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Sep 7, 2018

MotoGP: Andrea Dovizioso Continues To Set The Pace In FP2 At Misano (Updated)

Andrea Dovizioso (04).

Gran Premio Octo Di San Marino E Della Riviera

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

Misano, San Marino

September 7, 2018

Free Practice Two Results (all on Michelin tires):

1. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:32.198

2. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Ducati), 1:32.358

3. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:32.385

4. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:32.411

5. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:32.537

6. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:32.722

7. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:32.775

8. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:32.786

9. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Honda), 1:32.980

10. Johann Zarco, France (Yamaha), 1:32.985

11. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda), 1:32.999

12. Michele Pirro, Italy (Ducati), 1:33.005

13. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Ducati), 1:33.183

14. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:33.193

15. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:33.274

16. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Suzuki), 1:33.423

17. Scott Redding, UK (Aprilia), 1:33.517

18. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:33.654

19. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda), 1:33.660

20. Bradley Smith, UK (KTM), 1:33.815

21. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1:33.878

22. Xavier Simeon, Belgium (Ducati), 1:33.896

23. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland (Honda), 1:34.278

24. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:34.461

25. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (Yamaha), 1:34.539

26. Christophe Ponsson, France (Ducati), 1:38.154



More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Determined Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair is back on track in Misano

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.

On the other side, MotoGP rookie Hafizh Syahrin had a difficult first day on board his Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time at the 4.2-kilometer-long circuit. The Malaysian youngster is working hard on improving on his 25th position in FP3 tomorrow morning at 9.55 local time.

Johann Zarco

Position: 11th - Time: 1’32.985 - Laps: 41

“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.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 25th - Time: 1’34.539 - Laps: 36

“At the moment I didn’t find my good feeling, but I’m really happy that we worked really good in the first laps of FP2. I don’t know why, but I lost the front in turn seven. From there we were struggling a bit to find the best feeling with the bike because we changed to the other machine and tried to put the same setup, but it was different. I try to work hard and want to improve my lap time and my position tomorrow, as I don’t want to start in the last row. I give my best for Saturday, try to find a good rhythm and I’m ready to come back as strong as possible.”




More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH BEST TIMES FOR REDDING AND ESPARGARÓ ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE AT MISANO

On the first day of practice at Misano in view of the upcoming MotoGP race on Sunday, both Aleix Espargaró and Scott Redding were rather far from the top ten, which is the usual goal of the practice sessions in order to avoid the qualifiers on Saturday and to go straight through to the Q2 session that decides the first four rows on the starting grid.

Espargaró tackled the first day with his new crew chief, Pietro Caprara, and had to reckon with an adaptation process to his RS-GP's latest evolution engine, tested in August right here on this track, but being put through its paces for the first time in an official session. After his time of 1'35.544 in the first session, Aleix improved in the afternoon, finishing with 1'33.322 and now, weather permitting, he will have the last session on Saturday morning to try to get close to tenth place.

In the first session, Redding demonstrated good confidence with his Aprilia, just missing out on the top ten, finishing eleventh just 18 thousandths behind the tenth-place time. In the afternoon, however, partly due to a crash and consequent bike change, he was one of the very few riders who did not improve, so much that he finished seventeenth in the combined standings of the two sessions. Everything will be decided tomorrow for him as well.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

"This is an important GP for Aprilia, but the first day was not simple, despite the fact that we are giving it our all. We used these first sessions to create a base on which to work, since I have Pietro with me as my new crew chief. The first impact was good. He is a calm and thoughtful person, but of course, he needs to understand how the RS-GP works and what my needs are. I tried the new engine evolution, which behaves very differently than the previous one, and at the moment we are unable to take full advantage of the potential. We need to fine tune the electronics management in order to adapt to the new characteristics. I hope that we will be able to prepare a more effective package for qualifying and the race based on the data we have collected."

SCOTT REDDING

"I felt very comfortable this morning. I started with the same setup as Silverstone, which seems to work better here. The feeling with the bike is good. I found a good rhythm and I was able to work on the various tyre options. The RS-GP feels more reactive and more responsive to my demands. In the afternoon, we continued in this direction. To be honest, I really can't explain the crash. Maybe a bit of humidity made the temperature drop a few degrees. Then, having to use the second bike, I struggled to improve my times, but I am happy. It's nice to find the right pace straight away at Aprilia's home race."



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

RINS AND IANNONE IN TOP 10 OVERALL AFTER DAY 1 IN MISANO

Alex Rins: 7th - 1:32.775 (+ 0.577)

Andrea Iannone: 9th - 1:32.923 (+ 0.725)

• Rins makes big improvement from FP1 to FP2.

•Iannone with strong pace despite crash.

•Rain stays away for opening day.

The San Marino GP saw a welcome return to action on Friday morning after the cancellation of the British GP race 2 weeks earlier. Sunny skies greeted the riders at Misano and Andrea Iannone was able to take early advantage of this by placing himself initially in the Top 10, and then in the Top 5, as well as being the fastest rider through Sector 1. Meanwhile, Alex Rins placed in the Top 10 with minutes to go, but was bumped to 14th place.

FP2 stayed dry despite the clouds building. With the possibility of rain for tomorrow’s FP3, it was important to set a good pace and provisionally place in Q2. Alex Rins improved his lap time by almost a second and put himself into 7th in the session, just over half a second from the top - a positive step for the Spaniard. With a couple of minutes left in FP2, Andrea 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.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“I’m happy that Andrea is OK and the crash didn’t cause any issues. He also managed to stay in the Top 10. It’s been quite a positive Friday because we were worried about the rain coming, and also we’re one of the teams who didn’t test here in Misano, unlike several of our competitors. So to achieve both riders in the Top 10, I think is a good start. Alex was really good and made a stronger lap time during his time attack. Let’s see about tomorrow, and try to continue improving from FP3 onwards.”

Alex Rins

“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

“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.”



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini

MotoGP 2018 Round 13

Marquez and Pedrosa take fifth and 12th on day one in Misano

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa started their Misano campaign taking the fifth and 12th places, respectively, in the combined standings.

After setting the 13th fastest time in FP1 while focusing as usual on working on his bike setup for the race, and with uncertain weather forecast for tomorrow’s qualifying day, Marc boarded his RC213V in the afternoon looking for immediate speed. He immediately set the provisional fastest time of the day, which ultimately proved quick enough to secure him a top-five place in the combined classification.

It was an opposite scenario for Dani Pedrosa, seventh in the morning and just 20 thousandths of a second from a top-10 position in the FP2, despite improving on his FP1 effort.

Marc Marquez 93

5TH 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.”

Dani Pedrosa 26

12TH 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.”



More, from a press release issued by Alma Pramac Racing:

Gran Premio di San Marino - Free Practices

#SanMarinoGP FP – Convincing start for Petrux: P6 after Friday’s free practices. Unlucky day for Jack.

The first day of free practice for #SanMarinoGP ends with a precious P6 for Danilo Petrucci who mortgages the direct qualification to Q2 in case of bad weather tomorrow. Jack goes very fast in the morning and in the time attack seems able to record a great time. In the last sector, however, he is slowed down by Ponsson. In the afternoon the Australian rider keeps pushing but has to change bike after a crash. In the time attack the front tyre doesn't work properly and Jack has to settle for P14.

P6 – Danilo Petrucci 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 ".

P14 – Jack Miller 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".



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

FAST START FOR CRUTCHLOW IN MISANO

LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow made an impressive start as free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano got underway on Friday. The Briton – who is carrying the sponsorship of Italian tool designer and manufacturer BETA Utensili this weekend – finished the day in third spot on the timesheets as the weather held off to allow two dry sessions at the Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Crutchlow was on the pace throughout and served notice of his speed by going second fastest in FP1. With the forecast of rain threatening the rest of the race weekend, a shoot-out developed at the end of FP2 as riders jostled for qualifying positions. Crutchlow produced a fine effort to clinch third spot ahead of championship leader and fellow Honda factory rider Marc Marquez (fifth), with the Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo first and second.

Cal Crutchlow – 3rd

(1’32.385 – lap 18 of 19)

“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.”



More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing Corporation (HRC):

Stefan Bradl starts his second Grand Prix as an HRC wildcard rider

HRC MotoGP test rider Stefan Bradl began preparation for his second round of the season as an HRC wildcard rider, his first appearance in the role having been at the Czech Grand Prix in August. In reality, this will be the third race aboard an RC213V this year for Stefan, who also replaced fellow Honda rider Franco Morbidelli at the German GP.

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 6

Team HRC – MotoGP

“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.”



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

NAKAGAMI LOOKING FOR IMPROVEMENT

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami is targeting a place in Q1 after a solid performance on the opening day of free practice at the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano. The Japanese rookie ended the day in 15th position on the timesheets at a venue which holds special resonance for him following the death of his close friend Shoya Tomizawa in 2010’s Moto2 race there.

Both sessions on Friday took place in dry conditions with Nakagami posting the 17th fastest lap in FP1. He shaved over half a second off that time in FP2 and is now hoping the weather holds to allow him to make further progress on Saturday and secure a place in Q1.

Takaaki Nakagami – 15th

(1'33.274 – lap 17 of 19)

“I’ve got mixed feelings because my feeling on the bike is a little better than at the last test, even though the lap time is more or less the same. In FP2 we tried a new set up on the bike for long runs and it was quite positive, although the feeling in sector three wasn’t as good and I had a crash at a high-speed corner. I’m lucky because I don’t have any injuries, although I lost a few minutes. But we are looking forward to the second day here and hopefully we’ll get good weather so I can improve the lap time in FP3 and get into the top 10.”



More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

PROGRESSIVE START FOR MOVISTAR YAMAHA AT THE SAN MARINO GP

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team put in a good number of laps in today‘s at first sunny then overcast opening two free practice sessions at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi made progress as they prepared for Sunday‘s Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini and finished fourth and eighth respectively in the combined timesheets.

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 7th September 2018

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales had an encouraging start to the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini weekend, securing fourth position in the combined Friday free practice timesheets. Valentino Rossi experienced a challenging FP1, but recovered in FP2, ending the day in eighth place.

Viñales found a good feeling at the recent private test in Aragon, Spain, and he continued the positive vibes this morning when he started his San Marino GP challenge. He gradually climbed the provisional rankings, entering the top-3. He held firm for most of the FP1 session until the pace picked up in the final seven minutes, but even then he kept his cool and responded by clocking a 1‘32.739s to take third place, 0.131s from first.

Despite the weather conditions changing from sunny to overcast in the afternoon, the Spaniard 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.

Thousands of Italian fans had been waiting to see their local hero in action, but the start of the San Marino GP weekend wasn‘t what Rossi had hoped for. Nevertheless, he focused on improving his bike‘s dry setting as the forecast for FP2 and FP3 remained uncertain and the race on Sunday is predicted to be dry. He ended the morning session in 15th position, with a 1.007s margin to first.

In the cloudy afternoon the Doctor had his work cut out for him to claim a position inside the combined free practice top-10, but the added pressure only motivated him even more. He worked tirelessly trying to make his way up the order. He saved the best for last, dropping a 1‘32.786s in the final two minutes that put him in eighth place both in the combined and FP2 timesheets, 0.588s from today‘s fastest time.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

After the test here in Misano some weeks ago, we were interested to see if we could confirm the things we found back then. Unfortunately, the condition of the track and the tyre degradation are different than we expected, but that said, the riders are comfortable on their bikes, so we're seeing some fruits from our labour. One of today‘s aims was to get into Q2 with both riders, since we‘re expecting rain for tomorrow‘s FP3. It‘s also important to make the tyre choice for the race, but today we couldn‘t do it, so it will be important to have at least one more dry session before the Sunday. Obviously, we will try to prepare something for tomorrow. Since Maverick and Valentino are quite satisfied, we‘re optimistic that we can make another step forward.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

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.

VALENTINO ROSSI

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.



More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo take top two places at the end of first day of practice for the San Marino GP. Michele Pirro thirteenth with the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team

The two Ducati Team riders got their Misano Adriatico weekend off to a positive start today. At the end of the first day of free practice Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo were classified first and second while Michele Pirro, entered as a wild-card with the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team, finished in thirteenth place.

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.

Lorenzo, who was fourth in the morning, was then second quickest in the afternoon with a time of 1’32.358.

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.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1st (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.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 2nd (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.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 13th (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.”



More, from a press release issued by Reale Avintia Racing

Simeon impressed with Ducati GP17, Ponsson qualified

MotoGP GP of San Marino – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

The riders of Team Reale Avintia Racing had a positive first day of practice for the San Marino Grand Prix.

Xavi Simeon was impressed with the Ducati GP17 of his injured teammate Tito Rabat and ended the two Friday practice sessions very happy with the feeling for this bike, even though these good sensations don’t reflect in the classification yet. Simeon was 1.6 seconds behind the fastest guy on the track but is convinced that he can do another step tomorrow and that a starting position somewhere in the first five rows of the grid is within reach.

There was also excitement on the other side of the box which saw the MotoGP debut of Christophe Ponsson. Everything was new for Chris today and it made sense for the 22-year-old Frenchman to have a careful approach in the blue ribbon category of motorcycle racing. Rubén Xaus was by his side all day and provided him, alongside with the technical team, with the right advice at every moment, so he was able to progress significantly over the course of the day. Despite a lot of criticism about him learning to ride a MotoGP bike on an actual race weekend, the Frenchman achieved his first goal and finished the day within the 107 per cent time limit and passed the qualifying hurdle. In the same way as Simeon, Ponsson also expects to make another step on Saturday in order to be well prepared for the race on Sunday.

Xavier Simeon | 1'33.896 | P22

“I am very happy, because I felt really well on this bike. We didn’t touch anything on the base settings of Tito and I was comfortable from the first lap. I tried to ride as much as possible in order to get used to the bike and with every exit, we managed to improve our times. I finished 1.6 seconds behind the leader and it’s a long time ago that I was that close. The team is helping me a lot in order to do well. I believe tomorrow we can fight for a place within the top 15 in qualifying.”

Christophe Ponsson | 1'38.154 | P26

“Today I had to learn many things in a short time, but I think we did a good job. What I find most difficult to get used to are neither the carbon brakes nor the engine power, but the stiffness of the bike. I rode many street bike derivatives in the past, which were softer and I’m struggling with this one because the chassis is so stiff that it transmits everything. I also never had a chance to compete on Michelin tires before, which made things even more complicated in the short time we’ve had. I need more kilometres in order to get used to the bike. The other riders or on the finish line of this season and are on an incredible level. The best thing for us is that I improved every time I went out on the track.”



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Ducati vs Marquez at Misano?

Day 1 sets the scene

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo made it a 1-2 for the Ducati Team on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with the two split by just 0.160 at the top. 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. But that's for Sunday, and Friday was dominated more by time-attacks for many - with rain threatening the day, more threatening FP3 on Saturday and that all-important place in the top ten up for grabs on Day 1.

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.

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 0.026 as Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took P4 and edged Marquez by the end of play.

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. 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.

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. Crashing out right near the conclusion of FP2, the Italian was the only man in the top ten by virtue of his FP1 time.

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). Miller was a two-time crasher on Day 1, and will be hoping for good weather on Saturday.

Tune in for FP3 from 9:55am (GMT +2) on Saturday to see who makes it through to Q2. Qualifying then starts from 14:10!

Schrötter holds off the Italians on Friday

The german went fastest in FP2 to better Bagnaia and Pasini on Friday

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.

The intermediate class will be back on track at 10:55 local time (GMT +2) for FP3, before qualifying commences at 15:05 – will Schrötter keep the Italians behind?

First blood to Martin on Day 1, Bezzecchi P2

Spaniard topped FP2 ahead of the Championship leader to end Friday fastest

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.

Will Bezzecchi bite back on Saturday? Find out when Moto3™ FP3 gets underway at 09:00 local time (GMT +2), before qualifying at 12:35.

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