Teams preview Misano MotoGP

In Thursday’s preliminary press conference ahead of the Gran Premio TIM di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez was joined by Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso, Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci to address the media.

On the back of his Silverstone victory, which edged him closer to retaining the MotoGP title, Repsol Honda rider Marquez previewed the Misano weekend saying, “It will be tough here, especially with Valentino at home. Jorge is getting stronger every time and he has been very strong here. Dani (Pedrosa) also, he’s second in the championship, so I have to manage the gap over him. If we can fight for the victory it’s what we’ll do.”

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP man Rossi is truly on home territory this weekend, with his home town of Tavullia being just a few kilometres from the circuit. He stated, “I’m happy about the start of the second half of the season. Jorge and Marc are very strong and Jorge is coming back very strong. They had a bit more in Silverstone than us so the target is to start strong from Friday. It’s the home GP so there are great emotions as it is very close to my house. It’s a good track for me and Yamaha. Jorge won the last three years so we know we can be there.”

For his part, Lorenzo is not counting on his previous excellent results at Misano to give him a head start over his rivals. “The past doesn’t give you any advantage for this year, so we all start from zero. I don’t why it works well for us, maybe the chicanes or the fast corners. Hopefully we can keep the tradition alive.”

For Ducati Team rider Dovizioso as an Italian rider on an Italian bike he will have plenty of support this weekend. He noted, “In Silverstone we were very close to the podium so we have to start aggressively here from FP1. With the hard spec tyre we made a test here before Silverstone and our pace was great.”

For MotoGP rookie Redding of the GO&FUN Honda Gresini team it is another chance to ride for the first time at the circuit on a premier class machine. The Open Honda equipped Englishman said, “I thought Silverstone would be really hard but it was ok. Hopefully here will be good, we should be able to make up a bit with the soft tyre. The limit in MotoGP is crazy, there is no limit. I’m still building and building. You think you’re there for a minute then someone catches you and you have to push more.”

The third Italian rider to speak in the press conference was Octo IodaRacing Team’s Petrucci, who acknowledged, “It’s my third year in MotoGP. I made a step from the first to the second year, but I stepped backwards this year! It’s very difficult this year and we started at the first race with a lot of problems. The bike is really new. Then I broke my wrist and I still have to go to the Clinica after every session. It’s tough.”

On Wednesday evening many of the World Championship’s riders battled on four wheels in the annual ‘Spurtlèda58’ karting contest, helping to boost the Marco Simoncelli foundation ONLUS. Rossi was the winner of the event, joined on the podium by Marquez and Dovizioso.

The Misano World Circuit

Built in 1972, the Misano circuit was a venue for GP races in the 80s and 90s before dropping off the calendar for fourteen years. After a number of modifications to improve the infrastructure and a change in the track direction, Misano returned to the MotoGP calendar in 2007. As always for a ‘home’ round, the Ducati Team riders can count on the support of numerous fans present in the Ducati Grandstand.

Yamaha Preview

After a week of rest the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team has arrived at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the ‘GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini’ on Sunday the 14th of September.

Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi is hungry for a good result at his home race, the track being just 20 minutes down the road from his home in Tavullia.

At the previous round in Silverstone, Rossi snatched his eighth podium finish of the season. This weekend he intends to add another top score to his list of successes at Misano. In previous years he has scored two premier class MotoGP victories in 2008 and 2009 and two further podiums, finishing third in 2010 and second in 2012.

Teammate Jorge Lorenzo impressed with his form in Silverstone, where he fought a hard battle with rival Marc Marquez and boosted his confidence. This weekend the four-time World Champion aims to add to his list of dazzling results in San Marino. Lorenzo has been on the podium every year since the track was added to the MotoGP calendar in 2007. What’s more, he’s maintained a MotoGP premier class winning streak at this circuit for the last three years and took three consecutive second-place finishes prior to that. He also claimed victory in the 250cc class in 2007, making him the most successful rider at the Misano circuit.

At the end of 2006 the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli was radically renovated in order to host major world motor sports events. Two years of updating saw the circuit lengthened to 4226 meters, with a reversal in the direction of travel (they now ride the track clockwise), a new pitlane and a new chicane. These improvements not only made the track safer, but also increase the race excitement as the numerous fast corners give many overtaking possibilities.

Valentino Rossi – “When the season arrives at the Misano Grand Prix, I’m always very happy. For me it is a really special GP. First because it’s only ten kilometers from my house in Tavullia and here is my family, all my friends and my fans. Then because Misano is my track, I love this place and I like this circuit, because it has a lot of fast corners and there are many places where you can make overtakes and I always enjoy so much when I’m on this track. This race is very important for me, for many reasons and we have to do even more than we usually do. We will try to prepare the bike perfectly, from the first day. I want to stay in front and try to fight with Jorge and Marc. At Silverstone I went again on the podium and here I want to do the same thing. I’ll do my best. I hope the weather will be good, even during the first practice. It will be important to work in dry conditions to prepare the bike. I’m ready for the Misano Grand Prix!”

Jorge Lorenzo – “I think we’re on the good path as we saw at Silverstone and, although we were not able to win there, we did a fantastic job. Perhaps we suffered more at Silverstone because the rear tyre was different from what we used in the previous races. I thought Silverstone was the ideal scenario to get the first win but was unable to prevail, despite big expectations. Misano could definitely be the place to aim for the win, but I don’t want to obsess about it. I won’t do anything crazy, I’ll just try to do my best and show our best performance. If I can’t win, another podium would be nice. I think we’re at the best level we’ve been this year and we’re doing a fantastic job with the team. The bike works well and, to me, Misano is a really lovely track because of its quick lay-out and plenty of fast corners.”

Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director  – “We’re arriving in Misano in the same confident mood as we have for the last few races. Both Vale and Jorge are in impressive form and riding at a very competitive level. The team are also working very well, we have proved to be able to overcome any significant issues in practice sessions to ensure we are competitive and ready to be key protagonists on race day. The Misano circuit has seen consecutive victories for Yamaha in four of the last five years so our expectations are high. We look forward to beginning our work on Friday.”

Espargaro and Smith poised for fierce MotoGP clash on Italian soil

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team duo Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith head back to Italy this weekend for round 13 at Misano, as the championship enters the final third of the 2014 season. Both riders will be aiming to build on their performances so far this year and intend to once again fight at the front end of the competitive field in the 28 lap race on Sunday.

The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is located in close proximity to the city of Rimini on the east coast of Italy. The track was originally constructed in 1972 and was a regular fixture for Italian Grand Prix events, before a brief break and then returning to the MotoGP calendar in 2007. The spectacular circuit can hold up to 60,000 passionate fans for Sunday’s race around the clockwise 4226 meter track, complete with six left curves and ten right, in what will be another intense battle.

Pol Espargaro will look to continue his good run of form after an impressive finish at the previous British Grand Prix round, as he proceeds to make strides forward in his rookie campaign. The reigning Moto2 World Champion is currently residing in seventh place in the World Championship standings and is seeking to catch the title of the leading satellite bike once again this weekend. On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team garage, Bradley Smith will aim to cement himself in the top six on Sunday in what will be his 31st start in the MotoGP class. The 23-year-old British rider will be intending to undertake a rocket start and storm to a strong points scoring result aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1

Pol Espargaro – “It was encouraging to complete the race in sixth and as the leading satellite bike at Silverstone, but I am determined to finish even closer to the factory riders at Misano. It will be highly competitive as always, but my feeling with the Yamaha has improved considerably and now it’s time to start inching closer to the leading riders as well as overtaking them. In addition, my experience is growing so I am ready for the battle and I always want to better myself. Last year I won from pole position here en route to my Moto2 World Championship title, which puts me in a good frame of mind for this weekend. I just need to be a bit smoother and I am convinced that I have the potential to be where I want to be so I really look forward to my first taste of Misano on the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike in front of the Italian fans who are always fantastic.”

Bradley Smith – “I can’t wait to get going in Misano and I feel supremely confident of clinching a good result here this weekend. It was disappointing to complete my home race the way it did, which prevented any chances of home glory but what’s over is over and I intend to take a firm finish as a late thank you to my fans. I like the Misano circuit a lot, its fun to ride and the weather plus the fans are always great which makes this GP one that we all look forward to. The plan of action will be to get up to speed immediately and focus especially on the qualifying which is essential for this race as the run to the first corner is very short for the 28 lap sprint on Sunday. There will be some work to undertake for the team and I, but I believe we can have a strong result at Misano.”

The NGM Forward Racing Team ready for the San Marino GP

The NGM Forward Racing Team arrives at the Misano circuit this week for the GP of San Marino and Riviera di Rimini, a busy race weekend for the whole team and in particular for Alex De Angelis, who is determined to get a good result at his home GP.

Alex De Angelis, the only rider from San Marino in the premiere class, looks forward to race at Misano, one of his favourite tracks. After having gained the first points at Silverstone, Alex is confident to make another step forward in his third race with the NGM Forward Racing colours on board of the Forward Yamaha, reducing the gap to the front guys and improving his results.

Also Aleix Espargaro is optimist for Misano, a small racetrack that suits the characteristics of his machine well. After having suffered at Silverstone in terms of top speed, the Spaniard looks forward to race in Italy and get a good result.

Aleix Espargaro – “I’m confident for Misano, the track is small and technical and I think it suits well our bike. There are strong braking and accelerations and I think we can do well. I look forward to get a good result. We are sixth in the championship and I would like to consolidate and try to improve this position.”

Alex De Angelis – “Misano is a special weekend because it’s my home GP and there are always many friends and fans to support me. Moreover I like the layout of the track a lot so I hope that these two things combined together will give me an extra boost. This year it will be even better as I will compete in MotoGP, so I’m very excited. Our target is to reduce the gap from the front guys and improve our results.”

Ducati Preview

After three races in the month of August, the Ducati Team is now back on Italian soil again for the thirteenth round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship. The TIM San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP will in fact be taking place this weekend at Misano World Circuit, the Adriatic Riviera track that is situated just one hour away from the Ducati factory at Borgo Panigale.

Andrea Dovizioso comes to Misano off the back of a good performance at Silverstone, in which he battled for the podium with Rossi and Pedrosa right until the very end, finishing the race less than ten seconds behind winner Marquez. The Forlimpopoli-born rider however has never managed to step onto the podium in the six times he has raced at Misano in MotoGP since 2008, his best result being a fourth place in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Cal Crutchlow has only raced in the San Marino round three times, and his best result was sixth place last year.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – “Even though I won my first race there on big bikes, Misano is not one of my favourite circuits, but this grand prix is also our second ‘home race’, so I’m sure the fans will be an extra help! It will be not easy to confirm our Silverstone performance, but we had the opportunity to do a good test at Misano before we went to the UK, so we are going there in an optimistic mood.”

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – “I’m looking forward to Misano, we had a good test there a couple of weeks ago and I felt we found some positives so hopefully this will help for the race weekend. It’s another home of Ducati, and being in Italy we have many fans coming to the race so I look forward to improving on the Silverstone result and doing a good job with the team.”

The Ducati Team’s Desmosedici GP14 machines of Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow will be carrying the symbol of ‘100 years of EICMA’ this weekend. During the TIM San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP at Misano, Ducati have again made a space available for EICMA on the front fairings of their red GP14 machines, providing further visibility for the 100th anniversary of the EICMA show, which will be held from 4 to 9 November at the Rho-Milano Trade Fair.

Repsol HRC Preview

his weekend the MotoGP paddock is en route to San Marino for round thirteen of the 2014 World Championship.

Misano, renamed in 2012 as the ‘Marco Simoncelli Circuit’, underwent a major modification for the 2007 season, when the racing direction changed from clockwise to counter-clockwise. Popular with both riders and spectators, it’s 4.18km in length and features five left turns and nine rights.

Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa are currently leading the Championship and will arrive in Misano full of confidence. Marc, who has won 11 of the 12 races this season, has an incredible record here in Misano, taking victory in 2012 and 2011 (Moto2) and also in 2010 (125cc) and finished 2nd last year on his maiden visit on the MotoGP machine. Dani has also enjoyed good results here with one victory (2010) a 2nd place (2011) and a two 3rd places (2013, 2009).

Marc Marquez – Championship Standing: 1st – 288 points – “It was nice to be back on the top step of the podium in Silverstone, the team did a great job the whole weekend. Now we head to Misano which is a smaller and slower track compared to others on the calendar. We will have to work hard from Friday to get the setup on the bike just right, to suit the demands on braking at this twisty track and let’s hope the weather is also nice!”

Dani Pedrosa – Championship Standing: 2nd – 199 points – “I’m looking forward to Misano this weekend! There is always a nice crowd over the three days and a good atmosphere with the Italian fans. Hopefully we’ll have good weather from the Friday and get things going in the right direction. It’s a short lap but intense with many overtaking points and it’s quite bumpy, so set up is key. Let’s hope for an exciting race!” 

Drive M7 Aspar Preview

The Grand Prix of San Marino takes place this weekend at Misano, a special circuit that was renamed in honour of local hero Marco Simoncelli following his tragic death in 2011. At 4.226km the Italian track is short but demanding, with some hard braking and a mixture of fast and slow sections. Even though Marc Márquez, with eleven wins, has been the dominant force this season he has had to fight hard for his victories – none more so than at Silverstone in the last round when he was pushed all the way by Jorge Lorenzo. Marquez looks certain to retain his title but his rivals will look to maintain their challenge for as long as possible, ensuring an exciting finish to the season.

After a difficult weekend at Silverstone, a circuit he admits is not amongst his favourites, Hiroshi Aoyama is looking forward to heading to more favourable territory this weekend. The DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider always enjoys riding at Misano and he is hoping that some positive set-up work during practice can propel him back into the top ten on Sunday afternoon, having not managed it since Indianapolis. Even though it was his home race DRIVE M7 Aspar Team stand-in rider Leon Camier also struggled to enjoy Silverstone and he has a different plan for what will be his fourth Grand Prix with the team in place of the recovering Nicky Hayden.

Hiroshi Aoyama: “The last race didn’t go to plan, I don’t like Silverstone much and we struggled to find a good set-up there. I am sure this weekend will be different because I really like Misano and my feeling is usually very good there. It is a tight track and quite unique, you need a good set-up because there are some sections where you can lose a lot of time. Hopefully we can enjoy the weekend at Misano and I am sure the team will do a great job a usual. As usual my goal will be to fight for a top ten finish.”

Leon Camier: “I rode at Misano for three years in World Superbikes and it is quite a strange track. It is demanding, with some hard braking, some tight and slow corners, and we are going to have to work very hard to adapt the set-up of the bike. We struggled to get on the pace at Silverstone, maybe because we went the wrong way with the set-up at the start of the weekend and never managed to recover. We have a very clear plan for Misano, we know which direction we need to go in for me to continue learning about this category and this bike. I’ll try to complete as many laps as I can and hopefully we can show our best on Sunday.”

Gresini Honda Preview

The thirteenth round of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship is a special event for the whole Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, located a few kilometers from the racing department of the team, is set to host this weekend the San Marino and Rimini Riviera Grand Prix.

Alvaro Bautista won at Misano in 2008 in the 250cc class, while in 2012 he got his first podium finish in MotoGP, claiming the third place. The Spaniard, despite the Silverstone crash, is still optimistic following the set-up changes made to his Factory Honda Rc213V during the British Grand Prix warm up, which allowed him to keep a good pace during the race.

His teammate, Scott Redding, arrives in Italy with 51 points in the standings, leader among the riders aboard the Honda RCV1000R and second overall in the Open Class classification, behind Aleix Espargaro. The British rookie will look to extend his streak of point scoring finishes on a track on which he got a fifth place as his best result in Moto2, back in 2011.

ALVARO BAUTISTA “At Silverstone our weekend ended with a fall, however we try to collect the positive things also from a negative race: during the Sunday morning warm up we found a solution that allowed me to improve my feeling with the bike and as a result my race pace was not so bad. Therefore we arrive at Misano knowing that we are on the right path: we will continue to try this set-up solution hoping to make further progress. Misano is a special place, not only because it hosts the Team’s home Grand Prix, but also because I have always had good results there in the last few years: if we will have more luck, we will try to exploit it! The important thing, as always, is to keep working hard without becoming demoralized”.

SCOTT REDDING “At Silverstone we were expecting an uphill race weekend because of the long straights, but actually our gap from some of the Factory bikes proved to be not so high; at the contrary, on a quite small track like Misano we need to see if we can be competitive: paradoxically, we might face more difficulties compared to what we saw in England. In any case, we will keep the same approach we had at Silverstone, which means to try to catch some of the Factory bikes, to see if we can fight with them”.

FAUSTO GRESINI “The Misano race weekend is obviously special for all of us, as many members of the team are from this area. The track is very nice and has always given us great satisfaction, starting from my first World Championship as a rider, which I won in Misano in 1985! With Alvaro we’re through a tough time, but we hope that the home atmosphere can help us to reverse the trend; with regard to Scott, in the last few races we always got the maximum possible and we are satisfied, although obviously the technical package at his disposal does not allow him to fight for the results he deserves”.

Bridgestone Preview
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium & Hard; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)

Round thirteen of the 2014 MotoGP™ season is the San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix taking place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, which is traditionally the second of the two Grands Prix held on the Italian peninsula each year.

At 4.226 kilometres in length, Misano features a tight, stop-and-go layout, the most demanding section being from turns eleven to fourteen, starting with the flat-out Curvone which sweeps into progressively tighter right-hand corners that challenge the riders and tyres. The circuit requires good cornering feel but also strong acceleration and braking performance, so an optimal bike setup is important to maintain a quick pace without overheating the tyres.

Overall, Misano is not excessively demanding on tyres although the compound selection has to provide the best combination of grip, durability and heat-resistance as tyres spend a lot of time at high lean angles. With ten right-hand turns compared to just six left-hand turns, asymmetric slicks with slightly harder rubber on the right shoulder are supplied. The rear slick compounds for the Ducati and Open-class riders are the soft and medium options, while the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders have access to the medium and hard compound rear slicks. The front slick options at Misano are the soft, medium and hard compounds to ensure suitable options for every possible weather condition.

As it is quite an abrasive circuit in wet conditions, Misano is one of the few venues on the calendar where Bridgestone specifies its hard compound wet tyre as the main wet option, although every rider can select up to two front and rear wet tyres in the alternative, soft compound.

Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department – “Misano is a circuit that is challenging for the riders in that it demands a setup and riding style that doesn’t overwork the tyres, and compared to some other tracks presents fewer overtaking opportunities. However, following the intense battle between Marc and Jorge, and the strong performance of Ducati, Honda and Yamaha at Silverstone, I believe we may have another special race this weekend. At Misano we will also be hosting the award ceremony for our annual Bridgestone Photography Competition with many MotoGP photographers vying for the grand prize and I would like to wish all those who entered the competition this year the best of luck.”

Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department – “Ambient conditions for the San Marino Grand Prix are usually hot so harder compounds are selected to provide better durability and resistance to overheating. The sequence of right-handers, starting with the fast Curvone corner is the section that puts the most strain on the tyres and this is where the rear tyres reach their greatest temperature. We offer asymmetric rear slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulder at Misano, but overall the stresses imposed on the centre section, and left and right shoulders are quite similar at this track. The most important consideration for the front tyre is a strong centre section to provide good stability in the frequent braking zones. A smooth riding style reaps benefits at Misano so as to not overwork the tyres as they have little opportunity to cool down during a lap due to the constant corners.”