Dovizioso tops Misano Day 1 from Lorenzo, Crutchlow
Jack Miller 14th after late crash
It was Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo who topped Day 1 of the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, making it a Ducati Team one-two with the two split by just 0.160 at the top.
After concluding the morning’s FP1 session in first place, Dovizioso did exactly the same in the afternoon with a best time of 1’32.198, which he set in the final minutes of the second session.
Andrea Dovizioso – P1 – 1’32.198
“I’m pleased I manage to set the quickest time in both of today’s sessions, but I didn’t have a perfect feeling with the bike during free practice. The track conditions were very different to what we encountered during the test here three weeks ago: there isn’t the same amount of grip, the tyres wear out in a different way and our set-up is not the same. However, we’re fast and we hope that the weather conditions tomorrow will allow us to work some more on the bike because we have to improve for the race.”
Lorenzo, who was fourth in the morning, was then second quickest in the afternoon with a time of 1’32.358.
Jorge Lorenzo – P2 – 1’32.358
“For the moment we’ve reached our first target, which was to be competitive right from the very first session. Because of the rain that fell yesterday, in the morning we found the asphalt had very little grip and the situation was rather complicated, but in the afternoon the conditions improved considerably and we managed to get our times down. With the new tyre we proved to be competitive and now we have to work on our pace for the race. I feel really good on the bike, we started off in the best possible way and now we only have to sort out a few details to make a further step forward.”
Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completed the top five despite leading the way for much of the afternoon, but the number 93 was consistent and the race could well be a battle between the two factions.
The dash to make it into that top ten almost made for the headline that never was, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) a last push away from finding himself outside the top ten by the close of action on Friday. The Italian left it late to lunge up to P8 overall in a tense race against time but the rain held off and the local hero makes it through.
Valentino Rossi – P9 – 1’32.786
“It was very important to be in the top-10 today. I improved my lap time at the end and reached the target. I feel more comfortable with the bike compared to during the test, I’m a little bit faster already, but I have some problems, especially on braking. We have to improve the balance of the bike and it was also difficult with the tyre today. We expected that the hard was the right choice, but it looks like the race track now has a lot less grip compared to the test. This makes it more difficult. We still have work to do if we want to do a good race.”
Dovizioso and Lorenzo’s closest challenger on the combined timesheets, however, was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), who, by extension, also ended Friday as top Honda and top Independent Team rider at the venue. He was a tiny margin behind Lorenzo, just 0.027s, but the gap behind him was an even more incredible at 0.026 as Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took P4.
Cal Crutchlow – P3 – 1:32.385
“Because FP1, FP2 and FP3 counts towards qualification of Q1 or Q2, it can make it very difficult to work on rhythm and the stuff that’s important for the race. In the sessions, everybody is throwing different tyres at different opportunities, but we just have to go with the rules. But overall I feel good on the bike, our team is working very well and we have a good shot to be competitive here. The only problem at the moment is that we have a bit of front-locking with the front tyre, so we need to address that situation and improve. But overall we’re confident and happy in our garage.”
Maverick Vinales simply picked up work where he had left off, he struggled to show the same pace he had in the morning, but whilst tweaking his bike’s set-up he was able to post 1’32s laps towards the end and ultimately finished the day in fourth place, both in the FP2 and the combined timesheets, with a 1’32.411s, 0.213s from the top.
Maverick Viñales – P4 – 1:32.41
“Honestly, today we’ve been working a lot on the lines on track, because we needed to improve this. The bike is at a really good level, but I need to amend my riding style a little in some sectors. Anyway, we still need to improve the electronics a little bit more. I think that there’s another step we can make there, but I’m happy about today. I think the tyre decision is difficult, because the degradation is completely different than during the test, we have much more of it now. We have to see what it’s like tomorrow, today was only the first day – maybe the track wasn’t in a great condition yet. On wet I have to improve my riding style, so in case of a wet FP3, I will focus on that and making a lot of laps.”
Marquez, meanwhile, was a little further off. The number 93 was just over a tenth behind his compatriot, but he did have a comfortable 0.185 back to Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) in sixth – and his rhythm looked impressive.
Marc Marquez – P5 – 1’32.537
“I’m very happy today because we worked really well here starting with a good setup since the beginning and made a little step in the afternoon also. The other guys did a test two weeks ago so we just tried an be very precise in every step of our work and we’re already happy with our pace. I feel good with the bike; I can ride well. We didn’t put on a new tyre in the end because our target is mainly working for the race, like always. We’ll see tomorrow how things go; it seems like many riders are quite strong but we’re very equal already.”
Danilo Petrucci – P6 – 1:32.722
“I’m happy to have finished in the Top 10 as the weather for tomorrow is very uncertain, but I’m not completely satisfied with the performance. I’m sure we can improve. It’s obvious that doing a good qualifying will be fundamental for Sunday’s race.”
Behind ‘Petrux’ was Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in P7 just half a tenth further back, with Rossi ultimately taking eighth late in the day but only 0.011 off the Spanish sophomore’s best lap of the day.
Alex Rins – P7 – 1:32.775
“I’m quite happy because it looks like the things we tried during the Aragón test are working well. For tomorrow we just need to improve the front end of the bike a little bit, but we have a good rhythm. So I think the target for tomorrow’s qualifying will be second or third row. I tried a couple of different tyre options today, but I’m not sure which one I’ll choose for the race yet.”
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed a top ten rife with home heroes, although the day came to a more difficult end for ‘Maniac’ Iannone. With a couple of minutes left in FP2, Iannone suffered a crash at Turn 15, going down at around 140km/h. The Italian was luckily uninjured and still places in the Top 10 overall thanks to his FP1 pace.
Andrea Iannone – P9 – 1:32.923
“Things are going in a good way, we started with a really positive feeling this morning and we continued that into FP2. We started the afternoon session with a used front and used rear tyre, to make a sort of race simulation, and this was also positive for us. Unfortunately when I put the new front and rear tyres in for the final moments, I crashed – losing the front – so I think the tyre was a little bit cold. But in any case, my feeling with the bike isn’t bad. We need to improve on the braking point and on the speed a little more. Let’s see if it rains tomorrow.”
So who could be missing from Q2 if the weather changes on Saturday morning? Former winner at the venue Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was one key name just pushed out, along with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing).
Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Johann Zarco was quickly up to speed in this mornings’ FP1 session, finishing in seventh position and lowered his fastest lap by 0.256 seconds this afternoon to eventually conclude Friday at the San Marino Grand Prix just 0.005 seconds behind the tenth fastest rider.
Johann Zarco – P11 – 1’32.985
“I began better than what I was expecting and I’m happy for that, although it’s a pity to miss the top 10 today. I want to take the positive of today. In the afternoon we were a bit scared about the possibility of rain, so I went straight out with a new tyre. I did a good lap time, but not good enough to be in the top 10 and in the last minutes my tyre was not fresh enough to be even faster. But I did many good laps and this is truly positive. I cross my fingers to have dry conditions tomorrow morning in order to improve my lap time to be directly in Q2. Anyway, I’m positive about that as I have a good feeling on the bike at this track.”
Dani Pedrosa – P12 – 1’32.999
“Today was bit complicated. Lap times are very tight because we were expecting rain and we had to push to try and be in the top 10. It was therefore difficult to concentrate on the work on the bike setup. Luckily we ultimately also had a full dry session in the afternoon and we managed to try something that’s going to be a bit helpful, but we missed a top-10 by a nothing. Hopefully it will be dry tomorrow and we’ll be able to improve. At the moment the second and the fourth sections are not my best, so we’ll look to improve especially there, to try and be faster.”
A provisional thirteenth place went to Michele Pirro, who was making a return to MotoGP after his nasty crash at Mugello. The rider from San Giovanni Rotondo, sixteenth in the morning, came close to a top ten place in the afternoon and ended the day eight-tenths of a second away from Dovizioso.
Michele Pirro – P13 – 1’33.005
“The most important thing for me is to be back on track again, and in the end I’m not far off the top guys. It’s a pity that my fastest lap was cancelled, because I touched the green part of the track, otherwise I could have been inside the top six. Tomorrow we’ll have to try and improve, hoping that the weather stays dry, but I’m satisfied in any case because I’m gaining more and more confidence and I’m back to a competitive level, so I’m sure I can improve even more tomorrow.”
Miller was a two-time crasher on Day 1, and will be hoping for good weather on Saturday.
Jack Miller – P15 – 1:33.193
“It was an unfortunate day. In FP1 I was doing a great time attack and the crono would probably have been enough to be in the 10. Unfortunately I found Ponsson on the track and it made me lose time. But I am confident to reach Q2.”
HRC MotoGP test rider Stefan Bradl began preparation for his second round of the season as an HRC wildcard rider, the former Moto 2 World Champion set the 20th fastest lap time in the FP1 session at 1’34.584” and proceeded to improve his performance by almost a second in FP2, ending 19th fastest at 1’33.660”.
Stefan Bradl – P19 – 1’33.660
“Conditions are quite different compared to the test we had here two weeks ago, and we used a different front tyre. In the afternoon we had to limit the use of the tyre I preferred in order not to run out of them. In FP2 we actually made a positive step forward in terms of lap time and race pace but not as much we hoped, as I was missing a bit of confidence, especially on the left side of the front tyre, something we hadn’t previously experienced. We need to adjust the setup a bit. We compared a few things from FP1 to FP2. We have to find the best package for tomorrow, and I’m optimistic we may improve.”
2018 MotoGP Round 13 – Misano – Combined Free Practice Times
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea – ITA – Ducati Team 1’32.198
- LORENZO Jorge – SPA – Ducati Team +0.160
- CRUTCHLOW Cal – GBR – LCR Honda +0.187
- VINALES Maverick – SPA – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +0.213
- MARQUEZ Marc – SPA – Repsol Honda Team +0.339
- PETRUCCI Danilo – ITA – Alma Pramac Racing +0.524
- RINS Alex – SPA – Team Suzuki Ecstar +0.577
- ROSSI Valentino – ITA – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +0.588
- IANNONE Andrea – ITA – Team Suzuki Ecstar +0.725
- MORBIDELLI Franco – ITA – EG 0,0 Marc VDS +0.782
- ZARCO Johann – FRA – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +0.787
- PEDROSA Dani – SPA – Repsol Honda Team +0.801
- PIRRO Michele – ITA – Ducati Team +0.807
- BAUTISTA Alvaro – SPA – Angel Nieto Team +0.985
- MILLER Jack – AUS – Alma Pramac Racing +0.995
- NAKAGAMI Takaaki – JPN – LCR Honda +1.076
- REDDING Scott – GBR – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +1.124
- ESPARGARO Aleix – SPA – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +1.456
- BRADL Stefan – GER – Team HRC +1.462
- SMITH Bradley – GBR – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.617
- ABRAHAM Karel – CZE – Angel Nieto Team +1.680
- SIMEON Xavier – BEL – Reale Avintia Racing + 1.698
- LUTHI Tom – SW – EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +2.080
- ESPARGARO Pol – SPA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +2.263
- SYAHRIN Hafizh – MAL – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +2.341
- PONSSON Christophe – FRA – Reale Avintia Racing +5.956
Despite a crash at the end of FP2, Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) sits top of the combined practice timesheets after Friday at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini; his quickest time of a 1:37.763 in FP2 enough to beat FP1’s fastest rider and Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) by 0.092.
Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) completed the top three on the opening day in Misano – the Italian was 0.020 back from his compatriot and 0.112 off Schrötter’s time.
Despite the ominous threat of rain in Misano, the weather held off for the intermediate class as they managed to get two full dry sessions under their belts.
Behind the lead trio was rookie Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in fourth, improving his overall position by two after ending FP1 in sixth, with teammate Alex Marquez rounding out the top five – a good improvement from the Spaniard after his P10 in the morning.
Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini ended a solid day on home soil in sixth place, under half a second from top spot. That was an improvement from P8 in FP1 for the Italian as he comes into the event off the back of thee podiums in a row.
0.027 behind him, meanwhile, was compatriot Simone Corsi (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) in seventh, making a significant improvement from P19 in FP1. 2016 winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP 40) was eighth fastest on the combined timesheets – one position ahead of teammate Augusto Fernandez, who leaped up into the top ten from 17th in the morning.
Rounding out the top ten in Misano on the opening day was Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter (Kiefer Racing), a man with form at the venue, who finished one place ahead of Championship protagonist Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo). The Portuguese rider slipped down the combined timesheets from P5 to P11 in the afternoon.
Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) – second quickest in FP1 – crashed in the afternoon, with Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) suffering a second fall of the day in FP2 – riders ok.
2018 MotoGP Round 13 – Misano
Combined Free Practice Times – Moto2
- Schrotter GER 1’37.763
- Bagnaia ITA +0.092
- Pasini ITA +0.112
- Mir SPA +0.312
- Marquez SPA +0.326
- Marini ITA +0.414
- Corsi ITA +0.441
- Navarro SPA +0.474
- Baldassarri ITA +0.516
- Fernandez SPA +0.532
He was eighth in FP1 but key Championship contender Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) ended the opening day at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on top of the pile, setting a 1:42.324 in the second session to go 0.092 faster than Championship leader Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP).
Fellow Italian rider and former Misano winner Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) took third – 0.138 back from Martin’s benchmark after ending FP1 down in P19.
The lightweight class managed to dodge the rain forecast in Misano, with everyone bar Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) – who had four mechanical problems across FP1 and FP2 – improving on their morning times.
Fourth on the day was Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider), improving by one position from FP1, with Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) dropping two positions from 3rd to 5th to complete to top five on the combined timesheets.
Philipp Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing) finished sixth overall on Day 1, just 0.005 off Canet’s time, with Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) seventh on board his Honda on home soil.
Compatriot and wildcard Kevin Zannoni (TM Racing Factory 3570 MTA) had a great opening day in Misano to stay close to him, too – eighth overall, just ahead of Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) and Dennis Foggia (SKY Racing Team VR46), who rounded out the top ten.
2018 MotoGP Round 13 – Misano
Combined Free Practice Times Moto3
- J Martin SPA 1’42.324
- M Bezzecchi ITA +0.203
- E Bastianini ITA +0.230
- G Rodrigo ARG +0.397
- A Canet SPA +0.521
- P Oettl GER +0.526
- L Dalla Porta ITA +0.575
- K Zannoni ITA +0.994
- T Arbolino ITA +1.002
- D Foggia ITA +1.029