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More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:
Oliveira carves out 11th – Lecuona scores points in tough San Marino GP
The Red Bull KTM Tech3 team faced a challenging sixth round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli today. Launching off from P12, Miguel Oliveira lost some positions in the beginning to cross the line in 15th at the end of the opening lap. Step by step he found his rhythm, picked his way through and managed to pass some of his contenders to be in P12 around halfway stage of the race. Towards the end, he made up another position to eventually see the flag in 11th.
At the same time, Iker Lecuona stalled his KTM RC16 at the start of the warm up lap and during the initial stages of the race received a long lap penalty for this grid procedure infraction. Following the long lap, the MotoGP rookie queued in P20, but grit his teeth to find himself back in 17th after 12 laps. With fast times, he caught up even more in the latter stages of the race and even took over 14th on the final lap to score two more points.
“It was a tough race. To be honest, it was quite hard to make up positions, especially in the beginning of the race. We had many riders with different tyre choices, so it made our life very difficult, but we had a good pace, where just too far away. Now we are focusing on Tuesday, trying a couple of things during the test in order to have a better weekend and especially a better Qualifying the upcoming weekend.”
“In the Warm Up this morning, I felt really good with the bike. Like in FP3, I felt very fast and constant and my pace for the race was strong. I knew that my grid position was not ideal to fight for the top 10. Finally, in the race, I did that mistake in the Warm Up lap. I stopped the engine and eventually, I needed to do the long lap. I was very nervous, because I knew my potential. In the end, I could manage the situation with the penalty and lap by lap I improved. For many laps, I was the fastest KTM rider on the track, overtook many riders and finished in the points, so finally, I’m really happy. Sorry to my team for that mistake, but at the same time thanks to them for their great work.”
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:
ALEIX BATTLES AND CONFIRMS GOOD RACE PACE
SUNDAY COMPROMISED BY A CRASH FOR BRADLEY
As has happened often in this first part of the season, the end result does not do justice to the hard work done by Aleix and Aprilia. In a race that was more than 20 seconds faster than last year’s, the Spanish rider finished just 15 seconds behind the winner. In 2019, that gap was 34 seconds.
This is undeniable progress and Aleix confirms it in no uncertain terms, but the thirteenth-place finish is no reward for this satisfaction.
Bradley Smith’s Sunday took an unpleasant turn straight away with a crash in the early stages of the race. The British rider was able to re-join but, with a damaged RS-GP, he had to settle for crossing the line when the chequered flag came out.
Both riders will have a day of testing on Tuesday on this same track, which will host the MotoGP round a second time next weekend.
“The final position does not reflect reality. We are doing very well and my feeling is still very good with the new RS-GP. Today I had fun and the numbers confirm our improvements. The only difficulty is in overtaking. We are lacking the acceleration to get past our rivals and that forces us to hang back even when our pace could be better. Our growth is undeniable. We’ll get there, we just need to be patient and keep working.”
“Unfortunately, the crash in FP3 compromised our weekend. The sensations were good on Friday, but when I had to switch to the second bike, it wasn’t the same feeling in qualifying or in the race. Today I crashed on a bump and then, despite the bike being damaged, I was able to re-join and finish the race. We’ll use the tests on Tuesday to take a closer look at what is causing our difficulties so we can be better prepared for the next race.”
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Qualifying masks potential of Alex Marquez in Misano race
Despite flashes of promise throughout the weekend, the Repsol Honda Team leave the first of two races in Misano unrewarded despite the efforts of Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl.
Putting a difficult Saturday behind him, Alex Marquez showed his maturity as he approached Sunday with an open mind. A strong performance in morning Warm Up, ending ninth and only 0.321 off the fastest time set by Takaaki Nakagami, proved there was promise in his race pace. A steady start as the lights went out saw Alex make up a handful of places early, the MotoGP rookie spending much of the race working on getting past Petrucci. Matching the speed of the leaders during the closing stages, Alex was forced to settle for 17th – his qualifying position meaning he could do no more even with his speed at the end of the race.
Stefan Bradl pushed hard with gritted teeth as the German rider battled through right elbow issues. A strong start to the race saw his Honda RC213V shoot forward, making up a number of positions. But with the issue in his elbow, he was unable to match the pace he had shown during the weekend and entered damage limitation mode to bring the bike home in 18th.
Takaaki Nakagami took top Honda honours in ninth, his sixth top-ten finish of the 2020 season.
There’s little time to rest as Alex Marquez will be back out on track on Tuesday, September 15, before the Gran Premio dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini begins on Friday, September 18. With a week’s racing at the circuit under their belts, the Repsol Honda Team are determined to take their learnings and come back stronger next week.
“Our pace today was good, especially towards the end of the race where I was able to lap at a similar speed to the leaders. My fastest lap of the race was my last one. We have made a big step from yesterday with the bike and it felt good today. It was a good race; I had a hard battle with Petrucci and we touched a couple of times. But it was really the grid position that hurt us today, otherwise I think we could have been up with Binder and Oliveira. Compared to where we started this weekend it’s not so bad, but we still need to be more consistent.”
“It was a frustrating race, I had a problem with the nerve in my right elbow that started yesterday but in the race it became worse. It’s not arm pump, but my two small fingers were going numb. Because of this I was about one second off my normal pace. Already it was not in the plan for me to test here Tuesday, so I will use the time to rest the arm. Hopefully we can come back next week stronger.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
TAKA CLAIMS ANOTHER TOP 10 IN MISANO DESPITE PENALTY
13 September 2020 | San Marino GP Race
Takaaki Nakagami had to settle for ninth position in the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on Sunday after being demoted a place for exceeding track limits on the final lap. Staring from 14th on the grid, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider battled his way through the field and looked to have secured eighth after passing Jack Miller on the final lap but was handed a penalty following the chequered flag.
The Japanese star laid down a marker in the morning as he posted the fastest time in Sunday’s warm up session and then produced a fine start to the race proper as he made up three places on the opening lap. Having battled past Johann Zarco at the midway point, Taka then moved through Jack Miller late on but ended up behind the Ducati man in the final standings after being penalised by officials.
Takaaki Nakagami – 9th
“Today was definitely quite a positive race for us because yesterday and Friday we were losing time and we did not put in a good enough performance in qualifying – 14th on the grid is not good for the race. But with the new holeshot device we are definitely improving at the start, and during the race the lap times were quite consistent around 33.1 or two. But this morning we got the top time which was really, really good for the team and were able to do a 32, but in the race we were not able to do that so we need to understand what the difference was between the warm-up and the race. It’s another top-10 and we need to see how we can improve for the next race, but definitely in the next race we can fight for the podium again. We are really looking forward to another Misano race weekend, we’ll stay positive and keep working hard to get that first podium.”
More, from a press release issued by Avintia Esponsorama Racing:
THE ESPONSORAMA RACING FINISHES THE SAN MARINO GRAND PRIX
Esponsorama Racing has concluded the San Marino Grand Prix at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Johann Zarco was 15th and Tito Rabat could not finish the race.
After showing a promising pace during the free pratices sessions and in the qualifying, Johann Zarco has started 10th. Despite making a good start and having a good pace, in the final laps of the race the French rider was unable to maintain his position due to the loss of grip from his rear tire and finally crossed the finish line 15th, getting one more point.
Tito Rabat has had a difficult race start. The Spanish rider lost several positions during the first few laps and with five laps to go, he suffered a crash in turn 9 which forced him to retire of the race. Despite this, Rabat has completed a good weekend, showing a good pace and taking a step forward to face the following races with extra confidence.
Next week, at the same Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Esponsorama Racing will have a new opportunity to continue working and return to the positions the team deserves.
JOHANN ZARCO – P15
“I think the positive part of this race, seeing the result (P15) and 20 seconds away from the winner, far from the top of the race, is that I got a lot of positive things from the start. The step we took this morning in the warm up has helped me a lot in this start of the race to follow Dovizioso and Bagnaia. The start was good for me, but as the laps went by I suffered a lot with the rear tire, especially the last seven laps, I couldn’t keep the pace and I lost a lot”.
TITO RABAT – DNF
“I think that this weekend I have taken steps forward, in terms of the fastest lap, the race pace and the first laps of this. My fastest lap in the race was similar to that of my teammate, as well as the pace, which was very even for both. Now we have to stay focused, arrive rested for the test on Tuesday and the following weekend and give 100% of myself”.
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP PICK UP 4TH AND 6TH IN SAN MARINO MATCH
Misano Adriatico (Italy), 13th September 2020
GRAND PRIX OF SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales pushed to the limit at the GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, taking fourth and sixth place respectively.
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi was a strong contender for the podium during the GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. He spent most of the race positioned in second place but came just short to greet the Italian fans from the rostrum. Maverick Viñales had a more difficult day at the office. Though his pace improved in the latter stages, he crossed the finish line in sixth position.
Rossi made a lightning fast start from P4 on the grid, slotting into second place. He got into an early scrap with Franco Morbidelli for the lead but completed the first lap in second. Over the next couple of laps the two Italian Yamaha riders stuck together, breaking away from the pack.
The Doctor wasn‘t quite able to stick with Morbidelli, so it was mostly a lonely race for him. He had a strong pace, riding consistent low-1‘33s laps, but with eight laps to go, Francesco Bagnaia, Joan Mir, and Álex Rins reeled him in. The number-46 rider made his Yamaha as wide as possible, riding brilliantly until the very end, determined to be on the podium in Misano. However, in the last stages he was unable to keep Bagnaia and Mir behind him and took the chequered flag in fourth, 2.643s from first.
Viñales had a bit of a scare at the start of today‘s race, as the team suspected a technical issue when he arrived on the starting grid. It was a false alarm though, and the Spaniard was able to start from pole position as originally planned.
He had a decent start but found himself in fourth place after the first couple of corners. Being the only rider on the hard rear tyre, he had to wait for the tyre to come to him. Meanwhile, he tried to defend his position from charging riders. He was in seventh place with 17 laps to go, but never stopped pushing. With nine laps left, the Spaniard was making strides again. As his pace improved, he soon overtook Jack Miller to take sixth place over the start-finish line, 5.383s from the lead.
After today‘s race Viñales holds fifth in the championship rankings, 18 points from the top. Rossi moves up to sixth place, also with an 18-point gap to first. Yamaha remains first in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stay in second place in the team classification.
Rossi and Viñales will return to the Misano track coming Tuesday for a scheduled IRTA Test before next weekend‘s Gran Premio dell‘Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, held from 18 – 20 September.
We knew this race was going to be tough and that the tyres would play a decisive role. We had hoped to fight for the victory today, but unfortunately that wasn‘t possible. Valentino had a good start and his pace was really good throughout the whole race. It‘s a shame he wasn‘t able to get a podium result, because that would have been a real treat for the team and also the fans. But the way he performed is encouraging, so for sure he will try to be fighting at the front again next time. Maverick‘s pre-race experience was a bit unsettling, because we saw smoke coming from his bike when he arrived on the starting grid. We had a thorough check, and it turned out it was fine. However, the race was tough for him, because he didn‘t feel as good with the hard tyre today as he had done earlier this weekend. It‘s really disappointing, because we know how fast he is. But we get another chance next week. We will take today‘s experience on board, and we have the opportunity to test some new parts here on Tuesday, so we will push to come back stronger.
It‘s a great shame because the podium is always special, here in Misano even more so. Also, to share the podium with Franco and Pecco would have been like a race at the ranch. I made a small mistake and Mir was very strong in that moment, he did very good lap times in the last part of the race. At the end he was able to beat me, which is a shame with just 2km to go. On the other hand, it was still a good race, a good weekend, because I rode well. We had a very good pace and I feel good with the bike. So, even without a podium, I enjoyed it. It was a good weekend for our team and for me, because we were always competitive. This is so important. I think that we can improve three or four things for next week, when we‘ll have another chance. This makes me even more happy, because we can try again.
I don’t know what happened today. I’m really disappointed. I don’t know why I lost grip in the race. I tried everything I could, but I wasn’t getting enough feedback from the tyre. At the end of the race I did three or four really good laps, but that was too late. We will work on it. We have a test here on Tuesday. We will try to stay relaxed. We need to reset our minds for next weekend. We know we are fast here, so we can start in front again.
More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:
Masterful Morbidelli takes first MotoGP win at home
First premier class victory for Morbidelli, race to forget for Quartararo
It was a fairytale weekend for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team’s Franco Morbidelli, who took his first MotoGP race win in front of his home fans at Misano in the San Marino GP. Unfortunately, team-mate Fabio Quartararo had a race to forget after crashing out.
Home-hero Morbidelli had a great start off the line and immediately moved into the race lead. Despite the early attention of fellow Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi, Morbidelli was soon able to take control. Over the course of the 27-lap race Franco pulled away from the chasing pack, taking his first premier class win in front of his home fans – at the first event of the year that has included a fan presence. He now moves to seventh in the World Championship standings.
Unfortunately it was a day to forget for fellow PETRONAS Yamaha SRT rider Quartararo. After a bad start, a Turn 4 crash on lap eight saw him rejoin the race at the back of the field. After a quick pit stop to check the bike on lap 19, Fabio’s day came to an end with another crash on his out lap. Although he falls to second in the riders’ standings, the gap to the leader is only six points. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT is still leading the teams’ championship.
There will be no rest for the MotoGP pair as they take part in a one-day test on Tuesday, ahead of the seventh round of the season just days later (18-20 September).
This weekend was the best so far for PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team, as a collective. It was a fantastic win for Franco: very well deserved, especially considering his crash in the first Austrian race. Doing it at his home Grand Prix as well is amazing. It was unfortunate for Fabio; he crashed while trying to catch the front-runners. He is still second in the championship, so it’s not too bad and I’m sure he’ll come back stronger next week.
In Moto2 we saw another big improvement from Xavi, finishing fourth. He was very close to the podium and we know that he can do well next weekend, when we are here again. It’s been a learning curve for Jake today; it’s only his second time at Misano. I’m sure next weekend will be better for him.
In Moto3 John had his first win of 2020 today and after the ups and downs of the last few races this was really nice to see. To get his championship back on track again is great. For KIP, to be coming back from major surgery like he has is incredible. We do expect him to improve further in the second GP at Misano too.
I feel like this has been a magical week for me. Everything had been going well, so going into today I was thinking that maybe something good would be possible. Turns out, it was something great! I have never won a World Championship race at home before, so to do it in MotoGP is the greatest achievement in my life. I’m really proud to be able to say that. I want to say thanks to all the people that work with me, it isn’t just me. This win is a result of teamwork. Right now I’m just so proud of what we have achieved, not just today but in general. Seven years ago I was racing here with a stock 600, now I’m winning a MotoGP race. It’s just amazing, especially as it’s the first race with a crowd this year. It felt great to be able to salute the crowd after the race. We do this for them, so to celebrate with them was such a great feeling.
DNF (+9 laps)
First of all I want to congratulate Franco, because he really deserved the win today. It was a really tough race for me but it is what it is, I will learn from it. I made a mistake: I was trying too hard to overtake Maverick [Viñales] and it overheated the tyre. I made the move, and was the correct move to make, but Jack [Miller] was in front and I wanted to catch him as well but too quickly. I braked too late and lost the front end. We are struggling to overtake with our bike, which is something we need to work on. Of course I am disappointed, as we had the speed to fight at the front, but we learn from the experience and I won’t make the same mistake next weekend. We have seen five different winners in six races and it is one of the closest championships we’ve had, so I’m going to continue to give my best and try to make it ours.
More, from a press release issued by KTM Factory Racing:
ESPARGARO LEADS RED BULL KTM TRAIN ON THE EDGE OF SAN MARINO MOTOGP™ TOP TEN
MotoGP 2020 – Round 06, Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (San Marino, Italy) – Race
Pol Espargaro captured 10th position ahead of fellow Red Bull KTM riders Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder at a hot Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the first of two San Marino-based rounds of 2020 MotoGP.
All four KTM RC16s score world championship points with Iker Lecuona in 14th
KTM sit 3rd in the MotoGP Constructors Championship
The Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini represented the first appointment of a busy week at Misano. The sixth MotoGP fixture of 2020 was the opening race of a back-to-back stint in San Marino and with a MotoGP IRTA test also part of the program.
Red Bull KTM rued some misfortune in Qualification on Saturday that led to some mid-grid positions. The 27-lap main event on Sunday then became a tricky challenge. Once the red light disappeared Pol Espargaro led the orange charge on the KTM RC16s on the fringes of the top ten. He had Styrian GP winner Oliveira for company and Brad Binder soon joined the scrap. Iker Lecuona was handicapped by a long-lap penalty (after stalling his bike on the warm-up lap) but pushed hard to enter the top fifteen and register championship points. At the checkered flag Espargaro was less than half a second in front of both his fellow Red Bull KTM riders.
KTM are 3rd in the Constructors standings after six rounds and in only their fourth season in the premier class.
Pol Espargaro: “Not so much to say today. I had trouble to stop the rear of the bike from the first lap and I was stuck behind Johann [Zarco] for quite a long time. It wasn’t really safe to make it happen cleanly and I could only manage when the pace dropped and then the others caught me. We paid a bit for the mistakes on Saturday and we need to solve our problems before next weekend. I’m confident we can do it and we can have a better race.”
Miguel Oliveira: “It was a tough race. It was quite hard to make up positions, especially in the beginning of the race. We had many riders with different tire choices, so it made our life very difficult, but we had a good pace. We were just too far away. Now we are focusing on Tuesday, trying a couple of things during the test in order to have a better weekend and especially a better Qualifying next time.”
Brad Binder: “I didn’t start well and from then I tried my best to recover positions. The first 10-12 laps I didn’t have a good feeling but then it got better and better. I don’t feel I can complain too much. We have to take advantage of this test on Tuesday to make a few improvements. It was cool to be part of that KTM battle and I could see we were all having the same issues. It’s very tight in MotoGP right now but my attitude stays the same: I’m trying to enjoy and take the best of each race.”
Iker Lecuona: “I made that mistake on the warm-up lap. I stopped the engine and eventually, I needed to do the long lap. In the end, lap by lap I improved. For many laps, I was the fastest KTM rider on the track, overtook many riders and finished in the points, so finally, I’m really happy. Sorry to my team for that mistake but at the same time thanks to them for their great work.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Race Manager: “It was not the best results for us and the fact that the boys could not get a fast lap in qualifying made it difficult today to get near the front of the group because the rhythm of the riders is very similar. After the last few races we are not so happy with the results but the race pace today was positive. All four riders did well in their respective battles and brought the bikes home for points, especially Iker who came back from a long-lap penalty. We’ll try everything we can to be better for next weekend.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Masterclass! Morbidelli takes magical maiden win at Misano
The Italian is the fourth maiden winner in six races, with Bagnaia on the podium for the first time in second as Mir outfoxes Rossi for third
Sunday, 13 September 2020
Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), take a bow! On home soil, the Italian produced 27 inch-perfect laps to secure his maiden MotoGP™ victory in a dramatic Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Morbidelli took the chequered flag 2.217 ahead of compatriot Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), who celebrates his first premier class podium, with Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) getting the better of home hero Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on the last lap to claim his second podium finish. Meanwhile, now former Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crashed out – twice – at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
From the middle of the front row, Morbidelli out-dragged both Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Quartararo off the line and headed into Turn 1 leading, with fourth place Rossi getting a superb start to slot into second ahead of the equally fast starting Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) from the second row. Viñales slipped to P4, with Quartararo slotting into P5 as Morbidelli and Rossi sent the Italian fans into raptures on the opening lap.
Rossi got a good run down into Turn 8 on Lap 1 and showed a wheel to Morbidelli, but the latter was late on the brakes and closed the door. The numbers 21 and 46 then started to create a bit of a gap to third place Miller, with Viñales holding off both Quartararo and the two Team Suzuki Ecstar machines of Alex Rins and Joan Mir. Viñales was the only rider on the grid to select the hard Michelin rear tyre, and the lap record holder seemed to be taking his time to get it up to speed – with Quartararo looking impatient behind.
The riders then settled into their rhythm, with Miller hauling in the leading duo to sit a couple of tenths behind them and Viñales and co just over half a second back from the Australian. Meanwhile, Miller’s teammate Bagnaia was setting fastest lap after fastest lap, and the injured Italian had soon latched himself onto the back of the Viñales-Quartararo-Rins-Mir train. On Lap 7, Quartararo then made his move past Viñales at Turn 14 – and his eyes were firmly set on the podium trio just a stone’s throw up the road.
However, the Frenchman’s progress took a swift dive only moments later as he went in a little hot at Turn 4, and it would prove costly as the Championship leader tucked the front and crashed out of fourth place in another 2020 MotoGP™ title twist. Quartararo remounted but was down in P20, over 15 seconds down on Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team). The number 20 would later enter pitlane, suffer a tip off and then retire from the race.
Back up front meanwhile, Morbidelli was still easing round in the lead, although Rossi was able to keep his protégé close – for the time being. Miller was also holding firm in P3 but Pecco was on the move and the Italian was through on Viñales down the back straight into Turn 11, that Ducati grunt being put to good use.
Bit-by-bit, Morbidelli was starting to pull away from ‘The Doctor’. By Lap 12 the gap was creeping up towards a second as Bagnaia and Rins continued to make formidable progress further back, and Miller was clearly starting to struggle. Rins produced the classic Turn 2 Misano move to grab 4th from the number 43 and then, heading down into Turn 8, Pecco was through on the Aussie too. Now, Rins and Pecco had Rossi 1.8 seconds up the road, with ‘The Doctor’, in turn, losing touch with Morbidelli. The gap between the Italians was 1.1 seconds – and rising – but it was Mir who was now the fastest man on track…
With 11 laps to go, the gap was down to below a second as the podium scrap started to bubble up in the San Marino sun, and a lap later Rins and Pecco were just half a second down on the nine-time World Champion. The podium battle was well and truly game on.
Into the last 10 laps the riders went, and Mir had got the better of Miller. The sophomore was 1.9 seconds back from the podium scrap, with Rins and Pecco now right on the back of Rossi. The first move was Pecco slicing underneath Rins into the scintillatingly quick Turn 11 and on the next lap, Bagnaia was at it again. This time his good friend Rossi felt the wrath of the Ducati power and Pecco – who fractured his leg just over a month ago – was up into second and on the way to a maiden podium.
By this point, Mir had closed the gap to the trio ahead of him and was doing so at a significant rate of knots. The gap was 1.4 to his teammate, and it seemed the fight for the podium was going to heat up even more. The fight for victory, however, was between Morbidelli and only Morbidelli. A dream debut premier class win was in sight as the number 21 was 2.8 seconds up the road, and Bagnaia was creeping clear of Rossi. With six to go at Turn 8, things got even closer between Rins and he number 46 too, as the Suzuki rider got the run down the straight and showed a wheel up the inside. Rossi closed the door – no way through for Rins, but Mir was then just one second back.
With five to go, Rossi was still holding strong in third place as he continued to ride an impressive defensive display – especially at Turn 2, where Rins looked superb but couldn’t make it happen. With three to go, Rossi was then suddenly 0.4 faster than Bagnaia too – and what looked like a guaranteed second for the former Moto2™ World Champion now became a proper dog fight for second and third.
Coming around the final sector on the penultimate lap, Rins was out the saddle on the exit of Turn 15 and then ran slightly wide at Turn 16, allowing Mir to get the run on him down into Turn 1. Mir was then on a mission as a second podium of the season stood right in front of him… on the last lap, against Rossi, at Misano. Rossi himself was aiming to grab P2 back from Pecco though and it was as you were heading out of Turn 8…
Suddenly, Mir then mugged Rossi. The Spaniard produced an absolutely sublime move up the inside at Turn 10 to climb into third, with the Italian trying to set up a move coming into the Turn 14 hairpin but heading slightly wide at Turn 13… ending his hopes of a dream 200th podium in his backyard.
At the front though, it was pure magic for Morbidelli. The Italian simply didn’t put a foot wrong at Misano and led from start to finish to propel himself right into the 2020 title fight after two disastrous couple of weekends at the Red Bull Ring. In addition, the Italian becomes the fourth rider in six races to win their first MotoGP™ race this year – how’s that for excitement and unpredictability?
Bagnaia’s return from injury couldn’t have gone much better, the sophomore by far and away the fastest Ducati rider at Misano to claim his first MotoGP™ podium, going some way to making up for a lost rostrum after a mechanical at Jerez. Mir, meanwhile, produced an astonishing second half of the race to outfox Rossi on the last lap at Misano – and not many riders can say that. With Bagnaia on the rostrum, that’s 12 different podium finishers in the six 2020 races!
For Rossi, there is bound to be some disappointment for missing out on a home Grand Prix podium by just three tenths. Nevertheless, it was a magnificent performance from the 41-year-old, who will now be as determined as ever to pick up his 200th GP podium in seven days’ time. On a positive not though, Rossi is just 18 points from new Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)…
Rins’ error on the penultimate lap cost him a chance of a podium that looked nailed on for much of the second half of the race, but P5 is a solid job to put him just 36 points from top spot. After looking so strong throughout Free Practice and qualifying, Viñales’ race just didn’t materialise. The Spaniard eventually found his rhythm at the end of the race on the hard rear tyre and was searing around, but it was far too late and he had to settle for a disappointing P6.
Seventh went the way of Dovizioso who, despite having more muted weekend, now leads the Championship after Quartararo’s misfortunes. The Italian got the better of Miller in the closing stages to take some crucial points from the first or two Misano races, but there’s work to do. Miller’s early pace didn’t last and the Aussie slipped down the order to cross the line in ninth, but Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was handed a one-place penalty for exceeding track limits on the final lap so it’s P8 for Miller, P9 and the leading Honda accolade for Nakagami, and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) winning the KTM battle for P10. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) rounded out the points.
Another little chunk of history made at Misano underlines the stunning unpredictable 2020 season so far, and the Championship has taken another almighty twist. Quartararo’s DNF is his first since the 2019 Australian GP and he loses the title lead for the first time in 2020 after crashing twice on Sunday in a a day to forget for the Frenchman. Dovizioso now takes charge, but it’s so close: 28 points separate the top 10 riders, with Bagnaia’s second place seeing him 47 points off in P14.
Now much of the MotoGP™ field will be out for a test on Tuesday, and then we go again at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli next weekend. Bring it on!
Franco Morbidelli: “It feels… it don’t know how it feels, I’m still trying to process everything. Definitely it’s good and a good feeling! I’m very happy, I’m enjoying the moment. The only thing I can say is thanks to my team, thanks to my people and all the people who’ve been working with and helping me. On the last laps I was thinking a lot and about how seven years ago I was here racing in the Italian Championship, Superstock, winning that race… this felt just the same but MUCH MORE! So I’m just overwhelmed at the moment, the only thing I can say is thank you to everyone!”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Andrea Dovizioso, seventh on the finish line in Misano, takes the Championship lead. Danilo Petrucci ends a difficult race in sixteenth position.
Pecco Bagnaia, Pramac Racing Team Ducati rider, climbs on the rostrum thanks to a sensational second place on his return to racing after the incident suffered in free practices at Brno.
Andrea Dovizioso finished in seventh position the Lenovo Grand Prix of San Marino and the Rimini Riviera held at Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” today. Also, thanks to Fabio Quartararo’s retirement in today’s race, the Ducati Team rider took the lead in the Championship standings, 6 points ahead of the Frenchman.
As he got off the line from the third row of the grid in ninth place, Dovizioso managed not to lose positions at the start, remaining within the group chasing the front. After Quartararo’s crash on Lap 8, the rider from Forlì tried to set his pace to close the gap on the front riders. Only towards the end of the race, he managed to finally catch the Ducati bike of Jack Miller (Pramac Racing Team), passing it on the final lap to finish in the seventh position.
Danilo Petrucci, who started from the fifteenth position on the grid, ended a difficult weekend in sixteenth place. The rider from Terni was unable to recover positions at the start losing some ground in the early stages and missing the chance to try a comeback.
After today’s race, Petrucci occupies the fifteenth position in the Championship standings with 25 points. Ducati is second in the manufactures’ standings just 6 points behind the leader, while the Ducati Team is third in the Teams’ standings.
Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati rider for the Pramac Racing Team – who has made his comeback to racing this weekend after a month from the injury sustained in a crash in free practices at Brno, and after the operation to his right tibia, brought his Ducati Desmosedici GP bike on the second step of the podium after a sensational race.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 7th
“It was a tough race. Since I was starting from the back, I struggled a lot to find the rhythm at the beginning. I still can’t be as competitive as I would like with these tyres and the riding style I’ve always adopted in the past years is not working right now. Fortunately, this Tuesday, we will have a day of testing here in Misano, which will be very important to try to solve this aspect. The championship this year is weird, and now we are leading the standings. We have to see the positive side of the current situation and continue to work, putting all our effort to come back stronger in the next races. I congratulate Pecco on his great performance today.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) -16th
“Today, I struggled a lot in the race. I had several contacts with a few riders at the beginning, and I couldn’t stay hooked to the leading group. As the bike got lighter with the fuel consumption, I was able to find a better pace, but by then, I was too far away to recover on the riders in front. Today’s race has allowed us to understand some aspects, and this is an indication that we will serve us for the future. Hopefully, Tuesday’s test will help us to get the situation clearer. I’m disappointed that today I couldn’t score points: I put it all into it, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”
On Tuesday, 15th September, The Ducati Team riders will have a day of official testing at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” to then return to action on the same track from 18th- 20th September for the Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna and the Rimini Riviera.
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:
SECOND PODIUM OF THE SEASON FOR MIR, RINS TAKES FIFTH
GRAN PREMIO LENOVO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI RACE RESULTS:
Joan Mir: 3rd (+ 2.290)
Alex Rins: 5th (+ 4.044)
The small number of fans who were able to enter the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli were treated to a thrilling battle of wits in the 27 lap race, as were the hundreds of supporters pictured in Team Suzuki Ecstar’s pit box. Joan Mir and Alex Rins pieced together a great race to take third and fifth places in the San Marino Grand Prix.
The hot topic in morning Warm-Up was tyre choice and both Rins and Mir spent time trying to define their best options – this paid off as tyre choice played a big role in the afternoon’s race. Mir opted for a medium-medium combo, while Rins chose medium-soft.
An electric atmosphere met the riders on the grid and the Suzuki pair got strong starts, with Rins placing sixth and Mir eighth on the first lap. As the laps ticked by Rins increased his pace, setting a fastest lap and moving into fifth place by the eighth lap of the race, before putting in an emphatic pass for fourth. Mir stuck in close behind his team-mate in sixth.
Rins settled into a formidable rhythm, edging himself ever closer to the podium. With just a handful of laps remaining, both Team Suzuki Ecstar riders were in podium contention but as Rins began to suffer physically, Mir was able to make his way through. On the last lap, the Mallorcan executed an incredible pass on Rossi to take his second podium of the year with third, while Rins finished a brave and important fifth.
Mir now sits fourth in the championship, 16 points from the top, and Rins is 36 points down in 12th, meaning there’s all to play for in the coming races.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“A bit like with Red Bull Ring, I didn’t necessarily expect a good race here but we did a very good job. Both riders were in the Top 5 which was a great result, and Joan made an incredible last lap to get the podium. Alex was fifth which is also a good finish. Both riders will work hard to continue this form next weekend.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We’re very happy to get another podium. It was great to see both our GSX-RRs at the top and keeping really competitive pace, and I think with stronger grid positions we could’ve had even better results. Joan recovered really well and he had a great last lap to earn a deserved podium, and also Alex did a really good race with unbelievable pace until the problem with his arm, so he was also impressive. We’ll try to bring this competitiveness into next weekend. Thanks to all the team for their hard work.”
“I’m really happy. I wasn’t as strong here as I was in Austria, but I’m on the podium anyway so that’s good news. I really enjoyed the end of the race, and it was exciting to make that final overtake! I knew I could do it at that corner so I was confident. I was aware that I would struggle a little bit on the first laps with the fresh tyre but my pace with the used tyre was a lot faster, and I felt great with the bike, so I managed to take advantage of that. We’re going to work in the test on Tuesday and be ready for next weekend.”
“Today’s race was hard for me. In the first and middle parts of the race I was feeling confident and I had good pace and a good feeling with the bike. When I could see the podium getting closer I really pushed myself a lot and I began to have some problems with strength in my right arm due to my shoulder injury, so it was very tough to continue fighting. In the end, with a couple of laps to go, I was just trying to get through it and get a good position. I’m happy with fifth because the points are good, but for sure I’ll hope for more next time out.”
More, from a press release issued by Michelin:
MICHELIN MASTERCLASS BY MORBIDELLI AT MISANO
Michelin witnessed its fourth new MotoGP™ winner in six races during today’s Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini as Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) led from start to finish at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
The recently resurfaced 4,226m circuit provided the newest test for the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres and it was one that the latest incarnation of the tyres took in their stride and produced fast lap-times right from the first session, as the compounds perfectly matched the new asphalt, giving the riders the confidence to push to the limit. This was epitomised in Qualifying as Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) took Pole Position, setting a new all-time lap-record with a time of 1’31.411.
Today’s 27-lap race featured five of the seven different compounds available to the riders, with only the soft front and the hard asymmetric – which had been added alongside the soft, medium and hard symmetric fronts due the rule that up to four tyres can be used at a resurfaced track – not being chosen. Viñales started from first, but it was Morbidelli that got the best start and led into the first corner, from that moment he controlled the race from the front and took his first Grand Prix victory and the position of First Independent Rider. Morbidelli was the fourth different new winner so far this season, equalling the modern-era record that was set in 2016 on Michelin’s first season back in MotoGP and in the process of winning he set a new race duration record, more than three-seconds faster than the previous best and almost twenty-three-seconds quicker than last season on the old and worn surface.
As the lights changed to signal the start of the race, a different scene greeted the riders, with the grandstands having fans in them for the first time this season. A maximum of 10,000 people were allowed in every day, and the atmosphere created by them certainly made a difference from the empty seats at recent races due to the restrictions imposed because of the worldwide pandemic. Those at trackside and the millions watching on screens around the world were then treated to a great race, which saw tactics, fast overtakes and personal battles all throughout the field. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) was returning after breaking his leg last month and had qualified in sixth for today’s race. He produced some fast overtaking manoeuvres – setting the fastest lap of the race and breaking the event best maximum speed record in the process – and he used the high-speed grip of his Michelin tyres to the full to move through the field and take second place, his first MotoGP podium. Following him home was Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) – making three different marques on the podium – he started from eighth on the grid and through some intelligent race-craft made his way to the podium. The top-three all selected different configurations of MICHELIN Power Slick tyres for their respective machines, Morbidelli went with hard front and medium rear, Bagnaia chose hard front and soft rear, whilst Mir paired front and rear medium compounds.
Home-town hero Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was next across the line, despite battling throughout the race for a podium position, he just missed out in the closing stages and brought his bike home in fourth. Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) finished in fifth with Viñales in sixth. Seventh place went to Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), a result that saw him take over at the top of the championship standings. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was eighth, Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) ninth and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) rounded out the top-ten.
Michelin will now remain at Misano, firstly for the one-day test on Tuesday with the whole MotoGP field and then for next weekend’s Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, when the Clermont-Ferrand company will participate in one MotoGP race and two MotoE events, in what promises to be a very busy event and one that will once again see spectators at trackside.
Michelin sees all records fall to its latest evolution of MotoE™ tyres
Michelin’s involvement in today’s proceedings began with the third round of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup and the first of three races in this discipline over the two weekends at Misano.
Matteo Ferrari (TRENTINO Gresini MotoE) took the EPole on Saturday with a new all-time lap-record for MotoE, but started from fourth on the grid due to an infringement in the last race resulting in a three-place penalty, this left Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) at the head of the grid.
All riders lined up for the start of the seven-lap race on their Energica Ego Corsa machines with the latest version of the MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres which were introduced this season and feature new compounds and a new rear tyre construction, allied to the introduction of bio-materials and regenerated materials which are both more efficient and more environmentally friendly. As at every race the same single tyre specification is available, this is a soft rear and a medium front, both of which are symmetrical in design and the performance of the new tyres fulfilled their potential with a record breaking race. Casadei got the drive and led into the first corner and held that position for the first four laps, before coming under pressure from Ferrari. On lap-five Ferrari took the lead and pushed his MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres to make the break, he maintained this position and took his first victory of 2020. The other podium places produced an exciting battle before Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) took second ahead of the hard-charging Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP), who secured third place to strengthen his title lead and also set a new race lap-record in the process. Today’s race also produced a new race duration record for Michelin and Ferrari, taking almost a second off the previous best, as well as Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team) recording the event best maximum speed. MotoE will next be in action at Misano next weekend for a double header, with one race on Saturday and another on Sunday, when Michelin will be aiming to break those records again.
Franco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha SRT:
“It has been a great race; I got a good start and I was able to get into my rhythm. In the beginning I had the pressure from Valentino (Rossi) and then I saw I was starting to pull away. The tyres worked really well and I felt great on them all race. I want to say thanks to my team, Michelin, the crowd and all the people that have helped me, this first victory is an amazing feeling and I will feel like that for the next 48-hours at least and then regroup for next weekend. All three front and rear compounds were raceable, that’s a great job from Michelin, it means that every tyre is good, but has a little bit of a different flavour, but every tyre is good. Great job from Michelin so clap, clap!”
Matteo Ferrari – TRENTINO Gresini MotoE:
“We worked a lot this weekend to understand the tyre more. It works very well compared to last year, but they are a bit different. We understood more after Jerez and we have improved the lap-time a lot this weekend compared to last year, it is 0.6 seconds, so that is a big improvement. I am really happy to get this win and will now try to do my best to win both races here next weekend.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“We have had a very successful weekend here at Misano in both MotoGP and MotoE. The tyres performed very well and adapted to the new surface, despite us having little information on the asphalt when we had to choose the tyres before the start of the season. This the first time this season that the condition of the track and the weather has afforded the possibility of all MotoGP specifications being a genuine raceable option, as it was five options were used and we saw three different configurations on the podium. Breaking records is not the whole reason we are here, but it is great to do that and to set all-time lap-records in both classes and break the race durations in both is an especially pleasing aspect and demonstrates the performance of the tyres and one that can eventually be translated from the track to the street.
“It was a very exciting race for all concerned and especially good to see people in the grandstands again, this is a small step in the battle against the pandemic, but from the point of MotoGP an important one. We hope that Michelin contributed in some way to rewarding them with good racing. I want to send congratulations to Franco Morbidelli on his first victory, a feat that gives us four new winners this season and with the way some of the other guys are riding I can see that growing.
“MotoE produced another good race and the tyres again lived up to their potential following the new materials, compounds and rear construction we introduced for this season. Racing is fast and close and we broke every single record on show, so we have to be happy with that.
“We will now stay here at Misano for a test on Tuesday, where I am sure different tyre configurations will be tested by the riders to see if that can improve further and get an optimum set-up for their respective machines ahead of next week’s race at the same track.”
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
San Marino GP – Pecco Bagnaia show, Jack Miller finished P8
What a Sunday for Pramac Racing! Pecco Bagnaia was the protagonist of a spectacular race, ended with the first fantastic podium in MotoGP. Jack Miller started very well, then the consumption of the rear tire didn’t allow him to finish the race like he wanted. Pecco returned to the saddle of his Ducati Desmosedici GP 5 weeks after the injury at Brno. After a cautious start, he pushed gaining valuable time in the lead group. From lap nine the Italian rider builded his incredible comeback until he reached the second position with seven laps to go. In the last two laps Bagnaia did his best to defend the second position from Rossi and Mir’s attack to conquer the first historic podium in his MotoGP career. Starting from the fifth position, halfway through the first lap, Jack Miller seems able to contend for the leadership of the race with Morbidelli and Rossi. From mid-race, however, his race pace is no longer incisive and forces the Australian rider to close in P8
When I arrived to Misano my goal was only to finish the race. On Saturday during FP3 when I just thought about riding I understood that I could push and my feeling when I rode was the same that I had in Jerez. The start of the race wasn’t very good, I lost some positions so I had to recover the gap with Mir. When I passed him I saw that I could reach the head group. I hadn’t thought about my leg and I thought only about my first podium in MotoGP during my home race with the fans. During the last 4 laps I felt pain but today we deserved this podium. I want to thank my team, Ducati and VR46RidersAcademy for their big support. Today this podium is for them. I’m looking forward to be back on this track.
It was a difficult race, I tried to do my best, I started very well but then I struggled a little bit and my pace was not fantastic in the end. We have some work to do till next week, but we will come back ready for the next race.