MotoGP 2013 – Round 13 – Misano – Teams preview Misano MotoGP Battle
— Yamaha Preview
Following a short but well-earned one-week break after an intense three consecutive race weekends, Yamaha Factory Racing now head to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the Grand Prix of San Marino on the 15th September.
Jorge Lorenzo arrives at one of his favourite circuits in confident mood after a stunning victory at Silverstone over Championship rival Marc Marquez.
Lorenzo’s results at the Misano circuit have been consistently impressive, winning for the last two years and taking three consecutive second-place finishes prior to that. He also claims a 250cc win in 2007 meaning he has finished on the podium at Misano every year since 2007.
Valentino Rossi returns to his home race looking forward to riding Misano again on a Yamaha. The nine-time world champion has two premier class MotoGP victories at Misano with Yamaha in 2008 and 2009 and two further podiums, finishing second last year and third in 2010. Situated on the Adriatic coast close to the city of Rimini, the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli was first constructed in 1972 and was a frequent host to the Italian Grand Prix in the 80s and 90s. A leave of absence came to an end when the race returned in 2007, with Yamaha proving to be the most successful constructor since that year with four of the six race wins and an unbroken podium run.
Jorge Lorenzo – “I feel strong again like I was at Montmeló and Mugello before the crash. The performance at Silverstone was really good, the only weak point there was the top speed compared to our rivals, but at last we achieved a great victory against Marc. I thought it was pretty difficult to beat him when he overtook me but finally I could get the win and it was fantastic. Misano is a track I enjoy a lot and also the Yamaha is comfortable there. My next goal is to fight for the victory once more and think race by race, improving our pace step by step.”
Valentino Rossi – “Misano is next and it is my home Grand Prix and an important weekend. I like the track, I always go fast there, especially with the Yamaha and last year also I was able to do a very good race. In the past I was always on the podium with Yamaha. We will arrive very strong and we will try to do our best.”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager – “After the last round in Silverstone we are of course quite motivated for the next race. Jorge likes Misano a lot; he did great races there in the past. I cannot say that our bike is better or worse than our competitors in Misano because finally last year we took the win and Dani had some problems. The most important thing is that Jorge is fit again and is feeling fine so I expect a great challenge at Misano.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director – “We are really looking forward to being in Misano. After the Silverstone race we got back a really good perspective and motivation. For me it could be another interesting race and hopefully we can get both riders on the podium. The bike is constantly improving and we are feeling pretty positive. Let’s see on Friday morning when we start the Grand Prix weekend.”
— HRC Preview
The enthralling battle for the 2013 MotoGP World Championship continues at Misano this weekend, with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V) leading the points chase.
The Spanish pair have been the strongest performers during the first two thirds of the season and aim to continue their amazing form at the final six races. So far they have finished together on the podium at seven races, putting Honda at the top of the constructors’ championship and Repsol Honda at the top of the teams’ championship.
Remarkable rookie Marquez currently leads his older team-mate, breaking records pretty much every time he climbs aboard his RC213V. Already this year the 20-year-old has become the youngest rider to score a premier-class pole position and a race win and he’s won five races, which makes him the most successful rookie in the 65 years of motorcycle Grand Prix racing. Two weeks ago at Silverstone the reigning Moto2 World Champion was within eight thousandths of a second of making it six wins, despite having dislocating his left shoulder in a crash just a few hours earlier. Following intensive physiotherapy the youngster hopes to be as close as possible to full strength for Sunday’s race.
Although Marquez has never ridden a MotoGP bike at Misano he certainly knows the fast line around the seaside circuit – he has won on his last three visits, with Moto2 victories in 2012 and 2011 and a 125 win in 2010.
Pedrosa is currently Marquez’s closest challenger for the 2013 crown, sitting 30 points behind his team-mate and compatriot. The former 250 and 125 World Champion’s campaign was somewhat disrupted by a slow-speed fall during practice for July’s German GP that unluckily left him nursing a fractured left collarbone. Miraculously, Pedrosa raced the following weekend – despite not undergoing surgery to fix the break – to keep his championship hopes alive. So far this year the 27-year-old has won two GPs and scored six further podiums.
Pedrosa has also known great success at Misano. He won the MotoGP race at the track in 2010, finished second in 2011 and third in 2009. Last year he got taken out on the first lap by another rider and was a non-finisher.
Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda RC213V) hopes to get closer to the front this weekend after a run of challenging races that followed a superb US Grand Prix where he scored his first MotoGP pole position and podium. The 2011 Moto2 World Champion found his form after switching to Brembo brakes, which give him a better feeling as he rushes into corners. At the last two races he has struggled with a lack of grip on the edge of the rear tyre, which loses him time exiting corners. Nonetheless, the German has good form at Misano. Last year he finished top rookie in sixth, lapping less than half a second off the winner, and in 2011 he finished a close second in the Moto2 race, just behind great rival Marquez.
Former 125 World Champion Alvaro Bautista (Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V) aims to continue his stirring recent form that has seen him battling with nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) at the last three races. The Spaniard has good reason to be optimistic because he won the 2008 250 GP at Misano and scored his first MotoGP podium at the track last year, when he chased Rossi home in third place. Bautista and his crew continue to improve his feeling for his RCV and he will be extra keen for a rousing performance because this is the home race for his team, owned and run by another former 125 World Champion, Fausto Gresini.
Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda) will also be out to do his best for Gresini’s squad, the Australian aiming for his second points score of his rookie MotoGP season.
Tension is high in the duel for the Moto2 World Championship, with Pol Espargaro (Tuenti HP40 Pons Kalex) needing a strong result this weekend if he is to keep championship leader Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) in sight. Two weeks ago Redding scored a stunning home-race victory at Silverstone while Espargaro lost ground with a difficult ride to eighth place.
Both men have already confirmed their graduation to MotoGP next year, with Redding riding a Honda for the Gresini team and Espargaro aboard a Yamaha.
The Briton and the Spaniard are the main men in the Moto2 title race – with three wins each so far – but they are not the only riders in with a chance of lifting MotoGP’s intermediate crown. Their respective team-mates are the other riders in the hunt, with Esteve Rabat (Tuenti HP 40 Pons Kalex) currently third, 19 points behind Espargaro, and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team Kalex) a further ten points adrift.
Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team Kalex) is pretty much out of the title battle – he crashed and broke a collarbone in June’s Catalan GP, which also kept him out of the subsequent Dutch TT – but the Japanese is on top form, with two pole positions and three runner-up finishes from the last three races. Nakagami is currently sixth overall, just three points behind Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert Suter) and ten ahead of Johann Zarco (Came Ioda Racing Project Suter).
Jack Miller (Caretta Technology – RTG FTR Honda) and Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold FTR Honda) are Honda’s best performers in the Moto3 category, holding seventh and eighth in the points standings. But they have different views about the upcoming Misano race: while Miller thinks the circuit’s many tight corners will suit his FTR-framed NSF250R, Masbou thinks he will need more acceleration exiting the slower corners.
Winner of last year’s Spanish Moto3 race, Romano Fenati (San Carlo Team Italia FTR Honda) is the third-placed Honda rider, in 15th place, just ahead of Isaac Vinales (Bimbo Ongetta-Centro Seta FTR Honda), Niccolo Antonelli (GO&FUN Gresini FTR Honda) and John McPhee (Caretta Technology-RTG FTR Honda).
Misano has been a part of the motorcycling World Championships off and on since 1980, when Kenny Roberts (Yamaha) won the circuit’s first premier-class GP. Among the Honda riders to have won 500cc/MotoGP races at the track are Freddie Spencer (1982 and 1984), Mick Doohan (1991) and Dani Pedrosa (2010).
The circuit is tight and twisting, dominated by numerous heavy-braking areas and mostly slow-speed corners, apart from the two high-speed right-handers that take riders off the back straight. Misano is a clockwise circuit, but it was originally anti-clockwise.
Following Sunday’s racing the MotoGP World Championship returns to Spain for the third time this year for the Aragon Grand Prix on September 29, before embarking on a gruelling trio of ‘flyaway’ races in Malaysia, Australia and Japan. The grand finale takes place at Valencia, in Spain, on November 10.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda: “I’m already feeling much better since my accident in Silverstone, so hopefully I’ll be almost 100% by this weekend! I will arrive in Italy for the race weekend a little later than usual as I will use the time to have more physiotherapy on my shoulder. Misano has a lot of braking and is a smaller and slower track compared to others on the calendar, so it will be interesting to ride the MotoGP bike there. Once again, the aim is to start work like always, focusing on Sunday, and prepare ourselves in the best way.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: “I was slightly disappointed after Silverstone as we knew we had the speed and race pace to challenge for victory. Anyway we must learn from the mistakes and move on. Misano is quite a tricky track and the grip level is always a challenge, but I enjoy riding there. I’ve had good results in the past even if last year we experienced a nightmare on race day! This year we arrive confident and looking to reduce the points to Marc in the Championship.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: “Misano is another exciting race track for me and it’s nice to remember Marco [Simoncelli, the late MotoGP star after whom the track is now named] and his talent once again. I like the atmosphere and this is a special weekend for my team, just like Mugello. I remember last year when we had two starts… it was a stressful moment for everybody. Now I have more experience and I aim to end this race near the front again. Actually we are facing some problems: we are very fast in practice but we cannot match the pace for the entire race.”
Alvaro Bautista, Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini: “We had another fantastic weekend at Silverstone, working hard with the team on the setting of the bike, which wasn’t ideal on Friday. We managed to put together an excellent race, not far off the back of the lead group and I really enjoyed myself in another great battle with Valentino, who finally beat me by a matter of a few centimetres. Our current run of form is very positive so we have to keep doing the right things and this will keep us moving forwards. Misano holds some good memories for me and it is also my team’s home track. I have been on the podium there many times, including my first in MotoGP last season after a big battle with a bunch of riders but especially with [Andrea] Dovizioso. This year it won’t be easy because the level in MotoGP has gone up another notch but we will try our best to continue our excellent moment. The goal is to close the gap even further to the top three and try to break them if we can. It is not a great track for overtaking and overall it is quite slow, despite a fast section at the end. It will be important for us to concentrate hard from the start on finding a set-up with good stability under braking and plenty of acceleration out of the corners. This is a more important aspect at Misano than top speed.”
Bryan Staring, GO&FUN Honda Gresini: “The Grand Prix of San Marino is an important event for me. I know the track well and with this being the team’s home race I really want to give everything I can to make sure we celebrate with a good result. I want to put our recent disappointments behind us with a performance that sets us up for the final stage of the season. With the help of the team I think I can achieve the objectives we have set ourselves for the weekend ahead.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Scott Redding, Marc VDS Racing Team: “The main aim at Misano is to keep the momentum going from Silverstone where we had an amazing weekend – winning the race at home and announcing my first deal in MotoGP. Once again, we will go into the weekend working towards a win, because although I’ve got a few points on Pol, there are still six races to go, so anything can happen. Misano isn’t fast but it can be a tricky track to get right. The lap times will be close and consistency will be everything when it comes to the race.”
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti HP40 Pons: “We come to Misano confident that we can put the difficult weekend of Silverstone behind us. Although we only had a few minor difficulties there – some issues with the set-up and a crash in warm-up – Moto2 is such a close category that one little thing can lose you the race. But that was only the second time in six races that we hadn’t closed the points gap on Scott so I am confident we can once again close the gap at Misano.”
Esteve Rabat, Tuenti HP 40 Pons: “We missed the podium at Silverstone by 0.048 seconds, so we will work very hard to make sure we do better at Misano. I had some issues early in the race which held me back and when I caught the leading group I couldn’t overtake, even though I was riding faster than them. We need to make sure we have a perfect run this weekend. I think we can have a good few days at Misano and with a little luck we can be back on the podium.”
Honda Moto3 Rider quotes
Jack Miller, Caretta Technology – RTG: “We had another good battle at Silverstone and I think Misano will be a better race for us because the track is more suited to our bike. There are fewer straights than at Silverstone and we know our bike works really well through the turns. We’ll see what it brings and we’ll see how my collarbone goes – since I had it plated the nerves have been playing up a bit.”
Alexis Masbou, Ongetta-Rivacold: “I didn’t race at Misano because I was still recovering from a broken leg, so this will be my first race there on a Moto3 bike. We will do everything we can to be near to the front, but I think it will be more difficult than Silverstone because there are more slow corners.”
Romano Fenati, San Carlo Team Italia: “We had a good race at Silverstone two weeks ago and I hope we can keep making steps forward when we get to Misano. It is our second home race of the year and I will be trying hard to better the seventh place I got at Mugello in June – that would be a nice present both to the team and to the fans.”
— Ducati Preview
Having enjoyed a much-deserved weekend off following MotoGP’s recent summer tripleheader, the Ducati Team is preparing to return to the track for the GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, just down the road from the manufacturer’s Bologna headquarters.
The event—the second of two this season to be held on Italian soil—is also particularly important for Andrea Dovizioso, who was born in nearby Forlimpopoli, and this will mark the Italian’s first time racing there aboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP13. His American teammate Nicky Hayden also regularly bases himself in the area between races when he’s spending time in Europe. Although neither rider has a GP podium finish at the circuit, the team did score a runner-up result in last year’s race, at the hands of Valentino Rossi.
Constructed in 1972, the Misano circuit regularly hosted GP rounds through the ’80s and early ’90s before taking a fourteen-year hiatus from the championship. After undergoing safety-related upgrades and switching direction, it returned in 2007. As usual for the event, this weekend will see the Ducati Team riders being cheered on by supporters in the Ducati Grandstand.
Sunday’s race will be followed by a one-day IRTA test at the same circuit on Monday.
Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati Team – “We did a couple of days of testing there one month ago so we should be able to start with a good base and I think we can make a good race there. Misano is quite a slow circuit for the MotoGP bikes, but I like this track because it’s special for me. I made my first race there after moving up from minibikes, it went in a different direction than now, but for me Misano is always Misano!”
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Team – “Misano will be a bit bittersweet this year, as it’s my last GP in Italy for the Ducati Team. I can’t say I exactly love the track as I haven’t had great results there, but the atmosphere is great. It’s quite a difficult track because it’s pretty bumpy with average grip. We had a test there a couple months back, and maybe we can start the weekend off closer to the rest.”
Vittoriano Guareschi – Team Manager – “Misano is the second of our home races and is very important to us. It’s also one of our three test tracks; we’ve already done some tests there this year, so our riders know the circuit well. We were able to try some things with the setup, and we hope that work will give us the advantage that it did last year, when we had our best race of the year in dry conditions. We know our bike performs decently there, and our riders will certainly be very motivated by the fact that it’s our home race—particularly Andrea, who lives quite close to the track.”
— Bridgestone Preview
Bridgestone MotoGP™ Preview – Round 13: Misano
Wednesday 11 September 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Medium & Hard. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Hard (Main), Soft (Alternative)
Round thirteen of the 2013 MotoGP™ season sees the series return to Italy, with this weekend’s San Marino and Rimini Grand Prix taking place at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as the fight for the championship intensifies.
At 4.064 kilometres in length, Misano features a tight, stop-and-go layout, with a series of corner sequences joined together by short straights. The most challenging part of the circuit is from turns eleven to fourteen, starting with the flat-out Curvone which sweeps into progressively tighter right-hand corners that demand maximum commitment from the riders and good stability and grip from the tyres. The circuit requires good cornering feel but also strong acceleration and braking performance, so an optimal bike setup is important to get the best out of the tyres and to maintain a quick pace.
Overall, Misano is not overly 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 large lean angles. With ten right-hand turns compared to just six left-hand turns, asymmetric slicks with harder rubber on the right shoulder are supplied. The rear slick compounds for the CRT riders are the soft and medium options, while the works riders have access to the medium and hard rear slicks. The front slick options at Misano are the medium and hard compounds.
The main wet tyre at Misano is the hard compound wet tyre, as the layout and tarmac of the circuit can cause high wear in wet conditions. All riders will have also have access to two front and two rear tyres in the alternative, soft wet tyre if cold and wet conditions are encountered.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Following the recent run of three back-to-back races, we are now well into the second half of the championship and it has been a truly remarkable season so far. I am looking forward to Misano as this race has often been a turning point in the championship, as evidenced by last year’s race where Jorge’s victory was a key moment in him securing his second MotoGP title. Jorge and Marc have a good record at Misano and Dani is in good form having been on the podium at the last three races so with the championship fight still wide open, I hope we are in for yet another thrilling race. Apart from the race, there is also a MotoGP test at the circuit on Monday which will provide a chance for the participating teams to test their latest developments and it will also be an important event for Bridgestone, as we will be supplying some new experimental tyres for the riders to evaluate.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The track surface at Misano is smooth and offers relatively low grip and it also has a twisting layout so the tyres spend a lot of time leant over. Ambient conditions for the San Marino Grand Prix are usually hot so harder compounds are selected to provide better durability and heat resistance. 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, but generally the loads imposed on the centre, left and right shoulders are quite similar at this track. The front tyre requires 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.”