Brad Binder tops tight Friday Practice at Misano II
Five riders in less than a tenth and the top ten within 0.444? Sounds about right for the incredibly competitive 2020 MotoGP season, and that was the case on Day 1 of the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) is the man on top as action draws to a close on Friday, just 0.002 ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) slotting into third. Covering the three is a tiny 0.071…
Quartararo began the day as the man to beat, but San Marino GP winner and teammate Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) made for close company as he ended the session within 0.090. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was third quickest as KTM’s promised step forward in Tuesday testing started to materialise early.
It was a rapid start to proceedings on Friday morning for the premier class riders, with Quartararo’s quickest time just three tenths away from Maverick Viñales’ (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) lap record set in Q2 last weekend. A mini time-attack in the final few minutes is when the Frenchman unleashed his speed, although second place Morbidelli set his best time on the hard rear tyre, which could bode well for the Italian if he’s planning to race it.
Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), third at Misano last Sunday, was fourth fastest behind Pol Espargaro as the Suzuki rider continued to shine. Mir was 0.205 off Quartararo’s pace, with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) making it two RC16s inside the top five in FP1 with a best time of a 1:31.965 – 0.244 away from Quartararo, in fifth.
It was a tougher session for Mir’s teammate Alex Rins, who escaped a highside as he got spat out his seat a couple of times on the exit of Turn 5, lucky to stay on. The Spaniard did then crash later in the session – rider ok.
In the opening stages of FP2, Quartararo was the pacesetter on the hard front, medium rear tyre and was setting very impressive lap times – as he did this morning. The Frenchman’s fastest time was a 1:32.320 before he then improved to a 1:32.273 soon after in the opening 15 minutes, with Nakagami sitting second already – 0.099 off the pace.
The two Red Bull KTM Tech 3 riders of Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona were going well as the duo sat P3 and P5, with Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller splitting them in P4. Having said that, Miller, Lecuona and Tito Rabat (Esponsorama Racing) were the only riders to have improved their combined times in the opening 20 minutes of FP2.
The first man to oust Quartararo from the top of the timesheets was San Marino GP podium finisher Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) as the Italian slammed in a 1:32.138, and then they were off and the times tumbling. Pol Espargaro – a crasher in the early stages of FP2 – recovered from that to really move the goalposts, the Spaniard heading to the top with a 1:31.699 – the first lap quicker than Quartararo’s 1:31.721 from the morning.
Nakagami hit next to go top, by 0.069, as the Japanese rider’s improvements in testing kept impressing. It still wasn’t quite all she wrote, however, as Binder made his move. Tucked in behind lap record holder Viñales, the Brno winner demoted Nakagami to P2 by 0.002 seconds – leaping up the timesheets after P14 in the morning. Viñales, just ahead of the South African on track, went to P4.
Quartararo couldn’t quite retake the top and slotted into P3, with Viñales improving again abut staying fourth. Pol Espargaro’s 1:31.699 eventually saw him slip to fifth and at the end of the session, you could throw a blanket over the top five – it was that close. Just 0.071 between three manufacturers is a timely reminder of how close the premier class is in 2020!
The top five overall, then, are the top five from FP2: Binder, Nakagami, Quartararo, Viñales and Pol Espargaro. Morbidelli then slots into sixth courtesy of his FP1 time, not improving in the afternoon, with Joan Mir just behind him in seventh and likewise faster in FP1. The same is true of Oliveira, who ends Friday in P8.
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) gained some time in the afternoon to take P9 overall and the honour of top Ducati, although not by much. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) was tenth, Bagnaia 11th and Dovizioso 12th overall – leaving the latter duo especially with work to do on Saturday morning in FP3 if they want to guarantee themselves a place in Q2.
Joining them on the FP3 charge to take a place in Q2 are another two names outside the top ten: Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in P15 on Day 1, and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) just behind him. Will they make it through?
Takaaki Nakagami – P2
“It’s a pretty good start for us, I felt so good on the bike. Following the test on Tuesday we’ve definitely improved the bike and my feeling with the bike – we’re much more consistent. We’re also working hard on the qualifying lap, the one lap time, but the lap times overall are more consistent because the bike is more stable. So I’m feeling really good, there are still some sectors we can improve a little, like sector two, and we’ll just keep working hard for qualifying. For tomorrow our target will be to get on the front row, because here the starting grid is really important.”
Fabio Quartararo – P3
“Honestly I felt great today. I was able to make a bit of a long-run, about 16 laps, all in the 1min 32 seconds and that was really positive. Our pace feels good. We have modified the settings a little bit since last week, and I feel a bit better on the bike. There are still some areas for improvement, but I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. We tried a time attack on the medium tyre and we were fast. I think the soft has a little bit more potential but we finished less than one tenth from the top on this tyre. I’m also really happy with our practice starts too. The pace is great, which is really important, and we will see what we find tomorrow and Sunday. I want to fight for the pole position again and I’m feeling stronger than last week so we will see.”
Maverick Vinales – P4
“The feeling for one lap is good, but the only problem is that everything that we tested on Tuesday doesn’t work during the race weekend, because the feeling and the grip level changed. We need to set-up for these conditions in preparation for the race, and we need to try to understand how we can be faster. So, we went back to our standard bike that we finished with last Sunday. We lost a bit of time because of all of this. We have to continue working to find out how to have more grip during the race.”
Franco Morbidelli – P6
“Today was a good Friday. We’ve been reconfirming our speed this morning and checking what the track conditions were like – I felt quite good. This afternoon the conditions were a little bit different and we had to adapt to that. I think we made the right choices and we improved the settings of the bike throughout the day. We were able to have a good pace, so this is positive. I will rest a little bit now before tomorrow, to try to be in even better shape and see where we are. Tomorrow morning it will be important to be fast in our time attacks.”
Joan Mir – P7
“We tried each rear tyre option today, which gave us good information. The sessions were very competitive today with very close times, and even though everyone has improved since last weekend, we feel that we have taken a step forward too. We’re ready to fight again at the front, so tomorrow we’ll try to improve a few more things and we’ll aim to get a good qualifying position. Let’s see what’s possible!”
Miguel Oliveira – P8
“It was a nice day of work here. We went faster than in the last Grand Prix, which was obviously the target. We still have some things to adjust for tomorrow morning. I feel good. We know in FP3 it’s going to be very tight to go to Q2, but I believe we can manage to do a decent session and a decent lap. Our pace this afternoon was quite good, which I’m happy about, but we know that this pace here is not enough to do a good result, so we need to be faster tomorrow morning to be with the front.”
Danilo Petrucci – P9
“After last Tuesday’s test, we were able to take some steps forward. Since this morning, I have been able to have positive sensations on my bike. This afternoon I did a good lap time and, although it will not be enough to get directly into Q2, I am confident because we still have some room for improvements. We hope to be able to do so tomorrow morning in FP3, where it will be crucial to stay in the top ten.”
Johann Zarco – P10
“I have had a good day, this morning, I went fast from the first moment, although everyone has gone very fast since FP1. We have worked with the medium rear tire, and we are being more competitive with tire than last week, this is good for the race. I had a small crash in the afternoon, when my first lap launched with the soft tire started, it closed from the front on turn 2. Despite not having a wings on the left, I felt I had to continue because there were only 5 minutes left and that was the good tire. I could improve my lap time and stay on the Top-10.”
Pecco Bagnaia – P11
“Today we worked with medium tire because last Sunday Mir and Morbidelli were very fast with this tire so it was very important to try it to understand what will be the best choice. Tomorrow I will be able to do the time attack. I feel good and today we finished the work started last week.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P12
“Today, we preferred to focus on the preparations for the race, without worrying too much about the lap times. We have made some progress, but it is still not enough: our rivals have also improved a lot since last Tuesday’s test. In any case, I am confident: we know where we need to work on to be more competitive. Now we need to keep our concentration: tomorrow morning it will be important to close FP3 in the top ten”.
Aleix Espargaro – P13
“I am satisfied with this first day. We were more competitive compared to last week. The gaps are obviously very narrow, but the improvement is clear. In the afternoon with the medium compound, which is not my favourite, I was able to lap in the low 32 range. The bike has improved, especially in terms of electronics. Tomorrow we’ll try to go through to Q2 using the soft tyre. I get the impression that there will be ten riders within a tenth of one another, so we’ll need to grit our teeth and maybe stretch out our arms like they do in cycling sprints!”
Iker Lecuona – P14
“In FP1 I was quite happy, because we were working on our pace and I was working on my riding style. We wanted to improve that a bit and I had a good feeling, riding smoother and more relaxed. This afternoon, I put in a good tyre and was a lot closer to the top. On my fastest lap, I did a small mistake, but I did two quick lap times. At the moment, it is difficult to improve further. Anyway, I’m quite satisfied about today, as we are close to the top 10 again. Tomorrow we need to continue to work hard in order to improve this fast lap time.”
Valentino Rossi – P15
“It was a difficult first day. We tried something different on the bike. In the morning I didn’t do a lap on new tyres, I did it this afternoon. Unfortunately, I’m out of the top 10, though I improved on my Friday lap time from last week, because everybody is a lot stronger and faster, like we expected. So, we have to work to raise our level. We have to try something else to improve our pace. We will work on the bike. We haven’t found the right balance yet, but we will continue to work and try again tomorrow morning.”
Jack Miller – P16
“Today the plan was to find the best solution for Sunday, We worked very well, I think we are in the right way. Tomorrow we will try to do the time for being in Q2, I’m feel very confident, we did a massive improvement.”
Alex Marquez – P17
“Today was a good day. We were able to confirm the step that we made in the test which is really good for us. Today we ended just two tenths from the top ten, so this is also good and shows we are working in the right direction. The plan is to keep working and keep pushing, especially over one lap. We tried some different options for the race and our pace is again looking good. A positive Friday for us.”
Alex Rins – P18
“Today has been a bit difficult for me. During the test on Tuesday I was able to keep a good performance even on used tyres, but today I didn’t capture that same feeling. Finally towards the end of FP2 I started to feel good again and that gives me confidence for race day. This morning in FP1 I had a very big moment, and a big save, and after that I also had a little crash. This didn’t impact my work too much and I’m still focused on tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.”
Tito Rabat – P19
“It’s been a pretty positive day, our fast lap is 1.32.7 a step forward given by having turned 32 today. Tomorrow we will try to take another step forward, today we have finished with positive feelings and continue working as before.”
Bradley Smith – P20
“We arrived at the level of the tests and that is a positive aspect. We also tested a few changes that we weren’t able to assess on Tuesday. Using a new engine, I found different sensations today with respect to my base, but I’m confident that we’ll be able check the data and set it up correctly for tomorrow. The situation got steadily better already in the afternoon, but everyone was extremely fast straight away, including Aleix. We’ll need to work hard tomorrow to recover a few tenths which we seem to be lacking at the moment.”
Stefan Bradl – Withdrawn
“Unfortunately, I am still having problems with my right arm and I am not able to ride in a safe and consistent way. I spoke with my doctor and we performed a small operation to clean the nerve before this weekend but when they opened my arm, they saw the situation was more complicated than they first thought. I came to Misano with the intention of racing because my doctor told me it would be okay to race. But in this situation, I do not feel I can ride safely over a whole race, together with HRC we have decided to take the rest of the week to recover before Barcelona.”
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager
“We’ve been keeping working today. Joan had good pace from the start trying different tyres options, and we continued to work on settings with him. Alex also was trying different tyre options and at the end he could find a good combination with good pace. Friday is the day for working on all these things, so at the moment we’re happy with how the day has gone and we’re looking forward to qualifying tomorrow. As we suspected, it’s much more competitive between all the riders this weekend because everyone has one race in the bag already and also a test. But our level was high last weekend, and we’ll try to do well again.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director
“Today we revisited the items of last Tuesday’s testing programme. The weather conditions for this weekend are expected to be slightly cooler than what we‘ve had previously during the San Marino GP and the Misano Test. Also the track conditions are different from the test, with more rubber on track, so we wanted to use today‘s sessions to see how this affects matters, especially concerning the grip levels. Maverick continues to have a good feeling with the bike for one lap, but he is still working on improving his race pace. He tried using some things he found during the test, but because the track conditions are so different from Tuesday, he went back to the package he used last weekend. Still, he finished only 0.041s from the top of today‘s timesheets. Valentino isn‘t that far off the fastest time either, but the entire rider field is very close. He is now in 15th place in the combined rankings. We expect tomorrow to be intense. If today‘s times are anything to go by, the battle for the top 10 in FP3 will be hard-fought, and also the times in qualifying will be very fast. The team will work hard tonight to prepare another step for FP3 to let Maverick and Valentino face the competition in the best shape possible.”
Friday MotoGP Combined Practice Times
San Marino GP winner Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) was back on top on Day 1 of the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, the Italian’s 1:35.956 a new lap record at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. He only got the better of rookie Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) by less than a tenth, however, with Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) completing the top three.
In FP1, Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) was top of the pile, 0.171 ahead of Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) as the Swiss veteran put in an impressive session to get back nearer the front. Last week’s pole position setter, Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), completed the top three as his Misano pace remained very much intact.
Hector Garzo (Pons HP 40) was another who impressed as he ended FP1 in fourth, just ahead of Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2). Championship leader Marini began the day in sixth, 0.281 off the top.
Kasma Daniel (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) crashed at Turn 5 in FP1, before Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) went down at Turn 16. Andi Izdihar (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) also took a tumble, the Indonesian at Turn 14.
In the afternoon, Marini hit back and set his fastest lap on a well-used tyre – having spent most the session on it – which may prove ominous to many. Canet was second and Schrötter third, with both making a significant move up the top ten in FP2. Lowes was fourth, with American Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) leaping up the timesheets to complete the top five.
Schrötter crashed in the afternoon although still took third, with the other faller proving San Marino GP podium finisher Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46). It seemed a tougher first day at the track this time around for the Italian, and he crashed at Turn 6 in a highside.
On Friday it’s an FP2 top five on the combined timesheets as Marini leads Canet leads Schrötter, with Lowes and Roberts in fourth and fifth respectively. Bastianini slots into sixth by virtue of his FP1 best, ahead of Bezzecchi and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing).
Lüthi ends Friday in ninth from his FP1 fastest, with the top ten completed by Jorge Navarro and his FP2 best. Currently, the final riders provisionally moving through to Q2 are Garzo, Bulega, Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing). The first three by virtue of FP1, and Dixon after a huge step forward in the afternoon following some technical troubles in the morning.
Friday Moto2 Combined Practice Times
|18||F.Di Giannanto||SPEED UP||+0.765|
Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) set a new all-time lap record on Friday at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, a 1:41.663 putting him just under three tenths ahead of Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by the end of play. Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) completed the top three by just 0.021 as action got back underway at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with the top three in the Championship all outside the top ten on Day 1.
In FP1 it was Fernandez once again fastest out the blocks, the Spaniard’s last dash 1:41.962 making him half a second quicker than Ai Ogura’s (Honda Team Asia) pole position laptime last weekend. He was also just a fraction away from the 2019 outright lap record that Masia would go on to break in FP2. Reigning FIM Moto3™ Junior World Champion Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) was second quickest, 0.164 back, with Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) in third only another 0.026 in arrears.
Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) were a quarter of a second back in fourth and fifth.
Masia had a scary moment early on but later found some rhythm to start the day in sixth, just ahead of Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) and World Championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3). They were the final two of the eight riders who managed to go under Ogura’s pole lap from the San Marino GP.
Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) crashed twice, first at Turn 9 and later at Turn 6, rider ok. San Marino GP podium finisher Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) also went down at Turn 4, and Foggia at Turn 6.
In the afternoon, Masia moved from sixth to top as he smashed the lap record, ending the afternoon fastest ahead of Vietti as the Italian looks to bounce back from a tougher first weekend on home soil. Suzuki and Migno were next up, with Fernandez down in fifth and suffering a highside in the session – rider ok and even able to get it back to the pits.
Rodrigo, Migno and Fenati also all suffered crashes, riders ok.
Masia is the man leading the way to FP3 on the combined timesheets after that new lap record, and he’ll likely feel confident of moving through to Q2 despite a penalty he has to serve in the FP3 session. The Spaniard is one of a number of riders suspended from the last 15 minutes due to slow riding in practice last weekend.
Will the grid be able to get the jump on him? Next overall on Friday is Fernandez with his best laptime from FP1, ahead of Vietti, Suzuki and Migno with their fastest efforts from FP2. Alcoba slots into sixth overall courtesy of his FP1 lap, with Salač’s FP2 lap putting him just 0.007 behind the Spaniard.
Foggia’s FP1 quickest puts him in P8 and he’ll be another sitting out the final 15 minutes of FP3, so he’ll be looking for more early on Saturday to ensure he keeps that provisional place in Q2. Rodrigo was ninth overall, with Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) completing the top ten.
Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) bounced back from a DNF through no fault of his own last time out to take P11 overall, ahead of Championship leader Arenas by just 0.033. The last two currently set to move through to Q2 are Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) – who’ll be missing the last 15 minutes of FP3 as well – and Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
That leaves a couple of familiar names outside that all-important top 14 and looking to move forward in FP3: San Marino GP winner and third in the Championship, John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), who is P15 overall, as well as the man second in the title fight, Ai Ogura. Last week’s polesitter was down in P19.
Can they bounce back on Saturday? FP3 begins at 9:00 (GMT +3), with an interesting final slice of the session to come as Arbolino, Foggia and Masia join Ryusei Yamanaka (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Davide Pizzoli (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) on the sidelines after having been penalised for riding slowly in FP3 last weekend. Qualifying then begins from 12:35 (GMT +2)!
Friday Moto3 Combined Practice Times
Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) was the man to beat on Day 1 of FIM Enel MotoE World Cup action at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, this time setting a new lap record – 1:42.910 – to gain some breathing space at the top. His closest challenger was Sammarinese home hero Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE), two tenths in arrears, with three-time Misano winner Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) third overall.
The sun was shining at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli but the day wasn’t without some dramas, including a crash for the fastest man on Friday, Granado. He went down right at the end of the day, but no harm done and rider ok. On the other end of the scale, closest rival De Angelis crashed near the start of the day in FP1, tumbling at Turn 14. Rider also ok, but losing much of the session before he could get back out – making his P2 overall even more impressive.
Behind Granado, de Angelis and P3 man Ferrari, Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) was the fastest rookie on Friday as he took fourth, completing a top four on the combined timesheets who all set their fastest laps in the morning. Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) in fifth was the first to break that trend, the Belgian quicker in the morning by a few tenths and that keeping him in the top five. The number 10 did crash in the afternoon, however – rider ok.
Tommaso Marcon (Tech 3 E-Racing) was next up and sixth quickest on one of his best days in MotoE yet, just 0.018 off Simeon and improving by nearly eight tenths from FP1 to FP2. Points leader Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP), meanwhile, was seventh overall and 0.662 off Granado by the end of the day, the Swiss rider one of those who didn’t go quicker in FP2.
Veteran Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was next up in P8, shuffled down by just 0.015, with Lukas Tulovic (Tech 3 E-Racing) less than a tenth behind him. The gap to complete the top ten was even smaller, with Alessandro Zaccone (Trentino Gresini MotoE) 0.004 behind the German, forced to settle for tenth.
One surprise on Day 1 was Mattia Casadei (SIC58 Squadra Corse), with the Italian down in 11th overall. He’ll be one of those looking for more in E-Pole and Race 1 as Saturday promises a packed program for the electric runners!
Josh Hook – P15
“This morning was quite good, we made a good improvement compared to last week. The feeling was much better, a very good impression. During the FP2 I struggle a lit bit, but we understand a lot. We still have work to do, but we are in the right way”
MotoE fastest on Friday
Friday MotoE Combined Practice Times
2020 MotoGP Calendar
|8||20 September||Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli|
|9||27 September||Barcelona – Catalunya|
|10||11 October||Le Mans|
|11||18 October||MotorLand Aragón|
|12||25 October||MotorLand Aragón|
|13||08 November||Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo|
|14||15 November||Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo|
|15||22 November||Autodromo Internacional do Algarve|
MotoGP World Championship Points
Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Schedule