2020 MotoGP Round Eight – Misano
MotoGP Qualifying Report
Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) has done it again. A week on from pole at the San Marino GP, the Spaniard slammed in 1:31.077 to set a new lap record in qualifying at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, taking his third pole of the season and third in succession at Misano when including 2019. It was still pretty close, however, with Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) cutting the gap to 0.076 as the Australian leapt up the time-sheets to take second on the grid, with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) taking third to lock out the front row.
Sunny skies on the Riviera di Rimini since the paddock arrived have seen the times tumble and tumble, right down to another new lap record in Q2. On the way there though, there was Q1 to decide first and it was a real shootout. In the end, Miller was the man on top, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in second as two of the key contenders moved through to fight it out for the top 12.
Once Q2 was underway, it was a familiar story for Viñales: two stops, three runs. He was the man on top first as Bagnaia slotted into P2, but then the Italian really got the hammer down on his second lap – a 1:31.313 handing the Pramac Racing rider provisional pole. Quartararo then slotted into P2 less than a tenth off ‘Pecco’, with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Brad Binder slotting into third ahead of Viñales and teammate Pol Espargaro.
Quartararo was right on the money again though, just 0.032 off Bagnaia coming through Sector 3, but the Frenchman made a mistake coming into Turn 16 – lap over. That was the first runs down for most but as the field filed in, Viñales was back out.
Already on his second run, ‘Top Gun’ was flying. The number 12 nailed the lap to the end but he still didn’t quite manage to beat Bagnaia, 0.073 off and forced to reload for another run at it. Next time around the Spaniard was a quarter of a second up through the first sector and it looked like this might be it, but he lost time in the middle of the lap – with just 0.013 covering him and Bagnaia into the final sector. Viñales was on rails through Sector 4 though and sure enough, a Yamaha was at the summit – a 1:31.268 was now the time to beat for pole position.
Meanwhile Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – one of the pre-race favourites – was lingering down in P10 after his opening few flying laps, one-lap pace still seemingly hampering the Spaniard and Suzuki on Saturday afternoons. Dovizioso was P8 heading into the final three minutes, and his nearest title rival Quartararo P3. With two minutes to go though, Dovizioso found some time and moved up into P6 – a provisional second row start.
Tucked in behind VR46 Academy protégé Bagnaia, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) then improved from P9 to P5, shuffling Dovizioso onto Row 3, as Binder and Bagnaia lit the timing screens red. The South African moved into P3 with a great lap, but an even greater one (kind of) was coming in for Bagnaia. The Ducati rider rounded the final corner with Rossi and Miller in tow and it was a scintillating 1:30.973, the fastest ever lap round Misano, but it had looked outside track limits… and it ultimately was. Bagnaia’s record-breaker was cancelled for the infraction on the exit of Turn 16 – the same thing that had bitten Viñales earlier in the season.
Miller’s lap, meanwhile, put him second and then provisional pole as Bagnaia’s lap disappeared off the screen, but Viñales was still out on the hunt. The San Marino GP polesitter would take the chequered flag in P1 with another new Misano outright lap record, making it three poles in a row for Viñales, and Yamaha, at Misano as well as Viñales’ fourth overall at the venue. That, in turn, sees him equal Jorge Lorenzo for most MotoGP™ poles at the track.
Quartararo set a personal best on his last lap to claim P3, 0.069 off Miller, with Pol Espargaro just beating Bagnaia’s valid fastest time to give the KTM rider his second best qualifying result of the season. Bagnaia didn’t seem too disheartened in fifth, however.
Binder joins his KTM team-mate Pol Espargaro on Row 2 after qualifying in sixth, which is also the rookie’s best Saturday afternoon result of 2020. Rossi spearheads the third row in P7, The Doctor just three-tenths away from Viñales’ time, with the nine-time World Champion sitting ahead of San Marino GP winner Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT). It was P8 for Morbidelli this time around, who is nursing an illness this weekend.
Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) eventually got the better of teammate Dovizioso and the factory GP20 machines will line-up P9 and P10 for the Emilia Romagna GP. What can the title chase leader do from P10? And what can Mir do from P11 on the grid? The Suzuki rider has been one of the leading contenders throughout the weekend, but finishing outside the top 10 in Q2 wasn’t how the script was supposed to go – although it’s only 0.540 covering the leading 11 riders. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) will want more too, the Japanese rider having crashed at Turn 15 in the early stages. Rider ok, and P12.
The top six in Emilia Romagna GP Q2 were all faster than last week’s pole position, but it’s the same man emerging at the top. Viñales will again launch from pole at Misano, but he’ll be hoping the story of the race plays out a little different his time around.
2020 MotoGP Misano Qualifying Quotes
Maverick Vinales – P1
“We worked really hard today and we got the job done. We hope that tomorrow all the hard work will pay off as well. We are going to try the maximum. I’m very happy and comfortable with the bike. I was very relaxed in FP4 in conditions that are similar to tomorrow’s race, so we will see. Today I focused mainly on riding with a full fuel tank and the race set-up. Tomorrow is a new opportunity to improve. If we don’t, we will try again at the next race in Montmeló. We have good potential, and I think we can still do better. We’re going to try to be at the best level.”
Jack Miller – P2
“Very happy for the qualifying, I didn’t make the Q2 directly, but we have been working all the weekend, we tried many different tires combination, now we know very clear which tire and set up we are going to use. The most important thing will be do a good start, and be in front row for sure will help.”
Fabio Quartararo – P3
“It was a tough qualifying and I didn’t feel that good on the bike. I was surprised with my lap because I made a mistake in Turn 14, but it was still good enough. I’m happy to be on the front row again, this was our main goal and also our pace is great. We tried many things in FP4 with the bike, so it was a little bit difficult for us, but we’ve shown that we have a good pace and I’m feeling strong. I think there are seven or eight riders who could fight for the victory tomorrow. It will be important to have a good start, which I have been working on this weekend to improve. I think it will be a fun race and hopefully we should be able to have a good result.”
Pol Espargaro – P4
“I’m very happy because it was a crazy fast lap and it was difficult to put it all together. There was a lot of risk today. In the end the fast lap came through taking chances through those left corners and I ‘sent it’ through the last sector. I did not care so much about crashing, I wanted the lap. I’m happy we got the time, but we also had an amazing performance with our rhythm in FP4 and this is what matters for tomorrow’s race.”
Pecco Bagnaia – P5
“Unfortunately I made a mistake and I touched the green area when the pole was mine, in T3 I had a big advantage and I didn’t have an advantage touching the green indeed I lost time but the rules are made to be respected and I made a mistake. I’m sorry because I would like to do my first pole position in MotoGP here in Misano. Our pace is one of the fastest, also Yamaha and Mir but we can play it.”
Brad Binder – P6
“Much better. Much happier with qualifying today and to be in 6th place is fantastic. Not only is the rhythm better but also the lap-time: 1.2 seconds faster. In the second exit of FP2 we made some changes that gave me a little bit more feedback from the front tire as well as a little bit more support on the rear, so I felt stronger and it gave me the opportunity to push a bit harder. The more I pushed the better I felt, so it was good. I’m not really setting a goal on positions tomorrow. All I know is that starting in 6th position is going to be much nicer than last week. Starting in 16th was so tough. I’m happy with the steps we have made so hats-off to the boys for getting everything ready and we’ll try to have a solid race tomorrow.”
Valentino Rossi – P7
“Today was a good day for me, because during this second weekend in Misano everybody raised their level, but so did we. We were able to improve the setting of the bike and to be stronger. In the afternoon, in FP4, we made some modifications to the bike that give me more grip, so I feel good and I have a good pace. I’m not very happy about my position in the quali. It’s true that I’m only 0.3s off pole, but I had the potential to do better, because my bike was good and worked well. I didn’t ride fantastic on my hot lap, and I can do better. Anyway, I will start from seventh. A lot of riders have good pace, but we are also strong. Starting from the third row is a bit difficult: you have to do everything well from the start. But like I said, I feel stronger than last week, and we improved in some places where I was losing something last week. So, I hope I will be able to fight for the top positions.”
Franco Morbidelli – P8
“Today was not too bad. I am feeling better than yesterday, but I am still not 100% so I had to manage this in today’s sessions. In qualifying I didn’t feel like I had the energy to be able to attack how I wanted, but I will try to rest some more to be as prepared as possible for the race. The pace doesn’t look too bad, but we do still need to decide which tyres we will use. I think tomorrow’s race will be more demanding compared to last Sunday. I have been sick all week, lost one day of testing and I don’t feel completely fit yet. The gap between a lot of riders is really tight so I think it will be a close race.”
Danilo Petrucci – P9
“Finally, we were able to find some solutions that have improved my feeling with the bike. Unfortunately, in qualifying, I wasn’t precise, and I made some mistakes that made me lose a few tenths. In general, I am satisfied because I’m back being fast and I’m happy with the steps forward that we’ve been able to make. Let’s see how tomorrow’s race will go: it will be crucial to know how to manage the tyres well.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P10
“It has been a difficult day. This morning we weren’t able to get through to Q2 directly, but luckily we found something in FP4 that improved my feeling with the bike, and that allowed me to set the second-fastest time in Q1. Unfortunately, in Q2, I wasn’t able to do a perfect lap. Tomorrow we will start the race quite from behind, but I hope this won’t penalise us too much”.
Joan Mir – P11
“I improved my pace today, which was good, but I still for found it hard to set a fast lap. My one-lap pace is something I’ve struggled with for a while; I actually perform better with less grip and on worn tyres. For that reason I’m confident with my race pace, because I feel good with my bike and I know I can do well over race distance. It’s not easy starting from further back on the grid but I will fight to be on the podium again and try to take as many points as possible.”
Takaaki Nakagami – P12
“It was a tough day for us, especially this afternoon as in FP4 I had one crash, then in qualifying Q2 I had a crash again. After the session I was disappointed because we ended up in P12, so it will be difficult for tomorrow’s race as the starting grid is not the best. But, fortunately, I am ok after these two crashes, it was high speed and there is quite a lot of damage to the bike. I’ll try to stay positive and the team will work hard to prepare another bike for tomorrow and we’ll see what happens. We’ll concentrate on tomorrow and be ready for the race.”
Iker Lecuona – P13
“In FP3 I struggled and found it difficult to improve my lap time but finally, in FP4 we worked really well with used and harder tires, which made me truly confident for the Qualifying. I was so close to the Q2. I have to say, that I’m very happy anyway. I have a good feeling for tomorrow, we have a good pace for the race, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Miguel Oliveira – P15
“It was not the best Qualifying for us. After this morning’s crash I lost a bit of feeling and I also hurt my right shoulder. In any case, we went faster than the whole weekend, so we must be happy for that. We have a hard race ahead tomorrow. We know that we are going to suffer a bit, especially because we start from behind. We can only take what we can, score the maximum amount of points possible and make a clever race. It’s a shame because we improved our speed a lot from last weekend to this one.”
Aleix Espargaro – P16
“Today I gave everything I could, starting from FP3 this morning, but it wasn’t enough to get into the top 10. I am disappointed because the RS-GP is working well. I have an outstanding feeling and I’m having fun riding. The only thing lacking is acceleration. I was able to follow various bikes and I’m able to keep pace with them. The problem is coming out of corners where even the riders who are slower than me have an advantage. This factor limits us particularly on the flying lap, because we are unable to exploit the extra grip of the new tyre. In any case, I’ll start aggressively and focused tomorrow. The gaps are still narrow, especially in terms of pace.”
Alex Marquez – P17
“Again, our race pace is looking quite good and in both practice sessions we did a good job. Our rhythm is good but we can’t make a big step like the others with the soft tyre. Since Jerez we have improved this and even since last weekend we have found some time but everyone else has also made a step. I feel good on the bike but when we put new tyre in, the situation changes. It will be a hard fight tomorrow starting from where we are but if we can make some moves at the start we can make some progress.”
Alex Rins – P18
“It seems like a difficult weekend for us. I don’t know why but I can’t quite find the same feeling that I had during the test. I’ve been going faster this weekend compared to last weekend, but all the other riders have also taken a step forward. So let’s see how I can manage the race tomorrow, my aim will be to recover as many positions as possible and give my best. At the moment my shoulder is feeling OK, and I’m continuing with my physiotherapy.”
Bradley Smith – P19
“Undoubtedly a tricky day. I don’t know if it was because of the wind or our settings, but I struggled a lot in the third sector. That’s also where I crashed in the tests, so that obviously doesn’t help my confidence. The FP4 session started off in the worst possible way, with a crash, but I’m pleased to have done my best time of the weekend in qualifying, managing to get my focus back. At the moment, we’re struggling to find something that will let us make a decisive step forward, but we won’t stop looking and working.”
Massimo Meregalli – Monster Yamaha Team Director
“Overall, we had a positive day today. We have seen how high the level is in MotoGP and how much everyone has improved since last week, so we knew this Q2 was going to be a hard one. After a not-so-good Friday, Maverick found his way again. He is looking even stronger than he did last week, both in terms of one-lap and long-distance pace. He is comfortable with the bike again, also during the longer stints, so we are feeling positive about tomorrow. It’s a pity Valentino lost the second row by just 0.047s, especially because his ideal time, combining all his best sectors, was almost 0.2s quicker. But, anyway, his confidence on the bike is quite good, as shown in FP3, and we know that Valentino is always able to bring something extra to the table on a Sunday. For sure, it will be another tough race, especially at the end of two full-on weeks of riding, but we’ll go into battle with 100% determination to get top results.”
MotoGP Qualifying Results
|13||Iker LECUONA||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.156|
|14||Johann ZARCO||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 0.205|
|15||Miguel OLIVEIRA||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.282|
|16||Aleix ESPARGARO||APRILIA||Q1||(*) 0.353|
|17||Alex MARQUEZ||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.639|
|18||Alex RINS||SUZUKI||Q1||(*) 0.716|
|19||Bradley SMITH||APRILIA||Q1||(*) 0.927|
|20||Tito RABAT||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 1.291|
Moto2 Qualifying Report
A 1:35.271 for Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) – and a new lap record to boot – hands the Italian a second consecutive pole position of the season as he beat team-mate Marco Bezzecchi by just 0.036 in Moto2 Q2 at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini. Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Xavi Vierge completed the front row, 0.348 off pole position despite a late crash for the Spaniard.
The first laps were slammed in and it was Bezzecchi who led the way from Vierge, but Marini’s second lap was absolutely incredible. Enea Bastianini’s (Italtrans Racing Team) FP3 lap record was a 1:35.649 in the morning, but that was obliterated by Marini. The Championship leader set a 1:35.271 to lay down the gauntlet, with Bezzecchi going P2, 0.195 seconds off. Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team Moto2) and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) got themselves into the top four in the early stages. too.
Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) then jumped onto the provisional front row, 0.4 off, and went quicker on his next lap to get the gap down to 0.3, but the Brit remained P3. Meanwhile, Bezzecchi was on a charge and was right on Marini’s pace halfway around the lap. The Moto2 sophomore was then under his teammate’s blistering time by 0.032, but he couldn’t hold it to the line, ultimately missing out by 0.036. Just ahead of Bezzecchi was Vierge, who shot onto the front row in P3. That secured the position for Sunday although immediately after, the Spaniard tucked the front at Turn 1 – rider ok.
Lowes was then going great guns again and was less than a tenth away at the third checkpoint, but something went wrong in the fourth split and the British rider lost four tenths. Bezzecchi and Marini were again both setting a very similar pace to pole, but neither could maintain it to the line. Not that it mattered, as the Sky VR46 duo remained a class above in qualifying, the two Italians getting the business done on home turf once again on Saturday.
Despite his crash, Vierge kept P3 to secure his first front row start since the 2019 Dutch GP. Lowes threatened to displace the number 97 in the latter stages but couldn’t string a lap together, but the Brit will be pleased with P4, with a podium seemingly in sight for the rider who claimed P8 from pitlane last weekend. Bastianini will be hoping to challenge the leading Italians in the opening stages too in a bid to minimise the potential damage that could be caused with Marini and Bezzecchi on song.
Canet completes Row 2, the rookie sensation 0.532 from pole and having a much improved weekend at Misano second time around, but it was close as the Spaniard beat Jake Dixon by just 0.011. P7 is nevertheless Dixon’s best Moto2 qualifying result, and his first top ten since the 2019 Czech GP.
Beta Tools Speed Up’s Fabio Di Giannantonio lines up just behind Dixon in P8, and just ahead of teammate Jorge Navarro. Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) completed the top 10, the Italian seven tenths shy of compatriot Marini.
Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) suffered a big crash at Turn 5 in Q2 – rider ok but to be reviewed on Sunday morning.
Moto2 Qualifying Results
|6||Aron CANET||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.532|
|8||Fabio DI GIANNANTONI ITA||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.657|
|9||Jorge NAVARRO||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.681|
|17||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA ITA||KALEX||Q2||+0.974|
|19||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI ITA||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.175|
|20||Marcos RAMIREZ||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.206|
|21||Stefano MANZI||MV AGUSTA||Q1||(*) 0.213|
|22||Edgar PONS||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.422|
|23||Bo BENDSNEYDER||NTS||Q1||(*) 0.440|
|24||Simone CORSI||MV AGUSTA||Q1||(*) 0.631|
|25||Hafizh SYAHRIN||SPEED UP||Q1||(*) 0.740|
|26||Somkiat CHANTRA||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.915|
|27||Kasma DANIEL||KALEX||Q1||(*) 1.280|
|28||Andi Farid IZDIHAR||KALEX||Q1||(*) 1.683|
|29||Piotr BIESIEKIRSKI||NTS||Q1||(*) 3.284|
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez clinched his third Moto3 pole position of the season at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, putting in a late dash to take to the top. With just 30 seconds remaining on the clock, the Spaniard snatched it away from home hero Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) by a tiny 0.088, with fellow Italian Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) putting in a late charge to lock out the front row, still within a tenth.
There was some drama earlier in the afternoon before the final charge, with last weekend’s San Marino GP winner John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) failing to make it out of Q1 and, as a result, starting 20th on the grid. Instead, it was Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) the first through from Q1, joined by eventual front row man Arbolino, Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team).
Arbolino looked like he would be the star of the show too, with the Italian holding on to provisional pole heading into the final push of the session. A crash for Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) just ahead of him scuppered a chance to improve though, and Fernandez would go on to pounce. A late 1:41.705 from the Spaniard, despite being six tenths adrift of Celestino Vietti’s (Sky Racing Team VR46) new lap record set in FP3, was enough for Fernandez to take pole number three of the year.
The chequered flag came out not long after, with Vietti clinging on to the final front row place just behind Fernandez and Arbolino. His Sky Racing Team VR46 teammate Andrea Migno had other ideas, however, pushing him down to fourth before Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) also pipped the number 13; the Championship leader making a valuable leap up from 16th to head the second row. Sterilgarda Max Racing Team’s Romano Fenati slots in just behind Vietti in sixth, meaning the number 55 has secured back-to-back slots on the front two rows of the grid for the first time since the Japanese and Australian Grands Prix back in 2017.
Fronting row three, meanwhile, is Q1 graduate Kaito Toba. He was set to be joined there by compatriot Suzuki, who was eighth quickest in the session, but the SIC58 rider was declared unfit for a broken wrist sustained in his crash, so Leopard Racing’s Jaume Masia moves up to start eighth. Reigning FIM Moto3 Junior World Champion Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) will therefore get a third row start as he gains a place too, tenth fastest in the session but starting ninth. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) will be the man completing the top ten on the grid.
As well as McPhee, who faces a fight back from 20th, there’s another name missing so far: Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia). The man second overall in the standings, and polesitter last week, was P12 in Q2 but will start 11th, leaving him a little more work to do to take the fight to Arenas and cut back his five-point deficit.
Moto3 Qualifying Results
|19||Gabriel RODRIGO||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.341|
|20||John MCPHEE||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.481|
|21||Darryn BINDER||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.494|
|22||Niccolò ANTONELLI||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.528|
|23||Alonso LOPEZ||HUSQVARNA||Q1||(*) 0.645|
|24||Riccardo ROSSI||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.829|
|25||Ryusei YAMANAKA||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.851|
|26||Khairul Idham PAWI||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.987|
|27||Yuki KUNII||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.994|
|28||Maximilian KOFLER||KTM||Q1||(*) 1.165|
|29||Carlos TATAY||KTM||Q1||(*) 1.195|
|30||Jason DUPASQUIER||KTM||Q1||(*) 1.571|
|31||Davide PIZZOLI||KTM||Q1||(*) 1.627|
Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) took his first ever E-Pole – and first pole position in the Grand Prix paddock – on Saturday, coming out on top in another classic shootout to beat Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) by just 0.011. Points leader Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) completed the front row for Race 1 of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup at the Emilia Romagna GP.
There were no track limit infractions and no crashes in the session, but there was a splash of drama for Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) as he suffered an issue with his transponder. Given another E-Pole slot later in the session, the Italian got a second chance at it but it led to some last minutes nerves for the men on for a provisional front row start. Casadei’s lap, right at the end, wouldn’t show on timing screens – it would just appear once he crossed the line…
Ultimately though, Torres, Ferrari and Aegerter held on to much relief and a slight drum roll, with Casadei taking P7 and a third row start. In between the top three and the Italian, Row 2 is Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) and Lukas Tulovic (Tech 3 E-Racing), the latter off the front row for the first time in 2020. Granado’s lap also merits a postscript, as the Brazilian was visibly cautious after falling foul of track limits in E-Pole last weekend.
MotoE Qualifying Results
|8||Mike DI MEGLIO||Energica||+0.691|
|11||Alex DE ANGELIS||Energica||+0.836|
MotoE Race One
Dominque Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) emerged victorious from a last lap FIM Enel MotoE World Cup battle in Race 1 at the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, the Swiss rider beating title rivals Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) and Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) to the line as all three were covered by a tenth at the flag. To add some extra late drama, Ferrari crossed the line second but was demoted one position to P3 for exceeding track limits on the final lap.
It was Ferrari who got the holeshot into Turn 1 from second on the grid, with polesitter Torres slotting into P2. There was drama from the off though as Lukas Tulovic (Tech3 E-Racing) suffered a huge highside at Turn 2 in the middle of the pack, thankfully the riders avoided contact with Tulovic and the German rider headed to the medical centre for a check-up. Tech3 later confirmed Tulovic had suffered a broken third metacarpal bone in his right hand and he has some pain in his right ankle, but the doctors will decide tomorrow morning whether he is fit to ride in Race 2, which he wants to do.
After the shuffle at the start then, Ferrari was out front as a lead group of six formed by the end of Lap 1, with Aegerter grabbing second off Torres on Lap 2. Lap 3 then witnessed more drama – and it was big for both the race and standings. Free Practice pacesetter Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), having made his way past Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) shortly before, went for an inside move on Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) at the tight Turn 4 right-hander. It looked like Granado had made the move stick but then the front of his Energica Ego Corsa suddenly washed away, with Simeon the unlucky party caught in the crossfire. Both riders were down and out of the race – thankfully ok – but that’s a disaster for their title hopes. It also means the duo will be starting from the back of the grid for Race 2 tomorrow…
That incident left a lead group of three riders up front, with Casadei 0.8 seconds adrift of Ferrari, Torres and Aegerter – the top quartet also the top four in the World Cup standings, making it a vital race. With three laps to go, Aegerter made his move on Torres at Turn 14 but the Spaniard was able to get the cutback – giving Ferrari a little bit of breathing space…
That was soon diminished though and at the start of the last lap, Aegerter again showed a wheel to Torres – and made a Turn 1 pass stick. Now, the top two in the standings were the top two in the race. Heading down the back straight into Turn 11, Ferrari remained ahead but you could tell what was coming: Aegerter was tucked into the slipstream of his rival and heading into Turn 14, the Swiss rider slammed up the inside of Ferrari and into the lead. Could the Italian hit back? Not quite, as Aegerter led through the final sector and held it into the final corner to claim a crucial Race 1 victory and his second win of the season.
In an attempt to beat Aegerter on the run to the line, Ferrari then exceeded track limits at Turn 16. Having crossed the line ahead of Torres, he was demoted one position and loses that chunk of points to boot, now back behind Torres overall. Nevertheless, the top three across the line were covered by just 0.103 seconds in whichever order!
Casadei took the chequered flag 2.5 seconds from victory to earn his fourth consecutive top five finish of 2020, with Tommaso Marcon (Tech3 E-Racing) completing the top five. Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) finished P6, just over half a second ahead of a great gaggle of riders who battled it out for the remaining top 10 positions. Alejandro Medina (Openbank Aspar Team), Josh Hook (Octo Pramac MotoE), Xavi Cardelus (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) and Alessandro Zaccone (Trentino Gresini MotoE) crossed the line covered by just half a second to round out the top 10.
Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) and Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) crashed unhurt in Race 1, and Niki Tuulu (Avan Ajo MotoE) jumped the start, given two Long Lap Penalties for the infraction.
Aegerter extended his lead in the standings to 19 points over Torres, with Ferrari two adrift of the Spaniard in P3. The podium finishers secure front row starts for Race 2 on Sunday as Race 1 results now set the second grid.
MotoE Race One Results
|DNF||Alex DE ANGELIS||ENERGICA||4 laps|
|DNF||Xavier SIMEON||ENERGICA||5 laps|
|DNF||Eric GRANADO||ENERGICA||5 laps|
|DNF||Mike DI MEGLIO||ENERGICA||/|
MotoE Championship Standing
|9||Mike DI MEGLIO||Energica||25|
|12||Alex DE ANGELIS||Energica||21|
2020 MotoGP Calendar
|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