San Marino Grand Prix Review 2020

2020-09-14 01:46
Michelin witnessed its fourth new MotoGP™ winner in six races during today’s Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini as Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) led from start to finish at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

The recently resurfaced 4,226m circuit provided the newest test for the MICHELIN Power Slick tyres and it was one that the latest incarnation of the tyres took in their stride and produced fast lap-times right from the first session, as the compounds perfectly matched the new asphalt, giving the riders the confidence to push to the limit. This was epitomised in Qualifying as Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) took Pole Position, setting a new all-time lap-record with a time of 1’31.411.

Today’s 27-lap race featured five of the seven different compounds available to the riders, with only the soft front and the hard asymmetric – which had been added alongside the soft, medium and hard symmetric fronts due the rule that up to four tyres can be used at a resurfaced track – not being chosen. Viñales started from first, but it was Morbidelli that got the best start and led into the first corner, from that moment he controlled the race from the front and took his first Grand Prix victory and the position of First Independent Rider. Morbidelli was the fourth different new winner so far this season, equalling the modern-era record that was set in 2016 on Michelin’s first season back in MotoGP and in the process of winning he set a new race duration record, more than three-seconds faster than the previous best and almost twenty-three-seconds quicker than last season on the old and worn surface.

As the lights changed to signal the start of the race, a different scene greeted the riders, with the grandstands having fans in them for the first time this season. A maximum of 10,000 people were allowed in every day, and the atmosphere created by them certainly made a difference from the empty seats at recent races due to the restrictions imposed because of the worldwide pandemic. Those at trackside and the millions watching on screens around the world were then treated to a great race, which saw tactics, fast overtakes and personal battles all throughout the field. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) was returning after breaking his leg last month and had qualified in sixth for today’s race. He produced some fast overtaking manoeuvres – setting the fastest lap of the race and breaking the event best maximum speed record in the process – and he used the high-speed grip of his Michelin tyres to the full to move through the field and take second place, his first MotoGP podium. Following him home was Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) – making three different marques on the podium – he started from eighth on the grid and through some intelligent race-craft made his way to the podium. The top-three all selected different configurations of MICHELIN Power Slick tyres for their respective machines, Morbidelli went with hard front and medium rear, Bagnaia chose hard front and soft rear, whilst Mir paired front and rear medium compounds.

Home-town hero Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was next across the line, despite battling throughout the race for a podium position, he just missed out in the closing stages and brought his bike home in fourth. Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) finished in fifth with Viñales in sixth. Seventh place went to Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), a result that saw him take over at the top of the championship standings. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) was eighth, Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) ninth and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) rounded out the top-ten.

Michelin will now remain at Misano, firstly for the one-day test on Tuesday with the whole MotoGP field and then for next weekend’s Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, when the Clermont-Ferrand company will participate in one MotoGP race and two MotoE events, in what promises to be a very busy event and one that will once again see spectators at trackside.

Michelin sees all records fall to its latest evolution of MotoE™ tyres

Michelin’s involvement in today’s proceedings began with the third round of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup and the first of three races in this discipline over the two weekends at Misano.

Matteo Ferrari (TRENTINO Gresini MotoE) took the EPole on Saturday with a new all-time lap-record for MotoE, but started from fourth on the grid due to an infringement in the last race resulting in a three-place penalty, this left Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) at the head of the grid.

All riders lined up for the start of the seven-lap race on their Energica Ego Corsa machines with the latest version of the MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres which were introduced this season and feature new compounds and a new rear tyre construction, allied to the introduction of bio-materials and regenerated materials which are both more efficient and more environmentally friendly. As at every race the same single tyre specification is available, this is a soft rear and a medium front, both of which are symmetrical in design and the performance of the new tyres fulfilled their potential with a record breaking race. Casadei got the drive and led into the first corner and held that position for the first four laps, before coming under pressure from Ferrari. On lap-five Ferrari took the lead and pushed his MICHELIN Slick MotoE tyres to make the break, he maintained this position and took his first victory of 2020. The other podium places produced an exciting battle before Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) took second ahead of the hard-charging Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP), who secured third place to strengthen his title lead and also set a new race lap-record in the process. Today’s race also produced a new race duration record for Michelin and Ferrari, taking almost a second off the previous best, as well as Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team) recording the event best maximum speed. MotoE will next be in action at Misano next weekend for a double header, with one race on Saturday and another on Sunday, when Michelin will be aiming to break those records again.

Franco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha SRT:

“It has been a great race; I got a good start and I was able to get into my rhythm. In the beginning I had the pressure from Valentino (Rossi) and then I saw I was starting to pull away. The tyres worked really well and I felt great on them all race. I want to say thanks to my team, Michelin, the crowd and all the people that have helped me, this first victory is an amazing feeling and I will feel like that for the next 48-hours at least and then regroup for next weekend. All three front and rear compounds were raceable, that’s a great job from Michelin, it means that every tyre is good, but has a little bit of a different flavour, but every tyre is good. Great job from Michelin so clap, clap!”

Matteo Ferrari – TRENTINO Gresini MotoE:

“We worked a lot this weekend to understand the tyre more. It works very well compared to last year, but they are a bit different. We understood more after Jerez and we have improved the lap-time a lot this weekend compared to last year, it is 0.6 seconds, so that is a big improvement. I am really happy to get this win and will now try to do my best to win both races here next weekend.”

Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:

“We have had a very successful weekend here at Misano in both MotoGP and MotoE. The tyres performed very well and adapted to the new surface, despite us having little information on the asphalt when we had to choose the tyres before the start of the season. This the first time this season that the condition of the track and the weather has afforded the possibility of all MotoGP specifications being a genuine raceable option, as it was five options were used and we saw three different configurations on the podium. Breaking records is not the whole reason we are here, but it is great to do that and to set all-time lap-records in both classes and break the race durations in both is an especially pleasing aspect and demonstrates the performance of the tyres and one that can eventually be translated from the track to the street.

“It was a very exciting race for all concerned and especially good to see people in the grandstands again, this is a small step in the battle against the pandemic, but from the point of MotoGP an important one. We hope that Michelin contributed in some way to rewarding them with good racing. I want to send congratulations to Franco Morbidelli on his first victory, a feat that gives us four new winners this season and with the way some of the other guys are riding I can see that growing.

“MotoE produced another good race and the tyres again lived up to their potential following the new materials, compounds and rear construction we introduced for this season. Racing is fast and close and we broke every single record on show, so we have to be happy with that.

“We will now stay here at Misano for a test on Tuesday, where I am sure different tyre configurations will be tested by the riders to see if that can improve further and get an optimum set-up for their respective machines ahead of next week’s race at the same track.”

Source: Michelin Motorsport

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