Guide
Fabio Quartararo, who can win the fight for the best Independent Team rider on Sunday, has qualified on pole position for the sixth time in his rookie season, along with Jerez, Catalunya, Assen, Thailand and Sepang. In the MotoGP class, only Marc Marquez did better in his rookie year, with nine poles in 2013.
With his sixth pole position, Quartararo equals Christian Sarron in first place on the list of French riders with the most pole positions in the premier class of Grand Prix racing.
At Valencia, Quartararo became the first Yamaha rider with six or more pole positions in a single MotoGP season since Jorge Lorenzo in 2012 with seven pole positions.
In addition, this is Quartararo’s 13th front row of the season, two less than Marc Marquez who did 15 in his rookie season back in 2013, the record for a rookie since the introduction of the MotoGP class in 2002.
If Fabio Quartararo wins the race in Valencia (20 years and 211 days old), he will be the third-youngest rider to win a premier class Grand Prix race, behind Marc Marquez (20 years 63 days, 2013 Americas GP) and Freddie Spencer (20 years and 196 days, 1982 Belgian GP).
If Fabio Quartararo wins the race, it will be 20 years and 59 days since compatriot Regis Laconi won the most recent premier class race for France at Valencia.
Marc Marquez has qualified in second place, which is his 16th front-row start of 2019, equalling his best season in terms of front rows (2015). The record is 17 – Jorge Lorenzo in 2010.
Jack Miller has qualified in third place, which is his first front-row start since Silverstone earlier this year and his fourth of the season.
Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Summary
The French rookie put in another superlative performance in qualifying to take the final pole position of the season – his sixth in his rookie year.
It was a close run duel with reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), however, with Marquez losing out by just 0.032 despite a crash in FP4.
Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), another man with some serious pace so far, converted that into a front row start and he’ll start third.
Fabio Quartararo – P1
“We’ve had a great day because apart from the pole position we were able to take a step forward in improving our pace for the race. We can make a strong start to the race, and I’ll do my best to finish tomorrow the way we finished today, even though there are some other guys who also have incredible pace. We’ll try and set three perfect laps at the beginning of the race, and after that, we’ll see what happens – but I expect to be fighting for the podium. The main goal still isn’t to win a race this year though; it’s to finish the race and the season in the best possible way.”
Marc Marquez – P2
“I’m very happy because I was able to get closer than I was expecting, I didn’t think I could be this close over one lap. With our race pace we’re not very far away, but Quartararo is very strong over one lap. Anyway, I’m happy to be on the front row and our first target is done. We’ll try to start well tomorrow and then see what happens. It will be a tough race as Viñales and Quartararo are very fast but I think we can manage it well.”
Jack Miller – P3
“I am very satisfied with what we have done so far over the weekend. The feeling is really very good and for that I thank the team. We are improving session after session. Tonight we will analyze the data to try to improve further in view of the race.”
Valencia MotoGP Qualifying Report
The chill had been taken out the day by the time qualifying came around, and in Q1 it was Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) vs Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) in a duel for supremacy – with the former coming out on top, but by just 0.005. Johann Zarco (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was the man who just lost out in P13, with the 12 men ahead of him then heading out to fight for pole.
Given his performances in qualifying so far this season, it was no surprise to see Quartararo on provisional pole after the first run, but Miller was coming.
The Australian was able to take over at the top as the riders headed back out, but it didn’t take too long for Quartararo to strike back. Provisionally fastest once again and Marquez taking over in second, there remained one more shot at it for most. Could the reigning Champion ruin the rookie party?
As the clock ticked down, many were still pushing but the timing screens remained resolutely free of red. Quartararo couldn’t better himself, and Marquez and Miller had no answer for the Frenchman. So a sixth pole of the season is the number 20’s sign off from rookie Saturdays, and he’ll be aiming, as ever, for a maiden win on Sunday.
Marquez will doubtless be keen to stand in his way as he homes in on 400 points, with Miller with his own high stakes as he aims to stop Quartararo taking the title of top Independent Team rider.
On the second row it’s Sepang winner Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in fourth, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in a solid fifth.
Maverick Viñales – P4
“I’m actually happy, because this morning I didn’t feel really good, but then in the afternoon we made some changes on the bike and we improved a lot, and that is the most important. I feel that I have a very strong rhythm, especially with the hard tyre. But then in qualifying, already straight away, I felt a drop in the second front tyre and then we didn’t have any more new front tyres. So, I did the best I could do, but for sure we could have done better. I don’t know if I can go for the win, it all depends on the start, but I think it will be possible to be on the podium.”
Franco Morbidelli – P5
“Apart from FP4, I’ve finished every session this weekend in fifth. We’re chasing the guys in front and trying to improve as much as possible, but in reality, our pace is similar to the top guys already. There are a lot of people capable of doing the same times though, so I think we’re in for a really interesting race. I need to be a little bit faster in some areas, especially in braking, and we’ll make a few small changes in warm-up to work on that and then see what we can do in the race.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) slotted into sixth as the only man who improved on his final lap, aiming to stop Marquez from giving Repsol Honda the teams’ Championship.
Andrea Dovizioso – P6
“Today we were able to improve the set-up of my Desmosedici GP and I’m satisfied. It wasn’t easy but we got closer to the frontrunners both on speed and on pace. Starting from the second row is very important, especially here at Valencia, and even though I didn’t do a perfect lap, I was able to set a good time. I don’t know if we will have the pace to be able to fight for the podium, but as always in the race anything can happen”.
Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) got the better of Q1 graduate and team-mate Alex Rins to take seventh, with Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) completing the third row alongside the two Suzukis.
Joan Mir – P7
“I’m really happy about the weekend so far, and my feeling is good. This is a track where I have more experience, and I notice the difference. The bike feels great and I’m able to ride how I want to. I think tomorrow I can be in the mix and fighting in the Top 5.”
Alex Rins – P8
“I set a good lap time in Q1, and then replicated it in Q2, and I think starting 8th is OK. For sure, a bit higher could be better, but I feel quite confident. We’ll see tomorrow what the first laps are like and how the race will turn out. Tyre choice will be quite important. In the past here it’s been difficult for riders to open a gap, so it could be a close race. I’m riding smoothly and improving session by session. Ready for the last race!”
Cal Crutchlow – P9
“I’m ok (after the crash), there’s nothing broken, just a few cuts to my left hand which we thought was broken. It was strange because I didn’t crash on my left hand side, I crashed on my right so I don’t really know where I hit my hand, but it seemed to have slapped the ground quite hard and it was painful. When I went back out it was really painful, but I had some treatment between FP3 and FP4 and then it wasn’t so bad. I’m happy enough because we’ve already started to test for next year with something on the bike. I think there’s some positives from it and some negatives. So we’re happy enough with what we’re doing and getting stuff ready for Honda.”
Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci rounds out the top 10 in Valencia.
Danilo Petrucci – P10
“This morning we managed to improve my feeling with the bike and so it was a positive day even though in qualifying I could have certainly done better. Now I’ll have a closer look at the data with my engineers to see where we can intervene for tomorrow. For sure, we’re in better shape than yesterday, but we’re still missing something. We have some ideas about how to improve for the race and we’ll try and put them into practice”.
Pol Espargaro survived a hair-raising slide on his principal time attack in Q1. At almost 180kmph through Turn 10 he controlled the ‘moment’ and edged his way into Q2
Pol Espargaro – P11
“We’ve been struggling on Fridays lately and we could turn the situation round a little here. I think we are in a bit better shape here than in Malaysia. We have a better feeling so it will be a different scenario for the race where we can fight with the others. I could manage to stay on the bike in Q1 after that big moment! I lost two tenths on that lap but could stay in Q2 so I was super-pleased. Then in the Q2 with the Hard tyre we did a 30.9 and qualified 11th, not too far from the front. The only thing that annoys me today is that we did not get enough tyres for what we wanted to do in Q2. We could have made 5th on the grid.”
Valentino Rossi – P12
“Mixed feelings today, because this morning’s FP3 was very good, I was able to go directly into Q2 with a good lap time. But in the afternoon, in qualifying, we didn’t work well and made some mistakes. I was stuck in traffic with the second tyre and wasn’t able to make a good lap. Anyway, it’s not fantastic to be far from the front row, now we have to start from P12. It’s difficult, because my pace is not so bad but nothing fantastic, and on this track it’s hard to overtake. But we have to try the maximum to recover some positions.”
Johann Zarco – P13
“I’m a little bit disappointed for today. In the morning I lost time because I wasn’t confident with the cold, so only in the last five minutes (of FP3) did I go faster, but it was too late. I think I paid for this in the afternoon, because then I improved and got a better feeling on the bike, but still not enough to be in Q2 and have a better qualifying. It’s a shame, but from this I need to have an even stronger race tomorrow and the feeling is improving with the bike.”
Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team), meanwhile, will begin an emotionally-charged final race of his career from 16th.
Jorge Lorenzo – P16
“Today was more or less what we expected, maybe I could have been a little higher on the grid but those ahead were in the 1’30s. The plan for tomorrow is to make a good start and avoid trouble in the opening laps and then see what my pace will give me at the end of the race. I think we can move forward and maintain a pace that is closer to the leaders than in the previous rounds. It will certainly be an emotional race tomorrow so I hope that I can enjoy it all and importantly help Honda as best I can.”
Red Bull KTM Tech3 debutant Iker Lecuona progressed in speed and confidence in every outing with the KTM RC16. The 19 year old class rookie was satisfied with 19th spot; less than two seconds from Fabio Quartararo’s pole position chrono and ahead of teammate Hafizh Syahrin who placed 22nd.
Iker Lecuona – P19
“Today went a lot better than yesterday. I improved a lot in FP3. I progressed and understood the bike a lot better, plus I managed to follow some other riders on track, which was very important. This afternoon in FP4, I worked towards the race distance with used tyres and I was very consistent. So, I’m ready for my first race. In Qualifying I tried to push as hard as I could and I went faster than I expected myself, to be honest. I left some other riders behind me again, so I’m very happy.”
Can Quartararo grab that first MotoGP win before the 2019 season comes to a close? The scrap for the final 25 points of the year looks set to be a cracker, with plenty on the table and history guaranteed to be made.
MotoGP Combined Qualification
Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) has taken the final Moto2 pole position of the season on home turf, but he had close company from rookie Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. The two Spaniards are split by just 0.017, with Stefano Manzi claiming a maiden front row start of the season for MV Agusta Temporary Forward in third.
Navarro’s teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio was the early pacesetter in Moto2 Q2, but the Italian’s session would soon end in the gravel trap at Turn 5. With seven minutes to go ‘Diggia’ remained top as his 2018 Moto3 team-mate Martin slotted himself into P2, however, and it was then Manzi’s turn to get even closer as the gap was cut to 0.039. Free Practice timesheet topper Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) then took second, but soon the tables turned and it was another Speed Up at the summit – Navarro going 0.185 faster than anyone and Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) going second quickest.
It wasn’t done there though. Manzi then went second ahead of his fellow VR46 Academy rider Marini to all-but seal MV’s first Moto2 front row of the season. It wouldn’t prove to be P2 though, as that went to Martin in the dying stages of the session as two Spaniards sit first and second at their home round – Navarro a Valencian too. Manzi’s class weekend continues as he picks up his best-ever Grand Prix front row start.
Marini had to settle for P4 in the end, ahead of Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP), who will aim to claim the 2019 runners-up spot from the middle of the second row. Di Giannantonio could do nothing more than watch on as he slipped to P6 from provisional pole.
Binder will have been hoping for more and he’ll scrap with Lüthi for P2 in the World Championship from the front of a third row completed by Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP 40) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team). Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completed the top 10.
Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2), Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) and Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) were next up, ahead of 2019 World Champion Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in P15.
Moto2 Combined Qualification
|1||Jorge NAVARRO||SPEED UP||Q2||1m34.461|
|3||Stefano MANZI||MV AGUSTA||Q2||+0.172|
|6||Fabio DI GIANNANTONI ITA||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.243|
|19||Dominique AEGERTER||MV AGUSTA||Q1||(*)0.177|
|23||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA||KALEX||Q1||(*)0.385|
|25||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA||KALEX||Q1||(*)1.007|
|27||Sean Dylan KELLY||KTM||Q1||(*)1.257|
For the first time in his career and ahead of a landmark, Andrea Migno (Mugen Race) has claimed pole position thanks to a 1:38.683 in Moto3 Q2 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. The Italian beat home hero Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing) by 0.274 on Saturday afternoon, with Valencian rider Jaume Masia (Mugen Race) completing the front row but a couple of further tenths in arrears.
It was Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) who set the early lightweight class benchmark in the fight for pole, the Italian pocketing a 1:39.603 to lead Masia by a tenth after the riders had completed a couple of flying laps each. However, Migno and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) then moved the goalposts as the duo shot to P1 and P2 respectively, with Migno holding a fairly considerable two-tenth advantage.
Disaster then struck for Arbolino at Turn 2, however, a highside on the exit sending him out of Q2, although he’s fit to race. Meanwhile, having come into the pits, the lightweight class riders then filed out for their last attacks on pole.
Doing so first was Q1 graduate and reigning Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Champion Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Arizona 77), the future full-time Moto3 rider slotting his KTM into P3 before a flurry of times came rolling in. Red and orange sectors filled the timing screens but there was one rider going faster than the rest: Migno. 0.3 up after three splits, the Italian took the chequered flag to regain pole position after Ramirez had briefly taken over at the summit. Masia’s second run saw the Spaniard pick up P3 on Saturday afternoon for his first front row start since taking pole in Argentina.
Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), another home hero and the man in Arbolino’s sights for second overall on Sunday, was one of the last riders to cross the line as he jumped from P13 to P4 on his final lap. Rookie and compatriot Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) starts alongside him as he kept his impressive speed at the venue going at his local venue, ahead of a career best for Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) by far as the Czech rider reaching the top 10 on Saturday for the first time and is sixth.
2019 Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) is 0.597 back from pole as he aims to win four in a row and be the first to do so, and the Italian was followed by two Q1 graduates in P8 and P9 – Suzuki and Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power). Binder, however, will start from pitlane after a penalty for irresponsible riding. That boosts Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers) up a place after he completed the fastest top 10 in Moto3 qualifying. Tatay pipped Arbolino just behind.
Moto3 Combined Qualification
|7||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA ITA||HONDA||Q2||+0.597|
Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) converted pole position into his first victory of the year in Race 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, the Brazilian coming out on top in a three-way scrap for the win which saw Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing) get the better of One Energy Racing’s Bradley Smith on the final lap – at the final corner. The overall Cup winner, therefore, goes down to the final race of the year.
Smith got the initial getaway with a classic fast start, and the Brit was pushing to open a gap from the off. That worked a dream and he was pushing clear, with Granado slotting into second and on the chase. Behind it was a squabble between points leader Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE), Garzo and Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), which the Spaniard eventually emerged from to start his chase of the leading duo. Granado was catching Smith and Garzo was in seriously hot pursuit.
A few laps faster than pole – by a margin – got the home hero onto the tail of the leading duo, and Granado took the race lead too. As always in MotoE™, it was down to the final lap – and what a final lap.
Granado remained ahead as it began, and the Brazilian stayed cool under pressure to pull away as the battle behind got seriously hot. Garzo was heading towards the final corner ahead as Smith suffered a huge wobble, but the Brit wasn’t going to back out of it and slammed up the inside. Would he make it? Briefly, as the Spaniard then cut back inside and it was all about the drag to the line. Centimeters in it, Garzo just took second.
Ferrari was able to take fourth and keep himself with a healthy points lead, pulling away from Simeon, who completed the top five.
MotoE Race One Results
|2||Hector GARZO (DSQ)||Energica||+0.576|
|6||Alex DE ANGELIS||Energica||+7.383|
|11||Mike DI MEGLIO||Energica||+10.923|
|13||Randy DE PUNIET||Energica||+15.569|
MotoE Championship Standings
|5||Mike DI MEGLIO||Energica||FRA||52|
|9||Alex DE ANGELIS||Energica||RSM||33|
|17||Randy DE PUNIET||Energica||FRA||15|
Sunday Schedule AEDT