More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Quartararo leads a Yamaha armada on Friday
The Iwata marque make it a 1-2-3 on Day 1 at Misano, with KTM joining the party in the top five
Friday, 11 September 2020
After a two tough weekends at the Red Bull Ring, Friday saw a change of fortunes for Yamaha at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with the Iwata marque leading the way with a 1-2-3. It was Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who took to the top by the end of play, the Frenchman turning the tables on Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in the afternoon after the number 12 blitzed FP1. The gap between the two? An infinitesimal 0.009! Third went the way of Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), who once again showed some serious speed in 2020.
The first premier class session of the day most definitely belonged to one man: Viñales. The Spaniard set a blistering 1:32.198 to head the timesheets by over half a second in the morning, beating his own 2019 pole position time and going over a second quicker than FP1 last year. Quartararo was the rear gunner for Top Gun in second, ahead of an impressive session for Aprilia in third. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) completed the top three for the Noale factory, the Spaniard 0.751 adrift of the top… but that translating into a deficit of just two tenths to Quartararo given Viñales’ margin.
Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) was fourth quickest in FP1, ahead of a second Noale machine as Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) locked out the top five.
Things got lively in the latter stages of the session on fresh rubber, with a few putting in time attacks. Viñales hit first to oust Quartararo from the top in the final two minutes, with Zarco and the Aprilias striking next. Viñales had the last word though, slamming in that stunning last lap to extend his advantage to over half a second.
No one crashed in the session.
The tables were turned in the afternoon as Quartararo took over at the top, getting the better of teammate Morbidelli by 0.178 in a Petronas Yamaha SRT 1-2. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was third, ahead of a stunning session for rookie Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) in P4. Local legend Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completed the top five in FP2, just ahead of Viñales.
In the early stages, Quartararo led the way from Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Viñales, with Lecuona impressing early on to sit inside the top five. Viñales was down to serious business, however, working on the medium front and hard rear Michelin tyres. The Spaniard looked like he was on rails, consistently setting personal bests. The Team Suzuki Ecstar machines of Alex Rins and Joan Mir were also going well in FP2 to both share a period at the top of the timesheets, but the Hamamatsu factory wouldn’t stay there by the end of the day.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder then took a tumble at Turn 6, but the South African went to the top of the timesheets not long after as the riders pushed for that one-lap time attack in the final few minutes. Morbidelli, who was 12th in FP1, was next to take over at the top, before teammate Quartararo snatched it back to have the final say on Friday’s fastest.
Overall, that lap was enough to secure fastest overall on the combined timesheets for ‘El Diablo’, but when taking into account Viñales’ quickest from FP1, it’s not by much. Just 0.009 split the two at the top, with Morbidelli in third.
Pol Espargaro is therefore shuffled down to fourth overall, 0.297 off the top and with a couple of tenths in hand over Lecuona in P5. Rossi was next up to make it all four Yamahas in the top six, with Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) the first Borgo Panigale representative as he slotted into seventh overall.
Brad Binder is P8 after Day 1, with Styrian GP winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) just behind him… making it all four KTMs in the top ten and on for potential graduation to Q2. Aleix Espargaro was only 0.001 off the Portugese rider, however, completing the top ten for the Noale factory.
There’s one definite name missing there, and it’s the man second in the Championship: Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). The Italian was 11th on the combined timesheets by just 0.009, and he’ll be the first looking to move forward on Saturday. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), double podium finisher at the Red Bull Ring, was also down the order a little as the Aussie took P17 – a few hundredths ahead of teammate Francesco Bagnaia as the latter returns from injury.
It’s game on for Saturday at Misano, and qualifying starts at 14:10 (GMT +2) to decide the grid positions for another stunning Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Don’t miss it!
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:
Sensational Friday by Lecuona in fifth – Oliveira starts with solid ninth in Misano
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Iker Lecuona performed strong in today’s opening day of the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Following a rather steady FP1, the premier class rookie improved by impressive 1.878 seconds in the second session of the day to seize a fantastic fifth position in the overall standings of the MotoGP World Championship.
At the same time, Miguel Oliveira likewise started out gradually this morning and went 1.71 seconds quicker in FP2. The recent MotoGP race winner concluded Friday in P9 overall, which secures both, Lecuona and Oliveira a provisional Q2 spot over night, until the action resumes with Free Practice three tomorrow at 9.55 local time at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
“For sure, I’m really happy! In FP1, I was struggling a little bit, but also because I didn’t change the tyres. I went out with a medium in the front and the soft one on the rear, but it didn’t work as planned. Anyway, I was working more on myself and we continued improving the base of the bike. Finally, we had a clean idea for FP2, exiting with a new tyre and a decent base. Already on the first run, I was really fast and consistent, riding alone and also on my fast lap, I was alone and managed to improve. This was my fastest lap time at this circuit and finishing inside the top 5 is a great start to the weekend. We just need to continue like this and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.”
“It was not our best Friday morning, but we managed to do a comeback in the second practice. We did stay maybe a little bit conservative in the first practice, we stuck a little bit with the Spielberg setting, but in the afternoon, we came back to a closer base to what we used during the test here. The feeling was immediately better, we tried different tyres, which was ok. Overall, it was positive work, we finished inside the top 10. For sure there is still a gap to improve, but we have that potential. So, tomorrow morning we are going to work hard to be inside the Q2 immediately.”
More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:
PETRONAS Yamaha SRT on top in Misano
Quartararo ends first day of San Marino GP on top with Morbidelli third
It was a great start to the weekend for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team with Fabio Quartararo back on top, in the opening day of MotoGP action at Misano World Circuit Simoncelli. Quartararo set the fastest lap time across the two Free Practice sessions, while home-hero Franco Morbidelli ended the day third.
Quartararo quickly adapted to Misano’s new track surface and was the fastest man on track at the halfway point of the FP1. The Frenchman continued to improve upon his time, but his 1min 32.748secs lap was beaten in the closing minutes, which saw him claim second. Fabio showed that he’s back on top form in the afternoon session after spending all session at the sharp end of the timing screens and setting the fastest time of the day on his final lap: 1min 32.189secs.
It was a strong and consistent morning for fellow Yamaha YZR-M1 rider Moridelli, who completed 21 laps in the morning session. The Italian finished FP1 12th, after setting a fastest time of 1min 33.694secs. In the closing minutes of FP2 Franco, who is enjoying seeing some fans at his home race, looked likely to end the session fastest – but was narrowly beaten by his team-mate. His 1min 32.367secs lap saw him end the day third in the combined standings.
The third MotoGP Free Practice session will get underway tomorrow at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT), ahead of qualifying at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).
It feels really good after the difficult races in Austria. We’ve made a big improvement here; of course the track helps, as it is better for us. Those bad races have helped us learn to adapt quickly and helped us to become stronger. The two sessions today have been good, our pace in FP2 was great and the settings we have changed have really helped. With the new track surface there is more grip, but there are also more bumps, so will be interesting. I’m looking forward to tomorrow because I still feel like there is something more we can improve with the one lap pace.
It was a wonderful Friday at my home GP today and it is nice to see some fans in the grandstands. We started with the right feeling and a good pace, we made some good lap times and I’m happy. I need to continue being focused as it is only Friday and nothing properly counts yet. We need to continue what we’ve been doing today on track on Sunday and then we can be even happier hopefully. I think Styria was tough for several reasons but with two weeks off I’ve been able to reset. Tomorrow we will try to improve the package further, try to make a good lap time and start from the first two rows.
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP SHOW COMPETITIVE FORM ON SAN MARINO GP FRIDAY
Misano Adriatico (Italy), 11th September 2020
GRAND PRIX OF SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi enjoyed positive first outings at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today. They ended the Friday in 2nd and 6th position respectively in the combined rankings.
2nd MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’32.198 (FP1) / 21 + 25 LAPS
6th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’32.732 (FP2) / 21 + 21 LAPS
It was all blue skies for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi on the opening day of the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. The team-mates made a strong start on the resurfaced Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, taking 2nd and 6th place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.
Viñales had led the morning session by 0.550s, leaving him confident enough to fully focus on the race pace of his YZR-M1 in the afternoon without clocking a serious time attack. He completed 25 laps to get his bike ready for the team‘s home race this Sunday. He put in a 1‘32.742s on his penultimate lap, taking sixth place, 0.553s from the top. However, his time from this morning was faster. The 1‘32.198s earned him 2nd in the combined free practice results, just 0.009s from first.
Rossi was in his element riding at a track just 10 kilometers from his home in Tavullia. The morning stint had given him a good first impression of the new asphalt, and he found further setting improvements in the afternoon. Cheered on by the fans in the grandstands, he used the session to set a 1‘32.732s on lap 20/21 for fifth place in the FP2 results. The lap earned him 6th place in today‘s combined rankings, 0.543s off today‘s best time.
We didn‘t test in Misano with the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team before we arrived here, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and all the travel complications as well as the health and safety concerns that come with it. But today‘s results show that we‘re okay. We know that this track is well suited to our bike‘s strong points, and the new asphalt is providing more grip. This plays to our advantage, but the rider field is very strong this year, so we still need to be on our A-game and on maximum attack throughout the weekend. Maverick‘s pace is very impressive. He was especially quick this morning, but also his fast lap at the end of a long run this afternoon is very encouraging for Sunday‘s race. Valentino made a good improvement from FP1 to FP2 and is also in contention for a top result this weekend, so we are quite satisfied with our work so far. Our riders are both competitive and finished inside the top 10, and we feel confident that we can make further progress for tomorrow.
The feelings were fantastic! In FP1 I did an amazing lap, and in FP2 I was focusing on the race rhythm. My rhythm is really good. I was able to set a very fast lap time at the end of the long run. For the time attack I rode with a used front tyre. I just tried a fresh soft rear tyre to see what the feeling is like, because tomorrow we‘re going to push. I‘m quite happy, I think we can do a good job here in Misano. It‘s important that we prepare well for the race, because it‘s going to be hard with many riders going very fast. But today I felt really good on the bike and like I had something more to give. We‘re going to start the race pushing hard from the beginning, and then we‘ll see. I will ride the race at the maximum at every corner on every lap.
Today was a good Friday. It looks like our bike is more competitive here, and we can be stronger. Especially in the afternoon I wasn’t so bad, also with the pace. We need to give the maximum, because we can fight for a good result. We have to improve in some places, but I feel good with my bike, and at the end I did a good time attack. The P5 I got in FP2 is a good position for the first day. It will be very important to stay inside the top 10 tomorrow morning, so this is our next target. Misano is always a bit tricky. They did a very good job with the new asphalt, because it has very good grip and there are less bumps, but there are some bad ones in some places. There were more bumps with the previous asphalt, but they were smaller. For me, Misano is always special, because it’s really my home Grand Prix. I live 10 kilometers from here. I grew up here in Misano. To have a small crowd at the track is very important, because it completely changes the atmosphere, and it’s a good step for the future, so we go back to the normal situation as soon as possible.
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:
TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR GET TO GRIPS ON FRIDAY IN MISANO
Combined practice times:
Alex Rins: 13th – 1’33.015 (+ 0.826)
Joan Mir: 15th – 1’33.124 (+ 0.935)
After a two week break, track action has resumed at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Team Suzuki Ecstar had a steady start at the beginning of this double-header as they prepare for what’s sure to be an action-packed Grand Prix.
Alex Rins took time to gauge the feeling following the short break, and to get to grips with the new track surface during the morning’s FP1 session. He set a best time of 1’34.040 and completed a 20 lap run. He brought pace into FP2, topping the session at the start and managing to set the fastest time again later on. He then switched focus to settings, and had a best time of 1’33.018, over a second faster than FP1.
Conversely, Joan Mir was quick from the beginning of FP1, where he finished sixth. But in the afternoon’s FP2 he focused on putting in a long run of 20 laps and working on settings with his GSX-RR. He felt comfortable with his used tyre form, and with the set-up in general. He finished Friday with a 1’33.124.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We could define today as a ‘work in progress’, the results aren’t quite what we hoped for but instead we actually collected a lot of information on settings and tyres. This meant we missed out on doing fast laps. Tomorrow morning we’ll try to piece it all together and aim to stay in the Top 10 to enter into Q2 for good grid positions.”
“This first day has been OK, but I still want to make a few adjustments in order to feel a bit better on the front end. We are going to work on this and I’m sure we can find something. I did a lot of laps on used tyres in FP1, and also in FP2 I tried different tyre options, and this has helped us to collect information coming into tomorrow. We need to change some things but we’re prepared for Saturday’s sessions.”
“At the moment we haven’t shown one lap pace to be at the top, but the truth is that my pace on a used tyre is actually pretty good – I feel comfortable and had great feeling. I had a moment when I tried to do a flying lap at the end of the session and I had to use my motocross skills in the gravel! But we’re ready for FP3 tomorrow morning and I’m confident that I can be strong.”
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:
ALEIX TAKES A TOP-10 SPOT IN THE OPENING PRACTICE SESSIONS AT MISANO
GOOD START TO THE WEEKEND FOR BRADLEY SMITH
The road to being in the best possible conditions for the race on Sunday is still long, but Aprilia has certainly started the weekend on the right foot. A prominent protagonist in FP1 with his third-place time, Aleix also confirmed his performance in the afternoon, taking an important top-10 spot even without resorting to a new tyre.
Bradley Smith had an outstanding morning session, where he finished in fifth place with a final time attack. His pace is also good, which is an aspect he worked hard on in the afternoon, without focusing on pure performance for a flying lap.
FP3 tomorrow morning will be fundamental, where Aleix and Bradley will be trying to go straight through to Q2 – the second qualifying session.
“This was undoubtedly a positive Friday. I was able to stay in the top 10 without doing a time attack in the afternoon and that means that we’ve done a good job with the tyres. This weekend promises to be interesting. We have seen various riders select different tyre compounds, so it will be important to make the right choices. I’m pleased with our work today. I can’t way to try and improve in FP3 with a new tyre to confirm a spot in Q2.”
“We started well this morning with fifth place, whereas our program in the afternoon was different. It’s true that after the tests we had an idea on how the tyres would work in the race, but we still need to test them again and get a better feel for how they’ll perform over the long distance. The bike seems to work well here, partly thanks to the good level of available grip. Tomorrow morning, we’ll obviously use the soft tyre, after testing a couple of changes.”
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Sunday preparations underway for the Repsol Honda Team
There was no shortage of sunshine at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, temperatures steadily climbing throughout the day as Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl began their preparations for Sunday.
The full Repsol Honda Team had their first taste of the recently re-surfaced Misano circuit as round seven of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship commenced. It proved to be a physically demanding day as the track temperature climbed to 43°C during Free Practice 2 for the premier class and bumps around the fast part of the circuit added yet more challenge.
With 15th position in Free Practice 1, Alex Marquez started his day on solid footing. In the afternoon Alex focused on his feeling for Sunday and the long 27-lap race, this meant the MotoGP rookie finished Friday down in 21st position. Working with his Repsol Honda Team, the reigning Moto2 World Champion is confident of improvements coming on Saturday as his ideal time was several tenths faster.
Stefan Bradl was able to take some benefit from testing in Misano as he started Free Practice 1 in and amongst the top runners. Improving his time from FP1 to FP2 by 0.7s moved the German to within 1.5 seconds of Quartararo’s fastest lap. Like many others, Bradl felt the affect of the bumps on the circuit as he worked on bike setup.
Both riders will return to the circuit tomorrow, Saturday September 12, for Free Practice 3 at 09:55 Local Time. The weather is once again expected to nudge 30°C ambient temperature.
“We have been working on the setting of the bike today and we have been trying to find the balance. The circuit is quite bumpy, as we saw in the test. I think some other riders are finding it a bit difficult too, especially since the bumps are in a fast part of the track. I was able to improve my time a decent amount today so we will keep working tomorrow and see what comes.”
“We knew that today would be a little difficult at the start as some others have done more testing here. In the end I don’t think we are too far and we need to keep improving as we have been previously. Over one lap still we are missing something, but our rhythm and overall feeling is a lot better than our position shows. Today we weren’t fully focused on one lap and when you combine all my sectors it is a 1’33.5. We are starting here with a better feeling than in Austria even with the bumps on the faster part of the circuit.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:
POSITIVE SIGNS FOR CRUTCHLOW AT MISANO
11 September 2020 | San Marino GP Practice
Cal Crutchlow defied his ongoing arm injury to produce an encouraging display on the opening day of free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider suffered complications following more surgery to his right arm at the end of last month, but still managed to prove competitive as the action got underway at Misano on Friday.
On a resurfaced but bumpy new track, the Briton impressed in the morning’s FP1 session as he finished as the leading Honda bike in eighth place. With fluid build-up on his arm making life difficult, he was unable to improve his time in the afternoon, ending 20th in FP2, but is hopeful of making further progress on Saturday.
Cal Crutchlow – 19th
“As far as riding the bike goes, I felt more positive today and I was able to do some good runs. The pace was ok, the position was not great, but we didn’t put the new tyre on in FP2 to get a good lap time, so we tried to work on the setting of the bike and the feeling of the bike, which is a bit better at this track so far. With regards to my arm, at the moment I have a lot of liquid on my arm and a lot of problems with how swollen the arm is. Maybe it’s not fully recovered, but we’re speaking a lot with the doctors and taking their advice with regard to the best thing to do throughout the weekend and we’ll make a decision tomorrow morning on whether to continue and go session by session. But overall, today was a good day to be back on the bike in Misano.”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Seventh Danilo Petrucci at the end of Friday free practices of the Lenovo Grand Prix of San Marino and the Rimini Riviera. Eleventh time overall for Andrea Dovizioso
At Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” officially kicked off today the Lenovo Grand Prix of San Marino and the Rimini Riviera with the first two free practice sessions.
After finishing this morning FP1 in 17th place in 1:34.101, Danilo Petrucci improved his best time by more than a second in FP2. The Ducati Team rider made the most of the new tyre in the final minutes of the session, setting the fastest lap in 1:32.825 and taking his Desmosedici GP bike in the seventh position.
Andrea Dovizioso, who was 13th in this morning FP1, closed the first day with the eleventh time overall in 1:32.945; the rider from Forlì was able to improve his best time by over 923 thousandths in the afternoon session. With 15 riders closed within less than a second, Andrea closes only 755 thousandths off the top of today’s timesheets and only 3 cents of a second from the top ten.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:32.825 (7th)
“It was a good day, and it’s always nice to be able to race at our home track. With the new asphalt, the track conditions have changed, and there is much more grip than last year. Unfortunately, there are several bumps and that have created some problems for us. We have worked hard today to try to fix this, and it seems that in the afternoon, we were able to find a solution. Now we’ll have to try to understand how the tyres work for the race.”
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:32.945 (11th)
“It has been a very strange day. This morning I wasn’t able to take advantage of the full session, and I wasn’t able to find a good feeling with the bike. I think this is because of the conditions of the new asphalt; there is a lot of grip, but also several bumps and I always feel like I am slower than the lap times I am actually doing. Now we will work to come back stronger tomorrow. It will be crucial to be able to find positive sensations again to then focus on the final details for the race”.
The Ducati Team will head out on track again tomorrow morning at 9:55 AM for FP3, while qualifying will be held starting from 2:10 PM local time, at the end of the fourth and final free practice session.
More, from a press release issued by Avintia Esponsorama Racing:
POSITIVE FRIDAY FOR ESPONSORAMA RACING AT MISANO
Esponsorama Racing returned to action this Friday for the first two free practices of the San Marino Grand Prix at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
During the first session, both riders were able to work on the set-up of the Ducati Desmosedici GP19. Johann Zarco finished in a magnificent fourth position after setting a time of 1’33.181. For his part, Tito Rabat stopped the clock at 1’34.619, which allowed him to finish 21st.
Looking ahead to the second session, Zarco took the opportunity to accumulate laps and add up the kilometers to the Italian track. The French rider has managed to improve his morning time by a tenth to finish 14th. Rabat managed to take a step forward and reduced his time by seven tenths after riding 21 laps.
Tomorrow the third and fourth free practices will take place and then the qualifying, where Esponsorama Racing will fight for the best possible starting position for Sunday’s race.
“Today was a good start, I had a good feeling, and I see that I can be fast. I got more pain on my right wrist, more than I expected, so that is why at the afternoon I took some anti-inflammatory and it was better in the afternoon about the pain. The track is good about the grip, because you can get a good confident with the tires, front and rear, to push. I hope I will feel better tomorrow because I feel I can go fastest but I can’t relax me.”
“It has been a difficult day, in which we finished +1.7 from the lead in a sunny day and testing the new asphalt. Tomorrow we will continue working”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
TAKA JUST OUTSIDE TOP 10 AT MISANO
11 September 2020 | San Marino GP Practice
Free practice for the San Marino Grand Prix got underway on Friday with fans in attendance for the first time since the restart of the 2020 World Championship. LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami finished the opening day in 12th position on the timesheets as he again emerged as the fastest Honda in the field.
On a resurfaced Misano track, Nakagami struggled to find the rhythm he’d shown in the past few rounds as he adjusted to bumps on the new layout. But, despite not being at his best, Taka still managed to finish 10th in FP1 and 12th overall – fourths hundredths outside the top 10 – and remains confident of securing automatic qualification to Q2 in tomorrow’s FP3 session.
Takaaki Nakagami – 12th
“Today was a bit of a struggle and in FP1 and FP2 we tried many things to improve the feeling on the bike. Because of the new surface there was more grip, but also more bumps on the track and we struggled when we hit the bumps and the bike was getting a little nervous. But even so, we’re very close to the top 10 and tomorrow I feel there are many places where I can go faster than today. We’ll try to improve the bike and get in the top 10 in FP3 and then see what we can do in qualifying.”