Gran Premio Octo Di San Marino E Della Riviera Di Rimini

9 September 2018
Misano Circuit in San Marino

The MotoGP riders teams, dorna and officials go back to Italy for the San Marino Grand Prix

Dovizioso dominates Free Practice 1 and 2 of the San Marino GP

Local rider Andrea Dovizioso was fastest in free practice 1 of the San Marino MotoGP.

Dovizioso was born 60 kilometres from Misano, was quickest in 1min 32.608 sec, 0.101 ahead of Britain's Cal Crutchlow on his LCR Castrol Honda.

Dovizioso has never won at Misano, he went fastest with a time of 1 minute 32.198 seconds was followed closely by Britain's Cal Crutchlow, Maverick Viñales and Dovi's team-mate Lorenzo was fourth fastest. He has had three consecutive wins at Misano from 2011-2013 riding a Yamaha.

Next was Ecstar Suzuki's Andrea Iannone in fifth, Jack Miller riding his Alma Pramac Ducati in sixth, Dani Pedrosa best Repsol Honda in seventh, Johann Zarco on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha came in eighth, Danilo Petrucci riding his Alma Pramac Ducati came ninth and rookie Franco Morbidelli on his Marc VDS Honda completed the top ten.

Márquez finished 13th and Home hero, Valentino Rossi could only manage to finish 15th fastest. Rossi is second in the championship, 59 points behind Márquez. The Italian was more than a half a second off Dovi's pace.

At the end of the day Dovizioso said...

"I'm pleased I manage to set the quickest time in both of today's sessions, but I didn't have a perfect feeling with the bike during free practice,

"The track conditions were very different to what we encountered during the test here three weeks ago: there isn't the same amount of grip, the tires wear out in a different way and our set-up is not the same. However, we're fast and we hope that the weather conditions tomorrow will allow us to work some more on the bike because we have to improve for the race."

Marc Márquez the Championship leader said

"I'm very happy today because we worked really well here starting with a good setup since the beginning and made a little step in the afternoon also.

"The other guys did a test two weeks ago so we just tried to be very precise in every step of our work and we're already happy with our pace. I feel good with the bike; I can ride well.

"We didn't put on a new tire in the end because our target is mainly working for the race, like always. We'll see tomorrow how things go; it seems like many riders are quite strong but we're very equal already."

The top 14 were within a second of each other.

MotoGP Free Practice 1 Classification

Misano Adriatico, Friday 7 September 2018

Consistent And Fast Dovizioso Tops Friday's MotoGP Times In Misano

Andrea Dovizioso Factory Ducati carried on from where he left off in FP1, topping the timesheets with a 0.160 of a second over teammate Jorge Lorenzo, with Britain's Cal Crutchlow in third.

Dovizioso did a lap of 1 minute 32.198 seconds on his 20th lap using soft tyres front and read and securing a place in Q2. Lorenzo used the same tyres to get a Ducati one two.

If the rain that is forecast for Saturday morning then these two sessions will decide the Q2 riders.

Crutchlow was only 0.027 of a second slower than Lorenzo to take third place and finished 0.026s ahead of Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Viñales.

It was a better session for Valentino Rossi as he managed to get himself up to eighth place after a difficult FP1. Rossi is still struggling to get up to speed and he ended six-tenths behind Dovi.

Marc Márquez went top on his third lap of the session, setting a time of 1 minute 32.537 seconds. He chose to see how the soft tyre would last over race distance and stayed out on the same tyre. His time was quick enough to hold his fifth place, next fastest was Danilo Petrucci on his Alma Pramac Ducati he set a time of 1 minute 32.777 seconds.

Ecstar Suzuki's Álex Rins managed to get into the top ten with a time of 1 minute 32.775 seconds

With that time it then pushed Rossi out of the top ten. 'The Doctor' put together some quick times and moved up to eight ahead of Andrea Iannone, who had to rely on his FP1 time after going down on cold tyres on an out lap.

Rookie Franco Morbidelli on his Marc VDS Honda continued to impress taking ninth with Johann Zarco finishing this session in 10th and Dani Pedrosa in 11th place. Michele Pirro finished 12th ahead of Alvaro Bautista while Jack Miller crashed out and he dropped down to 15th after his sixth in FP1. Takaaki Nakagami took 15th and Andrea Iannone nest ahead of Scott Redding, just getting the better of his team mate Aleix Espargaró. Wild card Stefan Bradl, HRC Honda's test rider, got himself to 19th just ahead of Bradley Smith in 20th.

MotoGP Free Practice 2 Classification

Misano Adriatico, Friday 7 September 2018

Zarco goes fastest to top FP3 and takes Q2 spot at Misano

Johann Zarco and Jack Miller took a big risk and it paid off!

On a damp Misano circuit for the third free practice Zarco and Miller were first and second and both riders were fast enough to go into Q2.

Free Practice 3 started in damp conditions and at the start most of the field decided to wait in the box for the track to get better. Only a few riders went out to complete one lap on wets.

At first the three riders out on slicks from the start were Alvaro Bautista, Dani Pedrosa and Johann Zarco, with Bautista setting the quickest times.

The Angel Nieto Ducati rider's first lap was quite slow compared to dry time, he set a 1 minute 44.251 seconds. The times improved by eight seconds in the next 15 minutes and, when Pedrosa went faster than Bautista who's going to World Superbike in 2019. Then the other riders started to go out on the damp track.

Pedrosa still was top for the next 10 minutes until fellow Honda rider Tom Lüthi bettered his time and then Marc Márquez went faster than both of them.

Márquez set times in the 1 minute 33 seconds zone and leading the rest by 1.9 seconds with 12 minutes to go.

Márquez did not improve and soon others caught him up. Andrea Dovizioso and Zarco went faster. Zarco was still in the Q1 brigade, only 11th overall after FP2. So he was trying for a Q2 spot, but his 1 minute 33.010 seconds was two tenths off Franco Morbidelli's, 10th time set on Friday.

Zarco the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider did not improve but Miller did go faster as he was following Zarco on track moving into the overall top 10 with the 1 minute 32.871 seconds he set only a few seconds before the chequered flag came out.

Zarco fought back as he had time for one more lap to go top of FP3 with a time of 1 minute 32.788 seconds, which sent him up to ninth overall.

Miller second, was only 0.073 of a second behind Zarco. Dovizioso still consistently fast came third fastest and Márquez took fourth.

Britain's Cal Crutchlow and his LCR Castrol Honda went fifth fastest next was Ecstar Suzuki's Álex Rins in sixth all going into Q2.

Best Rookie again, Franco Morbidelli on his Marc VDS Honda continues to impress with another good time to go seventh his best so far all year. Faster than Andrea Iannone Ecstar Suzuki, who has been pushed out of Q2 by Zarco and Miller. Pedrosa finished in eighth getting back to what he knows he can do.

Malaysian Hafizh Syahrin riding his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, after having had a stern talking to by Tech 3 team manager, Herve Poncharal after a Friday to forget finishing dead last but one in both sessions, shot up to ninth.

The factory Movistar Yamaha Team mates were taking it carefully and Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi finished in 10th and 20th respectively, but both were already in Q2 so no need to push and risk having an accident.

Danilo Petrucci, Alma Pramac Ducati finished in 15th. Jorge Lorenzo didn't bother to go out and risk it, he ended FP3 without a lap time, already in the overall top 10.

Tom Lüthi and Bradley Smith both came off in the closing stages at Turn 8 and 14 respectively.

MotoGP Free Practice 3 Classification

Misano Adriatico, Saturday 8 September 2018

Super-Smooth Lorenzo Takes Misano Pole

Jorge Lorenzo smashed his own qualifying lap record to take pole for the San Marino MotoGP while Jack Miller was amazing to go second

Marc Márquez will start from the middle of the second row after a crash on his second run trying too hard to snatch pole.

The Repsol Honda rider came out with the fastest lap of the weekend straight out the box with a 1 minute 32.016 seconds. Then Lorenzo went quicker to do the fastest ever lap at Misano by doing a 1 minute 31.763 seconds, but it looked so smooth as if he wasn't trying.

Miller at that point was third fastest as those three were ending their first runs.

Miller found more than four tenths of a second on his Alma Pramac Ducati GP17 to go second with a 1 minute 31.916 seconds.

Márquez pushing hard went down at Turn 15, his first of the weekend. His other bike was ready for a two stop strategy so he ran back and was able to get a lift back to the pits and continue his qualifying bid.

Márquez crash sequence

Márquez looked like he was going to take the top spot away from Lorenzo as he was on a very hot lap. As he set the fastest first sector, but his full lap time just wasn't good enough.

Lorenzo, on the other hand, went quicker again with a 1 minute 31.629 seconds on the Factory Ducati machine to finish qualifying 0.287 of a second faster than the rest of the field.

Lorenzo said afterwards

"A month ago, in the test, I set a (one minute-)31.9, so it was very difficult to improve the lap time, but all the riders in the qualifying find more speed from nowhere, from all the braking and the lean angle and acceleration,

"The lap times were impressive and this 31.6 is a great lap so I'm very proud of it and I'm very happy."

Miller's grid place is his best in a session not affected by weather, having qualified on pole in Argentina in April on a drying track.

An enthusiastic Jack Miller told me

"I don't know how I did it, I just put my head down, we've had good speed all weekend but I had a couple of spills yesterday. In the morning, just pushing too hard on used tyres; and then in the afto, I just couldn't get the tyre to work and I was building up my pace and then it caught me out in the last corner.

"I can't thank the team enough. Judging by FP4, we have good pace for the race as well on used tyre, both soft and medium, so I'm excited.

"I didn't expect this but I'll take it, that's for sure."

Earlier, Miller had only just achieved direct path into Qualifying 2 when he was second fastest on a damp track in Free Practice 3.

Andrea Dovizioso of the Factory Ducati Team went third fastest in the final minute of qualifying before Maverick Viñales on his Movistar Yamaha, spoiled what could have been an all Ducati front row after the chequered flag waved.

In sixth is Cal Crutchlow, who managed to crash his LCR Castrol Honda late in the session as well as dropping it during Free Practice 4.

Valentino Rossi on his Movistar Yamaha could only manage the third row for the start of the race in seventh ahead of Danilo Petrucci and his Alma Pramac Ducati with Frenchman Johann Zarco on his Monster Tech3 Yamaha taking ninth.

Álex Rins Ecstar Suzuki's top finisher, starts alongside the two Q1 graduates with Dani Pedrosa in 11th, on his Repsol Honda and Honda stable-mate, Franco Morbidelli 12th on his Marc VDS Honda.

MotoGP Qualifying Nr. 2 Classification

Misano Adriatico, Saturday 8 September 2018

MotoGP Warm Up Classification

Misano Adriatico, Sunday 9 September 2018

Ready, Steady, it's the Misano MotoGP Race!

Dovizioso takes the Misano MotoGP win and beats Márquez, Lorenzo crashes in second

Glory and Grief for the Factory Ducati Team

As Andrea Dovizioso took his third win of the year at Misano beating Márquez and Cal Crutchlow in third, but the unlucky Jorge Lorenzo crashed whilst in second.

Dovizioso from fourth on the grid he made a good start and began to battle his way past the three riders ahead of him. In the opening laps he took them precisely and left them with no way to retake him. Then he set a pace his rivals couldn't keep up with, pulling away lap by lap.

Lorenzo from pole took the lead from the lights. In the opening sequence of corners stayed ahead of Jack Miller fellow front-row starter, as Márquez muscled his way to third ahead of Dovizioso.

By the end of the lap Dovizioso got past both Márquez and Miller to move to go second. Then on lap six of the 27 he made a clever pass on Lorenzo going into the left hander of Turn 8 to take control of the race.

Miller was looking good in fourth on his Alma Pramac Ducati then managed to slide off it and into the kitty litter. That left the leaders with a good gap ahead of Crutchlow Rins and Viñales.

Meanwhile, Rossi was struggling to stay ahead of Iannone and Pedrosa. He looked like he couldn't keep the bike on line and was loosing ground out of the corners.

Dovizioso kept his lead around a second until he broke the lap record on the ninth lap. He kept this pace up for the next five laps and his advantage went up to nearly two seconds.

Lorenzo crash sequence

Lorenzo and Márquez managed to close the gap in the latter stages until the Ducati man slid off at the Turn 8, the left hander on the penultimate lap. He got it all wrong on the brakes with the back end fish-tailing which made him go into the corner too fast and he lost it. That left Dovizioso to just keep it on track and upright to take the victory.

Lorenzo and Márquez duelled it out in a thrilling battle over second, taking and retaking each other many times before Lorenzo dropped it.

Even though they were fighting it out they still managed to close in on Dovizioso in the last five laps until Lorenzo crashed out. Dovi was wise to it, upped his pace to suit and kept his gap to finally take the chequered flag after the 27 laps by 2.8 seconds.

Behind the battling pair Cal Crutchlow on his LCR Castrol Honda was having a solitary fourth for most of the race after dispatching Viñales, Rossi, Petrucci and Zarco who had got the better of him at the start. The Brit gained the final podium position after Lorenzo's demise, 4 seconds behind Márquez. Next across the line was Álex Rins the best of the Ecstar Suzuki's coming in fourth.

Maverick Viñales MoviStar Yamaha Team didn't make any benefit from his front row start, dropping down to fifth on the opening lap and he couldn't make any ground on the five ahead of him and thanks to Lorenzo he finished in fifth place.

His teammate, Valentino Rossi seemed to struggle with his Yamaha and could only hang on to seventh after being overhauled by Dani Pedrosa on the second Factory Repsol Honda who was the Honda meat in a Yamaha sandwich he came home in sixth.

Andrea Iannone Ecstar Suzuki tried to get on terms with Rossi, but Rossi was able to keep him at bay. Whilst Alvaro Bautista, Angel Nieto Ducati and Johann Zarco, Monster Tech 3 Yamaha had a battle of their own with the Spaniard getting ninth and the better of the Frenchman who took tenth place.

Another home hero was Danilo Petrucci on his Alma Pramac Ducati. He was given a 1.1 second penalty for cutting the corners a few times but it made no difference as he finished over 3 seconds behind Zarco to take 5 points from 11th. Top rookie and Honda privateer was 12th place Italian, Franco Morbidelli on his Marc VDS Honda, he fought with and beat Japanese rookie Takaaki Nakagami riding his LCR Honda Idemitsu to end up in 13th spot.

Rounding out the points scorers were Aprilia man Aleix Espargaró and Factory Ducati wildcard man Michele Pirro.

After Lorenzo slid into the gravel trap he remounted and had a bit of a fight with Bradley Smith the Brit got the better of the Mallorcan, the pair finishing 16th and 17th respectively. The other faller and remounted was Jack Miller he managed to bring his damaged Alma Pramac Ducati in 18th, he was annoyed with himself after starting from second on the grid only for it to end up belly-up in the kitty litter.

The other finishers were 19th the Malaysian rookie Hafizh Syahrin on his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha. In 20th came Czech Karel Abraham Angel Nieto Ducati Team, in 21st British Bulldog, Scott Redding a lowly 22nd on his Aprilia Racing Team Gresini. With the Swiss rider Thomas Lüthi riding the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda and last to complete 26 laps the French new comer 23 Christophe Ponsson Reale Avintia Ducati Racing, at least he finished unlike his team-mate and rookie let's not forget, Xavier Simeon, who trashed the absent Tito Rabat's Ducati after getting up to his highest MotoGP place.

The other Non-finishers were the German Stefan Bradl who again broke his HRC Honda, Honda will not be happy with that! Also Pol Espargaró on the other Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, who ended his race early just after half-distance with exhaustion, still not fit after recuperating from his injuries.

Now I'll go and try running around the paddock find riders and crew, before they all disappear, to have a chat with the riders and team managers to get their take on the race. It's a hard life, but don't ask me to swap!!!

The Podium Márquez Dovizioso and Crutchlow take the spoils of the race

MotoGP Race Classification

Misano Adriatico, Sunday 9 September 2018

Márquez increased his Championship lead and now has one hand on this year's title trophy. Only a disaster will stop him winning this year's MotoGP title.

MotoGP World Standing 2018

As at 9/9/2018

Next we travel to Spain to the MotorLand circuit in Aragon

- Roland Potter