2017 Mugello MotoGP FP2 Result: Crutchlow Crashes The Italian Party

While the sizeable audience was melting in a baking twenty-seven degrees, the riders were out to get crucial data for a race that appears set to be run in similar conditions. The final minutes of the session saw part of the field trying on soft shoes to go for a fast run and ensure a Q2 place, which resulted in a pretty mixed grid.

Andrea Dovizioso looked set to get another session in the bag until the final three minutes when Cal Crutchlow showed up out of nowhere to steal the spotlight and post a time only just inside Dovizioso’s FP1 time.

Dovizioso kept second position and top Ducati honours, a few more Yamahas and Hondas spreading the Italian bikes across the field. Jonas Folger was top Yamaha in third spot, the satellite rider less than two tenths down on Crutchlow.

Teammate Johann Zarco did another Tito Rabat impression by running a very long first stint and at a strong pace, eventually posting his fastest time on a new rear tyre in the final minutes and snatching fourth place.

Dani Pedrosa was one of the happier riders in the hot conditions - and not just because it was good windsurfing weather - the Spaniard managing to post competitive times on the harder front tyre and keeping fifth position despite not putting in a late fast lap. Hector Barbera did go for a final time attack that proved successful, the Spaniard finishing sixth, three tenths down on the leader.

Alvaro Bautista was close behind him in seventh position, with Andrea Iannone steadily climbing up the timesheets and into eighth spot. Michelle Pirro was half a second off in ninth, the top ten completed by Danilo Petrucci, despite the Italian having some technical issues with his Ducati early in the session.

Jorge Lorenzo only just missed on a top ten spot by four thousandths of a second, the Spaniard leading his former teammate, Valentino Rossi, who despite the pain still put in nineteen laps and a fast time a little over six tenths down on Crutchlow.

Maverick Vinales looked badly shaken by a crash in the early part of the session, leaving his bike – equipped with the aero fairing – in pretty poor condition in the gravel trap at turn nine. While his mechanics were preparing for a long evening, the championship leader rejoined the track with ten minutes remaining to improve his time but not his position and ending up thirteenth.

Although his position looks as unusual as seeing Marc Marquez fourteenth, neither of the two riders put on the sort rear tyre, the reigning world champion running the hard rear and posting his fastest time on lap five.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'47.365    
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'47.526 0.161 0.161
3 94 Jonas FOLGER Yamaha 1'47.543 0.178 0.017
4 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 1'47.685 0.320 0.142
5 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'47.699 0.334 0.014
6 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'47.710 0.345 0.011
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 1'47.728 0.363 0.018
8 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 1'47.807 0.442 0.079
9 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'47.883 0.518 0.076
10 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'47.950 0.585 0.067
11 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1'47.954 0.589 0.004
12 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'48.000 0.635 0.046
13 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'48.014 0.649 0.014
14 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'48.103 0.738 0.089
15 45 Scott REDDING Ducati 1'48.111 0.746 0.008
16 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'48.129 0.764 0.018
17 43 Jack MILLER Honda 1'48.560 1.195 0.431
18 53 Tito RABAT Honda 1'48.664 1.299 0.104
19 76 Loris BAZ Ducati 1'48.751 1.386 0.087
20 22 Sam LOWES Aprilia 1'48.842 1.477 0.091
21 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'48.925 1.560 0.083
22 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'49.524 2.159 0.599
23 38 Bradley SMITH KTM 1'49.640 2.275 0.116
24 50 Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki 1'50.054 2.689 0.414


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Stuff to think about before FP3.

Ducati top speed of 10 to 12 kmh greater than the Hondas and Yamahas is the product of an engine that out-revs its rivals. That means that the Ducati is out-accelerating its rivals in 5th and 6th gear...and that means that the Ducati rider, if he does not overcook it and miss his brake point, can either make a clean overtake with a bit of slipstream boost or, coming from deep, position himself well on the brakes. Watch how the leader, especially when he is pulling a Ducati, will move way, way over to the inside...like in Barcelona too...to try and make the Ducati look outside. 

I saw that Jorge Lorenzo said that Ducati has a bike capable of winning at Mugello. Yes, maybe. He talked about everything but top speed. 

What are the true top speeds at the end of the straight at Mugello? Probably over 360. Brembo used to give us that data (but based on an average of the fastest Honda, Yamaha and Ducati...so the true top speed of the Ducati, always the fastest since the 81mm piston, was even fastert) but they stopped doing that. The official top speed is an arbitrary average over a 20 or 30 yard zone (can´t remember, don´t have to...I´m supposed to be retired) and placed so as to offer comparative data with all three classes. 

So, why is the Ducati faster everywhere there is a long straight? Because they turn more revs. Is that because they can (desmo) or because they choose to?  Remember thos Yams blowing up last year?  Jorge said on a radio program that we were on together, that it was because the rear went light and spun up and took the revs over the 18,300 limit. 

Is it because Ducati have their fuel consumption under conrtrol on 22 liters so that they can just let it rip?

Does Yamaha work exclusively to give strong and linear mid-range power?

What about Suzuki´s variable valve timing? Can´t they just let the thing rage on top without giving up anything down low?

Valve acceleration? Long timing? Open duration? Asympotic stuff!  

Why is Honda, traditionally the speed king, getting blown off at the end of the long straights by Ducati?

By the way, someone asked how fast the Ducati would be running if the straight was 2000 meters long instead of 1141. I went to Kevin Cameron on that one and in a half hour he came back with 250 miles and hour, just over 400kmh. 

Shinichi Itoh was asked in 1993 at Hockenheim how if felt to go 200 miles per hour. He replied "Ah...very similar to...ahh 199."

I believe that it is possible that Honda has become a one-trick pony....hard on the brakes and then hard on the brakes again. 










Misspelled it....that´s what happens when I try and show off after taking to Kevin! 

But, you know, Ducati used to use real long valve timing and moderate lift. Back in the 851 eight-valve days. Then later, still in WSBK but in the Fogarty days, the Ducati used to hit hard like a two stroke when it first came on. Chili said you had to ride it carefully because it would go poc! and spin up. Later the RC51 used to blow it off.

The Ducati weakness used to be that closing rocker arm. Desmo is not magic; it is mechanical.

Another question: What really blew on those Yamahas at Mugello last year. They said top end, but that doesn´t seem right for two failures, both with pneaumatics. Maybe the top end problem was that a piston decided not to follow the rod, or the rest of the rod, and made a break for it and crashed into the roof. The problem would be first noticed at the top end, but would have a slightly lower origen. 






Andrea Iannone is getting big numbers down the straight also 350.1 in fp1, 349.1 according to http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Statistics/2017/ITA/MotoGP/FP2.

What about an Italian police officer with a radar gun that could tell us "the true top speeds at the end of the straight at Mugello" no doubt the carabinieri are rather busy with other things at Mugello this weekend.

Jorge Lorenzo faster than V.R.46 and Maverick Vinales. this to shall pass. enjoy it while it lasts

I think the speed comes from more than just revs. It must be a combination of torque, power, rear grip, aero etc and the skill of the operator. Corner speed at the exit of Bucina & drive onto the straight. Ask M.M.93. Different riders on basically the same bike get different maximum velocities. Ducati could use an aero fairing but knowing the Hammerhead will cost a lot of top speed they choose not to. other manufacturers use aero with less drag & pick up time in the corners & don't have an advantage on the front straight to loose.

Oh yeah all these glorious corners have names, please don't call it turn nine. there can be some confusion about exactly which corner is turn nine. But Arrabiata two is definately Arrabiata 2. where Casey Stoner had a massive crash in 2006.

Best of luck to all racing this weekend.

After it gets howling in fifth you are really talking revs. There are a lot of factors that give a better package a better launch, but Ducati is not known for having significant advantage. But I take your point, Apical. And that Suzuki may be getting some boost from variable valve gear. Thing is, every year lately Ducati smokes everybody. And we tried to bring in radar guns in Texas and they were not allowed.

After it gets howling in fifth you are really talking revs. There are a lot of factors that give a better package a better launch, but Ducati is not known for having significant advantage. But I take your point, Apical. And that Suzuki may be getting some boost from variable valve gear. Thing is, every year lately Ducati smokes everybody. And we tried to bring in radar guns in Texas and they were not allowed.

Yes thanks Dennis I take your point.

In theory if the engine makes enough power & torque to pull a higher gear, then we can achieve the same top speed at less extreme revs. that doesn't apply here because all the engines are the same displacement & same number of cylinders.

So again yes it comes down to revs in MotoGp. everything else being equal, more revs in top gear = more speed.

And isn't more velocity what we want. Yes grin More Speed more Speed!!!