Motegi, Japan

Motegi MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Records Broken, Yamaha's Challenge, And Engine Allocation Issues

On the one hand, you could say that MotoGP got lucky. The heavy rain that was expected to cause flooding and potentially force Dorna to delay or even cancel practice at Motegi was not as bad as had been feared. The sessions started on time, and ran without incident, other than the normal perils of motorcycle racing.

On the other hand, the sessions were pretty much useless in terms of race setup. The weather forecast for Sunday is the best it has been all weekend, with some sun and high temperatures. FP3 on Saturday morning was drenched, a fully wet session making race setup and tire testing impossible. FP4 saw a line dry enough for slicks to be used, though times were 4 seconds off the best time from Friday.

And qualifying took place on a mostly dry track, but again, times were more than a second off what the pole time should have been. MotoGP pole was slower than Maverick Viñales' fastest lap in FP1. Even if the track had been fully dry, qualifying is just too hectic to be working on race setup and assessing tire life.

On the record

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2019 Motegi MotoGP FP4 Result: Marquez Masters Drying Track

The final practice session for the premier class felt like a somewhat pointless affair, with a drying track requiring medium wet tyres that seemed like an unlikely choice for race day. Most men continued to circulate on rain rubber, some were tempted to wait and see if slicks became an option and the Q1 lot in particular were trying to judge conditions ahead of qualifying.

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Sylvain Guintoli Punished For Using 2020 Engine Spec At Motegi

Sylvain Guintoli has been disqualified for the FP1 and FP2 sessions of the Motegi MotoGP round, after having been found to have used an illegal spec of engine. As a result, all of his times set in FP1 and FP2 have been scrapped, and Guintoli listed as having set no time.

The punishment came after Sylvain Guintoli used a prototype of the 2020 Suzuki GSX-RR during his third wildcard appearance. That is in contravention of the rules, specifically rule 2.4.6.2, which states that wildcards must abide by the engine specification rules which apply to all manufacturers. In the case of Suzuki, who are not a concessions team, and so are not allowed to change engine specifications during the season, this means that Guintoli is bound to use the same specification of engine for the whole 2019 season.

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