MotoGP riders reflect on #SanMarinoGP

2020 MotoGP Round Seven – Misano

Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini

Franco Morbidelli secured 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-seconds ahead of compatriot Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), who celebrated his first premier class podium. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) got 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.

Franco Morbidelli

Andrea Dovizioso now leads the MotoGP World Championship on 76-points ahead of Misano non-scorer Fabio Quartararo on 70-points. Jack Miller retained third place on the points table after his P8 and is on 64-points, four-points ahead of Joan Mir.

Yamaha is the leading constructor on 113-points to Ducati’s 107-points. KTM is in third on 88-points to Suzuki’s 73-points while Honda is on 53-points and Aprilia 23-points.

MotoGP Rider Quotes

Franco Morbidelli – P1

“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.”

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT)

Pecco Bagnaia – P2

“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.”

Pecco Bagnaia

Joan Mir – P3

“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.”

Joan Mir

Valentino Rossi – P4

“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.”

Valentino Rossi

Alex Rins – P5

“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.”

Alex Rins

Maverick Vinales – P6

“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.”

Maverick Vinales

Andrea Dovizioso – P7

“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.”

Andrea Dovizioso

Jack Miller – P8

“That was one of those races where you have to look for the silver linings. Got a great start, got up to third, got to halfway … and then it all gradually went a bit downhill. Crossed the line ninth, got a place back after (Takaaki) Nakagami got demoted a spot for track limits, finished eighth. But there were positives. I’m still third in the championship, and actually narrowed to gap by a couple of points to 12. So not a great race for me, but we had a fairly crazy top three that nobody would have predicted again, and we live to fight another day.

“(Alex) Rins passed me for third on lap 14 to boot me off the podium after I’d managed to get the start I wanted from fifth, but I knew much earlier than then that I was probably going to be in some strife the longer the race went. I understood from probably lap five that I was going to struggle later on with the tyres, and on lap seven I switched the mapping to try to conserve to have something left at the end to fight with. Didn’t work, though. I suffered a lot with the rear tyre and then the front tyre on the left-hand side … maybe in hindsight I was using too much angle. I tried to manage as best I could, but by the end I was really having to control the speed in the changes of direction. I used the medium front and the soft rear (tyres), and maybe I need to trust my instincts with what tyres are working for me in the future and listen to myself more when we choose what I race with. So, we live and learn.

“I qualified fifth, and I had to pull a lap out of the bag even to get there and just beat my teammate Pecco (Bagnaia) by two-thousandths of a second … so that made for a good Saturday, but not a great one. Really, we were all fighting to be best of the rest behind the Yamahas because they’re pretty good around Misano, so it probably wasn’t a surprise that they qualified 1-2-3-4. I gave it my best to be as close to them as I could but I was still a couple of tenths off. I knew what my strategy needed to be – get to the front and try to play around with them a bit. On outright pace, they had our measure so I had to come up with another plan. I managed to jump Maverick (Vinales) and Fabio (Quartararo) off the start, but that was probably the highlight. I usually get a pretty good start, like Fabio said the Ducati is like a rocket launcher off the grid, so I was hoping to get out front and dictate what they could do, not the other way around.

“It was another weird race – Franky’s (Franco Morbidelli’s) first win, Pecco on his first podium and (Joan) Mir on his second … I think it will start to become more consistent this season with who is up front, but then I’ve thought that before too. It’s been pretty hard to read, hasn’t it? Six races, 12 different guys on the podium, five different winners, four guys winning races for the first time now Franky won here … there’s never a dull moment this year, that’s for sure. I think it’s 30-odd points covering 12 of us. It feels like a championship anyone can win at the moment because of the inconsistency.

“It was a day of survival, really, and I was missing 11 seconds to Franky at the front, so we need to fix that for next week here. But because we’re back here again next Sunday, at least there is a next week, which is a silver lining. Kinda where I started this … We’ll try to be better next Sunday at a circuit that doesn’t really suit our bike, and we have a week to figure out how we’ll do that.

Jack Miller

Takaaki Nakagami – P9

“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.”

Takaaki Nakagami

Pol Espargaro – P10

“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 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.”

Pol Espargaro

Miguel Oliveira – P11

“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.”

Miguel Oliveira

Brad Binder – P12

“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.”

KTM riders

Aleix Espargaro – P13

“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.”

Aleix Espargaro

Iker Lecuona – P14

“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.”

Iker Lecuona

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”.

Johann Zarco

Danilo Petrucci – P16

“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.”

Danilo Petrucci

Alex Marquez – P17

“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.”

Alex Marquez

Stefan Bradl – P18

“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.”

Bradley Smith – P19

“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.”

Fabio Quartararo – DNF

“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 and it overheated the tyre. I made the move, and was the correct move to make, but Jack 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.”

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”.

Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Yamaha Team Principal

“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.”

Franco Morbidelli

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki 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 – Suzuki 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.”

Team Suzuki

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“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.”

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.”

Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“Overall this was a quite strong team result for Red Bull KTM Tech3 here in Misano. For sure, we didn’t expect to duplicate the incredible and unforgettable victory from Spielberg here, but it was an interesting circuit for us. We end up 12 seconds to the winner, but we lost six seconds in the first two laps, so it means out of the 25 laps left we lost six seconds, which is showing how close the grid is. We could see that KTM has got a really strong line-up, because the four riders were doing the same lap times and Miguel was in a sandwich between Pol (Espargaro) and Brad (Binder) on the finish line. We got some good points. We need to understand what we can improve on that circuit, but I want to see the glass half full and I think we are not too far and we can improve next weekend. The championship is wide open, which is also very interesting, we are 28 points to the leading guy at the moment, so we need to keep our heads down and keep on believing and pushing. This is for Miguel. It was a bit more eventful race for Iker. He stalled the bike on the grid, which is not happening very often and he didn’t know exactly what to do. He went back to the starting grid, although he should have been starting from the pitlane. Then he was given a long lap penalty, that he did really well. He didn’t waste any time, put his head down and managed to finish 14th, which is really impressive. Most of the race he was the fastest KTM guy, doing the fastest laps. I think we can be proud of our four riders as KTM, we as Tech3 can be proud of Miguel and Iker and we need to keep on working hard and follow the same method, plus always improve and get closer to the leaders. I believe we can do it and this is a story I can tell you in a few days, because we’re staying here.”

KTM men racing each other

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

“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.”


MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 42m02.272
2 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati +2.217
3 Joan MIR Suzuki +2.290
4 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +2.643
5 Alex RINS Suzuki +4.044
6 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +5.383
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +10.358
8 Jack MILLER Ducati +11.155
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +10.839
10 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +12.030
11 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +12.376
12 Brad BINDER KTM +12.405
13 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +15.142
14 Iker LECUONA KTM +19.914
15 Johann ZARCO Ducati +20.152
16 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +22.094
17 Alex MARQUEZ Honda +22.473
18 Stefan BRADL Honda +37.856
19 Bradley SMITH Aprilia +1m18.831
Not Classified
DNF Tito RABAT Ducati 5 Laps
DNF Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 9 Laps

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 76
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 70
3 Jack MILLER Ducati 64
4 Joan MIR Suzuki 60
5 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 58
6 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
7 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 57
8 Brad BINDER KTM 53
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 53
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 48
12 Alex RINS Suzuki 40
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 31
14 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 29
15 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 25
16 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 18
17 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 15
18 Iker LECUONA KTM 15
19 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 8
20 Tito RABAT Ducati 7
21 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 7
22 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4
23 Stefan BRADL Honda 0


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