2019 MotoGP – Round 13 – Misano
Yamaha dominated Friday’s practice at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, led by Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo with just 0.057 between the two on the combined timesheets, as Marquez claimed third, with Rossi and Morbidelli not far behind.
Augusto Fernandez took the Moto2 lead, with Aussie Remy Gardner ending the day in P8 after sitting third fastest in P1, while in Moto3 it was Albert Arenas setting the fastest times in FP1 and FP2.
MotoE also kicked off, with Alex De Angelis claiming pole position, with Matteo Ferrari and Xavier Simeon completing the front row.
The weekend will also see the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup run, with Haruki Noguchi leading the Qualifying Practice and Aussie Billy van Eerde claiming 14th on the grid.
It was a sunny first day on the Riviera di Rimini, and it was pretty sunny for Yamaha too as the Iwata marque had all four bikes in the top five. Home hero Valentino Rossi was just behind Marquez, with Franco Morbidelli in fifth to leave the number 93 the sole non-Yamaha in the top five.
After Quartararo kicked things off in FP1 to edge out the reigning Champion, it was Marquez who was the early leader in FP2 as the Championship leader got straight down to business, closing down the rookie’s FP1 advantage to just 0.018 on the combined timesheets to head the afternoon session by over four-tenths.
The likes of Alex Rins had jumped into the overall top ten in the early stages of FP2, with Morbidelli and Rossi also improving on their FP1 times.
The afternoon then went quiet in terms of personal best times, the riders getting some valuable work done on different tyres to see what their preference will be for Sunday’s race.
But with just over ten minutes remaining – and after a couple of close front-end moments – Quartararo was yet to improve his FP1 time and so was Viñales. The traditional FP2 time attack was forthcoming, however, and with eight minutes to go, we had plenty of movement.
Rossi moved into P3 overall on his first flying run on the soft rear, but teammate Viñales would move the goalposts at the top as a 1:32.775 saw the Spaniard leap over three tenths clear. Quartararo was on a personal best behind, but the rookie sensation wasn’t quite able to match Viñales’ time as the 20-year-old went a tenth off.
The Ducati Team riders had a quiet morning but both Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso then found a way into the top ten, with Viñales looking like he had P1 in the bag as the flag dropped.
Quartararo, however, was on a fast one. Personal best sectors were set by the Frenchman but at the line, it wasn’t quite enough as he ended the day 0.057 in arrears – barely anything splitting the two Yamahas. Marquez failed to improve and stayed P3, with Rossi and Morbidelli completing the top five.
Maverick Viñales – P1
“Honestly, today I tried to keep the good feeling from the test going, because we worked in a really good way. For sure it was very difficult because the track was very slippery today, but somehow I was still able to hit the lap times, so I’m quite happy and enthusiastic for that reason. Anyway, there’s still a lot of work to do. For sure we, with two or three riders, are a little bit ahead of the competition, but they will come to our level, so we need to keep working and see what we can improve. The track felt difficult today because it’s very slippery, especially on the initial laps on the tyre, but we’ll see. We only tried the medium tyre, never the hard or a long run on the softs, so tomorrow we will see more properly.”
Fabio Quartararo – P2
“It was a positive day, although the track was quite tricky with much less grip than we had during the test. I think we need to wait a little bit, because the Moto2 and Moto3 riders will help us to clean the track and the more rubber on the surface the better. In the end we had not bad pace with soft tyres, and there’s still a little bit to go as we develop our settings. I’m a little slower than I was at the test, but I’m not the only rider in the same situation. I had a few small moments on the front today, but every time it happens I learn, because it’s helping me to better understand the limit of the tyre.”
Marc Marquez – P3
“Today was not so bad, it was quite similar to during the test with the Yamahas being strong and especially Quartararo and Viñales. Everyone is strong after the test. Anyway, we are continuing to work hard and find the best solution to improve on the small areas we need to. Like always, we spent the day trying things like different tyres and making the most of the track time. I am happy with what we have done so far.”
Valentino Rossi – P4
“Today the Yamaha feels very fast, also with different configurations between us and the Petronas team for example. It looks like our bike is very competitive, we have good grip and good acceleration, and this is so positive. For me personally we still have a lot of work to do, because I don’t feel fantastic with the balance, with the setting. I need a bit more grip, but it’s a good Friday and to have all the Yamahas in front is great, so we will try to continue like this.”
Franco Morbidelli – P5
“It was a positive first day for us. This morning we tried some set-up elements that didn’t feel so good, but we got it right towards the end. I was able to get going strongly in the second session to see how the tyres react in higher temperatures and after a few laps. I felt comfortable and I’m having fun on the bike, and that’s resulting in me riding nice and smoothly. The time attack is still my weak point, but we can improve in tomorrow morning’s practice, with the target to qualify in the front two rows. It’s been a good Friday for Yamaha, with four riders in the top five. It’ll be important to understand the grip levels tomorrow before we know for sure what result we can achieve on Sunday.”
Sixth was a headline in itself as Pol Espargaro impressed in P6 in both FP1 and FP2, ending the day ahead of Ducati Team’s Michele Pirro. The Italian slipped from P4 in FP1 to P7 at the end of play after failing to go quicker in FP2, but the test rider remains the fastest Ducati on track so far.
Michele Pirro – P7
“Today we got back a bit of the feeling and the speed that we had in the test at the end of August: there are still certain aspects of the bike we have to work on because we are still missing something, but in the two sessions we brought home some useful information, and in any case both this morning and this afternoon my times were in line with those of the other Ducatis.”
Danilo Petrucci – P8
“Today we weren’t entirely satisfied because we are still struggling to get the best out of the tyres, and even with the soft option, which I put on at the end of the second session, I was unable to make a significant improvement on my time. However, we’ve got some ideas about how to improve the situation and now we’ll have a good look at the data of both sessions in order to see what direction to take for tomorrow.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P10
“This morning we started off pretty slowly because we knew that the track conditions were not particularly favourable for us and we did several tests with the set-up, which in my opinion went in the right direction because my feeling improved over the two sessions. We are not yet amongst the quickest riders but we’re getting there bit by bit: for sure there’s a lot more work to do but we have some ideas about how to improve the bike tomorrow.”
Petrucci sits just behind him in P8, with Aleix Espargaro – P5 in FP1 – claiming P9 on Friday thanks to his morning time. Last year’s winner Dovizioso occupies the last provisional automatic Q2 place in P10 heading into Saturday – not an easy day for the man second in the Championship.
It’s Silverstone winner Alex Rins and Cal Crutchlow who just lost out on the top ten on Friday, but it’s just 0.6 that splits Dovi in P10 to Andrea Iannone in P21.
Jack Miller had to settle for 16th after some niggling issues and traffic on the track limited his chance to lay down fast times.
Jack Miller – P16
“It’s certainly not one of the best Fridays of the season. I couldn’t get the tyres to work, we tried some solutions on the set up but we weren’t able to get sensitive results. The FP1 crash? I was pushing and I lost the front. We have to improve to stay in Q2.”
Pecco Bagnaia – P15
“I am satisfied with the improvements made during the day on the race pace. We are at the level of the other Ducati so far and we should have already identified the choice of tyres for the race. However, we need to make progress with the soft tyre to qualify directly for Q2.”
Jorge Lorenzo – P17
“I am pleased with how today went, especially in the afternoon we were able to make a clear step forward. Compared to Silverstone we are closer to the front and also I am in less pain. We were able to improve the rear grip which helped a lot with the conditions today. Tomorrow we will look to improve our overall pace to keep closing the distance and improving.”
MotoGP Combined Times
Augusto Fernandez was fastest on Friday in the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, but it wasn’t by much. The Spaniard, now second in the Championship after his win at Silverstone, was just half a tenth ahead of the man he’s chasing in the standings, Alex Marquez, with rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio flying the home flag in third on Day 1.
At a sunny and breezy Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the latter half of FP2 proved decisive on the combed timesheets. Before then it was Tetsuta Nagashima on top, although the Japanese rider didn’t lose out too much as he ended the day in fourth, 0.010 off ‘Diggia’, with former Misano winner Lorenzo Baldassarri completing the top five by just 0.021.
Next up was Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini, who improved in the latter stages to grab P6 having finished FP1 down in P22, with Enea Bastianini taking an impressive seventh on his return from injury. Misano is where the ‘Beast’ took his first Grand Prix win in the Moto3 race in 2015.
Remy Gardner slipped down to P8 after setting the third-fastest time in FP1 and bothering the top of the timesheets earlier in FP2, whereas Sam Lowes moved up one spot to P9 from P10 in the morning. Nicolo Bulega improved late in FP2 to take tenth overall after ending FP1 in fifth, the last piece in the puzzle to make it three rookies and five Italians in the top ten.
After Friday it’s Mattia Pasini, Iker Lecuona, title contender Thomas Lüthi and Marco Bezzecchi who are the last to have a provisional place in Q2, with Xavi Vierge and Jorge Martin just losing out.
Martin crashed on Friday, rider ok, as did Marco Bezzecchi, Lukas Tulovic, Baldassarri, Navarro and Lecuona. Brad Binder crashed early in FP1 as the South African suffered a monster highside, rider luckily ok.
With the weather set to hold, will the top 14 change on Saturday morning? The automatic Q2 places are still up for grabs so don’t miss the action at 10:55 local time (GMT+1), with the likes of Binder, Navarro and Marcel Schrötter especially looking to bounce back…
Moto2 Combined Times
|3||F.Di Giannanto||SPEED UP||1m38.463|
Albert Arenas topped the timesheets in both FP1 and FP2 to prove the man to beat so far at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with home hero Niccolo Antonelli next up on the overall timesheets. Gabriel Rodrigo completed the top three to impress as he comes back from injury, with the trio all setting their best laptimes in the morning.
On a late summer scorcher at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the top three may not have improved in the afternoon, but plenty did despite the heat. Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee in fourth was the first whose laptime on the combined timesheets came from FP2, but the Brit ended the day just ahead of another whose FP1 time proved his quickest: Tony Arbolino. From there, however, the rest of the top ten all found time in the afternoon.
Ayumu Sasaki found nearly half a second to take sixth, just 0.012 ahead of veteran home campaigner Romano Fenati, a former winner at Misano. Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta was P8 just behind his compatriot, although the quieter day for the Leopard rider still saw him beat key rival Aron Canet as the Spaniard was P11 overall and suffered a late crash.
Kaito Toba crashed twice on Friday, Celestino Vietti took a tumble and Can Öncü crashed in FP. The Turk was declared unfit due to a broken collarbone, so he’ll sit out the rest of the weekend – and will be replaced by twin brother Deniz, who rides for the team in the Moto3 Junior World Championship.
Meanwhile Andrea Migno had a solid opening day at his home Grand Prix to take ninth and make the top ten 50% Italian on the Riviera di Rimini, with rookie Ai Ogura next up after another impressive day at the office.
Behind Canet in P11, Jaume Masia, Tatsuki Suzuki and Jakub Kornfeil complete the fastest fourteen on Friday and those who currently stand to move through to Q2 – but everything could change in FP3 on Saturday morning.
Moto3 Combined Times
|8||L.Dalla Porta Ita||HONDA||1m43.142|
Not since 2011 has Alex De Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) taken pole position in the MotoGP paddock, but the Sammarinese rider was a cut above his rivals in E-Pole at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini to take his first FIM Enel MotoE World Cup pole position.
It was a close duel for the top with Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE), however, as the Italian was forced to settle for second by half a tenth. Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) took third to complete the front row.
In the order dictated by combined practice times, the riders headed out one-by-one, with the fastest three heading for parc ferme before a faster rider knocked them out. After finishing 13th at the end of the two Free Practice sessions, De Angelis was the sixth rider to head out and the Sammarinese rider’s lap time was over a second better than Lorenzo Savadori’s (Trentino Gresini MotoE) earlier benchmark.
Overall standings leader Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was then out on track straight after De Angelis, but big drama hit as the Frenchman’s E-Pole ended early at Turn 6, a huge highside as he powered onto the straight meaning the points leader has to start from the back of the grid after failing to set a time.
The laps kept coming as the faster riders from practice headed out, but no one could better De Angelis’ time. Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) went to P3 but the Brazilian’s lap was scrubbed off for exceeding track limits at the final corner. Jesko Raffin (Dynavolt Intact GP) then ran De Angelis close to go P2, displacing Maria Herrera (OpenBank Angel Nieto Team) from second place at the time. Then, it was the turn of second in the Cup standings Bradley Smith. Could the One Energy Racing rider capitalise on the misfortunes of his title rival?
The British rider put in a solid lap but could only manage to get within 0.3 of provisional pole, that nevertheless a valuable time on the board to give the Brit a significant advantage over Di Meglio on the grid in Race 1 and Race 2.
Niki Tuuli (Ajo MotoE) was next up, the Finn setting the timing screens alight and looking like a serious threat. Up in sector one, even quicker in sector two and with over three tenths in his pocket in sector three, the Ajo rider looked set to challenge. But then, Tuuli suddenly went down at Turn 14, forced to join Di Meglio at the back of the grid as even more drama hit another frontrunner.
Next, though, was Simeon, after the Belgian went third fastest in Free Practice. Could he oust de Angelis? Not quite. But he stuck his Energica Ego Corsa into P2, 0.109 off de Angelis’ time and with only Ferrari to come, that guaranteed him a front row start at least. So could Ferrari do it?
He was up in the first split but lost time in the second, with a tense wait seeing De Angelis watch his rival’s lap from parc ferme and the timing screens showing it would be close. It was, but the rider from San Marino held on to make a little history. The two are also only a point apart in the standings, in fifth and sixth.
Raffin starts fourth after just losing out to Simeon, with Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) impressing in fifth and Maria Herrera (Openbank Angel Nieto Team) likewise as she put in a solid lap to complete the second row. Smith was forced to settle for seventh, with Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing) alongside him after a tough day including a big crash earlier on for the Spaniard. Nico Terol (Openbank Angel Nieto Team) locks out the third row.
Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse), Lorenzo Savadori (Trentino Gresini MotoE), Josh Hook (Octo Pramac MotoE), Kenny Foray (Tech 3 E-Racing) and Randy De Puniet (LCR E-Team) are next, with Sete Gibernau (Join Contract Pons 40) joining Granado, Di Meglio and Tuuli at the back after the Spanish veteran had his lap cancelled.
Alex De Angelis
“Obviously I’m really happy about today because it’s my first E-Pole, at my home GP and it’s an Octo GP which is also our sponsor so putting it all together it’s unbelievable, like a dream. I’m also surprised because this morning in FP1 and FP2 I had so much trouble with the set up and I asked my team to change direction completely. We did and I immediately felt much better on the lap before the qualifying. So I thought ‘ok, this is the time. Push and focus.’ And I did, I only made very small mistakes and the lap was incredibly fast. I knew it could be a good laptime but I didn’t think it was enough for pole. So I’m very happy, and I’d like to say thanks to my team and my family.”
MotoE Combined times/EPole
|1||Alex De Angelis||Energica||1m44.660|
|14||Randy De Puniet||Energica||1m47.918|