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.
VR46 Academy On Top Of The World
As days go, Sunday was just about perfect for the VR46 Academy. Franco Morbidelli became its first ever MotoGP race winner, Francesco Bagnaia backed him up in second and Sky Racing VR46’s Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi scored a fairly comprehensive one-two in the earlier Moto2 outing.
All four are supremely talented riders. But the countless hours of testing at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli begged the question: should riders be limited in terms of how often they test at one of the tracks on the MotoGP calendar?
Such track experience was even more crucial this year as the track was resurfaced in March. Despite much improved grip levels, bumps all around the track remained. On Sunday Jack Miller noted, “It makes me worry and I said it also in the Safety Commission on Friday afternoon, 'if you guys knew the track was this bumpy, nobody said a single thing leading up to this. You guys are riding here once a month a least'. Anyway it just shows practice can help I think.”
Moto2 standings after the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano:
Results and summary of the Moto2 race in Misano:
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Misano:
In usual Moto2 fashion, Friday’s benchmark did not last long into FP3, with Marco Bezzecchi posting the fastest time of the weekend in the first ten minutes of the session, but there was plenty of action for the rest of the top 14 places in the final time attack. Luca Marini had his teammate’s back, eighth hundredths of a second off Bezzecchi, while Remy Gardner snuck ahead of Sam Lowes late on, both of them two tenths off the lead.
In a warm Misano afternoon, Enea Bastianini truly felt at home and picked up the lead of the second practice session in its final couple of minutes. Sam Lowes started FP2 much like FP1 and spent the session at the top of the timesheets but eventually got demoted to second by his Italian rival, who was a mere six hundredths of a second faster. Augusto Fernandez seems to be enjoying better days in Italy, only a tenth off the lead and in third place.
A warm, familiar and freshly laid surface waited for the intermediate class riders in Misano and it was the usual contenders bidding for top spot straight out the gates. Looking for redemption after a controversial Sunday in Styria, Sam Lowes traded the lead with championship leader Luca Marini throughout the session and the British rider ended up on top. Marini made do with second, trailing the Marc VDS machine by two tenths of a second and another tenth ahead of teammate Marco Bezzecchi.
Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 rider Jorge Martin has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the resumption of racing this weekend at Misano. The Spaniard, currently third in the Moto2 standings, tested positive for the virus during the standard testing procedure put in place as part of Dorna's COVID-19 protocol, and as a result, was not allowed to travel to Misano for the race. Martin has been in quarantine since receiving the test results.
Martin is now awaiting the results of a second test, to confirm the first test. If that test returns a negative result, he will be allowed to travel to Misano, but if it comes back positive gain, then Martin will have to follow the recommendations laid out by the government of the country he lives in, which for Martin is Spain. That means self isolating for 10 days, which would mean he would miss the first race at Misano, but might be able to race in the second round.