Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the weekend's races at Misano:
If half a second is a long time around Misano, seven tenths of a second is almost a geological era. Jorge Lorenzo was lacking grip and braking stability on Saturday; on Sunday morning, Ramon Forcada stiffened the front to improve Lorenzo's braking, and the factory Yamaha man crushed the opposition in the warm up. Four hours later, the reigning world champion did exactly the same again in the race, destroying his rivals in the first three laps, and holding on for a victory that was both overwhelming and important.
The first three laps? Lorenzo probably won the race in the first 100 meters off the line. Lorenzo had fluffed his practice starts on Saturday, bogging down and not really getting off the line. On Sunday, he was so fast away off the line that he had two bike lengths before he had even changed up into second gear. By the time he crossed the timing line at the end of the first sector, he was already 0.4 seconds ahead. By the end of the first lap, he was 1.2 seconds ahead. It was already game over.
There was the small matter of the remaining 27 laps, of course, but Lorenzo controlled the race imperiously. Every time one of the Repsol Hondas chasing him got a little closer, Lorenzo responded, upping his pace to match either Dani Pedrosa or Marc Marquez, depending on who was leading the chase. The gap climbed to three seconds, dropped to two seconds, climbed again to four before Lorenzo crossed the line nearly three and a half seconds ahead of Marquez. It had been a typically Lorenzian performance, ruling the race with an iron fist, crushing the opposition before it even had a chance to consider trying to put up a fight.
Half a second at Misano is a very, very long time. At a short track like this, gaps are measured in tenths, not seconds. The gap from 5th to 12th, for example, is 0.505. Yet the gap from Marc Marquez on pole to Jorge Lorenzo, the rider with the second fastest time, was 0.513 seconds. A huge difference.
Despite another one of his fast crashes in free practice, from which he keeps walking away almost unhurt, Marquez stayed calm, posted an impressive fast lap in his first run of Q2, and then followed it up by obliterating Casey Stoner's 2011 Misano pole lap record by over two tenths of a second. The lap was stunning - another trademark of Marquez since his switch to MotoGP - and beyond the capability of anyone to follow. The Repsol Honda man looked unstoppable during qualifying.
Not just during qualifying. There has only been one session of practice in which Marc Marquez was not fastest at Misano, and that was Q1, a session he did not participate in. Marquez has now scored six poles in his first year, joining Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi as the only riders to have started from pole so many times in a season. He is, in case you haven't noticed, downright impressive.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Misano:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after the first day of practice at Misano:
Dani Rivas has been handed a two-race ban for the crash he caused during morning warm up at Silverstone, two weeks ago. The crash happened because Rivas was remonstrating with another rider after the flag had dropped for the end of warm up, and a group of riders were stood still waiting to do a practice start. Rivas was not looking where he was going, and slammed straight into the back of Steven Odendaal, as footage on Youtube shows. Both Rivas and Odendaal were taken to hospital; Odendaal is riding again, Rivas is still injured.
Rivas will now be forced to miss not only Misano, where he is injured, but also Aragon and Sepang. Below is the FIM press release explaining the decision:
2013 FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
Hertz British Grand Prix - Decision of the Race Direction
On 1st September 2013 at the end of the Moto2 class Warm Up session for the Hertz British Grand Prix at Silverstone, there was an accident involving riders number 27 Dani Rivas, 44 Steven Odendaal, 19 Xavier Simeon, and 81 Jordi Torres, with both Rivas and Odendaal requiring medical attention which ruled them out of the race.
Takaaki Nakagami held the top spot in FP2 by the blink of an eye, a mere one thousandth of a second in front of second-place Pol Espargaro. Esteve Rabat grabbed the third fastest lap, three tenths of a second behind the leaders on Friday's final practice at the Misano circuit.
Once again, not much of a gap separates the Moto2 riders with less than a second between fastest and out-of-the-points in 16th position. Championship leader Scott Redding finished the day fourth fastest.
Near the end the of the session, Nakagami crashed out and was stretchered off the track. Early reports are that the rider is fine although a bit banged up.
Takaaki Nakagami topped the the first Moto2 practice timesheet with a 1’38.634, a time which not only put him one-tenth of a second clear of second place, it would have left him at 22nd fastest in the MotoGP grid in FP1. Esteve Rabat took second and Thomas Luthi, who led most of the session, came in third-fastest, two-tenths off the pace. Championship leader Scott Redding came in fourth fastest at another two-tenths back. Pol Espargaro, second in the championship, set the sixth-fastest time but was another two-tenths behind Redding.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's round at Misano: