Race report follows.
Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying at Misano:
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Misano:
2014 Misano MotoGP Saturday Round Up: The Prospect Of A Rossi Win, And Mika Kallio, The Forgotten Man
It looks like we might finally have found a Yamaha track. After Mugello, Barcelona, Assen, Brno, Silverstone, all places which were supposed to favor the Yamaha, but where a Honda won, Misano looks like it could be the place where the reign of Big Red comes to an end. Jorge Lorenzo took his first pole since Motegi last year, Valentino Rossi got on the front row for the first time since Phillip Island last year, and Marc Marquez was off the front row for the first time since Barcelona, 2013. In fact, this is the first time that a Repsol Honda has been missing from the front row of the grid since Valencia 2010. That is a very long time indeed.
Jorge Lorenzo's pole nearly didn't happen. In the first sector of the lap – the tight section through the first five corners – Lorenzo made a couple of mistakes which he feared had cost him a couple of tenths. He thought about pulling in and abandoning the lap, giving it one more shot with a fresh tire if he could change it fast enough. He rejected that idea, then went on to post what he described as an 'unbelievable lap'. His first fast lap had been trumped by Andrea Dovizioso, the Ducati man making clever use of Lorenzo's slipstream. But that first lap had made the Movistar Yamaha rider realize that he was not using the ideal lines. It helped make sure his second exit counted.
While Lorenzo aced qualifying, Valentino Rossi laid down a withering pace in FP4. Fast out of the gate, the Italian's race pace was mid 1'34s in his first run, then low 1'34s in his second. More importantly, his crew made a change to the bike after his first run, which made a big improvement, and allowed him to drop his pace. Rossi described FP4 as 'a great practice', and praised the work his team had done on the bike. "We started well, the bike was good, but we improve a lot," Rossi said.
Report and results follow.
Report and times follow.
Valentino Rossi was quickest in the untimed free practice session, dominating the timing sheet from beginning to end. Jorge Lorenzo on the other Yamaha and Marc Marquez on the Honda were unable to unseat Rossi, and a 1'34.079 at the flag ensured he ended the session on top, looking very much like the Valentino Rossi of old.
As the session came to an end, the top position was traded amongst the top riders, minute by minute, with dry weather letting them ride unhampered for the first complete session all weekend.
Thomas Luthi sneaked ahead of Maverick Vinales from a fourth-sector blitz on a lap that didn't look like it would take the top spot. Luthi had dominated the session, posting fast laps at will. Mika Kallio was third quickest and within one twentieth of a second of Luthi's time.
The weather at Misano finally stopped hampering qualifying and let the riders put in some dry laps to determine who will be in which qualifying session. Andrea Iannone was quickest, without even needing a tow from a factory bike, with Andrea Dovizioso only four hundredths slower. Many teams used the session to put in five or six lap runs to make up for the lack of dry time, choosing to dial in the right settings rather than aim for outright fast laps.
On a drying track, Alex Marquez pipped Alex Rins for the fastest time in a session red-flagged by Roman Fenati destroying his bike, without injury, by touching a patch of astroturf on the exit from the last corner. The session was restarted with two minutes to run, but even in the mad dash, nobody could unseat Marquez.