Tag Archives: Alex Rins

MotoGP Riders and Team Managers reflect on Valencia GP

2020 MotoGP Round 13 – Valencia


Joan Mir – P1

“I’m just so happy, the Team and I put together a perfect weekend! It’s difficult to give 100% when you’re fighting for a title, because you always have to be a bit cautious, but today I saw the chance for my debut victory and I had to take it. I knew what I had to do, and I felt really great with my bike. I don’t really have words to describe how amazing it feels to be a MotoGP race winner, and it gives me an extra boost, especially after a tricky weekend in terms of conditions. Things are still close at the top, so I need to stay focused and continuing working for next weekend.”

A podium at either of the final two rounds will secure Joan Mir the title.
Alex Rins – P2

“I was leading for a large part of the race, and I was hoping to lead from start to finish, but I missed a gear at Turn 11 on the 17th lap, and I went wide and Joan got through. Once he was at the front it was very hard to stay with him, even though I tried, because his pace was really good. But even if the result wasn’t perfect for me, it was a fantastic day for the Team. Joan got the victory that he really wanted, Suzuki got a one-two finish, and I got 20 points to add to my championship tally! So, I’m happy! Ready to go again next week and see what I can do, there are still plenty of points on the table.”

First Suzuki 1-2 since 1982
Pol Espargaro – P3

“It was hard, so tough with these guys. They were fast but I was catching back on brakes. I lost a bit of corner speed and through the apex but we went for the hard front and medium rear tires and it was a perfect choice. We had zero data for that selection but we gambled and I was gaining time. I’m really pleased. Another podium for KTM and myself, a great feeling.”

Pol Espargaro
Takaaki Nakagami – P4

“It was a great result, a great race and we had good pace until the end. As you can see, I never give up until the end, the last lap, the last corner, so I gave my best and this is a real positive. I was really, really close to my first podium finish, but another P4 and top independent, so it was a great result for us. I think we must be happy and already I’m looking forward to the next race here in Valencia. We have to keep pushing, keep believing; believing in my team and myself because we have another opportunity for a great result. I want to thank my team as we were competitive all weekend, now on to the next one.”

Takaaki Nakagami
Miguel Oliveira – P5

“I’m happy about this race. We were a little bit scared, because we didn’t know what we are going to find. I think the strategy in the Warm Up payed off in the race. We managed to have a good balance in the bike and a good setting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep the pace seven, eight laps to the end. I started to struggle a lot to have a good transfer on the bike and to load the front and the rear tyre. After a couple of moments almost crashing, I decided to calm down and bring the bike to the garage, still make a good race and score decent points for the team.”

Rins, Mir, Espargaro, Oliveira
Jack Miller – P6

“Sixth to start, sixth at the finish … doesn’t sound like a lot to get too excited about at Valencia this weekend, but it could have been better and worse at the same time.

“Better, because when the track was a bit sketchy with rain and whatnot all weekend, I was fastest or close to it, so a podium looked possible. But worse could have been the outcome too because I got a very average start and was back in 11th two corners into the race. Nobody in front of me crashed and I had to do the hard yards for the next 27 laps, so in the end it was a bit of a salvage job to at least break even. So, not quite what we imagined.

Jack Miller on the grid at Valencia

“The sun came out for the first time since we got here on race day so we were all in the same boat, none of us had much info on what dry tyres to use, what they’d do in the race over 27 laps … definitely a journey into the darkness, and a gamble for everyone. For the guys fighting for the title, they had a lot to potentially lose – for me, that wasn’t in my thinking. I went with the hard front tyre, which we’d done no laps on all weekend, and the idea was to not go too hard too early and let the race come to us a bit. So much for that … I had to fight after the start didn’t go my way, and in the end I paid for that because I got stuck behind (Johann) Zarco for what seemed like 100 laps – it was about six or seven I think – and by the time I got back to sixth I ran out of laps to do a lot more, it was too little too late to catch up with (Miguel) Oliveira. A bit frustrating for sure because I was less than nine seconds off the win and those guys ahead of me all had pretty clean races, but that’s on me.

Jack Miller

“Normally my starts are pretty good and I got off the line alright, but I had a wheelie in fourth gear and the bike started heading towards the wall, so I had to roll out of it on the front straight and got spat back into the pack. It’s always hard to pass at Valencia, so the first lap was all she wrote really. Some of the passing and defending on the first lap was a bit unnecessary, shall we say, and when you get in the midfield on the first lap it kind of feels like anything goes. When you qualify up the front you get a bit soft maybe, a bit gun-shy. You definitely don’t want to go down early in the race two races in a row, and that was what I was thinking after what happened at Aragon. Some of the boys were doing a few kamikaze things on the first lap and it got a bit hectic there.

Jack Miller

“As you can probably imagine we all did a lot of talking about COVID for most of the weekend, it’s hard not to with everything that’s going on in Europe at the moment, and we just have to find a way to get the season done now we’re so close to the end. (Iker) Lecuona missed the race because his brother caught it and he’s a close contact, obviously (Valentino) Rossi missed a few races … we’re all being as cautious as we can be, but it’s around and it affects every decision you make. For sure, it’s always in the back of your mind. I mean, this year, between the races, I’ve basically not done much outside besides doing some cycling, go out and ride my dirt track bike or whatever, but even when I do that I try to minimise contact with other people.

Jack Miller

“Unfortunately in this day and age you can never be safe, because you just never know. It’s like getting an injury, except you haven’t had a crash. It can keep you out, like with Rossi. Our job is to be here and perform and unfortunately that’s one of the criteria of this year, just actually being able to come here and perform. It’s definitely not easy. I think it’s something a lot of guys, me included, have been very careful about. But we’re nearly at the end now and for the sake of the guys fighting for the championship I hope we get there, we get there safely, and we get a legit champion. (Joan) Mir got his first win here and it looks like it’s his championship to lose, so hats off to him because he’s done a really solid year and the others around him have had their dramas and made their mistakes, so full credit for what he’s been able to do.

“Anyway, a bit of a frustrating day, but we live and learn … it was a good race and I enjoyed it, but I felt we had more pace. We’ll be back here in Valencia to have another crack next weekend.”

Jack Miller – Check out that squat!
Brad Binder – P7

“The race started OK but I got a bit boxed-in through the first two-three corners. I didn’t want to take too much of a risk with the full fuel tank and I knew the Long Lap penalty was coming early on. As soon as I did it I dropped down the order and worked to catch back up but then Cal Crutchlow crashed in front of me and I had to run off the track! I lost a few more seconds that lap. The comeback was not bad. I felt good and the bike worked really well today. Even when the tires were used we could keep the same lap-times. It was a shame about the result because we had the pace for much better but I’m really happy and I think we can do a good job next weekend.”

Brad Binder
Andrea Dovizioso – P8

“I wasn’t feeling very well physically today, but fortunately, I managed to be consistent in the race. In the first laps, I recovered several positions, but in the beginning, my feeling with the bike wasn’t good. Only towards the end of the race, I was able to have a good speed, and this is an interesting aspect that we will have to focus on. I’m not happy with today’s result, but now we have some interesting data to work on ahead of the next GP, which will take place here in Valencia again next Sunday”.

Andrea Dovizioso and Brad Binder
Johann Zarco – P9

“Happy with today’s race, I made a good start and the pace of the first half of the race was good but it wasn’t enough to catch up with the riders in front of me.  A little disappointed with the end of the race, especially with the last two laps, but we got a lot of information from today’s race for Ducati and we know we can be on the podium next week.”

Zarco chasing Nakagami
Danilo Petrucci – P10

“I managed to make a good comeback today in the race, and I am quite satisfied with the tenth place. Today’s result was affected by my grid position, but considering that we didn’t have much time to test in the dry, I had a good pace in the race. Now we will work on the data collected to try to improve the setup and the start in the next Grand Prix that will take place once again here in Valencia.”

Danilo Petrucci
Franco Morbidelli – P11

“I think the biggest issue we had today was with the pressure in the front tyre. When we are running in the pack, we are noticing some problems with the pressure and we cannot fight how we want. Today, I was able to manage the situation and at the end of the race I was able to cross the finish line in 11th, which is not bad considering the situation. Although the gap to the leader in the championship has widened, we have closed in on the second position this weekend. Of course, I will fight for the best position possible in the championship until the end.”

Franco Morbidelli
Stefan Bradl – P12

“My start was not so bad; I was maybe a little too careful in the opening laps looking back on it. But in any case, we went into the race with a lot of unknowns, just like everyone else. I had some problems with the front tyre and I lost some confidence in it which caused me to lose some time and I had to manage the situation. Overall, we’ve worked well with the Repsol Honda Team and have had a strong weekend overall. We’re showing that we are growing and making improvements.”

Stefan Bradl
Maverick Vinales – P13

“Today‘s race was always going to be difficult. The bike wasn‘t perfect, because we had so little time to prepare for a dry race, but that is just the way it is. Finishing in 13th place when starting from pit lane is not horrible, but it‘s not fantastic either, especially considering the championship. But I don‘t want to think about that too much. I prefer to focus on improving the bike and trying to enjoy the second race in Valencia and the upcoming round in Portimão.”

Fabio Quartararo – P14

“At the beginning of the race another rider crashed in front of me and in trying to avoid it, I crashed as well. In these conditions it is easy to do. Unfortunately it meant that we lost points in the championship, at a race that wouldn’t have been our best but, where we thought we would do quite well. The feeling was a lot better in the dry today, but still not quite how I want it. Although everyone had difficulties, I do think we could have had a better feeling and more pace today. I think we need to try some things next weekend and try to have fun in these last two races; we still have good possibilities to end the season well.”

Cal Crutchlow – DNF

“Well, crashing out the race after five laps is not what we imagined or intended. Coming from a bad qualifying position and a bad start, it was difficult to make headway to the guys in front. Unfortunately, I got sucked in the draft in the braking zone to turn eight and went wide towards the dirty part of the track with the front brake and lost the front tyre. It was completely my own mistake and we hope for a better outcome next weekend where we believe the track conditions will be a lot more stable and we can work with the team to have a better base setting for the race.”

An ignominious early end to the race for Crutchlow
Pecco Bagnaia – DNF

“Too bad because I did a good start, I was going really fast and the feeling with the bike was great.  I made a mistake and I paid for it. Unfortunately, starting from this far back leads you to push very hard to recover the gap. My goal will be to try to start as far back as possible for the next race and make the most of the bike’s potential.”

Pecco Bagnaia
Alex Marquez – DNF

“We were having a good race; I made an OK start and I found myself in a good rhythm riding in the top ten. I was feeling comfortable and able to make some progress. Unfortunately, when Dovizioso passed me I was in the slipstream for Turn 1 and even though I was braking at the same point, I was a little bit faster, so I fell. I tried to save it and fortunately I am OK. It’s disappointing to not score for two races in a row as we had another good opportunity for points this weekend. We will come back and used what we’ve learned next week.”

Alex Marquez
Valentino Rossi – DNF

“For me personally, not being able to finish the race today is a great shame, because I needed these 27 laps, just to do a race again. I also needed them to collect data to understand how to be stronger for next weekend’s race here in Valencia. I was there in the race today, and I was just trying to understand how to ride in the best way, but unfortunately the bike stopped. The situation is not easy in Valencia. Last week, in Aragon, Yamaha won with Franco, but we are struggling to find grip here. It wasn’t a great weekend for me to find a way to improve, but we will see what we can do next week.”

Valentino Rossi chasing Stefan Bradl
Aleix Espargaro – DNF

“I’m very disappointed, but these things happen in racing. I started well, but in the early stages of the race, everyone was very aggressive. A rider ahead of me was on a bit of a strange line, going wide and then coming back in, and that threw off both Quartararo and me. I’m comforted by the fact that I was consistently competitive, in every session an in every condition. In five days, we’ll be back here on the track to make up for it.”

Just before the incident, Morbidelli, Aleix Espargaro and Quartararo
Lorenzo Savardori – DNF

“At the start, I was able to overtake Rabat straight away and I wasn’t pushing too hard. I was waiting for the fuel to drop a bit in order to begin setting my pace. Unfortunately, I lost the front end at a place where I didn’t expect it. I re-joined, but obviously the bike was not in perfect shape. I continued, partly to get experience and gather data, until an alarm on the dashboard forced me to retire. It’s obviously a shame, but we’ll have a chance to try again in a few days.”

Tito Rabat – DNF

“It was a very difficult weekend, in which today in the race we have taken a step forward. It’s a shame we had to retire due to a problem with the brake, we hope to take another step next weekend.”​


MotoGP Team Managers

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“Today was a perfect result for the team, congratulations and thank you very much to Joan and Alex! It’s great to have first and second places in the race, it’s the ideal situation – and it was super to see Joan get his first victory! We didn’t have much of a chance to set up the bike for dry conditions, so we’re even more impressed with the performance of our riders and our bike. I want to thank the entire Team staff, and we’ll try to do the same again next week.”

First Suzuki 1-2 since 1982
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“It’s been an unbelievable race, I’ve been dreaming of a Suzuki 1-2 for a long time and today we managed it! Thank you so much to all the Team, and to Joan and Alex of course! We’re doing something fantastic this season – we’re leading all three championships and our riders are so strong in the races. I would like to have this wonderful feeling forever, but we still have two races to focus on, so we will stay calm and keep our heads down. Let’s try to continue in this way!”

Pol Espargaro was the early race leader
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager

“The weekend started well with Pol’s Pole Position but Miguel and Brad were also in the top ten so we were competitive in those wet conditions. Then race day changed a lot and tire choice was very difficult; we didn’t have enough dry laps to make a thorough set-up for the bike but the RC16 was still strong enough to fight for those results. Pol was excellent and Miguel had a superb race to the top five and bravo to Brad for coming back all that way. All three bikes in the top seven is a pretty great day for us and I have to thank the whole team and the factory. In 2018 we took our first podium here and you can see now the amount of progress we have made in such a short time. We hope we can continue like this.”

Valencia 2020 MotoGP podium
1. Joan Mir -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki 41:37.297
2. Alex Rins -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +0.651
3. Pol Espargaro -Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM +1.203
Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“A really, really great result for Miguel Oliveira and the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. It’s been a tough weekend with the never-ending changing weather conditions. With just the Warm Up on a full dry track, but still quite cool, it was difficult to decide on the setting and tyre strategy. But Miguel managed to qualify quite well and he had a great start. He was in the top four for the first part of the race, hanging out there, right behind Pol (Esparargo). Halfway through the race, when Nakagami passed him, he just tried to follow Nakagami. The setting was not ideal, but he just did, what he was supposed to do. He put his head down, kept a good pace without taking too much risks. He brought the bike home in fifth position, which equals his second-best result of the season. That was a strong race, with no crash in front of him, so it’s a real fifth position. We know there is room for improvement for next week, but now we are really happy. We are also very proud to show together with KTM how good the bike is now, because we got three KTM in the top seven and this is quite an achievement. Of course, I can’t end up without thinking about Iker Lecuona, who was waiting all year long for this event in Valencia. This is his home Grand Prix, he knows the track very well and is fast here and when he we see how competitive the three KTM were, I’m sure he would have been together with the others. I hope he didn’t cry too much behind the screen and I really hope we can have him back with us next week, because he more than deserves to be here and we miss him a lot. So, ‘Come on, Iker, push! Try to get out of there, try to stay negative!’ and hopefully, we have the full team here next week. That’s all I can say. Big congratulations to Miguel, to the crew, I think everybody worked really well and we’re a happy team tonight.”

Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal

“It has been a difficult weekend. Although we lost some ground in the championship fight with Fabio and Franco, we are still upbeat and ready to give our best for the final two races. We have been analysing the data from the race today and hope to improve next weekend when we’re back racing here at Valencia. Of course we’ll be aiming to be back on the podium and to continue the progress the whole team has made this year. We’re leading the Independent teams’ competition, plus our riders are second and fifth in the riders’ standings, so it’s a good position to be in.”

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“It was a very difficult race weekend for us here in Valencia, and race day was no different. Maverick made the most of the situation, though. He had to start from pit lane, which naturally lost him a lot of time. Yet he had a good rhythm, especially in the second part of the race, even though he wasn’t fully happy with the set-up of the bike. But this was to be expected as we didn’t have any fully dry sessions this weekend before today. It’s tough to accept that – besides Maverick having to start from pit lane – Valentino had an issue with his bike in the same race. We had really hoped that his return to MotoGP would have ended on a higher note. But the data collected by him and Maverick today helps the team for next week‘s Valencia GP, which is also held at this circuit. We don’t always like racing at the same place twice, but in this case we want to make the most of the upcoming second round in Valencia to have a do-over. Despite the difficulties that we are facing, we are going to keep giving it our all. The challenge of winning the rider and constructor championship titles is really tough right now, but we‘re not going down without a fight.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager

“We have had another demanding weekend as we had to cope with many different weather conditions, but it did give us the opportunity to analyse how all the tyres performed on wet, drying and dry track surfaces. The lead-up to the race, as the temperatures rose, made tyre choice a very important decision and to see all of our guys supplying the information to all their respective riders to make sure they had the best data at hand, even if it was about a tyre that some had not tried all weekend due to the changeable conditions, was especially rewarding. This demonstrates the trust the teams and manufacturers have in our crew, even though the final decision is always with them and their riders. Again five of the six specifications were used in the race and all the wets were tried on Friday and Saturday, they all performed well and gave the riders the grip they needed no mater what the asphalt was doing. We now stay here for another race next week, hopefully the weather will be more consistent, but if not we have lots of info to work with no matter what greets us.”

First Suzuki 1-2 since 1982

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 41m37.297
2 Alex RINS Suzuki +0.651
3 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +1.203
4 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +2.194
5 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +8.046
6 Jack MILLER Ducati +8.755
7 Brad BINDER KTM +10.137
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +10.801
9 Johann ZARCO Ducati +11.55
10 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +16.803
11 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha +17.617
12 Stefan BRADL Honda +24.35
13 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +25.403
14 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +39.639
Not Classified
DNF Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia 2 Laps
DNF Alex MARQUEZ Honda 4 Laps
DNF Tito RABAT Ducati 14 Laps
DNF Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 22 Laps
DNF Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 22 Laps
DNF Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 23 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 0 Lap

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Bike Points
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 162
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 125
3 Alex RINS Suzuki 125
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 121
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 117
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 117
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 106
8 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 105
9 Jack MILLER Ducati 92
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 90
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 77
12 Brad BINDER KTM 76
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 71
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
18 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 26
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 16
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4

MotoGP Constructors Championship

Pos Constructor Points
1 SUZUKI 188
2 DUCATI 181
3 YAMAHA 163
4 KTM 159
5 HONDA 130
6 APRILIA 36

MotoGP Team Championship

Pos Team Points
1 Team Suzuki Ecstar 287
2 Petronas Yamaha Srt 205
3 Ducati Team 194
4 Red Bull Ktm Factory Racing 182
5 Monster Energy Yamaha Motogp 159 159
6 Pramac Racing 138
7 Lcr Honda 131
8 Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 117
9 Repsol Honda Team 83
10 Esponsorama Racing 81
11 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 39

2020 MotoGP Calendar

Rnd Date Circuit
1 08 March (Moto2/Moto3) Losail International Circuit
2 19 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
3 26 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
4 09 August Automotodrom Brno
5 16 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
6 23 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
7 13 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
8 20 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
9 27 September Barcelona – Catalunya
10 11 October Le Mans
11 18 October MotorLand Aragón
12 25 October MotorLand Aragón
13 08 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
14 15 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
15 22 November Autodromo Internacional do Algarve

Source: MCNews.com.au

Record breaking Valencia MotoGP | Race Report | Results | Points

2020 MotoGP Round 13 – Valencia – Gran Premio de Europa


Another race, another chapter written into the history books: Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) is now a MotoGP race winner. The Suzuki rider was pitch perfect in the Gran Premio de Europa to make his first visit to the top step in the premier class, putting one hand on the crown in the process as he stretches his advantage in the Championship to 37 points. Mir is also the ninth different premier class winner of the year, seeing 2020 equal the record of most winners in a season, and the number 36 sets a new record as the fifth different maiden winner this year.

A podium at either of the final two rounds will secure Joan Mir the title.

I wrote earlier this week that while Mir didnt quite have one hand on the championship trophy, but he at least had a finger or two, but after his victory overnight he has almost two hands on the trophy, a podium at either of the final two rounds will secure him the title.

First Suzuki 1-2 since 1982

With team-mate Alex Rins following him home in second, the day also marked the first Suzuki 1-2 since 1982 and the Hamamatsu factory now lead in the fight for the riders’, constructors’ and teams’ Championships. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) kept Rins honest as the number 44 took third though, back on the podium at the scene of both his and KTM’s first premier class rostrum finish in 2018.

Valencia 2020 MotoGP podium
1. Joan Mir -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki 41:37.297
2. Alex Rins -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +0.651
3. Pol Espargaro -Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM +1.203

MotoGP Race Report

Valencia MotoGP underway

It was close as the premier class riders roared away from the line, with both Rins and Pol Espargaro getting away well from the front row but the KTM ultimately taking the holeshot. Mir got away well from fifth too and was up to P4, just behind Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). But not long after that, eyes would turn to some serious Lap 1 Championship drama.

Pol Espargaro leads early on from Alex Rins and Takaaki Nakagami

Heading into Turn 8 at the end of the back straight, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was suddenly down and out of contention, the Frenchman reacting to Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) alongside him as the two both slid into the gravel. No contact was made and pure bad luck reigned, but it was monumental for the Championship. Luckily for Quartararo, he was able to pick the bike up and get running again but El Diablo re-joined behind Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), who had started from pit-lane due to exceeding his engine allocation. It was now advantage Mir near the front as some of his key rivals scrabbled to make up lost ground.

Alex Rins made his move on Pol Espargaro

Pol Espargaro led the first one and a half laps but it didn’t take long for Rins to pounce at Turn 11, the Suzuki slotting through to take the lead and a couple of laps later, Mir – who had passed Nakagami on the opening lap – copy and pasted his teammate’s move on KTM as the Hamamatsu factory made it formation flying at the front. Oliveira was now also past Nakagami as two KTMs chased the Suzukis, before more drama hit further back – once again for Yamaha.

On Lap 5, the returning Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was shown stopped on track at Turn 5, the Doctor’s comeback from Covid-19 sadly over after just a handful of laps. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) then crashed unhurt not long after, bumping Viñales up to 15th and Quartararo on the verge of the points. How much more progress could they make?

An ignominious early end to the race for Crutchlow

Meanwhile, the front group remained in a tense as-you-were. An intriguing game of chess was beginning as Rins led teammate Mir, with Pol Espargaro and Oliveira not far off and Nakagami and Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) still in fairly close pursuit to boot. After a slow start, Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was regrouping and chasing Zarco down as well, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) going the opposite way as the Italian was shuffled back.

Rins, Mir, Espargaro, Oliveira

With 15 to go, there remained nothing to choose between the two Suzukis in the lead. Lap after lap, Rins and Mir were exchanging 1:32.1s. A few laps later, Mir was visibly closer and homing in, but a move wasn’t coming yet as the gameplan seemed to hint towards patience. But that was assuming it would all come down to tactics, and instead it was about to come down to a small but costly mistake for the man in the lead.

Rins, heading through Turn 11 with 11 to go, was ever-so-slightly wide – and a door ajar will soon become a door opened in MotoGP. Mir needed no second invitation, sweeping through to take over at the front and face down 10 laps with a lot at stake. Next time around, the Mayorcan set the fastest lap. By seven to go, his lead had crept to over half a second.

Mir leads Rins and Pol Espargaro

Two laps later, Mir was over a second clear it that made it clear: a mistake was likely the only thing that was going to stop the Mayorcan finally taking to that top step. Rins was still getting hounded by an impressive Pol Espargaro, and Nakagami was lurking just behind with some great late race pace as well. Suzuki Team Manager Davide Brivio could barely watch, but it all came down to this: one more lap.

Mir, Rins, Espargaro

With 1.4 seconds in his pocket, just 4km stood between Mir and a historic maiden MotoGP win, as well as a whole load of Championship advantage. And the number 36 held firm, keeping everything calm and collected to the line to finally make it a reality: his first premier class win, taken in some style. Monkey off back, one hand on crown and debate silenced, all he needs next time out is a podium – regardless of anyone else’s results.

Mir pulled away from Rins

Rins held off Espargaro by six tenths in the end, enough to create that milestone Suzuki 1-2 and moving himself into third overall – equal on points with Quartararo. Another impressive podium for KTM was also Pol Espargaro’s fourth rostrum of 2020, putting him just nine points down on Dovizioso in the Championship.

Nakagami banished the Aragon demons with a great ride to P4, less than a second away from a first premier class podium and top Independent Team rider to earn a trip to parc ferme. Oliveira slipped back into the grasp of Miller but the Portuguese rider just got the better of the Australian for P5, relegating the Queenslander to sixth.

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), meanwhile, took a superb P7 despite a long-lap penalty served for his Aragon mistake, and the South African regains a points advantage in the battle for Rookie of the Year after Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) crashed out. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) lost more ground in the title race after a P8 finish, but the Italian beat fellow Ducati rider Zarco by 0.7 seconds after the Frenchman’s pace dropped off in the latter stages. Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci completed the top ten, the Italian gaining an impressive eight places.

Morbidelli’s Sunday was a contrasting one to Teruel. A difficult day and P11 for the Italian sees him drop to 45 points behind Mir in the title race after a tough weekend on the whole for Yamaha. Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) crossed the line 12th after another good ride from the HRC test rider, just ahead of Viñales who, despite his pitlane start, was just over a second behind the German.

Quartararo took the flag in P14, his opening lap crash putting a serious dent in his title chances. He remains second overall, however, and looking to hit back against Rins too. There are still 50 points in play…

Tito Rabat (Esponsorama Racing), Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) crashed out, riders ok.

And so the curtains come down for another week, with another chapter safely filed in the annals of history. Valencia will host again as the paddock returns to action next weekend, and everything will now be on the line as the first match point appears on the horizon. Nine winners, five first timers, and one of them on the roll of his life. Can Mir make it a coronation? With a 37-point safety net, all he needs is a podium.

Joan Mir – P1

It’s amazing. I don’t have words to describe the moment, it’s amazing that the victory came at the perfect moment. Obviously I would have liked to win in Austria too but it wasn’t the day. Today was the day! I’m happy but I was already happy before the race because we did a super good weekend. On Friday we worked on the bike, on Saturday I found something good in the rain to have a good qualifying in those conditions. It was pretty good, I made an improvement, and then in Warm Up we worked so well and the pace was not bad! That was the key to the victory today, I had something more than the others and I could show it. I’m also especially happy for the team, Suzuki, first and second is amazing. I have no words.”

Joan Mir

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 41m37.297
2 Alex RINS Suzuki +0.651
3 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +1.203
4 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +2.194
5 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +8.046
6 Jack MILLER Ducati +8.755
7 Brad BINDER KTM +10.137
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +10.801
9 Johann ZARCO Ducati +11.55
10 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +16.803
11 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha +17.617
12 Stefan BRADL Honda +24.35
13 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +25.403
14 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +39.639
Not Classified
DNF Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia 2 Laps
DNF Alex MARQUEZ Honda 4 Laps
DNF Tito RABAT Ducati 14 Laps
DNF Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 22 Laps
DNF Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 22 Laps
DNF Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 23 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 0 Lap

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Bike Points
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 162
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 125
3 Alex RINS Suzuki 125
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 121
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 117
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 117
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 106
8 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 105
9 Jack MILLER Ducati 92
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 90
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 77
12 Brad BINDER KTM 76
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 71
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
18 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 26
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 16
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4

MotoGP Constructors Championship

Pos Constructor Points
1 SUZUKI 188
2 DUCATI 181
3 YAMAHA 163
4 KTM 159
5 HONDA 130
6 APRILIA 36

MotoGP Team Championship

Pos Team Points
1 Team Suzuki Ecstar 287
2 Petronas Yamaha Srt 205
3 Ducati Team 194
4 Red Bull Ktm Factory Racing 182
5 Monster Energy Yamaha Motogp 159 159
6 Pramac Racing 138
7 Lcr Honda 131
8 Red Bull Ktm Tech 3 117
9 Repsol Honda Team 83
10 Esponsorama Racing 81
11 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 39

Moto2

Sky Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi bounced back in style after a double DNF at MotorLand Aragon by taking a second career Moto2 victory at the Gran Premio de Europa. It was a race filled with drama, with Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) locking out the podium but many a headline focused on the title fight: Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) now leads the World Championship once again, the Italian fighting through to fourth as former points leader Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) crashed out.

Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Xavi Vierge made a dream start from pole position but immediately had Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) attacking him at Turn 4. The Tennor American Racing rider went wide on the exit, the Spaniard taking him back at Turn 5. It didn’t stay that way for long, however, with Roberts storming back through moments later to hold the lead at the close of Lap 1. But then disaster struck, Roberts suddenly sliding out at Turn 2 and the Californian unable to re-join.

That allowed Marco Bezzecchi to take the lead, but the Italian was under severe pressure from Gardner. Sam Lowes, meanwhile, avoided some early drama with a vital save at Turn 4, as Bastianini got well stuck in battling from 15th on the grid – up to sixth in five laps.

It was a few more laps before Lowes decided to pounce on Gardner for second, but it didn’t last long with the Aussie finding an immediate reply. The World Championship leader hit back only a few seconds later though, this time making it stick.

The knock on effect of that saw Bastianini push on again, taking fifth place from Vierge with ten to go. There was a change in the fight for third too as Martin managed to squeeze through on Gardner, demoting the Australian off the podium for the moment.

And then came the shockwave. Suddenly, Lowes’ weekend was over as the Brit crashed out at Turn 6, his title lead going up in smoke as Bastianini swooped through into fourth and consequently the lead of the World Championship.

The FlexBox HP 40 duo of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Hector Garzo began to put Bastianini under pressure though, Baldassarri making a move on his compatriot and a vital couple of points at stake for the ‘Beast’. That was motivation enough if any was needed, and the number 33 hit back to reclaim fourth.

At the front though, it was all about Bezzecchi. The Italian was back on the top step in style after stamping some real authority on Sunday, also keeping himself in title contention after starting the weekend 48 points down – and ending it 29 off. Martin made it two podiums in three races as he backed up his third place finish in the Aragon Grand Prix with second in Valencia and Gardner collected his third podium finish of the year after a fifth top five finish in six races.

Bastianini was able to hold off Baldassarri for what could be a pivotal fourth place finish, putting the ‘Beast’ six points clear of Lowes in the World Championship with only two rounds left of 2020. Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini took sixth for a solid result, proving he is far from out of the title chase too. His was a last lap move on Garzo moving him to within 19 points of the top of the Championship. Garzo’s seventh nevertheless equalled his best so far.

Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Nicolo Bulega clinched eighth after getting the better of poleman Vierge, who eventually drifted back to ninth, before HDR Heidrun Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro rounded out the top ten.

Another seismic shift hits Moto2, with Bastianini now back on top and six points ahead. Can Lowes bounce back next time out? Time will tell, but not much of it as we get back on track on Friday.

Marco Bezzecchi – P1

It was a difficult race, very long, but also wonderful. I started well, even if Gardner and Lowes were closing the line, in the middle I could overtake outside in the first corner. I risked a bit because it was still wet but I tried. Fortunately I was there. Then I passed Vierge on the straight and in braking, and when Roberts was in front I saw he was risking a lot and I thought I had to stay calm because I thought I could ride cleaner. Then unfortunately he made a mistake, I was in front and I was very focused to try to make my rhythm, so I started to ride as clean as I could, and I was gaining a bit; not much, losing a little bit; not much, there was a short distance between me and second. Then on the last three laps when I had a quite good advantage I started to feel something wrong on the bike, a problem I also had on Friday in Free Practice. In acceleration there was no power in second gear, I don’t know why, so I was scared but I started to speak to the bike and said please don’t give up now… fortunately she made it to the end! Very good, the team did an incredible job and this is for them and my family.”

Remy Gardner – P3

We made it straight into Q2 on Friday which was a good start to the weekend. We sat out FP3 as there was nothing really to gain. The track conditions in Qualifying were tricky but we did a good lap and managed to take fourth which I was pleased about. Today was a little bit like going into the unknown as it was the only really dry day since we got here. The warm-up wasn’t that impressive, but I felt good on the bike and I thought that we could have a good result. Third gives us some more really important points in the fight for P5 in the overall standings and I’ll give it everything next week to close in on Jorge (Martin). I’m super happy with the team and the work we’ve done, it’s another great result and another podium.

2020 Valencia Moto2 podium
1 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex 40:06.441
2 Jorge Martin – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex +1.941
3 Remy Gardner – ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team – Kalex +3.553

Moto2 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 40m06.441
2 Jorge MARTIN Kalex +1.941
3 Remy GARDNER Kalex +3.553
4 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex +4.494
5 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +4.648
6 Luca MARINI Kalex +5.142
7 Hector GARZO Kalex +5.224
8 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex +8.104
9 Xavi VIERGE Kalex +8.746
10 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up +11.93
11 Aron CANET Speed Up +12.451
12 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +13.209
13 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +13.585
14 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS +15.528
15 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta +19.284
16 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex +20.085
17 Edgar PONS Kalex +21.512
18 Andi Farid IZDIHAR Kalex +22.965
19 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +24.769
20 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex +34.173
21 Kasma DANIEL Kalex +44.355
22 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI NTS +59.45
Not Classified
DNF Sam LOWES Kalex 7 Laps
DNF Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 16 Laps
DNF Simone CORSI MV Agusta 20 Laps
DNF Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 23 Laps
DNF Joe ROBERTS Kalex 24 Laps
DNF Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up 24 Laps

Moto2 World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Bike Points
1 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex 184
2 Sam LOWES Kalex 178
3 Luca MARINI Kalex 165
4 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 155
5 Jorge MARTIN Kalex 125
6 Remy GARDNER Kalex 101
7 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 85
8 Joe ROBERTS Kalex 80
9 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 72
10 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 70
11 Aron CANET Speed Up 66
12 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 65
13 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 64
14 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 62
15 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 58
16 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 58
17 Jake DIXON Kalex 44
18 Hector GARZO Kalex 43
19 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex 32
20 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex 25
21 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up 21
22 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 21
23 Simone CORSI MV Agusta 15
24 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 10
25 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS 7
26 Edgar PONS Kalex 5
27 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex 5
28 Dominique AEGERTER NTS 4

Moto3

Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) put in a stunner to take the lead early in the Gran Premio de Europa and then pull away, staying calm and collected to take to the top step for the first time in Grand Prix racing. Behind him a three-way battle royale raged on the final lap, with 2019 Valencia GP winner Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) coming out on top to take second ahead of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). The podium for Ogura boosts him up to within three points of the Championship lead as huge drama ripped through the standings for the majority of the other key contenders.

Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) took the holeshot from the front row as poelsitter John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) lost out, and early doors there was a group of four heading away… but the drama was quick to hit. First off, a crash for Vietti saw Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) unable to avoid and get tangled up, both going down in the first Championship shockwave as the Italian lost serious ground. The incident also scattered the pack and left Fernandez out front after the Spaniard had taken the lead just before the crash.

The incident also caught Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team Moto3) just enough to cause some damage, which then became apparent as the number 75 was upright but going backwards. Arenas eventually pulled into pitlane at the end of the lap, blowing the title fight wide open once again. And although he did manage to get back out, it was with a significant gap to the front and one that would haunt the Spaniard later.

And so Fernandez led, gassing it to over two seconds clear as the second group battled it out. And then even more drama hit. McPhee crashed out at Turn 1, likely ending his charge for the crown, and only a few laps later, Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) took a tumble too. That left Arbolino – the man leading the chase to catch Fernandez – and Ogura as the two key challengers near the top, joined by Garcia. And the gap to Fernandez was coming down ever so slightly…

Arbolino, Garcia and Ogura pushed on to catch the Red Bull KTM Ajo machine in the lead, but soon they would have even more to contend with than just the two-second gap to the front as well. Arenas was back out on track and soon the second group were on the scene, creating another little. Things got close and the number 75 was shown the black flag not long after, having got a little too into the battle despite being laps down.

That left Arbolino and Ogura as the two key men with something big to gain. With six to go, Arbolino had got the gap to Fernandez more than just a little below two seconds as Garcia and Ogura duelled just behind the Italian. The countdown was on for Fernandez, although the Spaniard looked solid. could he hang on? He could. Despite some late nerves about a possible bike problem, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider kept it clean to complete his impeccable day at the office in style: on the top step.

The battle behind went down to the final lap, as ever in Moto3. Arbolino had a twitch at Turn 1 and Garcia was up the inside of the Italian and into P2. Then Ogura picked Arbolino’s pocket at Turn 6 and the Italian, after a fair bit of leg work to lead the trio throughout, was now off the podium.

Garcia had broken the two title contenders and kept a little breathing space to the line to take his first first podium of the season, bouncing back from some tougher outings. Behind him, the duel stayed close but Ogura kept the door slammed shut at the final corner to get back on the podium for the first time since the Emilia Romagna GP. That cuts the gap in the Championship to just three points, with Arenas’ margin seriously cut.

Arbolino was forced to settle for fourth and remains 23 points down on Arenas, although he did gain, with Vietti’s 0 leaving him only three points ahead of Arbolino. Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) had another solid ride to a top finish as the South African came home in fifth, unable to quite get back the ground lost earlier in the race but taking more solid points. Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Moto3) duelled the number 40 late on, but was forced to settle for sixth.

The next group up was led over the line by Stefano Nepa (Valresa Aspar Team) as he charged up to seventh, beating Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team). Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) was next up after storming through from P26 on the grid, with Riccardo Rossi (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy), Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Romano Fenati (Sterilharda Max Racing Team) completed that group down to P13 – Fenati having had to take two long laps for track limits. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) wasn’t too far back either, with Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) – another who did a Long Lap – completing the points scorers.

A huge day for the Championship comes to a close with the margin back at just three points.

Raul Fernandez – P1

It’s the first time victory and I’ll never forget it here in Valencia. I remember in 2016 I got my first victory here in the Junior World Championship, maybe it’s the track! I like MotorLand and Valencia, they’re my bets tracks. I want to thank my family one year ago was a difficult moment, a difficult family situation, and in those moments you know who your family and friends are. The people who help you in the difficult moments. I want to say thanks to my family and my team, it was difficult at the start of the season I had a lot of pressure and Aki helped me, especially with pressure, now I don’t have pressure and I enjoy it more and I want to say thanks because he helped me in every aspect, as a rider and person and I want to say thanks. I have no words, I want to enjoy this victory with my family and team.”

2020 Valencia Moto3 podium
1 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM 38:29.140
2 Sergio Garcia – Estrella Galicia 0,0 – Honda +0.703
3 Ai Ogura – Honda Team Asia – Honda +1.005

Moto3 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 38m29.140
2 Sergio GARCIA Honda +0.703
3 Ai OGURA Honda +1.005
4 Tony ARBOLINO Honda +1.037
5 Darryn BINDER KTM +13.392
6 Carlos TATAY KTM +13.424
7 Stefano NEPA KTM +16.719
8 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda +16.824
9 Filip SALAC Honda +16.964
10 Ayumu SASAKI KTM +17.088
11 Riccardo ROSSI KTM +17.344
12 Andrea MIGNO KTM +17.467
13 Romano FENATI Husqvarna +17.589
14 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM +18.191
15 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda +18.358
16 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda +18.441
17 Yuki KUNII Honda +19.128
18 Jason DUPASQUIER KTM +19.583
19 Davide PIZZOLI KTM +27.457
20 Barry BALTUS KTM +27.836
21 Maximilian KOFLER+ 31.328
22 Khairul Idham PAWI Honda +31.661
23 Celestino VIETTI KTM +1m20.533
Not Classified
DNF Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 7 Laps
DNF Kaito TOBA KTM 7 Laps
DNF Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 10 Laps
DNF Dennis FOGGIA Honda 10 Laps
DNF Jaume MASIA Honda 14 Laps
DNF John MCPHEE Honda 19 Laps
DNF Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 21 Laps
DNF Albert ARENAS KTM 0 Lap

Moto3 World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Albert ARENAS KTM 157
2 Ai OGURA Honda 154
3 Celestino VIETTI KTM 137
4 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 134
5 Jaume MASIA Honda 133
6 John MCPHEE Honda 119
7 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 118
8 Darryn BINDER KTM 101
9 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 83
10 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 80
11 Romano FENATI Husqvarna 73
12 Dennis FOGGIA Honda 69
13 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda 65
14 Sergio GARCIA Honda 57
15 Andrea MIGNO KTM 51
16 Ayumu SASAKI KTM 49
17 Kaito TOBA KTM 40
18 Stefano NEPA KTM 35
19 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM 34
20 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 33
21 Filip SALAC Honda 30
22 Carlos TATAY KTM 24
23 Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 21
24 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda 13
25 Riccardo ROSSI KTM 1

2020 MotoGP Calendar

Rnd Date Circuit
1 08 March (Moto2/Moto3) Losail International Circuit
2 19 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
3 26 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
4 09 August Automotodrom Brno
5 16 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
6 23 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
7 13 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
8 20 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
9 27 September Barcelona – Catalunya
10 11 October Le Mans
11 18 October MotorLand Aragón
12 25 October MotorLand Aragón
13 08 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
14 15 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
15 22 November Autodromo Internacional do Algarve

Source: MCNews.com.au

MotoGP riders reflect on the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon

2020 MotoGP Round Eleven – Aragon


2020 continues to serve up a stunner of a MotoGP season, and there have now been eight different premier class winners. In the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon, it was Alex Rins on the top step as the Suzuki rider took his first victory since Silverstone 2019, slicing up from tenth on the grid to fend off another late charge from rookie superstar Alex Marquez, who took second and the 850th premier class podium for Honda. Third place went to Joan Mir, the number 36 back on the rostrum and the new Championship leader after a tough day at the office for Fabio Quartararo.

Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon

MotoGP Rider Quotes

Alex Rins – P1

“I’m full of emotion! At the beginning of the season I really struggled a lot, and since then the team and I have worked so hard, and now we’ve won and it feels amazing! I was not sure that I could win from 10th on the grid, but I was able to do it! When I was chasing down the riders in front of me I could feel that I had good pace and the bike was working really well. I felt really relaxed despite having Marquez and Joan close behind, and I managed the pressure. It will be tricky to replicate this again next weekend, but for sure I will try my best! It feels super to be back on the top step!”

Race winner Alex Rins and new series leader Joan Mir
Alex Marquez – P2

“Honestly I didn’t expect to get a podium from starting in 11th but I was able to recover well. I found myself in a good position, so we did what we could! I knew I could take quite good care of my tyres for the end of the race. I enjoyed every overtake, but I was really on the limit with the front tyre. Even so, it’s great to be back on the podium and to do it in the dry, we really showed our potential all weekend. We still need to work on Qualifying, but we can enjoy what we achieved today. I want to again say thank you to the Repsol Honda Team for believing in me, supporting me, guiding me and never giving up. They gave me an amazing bike and I enjoyed the whole race.”

A very close finish and it looked as though Marquez might steal the win but Rins held on
Joan Mir – P3

“I’m really happy! All the effort that we’re putting in every race weekend has paid off and I’m now leading the championship. In a way it doesn’t mean a lot because there are still four races to go and a lot can still happen, but it’s a nice situation to be in at the moment. I actually expected a little bit more from today’s race because at the beginning my pace was really good and I maintained everything well, but in the last few laps I started to struggle a bit with the front tyre. I had plenty of grip on the rear tyre but in the end it was better to take 3rd than to take a risk. I’m really looking forward to next weekend and hopefully I’ll be able to get an even better result.”

Joan Mir and Alex Rins
Maverick Vinales – P4

“I‘m so happy I had a good start. I was ahead of the group by 0.7s after the first lap. That gives me a lot of confidence. I was very happy with my opening lap. The soft front also gave me a good confidence this weekend. My problem was the rear. After five or six laps it had a big drop on the left side. I was losing time in sectors with a lot of left corners, but in the right handers I was quite fast, which was good. We got the maximum out of the bike today. We need to work for next weekend. Our bike has its strong points and weak points. We can’t make its weak points stronger, but we can make its strong points even stronger by working in the direction that suits the Yamaha. The goal is to start at the front again next week and then put in a faster rhythm than today. At the end of the race, I was able to put in the fast laps again though. I rode those laps with my eyes closed. I was pushing that hard, because I wanted to have the opportunity to push Joan. I honestly tried, and it was good because now I know I have something extra to give in the last laps if I need to in the next few races.”

Maverick Vinales
Takaaki Nakagami – P5

“I’m pretty happy to finish as the top independent, it’s nice to stay in Parc Ferme for this race. It was a tough race and it was difficult to manage the tyres, but we did our best and congrats Alex (Marquez, who finished second) he did pretty well today and his performance was good. We’ll do our best to fight for the podium in the next race here in Aragon, but I’m happy with this race. I want to say thanks to my team, they did a great job all weekend and it’s good to finish in P5.”

Takaaki Nakagami
Franco Morbidelli – P6

“I did struggle to fight with people at the beginning of the race, we had the medium front tyre, and I lost too much ground in the early stages, battling with some riders. Towards the end I was catching Maverick but I didn’t get close enough to attack him, he was maintaining the distance. Unfortunately, I lost out to Takaaki in the final corner as well. It was a good race though, especially the last twelve laps where I was able to maintain a really consistent pace. We are missing something, so we will try to sort that out for next weekend.”

Franco Morbidelli
Andrea Dovizioso – P7

“Today we managed to achieve the best possible result considering that we were starting just thirteenth on the grid. Unfortunately, we did not have the speed to fight with the front riders, and maybe, with the highest temperatures compared to the last few days, the medium tyre didn’t behave exactly as we expected. Surely, now we have some data to work on ahead of the next race weekend, which will always be here in Aragón. We hope that the weather conditions will allow us to start working consistently, starting immediately from the first free practice session on Friday.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Cal Crutchlow – P8

“Obviously, this is not the result we expected today. On the warm-up lap, we had a problem in the back straight with the clutch slipping on the bike a lot. So when I came to the grid I wasn’t sure how much to push the clutch off the start line because if I’d have really pushed the clutch I’d have been in a lot more trouble in the race. I had a lot of clutch slipping in the first laps until about lap three and then it continued less until lap six. But at that point I was in 12th position and I had to battle back through. The best result I could do was eighth place which I’m pleased with after the difficult moments at the start. I think we did a good job, now we have to look forward to next week and take some positives from today.”

Cal Crutchlow
Jack Miller – P9

“That wasn’t what you’d call an ideal race, let’s say. Everything was more or less going how I wanted it to, and I’d saved my tyres for the end so I could make a charge. I’d deliberately used the medium tyres because I felt the guys using the soft rear were going to drop off near the end, but that didn’t seem to happen. The only guy who seemed to have a problem was (Fabio) Quartararo, but the rest didn’t. So, ninth it was – not great, not terrible. I guess it’s back to the drawing board and time to do some homework if we’re going to make any headway next week here in Aragon.

“My pace wasn’t too bad really, I was only nine seconds off the win so it wasn’t like we were miles off. I was pretty happy with how I rode for the most part, but I can’t help but wonder what my race would have been like if I’d used the soft tyres like I often do. I don’t reckon that would have had me winning the thing, but maybe finishing a few places further up. We need to analyse now how the race went and then to make next week’s race here better. (Johann) Zarco was the interesting one for me because he used the soft rear tyre and seemed to have some decent pace and he’s on a Ducati, so there’s some relevant data to dig through there. Sunday was the warmest it’d been here all week and the track was over 30 degrees for the race, so there might be something in that we can learn from.

“I was pretty happy to qualify fifth and the fastest of the Ducatis after I had to come through Q1, which I didn’t think I was going to have to do. I’d got up inside the top 10 in the last practice and then lost my lap time because of the yellow flags when Fabio crashed, which let’s say I wasn’t that impressed about. I didn’t see the yellow flag, but I did see the cloud of dust where he’d gone off and I slowed down, but I still improved my lap time and that should have been Q2 for me, but then my lap got cancelled. So yeah, was pretty annoyed to put it mildly but just had to get on with it and go the long way around … I mean, nobody’s going to be sorry for me, right?

“So I ended up back in 17th and in Q1, so it was looking a bit dicey, but I got through and gave it a good shake in Q2 and ended up on the second row, which was a lot better than I was thinking Saturday would go. Shame that didn’t carry on to Sunday, I guess.

“How strange is this season going? I equal my worst finish of a race this year (with Brno) and I’m somehow a point closer to the championship leader (Joan Mir). He’s not won a race yet, and eight other guys have. I’m 39 points off the lead but back in eighth … anything can happen this year, and a bit more craziness in my favour would be pretty handy right now. There’s still a lot to play for with four races left and it’s too close to call, who knows where this year will end up.

“The championship was a long shot anyway after we gave away a load of points in Le Mans (and Misano too with that tear-off), so all I’m trying to do now is get back on the podium and get as many points by the end of the season, and try to give the guys at Pramac a nice gift before I leave. That’s the realistic option, and that’s where my focus is. Whatever that leads to, we’ll have to see. It’s been a long time since I won a race, so I’ve got four more chances to do that.”

Jack Miller
Johann Zarco – P10

“I am very happy with the race, a top-10 is a good position, especially after the difficult weekend we had.  I have ridden a large part of the race with a group of several riders in which I have been able to see what my weak points are and what my strengths are for the next weekend.”

Brad Binder – P11

“A challenging weekend in general. We had some good sessions but also some where it did not really work out for us. The whole team worked really hard and we tried different things but we couldn’t find the solution. Today I rode my best and tried my hardest from lap one until the end. It was easy to fold the front end today and we lacked some feeling there. It was hard to stay calm and not over-attack the corners. We’ve got the whole week to analyze and come back stronger next weekend.”

Brad Binder
Pol Espargaro – P12

“It wasn’t an easy day. We already had a tough job from the grid and on the first laps other riders were touching each other and bits of bikes were flying around! I lost a few positions and was stuck behind some guys but didn’t really have the whole package performing as I needed to today. It’s disappointing but we know we need to work and come up with some ideas to be better for next weekend. We have another chance here at MotorLand and we’ll push for much more.”

Pol Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro – P13

“Not an easy race. I started well, but then there was contact ahead of me that cost me several positions. My pace wasn’t bad, but not at the level I would have expected. Unfortunately, we were unable to work at our best on tyre management due to some problems in practice. I struggled particularly in acceleration. I wasn’t able to overtake and that limited me for the entire race.”

Aleix Espargaro
Iker Lecuona – P14

“I’m honestly really happy. This morning in warm wp I felt good and had a decent pace, so I knew it would be possible to fight close to the top 10. I lost some positions in the first laps of the race and it was very difficult to manage but later I was behind Miguel for many laps and tried so save my tires for the end of the race. It was a good idea, as Miguel pushed a lot and we could reduce the gap to the front. Finally, I passed him and pushed with this extra grip. I’m very satisfied with my race, as it was very consistent and strong.”

Danilo Petrucci – P15

“After a good first part of the race, in which I was in tenth place, I began to suffer the tyre drop. Unfortunately, a few laps from the end I had contact with Pol Espargaro and lost other positions, finishing fifteenth. Too bad because we lost important points for the Championship. Now we have some references to work on ahead of next race here in Aragón on Sunday.”

Danilo Petrucci
Miguel Oliveira – P16

“It was a tough race. At least I felt competitive in the first half. Later it was quite difficult for me to manage the tire. I finished it quite quick and started to lose time. For sure, I think our potential to improve is quite high. So, we will try to focus on that and just do our best for next weekend.”

Miguel Oliveira
Stefan Bradl – P17

“It was an exciting race, starting last was a disaster but we were able to make up some positions and have some good fights. We have been working with the geometry of the bike and we are improving, step by step. Our pace in Warm Up was not so bad but unfortunately it didn’t lead to a better result in terms of position. We’re making progress, so coming back next week is a positive thing to let us try and improve again. Congratulations again to Alex for another great podium, the Repsol Honda Team is doing a great job.”

Stefan Bradl
Fabio Quartararo – P18

“It was a really strange race. We knew that our pace was not the best but we were not expecting to finish in this position. I was expecting to be further up the field, but we had an issue with the front tyre. It’s the first time we’ve used this tyre, it felt great to begin with in the opening three laps, but the pressure became too high. It was not possible to ride, I had no feeling in the front. I’m disappointed because without this problem I think we could have been able to fight for a better result. It isn’t easy to understand why but we’ll look and prepare for next weekend, when we are here again.”

Fabio Quartararo
Bradley Smith – P19

“My race was decided on the first lap. Because of a gear selection mistake, I found myself at the back of the group with a 4-5 second gap. At that point, it was rather difficult to recover, although I was able to maintain the pace I expected and that makes me see the glass as half full. Rear grip is still an aspect we need to improve. Racing again on the same circuit in a few days will give us a chance to try something completely different.”

Bradley Smith
Tito Rabat – P20

“I had a good start in which I managed to regain some positions.  It was a difficult race in which it was difficult for me to maintain the rhythm in the first laps, which has caused several riders to pass me.  I have not had a good feeling with the rear tire throughout the race, which has prevented me from following the race group.”

Pecco Bagnaia – DNF

“I’m sorry because I finally found the right feeling, I felt good and unfortunately crashing after only 3 laps is always bad, I’m sure we could have made a good recovery. When I crashed, the feeling was that someone had touched me but actually from the data it seems that the gear did not go well, we will try again next week.”


Team Managers

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“Of course, I’m very happy. Alex managed to win, which was really great. A few things have held him back this year, such as the injury, so it’s really nice to have him finally back on the top step of the podium. Joan also got another podium after a strong race and he’s now leading the championship, which is an incredible feeling. I want to say thank you very much to all the staff who work so hard on this project and thank you to both our riders.”

Team Suzuki
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“This is a great day for us, really fantastic. We’ve been waiting to get a win this season, and finally we’ve managed it. It was great to watch Alex come up from 10th place, his recovery and fighting spirit were brilliant. Joan also did a very clever race, and despite struggling at the end he focused on the important thing which is the points and the championship. We’re leading the standings and we’ll keep fighting until the end. I want to say a big thank you to all our employees and all the fans, we appreciate them so much and their support always gives us an extra push.”

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“We didn‘t deliver a perfect race today. We wanted to be on the podium, so we definitely have work to do for next week, but at the same time there are positives to take away from this race. Maverick had a very good start and opening lap. It‘s a shame he couldn‘t hold on to the top 3 in the middle of the race. We had an expected drop of the rear tyre that remained constant until the end. Because of that, he lost contact with the front riders. Had he been just a little bit closer to the front riders, he would have been able to join the battle at the end, because his pace in the last five laps was really good. We think we can do better next weekend, but looking at the bigger picture, Maverick finished in front of two of his three key rivals in the championship today. Thanks to this he gained a position in the overall standings and is just 12 points from the top now. So, the championship fight is far from over. We will do whatever it takes to improve our performance for the next round.”

Maverick Vinales
Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal

“That wasn’t among the better race days for the team so we need to analyse what happened in the MotoGP race, that way we can figure out the best way to approach next weekend’s GP. It is at the same circuit so this is going to be really important to do. Franco still managed to finish today’s race sixth, which was a good effort from him. It is a shame that Fabio finished outside of the points, but he did have a big crash yesterday and a tyre pressure issue today. These things happen in racing, we just need to learn from it and come back better next weekend.”

Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager

“Firstly the positive aspect of today is that we had three riders in the points but, generally, we’re not so happy because we didn’t make the top ten and we could not make the most of the tires. We need to put our heads together to make better results and get better performance next weekend.”

Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon
Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“We knew it was going to be a tough race for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 MotoGP team and it was a difficult one. On the grid, we decided to switch for a medium front and keep the soft rear. The grid positions were far from ideal, the start was average, so of course we were quite far back after the first laps. The four KTM’s were following each other and the pace was very similar in between the four guys, but we could never really close the gap to the guys in front, so we just managed to stay in between 11, 12 and 15. At the end of the race, Iker was 14th and Miguel 16th. This is not the result, we were hoping for, although Iker had a steady race. I think he was quite strong, the pace was interesting and he was following Miguel until Miguel’s rear tyre completely dropped. He was on the back of Aleix Espargaro and the two factory KTM’s, but he didn’t want to do anything stupid the last five, six laps and just brought the bike home in 14th position. But I think today he showed again, that he’s got the pace of a proper MotoGP rider. He learned a lot and I’m quite proud of Iker today. On the other side of the garage, it’s a shame, because Miguel is fast, he is working hard and is very focused and then we just couldn’t do anything the last 10 laps, because our rear tyre was completely gone. There was nothing he could do, just stay on track and see the chequered flag. It’s a weekend to forget, but I’m quite sure as we saw in Misano, KTM was quite far back and in the second round we were much more competitive and I’m pretty sure next week is going to be a different story. Let’s have a rest tonight, a steady Monday and Tuesday, thinking about what to do for the next weekend. I’m pretty sure, the race release of Aragon two will be happier and more positive than this current one.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

“The Michelin Grand Prix is a special event for us and today produced a great race and another winner, we have now had four different manufacturers win a race this season, which shows our tyres are producing results for many different types of motorcycle and rider. It has overall been a difficult weekend again due to the very cold temperatures. The asphalt was below 10°C on Friday morning and it is always a big demand for the riders to try to generate and keep heat in those conditions. We did advise how to use the tyres, but the organisers took the decision to delay all the sessions and today’s race, which was the best thing to do for all the classes. With the warmer afternoons it made tyre choice interesting today and we saw four of the six specifications used. They all performed well and despite all the difficulties faced this weekend – both on and off the track – we are pleased with the weekend from a racing point-of-view. We will now stay here for another race next weekend and the forecast seems to be better, so we plan to improve further and push for records.”

2020 Aragon MotoGP podium
1 Alex Rins -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki 41:54.391
2 Alex Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda – +0.263
3 Joan Mir -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +2.644

 MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Alex RINS Suzuki 41m54.391
2 Alex MARQUEZ Honda +0.263
3 Joan MIR Suzuki +2.644
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +2.88
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +4.57
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha +4.756
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +8.639
8 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +8.913
9 Jack MILLER Ducati +9.39
10 Johann ZARCO Ducati +9.617
11 Brad BINDER KTM +13.2
12 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +13.689
13 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +14.598
14 Iker LECUONA KTM +15.291
15 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +15.941
16 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +18.284
17 Stefan BRADL Honda +20.136
18 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +21.498
19 Bradley SMITH Aprilia +25.3
20 Tito RABAT Ducati +25.558

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 121
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 115
3 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 109
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 106
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 92
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 87
7 Alex RINS Suzuki 85
8 Jack MILLER Ducati 82
9 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 77
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 69
11 Brad BINDER KTM 67
12 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
13 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 65
14 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
15 Johann ZARCO Ducati 53
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
18 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 21
19 Iker LECUONA KTM 20
20 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 11
21 Stefan BRADL Honda 8
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 8
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4

2020 MotoGP Calendar

Rnd Date Circuit
1 08 March (Moto2/Moto3) Losail International Circuit
2 19 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
3 26 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
4 09 August Automotodrom Brno
5 16 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
6 23 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
7 13 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
8 20 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
9 27 September Barcelona – Catalunya
10 11 October Le Mans
11 18 October MotorLand Aragón
12 25 October MotorLand Aragón
13 08 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
14 15 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
15 22 November Autodromo Internacional do Algarve

Source: MCNews.com.au

Rins breaks through for win ahead of Alex Marquez | Fabio falters

2020 MotoGP Round Eleven – Aragon


2020 continues to serve up a stunner of a MotoGP season, and there have now been eight different premier class winners. In the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon, it was Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on the top step as the Suzuki rider took his first victory since Silverstone 2019, slicing up from tenth on the grid to fend off another late charge from rookie superstar Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who took second and the 850th premier class podium for Honda. Third place went to Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), the number 36 back on the rostrum and the new Championship leader after a tough day at the office for Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT).

Fabio Quartararo had bounced back from two crashed on the weekend to secure pole position

MotoGP Race Report

Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon

As the lights went out, it was Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) who was off like a shot from second on the grid, the number 12 carving his way to the front immediately round the outside of Turn 2 as the Petronas Yamahas duelled behind, and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) headed a bit wide.

Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon

Soon enough though, Viñales’ closest company came from Rins as the Suzuki rider sliced through from tenth to get past Morbidelli and Quartararo, homing in on the number 12 in the lead.

Maverick Vinales

Stalking the Monster Energy Yamaha for a couple of laps, Rins chose his moment at the final corner and took a tight, tight line to sweep up the inside for the lead, neatly done to take over at the front. Just behind, things were getting spicy as Mir had managed a two-for-one past the Petronas Yamahas with a similar move up into third, and Alex Marquez was on a charge.

Vinales, Mir, Marquez

Rins, Viñales, Mir… the trio at the front remained pretty close together as the cat and mouse began, with Marquez the man making serious gains. As the number 73 arrived on the scene, Mir seemingly decided enough was enough, slicing through on Viñales at the final corner. To compound Viñales’ chagrin, Marquez then made a stunner of a late dive past the Yamaha into Turn 1 too…

Rins, Morbidelli

Up ahead, Rins remained ahead but it was far from becoming a runaway win. As the laps ticked down, the number 42 retained the close company from team-mate Mir and Alex Marquez, but the next move wouldn’t threaten for the lead. With six to go, and again at the final corner, the number 73 Repsol Honda swooped past Mir to take over in second, Alex Marquez on for his second second place in a row. Or was he?

Once past, the Honda was closing. And not in thousandths or hundredths, but really reeling Rins in. Alex Marquez was over three tenths faster with four laps remaining, and looked seriously primed for a shot at the win. But Rins was holding station, and then a major warning came Marquez’ way at the final corner with two laps and a corner to go. The number 73 was out the seat as he squeezed on the gas and lot some ground, but he gathered it back up and set his sights back on the Suzuki.

Alex Rins, Alex Marquez and Joan Mir

Rins had a three tenth lead with two to go, and coming onto the last lap, it remained at 0.3 seconds. Marquez had to try and get close enough to get into the slipstream down the back straight, but Rins got his GSX-RR hooked up nicely and the Honda man wasn’t close enough to try his inside sweeping move. Despite the pressure, Rins made no mistakes. rising over the brow of the hill and making it to the line with two tenths in hand. The eighth winner in eight races and eighth of the season, back on the top step for the first time in over a year – and Marquez, despite losing out on the win, back on the podium for the second time in a week.

A very close finish and it looked as though Marquez might steal the win but Rins held on

Mir had to keep an eye out for Viñales on the final couple of laps, and Morbidelli had Nakagami for company in the battle for the top five. In the end, Mir came out on top in the fight for third but again, by only a couple of tenths, but it’s enough to see him take the title lead as Quartararo plummeted through the field. Viñales also made a big gain in points given that, coming home off the podium but the second Championship challenger over the line.

Nakagami kept up his 100% top 10 finish record in 2020 with a superb P5, the Honda rider managing to beat Morbidelli on the last lap for the honour of top Independent Team rider too. That’s the number 30’s second top five of the season.. and he’s only 29 points off Mir!

Nakagami

After a difficult weekend, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) salvaged P7 on race day to sit closer to the top of the Championship than he did before the lights went out, top Borgo Panigale machine on Sunday and still in the hunt. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), after a tough start, was able to climb back up to P8. The two Ducatis of Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) completed the top 10, not what either would have been expecting heading into the weekend.

Jack Miller was in the fight early on but eventually was reeled in by others as the race progressed

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) led teammate Pol Espargaro across the line as the Austrian factory suffered a difficult Sunday taking P11 and P12, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) finishing just under a second from his younger brother in P13. Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) grabbed P14 to finish ahead of the final point scorer – Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team).

Petrucci and Quartararo

So where was Quartararo? The former points leader, after struggling with front tyre pressure, went from off the podium to fringes of the top ten to end up outside the points in P18. After a heroic pole position taken despite his big FP3 crash, the Frenchman had one of his toughest Sundays yet in the premier class… but he’ll be fired up to try and hit back next week. Mir now leads on 121 as Quartararo remains on 115, with Viñales third with 109. Dovizioso has 106, still very much in touch..

2020 Aragon MotoGP podium
1 Alex Rins -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki 41:54.391
2 Alex Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda – +0.263
3 Joan Mir -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +2.644
Alex Rins – P1

Incredible! Unbelievable! Sincerely, at the start I was so calm, and I was thinking ‘hmm maybe that’s a bad thing!’ I made a really good start, the first laps were really good, then when I was behind Maverick I was thinking, ‘Alex, you have a bit more so try to go, but slowly because otherwise you’ll ruin the rear tyre!’ I tried to manage the distance to the guys behind and it’s amazing. This is for all the fans that normally come here from the towns around here, and for all this amazing team, and my family, friends, girlfriend. Everybody! This is for you guys!”

Alex Rins

MotoGP is back on track for the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel this Friday.

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Alex RINS Suzuki 41m54.391
2 Alex MARQUEZ Honda +0.263
3 Joan MIR Suzuki +2.644
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +2.88
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +4.57
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha +4.756
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +8.639
8 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +8.913
9 Jack MILLER Ducati +9.39
10 Johann ZARCO Ducati +9.617
11 Brad BINDER KTM +13.2
12 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +13.689
13 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +14.598
14 Iker LECUONA KTM +15.291
15 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +15.941
16 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +18.284
17 Stefan BRADL Honda +20.136
18 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +21.498
19 Bradley SMITH Aprilia +25.3
20 Tito RABAT Ducati +25.558
Race winner Alex Rins and new series leader Joan Mir

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 121
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 115
3 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 109
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 106
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 92
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 87
7 Alex RINS Suzuki 85
8 Jack MILLER Ducati 82
9 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 77
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 69
11 Brad BINDER KTM 67
12 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
13 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 65
14 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
15 Johann ZARCO Ducati 53
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
18 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 21
19 Iker LECUONA KTM 20
20 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 11
21 Stefan BRADL Honda 8
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 8
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4

Moto2

A seismic shift in the fight to be crowned 2020 Moto2 World Champion took place at the Gran Premio Michelin Aragon Grand Prix, with Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) taking first and second – and Sky Racing Team VR46 teammates Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi both crashing out. That leaves Bastianini, who just beat Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to second on the last lap, take over in the Championship lead, with Lowes’ 25 points for the win putting him just two off the top in the standings…

Sam Lowes

As the lights went out in Aragon, it was a super start from Bezzecchi as he took the holeshot from second on the grid, with Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Jake Dixon swooping through to third from row two. Early drama then struck as Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) crashed at the opening corner following contact with Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing), but the Spaniard thankfully walked away from a scary crash.

Then, polesitter Lowes ran slightly wide at Turn 12 from second and that allowed Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) through after the Italian had sliced past Dixon, but Lowes hit back quick to set his sights Bezzecchi out front. Not long after that on Lap 3, the Championship then took its biggest twist yet as former points leader Luca Marini tucked the front through Turn 14 and slid out – leaving an open goal for those in the hunt to capitalise.

Teammate Bezzecchi would be the new man ahead in the standings if he could hold on to victory, but Lowes and Di Giannantonio were close. ‘Diggia’ made his move on Lowes with fourteen to go at MotorLand, but the three stayed close as Enea Bastianini edged ahead of Jake Dixon for the final place inside the top five just behind them.

Ten laps in, Di Giannantonio pounced on Bezzecchi for the lead at Turn 14. The pair were side-by-side down the long back straight but the Speed Up man was able to hold on as they went through the final corner. But then suddenly, into Turn 2 next time around, ‘Diggia’ was sliding out of the lead – leaving Bezzecchi and Lowes in a duel for the win.

By then, Martin was beginning to loom ominously in the background though, and Bastianini was just half a second off his rear wheel. With seven to go, the ‘Beast’ struck under the shadow of the MotorLand wall.

Martin wasn’t going to just sit and let Bastianini escape though, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo man immediately finding a response, but the number 33 had an answer too – back past on the brakes into Turn 8.

With five to go Bezzzecchi was still in control, half a second clear of Lowes. Three seconds further back Bastianini held third place, himself three tenths clear of Martin. The laps ticked by and the end drew nearer with Bezzecchi on course for victory, before another monumental moment in the World Championship chase suddenly took place. With just two laps remaining, Bezzecchi suddenly crashed out at Turn 2.

Lowes swooped through, and incredibly took the mantle as Championship leader too as Martin got himself in front of Bastianini. But onto the final lap, it was far from decided. Lowes crossed the line to take his first ever back to back wins, but the fight for second was close. It came down to the final sector on the final lap, with Bastianini putting in a clinical, ruthless and vital move to secure the extra four points to sit atop the Moto2™ standings.

Further back, Dixon well and truly bounced back from his Le Mans heartbreak by clinching a career-best finish in fourth. ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Remy Gardner got the better of Ramirez and Hector Garzo (FlexBox HP 40) in the fight for the final place inside the top five. Tennor American Racing’s Joe Roberts took eighth, before Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) rounded out the top ten.

Sam Lowes – P1

Bezzecchi’s crash was a shame near the end of the race, Diggia I felt like I had his pace… I’m sorry for them, they were stronger than me at a couple of points on the track which is something I can work on for next weekend. But overall I was there, I kept the pressure on, was able to benefit from their mistakes and back to back wins is good for me! It’s the first time for me to get back to back wins in Moto2, so I’m really really happy.”

Remy Gardner – P5

Qualifying was tough, and I got caught out, ending tenth on the grid. Not where I wanted to be, but I was happy with the rhythm and confident of a good race. I’m extremely happy to finish fifth. It was a big comeback from tenth on the grid and we completed our objective. We also moved up a spot in the championship. We need to keep working and hopefully we can do better. I want to thank the team, we continue to work really well together, and to everyone who is supporting me. We don’t have long to wait until the next race – I’m ready!”

2020 Aragon Moto2 podium
1 Sam Lowes – EG 0,0 Marc VDS – Kalex 39:33.202
2 Enea Bastianini – Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex +4.195
3 Jorge Martin – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex +4.430

Moto2 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Sam LOWES Kalex 39m33.202
2 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex +4.195
3 Jorge MARTIN Kalex +4.340
4 Jake DIXON Kalex +9.298
5 Remy GARDNER Kalex +14.765
6 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex +15.13
7 Hector GARZO Kalex +15.192
8 Joe ROBERTS Kalex +17.024
9 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +19.000
10 Simone CORSI MV Agusta +20.206
11 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex +22.661
12 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +22.692
13 Edgar PONS Kalex +22.995
14 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta +23.301
15 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +23.989
16 Xavi VIERGE Kalex +26.747
17 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex +26.862
18 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex +27.686
19 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up +27.761
20 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +27.892
21 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS +36.250
22 Andi Farid IZDIHAR Kalex +44.779
23 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex +45.687
24 Xavi CARDELUS Speed Up +47.231
25 Kasma DANIEL Kalex +58.178
26 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI NTS +1m05.154
27 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up +3 Laps
Not Classified
DNF Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 2 Laps
DNF Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 11 Laps
DNF Luca MARINI Kalex 19 Laps

Moto2 World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Bike Points
1 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex 155
2 Sam LOWES Kalex 153
3 Luca MARINI Kalex 150
4 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 130
5 Jorge MARTIN Kalex 95
6 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 79
7 Joe ROBERTS Kalex 74
8 Remy GARDNER Kalex 72
9 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 72
10 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 61
11 Aron CANET Speed Up 61
12 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 59
13 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 54
14 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 47
15 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 45
16 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 41
17 Jake DIXON Kalex 35
18 Hector GARZO Kalex 34
19 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex 25
20 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 20
21 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up 18
22 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex 17
23 Simone CORSI MV Agusta 14
24 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 10
25 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS 5
26 Edgar PONS Kalex 5
27 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex 5
28 Dominique AEGERTER NTS 4

Moto3

Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) threatened it last time out, but at MotorLand Aragon the Spaniard got the job done to perfection to take his first victory of the season and become the 100th different Grand Prix winner for Honda. After charging up from P17 on the grid, the man he just beat to the line was Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power), the South African less than a tenth off, with polesitter Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) taking his first Grand Prix podium in third.

Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing)

Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar Team Moto3) took the holeshot from pole, the Championship leader getting the jump on polesitter Fernandez – but not for long. The number 25 struck back quickly, before Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) also made short work of Arenas too. There was early drama hit for Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) as he crashed out, and not long after John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) were given their Long Laps to take within three.

At the front, a distinct group of four had broken away: Fernandez, Suzuki, Arenas and Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), with Darryn Binder hunting them down and, not long after, joining the battle to make it a five-rider fight. Meanwhile, title challengers Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) found themselves mired down in the fight for sixth – and not at the front of that freight train either.

As the five at the front fought it out, however, their pace started to come down and what had seemed an insurmountable gap was suddenly an awful lot smaller. The trio on their tail were Masia, McPhee – despite his Long Lap – and Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3). And then there were eight, and once on the scene, McPhee struck quickly to take Suzuki at the rear of the initial leaders to make it a full group battle.

Fernandez remained pretty steadfast in the lead until a mistake just onto Lap 14, when Binder swept through to capitalise immediately – followed by Arenas. And the number 75 took the lead not long after that as Fernandez was then forced to defend from Fenati for third. But war broke out at Turn 1 next time around, and just like that the number 25 was back in the hot seat and the whole group had shuffled.

At the start of the penultimate lap, McPhee headed a bit wide and dropped down to just ahead of Suzuki, who seemed to be struggling to hang in with the group, and Arenas also opened the door for Binder to go through. Masia was at the front of the train though and there he would remain – the man ahead onto the last lap.

That had already changed by Turn 2, however, as Fernandez took the baton back and Alcoba threatened in third. Arenas was fourth at that point before the title leader then ran wide on the exit of Turn 5, and then Alcoba and Masia got very close for comfort into Turn 8. Fernandez was still leading as they shuffled behind him though, with Binder round the outside of Alcoba at Turn 14 to have the inside line at Turn 15, grabbing P3 heading onto the back straight.

The podium three were the top three, but it was Fernandez, Masia, Binder still as the three opened the gas down the straight. Tucked into Fernandez’ slipstream though, Masia was the man on the move, able to reel Fernandez in and then take over at the front, with Binder also slipstreaming past the number 25. Coming over the crest of the hill, Masia held it to the line to earn his first victory with Leopard Racing from P17 on the grid – Honda’s 100th different Grand Prix winner.

Binder lost out by less than a tenth but earned his second podium of 2020, and Fernandez may have lost out on the win but the Spaniard bwas ecstatic to seal his maiden World Championship podium.

Fenati had another solid ride to take fourth as the Italian remains super consistent, with McPhee recovering well from his Long Lap and Turn 1 excursion to claim P5 – and important points for the Championship. Alcoba crossed the line P6 in the end, the rookie again impressing, with Arenas losing out on the last lap to finish P7 – just 0.396 from victory though. Suzuki lost touch in the latter stages but took eighth, still on the comeback to full strength.

Vietti never troubled the leading contenders in Aragon but finishes just a couple of places behind Arenas in P9, with Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) rounding out the top 10 as the Italian had Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Tatay for company in P11 and P12 respectively. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) finished a lonely P13, the Japanese rider finishing six seconds ahead of struggling compatriot Ogura. It’s just two points picked up in Aragon for the man second in the Championship as Ogura slips to 13 behind Arenas. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) picked up the final point at the Aragon GP in P15.

Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Maximilian Kofler (CIP Green Power) crashed out at MotorLand.

Another scintillating lightweight class encounter sees Masia become the 100th Honda rider to win a Grand Prix, Arenas extend his lead and Ogura continue searching for his earlier season magic.

Jaume Masia

For sure, I didn’t expect that rhythm. But I was thinking about not losing my confidence with the bike, the team worked a lot, but all weekend we struggled a lot with the setting unlike in Le Mans. I don’t know how I arrived at the group as Raul put in a high rhythm, he was really strong. But finally we arrived at the group, maybe we pushed the rear too much and used it too much, but finally with my bike on the straight I could overtake Raul.”

2020 Aragon Moto3 podium
1 Jaume Masia – Leopard Racing – Honda 37:45.009
2 Darryn Binder – CIP – Green Power – KTM +0.091
3 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM +0.196

Moto3 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Jaume MASIA Honda 37m45.009
2 Darryn BINDER KTM +0.091
3 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM +0.196
4 Romano FENATI Husqvarna +0.327
5 John MCPHEE Honda +0.368
6 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda +0.385
7 Albert ARENAS KTM +0.396
8 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda +1.933
9 Celestino VIETTI KTM +2.389
10 Dennis FOGGIA Honda +2.461
11 Kaito TOBA KTM +2.966
12 Carlos TATAY KTM +3.02
13 Ayumu SASAKI KTM +4.872
14 Ai OGURA Honda +10.949
15 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM +10.979
16 Filip SALAC Honda +11.172
17 Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna +13.861
18 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda +19.761
19 Sergio GARCIA Honda +21.284
20 Yuki KUNII Honda +21.339
21 Riccardo ROSSI KTM +21.379
22 Jason DUPASQUIER KTM +21.44
23 Stefano NEPA KTM +21.52
24 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda +36.57
25 Barry BALTUS KTM +36.628
26 Davide PIZZOLI KTM +36.676
27 Khairul Idham PAWI Honda +36.739
Not Classified
DNF Maximilian KOFLER KTM 2 Laps
DNF Andrea MIGNO KTM 11 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 0 Lap

Moto3 World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Albert ARENAS KTM 144
2 Ai OGURA Honda 131
3 Celestino VIETTI KTM 126
4 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 115
5 John MCPHEE Honda 109
6 Jaume MASIA Honda 108
7 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 89
8 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 83
9 Darryn BINDER KTM 82
10 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 77
11 Romano FENATI Husqvarna 70
12 Dennis FOGGIA Honda 69
13 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda 56
14 Andrea MIGNO KTM 47
15 Sergio GARCIA Honda 37
16 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 33
17 Stefano NEPA KTM 26
18 Kaito TOBA KTM 24
19 Ayumu SASAKI KTM 23
20 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM 23
21 Filip SALAC Honda 20
22 Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 16
23 Carlos TATAY KTM 14
24 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda 13
25 Riccardo ROSSI KTM 5


2020 MotoGP Calendar

Rnd Date Circuit
1 08 March (Moto2/Moto3) Losail International Circuit
2 19 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
3 26 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
4 09 August Automotodrom Brno
5 16 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
6 23 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
7 13 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
8 20 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
9 27 September Barcelona – Catalunya
10 11 October Le Mans
11 18 October MotorLand Aragón
12 25 October MotorLand Aragón
13 08 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
14 15 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
15 22 November Autodromo Internacional do Algarve

Source: MCNews.com.au

MotoGP riders reflect on the ups and downs of Catalunya

2020 MotoGP Round Nine – Catalunya

Rider and Team Manager Quotes


Fabio Quartararo – P1

“This is the best moment that I have had in a long time! We have had some tough times since Jerez, so this actually feels better than those wins. I was not expecting to be so fast in the opening laps, but those two guys were so fast at the end of the race. We need to look at why we are struggling at the end of the race. We know that our bike is better in qualifying, so we need to balance this a bit better, but at the end of the day the race result is the most important thing and we won. It feels so good though to be back on the top step of the podium. I am also so happy that I am able to race at my home GP next, because there are not many races in this season. My thanks to the team because this victory is well deserved.”

Fabio Quartararo now leads the MotoGP World Championship on 108-points to Joan Mir’s 100
Joan Mir – P2

“It was quite a tough race, especially starting from the third row. It means you have to push in the early laps and it can be a bit risky. I tried to avoid any trouble and keep my head down whilst also over-taking some riders. When I was behind Miller I knew I needed to stick with him and be ready to take advantage. I got close to the victory today, maybe with a couple more laps it could have been possible, but Fabio was managing everything really well and he did a great race. It’s so nice for Suzuki to have two riders on the podium after a long time and I’m really pleased with today’s work!”

Joan Mir and Alex Rins chased down and passed Morbidelli
Alex Rins – P3

“I’ve been struggling a lot in the last weeks, and to take a podium here today at my home race feels fantastic. Since my shoulder injury in Jerez things haven’t been easy, and I have found it hard to be physically strong enough to compete at the very front. But I’ve worked hard off the bike and the team have worked super hard and have supported me a lot, so I want to thank them. I also want to thank the fans for their support and for standing by me in this tricky season. I’m so happy.”

Alex Rins worked his way to the podium from 13th on the grid
Franco Morbidelli – P4

“I’m a little angry about finishing fourth, but it is a positive thing as it means we are at a good level and want more. I’m angry because I made a mistake in the race: I started a bit too hot and wore the tyre out too much early on. When fighting with Fabio I was too much on the limit and trying to recover in braking, in the end I lost two seconds running wide and the chance for a podium. I still feel like this was the best strategy though. However I cannot complain about this weekend; I got pole position and I was really fast in general, so I’m happy. Now we rest a little bit and try to also be fast at Le Mans.”

Franco Morbidelli
Jack Miller – P5

“Ride fast, but not too fast … open the gas, but don’t spin the rear tyre … there’s races where you can go for it from first lap to last, but Sunday in Barcelona was a day of riding on eggshells as well as you could and seeing if you could get away with it. I did and managed to come home fifth which was something, because it was a day where it could have gone wrong so easily. Shame to miss out on a podium and all that, but it would have been a shame to be on the floor as well after doing so much work. So I’ll definitely take it. I’ve been happier, but I’m not disappointed, let’s say that.

Jack Miller

“Why was it so hard here compared to usual? I know talking about weather and tyres isn’t the most exciting thing in the world but it’ll help me explain. Last year we raced here in June (like we always do) and it’s bloody hot in Barcelona at that time of year. It was about 25 degrees, the track was over 50, so that affects what tyres you choose and how you approach it. This year, because we’re here in late September because of the calendar being shuffled and delayed with COVID and all of that, it was cold all weekend. We’re racing in the middle of the afternoon in autumn and it was only 17 degrees, and the track was only 20 when we started, and there was no sun at all. The track was just so cold. The hard tyres we have were too hard for that temperature and gave you no grip, so nobody used them. The soft had decent grip, but using them for 24 laps around here was about tiptoeing around to make sure you had something left at the end.

Jack Miller

“We all just about managed it, and you can see how close it was at the end because (Takaaki) Nakagami was seventh and less than four seconds behind Fabio (Quartararo), who won it but said his tyres were destroyed afterwards. I was more than two seconds a lap slower at the end of the race than I was at the beginning when we had a full tank of fuel. So it was definitely a race where we tried to hang on instead of being in attack mode.

“I was fourth most of the race but those Suzukis had way better pace than us near the end so I couldn’t fight them, there wasn’t much point. When my teammate Pecco (Bagnaia) came by me on the last lap I fought that one though! I got him back and had just enough to hold him off in the end, and I didn’t lose a spot in the championship so that’s good, I’m still sixth with six races to go so I’m still in it. It felt like a salvage day for the championship, one where you take your points and go home, basically.

Jack Miller

“We got to about 10 laps to go and my plan was to start pushing on and trying to reel in those Yamahas, and then with about seven laps to go the rear tyre fell off a cliff and died in the arse, more or less. I was a bit of a sitting duck from there, and the Suzuki boys, (Joan) Mir and (Alex) Rins, seemed to have more tyre life than the rest of us. As we were coming back in on the cool-down lap I noticed their tyres didn’t even have any lines on them, where mine and all the Yamahas did. The Suzukis could have handled a few more laps, but I reckon the rest of us were pretty happy that it ended when it did.

Jack Miller

“It’s been a crazy busy time for all of us, eight races in about 11 weeks I think it’s been – I’ve kind of lost count to be honest! So, a week off before we head to Le Mans if definitely something to look forward to – it’ll be a quick chance to recharge and then get set for these final six races, they’re going to come thick and fast …”

Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya
Pecco Bagnaia – P6

“It was a difficult weekend because Friday I was not able to adapt to the situation, and I lost one day. Unfortunately starting so far back does not help, but the pace was fast. If we had started from the front maybe we could have fought for the podium, but it was my mistake and you learn from mistakes, we will try again at Le Mans.”

Pecco Bagnaia
Takaaki Nakagami – P7

“It was a bit of a difficult race as the track temperature was very low from the warm up session to the race, so it was really difficult to warm the tyre. We raced a soft compound on the front and the rear and, at the beginning of the race, my pace was not strong enough and I dropped some positions. Then I tried to keep consistency on my laps and started to close the gap on the riders in front of me. I had the opportunity to pass some riders and the second part of the race I was into the top 10 – P9, then P7 – and at the end of the race I had a really strong pace compared to the other guys in my group. So the podium could have been there, but I had no chance to overtake or even try to and I finished P7. It’s another top 10 and a good result and we were only 3.6 seconds behind the race winner, so it was very close and this was positive. We’re now looking forward to Le Mans and we’ll keep pushing.”

Takaaki Nakagami chasing Oliveira, Bagnaia and Binder
Danilo Petrucci – P8

“I’m delighted with my performance today and, in general, with how this weekend went. Today I felt comfortable in the race, and I was able to manage the tyres well. Unfortunately, I was struggling a lot in the straights, where I got passed by most of the riders that overtook me. Maybe, if we had qualified better, we could have aimed for an even better result, but I think it was a good race overall and that after last weekend in Misano, we are gradually returning to our levels”.

Maverick Vinales – P9

“There was no issue at the start, the only weak point is our top speed. I couldn‘t pass anyone, especially in the first fifteen or sixteen laps. So I was just riding around. I‘m really disappointed because if you don‘t start from first or second, you have big problems. I couldn‘t do anything and was just losing positions. We will see in Le Mans. This result after winning last week is difficult to swallow. The championship could go any way. This weekend we made a mistake in the qualifying and we paid the price.”

Maverick Vinales
Cal Crutchlow – P10

“It was a positive day to finish the race and be in the top 10 today, I expected a little more but I was unable to get a good start. I always knew the start was going to be a challenging part of the race as I was probably the only rider on the grid without the start device. But I think we did a good job in the race to be battling with riders who had good results last week and, not having been on the bike for a long time, it was good to get race distance under my belt. I had some pain and problems with my arm, but I felt I didn’t finish the race too bad and with a different setting on the bike we could have been a little bit better. But we did a good job as a team this weekend and we look forward to Le Mans.”

Brad Binder – P11

“Today was a bit different to what I had in mind. Coming into the race my pace seemed really good and I had a good feeling with the bike. In the race it just didn’t quite go to plan. I tried my best at the start but when we hit lap sixteen things became a bit more difficult with the rear tire. It was tough, for sure. Not a great result in the end but we’ll learn from this and use it for the future. We’ll stay focused, look ahead to the next race and try to make things right there.”

Brad Binder
Aleix Espargaro – P12

“The conditions of this track are certainly not the best for us, and we struggled again today. The lack of grip kept me from being incisive. I was able to stay with the other riders, but I wasn’t able to overtake them. Finishing the race was important to be able to provide the engineers with as much data as possible, but these are certainly not the positions I like to battle for.”

Alex Marquez – P13

“A difficult race today. We were expecting warmer conditions and we couldn’t use the soft front; we went with the medium. That was my mistake, I pushed the team hard to use the medium but during the race the temperature dropped a lot. In the first laps I lost a lot of time after my good start, then in the middle of the race I felt better but in the end I slowed again. It’s my mistake, sometimes this happens as a rookie and I have been able to learn from this. We also found a few things this weekend, so we are still improving and learning and now we look to Le Mans and also a quick visit to Portimao to learn the layout.”

Iker Lecuona – P14

“In the end, I’m quite happy that I finished the race, which was my target, as it was a difficult weekend for me. Finally, I could enjoy the race a bit and managed to regain a better feeling. I was fighting with a small group and finished in the points. Thanks to the team for all the support this weekend. I’m sure we will be better in Le Mans.”

Tito Rabat – P15

“Yesterday I did not qualify well, so today we would have to gain positions in the race.  The first laps were good, and I was in a group of four riders, so we continued to take steps.  Today we have done a good analysis of this race, I am not happy, but not satisfied either.  One more point for the championship and now to think about Le Mans.”

Bradley Smith – P16

“We knew this would be a complicated circuit for us because it highlights one of our weak points, namely traction coming out of turns. The positive aspect is that I battled with good riders and good bikes and, at certain times, I was even able to overtake them. We’re lucky to be staying here for a day of tests and we’ll be able to focus on grip, hopefully finding some solutions that can help us on the upcoming tracks.”

Stefan Bradl – P17

“It was cooler than everyone thought it would be, everyone had to manage it. For me it’s tricky to understand the rear tyre and I was struggling a bit. At the end of the race I had to slow down a lot because the rear dropped off a lot. In the middle of the race I was not so bad, and I was near the points, fighting well. Sadly, the rear then dropped and we fell back. But we keep working with the Repsol Honda Team, trying different things and pushing. Now we have a little break before heading to Portimao for a test which will be important for me and Honda.”

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi – DNF

“It‘s a great shame, two mistakes in a row. This was a very different crash from last week‘s. In Misano we did something different on the bike, and technically I was not very strong. I didn‘t feel very good, and also on Saturday and Sunday I was not 100% me. I didn‘t feel very well. This weekend was very different, because I was always competitive. I was good on the bike, I rode well, and I also improved practice by practice. This is very good. Today I was at the limit, because I was behind Fabio and I didn‘t want to lose a lot, I wanted to stay with him. On the left is always dangerous, especially with a low temperature, and I lost the front. It‘s a great shame because I think I could have fought for the victory and for sure for the podium, that was our target. This year my speed is not too bad, but as for the results I have to do better. We still have a lot of races until the end of the season, so our target is to be competitive again starting from Le Mans, work well in the garage with the team, and try to stay at the top.”

Turn Two melee took down Zarco and Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – DNF

“Crashing out at the second corner is always difficult to digest, and I’m sorry for how the race went today. I had focused on making a good start, and at the end of the straight, I managed to recover several positions. Unfortunately, I got involved in an accident on the first lap, which was the result of a normal race dynamic. The Championship is potentially still open but, if we want to challenge for the title, now more than ever, we need to return to the levels of competitiveness to which we are used to”.

Turn Two melee took down Zarco and Dovizioso
Johann Zarco – DNF

“I am sad after today’s race because I thought I could have a good race.  The start was not bad, with a good first braking but in the change of direction Petrucci had a scare, I braked and crashed.  Dovizioso couldn’t help it and crashed next to me.  Now we have to think about Le Mans.“

Dovizioso saw his championship lead disappear from the ignominy of the gravel trap – The Italian now fourth and 24-points behind series leader Quartararo
Miguel Oliveira – DNF

“It’s sad to end the race like this. We had very challenging conditions and expected to be competitive and for that we needed to use the medium front tire. The temperature was quite low today, so it took me just one lap with no slipstream to cool down the tire and when I went to the left side, there was no way I could save the crash. It’s a shame. This is racing. I hope we can get back to the front in Le Mans, the home race for the team. I want to do well there, also for the championship.”

Pol Espargaro – DNF

“For sure I’m disappointed. I paid for some frustration today because with the medium front tyre I could not push so hard in the left corners. I was fighting a lot with Petrucci even though I felt faster than him. I entered the corner a bit too fast and lost the front. My fault entirely. I was trying too hard. I’m keen to get to Le Mans and remove the bad taste in the mouth from here. It was my home Grand Prix and this wasn’t what I expected.”


Team Managers

Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal

“It was a strange weekend for us, but we are glad that Fabio’s win helps to inject positivity. It would have been nice to have a double podium, but Franco’s fourth was still a strong finish. It is good for the championship, for both Fabio and Franco, but especially for Fabio who is back leading the championship ahead of his home GP at Le Mans.”

Fabio Quartararo celebrates victory with the Petronas SRT Team
Fabio Quartararo celebrates victory with the Petronas SRT Team
Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“It was an incredible race today. Joan has been working very well in these last weeks and I’m very impressed and pleased with his performances. Alex did an unbelievable job from 13th on the grid, and this podium is very important for him. I’m so happy to have both our riders riding so well and bringing us these great results. Thank you to everyone for their work and support.”

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“We’re very happy, it’s been a super day with both our riders on the podium! This is something that hasn’t happened for a long time and it’s a great feeling to achieve it. Joan is keeping a very positive trend going and I’m really pleased for him. I’m also very happy for Alex who did a great performance in the race, especially from 13th on the grid and a difficult couple of weeks. We will celebrate inside the team, and I want to say thank you to everyone who has been working so hard, the personnel here, at home, and in Japan. This is possible because of them.”

Suzuki 2-3 with Alex Rins working his way from 13th on the grid to the podium
Suzuki 2-3 with Alex Rins working his way from 13th on the grid to the podium
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“It’s a disappointing end to an otherwise really good race weekend. The first corner is what cost Maverick a good result today. He was forced to brake earlier and other riders overtook him left and right, losing him a lot of positions. Once you fall back, it’s very difficult with our bike to overtake, as we know. Maverick also never had the same amazing feeling this weekend that he had in Misano. We will have to analyse the data to see how we can fix this for the next round. The team is heartbroken for Vale. He had great confidence on the bike all weekend. It‘s a shame that he crashed, losing a great opportunity to finish on the podium. We will try our hardest to create another podium possibility again at the next GP weekend in Le Mans. But first the team will have a week off, though we will certainly use this time to prepare for the next triple header.”

Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager

“We saw already earlier in the weekend that tyre choice would be super-difficult for us. We would always find a solution in the afternoon when the temperatures were higher but race day was pretty cold on track and we knew it would be tough. Pol was doing well until he crashed but, overall, we cannot be happy with our overall results: it is the first time this season that we don’t have a rider in the top ten and we have to analyze why we could not find the performance we wanted. Everybody pushed and gave what they could, but we’ll work now to know more for Le Mans.”

Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“What a tough weekend here in Catalunya. It’s been very difficult. The highlight of the weekend was clearly Saturday, when we had the best track and weather conditions with a great lap in FP3. But apart from that, it was very, very difficult. We never managed to find the right tyre fitting the track grip and temperature. All top three KTM started with a medium front and we knew that was the only possibility for us to go fast. But we also knew we couldn’t afford to let it cool down and more or less this is what happened when Miguel found himself in front. He was doing a good race until then. But he said as soon as nobody was in front of him, the temperature dropped and it was a really cold front tyre. Taking the soft would have probably not end in a crash, but meaning to finish much further down, so it’s a big pity to end up the weekend with a DNF. The positive is, Miguel is still leading KTM in the ranking, but everybody is so close now. Anyway, let’s forget about this weekend and try to move on to the next. Iker had a very, very tough weekend as well and basically, we told him this morning, try to recover your confidence in Warm Up. We gave him the soft-soft front and rear option and told him, his target is to regain confidence and finish that race, which is what he did. Thanks to him, he ended up in 14th position and got two points and for sure has recovered quite a lot of confidence that he lost throughout the weekend. Outside of that, there’s not a lot to say. It was the third weekend in a row, I think it’s time we have a few days off to recover and rest. See you all in Le Mans for the French Grand Prix!”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager

“This has been a very demanding weekend for all concerned. We have to choose the tyres before the season and we were coming to Barcelona in September instead of the usual June, but after looking at historical weather and seeing that both times of the year are similar, we picked a range of tyres with that in mind. Unfortunately, we have had unseasonally cold conditions and this made it very difficult to get the heat in the tyres and for the riders to get the grip from the track. Our Technicians worked tirelessly with every rider all weekend to assist with advice for the optimum compound for the set-ups they were using, in an aim to give the best grip that could be extracted from the asphalt. I feel that we did very well under these exceptional circumstances and stand by the choice of tyres, it is not easy to guess the weather for a track when you have not been to the circuit at that time before, with all this in mind the range provided four raceable tyres for Sunday, of which three were used, so we didn’t go far wrong with our selection. We now head home to Le Mans and another busy weekend where MotoE will join us and we will see that title decided, hopefully it will be a bit warmer than it was this weekend!”

Tyre choice and management was critical at Catalunya

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 40m33.176
2 Joan MIR Suzuki +0.928
3 Alex RINS Suzuki +1.898
4 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha +2.846
5 Jack MILLER Ducati +3.391
6 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati +3.518
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +3.671
8 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +6.117
9 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +13.607
10 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +14.483
11 Brad BINDER KTM +14.927
12 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +15.647
13 Alex MARQUEZ Honda +17.327
14 Iker LECUONA KTM +27.066
15 Tito RABAT Ducati +27.282
16 Bradley SMITH Aprilia +28.736
17 Stefan BRADL Honda +32.643
Not Classified
DNF Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 6 Laps
DNF Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 9 Laps
DNF Pol ESPARGARO KTM 12 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Johann ZARCO Ducati 0 Lap
DNF Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 0 Lap

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 108
2 Joan MIR Suzuki 100
3 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 90
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 84
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 77
6 Jack MILLER Ducati 75
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 72
8 Alex RINS Suzuki 60
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 59
10 Brad BINDER KTM 58
11 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
12 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 57
13 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 39
14 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 39
15 Johann ZARCO Ducati 36
16 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 27
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 22
18 Iker LECUONA KTM 17
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 13
20 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 11
21 Tito RABAT Ducati 8

2020 MotoGP Calendar

Rnd Date Circuit
1 08 March (Moto2/Moto3) Losail International Circuit
2 19 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
3 26 July Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto
4 09 August Automotodrom Brno
5 16 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
6 23 August Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
7 13 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
8 20 September Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
9 27 September Barcelona – Catalunya
10 11 October Le Mans
11 18 October MotorLand Aragón
12 25 October MotorLand Aragón
13 08 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
14 15 November Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
15 22 November Autodromo Internacional do Algarve

Source: MCNews.com.au

Alex Rins on his time with Suzuki and 2020 aspirations

“For sure they believe in me and I believe in them.”

By Eric Johnson


I want to continue like this because I believe a lot in myself and this team,” said a declarative Alex Rins of the Team Suzuki Ecstar outfit for which he won two MotoGP races for in 2019. “The work the team is doing is awesome. They trusted me during the evolution of the bike at the end of 2017, and ever since we have been working very hard together. In Japan, the factory is doing a great job with always bringing little new updates. We did great in 2019, but now we need to look where 2020 is going.”

MotoGP Rnd Valencia Rins GP ANAlex Rins – Image AJRN

The two triumphant Grand Prix wins Rins speaks of were the Circuit of Americas Grand Prix on April 12, 2019 and the British Grand Prix on August 22, 2019, the double-header success signifying the first time Suzuki had done such a thing since Kenny Roberts Junior’s four wins during his 2000 500cc World Championship run.

MotoGP Rnd COTA Rins GP ANAlex Rins celebrates victory – COTA 2019 – Image by AJRN

Yes, 2019 brought hope and optimism to the Hamamatsu, Japan-based company which has won premier class championships with Barry Sheene in 1976 and 1977, Marco Lucchinelli (1981), Franco Uncini (1982), Kevin Schwantz (1993) and the aforementioned Kenny Roberts Junior (2000). And so now a pandemic has sabotaged the 2020 season and the globetrotting MotoGP contingent must deal with many issues before being called back out to the racetracks of the world. Enter Suzuki mastermind Davide Brivio, a MotoGP paddock stalwart who formerly worked closely with Valentino Rossi in helping the racer manage his global business affairs, Brivio has played a significant role in Suzuki’s MotoGP renaissance.

Winning a championship for Suzuki is our target,” declared Brivio from his current lockdown base. “Being a champion is something very difficult. We are aware of that. There are very strong competitors, strong riders, strong teams, but we are here to try and win. In the coming years, our approach is to fight for the world title. And no doubt Alex Rins can do this. We are here for this. Suzuki and me, we both believe we can achieve it and we are working hard and doing our best to get the title.”

MotoGP QatarTest Day RinsAlex Rins during Qatar MotoGP Test in February, 2020

Alex Rins and the Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR in-line-four have been something of a match made in heaven, the bike allowing for excellent handling and high speed changes of direction, ideal for Rins’ aggressive, yet smooth riding style.

Rins, like all the rest of us, has had plenty of time to think about riding, racing and even life in general while riding out the coronavirus clampdown, and we were able to find all of this out via a Zoom conference call on Friday. Dressed up in Suzuki blue and in good spirits, albeit a bit bored, Rins spoke to us about his current lot in life in Andorra where the Spaniard has been holding station.

Andorra Training Day RinsAlex Rins training this week in Andorra

Well, for me, I’ve had small holidays and have stayed close to home during this lockdown,” pointed out Rins. “I’ve been training at home and doing a little bit of indoor cycling and I’ve been doing some push-ups and stuff, but it is not easy to train at home because I don’t have the right materials and equipment here to work. Now, though, it is clear that we can see light at the end of the tunnel because for example today, we start to ride again with the motorbikes ere in Andorra, so I’m quite happy for this.”

Andorra Training Day RinsAlex Rins in Andorra this week

At this point in the conversation, I mentioned to Alex that I had spoken with Fabio Quartararo a few days back and that the French MotoGP sensation was also down in Andorra where he was trying to get tuned-up for the day he gets called back to the global racing grid.

Yes, yes, I have seen a lot of riders riding here in Andorra. As you say, Fabio, Maverick Vinales and the Espargaro brothers. There are a lot of people around. For example, today I went riding with Tito Rabat. That was nice to see once again your rivals at the track and also away from the track! That was good.

MotoGP QatarTest Day Alex RinsAlex Rins during Qatar MotoGP Test in February, 2020

And of being bored and trying to burn time off the clock before someone, somewhere calls everyone back to Grand Prix racing sometime this summer? “As you know, when you are a rider, your entire life is racing,” offered Rins, visibly a bit flustered in wanting to get back to racing way of life. “I mean, the bike, the PlayStation, going to the workshop that I have… With my friends and coworkers, it’s like, ‘Hey, I go into the shop today and we’ll race, okay? I’ll be faster than you and get out of the way!’ We’re always racing. Not a bad thing. Yes, I’ve been racing on the Esports and PlayStation with MotoGP and I prefer the real one! I like to do that. I’ve also done some races in cars with Gran Turismo and we play these games. These are the kinds of things we’ve enjoyed at home during this period.

MotoGP QatarTest Day Alex RinsAlex Rins – Qatar MotoGP Test 2020

2019 great year with Suzuki. Two wins. Coming off an awesome season. History! 2020!

Yes, as you said, we come off of 2019 which was a very good season. This year I hope to go faster than last year and it looks like we will race again at the end of July. That is very good news for us because after a season that was quite good in 2019, I’m so excited to start racing again to feel the adrenaline and to race and to try and win.

MotoGP QatarTest Day RinsAlex Rins – Qatar MotoGP Test 2020

Having signed on to the dotted line with Suzuki to race as a rookie for the team in 2017, Rins has been the foundation of Suzuki’s rapid ascension in modern day MotoGP, the Suzuki Ecstar outfit working closely together to further fortify and bolster high performance and consistent podium finishes.

For sure, we win the races together and we are all very close, and as you know, I just signed two more years with Suzuki,” explained Rins of 2020 and beyond. “All of us together as a team and with the bike, we are all together and we have the same mentality and that is to win. For sure I believe in them and they believe in me.

MotoGP Suzuki GSX RRAlex Rins and Joan Mir

I’m also now very excited to start back racing to show to the world that I’m more ready than ever to fight again,” continued Rins of just what’ll come next. “It’s not easy to win a race in MotoGP and I got two victories last year and that was a pleasure for me. When you arrive and you do something like that, you want to keep it and for sure I want to continue getting podiums and winning races. And something we want to focus on this year is to be more consistent and to finish all the races on the podium and to try and see where we are at come Valencia. We improved the bike a little bit and made it more consistent and it is more powerful down the straights for 2020 As you said, the 2019 season was so good and we are ready. Suzuki did a very good job and they believe in me and they want to start racing right now – and so do I!”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Alex RinsAlex Rins – Sepang MotoGP Test 2020
Source: MCNews.com.au

Riders and Team Managers reflect on Silverstone MotoGP

2019 MotoGP
Round 12 – Silverstone


Alex Rins – P1

“Today has been unbelievable. I won in Austin, beating Valentino. And now I’ve won here, beating Marc. These guys are very fast and are ‘legends’ of the sport. I knew it would be difficult to beat Marc today, but I really wanted to try, and it was fantastic to do it. In a couple of the sectors he was faster than me, but I could make it up in some other areas. But towards the end of the race I felt I had better pace than him, and I told myself that I must go for it and take the chance, I saw the opportunity and I made it happen. Big thanks to everyone in the team!”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone alex rins podium
Alex Rins tops the podium from Marquez and Vinales – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Marc Marquez – P2

“I am happy with the result for the championship but not the result for the race as to lose out in the final moment after leading is not the best feeling. Spending the whole race in front is difficult here because you use more of everything. I tried to go slow for one lap to see if Rins would lead, but he didn’t and I knew Viñales was behind us so I kept pushing. My target wasn’t the race, it was the championship and if the Yamaha riders arrived maybe we could have finished lower. In the last turn I had a moment on the front and had to close the gas which let Rins through but we are happy because we leave with 78 points over second but I hope Dovi is OK after a big crash like that, I hope he can recover well and return because it is always better when you earn the points fighting.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Marquez
Marc Marquez & Alex Rins – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Maverick Viñales – P3

“I don‘t know if I would have been able to make a move if I had been closer to the front-runners, because it‘s always difficult. I was closing the gap lap by lap, just a little, one or two tenths, but I couldn‘t close the big gap in just one lap. I tried my best and I think we got the maximum and maybe even more from our bike today. There are long straights here and at this track it‘s really about the engine, so we’re happy with third. We missed a bit of traction and top speed. In many corners I was much faster, but in others I was surviving the best I could. I think we improved the bike quite a lot during the weekend and that‘s the most important. At the test in Misano we’ll work on improving the grip. We‘re going to be very focused, do a good test, then we‘ll race some more, and we‘ll see what we can do.”

Valentino Rossi – P4

“It‘s another fourth place, but we‘re a bit disappointed. We expected more from this race, because I started from the front row and during the practice sessions I always had a good pace. Unfortunately, I suffered more today, especially with the rear tyre. Already from the beginning of the race I had less grip. I was able to keep a quite good pace going until midway through the race, I suffered very much in the second half, I had to slow down a lot. It‘s a shame, we had expected to fight for the podium. We wanted to do the race like Maverick, he did a great job, but unfortunately we were a bit slower.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Franco Morbidelli – P5

“It was a great race for us, especially as throughout the weekend that this sort of result didn’t seem possible at times. I made a good start, was able to move into some interesting positions, and my feeling improved as the race went on. I fought with Crutchlow for a bit but was able to get away from him, and fifth is a good result for me and my crew. It’s a good point to start the next races from, and I feel that we can use what we’ve learned this weekend to improve further.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Cal Crutchlow – P6

“I tried my best at the start to be able to push, but the tyre wasn’t quite there. I felt a lack of grip immediately in the race and I knew I wouldn’t be able to battle with the other guys. It was pretty similar to what happed in Mugello. But to finish 19 seconds behind the winner here is not acceptable, not from me and not from my team. We tried our best this weekend and we had pace, there was no doubt about that. Yesterday I was able to go one and a half seconds faster than I was at the end of the race, it’s just strange how some tyres are fine and some aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been difficult to win the race regardless, but I should have been a lot further up than I was.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Cal Crutchlow CALUK
Cal Crutchlow – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Danilo Petrucci – P7

“I knew that today it was going to be a difficult GP for me and the incident at Turn 1 affected my race, because I had decided to stay on the outside line but found the bikes of Andrea and Quartararo in front of me and I lost a few places. I then began my recovery and it wasn’t easy to pass the other riders, but in the last ten laps I was quick and I set my fastest lap on the penultimate lap. For sure without the crash I could have finished higher up, but when you start so far behind anything can happen. I feel bad about this missed opportunity but above all I feel bad for Andrea, and I hope it was nothing serious.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone QP Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Jack Miller – P8

“I lost positions at the start of the race due to the accident between Fabio and Dovi. I tried to recover but I couldn’t get a good pace. The rear tyre didn’t help me. We took important points for the “Independent” classification.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Jack Miller
jack Miller – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Pol Espargaro – P9

“It was a difficult race and the temperatures were quite high at the end which made the track slippery, more than we expected, and I was struggling with the rear tyre. Anyway, we were in the group fighting for sixth and we should be happy. We took some good points and we are playing for the top ten in the championship. The bike is getting better and better and we are doing a good job to be competing with the Hondas and Ducatis. Misano next and it is not the easiest for me but I have been fast in the past. We have a test in a couple of days and we’ll see what we can do.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Pol Espargaro KTM RC MotoGP Great Britain
Pol Espargaro – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Andrea Iannone – P10

“I rode a good race, making up positions and managing to stay in the group with Aleix, Pol and Petrucci. Throughout the weekend we worked hard and I hope that some of the progress we made will help us in the upcoming races. Unfortunately, I lost ground in acceleration, even compared to my teammate, and that kept me from launching an attack on the riders ahead of me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we must never give up and today I confirm that once again.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Pecco Bagnaia – P11

“To be honest, this is a good result, better than I expected. After a good Friday and the positive feelings of the FP3 and FP4, I have not found any more feeling. We have taken valuable points for the classification and I can’t wait to be in Misano.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Pecco Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Sylvain Guintoli – P12

“The race felt good for me, I had strong pace, especially towards the end. I was hoping to be able to score points, but I didn’t expect this many and a 12th place. It’s fantastic that Alex put the bike on the top step, the team really deserve it and it just shows how much hard work and commitment they are putting in all the time. What a great weekend.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone sylvain guintoli
Sylvain Guintoli – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Hafizh Syahrin – P13

“It was a hard and also a long race. I felt a little bit strange before the start of the race and I didn’t have too much confidence, because I was scared to crash in the race again for the third time in a row. So, in the beginning, I tried to ride safe and didn’t really find a good rhythm. But after ten laps, I could manage to come back step by step, I made my fastest lap on the last one. I’m really sorry to the team and everybody, because I was just lacking confidence. For sure, this will be a different story in Misano, I will work hard to build my trust again, also during the test, which will help me a lot.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Jorge Lorenzo – P14

“Today went better than expected. Coming into this race I knew it would be difficult and I was thinking that maybe I will finish one minute or more behind the winner because all weekend I have been about three seconds slower than the fastest time. To finish within one minute of the winner and to take away two points is a good reward for a demanding race. I was able to learn more about how to conserve the tyres as well as testing my fitness so I am pleased. Right now I am sore, but I will be stronger for the Misano test and then again in a better physical condition for the Misano race.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Karel Abraham – P15

“On Saturday we thought they wouldn’t let me race after the crash but they finally gave me the fit. During the race I had pain in the muscles of my hands, which were injuried by the crashed of Friday. I was close to retiring from the race but I thought about staying in case someone crashed and we could get some point and it eventually happened. After crashing, Tito was recovering little by little and I was afraid to make too much effort because I was close to pass out, but in the end I could get into the points ahead of him. I hope to be physically recovered for the Misano test on Thursday.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Karel Abraham
Karel Abraham – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Tito Rabat – P16

“The crash has been a shame because we did a great QP, a great warm-up and I was fighting with the group of Zarco, Petrucci and Espargaró but I made a mistake by forcing too much, I ran wide and when I was trying to pass to Guintoli my front wheel locked. It was very hot and the grip of the wheels changed a lot. I want to apologize to the team because we were doing a great job but I made a mistake.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Tito Rabat
Tito Rabat – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Takaaki Nakagami – P17

“I didn’t expect this crash during the weekend, from Friday to the warm-up we did a great job and gradually close the gap. I expected our pace to be about 2 minutes high to middle and we made a good start. In the beginning I lost a bit of time with Pol (Espargaro) but once I overtook him I started to recover my pace and followed Jack (Miller) again. But at turn 16, after the apex when I came off the brake and started to touch the throttle, I lost the front grip and had no chance to recover it. I’m very disappointed and sorry for the team because the weekend was not so bad and our pace suggested we could fight for the top seven or eight. But we lost this opportunity and I’m very disappointed in myself, but these things happen in racing because I was pushing.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Nakagami G
Takaaki Nakagami – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Miguel Oliveira – DNF

“It was a disappointing race to crash with Johann. There is nothing else to say, I was feeling confident, the bike was feeling good, it was a realistic opportunity to finish inside the top 10 again, but unfortunately it ended too early. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Aleix Espargaro’ – DNF

“My start was very good, but then I lost a couple of positions after the accident involving Dovi and Quartararo. I managed to recover quickly and my pace wasn’t bad. I battled with Petrucci and my brother for a while, but it was not easy to stay out front. I felt like I had a good pace, maybe slightly better than theirs. Unfortunately, less than two laps from the finish, the bike stopped. It’s a pity after everything we had done.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Fabio Quartararo – DNF

“[Alex] Rins had a small slide in front of me and I shut the throttle a little too much to avoid him and then highsided. It’s a pity for the result, but more importantly I hope that Andrea [Dovizioso] is OK. It was a racing incident, and just bad luck for both of us. All weekend we were fast and the worst position of the weekend was fourth in qualifying. I had the same pace as the top guys and I’m really happy with the improvements we made this weekend. The team made a big step forwards together and it’s something we can build on.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Johann Zarco – DNF

“It was a shame about the crash because the race was interesting. I was in control and looking to overtake Miguel in that slow corner – as I was doing to a few others in practice – and in the end I just had to apologise to him for destroying his race. The whole weekend I showed a bit better pace. I will just have to wait for Misano now and hope to have the same kind of feeling.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Johann Zarco KTM RC MotoGP Great Britain
Johann Zarco – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

Team Managers

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“We expected to be more closely to the front and join the fight with the two leading riders, but at the beginning of the race we saw that it was going to turn out differently. That said, our performance is improving, we are making consistent progress. Maverick’s third place is the consequence of hard work. Vale had been strong all weekend, but he had a different feeling this afternoon due to grip issues and tyre degradation, especially in the final stages of the race, but he still took fourth. Anyway, this round has been positive overall. The most important thing we take away from this weekend is that our riders were more comfortable with the bike in all sessions. We know what we would like to work on at the upcoming Misano Test, so we‘re looking to make further steps.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Vinales
Maverick Vinales – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Wilco Zeelenberg – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Team Manager

“It could have been a great weekend, but we’re leaving with mixed fortunes. Fabio had bad luck with the DNF, but Franco had a very good race and made great progress. Both his pace and his strategy were good, and it’s a shame that he couldn’t quite chase down Valentino [Rossi] at the end. It’s disappointing for Fabio as he could have been fighting for the win with the pace that he had, but that’s racing – these sort of things can happen.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartaro – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“We are very happy with Pol’s race performance and to be so close to sixth position when everybody had to manage the tyres and fuel. Again a single-digit result is very good for us, the project and for Pol especially after Red Bull Ring where he wasn’t able to finish. We are happy because we know this track is very difficult. We are not so happy with the race crash from Johann and it was unlucky that he hit Miguel and both riders went out. We have to take it like it is. I’m happy for Hafizh in P13 and it shows that he is getting better and better with the KTM. We know we have to push and work hard to make a step but we are at a point where we can fight for single-digit race results, which is our target this year. We are looking forward to the Misano test now and preparation for the race there.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Pol Espargaro KTM RC MotoGP Great Britain
Pol Espargaro – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“It’s a big shame to end up a weekend like that. I am very sad and also disappointed because this is not what should happen in between experienced riders, especially on the same brand. It was early stages yet, we had everything under control like we planned and Miguel was having his own race, trying to save the tyres. The target was a top 10 finish and I think it was really possible. The race is the fruit of long, long hours, everybody is working hard and to see it ending like this, is just a pity. Johann came to apologize to Miguel and to me, but in a way it’s something, I can not digest. It’s a bitter feeling. I’m not happy at all, but this is part of racing, unfortunately. On the other side, we were really working hard with Hafizh the whole week to tell him ‘You haven’t seen the flag till we came back from the summer break. It’s very important for you to get your confidence back and not to do anything stupid.’ He had a cautious race in the beginning. You could see that he was not trying too hard and quite scared to do any mistake. But in the end, he had a great battle with Lorenzo, who is a multiple World Champion on a factory Honda, so I think he learned quite a lot. He passed him with two laps to go and did his fastest lap on the very last lap. Clearly, that means, he was having a little bit of pace still in his pocket. This is a good result for him, because some points are important, finish the race and having a good fight. So, let’s take the positives of the whole weekend; we are competitive. Let’s go to the next round!”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Fri Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

Source: MCNews.com.au

Alex Rins claims Silverstone victory by 0.013s

2019 MotoGP
Round 12 – Silverstone


Alex Rins put in a surprise performance at the newly resurfaced 5,900m Silverstone circuit, where beautiful weather was a consistent feature all weekend, culminating with an air temperature of 31°C on Sunday, making this the hottest race-day of the year so far. The action was heating up on track too, with Rins timing a last corner manoeuvre to perfection, to beat Marc Marquez to the line by just 0.013-seconds, the second time this has happened to Marquez in as many races.

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Start
Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

A duel from almost the first to last, the race is the equal fourth closest premier class finish – and one very much written straight into the history books. Maverick Viñales completed the podium and closed in in the latter stages, but the battle remained Marquez vs Rins to the line.

Marquez got a storming start from pole, streaking away from the line as Valentino Rossi slotted into second but some huge drama hit just behind. A crash for Fabio Quartararo saw the rookie slide out and unfortunately for the man behind him, Andrea Dovizioso, the stricken bike was unavoidable. The Italian hit the Yamaha and both machines and men slid out into the run off, out of the British GP.

That left Marquez, Rossi and Rins at the head of the race, and the number 42 wasted no time attacking the ‘Doctor’ for second, tagging right on to the rear of Marquez as soon as he was past. From there the two began to pull away, and Rossi was left with teammate Viñales to contend with as the number 12 plowed past Franco Morbidelli and started to cut down the gap.

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Marquez
Marc Marquez & Alex Rins – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

Then Rins ran wide and Viñales did just behind, leaving both men with a little more work to do. Heads back down though, they both set about getting back into the tow of the machines ahead. Rins got back on terms with Marquez, and with 14 to go Viñales was pulling alongside Rossi. Move made and cleanly past, the gap to the two ahead was now the key focus for ‘Top Gun’.

Not long after, Rins attacked. Around the outside, the Suzuki rider swept past in a stunning move for the lead, and breath was held around the track. Was this a deciding moment? Ultimately it didn’t last long, however, and Rins even specified: “I let him back past, I didn’t want him to see my weaknesses.”

And so it came down to a duel to the end, and what a duel it was. The two remained tagged together as the laps ticked down and everything was set up to perfection for a final lap showdown, although the Suzuki rider had a wobble at Turn 9 after a look behind to check on the approaching Viñales. Regrouping quickly, Rins then took another nibble on the penultimate lap, getting past Marquez for just about a corner before the reigning Champion struck back…and then came a dress rehearsal of sorts.

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Rins
Alex Rins – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

Coming around the final corner to start the final lap, the Suzuki swept around the outside and was alongside Marquez as the two went elbow to elbow, but Rins ended up on the green stuff and Marquez held firm. The number 42 also lost a few metres with the move, and the pressure was on for the remaining five kilometers of the race. Was there time to catch and pass the man in such charge of the Championship?

Through Maggots and Becketts, the Yamaha of Viñales was almost as close to Rins as Rins was to race leader Marquez, with the number 12 on the limit to try and get in the fight. As the corners passed, however, the Honda and Suzuki edged away – and Rins was more than simply hanging in there. With three corners left the Suzuki was Marquez’ shadow, but was there time? The dress rehearsal from a lap before gave us a clue of what was in store: it was going to go down to the final corner.

Rins had showed some incredible speed there throughout the race, and the number 42 credited that as a big part of his being able to stay with Marquez. That was now his ace, and as the Honda rider tried to defend, the Suzuki unleashed its awesome corner speed as Rins ran wider and then cut back, barrelling alongside Marquez towards the line. And, by hundredths, coming out on top.

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Vinales Rossi
Maverick Vinales & Valentino Rossi – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

The win was the fourth closest in premier class history, Rins’ second of the season and the first time the gloves have come off for the number 42 in a last lap fight for a premier class victory. 40 years since Sheene vs Roberts was split by 0.030, Rins beat Marquez by just 0.013. For the reigning Champion, it was also a second final corner defeat in a row.

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone MotoGP Photo Finish
Vinales v Marquez – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

Viñales, then, was forced to spectate around the final sector, but the 2016 Silverstone winner said he got the maximum from the machine for his 60th podium in third. Teammate Valentino Rossi took fourth and the top Yamaha results continued as Morbidelli completed the top five. The number 21 was also the top Independent Team rider.

He stole that honour from home hero Cal Crutchlow as the Brit took P6, crossing the line half a second ahead of Danilo Petrucci, with Jack Miller and Pol Espargaro not too far behind either as they took P8 and P9 respectively. Andrea Iannone completed the top ten after a solid Sunday showing from the Italian.

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

Francesco Bagnaia, Sylvain Guintoli, Hafizh Syahrin, Jorge Lorenzo and Karel Abraham completed the points.

Johann Zarco didn’t finish after he came into contact with Miguel Oliveira and they both went down, the Frenchman subsequently penalised with three grid positions at his next race. Takaaki Nakagami and Tito Rabat crashed but rejoined, Aleix Espargaro suffered an issue and, of course, neither Quartararo nor Dovizioso saw the flag.

Dovizioso, after examination, was given the all clear and returns home from the UK as normal, although he and Quartararo will need to be declared fit in Misano having suffered concussion.

Alex Rins – P1

“Unbelievable, unbelievable! I’ve beaten two legends: Valentino in Texas, Marquez here in Silverstone. It was so crazy. I beat him today but now I need to continue; I know it will be difficult. I made some mistakes, I nearly crashed at the first corner – I had a big moment. Two laps to the end I crossed the line very close to Marc and I thought the race was over but then I saw one lap remaining and thought: ‘wow, Alex, come on you need to keep pushing’. I was able to cut a lot of time in the first and second sectors and then in the last sector Marc was much stronger than me. Into Turn 16 he was able to brake really hard. The last lap was unique though and it was possible for me to overtake. I have a lot of confidence with my Suzuki right now. We work so hard during the practices to get the feeling right and I was able to play with my bike to brake harder.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Rins
Alex Rins – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Marc Marquez – P2

“I am happy with the result for the championship but not the result for the race as to lose out in the final moment after leading is not the best feeling. Spending the whole race in front is difficult here because you use more of everything. I tried to go slow for one lap to see if Rins would lead, but he didn’t and I knew Viñales was behind us so I kept pushing. My target wasn’t the race, it was the championship and if the Yamaha riders arrived maybe we could have finished lower. In the last turn I had a moment on the front and had to close the gas which let Rins through but we are happy because we leave with 78 points over second but I hope Dovi is OK after a big crash like that, I hope he can recover well and return because it is always better when you earn the points fighting.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Marquez
Marc Marquez – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12
Maverick Viñales – P3

“I don‘t know if I would have been able to make a move if I had been closer to the front-runners, because it‘s always difficult. I was closing the gap lap by lap, just a little, one or two tenths, but I couldn‘t close the big gap in just one lap. I tried my best and I think we got the maximum and maybe even more from our bike today. There are long straights here and at this track it‘s really about the engine, so we’re happy with third. We missed a bit of traction and top speed. In many corners I was much faster, but in others I was surviving the best I could. I think we improved the bike quite a lot during the weekend and that‘s the most important. At the test in Misano we’ll work on improving the grip. We‘re going to be very focused, do a good test, then we‘ll race some more, and we‘ll see what we can do.”

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Vinales
Maverick Vinales – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

That’s it from Silverstone, with six different winners in the last six races at the track made a reality by Alex Rins after a truly history-making stunner of a showdown. Next it’s Misano and Marquez’ advantage has increased once again, but it’s twice in a row the reigning Champion has been pipped to the post on race day. Will it continue on the Riviera di Rimini? Find out in three weeks time.

MotoGP Rnd Silverstone Podium Marquez Rins Viñales
MotoGP Podium 1) Alex Rins, 2) Marc Marquez, 3) Maverick Vinales – Silverstone MotoGP 2019 – Round 12

Source: MCNews.com.au

Motorcycle Racing A Second At A Time

One second is a lifetime on a racetrack. At the highest levels of international roadracing, that critical measurement can mean more than a change in finishing order; it’s the difference between a factory ride and unemployment, a bright future and early retirement. At the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit, a second was the difference between the sweet taste of victory and an also-ran.

Suzuki factory rider Álex Rins needed 24 months of intense bike development to lap the 16-turn, 3.34-mile circuit a full second faster—1:55.069 versus 1:56.157—than Maverick Viñales did on his way to the race win in 2017, the first year of the current Michelin spec tires. And even then, despite leading three laps, Rins only finished fourth in this year’s grand prix. One spectacular lap in the middle of a 22-lap race holds only so much value.

MotoGP is a game of strategy: Ride as fast as possible without scorching your tires. Times in the early to middle stages of the race often vary by as much as a second from the outright best lap, sometimes more. At Qatar, the leading pack dropped the hammer during the final quarter of the race, freeing itself from the rest of the field when it mattered most. After 42 minutes of racing, 0.6 second—the tiniest fraction of the overall race time—separated the top five.

One Mississippi—147 feet at 100 mph. “I tried to be there,” second-place finisher Marc Márquez said after the race, “to push a little, and just be there until the end.” Exactly.

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

Riders and Team Managers reflect on #SpanishGP

2019 MotoGP
Round Four – Jerez
Rider Quotes


Marc Marquez – P1

“This race was a mental race, more than a physical one. After the mistake in Austin it wasn’t easy to lead the race like that from beginning to end, but I knew I had the pace to do it and the bike to do it. I wanted to do a race like in Argentina and at the start in Austin to prove it was a mistake there. I felt good all weekend, smooth, comfortable and able to ride how I want. Thanks to the Repsol Honda Team, they’ve done an amazing job over the last few weeks and here this weekend. It’s great to be leading the championship again.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Alex Rins – P2

“It’s incredible to get a win and then a 2nd place. I feel very happy; this race was really difficult and starting on the third row made it harder. I gave 100% and I knew that my race pace could be close to Marc’s, so I planned to try and get a good start and go towards the front. The Spanish fans were amazing today, I could see Peluqui corner full of fans and it gives me a real boost every lap. I want to keep up this consistency and I hope for another good finish in Le Mans.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Alex Rins
Alex Rins – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Maverick Viñales – P3

“To be on the podium feels like a victory to me. I saw that Dovi and Petrucci were behind me, together, so I thought “Woah, Dovi is going to push, so it‘s going to be difficult”, so I just tried to do my best laps and ride the best sectors I could. Honestly, it was difficult because I had just a little bit of tyre left at the end. I don‘t know if I could have done more laps like that last lap, but I‘m happy because the bike was good at the end. It was very important to demonstrate that we could be there. We recovered a lot of confidence, especially with the front tyre. We‘ve done something different on the bike, that gives me more consistency at the start so I can be much more precise. I‘m really happy because we didn‘t lose any positions at the start, we even gained one, and then another during the race. We‘ve been working really good during the whole weekend. After FP3 we were out of Q2, which means that, since then, we‘ve improved the bike quite a lot. Today was a good test to see where we are. It‘s important that we weren‘t so far from the front in the end. The most important thing is to be on the podium consistently. If we give our best, I think I can arrive at the top, but honestly there‘s no time to relax. Especially tomorrow, we need to do a good test. It‘s very important tomorrow to get everything done and go to Le Mans with a good mindset.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Andrea Dovizioso – P4

“If we consider the issues we’ve always had in the past at Jerez, we can be satisfied with both our pace and the gap from the front at the end of the race. That said, it’s a pity we couldn’t step on the podium, which was our goal. The race was faster than what we expected, and I lost too much ground at the start. In the final phases, I took quite a few risks to cut the gap from Viñales, but I was still losing too much ground in the faster corners to be able to attack him under braking. We knew that on fast-flowing tracks such as this one we would have struggled a bit more. We need to improve our corner speed, we have done that to some extent already and we’re not far from our rivals, so tomorrow we’ll keep working in this direction.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Danilo Petrucci – P5

“Overall, I’m happy with the way we managed a race that proved to be a bit trickier than what we expected. Early on, I simply tried to stay calm and collected to preserve the tyres for the final laps, and honestly I thought the podium was within our reach, but unfortunately it wasn’t the case despite the fact that both Andrea and I gave our 100 percent until the very end. I lacked a bit of corner speed and I couldn’t be as efficient as I would have liked under braking. To finish in the top-three, this year, it’s necessary to iron out every single detail and, in my case, to start from a better position on the grid. That said, it’s been a positive weekend. We collected important points for our championship and, starting tomorrow, we’ll keep working as hard as ever to get closer to the front.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Valentino Rossi – P6

“We made the choice of the tyre at the very last moment. I wanted to race with the medium, but later the temperature rose a lot and we thought “Medium or hard? Medium or hard? Medium or hard?”. In the end we put in the hard, and I think this is the big thing we could have changed. I’m very curious to try the race with the medium, because at the end Maverick was good. I did a good start, but at the beginning I didn’t have enough pace to overtake, but on the second half of the race I was good. I was stronger and my pace wasn’t too bad, good enough to overtake, go, and take some points, which are good for the championship. I think that if I had started more towards the front I could have stayed with the front group, around where Maverick was. The pace of today’s race was very, very fast. I was like 25 seconds faster than my race last year, the gap to first position is less, I felt more comfortable on the bike, and especially on the last lap I was fast. Now we have to concentrate on the next few races.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Franco Morbidelli – P7

“With this seventh position we have rounded off a good weekend for us. We were very quick at the start of the race and I was feeling good and comfortable with the pace of the front runners. I also felt comfortable with the tyres, although as the laps went by I lowered my speed because that changed. In the end, we managed the tyre wear well, so that on the last few laps we would have the ability to fight for the top Independent Team Rider honour with Cal Crutchlow. It’s the first time we have achieved this, so it’s a positive thing that we should repeat many more times. This is a good result for us and it shows that we are improving every day. Now we will try to do a good job at tomorrow’s test, which is also here at Jerez, to be as prepared as possible for Le Mans.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Cal Crutchlow – P8

“I never really found a good setting all weekend, I think if I’d been able to find a better setting I would have been able to use the hard rear tyre. This morning I was quite fast on the hard rear tyre, but I wasn’t confident enough to use it in the race because I didn’t know if I was going to have a bad feeling with it like the last couple of days. So I opted to go with the medium and it was the wrong choice – it’s as simple as that. But I tried my best and eighth place was better than not finishing today, for sure. We need to work on the setting of the bike, that’s the main thing, as I don’t feel very comfortable at the moment, as you saw in the race.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Takaaki Nakagami – P9

“At the end of the race we were quite competitive and the lap time was consistent, in the low 38s and on the last lap I did very close to the best time, but it was too late. The first lap was much better than at the other circuits, but we are still missing a bit of aggression on the riding and I lost a few positions at the start of the race. We have to focus on that point because during the race and at the end of the race we were quite strong. It’s another top 10, P9 is not too bad but we can improve a lot for the next race and keep improving.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Takaaki Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Stefan Bradl – P10

“I am very happy with the result because we have done a good job over the last months testing. We found positive things and turn it into a result which is important to me, reinforcing in myself that I have the speed. It’s also important for the team around me, the guys work a lot away from the races so these points and the positive feedback is a reward for them. The work we are doing now will be important for the future. Thanks to my team and to HRC for all their efforts.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Bradl
Stefan Bradl – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Aleix Espargaro – P11

“In the very early stages of the race, I struggled to find traction, but after just five or six laps I began to feel more at ease, and I was lapping with a good pace. The situation got even better in the last ten laps, where I was decidedly consistent. I began to make up ground on the group of riders ahead of me and I knew I could battle with Nakagami and Crutchlow, who I was getting closer to. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible because Miller hit me as I was overtaking him. I was already all the way on the inside of the turn and it was a rather violent blow. Fortunately, I was able to keep it upright. However, that made me lose a position to Bradl. The race was our best track session of the weekend and that makes me happy. Right now, obtaining the maximum result and not making mistakes is the important thing, and today we were able to do that. Tomorrow will be another very important day of testing. I’ll be the first one out on the track, and we will keep working hard to improve.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Jorge Lorenzo – P12

“It has been a difficult end to the weekend, we wanted to be stronger but I am still not comfortable on the bike. We are still lacking kilometers compared to the other Honda riders. Today especially I was not comfortable on the bike and it was a very difficult race. Tomorrow’s test will be important for us to try and improve my feeling, especially on corner entry where I think I am losing the most. We have to keep working.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Pol Espargaro – P13

“I did a good race. I suffered with the grip in the beginning but caught Lorenzo and passed him. I then just misread my pitboard and eased off a lap earlier. It was one of the biggest mistakes in my career. I was so focussed and so on the limit that I was not thinking about anything else except that Jorge would not pass me back. In the end we lost one position and also I would have been closer to the winner in terms of race time. I know we also had good lap-time speed today. We have a lot to do tomorrow now and to compare what we had in Le Mans and also this weekend.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Johann Zarco – P14

“Tough today. I wanted to overtake more riders but I was on the limit for a lot of the race and losing in acceleration, so it was complicated to pass people on the brakes. I could keep some pace and kept with Pol but in the second half of the race I had to set the target of just finishing. I think we will take some good information in the Monday test. We had some improvement during the weekend but we need to take the general feeling on the bike higher.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Tito Rabat – P15

“Well, after a complicated weekend we have understood a lot of things, we have improved the grip. Now the objective is to make the bike a bit more agile during the race so that we can reach with more strength at the end of the race, catch a slightly higher pace with less effort. But hey, it has been for me super important this point, at least one point goes well. Looking forward to the test tomorrow, we will work on the bike, continue working on braking and level up.”

Karel Abraham – P16

“I am very angry. There are already two races in a row in the same position, 16th. It is a pity. I made a mistake at the beginning and I hate to start like this the second year, it was very bad and it is impossible to go back. Anyway, the first lap was good, the first part of the race was good, so Tito overtook me, it was still good, but unfortunately I started to lose the lead and I made two mistakes in turn 6. Then Tito opened quite a distance when I made a mistake and then squeezed but I was left with the same gap behind Tito, but I could not cut him, it was very hard.”

Bradley Smith – P17

“At the start of the race I was a bit rusty, but then things improved. Unfortunately, the medium front tyre did not help me to be incisive in braking, but I haven’t been able to try the hard compound much on the RS-GP and that is one of the things I intend to do in the tests tomorrow. This morning I felt good, but the high temperatures in the afternoon changed things. In the finale, I managed to ride better and be more decisive in the battle against the other riders. Overall, it was a positive weekend for the type of work that we are doing.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Miguel Oliveira – P18

“It has been a difficult race, I couldn’t manage to stay up with the riders in front of me. So I just kept my rhythm, pushed every lap and took home 18th position. The team tried many things to help me but it seems like this weekend with the new parts, it was hard to find our balance with the bike again that we built through the tests and the first races. Now with the new material, I think we need a bit more time to find solutions to help me being comfortable and fast on the bike.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Hafizh Syahrin – P19

“We tried some different things in the warm-up this morning and I have to admit that I didn’t think it was a big improvement but the feeling was a bit better. In the race I did my fastest laps of the weekend and caught up with [Bradley] Smith and Miguel until eight laps to go I couldn’t keep the pace anymore because the rear was sliding quite a lot and I couldn’t open the gas like I wanted to. Anyway, I keep believing in myself, stay positive and we for sure keep working hard for the next round in order to be better for the home Grand Prix for my team.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Hazifh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin – Jerez MotoGP 2019

Jack Miller – DNF

“I am very sorry because it is always a shame to fall with a few laps to go. I am especially sorry for the team that did a great job in these three days in Jerez. I tried to stay with the group fighting for the podium then I felt that I no longer have feeling. I’ll be back stronger at Le Mans.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Jack Miller
Jack Miller – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Pecco Bagnaia – DNF

“It was a difficult race because I didn’t get off to a good start. My race pace was not bad but when I tried to overtake Espargaro I made a small mistake and crashed. It’s a shame because we worked well this weekend. I can’t wait to be at Le Man, a track I really like.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sat Pecco Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Joan Mir – DNF

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t finish the race, because I had good potential this weekend, but racing is like this. I was happy with my feeling, and when I was catching the group in front I felt good. I really like Le Mans and I hope I can do a great race there and get the result that I know I’m capable of.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Joan Mirr
Joan Mirr – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Fabio Quartararo – DNF

“You could say that I am both disappointed and happy. The race was very good; I felt very good on the bike and it was fantastic to ride with the top riders. That was until we suffered a small mechanical problem with the gear shifter. It’s something very small but it affected us a lot, forcing us to abandon the race. Despite this, I’m happy with the work that we’ve done during the weekend and we will continue in the same way at the coming races. The whole team have done an exceptional job, but in this sport there are things that you can’t control. As we did in Qatar, we will take away the positives – there were many of those at this GP. Before the season began, none of us expected to be fighting for the podium and to get a pole position in the fourth race of the year, so we should be happy with the work that is being done. I’m looking forward to the next race, which is the only home GP I have – I hope to do my best.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sat Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Andrea Iannone – DNS

“I am sorry that I wasn’t able to be out there on the track. Yesterday in FP4 it seemed like we had found a positive direction for the weekend, but unfortunately the crash kept us from continuing our work. I hope to be at full fitness and back in the saddle as soon as possible. I am staying positive and confident.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone – Jerez MotoGP 2019

Team Managers talk Jerez MotoGP

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Ecstar Team Manager

“Alex did a great job, starting 9th in Jerez and recovering to 2nd is not easy at all, it’s one of the most difficult tracks to make up places. He did a great race, and his pace was very fast until the end. So, I want to congratulate him, and also to say thank you to all the team. I’m happy about Joan’s race, because despite the crash with 3 laps to go, he had good pace and was very close to the top in terms of lap times. So overall it’s been a positive day.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Alex Rins
Alex Rins – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“Considering where we were at after FP3, we welcome today‘s results with open arms. A lot of work has been done this weekend. We found a good set-up for Maverick in FP4. He had a really good start and positioned himself at the back of the front group, that was a key factor for today‘s podium. Also, he kept a really good pace the entire race and fended off Dovizioso, setting a 1‘38.1s on the last lap. We‘re very pleased with this third place, because it‘s a great confidence booster after a couple of tough races for him. Valentino‘s race had been compromised by the Q1 session and, at a track like this, starting from the fifth row is a huge set-back. The beginning of his race wasn‘t as good as usual, and he wasn‘t feeling comfortable with the hard front tyre for most of the race. Still, there are some positives to take away from this round. We arrived here with some doubts, because the last two years we have struggled here, so today‘s third place is a testimony to the hard work we have done and improvements we have made over the winter. Tomorrow we have a few things that we would like to try, especially concerning the electronics settings. If we find positive results, then we will use this new solution in Le Mans.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales – Jerez MotoGP 2019
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Team Manager

“A weekend with some problems and it looks like we struggle more with rear grip here compared to some other places. The riders pushed to the maximum and Pol made a great race. In the end a small mistake led to a big consequence and I feel very sorry for him. He could have been 12th but did well anyway. Johann was also in this group. Pol’s fastest lap-time was just 0.5 slower than the race winner and we are twenty seconds behind Marquez: these are not horrible figures but we know we have to help the riders more and we will work hard in the company to make the bike better.”

MotoGP Rnd Jerez Sun Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro – Jerez MotoGP 2019

2019 MotoGP – Round Four Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda 41’08.685
2 Alex Rins Suzuki 1.654
3 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 2.443
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2.804
5 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 4.748
6 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 7.547
7 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 8.228
8 Cal Crutchlow Honda 10.052
9 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 10.274
10 Stefan Bradl Honda 13.402
11 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 15.431
12 Jorge Lorenzo Honda 18.473
13 Pol Espargaro KTM 20.156
14 Johann Zarco KTM 26.706
15 Tito Rabat Ducati 28.513
16 Karel Abraham Ducati 36.858
17 Bradley Smith Aprilia 41.39
18 Miguel Oliveira KTM 41.57
19 Hafizh Syahrin KTM 50.568
Not Classified
43 Jack MIller Ducati DNF
36 Joan Mir Suzuki DNF
20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha DNF
63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati DNF

2019 MotoGP – Round Four
MotoGP Championship Points Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Marc Marquez Honda 70
2 Alex Rins Suzuki 69
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 67
4 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 61
5 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 41
6 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 30
7 Jack Miller Ducati 29
8 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 29
9 Cal Crutchlow Honda 27
10 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 25
11 Pol Espargaro KTM 21
12 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 18
13 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 17
14 Jorge Lorenzo Honda 11
15 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 9
16 Joan Mir Suzuki 8
17 Miguel Oliveira KTM 7
18 Johann Zarco KTM 7
19 Stefan Bradl Honda 6
20 Andrea Iannone Aprilia 6
21 Tito Rabat Ducati 2
22 Karel Abraham Ducati 0
23 Hafizh Syahrin KTM 0
24 Bradley Smith Aprilia 0

Source: MCNews.com.au