MotoGP: MotoGP Remains on the Italian Coast for Emilia Romagna Grand Prix
The MotoGP World Championship returns to the Misano World Circuit this weekend for their third double-header of the year.
Following from last weekends San Marino Grand Prix, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promises more upsets, with riders making clear steps during the mid-season test held on Tuesday.
As we saw in Jerez, Takaaki Nakagami, Francesco Bagnaia and Valentino Rossi all benefited from a back-to-back race at the same venue, this time though, riders have been on track for a one-day test in Misano, thus adding to the uncertainty as we head into round seven for the premier class.
Last week saw PETRONAS Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli stand on the top step for the first time, just weeks after claiming his maiden MotoGP podium in Brno. Morbidelli will be hoping to follow in team-mate Fabio Quartararo’s footsteps after the Frenchman backed up his maiden big-bike Grand Prix victory with a double seven days later. Quartararo will be hoping his troubled days are over, the former championship leader has only picked up 20 points in the last four races. The rider from Nice will be aiming for a trouble-free weekend after his double departure from last weekend’s 27-lap race.
Over on the other side of the Yamaha camp, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP came out of the Misano weekend with mixed emotions after Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales finished fourth and sixth respectively. Rossi was running in the podium three all race, until a last-lap move from Mir demoted Rossi off his 200th premier class podium, which would have been a dream for ‘The Doctor’ in front of his adoring home fans. He has a second stab at it this weekend, and with the progress made to his race pace in testing, Rossi will be looking to once again run at the front. Meanwhile, Viñales has been frantically working out why his race pace disintegrates when it counts. The Spaniard slipped from pole position to sixth last weekend.
Following the test, Ducati has made further improvements, in particular Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian has been struggling to manage the 2020 rear tyre, claiming it just doesn’t work with his riding style. Undaunted Dovi’s comments post-Misano test suggests that the current championship leader has something up his sleeve and will be looking to claim his second podium finish of the year.
Suzuki duo, Alex Rins and Joan Mir also have a big weekend ahead of them; Mir stood on the podium in Misano while Rins missed out due to arm pump related to his injury sustained in Jerez.
Both KTM and Aprilia will be hoping for a more competitive weekend. Both manufacturers tested parts ahead of 2021; however, they did also spend time working on gaining a few more tenths for this weekend’s race.
It was unusual to see Pol Espargaro languishing down outside of the top five following his stellar performances in Austria, but that was the case at the tight, twisty Misano circuit.
MotoGP action kicks off for the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli on Friday, with the opening free practice session of the weekend getting underway at 09:55.
Qualifying will take place on Saturday at 14:10, while eyes will be on the sky during Sunday’s race build-up, with rain currently threatening the 27-lap race which gets underway at 14:00, all times are local.
Featured image: MotoGP.com