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Half-a-second covers Misano II MotoGP Grid Top Ten

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.

2020 Misano II MotoGP front row
1 Maverick Viñales – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – Yamaha – 1:31.077
2 Jack Miller – Pramac Racing – Ducati – +0.076
3 Fabio Quartararo – Petronas Yamaha SRT – Yamaha – +0.145

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.

Maverick Viñales

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.”

Maverick Viñales is on pole for the third time this season, along with Austria and San Marino, which is as much as the whole of 2019. It’s his fourth pole at Misano, equalling Jorge Lorenzo as the riders with most poles here. This is Viñales’ 12th premier class pole, equalling Johnny Cecotto and one less than Loris Capirossi and Sete Gibernau.
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.”

Passing through Q1, Jack Miller qualified second as the top Ducati. This equals best qualifying result from the Austrian GP, which is his only other front row start so far this season. This is Ducati’s best qualifying result at Misano since Jorge Lorenzo was on pole in 2018 ahead of Miller in second.
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.”

Fabio Quartararo has qualified third for his 19th front row start in MotoGP. On his 18 previous front rows, he went on to finish on the podium nine times (50% rate), including two wins.
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.”

Pol Espargaro has qualified fourth as the highest-placed KTM rider, which is the fifth time this year he starts from the front two rows (although he qualified seventh in Spain and started from sixth).
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.”

Francesco Bagnaia, who missed out on pole after exceeding track limits, has qualified fifth, which means he’s been on the front two rows for all the races he’s started this season (Spain, Andalucia, San Marino and Emilia Romagna). He will be aiming to take his second MotoGP podium following last Sunday.
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.”

Brad Binder has qualified sixth for the best qualifying result of his rookie season in MotoGP so far. This is the second time there are two KTMs within the top six in MotoGP qualifying, along with Brno last year.
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.”

Heading the third row is Valentino Rossi, who is the most successful current rider in MotoGP at Misano with three wins. This is the fifth time so far this year he has failed to qualify within the top six on the grid.
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”.

After passing through Q1, Andrea Dovizioso, who has finished on the podium twice at Misano in MotoGP including a win in 2018 (the last win for Ducati at the track to date), has qualified 10th, which is his worst qualifying result at Misano in MotoGP since he was 14th in 2008.
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.”

Joan Mir
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.”

Takaaki Nakagami
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.”

Iker Lecuona
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.”

Aleix Espargaro
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

Pos Rider Bike Q Time/Gap
1 Maverick VIÑALES YAMAHA Q2 1m31.077
2 Jack MILLER DUCATI Q2 +0.076
4 Pol ESPARGARO KTM Q2 +0.231
5 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI Q2 +0.236
6 Brad BINDER KTM Q2 +0.312
7 Valentino ROSSI YAMAHA Q2 +0.359
8 Franco MORBIDELLI YAMAHA Q2 +0.489
9 Danilo PETRUCCI DUCATI Q2 +0.497
10 Andrea DOVIZIOSO DUCATI Q2 +0.504
11 Joan MIR SUZUKI Q2 +0.540
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA Q2 +1.207
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
21 Stefan BRADL HONDA FP1 1.663

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.

2020 Misano II Moto2 front row
1 Luca Marini – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex 1:35.271
2 Marco Bezzecchi – Sky Racing Team VR46 – Kalex +0.036
3 Jake Dixon – Petronas Sprinta Racing – Kalex +0.348

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

Pos Rider Bike Q Time/Gap
1 Luca MARINI KALEX Q2 1m35.271
2 Marco BEZZECCHI KALEX Q2 +0.036
3 Xavi VIERGE KALEX Q2 +0.348
4 Sam LOWES KALEX Q2 +0.469
6 Aron CANET SPEED UP Q2 +0.532
7 Jake DIXON KALEX Q2 +0.543
9 Jorge NAVARRO SPEED UP Q2 +0.681
10 Nicolò BULEGA KALEX Q2 +0.708
11 Marcel SCHROTTER KALEX Q2 +0.762
12 Augusto FERNANDEZ KALEX Q2 +0.783
13 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA KALEX Q2 +0.816
14 Mattia PASINI KALEX Q2 +0.883
15 Hector GARZO KALEX Q2 +0.939
16 Thomas LUTHI KALEX Q2 +0.971
17 Lorenzo DALLA PORTA   ITA KALEX Q2 +0.974
18 Joe ROBERTS KALEX Q2 +1.125
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.

Moto3 front row
1 Raul Fernandez – Red Bull KTM Ajo – KTM – 1:41.705
2 Tony Arbolino – Rivacold Snipers Team – Honda +0.088
3 Andrea Migno – Sky Racing Team VR46 – KTM – +0.092

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

Pos Rider Bike Q Time/Gap
1 Raul FERNANDEZ KTM Q2 1m41.705
2 Tony ARBOLINO HONDA Q2 +0.088
3 Andrea MIGNO KTM Q2 +0.092
4 Albert ARENAS KTM Q2 +0.146
5 Celestino VIETTI KTM Q2 +0.168
6 Romano FENATI HUSQVARNA Q2 +0.256
7 Kaito TOBA KTM Q2 +0.258
8 Tatsuki SUZUKI HONDA Q2 +0.266
9 Jaume MASIA HONDA Q2 +0.339
10 Jeremy ALCOBA HONDA Q2 +0.424
11 Dennis FOGGIA HONDA Q2 +0.591
12 Ai OGURA HONDA Q2 +0.609
13 Deniz ÖNCÜ KTM Q2 +0.670
14 Filip SALAC HONDA Q2 +0.755
15 Stefano NEPA KTM Q2 +1.037
16 Ayumu SASAKI KTM Q2 +1.150
17 Barry BALTUS KTM Q2 +1.428
18 Sergio GARCIA HONDA Q2 +1.966
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

MotoE Qualifying

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

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Jordi TORRES Energica 1m43.154
2 Matteo FERRARI Energica +0.011
3 Dominique AEGERTER Energica +0.143
4 Eric GRANADO Energica +0.198
5 Xavier SIMEON Energica +0.263
6 Lukas TULOVIC Energica +0.278
7 Mattia CASADEI Energica +0.348
8 Mike DI MEGLIO Energica +0.691
9 Niki TUULI Energica +0.696
10 Alejandro MEDINA Energica +0.752
11 Alex DE ANGELIS Energica +0.836
12 Tommaso MARCON Energica +0.979
13 Niccolo CANEPA Energica +0.985
14 Xavi CARDELUS Energica +1.097
15 Josh HOOK Energica +1.348
16 Alessandro ZACCONE Energica +1.437
17 Maria HERRERA Energica +2.156
18 Jakub KORNFEIL Energica +2.811

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

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Dominique AEGERTER ENERGICA 0.000
5 Tommaso MARCON ENERGICA 6.578
6 Niccolo CANEPA ENERGICA 7.695
7 Alejandro MEDINA ENERGICA 8.277
8 Josh HOOK ENERGICA 8.336
10 Alessandro ZACCONE ENERGICA 8.640
11 Maria HERRERA ENERGICA 11.566
13 Niki TUULI ENERGICA 17.538
Not Classified

MotoE Championship Standing

Pos Rider Bike Points
1 Dominique AEGERTER Energica 82
2 Jordi TORRES Energica 63
3 Matteo FERRARI Energica 61
4 Mattia CASADEI Energica 51
5 Xavier SIMEON Energica 35
6 Eric GRANADO Energica 34
7 Niccolo CANEPA Energica 29
8 Lukas TULOVIC Energica 27
9 Mike DI MEGLIO Energica 25
10 Josh HOOK Energica 23
11 Tommaso MARCON Energica 22
12 Alex DE ANGELIS Energica 21
13 Alejandro MEDINA Energica 21
14 Xavi CARDELUS Energica 17
15 Alessandro ZACCONE Energica 15
16 Maria HERRERA Energica 12
17 Niki TUULI Energica 8
18 Jakub KORNFEIL Energica 8

2020 MotoGP Calendar

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

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

Time Class Session
1620 Moto3 WUP
1650 Moto2 WUP
1720 MotoGP WUP
1805 MotoE Race 2
1900 Moto3 Race
2020 Moto2 Race
2200 MotoGP Race

Source: MCNews.com.au

Jordi Torres returns to WSBK with Pedercini Racing in 2019

Jordi Torres returns from MotoGP to WorldSBK in 2019

Having completed the latter part of the 2018 season in MotoGP with Avintia Racing, including earning his first championship point in the premier class, Jordi Torres will return to WorldSBK in 2019, with Team Pedercini Racing.

MotoGP Japan Motegi Sun Jordi Torres
Jordi Torres – MotoGP 2018 Twin Ring Motegi

Torres has found success in every championship he has competed in, the 31-year-old arriving in WorldSBK back in 2015 with Aprilia, partnering Leon Haslam on the RSV4 RF and picking up a phenomenal race win at the final round in Qatar, as well as several podiums.

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Torres GP AN
Jordi Torres

Torres continued competing in World Superbike after that, riding on a BMW in 2016 and 2017, before making the switch to MV Agusta machinery for 2018.

In late September this year, Torres moved over to the MotoGP paddock to replace the injured Tito Rabat at Reale Avintia Racing for the final races of the season.

A former Moto2 race-winner, the Spaniard adapted well to his new bike and picked up his first point at the season closer in Valencia.

MotogGP Rnd Thailand Jordi Torres
Jordi Torres

Now Torres faces a new and exciting challenge in 2019 and the Spanish rider is ready ahead of his return to the WSBK championship.

Jordi Torres

“I’m happy to have found a historical Team of WorldSBK that runs with a winning bike. Kawasaki is the right bike for the WorldSBK Championship and I cannot wait to try it to express everything that this bike can give on the track. I believe that I and the Team will take away from us a lot of satisfactions. A special thanks to Lucio Pedercini for giving me this opportunity. I trust the team and I know that it has the experience to give me the weapons to fight and express my potential. It is a pride for me to be part of Team Pedercini and a I have a great desire to start working.”

MotoGP Aragaon Rnd Torres
Jordi Torres – Aragon MotoGP 2018 – Round 14

Lucio Pedercini – Team Pedercini Racing Manager

“I am very satisfied with what is happening around the team, after a troubled year now I am sure I have a strong rider at the height of the vehicle we have. With Jordi we will certainly be competitive and ready to always be in competition to enter the top ten. I take this opportunity to invite all the fans to Verona at Motorbike Expo in January where we will present the whole team and the 2019 program and to thank Jordi for having agreed to live with us on 2019.”

Source: MCNews.com.au

Riders & Team Managers reflect on Australian GP

Australian MotoGP 2018

Yamaha resurgent as Vinales from Iannone, Dovi wins

Riders and Team managers talk the Phillip Island GP

Maverick Vinales – P1

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

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales
Andrea Iannone – P2

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

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

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

MotoGP Australia Dovizioso UC
Andrea Dovizioso
Álvaro Bautista – P4

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

MotoGP Australia Bautista UC
Álvaro Bautista
Alex Rins – P5

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

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

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

MotoGP Australia Rossi
Valentino Rossi
Jack Miller – P7

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

MotoGP Australia QP Jack Miller
Jack Miller
Franco Morbidelli – P8

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

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

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

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

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

MotoGP Australia Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
Karel Abraham – P11

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

MotoGP Australia Abraham
Karel Abraham
Danilo Petrucci – P12

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

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

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

MotoGP Silverstone Redding GP AN
Scott Redding
Takaaki Nakagami – P14

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

MotoGP Australia Takaaki Nakagami AX
Takaaki Nakagami
Xavier Simeon – P15

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

MotoGP Aragon Simeon GP AN
Xavier Simeon
Tom Luthi – P16

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

MotoGP Misano Luthi GP AN
Tom Luthi
Jordi Torres – P17

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

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

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

MotoGP Australia Mike Jones
Mike Jones
Marc Marquez – DNF

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

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

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

MotoGP Australia Pedrosa AX
Dani Pedrosa
Hafizh Syahrin – DNF

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

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

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

MotoGP Australia Zarco
Johann Zarco
Pol Espargaro – DNF

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

MotoGP Australia Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Davide Brivio – Suzuki ECSTAR Team Manager

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: MCNews.com.au