MotoGP: Binder Best In FP2 At Misano II (Updated)

MotoGP: Binder Best In FP2 At Misano II (Updated)

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MotoGP FP2



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Binder heads a top five split by less than a tenth on Friday

The South African beats Nakagami to the top by just 0.002, ahead of Quartararo, Viñales and Pol Espargaro as the top five are covered by an infinitesimal 0.071 on Day 1


Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Brad Binder (33). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Friday, 18 September 2020

Five riders in less than a tenth and the top ten within 0.444? Sounds about right for the incredibly competitive 2020 MotoGP™ season, and that was the case on Day 1 of the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) is the man on top as action draws to a close on Friday, just 0.002 ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) slotting into third. Covering the three is an infinitesimal 0.071…


Quartararo began the day as the man to beat, but San Marino GP winner and teammate Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) made for close company as he ended the session within 0.090. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was third quickest as KTM’s promised step forward in Tuesday testing started to materialise early.


Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.


It was a rapid start to proceedings on Friday morning for the premier class riders, with Quartararo’s quickest time just three tenths away from Maverick Viñales’ (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) lap record set in Q2 last weekend. A mini time-attack in the final few minutes is when the Frenchman unleashed his speed, although second place Morbidelli set his best time on the hard rear tyre, which could bode well for the Italian if he’s planning to race it.

Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), third at Misano last Sunday, was fourth fastest behind Pol Espargaro as the Suzuki rider continued to shine. Mir was 0.205 off Quartararo’s pace, with Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) making it two RC16s inside the top five in FP1 with a best time of a 1:31.965 – 0.244 away from Quartararo, in fifth.

It was a tougher session for Mir’s teammate Alex Rins, who escaped a highside as he got spat out his seat a couple of times on the exit of Turn 5, lucky to stay on. The Spaniard did then crash later in the session – rider ok.


In the opening stages of FP2, Quartararo was the pacesetter on the hard front, medium rear tyre and was setting very impressive lap times – as he did this morning. The Frenchman’s fastest time was a 1:32.320 before he then improved to a 1:32.273 soon after in the opening 15 minutes, with Nakagami sitting second already – 0.099 off the pace.

The two Red Bull KTM Tech 3 riders of Miguel Oliveira and Iker Lecuona were going well as the duo sat P3 and P5, with Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller splitting them in P4. Having said that, Miller, Lecuona and Tito Rabat (Esponsorama Racing) were the only riders to have improved their combined times in the opening 20 minutes of FP2.

The first man to oust Quartararo from the top of the timesheets was San Marino GP podium finisher Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) as the Italian slammed in a 1:32.138, and then they were off and the times tumbling. Pol Espargaro – a crasher in the early stages of FP2 – recovered from that to really move the goalposts, the Spaniard heading to the top with a 1:31.699 – the first lap quicker than Quartararo’s 1:31.721 from the morning.

Nakagami hit next to go top, by 0.069, as the Japanese rider’s improvements in testing kept impressing. It still wasn’t quite all she wrote, however, as Binder made his move. Tucked in behind lap record holder Viñales, the Brno winner demoted Nakagami to P2 by 0.002 seconds – leaping up the timesheets after P14 in the morning. Viñales, just ahead of the South African on track, went to P4.

Quartararo couldn’t quite retake the top and slotted into P3, with Viñales improving again abut staying fourth. Pol Espargaro’s 1:31.699 eventually saw him slip to fifth and at the end of the session, you could throw a blanket over the top five – it was that close. Just 0.071 between three manufacturers is a timely reminder of how close the premier class is in 2020!

The top five overall, then, are the top five from FP2: Binder, Nakagami, Quartararo, Viñales and Pol Espargaro. Morbidelli then slots into sixth courtesy of his FP1 time, not improving in the afternoon, with Joan Mir just behind him in seventh and likewise faster in FP1. The same is true of Oliveira, who ends Friday in P8.

Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) gained some time in the afternoon to take P9 overall and the honour of top Ducati, although not by much. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) was tenth, Bagnaia 11th and Dovizioso 12th overall – leaving the latter duo especially with work to do on Saturday morning in FP3 if they want to guarantee themselves a place in Q2.

Joining them on the FP3 charge to take a place in Q2 are another two names outside the top ten: Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in P15 on Day 1, and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) just behind him. Will they make it through? Find out from 9:55 (GMT+2), before qualifying decides the grid from 14:10 (GMT +2).

MotoGP™: the five fastest on Friday

1 Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM – 1:31.628

2 Takaaki Nakagami* – LCR Honda Idemitsu – Honda – +0.002

3 Fabio Quartararo* – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – +0.016

4 Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha – +0.041

5 Pol Espargaro – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM – +0.071

*Independent Team rider


Marini marks his turf with new Misano record

The Italian continues his reign but not by much, with Canet catapulting himself into second and only a tenth off


Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Dorna.


San Marino GP winner Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) was back on top on Day 1 of the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, the Italian’s 1:35.956 a new lap record at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. He only got the better of rookie Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) by less than a tenth, however, with Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) completing the top three.


In FP1, Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) was top of the pile, 0.171 ahead of Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) as the Swiss veteran put in an impressive session to get back nearer the front. Last week’s pole position setter, Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), completed the top three as his Misano pace remained very much intact.

Hector Garzo (Pons HP 40) was another who impressed as he ended FP1 in fourth, just ahead of Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2). Championship leader Marini began the day in sixth, 0.281 off the top.

Kasma Daniel (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) crashed at Turn 5 in FP1, before Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) went down at Turn 16. Andi Izdihar (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) also took a tumble, the Indonesian at Turn 14.


In the afternoon, Marini hit back and set his fastest lap on a well-used tyre – having spent most the session on it – which may prove ominous to many. Canet was second and Schrötter third, with both making a significant move up the top ten in FP2. Lowes was fourth, with American Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) leaping up the timesheets to complete the top five.

Schrötter crashed in the afternoon although still took third, with the other faller proving San Marino GP podium finisher Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46). It seemed a tougher first day at the track this time around for the Italian, and he crashed at Turn 6 in a highside.

On Friday it’s an FP2 top five on the combined timesheets as Marini leads Canet leads Schrötter, with Lowes and Roberts in fourth and fifth respectively. Bastianini slots into sixth by virtue of his FP1 best, ahead of Bezzecchi and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing).

Lüthi ends Friday in ninth from his FP1 fastest, with the top ten completed by Jorge Navarro and his FP2 best. Currently, the final riders provisionally moving through to Q2 are Garzo, Bulega, Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing). The first three by virtue of FP1, and Dixon after a huge step forward in the afternoon following some technical troubles in the morning.

That’s it from Day 1, with Saturday poised to deliver some more awesome track action for Moto2™. Tune in for FP3 in the morning, before qualifying starts from 15:10 (GMT +2).

Moto2™: the five fastest on Friday

1 Luca Marini – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex 1:35.956

2 Aron Canet – Inde Aspar Team Moto2 – Speed Up – +0.090

3 Marcel Schrötter – Liqui Moly Intact GP – Kalex – +0.201

4 Sam Lowes – EG 0,0 Marc VDS – Kalex – +0.205

5 Joe Roberts – Tennor American Racing – Kalex – +0.295


Masia smashes Misano lap record on Day 1

The Spaniard ends the day three tenths clear of Fernandez, with key Championship challengers shuffled back on Friday


Jaume Masia (5). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jaume Masia (5). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) set a new all-time lap record on Friday at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, a 1:41.663 putting him just under three tenths ahead of Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by the end of play. Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) completed the top three by just 0.021 as action got back underway at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with the top three in the Championship all outside the top ten on Day 1.


In FP1 it was Fernandez once again fastest out the blocks, the Spaniard’s last dash 1:41.962 making him half a second quicker than Ai Ogura’s (Honda Team Asia) pole position laptime last weekend. He was also just a fraction away from the 2019 outright lap record that Masia would go on to break in FP2. Reigning FIM Moto3™ Junior World Champion Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) was second quickest, 0.164 back, with Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) in third only another 0.026 in arrears.

Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) were a quarter of a second back in fourth and fifth.

Masia had a scary moment early on but later found some rhythm to start the day in sixth, just ahead of Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) and World Championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3). They were the final two of the eight riders who managed to go under Ogura’s pole lap from the San Marino GP.

Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) crashed twice, first at Turn 9 and later at Turn 6, rider ok. San Marino GP podium finisher Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) also went down at Turn 4, and Foggia at Turn 6.


In the afternoon, Masia moved from sixth to top as he smashed the lap record, ending the afternoon fastest ahead of Vietti as the Italian looks to bounce back from a tougher first weekend on home soil. Suzuki and Migno were next up, with Fernandez down in fifth and suffering a highside in the session – rider ok and even able to get it back to the pits.

Rodrigo, Migno and Fenati also all suffered crashes, riders ok.

Masia is the man leading the way to FP3 on the combined timesheets after that new lap record, and he’ll likely feel confident of moving through to Q2 despite a penalty he has to serve in the FP3 session. The Spaniard is one of a number of riders suspended from the last 15 minutes due to slow riding in practice last weekend.

Will the grid be able to get the jump on him? Next overall on Friday is Fernandez with his best laptime from FP1, ahead of Vietti, Suzuki and Migno with their fastest efforts from FP2. Alcoba slots into sixth overall courtesy of his FP1 lap, with Salač’s FP2 lap putting him just 0.007 behind the Spaniard.

Foggia’s FP1 quickest puts him in P8 and he’ll be another sitting out the final 15 minutes of FP3, so he’ll be looking for more early on Saturday to ensure he keeps that provisional place in Q2. Rodrigo was ninth overall, with Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) completing the top ten.

Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) bounced back from a DNF through no fault of his own last time out to take P11 overall, ahead of Championship leader Arenas by just 0.033. The last two currently set to move through to Q2 are Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) – who’ll be missing the last 15 minutes of FP3 as well – and Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo).

That leaves a couple of familiar names outside that all-important top 14 and looking to move forward in FP3: San Marino GP winner and third in the Championship, John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), who is P15 overall, as well as the man second in the title fight, Ai Ogura. Last week’s polesitter was down in P19.

Can they bounce back on Saturday? FP3 begins at 9:00 (GMT +3), with an interesting final slice of the session to come as Arbolino, Foggia and Masia join Ryusei Yamanaka (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Davide Pizzoli (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) on the sidelines after having been penalised for riding slowly in FP3 last weekend. Qualifying then begins from 12:35 (GMT +2)!


Moto3™: the five fastest on Friday

1 Jaume Masia – Leopard Racing – Honda 1:41.663

2 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM +0.299

3 Celestino Vietti – Sky Racing Team VR46 – KTM +0.320

4 Tatsuki Suzuki – SIC58 Squadra Corse – Honda +0.412

5 Andrea Migno – Sky Racing Team VR46 – KTM +0.426




More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Strong start to Emilia Romagna round for Oliveira and Lecuona

With a fabulous lap time of 1:31.965 minutes, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira kicked off the Gran Premio dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini today in fifth position. The quick Portuguese was focusing on working towards this Sunday’s second race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in FP2, but was nearly as fast as in the morning. He finished Friday in P8 overall, securing a direct Q2 spot over night.

On the other side of the Red Bull KTM Tech3 garage, Iker Lecuona was concentrating on his ridings style in Free Practice one and did great to recover the missing tenths during the second session of the day. The MotoGP rookie lowered his lap time from FP1 to FP2 by 0.945 seconds to eventually miss out on the top 10 by just 0.166 seconds, which he will be willing to make up tomorrow in FP3 at 9.55 local time.


Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Red Bull KTM Tech3.
Miguel Oliveira (88). Photo courtesy Red Bull KTM Tech3.


Miguel Oliveira

Position: 8th

Time: 1:31.965

Laps: 41

“It was a nice day of work here. We went faster than in the last Grand Prix, which was obviously the target. We still have some things to adjust for tomorrow morning. I feel good. We know in FP3 it’s going to be very tight to go to Q2, but I believe we can manage to do a decent session and a decent lap. Our pace this afternoon was quite good, which I’m happy about, but we know that this pace here is not enough to do a good result, so we need to be faster tomorrow morning to be with the front.”


Iker Lecuona (27). Photo courtesy Red Bull KTM Tech3.
Iker Lecuona (27). Photo courtesy Red Bull KTM Tech3.


Iker Lecuona

Position: 14th

Time: 1:32.238

Laps: 43

“In FP1 I was quite happy, because we were working on our pace and I was working on my riding style. We wanted to improve that a bit and I had a good feeling, riding smoother and more relaxed. This afternoon, I put in a good tyre and was a lot closer to the top. On my fastest lap, I did a small mistake, but I did two quick lap times. At the moment, it is difficult to improve further. Anyway, I’m quite satisfied about today, as we are close to the top 10 again. Tomorrow we need to continue to work hard in order to improve this fast lap time.”




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Alex Marquez on the pace in tight Misano

MotoGP World Championship rookie Alex Marquez showed the progress he made during testing, posting consistent and competitive times across Friday. Unfortunately, Stefan Bradl’s Emilia Romagna GP comes to an early end.

Typical Misano weather once again greeted the MotoGP class as they rolled onto the 4.2-kilometer-long circuit for another weekend of racing. With a race and a day of testing before this weekend, the premier class is now intimately familiar with circuit.

This familiarity paid off for Alex Marquez who was faster than his Qualifying time after just a few laps in morning practice. His 1’32.437 from Free Practice 1 was already 0.9s faster than his qualifying time and he would eventually improve to a 1’32.369 in the afternoon. Confirmation of what he and the team found in testing has the MotoGP rookie confident of continuing these improvements into the weekend. With just 0.7s between the top 18 riders, Alex is not worried by his final position as he continues to work on improving his already strong race pace.

On the other side of the garage, Stefan Bradl continued to experience trouble with his right arm during the early stages of the second Misano weekend and together with HRC elected to withdraw from the weekend. Stefan felt he was unable to ride in a safe and consistent manner and will focus his attention on returning for the Catalan GP in a week’s time.

Takaaki Nakagami was back on fine form as the LCR Honda rider ended Free Practice 2 just 0.002s shy of the top spot. 0.071s split the top five riders at the end of Friday.

Alex Marquez will return to the circuit as the sole representative of the Repsol Honda Team at 09:55 Local Time for Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning.


Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.


Alex Marquez

17TH  1’32.369

“Today was a good day. We were able to confirm the step that we made in the test which is really good for us. Today we ended just two tenths from the top ten, so this is also good and shows we are working in the right direction. The plan is to keep working and keep pushing, especially over one lap. We tried some different options for the race and our pace is again looking good. A positive Friday for us.”


Stefan Bradl (6). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Stefan Bradl (6). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.


Stefan Bradl


“Unfortunately, I am still having problems with my right arm and I am not able to ride in a safe and consistent way. I spoke with my doctor and we performed a small operation to clean the nerve before this weekend but when they opened my arm, they saw the situation was more complicated than they first thought. I came to Misano with the intention of racing because my doctor told me it would be okay to race. But in this situation, I do not feel I can ride safely over a whole race, together with HRC we have decided to take the rest of the week to recover before Barcelona.”




More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT shine in Free Practice in Misano

Quartararo and Morbidelli third and sixth at the start of the Emilia Romagna GP

For the second weekend running, the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders took to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the next round in the MotoGP championship. A strong day for the pair saw Fabio Quartararo finish third in the combined practice times, with Franco Morbidelli sixth.

Quartararo started FP1 with a series of laps that placed him within the top-ten, but the Frenchman put in a couple of blisteringly quick laps in the final few minutes to end the session top with a 1min 31.721secs lap. Consistently strong throughout FP2, Fabio only missed out on topping the session by 0.016 seconds. His 1min 31.644secs time placed him third in the session and also overall.

Team-mate Morbidelli also had a good opening day of the Emilia Romagna GP, ending the first practice session second with a 1min 31.811 lap – just 0.090secs shy of Quartararo, despite not feeling 100% due to ongoing sickness. The Italian also posted a series of good laps in the afternoon session, staying at the sharp end for the majority of the 45 minutes. He finished FP2 14th, with a best lap of 1min 32.307secs, and ended the day sixth.

The MotoGP FP3 session will commence at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT) tomorrow, with qualifying at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).


Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.


Fabio Quartararo

3rd (1’31.644)

Honestly I felt great today. I was able to make a bit of a long-run, about 16 laps, all in the 1min 32 seconds and that was really positive. Our pace feels good. We have modified the settings a little bit since last week, and I feel a bit better on the bike. There are still some areas for improvement, but I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. We tried a time attack on the medium tyre and we were fast. I think the soft has a little bit more potential but we finished less than one tenth from the top on this tyre. I’m also really happy with our practice starts too. The pace is great, which is really important, and we will see what we find tomorrow and Sunday. I want to fight for the pole position again and I’m feeling stronger than last week so we will see.


Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.
Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy PETRONAS Yamaha SRT.


Franco Morbidelli

6th (1’31.811)

Today was a good Friday. We’ve been reconfirming our speed this morning and checking what the track conditions were like – I felt quite good. This afternoon the conditions were a little bit different and we had to adapt to that. I think we made the right choices and we improved the settings of the bike throughout the day. We were able to have a good pace, so this is positive. I will rest a little bit now before tomorrow, to try to be in even better shape and see where we are. Tomorrow morning it will be important to be fast in our time attacks.




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



It sounds strange to call them the “opening practice sessions”, since this is the second weekend in a row, not to mention a full day of testing, on the same asphalt. In any case, references must be recalculated, given the high competitiveness of a championship that comes down to the details.

Therefore, the work in Aleix’s garage focused not only on performance, which is very good in any case, considering his thirteenth time in the combined standings with ninth in FP1, but also on evaluating choices in view of the race. The 5-tenths gap behind the leader, without a true time attack in the afternoon, indicate outstanding solidity from the Spanish rider and his Aprilia RS-GP.

For Bradley, the first day was dedicated to verifying a few things, not only in terms of different components, but also concerning the reactions of a “fresh” engine. In any case, recalibration of the setup, chassis architecture and electronics is proceeding as scheduled, which will allow Bradley to find his pace tomorrow.


Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.



“I am satisfied with this first day. We were more competitive compared to last week. The gaps are obviously very narrow, but the improvement is clear. In the afternoon with the medium compound, which is not my favourite, I was able to lap in the low 32 range. The bike has improved, especially in terms of electronics. Tomorrow we’ll try to go through to Q2 using the soft tyre. I get the impression that there will be ten riders within a tenth of one another, so we’ll need to grit our teeth and maybe stretch out our arms like they do in cycling sprints!”


Bradley Smith (38). Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Bradley Smith (38). Photo courtesy Aprilia.



“We arrived at the level of the tests and that is a positive aspect. We also tested a few changes that we weren’t able to assess on Tuesday. Using a new engine, I found different sensations today with respect to my base, but I’m confident that we’ll be able check the data and set it up correctly for tomorrow. The situation got steadily better already in the afternoon, but everyone was extremely fast straight away, including Aleix. We’ll need to work hard tomorrow to recover a few tenths which we seem to be lacking at the moment.”




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



Tito Rabat (53). Photo courtesy Avintia Esponsorama Racing.
Tito Rabat (53). Photo courtesy Avintia Esponsorama Racing.


Esponsorama Racing is back in action this Friday for the first two free practices of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

During the morning session, both riders were able to get back to the feelings of the Italian track. Johann Zarco finished 8th with a competitive time of 1’32.170. Tito Rabat continued to add laps and with a best time of 1’33.496, he finished 21st.

In the second free practice, Johann Zarco has managed to improve his morning time by a tenth. The Frenchman finished the day in 8th position. For his part, Tito Rabat has taken an important step forward, being half a second faster than in the morning and managing to go down to 1’32.

Tomorrow the third and fourth free practices and the qualifying of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix will take place, where Esponsorama Racing will fight to get the best possible starting position for Sunday.


“I have had a good day, this morning, I went fast from the first moment, although everyone has gone very fast since FP1. We have worked with the medium rear tire, and we are being more competitive with tire than last week, this is good for the race. I had a small crash in the afternoon, when my first lap launched with the soft tire started, it closed from the front on turn 2. Despite not having a wings on the left, I felt I had to continue because there were only 5 minutes left and that was the good tire. I could improve my lap time and stay on the Top-10.”


“It’s been a pretty positive day, our fast lap is 1.32.7 a step forward given by having turned 32 today. Tomorrow we will try to take another step forward, today we have finished with positive feelings and continue working as before.”




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


Combined practice times:

Joan Mir: 7th – 1’31.926 (+ 0.298)

Alex Rins: 18th – 1’32.407 (+ 0.779)

The MotoGP paddock resumed track action on Friday in Misano for the Emilia Romagna GP, just days after an official test at the circuit, for the second of two back-to-back rounds at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Joan Mir, fresh from his impressive podium last Sunday, was quick out of the blocks for FP1 as he set some strong lap times from his first run onwards. Feeling comfortable and confident with his GSX-RR, he proceeded to work on a few different settings and tyre options to fine-tune his set-up ahead of the GP. Mir headed to the top of the timesheets with six minutes left in the session, and closed FP1 in fourth, having topped Sector 4. In FP2 he held a spot in the Top 3 for the majority of the session and grabbed a provisional place in Q2 with seventh place on combined times.

FP1 proved a tough session for Alex Rins as he suffered a big moment onboard his GSX-RR, which he managed to save. After returning to the pits and heading out again, he had a small crash on the front end. Despite this, he managed to recapture a good feeling with his GSX-RR and he is working hard towards tomorrow’s qualifying. FP2 saw incredibly tight times with the Top 5 riders covered by less than a tenth of a second, and Rins closed the session in 17th place.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“We’ve been keeping working today. Joan had good pace from the start trying different tyres options, and we continued to work on settings with him. Alex also was trying different tyre options and at the end he could find a good combination with good pace. Friday is the day for working on all these things, so at the moment we’re happy with how the day has gone and we’re looking forward to qualifying tomorrow. As we suspected, it’s much more competitive between all the riders this weekend because everyone has one race in the bag already and also a test. But our level was high last weekend, and we’ll try to do well again.”


Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.


Joan Mir:

“We tried each rear tyre option today, which gave us good information. The sessions were very competitive today with very close times, and even though everyone has improved since last weekend, we feel that we have taken a step forward too. We’re ready to fight again at the front, so tomorrow we’ll try to improve a few more things and we’ll aim to get a good qualifying position. Let’s see what’s possible!”


Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.


Alex Rins:

“Today has been a bit difficult for me. During the test on Tuesday I was able to keep a good performance even on used tyres, but today I didn’t capture that same feeling. Finally towards the end of FP2 I started to feel good again and that gives me confidence for race day. This morning in FP1 I had a very big moment, and a big save, and after that I also had a little crash. This didn’t impact my work too much and I’m still focused on tomorrow’s qualifying and Sunday’s race.”




More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:


Misano Adriatico (Italy), 18th September 2020



Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi continued their race package tweaking programme in this afternoon‘s FP2 session. They secured 4th and 15th position respectively in the very close combined free practice results, with less than 0.8s covering the top-18 riders.

4th MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’31.669 (FP2) / 21 + 20 LAPS

15th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’32.263 (FP2) / 22 + 21 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi worked on tyre degradation and race pace in this afternoon‘s Gran Premio dell‘Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini FP2 session. With less than 0.8s covering the top-18 riders, the Factory Yamaha duo ended the day in 4th and 15th place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.

Viñales stuck with the strategy he had in the morning and mainly worked on preparing for Sunday‘s race this afternoon. Only this time, he too switched to a soft rear tyre in the final stages of the session to put in a hot lap. He clocked a 1‘31.669s on lap 20/20, earning himself 4th place in the FP2 and the combined FP rankings, 0.041s off the fastest time.

Rossi started his second outing briefly topping the provisional rankings, before switching his focus to his main target. He used the session to check if the setting tweaks he made in the morning would benefit him also in the hotter afternoon conditions. The Doctor also had some time to put in a time attack at the end. He set a 1’32.263s fastest time on lap 19/21, securing 12th place in the afternoon results. The effort put him in 15th position in the combined free practice timesheets, 0.635s from the top.




Today we revisited the items of last Tuesday’s testing programme. The weather conditions for this weekend are expected to be slightly cooler than what we‘ve had previously during the San Marino GP and the Misano Test. Also the track conditions are different from the test, with more rubber on track, so we wanted to use today‘s sessions to see how this affects matters, especially concerning the grip levels. Maverick continues to have a good feeling with the bike for one lap, but he is still working on improving his race pace. He tried using some things he found during the test, but because the track conditions are so different from Tuesday, he went back to the package he used last weekend. Still, he finished only 0.041s from the top of today‘s timesheets. Valentino isn‘t that far off the fastest time either, but the entire rider field is very close. He is now in 15th place in the combined rankings. We expect tomorrow to be intense. If today‘s times are anything to go by, the battle for the top 10 in FP3 will be hard-fought, and also the times in qualifying will be very fast. The team will work hard tonight to prepare another step for FP3 to let Maverick and Valentino face the competition in the best shape possible.


Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.



The feeling for one lap is good, but the only problem is that everything that we tested on Tuesday doesn’t work during the race weekend, because the feeling and the grip level changed. We need to set-up for these conditions in preparation for the race, and we need to try to understand how we can be faster. So, we went back to our standard bike that we finished with last Sunday. We lost a bit of time because of all of this. We have to continue working to find out how to have more grip during the race.


Valentino Rossi (46). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Valentino Rossi (46). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.



It was a difficult first day. We tried something different on the bike. In the morning I didn’t do a lap on new tyres, I did it this afternoon. Unfortunately, I’m out of the top 10, though I improved on my Friday lap time from last week, because everybody is a lot stronger and faster, like we expected. So, we have to work to raise our level. We have to try something else to improve our pace. We will work on the bike. We haven’t found the right balance yet, but we will continue to work and try again tomorrow morning.




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


18 September 2020 | Emilia Romagna GP Practice

Takaaki Nakagami was in scintillating form as free practice for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix got underway on Friday. The event is the second of back-to-back MotoGP races at the Misano circuit and LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Nakagami finished the day in second position on the timesheets, just as he did in the official test at same venue on Tuesday.

Having clearly made big strides with the set-up of his RC213V since last weekend, the Japanese star was immediately on the pace in FP1 as he went sixth fastest. He was even more impressive in FP2 as he improved by half a second, being edged off top spot in the closing stages by KTM’s Brad Binder who eclipsed his time by just two thousandths of a second.


Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Takaaki Nakagami – 2nd


“It’s a pretty good start for us, I felt so good on the bike. Following the test on Tuesday we’ve definitely improved the bike and my feeling with the bike – we’re much more consistent. We’re also working hard on the qualifying lap, the one lap time, but the lap times overall are more consistent because the bike is more stable. So I’m feeling really good, there are still some sectors we can improve a little, like sector two, and we’ll just keep working hard for qualifying. For tomorrow our target will be to get on the front row, because here the starting grid is really important.”




More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna and the Rimini Riviera: ninth Danilo Petrucci after the first two free practice sessions in Misano Adriatico. Andrea Dovizioso closes Day 1 in twelfth position

The Ducati Team was back in action at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” today, stage this weekend of the seventh round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship; the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna and the Rimini Riviera.

After having completed a long day of official testing at the same race venue last Tuesday, Danilo Petrucci returned to the track today finding immediately good sensations aboard his Ducati Desmosedici GP bike. Eleventh in 1:32.435 at the end of the first free practice session this morning, the rider from Terni managed to improve by almost half of a second in the “time attack” this afternoon, setting a good lap time in 1:31.973 and ending with the ninth time overall on Friday, just 345 thousandths of a second from today’s pacesetter.

Andrea Dovizioso, current championship leader, ended the day with the twelfth time overall. After having completed a positive test last Tuesday, the rider from the Bologna-based squad spent the day looking for the best setup ahead of Sunday’s race, ending the day with a time of 1:32.152, that he posted during this morning FP1.


Danilo Petrucci (9). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Danilo Petrucci (9). Photo courtesy Ducati.


Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:31.973 (9th)

“After last Tuesday’s test, we were able to take some steps forward. Since this morning, I have been able to have positive sensations on my bike. This afternoon I did a good lap time and, although it will not be enough to get directly into Q2, I am confident because we still have some room for improvements. We hope to be able to do so tomorrow morning in FP3, where it will be crucial to stay in the top ten.”


Andrea Dovizioso (04). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Andrea Dovizioso (04). Photo courtesy Ducati.


Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:32.152 (12th)

“Today, we preferred to focus on the preparations for the race, without worrying too much about the lap times. We have made some progress, but it is still not enough: our rivals have also improved a lot since last Tuesday’s test. In any case, I am confident: we know where we need to work on to be more competitive. Now we need to keep our concentration: tomorrow morning it will be important to close FP3 in the top ten”.

The Ducati Team will be back out on track tomorrow at 9:55 AM for the third free practice session. The qualifying for the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna and the Rimini Riviera will be held starting from 2:10 PM local time, after FP4.




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Emilia Romagna GP – Positive Free Practice day for Pecco and Jack


Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Pramac Racing.
Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Pramac Racing.


The Pramac Racing Team is back on track for the first day of Free Practice. The Emilia-Romagna GP that will take place this Sunday at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. A very convincing start for Pecco and Jack, the two riders ended the first day of free practice respectively P11 and P16 in the combined standing. Pecco Bagnaia made a positive start in the FP1 finishing in top ten, his pace was always fast and was able during the FP2 to improve his time almost four tenths, closing in P11 with his best time of 1:32.138. Jack Miller worked on finding the best setting and the best tire combination during the first day of free practice, focusing only on the race pace. The Australian rider made his best time of 1:32.279 in FP2, he also improved his time by four tenths compared to the morning session. Jack closed the day FP2 in P16.

Pecco Bagnaia

Today we worked with medium tire because last Sunday Mir and Morbidelli were very fast with this tire so it was very important to try it to understand what will be the best choice. Tomorrow I will be able to do the time attack. I feel good and today we finished the work started last week.

Jack Miller

Today the plan was to find the best solution for Sunday, We worked very well, I think we are in the right way. Tomorrow we will try to do the time for being in Q2, I’m feel very confident, we did a massive improvement.

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