Viñales vs Quartararo keeps Marquez at bay on Day 1

2019-09-16 07:39
Misano is GO, with a Marquez amongst the Yamahas in the top five on Friday

Friday, 13 September 2019
Friday at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini belonged to two men: Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT). Split by just 0.057 on the combined timesheets, the two topped a session each as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended the day in third and over three tenths down. It was a sunny first day on the Riviera di Rimini, and it was pretty sunny for Yamaha too as the Iwata marque had all four bikes in the top five. Home hero Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was just behind Marquez, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in fifth to leave the number 93 the sole non-Yamaha in the top five.

After Quartararo kicked things off in FP1 to edge out the reigning Champion, it was Marquez who was the early leader in FP2 as the Championship leader got straight down to business, closing down the rookie's FP1 advantage to just 0.018 on the combined timesheets to head the afternoon session by over four-tenths. The likes of Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) had jumped into the overall top ten in the early stages of FP2, with Morbidelli and Rossi also improving on their FP1 times.

The afternoon then went quiet in terms of personal best times, the riders getting some valuable work done on different tyres to see what their preference will be for Sunday’s race. But with just over ten minutes remaining – and after a couple of close front-end moments – Quartararo was yet to improve his FP1 time and so was Viñales. The traditional FP2 time attack was forthcoming, however, and with eight minutes to go, we had plenty of movement.

Rossi moved into P3 overall on his first flying run on the soft rear, but teammate Viñales would move the goalposts at the top as a 1:32.775 saw the Spaniard leap over three tenths clear. Quartararo was on a personal best behind, but the rookie sensation wasn’t quite able to match Viñales’ time as the 20-year-old went a tenth off. The Ducati Team riders had a quiet morning but both Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso then found a way into the top ten., with Viñales looking like he had P1 in the bag as the flag dropped.

Quartararo, however, was on a fast one. Personal best sectors were set by the Frenchman but at the line, it wasn't quite enough as he ended the day 0.057 in arrears – barely anything splitting the two Yamahas. Marquez failed to improve and stayed P3, with Rossi and Morbidelli completing the top five.

Sixth was a headline in itself as Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) impressed in P6 in both FP1 and FP2, ending the day ahead of Ducati Team’s Michele Pirro. The Italian slipped from P4 in FP1 to P7 at the end of play after failing to go quicker in FP2, but the test rider remains the fastest Ducati on track so far. Petrucci sits just behind him in P8, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) – P5 in FP1 – claiming P9 on Friday thanks to his morning time. Last year’s winner Dovizioso occupies the last provisional automatic Q2 place in P10 heading into Saturday – not an easy day for the man second in the Championship.

It's Silverstone winner Alex Rins and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) who just lost out on the top ten on Friday, but it's just 0.6 that splits Dovi in P10 to Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in P21. It’s all to play for in the fight for an automatic Q2 place in FP3, so make sure you tune in for that at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Saturday morning. Will Yamaha continue to reign at Misano on qualifying?
Friday's fastest:
1 - Maverick Viñales (SPA - Yamaha) 1'32.775
2 - Fabio Quartararo* (FRA - Yamaha) +0.057
3 - Marc Marquez (SPA - Honda) +0.396
4 - Valentino Rossi (ITA - Yamaha) +0.695
5 - Franco Morbidelli* (ITA - Yamaha) +0.749

*Independent Team rider
Fernandez edges out Marquez on Friday
Two Spaniards less than half a tenth apart after two sessions at Misano

Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) was fastest on Friday in the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, but it wasn't by much. The Spaniard, now second in the Championship after his win at Silverstone, was just half a tenth ahead of the man he's chasing in the standings, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), with rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio (+Ego Speed Up) flying the home flag in third on Day 1.

At a sunny and breezy Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the latter half of FP2 proved decisive on the combed timesheets. Before then it was Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) on top, although the Japanese rider didn't lose out too much as he ended the day in fourth, 0.010 off 'Diggia', with former Misano winner Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) completing the top five by just 0.021.

Next up was Sky Racing Team VR46’s Luca Marini, who improved in the latter stages to grab P6 having finished FP1 down in P22, with Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) taking an impressive seventh on his return from injury. Misano is where the 'Beast' took his first Grand Prix win in the Moto3™ race in 2015.

Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) slipped down to P8 after setting the third-fastest time in FP1 and bothering the top of the timesheets earlier in FP2, whereas Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) moved up one spot to P9 from P10 in the morning. Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) improved late in FP2 to take tenth overall after ending FP1 in fifth, the last piece in the puzzle to make it three rookies and five Italians in the top ten.

After Friday it's Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2), Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM), title contender Thomas Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Marco Bezzecchi (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) who are the last to have a provisional place in Q2, with Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) just losing out.

Martin crashed on Friday, rider ok, as did Marco Bezzecchi, Lukas Tulovic (Kiefer Racing), Baldassarri, Navarro and Lecuona. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed early in FP1 as the South African suffered a monster highside, rider luckily ok.

With the weather set to hold, will the top 14 change on Saturday morning? The automatic Q2 places are still up for grabs so don’t miss the action at 10:55 local time (GMT+1), with the likes of Binder, Navarro and Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) especially looking to bounce back...
Friday's fastest:
1 - Augusto Fernandez (SPA - Kalex) 1'38.325
2 - Alex Marquez (SPA - Kalex) +0.049
3 - Fabio Di Giannantonio (ITA - Speed Up) +0.138
4 - Tetsuta Nagashima (JPN - Kalex) +0.148
5 - Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA - Kalex) +0.169
Arenas ahead of the pack as action opens at Misano
Spaniard tops both FP1 and FP2, with 26 riders within a second on Friday

Albert Arenas (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team) topped the timesheets in both FP1 and FP2 to prove the man to beat so far at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, with home hero Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) next up on the overall timesheets. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) completed the top three to impress as he comes back from injury, with the trio all setting their best laptimes in the morning.

On a late summer scorcher at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the top three may not have improved in the afternoon, but plenty did despite the heat. Petronas Sprinta Racing's John McPhee in fourth was the first whose laptime on the combined timesheets came from FP2, but the Brit ended the day just ahead of another whose FP1 time proved his quickest: Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers). From there, however, the rest of the top ten all found time in the afternoon.

Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) found nearly half a second to take sixth, just 0.012 ahead of veteran home campaigner Romano Fenati (VNE Snipers), a former winner at Misano. Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) was P8 just behind his compatriot, although the quieter day for the Leopard rider still saw him beat key rival Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) as the Spaniard was P11 overall and suffered a late crash.

Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) crashed twice on Friday, Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) took a tumble and Can Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed in FP. The Turk was declared unfit due to a broken collarbone, so he'll sit out the rest of the weekend - and will be replaced by twin brother Deniz, who rides for the team in the Moto3™ Junior World Championship.

Meanwhile Andrea Migno (WWR) had a solid opening day at his home Grand Prix to take ninth and make the top ten 50% Italian on the Riviera di Rimini, with rookie Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) next up after another impressive day at the office. Behind Canet in P11, Jaume Masia (WWR), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Jakub Kornfeil (Redox Prüstel GP) complete the fastest fourteen on Friday and those who currently stand to move through to Q2 - but everything could change in FP3 on Saturday morning.

That gets in gear at 9:00 local time (GMT +2) to decide the direct entrants to Q2. Will the pack have another shake up before qualifying from 12:35 (GMT +2)?

Source: Dorna Sports

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