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Sep 8, 2018

MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo Breaks Track Record, Takes Pole Position At Misano (Updated)

Jorge Lorenzo (99).

Gran Premio Octo Di San Marino E Della Riviera

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

Misano, San Marino

September 8, 2018

Qualifying Results (all on Michelin tires):

From Qualifying Two:

1. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Ducati), 1:31.629, New Circuit Best Lap Record

2. Jack Miller, Australia (Ducati), 1:31.916

3. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:31.950

4. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:32.003

5. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:32.016, crash

6. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:32.025

7. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:32.028

8. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:32.136

9. Johann Zarco, France (Yamaha), 1:32.250

10. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:32.338

11. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda), 1:32.369

12. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Honda), no time recorded in Q2

From Qualifying One:

13. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Suzuki), 1:32.566

14. Michele Pirro, Italy (Ducati), 1:32.624

15. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Ducati), 1:32.792

16. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:33.084

17. Bradley Smith, UK (KTM), 1:33.085

18. Stefan Bradl, Germany (Honda), 1:33.361

19. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Honda), 1:33.437

20. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:33.502

21. Scott Redding, UK (Aprilia), 1:33.572

22. Xavier Simeon, Belgium (Ducati), 1:33.705

23. Thomas Luthi, Switzerland (Honda), 1:33.755

24. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1:33.812

25. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (Yamaha), 1:34.080

26. Christophe Ponsson, France (Ducati), 1:37.180



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

Zarco to launch Misano GP from third row – Syahrin primed for catch up

In challenging conditions Monster YamahaTech3’s Johann Zarco showed his incredible talent at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli this morning by taking over the top with his last flying lap and lowering his best lap from Friday to make it directly to Q2. He concluded the all-important Qualifying just 0.621 seconds behind the new pole position record.

In the meantime, Hafizh Syahrin did some great steps in today’s FP3, imroving on his FP1 time by incredible 1.786 seconds, but struggled to find his strong feeling again during the short Q1 session in the afternoon and has to tackle his 12thever MotoGP race at 14.00 local time on Sunday from the ninth row of the grid.

Johann Zarco

Position: 9th - Time: 1’32.250 - Laps: 8

“Overall, it has been a good Saturday. I’m especially happy about this morning when I was able to make it directly into Q2 and I saw again how important it is to keep your energy in order to have the best possible Qualifying. My lap time has been incredible today, I also improved my personal one. In the end I start in ninth position and it is really difficult to do better. We are not so far and I think that the work, we are doing is positive, so I keep that in mind and stay strong for Sunday.”

Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 25th - Time: 1’34.080 - Laps: 8

“The Qualifying was very difficult for me after we had a great third and fourth Free Practice today. I wanted to do a race simulation in FP4, but I had a small crash in turn six with the bike I had the best feeling with. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to use my favorite machine in Q1, although we tried to use the same setting, but it didn’t work as we wanted. It’s a pity as I really wanted to improve my position. Now I need to start quite far back, so I know that I need to make a good start, try to deliver a decent race performance and work on this in the Warm Up tomorrow morning.”




More, from a press release issued by Reale Avintia Racing:

Reale Avintia riders ready to fight at Misano

MotoGP GP of San Marino – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

Reale Avintia Racing team rider Xavier Simeon will start the Grand Prix of San Marino on Sunday from 22nd place of the grid. Despite suffering a small crash during the qualifying session, Simeon is quite satisfied with the progress made. On his second day on the Ducati GP17, the Belgian rider enjoyed his ride and concentrated on the race set-up. Tomorrow he hopes to be able to be fighting within the top 15.

Losing FP3 due to the damp conditions of the track was a problem for Christophe Ponsson on Saturday morning. The French rider needs time on the bike to continue learning and improving. But due to the rain overnight, the circuit was not dry enough to go out with Michelin slick tires, but also was not wet enough for rain settings. In FP4, he was able to do many consecutive laps and in qualifying he improved his best time from yesterday by a full second.

In the race on Sunday, he hopes to improve lap after lap and, above all, to enjoy his first Grand Prix in MotoGP.

Xavier Simeon | 1'33.705 | P22

“It has been a positive day despite the crash at the end of the session. It was a shame because I did not manage to get the best out of the bike. However, I was able to start again with the second bike and the lap time was not bad in the end. Today we tried some different settings on the bike and I was able to improve a bit, but in such a short time it is difficult to get used to everything. But it’s important that I enjoy riding and I’m happy. Tomorrow I hope to be consistent and get the best out of me and the bike to make a good race”.

Christophe Ponsson | 1'37.180 | P26

“Today I felt much better on the bike. Our only handicap was the track was not in the best condition this morning and I could only do six laps. Without a doubt, this wasn’t good for me because those kilometres that I missed out on would have been crucial to improve my times in qualifying. I used FP4 to confirm yesterday’s work and continue with my adaptation to the bike. In qualifying I improved by one second. Every time I go out, I am more comfortable and feel more things on the bike. If I could have had more time this morning, the improvement would have been more noticeable. Tomorrow I hope to finish the race. Also, I’m sure I’ll improve my pace during the race”.



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Close second-row start for Marquez in Misano, Pedrosa on 4th row

Marc Marquez set the fifth-fastest time at the end of an eventful qualifying session in which he crashed his RC213V while fighting for a front-row start, rushed to the garage, jumped on his second bike, and then entered the battle again.

In the end, Marc was unable to better his best lap of 1’32.016”, which was just 0.387” off the new pole record set by Jorge Lorenzo, and tomorrow will still start from a good position on the second row.

Dani Pedrosa faced a mixed qualifying day. After missing the passage to Q2 this morning, he set the fastest time in Q1 but was unable to improve on that time in the final session of the day. Dani will start tomorrow’s San Marino GP, which begins at 2 p.m. local time, from the fourth row of the grid.

Marc Marquez 93

5TH 1'32.016

“On my second flying lap in qualifying I was pushing hard when I lost the front and crashed. I got angry at myself as I knew I could improve a lot—I had a margin. I rushed back to the garage so fast that only when I jumped on the bike did I realize I had something in my eye, and then I lost a bit my concentration. I did a few mistakes and I wasn’t very precise, so I didn’t make a perfect lap, even if the adrenaline was there. Anyway, now we must wait for tomorrow’s race, because our rhythm is good, I feel comfortable on the bike, and we did a good FP4 session on used tyres. Crash aside, today everything went very well. Of course, being on the second row means you must pay close attention on the first lap but tomorrow we’ll try and fight for the podium.”

Dani Pedrosa 26

11TH 1'32.369

“Today we were able to be fastest in Q1, improving quite well our lap time from our previous effort. But then, in Q2, we didn’t make a step up and made more or less the same lap time, which was not bad but not good enough either as today everyone was quite close. Of course it’s a bit frustrating because at this track a good starting position is important. In general, we’re losing a bit everywhere in terms of acceleration, though we’re strong enough in the braking areas. Anyway, let’s see how it goes tomorrow, because of course it’ll be important to make a good start.”



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

TENTH AND THIRTEENTH PLACE STARTS FOR MISANO GP

Alex Rins: 10th - 1:32.338 (+ 0.709)

Andrea Iannone: 13th - 1:32.566 (Q1)

• Rins gets Top 10 start.

•Iannone narrowly misses out on Q2.

•Tricky day for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.

After overnight rain there was a damp start to proceedings in FP3, meaning it was difficult for anyone to improve on their Friday pace. After both finishing in the Top 10 yesterday, it looked like Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders were both assured a place in Q2, but towards the end of the session Andrea Iannone was bumped out of the Top 10 overall. Marking the first time this season that Iannone has not gone directly to Q2.

FP4 was used by Alex Rins to finalise settings ahead of qualifying, and was used by Andrea Iannone to try and find the pace needed for Q1’s big battle. Interestingly, both riders finished the session with exactly the same lap time (1:33.336).

The track temperature reached 40c for Q1 and Iannone pushed in the early laps to get within the vital Top 2. But as the chequered flag flew he finished the session 3rd, despite only being 0.177 seconds off. He will start from 13th tomorrow.

Rins initially ran in the Top 5 in a fast-paced final qualifying, the Spaniard ended Q2 in 10th place with a 1:32.338, 0.709 seconds from the top.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

“We’re a little disappointed today because we expected better results. This morning the conditions were difficult with the damp track, and with these conditions Andrea missed out on Q2, and then he couldn’t manage to get through from Q1, so he’ll start 13th. Andrea’s pace isn’t bad, so he needs to get a really good start tomorrow. Alex was in good shape but Q2 was quite fast and it wasn’t easy to improve, he will start in 10th position and we have to work to find a bit more pace, so we’ll work tonight to try and put both riders in the best possible situation and try to have a nice race tomorrow.”

Alex Rins

“The first objective was to get into Q2 and we managed to do that. And the second target was to be second or third row, we’re actually on the fourth, so we need to continue working. I was riding behind another rider and I can see that we need to continue working on traction, it’s a small problem that we need to fix in order to come back to the front group. I’m losing some time on corner exit, and in the Warm-Up tomorrow we’ll try to improve that.

Andrea Iannone

“I thought I had a good strategy in FP3, but in the end I went out of the Top 10. I crashed yesterday in FP2 and I wasn’t able to use my potential, so that made everything today more difficult. In any case, I tried my best in Q1 but I didn’t make the best lap time, but in the end everybody is very close on times. Maybe we don’t have the best pace, but we’re not so far from the top. So we’ll try to improve the bike a little bit for tomorrow, especially on braking points, but let’s see and we’ll try our best.”



More, from a press release issued by Angel Nieto Team:

 FIFTH ROW START FOR ÁLVARO BAUTISTA AT MISANO

Ángel Nieto Team rider to line up fifteenth with Karel Abraham on row eight

The San Marino GP saw another Saturday afternoon double for Ducati with Italian machinery in the top two positions on the grid at Misano, although only one of them was a factory bike. Jorge Lorenzo took his second straight pole position, despite not being able to take full benefit of it at Silverstone, and is joined on the front row by Independent team rider Jack Miller, his best qualifying result since his pole at Argentina. Maverick Viñales completes the front row with Andrea Dovizioso, Marc Márquez and Cal Crutchlow behind him. With fourteen riders inside the same second, the San Marino GP promises to be as close as ever.

The Ángel Nieto Team will start the San Marino GP from the fifth row of the grid with Álvaro Bautista and the eighth for Karel Abraham. The Spaniard was unable to improve his best time from yesterday in free practice and progress directly to Q2 and in Q1 he again finished just a couple of tenths short. Despite that, Bautista is still aiming for the top ten tomorrow with a good start, whilst Karel Abraham was looking good for a top twenty position before a crash on his second run of qualifying. The Czech rider dropped several positions at the end of the session to finish 24th but he is confident of a recovery tomorrow.

15th Álvaro Bautista 1:32.792: “The pace is very fast, inside the lap record, and the times are close. I’ve also done my best ever laps here. This morning we were unable to test some of the things we wanted to and this afternoon we were focused on tyres, making sure the soft can last race distance. We have to improve a little the feeling with the bike, especially in mid-corner, because I am struggling to stay on line. It will be tough because track conditions are constantly changing but we will do our best. I’m hoping for a good start and a strong race to the top ten. When not everything is right, that’s a good target to have.”

24th Karel Abraham 1:33.812: “Of course I’m disappointed with qualifying because I think we are capable of much better. I’m not saying I could have been tenth today but maybe nineteenth or something was a realistic goal. My first run showed that we can be strong but on my second exit I caught a slower rider, who held me up a lot, and I also had some problems with the front. I lost it many times, then came to the slowest corner on the track and with no brakes and a little bit of throttle I suddenly lost the front completely. It surprised me and I’m still not really sure what happened but it meant I didn’t set a lap time on the second exit. I dropped a few positions in the last minutes so it’s unfortunate, but I know that we are capable of setting some consistent lap times, faster than the guys in front of me, which means tomorrow we can recover those three or four positions I lost today."



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

SECOND ROW FOR CRUTCHLOW IN MISANO

LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow secured a place on the second row of the grid for Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix at Misano. The Briton - who is carrying the sponsorship of Italian tool designer and manufacturer Beta Utensili this weekend – took sixth place, just behind world champion Marc Marquez, as Ducati riders dominated Saturday’s qualifying.

After heavy overnight rain, Crutchlow was already more or less assured of his spot in Q2 and went fifth fastest in the morning’s FP3 session on a drying track. The 32-year-old was quick again in FP4 before a fall at turn 14, but always pushing for a spot on the first or second rows in Q2. Eventually he had to settle for sixth position after going down when pushing hard on his final lap of the session.

Cal Crutchlow – 6th

(1’32.025 – lap 6 of 7)

“Obviously I’m a little bit disappointed. I probably took the wrong attitude on the last lap, I passed the flag with two seconds to go – I timed it perfectly – and one tenth better would have put me on the front row, but I thought I could go close to Lorenzo and it lasted three seconds into the lap! It was my own fault, I out-braked myself, but we were really struggling with the front tyre as the hard option hasn’t got enough grip on the left-hand side and the medium option is too soft on the right”.

“We have to take the positives from today, which were that we were fast in FP3 and FP4 on the used tyres and I think I have the pace to go with them tomorrow, although Lorenzo seems to have the advantage at the moment. Overall I’m pleased with a place on the second row as it looked like I was going to get knocked on to the third row. It’s really close and I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow.”



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

 Gran Premio di San Marino - Qualifying

#SanMarinoGP Q. Showtime Jack: P2 after a crazy Saturday. Petrux will start from P8

It was an extraordinary Saturday for Alma Pramac Racing. Jack Miller wins an amazing second place and celebrates with the team at Parc Ferme. Danilo Petrucci goes fast and finishes less than two-tenths of a second from the front row.

Jack makes a masterpiece in the FP3 – on a track still humid after the rain - and wins the direct qualification to Q2. The Australian rider pushes hard in the Q2 and in the first lap of the second run he notches up the time of 1'31.916 which is worth the second position on the starting grid.

Petrux is in Q2 after the convincing Friday’s free practice. The rider from Terni is very strong in the second sector but in the end, he has to settle for P8, less than two-tenths of a second from the front row.

P14 – Danilo Petrucci 1'32.136

"I can't be satisfied with the qualifying even if we are all very close. Tomorrow it will be important to start well to stay with the leading group. My goal is to finish in Top 5".

P2 - Jack Miller 1'31.916

"I'm very happy for this result. We did a great job with the team and today the feeling was very good. Tomorrow it will be a very demanding race but we have great confidence".



More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

MOVISTAR YAMAHA SECURE FIRST AND THIRD ROW IN CLOSE MISANO QUALIFYING

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales put in his best lap of the weekend so far when it counted most, right at the end of today's Q2 session. His strong final lap earned him a front row start at tomorrow's Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Teammate Valentino Rossi held on to a place on the second row of the grid for a while, but ultimately missed out by just 0.003s when he was pushed to seventh place.

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 8th September 2018

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales saved his best effort for last in today's 15-minute Q2 shoot-out to secure third place on the starting grid for tomorrow's Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Teammate Valentino Rossi was looking competitive in the early stages of Q2, holding on to a second-row start, but ended the session in seventh place.

Viñales showed he's feeling competitive in the dry during FP4, which he ended in first place. Following this ego-boost, he was eager in Q2 to get a hot lap in but soon realised the first tyre wasn't working for him. He placed fourth on his opening lap but dropped to eighth place as other riders completed their initial flying laps.

After two tries the Spaniard hurried back to the box for a fresh tyre and with a little more than five minutes left on the clock headed out again, determined to show his speed. On his next attempt he moved up to fifth place, but as the pace quickened towards the end of the session he fell back to seventh. However, the youngster had one more trick up his sleeve and produced a 1'31.950s lap by riding three personal best sectors on S2, S3 and S4. This put him in third place, on the front row of the grid, 0.321s from first.

Rossi‘s first run also didn‘t go entirely to plan. He left the box looking for some clear space on track to put on a show for his fans, but they had to be patient as his first hot lap got cancelled. He appeared in fifth place on the timing screens after his second flying lap and he went straight back to the box.

The Italian returned to the fray with more than six minutes left, entering a half empty track as at that point many other riders were swapping tyres. He put his head down and climbed up to fourth on his next try, but soon was back in sixth. He kept pushing but was unable to improve on his 1'32.028s lap, 0.399s from pole, and finished in seventh place as his teammate made a late charge. The local hero will start tomorrow's race from the third row of the grid, missing out on the second row by just 0.003s.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

We made good progress in the dry today, also due to the track conditions that have been improving session by session. Maverick secured first place in the FP4 session, so he entered Q2 with confidence and secured the first row. It‘s a pity that Valentino will be starting from seventh place, especially considering that the margins in today's Q2 session were very small, with 0.078s making the difference between starting from the first or from the third row. The most important thing we take away from today is that the riders are feeling confident for tomorrow. With both riders we still have to decide on the tyre choice for the race. Unfortunately, the tyre data we gained during the Misano test doesn‘t apply to the current conditions. As usual, it will be important to use the last 20 minutes of practice in tomorrow‘s Warm Up to the fullest to finalise our package before the race. We expect it to be a very entertaining show.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

It's nice to be back and have the chance to start the race from the front row. I think we began the weekend really well, so we have a good rhythm for tomorrow and the bike is working well. We need to make some adjustments in a few areas, but I'm really happy, honestly. The work we've done since the Misano test is helping, I feel better with the bike. I think my lap time today could have been a little bit faster, because on the first tyre I didn't feel so great, it was very slippery. This gave me less confidence for the second tyre, but I'm actually pleased. I did my best lap on the third try and we still have some room for improvement for tomorrow. I haven't decided on a race tyre yet, let's see tomorrow. The soft or the medium, I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm fast on both, so that's something pretty important. Another thing is that the team is working good and I actually feel really grateful because we got the feeling back again. I can push on the bike and they are understanding my feelings, and that's great.

VALENTINO ROSSI

It‘s a great shame, because even second place is less than one tenth of a second away. It‘s unbelievable, we‘re very, very close. I did a good lap, but not a perfect one, unfortunately. I made a mistake and it cost me the first and second row. Starting from the third row is more difficult, for sure, but on the other hand, this afternoon in FP4 we improved the balance of the bike and I feel better. I‘m not so bad, I have a good pace, also on a used tyre it‘s quite good. It looks like I need two tenths more if I want to try to go for the podium, because we have a minimum of five other riders with the same pace. We have to work this night to try to understand how we can make another little step.



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

NAKAGAMI ON SEVENTH ROW IN MISANO

LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami has work to do at Misano after qualifying in 19th place for Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix. The Japanese rider was unable to build on some encouraging signs earlier on Saturday and ultimately finished down in ninth spot in Q1, meaning a place on the seventh row of the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Heavy overnight rain in Rimini complicated matters for the MotoGP riders as the morning’s FP3 session took place on a drying track. Nakagami performed well despite the conditions as he went 12th fastest, before posting the 15th best time in FP4. However, he was unable to maintain that progress in Q1 and is now looking for a fast start on Sunday.

Takaaki Nakagami – 19th

(1’33.437 – lap 3 of 8)

“Conditions weren’t too bad, although it was mixed this morning which meant that I couldn’t improve enough in FP3 and went into Q1. But there is more rubber on the track now and it’s getting better to ride with each session”.

“We still need to find the best setting for the engine brake and the mapping which is causing us a bit of confusion. We need to focus on the race pace, it’s 27 laps which is long so it will be a tough race. I will try to be consistent and not make any mistakes and get a good start so I can follow the top guys.”



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

Stefan Bradl qualifies 18th for tomorrow’s San Marino GP

HRC MotoGP test rider Stefan Bradl will start tomorrow’s 2:00 pm San Marino Grand Prix from the 6th row of the grid after setting the 18th fastest qualifying time in 1’33.361.

Stefan worked quite consistently on his bike’s setup and his race pace, with tomorrow’s goal being to finish in the points.

Stefan Bradl 6

Team HRC – MotoGP

“Today we worked quite a lot on several areas of the bike’s setup and on the mapping, but it took more time than we expected to sort things out. With the damp conditions we had this morning it wasn’t easy to have good feedback, so we had to use FP4 to repeat our tests. Of course, this is our main target and it cost us a bit in terms of looking for the performance, but this is normal. We ultimately managed to record an acceptable lap time and also our race pace is not bad. Eighteenth on the grid will still allow us to try and recover some positions so we’ll try our best to finish in the points.”



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Code red: Lorenzo breaks Misano record, Marquez crashes out

Five-time World Champion sets a new record to make it four Misano poles in five years as Marquez amps up the drama with a crash

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) broke his own 2016 pole lap record at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in an adrenaline-fuelled qualifying on the Adriatic, searing around the venue in a 1:31.629 to lower his own fastest laptime and secure Ducati’s first pole at the venue since 2008. Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) put in a stunner at his team’s home race to take second and qualify as top Independent Team rider, with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) locking out the front row after a last lunge for the front.

One key name missing from that trio? Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), top qualifier this season so far, did not make it onto the front row – he crashed. Lorenzo’s ominous form was certainly a key headline but the drama for the Championship leader lit up the session. Crashing on his second run in a relatively fast lowside, the number 93 was straight to his feet without pause for thought and sprinting to get a lift back to the pits. Once back in the paddock on the back of a scooter, he hit the ground running again to run through his Repsol Honda garage from front to back, straight back on his other machine and heading back out. Could he do another ‘Texas 2015’ style pole dash?

The first sector looked like it might it be possible as it lit up red, but the reigning Champion then lost some time and it wasn’t to be. So he’ll line up fifth – his worst qualifying in the premier class at the venue – and he’ll have some serious company in the form of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), who’s just alongside him in fourth.

Behind Dovizioso and Marquez, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was sixth and completes the second row, suffering a low-drama crash near the end of the session. And the Brit broke some local hearts, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) pushed down to head up the third row.

Rossi has had a weekend of ups and downs so far at his home venue, just making it into that all-important top ten on Friday and continuing to work hard on Saturday to get race ready. In qualifying the rider from Tavullia was hovering around the second row, before just losing out in that last minute shuffle. Row 3 is completed by last year’s podium finisher Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) and fellow Independent Team rider Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).

Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was tenth fastest and top Hamamatsu machine after teammate Andrea Iannone just failed to make it through to Q2 – he starts P13 – with two-time Misano winner Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) in P11. Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completes the top 12.

Behind Iannone, wildcard compatriot Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team) took P14 after a crash hampered his chances in Q1, and Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) completed the top 15.

So that’s it for the premier class on Saturday. A three-time winner on pole, a dark horse with nothing to lose alongside him and a man who hasn’t won for a year make for an incredible front row – with everything to play for. Marquez and Dovizioso lurk close behind too, and the ‘Doctor’ can never be counted out on race day – especially considering his incredible support around Misano. Who will emerge from the melee ahead? The lights go out at 14:00 (GMT +2).

MotoGP™ Qualifying Results

1 - Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) DUCATI 1'31.629

-

First Independent Team Rider:

2 - Jack Miller (AUS) DUCATI +0.287

-

3 - Maverick Viñales (SPA) YAMAHA +0.321

NEWS: in-season test dates confirmed

The MotoGP™ class will test on the 6th May at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto after the Spanish GP, and the second test will be held at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya after the Grand Prix there, on the 17th June. The final official test for the premier class in 2019 will be held at the Automotodrom Brno, on the 5th August.

The Moto3™ and Moto2™ classes, meanwhile, will test in Jerez and Barcelona on the Tuesdays after the premier class have tested, and they will test at the Red Bull Ring on the 12th August after the Austrian GP.

A two-day Official Test for the premier class is also forecast for the 28th and 29th August. If the Kymiring is confirmed on the 2020 MotoGP™ calendar, that will be held in Finland. If not, this test will be at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.


Back-to-back poles for Bagnaia

Championship leader spearheads the grid on home soil and takes his second consecutive pole as title rival Oliveira starts P9

Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) sealed his first back-to-back pole positions in Grand Prix racing at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini after setting an unmatchable 1:37.121, with Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) 0.210 back in second, sandwiched between two Italians on the front row as Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) secured P3 for Sunday’s race.

With the track in optimum condition after the premier class qualifying sessions, it didn’t take long for home favourite Bagnaia to grab the top spot, displacing then provisional pole man Pasini by 0.244 seconds, a time he would then beat himself for pole. The Italian duo were then split by Schrötter, who got the better of Pasini’s time by just 0.085 to earn his fourth front row start of the season and his first since Assen. Can he go on to claim his maiden Grand Prix podium on Sunday?

Behind Pasini on track and one place behind him on the gird was fourth place Fabio Quartararo (+ Ego Speed Up Racing), 0.124 from the front row and the only other rider to get within half a second of Bagnaia on Saturday afternoon. Lining up alongside the Frenchman is Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who propelled himself into the middle of the second row on his final lap, with Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) sixth after briefly leading the leading qualifying in the opening minutes.

Working in tandem with his teammate, Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) will start him home GP from seventh after missing out on the second row by just 0.013s, with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and second in the Championship Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) joining him on the third row of the grid in P8 and P9 respectively – the latter suffering a small crash at T4 as he chased a time that could bring him closer to title rival Bagnaia. Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Dynavolt Intact GP’s Xavi Vierge and Augusto Fernandez (Pons HP40) in P10, P11 and P12 make it an all-Spanish fourth row in Misano.

Home hero Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) will start one place behind his teammate in P13, but 2016 winner had a difficult session after crashing twice – rider ok. Will he move through from there? Can Oliveira mount a challenge on title rival and pole man Bagnaia from P9 on the grid? Find out when the intermediate class go into battle at 12:20 local time (GMT +2).

Moto2™ Qualifying Results

1 - Francesco Bagnaia (ITA) KALEX 1'37.121

2 - Marcel Schrötter (GER) KALEX +0.210

3 - Mattia Pasini (ITA) KALEX +0.295


Martin strikes again for Misano pole

An eighth pole of the season for the Spaniard, who heads Canet and Rodrigo on the front row

Another weekend, another pole position. Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) secured his 17th Moto3™ pole in fine style at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, smashing the lap record at Misano by 0.324 to spearhead the lightweight class grid behind enemy lines, with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider) 0.311 behind the Spaniard in second and Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in third; the Honda rider jumping up the timesheets on his final run.

Blue skies greeted the Moto3™ grid for qualifying and the pace was scorching from the outset, with Italians Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PrustelGP), Leopard Racing’s Enea Bastianini, teammate Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) challenging for provisional pole before Rodrigo went quickest shortly before tucking the front at Turn 1 – rider ok.

The standings remained the same before the riders emerged for a final crack at pole and it was qualifying master Martin who set the timesheets alight to take his eighth pole of the season, with Rodrigo and Canet lining up alongside him on the front row. Fourth on the grid and the leading Italian in qualifying is Di Giannantonio, who missed out on a front row start by just 0.001.

Behind the number 21 is a gaggle of home riders, led by Bastianini in fifth, with Championship leader Bezzecchi having to settle for 6th on board his KTM after looking very strong for a home pole throughout. Heading the third row is Sky Racing Team VR46’s Nicolo Bulega, who went out in tandem with fellow VR46 Academy riders Dennis Fogia (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Bezzecchi to try and find the fastest lap time possible – but it was P7 for Bulega in the end.

Dalla Porta lines up alongside his compatriot in eighth, with Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PrustelGP) 9th after his fastest lap time was cancelled for exceeding track limits at the final corner, demoting the Czech rider from second. Rounding out the top ten in qualifying was Japan’s Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing).

So it’s another Martin pole position, but will he be able to hold off an Italian attack on Sunday with Bezzecchi searching to maintain his Championship lead on home soil? Find out when the lightweight class go racing at the San Marino GP at 11:00 local time (GMT +2).

Moto3™ Qualifying Results

1 - Jorge Martin (SPA) HONDA 1'41.823

2 - Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG) KTM +0.311

3 - Aron Canet (SPA) HONDA +0.447



More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Another fantastic pole position for Lorenzo in San Marino GP qualifying. Dovizioso starts from row 2 with Pirro qualifying on row 5

Two weeks after his Silverstone pole, Jorge Lorenzo has done it once again at the Misano Adriatico circuit by setting a new outright track record during the second qualifying session. His time of 1’31.629 means the Spanish rider has now set three poles this season, taking the Ducati Team up to a total of 40 pole positions in the Italian manufacturer’s history in MotoGP.

A second row start goes to Andrea Dovizioso, who finished fourth at the end of Q2 with a time of 1’32.003 while Michele Pirro, entered as a wild-card at Misano with the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team, crashed during Q1 and had to settle for 14th on the grid and a row 5 start.

The San Marino GP, which will be held over a distance of 27 laps, gets underway tomorrow at 14.00 CET.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1st (1’31.629)

“I’m very pleased and proud of this second successive pole position, my third of the season, because it confirms that we are working really well, that we’ve improved a lot of details and now we have at our disposal a competitive bike that allows us to set times like the one today at Misano. I was already impressed by the time set on my first run with the medium tyre, and I was in doubt whether or not to also try the soft one, but in the end we fitted it on my third run and I was able to get my time down even more and set the new track record. As well as my good feelings, I think that tomorrow’s race will be a really tough and physical battle and it will be important to make the right choice of tyres to be fast and consistent.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th (1’32.003)

“All in all, it was a very positive day, both this morning and in the afternoon. Unfortunately, in qualifying I was unable to do a perfect lap because I just wasn’t smooth enough. Pity, because the bike was fast and so we could have done better. For tomorrow we have a good race pace and we are in the leading group. As so often happens, it’ll be the small details that make all the difference because there are at least four or five riders who can fight for the podium and the win tomorrow.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 14th (1’32.624)

“I’m disappointed because I couldn’t get into Q2, even though I had the potential to do a good time. Unfortunately, I crashed while I was trying to shave off a few tenths, but in general I’m getting up to speed again and when I have the opportunity to lap well, I’m improving all the time. Now we’ve got a really great bike, and I only have to try and get the best out of it seeing as I haven’t had a chance to race it in the last few months. Tomorrow I’ll try and do a consistent race and keep up a good pace seeing as in the FP4 session I was more or less on the same pace as the leading group.”




More, from a press release issued by KTM:

PROGRESS MADE IN MOTOGP QUALIFICATION WHILE CAN ÖNCÜ WINS 2018 RED BULL ROOKIES CUP

QUALIFYING 13th Rd. MotoGP 2018 – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (RSM)

Red Bull KTM MotoGP Factory Racing Team made clear gains in their efforts during the first two days of action at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli with Pol Espargaro returning to the fray on the KTM RC16 and further testing of new parts and ideas. Bradley Smith and Espargaro took 17th and 20th positions on the grid for the thirteenth MotoGP of 2018 tomorrow. Turkish talent Can Öncü won the 2018 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup by taking the victory at Misano and with two more races to go.

MotoGP

After the false start of the rain-hit British Grand Prix, MotoGP moved to warmer climes on the coast of the Adriatic Sea and for the second visit to the Italian mainland this season. The Grand Prix di San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini was unsettled by some heavy stormy showers on Friday evening that left the track in mixed conditions for Free Practice 3 this morning: Bradley Smith hit the floor in the damp while pushing for a fast lap in the final minutes.

A drier FP4 led straight into Q1 for the Red Bull KTM crew. Pol Espargaro was back in the saddle of his #44 racebike after making a recovery from the collarbone injury and other complaints but was still not 100% fit and was struggling to get comfortable to push for rapid lap-times. Pol managed the 20th quickest chrono effort. Smith meanwhile continued to work with the latest set of ideas and modifications for the KTM RC16 and sat 17th at the end of Q1 with an improvement of 1.5 seconds compared to last year!

Smith: “We made a good step from yesterday – 0.8 on the best lap-time and another 0.5 for (race) pace – so for that I’m pleased. If we look at last year then we can say this is a ‘weak’ track for us so we actually turned it around to be a normal weekend, and this bodes well for the race. I’m still undecided about tyre choice. It will depend on the temperatures and we cannot foresee how the track will be after Moto2 but we know from previous races it is a bit of a struggle going after them. We’re busy in the pitbox and we are learning as we go. It is not easy to bring new ideas to a racetrack at the weekend so we are doing well. It is exciting going into the second half of the season and the remaining races and we can keep on climbing to the top.”

Espargaro: “It took me a while to find the feeling again and even make the same movements on the bike because of my collarbone so it has been tough. I don’t think I am even 70% in race condition because of my body position for braking and the left corners. Still, I’m improving every day and my position on the track and bike is getting a bit better. I don't know what I can do tomorrow in the race; if I can follow someone then this will already be good. I don’t want to make excuses but I’m glad we can go faster than last year and with a different bike.”

Sebastian Risse (Technical Director MotoGP): “We had a test recently and we are trying to implement some changes and modifications into the bike before the overseas races to have a stable situation with regards to the logistics and the components we are using. We will try to introduce some into the race but of course the situation was difficult with Pol coming back from injury and generally this track is also tricky for us. In the end I think we can be quite happy with where we are: it’s not great but it is not a disaster. It is definitely an improvement over last year. We’ll see how we get-on over the race distance tomorrow and tyre choice will key: let’s see who does it best.”

Moto2 & Moto3

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder sits 5th on the Moto2 grid and is just half a second away from the Pole Position set by Francesco Bagnaia. The Italian’s title rival – and Binder’s teammate – Miguel Oliveira holds 9th place on his KTM Moto2 bike.

Binder: "Things hadn't gone as we wanted before my last lap, because I hadn't managed to set a fast enough time, but I took a lot of risks and luckily things went well right at the end. I still want to improve my feeling on the bike. We have to work on our race pace, so tomorrow in the warmup we will try to find something that will help us to be more prepared. I start every race thinking that I can get onto the podium, so let's see what happens this Sunday."

Oliveira: "It was a bit of a strange qualifying session, as we knew it was important to set a fast lap as early as possible. I wasn't able to put in an ideal lap; I struggled to string all of the sectors together and in the end we finished ninth. I would have liked to have been a little higher up on the grid, although we were less than a tenth off fifth. It's a shame not to have been able to get there. I am relaxed ahead of the race, and I know that if we get a good start we can be in the fight for the podium. It's also a challenge for us to keep in the fight for the title, so we will not let the opportunity to cut the gap in the championship get away from us."

In Moto3 RBA Boe Skull Rider’s Gabriel Rodrigo built on his positive showing at Misano by taking 2nd place in Qualifying Practice with his KTM RC250 GP. Series leader and local hope Marco Bezzecchi was also in the top ten (6th) and just ahead of countryman Nicolo Bulega.

Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup

The Öncü brothers did the leading and the winning at Misano with Can Öncü taking victory and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup for 2018. The 15-year-old Turks had to fight all the way with seven other KTM RC 250 RBs and while Deniz Öncü did most of the leading, a tiny error at the end left him crossing the line a furious eighth. Filip Salac?, the 15-year-old Czech, took a super-close second ahead of Spanish 15-year-old Adrián Carrasco. For most of the race Can was not in a Cup winning position, with 50 points still on offer at the final round in Aragon he needed a decent finish as his brother and arch rival Deniz was heading the field. At one point Deniz managed to break away by almost a second but that lasted less than a lap with Salac? leading Can and the rest back onto his tail.

C. Öncü: “I can't believe what a perfect day this is. To win the Cup by winning the race is perfect. It was such a tough race. Early on I was not so comfortable, I felt that the grip was not as good as yesterday and my front suspension was not perfect. So I calmed myself down and started to understand the situation. I realised that the others were not getting away but they were racing so hard that they were using up their tyres. So I waited for the right time to push. Then I went for it. It was still a tough race but I managed to slipstream past Salac? and win. It worked perfectly. A huge thanks to all the people who work so hard to make the Cup work and to those who support us.”

Races: September 9, 2018 – Moto3 11:00 | Moto2 12:20 | MotoGP 14:00 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli 2018

1. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP), Ducati, 1:31.629 min

2. Jack Miller (AUS), Ducati, +0.287 sec

3. Maverick Vinales (ESP), Yamaha, +0.321

4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati, +0.374

5. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda, +0.387

KTM

17. Bradley Smith (GBR), KTM, +1.456

20. Pol Espargaro (ESP), KTM, +1.873

Results Qualifying Moto2 Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli 2018

1. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Kalex, 1:37.121 min

2. Marcel Schroetter (GER), Kalex, +0.210 sec

3. Mattia Pasini (ITA), Kalex, +0.295

4. Fabio Quartararo (Speed Up), +0.419

5. Brad Binder (RSA), KTM, +0.500

9. Miguel Oliveira (POR), KTM, +0.557

Results Qualifying Moto3 Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli 2018

1. Jorge Martin (ESP), Honda, 1:41.823 min

2. Gabriel Rodrigo (ESP), KTM, +0.311 sec

3. Aron Canet (ESP), Honda, +0.447

4. Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA), Honda, +0.448

5. Enea Bastianini (ITA), Honda, +0.471

KTM

6. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA), KTM, +0.495

7. Nicolo Bulega (ITA), KTM, +0.532

9. Jakub Kornfeil (CZE), KTM, +0.651

24. Darryn Binder (RSA), KTM, +1.809

Results Race Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli 2018

All riders on KTM RC250 RB bikes

1. Can Öncü (TUR), 30:19.316 min (17 laps)

2. Filip Salac (CZE), +0.118 sec

3. Adrián Carrasco (ESP), +0.300

4. Ryusei Yamanaka (JAP), +0.656

5. Xavier Artigas (ESP), +0.764

Standings Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup 2018 after 10 of 12 races

1. C. Öncü, 221 (2018 Champion)

2. Deniz Öncü (TUR), 142

3. Salac, 142

4. Artigas, 135

5. Yamanaka, 117