2021 FIM MotoGP World Championship
Round 14 – Misano
Francesco Bagnaia – P1
“It was another perfect weekend! It wasn’t an easy race at all: Quartararo was really strong towards the end, but I tried to stay consistent as much as possible. To get another win was important, and to do it here at my home track, in front of so many fans and those who love me, was even more special. Now we won’t have much time to celebrate: Tuesday and Wednesday, we’ll be back on track for two days of testing, but for now, I want to enjoy this success”.
Fabio Quartararo – P2
“I was thinking about overtaking Pecco on the last lap, but he did an amazing race. I tried everything. To be honest, today I even forgot mostly about the championship. I had some moments with the front, it was close to being a zero today, but in the end a score of 20 here in Misano is very positive. I can’t wait to be back the day after tomorrow for the test. We have some interesting things to do. I have nearly a two-race-wins advantage with four races to go. I think that’s quite nice. I’m so happy about that, and you can imagine how happy I am that it stayed dry. I feel so good. Last year, my weak point was that I was thinking too much about the championship, but today it was the opposite: I didn’t think about it enough. I was super on the limit and I’m happy. My dad said after the finish that I rode like a champion today, which I really appreciated. Let’s see what we can do in Misano 2. I think that will be fun, because this was one of the most fun races I ever did. My pace was so strong, and I came so close. I will give it another try in Misano 2.”
Enea Bastianini – P3
“It was an unexpected result, but since this morning I thought it was possible because I saw that I could do good lap times easily. We were able to find a good set-up on the bike and I was able to enjoy. In the middle of the race I felt really good and when I overtook Miller, I kept setting my pace. I knew I had Quartararo and Bagnaia in front of me and I wanted to try to attack them, but I was already pretty much at the limit. I’m very happy with this 3rd position and it was great to get this podium in Misano.”
Marc Marquez – P4
“I am really happy with our performance today because honestly speaking I was not expecting this result today! At the start I was calm and honestly not riding very fast, but step by step we went faster and our feeling improved. The key point was staying calm in the first laps and pushing at the end, I’m quite proud about the last part of the race because I brought Mir with me. In practice it was a little different, I was following him, but in the race, he was following me and we caught Jack. In the last lap I didn’t feel like I could fight, but Mir and Miller went wide and I saw my opportunity! It was nice and now we get ready for a really important two-day test here.”
Jack Miller – P5
“Fifth for the second time in a week, some decent points here in Misano … but to be honest there’s not a lot to be happy about after that. I got off to a decent start, had Fabio (Quartararo) behind me after a little fight on the first lap and I sat about a second behind my team-mate Pecco (Bagnaia) for the first seven laps, and then … it ended up as just one of those days.
“I ran wide on lap 8 and Fabio did too behind me, but by about lap 14 when he got past me I was already hanging on with the rear tyre. From then on my fight was with the guys behind me really, and I had Marc (Marquez) and (Joan) Mir all over me in the last few laps. I started the last lap fourth, both of them came past so I finished sixth, then Mir had to drop a position for track limits so there I was in fifth again. My final lap was half a second slower than anything I did all race, I didn’t have a lot of edge grip there by the end.
“Pecco chose the hard front/soft rear tyres like I did and he won the race, so I don’t think it was the combination or the choice of tyres for me that was the problem. Massive congratulations to Pecco, he did a good job for sure. I was struggling with some vibrations from the middle of the race and that was pretty much it, really. I was comfortable and confident in the beginning but after I had that bit of a moment, it was a struggle. This track is particularly hard on the left side of the tyre, so I’ve said my piece about the tyre and we’ll have to analyse it, find the issue and get on top of it.
“I’ve always qualified well here but one way or another, I’ve never really finished that great. It was the third time I’d been P2 here on Saturday and the other two times I didn’t even score a point – I fell off and then finished outside the points three years ago and last year we had that bizarre thing when the tear-off from Fabio ended up in my air box and I had to pull in to retire. Speed has never been the issue here, I’ve been really fast at this place in the past but haven’t been able to bring it home. Jerez had been like that for me as well before this year, and we turned things around there … but it wasn’t to be for me today.
“We’re at that time of the year now when you look more at the championship standings to see what’s possible, and for us the teams’ championship is within reach, for sure. We’re creeping closer and closer to the factory Yamaha boys. Last year we helped Ducati get the constructors’ title and that was fantastic, so get the teams’ one this time would be massive for us.
“For me, seventh is the best I’ve done over a season before now so I’d love to get myself on the rostrum, inside the top three, and I reckon that’s possible. I’m only a point off (Johann) Zarco in fourth now and 27 behind Mir in third, so there’s a bit of work to do with four races to go, but it’s achievable so I need to keep chipping away at it. It’s definitely not out of the question for Pecco to win the whole thing too, so I’m happy to help out with whichever way I can. If I can see an opportunity to try and help Pecco, I’ll definitely try and do that.
“It feels like we’re going to be here at Misano forever because we have a two-day test here this week, and then we’re back here for another race in late October after we go to America for the next one. It seems like so long since we last went to Austin because it is – it’s been two-and-a-half years! I was on the podium there last time in 2019, my first dry podium, so it’s been a while. A lot has changed since then, that’s for sure. It’ll definitely be good to get back to Texas because it’s a track that I like.”
Joan Mir – P6
“Honestly I expected things to be different today – I was struggling a lot and that was quite a surprise. At the beginning my feeling wasn’t very good, but it got much better as the race went on, although by then it was too late to really challenge. Our potential is much higher than this, and I really want to demonstrate that in the next races. I actually really enjoyed the last laps, overtaking Marc and fighting with Jack; it was tough but it was fun. We all swapped places many times and unfortunately I was just over the track limits on the last lap which meant I had to move back one place to sixth. It could be worse, and I will keep my head up and look to the next rounds. Texas is an exciting circuit and I’m keen to get there.”
Pol Espargaro – P7
“At the end of the day I am surprised with the rhythm we had in the race because during the weekend I was struggling to get under the 33.0 time, but we did the race under this every lap. We were also able to finish just three seconds behind my teammate, of course the position is not what we are aiming for but this is a better situation than I was expecting. We started in the second row and finished seventh, a little off the top four and we should be happy with this result. We’ll carry the positive vibe into the Tuesday and Wednesday test and keep working. Of course there are still some things to work on and it will be a busy test but I feel like we have made a step and there’s more to come.”
Aleix Espargaro – P8
“I’m not disappointed with the end result. I stayed with the group that was battling for fourth basically throughout the entire race. The reality is that it was very difficult to take the RS-GP to the limit here. We were lacking stability. Because of this, I made several mistakes that cost me positions. Historically, Misano makes life difficult for us. It will be important for us to try some things during the tests in anticipation of the second race on this circuit. I have a few ideas that I’ll be discussing with the technicians.”
Brad Binder – P9
“I gave my max today from lap one until the end. I feel we made an improvement from yesterday to today and that was clear from the morning and warm-up. We finished 9th when I struggled to break through the top 17 all weekend, so hats off to the boys, they are working hard. We need to keep grafting. We have the test coming up so we need some more understanding and then we’ll be back to where we need to be.”
Takaaki Nakagami – P10
“It was a tough race from P13, but we managed to finish in the top 10 in the team’s home GP. We found some improvement during the race which is good, so that will help us make another step forward in the next race in Austin. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we have a two-day test here in Misano, so we’ll keep trying to improve the bike and improve our pace and potential. These two days of testing will be really important for us and hopefully we can find more improvement for our base set-up. I want to thank my team and all the sponsors who came here to Misano.”
Michele Pirro – P11
“As I am not riding in MotoGP full time, I lacked a bit of pace today. I used a tyre that was too soft in the race, and when it started to drop, I was forced to slow down after taking a few risks. Anyway, I had a lot of fun, and I am really happy for Bagnaia! Our package proved to work well! I hope to get a better result when I race here again in October in the Emilia Romagna and Made in Italy GP. I want to thank Ducati and the Ducati Test Team for their support this weekend”.
Johann Zarco – P12
“Not the result I had hoped for. I didn’t start well and immediately lost a couple of positions. As soon as I was able to regain a good race pace, I made a mistake in T1, and was given a long lap penalty. After this, it was impossible to comeback and stay with the leading group.”
Maverick Vinales – P13
“Another 27 laps to get to know the RS-GP – a race where I also tried different movements in the saddle and different trajectories to figure out how to get the most out of this bike. I expected a bit more, to be honest. I lost a lot of ground at the start and in general I had to battle with the bike more than expected. We are well aware that we need time. We can’t expect a spike in performance from one day to the next, but we’ve reduced the gap and there are positive aspects in any case, like the ease of overtaking or the good tyre management with the Aprilia.”
Stefan Bradl – P14
“I am pleased with what we have been able to do this weekend, to score points again was the objective. Of course, as a racer I would have liked to have finished higher, but this result is acceptable. We were able to help Honda HRC this weekend, show our speed and ultimately finish ahead of some very strong riders. It is good to be able to reward the Test Team with a result like this after a busy time testing to show our speed overall.”
Álex Márquez – P15
“The good thing is we finished the race and have one point, but we were slow from the beginning, had no feeling with the rear tyre and it was difficult to get grip. All weekend I had felt ok from that point and in the warm-up today I felt good with the used tyre and was able to do some 33-zeros. In the race I don’t know what happened, but from the beginning I struggled to get grip and traction, so we need to analyse what the problem was. I don’t want to make a conclusion too early, but we now have an important test here so we’ll try to understand things and improve.”
Danilo Petrucci – P16
“It was a really difficult race. We managed to have a better pace compared to practice. I didn’t expect to be faster and consistent like this, to be honest. I struggled a lot but I tried my best to at least score one point. in the last four laps, I was pretty much done with myself and fought with the bike. In the end, we finished the race and we have a test coming up, in which we will try to work on our weaknesses.”
“The crash yesterday meant that I started the race today from 23rd, which was a problem. In the first corner I was able to recover some positions, but then in Turn 4 there was some contact and I had to go off track, which put me last. After that I tried to push, my pace was decent and I was able to complete some overtakes. It’s a shame that it wasn’t enough to earn some points. After the flag it was really nice with the fans, a really emotional moment for me, and I enjoyed being able to do a lap of honour. We have a test this week, so we will try the tyres and see what we can improve with the setting. After that we go to Austin, which was a great race for me last time, and we will see what our potential can be there.”
Franco Morbidelli – P18
“It was tough, but anyway it was nice to get back to racing. I had a good start, and it was nice to stay in the pack for a few laps. I enjoyed it and it was the right thing to do. This morning I wasn’t thinking that it was possible to face this race because I was struggling a little bit with the leg. But with some pain killers and adrenaline, I managed to do the whole race and also be quite consistent. I understood a few things about the bike, so this is positive, and I’m really happy to be back. It will be very important to keep improving the setting of the bike, my feeling on the bike, and try some new items as well, so the Misano test will be really important. It’s great, and I’m happy to do it.”
Luca Marini – P19
“I didn’t have a bad start, but from the beginning I didn’t have enough speed to overtake riders in my group like Pirro, Binder or Nakagami. In the slipstream, the temperature of the front tyre went up and that’s something I have to work on, because I’m still not used to managing it to the maximum. I went long at Turn 1, then I tried to lose time to let other riders pass me, but I still got a long lap penalty that pushed me back to the last positions. I struggled to recover, I suffered a lot with the front tyre and, with seven laps to go, the left side of the rear tyre was badly damaged. We have to work, we are at a standstill and the two days of testing this week will be very important.”
Miguel Oliveira – P20
“In the third corner I tangled with Iker and it broke my left wing. It was tough after that because the bike was unbalanced but I guess that’s’ what can happen when we qualify down the grid. We need to find some more speed to qualify better; that’s the immediate goal now. We had made a step with the bike in the right direction in the morning and the race looked promising until the incident with the wing. I didn’t have the tools then to do anything better than we did. We’ll now split the work at the test between what we might need for the rest for the season and for next year.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P21
“It was a really strange experience to start the race from 24th, but it was good because we wanted to be consistent throughout the race and learn, which is what we did. Unfortunately I had to do a long lap penalty and I lost the group, but after that I was able to play a little and understand more things. I’m happy with that and also that my best lap of the race was towards the end, plus it wasn’t a bad lap time. I felt a lot of good things from the bike at this point, but we need to work together to analyse why it happened then to make sure I can feel that at the beginning of a race as well. I’m happy that I will get two days of testing this week and I hope that the weather will be good for it.”
Alex Rins – DNF
“I’m OK after the crash, just disappointed because I was doing a good race with nice pace. I was pretty consistent across all the laps, and I felt confident. I was riding very hard and I was trying to follow Bastianini, but he was super strong all race and he was braking harder than me. I lost a lot of time at the beginning of the race trying to make up places, and I was pushing to the limit to stay with Bastianini and get the best position possible, then I went down. I was pushing, but not more than normal, so we need to look at the data to realise exactly what happened. It’s disappointing but I’m glad that I’m uninjured, and now I’ll focus on the test days we have here. Then I’ll be looking forward to arriving in Austin in a couple of weeks.”
Jorge Martín – DNF
“It’s a shame; I was riding well. I was in the leading group and could have fought for the podium. I made a mistake and slipped. I then tried to restart but the bike was moving too much; I didn’t want take further risks.”
Iker Lecuona – DNF
“We changed the bike a lot during the weekend. This morning in the Warm Up we tried a different base. For the race, we tried another base but somehow nothing was working. In the first ten laps I was in the mid-group of the race, fighting close to the top 10. Finally, I lost the rear in Turn 4. We don’t understand why. We will see if we can improve something during the test as we have another race here in Misano.”
MotoGP Team Managers
Luigi Dall’Igna – General Manager of Ducati Corse
“Pecco did another great race. It wasn’t easy, especially towards the end when the tyres started to drop, but he rode impeccably. It’s a shame for Jack that had some issues that hindered his performance. Enea also had a sensational race! I’m thrilled, and I congratulate them both and all the guys at Ducati Corse”.
Claudio Domenicali – CEO of Ducati Motor Holding
“It was really an awesome weekend. We are in the heart of the Motor Valley, and Ducati is at home here in Misano, so winning with an Italian rider and an Italian bike is a great emotion. Yesterday in qualifying, we were first and second with Pecco and Jack, and today we have two of our bikes on the podium. Bagnaia was incredible: he built up the race from the first laps and didn’t make any mistakes. He also reacted by setting his second fastest lap in the race with a few laps to go. Enea was also amazing! He made a great comeback and got his first podium in MotoGP! We got two victories in just two weeks, so we can only be happy”.
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director
“Fabio did an amazing job, as always. Unfortunately, he lost some metres at the start, but our calculations showed that the soft rear, which our rivals used, would drop with 10 laps to go. That was exactly what happened. Fabio kept the pressure on, but in the end the gap was just a bit too big for him to close. But his performance was still incredibly impressive. Franky enjoyed his first race after a long period away. To do 27 laps in his condition after the surgery and the recovery process is really hard. I think he did a very good job. He‘s not at 100% fitness yet, so naturally it‘s a building process. He will just keep improving as his knee heals and he makes more kilometres with the Factory M1. We end the San Marino GP feeling satisfied with the work we’ve done. We look forward to the second round here, but first we have an important test before we make our way to the next round at COTA.”
Shinichi Sahara – Suzuki Project Leader and Team Director
“We knew that Joan and Alex’s race pace was strong despite yesterday’s qualifying results, so I had confidence and expected them to recover positions quite quickly. But Joan struggled a bit to do good lap times in the first half of the race, maybe because of our tyre choice or the track conditions, then the feeling became better towards the end and he started to catch up with the front guys. I think he did his maximum today and believe he can fight for the top positions for the rest of season. It was pity for Alex today with the crash because his pace was good enough to fight for a podium, but we should learn a lot from this race. We will check and investigate all the data to come back stronger and on the podium in the next races.”
Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager
“We had good pace with the race tyres, in FP4 and this morning in Warm-Up, but in the race we couldn’t fight for the podium. Alex and Joan both fought during the race, Joan felt stronger as the laps went on and he was in a good battle at the end but he could only get sixth after the penalty. This isn’t a really bad result, but also we had hoped for more. Alex started the race well and he was pushing but then he had an unfortunate crash. It was a difficult day for us, but we have another race here in a few weeks and we will try again to get much better results.”
Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal
“Unfortunately it was not the home Grand Prix that Rossi expected, but he did the best that he could. He was still able to continue celebrating his career with the fans and we hope that the second Misano race next month will be better for him. Andrea Dovizioso has joined the team and today was his first MotoGP race in nearly ten months, plus it’s the first time that he’s been on a Yamaha YZR-M1 since 2012. He has shown some good potential on the bike and his times during the race were credible. I think it’s only a matter of time before he gets up to speed.”
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager
“A top ten is not a bad result and we were close to 8th today. It was another tough start for us at this GP with the wet sessions. As a group we are not satisfied with 9th but we have to be realistic and the competitiveness of this category means that if everything is not 100% then it is hard to fight for anything more. Miguel was unlucky to have some contact on the first corner and broke part of the fairing that meant it was horrible for him to ride. It was as shame because he was feeling good after warm-up and had a good feeling [for the race]. We cannot really judge this result today. The team worked well and worked hard. We have a two-day test ahead now with some ideas for next year and I hope we’ll have a few features that might also help us for these last four races.”
Hervé Poncharal – Tech3 KTM Team Manager
“It was a tough race for the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Team. Honestly, we were expecting better. The last round was quite a good one for us, but here we struggled quite a lot more – for whatever reason. We were still quite confident to show a better race pace than what we did on a fast flying lap. But to celebrate something, you have to finish the race.”
“Iker had a great start, some strong maneuvers in the first part of the race like last weekend in Aragón. We were right behind Brad (Binder), which is always a reference point and I think when Iker and Brad are together, this is a fantastic show and this is where we should be. But then we started to drop positions, to make mistakes, to lose time and that ended up in a crash, which is very unfortunate and sad. It was a big shame for Iker, because we know Iker is getting a better and better MotoGP rider, which he is showing every weekend and we would have loved to see him finishing that race.”
“Danilo pushed hard. His pace was really good, steady. He managed to keep the home hero behind, which I know they were fighting for. I think he did a good race. I want to thank him and congratulate him for pushing until the very last lap. Unfortunately, he ended up 16th, which is the first position without any point. But we are pretty happy to see Danilo pushing and trying to do the best he can.”
“Now it’s time to fly to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and start another adventure in COTA, Texas.”
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