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Marquez vs Quartararo: the rookie pushes the reigning Champion to the limit at Misano
A tense duel to the line sees the number 93 come out on top on the Riviera di Rimini
Sunday, 15 September 2019
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was the victor in a Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini duel to the last lap, but the reigning Champion seriously had to work for it. The man who pushed him all the way? Rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), who led for most of the race…and attacked straight back when Marquez did on the final lap. It wasn’t quite enough and the 93 was able to return the favour, but it was a classic encounter between the two and another incredible show of pace from both. Polesitter Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) completed the podium.
Viñales was on pole and the Spaniard made it count, keeping the lead heading into Turn 1 as third place Quartararo grabbed P2, with Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) dropping back slightly from second on the grid. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) pounced for P3, with Marquez giving himself work to do after a wobble off the line. But work is exactly what the seven-time Champion did, grabbing third from Morbidelli at Turn 8 as the leading trio throughout the weekend found themselves 1-2-3 on Lap 1.
Sure enough, the three started to stretch away. The gap on Lap 2 was already up to 0.7 over Morbidelli in fourth and it was Viñales leading the way, but not for long. Quartararo was right behind his fellow Yamaha rider and getting a good run out of Turn 10, the rookie dived past to lead. Marquez wasn’t going to waste any time either, and Lap 3 saw the 93 set the fastest lap of the race as Quartararo started to pull away. Having seen that, Marquez dived under Viñales at Turn 10 on Lap 4 and locked his radar onto the Petronas machine at the front, as Viñales struggled to hold the pace. Further back, Espargaro was still able to make trouble Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and second in the Championship Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) for P5 as the KTM rider continued to impress.
Back at the front, Quartararo had a 0.8 lead over Marquez, with Viñales slipping to 1.5 seconds back on Lap 6. The Frenchman’s advantage wouldn’t stay above half a second for long though as the Repsol Honda began to reel the Petronas Yamaha in; the reigning World Champion and the MotoGP™ rookie locked in a face off. Viñales then seemed out of range nearly three seconds back, but late race pace has often been a calling card for the number 12…
In the battle for sixth, Rins was given a long lap penalty shortly after finally dispatching Espargaro’s KTM, but soon it didn’t matter for the Silverstone winner. The Suzuki man was suddenly down at Turn 4, leaving his third place overall in the standings under attack.
Rossi pressured Morbidelli for fourth, Viñales was at a fairly constant gap, and Quartararo remained nigh on faultless at the front. There was no sign of the 20-year-old buckling under the pressure, with the gap between the two hovering at two tenths.
The laps ticked by and still there was no change, with the Frenchman holding firm. Marquez was fierce on the brakes coming into Turn 10, but ‘El Diablo’ was a demon at picking the bike up onto the straight. There was simply nothing splitting the two, and Viñales was then starting to close the gap…
Onto the final lap, the number 93 was about to strike. Marquez had the run on Quartararo and led into Turn 1, but Quartararo got a good run out of Turn 2 and Turn 3 to bite straight back. Into Turn 4 they went, Quartararo was back in front, but the back straight and Turn 8 provided a golden passing opportunity and Marquez got it stopped into the left-hander – slicing back into the lead. Now it was Marquez’ to lose, with no way through for Quartararo at Turn 10, although the Yamaha got a good run down through Turn 11 and 12. As the tight left of Turn 14 approached, the Frenchman was right behind the Spaniard. Marquez went defensive and was slow mid-corner, Quartararo tried to cut back…but there was no way through as the Yamaha almost touched the rear wheel of the Honda. Subsequently, Quartararo had to sit up, and that was sadly game over. The reigning Champion returned to winning ways after two consecutive second places, winning in enemy territory and overtaking Mike Hailwood’s Grand Prix win record in the process – 77 is now his tally. And his points lead? 93.
Quartararo’s second, however, made him ‘the real winner’, according to Marquez, and the Frenchman is the top Independent Team rider once again. Viñales didn’t quite have enough on Sunday afternoon for the men ahead of him in the end, but a fifth podium of the season continues his consistent form of late to edge clear of teammate Rossi in the Championship.
Speaking of ‘The Doctor’, it wasn’t a home GP podium Rossi would have been looking for, but a great fight with Morbidelli and a third consecutive P4 is a good turn around for the nine-time World Champion since summer break. For Morbidelli, a strong and consistent weekend ends with a fourth P5 of the year – a nice way to celebrate his 100th Grand Prix race. All four Yamahas inside the top five at Misano is also promising for the Iwata factory.
Ultimately Dovizioso could do no more than sixth at the venue he won at last season, with Pol Espargaro next up in P7 as a solid reward for his – and KTM’s – impressive weekend. Upon his return from injury, Joan Mir was the sole Team Suzuki Ecstar finisher in P8, with Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller recovering from P16 on the grid to grab ninth ahead of fellow GP19 rider Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) in P10.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), teammate Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu), wildcard Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) and Pramac Racing’s Francesco Bagnaia crashed out of the race – riders ok.
Marquez vs Quartararo: something we should start getting used to? Misano could be just the first installment of an all-time great rivalry. For now, Marquez has the bragging rights and the number 93 heads to his home Grand Prix at MotorLand Aragon with 93 points over his rivals. But Quartararo is coming. Can anyone beat Marquez on Spanish soil next week?
Marc Marquez: “Honestly speaking I knew it wasn’t necessary to win because I saw Rins was out and Dovi was far. But yesterday was extra motivation, an extra push for the race. What I did was just try to stay there and stay there, I wasn’t sure…but then I decided I would just try on the last lap. I knew that Fabio was really fast in T3, so I tried to overtake him before there, close the door through each corner and be smart. It’s really nice to win and it’s even nicer to have a 93-point advantage in the Championship!”
Espargaro shines again with 7th place in Italy
MotoGP 2019 Round 13 of 19, Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (RSM) – RACE
Red Bull KTM charted yet more significant MotoGP progress at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini in Italy as Pol Espargaro scored 7th position after launching from the second slot on the grid, and Johann Zarco took 11th for his second highest classification of the season.
The second visit to the Italian mainland in 2019 MotoGP drew the series to the flat and demanding asphalt of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Typical sunshine and high summer temperatures graced the weekend.
Red Bull KTM were eager for the twenty-seven lap race – their 51st in MotoGP – to begin with Pol Espargaro stationed into 2nd place on the grid (the team’s best qualification and a half-second improvement on 2018) and Johann Zarco in 11th (the Frenchman’s highest dry ranking so far) despite the former world champion suffering a fast crash in morning warm-up.
Espargaro blasted into the top five in the opening stages and lost two positions to multiple GP winners this term Andrea Dovizioso and Alex Rins and also local hero Valentino Rossi. When Rins crashed out Espargaro maintained a solid pace to the chequered flag to bank 7th and 7 championship points. It was the seventh top ten classification of the year for the Spaniard. Johann Zarco endured the distance to bring his No.5 RC16 home in 11th.
Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira crashed on lap 9 but the Portuguese was able to remount and rejoin the race. Despite a sore right shoulder as a result of his blameless accident at Silverstone three weeks ago, the Portuguese reached the flag in 16th, just one position behind teammate Hafizh Syahrin who grabbed points for the fourth time in 2019.
MotoGP gathers together in a matter of days for the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon at MotorLand in Spain.
Pol Espargaro: “We started 2nd and we fought top six-seven: we had a great weekend and we must be very proud. There are good riders and such good bikes that you need to go on the limit every single lap. At the moment I am controlling it quite well and I am finishing every race which is very important for the championship. We had good corner speed here but I was losing it all in Turns 3, 8 and 10 with [Andrea] Dovi and 11 with [Franco] Morbidelli. It was not much. Just two tenths per lap: almost nothing but in the end it makes a difference. I’m looking forward to jumping on the bike again and when you finish a race with that feeling then you want to start right away.”
Johann Zarco: “The beginning of the race was complicated because of the Medium rear. It took six laps before it was really ready and I could feel comfortable. It is always better to have a bit more consistency than to feel better at the beginning and then drop away from the pace at the end. Step by step I was faster. I could maybe overtake riders but when I was ready to do it they were crashing in front of me! So I had this advantage to gain positions. Silverstone; I could not finish. I had the satisfaction here to see the chequered flag. We will have a few days rest now but then back to work at Aragon and that’s the best solution to keep fit.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “I don’t know why but I had a strange feeling during all the race and I’m really sorry for the whole team to be unable to do a decent race. Anyway, I need to keep my head up and continue to work hard. We are motivated to do better next week!”
Miguel Oliveira: “It has been a hard race as we predicted. It was a shame that I crashed in the beginning. There is not much I can say. It’s a real pity because we were again matching our target, which was the points. We could have been quite competitive in the race but to manage the front tyre in the heat, was difficult, therefore, I couldn’t avoid the crash. When I picked up the bike again, I also had a good pace, so it’s disappointing. We carry on our work next week in Aragon.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “The weekend was great for us. We made a clear step with our bike again with both riders in Q2 and Pol in particular made an amazing lap; our first front row start in the dry. Since Brno we have been pushing hard to bring new parts to improve the lap-time and it looks like we reached a step here in Misano. When we checked the data from the long-runs it was realistic that we’d finish between 6th-8th today and we did it. We’re really happy with another single-digit result and this was our target: to get inside the top ten. Our competitors get stronger, the bikes also and the riders are very strong in this top group but we fought with [Alex] Rins who won the last GP and also with [Andrea] Dovizioso who is right up there in the championship. I think we should be proud. There are people in the company pushing hard and we are going in the right direction. A mention also for Johann coming back from that crash in warm-up and also Hafizh taking points for the second race in a row. It is a pity that Miguel crashed but he kept going and could finish the race. We now focus on next weekend.”
Last lap brilliance in Misano moves Marquez ahead of Hailwood with 77 victories
A 77th career victory makes Marquez the fourth most successful rider in Grand Prix history, bringing fans to their feet on his way to winning a thrilling San Marino GP as Jorge Lorenzo claimed more points.
After a promising morning Warm Up session where Marc Marquez finished first and Jorge Lorenzo finished 1.5 seconds behind, the Repsol Honda Team entered the 27-lap San Marino Grand Prix with confidence.
Marc Marquez made a flying start to the race and moved to fourth by the first corner, quickly progressing up to third just a few corners later. Muscling past Viñales on lap four, the World Championship leader set about closing down the almost one-second lead of Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman’s advantage was soon reduced to just two tenths, Marquez electing to wait for his moment to attack. As the laps ticked down, the reigning champion began to edge closer and put increasing pressure on the young French rider.
The start of the last lap saw Marquez’s RC213V roar past Quartararo heading into Turn 1, the pair briefly sparring before Marquez made the move stick later in the lap. Crossing the line 0.903s ahead of Quartararo, Marquez returned to the top step of the podium after back-to-back second place finishes. The win moves him 93 points clear of title rival Andrea Dovizioso in the MotoGP World Championship standings with six races remaining. Taking the 77th win of his career, Marquez also moves ahead of Mike Hailwood to cement himself as the fourth most successful rider in Grand Prix history.
Jorge Lorenzo was author to a consistent race, able to steadily advance up the order. Ultimately taking 14th, Lorenzo marks his return from injury with back-to-back points finishes. The five-time World Champion was unable to achieve his target of finishing within 30 seconds of the race winner due to reduced grip come the race on Sunday. Suffering from less discomfort after the race was an encouraging sign for Lorenzo who will look to fight back in Aragon.
Honda leave Misano extending their advantage in the Manufacturer Championship to 60 points over closest rivals Ducati while the Repsol Honda Team close the deficit to the Ducati Team in the Team Championship to just 25 points. With Round 14, the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon, taking place on September 22 the Repsol Honda Team are keen to carry their momentum forward as they return to Spanish soil.
“Honestly speaking, I knew it wasn’t necessary to win because I saw that Rins was out and Dovizioso was far from us but I had some extra motivation. I just tried to stay with Fabio as close as I could and in the end I was weighing up whether to try or not. On the last lap I decided to go. I knew Fabio was very fast in Sector 3, so I made my move before that and closed the corner as much as I could. Fabio rode a very strong race today. I raced as smart as I could and in the end it is nice to win in Italy, but even nicer to have 93 points of advantage.”
“If in Silverstone we were able to exceed our expectations, unfortunately today we weren’t able to do this and honestly I was expecting a little more. I was expecting my pace to be closer to the winner, maybe 1.5 seconds but in reality it was more. But my physical condition was better after the race and during practice we were able to be closer than before – this is a positive. The grip dropped for the race and I don’t think this helped us. I’m looking forward to Aragon to be able to push more physically and train harder as my condition improves.”
Sixth place for Andrea Dovizioso in the San Marino Grand Prix. Danilo Petrucci finishes in tenth position and moves back into third in the overall standings. Michele Pirro crashes and has to retire
Andrea Dovizioso finished the San Marino Grand Prix, held today at the Misano World Circuit, in sixth place. The Ducati Team rider, who passed Pol Espargarò on lap 9, then caught Rossi and Morbidelli in a battle for fourth place, but he was unable to pass his two fellow Italians and finished his race in sixth place.
Danilo Petrucci, who started from the sixth row, was able to make his way up to eleventh place on lap 16 and he then gained one more place after Pirro’s crash, finishing the race in tenth.
After overtaking Petrucci in the early stages, Michele Pirro moved up to tenth place, but then crashed on lap 21 and had to retire.
Andrea Dovizioso remains second in the Riders’ standings, 93 points behind leader Marquez, while Danilo Petrucci moves back into third place, with a two-point lead over Rins in fourth.
Ducati remains second in the Constructors’ classification and the Ducati Team first in the Teams’ standings.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 6th
“It was a difficult race, as we had expected. We all suffered because of the very little grip, especially at the front, and it was really difficult to push hard. Pity about the sixth place, because when I managed to catch Rossi and Morbidelli, who were fighting for fourth, there weren’t the right conditions to try and attack without making mistakes. However, I’m pleased with the work we’ve done this weekend, because on Friday our gap was a really big one and we managed to improve the situation for the race a lot.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 10th
“For sure it was a very hard race for me. Yesterday my qualifying was very difficult and so today I had a lot of positions to make up. I really did my maximum today, but unfortunately the lack of grip didn’t allow me to be very quick. In the end I managed to finish in tenth place and the only positive aspect of the weekend is that I’m back in third place in the overall standings ahead of Rins.”
Michele Pirro (#51 Ducati Test Team) – DNF
“After the start, I suffered a bit in the first few corners, and then tried to recover and I passed Danilo because I was a bit faster than he was. I was trying to keep the pace of the other riders, but six laps before the end I lost the front at Turn 14. It was just a banal little crash, which caused virtually no damage to the bike, but in the incident I felt the pain in my leg, which I injured while training with a motocross bike, flare up again and I had to stop. I feel bad about it because once again I could have finished inside the top 10, like at Mugello.”
The MotoGP teams and riders will now move to Spain for the Aragón Grand Prix, scheduled to take place next weekend at the MotorLand Aragón circuit on the outskirts of Alcañiz.
GRAN PREMIO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI
15 September 2019
Syahrin scores point in hot San Marini GP – Oliveira shows huge determination
Red Bull KTM Tech3 experienced a tough 13th round of the 2019 MotoGP season at the sunny Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Thereby, Hafizh Syahrin did a steady race, but was struggling aboard his KTM RC16. Starting from P20 he did consistent 27 laps and eventually saw the chequered flag in P15 to bring home another championship point.
At the same time, Miguel Oliveira grit his teeth to contest with his injured shoulder from Silverstone causing him a lot of pain. The Portuguese MotoGP rookie made up three positions at the start and was well inside the fight for the top 15, until he went down in the seventh lap. The Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider managed to rejoin the race in 21st position and bravely tried to catch up again. Yet, Oliveira finished in 16th, missing out on the points by just a whisker.
“I don’t know why, but I had a strange feeling on the bike during all the race and I’m really sorry for the whole team and everybody to be unable to do a decent race. I was really far and I was feeling slow while riding, because I couldn’t have a good drive on the exit and there were many slights and movements. Anyway, I need to keep my head up and continue to work hard. We are motivated to do better next week!”
“It has been a hard race, as we predicted. It was a shame, that I crashed in the beginning. There is not much, I can say, as it’s a real pity, because we were again matching our target, which is the points. We could have been quite competitive in the race, but to manage the front tyre in the heat, was difficult, therefore, I couldn’t avoid the crash. When I picked up the bike again, I also had a good pace, so it’s disappointing. We carry on our work next week in Aragon and hopefully finish the race there, where I think we can end up.”
“We ended up the weekend as we started it, too far back. We knew it was going to be difficult for Miguel due to his physical condition and injury sustained in Silverstone. We still had a few flashes of hope, but although the start was ok, the crash ended the weekend on a sad note. There was clearly, I think four, five points available there, but you need to stay on the wheels. So, thanks to Miguel to have spent the whole weekend trying although you were in pain. Thanks for getting back on the bike after the crash, because it was a brave attitude, but it’s a bit of a pity after the positive Austria and UK feeling, that we are back to where we were before the summer break, which is at the back of the field, so let’s hope Miguel’s feeling will be better in Aragon. Hafizh did a steady race, got a point, which is a reward for the whole Red Bull KTM Tech3 team, but he was very far down on pace. We have to have something to be positive, so we take the point to cheer, but the feeling is not very exciting. We are going to pack and drive directly to Aragon, where we hope things will be better.”
LATE FALL FOR CRUTCHLOW AT MISANO
PRESS RELEASE: 15 September 2019 | Misano Grand Prix
Cal Crutchlow missed out on the points at the San Marino Grand Prix as he crashed out four laps from the finish at Misano. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider – who sported the oil manufacturer’s famous red, white and green colours in Sunday’s race – was battling for a top 10 position when he slid out late on.
Starting from the fifth row of the grid, the Briton was unable to make the progress through the field he wanted as he again struggled for feeling with the bike. He had battled up to 11th position as the race approached its climax, but Crutchlow then fell at turn eight on lap 23 to cap a tough weekend for rider and team.
Cal Crutchlow – DNF
“To crash out of a bad position way too far off the lead is never good. I didn’t have a good feeling (with the bike) in the test and didn’t have a good feeling all weekend here and that’s the reality of the situation. I didn’t think I would crash at that corner or in the race at all, I felt I could manage it until the end of the race so it was a bit of a shock to crash, even though I was going slow. In general, I just didn’t feel good with the bike this weekend and we need to improve for Aragon.”
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider Fabio Quartararo has taken his fourth podium finish of the 2019 MotoGP season at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, just missing out on victory in a last-lap duel. There was more success for team-mate Franco Morbidelli at his home race as well, also matching his best-ever MotoGP finish in fifth at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
Leading from the third lap until the final one, Quartararo gained even more valuable experience in his rookie season as he maintained the gap from Marquez for most of the race. Not quite able to outfox the World Champion on the final lap, Quartararo was nonetheless delighted to take home his second runner-up spot of the year and move up the ladder to seventh in the championship, as well as extending his lead in the rookie of the year battle and moving to the top of independent riders table.
Morbidelli also has plenty to celebrate after completing his 100th Grand Prix race in front of a home crowd, taking his second fifth place in succession as he continues to improve on the Yamaha YZR-M1. Looking to use the result as a spring-board for the rest of the season, he’s going into next weekend’s race full of confidence. Now tenth in the title race, his result combined with his team-mate’s also helps the squad to stretch their lead in the independent team award.
The 2019 MotoGP championship continues next weekend at Motorland Aragon, kicking off on on Friday 20th September ahead of race day at the Gran Premio de Aragon on Sunday 22nd.
“The podiums from both Fabio in MotoGP and John in Moto3 were great results, especially for John coming from far back on the grid to fight for the win. For Fabio to lead for so many laps and fight head-on with Marc Marquez is just incredible too. Franky can be happy with fifth too, when you look at all the factory bikes that were behind him. It was a strong weekend for Yamaha, and hopefully it’s the beginning of something and the first win isn’t far away. It was an unfortunate day for Ayumu, and for Adam it was just the initial part of the learning curve. For sure we’re happy with what we’ve achieved, but we can’t hide the fact that we’re a little disappointed to be so close to our first win in MotoGP but missing out on the final lap.”
“It was a weekend of fantastic emotion, after having a race like today and battling with Marc Marquez for the victory on the last lap. It’s something for us to be very proud of, but we also need to say chapeau to Marc to be still fighting like this when he’s battling for a championship. It was a good fair fight and I hope that Marc has plenty more challenges like it from Fabio in the future. Franky also did a terrific job with fifth at home, and it’s great to see him line up in his 100th Grand Prix for us. We’re delighted with the teamwork this weekend; we’re leaving as a happy family!”
“I’m very happy about the result. We were very fast all weekend and had a good feeling with the bike, but unfortunately in the race the track temperature made the grip a little bit worse than in practice and I had to slow down a little to bring it home safely. All the Yamahas were fast in Misano but it wasn’t like that last year, so it seems like we’ve improved and hopefully we can carry that mojo forward to next weekend too. To take a top five in front of this huge home crowd was something very special, and it was a pleasant coincidence that it was my 100th Grand Prix too. I still remember my first race in Misano as a wildcard in 2013; it feels like it was yesterday, but I would have never thought then that I’d be here today on such a good bike with such a good team fighting for top fives in MotoGP.”
“I can only be happy about the result. We led the race until almost the end, but I knew Marc would try something on the last lap because he’s been fast all weekend. I was able to pass him back when he did, but I just went a little bit wide when he overtook me for a second time. I was faster than him in turn 11 and I fought until the end, but we had to settle for second. He had better grip at the end in one side of his tyres but I had an advantage on the right side, which is something to be proud of because it means I’m learning how to manage them. I gave it my all, but Marc has more experience in last lap battles and today he was able to use it all. It’s the first time I’ve even able to fight with him, and to be able to have battled with a seven-time World Champion is the best moment of my career so far.”
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales was on the hunt during the GP di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. He spent almost the entire race positioned in third place, stalking the front runners, but came just short to enter the challenge. The stakes were high for Valentino Rossi at his home race at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. He had to make his way through the rider field, starting from P7, and pushed to the fullest to take fourth position.
Viñales stuck to his plan at the start of the San Marino GP. Starting from P1, the Spaniard had said yesterday that his strategy was not to leave any door open on the first corners on the opening lap. He did just that but didn‘t manage to break away. On lap 3 he had to relinquish the lead to fellow Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, and one lap later also Marc Marquez came past.
The Factory Yamaha rider couldn‘t match the early pace as he didn‘t have a good feeling with the front, but he wasn‘t out for the count. He waited for the race to come to him and started to make up some ground after lap 14. He was inching closer but struggled to reduce the gap to under 2s until the final five laps. With the two leading men occupied with their own battle, the number-12 rider was riding on the limit. He came under 0.8s behind Quartararo but wasn‘t able to put in a move. Viñales took the chequered flag in third place, 1.636s from the front.
Rossi knew the first couple of tight corners at the Misano track would be crucial as 22 MotoGP bikes tried to squeeze through. The Italian had a good start from P7 and was immediately up to speed. He held his position and was chasing Álex Rins, eager to make his way to the front. The Doctor moved up a spot as the Spanish rider went wide on lap 6. It was the starting signal for the home hero‘s climb up the order.
Cheered on by the fans, he worked his way up to fifth, overtaking Pol Espargaró on lap 7, and followed it up with a personal best time on lap 9 as he was looking for a way through on Franco Morbidelli. However, the twisty Misano lay-out meant the Doctor had to be smart about where to position his Factory Yamaha to get on the inside. With eleven laps to go, he put in a move which didn‘t stick, but a text-book block pass on that same lap in Turn 14 did the trick, earning him fourth place. Rossi then had to use all his knowledge of his home circuit and make his YZR-M1 as wide as possible to keep Morbidelli at bay, and he succeeded. He held on to fourth place over the line, with a 12.660s gap to first.
Today’s third place sees Viñales stay fifth in the championship standings, one place ahead of Rossi, with five points between them. Yamaha remains third in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stays in third place in the team classification.
Viñales and Rossi will now travel to Spain for the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon, held from September 20-22.
“We had hoped to be part of the fight for the victory today, but unfortunately we came just short. Maverick had a good start, but then he felt uncomfortable with the front. It took him a while to regroup. However, he showed great pace, even better than the race leaders at times. In the last five laps he was really starting to come close, but it wasn‘t enough. But he did take the best result that was possible for him today and a second consecutive podium is encouraging. Valentino had the challenge to start from the third row, which is never an easy place to be in, but it‘s especially tricky considering how tight the first corners are here in Misano. He managed well and throughout the race he climbed up to fourth, for which he had to push until the very end of the 27 laps. We really had hoped to also have him on the podium, especially here in front of his fans. He also came close at the races in Austria and the UK, so we need to keep working, because our goal is to have both riders fighting for the win and on the podium. We have another opportunity coming our way shortly. We now all travel to Aragon for round 14 on next Sunday.”
“I‘m really happy because it was just about 1.5s to the top. We‘re getting closer at every race and we‘re trying to understand how we can be better, faster, and more consistent. This was a race in which the tarmac was very slippery, and I was there fighting for a top position. We need to keep working. We‘re starting to understand many things, but it‘s not enough yet. I have to improve, but I‘m gaining confidence in the races. Up next is Aragon, which is a track I really love and where I always feel like I can go fast. Yamaha is going in the right direction. In Silverstone Yamaha was also pretty strong. If Fabio hadn‘t crashed, for sure we would both have been close to getting the victory there. So, we‘re getting better every race. Especially on my side, I have to make another step, but we‘re going to make it. We‘re on our way and I really feel like we have the potential to fight for the victory.”
“I was hoping to fight for the podium, because it would have been beautiful to hear the cheers from my fans from up there, but the race went more or less as I expected. Maybe I expected Maverick to be a bit faster and Quartararo to be a bit slower, but anyway the three in front of me had a better pace. I knew there were two or three points on the track where I was going to lose some time. We tried to fix that problem during the weekend, but unfortunately we didn’t succeed. I started from seventh and it was hard: I could overtake Dovi but then I was passed by Rins. I struggled to overtake Franco because always at the point that I was going to do it, he was riding really well. I knew overtaking was going to be hard at this track, and so it was. Anyway, my pace was not as fast as the riders in front and even without the KTM in front, it would have been difficult to stay close to them. Since we‘ve restarted the championship after the summer break, we have changed many things on the bike, but I think this is our potential at this moment. The three in front today were faster, especially in the corner exits and that‘s where we are still missing something.”
MIR FINISHES 8TH IN SAN MARINO GP, RINS TAKES SPILL
Team Suzuki Press Office – September 15.
Joan Mir: 8th (+ 22.512)
Alex Rins: DNF
• Joan Mir has successful comeback with 8th place.
• Alex Rins takes a spill while aiming for Top 6 finish.
• Contrasting emotions for Team following Silverstone success.
San Marino played host to the 13th round of the 2019 MotoGP Championship in front of a crowd just shy of 100,000 people.
Following a decent morning Warm-Up session, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders both opted for the medium-medium tyre combination for the hot 27 lap race. Alex Rins tried to get a good launch off the line, and he slotted into 6th place, while Joan Mir was a few places further back in 9th.
As the lead riders began to make a break at the front, Rins tried hard to get past the KTM of Pol Espargaro, making a small mistake as he did so and dropping a couple of positions. With a small group of riders stacked up behind the KTM, Rins knew he had to make a move and was preparing to do so when he was issued with a long lap penalty. Just seconds later, before he could take the penalty, the Spaniard crashed going into Turn 4. A disappointing blow for the British GP winner, although he was thankfully uninjured.
Meanwhile, Mir enjoyed a steady return to racing. The young rookie was sitting in the Top 10 for the entire race, he fought to pick up a position on the last few laps and reached the chequered flag in a good 8th place. An important result following his debilitating injury.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“It was a tough race for Alex, and he wasn’t really able to show his capabilities here. We need to check exactly what happened today, and then look ahead and start preparing for the next race, which is next weekend in Aragon. We hope he can be strong again there. Joan did a really good job today, and he made a nice comeback, we’re really pleased for him. Although we’re satisfied with Joan’s position, we hope both riders will do better in Spain next weekend.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“Joan did a good job today, we wanted a solid and steady race for him as a comeback, and he achieved that. He qualified well and converted it into a nice 8th place, with good race pace. We want to use this as a starting point for getting more good results with him and building on his success and experience before the end of the season. It was a pity for Alex today, he crashed, and he suffered with the front end a bit. This is racing sometimes and there’s nothing we can do about it. We’re just looking forward to Aragon where we hope to do really well.”
“My goal today was to finish the race with a good feeling, after my recovery and the time off the bike. I didn’t feel completely comfortable with my bike settings this weekend, but we worked hard, and we were able to close the gap to the others a bit. In the end, 8th isn’t a bad result especially given that this track hasn’t really suited us. It feels good to be back, and I’m really looking forward to next weekend – Aragon is one of my favourite circuits!”
“It was a bad day in the office for us because of the crash. I suffered a bit during the whole weekend, everyone struggled a bit because the track wasn’t very grippy. At the start I made up some places, but then I couldn’t get past Pol for many laps because he is a very hard braker and the KTM had a strong acceleration. After I passed him I tried to enter corner 4 smoothly to keep a good cornering speed but for this reason unfortunately I lost the front. It was a shame, because I lost some points. But I’m really pleased that Aragon is coming up very soon, I like it there and last year I had a good result.”
GP of San Marino – Race Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 42’25.163
2. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT +0.903
3. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +1.636
4. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +12.660
5. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT +12.774
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team +13.744
7. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +20.050
8. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +22.512
9. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing +26.554
10. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team +31.456
11. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +32.388
12. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +34.477
13. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing +35.325
14. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team +47.247
15. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +1’02.280
16. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +1’07.831
17. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing +1’24.666
18. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1 Lap
35 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL
51 Michele PIRRO Ducati Team
42 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
63 Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing
MotoGP World Championship Standings:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 275
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 182
3. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 151
4. Alex RINS Suzuki 149
5. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 134
6. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 129
7. Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 112
8. Jack MILLER Ducati 101
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 88
10. Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 80
11. Pol ESPARGARO KTM 77
12. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 62
13. Joan MIR Suzuki 47
14. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 37
15. Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 29
16. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 27
17. Johann ZARCO KTM 27
18. Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 26
19. Jorge LORENZO Honda 23
20. Tito RABAT Ducati 17
21. Stefan BRADL Honda 16
22. Michele PIRRO Ducati 9
23. Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki 7
24. Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 7
25. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 5
26. Bradley SMITH Aprilia