Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoE class at Misano:
Raffaele De Rosa entered World Supersport Superpole knowing his qualifying wouldn't change his grid position as he would start the race from the pit lane as a penalty for crashing into Jules Cluzel last time out.
The intermediate class took full advantage of their final practice session and quickly challenged the hierarchy from Friday. Sam Lowes was most eager to put his name at the top of the timing screens, where it sat for a considerable amount of time, until title contender Enea Bastianini went faster and fastest for the final seven minutes of FP3. No one else could challenge the Italian’s lap record until the checkered flag, Lowes settling for second, a tenth and a half off.
World Superbike qualifying was twenty five minutes to set a fast lap on a track the series has never raced at and has had only one dry session this weekend. As this morning's weather dried up, slick tyres were fitted in anticipation of dry qualifying.
The premier class put on a show for the crucial FP3 session and it started early in the morning, when the cooler conditions led to some early mistakes from the likes of Jack Miller and Miguel Oliveira, who sat in gravel traps in quick succession. Once the yellow flags stopped waving, Pecco Bagnaia was quick to improve and join the top ten, eventually snatching the lap record on his home playground. The Italian did end the session with a tumble of his own at turn six, adding to the yellow flag party prompted by late crashes from Pol Espargaro and Oliveira once again.
Even by usual FP3 standards, Moto 3 kicked the show up a notch early in the morning, in a session that saw home boy Celestino Vietti improve on the lap record to go a whole half second faster than everyone. Ai Ogura eventually reduced that by a tenth, as he recovered 20 positions to secure a Q2 spot ahead of an improving Romano Fenati.
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.
As track conditions improved, after a damp Superbike session, Isaac Viñales went quickest in the afternoon's session, ahead of Lucas Mahias, but nobody was able to improve on their morning's dry times.
In a damp session, some fourteen seconds off this morning's pace, Jonathan Rea set the quickest time in the last five minutes of the session, ahead of Michael van der Mark and Miichael Ruben Rinaldi.
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.