Tag Archives: Danilo Petrucci

MotoGP riders reflect on French fracas at Le Mans

2020 MotoGP Round Ten – Le Mans


Rider and Team Manager Quotes

Danilo Petrucci – P1

“It was an incredible race. As of this morning, I knew I could have done a good performance with the dry conditions, but when I saw the rain on the grid, I knew it was going to be a difficult race. I thought I had nothing to lose and that maybe, I could be equally strong even in the wet. In the past, I had managed to get podiums in those conditions, but never a win. I’ve waited a long time before getting back on the top step of the podium, and it’s nice to do it here at Le Mans, a track where I’ve got some good results in the past. I want to dedicate this win to all the people who have continued to believe in me even in this difficult time.”

Danilo Petrucci
Alex Marquez – P2

“A great day. It wasn’t easy starting 18th on the grid but I was feeling really good on the bike. We lost some time fighting with Cal and Pol and Dovi but apart from this I did a good race and it’s a great result for the Repsol Honda Team. I want to say thank you to them for always believing in me and working so hard. Myself and the team never gave up. I felt good even in the dry Warm Up this morning so I think we have managed everything well. It’s been a great weekend and we go to Aragon for two more races. Now we just need to make this result in the dry!”

Alex Marquez
Pol Espargaro – P3

“I enjoyed that so much. It was a very tough race. When I saw the rain coming I said to myself ‘I’ve got nothing to lose, so let’s send-it and try it’. On the last laps I was spinning and sliding a lot but I was super-pumped to see the podium was in reach, so I pushed. It was a great ending.”

Pol Espargaro
Andrea Dovizioso – P4

“I’m a bit disappointed because today I thought I could get a better result. Danilo was very fast, and he was riding really well. I managed to stay with him for most of the race, but at the end maybe, we paid for a wrong tyre choice. I was riding with soft tyre both at the front and the rear, and in the last laps, I couldn’t turn the bike properly. In these conditions, it is always difficult to make the correct choice, because you never know if the track will remain completely wet or if it will start to dry up in the end. Anyway, today we earned valuable points for the championship, and I am happy for Danilo’s victory. Now we’re already focusing on the next race in Aragón.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Johann Zarco – P5

“I am happy with today’s race in which I finished in fifth position.  At the beginning of the race we lost time as we had the medium rear tire, but at the end of the race, with the track drier, it gave a great performance.  At the end of the race I had a higher pace than the leading group, which allowed me to regain positions and finish fifth a few seconds from the podium.  In general, I am very happy with the weekend we had at Le Mans.”

Johann Zarco
Miguel Oliveira – P6

“Sixth place is a good result for us and it was my first full wet race in MotoGP at the same time. Overall, it was a good performance, we had a decent race, which was very long. It’s just a pity not being able to finish fourth because I think it was there for us. We’ll go again next week and try to continue like this and finish all the races. Five to go, there are still many points up for grab, so we are focused on what we can do.”

Miguel Oliveira
Takaaki Nakagami – P7

“It was such a difficult race. We had prepared for the race and then the rain came and there was a delay and after a few minutes the track was fully wet. Then we prepared for the wet set-up on another bike and it was so tricky. But the main thing is that we managed to finish such a difficult race, so I’m quite happy. We had good pace especially at the end of the race, we struggled when the track was drying out but we were faster and so close to the top group. At the end, the last three laps, the rear tyre was overheating a lot and spinning a lot on the main straight so it was difficult to keep the position. It’s another top-10, P7 is really good in these tricky conditions and I want to thank the team. Our performance was not good enough over the whole weekend, but in the end in the race we were quite competitive. Now we are looking forward to two races in Aragon and it’s good to see we are fifth in the championship, it’s another positive energy.”

Stefan Bradl – P8

“It’s a big relief to get this result today, I’m really happy with it. It’s been a busy year and it’s an important result for me and the Repsol Honda Team. The forecast didn’t predict this so after missing FP1 in the wet I was a little worried honestly! But I said to myself to just try and enjoy the race and feel the bike. The team and I went with the medium tyre, which was the right choice and the feeling improved as the race went on. Also a big congratulations to Alex on his podium, it’s a great result for him and the team as well.”

Stefan Bradl
Fabio Quartararo – P9

“We were all on the grid about to start the race and then it started raining, which was disappointing. We knew dry conditions would have been better for us. It was a hard race but I’m happy because we never gave up fighting; on the last lap when Joan overtook me I was able to get straight back past him. It was important to score as many points as possible and actually we were able to extend our lead slightly. We will see what will happen in Aragón but I’m really pleased with my first race in these tricky conditions. Being on pole position at home with the fans was really special, there were only 5,000 of them here but they really helped me.”

Fabio Quartararo
Maverick Vinales – P10

“I tried something different on the start, but it didn‘t work. I tried to start on my own, without electronics. During the weekend this went really well, I started very fast. But then during today’s race, with all the noise coming from the other bikes on the grid, I couldn’t hear my bike and wasn’t able to be precise. So, for the next race we will go back to electronics and try to improve starting that way. I hope the bad luck is finished, because in the first corners I got involved in Vale‘s accident. To avoid the crash I had to go straight, and I was last. Then I started to fight a lot with the other riders, but I couldn‘t find a good rhythm. But in the end we were fast. I‘m happy that the bike was working well in the wet. Usually we struggle a little bit. It was a shame the race wasn‘t one lap longer, because I was catching up with Fabio one second per lap. But it is like this and we need to feel positive, because somehow we saved a little bit of the race. We only lose one point in the championship to the leader. This is important. Next race is for sure going to be much better. Aragón is a track that I really like, and I will go for everything there.”

Maverick Vinales – P10
Joan Mir – P11

“I lost a lot of time at the start of the race where I avoided the crash and then I began struggling a lot for grip. After that I started to get into a rhythm and I was feeling really good with the bike despite the conditions. By then it was too late to catch up to the front riders but it was a nice race to try and get the maximum points, so I’m happy about that. I was 9th heading into the last chicane but then I lost the ideal line when Fabio did an overtake and sent me wide, but this is racing. I’m hoping to get a strong result next weekend in Aragon.”

Joan Mir battling Brad Binder
Brad Binder – P12

“Mixed emotions today because at the beginning of the race I was incredibly slow for the first ten-fifteen laps. Then, all of a sudden, I found two seconds on one lap and started to understand a lot more about how much grip there was available. It was disappointing that I wasted so much time in the beginning and I learnt today how incredible the tires are; I’ve never been able to do things like that in the wet and it’s quite amazing to see what you can do with the bike in those conditions. So today was a learning day because I was much, much better at the end than the beginning. The next time it’s wet we will be better-off.”

Brad Binder
Pecco Bagnaia – P13

“I am not very happy, after the first corner I found myself last and afterwards it was really complicated to recover during the race. I still managed to overtake, the pace was fast but from the position I was in it was impossible to do better. From this weekend I have however learned a lot and next time we will do better.”

Pecco Bagnaia
Aleix Espargaro – P14

“This was not a race to be pleased about. We know that we struggle with grip at the rear and that becomes particularly clear on a cold and wet track. At the start, I managed to maintain a decent pace after a good start, but when there began to be less water on the track, I simply did not have grip. I was constantly at risk of making a mistake, so at a certain point, I set my sights on finishing the race. Now we’ll think about Aragón, a track that I like a lot. Hopefully we’ll find better conditions there.”

Iker Lecuona – P15

“It was a very difficult weekend for me. My goal was just to finish, as I realized that my pace was not very strong. Normally I like wet conditions but I struggled a lot on this track from Friday, so I just tried to bring it home safely. I’m not happy but I hope I can improve next week in Aragon.”

Jack Miller – DNF

“Well … what can I say about that? I felt like that was maybe a win that got away … I’d done everything more or less how I wanted it to, was in position to do something in the final seven laps, and then we had a mechanical. It’s pretty tough to swallow after a couple of races back at Misano when I had Fabio’s (Quartararo) tear-off get stuck in the airbox and ended that race. Just unbelievably bad luck.

Jack Miller

“We had an issue with the engine that sprung up in the warm-up, so we swapped to the second bike for the race. But then when it rained just before the start, we had to switch back to the original bike with the wet set-up, we didn’t have time to fix anything, so we just had to cross our fingers. And then the inevitable happened and it died on me. Just one of those days …

Jack Miller chasing Dovi and Petrucci

“It was a day to score big points too – I spent most of the race chasing Danilo (Petrucci) and ‘Dovi’ (Andrea Dovizioso), and then (Alex) Rins joined in later on. The only one of those ahead of me in the championship was ‘Dovi’ – Fabio was struggling, so was (Joan) Mir, Maverick (Vinales) too. Luckily I didn’t drop too many points to Fabio and I only lost one place in the championship so with five races left I’m still close enough to maybe do something with these races being so unpredictable … but we can’t afford another one like this the rest of the way. Two no-scores from the last two times I’ve been on the front row, neither of them anything to do with me … yeah, it sucks.

Miller chasing Petrucci and Dovizioso

“I don’t want to turn this into a weather report each week but it is becoming a factor now in October in Europe – normally we’re in Japan, Malaysia and home at the Island this month but here we are in Le Mans, we have Valencia coming up, it’s not normal for us to be racing on these sorts of conditions in Europe so it’s been an adjustment. The tracks are so cold even when they’re dry that they’re telling you to be cautious but I find that the harder I push – with some margin of course – but the harder I push straight away, the safer I find it probably is because you get temperature into the tyres straight away. If you go out and you wobble around or you’re not 100 per cent convinced, that’s when I feel it’s more dangerous. There’s no real explanation why I go well in those, let’s call them sketchy, conditions – it’s not just one thing. Bit of feel, bit of courage, bit of disconnect the brain most probably. We have a lot of cold races coming up, so I think that’s going to be pretty important to try to get that right for the rest of the season.

Alex Rins and Jack Miller

“Saying that, it doesn’t work every time … it can definitely bite you on the bum and that’s what happened to me on Saturday in FP3, you guys probably all saw it. That’s the second big highside I’ve had in three race weekends, so I’m getting a little bit over those. My neck and back were a bit stiff on Saturday night and I probably took a few years off my life but other than that I was alright – I was more thinking about Sunday, because this looked like being the best chance we had for a win since, say, Austria. I’ve always liked Le Mans for some reason – I’d finished fourth here the last two years and I had a victory here back in the Moto3 days – so I’ve always felt strong here. I’d been in the podium battle but never actually made it – still haven’t. So today was one that definitely got away.

Jack Miller had a hefty tumble during FP3

“We’ve got Aragon next Sunday (and the one after that too), but some of us went to Portugal before we got to France to check out the circuit where we’ll do the last race in a few weeks. I’d actually never even ridden anything in Portugal before, so to go there, a brand-new track for me … it’s always fun learning a new track, especially a place like that with so many elevation changes and so many corners. I can see why it gets called a rollercoaster, I don’t reckon there’s a corner on it that isn’t blind so I was definitely a little lost the first few laps, wondering exactly where on the track I was! Even just getting out to do some extra riding on the superbike was fun, because the compact season we’ve had means it’s been hard to do much outside of a race weekend. So Portugal is going to be a lot of fun when we go back there, that’s for sure. Hopefully we can get the Ducati to work there – there’s a lot of tight corners which don’t usually suit our bike, but we’ll give it a good crack anyway.”

Jack Miller was looking certain for a podium and even likely for a win before a technical problem
Alex Rins – DNF

“It was unfortunate to have that crash, but I’m actually feeling OK because there were a lot of positives today; I managed the pressure of the race delay and the bad grid position, and I felt very comfortable on the bike. I recovered a lot of positions and a lot of time and I was feeling good up with the leading group. I did a double over-take on the Ducatis and it felt incredible! But in the end I had a crash and couldn’t get the podium. Anyway, Aragon is like another home race for me so I’m happy to go there and I hope for a better qualifying!”

Alex Rins
Tito Rabat – DNF

“The weekend did not end in the best way, although we added laps in wet conditions.  I would have liked to be able to finish the French Grand Prix race after such a difficult weekend we have had.  Now I am with my mind set on the next races in Aragon where we will continue to learn and improve.”

Cal Crutchlow – DNF

“Today we had a great start to the race and we were in not a bad position and I didn’t really want to leave the race with how the conditions were. The first five laps of the race I struggled to get heat into the tyres and was not able to push as much as I wanted. But then I got in a good rhythm, the pace was good and at one point we were catching the leader. Unfortunately with eight laps to go I crashed in turn two, but the previous five laps I was struggling on the right-hand side in the last corner and turn two. It just seemed that I was not able to lean the bike and when I did lean the bike I crashed. Obviously not a great result, but a better weekend and it was nice to be able to be up there in the wet and the dry and we now look forward to Aragon in a week’s time.”

Valentino Rossi – DNF

“It was a great shame, because a crash like this on the first corners is easily done in half-and-half conditions. You don’t understand your potential yet, if you’re fast with the bike, how you’re feeling with the bike – nothing. But I started well, and I was already in a good position. I entered the second corner very slowly, like everyone else. We were all taking it easy, because these were very difficult conditions. It was very cold with the rain. Unfortunately I lost the rear. It’s a shame and I’m also a bit unlucky in this period, because we didn’t take any points in these last three races, whilst my speed and potential weren’t so bad. So, we need to try again next week in Aragón, and we will see.”

Valentino Rossi
Franco Morbidelli – DNF

“I had a good start but unfortunately I was caught up in the incident with Valentino , which lost me a lot of positions. From then on it was a really hard race, I had to take it step-by-step and find my rhythm. In the last ten laps when I decided to push a little bit more, to try to catch the group in front, I made a mistake in Turn 4 and lost the front end. It’s a shame because I think eighth or ninth position could have been possible, but the mistake was my fault and I haven’t scored any points. Apart from this mistake it has been a positive weekend and I was super fast, especially this morning. Now we need to take this speed to Aragón.”

Bradley Smith – DNF

“Unfortunately, our difficulties got the best of us in the race too. We need to work on the electronics, because in conditions like today, we are too close to the limit. I’m very disappointed because when I crashed, I wasn’t pushing. I had found my pace and was already thinking about how to manage the tyres which, with less water on the track, were beginning to overheat. In any case, I am pleased with what I was able to do. I took advantage of every possible opportunity this weekend to best express the potential of the RS-GP.”

Team Managers

Luigi Dall’Igna – Ducati Corse

“It was a tough race in so many ways, and the difficulties increased at the end when the tyres started to have a drop in their performance. Danilo did really well today, and he was able to do better than anyone else, so he fully deserves this victory. Andrea also had a good race and narrowed the gap from the championship leader. Too bad for Jack, because he too was riding really well in these difficult conditions.”

Petrucci and Ducati celebrate victory
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager

“A good day with our fifth podium of the season and in some race conditions that were far from easy. Pol did a great job and pulled back a lot of time at one stage. It was pretty exciting to watch him move into the podium positions. Miguel was also very strong and was unlucky to lose that top five right at the end. Both Brad and Iker had some positives to take from today, they are both rookies and do not have much wet weather time on the race bike. We had all four RC16s in the points today which not only showed the excellent potential of the bike when the track is tough but also that the team worked really well. I think we can go to Aragon looking for more.”

Red Bull KTM
Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“When we saw the rain coming on the starting grid, we thought it’s going to be a tough race with an unpredictable result. We didn’t know if it was going to be a flag to flag, but finally, it rained hard enough to keep the track wet all race long. Miguel had not such a great start, because he was slowed down by Rossi’s crash in the first turn, but recovered really well. We could see he had the speed and he was passing riders every single lap. He went up to the group with Alex Marquez and Pol Espargaro. We were really close, quite a lot of times fastest in the group and we thought it’s going to be a fight until the end. Then Dovizioso slowed down quite a lot, Pol managed to pass him, we passed him, he repassed us and we lost a lot of time behind him. Pol was gone for the podium and following Dovizioso was enough to slow us down and to be within the reach of Johann (Zarco), who was on the medium rear, that were in a much better shape by the end of the race. We lost the position, not only we didn’t catch fourth, but we lost fifth in the very last corner. That can happen, anyway, it’s only one point between fifth and sixth. Miguel has shown today that he is a very fast and steady rider in the wet. Our bike was well prepared. Congratulations to KTM for another podium with Pol. Altogether this was a positive weekend, although it’s always a bitter feeling to lose a place in the very last corner. Big congratulations to Miguel, he rode really, really well and I think we can only be proud of him. Iker was lost, honestly. The first race in the wet with the MotoGP is never easy. We told him before the race ‘try the best you can, learn, finish the Grand Prix, get information, get feedback, get experience’ and this is what he did. It was good enough to finish in the points. To get one point for 15th position is not something glorious, but this is a reward for the hard work of the weekend. He is a rookie, he is learning and feeling that in these conditions there is still a lot to learn. But we are quite positive and happy with this weekend in Le Mans for the French Grand Prix. Let’s pack everything and move to the next one, which is Aragon.”

Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal

“That was unexpected; it was more about damage control for Fabio today. He is still leading the championship, increasing the gap to ten points. It was the best we could do today in very tricky conditions. When it is like this I think the best thing the riders can do is to stay on the bike and do the best they can. Unfortunately Franco had to retire with some mechanical problems after a crash. We go to Aragon still leading both the riders’ and teams’ championships, although we know that the two races there are going to be even tougher for us, but we will be fighting every lap.

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“Honestly, right up until this morning we were struggling a lot, then the rain came and it was another story. It was a shame for Alex because he did an amazing effort and in the end he couldn’t get the reward. But we’re very impressed with his job today. Joan struggled at the start of the race but he recovered very well and managed to catch some good championship points, which was very important and we’re pleased for him.”

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“We have to be pleased with how our riders reacted to such a difficult race. It was a real pity for Alex as he had a great recovery from 16th place and he was fighting for the win. But unfortunately he crashed, which is very easy to do in these conditions. Joan did a good race, especially as he doesn’t have experience in the rain in the MotoGP class, he learned a lot today and he managed to get some decent points at the end. Overall, today showed a lot of promise so we actually leave Le Mans in good spirits despite the crash. We like Aragon as a track, and we’re looking forward to next weekend.”

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“We can‘t help but feel disappointed about what happened today. We knew this race was going to be difficult, but the rain was an unexpected twist that didn‘t work in our favour. It was going to be a hard race for Valentino anyway, starting from 10th on the grid, but his crash ended any chance early. It‘s a great shame. Maverick‘s start wasn‘t ideal, and it didn‘t help that he had to avoid Valentino and some other riders in Turn 3. But he deserves credit, because he salvaged tenth place. It was realistically the best he could do in the wet conditions, especially considering the setbacks he faced earlier in the race. All in all, it‘s a day to forget. We now move on to the two rounds in Aragón, where it will be all hands on deck to improve our position in the championship standings.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

“This has been a weekend where we have had a mix of weather, from very wet, through to dry and sunny, but the one constant was the cold track conditions. We knew it was going to be a weekend of low temperatures, so we brought the softest tyres we could that would still allow the riders to have the durability for race length. The dry practice proved that this was the correct decision, but with the extremely cool temperatures if the race had been in the dry all the riders would have used the soft front and rear configuration to give them the grip needed to perform. As it was the rain fell as the race was due to start and the MICHELIN Power Rain tyres were used by all. The tyres again showed their performance in wet conditions and both the soft and medium compound for the front and rear were used in the race and they all produced excellent results. We had three different manufacturers on the podium, so the rain tyres showed our ethos of producing tyres that work for all. MotoE has given us another great season and the title went all the way to the final race and I would like to congratulate Jordi Torres on winning the World Cup. We have learnt a lot this season and have been really pleased with the way the new tyres featuring the regenerated material have performed, the lap-times have improved and the overall performance and confidence for the riders has increased. We will now work on what we have achieved this year and come back even stronger, with more innovations in MotoE for 2021. We now move to Spain for two races at Aragon, including the Michelin Grand Prix, it is a very demanding track and we are going there later in the year than usual, but we have picked a tyre range that we expect to work in the conditions, so we are looking forward to the challenge.”


MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 45m54.736
2 Alex MARQUEZ Honda +1.273
3 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +1.711
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +3.911
5 Johann ZARCO Ducati +4.31
6 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +4.466
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +5.921
8 Stefan BRADL Honda +15.597
9 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +16.687
10 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +16.895
11 Joan MIR Suzuki +16.98
12 Brad BINDER KTM +27.321
13 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati +33.351
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +39.176
15 Iker LECUONA KTM +51.087
17 Alex RINS Suzuki +1’14.190
Not Classified
DNF Jack MILLER Ducati 7 Laps
DNF Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 8 Laps
DNF Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 9 Laps
DNF Tito RABAT Ducati 12 Laps
DNF Bradley SMITH Aprilia 18 Laps

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Bike Points
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 115
2 Joan MIR Suzuki 105
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 97
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 96
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 81
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 77
7 Jack MILLER Ducati 75
8 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 73
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 69
10 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 64
11 Brad BINDER KTM 62
12 Alex RINS Suzuki 60
13 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 47
15 Johann ZARCO Ducati 47
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 24
18 Iker LECUONA KTM 18
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 13
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

Sunday wrap from Le Mans MotoGP | Moto2 | Moto3 | MotoE

2020 MotoGP Round Ten – Le Mans


Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) is a wet weather master, but until now the Italian was always the bridesmaid in the rain. But no longer, Petrucci put in a stunner in the Shark Helmets Grand Prox de France to take his second premier class win and first in the wet. It’s Ducati’s first victory at the Sarthe circuit too, with Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) marking his own first in second place as the rookie took a stunning maiden premier class podium – from 18th on the grid. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing completed the rostrum in another impressive ride in the wet, pipping Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) as the Italian was forced to settle for fourth – but far outscored his key title rivals. Jack Miller looked set for at least a podium, and possible victory, until late in the race his Ducati developed a technical fault that put him out of the race.

MotoGP Race Report

Jack Miller

Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) took the holeshot, the Australian characteristically quick off the line, with Crutchlow swooping through trying to take the long way round. Polesitter Quartararo lost out as he dropped behind Miller, Petrucci and Dovizioso, but he was quick to try and fend off an attack from Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). He did initially, but the drama early on Lap 1 turned more heads: Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) skittled out, sending two crucial title contenders wide and dropping them right down the field: Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP).

Rossi was down early

Back at the front though, it was Petrucci who’d taken over in the lead, the Italian looking comfortable ahead of compatriot and teammate Dovizioso as they got through on early leader Miller. The three had a couple of seconds in hand ahead of Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), who had sliced his way through on Pol Espargaro to take over in the chase to catch the podium fight, but the Suzuki man was on a charge as Quartararo slipped backwards, Viñales continued his charge forwards and Mir remained relegated to outside the points as the latter two tried to recover from their early run off.

Petrucci, Dovizioso, Miller

Pol Espargaro had Crutchlow for company, but soon there was another machine on the scene. Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda team) was showing incredible pace as the Spaniard caught and passed Crutchlow, and then he was homing in on Pol Espargaro – with fastest lap after fastest lap. And then all hell broke loose…

Alex Marquez chasing Crutchlow

Rins, after catching the front group, had a nibble or two at Miller, before a few laps later the Suzuki man threw everything up the inside in a multi-buy for the lead – right after Dovizioso had taken over at the front. Dovi was shuffled back, contact ricocheted through the group and it was Petrucci who managed to emerge ahead, Rins second and Miller slotting back into third after running off and holding up his hand to give the advantage back.

Alex Rins and Jack Miller

And then there was more: a puff of smoke from the rear of Miller’s Ducati saw the Aussie forced to sit up and he was suddenly out with a mechanical – and then Rins suddenly slid out of contention. That shot of sudden drama left Petrucci with a couple of seconds in hand at the front, Dovizioso in second and Alex Marquez now up into third as the impressive rookie had sliced through on Pol Espargaro. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) was close behind too, with the podium far from decided.

Jack Miller looked set for a possible win and definite podium before his Ducati developed a fault

The gap to Petrucci was coming down, but Marquez was also right on Dovi. And sure enough, the number 73 picked his moment to perfection and sliced through – then immediately starting to make a gap back and catch Petrucci. The laps were running out, but the rookie was on an almighty charge.

Alex Marquez on Dovi

Pol Espargaro struck to take third from Dovizioso soon after, before the Italian found himself in a battle with Miguel Oliveira as well. Onto the last lap just ahead though, it was 1.2 seconds from Petrucci back to Marquez, the rookie taking a good chunk of tenths off but the time ticking down. And the number 9 in the leading was holding firm, perfectly poised on the way to a second Grand Prix win…

Danilo Petrucci

Ultimately, the Italian wouldn’t be caught as he crossed the line for Ducati’s first win at Le Mans, his second premier class win and a huge boost of confidence after a difficult season. Alex Marquez kept it upright to get the incredible return for his stunning pace – having only ridden in the wet on Friday – with Pol Espargaro holding Dovizioso at bay.

2020 LeMans MotoGP podium
1 Danilo Petrucci – Ducati Team – Ducati 45:54.736
2 Alex Marquez – Repsol Honda Team – Honda – +1.273
3 Pol Espargaro – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM – +1.711

Oliveira ended up with his hands full in the fight for fifth, and some late race pace from home hero Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) saw the Frenchman mug the Portuguese rider to end the race as top Independent Team rider in fifth. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) took seventh and was the second Honda home as Cal Crutchlow crashed out, with Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) in P8. And then came the three who begun the race on top in the title fight…

Fabio Quartararo won the tight, tight tussle for ninth as the Frenchman managed to fend off 2021 teammate Viñales late on, but it was a three-way scrap to the absolute last as Viñales then also managed to beat Mir to the line by almost nothing. The result? Quartararo extends his Championship lead to ten points ahead of Mir, and Dovizioso leapfrogs Viñales into third overall…

Vinales had a bad day

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the next man over the line in P12 after a tougher first race in the wet for the South African, with Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) taking P13. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was 14th, was Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) completing the points and those classified in France.

Danilo Petrucci – P1

It was I think one of the first times in my life I was disappointed to see rain on the grid because I expected to be fast in the dry and after this morning I felt really good on the bike and I thought we could fight for the podium, I didn’t know if for the win, but then I saw the rain and I switched from medium to soft on the rear at the last minute… but then I immediately wanted to stay in front, because I wanted to stay far from the problems, and then I saw at the beginning we were three Ducatis, and then Rins coming fast… fortunately we have fans here and screens so I could see it. Then Dovi tried to pass me, we were close to each other but I thought there were too many behind so I immediatley passed him again, but then I said come on risk a bit! I tried to push and made a gap but I had a big moment at turn 4, I stayed up but then I saw Alex coming very fast, and I said come on push you can’t lose this race! And I was able to win! It’s incredible to come back on the top step.”

Danilo Petrucci

That’s it from a dramatic Le Mans, and now we head for the very different MotorLand Aragon. Back to home turf for many and with some chances lost in France, the title fight remains incredibly tight – and we have another dose of MotoGP next weekend! And Marc Marquez could be back to spice things up ever further…

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 45m54.736
2 Alex MARQUEZ Honda +1.273
3 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +1.711
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +3.911
5 Johann ZARCO Ducati +4.31
6 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +4.466
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda +5.921
8 Stefan BRADL Honda +15.597
9 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +16.687
10 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +16.895
11 Joan MIR Suzuki +16.98
12 Brad BINDER KTM +27.321
13 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati +33.351
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +39.176
15 Iker LECUONA KTM +51.087
17 Alex RINS Suzuki +1’14.190
Not Classified
DNF Jack MILLER Ducati 7 Laps
DNF Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 8 Laps
DNF Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 9 Laps
DNF Tito RABAT Ducati 12 Laps
DNF Bradley SMITH Aprilia 18 Laps

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Bike Points
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 115
2 Joan MIR Suzuki 105
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 97
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 96
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 81
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 77
7 Jack MILLER Ducati 75
8 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 73
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 69
10 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 64
11 Brad BINDER KTM 62
12 Alex RINS Suzuki 60
13 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 47
15 Johann ZARCO Ducati 47
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 24
18 Iker LECUONA KTM 18
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 13
20 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 11
21 Stefan BRADL Honda 8
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 8
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4

Moto2

Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took a stunning win in the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France, the Brit crossing the line in a class of his own to launch himself well back into the title fight. Compatriot Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) suffered some late heartbreak after a crash out the lead, with Remy Gardner (ONXOX TKKR SAG Team) then taking second as he attacked Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) on the last lap. Drama hit for polesitter Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) before the race as he had a problem on the grid and was forced into pitlane to try and get the bike going, managing that and heading out late on the Warm Up lap… and not making it round quite in time before the lights went out…

Gardner took the holeshot from Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with the Australian streaking away in the lead initially and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) heading through into second. Lowes was then soon through into the top three too, and the Brit then hopped past the two men ahead to take over at the front early doors.

Dixon was on a charge, however. The 96 sliced through to second not long after, with Martin an early casualty as he then crashed out. Next was Vierge, the number 97 highsiding in front of Gardner and that seeing Bezzecchi home in on third.

A moment then hit for Gardner too and the Australian was swarmed by Bezzecchi, as similar hit at the front too for Lowes. Into Turn 9, the Brit had a huge moment and headed off onto the run off and Long Lap penalty area, saving it but then left with quite a deficit to Dixon, who’d taken over at the front…

The laps ticked on, Dixon marched on and Lowes was left with the task to reel him in as the fight for third between Bezzecchi and Gardner stayed incredibly tight. Roberts, meanwhile, was absolutely charging through from the back, and the American was already picking off riders in the top ten…

Then, suddenly, disaster struck for Dixon. With a comfortable lead still intact, the tricky conditions suddenly caught the number 96 out – and out he slid. Heartbroken in the gravel trap as he lost out on the chance of a first win, Lowes was back in front and Dixon unable to restart.

For the number 22, that was all she wrote. Lowes kept it tidy over the last handful of laps to cross the line with an impressive near four-second gap, back on the top step for the first time in a few seasons – and putting himself right back in the title fight. Meanwhile, it all went down to a dramatic final lap for Gardner and Bezzecchi, the Italian defending throughout the final lap until an absolute last minute final corner lunge saw Gardner beat him to the line. For Bezzechhi though, the points are a valuable haul as the Italian moves up to within five points of Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) in second.

Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took fourth after a solid ride, the last man in touch with the podium fight, with veteran Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) taking a solid fifth place. And then came Roberts…

Despite the drama at the start and beginning the race even further back than the back of the grid, the American’s stunning charge saw him take home an awesome sixth place. A win it wasn’t and he’ll rue his luck, but it was a true stunner.

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Termozeta Speed Up) put in an impressive performance riding a little sore following his crash earlier in the weekend as he took P7, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) and Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) next up as they took solid results in difficult conditions to score some big points hauls. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) completed the top ten despite a tougher weekend for the German.

So where were the top two in the title? Bastianini took P11 in the end, a handful of points not seeing him gain big ground but he was ahead of Championship leader Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), who failed to score. After a big highside on Friday left him bruised, the Italian impressed to finish but just missed out on points in P17.

Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40), Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing), Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) and Hafizh Syahrin (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) completed the points.

Sam Lowes – P1

You know I felt sorry for Jake and I want to say well done to him because he’s been doing well in the last few races and he was riding good then. It was easy to crash in those conditions but I felt really good, apart from locking the front into Turn 9, I just got it a little wrong a little bit on the damp patch. You could see it coming up and I just caught the edge of it and yeah, I was lucky to stay on, so then after I just took it easy. Jake had good pace and I didn’t want to get too close to him because when I’m behind I have a tendency to rush in a little bit, so I wanted to look after the front. So I tried to keep about a second and a half and then push towards the end but he was real strong but unfortunately he went down and yeah, I felt good, I felt good all weekend and that’s three podiums in a row and I’m really happy to get this win because it has been a long time since I won a race and we’re going into Aragon next week which is where my last win was so it was nice to get it before going back there. It’s really nice for me at the SHARK Helmets French Grand Prix, obviously being a long time SHARK rider, thanks to everyone for their support but yeah, it has been a very good day!”

Remy Gardner – P2

After a difficult day on Friday qualifying went well. I was happy to be back on the front row and really looking forward to the race. The race was almost perfect. I am extremely happy to finish second after what was a really long race. The team did a great job all weekend, we were very smart from Friday to Sunday and in the end, we pulled it off. Second is valuable points, it’s my best result in GP racing and hopefully means we can end the season strongly. Big thanks to all the fans for their support, especially those on Twitter – I just hit 10k followers which is insane. Couple of days to recharge and then we go again at Aragon. See you there!”

Moto2 podium L-R: Gardner, Lowes and Bezzecchi
Jake Dixon – DNF

That wasn’t the ideal result but it is what it is. The main thing is that I was leading the race and was really fast. We haven’t got long until the next race at Aragón, it’s next weekend, so that’s good. Now I can look back at today’s race and reflect that I was doing a really good job and I know that I’m going to be fast from here onwards. The team are working really well, everyone is doing such a great job and I can’t thank everyone enough. It was unfortunate but these things happen and we’ll come back stronger.”

Moto2 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Sam LOWES Kalex 41m27.648
2 Remy GARDNER Kalex +3.822
3 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex +4.184
4 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex +5.884
5 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +21.668
6 Joe ROBERTS Kalex +29.197
7 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up +32.249
8 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +34.376
9 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex +35.392
10 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +35.521
11 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex +37.72
12 Hector GARZO Kalex +37.91
13 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex +38.423
14 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta +43.464
15 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up +44.036
16 Simone CORSI MV Agusta +44.217
17 Luca MARINI Kalex +59.55
18 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex +1m09.735
19 Edgar PONS Kalex +1m09.751
20 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS +1m12.930
21 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +1m14.158
22 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI NTS +1 Lap
23 Kasma DANIEL Kalex 0 Lap
Not Classified
DNF Jake DIXON Kalex 5 Laps
DNF Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 7 Laps
DNF Nicolò BULEGA Kalex 10 Laps
DNF Andi Farid IZDIHAR Kalex 20 Laps
DNF Xavi VIERGE Kalex 21 Laps
DNF Jorge MARTIN Kalex 23 Laps

Moto2 World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Luca MARINI Kalex 150
2 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex 135
3 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 130
4 Sam LOWES Kalex 128
5 Jorge MARTIN Kalex 79
6 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 72
7 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 68
8 Joe ROBERTS Kalex 66
9 Remy GARDNER Kalex 61
10 Aron CANET Speed Up 61
11 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 60
12 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 59
13 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 49
14 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 47
15 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 45
16 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 41
17 Hector GARZO Kalex 25
18 Jake DIXON Kalex 22
19 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up 18
20 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 18
21 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex 17
22 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex 15
23 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 10
24 Simone CORSI MV Agusta 8
25 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS 5
26 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex 5
27 Dominique AEGERTER NTS 4
28 Edgar PONS Kalex 2

Moto3

Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) took what could turn out to be a vital victory in the Moto3 race at the Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France, the Italian striking when it counted to overhaul Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) by a tenth and take home a valuable 25 points. Behind Arbolino, Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) completed the podium and with that, took back the Championship lead as Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) ended up outside the front group and John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) failed to finish in France.

Arenas took the holeshot, streaking away into Turn 1 in clear air, but it didn’t take long for Arbolino to home in, with Jaume Masia (Leopard Raacing) slotting into third as he made up some ground after getting bogged down off the line from pole. McPhee lost out in a big way as the Brit went from front row to tenth, with Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) two to move up.

Arenas wasn’t allowed to escape. Masia striking quickly to take over in the lead on Lap 2, and so began the classic freight train fun. Masia led Arbolino and Rodrigo, with Vietti also leapfrogging the number 75 over the line next time around. The front quintet had made a small break, but Catalan GP winner Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) was on the chase and the South African soon caught them and got busy, the front group back to 16 riders line astern.

Some drama then hit though, as Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) collected teammate Romano Fenati and both Husqvarnas slid out, before Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took a tumble not long after. That left a lead group of 13, and Masia remained at the head of the field – with Arenas for close company.

As organised chaos reigned at the front, Arenas sliced his way through to first and it was going well for the number 75, with McPhee down in tenth and points leader heading into the race, Ai Ogura, struggling to stay in the top twenty and outside the front freight train. That group was getting whittled down lap by lap too, with Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) losing touch to make it 12 riders in the battle for P1.

With seven to go, that became 11 as Darryn Binder suddenly sat up, a mechanical problem forcing the South African out of the race and the front group scattering to move round the stricken KTM. That they did, and the fight raged on before Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) dropped off the back too with a crash. And there were more as, suddenly, the Championship took another huge twist: a crash for Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) took the Spaniard out of the group, and the man right behind him was unable to avoid the incident, getting collected: Championship challenger McPhee.

But the top eight marched on, Arenas among them, and Ogura had made his way to tenth by then – adding a valuable haul of points as he steadily made his progress from the P24 he’d dropped down to initially. Onto the penultimate lap it was Masia who remained in the hotseat at the front, but a sudden bobble for the number 5 suddenly saw him leapfrogged as Vietti was able to take charge, the Italian sweeping through from third to lead – and lead he did over the line for the final lap.

Would anyone be able to catch the Italian? They would not. Keeping it pinned to perfection, the number 13 didn’t give anyone a chance to attack – and managed to cross the line a tenth and a half clear to make a huge gain in the standings to boot, now third. Arbolino took second and is another who gains on the top overall after another impressive ride to the podium, with Arenas taking a rostrum finish in third – and back on top as the Championship leader.

Masia was forced to settle for fourth despite his exemplary race, that late wobble costing the Spaniard, with the top five completed by an impressive charge from Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46). And in sixth, finally there was an end in sight for Ayumu Sasaki’s (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) run of bad luck. After what seemed like an eternal reel of getting collected in other riders’ incidents, the Japanese rider had a drama free Le Mans to convert eighth on the grid to sixth in the race.

Fernandez takes seventh after losing a little ground late on, with Rodrigo completing the front group in P8. There was then a gap back to the next battle on track, but it was a familiar name who fought his way to the head of it: Ogura. The number 79 did the most damage limitation possible to move up from 17th on the grid and P24 early in the race, getting the better of Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Moto3) as the Spaniard completed the top ten.

Garcia, Filip Salac (Rivacold Snipers Team), Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), Riccardo Rossi (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) and Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) completed the points in France.

Arenas has taken back the reins as we now head for his home turf, on 135 at the top as Ogura slips down to 129. It’s now Vietti in third, the Italian on 119 and gaining some serious ground, with Arbolino close behind and McPhee shuffled down to fifth.

Celestino Vietti – P1

A strange race, I didn’t expect this result, we are fast but I didn’t expect it a lot like today. I think we chose the correct tyre, and in the last part I think we had a bit of speed more than the other riders, a little bit. And in the last three laps I tried to go in front but all the riders – like Tony and Albert, Masia – braked very hard and for me it was very difficult to overtake them. But I’m very happy because we managed the race in a good way, and I’m happy for the team because we struggled a bit with three crashes this weekend, I’m happy, this is for them and we’ll try to continue in this way.

Moto3 podium
1 Celestino Vietti – Sky Racing Team VR46 – KTM 37:37.384
2 Tony Arbolino – Rivacold Snipers Team – Honda +0.142
3 Albert Arenas – Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3 – KTM +0.198

Moto3 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Celestino VIETTI KTM 37m37.384
2 Tony ARBOLINO Honda +0.142
3 Albert ARENAS KTM +0.198
4 Jaume MASIA Honda +0.336
5 Andrea MIGNO KTM +0.569
6 Ayumu SASAKI KTM +0.834
7 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM +1.361
8 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda +1.625
9 Ai OGURA Honda +15.003
10 Carlos TATAY KTM +15.139
11 Sergio GARCIA Honda +15.269
12 Filip SALAC Honda +15.381
13 Dennis FOGGIA Honda +15.574
14 Riccardo ROSSI KTM +15.729
15 Stefano NEPA KTM +17.743
16 Barry BALTUS KTM +18.991
17 Jason DUPASQUIER KTM +19.173
18 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda +25.148
19 Khairul Idham PAWI Honda +26.189
20 Yuki KUNII Honda +26.36
21 Maximilian KOFLER KTM +26.959
22 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM +30.306
Not Classified
DNF Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 4 Laps
DNF John MCPHEE Honda 5 Laps
DNF Jeremy ALCOBA Honda 5 Laps
DNF Kaito TOBA KTM 5 Laps
DNF Darryn BINDER KTM 7 Laps
DNF Davide PIZZOLI KTM 10 Laps
DNF Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 15 Laps
DNF Romano FENATI Husqvarna 16 Laps
DNF Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 16 Laps

Moto3 World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Bike Points
1 Albert ARENAS KTM 135
2 Ai OGURA Honda 129
3 Celestino VIETTI KTM 119
4 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 115
5 John MCPHEE Honda 98
6 Jaume MASIA Honda 83
7 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 77
8 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 75
9 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 73
10 Dennis FOGGIA Honda 63
11 Darryn BINDER KTM 62
12 Romano FENATI Husqvarna 57
13 Andrea MIGNO KTM 47
14 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda 46
15 Sergio GARCIA Honda 37
16 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 33
17 Stefano NEPA KTM 26
18 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM 22
19 Ayumu SASAKI KTM 20
20 Filip SALAC Honda 20
21 Kaito TOBA KTM 19
22 Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 16
23 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda 13
24 Carlos TATAY KTM 10
25 Riccardo ROSSI KTM

MotoE

In a stunning final FIM Enel MotoE World Cup race of the season in France, it was Niki Tuuli (Avant Ajo MotoE) who took back to the top step as the Finnish rider pitched it to perfection to defend from home hero Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). The Frenchman took second, only hundredths off, with Josh Hook (Octo Pramac MotoE) taking third and a first podium after an impressive weekend for the Australian. And, of course, the other headline: Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) is the 2020 Cup winner, the Spaniard taking a solid sixth place to defend his points lead and take the crown.

MotoE

Tuuli took the holeshot from the front row, the Finnish rider off like a shot – but drama hit once again early on as Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) crashed and almost took down Torres – but the Spaniard escaped the impact to stay in the race. With that shuffle, Di Meglio had moved into second, with Hook up into third place early on.

Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team) was holding fourth as she navigated the dramas well, with Cup contender Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) just behind her – and Torres and Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) behind him.

Di Meglio then struck for the lead, Aegerter moved up past Herrera, but Tuuli took the focus back as he re-took the lead. Torres then gained another place past Herrera too, but the Tuuli-Di Meglio-Hook train was pulling well clear in the podium fight…

Di Meglio from Hook

Hook attacked for second not long after, but Tuuli – confidence in overtaking rediscovered – hustled back past the Aussie, and Aegerter was homing in on the podium too. Next time around onto the penultimate lap though, the race would ultimately be decided, with Tuuli slicing through to the lead at Turn 1.

Would he keep Di Meglio at bay? The Frenchman was his shadow on the final lap, but there was no way through and the Finn got back on the top step for the first time since he made history to win the first MotoE race. Di Meglio took another second and home turf podium, with Hook’s impressive weekend rounded out with a rostrum finish in third. At a venue the two have reigned in the 24h race!

Josh Hook – P3

I am really happy with this result, I know the track very well and it made a difference. We finally managed to prove how much we are worth, I was very confident because we were always competitive this weekend.”

Josh Hook

Aegerter’s fourth wasn’t enough but it was an impressive ride up from his grid position, with Ferrari in fifth as he got past Torres late on to retain second overall in the standings, denying the Swiss rider by virtue of win count alone. And then came Torres, winning the Cup with a solid P6 – and celebrating in style with a burnout.

Seventh went to Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) just ahead of teammate Xavier Simeon, with Maria Herrera and Xavi Cardelus (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) completing the top ten.

Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) completed his career as a rider with a race through the pain barrier to P14 – but ended the year with points as he now changes direction.

MotoE Race Two

Pos Rider Team Time/Gap
1 Niki TUULI Avant Ajo MotoE 12m09.631
2 Mike DI MEGLIO EG 0,0 Marc VDS +0.166
3 Josh HOOK OCTO Pramac MotoE +1.294
4 Dominique AEGERTER Dynavolt Intact GP +2.353
5 Matteo FERRARI TRENTINO Gresini MotoE +6.017
6 Jordi TORRES Pons Racing 40 +6.49
7 Niccolo CANEPA LCR E-Team +10.066
8 Xavier SIMEON LCR E-Team +10.472
9 Maria HERRERA Openbank Aspar Team +10.663
10 Xavi CARDELUS Avintia Esponsorama Racing +11.101
11 Lukas TULOVIC Tech 3 E-Racing +11.298
12 Alessandro ZACCONE TRENTINO Gresini MotoE +12.327
13 Mattia CASADEI Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse +20.842
14 Alex DE ANGELIS OCTO Pramac MotoE +20.954
15 Jakub KORNFEIL WithU Motorsport +24.376
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Tommaso MARCON Tech 3 E-Racing 0 Lap
DNF Eric GRANADO Avintia Esponsorama Racing 0 Lap
DNF Alejandro MEDINA Openbank Aspar Team 0 Lap

MotoE World Championship

After an incredible season of consistency, Jordi Torres lifted the crown at Le Mans. Not having ridden the venue for a few years since his days in Moto2, it may have seemed that the Spaniard would be arriving on the back foot compared to some – but that was far from true. In a dramatic Race 1 he steered clear of the drama that befell his other contenders for the Cup to stay cool and collected, taking to the top step for the first time in MotoE , and that sent him into Race 2 in prime position: pole and 18 points ahead.

Jordi Torres

Riding to make sure he took the Cup and that the sole focus of the day, the Spaniard’s sixth was actually one of his worse results of the season – but it was designed to get the job done, and that it did. Torres ends the year on top with the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup in his name, adding to an impressive array of other trophies including a Grand Prix win in Moto2, a WorldSBK win and European Moto2 successes.

Jordi Torres

MotoE World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Points
1 Jordi TORRES 114
2 Matteo FERRARI 97
3 Dominique AEGERTER 97
4 Mike DI MEGLIO 75
5 Mattia CASADEI 74
6 Niki TUULI 53
7 Eric GRANADO 53
8 Josh HOOK 52
9 Niccolo CANEPA 51
10 Xavier SIMEON 45
11 Lukas TULOVIC 39
12 Alessandro ZACCONE 37
13 Alejandro MEDINA 36
14 Alex DE ANGELIS 35
15 Xavi CARDELUS 34
16 Tommaso MARCON 33
17 Maria HERRERA 33
18 Jakub KORNFEIL 15

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 tops day two in Qatar from Vinales and Quartararo

2019 MotoGP
Qatar Test – Day Two


Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) continued his great pre-season form by topping the timesheets on the second day of testing in Qatar overnight. The Spaniard put in a 1m54.593s to go fastest on Day 2, but it remained tight at the top as Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) ended the day just 0.057 in arrears.

MotoGP Test Qatar Day alex rins
Alex Rins – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

That made some headlines in itself, but the man in third stole some too: rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) claimed the next fastest position.

Rins’ teammate, rookie Joan Mir, also impressed and put in a 1m55.280s to end Sunday in P11, less than seven-tenths off his team-mate, and rank as the second quickest rookie.

Alex Rins – P1

“It would be good if the race was tomorrow! We’ve been doing a great job; in Sepang we tested a lot of parts, but here we’re confirming that those parts are good. But the important thing is the way I’m riding, step-by-step with a nice rhythm, and using worn tyres as well. The aim is to get everything 100% clear when we come back for the first race. I feel that our package is better than last year, just by changing small things. I feel happy with the bike.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Suzuki Rins
Alex Rins – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2
Joan Mir – P11

“I’m really satisfied with today, because I made good improvements. I’m feeling strong with the bike, especially as I improved my feeling with the front end which helped me to get a better pace. It was a shame because I put a new tyre in, but I wasn’t able to get the lap I wanted, but we have another day tomorrow and I’ll try again then. Today I tried the new exhaust and I’m happy about that too, I found positive things from it. The plan tomorrow is a race simulation and further improvements.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day joan mir
Joan Mir – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Team Manager Davide Brivio said Mir was also testing some things, as well as adapting to the bike, but that he’d like to “race tomorrow” looking at Rins’ pace. That bodes well, and the Hamamatsu factory man also said everything “visible” on the bike is decided.

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Ecstar Team Manager

“We’ve had another positive day, the cherry on the cake was having the fastest lap time today. But the most important thing is that we were able to continue our plan and do our jobs well. Alex has good pace every time he takes to the track, and he puts together strong laps which is very helpful for us when it comes to testing. Joan improved again today and had another good lap time, close to many other riders. We are happy with the progress and the work we’ve done. Tomorrow we’ll think more about the upcoming race.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day joan mir
Joan Mir’s garage – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2
Maverick Viñales – P2

“We were working a little bit on the race pace and honestly I’m quite happy, because I think we made good improvements today. It was important to feel the bike a little bit more, to find a new set-up to go fast. I think that job has been done and I’m quite happy about that. We still have a lot of things to do tomorrow to further improve. I hope to go faster tomorrow, because I think the track today wasn’t great. Tomorrow we can hopefully find a bit more grip. At the moment the grip level for me is quite low but we’re still there at the front and that’s the most important.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

It was a different story – in terms of lap-time at least – for teammate Valentino Rossi. The ‘Doctor’ ended the day down in P19, over a second off Viñales after putting in 51 laps, but the number 46 has never been one to blast out the blocks in testing.

Valentino Rossi – P19

“Today was more difficult. I struggled more, especially with the rear grip. Yesterday we had a base setting, I was not so bad. Today we tried to improve, we tried some different settings, but also some different materials. Unfortunately we didn’t improve. It was a difficult day, I was always too slow, so we’re not happy. Tomorrow we’ll try to follow some other directions, to be more competitive.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Team Director Massimo Meregalli said it’s been time to confirm positives from Sepang, and that the speed and consistency from Day 1 were encouraging. On Sunday they focused on back-to-back comparisons, and working on fairings as homologation date draws near. The fairing, says Meregalli, is the only thing left to be decided upon – but there was also a new tail unit spotted.

Petronas Yamaha SRT, meanwhile, remained impressive in their own right and as help with development for the Iwata marque. Quartararo’s bike isn’t far off that of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP, and teammate Franco Morbidelli’s is the same as that of Viñales and Rossi. Quartararo stunned with his laptime in third, and Morbidelli ended the day in P13 after 52 laps of more important data gathering.

Fabio Quartararo – P3

“It has been a very positive Sunday night for us here at Losail and we have learnt a lot about the bike. We kept up a strong pace on used tyres and also took an important step forward with respect to our time attacks. Tonight was the first time I have left the box thinking, ‘I’m going to set a fast lap no matter what,’ and I am happy with the lap times we set, especially lapping alone, when I put together three great laps. The objective tomorrow is to complete a longer run to check how the tyres work when they are already worn, and then at the end of the evening we will try another time attack.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2
Franco Morbidelli – P13

“Today we took a step forward from yesterday and we have understood some new things. We are still gathering experience with the bike and figuring out how it reacts to certain changes that we make. Looking at the lap times tonight, the pace was good but we can still improve over a single lap on the soft tyre. We have to work out the best way to do that, which is exactly what testing is for.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Danilo Petrucci (Mission Winnow Ducati Team) was the fastest Borgo Panigale machine in P4.

Danilo Petrucci – P4

“It’s been a busy day. We were among the first ones to take it to the track, and I felt comfortable right away. In particular, I was happy with the feeling with used tyres, both the medium and soft compounds. Our pace is competitive, while we still need to improve in terms of pure speed on new tyres. I still have to look into detail at our rival’s lap times, but we all seem to be quite close. Tomorrow we’ll keep working on the setup and we’ll also run a race simulation to make another step forward, which is crucial to fight for the podium during the race.”

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Danilo Petrucci – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

After 48 laps ‘Petrux’ did a best of 1m54.953s and, despite being down in P8, teammate Andrea Dovizioso was close with a 1m11.205s after 53 laps. Team Manager Davide Tardozzi said Ducati have “clear ideas regarding frame, engines, aerodynamics, electronics” and that they were concentrating on tyre life – with an interesting addition under the bike that rumour says is aimed at tyre temperature.

Andrea Dovizioso – P8

“If we look at the lap times, today they probably don’t reveal too much: many riders worked esclusively for the upcoming race, but what matters the most is that my feeling with the bike is good. Today, as we had previously done in Malaysia, we did a race simulation split into two runs. It’s a very important task ahead of the opening race, even if it will unfold in slightly different conditions, and it allowed to gather interesting feedback even though it’s still difficult to gauge the true potential of our opponents. I think we’re working well and methodically, and tomorrow we’ll continue to focus on some details to find more ways to further improve.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day dovizioso UC
Andrea Dovizioso – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) was the top Independent Team Ducati rider on Sunday and leapt up the timesheets into P12.

Jack Miller – P12

“I’m happier than yesterday. We worked effectively on the setup and geometry of the bike even though in the end we had to deal with a technical issue that slowed us down. I was able to improve my time despite the humidity that certainly didn’t help and for this, I thank the team that did a great job. Tomorrow we will try again in better conditions.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Jack Miller AX
Jack Miller – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) was in P14 despite a crash. He was just ahead of the second Alma Pramac Racing machine of rookie Francesco Bagnaia.

Pecco Bagnaia – P15

“It’s been a good day. We have taken a big step forward since yesterday. We were able to take a path that led us to be faster. In the end, I went on track to do a long run and in the first six laps, the feeling was good. Tomorrow we will also do some time attacks because we saved a lot of soft tyres today”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Pecco Bagnaia AX
Pecco Bagnaia – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

At Honda, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was the fastest man for the marque, in fifth. A 1m55.004s was his best effort, but crucially the reigning Champion managed nearly 60 laps – a good sign in his ongoing recovery from shoulder surgery, with Marquez having done less than forty on most test days so far.

Marc Marquez – P5

“I’m very happy today because it was my first ‘normal’ day of testing. I did a lot of laps, there was a little pain in the shoulder but it’s manageable. We also made a big step with the setup of the bike, I’m happy overall with my condition and the bike. We’re getting closer and closer at a circuit that’s usually not the best for us and there’s still a day of testing left.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day marquez
Marc Marquez – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Teammate Jorge Lorenzo was a second quicker than Day 1 but in a tight trio between Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Rossi, and he put in 44 laps with a best of 1:55.742 as he fights to recover from his broken scaphoid.

Jorge Lorenzo – P19

“Today was better than yesterday. We modified the bike to improve my feeling and confidence across the whole circuit. You can see we’ve improved by over one second, the position isn’t much better but we are much closer to the front – this is the most important part. Tomorrow we’re aiming to make another step forward again, especially with corner entry as I think there’s still more to do there.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was second fastest Honda in P7, and rumour has it one of his bikes seemed to migrate to his teammate’s side of the garage too. That teammate, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), had a tough first day but was back in the mix in the top ten on Sunday, doing 35 laps and taking P9.

Takaaki Nakagami – P9

“It was another positive test day for us, and step-by-step we are really making improvements on the bike. Also, I feel my riding improved even more today compared to the first day. I’m very happy with the feeling on the bike and of course with the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team. The position is not so bad, and the lap time is closer to the top, so I’m really happy with the day and looking forward to the last day of pre-season tests. Let’s see if we can make even more improvements tomorrow before the season begins.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2
Cal Crutchlow – P9

“We finished a little bit early today on our second day of testing here in Qatar. We got through everything in our programme for the day. We’ve got more to do tomorrow, and we’ve decided on a few different things we’re going to try then on the last day of testing before the season starts. The LCR Honda CASTROL Team have worked really hard as always, and we are a bit more pleased than yesterday, but there’s still a way to go to make sure we’re at the front.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Crutchlow G
Cal Crutchlow – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) impressed once again on Day 2. He ended the day in sixth – just 0.002 ahead of Nakagami – and put in 55 laps. Aprilia had a new exhaust, and Technical Manager Romano Albesiano said Espargaro and teammate Andrea Iannone were testing race setup and aero. Iannone reportedly had positive feedback on the aero, and he ended the day in P16. Test rider Bradley Smith, meanwhile, was focusing on electronics.

Aleix Espargaro – P6

“I am satisfied overall. We managed to improve a lot compared to yesterday. I feel more at ease with the 2019 RS-GP although I must admit that there is still margin for improvement, especially in terms of my feeling, for example in the braking phase, where I take a few too many risks. But you also need to consider that this is our second test with the new bike. I learn something with every outing and the mechanics gather more information that lets us perfect the setting. Tomorrow will be a fundamental day, the last before the race weekend. We’ll try a simulation to have a clearer idea of our level as compared to our rivals.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2
Andrea Iannone – P17

“Our priority right now is to get to know the bike better, improving step by step. We improved compared to yesterday, but we need to keep pushing hard and make the right choices, especially in terms of setup. There is obviously always something that doesn’t give us the results we expect, but we take that as another bit of information that helps us improve. As I said yesterday, we have good potential and the job is to make it consistent throughout race distance in order to maintain a good pace from start to finish.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Iannone
Andrea Iannone – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Completing the top ten on Sunday was another headline stealer – Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). He was even higher up for much of the session, and his 1:55.255 meant that all six factories were within the top ten after a fitting 44 laps for the 2013 Moto2 World Champion.

Pol Espargaro – P10

“A satisfying day. We knew we had a lot to try so we started early on. Traction is important on this track, especially from corners 9-12, but we have to be careful not to use the tyre. We were working on that – as well as the race pace – because we know it will be a hard GP for us. The race itself should be a bit earlier in the day, so it’ll be warmer and tyre wear at the end will be really important. Tomorrow will be a hard day and we want to try a long run as well. Michelin are doing a good job, they have brought a new softer rear compound so they are trying to make our work fun, which is nice, and the performance of the bike is good. Overall though we must work on the electronics and the overall set-up.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

Teammate Zarco was in P17 just ahead of Lorenzo, but quicker than Day 1. Team Manager Mike Leitner said the focus had switched from bigger changes to details, and noted the pressure to get ready – especially with so many items to test. He also said both have good feelings and noted the particularly positive results for Espargaro’s testing.

Johann Zarco – P17

“The second day has been better for me and straight away we were able to understand why I could not improve any more on the first day. It’s important to feel that on the bike, and the positive and negatives things of our work. We moved a few steps forward for my sensation when riding and it made me smile. We’re still one second away from the first guy but we made improvements. We made many laps here and while I’m not sure if we are fully set for this race yet we can do the best job we can. It is just about finding the right set-up for my riding style and when we put our finger on something I can immediately make progress. We are taking a while to find it…but this is just the beginning of our story. I would like to get inside a second tomorrow: that would be interesting. I want to get closer.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2
Miguel Oliveira – P21

“Today has been quite different to yesterday. We improved the lap time, which is a good point. We managed to do some decent work on the bike, we kept focused more on the long-runs and how the race should look like; tyre-wise and also setting-wise, we adapted the bike a lot – not to do a fast lap, but to have a fast pace. Overall, I felt quite strong. We have plenty of opportunities tomorrow to try to put in a fast lap.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2
Hafizh Syahrin – P23

“It has been a tough second day here. We tried to change many things to improve my feeling on the brake and especially on the front part of the bike. On the rear, we just tried the soft tyre. To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed of myself because I was expecting more. Anyway, we keep on working hard, try to understand more and I want to refresh for tomorrow as it is the last day before the start of the season.”

MotoGP Test Qatar Day Hazifh Syahrin
Hazifh Syahrin – 2019 MotoGP Qatar Test – Day 2

MotoGP riders have one more day of testing in Qatar and that will get underway tonight. We will have all the news for you on MCNews.com.au in the morning.


MotoGP Qatar Test 2019
Day Two Times

  1. RINS Alex – SPA – Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’54.593
  2. VINALES Maverick – SPA – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +0.057
  3. QUARTARARO Fabio – FRA – Petronas Yamaha SRT +0.315
  4. PETRUCCI Danilo – ITA – Mission Winnow Ducati +0.360
  5. MARQUEZ Marc – SPA – Repsol Honda Team +0.411
  6. ESPARGARO Aleix – SPA – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +0.580
  7. NAKAGAMI Takaaki – JPN – LCR Honda +0.582
  8. DOVIZIOSO Andrea – ITA – Mission Winnow Ducati +0.612
  9. CRUTCHLOW Cal – GBR – LCR Honda +0.654
  10. ESPARGARO Pol – SPA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +0.662
  11. MIR Joan – SPA – Team Suzuki Ecstar +0.687
  12. MILLER Jack – AUS – Alma Pramac Racing +0.787
  13. MORBIDELLI Franco – ITA – Petronas Yamaha SRT +0.963
  14. ROSSI Valentino – ITA – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +1.011
  15. RABAT Tito – SPA – Reale Avintia Racing +1.068
  16. BAGNAIA Francesco – ITA – Alma Pramac Racing +1.087
  17. IANNONE Andrea – ITA – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +1.105
  18. ZARCO Johann – FRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.123
  19. LORENZO Jorge – SPA – Repsol Honda Team +1.149
  20. ABRAHAM Karel – CZE – Reale Avintia Racing +1.358
  21. OLIVEIRA Miguel – POR – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +1.681
  22. SMITH Bradley – GBR – Aprilia Racing Test Team +2.273
  23. SYAHRIN Hafizh – MAL – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +2.390

Source: MCNews.com.au

Riders and Team Managers reflect on #SepangTest

#SepangTest


Danilo PETRUCCI – P1

“Today we started off on the right foot: I was supposed to try two ‘time attacks’ but one attempt, done with a medium rear tyre, was enough. When I saw the lap time on the dashboard, I was really happy. After that, we resumed our work on some new items. Unfortunately, however, I crashed while I was trying a new fairing around midday. Given the fact that I was also experiencing some issues with blisters in my hands, we decided to stop a bit ahead of schedule to recover and make sure we’re at our best in the next tests in Qatar. Overall, it’s been a really positive test.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Francesco BAGNAIA – P2

“I’m very happy with the work we’ve done. We’ve created a good base of settings that will help us to have a good start in Qatar. We still have to work on some electronic details but I have to admit that I’m really happy. The time attack was very good and the pace is not bad either. We will do the race simulation in Qatar”.

MotoGP Sepang Test Bagnaia
Francesco Bagnaia

Jack MILLER – P3

“Our speed is really good. I’m very happy about that. I’m not very happy with the race simulation but the temperature was really high and I had little feeling with the tyres. It’s a shame about the crash. I am especially sorry for the guys of my team who have worked very well these days”

MotoGP Sepang Test Miller
Jack Miller

Andrea DOVIZIOSO – P4

“All in all, this test has been positive. It was important to push to the limit again today because we only have another test before the season starts, and we managed to post a competitive time even on a flying lap after being really consistent in yesterday’s race simulation. Also, to see so many Ducati bikes at the front confirms that we have a good base. We also tried a new fairing, with positive feedback. It’s still early to draw conclusions, but I’m happy with the work done here and now we’ll look for more ways to improve ahead of Qatar.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

Maverick VIÑALES – P5

“The test was really good. I actually missed one time attack in the morning which I planned to make in the afternoon, but finally it was so hot that the tyre was sliding a lot, so I couldn‘t improve my lap time from the morning. Anyway, I‘m happy because on the race simulation I felt really good. I was really tired, but I felt good on the bike. Day by day the bike was working pretty similar, as in the last test. You always get positives and negatives testing new items. Now we have to come to a conclusion to see if we should bring the new fairing to Qatar. I also made some laps behind our rivals, so I could compare how our bike is working, and it‘s not bad. There are just some small details left and that‘s the most important. Last year they were some steps ahead, and now we are closer.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Vinales

Cal CRUTCHLOW – P6

“I’m happy at the end of the third day, not only with how the test has gone, but to be finished with it too! My ankle by the end was getting sore, hot, and swollen. I feel in good shape however, and the ankle feels good on the bike. It doesn’t bother me on there, it bothers me when I stop. I kept the length of the runs quite minimal today, because we didn’t need to go long – we were testing items rather than testing for race pace. I was really pleased with my pace all day. On the used tyres we were consistent and fast which is good. It’s good going into Qatar and especially after a three-month lay-off – to ride again and to be competitive with it. I should have gone faster in terms of overall lap time, but I crashed. It was completely my own fault, I went into turn two over-excited! I lost three-tenths in the first sector on my fastest lap, compared to a normal good lap. So, the next lap I pushed like a madman thinking I needed to go half a second faster than I had the previous lap. I had some chatter, tried to save it, and crashed. That was with the really soft, test tyre. On average I think you could take at least six-tenths off with that, so I’m confident we could have gone a lot quicker, and then we didn’t use that tyre again all day. I think the 2019 bike is definitely better, but my feeling is I just need to adjust it a bit more. I ride quite a neutral bike, but I haven’t found the perfect setting with the front end just yet. Overall HRC has done a great job with the package. I think it can be competitive for the championship, and it’s one I’m looking forward to riding this year”.

MotoGP Sepang Test Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow

Aleix ESPARGARO – P7

“On the first two days, our work focused on getting to know the new bike and lapping on used tyres with good results, as the pace in the race simulation yesterday confirms. This morning, we set the bike up to try a time attack and I am rather satisfied with our time. We improved over the three days and I must say that I found a good feeling with the new bike. I am able to be aggressive and I feel at ease in terms of ergonomics too. This was definitely a positive first test. We have margins for improvement, but I know that the guys at Aprilia will keep working hard.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro

Franco MORBIDELLI – P8

“The last day here at Sepang International Circuit has gone really well. We have managed to complete the programme we set out yesterday, which was to improve our pace and top speed. I wasn’t able to do a race simulation because we had a lot of things to get through but we will do that at the Qatar test. What I did manage to do for the first time was a good time attack. We also tried some different tyres, including the super soft, and gathered some useful data. We still have work to do because we want to be closer to the front but we are on the right lines and working hard to keep going in that way.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

Takaaki NAKAGAMI – P9

“It has been good, but a really hard three days because the hot conditions don’t make it easy to put in lots of laps. It’s been a very important test for us though, and we have made improvements every day. We finished in P9 overall, so I’m pleased to be inside the top ten again. The lap time is not so bad too, I’m really happy to be close to the 1’58 barrier, but I do feel I still can’t get the most out of one lap, whereas my race pace has improved significantly. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team have worked really hard this week to improve things for me all the time. We have good potential on the bike, I feel strong, so the aim is just to continue that at the Qatar Test and then see what we can do from there.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Nakagami
Takaaki Nakagami

Valentino ROSSI – P10

“I’m half happy because some things worked well and we improved our performance, other things from which we expected a lot unfortunately didn’t bring us what we need. So, for me, it’s good, because it’s the first test and we improved some things, but we have a lot of work to do. The gap is quite big, so we need time. I’m happy about the atmosphere and especially about the ideas inside the garage, it looks like Yamaha are very much concentrated on improving, so this is important.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi

Marc MARQUEZ – P11

“Day three was very positive, especially with my physical condition – I’m feeling much better. Yesterday I was a little worried about riding today, but I woke up and felt better. We were able to try many things for Honda today and I felt really good on the bike, comfortable and consistent. Everything we had planned to do this test, we have done. Of course I would have liked to ride more but we had to take it a bit easy. Even so, I’m happy because I was riding easy, not in my riding style but I was able to ride more. I didn’t crash and we tried the most important things for the Repsol Honda Team, I am happy because of this.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Alex RINS – P12

“Today was a very positive day, and so were the previous two days. We’ve tried a lot of things and we’ve developed the bike a bit more, so I feel our package is even better now. I was able to do a lot of laps in the 1:59 bracket. For sure we need to keep working and try a few other things in Qatar that we didn’t have a chance to check here, and the engineers will continue to work. I feel that the championship will be really interesting this year, there are a lot of riders close together, and a very high level.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Rins
Alex Rins

Joan MIR – P15

“Today’s been really good because during the first couple of days I was adjusting to the bike, trying to get better with it, and also trying a lot of new things and new parts. Today I made a good step and I had good pace, so that’s really nice. I feel I have improved every day so I’m really happy about how this test has gone. I’ve learned a lot, which I think is inevitable when you’re doing around 60 laps per day. I understand the bike better, as well as the tyres and various mechanical things too.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Mir
Joan Mir

Fabio QUARTARARO – P16

“Today was another positive day at the Sepang International Circuit. This morning we did a pretty good lap time, dipping inside 2’00, but our weak point remains that I am struggling to do a qualifying lap. Despite that I am very happy because on my first ever race simulation on a MotoGP bike I felt physically really good. To me that was another step forward – with the heat here and the track temperature at 60º it is very difficult – and we coped quite well. After the race simulation we went back over a couple of things and made a slight improvement at the end of the day. In Qatar we will have to work on braking and the first turn there will be a good place for that because it is really hard on the brakes. That will be our focus because in the fast corners we are in good shape.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Johann ZARCO – P17

“I tried this morning to improve further but I did not expect all the others to be going that fast! It was quite incredible. I’m pretty happy to be able to do many laps under two-minutes. We are happy with what we did, but we still have a lot of work. Overall I have improved my feeling and my control of the bike over five hard days. We will see what I can do in Losail. It will be interesting to see if we can adapt quicker in Qatar than we did here. The lap-time was better than I expected and we reached good points in our plan.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco

Pol ESPARGARO – P18

“We made an amazing rhythm today. On the first day we couldn’t, and then yesterday I was half a second slower than today. The pace was very, very nice and I was comfortable doing it. The fast lap was not what I expected – I found [Franco] Morbidelli in the way in the morning and could not improve – but this is a test and we go home with the knowledge we have done a good job. It is the first time we felt this big improvement from just one test. We have had five hot and hard days here but I think the whole team and factory did an amazing job: all the guys were super-focussed.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Miguel OLIVEIRA – P19

“The lap time was ok. It was not as fast as I expected because I couldn’t match the best configuration of the bike with the best tyres in the best moment, but in any case, I’m very close to the two KTM factory riders, closer than everybody expected. We have been really competitive with used tyres, which is good for the race. At the moment, I can see a clear step forward, so I think it’s about going to the Qatar test, taking the experiences from these three days and just trying to be another step better.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira

Andrea IANNONE – P21

“Even though it came after a course of antibiotics, we did two good days of work. Yesterday was especially important in terms of how many laps we turned and how we did them and because of how we began to make changes to the bike. This was my first test on this bike, and I can confirm that we have a lot of potential to explore. But the conditions here are hard even when you are at full fitness and, given the work we did and the fact that the test team was here, today we preferred to take a rest. We made the decision with the team, purely as a precaution. We’ll pick up where we left off in Qatar, hopefully at full fitness and certainly with much clearer ideas.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Andrea Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Hafizh SYAHRIN – P23

“We improved a lot compared to yesterday. The lap time is significantly faster than before, but still a bit far from the top. During this last day, I felt really good with the bike, but my physical condition was not ideal. After four full days of riding, the muscles in my arms were too hard and I was lacking some power. To be honest, I am a bit disappointed about myself for this, as the bike was truly great for this last day and I couldn’t fully use it. Anyway, I’ll try to do my best during the Qatar test before the start of the season, we are on a positive way and for sure we can be better.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Sylvain GUINTOLI – P24

“We’ve done a lot of testing because we had a lot to do and the weather was good, without any rain, so we made the most of every moment. This meant we were able to complete our planned programme. I spent a lot of time on track and everything went well. This was a really important block of testing for the team, just before the season starts. I’m happy to have been able to give good feedback.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Guintoli
Sylvain Guintoli

Bradley SMITH – P25

“These were some very interesting tests. The guys at Aprilia improved the RS-GP and I think that at the end of this first outing, our level is decidedly encouraging. I’m pleased that what we did during the shakedown allowed Aleix to start from a good base. Seeing him lap at 1’59 brings great satisfaction for the entire team. I tried to give my best, conveying my sensations to the engineers, and I can’t wait to get back on the track in Qatar. First as a tester and then, on the race weekend, as a rider!”

MotoGP Sepang Test Smith
Bradley Smith

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director

“It has been a very positive and productive test, under extremely hot conditions. We had three days without problems, during which we could evaluate all the items that were prepared over the winter. Most of them gave positive results, improving the smoothness of the acceleration, the stability on braking and accordingly the turning. Our speed, pace, and consistency has been there for both riders throughout the entire test and this is very significant for us. Maverick was able to do an impressive race simulation. An important aspect is that both he and Vale are improving and are working in the same direction. Another significant aspect is that we deliberated on the engine specification. It will be important to get the same response in Qatar in two weeks‘ time, where for sure, based on this test, we’ll have another update available to us.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Wilco Zeelenberg – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Team Manager

“We have had a very positive test here at a special circuit for us, even more positive than we expected in terms of the lap times and the number of laps we have been able to complete. We have learnt some good and interesting things about the 2019 bikes – like I said, more than we expected. As for the riders, we can be very happy with Fabio’s [Quartararo] progress and with Franco [Morbidelli] we would have liked to finish a little higher up but considering the odd setback we have had over the test, to set a 1’59.1 today was quite incredible. Lap time aside, the way he is riding and what we are learning about the new YZR-M1 thanks to his feedback is another big positive. The next objective for the Qatar test will be to build on what we have learnt here. Obviously, Yamaha needed to try some different options at Sepang to define certain configurations before the season starts for real, so now we will look to confirm that we are going the right way at a different circuit.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Mike Leitner – KTM Team Manager

“We have been testing so many things these days, from chassis to suspension to aerodynamics and we had three riders in the 1min 59s by the end. We could not really manage the super-fast single lap but on the longer runs people are quite happy and we are very consistent. We have a good feeling about the test. It was super-important. We worked many days and made steps that were very big. We took the time to make ‘basic’ work on our bikes where the focus is not always the lap-time. We will go to Doha now and hope to use this good information. A big thanks to all our five riders here in these demanding conditions: they worked through many ideas that came up in the factory during the winter and the guys in Austria have been pushing hard. We still need to fine-tune some things but we are going in the right direction.”


Sebastian Risse – KTM Technical Director

“All-in-all it was a long test for us and a lot of things have piled up in all areas of the bike over the winter. So it was an intense test, also with Tech3 structure here now also that allowed us to get even more information. I think we can be very happy with our progress and we made huge steps with our new riders in terms of getting confidence in the bike and setting and development. Looking at what we have done and the pace compared to previous years we are happy. The speed was quite incredible today and our positions are not quite what we were looking for. We know our competitors are strong and are developing their motorcycles quickly but we have to be even quicker! That was the challenge here. I think we did it…but we also have a long way to go. We will have to prepare our priorities well now for the last test and make sure we make another step forward in performance.”


Hervé Poncharal – Tech3 KTM Team Manager

“Overall this test in Sepang has been fantastic, a great feeling. We had the luck to be one of the concession teams. We did two days of shakedown test, two days rest and three days with the whole grid here. Clearly, I think it was important for us as a KTM team to go through a lot of laps because we’ve got so much to try. This is what we did. What I would like to point out is a big thank you to everybody inside the KTM factory for what they have done during the very short period we had since the last time we were on the bike end of November. The bike has changed really dramatically. Our riders feel so much more confidence, they can give a lot more accurate information. Clearly, I think both, Miguel and Hafizh have enjoyed and I assume, gave some really valuable comments and information to the KTM engineers. The fact we have five guys here, all of them pushing each other, all of them improving each single day, has been a very good sign. There is an incredible energy inside the whole orange group and we are proud to be part of that group. Just now, we can’t wait to be in Qatar, honestly, because if you look at Miguel for example; each single run, each single day has been better and better. Still there is a gap to the top guys, but I’m sure we can reduce that. We want to continue working, testing and improving. So, it was a great, great test. It was very tough for the organism of the riders, but also of every single team member. Anyway, we go home exhausted, but with a big smile on our face.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Hafizh Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“At the end of these three days we’re feeling happy about the work we’ve done. We tested a lot of things, and the riders have been busy working on the development of the bike. We’ve confirmed our 2019 package, and we compared several different items and components. Everything is a clearer now in terms of what works best. We’ll go to the Qatar test now, where we’ll put everything together with a sort of final package for the first race. Alex was very focused and fast, with a lot of good laps. And Joan was able to go for it on this final day, after putting everything together, and we feel good about his progression and work. Sylvain helped us a lot with selecting parts, so thank you to him and to all our staff for their hard work during the winter.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Joan Mir
Joan Mir

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“It was a very positive test, our four riders (Rins, Mir, Guintoli and Tsuda) did a great job. It helped us that the weather was very good, and during our six days in total here we completed a lot of useful things. We brought many new items here, so the main thing was to choose which ones we would use for the race, and we were able to make some important selections. We’re all very tired from this hard work, but we feel it has been very productive.”

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Combined Standings Days 1-2-3
Pos Rider Bike Time Diff Session
1 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1:58.239 3
2 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1:58.302 0.063 3
3 Jack Miller Ducati 1:58.366 0.127 3
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:58.538 0.299 3
5 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1:58.644 0.405 3
6 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1:58.780 0.541 3
7 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1:59.022 0.783 3
8 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1:59.141 0.902 3
9 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1:59.148 0.909 3
10 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:59.155 0.916 3
11 Marc Marquez Honda 1:59.170 0.931 3
12 Alex Rins Suzuki 1:59.180 0.941 3
13 Stefan Bradl Honda 1:59.368 1.129 3
14 Tito Rabat Ducati 1:59.485 1.246 3
15 Joan Mir Suzuki 1:59.486 1.247 3
16 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1:59.497 1.258 3
17 Johann Zarco KTM 1:59.640 1.401 3
18 Pol Espargaro KTM 1:59.751 1.512 3
19 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1:59.949 1.710 3
20 Karel Abraham Ducati 2:00.378 2.139 3
21 Andrea Iannone Aprilia 2:00.510 2.271 2
22 Mika Kallio KTM 2:00.523 2.284 2
23 Hafizh Syahrin KTM 2:00.766 2.527 3
24 Yamaha Test 1 Yamaha 2:00.965 2.726 1
25 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 2:00.990 2.751 3
26 Bradley Smith Aprilia 2:00.995 2.756 3
27 Yamaha Test 2 Yamaha 2:01.243 3.004 3
28 Takuya Tsuda Suzuki 2:03.276 5.037 2

2019 MotoGP Sepang Test Day Three Times

Pos Rider Team Fastest Lap  Gap
1 Petrucci, Danilo Mission Winnow Ducati 1:58.239 ///
2 Bagnaia, Francesco Alma Pramac Racing 1:58.302 0.063
3 Miller, Jack Alma Pramac Racing 1:58.366 0.127
4 Dovizioso, Andrea Mission Winnow Ducati 1:58.538 0.299
5 Viñales, Maverick Monster Energy Yamaha 1:58.644 0.405
6 Crutchlow, Cal LCR Honda Castrol 1:58.780 0.541
7 Espargaro, Aleix Aprilia Racing Gresini 1:59.022 0.783
8 Morbidelli, Franco Petronas Yamaha SRT 1:59.141 0.902
9 Nakagami, Takaaki LCR Honda Idemitsu 1:59.148 0.909
10 Rossi, Valentino Monster Energy Yamaha 1:59.155 0.916
11 Marquez, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:59.170 0.931
12 Rins, Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:59.180 0.941
13 Bradl, Stefan Honda Test Team 1:59.368 1.129
14 Rabat, Tito Reale Avintia Racing 1:59.485 1.246
15 Mir, Joan Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:59.486 1.247
16 Quartararo, Fabio Petronas Yamaha SRT 1:59.497 1.258
17 Zarco, Johann Red Bull KTM Racing 1:59.640 1.401
18 Espargaro, Pol Red Bull KTM Racing 1:59.751 1.512
19 Oliveira, Miguel KTM Tech 3 Racing 1:59.949 1.710
20 Abraham, Karel Reale Avintia Racing 2:00.378 2.139
21 Syahrin, Hafizh KTM Tech 3 Racing 2:00.766 2.527
22 Guintoli, Sylvain Suzuki Test Team 2:00.990 2.751
23 Smith, Bradley Aprilia Racing Team 2:00.995 2.756
24 Kallio, Mika Red Bull KTM Test Team 2:01.020 2.781
25 Test 2, Yamaha Yamaha Test Team 2:01.243 3.004
26 Test 1, Yamaha Yamaha Test Team 2:01.719 3.480
NC Iannone, Andrea Aprilia Racing Gresini N/A  N/A
NC Tsuda, Takuya Suzuki Test Team N/A  N/A

2019 MotoGP Sepang Test Day Two Times

Pos Rider Team Fastest Lap  Gap
1 Viñales, Maverick Monster Energy Yamaha 1:58.897 ///
2 Rins, Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:59.424 0.527
3 Miller, Jack Alma Pramac Racing 1:59.517 0.620
4 Dovizioso, Andrea Mission Winnow Ducati 1:59.562 0.665
5 Crutchlow, Cal LCR Honda Castrol 1:59.566 0.669
6 Rossi, Valentino Monster Energy Yamaha 1:59.625 0.728
7 Rabat, Tito Reale Avintia Racing 1:59.664 0.767
8 Marquez, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:59.790 0.893
9 Petrucci, Danilo Mission Winnow Ducati 1:59.845 0.948
10 Nakagami, Takaaki LCR Honda Idemitsu 1:59.966 1.069
11 Zarco, Johann Red Bull KTM Racing 1:59.973 1.076
12 Bagnaia, Francesco Alma Pramac Racing 1:59.995 1.098
13 Espargaro, Aleix Aprilia Racing Gresini 2:00.101 1.204
14 Quartararo, Fabio Petronas Yamaha SRT 2:00.108 1.211
15 Morbidelli, Franco Petronas Yamaha SRT 2:00.151 1.254
16 Bradl, Stefan Honda Test Team 2:00.230 1.333
17 Espargaro, Pol Red Bull KTM Racing 2:00.305 1.408
18 Iannone, Andrea Aprilia Racing Gresini 2:00.510 1.613
19 Kallio, Mika Red Bull KTM test Team 2:00.523 1.626
20 Oliveira, Miguel KTM Tech 3 Racing 2:00.672 1.775
21 Mir, Joan Team Suzuki Ecstar 2:00.876 1.979
22 Abraham, Karel Reale Avintia Racing 2:01.245 2.348
23 Test 1, Yamaha Yamaha Test Team 2:01.406 2.509
24 Guintoli, Sylvain Suzuki Test Team 2:01.654 2.757
25 Syahrin, Hafizh KTM Tech 3 Racing 2:01.859 2.962
26 Test 2, Yamaha Yamaha Test Team 2:02.989 4.092
27 Tsuda, Takuya Suzuki Test Team 2:03.276 4.379

2019 MotoGP Sepang Test Day One Times

Pos Rider Team Fastest Lap Gap
1 Marquez, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:59.621
2 Rins, Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:59.880 0.259
3 Viñales, Maverick Monster Energy Yamaha 1:59.937 0.316
4 Rabat, Tito Reale Avintia Racing 1:59.983 0.362
5 Petrucci, Danilo Mission Winnow Ducati 2:00.051 0.430
6 Rossi, Valentino Monster Energy Yamaha 2:00.054 0.433
7 Nakagami, Takaaki LCR Honda Idemitsu 2:00.158 0.537
8 Dovizioso, Andrea Mission Winnow Ducati 2:00.197 0.576
9 Bradl, Stefan Honda Test Team 2:00.214 0.593
10 Espargaro, Pol Red Bull KTM  Racing 2:00.313 0.692
11 Miller, Jack Alma Pramac Racing 2:00.383 0.762
12 Morbidelli, Franco Petronas Yamaha SRT 2:00.460 0.839
13 Espargaro, Aleix Aprilia Racing Gresini 2:00.602 0.981
14 Crutchlow, Cal LCR Honda Castrol 2:00.681 1.060
15 Bagnaia, Francesco Alma Pramac Racing 2:00.694 1.073
16 Oliveira, Miguel KTM Tech 3 Racing 2:00.902 1.281
17 Test 1, Yamaha Yamaha Test Team 2:00.965 1.344
18 Quartararo, Fabio Petronas Yamaha SRT 2:00.985 1.364
19 Kallio, Mika Red Bull KTM Test Team 2:01.054 1.433
20 Zarco, Johann Red Bull KTM  Racing 2:01.121 1.500
21 Iannone, Andrea Aprilia Racing Gresini 2:01.249 1.628
22 Guintoli, Sylvain Suzuki Test Team 2:01.286 1.665
23 Mir, Joan Team Suzuki Ecstar 2:01.432 1.811
24 Abraham, Karel Reale Avintia Racing 2:01.627 2.006
25 Test 2, Yamaha Yamaha Test Team 2:01.736 2.115
26 Syahrin, Hafizh KTM Tech 3 Racing 2:01.853 2.232
NC Smith, Bradley Aprilia Racing Factory Team N/A N/A
NC Tsuda, Takuya Suzuki Test Team N/A N/A

Source: MCNews.com.au

Petrucci smashes Sepang lap record | Ducati 1-2-3-4

Petrucci blitzes Sepang Record with a 1:58.239

Ducati dominate top four

Five hours still to go on Test Day Three

The final day of the three-day 2019 MotoGP pre-season test at Sepang is hotting up with with times now tumbling and a new outright (unofficial) fastest ever motorcycle lap of the Malaysian circuit by Danilo Petrucci.

He is not the only one under previous benchmarks though as it is a Ducati 1-2-3-4 at the top of the timesheets with five hours still remaining.

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Incredibly, rookie rider and Moto2 World Champion Francesco Bagnaia, onboard the satellite Alma Pramac Racing Ducati is currently second on the timesheets.

MotoGP Sepang Test Day Francesco Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia

Jack Miller is currently third ahead of Andrea Dovizioso while day two dominator Maverick Vinales is fifth ahead of Cal Crutchlow.

MotoGP Sepang Test Day 3 Time. 

1

9

D. PETRUCCI

1:58.239

2

63

F. BAGNAIA

+0.063

3

43

J. MILLER

+0.127

4

4

A. DOVIZIOSO

+0.299

5

12

M. VIÑALES

+0.405

6

35

C. CRUTCHLOW

+0.541

7

41

A. ESPARGARO

+0.783

8

21

F. MORBIDELLI

+0.902

9

30

T. NAKAGAMI

+0.909

10

46

V. ROSSI

+0.916

There is still 5 hours remaining for today’s testing so we may see times drop further. We’ll have the complete times for the day published later on so stay tuned.

Source: MCNews.com.au

Danilo Petrucci tops opening day of Jerez MotoGP Test

Joan Mir fastest rookie

Alvaro Bautista tests 2019 Ducati

Jerez MotoGP Test- November 2018 – Day One

A cold morning in southern Spain meant the track action didn’t get going until 11:30am local time (GMT +1), but conditions soon improved in the afternoon as the premier class riders continued their crucial 2019 preparations under sunny skies in Jerez.

By the half way mark it was Repsol Honda Team’s Jorge Lorenzo heading the pack, but times would tumble further – and Petrucci would emerge fastest.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo

At Ducati, Petrucci completed 53 laps on Wednesday to be the only rider to dip below the 1:38 bracket. Both he and Dovizioso had a 2018 spec and 2019 spec bike to compare on the opening day in Jerez, but according to Team Manager Davide Tardozzi, both riders soon switched to the 2019 Desmosedici.

Danilo Petrucci – P1

“I’m very pleased with the way things went today, because it’s always good to finish the day in first place, but in particular I really like the feeling with the used tyre. I always felt good on the bike, like at Valencia, and for me this was important because we changed almost nothing in the set-up and in any case we always went well. Today we didn’t focus on lap times, but instead worked a lot on our pace and also tried some new components that gave us very useful information. Overall I’m really happy with the way we are working together as a team.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Danilo Petrucci
Danilo Petrucci

Dovizioso crashed at turn five on his final run which put a premature end to his day after getting 53 laps in as he and Ducati concentrated on electronics, chassis and the engine.  In the evening Andrea went for a check-up with the Clinica Mobile doctors, who diagnosed him with a bruised left thumb, but the Italian rider should be able to go out on track again tomorrow.

Andrea Dovizioso – P2

“Today we were able to do several tests and we were very quick, even on used tyres, and so I’m pleased about that. Unfortunately at the end of the session I crashed at turn 5 while I was improving my time and I hurt my left thumb. Luckily nothing seems to be broken and if the pain is bearable tomorrow I’ll continue with our work load because we still need confirmation on some of the new components.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso

The test also saw the presence of Álvaro Bautista, who on Monday and Tuesday had made his debut with the factory Panigale V4R of the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team with whom he will compete in the 2019 Superbike World Championship. In this two-day MotoGP test, Álvaro is standing in for Michele Pirro on the Ducati Test Team’s Desmosedici GP, because this afternoon the Italian underwent surgery on his right shoulder, which he injured in a crash during practice at Mugello. Bautista did a total of 64 laps, the best of which was 1’38.830, and he finished the day in ninth place.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Alvaro Bautista
Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Dovizioso

Álvaro Bautista – P9

“I’m very pleased to be able to help Ducati to develop the new bike and collect some important information, but it was also nice to get back on a MotoGP bike once again. It’s been two months since I raced the GP18 at Phillip Island, but today I felt good on the bike, even with the gearbox that created a few problems for me in Australia.We managed to test everything we had planned and I believe it was a positive day from all points of view. Tomorrow we’ll continue to try some new parts in view of the next season.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Alvaro Bautista
Álvaro Bautista

Just ahead of Bautisa was Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) in P8, the Australian on a part-2018 and part-2019 Desmosedici for the time being as he worked on the geometry.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Jack Miller – P8

“It was a good day for us. We have been on track a lot and lap after lap I feel more and more comfortable on the bike. The chrono is not bad even if I have to do better in the fourth sector where I think I have left at least three tenths of a second. Tomorrow we will also work on this”.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Miller’s rookie teammate Francesco Bagnaia (Alma Pramac Racing) had another good day on track and was 14th fastest on Day 1. The reigning Moto2 Champion has the 2018 Ducati available to him and he completed another 51 laps, finishing 1.189 off Petrucci. Bagnaia described Jerez as a “more difficult” track than Valencia to rider a premier class machine, but he also confirmed he’s progressing in the right way.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia

Pecco Bagnaia – P14

“This track is more demanding than Valencia and you need to control the bike a lot. I’m pleased with the progress made on the setup but I still have some difficulties in braking: I have to be able to use the rear brake more like Dovi does. We did a lot of laps with used tyres and the pace is good”.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Bagnaia
Pecco Bagnaia

For Honda, Takaaki Nakagami was the leading name on Day 1, continuing his impressive start to the 2019 preseason. The Japanese rider completed 66 laps on board a 2018 RC213V, the same bike teammate Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) was using last season. The number 30 rider said the improvement in the engine between the 2017 Honda and the 2018 Honda is quite big, and he was also able to set consistent lap times on the used tyre. Overall, Nakagami was delighted with his progress so far.

Takaaki Nakagami – P3

“I’m really happy with today’s first day of testing, and in particular with my feeling on board the bike. The lap time was really consistent both with new and old tyres. We focused on trying to improve rear grip, and Öhlins gave me a different shock and some other new items to test which were quite positive for me, because I had a really good feeling with the machine. Still we have to try to make myself more consistent in my riding with the used tyre. Tomorrow we have a few small things to try, but I am happy with the progress we have made on this first day.”

Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) wasn’t far off, though. The second fastest Honda after the first day of action, the Spaniard ended Wednesday P5 on the timesheets. According to Team Manager Alberto Puig, the bikes were the same as they had in Valencia as the Japanese factory continue to mix parts in order to find the best combination to take to Japan. Marquez ended the day 0.549 from the top after completing a half-century of laps, while also sporting a new aero package on the front of his Honda.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez – P5

“We started with this season’s bike before swapping to the new one. We did that in order to try and better understand a few things, because the feeling is different. Tomorrow we’ll concentrate more on the new version. Today we mainly worked on the bike’s base setup and tried some new details. Our race pace was good. I already feel comfortable on the bike, and tomorrow we’ll work to further adjust the setup and geometry, besides continuing to try new particulars. I think the base is good and that we’re going on the correct direction.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

New teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who led in the morning for a time, was seventh fastest on his third day riding a Honda. The Spaniard set a quickest time of 1:38.749 to finish 0.781 off Petrucci after getting another 56 laps under his belt. Lorenzo is still not 100% fit, adding to the challenge of adaptation from the Ducati.

At Yamaha, work continued on the engine. Maverick Viñales (Yamaha Factory Racing) was a threat at the top throughout the day and put in 58 laps before the end of play – with the number 12 finishing up just over four tenths off the top in P4. He said they were working on race pace, but also said they’re not yet sure about one of the two different spec engines they’re testing – with more work to do on Thursday. Viñales was joined in the pit box by new crew chief Esteban García for the first time today.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales – P4

“We tried the same engine as we used in Valencia, to try to understand which way we should go. This track is even more difficult for us than Valencia, there it‘s easier to make a good lap time, so I‘m quite happy that today we were so consistent with many laps on the tyre. The track was a bit slippery for our bike today, but the M1 was working well, so I think the decision is more or less made, but we still have to check. I prefer riding with more engine brake, because for my riding style it helps a lot. I‘m quite curious to see what happens tomorrow when we start modifying the set-up a little. Let‘s see if we can be more competitive. I think we can still improve the electronics and the base set-up a lot, because the bike works a bit different now and it permits me to enter the corner faster, so we need to change the setting, because I can ride more naturally now. It was a good first day with Esteban. It was good to reconnect, he‘s a really calm person, so we work well together. We were on top for a while today, so I‘m happy.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Maverick Vinales
Maverick Viñales

Teammate Valentino Rossi was a later presence pitting out, but the number 46 put in 50 laps on Wednesday once out on track. He ended the day just over a second off Viñales, in P17, but didn’t put in new tyres. He also suffered a technical problem that brought one run to a halt, with Rossi pulling off track after hearing a problem in his M1.

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Valentino Ross
Valentino Rossi

Valentino Rossi – P17

“At the end my position in the timesheets is really bad, also because we had some problems with the new tyres, so I didn‘t do a time-attack. My pace is a little bit better, but I have to check the data more thoroughly. We continued to test the engine, we made some comparisons. The direction to go in and the decision is quite clear. I started riding on new tyres, but at one point I heard a strange noise, so I stopped. I sincerely don‘t know what happened yet.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Valentino Ross
Valentino Rossi

Petronas Yamaha SRT, meanwhile, had another solid day. Franco Morbidelli was sixth overall after 70 laps and a best of 1:38.659, and rookie teammate Fabio Quartararo ended the day in sixteenth. The Frenchman’s best was a 1:39.414 as he continues settling into the premier class.

Franco Morbidelli – P6

“I am very happy with today. We have backed up the good feeling from Valencia at a different circuit, which is not as suited to the characteristics of our bike as other tracks. It has been a good day in terms of our speed, we have to improve our consistency but the feeling on new tyres was good. We have to work out what else we can improve and I also have to keep learning but it’s a case of ‘so fast, so good’. Today we basically focused on working with the electronics at this circuit, especially on our first runs. We also tried some set-up changes but nothing really new compared to last week.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

Fabio Quartararo – P16

“Today we took another step forward in terms of corner speed, in comparison with Valencia, which is important. Now we need to analyse corner by corner where we are losing the most time – some in the exit, some in the entry – and see from the data what we can work on. The important thing is that we are improving and especially here at one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar, where I have not ridden a MotoGP bike before. I am really happy with today and I hope we can continue improving tomorrow. We have saved some new tyres with the second day’s work in mind.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo

Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was another entering a new era who impressed – and he was the fastest rookie. He led the way for Suzuki in Jerez to finish the day tenth on the timesheets, although, the 2017 Moto3 World Champion suffered his first MotoGP crash after going down at Turn 7 just after 13:00 local time. The Spaniard was ok and headed back out later in the day to improve – a hot 1:38.956 his best time, putting him under a second from the top.

Joan Mir – P10

“The important thing is that I’m feeling good. I have some bumps and bruises but nothing worse, despite it being a hard crash. After the crash I was able to get my good feeling back straight away and recover my lap times, and I continued to put in laps until the end of the day. I set a time in the 1:38 bracket and I’m very satisfied with that for the first day. I also worked a bit on the electronics and a few new parts. We’re happy with what we’ve achieved today and how it’s all been going, and we hope tomorrow will also be good.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Joan Mir
Joan Mir

His teammate Alex Rins, alongside test rider Sylvain Guintoli, had a lot of new parts to try on Wednesday. The new engine and the chassis has been the main focus for the Hamamatsu factory, with the new engine more powerful than last season’s. According to Team Manager Davide Brivio, Rins was on an aluminium chassis, while Guintoli was testing a carbon-based chassis – with Brivio also confirming the plan is to build an aluminium chassis that has the same stiffness as the carbon one.

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“Today was a good day, despite Joan’s crash. Fortunately he was OK and able to test again in the afternoon. He set some very good lap times and he tried a few different parts, he did a good job after the crash. Alex had a tricky day with a lot of hard work on testing; back-to-back comparisons with chassis in order to get as much information as possible. So we feel good about today and everything is on schedule. We’re looking forward to working again tomorrow.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Rins ended the day P13 on the timesheets after completing 87 laps – the most of any rider – while Guintoli was P22.

Alex Rins – P13

“I tried the 2019 chassis today and I’m quite happy. The new chassis has some positives and some negatives at the moment, but we’ve only just started to test it so there’s plenty of time to make more comparisons and improvements. I also had the new engine to try, the one I already had in Valencia last week. I feel that the new spec. engine has more power than the old one. We’ve improved it since Valencia, because there it felt a bit aggressive, but now the power delivery has been made smoother thanks to the electronics. So now I feel really good with this engine, but we’ll continue working on it to get the perfect feeling. We got a lot done today and we’re happy.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Alex Rins
Alex Rins

At Aprilia, the test got off to a tough start as Aleix Espargaro missed Day 1 through illness – although he’s hoping to ride on Thursday – but new signing Andrea Iannone put the Noale factory in P11 overall with a 1:39.008. He was only able to complete 24 laps, however, then sitting out the rest of the session after a crash. Test rider and new arrival Bradley Smith, meanwhile, did 69 laps. He was working with Aleix Espargaro’s bikes, with a new spec engine focused on power delivery and torque, and each Aprilia rider had two chassis to compare. CIV Superbike superstar Matteo Baiocco was also on track for the Noale factory, and he did 49 laps.

Bradley Smith – P18

“This type of test with Aleix’s material was planned, but his physical problem sped up the timeline. It was important for me to test all the material available to Aprilia in order to complete the programme and provide the technicians with the best possible indications. Compared to Valencia, some big steps forward were made. I feel much more at ease with the RS-GP. Today I compared to different types of engine and tomorrow morning I’ll continue with Aleix’s bike before going back in the afternoon to work with the test team.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith

Finally, for KTM, it was all hands on deck as the Austrian factory look forward after a more difficult 2018 – Valencia notwithstanding – and they had six bikes in the garage. The Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider was the lead Orange machine on Day 1 in Jerez too, in P15 with a best of 1:39.241 after 58 laps. New teammate Johann Zarco was in P19, but the focus? Development and definitely not the timesheets. KTM are working on a huge list – seamless gearbox, chassis parts, aerodynamic parts, a slightly different engine…and they’re using the new IMU.

Their two Independent Team riders at Red Bull KTM Tech 3, meanwhile, were working on the best bike from 2018 – although they’re expected to receive an update in Sepang. Hafizh Syahrin did 51 laps with a best of 1:40.630 and rookie Miguel Oliveira put in 61 laps, ending the day around a second off his more experienced teammate.

Hafizh Syahrin – P21

“The first day here is already over and I have the feeling that we are going in the right way together with my crew to set up the new bike. We start to understand it step by step, the character and how to ride it. We did quite a good amount of laps and began to find out how the suspension works, what we can change about it and how we can use it. We believe that we could have improved the lap time if we would have changed the tyres again, but we saved them because I wanted to do a long run in order to simulate a race. Even by the end, my lap times were quite good. So, I’m very happy and I hope we can make another step forward tomorrow, trying to get closer to the top.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Syahrin
Hafizh Syahrin

Miguel Oliveira – P23

“Today we rode here in Jerez de la Frontera for the first time. We made some good progress in the course of the day. We didn’t do huge steps, but went one small one by another. We were able to understand the bike better and better, found some things that are missing, which also refers to the riding side. Now we focus on improving tomorrow.”

MotoGP Test Jerez Nov Day Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira

Testing continues on Thursday.


Jerez MotoGP Test- November 2018
Day One Times
  1. PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:37.968
  2. DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1:38.185 / 0.217
  3. NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 1:38.348 / 0.380
  4. VINALES Maverick 12 SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1:38.376 / 0.408
  5. MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:38.517 / 0.549
  6. MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:38.659 / 0.691
  7. LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:38.749 / 0.781
  8. MILLER Jack 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1:38.816 / 0.848
  9. BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1:38.830 / 0.862
  10. MIR Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:38.956 / 0.988
  11. IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:39.008 / 1.040
  12. RABAT Tito 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:39.097 / 1.129
  13. RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:39.150 / 1.182
  14. BAGNAIA Francesco 63 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1:39.157 / 1.189
  15. ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:39.241 / 1.273
  16. QUARTARARO Fabio 20 FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:39.414 / 1.446
  17. ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 1:39.564 / 1.596
  18. SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Aprilia Racing Test Team Aprilia 1:40.174 / 2.206
  19. ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:40.192 / 2.224
  20. ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1:40.438 / 2.470
  21. SYAHRIN Hafizh 55 MAL Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:40.630 / 2.662
  22. GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1:40.743 / 2.775
  23. OLIVEIRA Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1:41.699 / 3.731
  24. BAIOCCO Matteo 15 ITA Aprilia Racing Test Team Aprilia 1:42.766 / 4.798

Source: MCNews.com.au

Riders & Team Managers reflect on Australian GP

Australian MotoGP 2018

Yamaha resurgent as Vinales from Iannone, Dovi wins

Riders and Team managers talk the Phillip Island GP


Maverick Vinales – P1

“This is the best feeling ever, honestly! We‘ve been in the dark all year, and suddenly we came into the light! I couldn‘t show my potential in the previous races, but today I could. Being first in Australia is always amazing! It‘s the best track ever, and I like to be at the front there. To win here and break this long none winning period of Yamaha is unbelievable! I was riding on the bike like I was in FP4. I got a really good feeling from the bike, so I knew I could maintain 1‘29s. That‘s what I did for most of the middle of the race. I tried to escape as far as I could, because I knew my tyre wasn‘t going to last until the end. I knew opening that gap would be difficult, I had some moments with some riders, and some shaking on the bike – I was struggling, but I still made it through anyway. It was amazing! I have to say ‘thank you’ to the team, because this weekend they worked for the win. We will try to be the best and we‘ll try to work in a good way. We don‘t want to lose the concentration, because we don‘t know what will happen in Malaysia, but for sure the level of motivation will be high after this weekend.”

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales
Andrea Iannone – P2

“I’m really happy, especially as we were at the top almost all weekend long, and this gives us a lot of positivity. We worked together on improving my feeling with the bike and it meant I was able to finish really close to the top. I felt able to win but it was a hard fight with the others and I was losing ground with them. When I managed to overtake them and keep them behind I realised I couldn’t catch Viñales, so I just tried to defend and manage the tyres. At the end I pushed at 100% to make sure I could get 2nd place.”

MotoGP Australia Iannone Dovi Bautista Rins Rossi Miller
Andrea Iannone
Andrea Dovizioso – P3

“I’m really satisfied with the way the race went. Even though we knew we had good speed, managing to get a podium here is another thing. I’m pleased I got myself immediately into an ideal position in the race, because if you start from the third row here at Phillip Island anything can happen, as we saw. Instead with a bit of luck I immediately managed to make up some positions and after a few laps I was first: I never expected that! Then I had a chance to manage the tyres and reach the end of the race in a good state, even though we were all in trouble a bit. I’m very pleased with the work we’ve done here: Phillip Island was a fundamental test to understand our level of competitiveness and now we know we have made a good step forward over last year.”

MotoGP Australia Dovizioso UC
Andrea Dovizioso
Álvaro Bautista – P4

“At the end of a difficult weekend in which I crashed three times, this fourth place is a great reward for me. To come into a new team and step onto a new bike at a circuit like this was for sure not going to be easy, but I think we’ve worked well together, making steps forward in every session. I started the race really focussed and relaxed because I had no real targets to aim for, except for enjoying riding the Desmosedici GP18. After quite a complicated start, I was able to soon catch up with the leading group and fight for the front positions. In the last few laps I made a few small mistakes and lost contact with Dovizioso and Iannone, but in any case I’m very happy with my overall result, especially for the team and for Ducati, whom I would like to thank once again for the trust they have shown in me.”

MotoGP Australia Bautista UC
Álvaro Bautista
Alex Rins – P5

“It was an interesting race and I was able to learn a lot. During the first part, when I was inside the group, I was feeling good but then when I got the contact from Maverick I lost a lot of ground and it cost me a lot because the group got away, but this is racing. I also lost further time trying to overtake Miller. But we want to focus on the positive points, and there were many, for instance the way I was able to battle with Rossi and defend my 5th place. We’re going to Malaysia with good feelings and we are prepared, so we hope for another nice result there.”

MotoGP Australia QP Vinales Rossi Rins Dovi
Alex Rins chases down Vinales and Rossi
Valentino Rossi – P6

“Unfortunately from the first lap I already started to slide a bit too much on acceleration. I lost some grip compared to yesterday and this morning. It’s a shame because for sure we wanted to try to do better. I tried to ride smoothly and manage the tyres, but unfortunately after 15 laps I was in trouble, because when exiting left corners I had too much spin. We need to understand why this happened and then try to improve, but having Maverick win a race is good news for the team and Yamaha, because it gives great motivation.”

MotoGP Australia Rossi
Valentino Rossi
Jack Miller – P7

“If I have to be honest I was expecting a little more but I am still happy with this result and being the first Independent rider. I got off to a good start even though I honestly didn’t think I would be in the lead so early. In the middle of the race I tried to save my tyres but in the end I didn’t have any room to attack the podium group.”

MotoGP Australia QP Jack Miller
Jack Miller
Franco Morbidelli – P8

“I am very happy with this result, my personal best result in MotoGP. We did a god job to exported the situation with riders going out of the race. Our tyre choice was the right one and I had good pace especially from half-race and I was able to get into the tope ten. I want to thank my crew for a great job this weekend to sort out the set-up of the bike for the race.”

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Morbidelli GP AN
Franco Morbidelli
Aleix Espargaro’ – P9

“On the straight, I was in the slipstream of a lot of riders and at a certain point, a piece of Marc’s bike struck my left hand. I began to feel pain, but fortunately in MotoGP we only use the clutch for the start, so I was able to finish the race. We’ll assess the situation in view of Malaysia. After a less-than-easy weekend, in warm up we made a big step forward and in the race I was able to ride very incisively. This is demonstrated by the fact that we lapped faster than in qualifying, but unfortunately on the final laps, the soft rear tyre began to suffer and I was unable to hold onto eighth place. In any case, the result is good, considering the hard work done this weekend with two different bikes.”

MotoGP Aragon Espargaro Aleix GP AN
Aleix Espargaro – AJRN Image
Bradley Smith – P10

“We did a good job. We saw Phillip Island as an important weekend for KTM because we knew the bike would work quite well here. The team did a fantastically because the main aim of the weekend was to try and set up the bike as best as we could to look after the rear tyre. It meant we had to sacrifice qualification a little bit yesterday but it paid off today. I had a great first lap to come from sixteenth to eighth and then tried to hold the position for as long as possible. Unfortunately towards the end I just didn’t have anything left for Morbidelli or Aleix. Sepang now and it is a difficult track but I think we have some good confidence and the bike has a good setting and it working well for me. I’m optimistic we can keep the same level and take some good points.”

MotoGP Australia Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
Karel Abraham – P11

“We have to be happy with this race, we have doubled our points score for the season in just round. I am happy to have had the chance to ride the Ducati GP17, I could see how much potential the bike has but you also have to consider that it is difficult for any rider or chief mechanic to find the perfect set-up for a new bike in just one weekend. In any case we have done a good job and you could see that at the start of the race, when I felt really good. After that the bike started to slide and pump, I changed the mapping and it helped for a couple of laps but then it started again. I didn’t want to use the last two maps because they are for emergency use and we still had a lot of laps to go. The riders behind me were closing in and I wanted to push harder but I couldn’t get any more out of the bike. In the end, luckily, I managed to stay ahead of them.”

MotoGP Australia Abraham
Karel Abraham
Danilo Petrucci – P12

“It’s really a shame. I felt like I had a great feeling right from the warm-up. I went on track very focused and made my best start in my career. Unfortunately at turn two I had a problem with the clutch. I am really sorry but these are the races: once it is the rider who makes a mistake, another time it is the bike that betrays you. We’ll try again in Sepang.”

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Petrucci ALI
Danilo Petrucci
Scott Redding – P13

“I am happy with the way the race went. To be honest, I didn’t expect it. Even in warm up, I didn’t have any particularly good feeling. Apparently, staying in the slipstream of the other riders helped me warm up the front tyre better. Maybe in terms of pace I could have done a bit better too, but when I found myself leading the group, I began to have some difficulties. In any case, I battled, overtaking Nakagami on the final lap and bringing home important points. A few crashes helped, but we did a good job anyway turning a complicated situation around.”

MotoGP Silverstone Redding GP AN
Scott Redding
Takaaki Nakagami – P14

“It was a difficult weekend. The weather conditions were a little bit better than yesterday, they were less windy and the track temperature was getting higher and higher. We decided to go with a soft compound on the rear and I think that was the correct choice, but I really struggled in the last ten laps. The lap times were quite strong and I couldn’t find the race pace I wanted. In the end I got into the points which is very good, but I was expecting a better result here so now we have to think about the next one in Sepang and try to be more consistent over the weekend.”

MotoGP Australia Takaaki Nakagami AX
Takaaki Nakagami
Xavier Simeon – P15

“I have a lot of problems with the clutch and once again, my start was horrible. I was last again, but this time at least I was able to recover some positions on the first lap. The bike was very good and I had the pace to fight between eleventh and fifteenth position. Ten laps from the end though, the left flank of the rear tyre was destroyed and I had to slow down. Therefore I’m a little bit disappointed. The weekend has been very good and I always felt strong, but we depend too much on tyre wear. Apart from this, I’m super happy about achieving my first MotoGP point and I want to thank my team because they helped me a lot since I got on this bike. In Malaysia we have to improve the start and work more with the tyres for the race. I hope to have fun again like here and score more points.”

MotoGP Aragon Simeon GP AN
Xavier Simeon
Tom Luthi – P16

“I had a good rhythm for the first ten laps and could stay with the group I was in so I’m little disappointed for this result. But then I lost a lot of edge grip and could not keep corner speed in the fast left-hand corners and I was struggling with understeer and that’s where I lost too much time. I’m disappointed to be 16th again and just miss some championship points.”

MotoGP Misano Luthi GP AN
Tom Luthi
Jordi Torres – P17

“The race has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. This morning in the warm-up I felt pretty strong and we had a very promising pace. But it was more windy in the race and tyres maybe did not reach the right working temperature on the first laps because twice I was close to a crash when I tried to push. This affected my confidence and I wasn’t riding comfortably throughout the race. I know what I have to do to go fast, but I lacked the confidence to do it. At least I’m gaining experience in every race and I hope things will go better in Malaysia. Sepang is a very long circuit and I’ll have to learn many things in a short time, because the other riders have done lot of kilometres over there. The heat will also be a new challenge for me. I hope to my level of fitness is high enough.”

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Torres GP AN
Jordi Torres
Mike Jones – P18

“I just wanted to give my best and finish the race, and we achieved our objective. I am very happy and grateful to the Ángel Nieto Team for the opportunity to race in MotoGP in front of the Australian fans. It has been an incredible experience, the power of the bike is crazy and the braking force is unreal. It has been a physically demanding weekend because this is such a different bike to anything I have ridden before.”

MotoGP Australia Mike Jones
Mike Jones
Marc Marquez – DNF

“At first I didn’t understand exactly what had happened, but I was angry because I felt the contact from the rear. I couldn’t continue the race because my seat was broken and moving around. It was impossible to ride. When I arrived in the garage and saw the video, I understood. It was just a race incident because at that point of the track, we arrive really fast, over 300 km/h. I was behind Jack Miller when I braked even a bit later than usual, and then I felt the impact. Zarco had taken the slipstreams from the two of us. You may think he could have considered that, but for me it’s just a race incident and I already spoke with him. What I can say is that today I feel really lucky, and the most important thing for me is that both me and Johann are okay. Today I was really focused, and the race was going as expected. I led for a couple of laps, and then I decided to stay in the group and wait a bit. I had the pace and I felt I was able to fight for the win. It’s unlucky that we got a zero here at Phillip Island, but if next year I can win the title in Japan again and have another DNF here, I’ll sign up for that! Now let’s focus on the next race.”

MotoGP Australia Marquez Damage
Damage to Marc Marquez’s Honda
Dani Pedrosa – DNF

“It has been a difficult weekend. We never had a good feeling over the three days, and unfortunately I crashed out of the race. I wasn’t in a good position, and then I lost the front in the braking point after the straight—quite a big crash, as it’s a fast point. Anyway, we just have to move forward, hoping to have a better race next Sunday.”

MotoGP Australia Pedrosa AX
Dani Pedrosa
Hafizh Syahrin – DNF

“Until lap 19 I had a good race. I just lost the front because I tried to close again on Miller. In the straight it is just impossible, as the Ducati just passes very easily. The guys and myself, we are already working very hard with our package, which is a bit different to the rest of the Yamahas. I was fighting with the faster group in the front, but it was just technically impossible to keep up with them, although I was pushing very hard. It’s a great pity to crash on the 19th lap. Anyway, we keep pushing, working hard and believing in ourselves because my team and me work very hard to be strong in the race. We tried to use our speed for a good result, but in the end we didn’t have a chance to fight with the rest of the riders in front.”

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Syahrin GP AN
Hafizh Syahrin
Johann Zarco – DNF

“It was a bit cold today, but the sunshine made it a nice day. Starting from third position was a good advantage. I got a good start, but in the second corner I slide with the rear and a few guys had the same, I lost a few positions, but then I was really feeling quite ok to attack and try to overtake. I’m happy about the feeling that I was strong and did some good passes. After a few laps, I was still feeling pretty good, I got the slipstream of Jack Miller and Marc Marquez was also there. We were going so fast and when we were braking for corner one, I touched the rear wheel of Marc and totally flew away. I had a big crash, but I’m okay, which is the most important thing, as that crash was really fast It’s a shame about the race, because finish the race would have been important for the independent riders’ championship, but I didn’t. The crash was big and I am sorry that Marc could not finish the race. Thank you to my team, because the bike was competitive today! I did a mistake and I need to make up for it on the next two rounds.”

MotoGP Australia Zarco
Johann Zarco
Pol Espargaro – DNF

“I was super-angry because I think we worked well this weekend and did a lot of laps with the tyres front and rear and we put the Soft options for the race thinking it would be OK. For some reason after six-seven laps it started to drop and I couldn’t open the throttle. After a few more laps it was dangerous to ride the bike so I had to stop. I don’t know what else to say. We made all the processes and procedures to know the tyre 100% but it looks like it can be a lottery. We’ll talk to Michelin and try to learn from this.”

MotoGP Australia Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Davide Brivio – Suzuki ECSTAR Team Manager

“This has been another very good day for our team, we took another podium, the second in a row and the third in 4 races. Andrea had a great battle with many riders and was able to finish 2nd. Because of this big battle it was hard to catch the leader, but anyway, it was a good race and we scored our 7th podium of the season. Alex finishing 5th was also very positive, Top 5 is really important to us. I really hope we can continue like this for the last two rounds of the season and thanks again to everybody involved for always working hard, especially on difficult times.”

MotoGP Australia Iannone
Andrea Iannone
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“What a thrilling and dramatic race! Maverick is always strong at the Phillip Island circuit, and he once again outdid himself in Australia today. He really deserved the victory, because he had been strong the entire weekend. It‘s a great feeling for the team to secure a win again – we have all been working so hard for this. It‘s not just us who have been waiting, but also our fans, so this is as much for them as it is for us. It was a pity that Vale wasn‘t able to join the podium, because he was showing great potential for the majority of the race. It would have been great to have him up there too. He and his crew have also been pushing to the maximum, but sixth place was really the best he could do today due to tyre wear at the end of the race. Overall this weekend has been a great moral boost, because both riders were competitive, so we‘re all looking forward to the next round, the Grand Prix of Malaysia, in just a week‘s time.”

MotoGP Australia Vinales Forcada
Maverick Vinales with crew chief Roman Forcada
Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager

“There are some days you wish what you see is a dream – or rather a nightmare. But unfortunately, what we saw today was reality. We had high hopes with a great Qualifying from both of our riders, Johann on the front row and Hafizh with his best ever Qualifying in 10th. The start was difficult as usual, it was a big pack as we saw in the other two classes and clearly, Johann was trying to find his way through the field after a bit hectic lap one. We could see that he was really fast and I think he wanted to use the advantage of the soft-soft choice he had made for front and rear and that was quite intense until that incident, which was unbelievable. When you see a rider going down at such a high speed – I think he touched the ground at 280 km/h – for the few seconds following the incident, you just hope nothing bad will happen. Johann had a really good reflex and although his bottom is quite sore, he was strong to walk back to the garage and be still fully fit and ready to race the next round. That was a big thing. Unfortunate for the fans and the racing overall, Marc and Johann were out of the race, which made it less exciting. So, our focus went on Hafizh, who was behind the leading group until he slowly los the contact. But he was still holding on a good eighth position and we were quite happy because although he was loosing ground he was still keeping a good pace and he crashed without any warning, without really understanding why. That was the end of our weekend. Both of our riders could have been really strong and both of them get no points, which is a big disappointment. I know you always have to keep up the ‘never-give-up-attitude’, but today it is hard, also with Remy in the Moto2 class. The only good thing is, our riders are fit, ok and we have a race next week.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Moto Wayne Remy Gardner GP AN
Remy Gardner
Mike Leitner – KTM Team Manager MotoGP

“Race conditions can be difficult here and so can tyre choice. It went quite well for Bradley and he ran where he we think we can be – between 8-10. We lost ninth position by four hundredths of a second: it was very close. A shame for Pol. He had a different tyre choice but then other riders also had that selection. In the middle of the race he had a very big drop which is not usual and he had to stop. So we need to analyse what happened. He should have also been able to fight for the top ten. We’ll go to Malaysia now and try to make it happen.”

MotoGP Australia Bradley Smith Pol Espargaro
Bradley Smith & Pol Espargaro
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager

“Phillip Island is always a big challenge and this year was certainly no different. The strong gusting winds and cold temperatures made it difficult for everyone, but the whole Michelin team worked in a very professional and methodical way with the riders to make sure the tyres which were best suited to the conditions and riding styles were used today. Despite the challenges, the race was very exciting and it is good for Michelin to have another winner, both rider and manufacturer, and it is also pleasing to see all six manufacturers in the top-ten and three different ones on the podium. We are constantly striving to give tyres to all that they can use to the best of their abilities, so having results such as this are very rewarding. The Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is a very big occasion on the company’s calendar and this has been another great event. We have again learned a lot about the toughest track of the year and this will enable us to come back even stronger next year.”

MotoGP Australia Michelin
Michelin at the Australian MotoGP 2018
2018 Phillip Island MotoGP Results
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Vinales M. Movistar Yamaha 40:51.081
2. Iannone A. Team Suzuki Ecstar +1.543
3. Dovizioso A. Ducati Team +1.832
4. Bautista A. Ducati Team +4.072
5. Rins A. Team Suzuki Ecstar +5.017
6. Rossi V. Movistar Yamaha +5.132
7. Miller J. Alma Pramac Racing +6.756
8. Morbidelli F. Marc VDS Racing Team +21.805
9. Espargaro A. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +22.904
10. Smith B. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +22.940
11. Abraham K. Angel Nieto Team +34.386
12. Petrucci D. Alma Pramac Racing +35.025
13. Redding S. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +36.348
14. Nakagami T. LCR Honda +36.389
15. Simeon X. Reale Avintia Racing +44.214
16. Luthi T. Marc VDS Racing Team +48.226
17. Torres J. Reale Avintia Racing +1:04.965
18. Jones M. Angel Nieto Team +1:19.817
DNF Espargaro P. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing DNF
DNF Syahrin H. Monster Tech 3 DNF
DNF Pedrosa D. Repsol Honda DNF
DNF Marquez M. Repsol Honda DNF
DNF Zarco J. Monster Tech 3 DNF
2018 MotoGP Championship Standings
Pos Rider Team Points
1. Marquez Marc Repsol Honda Team 296
2. Dovizioso Andrea Ducati Team 210
3. Rossi Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 195
4. Vinales Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 180
5. Crutchlow Cal LCR Honda 148
6. Petrucci Danilo Alma Pramac Racing 137
7. Zarco Johann Monster Yamaha Tech 3 133
8. Iannone Andrea Team Suzuki Ecstar 133
9. Lorenzo Jorge Ducati Team 130
10. Rins Alex Team Suzuki Ecstar 129
11. Bautista Alvaro Angel Nieto Team 96
12. Pedrosa Dani Repsol Honda Team 95
13. Miller Jack Alma Pramac Racing 83
14. Morbidelli Franco Marc VDS Racing Team 46
15. Espargaro Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 39
16. Rabat Tito Reale Avintia Racing 35
17. Espargaro Pol Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 35
18. Syahrin Hafizh Monster Yamaha Tech 3 34
19. Smith Bradley Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 29
20. Nakagami Takaaki LCR Honda 21
21. Redding Scott Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 15
22. Abraham Karel Angel Nieto Team 10
23. Kallio Mika Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6
24. Nakasuga Katsuyuki Yamaha Factory Team 2
25. Simeon Xavier Reale Avintia Racing 1
26. Pirro Michele Ducati Team 1
27. Luthi Thomas Marc VDS Racing Team 0
28. Bradl Stefan Honda Racing Corporation 0
29. Torres Jordi MV Agusta Reparto Corse 0
30. Jones Mike Reale Avintia Racing 0
31. Guintoli Sylvain Pata Yamaha Official WSBK Team 0
32. Ponsson Christophe Ponsson C. 0
2018 MotoGP Team Points
Pos Team Points
1. Repsol Honda Team 391
2. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 375
3. Ducati Team 353
4. Suzuki MotoGP 262
5. Alma Pramac Racing 220
6. LCR Honda 169
7. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 167
8. Angel Nieto Team 93
9. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 64
10. Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 54
11. Estrella Galicia 0,0 46
12. Reale Avintia Racing 36

Source: MCNews.com.au