2020 MotoGP Round Three – Brno
Monster Energy Grand Prix České Republiky
Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) remains the man to beat after Day 1 of the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, setting the timesheets alive in the afternoon to end Friday fastest. It was far from lonely at the top, however, as his teammate Franco Morbidelli was just 0.007 behind to go P2 overall.
The top three was completed by another Independent Team runner in the form of Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), the Portugese rider putting KTM within half a tenth of the top, with Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) the fastest Ducati to make it a 1-2-3-4 for Independent Teams – and all four were within a tenth.
Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) crashed in FP1 and has been declared unfit. The Italian headed to the medical centre and then Brno University hospital for check ups on his right knee and has been diagnosed with a fracture at the top of his tibia.
Fabio Quartararo – P1
“I had a really good feeling with the bike today, but we had an issue with tyre consistency, which we need to find a better setting for. We have the speed, so that is good for tomorrow and we just need to make sure that we choose well which tyre we use Sunday in the race. At the end of the second session I was trying to find a way to ride differently to improve how the tyre feels and it worked and we finished quickest. Now we need to think about how we can improve this further, check the data and make sure that we are as prepared as we can be for qualifying tomorrow and then also Sunday’s race.”
Franco Morbidelli – P2
“We had two great sessions today and I felt like we have carried on where we left off in Jerez, which is very positive. In FP2 we used the new soft tyre and put in a really good lap on it, which I’m really happy about. There are some things we need to understand, especially which tyre to use in the race, because with the changing track conditions it’s not clear what the best option is at the moment. I’m really happy with this first day here though and I’m looking to work with the team tonight to make sure we’re getting the best performance out of everything again tomorrow.”
Miguel Oliveira- P3
“Obviously, I feel comfortable. The last race in Jerez really gave us a clearer idea about the direction to take with the setting of the bike, the speed and just the time attack. This afternoon, we managed to do a great job. We had to go through all the tyres and see which one was working better. We had a decent pace and, in the end, everything worked out well. Being third overall of today feels truly good.”
Johann Zarco – P4
“Happy about Friday at Czech Republic. I know the bike can have a good advantage here with the power, but in the morning, I had to take references to ride well the bike and I finished good the practice with the new tyre. Then in afternoon I continued improving because the other riders were fast. It was hot and the constancy is not still my strongest point now but something much better than Jerez. I can do with a new tyre a good lap and this is a really good improvement to get the Q2 tomorrow and a good qualifying.”
Maverick Vinales – P5
“The feeling overall is good, I‘m quite satisfied. This morning I made a mistake, because I went a little bit wide and I hit the bumps, so I crashed. I hit my right shoulder, but it seems like everything is okay, so I‘m quite happy about that. The conditions here are totally different from what we had in Jerez, it‘s a different situation, so we have to think and try to understand where and how each tyre spec is working for our bike and adjust the set-up accordingly. I‘m optimistic for the race, I think we can do a really good job. The track is very slippery and bumpy but, though I didn‘t do the perfect lap today, the feeling is there, and I feel confident. I think we understand well where we can improve, so we‘re going to work very hard this evening to make another step for tomorrow.”
“I’m very happy about today. I felt good with the bike straight away and I was competitive from the beginning of the day. We’re working on set-up quite a bit because the track is very slippery and also bumpy, so we need to work on electronics to make things easier and we also need to understand how best to conserve the tyres. So, we’ll continue working, and I hope I can keep this strong pace tomorrow – good qualifying will be crucial.”
Aleix Espargaro – P7
“Overall, it was a better start than in Jerez, thanks in part to the layout of this track. Acceleration from low speed, where we have some difficulties, is not as important here. We tried to move forward calmly, testing a different setting in the afternoon in an attempt to find better grip. Unfortunately, the asphalt conditions are critical. I like racing here in Brno and I find it to be one of the nicest tracks on the Championship calendar, but it could definitely do with a resurfacing.”
Takaaki Nakagami – P9
“Today we had a great start to the day and, as you know, we were on top in FP1 which was very positive for us, the team and myself. But in FP2, the afternoon session, it was a bit of a struggle. When the temperature increases a little, the track conditions become different. We tried to work on our race pace and also a different tyre, it was a struggle but also quite good for the first day as we are still in the top 10. Of course, the FP3 session tomorrow morning will be tough, everyone gets faster and faster, but we are improving and we understand where we are losing time. So we’re very positive for tomorrow and am pretty happy with the team’s job today.”
Jack Miller – P10
“The grip was quite low and the track is very bumpy. We did some change on the bike and now we are in the right direction, the feeling is positive. Everybody is going very fast, but we just had to find the right set up, I’m very confident for tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi – P12
“It‘s a difficult situation and these are difficult conditions. The track‘s lay-out is fantastic, but the asphalt here has some bumps and the grip level is low. We especially suffer from rear tyre degradation, after some laps we lose a lot of performance. I think solving that will be key for a good result on Sunday. My pace is not so bad, but unfortunately during the lap with the soft tyre I wasn‘t strong enough to stay inside the top 10, so this is a problem. We need to use tomorrow morning‘s FP3 to get a place in the top 10 and get into Q2. In MotoGP everything changes from one practice session to the other. It‘s only Friday. As always there are a lot of riders and different bikes that are very strong, but my speed is not so bad either. We have to work in some areas to further improve, but we are quite good.”
Alex Rins – P13
“This first day has gone well. I felt pretty good in both sessions, but in FP2 I started to feel a bit more pain from my shoulder. I didn’t want to stress it so I opted for shorter runs with good laps rather than trying to put together long runs or a race simulation, that way I could manage my strength and pain. Despite the shoulder, I’m feeling good with my bike and with the track. I didn’t find the grip too bad so let’s see what I can do tomorrow, I want to move directly into Q2 so I can do one less session and have a better chance of a good grid spot.”
“I am quite satisfied with the work done on this first day here in Brno. Compared to the two Grand Prix in Jerez, my sensations are more positive, and I am also happy with my feeling with the bike. This morning we were able to find a good rhythm immediately, but we have to improve our performance in the afternoon. We need to work on the race pace and try to fix some aspects to limit the consumption of the tyres, as they tend to wear out a lot with the high temperatures. Tomorrow morning’s FP3 will be very important, also to be able to qualify in the top ten and enter Q2 directly”.
Andrea Dovizioso – P15
“It was a bit of a strange day because we had to deal with particular track conditions, where the performance of the tyres tends to drop a lot. I think we will all have to work differently than usual, to try to be as consistent as possible in the race. In general, my feeling with the bike is good, it is improving each session, and I have a good feeling on braking. Today I didn’t put the soft tyre, but at the moment the setup for the race is our top priority.”
Alex Marquez – P16
“Nice to be back out on the bike and at a circuit I like a lot. It was a good first day aside from the small issue in Free Practice 2, but honestly it did not hurt us too much. The grip was not perfect and there were a lot of crashes, especially in the lower classes so hopefully this improves for tomorrow. I felt really good today, but I still need to work on my one lap pace, the feeling for tomorrow is good and we are building out rhythm. Let’s see what the circuit is like and what is possible.”
Cal Crutchlow – P17
“Today went quite well and I was pleased with the work we did. FP1 went quite well and I was satisfied with the work we did there as getting comfortable back on the bike was difficult after Jerez. I had an arm pump in my right arm and then we decided in the afternoon to change the handlebar position a little bit and that didn’t really work, but then we made another change – I went back to my normal handlebars – and it seemed to work better with me in a different position on the bike. I was able to control it quite well and I felt good over the FP2 session. We didn’t take advantage of a new tyre today as I thought it was better to continue to work than put on a tyre for the fast lap, but overall I was pleased with how the day went.”
Tito Rabat – P18
“It was a complicated day, especially because the track had not too much grip and was very bumpy. In the morning we were at 1.3 and in the afternoon 1.2. We have good telemetry to look at, points where we can improve and tomorrow morning we’ll go full speed ahead. Having our teammate in front is a good sign because it means we have a lot of room for improvement.”
Pecco Bagnaia – P19
“Tomorrow morning I will be back in Italy. Luckily the fracture did not affect the ligaments of the knee so the recovery time will be faster. I’m really sorry because this morning the feeling with the bike was really good. My goal is to be on track for the second race in Austria. I would like to thank all the medical staff, the Clinica Mobile, Pramac team, Ducati and the VR46RidersAcademy for their great support. See you on track soon.”
Bradley Smith – P20
“Today we focused on gathering some information the engineers need in terms of setup ideas. Aleix tried a few solutions and I tried some others, so now we’ll need to analyse the results in detail. I didn’t attempt any flying laps with the soft tyres. We’ll concentrate on that during FP3 tomorrow morning. The grip conditions are rather critical, which is not surprising since the asphalt is 12 years old by now, and that is a situation that should be discussed in the Safety Commission. For the tyres, the situation is complex. None of the options are perfect, but we’ll have to find the best compromise in terms of grip and duration.”
Iker Lecuona – P21
“It was a really difficult day. This track is completely new for me with the MotoGP bike and to be honest, it was never one of my favourites. Now with the KTM RC16, I need to learn a lot in just a short time. I struggled quite a lot, although I could improve my lap time this afternoon. Still, the gap to the front is too big, so I need to continue to work hard together with my team, there are some decisions to take for tomorrow and then we hope to be faster on Saturday.”
Stefan Bradl – P22
“Today was about getting the feeling again. No matter how long you have been riding for, when you come back to a MotoGP bike after a break and you accelerate down the straight, the power always seems surprising. It has been six months since I was on this bike, so it took some time to adjust the mind to these speeds and managing everything, this is quite normal. But we are going well, and we are making improvements with each lap. I’m ready for tomorrow and looking forward to it after a positive first day – so far so good.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Team Director
“We‘re happy to be back into action, but it‘s clear from today‘s sessions that the Brno track conditions are very different from those in Jerez two weeks ago. The asphalt here is quite bumpy and there is a lack of edge grip, which forms a challenge for us, because high corner speed is usually our forte. That said, we are making good progress, and the track conditions will also improve as more and more rubber is laid down throughout the weekend. Maverick found a solid base to work from right from the start of FP1 and feels comfortable. There is still a lot of work to do, but the first signs for him are positive. Valentino has been focusing on fixing rear tyre degradation, because the 21-lap race on Sunday will be a challenge and there are many tyre options for us to consider. We will work hard tonight to further boost our performance for tomorrow so we can have both riders in Q2.”
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager
“We did a good job. Joan had consistent pace and was also able to set fast lap times as well, so we’ll keep working with him on the settings and hope to improve even more. Alex wanted to take care of his shoulder, so we kept things calm today, but we also managed to work on settings, and he has a good feeling with the bike. We’re ready to see what tomorrow brings.”
MotoGP Day One Summary
Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was on top for much of FP1, but the glory went the way of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) at the end of the session after a late charge put him on top. Behind him was Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) as he impressed on his return Brno after his big crash in testing last year, ending FP1 only 0.011 off the top. Pol Espargaro was therefore shuffled down to complete the top three.
Zarco impressed in P4 in his first session at Brno on a Ducati, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) edging out key Championship rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) to complete the top five. That made it five manufacturers in the top five, with only half a second covering the top 16 in FP1.
Viñales was an early crasher in the session as he slid out at Turn 13 – rider ok – and both Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) subsequently ran off at the same corner, pulling solid saves out the hat to stay upright through the gravel. Miller’s teammate Bagnaia was the second rider to suffer a tumble in FP1, but he was unluckier as his spill ruled him out of the rest of the weekend and maybe the Austrian GP too.
Despite the hotter temperatures, the top 14 improved in the afternoon and Quartararo reversed his Friday trend from Jerez – where he finished both first days outside the top ten – as the end of the session became a hot lap shoot out and the Frenchman came out on top.
Mir was the man leading the way when Morbidelli struck and knocked a whopping 0.936 off the fastest lap of the day, kickstarting the FP2 gold rush as a flurry of red sectors started to appear from a good few riders. Oliveira got within a few hundredths, Viñales looked threatening, and Zarco and Mir were still up at the sharp end. But with 30 seconds left on the clock for Friday, Quartararo was the only man left to cross the line – and just pipped his teammate by 0.007.
That made it another Petronas Yamaha SRT 1-2, pushing Oliveira down to a nevertheless incredible P3. Zarco impressed in fourth once again, as in FP1, with Viñales completing the top five. The number 12 had punched in a stunning first sector on his last time attack, but the lap went away from him.
Mir was sixth in FP2 and overall following the shuffle, ahead of a big leap forward for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro as he knocked seven tenths off his morning best to end the day in P7 – and just get the better of brother Pol Espargaro. Nakagami was ninth on the combined timesheets, ahead of Miller as the Australian rounded out the top ten overall.
That leaves Binder in P11, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) just behind him and Andrea Dovizioso down in P15. They’ll certainly be looking for more in FP3, although the time attacks didn’t come from everyone on Friday, so the margin could well be there…
Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had the sole incident in FP2, the Spanish rookie seemingly suffering a technical problem and pulling over early in the session before scootering back to the pits.
MotoGP Friday Combined Times
Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) heads the combined timesheets on Friday at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, the Brit’s FP1 time keeping him ahead of the game despite an Italian invasion in FP2. In the afternoon, Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) moved up to complete the top three overall by way of P1 and P3 – split by Lowes.
Lowes went fastest in the morning, ultimately by over three tenths ahead of a resurgent Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) in P2. The American had led the way heading into the latter part of FP1 before seeing himself pushed down to second. Championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed the top three, less than a tenth off Roberts’ best, ahead of Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) as he got back at the sharp end in P4. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) rounded out the fastest five in the morning.
Kasma Daniel (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was the only crasher in FP1, the Malaysian taking two tumbles but rider ok.
Jerez winner Bastianini got the better of Lowes in the afternoon, although the Brit ended FP2 second quickest overall. Marini leaped up the timesheets to third, ahead of a huge improvement from Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) as he moved into fourth in the session. Meanwhile, Roberts was consistent – ending FP2 in fifth and with a similar laptime.
Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) was an early faller, and FP2 didn’t start well for Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the Spaniard crashed at Turn 11 with 10 minutes gone. Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) later went down at Turn 10, and Nagashima was the next faller after a strong FP1, the Japanese rider crashing at Turn 13. Finally, Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team Moto2) took a tumble at Turn 5 after a tougher day for the Moto2 rookie in Czechia.
By the end of play though, it’s Lowes leading Bastianini and Marini, with Roberts holding onto fourth from his FP1 laptime. Navarro shuffles into fifth overall, ahead of Nagashima. Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) showed some good speed to take seventh overall, ahead of Bezzecchi.
Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was ninth, with Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) completing the top ten.
Fernandez and Schrötter are P11 and P12 by way of their FP1 times, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) and Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) currently the last two set to move through.
Moto2 Friday Combined Times
|7||F.Di Giannanto||SPEED UP||+0.450|
Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) has topped the practice timesheets once again in the Moto3 World Championship, ending Friday at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky in P1 by virtue of his fastest laptime in FP1. Under the summer sun in Czechia, most of those currently set to go straight into Q2 set their quickest efforts in the morning, including Red Bull KTM Ajo duo Kaito Toba and Raul Fernandez as they completed the top three overall.
Rodrigo was quickest but left it late to topple Toba, with the Japanese rider having spent much of the session at the top. Ultimately Rodrigo rounded out the the session just over a tenth ahead after a late push, with the second Red Bull KTM Ajo of Toba’s teammate Raul Fernandez ending FP1 third fastest and a further 0.121 in arrears.
Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) had a good first session as he took P4, only 0.060 off Fernandez, before a big gap separated the fastest four from the rest. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) was half a second off Foggia in fith, with the rest of the top ten split by almost nothing, including the likes of Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) and key challenger John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing).
There were a number of crashes in FP1, all riders ok. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) went down at Turn 13, before Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) had one crash at Turn 11 and then another at Turn 3. Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PruestelGP) crashed at Turn 7, with Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) retiring at almost the same time and place after running out of fuel. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) also some a little drama as he moved off the racing line on the main straight with an issue, pulling in at the end of pitlane.
As the temperatures rose, the laptimes slowed slightly but it was Fernandez back at the sharp end as he was fastest in FP2. The afternoon’s second quickest lap came courtesy of Masia after a sterling effort to bounce back from his two FP1 crashes, and his 2:09.364 makes him one of few to improve overall. The top five in FP2 was completed by Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), McPhee and Garcia.
Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Racing) was the first to crash in FP2 as he took a tumble at Turn 7, and he’s gone for a check up at local hospital. Ayumu Sasaki then went down at Turn 10, before the same corner also caught out his compatriot Kaito Toba a few minutes later, although the number 27 was able to get back on track. Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) slid out at Turn 5, Vietti at Turn 4 and, finally, Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) at Turn 13. All riders ok, Tatay pending his check up.
By the end of the day, Rodrigo leads the way ahead of Toba, Fernandez and Foggia as the fastest four come from FP1, with Masia completing the top five to shuffle Sasaki down to sixth. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) is P7 ahead of Arenas, with McPhee taking ninth. Fenati completes the top ten for Husqvarna.
Riccardo Rossi (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) took an impressive P11 ahead of an equally impressive Dupasquier, with Sergio Garcia next up as the second rider – alongside Masia – to improve in FP2. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) currently stands to be the last man moving through to Q2, but everything can get another shake up on Saturday ahead of qualifying.
Moto3 Friday Combined Times
Monster Energy Grand Prix České Republiky Schedule
MotoGP Championship Points Standings