Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class in Misano:
Results and summary of qualifying for the MotoGP class in Misano:
What happened when Valentino Rossi crashed? How serious is his injury? When will he be back? Who will replace Rossi, if he doesn't return at Aragon? And what does Yamaha think of Rossi's training methods? Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis spoke to a small group of journalists at Misano on Saturday morning, to answer these questions and much more.
Jarvis knew about the accident very shortly after it had happened. "I knew before he got to the hospital," Jarvis told us. "Albi [Tebaldi] called Maio Meregalli as soon as he got the news that Vale was on the way to the hospital. Maio called me straight away."
The good news was that Rossi's injury was not as bad as the last time he broke his leg, at Mugello in 2010. "It's much less serious," Jarvis told us, "but probably just as irritating. Irritating because it effectively means his championship chances are over. So whilst the injury is less serious, the consequences are equally as serious. Especially now being still very much in the game, being on form, having done such a great race in Silverstone, coming to his home Grand Prix where we tested so well. It's like a worst possible scenario in terms of timing. It's a great shame."
A beautiful afternoon invited the premier class to some nice long runs, the world champion keen to get right down to business in mid 1:33s on a hard front-medium rear tyre combination. Jorge Lorenzo ran him close right away on the opposite combination but in the end it was the world championship leader to blast them away in the final lap, Andrea Dovizioso ending up leading the session by a tenth of a second.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto3 class in Misano:
After Hafizh Syahrin was given his time in the sun, Franco Morbidelli was back out showing why he is leading the championship and taking charge of the session. The Italian posted the first and only 1:37 time of the weekend in his first handful of laps, while most of the grid was struggling to match their Friday times throughout the session.
Behind him, the Malaysian rider is starting to overwrite his moniker as wet weather expert by progressing significantly in distinctly dry conditions, Syahrin ending the session second and third on combined standings.
With warm but not sun-tanning weather, the premier class riders were not in a big hurry to challenge Friday times, although the likes of Marc Marquez and Maverick Viñales teased us with some red sectors here and there. As it happens, the Spanish rivals were still the main actors come the end of the session.
The riders left it late to go for their quali dummy run, saving the final four minutes for fresh rubber. Marquez was the first to dethrone Danilo Petrucci’s Friday achievement by mere hundredths of a second but he proceeded to put any thoughts of changing the hierarchy to rest on the very next lap by posting the first and only time of the weekend into the 1:32s.
The lightweight class finally got its sunny morning after the rain ridden Friday one, although the extra confidence in slightly windy conditions saw a handful of harmless crashes from the likes of John McPhee, Andrea Migno or Juanfran Guevara.
Given the early conditions, riders struggled to improve on their Friday times and got nowhere near last year’s benchmark. All that changed in the final minute, when Aron Canet posted the best lap of the weekend. The Spaniard was over three tenths faster than teammate Enea Bastianini, whose late progress on new rubber improved his position significantly.
MotoGP is fated not to escape the influence of the weather this season. There has barely been a race which has not been affected in one way or another. Even when it hasn't rained, it has been stiflingly hot, sizzling tracks causing tires to wilt. So why should things be any different at Misano?
Heavy overnight rain left the track still spotty and damp in patches in the morning, Moto3 getting the worst of it, MotoGP just being left to deal with the occasional stubborn spot of dampness where the water took longer to dry. It caused a spate of crashes in the morning, and though the track dried nicely and blue skies dominated, it was cooler than normal. When Marc Márquez tried the hardest front tire, that proved just a little too critical, the Repsol Honda rider washing out the front in the final corner.
The rain had also washed any residual rubber from the track, radically altering the grip level. That was a major setback for the factories which had tested at Misano prior to Silverstone, in preparation for this Grand Prix. "The feeling is completely different than at the test," Aleix Espargaro complained. "It looks like all the settings we had were not working. The grip is completely different. No grip at all. It feels like ice."
On an exquisitely dry track, world championship leader Franco Morbidelli gave his competitors a chance at the spotlight before taking over his rightful spot on lap six. The Italian had already proved himself as a favourite for the weekend and his early time looked to go unchallenged until Mattia Pasini remembered he has a great pole run to defend. With two minutes to go, the Italtrans rider got ahead by six hundredths of a second while flirting with track limits.