2019 San Marino MotoGP Results and News (Updated)
Marc Marquez came back to the top step at today’s San Marino and Rimini Riviera grand prix, after twice losing out on last-lap battles for the last two races. This time the Repsol Honda rider won it most forcefully.
2019 San Marino MotoGP Results and News (Updated)
His adversary, after Dovizioso and Rins at the last two, was class rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha), who had taken the lead from fast starter and pole qualifier Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha) on the third of 27 laps of the intense coastal Misano Marco Simoncelli circuit.
With distant title rivals Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) down in sixth and Alex Rins (Ecstar Suzuki) crashed out, Marquez didn’t need the win, “but I decided on the last lap I would try.”
The pair changed places three times, finally and crucially at the slow Turn 14, at the far end of the track.
“It was nice to win in Italy, but even nicer to have 93 points in the championship,” said Marquez; while his defeated rival Quartararo said “this was the best moment of my career, fighting with the World Champion. It was the first time to have a fight with Marc, and we finished really close to the victory.”
Vinales had dropped back earl on, suffering front-wheel slides, but picked up pace again at the end to take a clear third.
More than ten seconds away, local hero Valentino Rossi (Monster Yamaha) had eventually managed to get ahead of protégé Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) for fourth, the pair narrowly holding off Dovizioso at the finish.
Pol Espargaro, who had given the Red Bull KTM its first dry-weather front-row start, was a strong seventh, ahead of Joan Mir (Ecstar Suzuki) and Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati), with Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) completing the top ten. Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda) was a cautious 14th
Cal Crutchlow and Taka Nakagami (both LCR Honda) crashed out, as did Pecco Bagnaia (Pramac Ducati).
Marquez’s ever-growing title lead now mirrors his racing number “93”, with 275 points to Dovizioso’s 182. Petrucci has 151, then Rins 149 and Vinales 134. With six races remaining, the Honda rider is now likely to tie up the championship with four or more to spare.
Moto2 – 25 laps
Augusto Fernandez took a controversial second successive Moto2 win, the Flexbox HP40 Kalex rider going wide off the track to line up a brutal slow-corner block-pass on Fabio Di Giannantonio, whose +Ego Speed Up had led over the line every lap except the last.
The third win of the year underlines the rising star’s talent; while rookie Di Giannantonio’s second podium of the year likewise.
“I was struggling with the rear tyre, so I had to wait until the end. I know I touched the green, but I was almost touching Diggia’s back tyre so I had to go wide,” said Fernandez.
His Italian rival was generous in congratulation. “I think I did a great race, and tried really hard to win. It was a shame for the last corner … I tried to cross, but there was no room.”
Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG-VDS Kalex) settled for third after some early scares, able to fend off Thomas Luthi’s Dynavolt Kalex quite comfortably.
Sam Lowes (Federal Oils Kalex) just managed to hold Brad Binder’s closing Red Bull KTM for fifth, the South African through from 16th on the grid.
American Joe Roberts was less than a second out of a championship point paying position after finishing 16th.
Marquez’s championship lead shrank but is still more than one race win, at 197 to Fernandez on 171; then Luthi 159, Navarro 155, Binder 135.
Moto3 – 27 laps
After leading at several tracks only to miss out. Japan’s Tatsuki Suzuki took an emotional first victory in one of the fiercest Moto3 races in an ultra-close season, at the Marco Simoncelli circuit named after the late son of SIC58 team owner Paolo.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “We didn’t finish so many races this year.”
Le Mans winner John McPhee (Petronas Honda) came through the remains of a big lead gang at the end for a fine second, inches ahead of 2019 double winner Tony Arbolino.
Jaume Masia (KTM) led three laps, but was just out of touch in fourth; while championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Honda) was fifth over the line, but dropped to eighth because of a late track-limits transgression.
This promoted Foggia’s KTM and the Hondas of Rodrigo and Ramirez, still close at the end.
With 31 starters and only 16 finishers, there were many crashes on the slippery circuit, including a last-lap tangle between podium contenders Andrea Migno and brilliant rookie Ai Ogura. But the biggest loser was title contender Aron Canet (Sterilgarda KTM), with the leaders early on only to retire with a misfire on the fourth lap.
Dalla Porta now has 179 points to Canet on 157; then Arbolino 149, Ramirez 123 and Antonelli (a crasher today) 118.
Yamahas were again the class act in qualifying in Misano, taking three of the top four places – but the surprise of a Q2 session with a crescendo of excitement came from Pol Espargaro. The Red Bull KTM rider was briefly fastest, and ended up second, the Austrian marque’s second front row start, and the first achieved in dry weather.
2019 San Marino MotoGP Results and News (Updated)
“I don’t know how we made it,” said Pol in parc ferme after the session. “The bike has been good all weekend, but I can’t believe to see our baby in with the two best.”
It was yesterday’s free practice leader Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha) who slipped in ahead of the Spaniard, by an impressive quarter of a second, though his time of 1m 32.265 was still six tenths off the record, on a hot and sunny day when all were complaining of a lack of grip.
“We found a really good setting in FP4, and when you have a good feeling on this bike you can do a really good lap time,” said Vinales, confident also of a good pace on worn tyres.
Both had displaced earlier session leader Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha), who blamed losing the front several times at the very fast Turn 11, “where you don’t want to lose the front”.
Closer to a crash on a lap that would have been good enough for the front row was his team-mate Franco Morbidelli. But he was already fast enough for fourth.
Champion elect Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) used a two-stop strategy and was challenging strongly for pole when he ran over track limits on his last run. He ended up fifth, one place ahead of closest title challenger, Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) came good at the end to place top Ducati, sixth-fastest.
The final Monster Yamaha of Valentino Rossi, eight tenths slower than his pole-setting team-mate, placed seventh, heading row three from an on-form Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM), through from Q1, and Alex Rins, whose Ecstar Suzuki team-mate Joan Mir, back from injury and also a Q1 graduate, was tenth.
Marquez and Rossi tangled on each of their final laps, by when Marquez had already lost his lap time and Rossi was too slow. They almost collided at the far end of the back straight, but Marquez at least was able to see the funny side.
Class rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio took his Speed Up chassis to a career first pole position, ahead of a gaggle of seven Kalexes, in the final session of a hot, dry day.
The former Moto3 race winner’s time of 1m 32.481 was enough to keep him clear of a late run by championship leader Alex Marquez (EG-VDS Kalex); and Silverstone winner Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP40 Kalex) was third.
The late flurry of fast times knocked ONEXOX Kalex team-mates Remy Gardner and Tetsuta Nagashima – leader yesterday – to had the second row from Xavi Vierge (EG-VDS Kalex), whose bid to move forward ended in a late tumble.
Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Kalex) heads row three from Sam Lowes and Marco Bezzecchi, the Red Bull class rookie top KTM; with factory riders Jorge Martin and Brad Binder xxxxth and xxxth.
The field was depleted by two heavy crashes: Marcel Schrotter (Dynavolt Kalex) and Mattia Pasini (Tasca Kalex) were absent, the former with a broken collarbone and the latter with a spinal fracture.
Japan’s Tatsuki Suzuki took an emotional first pole of his career in Moto3, riding at the circuit named after the late Marco Simoncelli, for the SIC58 team run by Italian rider’s father.
The Honda rider was one of two front-row starters to come through from Q1. Second-fastest Aron Canet (Sterilgarda KTM) had also been obliged to come through, and his late single-lap bid to oust the Japanese rider failed only narrowly, by just over a tenth.
Suzuki’s time of 1m 42.844 was a second short of the record on the slippery surface.
Rising teenage star Tony Arbolino (Snipers Honda) was third; Jaume Masia (KTM) led the second row from the similarly mounted Celestino Vietti and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Honda), who was also through from Q1.
Points leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Honda) crashed early in the session but had set a good enough time for sixth, heading row three. Free practice leader Gabriel Rodrigo (Kommerling Honda) had his single fast lap cancelled for exceeding track limits, and will start from the back of the top 18, along with crashers Kazuko Masaki (Skull KTM) and Romano Fenati (Snipers Honda). The last-named had also fallen in Q1, scrambling back to make it through to Q2, but was unable to restart after his second fall.
Matteo Ferrari hung on to win the first of two electric-power races of the weekend, ahead of Hector Garzo and Xavier Simeon. But the slippery track meant a lot of crashes, with pole starter Alex de Angelis falling on his own, and earlier title leader Niki Tuuli stretchered off after triggering a three-bike tangle that also put Bradley Smith and Mattea Casadei. Eric Granado also crashed out.
Marquez and Rossi Called on the Carpet
Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez were summoned before the FIM stewards after an incident in qualifying where they came close to colliding at the circuit’s slowest corner.
It resembled a return of the rivalry that boiled over at the Malaysian GP in 2015 and in Argentina last year, and has been simmering on and off for some four years.
It was at the end of the session, with each on a hot lap. In fact, Rossi had already exceeded track limits, cancelling his time; while when Marquez forced past at the fast Turn 11 at the end of the back straight, he also ran over the white line.
Rossi said later that he was unaware that his lap time was invalid. “I was on my hot lap, trying to improve, pushing at 100 percent. It was my last chance.” He saw Marquez stray onto the green-painted verge, and overtook him again … then into the slowest corner he ran wide, and the pair all but collided.
Rossi said he was still pushing, “but unfortunately I arrived wide.” If it was a deliberate move, he was not about to admit it; while Marquez – who laughed afterwards in his pit – explained that his hand gesture directly afterwards was not an apology, but “to say: ‘What’s going on here’?
“I want to be clear,” he continued, “because people will say ‘he was following again Valentino’ but it was not like this.” In fact he’d gone out alone, then came across Rossi riding slowly, and slowed himself. “I was in front of him in the timesheets and my intention was not to push until my last lap.”
He too had not realised he had touched the green, and was still pushing when they arrived at the corner, when “I saw his bike arriving very fast on the inside, with a speed that was impossible to turn the corner”.
This time, he said, “I managed to avoid the crash” … a reference to the 2015 Malaysian incident when a similar near collision put him down and out. Rossi, still leading on points, was subsequently penalised with a back-of-the-grid start at the next and final race, and lost the title to Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
The stewards elected to take no further action for today’s incident, with Marquez saying he would not be asking for Rossi to be punished because he was no threat to his championship.
The pair qualified Marquez fifth and Rossi seventh, on the second and third rows of the grid.
Special surface treatment intended to provide better wet grip had left the Misano circuit so slippery that there were a rash of crashes and injuries in practice, with at least one rider dubbing the track “dangerous”.
That was first-time pole qualifier Fabio Di Giannantonio, who had seen two others in the class eliminated from tomorrow’s race with injuries. Erstwhile title contender Marcel Schrotter crashed on Saturday morning, and suffered a quadruple fracture to his collarbone; while Matti Pasini was also stretchered away, with a fractured T12 vertebra after a heavy high-side … one of a number over the two days.
In MotoGP, where Marquez was among several to fall, Andrea Iannone (Aprilia) had three falls over the two days, the last of them also putting him out of his home GP.
Another injured rider was Niki Tuuli in Saturday’s MotoE race.
The track was especially slippery on corner exit, said MotoGP pole qualifier Maverick Vinales, “on the side of the tyre. It is much worse than last year.”
Michelin chief Piero Taramasso said: “The bad news is the track is not improving. Normally it gets better with use and rubber going down, but here it is not happening like that.”
Yamaha riders like New Swingarm
Yamaha’s new carbon-fibre swing-arm – along with a new twin-pipe exhaust the most visible update – won praise from the factory riders, as well as helping Vinales secure pole position.
Said Rossi: “I am happy. It felt good from the first moment I rode it … more precise. It is the first version so we need to improve it, but we will continue this way.”
Yamaha are the last team to fit a carbon-fibre swing-arm.
Footnote: Rossi unveiled his usual ceremonial home-race crash helmet on Saturday – a complex design dubbed “Misano Menu”, to celebrate the cuisine of his home region. His sun motif was echoed by a pizza with splayed wedges; the moon by a lurid water-melon; while on the back his two dogs and a cat displayed VR46 regalia.
Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha) topped the time sheets after the first day of free practice for Sunday’s San Marino and Rimini Riviera GP, best of a pack of four M1 machines, filling the top five.
2019 San Marino MotoGP Results and News
Only Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) was able to get among them at the sun-soaked seaside circuit, splitting them equally in third place.
Vinales’s time of 1m 32.775, set in a generally faster afternoon session, still over a second slower than the pole record, and heading nine riders within the same second at the tight 4.226km circuit.
He and factory-team companion Valentino Rossi were exercising a revised exhaust system and the long-awaited carbon-fibre swing-arm, fresh from pre-race tests at the break after the British GP three weekends ago.
But it was star rookie Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) who posed the greatest challenge to top slot. Fastest in the morning, the 20-year-old’s final run left him just 0.057 of a second behind Vinales.
Marquez, currently well on course for a sixth championship in seven MotoGP years, was some three tenths slower; with Rossi a similar interval behind him.
Second Petronas rider Franco Morbidelli was a close fifth. Pol Espargaro pushed the Red Bull KTM into an impressive sixth, displacing wild card and official test rider Michele Pirro, whose factory entry was the top Ducati of the day. Pirro had been quicker in the afternoon, only for his lap time to be cancelled for exceeding track limits, but his morning time put him seventh.
Full-time Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci was eighth and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro ninth, the last within a second of the front.
This left Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) tenth, on the cusp for direct entry into the Q2 qualifying tomorrow.
However there are no forecasts of rain, so 11th-placed Silverstone winner Alex Rins (Ecstar Suzuki) will get another chance to make it into the top ten, as will LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, in 12th.
Johann Zarco (Red Bull KTM) was 13th, ahead of Nakagami, Bagnaia, and an off-form Jack Miller, placed 16th. Less than a tenth slower, the still-tentative Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda) less than a tenth down in 17th.
Times in the middle class were ultra-close, with 24 riders covered by just one second, and Silverstone winner Augusto Fernandez taking top slow by just 0.049 of a second.
Fernandez (Flexbox Kalex) was fractionally ahead of championship leader Alex Marquez (EG-VDS Kalex); with class rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio putting the +Ego Speed Up chassis into a close third.
Morning leader Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX Kalex) ended up fourth, with all of the top nine improving in the afternoon. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox Kalex) and Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Kalex) completing the top six.
Class rookie Enea Bastianini lead an all-Kalex provisional third row from Remy Gardner and Sam Lowes.
The top KTM was Iker Lecuona’s American Racing machine, with top Red Bull team rider Brad Binder only 23rd. The Austrian GP winner missed the whole of FP1 after walking away from a spectacular high-side crash on his out lap.
Times were a second off the record in Moto3 in the low-grip conditions, with many of the top times – potentially important for going straight into Q2 – set in the morning rather in the warmer afternoon.
That’s how it was for the top three, with the KTM of Alberto Arenas (Angel Nieto Team) heading a pair of Hondas: Nico Antonelli (SIC58) and Gabriel Rodrito (Kommerling).
Le Mans winner John McPhee (Petronas Honda) moved up to fourth in the afternoon, Tony Arbolino (Snipers Honda) set fifth-fastest time in the morning; while Ayami Sasaki (Petronas Honda) was another afternoon flyer in sixth. Championship leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Honda) was eighth, closest rival Aron Canet (Sterilgarda KTM) 11th.
The top 26 were inside one second; counting also FP3 tomorrow morning the top 18 will go straight into Q1.
Friction Between Puig and Lorenzo
With Lorenzo smarting after reports of insulting remarks by Repsol Honda team manager Alberto Puig, rumours continued to swirl around the three-times MotoGP champion’s future with the factory team, as his injury-stricken first season alongside Marc Marquez continues to limp along.
Spanish reports had Puig questioning Lorenzo’s courage and commitment, and his willingness to take risks.
The rider, still suffering pain from the most recent of a rash of falls, at Assen before the summer break, wondered “how anybody can say I didn’t take risks, because I have had huge crashes, always because I was trying to get good results..”
At Assen Lorenzo suffered two vertebral fractures that kept him sidelined for four races and are still not completely healed. Prior to that he broke his wrist in a pre-season dirt-bike crash, and ribs at the first round in Qatar, along with a number of other bruising tumbles.
“I have never been 100 percent fit to ride the Honda,” he said. Without the injuries, he was confident he could have been scoring top-five finishes and challenging for the podium.
“The feeling with the Honda … I’ve never felt really safe, especially with the front. Probably I pushed too much before knowing the bike exactly.” The crashes had made learning the bike much harder.
The overheated paddock atmosphere centred on speculation, so far without any confirmation, that Lorenzo is considering quitting at the end of this year, either for a year’s break or to retire; while the currently jobless Johann Zarco’s name has been linked with the Repsol Honda team for 2020. However, the Frenchman’s difficulty in adapting to the similarly aggressive KTM suggest he might find the Honda just as hard to ride fast.
Zarco’s early contract termination has left a conspicuous vacancy at the Red Bull KTM factory team, with no obvious solution. Suggestions that current satellite KTM rider Miguel Oliveira might move up have gone quiet, but with top Moto2 riders already signed up elsewhere there is a dearth of available talent to take the slot. Former factory rider Bradley Smith, currently test rider for Aprilia, seems a possible candidate for a night-watchman role.
Rossi’s Dream Road
One of Valentino Rossi’s dreams came true in the run up to the race closest to his home town of Tavullia, when the road was closed and he was allowed to ride his MotoGP M1 Yamaha from there to the Misano circuit.
Fans lined sections of the 13-km route as the region’s most famous resident piloted the racer at speeds, he said, of “up to about 170 km/h.
“It was a dream that I had from very young,” he said.
“We know very well that route – go up and down many times with my scooter. The road is funny … it has a lot of corners.”
On Sunday, hard-core fans will join the annual foot-slog from Tavullia to the track, where Rossi took his third victory in 2014.
Iannone’s Company to Manage Fenati
Surprise of the weekend? So far, it is an alliance unkindly described on social media as “The Maniac and The Lunatic”.
This was the response to Andrea Iannone’s Thursday announcement that he and his brother Angelo will be taking over management of the career of current Moto3 rider Romano Fenati .
The news came almost exactly a year after ten-times Moto3 race winner Fenati incurred world-wide opprobrium, a licence suspension and the sack at Misano, after reaching across to squeeze the front brake of Moto2 rival Stefano Manzi during last year’s GP.
At the time, Fenati – already known for his hot temper and previously sacked from Rossi’s VR46 Moto3 team – announced he would quit racing. But a rethink and redemption with his current Marinelli Snipers Honda Moto3 team saw the chastened 23-year-old return to the junior class.
Now he plans to return to Moto2 next season – and the self-styled “Maniac” Iannone will be at the helm of his career.
More accurately, it will be Iannone’s brother Angelo taking the reins, said the one-time MotoGP race winner, himself dedicated to his current role trying to become competitive on the recalcitrant factory Aprilia.
Iannone explained that he had known Fenati from his earliest racing years, and the approach came from the younger man.
“I knew his grandfather, and I also raced pocket bikes, like him. I think he has had a strange and difficult history of life, but also a really good talent.”
New Swingarms for Yamaha
Carbon came at last to the back of the factory Yamahas at Misano, after making its first appearance at tests at the same circuit in the two-weekend break after the British GP.
The new black swing-arms bring the Yamahas in line with all its class rivals, as the last to follow the lead set some years ago by Ducati in replacing aluminium units with the moulded material.
It comes after repeated requests from both riders Rossi and Vinales, and both welcomed it, as well as a new Suzuki-alike exhaust system with shorter twin pipes on the right-hand side of the bike.
“There is not a big difference, but I like the feeling,” said Rossi. And the exhaust was “a bit different, for the character of the engine”.
With Yamahas taking four of the top five positions in the first day of free practice, including first and second, the innovation marked continuing improvement for the beleaguered marque.
Moto2 Rider Moves
Moto2 signings for next season are adding up, with several top riders shifting teams.
While current title leader Alex Marquez will stay with his current EG-Marc VDS squad, after hopes of a MotoGP move were thwarted; his new-this-year team-mate Xavier Vierge is on the move again.
The fancied Spaniard will join the Petronas team, which next season expands to two riders. His team-mate is yet to be confirmed, with rumours that current incumbent Khairul Idham Pawi may be returning the Moto3, where he had previously taken two wins. The Malaysian’s third Moto2 season has been blighted by a serious hand injury at Jerez in May, and he has not raced since.
Current Moto3 points leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta confirmed his move to join compatriot Enea Bastianini at the Italtrans Kalex team; while his championship rival Aron Canet is also moving up, to Aspar Martinez’s Angel Nieto squad.
Another Malaysian, Hafizh Syahrin, is hoping he might get one of several still-vacant rides, after being dropped from the Tech 3 Red Bull KTM MotoGP squad next year in favour of Brad Binder.
Trouble in Moto3 saw the hitherto successful team running Jaume Masia and Andrea Migno revert to plain livery, after falling out with sponsor Bester Capital Dubai. The team’s future is now in doubt.
Brotherly support is not confined to the Marquez family. When Can Oncu fell in Moto3’s FP1, suffering a broken left collarbone, his twin brother Deniz was on hand to take over the Red Bull Ajo KTM for FP2.
Deniz made his debut at the Czech Republic GP as a wild card for the same team, and filled the same role a week later in Austria, finishing 18th and 17th. Brother Can was a maiden-race winner last year at Valencia, but this year has scored only four points.
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