2020 MotoGP Round Seven – Misano
After a two tough weekends at the Red Bull Ring, Friday saw a change of fortunes for Yamaha at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli with a 1-2-3. It was Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who took to the top by the end of play, the Frenchman turning the tables on Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) who had blitzed FP1. The gap though was tiny and third went the way of Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT).
Valentino Rossi made it four Yamahas in the top six, while KTM showed their recent form is no flash in the pan with all four RC16 machines in the top nine.
The first premier class session of the day most definitely belonged to one man: Viñales. The Spaniard set a blistering 1:32.198 to head the timesheets by over half a second in the morning, beating his own 2019 pole position time and going over a second quicker than FP1 last year. Quartararo was the rear gunner for Top Gun in second, ahead of an impressive session for Aprilia in third. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the top three for the Noale factory, the Spaniard 0.751 adrift of the top… but that translating into a deficit of just two tenths to Quartararo given Viñales’ margin.
Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) was fourth quickest in FP1, ahead of a second Noale machine as Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) locked out the top five.
Things got lively in the latter stages of the session on fresh rubber, with a few putting in time attacks. Viñales hit first to oust Quartararo from the top in the final two minutes, with Zarco and the Aprilias striking next. Viñales had the last word though, slamming in that stunning last lap to extend his advantage to over half a second. No one crashed in the session.
The tables were turned in the afternoon as Quartararo took over at the top, getting the better of team-mate Morbidelli by 0.178 in a Petronas Yamaha SRT 1-2. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was third, ahead of a stunning session for rookie Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) in P4. Local legend Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completed the top five in FP2, just ahead of Viñales.
In the early stages, Quartararo led the way from Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Viñales, with Lecuona impressing early on to sit inside the top five. Viñales was down to serious business, however, working on the medium front and hard rear Michelin tyres. The Spaniard looked like he was on rails, consistently setting personal bests. The Team Suzuki Ecstar machines of Alex Rins and Joan Mir were also going well in FP2 to both share a period at the top of the timesheets, but the Hamamatsu factory wouldn’t stay there by the end of the day.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder then took a tumble at Turn 6, but the South African went to the top of the time-sheets not long after as the riders pushed for that one-lap time attack in the final few minutes. Morbidelli, who was 12th in FP1, was next to take over at the top, before teammate Quartararo snatched it back to have the final say on Friday’s fastest.
Overall, that lap was enough to secure fastest overall on the combined timesheets for ‘El Diablo’, but when taking into account Viñales’ quickest from FP1, it’s not by much. Just 0.009 split the two at the top, with Morbidelli in third.
Pol Espargaro is therefore shuffled down to fourth overall, 0.297 off the top and with a couple of tenths in hand over Lecuona in P5. Rossi was next up to make it all four Yamahas in the top six, with Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) the first Borgo Panigale representative as he slotted into seventh overall.
Brad Binder is P8 after Day 1, with Styrian GP winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) just behind him… making it all four KTMs in the top ten and on for potential graduation to Q2. Aleix Espargaro was only 0.001 off the Portugese rider, however, completing the top ten for the Noale factory.
There’s one definite name missing there, and it’s the man second in the Championship: Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). The Italian was 11th on the combined timesheets by just 0.009, and he’ll be the first looking to move forward on Saturday. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), double podium finisher at the Red Bull Ring, was also down the order a little as the Aussie took P17 – a few hundredths ahead of team-mate Francesco Bagnaia as the latter returns from injury.
Fabio Quartararo – P1
“It feels really good after the difficult races in Austria. We’ve made a big improvement here; of course the track helps, as it is better for us. Those bad races have helped us learn to adapt quickly and helped us to become stronger. The two sessions today have been good, our pace in FP2 was great and the settings we have changed have really helped. With the new track surface there is more grip, but there are also more bumps, so will be interesting. I’m looking forward to tomorrow because I still feel like there is something more we can improve with the one lap pace.”
Maverick Vinales – P2
“The feelings were fantastic! In FP1 I did an amazing lap, and in FP2 I was focusing on the race rhythm. My rhythm is really good. I was able to set a very fast lap time at the end of the long run. For the time attack I rode with a used front tyre. I just tried a fresh soft rear tyre to see what the feeling is like, because tomorrow we‘re going to push. I‘m quite happy, I think we can do a good job here in Misano. It‘s important that we prepare well for the race, because it‘s going to be hard with many riders going very fast. But today I felt really good on the bike and like I had something more to give. We‘re going to start the race pushing hard from the beginning, and then we‘ll see. I will ride the race at the maximum at every corner on every lap.”
Franco Morbidelli – P3
“It was a wonderful Friday at my home GP today and it is nice to see some fans in the grandstands. We started with the right feeling and a good pace, we made some good lap times and I’m happy. I need to continue being focused as it is only Friday and nothing properly counts yet. We need to continue what we’ve been doing today on track on Sunday and then we can be even happier hopefully. I think Styria was tough for several reasons but with two weeks off I’ve been able to reset. Tomorrow we will try to improve the package further, try to make a good lap time and start from the first two rows.”
Iker Lecuona – P5
“For sure, I’m really happy! In FP1, I was struggling a little bit, but also because I didn’t change the tyres. I went out with a medium in the front and the soft one on the rear, but it didn’t work as planned. Anyway, I was working more on myself and we continued improving the base of the bike. Finally, we had a clean idea for FP2, exiting with a new tyre and a decent base. Already on the first run, I was really fast and consistent, riding alone and also on my fast lap, I was alone and managed to improve. This was my fastest lap time at this circuit and finishing inside the top 5 is a great start to the weekend. We just need to continue like this and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi – P6
“Today was a good Friday. It looks like our bike is more competitive here, and we can be stronger. Especially in the afternoon I wasn’t so bad, also with the pace. We need to give the maximum, because we can fight for a good result. We have to improve in some places, but I feel good with my bike, and at the end I did a good time attack. The P5 I got in FP2 is a good position for the first day. It will be very important to stay inside the top 10 tomorrow morning, so this is our next target. Misano is always a bit tricky. They did a very good job with the new asphalt, because it has very good grip and there are less bumps, but there are some bad ones in some places. There were more bumps with the previous asphalt, but they were smaller. For me, Misano is always special, because it’s really my home Grand Prix. I live 10 kilometers from here. I grew up here in Misano. To have a small crowd at the track is very important, because it completely changes the atmosphere, and it’s a good step for the future, so we go back to the normal situation as soon as possible.”
Danilo Petrucci – P7
“It was a good day, and it’s always nice to be able to race at our home track. With the new asphalt, the track conditions have changed, and there is much more grip than last year. Unfortunately, there are several bumps and that have created some problems for us. We have worked hard today to try to fix this, and it seems that in the afternoon, we were able to find a solution. Now we’ll have to try to understand how the tyres work for the race.”
Miguel Oliveira – P9
“It was not our best Friday morning, but we managed to do a comeback in the second practice. We did stay maybe a little bit conservative in the first practice, we stuck a little bit with the Spielberg setting, but in the afternoon, we came back to a closer base to what we used during the test here. The feeling was immediately better, we tried different tyres, which was ok. Overall, it was positive work, we finished inside the top 10. For sure there is still a gap to improve, but we have that potential. So, tomorrow morning we are going to work hard to be inside the Q2 immediately.”
Aleix Espargaro – P10
“This was undoubtedly a positive Friday. I was able to stay in the top 10 without doing a time attack in the afternoon and that means that we’ve done a good job with the tyres. This weekend promises to be interesting. We have seen various riders select different tyre compounds, so it will be important to make the right choices. I’m pleased with our work today. I can’t way to try and improve in FP3 with a new tyre to confirm a spot in Q2.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P11
“It has been a very strange day. This morning I wasn’t able to take advantage of the full session, and I wasn’t able to find a good feeling with the bike. I think this is because of the conditions of the new asphalt; there is a lot of grip, but also several bumps and I always feel like I am slower than the lap times I am actually doing. Now we will work to come back stronger tomorrow. It will be crucial to be able to find positive sensations again to then focus on the final details for the race”.
Takaaki Nakagami – P12
“Today was a bit of a struggle and in FP1 and FP2 we tried many things to improve the feeling on the bike. Because of the new surface there was more grip, but also more bumps on the track and we struggled when we hit the bumps and the bike was getting a little nervous. But even so, we’re very close to the top 10 and tomorrow I feel there are many places where I can go faster than today. We’ll try to improve the bike and get in the top 10 in FP3 and then see what we can do in qualifying.”
Alex Rins – P13
“This first day has been OK, but I still want to make a few adjustments in order to feel a bit better on the front end. We are going to work on this and I’m sure we can find something. I did a lot of laps on used tyres in FP1, and also in FP2 I tried different tyre options, and this has helped us to collect information coming into tomorrow. We need to change some things but we’re prepared for Saturday’s sessions.”
Johann Zarco – P14
“Today was a good start, I had a good feeling, and I see that I can be fast. I got more pain on my right wrist, more than I expected, so that is why at the afternoon I took some anti-inflammatory and it was better in the afternoon about the pain. The track is good about the grip, because you can get a good confident with the tires, front and rear, to push. I hope I will feel better tomorrow because I feel I can go fastest but I can’t relax me.”
Joan Mir – P15
“At the moment we haven’t shown one lap pace to be at the top, but the truth is that my pace on a used tyre is actually pretty good – I feel comfortable and had great feeling. I had a moment when I tried to do a flying lap at the end of the session and I had to use my motocross skills in the gravel! But we’re ready for FP3 tomorrow morning and I’m confident that I can be strong.”
Bradley Smith – P16
“We started well this morning with fifth place, whereas our program in the afternoon was different. It’s true that after the tests we had an idea on how the tyres would work in the race, but we still need to test them again and get a better feel for how they’ll perform over the long distance. The bike seems to work well here, partly thanks to the good level of available grip. Tomorrow morning, we’ll obviously use the soft tyre, after testing a couple of changes.”
Jack Miller – P17
“It was not the beginning I had hoped for, I had some difficulties, especially in the afternoon session but the pace was good. My shoulder did not give me any problems and I am happy about that. We still have work to do, but I am very focused for tomorrow.”
Pecco Bagnaia – P18
“It was a good day, we were working a lot to find the confident with my bike. Today it was a very important day to understand how my leg reacted while I rode so I’m very satisfied with the work done at home. This morning I didn’t struggled instead during FP2 a little more, but it’s normal. Suring the afternoon I improved my best lap with old tyres and I’m very happy for this. Tomorrow we will made another step in front in anticipation of the race.”
Cal Crutchlow – P19
“As far as riding the bike goes, I felt more positive today and I was able to do some good runs. The pace was ok, the position was not great, but we didn’t put the new tyre on in FP2 to get a good lap time, so we tried to work on the setting of the bike and the feeling of the bike, which is a bit better at this track so far. With regards to my arm, at the moment I have a lot of liquid on my arm and a lot of problems with how swollen the arm is. Maybe it’s not fully recovered, but we’re speaking a lot with the doctors and taking their advice with regard to the best thing to do throughout the weekend and we’ll make a decision tomorrow morning on whether to continue and go session by session. But overall, today was a good day to be back on the bike in Misano.”
Stefan Bradl – P20
“We have been working on the setting of the bike today and we have been trying to find the balance. The circuit is quite bumpy, as we saw in the test. I think some other riders are finding it a bit difficult too, especially since the bumps are in a fast part of the track. I was able to improve my time a decent amount today so we will keep working tomorrow and see what comes.”
Alex Marquez – P21
“We knew that today would be a little difficult at the start as some others have done more testing here. In the end I don’t think we are too far and we need to keep improving as we have been previously. Over one lap still we are missing something, but our rhythm and overall feeling is a lot better than our position shows. Today we weren’t fully focused on one lap and when you combine all my sectors it is a 1’33.5. We are starting here with a better feeling than in Austria even with the bumps on the faster part of the circuit.”
Tito Rabat – P22
“It has been a difficult day, in which we finished +1.7 from the lead in a sunny day and testing the new asphalt. Tomorrow we will continue working”
Friday MotoGP Combined Practice Times
Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) took back to the top on Day 1 of the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, putting in a 1:36.933 to pip Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) to the honour by half a tenth. The top three was completed by last year’s winner and Lowes’ teammate Augusto Fernandez, with the Spaniard still within just over a tenth of the top. Bastianini also confirmed on Friday that he will move up to the premier MotoGP class in 2021 with Ducati.
A 1:37.245 in FP1 – 1.3 seconds faster than the quickest effort in FP1 last year – put Sam Lowes in P1 in the morning, with the Brit beating Championship leader and local hero Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) to the top by a couple of tenths. Marini’s teammate and Styrian GP winner Marco Bezzecchi was next up; another Italian in the top three and only another tenth in arrears.
Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) took fourth, just 0.088 ahead of the third home hero in the top five as Bastianini started his home GP off in P5 – with more to come…
Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) took a tumble at Turn 16, before Fernandez then went down at Turn 1. Schrötter also crashed, the German heading down at Turn 14, before Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) ran afoul of the same corner towards the end of the session.
In the afternoon, the ‘Beast’ struck back. Bastianini turned the tables to lead Lowes by 0.059 in the session, as well as beat the Brit’s fastest lap from the morning. Although the top six all managed that, too, as the times tumbled in FP2. Last year’s winner Fernandez was only another tiny margin behind, this time 0.056.
Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) moved up to fourth in the afternoon, with Marini taking the final place in the top five.
There were two crashes in FP2: Schrötter went down again, and again at Turn 14, before Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) took a tumble in the same place a few minutes later.
On the combined timesheets, it’s almost a mirror image of FP2 barring Jesko Raffin (NTS RW Racing GP) as the Swiss rider brought up the rear on his return from injury and was unable to improve in the afternoon. Bastianini leads Lowes, Fernandez, Bulega and Marini, with Fabio Di Giannantonio (+Ego Speed Up) in P6 as last year’s second place finisher got back on the pace – just 0.032 off Marini.
Hafizh Syahrin (Oceanica Aspar Team Moto2) impressed in seventh as he comes back from injuries sustained in the headline-making Austrian GP crash, the second Speed Up in the top ten, and Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) made it three for the factory as he took P9 overall. Schrötter completed the top ten despite his two offs on Friday.
Rookie Aron Canet (Oceanica Aspar Team Moto2) was only just off that top ten in P11, ahead of Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the Japanese rider was a more muted presence on Friday. Vierge and Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) are currently the last two on to move directly to Q2, but everything can still change on Saturday. With Lowes starting from pitlane due to a penalty, it could essentially end up for a fight for the top 13 on the grid, too.
Friday Moto2 Combined Practice Times
|6||F.Di Giannanto||SPEED UP||+0.310|
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez is the man to beat after Day 1 at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with the Spaniard putting down an early marker in the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini to head the timesheets from Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3). Third overall belonged to 2019 winner and home team hero Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse).
The Moto3 field were the first to taste a freshly resurfaced Misano on Friday morning, and Fernandez’ session-topping 1:42.501 was less than seven tenths adrift of the fastest-ever Moto3 lap, which is, for reference, the 1:41.823 set by Jorge Martin on his way to pole position in 2018. Gabriel Rodrigo was second in the session, a couple of tenths behind Fernandez, with Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) slotting into third and half a second off the top.
John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Styrian GP winner Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) were split by hundredths in P4 and P5 respectively, with the timesheets tightening up behind the top three.
Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) crashed, unhurt, in the early stages of FP1, before Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) became the second and final rider to take a tumble. The Czech rider was able to rejoin the action straight away though.
In the afternoon, 2019 winner Tatsuki Suzuki moved up the order to lead the way with a 1:42.783, the Japanese rider pipping Championship leader Albert Arenas (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) by just half a tenth. Third was even closer, however, as Fernandez ended the session just 0.021 in further arrears. Sky Racing Team VR46 duo Andrea Migno and Celestino Vietti completed the fastest five.
There were a number of crashers in the afternoon, starting with Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Moto3). Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was next, before a rare crash for compatriot Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), and Rodrigo then tangled with Barry Baltus (CarXpert PrüstelGP). The final incident was a technical issue for Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team).
There were also a few penalties to be served. Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PrüstelGP), Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Öncü and Toba were all suspended from the first 10 minutes of FP2 due to irresponsible riding in FP1, with Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team), Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing), Davide Pizzoli (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) and Ryusei Yamanaka (Estrella Galicia 0,0) all suspended from the first 15 minutes of FP2, as it was their second similar offence of the season…
Overall, it’s Fernandez who leads the way on Friday thanks to his FP1 time, just ahead of Rodrigo and the Argentine’s lap from the same session. Third is Suzuki as the Japanese rider’s FP2 best moves him up on the combined times, and he’s followed by a few names who were on his tail in FP2: Arenas fourth, Migno fifth and Vietti sixth. McPhee’s FP2 best puts him in seventh overall.
Ayumu Sasaki slots into P8 courtesy of his FP1 time, ahead of another train of names who put in their fastest efforts in the afternoon: Garcia in ninth, Masia 10th, his teammate Foggia in 11th, Salač in 12th, Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) in 13th and second in the Championship, Ai Ogura, down in P14. He’s currently the last of the provisional Q2 graduates… at the expense of Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) by just 0.004.
Friday Moto3 Combined Practice Times
On Friday at Round 2 of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, the gap between the top two was 0.032. Fast forward to Round 3 and, incredibly, it’s exactly the same tiny margin. This time around it was Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) at the top, with home hero and 2019 winner at the track Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) the man on the chase. Third went the way of fellow home hero – although this time, Sammarinese rider – Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE), with the veterans shining on Day 1 of the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.
Perfect sunshine greeted the grid for both sessions, although there were a few small hiccups to contend with. In FP1, both Ferrari and Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) suffered technical issues, and in FP2 there was a crash for points leader Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP). Nothing put too big a dent in the day’s proceedings, however, as Ferrari was second overall and Casadei P4 by the end of play. Aegerter? He still completed the top five first time out on the Energica at the venue.
Sixth went the way of Niki Tuuli (Avant Ajo MotoE) after some encouraging signs for the Finnish rider. A tougher start to the season compounded by a wrist fracture saw him off the pace we’d learned to expect from him early on in the 2019 edition of the Cup, but P6 as he returns from injury is an impressive showing in Round 3. Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took seventh, less than a tenth off Tuuli, with LCR E-Team taking P8 and P9. It was Xavier Simeon who came out on top in that battle of the teammates, the Belgian pipping Niccolo Canepa by just 0.023. The gap to complete the top ten was similarly tight, with Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) only another 0.024 in arrears in tenth – denying fellow rookie Lukas Tulovic (Tech 3 E-Racing) by 0.016.
Josh Hook was 15th quickest, 1.5-seconds off the pace-setter’s benchmark. “Was a difficult day for us today, we didn’t improve like we wanted because we had some problems, we have some work to do for tomorrow. We will look at the data tonight and we will see tomorrow.”
Friday MotoE Combined Practice Times
2020 MotoGP Calendar
|7||13 September||Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli|
|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