2018 San Marino MotoGP Saturday News

Michael Scott | September 8, 2018

2018 San Marino MotoGP Saturday News

Photos by Gold & Goose

Rider’s Take on Misano’s Fast Corner

Misano_circuit

The corner at the end of the back straight at Misano is one of the fastest of the year. As a result, riders love it.

Asked at the press conference if it made them nervous, the top three were enthusiastic.

“It’s probably the fastest corner in the calendar. There is a lot of space for run-off so it is not scary, but you can lose the front there, and in the first laps there are a lot of riders behind you,” said pole qualifier Jorge Lorenzo. “You have to be very precise.”

For second-fastest Jack Miller, “It is a very quick corner. I’ve had a few moments there all weekend, with the front bouncing. But you can manage it with the gas … open up a bit and it takes the load off the front.”

And for fellow front-row starter Maverick Vinales, it is quite simply “One of my favourite corners.”

Before the direction was reversed in 2007, the “Curvone” was the third in a series of increasing-speed left-handers beloved by dirt-trackers. Now it is the first of decreasing-speed right-handers, demanding braking under lean, and a major technical challenge.

Dovi Braking King

Dovizioso_Misano_Sat
Dovizioso, San Marino MotoGP 2018

With riders barely braking at that point, Brembo chose a different corner for their now-traditional “last of the late brakers” contest the “Quercia” corner at the end of the earlier back straight, where speeds are cut from some 295 km/h to less than 80, over a distance of 222 meters.

After ceding the position at Mugello to Marquez, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso was back on top of the daring parade, with Marquez second, then Rossi, Crutchlow and Lorenzo.

Special Helmet for Rossi

Rossi_Misano_helmet
Rossi, San Marino MotoGP 2018

Rossi kept up his tradition of a special helmet for home GPs, with his AGV lid sporting words and pictures based on the “Back to the Future II” movie, with Rossi as time traveller Marty McFly and crew chief Silvano Galbusera as mad scientist Doc.

The “Back to Misano” theme reflects that he missed last year’s race at the track barely 10 km from his home town of Tavullia after breaking his leg in an enduro accident.

You could almost here the cash registers ringing over the noise of the bikes.

E-Bike for Smith

Smith, British MotoGP 2018

New Aprilia test rider Bradley Smith hopes to extend his racing experience next year as one of the first volunteers for the new eco-friendly MotoE series, which will field 18 identical electric bikes at selected European GPs.

As well as wild-card riders for Aprilia, starting with the opening round at Qatar, the current Red Bull KTM rider told press that if it didn’t clash with his Aprilia schedule, “it is something that is under consideration.”

Smith has a one-year contract to test for Aprilia, in the hope that he might regain a full-time MotoGP ride in 2020.

Marquez’s Great Escape

Marquez crash, San Marino MotoGP 2018

Marc Marquez’s sprint from gravel trap to pit box (which included a ride on a photographer’s scooter in between the leg work), and his subsequent narrow escape from another crash on his final run, were even more heroic than was obvious.

It was all accomplished with a small stone in his eye, which he blamed for not being able to improve his time.

“On my second flying lap I was pushing hard when I lost the front,” he said. “I was angry with myself because I knew I could improve a lot – I had a margin.”

He’d rushed back to the pit “so fast that only when I jumped on the bike did I realize I had something in my eye, and then I lost a bit my concentration. I did a few mistakes and wasn’t very precise, so I didn’t make a perfect lap, even if the adrenaline was there.”

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Michael Scott | MotoGP Editor Scott has been covering MotoGP since long before it was MotoGP. Remember two-strokes? Scott does. He’s also a best-selling author of biographies on the lives of legendary racers such as Wayne Rainey and Barry Sheene.

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