MotoGP: Maverick Vinales Steps Up In FP2, But Marc Marquez Still Quickest At Motorland Aragon

MotoGP: Maverick Vinales Steps Up In FP2, But Marc Marquez Still Quickest At Motorland Aragon

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. by David Swarts

Race Lap Record: 1:48.120, Jorge Lorenzo, 2015

All-Time Lap Record: 1:46.635, Marc Marquez, 2015

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Motorland Aragon

Alcaniz, Spain

September 20, 2019

Free Practice Two Results (all using Michelin tires):

  1. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yam YZR-M1), 1:48.014
  2. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yam YZR-M1), 1:48.071
  3. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yam YZR-M1), 1:48.117
  4. Marc Marquez, Spain (Hon RC213V), 1:48.204
  5. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM RC16), 1:48.392
  6. Jack Miller, Australia (Duc GP19), 1:48.442
  7. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Hon RC213V), 1:48.450
  8. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:48.477
  9. Joan Mir, Spain (Suz GSX-RR), 1:48.641
  10. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Apr RS-GP), 1:48.704
  11. Alex Rins, Spain (Suz GSX-RR), 1:48.737
  12. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:48.873
  13. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Hon RC213V), 1:48.923
  14. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yam YZR-M1), 1:49.104
  15. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Apr RS-GP), 1:49.236
  16. Tito Rabat, Spain (Duc GP18), 1:49.304
  17. Mika Kallio, Finland (KTM RC16), 1:49.342
  18. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM RC16), 1:49.425
  19. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM RC16), 1:49.626
  20. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Hon RC213V), 1:49.710
  21. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:49.821
  22. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Duc GP18), 1:49.903
  23. Bradley Smith, UK (Apr RS-GP), 1:50.164

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Too hot to handle: Marquez masters MotorLand on Day 1

Reigning Champion fastest overall after searing pace in FP1, Viñales top in FP2

Friday, 20 September 2019

Marc Marquez’ (Repsol Honda Team) incredible 1:46.869 in FP1 sees the reigning World Champion sit over a second clear of the field after Day 1 at the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon, with the number 93 pushing for a hot lap early in the day and that proving unassailable thereafter. Maverick Viñales was fastest from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammate Valentino Rossi in FP2 as the duo complete the top three on the combined standings, but the headlines remained Marquez’ awesome show of speed in the first session of the weekend – despite a crash in the afternoon, rider ok.

So why the push for pace? Marquez abandoned his MO as rain threatens to disrupt proceedings on Saturday, with a place in that all-important provisional Q2 graduation zone seemingly up for grabs on Friday given the forecast. And joining the top three in that top ten as it stands were many a usual suspect – with Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) one surprising name to be left out. If it’s wet in FP3, the Silverstone winner may have his work cut out.

There were no such issues for Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as the French rookie showed off his now customary impressive pace by taking fourth and ending the day as top Independent Team rider. ‘El Diablo’ slotted in just behind the Monster Energy Yamaha duo of Viñales and Rossi in FP2, with the Iwata marque dominating the afternoon…although Marquez’ morning hot lap remained out of reach.

Viñales spent much of that afternoon chipping away at his rival’s advantage and a few positions chopped and changed in the top five and ten, but a late rush for provisional graduation to Q2 soon changed the tone again. Rossi was one who needed a boost up the order after finishing FP1 outside the top 15, and Quartararo was on the edge too. Ultimately, both would shoot up the timesheets and safely end the day in P3 and P4 respectively, just ahead of another stunning performance from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s man of the moment Pol Espargaro. After a solid FP1 within the top ten, the Spaniard ends the day in an ever-impressive P5 overall.

Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) slipped from fifth to sixth overall, although the KTM ahead only got the better of him by an infinitesimal 0.050, with LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow then even closer in seventh – only 0.008 in further arrears. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) kept the trend going as he ended the day only 0.027 off Crutchlow; the Italian eighth by the end of play after ending FP1 in P4.

Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) impressed on Friday to take ninth and give himself a shout of a place in Q2, and he could be the only Suzuki rider there after Rins just lost out. A late lunge from Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was what got the Silverstone winner and the older Espargaro brother ends Friday in tenth to make it every manufacturer in the top ten on Day 1 in Aragon.

Rins is joined by the likes of Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in looking up at the sky on Saturday morning and hoping it’s dry. Will the weather hold for FP3? Find out at 9:55 local time (GMT+2), before qualifying from 14:10.

Fernandez holds the advantage at Aragon

Spaniard follows up his win with a show of serious pace at MotorLand on Friday

Augusto Fernandez (FlexBox HP 40) is the rider to beat heading into Saturday courtesy of his fastest time in FP1 at the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon, with second fastest Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) also setting his fastest lap in the morning. Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40) completes the top three on Friday, his time from FP2 his best effort.

Both Fernandez and Marini had over sixth tenths of an advantage heading into FP2 at MotorLand Aragon and for the most part the session was quiet in terms of laptime improvements. However, after finishing FP1 in a solid sixth, the likes of Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) made some moves.

Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) then moved into P4 on the combined times before he stopped on track with some sort of issue, and ultimately it was session over for the Swiss rider, while Marini was busy setting the fastest lap of the session – but not overall. Baldassarri finished third in FP1 and he soon found himself back in the same position on the combined times as the clock ticked down in FP2, but no one could match Fernandez. The Misano winner was struggling to find time in the afternoon and took the flag in P8, but he would remain quickest overall.

Despite topping FP2 by over two tenths, Marini wouldn’t beat his Friday morning time as he remains behind Fernandez heading into Saturday’s action. Baldassarri was able to find time to close the gap from 0.8 to 0.6 and take third, with Lowes’ good day continuing in FP2, the Brit finding three tenths to climb from P6 to P4. Title race leader Marquez sits over six tenths off his main rival on Day 1 at his home Grand Prix, the Spaniard slipping down one place to P5 overall by the end of play.

Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) – the top KTM rider on Day 1 – climbed the combined standings during the final 10 minutes of FP2 to take P6 and P7 respectively, with Lüthi able to keep P8 despite his late drama. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished ninth in both FP1 and FP2, with ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Tetsuta Nagashima completing the top ten.

Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up), Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) and Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) are currently the last who stand to move through to Q2 if the weather, as it’s expected to, changes on Saturday. Leaving the likes of Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) heading for Q1…

Moto2™ FP3 begins at 10:55 local time (GMT+2) – tune in!

Migno strikes late to depose Suzuki on Day 1

Italian takes top honours from the Misano winner by less than a tenth on Friday

Andrea Migno (WWR) blasted out the blocks in the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon on Day 1, going quickest overall to beat Misano winner Tatuski Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) to the top by just 0.086. Less than a tenth behind the duo at the top, Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers) ensured the timesheets stayed tight in third.

On a scorching hot day expected to turn wet by tomorrow, getting a place in the top 14 – and therefore a provisional place in Q2 – was high on the agenda. And that’s something Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) misses out on, with the man second in the Championship ending the day in P16. The lightweight class had a last minute shootout at the end of FP2, with riders heading out for a one-lap dash with three minutes remaining. Red sectors were lighting up the timing screens and it was Suzuki who beat his own time by 0.4 seconds initially, but Migno would leave it as late as possible to fire in the best time of the day by just 0.086. Arbolino jumped from P15 in FP1 to P3 in FP2 to once again sit at the sharp end of the field.

WWR’s Jaume Masia sits P4 at the end of Day 1, 0.218 off his teammate’s time on home turf, with Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) completing the top five on Friday by virtue of his last flying lap.

Filip Salac (Redox PrüstelGP) slipped from P5 to P6 in FP2 but it was nevertheless a positive day for the young Czech rider, with Riccardo Rossi (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) having a good showing in P7 on the combined times thanks to his best lap in FP1, although the Italian had a tougher time in the afternoon. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) ends Friday in P8 after going second quickest in the morning, with Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team) and Japanese rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) completing the top ten.

Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) crashed on Day 1, rider ok.

So where’s Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing)? Down in P11, although he’ll be safely through to Q2 should the weather change, as key rival Canet heads for Q1…

Will the weather close in at MotorLand? Or can FP3 create another shake up before qualifying? FP3 starts at 9:00 (GMT +2), with Q1 on from 12:35.

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

Quartararo and Morbidelli get action underway at Aragon GP

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli end day one at MotorLand Aragon in fourth and 14th respectively

Aragon GP – 20 September 2019

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli got action underway for this weekend’s Gran Premio de Aragon at the MotorLand Aragon circuit, ending the day in fourth and 14th on combined times after today’s two practice sessions – and targeting improvements for tomorrow.

Quartararo was able to once again show his podium speed from last time out in Misano to battle for top honours at the end of the day, finishing up only a tenth of a second from second place. With fast race pace as well as one-lap speed, his strong opening play at Aragon means that he’s perfectly poised to add to his tally of front-row starts in tomorrow’s qualifying session.

It was a less fortunate day for team-mate Morbidelli, who finished in P14 despite feeling fast and confident all day with the Yamaha YZR-M1. Finishing this morning’s session in ninth, but just missing out on a Q2 spot after spending the afternoon working on his set-up for the race, he knows that he has work to do in the morning – but as usual he isn’t getting fazed as he also aims to make it into the front two rows in qualifying.

The action at MotorLand Aragon gets underway tomorrow 0955 local time (1555 Malaysian time) with practice and at 1410 local time (2010 Malaysian time) for qualifying, ahead of Sunday’s 23-lap race at the Gran Premio de Aragon.

Franco Morbidelli

14th (1’49.104)

“The end result is a pity because I felt very good on the bike, using a really hard setting in the afternoon even though wasn’t the perfect option for me. Strangely, when I put in new tyres for a time attack I only improved two tenths when I should have been able to improve at least a second, so it didn’t allow me to reach the top ten. But I’m confident with the bike, even though we’ve got a few things to improve. We’ll see how the weather is in the morning and if we can attack again to go straight to Q2 or if it’s going to rain all day.”

Fabio Quartararo

4th (1’48.117)

“I think P4 isn’t bad for a rookie at the end of the first day at Aragon! I’m feeling quite good and we’ve worked a lot on race pace today, but we’re not at 100% with the bike just yet. We’ve got a few areas to work on, but we’ll see what tomorrow’s weather brings. I’m struggling in sector four, but we know where the problem areas are and we’re not in bad shape considering it’s my first time here. The good thing is that we’ve already got a Q2 spot if it’s raining in the morning, so I’m happy with how the day has gone and looking forward to sitting down with my crew and trying to improve the bike.”

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez storms Aragon on Friday

Over a second clear of his rivals, Marc Marquez was almost untouchable at home in Aragon as Jorge Lorenzo looks for improved feeling.

Marc Marquez began the Aragon GP weekend by blitzing the field; spending much of Free Practice 1 two seconds clear of his closest rivals. A late lap from Viñales saw the reigning champion’s advantage reduced to a still significant 1.6 seconds. Clearly comfortable on home ground, Marquez continued his scorching pace straight into Free Practice 2.

Working diligently towards the race during the second session, Marquez was victim to a harmless fall at Turn 8 mid-session. He was soon back in the Repsol Honda Team garage and able to return to the circuit for the final minutes of practice. A 1’48.204 saw Marquez conclude FP2 as the fourth fastest rider, but his 1’46.869 from FP1, just two tenths off the lap record, left him as comfortably the fastest rider on combined times on Friday.

Friday in Aragon saw Jorge Lorenzo able to steadily improve his lap times and close in on the fastest riders. With only seven tenths splitting riders from second to 11th in the combined times, just a few tenths offered massive potential gains. A best time of 1’49.710 from FP2 saw the five-time World Champion end just a second from a spot in the top ten as he worked to improve the feeling on his bike. Jorge Lorenzo ultimately ended the second practice session as the fastest rider through the speed trap, hitting 334.4 km/h on his Honda RC213V.

Saturday’s forecast remains mixed with many predicting rain throughout the day, dry track time potentially at a premium. Running begins at 09:55 Local Time.

Marc Marquez
1ST 1’46.869: 

“Today we started very well and actually we ended quite well too. In the morning we did our time attack, I felt good and with the potential weather tomorrow I thought it was best. It was a quite good lap! In the afternoon we worked a lot with used tyres and unfortunately had a small crash but we learned a lot from it. Aside from this little fall everything went well and I think there’s still some more time to find.”

Jorge Lorenzo
20TH 1’49.710: 

“We struggled with the feeling today and I was hoping to be more competitive after our stronger start in Misano. In the afternoon I was able to improve a bit, but still I am looking to close the gap more. Sadly it looks like it will rain tomorrow which makes it a little harder for us as we will have less time to set up the bike but I will be able to do some running in the wet.”

 

 

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

ARAGON GETS UNDERWAY WITH GOOD PACE FROM MIR AND RINS

Joan Mir: 9th – 1:48.641 (+ 1.772)
Alex Rins: 11th – 1:48.737 (+ 1.868)

• Joan Mir feeling comfortable at one of his favourite tracks.
• Alex Rins just outside the Top 10 on opening day.
• Team preparing for mixed conditions throughout weekend.

Just days after the San Marino GP, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR are back on track in Aragon, Spain. The Motorland circuit provided perfect conditions for the morning’s FP1 session, and Alex Rins and Joan Mir made the most of it.

Rins topped the session early on but hit bike troubles and slipped down the order by the end of FP1, despite promptly rejoining the session on his second bike and setting good pace. Meanwhile, Mir, feeling confident following his Misano performance, gelled quickly with the Spanish circuit and finished FP1 in 6th, as well as being the 3rd fastest rider in sector 3.

The afternoon’s FP2 was deemed even more important than usual as bad weather is predicted for the coming days. Both riders were keen to place themselves into the Top 10 and secure direct passage to Q2, and they balanced this need to set a quick time with the need to confirm their settings. Rins was fast out of the box once again, going 2nd on the time sheets and showing a strong rhythm. Mir stuck himself into the Top 10 and held onto this position, finishing 9th in the session and provisionally booking a place in Q2. Alex maintained a consistent and strong pace, improving on his morning time by almost one second, but he was bumped down to 11th place in the closing seconds of FP2.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Today has been positive. Alex showed great pace on what may well be a race tyre, and Joan has also been very fast immediately. It’s great that he’s already in the Top 10, and here’s it’s especially important as we’re expecting rain tomorrow. If FP3 is wet then we’ll hope to get Alex through in Q1 instead. But we’re feeling good because both our riders are comfortable and looking quick.”

Joan Mir:

“I’m feeling really happy about today, we tried a lot of things and we drew some useful conclusions. I tried all the tyres, and that was very important. I missed the chance to use a soft tyre right at the end of the day, which could have put me higher on the timesheets. But anyway, I feel ready for tomorrow and Sunday!”

Alex Rins:

“The first day has gone quite well. We had a small technical problem during FP1 and we’re analysing what happened. In FP2 my rhythm was nice, even with a hard tyre, and I feel very confident because I feel good with my bike. We’ll look at the data tonight and prepare for tomorrow. I have to try and get into Q2 tomorrow, but I’m focused on achieving that goal.”

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Andrea Dovizioso eighth and Danilo Petrucci twelfth on Day 1 of free practice for the Aragón Grand Prix

At the end of the first two free practice sessions for the Aragón Grand Prix, scheduled for this weekend at the MotorLand circuit near Alcañiz, Andrea Dovizioso finished the day in eighth place, while Danilo Petrucci was classified in twelfth.

This morning both Ducati Team riders finished FP1 in the top 10, with Dovizioso fourth and Petrucci seventh, but in the afternoon – despite both men improving their lap times by approximately four-tenths of a second – only the Romagna rider was able to remain inside the provisional top 10.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1’48.477 (8th)

“Aragón is always a strange track, both for riding and for the tyres, and as there is a chance of rain tomorrow, we changed our work plans as a consequence: we were not able to do many laps with the various types of tyres available, but we tried them all so as to have as clear an idea as possible for the race. It’s not easy, because here everyone is struggling when the tyres drop, but the situation is surely better than Misano: we still have to improve in certain areas but I’m optimistic.”

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1’48.873 (12th)

“To be honest I expected to set a better time, but when I put on the soft new tyres, I couldn’t lap fast enough, while this morning with the hard tyres in FP1 I felt pretty good. Unfortunately, it seems that tomorrow there might be bad weather, so I don’t know if it will be possible to get into the top 10 to avoid Q1. I’m clearly not very satisfied with today, but as always we’ll strive to improve for the race.”

The Ducati riders will be back on track tomorrow, Saturday 21st September, at 09.55 CET for the third free practice session, while qualifying will be held after FP4, starting from 14.10 CET.

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

HARD WORK PAYS OFF FOR MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA IN FIRST ARAGON FP SESSIONS

Aragon (Spain), 20th September 2019

GRAND PRIX OF ARAGÓN
FREE PRACTICE

Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi started the last European round today before the overseas tour. The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP men put in hard work to find form in the first free practice sessions of the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragón and finished second and third respectively in the combined standings.

2nd MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’48.014 (FP2) / 16 + 19 LAPS

3rd  VALENTINO ROSSI 1’48.071 / 19 + 19 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi worked hard on the first day of the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragón race weekend, focusing on improving their bikes‘ set-ups. Their focus and determination were rewarded with a second and third place finish respectively in the combined free practice standings.

Viñales‘ strong liking for the Aragon circuit showed as he began his campaign on Spanish soil. He was excited to get to work and greet his fans at his third home race of the season. The youngster gradually upped his pace, working on the base set-up of his Yamaha and building up momentum for the final minute of the session. The chequered flag was already out when he clocked a 1‘48.486s, taking second place, 1.617s from first.

The positive morning rhythm spurred the Spaniard on even more in the afternoon. He and his crew continued working towards 2020, focusing on the task of preparing the bike and only going for another mini shoot-out at the end of the session because weather conditions are uncertain for tomorrow morning‘s FP3. The local hero pulled it out of the bag. He posted the fastest FP2 lap, a 1‘48.014s, earning him second place in the combined timesheets, 1.145s from the top.

Rossi spent the 45 minutes of the morning free practice session confirming findings and data gathered in Misano in the previous weeks. Rather than putting in a full-on time attack, the Italian worked on his bike‘s set-up to make sure he was ready to pounce in the afternoon. He ended FP1 in 17th place, with a 1‘49.913s best lap and a 3.044s margin to first.

The Doctor looked already more comfortable from the start of the afternoon session. He was fully determined to make further steps and picked the fruits of his labour in the final minutes of FP2 when he shaved off almost 1.9s off his morning time, clocking a 1‘48.071s lap, just 0.057s off the P1 effort from his team-mate. The lap earned him third place in the combined standings, 1.202s off today‘s fastest time.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

“As a team we really like this track, because its lay-out is great, but it’s not a track where we historically have been very strong. It made these first two sessions a good test. We definitely made a step in Misano in the heat and with low grip, which are circumstances we usually struggle with. Today we once again found ourselves in hot conditions, at a track that doesn‘t play to our advantage, and yet both our riders found a way to be competitive in FP2. We‘re already thinking about and working on next year, and the steps we‘ve made are a clear. Maverick is feeling very good at this track, he was mostly focused on comparing testing items. Vale made a big improvement, gaining almost 2s on the first day. So the first signs are positive, but we have to keep working. We need to close the gap to the front and at the same time be prepared for whatever weather conditions we have to face tomorrow. Having both riders solidly inside the top 10 is definitely a help, should it rain in FP3. We wouldn‘t mind wet conditions for tomorrow because this would also be a good opportunity for us to work towards next year.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES



“Things are going well so far. We‘re trying the new parts at the moment and are working a lot on the bike. I‘m not really concentrating on my rhythm or on setting fast laps, because we need to work a lot on the bike and try to understand in which direction to go. We are working really hard and are very pleased with the lap times because things are going the right way. We need to keep working, keep exploring the new bike items and see if we can get an advantage with the new exhaust. It‘s very important that we‘re inside the top 10, we did a good job today. We‘ve improved a lot in the rain, so I‘m not really worried should it be wet tomorrow. I know that we can be in the top 5 if it rains, so that‘s very important, but our main goal is getting on the first row tomorrow, have a good start on Sunday, and try to move forward. This is a track where I‘ve always been fast, so I‘m very pleased to be in these first places today.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“I’m very happy! In the morning we had a lot of problems, but in the afternoon, in FP2, we were able to improve the electronics, the engine brake, and also the acceleration of the bike, so I feel better now. We still have a lot of work to do, but it’s important to be inside the top 3 on the Friday. The weather forecast for tomorrow isn’t fantastic, so everybody tried really hard to stay inside the top 10 today because FP3 might be wet. Usually when we make improvements in the dry it’s the same in the wet. Maybe we have a chance tomorrow to try and understand if we’re stronger in the wet conditions.”

  • : 09-20-2019 11:18:57
  • : David Swarts

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