Emilia-Romagna MotoGP Friday Round Up: Close Times Hide The Bigger Picture, Is Honda Better, And Yamaha's Split Personality

Just how close is MotoGP at Misano? The gap between Brad Binder in first and Taka Nakagami in second is just 0.002s, two thousandths of a second. The top five are all within 0.071, just over seven hundredths of a second. The top ten are within half a second, and there are eighteen (18) riders within a second. It seems fair to say it is insanely close.

Or it would be if that were an accurate reflection of the actual state of the MotoGP grid. But the combined standings at the end of the first day of practice at the second MotoGP round at Misano in two weeks is rather deceptive. Precisely because it is the first day of practice for the second race on consecutive weekends at the same track.

Coming into Friday, the MotoGP riders had three days of riding at last week's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, then a full day of testing on Tuesday. It seems fair to say that the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli holds no secrets for the MotoGP grid any longer. And with the weather predicted to be stable on Saturday, there was no real reason to push for a fast lap on Friday if a rider was comfortable with their pace.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna MotoE FP2 Result: Two For Two For Granado

Closing the day at Misano Part 2 was the MotoE class, where Alex de Angelis led the way for most of the session but Eric Granado robbed him in the final minute. The Brazilian rider ends the day as the fastest man after topping both sessions, two tenths of a second faster than de Angelis. Matteo Ferrari was next quickest, with Jordi Torres the only other rider within half a second of the leader.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Moto2 FP2 Result: Marini Masters Misano Once More

After so many laps on the grippy surface of the Misano circuit, the intermediate class keeps getting faster and faster, with championship leader Luca Marini improving the all time lap record at the checkered flag in FP2. While posting the only 1:35 time of the weekend, the home favourite was only nine hundredths of a second faster than rookie Aron Canet, who seemed to have learned a lot from a challenging first weekend in Misano. Marcel Schrotter picked up the lead early on and remained inside the top three despite a tumble in the final three minutes of the session.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna MotoGP FP2 Result: A Late Surprise From Binder

Some new names added a bit of spice to the top of the standings in the second practice session for the premier class in Misano. While usual contenders like Fabio Quartararo or Pol Espargaro took early turns in the lead, it was Brad Binder who eventually robbed them of the headline after benefitting from a fine tow from a rapid Maverick Vinales.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Moto3 FP2 Result: The Masia Missile

Friday afternoon at Misano wasn’t too crowded to begin with, given that a dozen riders got a 15 min slap on the wrists in FP2 but once the action picked up, several of the usual contenders fought for prime position. In the end, Jaume Masia set a new all time lap record in the final minute of the session, three tenths of a second faster than the rest of his rivals led by Celestino Vietti. The Italian had a solid session in second position, keeping ahead of Tatsuki Suzuki and Andrea Migno by the narrowest of margins.

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2020 Catalunya World Supersport FP1 Result: Mahias Fends Off Vinales

Lucas Mahias was quickest, ahead of Isaac Viñales and Philipp Oettl with Andrea Locatelli fourth quickest. Locatelli is seventy nine points ahead of the absent Jules Cluzel and one hundred and six clear of Lucas Mahias, and two victories this weekend will get him his first World Supersport title.

Results:

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2020 Catalunya World Superbike FP1 Result: Razgatlioglu Heads Yamaha Domination

After two weekends at a track that doesn't favour the Yamahas, Toprak Razgatlioglu headed a trio of blue bikes in the top three spots, joined by Michael van der Mark and independent rider Garrett Gerloff. Alvaro Bautista capitalised on his improved pace fourth fastest and Jonathan Rea held off Michael Ruben Rinaldi for fifth and sixth places.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna MotoE FP1 Result: Granado Strikes Back

MotoE returns to Misano for their first double header of the season and Eric Granado seems eager to make up for his E-pole mistake last time out. The Brazilian topped FP1 but his gap to Xavier Simeon was less than three hundredths of a second. Championship leader Dominique Aegerter started the session in the lead before slipping down to third but only a tenth and a half off the leaders. Master of Misano Mattia Ferrari closely followed the Swiss rider, with Mike Di Meglio rounding out the top five positions.

Results:

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Moto2 FP1 Result: Bastianini Steps Up

The intermediate class returned to the Misano World Circuit just as quick as last time out and with some new names joining the list of contenders. Enea Bastianini putting his name at the top of the timesheets for the final couple of minutes of FP1 – a tenth off lap record – won’t come as much of a surprise, but the man who pushed him hardest was class veteran Tom Luthi, who picked up the pace to finish second, less than two tenths off top spot.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna MotoGP FP1 Result: Quartararo Gets One Back On Morbidelli

Having spent the best of the past week circling around the Misano circuit, premier class riders were quick to get on the pace, none more so than new victor Franco Morbidelli, who lost no speed from last weekend and spent most of FP1 at the top of the timing screens. Ultimately, teammate Fabio Quartararo found an extra tenth on fresh soft rubber and stole the headline at the checkered flag, demoting Morbidelli to second.

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2020 Emilia-Romagna Moto3 FP1 Result: Fernandez Flies Fast

Barely a blink later, the lightweight class was back on track, chasing the first headline of the second weekend in Misano. Jaume Masia spent the most time at the top of the timesheets in FP1 but ultimately it was Raul Fernandez who posted the fastest time yet over the two weekends in Italy and the first 1:41, nearing lap record. Having sat out the first 10 minutes of the session through penalty, Jeremy Alcoba came within two tenths of the leader, as did Dennis Foggia, while Gabriel Rodrigo and Andrea Migno completed the top five.

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Emilia-Romagna MotoGP Thursday Round Up: A Close Championship, The Best Bike On The Grid, And Yamaha's Progress

We are in the toughest stretch of the punishing 2020 MotoGP schedule, ahead of the second race of the first of three triple headers – 9 races in 11 weeks, in three sets of three. It is a brutal start to this stretch, with last Sunday's race followed by a test on Tuesday, then practice starting again on Friday. Over the course of 10 days, the MotoGP riders will have been riding for 7 of them.

What will the second race at Misano look like, after the MotoGP riders have already have 4 days of riding at the track? "For sure everything will be very close after a Grand Prix, race, then a test, then another race," Alex Rins predicted. "Everything will be so close, so we need to be at 100%, we need to give our 100% to be at the front, to be concentrated, and giving our best."

Why will everything be closer? Because the second race at the same circuit gives everyone a chance to try to correct the mistakes they made at the first. Take Jack Miller. On Sunday, he was persuaded to race with the medium front instead of following his gut instinct, which told him to go with the hard front. It is a decision he will revisit come Sunday, and something he worked on at the test.

Rubber quandaries

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Gordon Ritchie WorldSBK Blog: Choose Your (WorldSBK) Weapon

It has been said before, and I will say it again, it is a welcome feat of logistics and determination that there is a 2020 WorldSBK season going on, and a near miracle that we media types are allowed in to cover it from inside. Thank you to all involved, without exception.

Given my shockingly bad air travel experiences at the first two ‘season comeback’ rounds in Jerez and Portimao, my media enterprises empire (a laptop and the soft machine that thumps its keyboard) quite literally set sail for the rest of the championship, by motorcycle. Which is fair enough, as I am covering a championship that is indeed based on production-derived motorcycles.

Somewhere between the Picos de Europa mountains of Asturias and the swimming pools of Calpe near Valencia - and exactly between the Teruel and Catalunya rounds in chronological terms - my mind was distracted from a heat-induced intermittent loss of friction between throttle grip and throttle barrel by thoughts of a much more extreme version of the real road bike scenario; WorldSBK racing.

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