Tag Archives: Franco Morbidelli

MotoGP Riders and Team Managers reflect on Valencia GP II

2020 MotoGP Round 14 – Valencia


It was decided by less than a tenth but it’s Morbidelli who comes out on top, gloves off to take his third win of the year and move up to second in the standings. Miller was forced to settle for second in the end, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) once again completing the podium. This is what the riders and team managers had to say in the post race interviews.

2020 Valencia II MotoGP podium
1. Franco Morbidelli* – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha 41:22.478
2. Jack Miller* -Pramac Racing – Ducati +0.093
3. Pol Espargaro -Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM +3.006

MotoGP Rider Quotes

Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli – P1

“It was the best victory of the year, maybe even the best one of my life! It was a complicated race: I felt that we had good potential all weekend, but then we opted for the hard front tyre in the race and I had to change my riding style slightly. I couldn’t pull away from Jack [Miller] like I wanted to, despite trying so hard, and I knew that he would be a strong competitor if he got close to me. It was all about giving more than you have on the last lap and that’s what both of us did. We had a really nice, clean fight. I’ve always liked battling Jack because he is tough but clean in his battles, and he was strong today so congratulations to him. I am so happy with the win today so thank you to the team as well. I also want to say congratulations to Joan [Mir] for winning the title this year; he has been a really strong competitor this year.”

Franco Morbidelli – Race winner
Jack Miller – P2

“That was so, so close … when you get beaten in a MotoGP race by about five metres after 27 laps you’d think I’d be disappointed or even a bit angry, but definitely not today. That was great fun out there, I did everything I could, and I got a great result. Less than a tenth of a second from it being a greater one, but Franky (Morbidelli) was faultless and you have to hand it to him. But finishing second and having as much fun as I did, that’s a good Sunday for me. Hope you guys enjoyed it too.

Morbidelli and Miller

“It was a fantastic last-lap battle with Franky, you really enjoy fights like that and even more on a tight track like Valencia is. Battling with these big bikes when it’s that tight, just unreal. It was like a Moto3 race! Imagine how the crowd would have gone off if we’d had fans in the stands … it was about the one thing that was a shame today. I gave it my all, fought as hard as I could, gave as good as I got and just missed out. No regrets because I gave it everything. Full respect to Franky too because it was a clean and sporting fight, nothing dirty or unfair, and that’s how it should be when the stakes are as high as that. 

Morbidelli and Miller

“I went for the medium tyres here this week after running the hards last week, and I figured that it was the second race at the same track, I’m in a good position on the grid on the front row, so why not go for it? What did I have to lose, really? I had a sneaky feeling it would go alright. I thought they’d last well but the tyre life even surprised me, and to set the fastest lap of the race – that’s only the second time I’ve ever done that in my MotoGP career – with a single-digit number of laps left on the lap board was a nice surprise. 

Morbidelli and Miller

“The race, once I held my second position after the first lap, I had this mega plan in my head that it was going to be 20 laps managing the tyres and then seven laps hunting down Franky. The grand plan was to sail past him on the front straight on the last lap and then ‘sorry Franky, see you later’ … I got that bit right, but I couldn’t get the bike stopped into Turn 1 with the tailwind we had today. And so then we had a nice little battle – him back in front at Turn 2, then me at Turn 4, then him at Turn 5 … he got the better of me there and he had all of the other options covered for the rest of the lap, and I tried all of them! I went the Hail Mary option on the last corner, squared it off and hoped the Ducati power would do the rest, but then I got a drift as I cranked the power back on, and that was that. But it was an awesome weekend for me and I absolutely love riding here, so it was a lot of fun. Just wasn’t to be today, but it was a fun Sunday anyway. 

“As well as praising Franky, I have to say a massive congratulations to Joan (Mir) and the whole Suzuki team for winning the championship, they completely deserve it and it’s awesome to see. He’s been the cream of the crop most of the year, and he’s kept his head screwed on and done the business. Full credit to him. I like an underdog story, and him winning the championship, that definitely counts as one of those. He’s dealt with all the hype better than anyone, and he fully deserves everything he gets.

Joan Miller congratuled by Jack Miller

“So all of a sudden it’s one race to go, the year’s gone really fast and it’s pretty crazy to think we’d not even started the season in July, and now we’re off to Portugal for the last race next weekend. My last race with the Pramac boys too, so it’ll be good to sign off on three seasons with these guys with another strong result, that’d be a perfect way to finish a really big three years of my life for me here. I’ve only done a few laps of Portimao on a road bike just before Le Mans this year and it’s a pretty interesting place, we don’t go anywhere that’s as up and down as that track is so it’ll be a good challenge just keeping that front wheel down over all those crests! And then it’ll be time to come home which is something to look forward to, for sure.”

Pol Espargaro – P3

“That was fantastic. I’m super-happy. We didn’t expect the podium this weekend. We felt that we deserved it but Nakagami was pushing me hard until he crashed. We were great from the beginning until the end and I was on the limit with the pace I could make. No mistakes. We’re again on the podium – the fifth of the season – unbelievable.”

Valencia MotoGP
Alex Rins – P4

“In the end, I wasn’t able to get the title, but I’m so happy for Joan and all of Team Suzuki! It’s incredible that he won the championship in only his second year, and the entire team have worked so hard to achieve this. So the feeling is amazing, even for me. Today Franco had a very strong pace and the best I could do was 4th, but I’m still fighting to get second place in the standings, so I’m happy with the result. I’m hoping to finish the season on a high when we go to Portimao!”

Valencia MotoGP
Brad Binder – P5

“Today was a positive race for us. I didn’t get the best of starts but I managed to find good pace, pass a few guys and work my way towards the front. I gave my absolute best today and unfortunately it was not enough to get us into that podium fight. Overall, I’m happy with how we have made steps this weekend; from Friday through to the race. We have a lot of learning to do still but we’re looking forward to Portimao already. Thanks to the team and everyone for their hard work. We’ll push again next week.”

Miguel Oliveira – P6

“I’m happy about the race. My start was really good again, although I found it a little bit more difficult to keep the pace in the middle of the race. I couldn’t find good grip and basically I wasn’t able to stay close to the top five. Anyway, this is, what we take home and now we go to the home GP. I’m very excited. I hope we can have fun in the final race.”

Joan Mir – P7

“World Champion? It sounds amazing! It’s really hard to find the words at the moment, but I must say thank you to so many people; to Suzuki for this opportunity, I’m so happy to give them a title! To be the person who brings them another crown after 20 years is an unbelievable feeling and a true honour. The entire team did an incredible job, and I’m just so overjoyed with this championship win. I’ve come a long way since being a child with hardly any money to go racing, and my family are to thank for this. I worked very hard to get to the top and this reward is amazing. Today’s race wasn’t easy, but I got the result I needed and I hope to have a great end in Portimao. It’s time to celebrate but we must do it responsibly.”

Andrea Dovizioso – P8

“I am quite satisfied with today’s result, considering that I started from seventeenth on the grid. Today we could have done more, seeing that Jack Miller was able to bring his Ducati on the podium, but unfortunately in the final laps, I had a problem with the left handlebar, and I couldn’t ride as I wanted. I’m disappointed, because now the fight for the remaining positions on the championship rostrum becomes more difficult, but there’s still one race left, and we’ll fight till the end. I want to congratulate Joan Mir on winning his first MotoGP World Title because he 100% deserved it!”

Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaro
Aleix Espargaro – P9

“A top-10 finish today is definitely a good result, especially because we were ahead of fast and very competitive riders. However, I must be honest and say that I expected more. During practice I am able to do good laps and in qualifying, risking a lot, I can take the RS-GP close to the leaders, but over race distance, it is more difficult to stay consistently at the limit. In the early laps I also lost a few tenths because, mindful of my crash in the last race, I managed a bit without risking. In any case, this is clearly the right direction for me and for Aprilia.”

Maverick Vinales – P10

“The start was difficult, but I tried to concentrate, get the rhythm, and be better. Somehow I never really got that feeling that I had some races ago. But I did the maximum I could in the race, and now all we can do as a team is to try to understand what we can improve for the final round. The next race we ride in Portimão, which is a track I like, and we will try to go fast. We hope to have a bit more grip there so we can get a better result. I want to say congratulations to Joan. He is a deserving winner of this year’s title.”

Maverick Vinales
Pecco Bagnaia – P11

“It was not the race I expected. Until this morning we were strong and competitive, we had a good pace – we had everything working for us to do a good race. Today was essential for me to finish the race today after not finishing the last 3 consecutive races, but we were in trouble and we did not expect it. The only “salvation” was to put the hard tire at the front to compensate as much as possible the lack of grip at the rear.”

Pecco Bagnaia
Valentino Rossi – P12 

“At this level, coming back strong is something you have to do step-by-step. I needed this race, because last week I did just four laps. I had six consecutive zero-point results because of mistakes, a problem with the bike, and Covid-19. We know that here it’s difficult for me, because this is my worst track in my whole career. We tried everything. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a lot of grip, but in the end we finished the race. I wasn’t fast enough, but I was consistent all the way to the end, and also physically I feel good. This is important. Now we hope we can feel better with the bike and the tyres in Portimão next week. We will try to be more competitive. I think Mir deserves this championship. He is mature for his age and doesn’t make mistakes in crucial moments, so congratulations to him.”

Cal Crutchlow – P13

“It was a tough race today. I got a fantastic start, but unfortunately got moved out into the first corner on to the outside of the track where it seems I hit some water that was off the track and I lost six positions, so I was disappointed to lose that and not be able to come through straightaway. I made some good passes and got up to not a bad group and not a bad battle, but unfortunately today I had a really bad feeling with the front tyre. It was not too hot, it was not over-pressured in any way, it was just the grip on the hard front tyre was not there today. I tried my best, it was a difficult weekend for us and the team and now we go to Portimao and we’ll see how we get on there.”

Stefan Bradl – P14

“It was not a bad race considering our starting position. Here in Valencia is one of the trickier circuits to overtake so I was really having to fight with Petrucci and Alex to get past. My speed overall wasn’t so bad but it was a trickier race than some of the previous ones. From my side I’m content, we achieved our target of more points and none of them were gifted. Now we have a test and then the final race of the year, a busy end to a busy year but we keep working and pushing.”

Danilo Petrucci – P15

“It has been a rather tough race. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make up positions at the start, and immediately after a few laps, I started to have problems with the left grip. Controlling the bike had become really difficult, but fortunately, I was able to stay focused and complete the race finishing in the points. Congratulations to Joan Mir for winning the World Title: he is a quiet and very strong guy, and I think he absolutely deserved this success”.

Danilo Petrucci and Stefan Bradl
Alex Marquez – P16

“The problem today was that I had no power in my wrist, it was a tough race but we had to finish the race after two DNFs. It was about building confidence and preparing for Portimao. I’m happy to have finished the race, I think our result isn’t too bad considering the fall yesterday. Now the objective is to recover as much as possible for the last weekend of the year and finish my rookie season off. I want to congratulate Mir as well, we were team-mates in 2018 in Moto2 and has had a very consistent season – a deserving champion.”

Tito Rabat – P17

“I felt very good, I had a good start and I stayed with the group for several laps.  Then I don’t know why but I haven’t been able to keep up with them.  We have finished the race, adding kilometers and in Portimao we will give our best as always.”

Lorenzo Savadori – P18

“More miles and more information gathered, which I hope will help us for the final race in Portimão. If we look at my pace, I almost made up the entire gap that developed in the early stages. Apparently I am still lacking the right confidence with a full tank to push straight away like the others do. In any case, I am still satisfied. Without knowing the bike and track, I was able to improve every time I went out. A week from now I expect to take another step forward.”

Takaaki Nakagami – DNF

“I am speechless, I’m disappointed about how it ended. I gave my best from the beginning and, as you see, I made a little mistake in the last corner when I tried to overtake Pol (Espargaro) who was in P3. I cannot say anything because I tried to the maximum and I lost the front. I want to apologise to all my team and I’ll try to be positive for the next race in Portimao. I’m happy about my performance all weekend and that is really important, as you can see we were there in every session. Now we have to be strong and look forward to the next race in Portimao.”

Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – DNF

“Unfortunately I couldn’t do anything today to take the championship fight to the final race. We just didn’t have the pace. I was pushing with more than what I had today and that was why I made some mistakes. P10 might have been possible today, but I wanted more than that and instead I made those mistakes. We have had some good points this year and we have positives going into the future, but right now it’s tough to accept that we haven’t won this year. It’s true that we could have done better, but it’s easy to say that now. Also Joan [Mir] has been very strong and very consistent, so he deserves this championship and my congratulations go to him. I hope that we can finish this season in a good way at the final race in Portimäo.”

Fabio Quartararo
Johann Zarco – DNF

“Disappointed with the crash, it was at the beginning of the race when I was not pushing to the maximum, the front wheel closed and I couldn’t avoid it.  This weekend I have been competitive in every training session and I was hoping to have a good race.  I felt very strong, I believed that the podium could today but we will try it in the last race of the year.


Team Managers

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager

“First of all, I have to say a big congratulations to Joan! This season has been very difficult, not only because of the strength of all the competitors but also because of the global situation with Covid-19. Alex has also had a good day and helped us to get the Teams’ Championship, another great achievement! Thank you to everyone who has been fighting with us to make this season a special one, especially to all our staff, sponsors, and fans. I’m very happy, finally we’ve achieved our biggest dream.”

Suzuki MotoGP World Champions
Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, we could not have hoped for more! To win the title this year, when it’s Suzuki’s 100th anniversary and the 60th year in racing, and also 20 years since the last title – in my wildest dreams I couldn’t imagine something as good as this, it’s truly great. Huge congratulations must go to Joan, he was so consistent and professional throughout. Alex also did a really good job today to get decent points and 4th place. Finally I must thank all the staff – whether at home, in Japan, or here at the circuit – they’ve all worked incredibly hard for this. Thank you so much for everything.”

Joan Mir | 2020 MotoGP World Champion – Team Suzuki
Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Yamaha Team Principal

“It was really good to see Franco take his third win of the MotoGP season, especially in a race where he was strong until the end and we had a very nerve-wracking final lap. It has given us a real boost today. On the other side of the garage, it was unfortunate that Fabio crashed out. Hopefully he will be able to finish the year with a good result in the final race next weekend. As a team, we are really happy to celebrate our second Independent Team title in only our second year in the Championship. Congratulations to all the team members, partners and fans. It has been a tough MotoGP championship this year and we tried to take it all the way to the final race, but unfortunately we weren’t able to do so. I want to congratulate Suzuki and Joan Mir on winning the championship today; they have done a fantastic job together this year.”

Petronas SRT Yamaha
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager

“Two weekends and two podiums so that’s a great achievement by the team and also Pol but the big thing today was all three bikes in the top six. We’re really happy with the work done by Brad and Miguel. Overall it is a massive credit to the company and what a great bike they have made for 2020. We have been pushing for this. Big thanks to everyone for the job and for their motivation in what has been an intense season so far.”

Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“The second race in Valencia and the second great result of Miguel Oliveira and the whole Red Bull KTM Tech3 team. Qualifying was average, but we knew we had the right pace and one more time Miguel had a great start. He was fifth out of the gate and then he managed to keep his head down and opened a gap on the pack. Unfortunately, halfway through the race, he lost a bit of pace and Rins, Nakagami and Binder passed him. But once they were ahead of him, he recovered and on the last six, seven laps, he was nearly having the same pace like the guys in front. This was good to maintain Mir and Dovizioso behind. Honestly, another ten points for the sixth position is a great result. We are still 10th in the championship, which is our target now, but with a bigger gap to the guy following us. I think six is the number of the day for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team, because Deniz Öncü was sixth in Moto3 and Miguel Oliveira sixth in MotoGP, so six seems to be our lucky number for this weekend. Anyway, after a fifth last week and a sixth this week, Miguel is heading to his home Grand Prix, which is going to be the grand finale of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship. It’s going to be a mad and crazy event, I’m sure. The whole Portugal is waiting for Miguel and I’m quite sure, this is going to be the race, where Miguel and the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team are going to give everything they have to finish on a high note. So, we just can’t wait to be in Portimao! I would also like to add a few words about Iker, because he did everything he could to be with us from Saturday morning. Unfortunately, he was one of the victims of the Covid-19 virus. He was tested positive, so he couldn’t come in the circuit. Unfortunately, the second test was also positive, so we can now officially say that Iker will not be with us in Portimao, which is a great shame. To do the last three races without Iker is a heartbreak. We miss him and I’m sure he is missing us and MotoGP. But there is nothing else we can do. So, let’s move to Portimao and there will be some new adventures happening there for the Red Bull KTM Tech3 team.”

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“Valencia this year has been a very difficult venue for us, more than ever before. During these last three days we spent some time trying different set-ups, also thinking about the future. Especially Maverick was quite comfortable on the bike on Friday and Saturday, but he didn’t have that same feeling during the race. Even though we improved in the braking areas, we weren’t able to find the rear grip needed to challenge out in front. We already knew this race would be difficult, but we still expected a bit more from today. In one week‘s time we have a final possibility to finish this season on a high note, like how we started the season. The riders already spent one day at the Portimão track on their YZF-R1s, so let’s see what we will be able to do.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager

“It has been a positive weekend for us as the whole field were able to get more dry time than last week and that showed with the consistency and pace in today’s race. The info from last weekend gave all the riders a good starting base and although we had some rain on Saturday, they were able to get back up to speed quickly and produce some impressive lap-times. All the tyres were tried this weekend, but with the warmer track temperatures today the choice seem quite straightforward for all the riders as to which tyre gave them the best performance. This meant every rider chose the medium rear as it offered the best of all things; grip, consistency and stability, with most of the field going with the hard front for the added stability on this unusual layout. On behalf of Michelin I would like to congratulate Joan Mir and Suzuki on the title, they have showed a consistency this season that has produced dividends. We now head to Portugal for another challenge to finish the season. It is a completely  new track and although we have had a test there recently we will all be learning from day one.”


MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 41m22.478
2 Jack MILLER Ducati +0.093
3 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +3.006
4 Alex RINS Suzuki +3.697
5 Brad BINDER KTM +4.127
6 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +7.272
7 Joan MIR Suzuki +8.703
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +8.729
9 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +15.512
10 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +19.043
11 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati +19.456
12 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +19.717
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +23.802
14 Stefan BRADL Honda +27.43
15 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +30.57
16 Alex MARQUEZ Honda +30.619
17 Tito RABAT Ducati +42.365
18 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia +46.472
Not Classified
DNF Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 9 Laps
DNF Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 19 Laps
DNF Johann ZARCO Ducati 22 Laps

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 171
2 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 142
3 Alex RINS Suzuki 138
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 127
5 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 125
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 125
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 122
8 Jack MILLER Ducati 112
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 105
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 100
11 Brad BINDER KTM 87
12 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 78
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 71
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 62
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 47
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 34
18 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 29
19 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 18
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4

MotoGP Constructors Championship

Pos Constructor Points
1 SUZUKI 201
2 DUCATI 201
3 YAMAHA 188
4 KTM 175
5 HONDA 133
6 APRILIA 43

MotoGP Team Championship

Pos Team Points
1 TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 309
2 PETRONAS YAMAHA SRT 230
3 RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 209
4 DUCATI TEAM 203
5 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP 169
6 PRAMAC RACING 163
7 LCR HONDA 134
8 RED BULL KTM TECH 3 127
9 REPSOL HONDA TEAM 85
10 ESPONSORAMA RACING 81
11 APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 46

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

Valencia II was officially awesome! | Race Report | Results | Points

2020 MotoGP Round 14 – Valencia II


Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) put on a spectacular duel in the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana as a tense race-long chess match turned into a final lap scrap for glory.

It was decided by less than a tenth but it’s Morbidelli who comes out on top, gloves off to take his third win of the year and move up to second in the standings. Miller was forced to settle for second in the end, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) once again completing the podium.

Slightly further back, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) made dreams a reality as he took seventh place and secured the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, with key rivals not able to do enough to stop the Majorcan’s history-making charge.

MotoGP Race Report

Joan Mir tried to avoid any potential carnage as the penultimate race of 2020 got underway

As the lights went out, Miller put in a characteristically good start to take the holeshot before then heading wide out of Turn 1, leaving Morbidelli in the lead as the Yamaha man kept it clean to take over. Pol Espargaro pounced for third ahead of front-row starter Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), but then some shuffles just behind pulled immediate focus.

Valencia II

First, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) had sliced through from P14 on the grid to seventh after a storming start, but things didn’t go so well for fellow contender Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT).

Quartararo was back in the pack

Quartararo struggled to get it stopped into Turn 6 on Lap 1 and dropped back – right back – before it went from bad to worse. Sadly, his title hopes were over, ‘El Diablo’ sliding out of the race and contention.

Then on the deck…

Meanwhile at the front, Morbidelli had the hammer down and Rins was up to fifth – one place gained ‘thanks’ to a crash for Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) as the day sadly came to an early end for the Frenchman after a good start and a battle with the number 42.

Joan Mir was careful not to get caught up in any incidents

And Mir? Mir was in eighth, but was getting into the groove and past Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) to set off after Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) ahead of him.

Morbidelli, Miller, Pol Espargaro

Morbidelli rode on, Miller remained his shadow, and the two men kept edging away to make it a duel. It became a brief duel over third too as Nakagami homed in on Pol Espargaro, the Japanese rider once again showing some stunning pace. But the charge would end with disappointment as just as he struck, Nakagami slid out – leaving the KTM to take back third and now with a small cushion back to fourth.

Morbidelli, Mir, Pol Espargaro

The man in fourth by then was Rins, and with Suzuki’s late race pace of late, Pol Espargaro couldn’t afford to relax too much. But this weekend it seemed just off the podium was the maximum the Aragon GP winner could manage as he held station, two more KTMs on his tail. Initially the first was Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), but Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder was coming in hot. The South African was also keeping Mir at bay as the number 36 failed to make inroads into the gap, seemingly set to take the crown from seventh.

Back at the front, Morbidelli was steadfast but the Petronas Yamaha SRT rider wasn’t getting away as he had done for his previous wins. Miller was with him and gaining, gaining, until he was within touching distance with two to go. And over the line for the final lap, the Australian struck for the front.

Morbidelli and Miller

Heading up the inside, the number 43 was past and it was game on – but he also headed wide. Morbidelli reacted to hug the apex and slice back through, the Yamaha back ahead and Miller reloading for another shot. That came not long after at Turn 4 as Miller chucked it up the inside, but Morbidelli snapped straight back to grab P1 again at Turn 5.

Morbidelli and Miller

Down the back straight they went, the Ducati able to show a wheel but no way through. Miller then set himself up for a dive up the inside at Turn 11, but once again there was no way through as the duo got very close for comfort.

Morbidelli and Miller

Attention then turned to the final corner, but Miller wasn’t close enough to lunge. Could the number 43 get the power down and use the extra grunt to scream past Morbidelli on the run to the line?

Morbidelli and Miller

It was his final chance at the win, but it wasn’t to be. Morbidelli emerged victorious for the third time this season after a magnificent boxing match, and the Italian now sits second in the Championship. Petronas Yamaha SRT are also the top Independent Team.

Morbidelli and Miller

The gap over the line was just 0.093 seconds, tantalisingly close, but it’s a great third podium of the season for Miller nevertheless. Pol Espargaro goes back-to-back in Valencia for his fifth podium of the year in third, another fantastic effort from the Spaniard in his penultimate race for KTM.

Franco Morbidelli

Rins’ comeback ride was impressive from P14, but the Suzuki man ran out of steam and eventually missed out on the podium by six tenths as he was forced to settle for fourth. The Spaniard did, however, help Team Suzuki Ecstar claim the Team Championship after a stunning year that’s seen both riders win and challenge for the crown, Mir ultimately taking it.

Joan Mir | 2020 MotoGP World Champion

Binder got the better of Oliveira to return to the top five for the first time since the Austrian GP, and the South African also strengthened his grip on the Rookie of the Year title as he heads for the finale 20 points clear of Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Oliveira in sixth make it three KTMs in the top six too, and the Portuguese rider arrives on home turf in form.

Joan Mir | 2020 MotoGP World Champion congratulated by his peers

Just behind the KTM duo, Mir took the chequered flag. Pandemonium raged on the pit wall as Suzuki witnessed their rider come across the line to win the 2020 FIM MotoGP World Championship, the young Spaniard joining Barry Sheene, Marco Lucchinelli, Franco Uncini, Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr. as a Suzuki Champion. An incredible achievement from the sophomore, and the entire Hamamatsu factory, after a stunning season.

Suzuki MotoGP World Champions

Dovizioso almost sprung a late surprise as he crossed the line just 0.026 behind Mir and could have possibly gone for a lunge, but he was the second Ducati home and took some solid points. Aleix Espargaro crossed the line in a solid P9 to grab his second top 10 of the season, the Aprilia man taking the flag one place ahead of Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) after a tougher one for the number 12.

Franco Morbidelli – Race winner

Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) finished P11 and three tenths ahead of Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), as Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) completed the points.

Franco Morbidelli – Race winner

And so, Valencia plays host to yet another Championship-deciding MotoGP race – and an amazing last lap duel. Suzuki now head to Portimao with the triple crown in sight, although the Japanese marque are equal on points with Ducati in the fight to become Constructor Champions. Whichever bike crosses the line first will win the Championship.

2020 has been unpredictable everywhere but Portimao could step up the surprises even further, I am fizzing at the prospect of MotoGP bikes taking on the unique challenges of that amazing circuit.

Franco Morbidelli – P1

It was an unbelievable win, I gave everything all race long and finally I had to dig deeper to find something else at the last lap because Jack was there and was able to catch up at the end and fight at the end. I had to find something extra and luckily I was able to pull it out! It was a wonderful fight against Jack. It’s always nice to fight with him, win or lose, so I enjoyed the battle and congrats to him, he was just as good as me. I have a great feeling about this year, we did great and I’m looking forward to party tonight and then go to Portimao!”

Franco Morbidelli

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 41m22.478
2 Jack MILLER Ducati +0.093
3 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +3.006
4 Alex RINS Suzuki +3.697
5 Brad BINDER KTM +4.127
6 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +7.272
7 Joan MIR Suzuki +8.703
8 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +8.729
9 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia +15.512
10 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +19.043
11 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati +19.456
12 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha +19.717
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +23.802
14 Stefan BRADL Honda +27.43
15 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +30.57
16 Alex MARQUEZ Honda +30.619
17 Tito RABAT Ducati +42.365
18 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia +46.472
Not Classified
DNF Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 9 Laps
DNF Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 19 Laps
DNF Johann ZARCO Ducati 22 Laps
2020 Valencia II MotoGP podium
1. Franco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha 41:22.478
2. Jack Miller -Pramac Racing – Ducati +0.093
3. Pol Espargaro -Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – KTM +3.006

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 171
2 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 142
3 Alex RINS Suzuki 138
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 127
5 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 125
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 125
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 122
8 Jack MILLER Ducati 112
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 105
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 100
11 Brad BINDER KTM 87
12 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 78
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 71
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 62
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 47
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 34
18 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 29
19 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 18
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4

MotoGP Constructors Championship

Pos Constructor Points
1 SUZUKI 201
2 DUCATI 201
3 YAMAHA 188
4 KTM 175
5 HONDA 133
6 APRILIA 43

MotoGP Team Championship

Pos Team Points
1 TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR 309
2 PETRONAS YAMAHA SRT 230
3 RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING 209
4 DUCATI TEAM 203
5 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP 169
6 PRAMAC RACING 163
7 LCR HONDA 134
8 RED BULL KTM TECH 3 127
9 REPSOL HONDA TEAM 85
10 ESPONSORAMA RACING 81
11 APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI 46

Moto2

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Jorge Martin stole a last-gasp victory at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, the Spaniard diving through on Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) in the final sector and able to hold off compatriot Hector Garzo (FlexBox HP40) on the run to the line to wrap up win number two of his Moto2 career. Garzo beat Bezzecchi to second, although the Italian remains in mathematical contention and 23 points off the top in fourth. Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) will take a 14 point lead to the season finale in Portimao, the title fight still between four riders as the final round appears on the horizon.

From the outside of the front row, it was Bezzecchi who got a great start but an aggressive Martin dived through from the second row at Turn 1 to take the the holeshot. Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) settled into second from pole, just ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) and then Bezzecchi, but at the start of lap two, ‘Diggia’ passed Manzi into Turn 2 as he saw Martin trying to spark an early escape. Two laps later, Bezzecchi was able to follow his compatriot through to demote the MV Agusta man back to fourth.

Coming out of the final corner both Martin and Di Giannantonio had rear-end twitches in perfect unison and that allowed Bezzecchi through to second. One lap later, and at exactly the same spot, the Sky Racing Team VR46 rider slipped up the inside of Martin to hit the front and, with Bastianini down in eighth, close the title lead down to 12 points. In a half a lap to forget for Martin, Di Giannantonio then found a way past the KTM man too.

A lead group of four was starting to form at the front and Garzo could see that, prompting a dive past Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) for fifth at the final corner. The fastest lap of the race at that time for the Spaniard saw him close in on the rear-end of Manzi and then move past the Italian to find himself in fourth and right in the podium fight on home turf.

Not long after, a mistake from Di Giannantonio out of the final corner saw Martin able to pull alongside him and edge in front but only for a split second, with the aggressive Speed Up braking as late as possible to hold on to second. That offered a chance to Garzo on the run up to Turn 2 and the Flexbox HP 40 rider took the chance with both hands, squeezing past Martin for third.

Stefano Manzi’s incredible weekend then came to an unfortunate end as the MV Agusta man crashed out of contention, doing a favour for compatriot Bastianini who moved up to seventh as a result and extended his potential title lead to 13 points. Marini was sat just ahead of Bastianini in sixth and a battered and bruised Sam Lowes was digging deep and picking his way through the field but still back in 18th.

The tension at the front was growing as the laps ticked away, with Di Giannantonio applying more and more pressure on Bezzecchi. With six to go Di Giannantonio then made his move, a cool and calculated dive through at Turn 11… before then making a costly error into the final corner that allowed Bezzecchi to retake the lead, as you were.

Martin’s late charge continued to gain momentum when he was next to make a move, diving past Garzo down the start-finish straight to grab hold of the final podium place. Could he home in on the Italians in the lead?

With two to go there was nothing between the duo at the front and Di Giannantonio then found a way through at Turn 11 once again, keeping it tidy through the final corner this time to lead the now four-way fight for victory over the line for the last lap. Bezzeccchi was starting to lose touch with the Speed Up and it looked like Diggia’s to lose – and unfortunately he did. Suddenly, only half a lap from the win, the Italian slid out at Turn 6 and was out of the fight, leaving a trio scrapping over the podium order.

That left Bezzecchi in the lead but it was far from a done deal. Martin could sense the chance and then pounced at Turn 12, forcing Bezzecchi wide, but the pair’s dive through Turn 13 had been compromised and that opened a door for Garzo. The Valencian dived through into second, demoting Bezzecchi to third in less corners. It would all go down to the final corner…

Martin kept the door slammed shut so the former MotoE frontrunner took a sweeping line as he tried to out-drag his compatriot to the line, and it came incredibly close. Less than a tenth close, as Martin took the win by almost nothing. Nevertheless, the home hero took his first Grand Prix podium in second, with Bezzecchi forced to settle for third.

Schrötter took fourth spot ahead of Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46), who is now 18 points adrift of The Beast after the Italtrans man crossed the line just behind him in sixth. ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team’s Remy Gardner took seventh, eight tenths clear of Bo Bendsneyder who clinched NTS RW Racing GP’s best result. Italians Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP40) rounded out the top ten.

Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) took 11th ahead of Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with Xavi Vierge (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crossing the line in 13th. And then came Lowes.

A super human effort sees the Brit take two points despite the after affects of his FP3 crash, and he remains Bastianini’s closest challenger although now 14 points down. Marini trails by 18 and Bezzecchi 23, leaving everything on the table in Portimao.

Jorge Martin – P1

I started quite well from fifth to first in the first corner, that was great then with the wind it was difficult to be fast in front, the front tyre wasn’t the perfect temperature. Lap by lap I was improving before the middle of the race when I felt so bad, then when I saw I was catching Hector I thought, ‘come on you can do it’. I started to push, overtook him, then when I saw fighting between Bez and Diggia I said, ‘come on never give up, try your best’. When Diggia crashed I thought, ‘just one more overtake and you’ll do it’. I thought about this move last weekend and at Turn 12 you never expect it. I risked a bit too much but you have to take risk to win and I did it today. I’m super happy, thanks to my team, my family and all the sponsors.”

2020 Valencia II Moto2 podium
1. Jorge Martin – Red Bull KTM Ajo – Kalex 40:02.225
2. Hector Garzo – Flexbox HP 40 – Kalex +0.072
3. Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex +0.204
Remy Gardner – P7

What a weekend. I managed to post some half decent laps on Friday and I felt a bit better on Friday afternoon but I hadn’t been feeling too well in the run up to the event so wasn’t really sure how I would get on. Saturday was another tough day. I still didn’t feel that great and didn’t make it through into Q2. We were unlucky but that’s racing. Despite where we were on the grid I wasn’t going to just ride around and so was still hopeful of pulling something special out of the bag. Nineteenth to seventh was pretty good. It’s good points even though fifth overall is now not possible but I’m still super happy with the work we have done this year. The team have worked really well, and we still have one more race to go in Portugal where I think we can have a good one and end the year on a high. The last twelve laps were tough, I had no energy, but I stuck in there and we managed to come home with a decent result. Can’t wait for Portimao, so see you all there!”

Moto2 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Jorge MARTIN Kalex 40m02.225
2 Hector GARZO Kalex +0.072
3 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex +0.204
4 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +0.689
5 Luca MARINI Kalex +0.812
6 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex +2.329
7 Remy GARDNER Kalex +8.973
8 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS +9.72
9 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex +11.596
10 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +11.836
11 Joe ROBERTS Kalex +12.369
12 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +13.041
13 Xavi VIERGE Kalex +13.495
14 Sam LOWES Kalex +15.345
15 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex +15.577
16 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +18.954
17 Simone CORSI MV Agusta +26.947
18 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex +36.336
19 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up +42.068
20 Kasma DANIEL Kalex +46.792
21 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI NTS +50.162
Not Classified
DNF Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 1 Lap
DNF Edgar PONS Kalex 2 Laps
DNF Aron CANET Speed Up 4 Laps
DNF Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 8 Laps
DNF Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex 11 Laps
DNF Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 15 Laps
DNF Andi Farid IZDIHAR Kalex 17 Laps
DNF Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex 19 Laps

Moto2 World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex 194
2 Sam LOWES Kalex 180
3 Luca MARINI Kalex 176
4 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 171
5 Jorge MARTIN Kalex 150
6 Remy GARDNER Kalex 110
7 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 89
8 Joe ROBERTS Kalex 85
9 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 77
10 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 73
11 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 72
12 Aron CANET Speed Up 66
13 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 65
14 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 64
15 Hector GARZO Kalex 63
16 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 63
17 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 58
18 Jake DIXON Kalex 44
19 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex 32
20 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex 32
21 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up 21
22 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 21
23 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS 15
24 Simone CORSI MV Agusta 15
25 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 10
26 Edgar PONS Kalex 5
27 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex 5
28 Dominique AEGERTER NTS 4

Moto3

Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) took a stunning first win of the season in the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, clawing back a deficit to Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) to take 25 valuable points that see him head into the season finale just 11 off the top and bringing the grand total of different 2020 winners across all classes to 25 – equalling the record set in 2016. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) won the duel for second against Fernandez, with the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider forced to settle for third. Championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team) took fourth and extended his lead to eight points ahead of eighth-place finisher Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) as the lightweigh class title continues to walk a tightrope.

Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took the holeshot from second on the grid, with Binder slotting into second from pole in a Red Bull KTM Ajo sandwich as Fernandez held third. Arenas got away well into fifth, with Ogura losing a little ground on the first lap but nothing too serious. Garcia, meanwhile, had gained in a big way; the Spaniard’s charge from P17 on the grid well underway.

The first shot of drama came at the front from Toba and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) as the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider highsided and his compatriot was unable to avoid the incident. Once again, that left Fernandez with a small gap out front – just as he enjoyed in the Europe GP.

The Spaniard kept the hammer down alone in some free air as the battle raged behind, a classic Moto3™ freight train forming in the fight for second. Not long after there was more drama and the official end to a Championship charge for one contender too as Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) crashed out; able to rejoin but 2020 title hopes gone.

At the front, Fernandez rode on as Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) held station at the front of the chasing group, with Arenas still a few places above Ogura in the close second group as the Japanese rider remained tagged onto the back of it. Little by little, however, that second group started to split – leaving Ogura in a three-way battle with Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) and Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46), and Arenas still well within the five-rider fight for the podium up the road…

Bit by bit, the gap to Fernandez was coming down as Arbolino chipped away, shadowed by Garcia. The gap from them back to Arenas, Binder and Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) had grown too, and the Ogura-Migno-Masia fight had dropped well off. That left three small groups behind Fernandez, but soon the Spaniard’s gap at the front was down to less than half a second – and not long after it was down to zero.

Fernandez vs Arbolino vs Garcia was now the fight to decide the podium, with Arenas-Öncü-Binder the triple threat waiting in the wings.

After a Garcia-Arbolino duel, the Italian was able to secure second for long enough to set up a move on Fernandez, and he struck on the penultimate lap into Turn 1. The hammer was then well and truly down for Arbolino, and the gap started to increase as the final lap got underway, the Italian focused razor sharp on his first win of the year…

Behind him, Fernandez vs Garcia raged on, but this time it was the Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider who came out on top, defending at the maximum around the final corner to secure second and a second podium in a row. Just behind it got close too, with Arenas fending off Binder in a similarly tense last lap, the Spaniard able to take fourth by just over a tenth. Öncü was forced to settle for sixth, but it was a stellar race from the Turk.

The pivotal battle for seventh went quite literally to the line. Migno was able to stay just ahead for P7, but Ogura and Masia were absolutely side-by-side in a genuine photo finish. The Japanese rider took what could be a crucial extra position as he stayed ahead for P8 though, and he’s now eight points off Arenas heading into Portugal.

Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) won a duel for tenth ahead of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), and that was enough to secure the Spaniard Rookie of the Year in 2020 after an impressive year fighting at the front.

There was a small gap back to Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) in P12, ahead of Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team) and Ryusei Yamanaka (Estrella Galicia 0,0) as they completed the points.

An incident between Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) saw both crash out, deemed a racing incident by the FIM MotoGP™ Stewards Panel after investigation.

And then there were three: Arenas heads for the Algarve eight points clear of Ogura, with Arbolino now 11 down and suddenly within genuine reach of the crown. Portugal promises another stunning showdown, with a Champion sure to be crowned – but who? We’ll find out next weekend!

Tony Arbolino – P1

My plan was always to win, from being young I’m like that I just want to win, win every race, that’s always what I have in my mind. It’s a fantastic day, I said I wanted to win a race in 2020 in this category before I leave, I’m so happy, we worked so much, trust me, all day and before going to sleep always thinking about that. I feel good, now… I’m so proud!

Tony Arbolino

Moto3 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 38m17.462
2 Sergio GARCIA Honda +1.142
3 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM +1.297
4 Albert ARENAS KTM +2.825
5 Darryn BINDER KTM +2.999
6 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM +3.208
7 Andrea MIGNO KTM +9.836
8 Ai OGURA Honda +9.852
9 Jaume MASIA Honda +9.864
10 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda +12.802
11 John MCPHEE Honda +12.879
12 Romano FENATI Husqvarna +14.513
13 Stefano NEPA KTM +15.34
14 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda +15.619
15 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda +24.297
16 Dennis FOGGIA Honda +24.32
17 Barry BALTUS KTM +24.666
18 Yuki KUNII Honda +24.69
19 Ayumu SASAKI KTM +27.484
20 Davide PIZZOLI KTM +27.754
21 Carlos TATAY KTM +28.093
22 Jason DUPASQUIER KTM +28.138
23 Riccardo ROSSI KTM +30.718
24 Celestino VIETTI KTM +48.093
Not Classified
DNF Khairul Idham PAWI Honda 2 Laps
DNF Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 16 Laps
DNF Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 16 Laps
DNF Kaito TOBA KTM 22 Laps
DNF Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 22 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Maximilian KOFLER KTM 0 Lap
2020 Valencia II Moto3 podium
1. Tony Arbolino – Rivacold Snipers Team – Honda 38:17.462
2. Sergio Garcia – Estrella Galicia 0,0 – Honda +1.142
3. Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM +1.297

Moto3 World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Albert ARENAS KTM 170
2 Ai OGURA Honda 162
3 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 159
4 Jaume MASIA Honda 140
5 Celestino VIETTI KTM 137
6 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 134
7 John MCPHEE Honda 124
8 Darryn BINDER KTM 112
9 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 83
10 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 80
11 Romano FENATI Husqvarna 77
12 Sergio GARCIA Honda 77
13 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda 71
14 Dennis FOGGIA Honda 69
15 Andrea MIGNO KTM 60
16 Ayumu SASAKI KTM 49
17 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM 44
18 Kaito TOBA KTM 40
19 Stefano NEPA KTM 38
20 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 35
21 Filip SALAC Honda 30
22 Carlos TATAY KTM 24
23 Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 21
24 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda 14
25 Riccardo ROSSI KTM 10

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

Jack Miller and Taka Nakagami on those incidents..

2020 MotoGP Round 12 – Aragon

Boy were there some ups and downs, cheers and tears….


Jack Miller – DNF

“So that was short, wasn’t it? I mean, it’s hard to say much when your race lasts nine seconds… I made a decent start, passed about three blokes into Turn 1, then the next thing I knew I was on the floor at Turn 2. It happened so fast, I was on the gas, and then I was in the dirt after getting a whack from behind. I looked up and saw it was Brad (Binder), who’s a guy I like, and I just threw my hands up – “what the f**k Brad?!” But, you know, it happens. He said it happened so fast for him that the first he knew about it was when we were laying in the gravel, so he was about as surprised as I was.

Brad Binder skittled Jack Miller in turn one

“It wasn’t like he meant it, and believe me, we’ve all been there. Today it was his turn. Nobody’s fault – it’s just how racing goes sometimes. Sometimes you get hit, sometimes you’re the one who does it to someone else. I’d probably be more pissed off if I had a great result taken from me but when you qualify 14th like I did, then this is what can happen in the first few corners. Was a good old whack too, I’m pretty thankful that I feel OK now because both shoulders and knees copped it and the seat was basically destroyed, so I was pretty happy to walk away. And it wasn’t like I had an amazing result taken from me, based on how things had gone all weekend.

MotoGP riders head towards turn one, some didn’t come out the other side…

“All day Saturday I was losing grip coming into the corners, the last corner especially, and I was still pretty much scratching my head after qualifying. In the long left-handers like the last corner, the others just seemed to have way more grip than I had at any stage on corner entry. I was a bit surprised that we hadn’t made much progress since we were here a week ago, I felt I was riding at the limit, but clearly that limit wasn’t good enough. I just didn’t have any feeling whatsoever. It obviously wasn’t going to be easy from that far back on the grid, so I guess we had to cross our fingers and hope for something magical on Sunday. I didn’t see much happening to be honest … turns out I was right about something this weekend. That’s three DNF’s in the last five – a tear-off in the airbox in Misano, the engine problem in Le Mans and then this. Not a lot I could do about any of them really.

“Speed-wise, we just didn’t have it here – last weekend was pretty average but it was good compared to this one. I was quietly confident that I could do something in the race and I went for the medium tyres again like last week, hoping I could just be calm in the first few laps and then pick a few blokes off as the race wound down. I was hardly on podium pace or anything but there were some top-10 points for me. The plan was to be there at the end, not on my arse in two corners. But it is what it is.

Jack Miller

“As for the championship, we have three races to go now and it’s probably (Joan) Mir’s to lose. I mean, he’s just super consistent and to get third from 12th on the grid on a day when the others like Fabio (Quartararo), Mav (Maverick Vinales) and ‘Dovi’ (Andrea Dovizioso) struggled again … you’ve got to hand it to him. He’s just doing what he needs to do, and the others are making all of the mistakes. He’s not won a race yet and some people are trying to say he needs to win one if he’s to be considered a proper champion if he takes it out, but I don’t agree, it doesn’t devalue it at all. He’s playing it the right way so far, so fair play to him.

“Anyway, that’s a lot of talking for a race that I could have summed up in one sentence! I’m pretty glad Aragon is over, and I’d like to go home thanks … I’m looking forward to get out of here, and to finish my time with the Pramac guys better than this in the last three races. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks to give it a crack in Valencia.”

Brad Binder – DNF

“I had quite an ‘OK’ start and as I went up the inside of Turn1 I then changed direction like a regular lap and got bunched up. It was a big mistake on my behalf and I’m so sorry to wipe out Jack’s race. I want to apologise not only to my team but also to his. We’ll have to restart and go again in Valencia.”

Takaaki Nakagami – DNF

“First of all, I want to say sorry to all of my team because this weekend all of the sessions we were really competitive and were ready to get a great result on Sunday. But unfortunately I had a small mistake on the first lap which was after the start and I’m very disappointed to end up in the gravel. Now I’m very disappointed how it finished, but we’ll try to be positive as all the weekend we were so fast which showed that our potential is there. Anyway, we’ll try to keep focused on our job in Valencia where there are more back-to-back races. We’ll be strong and try to have a good weekend there and a big thank you to all my fans who support me.”

Taka Nakagami led up to exactly about this point….

Franco Morbidelli – P1

“I am very happy with this win; it feels a little bit different to when I won in Misano. It comes from the hard work that the crew has put in; they have done an unbelievable job and worked so well together to get this win. The bike was perfect during the race, I was feeling great and I just had to focus on getting the bike to the finish line in the shortest, fastest, time possible. This victory is for them, for my crew. Without their work it would not have been possible. So thank you. Now we are just 25 points from being at the top of the championship standings, which means that it is time to go super aggressive into the final three races of this year.”

Franco Morbidelli
Alex Rins – P2

“Obviously I was hoping to win again today, but another podium is an awesome feeling anyway. It was really hard to do battle with Franco today, he was very strong and he got a good start. I was happy with my tyre choice but I did feel a little bit of drop part way through the race, I knew that I had a decent gap on Joan so I kept things smooth and went for second place. I was really happy to see Joan there in third because it means another great day for Suzuki with both of us on the podium again! Joan is so consistent, but I’m also feeling better every race so let’s see what can happen in the next few races. Anyway, I’m really pleased to be on the podium again at MotorLand!”

Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel
Joan Mir – P3

“My feeling was good today, but on the last laps today I wasn’t able to make up the difference – I had the same speed as Alex and Franco but I couldn’t manage to go quicker to close the gap. That was a bit of a shame, but it’s always hard to start further back on the grid and I lost some time while overtaking other riders. But anyway, I’m glad to have been able to collect points today and I’m satisfied because my target was the podium; I knew that was needed to keep a hold on the championship lead, so I’m happy that I achieved that. I will be giving my best in the next three races.”

Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel
Pol Espargaro – P4

“Much happier than last week, a super-different race. The position was better from the grid and the beginning of the race – even if we can still improve this – and the pace was nice. I still didn’t have ideal rear edge grip but I could change direction with confidence and gain where the bike was good. I could overtake and I really enjoyed the race: when that happens the result comes. 4th feels good and I believe it was well-deserved for all the work we did as a team this weekend.”

Pol Espargaro had to work hard for his P4
Miguel Oliveira – P6

“I’m happy. I felt I could have been a bit more in front, at least in fifth place, but it was quite hard for me to overtake. I felt strong, competitive and I think it was a great comeback from last weekend. It was a consistent and very good weekend for us with eighth place on the grid and sixth place in the race, so I think we did our job. We need to take this as a positive and carry it on to the last three races in November.”

Miguel Oliveira chasing Fabio Quartararo
Maverick Vinales – P7

“I‘m sure that for us the soft-soft tyre option was the right one. We saw in the last race that Fabio chose the medium front and the pressure was too high, so he lost a lot of positions. We preferred to ride with the soft tyre which was, let‘s say, ’the safer option‘. With the soft tyre I can normally ride really well, so I thought for me this wouldn‘t be a problem, except today I had no grip on the tyres, only in the first three laps. Then I had a big drop in both tyres and chatter, so I couldn‘t do anything. We need to face facts. Today it is what it is. The only positive is that we aimed to finish in front of Fabio, the top Yamaha in the standings, and we did this. We‘re going to try to do better in Valencia and learn from the things we did wrong during this race. For sure, this result is far from our potential, and we need to understand it so we can put the best version of our bike on the track.”

Maverick Vinales
Fabio Quartararo – P8

“Really I wanted a bit more from the race today, as we found something this morning that improved the bike, but it didn’t help as much as we thought it would in the race. The feeling was not great but we scored some points today and we actually had a fairly good race, I was able to fight and defend my position. We will try to be faster in the next race at Valencia, which is a track that I like and I had a great feeling there last year. Also we don’t seem to suffer tyre drop off there, like we have done here. There are three races left this year and we know how fast we can be, so I might not be so happy with the result today, but I know we have some good opportunities coming and I’m looking forward to being there.”

Fabio Quartararo
Iker Lecuona – P9

“Obviously I’m very happy about today. In the first laps of the race I was fighting a lot with many riders and I also made some mistakes, so I lost contact to the big group ahead of me. But lap by lap, I tried to recover and tenth by tenth I finally caught them again. I felt really strong and I have the feeling that I could have even finished further in front. Eventually I was ninth again, which equals my best result, so it’s a decent one.”

Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel
Danilo Petrucci – P10

“It was a pretty uphill race, considering that we started way back. Fortunately, this morning we were able to find a good setup that partly solved our problems. I tried to manage the tyres well in the first laps, and towards the end of the race, I was able to do some overtakes. Unfortunately, we still suffer the lack of speed in the straights, but in general, the feeling with the bike has improved. Today our goal was to finish in the top ten, and we succeeded also taking important points for the standings”.

Danilo Petrucci chasing Stefan Bradl
Cal Crutchlow – P11

“Today wasn’t a good day, finishing outside the top 10. Our main issue was the rear tyre, we chose a soft rear tyre and had great grip at the start of the race, but when I got passed, it became quite apparent that on the exit of a corner that my competitors had a lot more rear grip and I was unable to continue to improve and be fast.”

Cal Crutchlow
Stefan Bradl – P12

“It can always be a little bit better, but I am happy with this result as we have improved compared to last week, so this is a positive. We want to continue on this trajectory and today shows we are making progress. The start was a bit difficult but after that I was able to fight, maybe I was fighting a bit too much in the opening laps, then I relaxed and was able to catch the factory Ducatis. The speed was good overall, a strong weekend.”

Stefan Bradl battling with Petrucci
Andrea Dovizioso – P13

“We knew it was going to be a tough race and unfortunately, my feelings with the bike weren’t good. We didn’t have the speed to recover, and at the end, the soft tyre had a major drop, which prevented me from riding as I would have wanted. I struggled a lot and, especially in the last laps, I was also struggling with arm pump. Now we have to try to move on and start focusing already on the next three races that we have left.”

Andrea Dovizioso
Bradley Smith – P15

“The race began well. I stayed with Petrucci and we were making up ground on the group. My speed in the early laps was good and my tenth place on the list of fast laps proves that, but then, with the tyre deterioration, we were unable to maintain the pace. We know that this is one of our weak points and I hope that the data collected in these races will help the guys at Aprilia to improve the 2021 project. It’s frustrating to always run into the same difficulties, but we won’t give up. Down to the final race, we’ll work hard to improve.”

Bradley Smith and Tito Rabat
Alex Marquez – DNF

“It was completely my mistake; I lost some time with Zarco and Mir was escaping and I was probably pushing too hard to catch him. I was thinking about the podium a bit too much today because I really think we had the pace, but we need to remember to always be patient. It was another rookie mistake but we should be proud of the weekend and these three races in a row overall. Two podiums and a strong weekend here fighting. We have made good progress but stay realistic, be calm and see what our target is. I want to say thank you again to the Repsol Honda Team for their work.”

Alex Marquez was looking very strong and certain for a podium before going down
Aleix Espargaro – DNF

“I have to be satisfied with my overall performance this weekend. We greatly improved the setup compared to last week. Yesterday in qualifying, I was extremely fast and today in the race I also gave it my all. I made some good passes with a top-5 pace and a few laps from the end I had easily caught up with Quartararo and Viñales. Just as I was about to attack Fabio, the engine stopped and there was nothing I could do. It’s a hard pill to swallow but, as I said, I am satisfied with the work done here in Aragón.”

Aleix Espargaro
Pecco Bagnaia – DNF

“Today in race from lap two I felt an engine power drop and I was forced to stop at the pit on lap four. Analyzing the data we saw that there was a technical problem, regardless of this I have nothing more to say after two very difficult weekends. I hope to get to Valencia and find my way back.”

Team Managers

Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Team Principal

“That was a really strong race from Franco! I am so happy for him and also for the team, who did an amazing job as well. He is now back in contention for the world championship, with just three rounds to go and only 25 points shy of the leader. The bike looks good and he looks comfortable on it; we are very happy that he’s achieved his second MotoGP victory.  We need to analyse Fabio’s race and see how we can improve, but other riders also had the same problems that we did. We need to all sit down and see how we can make it better for the final three races. He is only 14 points off the leader in the championship and there are still plenty of points on offer in the next races. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this final triple-header of the year will play out.”

Franco Morbidelli
Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“This weekend we are feeling very happy and satisfied because both riders took the podium again. It would have been nice to see Alex get a double win, but second is still great. Joan also did a really strong job to get third place and continue his lead of the championship. It’s fantastic to see both our riders up on the podium and also leading the Teams’ Championship. One thing that has helped us in these last couple of races is the riders’ great starts, our ability to conserve tyres, and our consistent lap times. I would say these three things have been the key to our success. Thank you to all the Suzuki team.”

Two Suzukis on the podium once again
Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“It’s been another great day, and I want to congratulate Alex and Joan again for their great results. Franco Morbidelli did a very good race, so congratulations also to him. Alex was right there from the start, but he couldn’t quite battle Franco for the win, but this second place is fantastic and brings him closer to the top of the championship. Joan was brilliant today, he started from 12th but he recovered really well to take another podium and he did exactly what he needed to do. Having both riders on the podium today is a wonderful feeling, and we’ll give our best to continue this trend. Thank you very much to all the Suzuki staff, those working from home and everybody here at the circuit; these great results also belong to them.”

Two Suzuki men on the podium again and Mir extended his championship lead
Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager

“After a tough weekend last week we had quite a big plan to change our bike strategy for this race. On Friday all four riders were trying things and that gave us quite a good base for the second race weekend, so thanks to the teams for all their work. Three KTMs in the top ten is a good result. Pol, Miguel and Iker made a great race pace and were able to fight for positions, which was nice to see. We’ll head to Valencia and try to make another good event.”

Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

“A much better weekend for Red Bull KTM Tech3 here in Aragón compared to the previous week, where we were honestly struggling a bit. It’s good to finish with our two riders inside the top 9. I think together with KTM we improved our package a lot, which is very interesting. Honestly, I can’t hide that I’m a little bit disappointed because Miguel was having an incredible pace. He was the fastest in the last part of the race, as soon as he was on his own, but we lost a bit of time passing some other riders and the last fight we lost with Johann (Zarco) was not something I enjoyed a lot, but we have to take the positives. As I always say, let’s see the glass half full. Miguel is sixth, Iker is ninth, strong points for both in the Championship. We’ve been fighting with almost every other manufacturer and I think we got a really strong package, which is great news. Anyway, thanks and congratulations to both, Miguel and Iker. Thanks to the team for their hard work and as usual after three weeks back to back, let’s take a few days rest and hopefully the next and the last triple races of the 2020 World Championship will be on the same level than the race we had today.”

Morbidelli leading early on
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“We expected a totally different race. This has happened to us many times. We face problems on a Sunday that we didn’t have on the Friday and Saturday. Now it’s very difficult to give our verdict about what happened. We need time to check the data before we make any statements. Frankly speaking, we chose the tyre option that gave us the best performance, which was the soft-soft, thinking we would be able to exploit the grip these tyres provide. We thought we would be fighting for the podium today. We don’t know yet why Maverick didn’t feel like he had any grip from the beginning to the end. One thing we can exclude from the list of potential reasons is the Moto2 rubber on track, because this time we raced before them. Naturally, we’re not happy at all about this race. We will try to transform this disappointment into extra drive to get a good result at the upcoming GP in Valencia.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager

“This has been a very rewarding and positive weekend. The weather was much better and with the extra rubber on the track from last week, plus less wind, it gave much better conditions for all. The increases in temperature meant that all the specifications were tried this weekend, with only the hard rear going unused in the race. Race time was much improved on last week and we also saw a new lap record in the race, so obviously we are pleased with that as this is a very difficult track that offers little grip because it is now getting quite old. We saw some very interesting battles in the race and many riders had the confidence to push as it wore on, demonstrating the increased durability, consistency and performance we have incorporated in this year’s rear tyre. We now head to the last three races of the season with the title still wide open, which is great for the show and we will be looking to go out in style, firstly at a circuit we know well at Valencia and then a totally new track in Portugal, which will be a challenge, but one we are looking forward to after such a strange season.”

Franco Morbidelli

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 41m47.652
2 Alex RINS Suzuki +2.205
3 Joan MIR Suzuki +5.376
4 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +10.299
5 Johann ZARCO Ducati +12.915
6 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +12.953
7 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +14.262
8 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +14.72
9 Iker LECUONA KTM +17.177
10 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +19.519
11 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +19.708
12 Stefan BRADL Honda +20.591
13 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +22.222
14 Tito RABAT Ducati +26.496
15 Bradley SMITH Aprilia +31.816
Not Classified
Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 3 Laps
Alex MARQUEZ Honda 10 Laps
Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 18 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 0 Lap
Jack MILLER Ducati 0 Lap
Brad BINDER KTM 0 Lap

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 137
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 123
3 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 118
4 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 112
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 109
6 Alex RINS Suzuki 105
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 92
8 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 90
9 Jack MILLER Ducati 82
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 79
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 71
12 Brad BINDER KTM 67
13 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
14 Johann ZARCO Ducati 64
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
18 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 26
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 12
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
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

Aragon II MotoGP Race Reports | Results | Points | All classes

2020 MotoGP Round 12 – Aragon
Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel


A faultless Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) didn’t put a foot wrong for a formidable second victory of 2020 at the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel, no one able to stay with the Italian as he also put himself right back in the title fight. Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins took second place to make it back-to-back podiums, with team-mate Joan Mir picking up another P3 at MotorLand to extend his Championship lead in yet another dramatic premier class race…

Brad Binder skittled Jack Miller in turn one

Heartbreak for Jack Miller once again, after losing two finishes this season already through no fault of his own, he was taken out on lap one by Brad Binder and recorded another DNF.   Binder has been penalised by the Stewards and will have a long lap penalty to be served at the next race.

Miller recorded yet another DNF through no fault of his own. Black cats, mirrors or whatever, Jack needs to avoid them, or maybe start smashing them!

Heartbreak also for Nakagami after what had been an almost flawless weekend from the Japanese rider he threw it all away early on the opening lap.

Mir extended his lead in the championship over Quartararo to 14-points but only five-points further adrift Maverick Vinales is definitely still in the hunt. Morbidelli staked his claim with victory and is now 25-points behind leader Mir, while Dovizioso is only three-points behind Morbidelli. Rins too is not out of the picture with three rounds still remaining in what is the most unpredictable MotoGP season in memory, perhaps ever.

MotoGP now has a short break before reconvening at Valencia on November 8, and races again at the circuit the following weekend before what will undoubetedly be a down-to-the-wire title fight played out on the new challenge that is the undulating tarmac of Portimao on the weekened of November 22.


MotoGP Race Report

Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel

That drama began right from the off on Lap 1. Polesitter Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) got the launch he would have been hoping for and led into Turn 1, just holding off fellow front row starters Morbidelli and Rins. At Turn 2 the first disaster struck as both Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) tumbled into the gravel after the South African tagged the back of the Australian and then, at Turn 5, race leader Nakagami made his first and only race day mistake of the season. The Japanese rider lost the front and was down, sliding out of the race in heartbreaking fashion – no dream podium or victory today for the number 30.

Morbidelli, Rins

That left Morbidelli leading, closely followed by Rins, with Mir the other key player on the move as the Spaniard made a glorious start from P12, up to fifth on the opening lap and ahead of closest rival Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), who had a tougher opening few opening laps. It was opposite fortunes for compatriot Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing), though, as he was up to P3 and holding off Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Mir.

Quartararo was the hunted

Quartararo then began slipping into the clutches of Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Marquez able to escape both to then set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 4; the reigning Moto2 World Champion latching onto the back of Mir. Up front though, Morbidelli then set a 1:48.089 to take the race lap record at MotorLand, he and Rins a second up the road from third place Zarco on Lap 6. Mir was on the move though, slicing past Viñales at Turn 12, and Marquez wasted no time in following suit, putting in a classy move at Turn 15. The Mir-Marquez duo had their sights firmly set on Zarco up ahead…

Quartararo, meanwhile, was in a serious battle mid-top ten. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Crutchlow, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3) were all line astern behind ‘El Diablo’, and things started to get spicy. Soon enough, that was also true up ahead.

Quartararo was put under plenty of pressure

The gap between Rins and Zarco was still hovering around the 1.7 second mark, with Mir and Marquez shadowing the fastest Ducati on track. But eventually, Mir pounced on Zarco at Turn 4 as the gap between the leading duo and Mir hovered at 2.2 seconds. Marquez then didn’t take long to follow as he took that incredible inside line round the double left hander at the end of the lap, but Zarco fought back at Turn 1. Marquez was back underneath the Ducati at Turn 4 and the small squabble cost the number 73 time, although Mir was making no real dent into the lead held by Morbidelli and Rins.

Zarco, Vinales, Mir

The fight behind, meanwhile, had seen Quartararo drop down to P8 as Pol Espargaro diced up the inside at Turn 1, and Viñales was just a few tenths ahead. Oliveira was then climbing all over the back of Quartararo but the latter was strong on the brakes at the end of the back straight. As the battle raged on, Oliveira briefly got through on Quartararo but the Yamaha was back through at Turn 1 as Crutchlow and Dovizioso waited to pick up any pieces. Pol Espargaro was making progress nearer the front of the group as he got ahead of Viñales, and every single point and position counted. The next drama would come from further up the road though, as the second Honda heartbreak of the day hit.

Marquez was looking strong and marching forward before it all went wrong…

Suddenly at Turn 2, the dream of a third MotoGP podium in a row evaporated as Alex Marquez slid out. Rider ok, but left wondering what could have been as Mir disappeared into the distance.

At the front, Morbidelli’s lead over Rins was 0.6 seconds and holding more than firm, with Mir 2.6 seconds behind with nine laps to go. Zarco had been shuffled down to P4, but he was still ahead of Pol Espargaro, Viñales and Quartararo as the latter two sat sixth and seventh heading into the closing stages. Quartararo was still fending off Oliveira too, and Dovizioso was lurking. The Portuguese rider then made his move and it stuck, with Dovi then right behind Quartararo…

Morbidelli, Rins

Next though, Aleix Espargaro made his presence felt and, after getting so close to making some more gains in the Championship, Dovizioso was on the receiving end of an aggressive move from the Aprilia at Turn 1. The number 04 then ran in too hot at Turn 8 and suddenly, the Italian was down to P12 after crossing the line last time round in eighth.

Morbidelli, Rins

Viñales and Quartararo were next under threat, however. Oliveira grabbed P6 at the final corner to demote Viñales to seventh, and soon enough joined the battle for fourth between Pol Espargaro and Zarco. Esparagaro climbed to P4 and Oliveira was soon through too, but Zarco wasn’t giving it up that easy, the Ducati man fighting straight back at Turn 13.

The action was all going on behind the leaders

Up ahead, it couldn’t have been less chaotic for Morbidelli. From half a second to a second and a half to nearly two and still climbing, the Italian was on rails as the gap kept extending. Rins was well clear of teammate Mir as well as the Championship leader was forced to settle for a lonely third, and all three held firm on the final lap. Morbidelli completed his masterclass with more than two seconds in hand, becoming the second repeat winner of the season – and climbing to within a race win of the top in the Championship.

Morbidelli the dominant victor made no mistakes

Rins takes 45 points from 50 in Aragon as both he and Morbidelli bring themselves right into the title frame, facing a deficit but far from out of it. Two P3s at MotorLand see Mir extend his World Championship lead with three races to go, however, with 14 points now his advantage over Quartararo.

2020 Aragon II MotoGP podium
1 Franco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – 41:47.652
2 Alex Rins -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +2.205
3 Joan Mir -Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki +5.376

Pol Espargaro picked up a great P4 from ninth on the grid, another solid ride and some better luck at MotorLand this time around. Just behind the number 44, Zarco vs Oliveira went right down to the wire and in the end, the Ducati eventually pipped the KTM by just 0.038, Oliveira forced to settle for a nevertheless impressive sixth.

Pol Espargaro fought hard for his fourth place finish

Then came Viñales and Quartararo, the Yamaha title contenders finishing P7 and P8 as they slip further away from Mir after a tougher race weekend than expected. Lecuona secured his third top 10 of the year in P9, as Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) rounded out the top 10. Crutchlow and Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) finished P11 and P12, ahead of Dovizioso after his tough race at the office.

Tito Rabat (Esponsorama Racing) and Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) were the only other two riders to finish, the duo pick up P14 and P15 respectively. Aleix Espargaro was on for a top 10 but his RS-GP suffered an issue with a couple of laps remaining.

That’s a wrap in Teruel. The 2020 title race just keeps on twisting and turning and now, 32 points split the top SIX with three races to go. Mir, Quartararo, Viñales, Morbidelli, Dovizioso and Rins will all fancy their chances still heading into two Valencia races and the Portimao finale. Who will win the 2020 MotoGP World Championship? Mir leads the field by 14 points, but that can change in the blink of an eye. It’s game on in 2020, and Valencia is up next!

Franco Morbidelli

I had dynamite for breakfast! I felt great out there today. The feeling with the bike was amazing, we gambled a bit with the tyre choice, we knew we had to do something more and strong re: tyre choice and we decided to go with the medium and it paid off because in the race it was working really well and I was feeling great with the package today. This victory is for the team, they worked really well, unbelievable till late in the box trying to sort out what was the best choice and setting, this is for them. Now we’re back in the game, 25 points behind the top… I think we should be as aggressive as we were today in Valencia and Portimao.”

Two Suzuki men on the podium again and Mir extended his championship lead

MotoGP Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 41m47.652
2 Alex RINS Suzuki +2.205
3 Joan MIR Suzuki +5.376
4 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +10.299
5 Johann ZARCO Ducati +12.915
6 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM +12.953
7 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha +14.262
8 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha +14.72
9 Iker LECUONA KTM +17.177
10 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati +19.519
11 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda +19.708
12 Stefan BRADL Honda +20.591
13 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati +22.222
14 Tito RABAT Ducati +26.496
15 Bradley SMITH Aprilia +31.816
Not Classified
Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 3 Laps
Alex MARQUEZ Honda 10 Laps
Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 18 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 0 Lap
Jack MILLER Ducati 0 Lap
Brad BINDER KTM 0 Lap

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Joan MIR Suzuki 137
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 123
3 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 118
4 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 112
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 109
6 Alex RINS Suzuki 105
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 92
8 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 90
9 Jack MILLER Ducati 82
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 79
11 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 71
12 Brad BINDER KTM 67
13 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 67
14 Johann ZARCO Ducati 64
15 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 42
17 Iker LECUONA KTM 27
18 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 27
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 26
20 Stefan BRADL Honda 12
21 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 12
22 Tito RABAT Ducati 10
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4

Moto2

Not since Phil Read in 1971 has a Brit won three intermediate class Grand Prix races in a row, but Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) now has. The number 22 dominated from the start to pull over eight seconds clear by the flag in the Gran Premio Liqui Moly de Teruel, the 25 points giving him the Championship lead. Second went to Fabio Di Giannantonio (Lightech Speed Up) as the Italian got some redemption after a heartbreaker in the Aragon GP, with Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) doing some solid damage control to take third and stay on the podium.

Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)

From pole, Lowes got a perfect getaway and made the dream start. The holeshot was his as Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) made an shocker from P2 on the grid, with asRemy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) grabbing second. Di Giannantonio was soon past the Australian though at Turn 5 and the fast-starting Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was soon P3 from the third row of the grid. Lowes was powering off into the distance though and on Lap 2, his gap was 1.5 seconds over Di Giannantonio and continuing to rise.

On Lap 3, Gardner and Bastianini were through on Dixon in quick succession, with Lowes’ lead up to 1.7. Drama then unfolded in the Championship chase once again, with bad luck hitting Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) twice in a week as the Italian was down at Turn 1, losing the chance at more points to cut his deficit. Can he bounce back at Valencia?

Up front, Lowes’ lead was now at the two second mark, and Diggia was 1.3 clear of Gardner in the battle for the final podium place. Bastianini was on a charge though, past Gardner not long after, and with Dixon and Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) in hot pursuit. Lowes’ lead continued to soar and with Diggia also showing cracking pace, the Italian was leaving compatriot Bastianini behind in the close fight for fifth with seventh place Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) joining the battle too.

Meanwhile, it was a tough race for former points leader Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46). The Italian was down in P14 behind Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) and Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing), before Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) then overtook the Italian and suddenly, Marini was P15 with 12 laps to go, only on for a point. Then, fellow VR46 Academy rider Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) made it even worse as he demoted Marini to P16…

By then, Lowes was a comfortable four seconds ahead of Di Giannantonio, who was two seconds ahead of Bastianini in a tense as you were at the front. The battle for the top five was anything but that as Fernandez, Martin, Dixon and Navarro diced it out, with everything still to play for.

There were no such battles for Lowes, however. The Brit was over eight seconds clear by the flag, winning in dominant style and leading from lights to flag to stamp some authority on the Championship to boot – now seven points clear of Bastianini. Di Giannantonio took second and was back on the box after heartbreak last weekend, able to keep some time in hand ahead of Bastianini. For ‘Bestia’ though, it was exactly what he needed – more consistent podiums, with Lowes seemingly having more than the rest at MotorLand.

In the end, Gardner held onto P4 by just three tenths over a hard-charging Navarro as the Australian and Spaniard rounded out the top five, that scrap rolling on to the flag. Martin took P6 and Dixon got the better of Fernandez in the latter stages to take P7, the Spaniard forced to settle for eighth. Ramirez beat teammate Roberts by a second as the two American Racing riders finish P9 and P10 respectively.

And then came Marini. The Italian dug deep to claw back up to 11th place and he takes home some points, but the number 10 does now drop 23 points off Lowes in the title race to make it a triple-header of races to forget for the former Championship leader.

Vierge, Hafizh Syahrin (Kipin Energy Aspar Team Moto2), Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Simon Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) completed the points.

Kasma Daniel (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) and Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) crashed at Turn 1 unhurt, with Garzo, Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40), Edgar Pons (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Manzi joining Bezzecchi in riders who crashed out in Teruel, too.

Three wins from three sees a high flying Lowes take the title lead with just three races to go in 2020. Seven points split the British rider from Bastianini, with Marini and Bezzecchi losing a lot of ground in Aragon. A weekend off now follows before two Valencia races and the season finale in Portimao come thick and fast, and the Moto2™ Championship scrap looks set to go all the way to the wire.

Sam Lowes – P1

I’m really happy because last weekend we were strong, to win the race you have to finish but I felt like Bezzecchi crashed but he had the win, Diggia crashed… it was a great ride but I wanted to improve this weekend and today there was no doubt. I was the fastest guy all weekend, I made a great start and made the race. This is really important for me, there are three races to go, I’m in a good way but to win a race like this takes so much confidence. I said to myself before these three races, Aragon being a track I love, that if I can win these three then I have a chance at the Championship. I didn’t expect some results to go my way, but now we’re already leading and have a good chance. I’m really happy, the team has done an amazing job to improve from last weekend to this, that’s the sign of a great team when they give you a few tenths you don’t have to find yourself! Thanks to everyone that’s supported me the last couple of years and we’ll give everything in these last three races.

2020 Aragon II Moto2 podium
1 Sam Lowes – EG 0,0 Marc VDS – Kalex 39:27.645
2 Fabio Di Giannantonio – Lightech Speed Up – Speed Up +8.425
3 Enea Bastianini – Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex +10.871
Remy Gardner – P4

It was a solid start to the weekend and I honestly didn’t expect to get the front row, but I was super happy with how things worked out. We worked hard as a team, we had decent pace and I was sure we could pull a good result out when it counted on Sunday. It was a good race and I am really happy with the points we scored. Aragon has always been a place where I have struggled in the past, if you had told me a year ago that we would come away from the double-header with a fifth and a fourth and a front row, I wouldn’t have believed you. I pushed hard from the beginning but was really struggling for rear grip at the end. It was good that I was able to fast in the begin and create the gap, as it helped when I needed to manage the tyre. Big thanks to the team, sixth in the championship, and I am already looking ahead to Valencia!”

Moto2 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Sam LOWES Kalex 39m27.645
2 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up +8.425
3 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex +10.871
4 Remy GARDNER Kalex +12.657
5 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up +13.006
6 Jorge MARTIN Kalex +14.766
7 Jake DIXON Kalex +16.905
8 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex +17.027
9 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex +21.888
10 Joe ROBERTS Kalex ++22.951
11 Luca MARINI Kalex 24.969
12 Xavi VIERGE Kalex +26.206
13 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up +26.317
14 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex +26.685
15 Simone CORSI MV Agusta +26.899
16 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS +27.404
17 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex +30.319
18 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex +30.707
19 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex +30.98
20 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex +31.501
21 Andi Farid IZDIHAR Kalex +47.953
22 Xavi CARDELUS Speed Up +48.375
23 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI NTS +1m00.394
Not Classified
DNF Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 1 Lap
DNF Edgar PONS Kalex 2 Laps
DNF Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 6 Laps
DNF Hector GARZO Kalex 11 Laps
DNF Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 18 Laps
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Thomas LUTHI Kalex 0 Lap
DNF Kasma DANIEL Kalex 0 Lap


Moto2 World Championship Standings

Pos

Rider Bike Points
1 Sam LOWES Kalex 178
2 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex 171
3 Luca MARINI Kalex 155
4 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 130
5 Jorge MARTIN Kalex 105
6 Remy GARDNER Kalex 85
7 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 81
8 Joe ROBERTS Kalex 80
9 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 72
10 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 65
11 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 63
12 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 62
13 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 61
14 Aron CANET Speed Up 61
15 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 52
16 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 47
17 Jake DIXON Kalex 44
18 Hector GARZO Kalex 34
19 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex 32
20 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up 21
21 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 20
22 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex 17
23 Simone CORSI MV Agusta 15
24 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 10
25 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS 5
26 Edgar PONS Kalex 5
27 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex 5
28 Dominique AEGERTER NTS 4

Moto3

Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) is truly the master of MotorLand! A week on from his first win of the year, the Spaniard went back-to-back with another stunning victory – and it’s Honda’s 800th in Grand Prix racing. It was as close as you like in classic Moto3 style, however, with Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) taking his first Grand Prix podium in second, just 0.051 off the win, and Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in third… still within a tenth and a half of the top.

Masia does it again, with Sasaki taking his first podium in second and Toba back on the rostrum for third

It was polesitter Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who managed to hold on to the front through Turn 2, the Spaniard swooping round the outside of fast starter (Tony Arbolino Rivacold Snipers Team) and Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) able to fight off key rival Albert Arenas (Solunion Aspar Team) – but not for long, as the Championship leader struck straight back. These were the early bouts though, and plenty was to come as the classic Moto3 freight train got in gear.

On take two in Teruel, there would be no group splintering off at the front as what seemed like the whole field snaked around MotorLand Aragon, locked together in lightweight class combat. As ever, the leading positions were ever-changing. Down the back straight it was slipstream city as Fernandez slipped from P1 to P3, but on two consecutive laps the Spaniard bit straight back at Turn 1. Fernandez, Arenas, Vietti and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) all took turns leading on the opening handful of laps, with Fernandez on Lap 5 getting a bit beaten up heading into Turn 1 – the Aragon GP podium man shuffled down to P10. Arenas then took to lead on Lap 6 as Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) did his usual Sunday morning routine of fighting his way through the pack, the South African up to P2.

For the next few laps, Arenas was holding firm at the front as the top 26 riders were all line astern. It really was a Moto3 freight train at MotorLand. However, Arenas was looking formidable and even when the chasing pack was in the slipstream, no one could get past him down the straight. The title chase leader wasn’t getting away though…

With nine to go, Toba tried to take the lead at Turn 1 but he was slightly wide and Arenas went aggressive on the switchback into Turn 2 and held P1, Toba losing out and Masia moving up to try an attack nexy.

Masia was using the Honda grunt down the back straight, but Arenas kept biting back at Turn 1. The Aspar rider was supreme on the brakes, but Masia wasn’t allowing him to get away. After an earlier moment, John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was back in the hunt for victory and up to P4 and with three laps remaining as the battle royale kicked into overdrive. Masia made a move stick at Turn 1 on Arenas but the latter was back through at Turn 7. Toba was up the inside of both Binder and McPhee, but the Petronas rider got back into third as Masia aimed to get Arenas down the back straight.

However, Arenas continued his great run down the 1km straight. With two laps to go, Masia grabbed the lead at Turn 7 instead, but the Spaniard was then dropped back to third as both Arenas and McPhee carved past at Turn 12. Masia got McPhee back down the straight, but Arenas led onto the last lap and the scene was set.

Done waiting, Masia struck early to force his way through at Turn 1, with Toba making McPhee’s life difficult just behind too. Sasaki followed his compatriot through on McPhee as well, as Arenas squeezed past at Turn 7, and so it was all down to the back straight. Could Arenas hold it? Once more he got a great run out of Turn 15 but Masia was reeling him in and the two KTMs of Toba and Sasaki were tucked in too. Into the braking zone, all three soared past Arenas and Masia stole the lead with two corners to go, then ultimately holding it to the line to take his first back-to-back wins and Honda’s 800th Grand Prix win.

Toba had been in second but ran slightly wide, and Sasaki needed no further invitation. Slicing up the inside, the number 71 also got some great traction to home in on Masia – crossing the line just 0.051 down but nevertheless taking a stunning first Grand Prix podium to bounce back from some terrible luck in 2020. Toba was forced to settle for third but got back on the podium, also a bounce back.

2020 Aragon II Moto3 podium
1 Jaume Masia – Leopard Racing – Honda 37:44.602
2 Ayumu Sasaki – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – KTM +0.051
3 Kaito Toba – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM +0.152

Arenas slipped to P4 in the last two corners but crucially, he beats the likes of Vietti and Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), key Championship contenders. Vietti finishes just three tenths off the win in fifth though, with McPhee in P6. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) rode superbly to mount a comeback to P7, with Binder suffering in the final couple of laps to finish P8 ahead of Ogura. The Japanese rider was less than a second away from the win but still lost more ground in the fight for the title. Arbolino picks up P10, 2.259 seconds adrift from the win as a crash split the pack on the final lap.

That crash was late heartbreak for Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) as Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) crashed ahead of him, leaving the Spaniard nowhere to go, and he lost out on a solid result after slicing through from P28 on the grid. There were no other crashes.

Another rip-roaring Moto3 race goes down to the wire, with Masia making history for the second weekend in a row. What does all this mean for the Championship? Well, Arenas extends his advantage to 19 points over Ogura with three races to go. Vietti is 20 points behind Arenas with Masia now right in the hunt, 24 points split tdown heading into the final Valencia and Portimao rounds. Game on!

Jaume Masia – P1

I’m really happy, it’s an amazing sensation to win back to back. I’m really happy because after the win last week I felt a bit more pressure because I was closer than before in the championship so I tried to keep my mind calm and keep working with my team. I kept believing in myself, today I struggled a bit more because the rhythm was really fast, it seems like I was fighting all race with the KTMs, they brake really strong so I struggled more but I did the same strategy as last week. Today I struggled more in the straight as the KTMs were so fast but we’re here again, two wins, closer and we’ll see.

Jaume Masia took Honda’s 800th GP victory

Moto3 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Jaume MASIA Honda 37m44.602
2 Ayumu SASAKI KTM +0.051
3 Kaito TOBA KTM +0.152
4 Albert ARENAS KTM +0.296
5 Celestino VIETTI KTM +0.331
6 John MCPHEE Honda +0.372
7 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM +0.583
8 Darryn BINDER KTM +0.772
9 Ai OGURA Honda +0.955
10 Tony ARBOLINO Honda +2.259
11 Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna +2.489
12 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM +2.493
13 Filip SALAC Honda +2.52
14 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda +2.686
15 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda +2.745
16 Dennis FOGGIA Honda +2.895
17 Carlos TATAY KTM +3.019
18 Andrea MIGNO KTM +3.622
19 Romano FENATI Husqvarna +5.448
20 Stefano NEPA KTM +5.62
21 Barry BALTUS KTM +5.68
22 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda +6.103
23 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda +16.543
24 Jason DUPASQUIER KTM +21.606
25 Yuki KUNII Honda +21.716
26 Davide PIZZOLI KTM +21.812
27 Khairul Idham PAWI Honda +32.799
28 Maximilian KOFLER KTM +33.6
Not Classified
DNF Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 1 Lap
DNF Sergio GARCIA Honda 1 Lap

Moto3 World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Albert ARENAS KTM 157
2 Ai OGURA Honda 138
3 Celestino VIETTI KTM 137
4 Jaume MASIA Honda 133
5 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 121
6 John MCPHEE Honda 119
7 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 93
8 Darryn BINDER KTM 90
9 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 83
10 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 79
11 Romano FENATI Husqvarna 70
12 Dennis FOGGIA Honda 69
13 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda 57
14 Andrea MIGNO KTM 47
15 Ayumu SASAKI KTM 43
16 Kaito TOBA KTM 40
17 Sergio GARCIA Honda 37
18 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 33
19 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM 32
20 Stefano NEPA KTM 26
21 Filip SALAC Honda 23
22 Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 21
23 Carlos TATAY KTM 14
24 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda 13
25 Riccardo ROSSI KTM 5

2020 MotoGP Calendar

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

Source: MCNews.com.au

Yamaha dominate Catalunya MotoGP Qualifying

2020 MotoGP Round Nine – Catalunya


MotoGP Qualifying Report

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) can add a maiden pole position to his tally in 2020 as the Italian proved the only man able to dip into the 1:38s in qualifying at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, only a tenth shy of the lap record. He was two tenths clear of teammate Fabio Quartararo, who starts second, with Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) taking third as the number 46 gets a front row start for his 350th premier class race. Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), meanwhile, starts P17…

2020 Catalunya MotoGP front row
1 Franco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – 1:38.798
2 Fabio Quartararo – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – +0.210
3 Valentino Rossi – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha – +0.331

In Q1 Dovizioso was one of the main names fighting to make it through, but all did not go to plan for the Italian. Ultimately it was Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) who was quickest, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) snatching second right at the end in some late heartbreak for Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar). Rins now lines up in P13, and Dovizioso down in P17.

It was a Yamaha stranglehold at the beginning of Q2 as Morbidelli set the first banker, with Rossi then taking over at the top before his teammate Maverick Viñales hit back. Quartararo, meanwhile, ran wide as he got his YZR-M1 all sorts of crossed up at the tricky Turn 10 – just as his team-mate Morbidelli slammed in the fastest lap of the weekend to go provisional pole again with a 1:39.110.

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) then also got it wrong at Turn 10 but unlike Quartararo, Oliveira was down – thankfully unhurt. Next to get the hammer down were two Ducatis – Miller and Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing), and Miller only had one set of fresh soft tyres available after coming through Q1. The Aussie made it count though, slotting into second just 0.115 off Morbidelli.

As the final runs dawned, Quartararo then found himself rumbling out of pitlane with five minutes to go having not set a lap time after his earlier Turn 10 moment. The Frenchman and last year’s poleman was P12, but that was soon going to change as four Yamahas lit up the timing screens. Halfway around the lap, Quartararo was 0.132 under Morbidelli’s time, although the number 21 was going even quicker. Over the line though it was Quartararo who improved this time around to a 1:39.008, with Morbidelli unable to – and nor did Viñales. Rossi, however, did, with the ‘Doctor’ leaping up from P7 to P3 to make it a provisional Yamaha front row lockout.

On the next lap, Morbidelli was flying yet again. The San Marino GP winner was 0.082 under Quartararo’s time at Sector 3, but could he hold it through Sector 4? He could. Ultimately, Morbidelli did more than hold his advantage and the final sector was a stunner as he shot to the top, over two tenths clear. Quartararo went in search of a final lap charge but it didn’t materialise for the MotoGP sophomore, and no one had an answer for Morbidelli.

Franco Morbidelli has qualified on pole position for the first time since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2018. This is the first pole position for an Italian rider in MotoGP since Andrea Dovizioso was on pole position at the 2018 Japanese GP.
Franco Morbidelli has qualified on pole position for the first time since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2018. This is the first pole position for an Italian rider in MotoGP since Andrea Dovizioso was on pole position at the 2018 Japanese GP.

That makes it a first premier class pole position for the recent first time winner, with Quartararo set to launch from P2 and ahead of all his closest challengers in the overall standings. Rossi makes it a Yamaha 1-2-3 for the second time in three races and takes his first front row of the season… as well as sounding pretty confident for Sunday.

After passing through Q1, Jack Miller has qualified fourth as the highest-placed Ducati rider. This is the fifth successive race that Miller is the top Ducati rider on the grid, a sequence that started in Austria (although Johann Zarco was the top Ducati in qualifying in Styria before he started from pitlane).
After passing through Q1, Jack Miller has qualified fourth as the highest-placed Ducati rider. This is the fifth successive race that Miller is the top Ducati rider on the grid, a sequence that started in Austria (although Johann Zarco was the top Ducati in qualifying in Styria before he started from pitlane).

Miller did an impressive job to qualify P4 as the leading Ducati rider, beating Viñales by just over a tenth as the number 12 lost out on making it another Yamaha 1-2-3-4. To the right of Viñales is Zarco, his final lap moving him up to just 0.007 slower than Viñales’ effort to give the Frenchman his best grid slot since his Czech GP pole.

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) spearheads Row 3 ahead of Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), with both riders also looking like strong contenders in the race – and Mir having already taken a podium from P11 on the grid last weekend. Ducati Team’s Danilo Petrucci joins the Spaniards on the third row for his second consecutive P9 start.

Heading the third row of the grid is Pol Espargaro in seventh. This is KTM’s best MotoGP qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Heading the third row of the grid is Pol Espargaro in seventh. This is KTM’s best MotoGP qualifying at the Circuit de
Barcelona-Catalunya.

Rookie and Brno winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completes the top 10, ahead of Nakagami and Oliveira after the earlier crash for the Portuguese rider.

Dovizioso leads by one point as it stands and he’s down in 17th, so it seems like Sunday is a prime opportunity for Quartararo, Viñales and Mir to strike back. The Catalan GP promises to be another phenomenal MotoGP race, and a pivotal one at that.

Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso has qualified in 17th, which is his second worst qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2008, after Brno this year when he qualified 18th.
Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso has qualified in 17th, which is his second worst qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2008, after Brno this year when he qualified 18th.

Tune in and don’t forget, the premier class get underway an hour later than normal this weekend, so it’s 2300 AEST tonight.

2020 MotoGP Misano Qualifying Quotes


Franco Morbidelli – P1

“It was great to be first today; to see that I was the fastest is a really good feeling. It’s always difficult to beat Fabio on a hot lap, so I’m very happy about qualifying today. I was feeling great on the bike and I felt that I could push a lot, on both tyres as well. Now it’s a matter of trying to refine everything for tomorrow and we will try to make a good start. We have a good pace, but there are many riders with a similar pace to us. It will be important to try to improve a little bit more for tomorrow, but I’m sure it is going to be a good race. I also want to congratulate Valentino on one more year in MotoGP and tell him that he is moving to a great team. It will be nice to have him as a team-mate.”

Franco Morbidelli has qualified on pole position for the first time since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2018. This is the first pole position for an Italian rider in MotoGP since Andrea Dovizioso was on pole position at the 2018 Japanese GP.
Franco Morbidelli has qualified on pole position for the first time since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2018. This is the first pole position for an Italian rider in MotoGP since Andrea Dovizioso was on pole position at the 2018 Japanese GP.
Fabio Quartararo – P2

“I’m really happy to be on the front row again in Barcelona. I think it will be really important to make a good start tomorrow. I’m feeling confident on the bike. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow, but our pace looks great and I think the only problem we have is which tyre to choose. It’s a difficult decision, but I’m happy with the job that the team has done. We will see what it is like tomorrow and then make our decision. I’m sure everyone is in the same position, so let’s see what we can do. Regarding the official announcement of the agreement of Valentino and the team, I’m really happy for him, for the team, and also for me because I like having him on track. “

Fabio Quartararo has qualified second for his 20th front row start in MotoGP. On his 19 previous front rows, he went on to finish on the podium nine times, including two wins.
Fabio Quartararo has qualified second for his 20th front row start in MotoGP. On his 19 previous front rows, he went on to finish on the podium nine times, including two wins.
Valentino Rossi – P3

“It‘s a great result to be on the front row. Today is a special day, because I signed the contract for next year, I‘m very happy. We worked well from yesterday, and today in FP4 I had good pace, also with the used tyre. So, I knew I could do a good lap, but it‘s not always easy. At the end, I was able to push at the limit, riding well without making any mistakes. I‘m very happy to be on the front row, because this is very important for the race. But the most important thing is that the bike is competitive. All the Yamaha riders have a good pace, so we need to make a good start, do everything right from the beginning, and then we‘ll see. I am competitive and strong. I can be fast for all the race. But MotoGP is always difficult, and things can change fast from one day to the other. To beat the others you have to arrive at the chequered flag earlier than them – that‘s the target.”

Valentino Rossi, who is the most successful rider at Catalunya in GP racing with 10 wins (seven in the premier class), has qualified third, which is his first front row start since he was second on the grid in Silverstone last year. Rossi is scheduled to start his 350th premier class race on Sunday. The last time Valentino Rossi started from the front row in MotoGP in Catalunya was in 2009, when he was the second fastest qualifier on his way to win the race.
Valentino Rossi, who is the most successful rider at Catalunya in GP racing with 10 wins (seven in the premier class), has qualified third, which is his first front row start since he was second on the grid in Silverstone last year. Rossi is scheduled to start his 350th premier class race on Sunday. The last time Valentino Rossi started from the front row in MotoGP in Catalunya was in 2009, when he was the second fastest qualifier on his way to win the race.
Jack Miller – P4

“I’am quite happy with the set up that we have tried during FP4, I definitively had a better feeling. Today’s weather conditions were acceptable and the wind was not as strong as yesterday, which helped. We have to be very careful due to the lack of grip. I hope to have a good race tomorrow.”

After passing through Q1, Jack Miller has qualified fourth as the highest-placed Ducati rider. This is the fifth successive race that Miller is the top Ducati rider on the grid, a sequence that started in Austria (although Johann Zarco was the top Ducati in qualifying in Styria before he started from pitlane).
After passing through Q1, Jack Miller has qualified fourth as the highest-placed Ducati rider. This is the fifth successive race that Miller is the top Ducati rider on the grid, a sequence that started in Austria (although Johann Zarco was the top Ducati in qualifying in Styria before he started from pitlane).
Maverick Vinales – P5

“The start is always crucial and fifth position is difficult, but it‘s not a really bad result considering we struggled a lot with the tyres this afternoon. Tomorrow we‘ll try to make another step forward. I think maybe we can find something really good for tomorrow. On rhythm we are good, we are very consistent and that is the most important. Tomorrow I‘ll go crazy on the first lap to move up to second or third, and then we‘ll see. What we understand is that we have a good pace in the last ten or twelve laps, which is important because this track is very demanding on the rear tyre. We will see tomorrow, but we are confident for the race.”

On pole in the last two races, Maverick Viñales is fifth, which is the third time this year he’s failed to take a front row start.
On pole in the last two races, Maverick Viñales is fifth, which is the third time this year he’s failed to take a front row start.
Johann Zarco – P6

“Starting from the second row is a very good thing for tomorrow’s race. Since yesterday, we are taking steps forward, we have improved our feeling with the bike and our race pace. Also yesterday we have improved our feelings with the used tire to be able to make a good end of the race and try to fight for the podium.”

Johann Zarco has qualified sixth, which is his best qualifying result since he was third in Styria, although there he started from pitlane due to a penalty. This is his best qualifying result in Catalunya since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2017.
Johann Zarco has qualified sixth, which is his best qualifying result since he was third in Styria, although there he started from pitlane due to a penalty. This is his best qualifying result in Catalunya since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2017.
Pol Espargaro – P7

“A so-so day. I’m happy because the lap-time was not bad but having seen our pace in FP4 with a used tire maybe I was expecting a bit more. My feeling in qualifying was not too bad but we didn’t get that extra grip in other places when we put a fresh tire on the bike. Anyway, P7 is OK and the straight is long here so let’s see if we can get some positions back at the start, make a good rhythm and see what will happen.”

Heading the third row of the grid is Pol Espargaro in seventh. This is KTM’s best MotoGP qualifying at the Circuit de<br /> Barcelona-Catalunya.” width=”1024″ height=”683″ srcset=”https://www.motorcyclenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/yamaha-dominate-catalunya-motogp-qualifying-11.jpg 1024w, https://www.motorcyclenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/yamaha-dominate-catalunya-motogp-qualifying-106.jpg 300w, https://www.motorcyclenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/yamaha-dominate-catalunya-motogp-qualifying-107.jpg 160w, https://www.motorcyclenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/yamaha-dominate-catalunya-motogp-qualifying-108.jpg 768w, https://www.motorcyclenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/yamaha-dominate-catalunya-motogp-qualifying-109.jpg 1536w, https://www.motorcyclenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/yamaha-dominate-catalunya-motogp-qualifying-110.jpg 750w, https://www.motorcyclenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/yamaha-dominate-catalunya-motogp-qualifying-111.jpg 1140w, https://www.motorcyclenews.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/yamaha-dominate-catalunya-motogp-qualifying-112.jpg 1920w” sizes=”(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”></a><figcaption id=Heading the third row of the grid is Pol Espargaro in seventh. This is KTM’s best MotoGP qualifying at the Circuit de
Barcelona-Catalunya.
Joan Mir – P8

“My target was the second row, and I came close to it. I’m still trying to improve my qualifying performances, but it takes time and I’m working on it. I’m happy with eighth but I struggled to make one quick lap today so that cost me a higher place, but my race pace is there. I will give everything tomorrow to have a strong race, it’s going to be very competitive I think!”

Highest-placed Suzuki rider, Joan Mir has qualified eighth, which is the sixth time this year he has failed to qualify within the top six. He will be aiming to stand on the podium for the third time in row, which would be the first time that Suzuki riders took three (or more) podiums in a row in MotoGP since 2018 (then it was four in a row from Japan to Valencia).
Highest-placed Suzuki rider, Joan Mir has qualified eighth, which is the sixth time this year he has failed to qualify within the top six. He will be aiming to stand on the podium for the third time in row, which would be the first time that Suzuki riders took three (or more) podiums in a row in MotoGP since 2018 (then it was four in a row from Japan to Valencia).
Danilo Petrucci – P9

“This morning, we have finalised our work following the direction identified yesterday afternoon. After getting direct access to Q2, I managed to complete another good lap in qualifying: we are all very close, so I am satisfied with the third row. It won’t be an easy race tomorrow: it will be difficult to make the right tyre choice and manage them for all the duration of the Grand Prix, especially given the track conditions and the low temperatures to which we are not used. However, I remain confident, and I want to thank the team for all the work they have done.”

Danilo Petrucci, who finished third last year in Catalunya, has qualified in ninth place, equalling his second-best qualifying result so far this season from Emilia Romagna. Brno was his best, when he was eighth.
Danilo Petrucci, who finished third last year in Catalunya, has qualified in ninth place, equalling his second-best qualifying result so far this season from Emilia Romagna. Brno was his best, when he was eighth.
Brad Binder – P10

“It was tough. I wanted to push and try to do a good job but I wasn’t comfortable with the front end. When I wanted to push into the left-handers I just kept washing the front tire. It was really difficult: I felt like I was riding around with one hand in my pocket because it was such hard work. We’ll sit down and make a plan for tomorrow.”

Brad Binder
Brad Binder
Takaaki Nakagami – P11

“In FP3, at the end of the session, we tried to improve the lap time, but unluckily I had a crash at turn two which was due to a cold tyre as the temperature wasn’t high enough and I lost the front. I’m sorry to the team as we lost the opportunity to stay in the top 10 and we went into Q1 qualifying. Q1 was good and the lap time was quite good, we were able to make our best lap time of the weekend and go into Q2 which was really positive for the team and myself. But in Q2 we had only one new tyre because we came from Q1 and everyone else had two. So P11, I’m a little bit disappointed, but we had a crash this morning and the situation was not the best, but we finally made it through to Q2. P11 is not too bad, but the biggest thing for tomorrow is tyre management as this track is so difficult and this track is so long. But we had good pace in FP4 which is a good sign, so we’ll try our best and hopefully we can get a good position in the race.”

Miguel Oliveira – P12

“It was a tough Qualifying. This morning we finished with a very good feeling. This afternoon, the conditions changed a bit and I was not so comfortable riding the medium front. I crashed on my fastest lap in Qualifying and lost a bit of feeling, which means I couldn’t do any better than this morning. We hope to do a clever race and arrive as close to the top as we can.”

Miguel Oliveira
Miguel Oliveira
Alex Rins – P13

“I just needed one more flying lap in Q1 and I’m sure I could’ve made it into final qualifying, I was so close! But anyway, I feel good with my race pace so I think I can get a nice result. I will fight tomorrow and try to put passes in on those around me to get the best position I can.”

Alex Rins
Pecco Bagnaia – P14

“I will start from 14th place and I’m not happy about it. During the Q1 I messed up because I wasn’t fast in T4 otherwise I would have been in Q2. It will be a difficult race, I think that the pace will be slower and the most important thing will be the tires retaining, no one expected that the conditions would be like these. I have to do a good start and to recover positions since the first laps. I’m confident for tomorrow because I know to have a good race pace and I can take an advantage thanks to the engine of Ducati.”

Pecco Bagnaia chasing Vinales
Aleix Espargaro – P15

“Definitely a not an easy day. Today, I gave it all once again to get into the top 10. We are competitive, but we are still lacking a few tenths to battle with the best. Grip is still extremely low. If you push too hard, you end up falling like I did. The crash left me in pain. I’ll need to use my head in the race tomorrow. There are a lot of very fast riders who are behind me on the grid. I think the best strategy is to stay calm in the early laps and try to conserve the tyre as much as possible.”

Aleix Espargaro
Cal Crutchlow – P16

“Today I felt quite positive with the bike, I was able to push in a good way. Overall I still have some problems and pain in my arm, so we’re trying to manage that as best as possible. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to go through to Q2 because I think I should have been able to, but I got held up in my lap. Also the same thing happened on my qualifying lap (in FP3) as a rider pulled in front of me in the last sector and wasted my lap and also my next lap as they made a mistake in turn one and pulled back in front of me again! But this is the situation, I qualified 16th today but I’m quite positive about our race pace tomorrow and think we can have a good race and improve our position.”

Cal Crutchlow
Cal Crutchlow
Andrea Dovizioso – P17

“Unfortunately I am still struggling to understand how to brake properly, and obviously this complicates everything, especially in qualifying. As I am not feeling comfortable when braking, I can’t be as fast as I want and try to make the most of the tyres. It’s a shame because our pace for the race is not bad, but the position from which we will start tomorrow will definitely affect our performance.”

Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso has qualified in 17th, which is his second worst qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2008, after Brno this year when he qualified 18th.
Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso has qualified in 17th, which is his second worst qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2008, after Brno this year when he qualified 18th.
Alex Marquez – P18

“Today was a difficult situation, I wasn’t able to improve my time a lot as yesterday I did a 40.4 and today only a 40.1. We weren’t able to make a big step between days, so we are a little bit further behind. Tomorrow we have Warm Up to try something, especially on the electronics side to try and improve the rear grip. Managing the tyres will be important tomorrow, we saw in FP4 there is some variety with how fast riders are. Still the grip around the circuit isn’t high, so we need to try and find a solution.”

Alex Marquez
Iker Lecuona – P19

“It’s difficult to say a lot about today. In FP4, I tried to improve my feeling with the bike, we didn’t change anything and I was just trying. In Qualifying I managed to improve my lap time. Finally, it was not bad, but not good enough. Tomorrow is a new day and the most important of the week anyway.”

Iker Lecuona
Stefan Bradl – P20

“We had quite an average day today, the crash in FP4 which was a bit unlucky. Our first run in FP4 was quite good and I was happy with the pace. We wanted to try some changes to the setup, but the fall upset our plans again. I was expecting a bit more from today but I’m happy overall because our pace in FP4 is looking good. I’m hoping to make up some positions early and focus on my own race, this circuit is always tricky – especially with these cooler conditions.”

Bradley Smith – P21

“This morning, things started on the right foot. I had a good feeling and a promising pace. We changed the settings for FP4 but it didn’t work. I crashed with the first bike, so I had to use the version with different engine specs in qualifying. We’ll try to get this morning’s sensations back in warmup. In the race, tyre wear will be a determining factor. As for us, our only choice is to push hard straight away and then we’ll just have to deal with the lack of grip.”

Tito Rabat – P22

“In the morning we did a very good practice, but in the afternoon I don’t know very well what happened since I tried to improve my time but I was not able to. It is the first time that I cannot improve my time in the afternoon session. It is true that in qualifying I was very strong and I almost fell at Turn 10. With my eyes set on tomorrow and we hope to continue improving.”

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“It was another very positive qualifying day for Yamaha, securing its second lock-out of the season. We are very pleased for Valentino to see him back on the front row, which is well deserved. Both he and the team have been working really hard, and third place on the grid is a nice achievement on such an important day for Vale. It‘s a shame that Maverick wasn‘t able to produce the lap times he had in mind, especially after the really good pace he showed in FP4. His goal was to be on the first row, but we know he has the rhythm to join the fight at the front. Before tomorrow’s Warm Up, the team will try to further improve the area of the bike that didn’t give him the right confidence. We will put in 100% effort to make sure we are ready for the fight, especially as this is a Monster Energy sponsored event. We want to see our riders celebrate on the podium at the end of it.”

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“Today was positive in terms of our riders’ race pace, and they are both happy with their GSX-RRs. Everyone struggled a bit today due to the lower temperatures, but we have a competitive pace anyway. Joan qualified on the third row which is an improvement compared to last week, and Alex only missed Q2 by a very small amount. I’m sure both riders can have a good race tomorrow, we’re looking forward to it.”

Team Suzuki Pits

MotoGP Qualifying Results

Pos Rider Bike Q Time/Gap
1 Franco MORBIDELLI YAMAHA Q2 1m38.798
2 Fabio QUARTARARO YAMAHA Q2 +0.210
3 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA Q2 +0.331
4 Jack MILLER DUCATI Q2 +0.427
5 Maverick VIÑALES YAMAHA Q2 +0.573
6 Johann ZARCO DUCATI Q2 +0.580
7 Pol ESPARGARO KTM Q2 +0.697
8 Joan MIR SUZUKI Q2 +0.830
9 Danilo PETRUCCI DUCATI Q2 +0.843
10 Brad BINDER KTM Q2 +0.861
11 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA Q2 +0.915
12 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM Q2 +1.390
13 Alex RINS SUZUKI Q1 (*) 0.352
14 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI Q1 (*) 0.378
15 Aleix ESPARGARO APRILIA Q1 (*) 0.574
16 Cal CRUTCHLOW HONDA Q1 (*) 0.589
17 Andrea DOVIZIOSO DUCATI Q1 (*) 0.710
18 Alex MARQUEZ HONDA Q1 (*) 0.765
19 Iker LECUONA KTM Q1 (*) 1.091
20 Stefan BRADL HONDA Q1 (*) 1.322
21 Bradley SMITH APRILIA Q1 (*) 1.439
22 Tito RABAT DUCATI Q1 (*) 1.614

Moto2 Qualifying Report

Another week, another lap record! Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) has done it again in the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, putting in a 1:43.355 to set pole position and a new lap record at the track. He’s joined on the front row by Q1 graduate Jorge Navarro (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) and podium finisher last time out Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), who’s only five points off Marini in the standings, starts down in tenth.

In Q1, it was Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) who went top, followed by Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Navarro and Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) as they headed through – leaving one surprise in their wake in the form of Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2), who missed out and starts P19 after also crashing on Saturday morning, rider ok.

Marini was quickest from the get go in Q2, with teammate Marco Bezzecchi going second in the early stages before Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Lowes leapfrogged him to sit as Marini’s closest challengers. That soon changed, however, as Marini went quicker again and Bezzecchi following suit to take back second. Q1 graduate Dixon then moved up into third as Marini went even quicker, setting the fastest ever Moto2™ lap around the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. His 1:43.355 moved him well clear of the competition, and as it turned out it would secure him pole.

Dixon was then setting red sectors and the British rider pipped Bezzecchi to P2, but the Brit was still 0.349 off Marini’s time. Another Q1 graduate in the form of Navarro then shot up into provisional second, cutting the gap to Marini down to a tenth and a half. Navarro’s team-mate Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) and Lowes then interchanged P3 lap times to push Dixon down to P5, with Di Giannantonio forced to settle for P4.

2020 Catalunya Moto2 front row
1 Luca Marini – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex 1:43.355
2 Jorge Navarro – HDR Heidrun Speed Up – Speed Up +0.181
3 Sam Lowes – EG 0,0 Marc VDS – Kalex +0.282

That was pretty much that at the top. Marini was untouchable, with Navaaro in second and Lowes taking third from ‘Diggia’, leaving Dixon down in fifth. The Brit nevertheless claims his best-ever Moto2™ qualifying result for the second weekend in a row though – going one better than Misano. Bezzecchi will start on the second row alongside ‘Diggia’ and Dixon, the Italian forced to settle for sixth.

Joe Roberts spearheads Row 3 in P7 after coming through Q1, taking his first Saturday top 10 since his Czech GP pole position. After finishing second in FP3, rookie Marcos Ramirez makes it two Tennor American Racing machines on the third row as he took his best qualifying of 2020 to sit in P8. Xavi Vierge completes the third row.

Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) completed the top 10 in Q2, but after crashing under yellow flags on Friday, the Australian faces a six-place grid penalty. What does that mean? It means Bastianini will move up a position into the top 10 on the grid – and every little helps for the Italian who faces a tough task to mix it with Marini on Sunday afternoon.

Luca Marini

“I felt very good from the beginning of the weekend, it wasn’t easy and I didn’t expect it because it’s a very different situation to Misano, but the bike is still working well. So I don’t have so much rear grip but for everyone it’s the same so that’s great. I tried to manage the rear in practice because I want to understand how it will be in the race. In the quali I focused on being precise, and with a good lap and all sectors together. I think I did my job, and I’m very happy to start from pole because it will be important tomorrow, but I think Speed Up and Sam are strong here so it won’t be an easy race, but for today I’m happy and for the work I’ve done with my crew.”

Luca Marini

Moto2 Qualifying Results

Pos Rider Motorcycle Q Time/Gap
1 Luca MARINI KALEX Q2 1’43.355
2 Jorge NAVARRO SPEED UP Q2 0.181
3 Sam LOWES KALEX Q2 0.282
4 Fabio DI GIANNANTONI   ITA SPEED UP Q2 0.297
5 Jake DIXON KALEX Q2 0.349
6 Marco BEZZECCHI KALEX Q2 0.359
7 Joe ROBERTS KALEX Q2 0.386
8 Marcos RAMIREZ KALEX Q2 0.508
9 Xavi VIERGE KALEX Q2 0.516
10 Remy GARDNER KALEX Q2 0.519
11 Enea BASTIANINI KALEX Q2 0.553
12 Thomas LUTHI KALEX Q2 0.561
13 Augusto FERNANDEZ KALEX Q2 0.601
14 Jorge MARTIN KALEX Q2 0.691
15 Marcel SCHROTTER KALEX Q2 0.888
16 Nicolò BULEGA KALEX Q2 0.994
17 Edgar PONS KALEX Q2 1.055
18 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA KALEX Q2 1.079
19 Aron CANET SPEED UP Q1 (*) 0.518
20 Stefano MANZI MV AGUSTA Q1 (*) 0.612
21 Simone CORSI MV AGUSTA Q1 (*) 0.769
22 Hector GARZO KALEX Q1 (*) 0.831
23 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA   ITA KALEX Q1 (*) 0.860
24 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI   ITA KALEX Q1 (*) 0.899
25 Hafizh SYAHRIN SPEED UP Q1 (*) 1.048
26 Somkiat CHANTRA KALEX Q1 (*) 1.064
27 Kasma DANIEL KALEX Q1 (*) 1.443
28 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS Q1 (*) 1.519
29 Andi Farid IZDIHAR KALEX Q1 (*) 1.728
30 Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI NTS Q1 (*) 2.084

Moto3

Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) has taken his first pole position of 2020 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, the Italian slamming in a new lap record 1:47.762 to pull an incredible sixth tenths clear of Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3). And it’s the exact same 0.618 gap to both, with Fernandez and Rodrigo setting identical laps but the former’s second fastest effort ensuring he starts second.

In Q1 there was already plenty to talk about as Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) stole the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Incredibly, Championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3), closest challenger Ogura and third overall John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) all found themselves in the session, and it was mission accomplished for Arenas and McPhee as they moved through behind Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Q1’s fastest man Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team). But Ogura? The Japanese rider suffered his worst qualifying of the season by a whopping nine places, so he’ll be facing a serious mountain on Sunday from P24 on the grid.

Once Q2 was underway, Fernandez set the first benchmark of the session with a 1:48.611 to lead Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) and Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in the early stages, but Arenas was next on the attack and into provisional P2 on his first flying lap. Arbolino then went top by just 0.045, moving the goalposts ahead of a frantic final couple of laps for the field.

On his second run, Fernandez reclaimed provisional pole by 0.186, but the standings were soon to get a shake up. Seven riders were lighting up the timing screens as the 18-rider field chased pole, but the fastest of them all was Arbolino. Over three tenths under Fernandez’ lap time halfway around the lap, the Italian was nearly four tenths under by the third split. Making no mistakes through the final sector and keeping it together across the line, Arbolino’s time was astonishing. Pole secured, lap record obliterated and over six tenths clear.

There was last minute drama for Fernandez too as the Spaniard tumbled out at the final corner, but rider ok and ready to line up second. Rodrigo takes the outside of the front row after setting his best time late on, and although it’s identical to Fernandez’ best, the Argentine’s second fastest time was slower so he takes P3.

2020 Catalunya Moto3 front row
1 Tony Arbolino – Rivacold Snipers Team – Honda 1:47.762
2 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM – +0.618
3 Gabriel Rodrigo – Kömmerling Gresini Moto3 – Honda +0.618

Arenas will be stoked to be heading Row 2 in fourth, the highest-placed of the current title-challenging trio. Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) played the risky strategy of not setting a lap time until the final minute, but it paid off as the Spaniard claimed P5 in Q2. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) completes the second row in sixth, the Italian 0.8 shy of Arbolino’s pace but only just over two tenths away from P2.

Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) spearheads the third row in seventh as the Czech rider took his best Saturday afternoon result of the season, joined by Toba and Binder on Row 3. The Japanese rider improved on his final flying lap to get the better of the South African, who was unable to beat his second lap set early on.

Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) rounds out the top 10 in Moto3 Q2, joined on Row 4 by Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) and McPhee. That’s now three races in a row that McPhee has failed to qualify inside the top 10, although he did still win one of them… and Sunday is very much another day.

Tony Arbolino

“It was an incredible lap, I think from the first run I saw I was first and went in the box and saw the data. It wasn’t a perfect lap, I said ‘ok, we can do better’ but I didn’t expect to do that lap. We put the bike the same as last year and we’re faster in QP and a bit more difficult in the race, but it was an incredible lap with 0.6 to second and we did an incredible job. We didn’t stop working every day so I think we deserve it! But tomorrow we need to get a lot of points because we’re not so close to first in the Championship so we have a lot of work to do tomorrow!”

Tony Arbolino

Moto3 Qualifying Results

Pos Rider Motorcycle Q Time/Gap
1 Tony ARBOLINO HONDA Q2 1m47.762
2 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM Q2 +0.618
3 Gabriel RODRIGO HONDA Q2 +0.618
4 Albert ARENAS KTM Q2 +0.628
5 Jaume MASIA HONDA Q2 +0.728
6 Niccolò ANTONELLI HONDA Q2 +0.832
7 Filip SALAC HONDA Q2 +0.942
8 Kaito TOBA KTM Q2 +0.967
9 Darryn BINDER KTM Q2 +1.026
10 Sergio GARCIA HONDA Q2 +1.062
11 Andrea MIGNO KTM Q2 +1.111
12 John MCPHEE HONDA Q2 +1.113
13 Dennis FOGGIA HONDA Q2 +1.176
14 Jeremy ALCOBA HONDA Q2 +1.207
15 Romano FENATI HUSQVARNA Q2 +1.323
16 Alonso LOPEZ HUSQVARNA Q2 +1.464
17 Celestino VIETTI KTM Q2 +1.494
18 Ayumu SASAKI KTM Q2 +1.616
19 Jose Julian GARCIA HONDA Q1 (*) 0.436
20 Riccardo ROSSI KTM Q1 (*) 0.452
21 Carlos TATAY KTM Q1 (*) 0.526
22 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM Q1 (*) 0.728
23 Jason DUPASQUIER KTM Q1 (*) 0.829
24 Ai OGURA HONDA Q1 (*) 0.888
25 Stefano NEPA KTM Q1 (*) 0.925
26 Ryusei YAMANAKA HONDA Q1 (*) 1.066
27 Khairul Idham PAWI HONDA Q1 (*) 1.318
28 Davide PIZZOLI KTM Q1 (*) 1.394
29 Yuki KUNII HONDA Q1 (*) 1.543
30 Maximilian KOFLER KTM Q1 (*) 2.104
31 Barry BALTUS KTM FP3 0.819

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

Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Schedule

Time Class Session
1740 Moto3 WUP
1810 Moto2 WUP
1840 MotoGP WUP
2000 Moto3 Race
2120 Moto2 Race
2300 MotoGP Race

Source: MCNews.com.au

Five brands in top seven on slippery and windy Friday at Catalunya

Franco Morbidelli leads Friday Practice at Catalunya

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was struggling with illness the week after his incredible maiden MotoGP win in the San Marino GP, but now he’s back – and back on top. The Italian shot to P1 in the afternoon on Friday to rule the roost, a tenth ahead of Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing), with rookie Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) searing up to third by the end of the day’s action.

Franco Morbidelli

FP1

The morning, however, belonged to Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) as the Frenchman went faster and faster to end the session over four tenths clear of nearest rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team). Dovizioso, in turn, was a couple of tenths clear of Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) down in third, and the two spent a while together on track, whether by accident or design.

It was an uncharacteristic start to the event for Mir just before that, however, as the Spaniard crashed at Turn 5 unhurt, although upon getting back on the Mayorcan went quicker.

Fourth place went the way of Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) as last week’s winner was just 0.045 off Mir, that making the top four in the title fight also the top four in FP1. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was less than a tenth off Viñales, in an impressive fifth.

Morbidelli, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) completed the top ten, Crutchlow impressing on his return from injury. As well as Mir’s crash, there was a tumble for Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) at Turn 2.

FP2

In the much windier afternoon, Morbidelli made sure Petronas Yamaha SRT were top in both sessions of the day. Morbidelli, Binder and Rins all rose into the top four to slot in behind FP1 pacesetter Quartararo initially, with Viñales and Rossi also improving their times. After the first few bouts, Dovizioso, Quartararo, Mir and Aleix Espargaro were the only riders inside the top 10 who hadn’t gone faster in the first 15 minutes of FP2.

Morbidelli was then down at Turn 10 – unhurt – with 24 minutes to go. Before that, Zarco also crashed at Turn 5 – rider ok – and Repsol Honda Team’s Stefan Bradl also went down, the latter at Turn 2. Lecuona later suffered a second crash of the day. Wind or grip? The session was certainly a tougher one in terms of tumbles.

Heading into the final 10 minutes of FP2, there were 12 riders within a second and with automatic entry to Q2 already on everyone’s minds, that meant one thing – cue the time attacks!

Brad Binder P3

The first benchmark came from Binder as he leapt up from outside the top 20 in FP1 to lead the way, four tenths clear. Morbidelli and Zarco were on a charge but lost those laps after Yellow Flags for Lecuona’s crash, but next time around the duo became the first and only riders into the 1:39s, demoting Binder to third overall.

Viñales also struck late to slot into fourth, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). Every rider bar three improved their time in the afternoon by the time the flag came out: Dovizioso, teammate Danilo Petrucci and Quartararo were the outliers.

Overall then, it’s the FP2 fastest five of Morbidelli, Zarco, Binder, Viñales and Nakagami who are also fastest overall, with Quartararo’s FP1 time slotting him into sixth on the combined time-sheets. That shuffles Mir down to P7 overall, ahead of Pol Espargaro, Alex Marquez and Rossi. The latter duo are the most successful on the grid at the track across all classes, with three and five wins, respectively.

Jack Miller P12

Next up is another group who all improved, but remain outside the top ten: Rins is 11th and the first man looking to move forward in FP3, ahead of Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), Crutchlow and Aleix Espargaro.  Miller held back by struggles for grip and also coping with the wind.

Dovizioso, who didn’t go faster in the afternoon, ended the day in P15 overall. For him more than many, FP3 is a chance to shoot back towards the top.


Friday Rider Reflections

Franco Morbidelli – P1

“I felt immediately very good with the bike today and I was able to be quite fast this morning. I think we did the right modifications this afternoon to improve the pace and I was able to be fast. I’m happy with today. I went in too hot to Turn 10 with cold tyres on my first flying lap, it was too early to push that hard and I ended up on the ground. I wanted to get the bike back to the pitbox to keep working with the used tyres, but unfortunately I was not able to. I changed my focus to the flying lap with soft tyres and was able to put in a quick lap. It was a really positive Friday for us. This weekend will be interesting because the conditions could play a big part, there is a lot of wind and the grip level of the track is slightly strange. We need to see how it develops over the weekend and try to make a strategy, but at the moment it is really difficult to predict.”

Franco Morbidelli
Johann Zarco – P2

“It has been a good day today in a track that I like a lot. In the morning with a new tire it was not easy to set a good time.  The afternoon training was weird, I had a small crash possibly caused by the low temperature on the left side of the tire.  Despite this I managed to go fast, at the end of the session on soft tires I managed to go fast and finish the day in second position.”

Johann Zarco
Maverick Vinales – P4

“I’m very happy with last week’s victory, it gives us some extra confidence, and now we’re in Montmeló, which is a track that I love and where I can ride very fast. The first day has been good. In the morning I felt fast straight away, but in the afternoon the conditions were more difficult because of the wind, but I think we rode well. Our lap times were quite good, and the most important thing is that the feeling is there. I was feeling comfortable on the bike. Honestly, I didn’t do a very good hot lap, because I was on the medium front and I didn’t want to take the risk to push, but I’m quite happy. We are trying to improve and understand the bike. We just try to remain calm and go with the flow in the corners. Tomorrow we will focus on the soft-soft tyre combination to see if it works for us over the race distance. We’ll also try to make another step, especially concerning the race set-up, but I feel strong. If I can push for the pole position, I will, but our main objective is to be on the front row, and then we’ll see where we stand.”

Maverick Vinales
Takaaki Nakagami – P5

“Today was a bit of a strange day. The track condition was not the best and, normally, from FP1 to FP2 you can feel there is more rubber on the track and more grip. But today I didn’t feel any improvement on the track because it was so windy, this afternoon was maybe worse than this morning, and conditions were so difficult. I really struggled to keep hold of the bike. At the end of FP2 we put a new soft rear tyre on and were able to improve the lap time and finish P5 overall, so we’re into the top 10 and this is a good start for us. But we definitely need to improve for the race distance, because with the medium compound we are not strong enough. So we’ll work hard to prepare a good bike for tomorrow.”

Fabio Quartararo – P6

“I was not feeling well yesterday and, although I am better today, I am still not at 100%. However, the feeling on the bike was great, this morning we managed to make quite a good lap time. The track condition was a bit strange, but we finished in a good position. This afternoon we continued with the used tyre, did a lot of laps and the feeling was great. I was surprised that we could make the quick laps we did on these tyres. Unfortunately when I went to do the time attack, I had a problem with the brakes and so couldn’t put the lap together. We still have FP3 tomorrow to really push and see our true potential. I’m feeling good on the bike and let’s see tomorrow if we can improve something for the race.”

Fabio Quartararo
Joan Mir – P7

“Today has been a bit tough for everyone because the track is slippery and it’s really difficult to find the best tyre option, it’s also quite windy. This first day hasn’t really shown who’s on the pace and who’s not. I worked a lot with a used medium rear tyre which gave me some info for the race. I didn’t really try to set fast laps today, but my lap times weren’t bad anyway. Qualifying will be interesting tomorrow.”

Joan Mir
Alex Marquez – P9

“It was not a bad day for us, it is really positive to be ninth. Maybe not every rider was pushing to their maximum today, but it’s a positive sign. I am feeling good on the bike, even if we are suffering a bit with rear grip – I think all riders are finding the rear grip tough. It’s a lovely track but there’s no grip and we have to try and manage it, hopefully with more riding it improves. I am happy with how this first day has gone, I am using everything we have been learning in the previous races and the test and we are making progress.”

Alex Marquez
Valentino Rossi – P10

“The conditions are difficult, because the grip level is very low. So, you have to ride the bike in a different way compared to Misano and manage the sliding and spinning rear as much as possible – which is difficult. But, apart from that, I don’t feel so bad. Today was positive because my pace is quite good, I feel good with the bike. It works well, and I feel comfortable. For sure, we will have to work a lot, because everybody will improve for tomorrow, but the first day wasn’t so bad. I’m in P10, but I think my potential is higher. The windy conditions were difficult this afternoon, especially on the front straight, because when you exit from the last corner you don’t have any protection from the wind. The straight is also very fast, and at the end of it the wind is quite inconsistent and it moves the bike a lot. That’s quite scary. But it looks like it will be less windy tomorrow, so I think FP3 will be very crucial, as always, for staying in the top 10. I think everybody will be pushing at the maximum. After that I will try to do a good qualifying and try to start from the first two rows. Right now it’s still open between the soft and the medium tyres, especially on the rear. We need to make some more laps before we make a decision. Usually at this track the grip level improves on the second day, so we will see tomorrow.”

Valentino Rossi
Alex Rins – P11

“Today I got back the good feeling that I didn’t have in Misano. This morning I suffered a bit with the low grip on the track, but in the afternoon I started to really enjoy riding here and I managed a lot of consistent lap times. My aim is to take another step forward tomorrow in terms of one lap pace and then I’ll be hoping to qualify well.”

Alex Rins
Jack Miller – P12

“Unfortunately a combination of things weren’t helpful, I did not have grip and the wind was very strong. Also, I struggled a lot with the front wheel because of the wind. Let’s hope it will be better tomorrow as the weather forecast should improve.”

Jack Miller
Cal Crutchlow – P13

“It was positive to be back out on the track today with the LCR Honda team. We worked in a good way, I tried the setting we had for the race here last year when I was really competitive in the middle and the end of the race. But today that didn’t work with the 2020 Honda and we have to go back to the drawing board a little bit to improve my feeling with the bike. We had some instability with the bike, but a lot of this was due to the wind today as it was really, really high. But we worked in a good way and it was nice to be back in the garage with the boys. I felt like I was competitive, I wasn’t fast enough, but I was competitive. I still have some pain with my arm, the ankle felt ok, but my tendon in the arm is causing me some bother and the arm is very swollen again, so we’ll have to do the best treatment we can so we can ride well tomorrow.”

Cal Crutchlow
Aleix Espargaro – P14

“A difficult day, but I felt good. I like this layout and I had fun riding today. The grip is extremely low, especially if we compare it to Misano. Because of this, I did not take too many risks, as it would have been incredibly easy to make a mistake. Unfortunately, I do not have good sensations with the medium tyre but, because of tyre allocation, I was only able to use the soft in the last 10 minutes of FP2. I felt much better with that one, but I was unable to do a good lap, partly because of a yellow flag. Tomorrow morning I’ll try again to qualify for Q2.”

Aleix Espargaro
Andrea Dovizioso – P15

“As expected, there is much less grip on this track than Misano, and for this reason, in this morning’s session, we first had to adapt to these new conditions. Compared to the rest of the riders on track, today we worked very differently and therefore we cannot make a real comparison to understand our potential. Unfortunately, with today’s strong wind we have not been able to get any univocal feedback from the tests we made, so we hope tomorrow to find different conditions, which will allow us to confirm the work done. The goal will be to be able to finish FP3 in the top ten tomorrow morning”.

Andrea Dovizioso
Iker Lecuona – P16

“I have to admit, that I was struggling a lot with the front today. I had two crashes and didn’t really understand why, as there was no single warning. I felt good, but suddenly I lost the front. I need to work with the team now in order to try to find a good solution for tomorrow and hopefully we can improve.”

Miguel Oliveira – P17

“Today has been a difficult day for us. We couldn’t manage to find a good balance with the bike to gain some grip here on this track. Coming here, we knew that the grip level was not so high, but we didn’t expect to find so many issues. So, we will do our best together with the team to work on this in order to do a decent FP3 tomorrow morning.”

Miguel Oliveira
Bradley Smith – P18

“I think it was a demanding day for everyone, especially in terms of rear grip. It seems rather difficult to get the tyre up to temp here, partly because it is a bit cooler than the usual situation here. It will take a few laps to find the right feeling and I’m curious to see what happens tomorrow since I don’t think it will be possible to aim for a flying lap in FP3 and qualifying, but to increase pace gradually instead. Historically, we stress the tyre less with the RS-GP and this is a disadvantage for us at the moment. We need to analyse the data and try to make improvements where that is concerned.”

Stefan Bradl – P19

“My arm is fine, this morning I felt much better than last week and I didn’t have any problems with it. This morning we started well, I am happy with the general setup of the bike and it seems like Honda has made a step since Misano. I think we have a good base for the rest of the weekend. The crash we had today was a little strange, I am perfectly okay, but it upset our plans for FP2 a little bit and I couldn’t do a proper time attack after. Otherwise, we are in quite a good way.”

Stefan Bradl
Pecco Bagnaia – P20

“It was a tough day, I did not have a good feeling as I did not have grip and the wind was very strong, especially in some areas of the track. From the data we have analysed it was found that I could not warm up the tires despite the changes that we have applied. There should be more grip tomorrow as the weather should improve and I am sure it will be better.”

Pecco Bagnaia
Tito Rabat – P21

“It has been a difficult day, things have not turned out as we expected but we are still looking on the positive side.  We have tried things and for tomorrow we have everything much clearer.  I hope to continue taking steps forward as before during this weekend.”

Danilo Petrucci – P22

“It was a rather difficult day, conditioned mainly by the strong wind, which prevented us from immediately understanding which direction to take on this track. After the first session, we made choices that were not correct, and that’s why we had to take a step back. Fortunately, we were able to find the right way towards the end of the day and understand what we need. Of course, today we did not try a time attack, but after this afternoon, I am confident that I can improve tomorrow”.

Danilo Petrucci

Friday MotoGP Combined Practice Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 F.Morbidelli YAMAHA 1m39.789
2 J.Zarco DUCATI +0.109
3 B.Binder KTM +0.219
4 M.Viñales YAMAHA +0.419
5 T.Nakagami HONDA +0.623
6 F.Quartararo YAMAHA +0.642
7 J.Mir SUZUKI +0.652
8 P.Espargaro KTM +0.685
9 A.Marquez HONDA +0.689
10 V.Rossi YAMAHA +0.713
11 A.Rins SUZUKI +0.749
12 J.Miller DUCATI +0.837
13 C.Crutchlow HONDA +0.965
14 A.Espargaro APRILIA +1.002
15 A.Dovizioso DUCATI +1.072
16 I.Lecuona KTM +1.082
17 M.Oliveira KTM +1.239
18 B.Smith APRILIA +1.306
19 S.Bradl HONDA +1.471
20 F.Bagnaia DUCATI +1.548
21 T.Rabat DUCATI +1.884
22 D.Petrucci DUCATI +2.270

Moto2

Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was back on top on Friday at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, the Brit ahead of closest challenger Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) by two tenths by the end of play. Completing the top three was Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) as the German once again showed some solid speed, fastest in the afternoon.

FP1

Lowes kicked off the weekend fastest with a 1:44.122 to lead Championship leader Marini from the off, the two split by exactly two tenths in FP1. Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) took third as he found some solid form, but the Japanese rider was over half a second off Lowes’ lap. Speed Up machinery made a resurgence in fourth and fifth, meanwhile, with impressive rookie Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) getting the better of Fabio Di Giannantonio (HDR Heidrun Speed Up) as the two completed the top five.

The top 14 were within a second in FP1 and with Lowes half a second faster than Nagashima, that meant it was just half a second covering P3 to P14!

There were three crashes but two crashers in the session, with Andi Izdihar (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) taking a tumble at Turn 10, before Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) followed suit not long after. Corsi also later crashed at Turn 5, rider ok.

FP2

The afternoon saw Schrötter take to the top, with the German 0.066 ahead of Di Giannantonio in the session. Home hero Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) slotted into third, ahead of Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) and second in the Championship, Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), as the latter made a leap up the timesheets in the session at least, from P13 in FP1.

Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) crashed at Turn 2, before Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) did the same shortly after, riders ok. Gardner has been given a six-place grid penalty for the incident after crashing whilst not respecting a Yellow Flag.

Overall then, it’s Lowes and Marini who lead the way thanks to their fastest times in FP1, ahead of Schrötter by virtue of his fastest lap in the afternoon. Di Giannantonio was consistently quick in both sessions but his FP2 best puts him in fourth, with Nagashima completing the fastest five on Friday by virtue of his FP1 lap.

Rookie Canet ends the day in sixth ahead of Marco Bezzecchi, both also courtesy of their FP1 laps, ahead of Xavi Vierge in eighth.

Next up was the returning Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the Spaniard’s FP1 best put him P7 in that session and P9 overall, a solid day’s work as he gets back on track after missing two races.

Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed the top ten on Day 1, but by an infinitesimal 0.002 – with Bo Bendsneyder (NTS RW Racing GP) missing out by the equally tiny margin of 0.005!

Friday Moto2 Combined Practice Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 S.Lowes KALEX 1m44.122
2 L.Marini KALEX +0.200
3 M.Schrotter KALEX +0.409
4 F.Di Giannanto SPEED UP +0.475
5 T.Nagashima KALEX +0.508
6 A.Canet SPEED UP +0.515
7 M.Bezzecchi KALEX +0.643
8 X.Vierge KALEX +0.678
9 J.Martin KALEX +0.734
10 A.Fernandez KALEX +0.736
11 B.Bendsneyde NTS +0.741
12 E.Bastianini KALEX +0.764
13 N.Bulega KALEX +0.814
14 J.Dixon KALEX +0.841
15 H.Syahrin SPEED UP +0.922
16 J.Navarro SPEED UP +1.000
17 E.Pons KALEX +1.002
18 H.Garzo KALEX +1.032
19 T.Luthi KALEX +1.111
20 R.Gardner KALEX +1.164
21 M.Ramirez KALEX +1.291
22 S.Manzi MV AGUSTA +1.297
23 J.Roberts KALEX +1.321
24 S.Corsi MV AGUSTA +1.407
25 S.Chantra KALEX +1.532
26 L.Dalla Porta KALEX +1.612
27 A.Izdihar KALEX +1.759
28 L.Baldassarri KALEX +1.770
29 K.Daniel KALEX +1.820
30 P.Biesiekirski NTS +2.694

Moto3

Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is making something of a habit of going fastest on Friday, and the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya was no different as the Spaniard ended the day with a fairly comfortable margin ahead of compatriot Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing). Last week’s winner, Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), completed the top three on the combined timesheets.

FP1

FP1 saw a familiar name at the top once again: Fernandez. The Spaniard made it three FP1s in a row at the top, and was the only man to dip beneath the 1:49 barrier as he pulled four tenths clear with a late 1:48.853. Husqvarna history maker Fenati was the man in second in the session, ahead of his compatriot Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) a further tenth back in third.

Masia ended FP1 0.575 seconds adrift in fourth, but he had some close company courtesy of Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee. Championship leader Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) was next up in sixth, with his closest rival as it stands, Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), down in an uncharacteristic P25.

FP2

In the afternoon, the wind was higher to complicate life for the lightweight class, and early on Fernandez stole a few more headlines but this time with a spectacular save. Ultimately it was Masia who came out on top in FP2 though, 0.284 ahead of Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power). Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Moto3) was the only other man within half a second of the top after he put in an impressive session, with the three men at the top of the Championship all a little further back: McPhee took P10, Ogura P13 and Arenas P14. For Ogura, however, that was a move forward after his P25 in FP1.

The main headlines from FP2, however, were the crashes. First to go down was Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) as he tumbled at Turn 3, before McPhee went down at Turn 10. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Stefano Nepa (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) were then both caught out at Turn 1 a few minutes apart, before another crash at Turn 10, this time for Arbolino. He headed to the Medical Centre but was given the all-clear. Masia then crashed at Turn 7, before Davide Pizzoli (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) was the final crasher of the session, at Turn 10.

Ryusei Yamanaka (Estrella Galicia 0,0) avoided a crash with a miracle save, adding to Fernandez’ earlier efforts in the sweepstakes for biggest spectacle of the day.

After a day of two halves in Barcelona then, it’s Fernandez’ FP1 time that puts him on top once again, ahead of Masia’s FP2 fastest by 0.281. Fenati and Arbolino’s best times put them into P3 and P4 overall, respectively, with Darryn Binder ending Friday in fifth thanks to his quickest lap in the afternoon.

Despite his crash, McPhee is the fastest of the Championship-leading trio in P6, but Arenas is less than a tenth off. Both set their quickest efforts in the morning. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) had a good first day as he slots into eighth, 0.029 off Arenas, with Tatay just another 0.033 off Antonelli, in ninth. Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed the top ten.

Ogura ultimately ended the day down in P23, and he’ll be one of the first pushing to improve in FP3 as the fight to head through to Q2 really gets down to business. Tune in for that at 9:00 (GMT +2), before Moto3™ qualifying starts from 12:35.

Friday Moto3 Combined Practice Times

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 R.Fernandez KTM 1m48.853
2 J.Masia HONDA +0.281
3 R.Fenati HUSQVARNA +0.390
4 T.Arbolino HONDA +0.409
5 D.Binder KTM +0.565
6 J.Mcphee HONDA +0.607
7 A.Arenas KTM +0.696
8 N.Antonelli HONDA +0.725
9 C.Tatay KTM +0.758
10 K.Toba KTM +0.773
11 G.Rodrigo HONDA +0.787
12 F.Salac HONDA +0.835
13 A.Migno KTM +0.954
14 A.Lopez HUSQVARNA +0.994
15 S.Nepa KTM +1.178
16 J.Alcoba HONDA +1.212
17 S.Garcia HONDA +1.296
18 R.Rossi KTM +1.341
19 B.Baltus KTM +1.357
20 D.Pizzoli KTM +1.393
21 D.Foggia HONDA +1.467
22 A.Sasaki KTM +1.485
23 A.Ogura HONDA +1.562
24 R.Yamanaka HONDA +1.654
25 J.Dupasquier KTM +1.729
26 C.Vietti KTM +1.752
27 J.Garcia HONDA +1.965
28 Y.Kunii HONDA +2.147
29 K.Pawi HONDA +2.226
30 M.Kofler KTM +2.251
31 D.Öncü KTM +2.347


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

MotoGP World Championship Points


Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya Schedule (AEST)

Source: MCNews.com.au

MotoGP riders reflect on #SanMarinoGP

2020 MotoGP Round Seven – Misano

Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini

Franco Morbidelli secured his maiden MotoGP victory in a dramatic Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Morbidelli took the chequered flag 2.217-seconds ahead of compatriot Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), who celebrated his first premier class podium. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) got the better of home hero Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on the last lap to claim his second podium finish. Meanwhile, now former Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crashed out – twice – at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Franco Morbidelli

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

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


MotoGP Rider Quotes

Franco Morbidelli – P1

“I feel like this has been a magical week for me. Everything had been going well, so going into today I was thinking that maybe something good would be possible. Turns out, it was something great! I have never won a World Championship race at home before, so to do it in MotoGP is the greatest achievement in my life. I’m really proud to be able to say that. I want to say thanks to all the people that work with me, it isn’t just me. This win is a result of teamwork. Right now I’m just so proud of what we have achieved, not just today but in general. Seven years ago I was racing here with a stock 600, now I’m winning a MotoGP race. It’s just amazing, especially as it’s the first race with a crowd this year. It felt great to be able to salute the crowd after the race. We do this for them, so to celebrate with them was such a great feeling.”

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT)

Pecco Bagnaia – P2

“When I arrived to Misano my goal was only to finish the race. On Saturday during FP3 when I just thought about riding I understood that I could push and my feeling when I rode was the same that I had in Jerez. The start of the race wasn’t very good, I lost some positions so I had to recover the gap with Mir. When I passed him I saw that I could reach the head group. I hadn’t thought about my leg and I thought only about my first podium in MotoGP during my home race with the fans. During the last 4 laps I felt pain but today we deserved this podium. I want to thank my team, Ducati and VR46RidersAcademy for their big support. Today this podium is for them. I’m looking forward to be back on this track.”

Pecco Bagnaia

Joan Mir – P3

“I’m really happy. I wasn’t as strong here as I was in Austria, but I’m on the podium anyway so that’s good news. I really enjoyed the end of the race, and it was exciting to make that final overtake! I knew I could do it at that corner so I was confident. I was aware that I would struggle a little bit on the first laps with the fresh tyre but my pace with the used tyre was a lot faster, and I felt great with the bike, so I managed to take advantage of that. We’re going to work in the test on Tuesday and be ready for next weekend.”

Joan Mir

Valentino Rossi – P4

“It’s a great shame because the podium is always special, here in Misano even more so. Also, to share the podium with Franco and Pecco would have been like a race at the ranch. I made a small mistake and Mir was very strong in that moment, he did very good lap times in the last part of the race. At the end he was able to beat me, which is a shame with just 2km to go. On the other hand, it was still a good race, a good weekend, because I rode well. We had a very good pace and I feel good with the bike. So, even without a podium, I enjoyed it. It was a good weekend for our team and for me, because we were always competitive. This is so important. I think that we can improve three or four things for next week, when we‘ll have another chance. This makes me even more happy, because we can try again.”

Valentino Rossi

Alex Rins – P5

“Today’s race was hard for me. In the first and middle parts of the race I was feeling confident and I had good pace and a good feeling with the bike. When I could see the podium getting closer I really pushed myself a lot and I began to have some problems with strength in my right arm due to my shoulder injury, so it was very tough to continue fighting. In the end, with a couple of laps to go, I was just trying to get through it and get a good position. I’m happy with fifth because the points are good, but for sure I’ll hope for more next time out.”

Alex Rins

Maverick Vinales – P6

“I don’t know what happened today. I’m really disappointed. I don’t know why I lost grip in the race. I tried everything I could, but I wasn’t getting enough feedback from the tyre. At the end of the race I did three or four really good laps, but that was too late. We will work on it. We have a test here on Tuesday. We will try to stay relaxed. We need to reset our minds for next weekend. We know we are fast here, so we can start in front again.”

Maverick Vinales

Andrea Dovizioso – P7

“It was a tough race. Since I was starting from the back, I struggled a lot to find the rhythm at the beginning. I still can’t be as competitive as I would like with these tyres and the riding style I’ve always adopted in the past years is not working right now. Fortunately, this Tuesday, we will have a day of testing here in Misano, which will be very important to try to solve this aspect. The championship this year is weird, and now we are leading the standings. We have to see the positive side of the current situation and continue to work, putting all our effort to come back stronger in the next races. I congratulate Pecco on his great performance today.”

Andrea Dovizioso

Jack Miller – P8

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

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

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

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

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

Jack Miller

Takaaki Nakagami – P9

“Today was definitely quite a positive race for us because yesterday and Friday we were losing time and we did not put in a good enough performance in qualifying – 14th on the grid is not good for the race. But with the new holeshot device we are definitely improving at the start, and during the race the lap times were quite consistent around 33.1 or two. But this morning we got the top time which was really, really good for the team and were able to do a 32, but in the race we were not able to do that so we need to understand what the difference was between the warm-up and the race. It’s another top-10 and we need to see how we can improve for the next race, but definitely in the next race we can fight for the podium again. We are really looking forward to another Misano race weekend, we’ll stay positive and keep working hard to get that first podium.”

Takaaki Nakagami

Pol Espargaro – P10

“Not so much to say today. I had trouble to stop the rear of the bike from the first lap and I was stuck behind Johann for quite a long time. It wasn’t really safe to make it happen cleanly and I could only manage when the pace dropped and then the others caught me. We paid a bit for the mistakes on Saturday and we need to solve our problems before next weekend. I’m confident we can do it and we can have a better race.”

Pol Espargaro

Miguel Oliveira – P11

“It was a tough race. To be honest, it was quite hard to make up positions, especially in the beginning of the race. We had many riders with different tyre choices, so it made our life very difficult, but we had a good pace, where just too far away. Now we are focusing on Tuesday, trying a couple of things during the test in order to have a better weekend and especially a better Qualifying the upcoming weekend.”

Miguel Oliveira

Brad Binder – P12

“I didn’t start well and from then I tried my best to recover positions. The first 10-12 laps I didn’t have a good feeling but then it got better and better. I don’t feel I can complain too much. We have to take advantage of this test on Tuesday to make a few improvements. It was cool to be part of that KTM battle and I could see we were all having the same issues. It’s very tight in MotoGP right now but my attitude stays the same: I’m trying to enjoy and take the best of each race.”

KTM riders

Aleix Espargaro – P13

“The final position does not reflect reality. We are doing very well and my feeling is still very good with the new RS-GP. Today I had fun and the numbers confirm our improvements. The only difficulty is in overtaking. We are lacking the acceleration to get past our rivals and that forces us to hang back even when our pace could be better. Our growth is undeniable. We’ll get there, we just need to be patient and keep working.”

Aleix Espargaro

Iker Lecuona – P14

“In the Warm Up this morning, I felt really good with the bike. Like in FP3, I felt very fast and constant and my pace for the race was strong. I knew that my grid position was not ideal to fight for the top 10. Finally, in the race, I did that mistake in the Warm Up lap. I stopped the engine and eventually, I needed to do the long lap. I was very nervous, because I knew my potential. In the end, I could manage the situation with the penalty and lap by lap I improved. For many laps, I was the fastest KTM rider on the track, overtook many riders and finished in the points, so finally, I’m really happy. Sorry to my team for that mistake, but at the same time thanks to them for their great work.”

Iker Lecuona

Johann Zarco – P15

“I think the positive part of this race, seeing the result (P15) and 20 seconds away from the winner, far from the top of the race, is that I got a lot of positive things from the start. The step we took this morning in the warm up has helped me a lot in this start of the race to follow Dovizioso and Bagnaia. The start was good for me, but as the laps went by I suffered a lot with the rear tire, especially the last seven laps, I couldn’t keep the pace and I lost a lot”.

Johann Zarco

Danilo Petrucci – P16

“Today, I struggled a lot in the race. I had several contacts with a few riders at the beginning, and I couldn’t stay hooked to the leading group. As the bike got lighter with the fuel consumption, I was able to find a better pace, but by then, I was too far away to recover on the riders in front. Today’s race has allowed us to understand some aspects, and this is an indication that we will serve us for the future. Hopefully, Tuesday’s test will help us to get the situation clearer. I’m disappointed that today I couldn’t score points: I put it all into it, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”

Danilo Petrucci

Alex Marquez – P17

“Our pace today was good, especially towards the end of the race where I was able to lap at a similar speed to the leaders. My fastest lap of the race was my last one. We have made a big step from yesterday with the bike and it felt good today. It was a good race; I had a hard battle with Petrucci and we touched a couple of times. But it was really the grid position that hurt us today, otherwise I think we could have been up with Binder and Oliveira. Compared to where we started this weekend it’s not so bad, but we still need to be more consistent.”

Alex Marquez

Stefan Bradl – P18

“It was a frustrating race, I had a problem with the nerve in my right elbow that started yesterday but in the race it became worse. It’s not arm pump, but my two small fingers were going numb. Because of this I was about one second off my normal pace. Already it was not in the plan for me to test here Tuesday, so I will use the time to rest the arm. Hopefully we can come back next week stronger.”

Bradley Smith – P19

“Unfortunately, the crash in FP3 compromised our weekend. The sensations were good on Friday, but when I had to switch to the second bike, it wasn’t the same feeling in qualifying or in the race. Today I crashed on a bump and then, despite the bike being damaged, I was able to re-join and finish the race. We’ll use the tests on Tuesday to take a closer look at what is causing our difficulties so we can be better prepared for the next race.”

Fabio Quartararo – DNF

“First of all I want to congratulate Franco, because he really deserved the win today. It was a really tough race for me but it is what it is, I will learn from it. I made a mistake: I was trying too hard to overtake Maverick and it overheated the tyre. I made the move, and was the correct move to make, but Jack was in front and I wanted to catch him as well but too quickly. I braked too late and lost the front end. We are struggling to overtake with our bike, which is something we need to work on. Of course I am disappointed, as we had the speed to fight at the front, but we learn from the experience and I won’t make the same mistake next weekend. We have seen five different winners in six races and it is one of the closest championships we’ve had, so I’m going to continue to give my best and try to make it ours.”

Tito Rabat – DNF

“I think that this weekend I have taken steps forward, in terms of the fastest lap, the race pace and the first laps of this. My fastest lap in the race was similar to that of my teammate, as well as the pace, which was very even for both. Now we have to stay focused, arrive rested for the test on Tuesday and the following weekend and give 100% of myself”.

Razlan Razali – Petronas SRT Yamaha Team Principal

“This weekend was the best so far for Petronas Sepang Racing Team, as a collective. It was a fantastic win for Franco: very well deserved, especially considering his crash in the first Austrian race. Doing it at his home Grand Prix as well is amazing. It was unfortunate for Fabio; he crashed while trying to catch the front-runners. He is still second in the championship, so it’s not too bad and I’m sure he’ll come back stronger next week. In Moto2 we saw another big improvement from Xavi, finishing fourth. He was very close to the podium and we know that he can do well next weekend, when we are here again. It’s been a learning curve for Jake today; it’s only his second time at Misano. I’m sure next weekend will be better for him. In Moto3 John had his first win of 2020 today and after the ups and downs of the last few races this was really nice to see. To get his championship back on track again is great. For KIP, to be coming back from major surgery like he has is incredible. We do expect him to improve further in the second GP at Misano too.”

Franco Morbidelli

Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“A bit like with Red Bull Ring, I didn’t necessarily expect a good race here but we did a very good job. Both riders were in the Top 5 which was a great result, and Joan made an incredible last lap to get the podium. Alex was fifth which is also a good finish. Both riders will work hard to continue this form next weekend.”

Davide Brivio – Suzuki Team Manager

“We’re very happy to get another podium. It was great to see both our GSX-RRs at the top and keeping really competitive pace, and I think with stronger grid positions we could’ve had even better results. Joan recovered really well and he had a great last lap to earn a deserved podium, and also Alex did a really good race with unbelievable pace until the problem with his arm, so he was also impressive. We’ll try to bring this competitiveness into next weekend. Thanks to all the team for their hard work.”

Team Suzuki

Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director

“We knew this race was going to be tough and that the tyres would play a decisive role. We had hoped to fight for the victory today, but unfortunately that wasn‘t possible. Valentino had a good start and his pace was really good throughout the whole race. It‘s a shame he wasn‘t able to get a podium result, because that would have been a real treat for the team and also the fans. But the way he performed is encouraging, so for sure he will try to be fighting at the front again next time. Maverick‘s pre-race experience was a bit unsettling, because we saw smoke coming from his bike when he arrived on the starting grid. We had a thorough check, and it turned out it was fine. However, the race was tough for him, because he didn‘t feel as good with the hard tyre today as he had done earlier this weekend. It‘s really disappointing, because we know how fast he is. But we get another chance next week. We will take today‘s experience on board, and we have the opportunity to test some new parts here on Tuesday, so we will push to come back stronger.”

Mike Leitner – Red Bull KTM Race Manager

“It was not the best results for us and the fact that the boys could not get a fast lap in qualifying made it difficult today to get near the front of the group because the rhythm of the riders is very similar. After the last few races we are not so happy with the results but the race pace today was positive. All four riders did well in their respective battles and brought the bikes home for points, especially Iker who came back from a long-lap penalty. We’ll try everything we can to be better for next weekend.”

Hervé Poncharal – Red Bull KTM Tech3 Team Manager

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

KTM men racing each other

Piero Taramasso – Michelin

“We have had a very successful weekend here at Misano in both MotoGP and MotoE. The tyres performed very well and adapted to the new surface, despite us having little information on the asphalt when we had to choose the tyres before the start of the season. This the first time this season that the condition of the track and the weather has afforded the possibility of all MotoGP specifications being a genuine raceable option, as it was five options were used and we saw three different configurations on the podium. Breaking records is not the whole reason we are here, but it is great to do that and to set all-time lap-records in both classes and break the race durations in both is an especially pleasing aspect and demonstrates the performance of the tyres and one that can eventually be translated from the track to the street. It was a very exciting race for all concerned and especially good to see people in the grandstands again, this is a small step in the battle against the pandemic, but from the point of MotoGP an important one. We hope that Michelin contributed in some way to rewarding them with good racing. I want to send congratulations to Franco Morbidelli on his first victory, a feat that gives us four new winners this season and with the way some of the other guys are riding I can see that growing. MotoE produced another good race and the tyres again lived up to their potential following the new materials, compounds and rear construction we introduced for this season. Racing is fast and close and we broke every single record on show, so we have to be happy with that. We will now stay here at Misano for a test on Tuesday, where I am sure different tyre configurations will be tested by the riders to see if that can improve further and get an optimum set-up for their respective machines ahead of next week’s race at the same track.”

Michelin

MotoGP Race Results

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

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 76
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 70
3 Jack MILLER Ducati 64
4 Joan MIR Suzuki 60
5 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 58
6 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
7 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 57
8 Brad BINDER KTM 53
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 53
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 48
11 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 41
12 Alex RINS Suzuki 40
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 31
14 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 29
15 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 25
16 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 18
17 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 15
18 Iker LECUONA KTM 15
19 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 8
20 Tito RABAT Ducati 7
21 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 7
22 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4
23 Stefan BRADL Honda 0

Source: MCNews.com.au

#SanMarinoGP Race Reports | Results | Points | All classes

2020 MotoGP Round Seven – Misano

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT), take a bow! On home soil, the Italian produced 27 inch-perfect laps to secure his maiden MotoGP victory in a dramatic Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. Morbidelli took the chequered flag 2.217 ahead of compatriot Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), who celebrates his first premier class podium, with Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) getting the better of home hero Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) on the last lap to claim his second podium finish. Meanwhile, now former Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) crashed out – twice – at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT)

MotoGP Race Report

From the middle of the front row, Morbidelli out-dragged both Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Quartararo off the line and headed into Turn 1 leading, with fourth place Rossi getting a superb start to slot into second ahead of the equally fast starting Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) from the second row. Viñales slipped to P4, with Quartararo slotting into P5 as Morbidelli and Rossi sent the Italian fans into raptures on the opening lap.

#SanMarinoGP

Rossi got a good run down into Turn 8 on Lap 1 and showed a wheel to Morbidelli, but the latter was late on the brakes and closed the door. The numbers 21 and 46 then started to create a bit of a gap to third place Miller, with Viñales holding off both Quartararo and the two Team Suzuki Ecstar machines of Alex Rins and Joan Mir. Viñales was the only rider on the grid to select the hard Michelin rear tyre, and the lap record holder seemed to be taking his time to get it up to speed – with Quartararo looking impatient behind.

The riders then settled into their rhythm, with Miller hauling in the leading duo to sit a couple of tenths behind them and Viñales and co just over half a second back from the Australian. Meanwhile, Miller’s teammate Bagnaia was setting fastest lap after fastest lap, and the injured Italian had soon latched himself onto the back of the Viñales-Quartararo-Rins-Mir train. On Lap 7, Quartararo then made his move past Viñales at Turn 14 – and his eyes were firmly set on the podium trio just a stone’s throw up the road.

Vinales, Quartararo, Rins

However, the Frenchman’s progress took a swift dive only moments later as he went in a little hot at Turn 4, and it would prove costly as the Championship leader tucked the front and crashed out of fourth place in another 2020 MotoGP title twist. Quartararo remounted but was down in P20, over 15 seconds down on Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team). The number 20 would later enter pitlane, suffer a tip off and then retire from the race.

Back up front meanwhile, Morbidelli was still easing round in the lead, although Rossi was able to keep his protégé close – for the time being. Miller was also holding firm in P3 but Pecco was on the move and the Italian was through on Viñales down the back straight into Turn 11, that Ducati grunt being put to good use.

Vinales, Rins, Mir

Bit-by-bit, Morbidelli was starting to pull away from ‘The Doctor’. By Lap 12 the gap was creeping up towards a second as Bagnaia and Rins continued to make formidable progress further back, and Miller was clearly starting to struggle. Rins produced the classic Turn 2 Misano move to grab 4th from the number 43 and then, heading down into Turn 8, Pecco was through on the Aussie too. Now, Rins and Pecco had Rossi 1.8 seconds up the road, with ‘The Doctor’, in turn, losing touch with Morbidelli. The gap between the Italians was 1.1 seconds – and rising – but it was Mir who was now the fastest man on track…

With 11 laps to go, the gap was down to below a second as the podium scrap started to bubble up in the San Marino sun, and a lap later Rins and Pecco were just half a second down on the nine-time World Champion. The podium battle was well and truly game on.

Into the last 10 laps the riders went, and Mir had got the better of Miller. The sophomore was 1.9 seconds back from the podium scrap, with Rins and Pecco now right on the back of Rossi. The first move was Pecco slicing underneath Rins into the scintillatingly quick Turn 11 and on the next lap, Bagnaia was at it again. This time his good friend Rossi felt the wrath of the Ducati power and Pecco – who fractured his leg just over a month ago – was up into second and on the way to a maiden podium.

Joan Mir

By this point, Mir had closed the gap to the trio ahead of him and was doing so at a significant rate of knots. The gap was 1.4 to his teammate, and it seemed the fight for the podium was going to heat up even more. The fight for victory, however, was between Morbidelli and only Morbidelli. A dream debut premier class win was in sight as the number 21 was 2.8 seconds up the road, and Bagnaia was creeping clear of Rossi. With six to go at Turn 8, things got even closer between Rins and he number 46 too, as the Suzuki rider got the run down the straight and showed a wheel up the inside. Rossi closed the door – no way through for Rins, but Mir was then just one second back.

With five to go, Rossi was still holding strong in third place as he continued to ride an impressive defensive display – especially at Turn 2, where Rins looked superb but couldn’t make it happen. With three to go, Rossi was then suddenly 0.4 faster than Bagnaia too – and what looked like a guaranteed second for the former Moto2 World Champion now became a proper dog fight for second and third.

Coming around the final sector on the penultimate lap, Rins was out the saddle on the exit of Turn 15 and then ran slightly wide at Turn 16, allowing Mir to get the run on him down into Turn 1. Mir was then on a mission as a second podium of the season stood right in front of him… on the last lap, against Rossi, at Misano. Rossi himself was aiming to grab P2 back from Pecco though and it was as you were heading out of Turn 8…

Suddenly, Mir then mugged Rossi. The Spaniard produced an absolutely sublime move up the inside at Turn 10 to climb into third, with the Italian trying to set up a move coming into the Turn 14 hairpin but heading slightly wide at Turn 13… ending his hopes of a dream 200th podium in his backyard.

At the front though, it was pure magic for Morbidelli. The Italian simply didn’t put a foot wrong at Misano and led from start to finish to propel himself right into the 2020 title fight after two disastrous couple of weekends at the Red Bull Ring. In addition, the Italian becomes the fourth rider in six races to win their first MotoGP race this year – how’s that for excitement and unpredictability?

Morbidelli takes the chequered flag

Bagnaia’s return from injury couldn’t have gone much better, the sophomore by far and away the fastest Ducati rider at Misano to claim his first MotoGP podium, going some way to making up for a lost rostrum after a mechanical at Jerez. Mir, meanwhile, produced an astonishing second half of the race to outfox Rossi on the last lap at Misano – and not many riders can say that. With Bagnaia on the rostrum, that’s 12 different podium finishers in the six 2020 races!

For Rossi, there is bound to be some disappointment for missing out on a home Grand Prix podium by just three tenths. Nevertheless, it was a magnificent performance from the 41-year-old, who will now be as determined as ever to pick up his 200th GP podium in seven days’ time. On a positive not though, Rossi is just 18 points from new Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team)…

Rins looked to have the measure of Rossi before making a mistake

Rins’ error on the penultimate lap cost him a chance of a podium that looked nailed on for much of the second half of the race, but P5 is a solid job to put him just 36 points from top spot. After looking so strong throughout Free Practice and qualifying, Viñales’ race just didn’t materialise. The Spaniard eventually found his rhythm at the end of the race on the hard rear tyre and was searing around, but it was far too late and he had to settle for a disappointing P6.

Dovizioso worked his way forward after early tussles with Pol Espargaro

Seventh went the way of Dovizioso who, despite having more muted weekend, now leads the Championship after Quartararo’s misfortunes. The Italian got the better of Miller in the closing stages to take some crucial points from the first or two Misano races, but there’s work to do.

Miller’s early pace didn’t last and the Aussie slipped down the order to cross the line in ninth, but Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) was handed a one-place penalty for exceeding track limits on the final lap so it’s P8 for Miller, P9 and the leading Honda accolade for Nakagami, and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) winning the KTM battle for P10.

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) rounded out the points.

Aleix Espargaro ahead of Iker Lecuona and Brad Binder

Another little chunk of history made at Misano underlines the stunning unpredictable 2020 season so far, and the Championship has taken another almighty twist. Quartararo’s DNF is his first since the 2019 Australian GP and he loses the title lead for the first time in 2020 after crashing twice on Sunday in a a day to forget for the Frenchman. Dovizioso now takes charge, but it’s so close: 28 points separate the top 10 riders, with Bagnaia’s second place seeing him 47 points off in P14.

Now much of the MotoGP field will be out for a test on Tuesday, and then we go again at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli next weekend.

Franco Morbidelli

It feels… it don’t know how it feels, I’m still trying to process everything. Definitely it’s good and a good feeling! I’m very happy, I’m enjoying the moment. The only thing I can say is thanks to my team, thanks to my people and all the people who’ve been working with and helping me. On the last laps I was thinking a lot and about how seven years ago I was here racing in the Italian Championship, Superstock, winning that race… this felt just the same but MUCH MORE! So I’m just overwhelmed at the moment, the only thing I can say is thank you to everyone!”

2020 #SanMarinoGP MotoGP podium
1 Franco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – 42:02.272
2 Francesco Bagnaia – Pramac Racing – Ducati – +2.217
3 Joan Mir – Team Suzuki Ecstar – Suzuki – +2.290

MotoGP Race Results

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

MotoGP World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 76
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 70
3 Jack MILLER Ducati 64
4 Joan MIR Suzuki 60
5 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 58
6 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 58
7 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 57
8 Brad BINDER KTM 53
9 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 53
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 48
11 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 41
12 Alex RINS Suzuki 40
13 Johann ZARCO Ducati 31
14 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 29
15 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 25
16 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 18
17 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 15
18 Iker LECUONA KTM 15
19 Bradley SMITH Aprilia 8
20 Tito RABAT Ducati 7
21 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 7
22 Michele PIRRO Ducati 4
23 Stefan BRADL Honda 0

Moto2

Sky Racing Team VR46 put on one hell of a show at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, with teammates Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi duelling it out to give the home fans a rollercoaster of a Moto2 race. In the end though, it was Marini who came out on top as he managed to edge clear in the last few laps, taking his second victory of 2020 and extending his Championship lead. Bezzecchi was forced to settle for – and defend – second place, with second in the standings Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) less than a tenth behind him over the line.

Marini started the race from pole position after Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was forced out of the race after fracturing both his left hand and foot in a monster Warm Up highside (Link), and when the lights went out Marini took full profit with the holeshot. Team-mate Bezzecchi calmly settled in behind him but behind them, Bastianini wasn’t having the same privilege as a determined Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) edging through to third in the early stages.

There was already a gap starting to form from the rear wheel of Bezzecchi to the front wheel of Schrötter, and Bastianini’s chances at a third win of the year were slipping away before a handful of laps had even been completed. The title challenger obviously knew that too though, diving under Schrötter to reclaim third and setting his sights on the Italian duo ahead.

At the front, Marini was starting to flex his muscles as he slowly but surely moved half a second clear of his teammate. A fastest lap of the race, with five then completed, allowed the Championship leader to move over six tenths clear at the front with Bezzecchi unable to conjure up any type of response at that stage.

Meanwhile, an almighty scrap for the top five was starting to take shape. Schrötter, who had by this time dropped off the back of Bastianini and had Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) burst past him, had teammate Tom Lüthi, Fabio Di Giannantonio (+EGO Speed Up) and Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) for close company, with nobody wanting to let up.

Marini’s push towards home glory took another firm step forwards soon after when he was able to open out the gap to over a second on Lap 9, and a small Bezzecchi error in sector one allowed the number 10 to extend his comfort buffer even further…

In the fight for fifth, Schrötter was able to eek out an advantage over Di Giannantonio, who had momentarily got the better of Swiss veteran Lüthi. Jorge Navarro’s (+EGO Speed Up) miserable 2020 run then continued as the Spaniard crashed out, his fifth crash in six races, and in a lap to forget for the factory Speed Up squad, Di Giannantonio then took the car park route through Turn 14 and through went both Lüthi and Fernandez.

Bezzecchi, however, wasn’t throwing the towel in and just as we saw in Styria three weeks ago, the Italian was starting to chip away at Marini’s lead. Further back, Bastianini’s title chances flashed before his eyes as he pulled of a quite remarkable save at Turn 8. The front end folded and in true Marc Marquez style, the 22-year-old picked it up on his knee and held on to the podium place.

Suddenly drama struck and the fight was on with seven laps to go. Marini hit a false neutral into Turn 14, forcing him wide, and his eight-tenth advantage was gone. Bezzecchi swooped through, took the lead and it was role reversal at the front of his intermediate class scrap. A couple of laps later Marini hit back as he smoothly went past under the brakes into Turn 8., but Bezzecchi was having none of it, diving straight back past…

Four to go and Marini tried again through the opening corners but Bezzecchi hit straight back as the pair’s fight really started to heat up, Marini next getting the job done through the ultra-fast Turn 11. All of their squabbling was allowing Bastianini to suddenly creep into contention though, something team boss Pablo Nieto knew too well as he clambered over pit wall to point out the looming 33 to his riders.

Just two laps were remaining with a top three covered by 1.1 seconds, and it really was anyone’s game. Were we going to be treated to an incredible sprint finish? Marini had other ideas and he put together a perfect penultimate lap, before his cause was aided by Bezzecchi incredibly hitting a false neutral of his own at Turn 14. That saw Bastianini move to within four tenths of his compatriot, and it seemed Marini’s to lose.

The number 10 stood firm on the final lap and the victory was his, with teammate Bezzecchi just doing enough to fight off the charging Bastianini by less than a single tenth. That puts Marini19 points clear of Bastianini, with Bezzecchi a further ten back in third.

Vierge came across the line in fourth after having the best seat in Misano throughout the final laps, and Fernandez held off both Lüthi and Di Giannantonio to take the final top five place. They were ahead of arguably one of the rides of the day courtesy of Sam Lowes. The EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider will walk away from Misano with eight points despite starting from pitlane and will no doubt be delighted that the intermediate class is back in just seven days’ time. Completing the top ten were Aron Canet (Oceanica Aspar Team) and Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing).

Luca Marini

This is a big one. I think my best race, because I wasn’t as fact as I expected, every time on track in the race it’s different and the track is slower, I couldn’t do it like in practice. But I tried to manage the gap with Bez until I hit a neutral, lost a second, Bez ovetook me, we started to fight… but I was a bit faster so I could overtake him again. When I was at the front I pushed for the last three laps, I had something more for the end. This is great team work, and with my crew, the bike was perfect from the beginning. Now we enjoy this win, a party tonight but not with a lot of people – my house with my girlfriend and maybe some close friends! And then focus on the next one, because this year the first race I’m fast every time and can achieve a good result, but then in the second race at the track track I struggle a bit. The other guys make a big step and me, I stay the same on race pace. So we need to work a bit on this, but let’s enjoy this win and great job to Marco and to Bestia. It’s a great Championship this year with a lot of battles.”

2020 #SanMarinoGP Moto2 podium
1 Luca Marini – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex 40:41.774
2 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex +0.799
3 Enea Bastianini – Italtrans Racing Team – Kalex +0.897

Moto2 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Luca MARINI Kalex 40m41.774
2 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex +0.799
3 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex +0.897
4 Xavi VIERGE Kalex +2.177
5 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex +8.307
6 Thomas LUTHI Kalex +9.046
7 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up +9.971
8 Sam LOWES Kalex +16.485
9 Aron CANET Speed Up +17.036
10 Joe ROBERTS Kalex +17.209
11 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex +17.741
12 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex +19.152
13 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex +21.946
14 Simone CORSI MV Agusta +22.005
15 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex +24.404
16 Jake DIXON Kalex +24.663
17 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta +27.442
18 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex +32.671
19 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS +35.844
20 Kasma DANIEL Kalex +46.463
Not Classified
DNF Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 1 Lap
DNF Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up 4 Laps
DNF Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 7 Laps
DNF Andi Farid IZDIHAR Kalex 9 Laps
DNF Jesko RAFFIN NTS 10 Laps
DNF Edgar PONS Kalex 13 Laps
DNF Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 15 Laps
DNF Hector GARZO Kalex 19 Laps

Moto2 World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Luca MARINI Kalex 112
2 Enea BASTIANINI Kalex 95
3 Marco BEZZECCHI Kalex 85
4 Jorge MARTIN Kalex 79
5 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA Kalex 68
6 Sam LOWES Kalex 67
7 Xavi VIERGE Kalex 59
8 Aron CANET Speed Up 50
9 Joe ROBERTS Kalex 45
10 Thomas LUTHI Kalex 45
11 Remy GARDNER Kalex 41
12 Lorenzo BALDASSARRI Kalex 39
13 Marcel SCHROTTER Kalex 37
14 Augusto FERNANDEZ Kalex 36
15 Jorge NAVARRO Speed Up 19
16 Hafizh SYAHRIN Speed Up 17
17 Stefano MANZI MV Agusta 15
18 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Speed Up 12
19 Jake DIXON Kalex 12
20 Hector GARZO Kalex 12
21 Nicolò BULEGA Kalex 12
22 Bo BENDSNEYDER NTS 5
23 Marcos RAMIREZ Kalex 5
24 Dominique AEGERTER NTS 4
25 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA Kalex 3
26 Somkiat CHANTRA Kalex 3
27 Simone CORSI MV Agusta 3

Moto3

John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) crafted a masterpiece on Sunday at the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, slicing through from P17 on the grid to take back to the top step and beat fellow Championship contender Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) to the line in the 150th Moto3 race. The 1-2 for the men second and third overall in the standings is even bigger news at Misano too, as Championship leader Albert Arenas (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) crashed out. There was no such drama for 2019 winner Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), however, as he completed the podium to give Paolo Simoncelli’s Moto3 outfit some more hometown glory.

John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing)

Ogura got the launch he would have been looking for from pole position but Suzuki was clean and aggressive from the start, taking the lead at Turn 2 after starting third. There was big drama from the off in the Moto3 race moments later though as three riders hit the deck at Turn 4: Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) tucked the front and took out Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with Styrian GP winner Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) unable to avoid crashing either as three contenders were out on Lap 1.

Back at the front, Suzuki was holding firm but Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) was making moves in the early stages, the Argentinian taking the lead into Turn 13 and Ogura following him through. Suzuki bit straight back on the polesitter and we had a freight train as ever, with squabbles up and down the field.

Meanwhile, CIP Green Power’s Darryn Binder, having started P19, was producing the goods on race day again. The South African was up the inside of Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) at Turn 4 on Lap 5, and Binder was soon fourth later round the lap. But this was a proper group fight, with three seconds covering the leading 21 riders and the positions changing constantly at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Binder was again getting busy and there was slight contact at Turn 2 with Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) as the Italian tried a move,; just enough to see Arbolino lose a couple of places. Binder then led but Rodrigo, looking mighty in Misano, didn’t let the South African have the baton for long, with the two Leopard Racing machines on Dennis Foggia and Jaume Masia getting the better of Suzuki who felt the wrath of Binder at Turn 5.

After starting from a season’s worst qualifying in P13, Arenas was now rising to the fore. The Championship leader was up to third with nine laps to go…

There was a shot of drama soon after as Binder went down at the exit of Turn 6, but some of the key Championship frontrunners were starting to strut their stuff after quieter races. Arenas, Ogura and McPhee – who started P17 – were into the top six with seven laps to go, although the gaggle of riders that were line astern was still 19, down to Barry Baltus (CarXpert PrüstelGP). Suzuki vs Rodrigo continued at the front.

With five to go though, McPhee was making his move. Squabbling his way to near the front McPhee, made a great move at the final corner to lead – just three laps left on the clock.

Thought you’d seen enough drama in one race? Well, more was about to unfold – and it was the biggest of them all. After being run wide by Arbolino at Turn 2, Arenas crashed at Turn 3… unhurt, but scoring another 0 as second and third in the standings – McPhee and Ogura – marched on at the front.

It was Masia who led onto the last lap, closely followed by McPhee, but Rodrigo was up to second at Turn 2. Suzuki then tried his luck around the outside of McPhee at Turn 4 and 5 – and it worked. Heading down the back straight though, it was elbows out – it couldn’t get much closer. There was contact between Masia and Rodrigo, with McPhee getting a clean run and taking the lead into Turn 8 and Ogura profitting up the inside. The Japanese rider, on the wide line, was then passed by Suzuki heading onto the back straight, with McPhee led the way.

The number 17 held his advantage down the back straight and coming around the last sector, and McPhee made no mistake and despite the best efforts of Ogura, crossing the line in P1 for the first time since Le Mans 2019. Ogura was just 0.037 off as the two title contenders took full advantage of Arenas’ misfortunes, however, as Suzuki takes a SIC58 podium on the track named after the late, great SIC58 – Marco Simoncelli. Ogura and Suzuki also make it two Japanese riders on the lightweight podium together for the first time since Welkom 2001!

Rookie Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) earned his best result of the season with a fantastic P4 result at Misano, getting the better of teammate Rodrigo on the last lap as the Argentinian got shuffled back. Arbolino took a valuable top six on home soil, with Masia having to settle for P7 after getting a little bit beaten up on the last lap. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) picks up his best result of the season in P8, just ahead of Foggia and Migno, who complete the top 10.

Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) and Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) crashed out together at Turn 8 in the lead group – riders ok.

John McPhee

It was a crazy race, I’m a bit lost for words I’m so so happy! To come from 17th! I knew I had the pace all weekend and I’ve been trying to do as much as a I can on my own so I knew where I was at on the bike, massive thanks to the team because it worked so well today and I was able to have a proper fight! I got shuffled back to 11th or 12th with about eight laps to go and I thought ok, I’m not settling for 12th, I have to just put the hammer down here and charge forward, and it paid off.”

2020 #SanMarinoGP Moto3 podium
1 John McPhee – Petronas Sprinta Racing – Honda 39:48.952
2 Ai Ogura – Honda Team Asia – Honda +0.037
3 Tatsuki Suzuki – SIC58 Squadra Corse – Honda +0.232

Moto3 Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 John MCPHEE Honda 39m48.952
2 Ai OGURA Honda +0.037
3 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda +0.232
4 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda +0.393
5 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda +0.490
6 Tony ARBOLINO Honda +0.543
7 Jaume MASIA Honda +0.833
8 Romano FENATI Husqvarna +0.928
9 Dennis FOGGIA Honda +0.976
10 Andrea MIGNO KTM +1.121
11 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda +1.554
12 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda +1.691
13 Riccardo ROSSI KTM +1.921
14 Stefano NEPA KTM +1.961
15 Carlos TATAY KTM +2.239
16 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM +3.927
17 Kaito TOBA KTM +8.517
18 Davide PIZZOLI KTM +11.399
19 Jason DUPASQUIER KTM +11.679
20 Filip SALAC Honda +11.835
21 Khairul Idham PAWI Honda +18.331
22 Maximilian KOFLER KTM +18.598
23 Yuki KUNII Honda +18.891
24 Barry BALTUS KTM +41.938
25 Sergio GARCIA Honda +1m01.077
Not Classified
DNF Albert ARENAS KTM 2 Laps
DNF Darryn BINDER KTM 9 Laps
DNF Ayumu SASAKI KTM 17 Laps
DNF Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 17 Laps
DNF Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 0 Lap
Not Finished 1st Lap
DNF Celestino VIETTI KTM 0 Lap

Moto3 World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Albert ARENAS KTM 106
2 Ai OGURA Honda 101
3 John MCPHEE Honda 92
4 Tatsuki SUZUKI Honda 75
5 Tony ARBOLINO Honda 70
6 Celestino VIETTI KTM 66
7 Gabriel RODRIGO Honda 59
8 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM 51
9 Jaume MASIA Honda 50
10 Dennis FOGGIA Honda 44
11 Jeremy ALCOBA Honda 43
12 Darryn BINDER KTM 37
13 Andrea MIGNO KTM 28
14 Niccolò ANTONELLI Honda 26
15 Romano FENATI Husqvarna 22
16 Stefano NEPA KTM 22
17 Sergio GARCIA Honda 19
18 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM 13
19 Filip SALAC Honda 12
20 Ryusei YAMANAKA Honda 12
21 Kaito TOBA KTM 12
22 Ayumu SASAKI KTM 8
23 Alonso LOPEZ Husqvarna 5
24 Carlos TATAY KTM 4
25 Riccardo ROSSI KTM 3

MotoE

Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) kept his perfect FIM Enel MotoE World Cup record at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli intact on Sunday, taking a flawless victory at the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. That’s three wins in two years on home soil for the reigning World Cup winner, and it’s also his first win of 2020 to put him right back in the fight for the Cup. Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) and Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) completed the podium in another close fought MotoE encounter.

Polesitter Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) grabbed the holeshot after a great start on home soil and soon got into a good rhythm, with Simeon going around the outside of Lukas Tulovic (Tech3 E-Racing) at Turn 1 and into Turn 2 to grab P2. It was a clean opening sector for everyone, but then Turn 8 saw Josh Hook (Octo Pramac MotoE) run off track, before numerous riders – including Tulovic – got Turn 13 all sorts of wrong. Tulovic dropped to outside the top 10, with leader Casadei left enjoying a half-second advantage on the opening lap.

However, the Italian was soon reeled in by Simeon and the chasing pack. On Lap 2, we had a five-rider battle for the lead. Casadei, Simeon, Ferrari, Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) and standings leader Aegerter were about to get into a phenomenal ding-dong MotoE™ battle. Ferrari was past Simeon into Turn 8 after Aegerter had set the fastest lap on Lap 3, with the swapping and changing then allowing Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) to catch the group to make it a 12-wheel fight for victory.

Di Meglio soon made his move on Aegerter to shove the Swiss rider down to P6 with three laps to go, as Ferrari then started closing in on leader Casadei. Lap 5 saw the number 11 get a great run out of Turn 10 and the Italian dived up the inside of his compatriot into the rapid right-hander of Turn 11, with Simeon then pouncing on Casadei at Turn 2 with two laps to go to boot. At that point, Ferrari had a half-second lead over the chasing five riders…

Heading onto the last lap, Simeon had closed Ferrari down slightly, the gap at three tenths, and Aegerter had got back past Di Meglio. The Andalucia GP winner was also up the inside of Torres for P4 at Turn 10, but Ferrari was holding firm at the front and looked set to gain a chunk of points. Heading into the tight and technical Turn 14 – an overtaking hotspot – Simeon wasn’t close enough to make a clean lunge on the race leader and that seemed that, but Aegerter was at least able to pounce for the podium. The number 77 sliced up the inside of Casadei at Turn 14, with Torres following him through as well…

No one could stop Ferrari from taking the 25-point haul, however, a first win of the campaign coming in style – although Simeon crossed the line just 0.213 behind for his first MotoE™ podium since Austria 2019. Aegerter’s stunning final lap sees him keep a healthy lead in the standings, with Ferrari moving to within 12 of the Swiss rider. Torres’ P4 was another great result for the rookie who is now 14 adrift of Aegerter in the standings, with Casadei dropping to P5 from pole and the early race lead.

Di Meglio crossed the line in P6 to see the top six finish just 0.7 seconds apart in a truly epic MotoE encounter. 3.6 seconds behind the lead battle was another cracking fight, with Alessandro Zaccone (Trentino Gresini MotoE) leading those riders over the line for his first points of the season. Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) recovered well to eighth after starting P16, the Sammarinese star less than a tenth shy of Zaccone. Tommaso Marcon (Tech3 E-Racing) beat Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) to ninth as the duo rounded out the top 10, the latter doing well to climb into that top 10 after starting from the back of the grid. A title favourite, he will be hoping to bounce back and be in the fight for victory at the double-header at Misano next weekend.

Matteo Ferrari

The feeling of winning here again is incredible. After Jerez it as difficult to try and keep focused on the Championship, on the bike, we worked a lot at home and we arrived here with a lot of pressure because last year we won twice. But we did a great job. On the first lap it was difficult, Mattia went very fast in the first three laps, and after that the tyres went down a bit and I had to manage it… but you know MotoE races are very short; you have to stay focused and not make mistakes. I did that and won, and I’m really happy!”

Josh Hook – P18

A difficult race, I was off to a good start, I had managed to make some good overtaking, Unfortunately I made a mistake that took me off track, but I managed to complete the race anyway. We have some work to do but we will be ready for next week.”

MotoE Race Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Matteo FERRARI Energica 12m14.331
2 Xavier SIMEON Energica +0.213
3 Dominique AEGERTER Energica +0.372
4 Jordi TORRES Energica +0.474
5 Mattia CASADEI Energica +0.606
6 Mike DI MEGLIO Energica +0.780
7 Alessandro ZACCONE Energica +4.393
8 Alex DE ANGELIS Energica +4.476
9 Tommaso MARCON Energica +4.915
10 Eric GRANADO Energica +5.056
11 Niccolo CANEPA Energica +5.439
12 Lukas TULOVIC Energica +5.705
13 Alejandro MEDINA Energica +8.448
14 Xavi CARDELUS Energica +8.582
15 Maria HERRERA Energica +8.813
16 Jakub KORNFEIL Energica +11.795
17 Niki TUULI Energica +12.892
18 Josh HOOK Energica +36.401

MotoE World Championship Standings

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Dominique AEGERTER Energica 57
2 Matteo FERRARI Energica 45
3 Jordi TORRES Energica 43
4 Mattia CASADEI Energica 38
5 Xavier SIMEON Energica 35
6 Eric GRANADO Energica 34
7 Lukas TULOVIC Energica 27
8 Mike DI MEGLIO Energica 25
9 Alex DE ANGELIS Energica 21
10 Niccolo CANEPA Energica 19
11 Josh HOOK Energica 15
12 Alejandro MEDINA Energica 12
13 Tommaso MARCON Energica 11
14 Xavi CARDELUS Energica 10
15 Alessandro ZACCONE Energica 9
16 Maria HERRERA Energica 7
17 Niki TUULI Energica 5
18 Jakub KORNFEIL  Energica 4

Source: MCNews.com.au

Franco Morbidelli extends contract with Petronas Yamaha

Franco Morbidelli secure in MotoGP

Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team is pleased to announce that Franco Morbidelli will be retained for the 2021 and 2022 MotoGP seasons.

The Italian rider, who was MotoGP Rookie of the Year in 2018, joined Petronas Yamaha SRT in 2019 for the team’s debut MotoGP season.

The year saw Morbidelli make four front row starts and claim seven top-six finishes aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1. In addition to this, Franco was also vital in helping to secure the 2019 Top Independent Team honours for Petronas Yamaha SRT, finishing 10th in the riders’ championship with 115 points to his name.

The Malaysian-based team now looks forward to being able to see Franco back in action at the first MotoGP round of 2020 in Jerez (17-19 July).

Razlan Razali – Team Principal

“We are delighted to confirm that Franky will continue with us next year. He is an extremely talented rider and a great asset to the team as we look to build on our rookie season. Franky was always in our plans for the future so it is beneficial for us and him to be able to confirm that he will ride for us in 2021 and 2022 now.

“Franky has the potential to reach the top step of the podium and this is what we’ll all be working hard to achieve. We have absolute faith in Franky even before this season has started. We are confident that Franky has what it takes to be competitive from Jerez and know that he will develop and mature in all areas through the years ahead. Franky will provide the team with stability and competitiveness and we can’t wait to be back on track!”

Franco Morbidelli

“I’m very pleased to be renewing with Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team as we had such a great season together last year, working with a great drive to achieve success. I think it’s important for me to continue with the same team, bike and environment going forward as it feels great to work with them. We all work well together and it’s great fun to work with all the Petronas SRT crew. I want to thank them for this opportunity that they are giving me as it’s such an honour to ride for them. I will be working hard to give them even more and even better results than we achieved in our first year together. I’m now looking forward to getting racing again to show our potential and I’m just so happy to have the chance to keep on doing what I love to do with a team I love.”

MotoGP QatarTest Day Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

Source: MCNews.com.au

Franco Morbidelli to race World Endurance round at Sepang

Sepang Racing Team confirm Franco Morbidelli in Sepang 8 Hours team

Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli will make his FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) debut on December 13-15 by joining Sepang Racing Team’s squad for the inaugural Sepang 8 Hours.

Franco Morbidelli

“I’m curious to see how an endurance race format suits me, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a different thing, it’s something nice, and when Razlan asked me to do it I thought ‘sure, why not?’ The combination of Yamaha and Sepang Racing Team means it should be a strong package, and it’ll be nice to race with a production bike again. Riding bikes is always good for staying in shape, so it’s nice to be able to race in December. I’ve trained with a YZF-R1 before so I’ve got an idea of what to expect, but I’m sure the endurance superbike will be very different. I might make the most of the trip and use it to enjoy a holiday in Malaysia as well.”

MotoGP Rnd Sachsenring Thu Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

Morbidelli will join four-time Suzuka 8 Hour winner Michael van der Mark and local superstar Hafizh Syahrin in a squad with the backing of former Endurance World Champions YART Yamaha EWC using Yamaha YZF-R1 machinery.

Razlan Razali – Team Principal

“We’re very excited to have a Sepang Racing Team entry in the first Sepang 8 Hours. There’s no better way to support Tourism Malaysia’s Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign than this event and our international line-up of riders competing in it. The weekend will be exceptional as it’s the EWC alongside the WTCR – with the worlds of two and four-wheel motorsport sharing the same track on the same weekend. These Races of Malaysia will provide an incredible spectacle of truly international appeal. We have faith that Franco, Michael, Hafizh and YART will deliver and we’re targeting the very top step of the podium.”

MotoGP Rnd Mugello Race Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli

The race will take place under the brand-new state-of-the-art floodlights at the Sepang International Circuit as part of a ground-breaking fusion of the worlds of two-and-four-wheel motorsport under the headline, Races of Malaysia.

As well as hosting the FIM Endurance World Championship race, the event will also see the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) take place alongside. 

Source: MCNews.com.au