Round three of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship took place in Portimao April 18, with the Grande Premio 888 de Portugal. Monster Energy Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo worked his way to the front early after a poor start to score his second win of the new season.
Monday, 19 April 2021 11:54 Published in Colin Fraser
On April 4 – at the second race of the MotoGP season – Fabio Quartararo gave the Monster Energy Yamaha squad their impressive second win in a row, doing it under the flood lights at the Tissot Grand Prix in Doha, Qatar. His team-mate, Maverick Vinales, won the opener seven days earlier, at the same venue. This time, a slow-starting Vinales could only manage fifth, although well up in the giant lead pack.
Monday, 05 April 2021 09:58 Published in Colin Fraser
PRE-SEASON MOTOGP IN QATAR: For the 2021 MotoGP World Series, the only official pre-season running took place in early March in Doha, Qatar, in the Middle East. The other pre-season “full tour” tests – including the typical several days in Malaysia – couldn’t happen due to ongoing issues with the world-wide pandemic.
Monday, 15 March 2021 17:25 Published in Colin Fraser
Over a second clear of his rivals, Marc Marquez was almost untouchable at home in Aragon as Jorge Lorenzo looks for improved feeling.
Marc Marquez began the Aragon GP weekend by blitzing the field; spending much of Free Practice 1 two seconds clear of his closest rivals. A late lap from Viñales saw the reigning champion’s advantage reduced to a still significant 1.6 seconds. Clearly comfortable on home ground, Marquez continued his scorching pace straight into Free Practice 2.
Working diligently towards the race during the second session, Marquez was victim to a harmless fall at Turn 8 mid-session. He was soon back in the Repsol Honda Team garage and able to return to the circuit for the final minutes of practice. A 1’48.204 saw Marquez conclude FP2 as the fourth fastest rider, but his 1’46.869 from FP1, just two tenths off the lap record, left him as comfortably the fastest rider on combined times on Friday.
Friday in Aragon saw Jorge Lorenzo able to steadily improve his lap times and close in on the fastest riders. With only seven tenths splitting riders from second to 11th in the combined times, just a few tenths offered massive potential gains. A best time of 1’49.710 from FP2 saw the five-time World Champion end just a second from a spot in the top ten as he worked to improve the feeling on his bike. Jorge Lorenzo ultimately ended the second practice session as the fastest rider through the speed trap, hitting 334.4 km/h on his Honda RC213V.
Saturday’s forecast remains mixed with many predicting rain throughout the day, dry track time potentially at a premium. Running begins at 09:55 Local Time.
“Today we started very well and actually we ended quite well too. In the morning we did our time attack, I felt good and with the potential weather tomorrow I thought it was best. It was a quite good lap! In the afternoon we worked a lot with used tyres and unfortunately had a small crash but we learned a lot from it. Aside from this little fall everything went well and I think there’s still some more time to find.”
“We struggled with the feeling today and I was hoping to be more competitive after our stronger start in Misano. In the afternoon I was able to improve a bit, but still I am looking to close the gap more. Sadly it looks like it will rain tomorrow which makes it a little harder for us as we will have less time to set up the bike but I will be able to do some running in the wet.”
Friday, 20 September 2019 15:13 Published in Rider and Team Releases
A 77th career victory makes Marquez the fourth most successful rider in Grand Prix history, bringing fans to their feet on his way to winning a thrilling San Marino GP as Jorge Lorenzo claimed more points.
After a promising morning Warm Up session where Marc Marquez finished first and Jorge Lorenzo finished 1.5 seconds behind, the Repsol Honda Team entered the 27-lap San Marino Grand Prix with confidence.
Marc Marquez made a flying start to the race and moved to fourth by the first corner, quickly progressing up to third just a few corners later. Muscling past Viñales on lap four, the World Championship leader set about closing down the almost one-second lead of Fabio Quartararo. The Frenchman’s advantage was soon reduced to just two tenths, Marquez electing to wait for his moment to attack. As the laps ticked down, the reigning champion began to edge closer and put increasing pressure on the young French rider.
The start of the last lap saw Marquez’s RC213V roar past Quartararo heading into Turn 1, the pair briefly sparring before Marquez made the move stick later in the lap. Crossing the line 0.903s ahead of Quartararo, Marquez returned to the top step of the podium after back-to-back second place finishes. The win moves him 93 points clear of title rival Andrea Dovizioso in the MotoGP World Championship standings with six races remaining. Taking the 77th win of his career, Marquez also moves ahead of Mike Hailwood to cement himself as the fourth most successful rider in Grand Prix history.
Jorge Lorenzo was author to a consistent race, able to steadily advance up the order. Ultimately taking 14th, Lorenzo marks his return from injury with back-to-back points finishes. The five-time World Champion was unable to achieve his target of finishing within 30 seconds of the race winner due to reduced grip come the race on Sunday. Suffering from less discomfort after the race was an encouraging sign for Lorenzo who will look to fight back in Aragon.
Honda leave Misano extending their advantage in the Manufacturer Championship to 60 points over closest rivals Ducati while the Repsol Honda Team close the deficit to the Ducati Team in the Team Championship to just 25 points. With Round 14, the Gran Premio Michelin® de Aragon, taking place on September 22 the Repsol Honda Team are keen to carry their momentum forward as they return to Spanish soil.
“Honestly speaking, I knew it wasn’t necessary to win because I saw that Rins was out and Dovizioso was far from us but I had some extra motivation. I just tried to stay with Fabio as close as I could and in the end I was weighing up whether to try or not. On the last lap I decided to go. I knew Fabio was very fast in Sector 3, so I made my move before that and closed the corner as much as I could. Fabio rode a very strong race today. I raced as smart as I could and in the end it is nice to win in Italy, but even nicer to have 93 points of advantage.”
“If in Silverstone we were able to exceed our expectations, unfortunately today we weren’t able to do this and honestly I was expecting a little more. I was expecting my pace to be closer to the winner, maybe 1.5 seconds but in reality it was more. But my physical condition was better after the race and during practice we were able to be closer than before - this is a positive. The grip dropped for the race and I don’t think this helped us. I’m looking forward to Aragon to be able to push more physically and train harder as my condition improves.”
Sunday, 15 September 2019 20:13 Published in Rider and Team Releases
After two race-free weekends, the MotoGP World Championship returns to Italy for the thirteenth round of the season - the San Marino Grand Prix - at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli circuit just an hour’s drive away from Ducati headquarters in Borgo Panigale.
Although the last race at Silverstone for Andrea Dovizioso ended with a nasty crash at the first corner, morale in the Ducati Team is high and the two factory riders are ready to tackle the last three months of the championship with optimism. After reabsorbing the physical scars suffered in the British GP, Dovizioso will this weekend try and repeat the results of the last two years at Misano: in 2018 he dominated the race right from the early stages to score one of the finest wins of his career, while in 2017, in pouring rain, he crossed the line in third place.
Danilo Petrucci has also already been on the podium at Misano. The rider from Terni in central Italy finished second in 2017 aboard the Pramac Racing Team Desmosedici GP and this year is determined to improve on the results of the last few races at the Romagna circuit. During the two days of testing held just over one week ago at the same circuit, Petrucci lapped with a good feeling and finished with the second quickest time.
Misano will also see another appearance by Michele Pirro, who is entered in the race as a wild card with a third Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team. It will be the second GP of the season for Pirro, after the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello where he finished seventh.
In the Riders’ standings, despite his DNF at Silverstone, Dovizioso remains in second place with 172 points (78 behind leader Márquez) while Petrucci is now fourth with 145 points, 4 behind Álex Rins. In the Teams’ classification the Ducati Team is still in the lead with 317 points, 36 points clear, and Ducati still lies second in the Constructors’ standings behind Honda.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 2nd (172 points)
“After the incident in England I’m lucky to be able to take part in the San Marino GP without any physical problems, because my Silverstone crash was a really big one and the consequences could have been much worse. During the two days of testing I was still not 100% fit, but now I’m fine, I feel in shape and am really anxious to race at this circuit, which for me is special, close to my home and where I’m sure that the support of the fans will be fantastic. The aim is to repeat the results of the last two seasons when we got onto the podium and we were competitive all through the weekend”.
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 4th (145 points)
“Racing in Italy is something unique and if you do it with an Italian bike like Ducati it’s even more special. In the last few races we’ve been some way off the podium but after the good feeling I had in the test a few days ago here at Misano I can say that I’m ready to do a weekend at the top. It won’t be easy because also our rivals did a couple of days of testing and they will surely be ready, but I was really satisfied with the feeling I found with the bike and so I’m very confident. Let’s see if the track conditions are similar to the ones we had in the test, because it’ll be vitally important to be able to interpret them in the best possible way and also the tyre wear”.
Michele Pirro (#51 Ducati Team) – 22nd (9 points)
“Finally Misano is here and I’ve got an opportunity to do another race in MotoGP. At Mugello I was quite satisfied with my result even though I think that I could have finished a bit higher up. My aim is to help the team, but I also want to prove to myself that I can always be competitive in the races. After two days of testing we know that the track temperature and tyre management will be key factors to get a good result this weekend, and we’re confident we can do a good race on Sunday”.
The Ducati Team riders will be out on track at Misano on Friday 13th September at 09.55 for the first free practice session. The race is scheduled for Sunday 15th September at 14.00 CET, over a distance of 27 laps.
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 15:04 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Continuing his run of two top finishes, Marquez took important steps towards his ultimate goal as a determined Lorenzo finished in the points on his return from injury.
The British summer continued in full force on Sunday as round 12 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship at the Silverstone circuit enjoyed 31°C ambient temperatures. With circuit temperature at 44°C when the lights went out, it was set to be another demanding premier class race.
From the 88th pole position of his Grand Prix career, MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez made a perfect start aboard his Repsol Honda Team RC213V and avoided the incident behind. With championship rival Andrea Dovizioso and potential podium contender Fabio Quartararo out of the race, Marquez was joined by Alex Rins at the front as the duo swapped fastest laps for most of the race.
The pair played a game of cat and mouse until the final lap, Marquez having led the entire race and setting a new race lap record of 1’59.936. A front-end moment in the last corner caused the World Championship leader to close the throttle and as a result was forced to settle for second place, missing the win by just 0.013s. Continuing his run of top two finishes in 2019, Marquez leaves Silverstone with a dominating 78 point lead in the MotoGP World Championship with seven races left.
Taking the 88th podium of his premier class career, Marquez draws level on premier class podiums with the great Giacomo Agostini. The result moves Honda to 45 points clear of Ducati in the Constructor Championship and brings the Repsol Honda Team to within 36 points of the Ducati Team in the Team Championship.
Knowing his physical condition, Jorge Lorenzo entered Sunday’s British Grand Prix with the simple aim of finishing the race to further understand his fitness level. The five-time World Champion’s determination was rewarded with a pair of points in 14th place as he profited from a consistent approach and the mistakes of others ahead.
Six-time World Champion Jim Redman, winner of Honda’s first premier class race in 1966 on the Honda RC181, was also in attendance and enjoyed talking racing with Marquez and Lorenzo.
Now the Repsol Honda Team will travel to the Misano Circuit for a two-day test. Racing resumes at the San Marino GP, September 13-15, at the same circuit.
“I am happy with the result for the championship but not the result for the race as to lose out in the final moment after leading is not the best feeling. Spending the whole race in front is difficult here because you use more of everything. I tried to go slow for one lap to see if Rins would lead, but he didn’t and I knew Viñales was behind us so I kept pushing. My target wasn’t the race, it was the championship and if the Yamaha riders arrived maybe we could have finished lower. In the last turn I had a moment on the front and had to close the gas which let Rins through but we are happy because we leave with 78 points over second but I hope Dovi is OK after a big crash like that, I hope he can recover well and return because it is always better when you earn the points fighting.”
“Today went better than expected. Coming into this race I knew it would be difficult and I was thinking that maybe I will finish one minute or more behind the winner because all weekend I have been about three seconds slower than the fastest time. To finish within one minute of the winner and to take away two points is a good reward for a demanding race. I was able to learn more about how to conserve the tyres as well as testing my fitness so I am pleased. Right now I am sore, but I will be stronger for the Misano test and then again in a better physical condition for the Misano race.”
Monday, 26 August 2019 08:05 Published in Rider and Team Releases
For a number of years now, the third and final race held in August for MotoGP is the British Grand Prix, one of the most fascinating events on the world championship calendar which takes place at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the UK. Let’s have a look at ten key facts about the race:
- Andrea Dovizioso’s win in Austria last weekend was the 49th for Ducati in MotoGP. Just one more win to go now to reach the half-century mark...
- The Silverstone race, together with Austin, Barcelona and the Red Bull Ring, is one of the few events on the MotoGP calendar where a Formula 1 Grand Prix is also held.
- Andrea Dovizioso’s win at Silverstone in 2017 is Ducati’s only win at this circuit so far.
- This is the 71st season in which Great Britain hosts a round of the motorcycle Grand Prix championship: 28 events have been held on the Isle of Man, 23 at Donington and 19 at Silverstone so far. Only Italy, Britain and the Netherlands have held at least one GP every year (71 consecutive seasons).
- For the tenth successive season the British Grand Prix will be held at Silverstone, following a major redesign of the track in 2010.
- Andrea Dovizioso, Wayne Gardner, Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi are the only riders in the premier class to have won on two different circuits in the United Kingdom, at Donington and Silverstone.
- With its 5.9 km length, Silverstone is the longest track in the entire championship, and together with Austin, is the only circuit where the lap time is more than two minutes.
- The top speed record for MotoGP at Silverstone is 332.4 km/h, which was set by Andrea Iannone on a Ducati in FP3 in 2015.
- Danilo Petrucci’s first podium in MotoGP was obtained here at Silverstone in 2015, on board the Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team.
- The circuit, which is situated about 120 km north-west of London, was built on a Second World War airfield. The three diagonal runways making up the original airfield are still visible today.
Thursday, 22 August 2019 09:39 Published in Rider and Team Releases
Andrea Dovizioso today won a spectacular Austrian Grand Prix with a last-corner pass on Marquez after a terrific sparring match with the Spanish champion that lasted from the first to the last lap. Dovizioso powered away well at the start from the front row, then overtook the provisional race leader Quartararo on lap 6. He was followed immediately by Marquez, with whom Andrea then had an amazing scrap that only finished at the chequered flag, with Andrea flashing across the line first by 0.213s.
It was a difficult race for team-mate Danilo Petrucci, who started from row 4. The Italian managed to get up to ninth place on lap 17, but was unable to improve any further and finished the race in that position.
With this victory, Ducati continued its unbeaten winning streak at the Red Bull Ring since the Austrian circuit returned to the MotoGP calendar. The red bikes from the Borgo Panigale factory won here in 2016 with Iannone, in 2017 with Dovizioso, last year with Lorenzo and again this year with Dovizioso.
In the overall Riders’ championship standings, Andrea Dovizioso is still in second place but he has reduced the gap to leader Marquez to 58 points. Ducati is getting closer to Honda in the Constructors’ standings, with 34 points separating the two, and the Ducati Team retains its first place in the special Teams’ classification with 308 points.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1st
“Today I’m so happy, because this victory was really important for me. Towards the end of the race I had good right-side grip on the tyre and this allowed me to successfully attempt that incredible overtaking move at the final corner. My strategy for the race was to be aggressive right from the opening lap, but Marquez was more aggressive than me. He immediately tried to impose his rhythm but I was always able to respond and in the final stages I think he had more wear on his tyres than me so I could stay right on his tail until the end, and attempt that crazy passing move on him at the final corner. I want to thank Ducati and my team because today we did everything just perfectly.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 9th
“It was a complicated race: unfortunately, at the first turn I got bottled in and then after a couple of laps I was involved in Crutchlow’s crash. I lost a lot of positions and had to get back up the field, pushing hard on the tyres and after half the race I didn’t have anything left to offer. Pity because this weekend was a missed opportunity, especially yesterday when I made a mistake in qualifying and this conditioned everything. I’m sorry for the team, who worked as hard as they could: now we have to press the reset button after these two races and look ahead positively to Silverstone.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“I believe that today we saw one of the best and most exciting races of the last few years. It was a fantastic and fair duel that saw Dovi put together an amazing final lap and a masterstroke in the last two corners, so my sincerest congratulations go out to Andrea. A difficult qualifying session and a bad start on the other hand clearly affected Danilo’s race because it’s never easy to recover on this track.”
The MotoGP riders will next be out on track in the United Kingdom for the British GP, scheduled for the weekend of 23-25 August at the Silverstone circuit.
Sunday, 11 August 2019 17:38 Published in Rider and Team Releases
A red-letter day for Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team with a new lap record at the Red Bull Ring as the 21-year old record for most premier class poles falls.
The pace was high from the off on Saturday at the Red Bull Ring as MotoGP riders fought for a place in the top ten during Free Practice 3’s ideal weather conditions. Predicted rain stayed well away and the MotoGP World Championship grid enjoyed uninterrupted running all day on Saturday, able to push lap times further.
Marc Marquez continued his assault on the time sheets immediately on Saturday, dropping into the low 1’23s within just a handful of laps in FP3. His metronomic pace continued throughout and into Free Practice 4 where he ultimately finished third but with formidable consistency.
Again in the low 1’23s, Marquez set the bar throughout Q2 as he targeted a 1’22s around the 4.3km long Austrian circuit. A mistake in the final sector meant the reigning MotoGP World Champion was unable to set a 1’22, but his 1’23.027 did achieve a new all time lap record at the Red Bull Ring. As in Brno, Marquez had a significant advantage over second place – 0.434s faster than Quartararo. With his seventh pole of the 2019 season, Marquez establishes a new record for premier class poles as he took his 59th since joining the MotoGP class in 2013 and overtakes fellow Honda rider Mick Doohan as the most prolific pole setter in the premier class.
A productive FP3 and FP4 session saw Stefan Bradl and the Repsol Honda Team improve the setup of his RC213V but narrowly miss a top ten spot. Heading to Q1, Bradl and the team were confident of challenging for a spot in the top 15 but an issue during Bradl’s second run meant he was unable to show his full potential. Recovering well and finishing in the points will be Bradl’s objective for Sunday.
Sunday’s 28-lap Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich is scheduled to start at 14:00 local time.
“It was a really good lap but I was looking for the 1’22! But I did a mistake in the last sector and I went too wide in Turn 10. Apart from that we did a great job and during FP4 we had a great rhythm, which is the most important thing. Today was a great day, everything and everyone in the team was working so well. We just need to understand the best tyre for tomorrow and let’s do it! We will try to fight until the end and see what happens.”
“It was a tough day today, we were able to try many things but got unlucky in Qualifying and weren't able to improve. We are working very hard with and for HRC to try things for the future and they are pleased with how we are going. We had to change our plan a little in FP4 and this hurt our overall speed. Tomorrow it can only get better!”
Saturday, 10 August 2019 20:35 Published in Rider and Team Releases