Courtesy of Sharon Cox
MotoGP heads to Misano this weekend for double header of racing in what remains hugely unpredictable and exciting Championship with top 3 riders Fabio Quantararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) on 70 points, Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) on 67 and Australian Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) on 56 points.
With 4 different winners from 5 races spread between Brands Yamaha, Ducati and KTM, safe predictions on consistency of rider performance has taken back seat in season of change on and off the track.
Within compacted schedule, double header race venues have provided riders and Teams rare opportunity to analyze results before all push replay racing same circuit the following weekend. Other side of coin highlights racing same circuit twice-over places advantage to riders and manufacturers who perform best on track as opposed to those waiting for track circuits better to their liking.
As points leader Fabio Quatararo states: ‘”The YZR-M1 was certainly lacking top speed in Austria, but I can take heart from the fact that I was able to beat all but Marquez last season at Misano last year.”‘
“Misano is one of my favourite circuits because it has a little bit of everything: slow corners, fast corners and switching from left to right. I’m curious to see how it works with the new asphalt and if the conditions will have changed a lot since last year”‘.
Standing in dominant 2nd Overall, Andrea Dovizioso admits tyre changes have affected consistency of results, with management of Michelin rubber key factor on track. Add to fact that Misano asphalt has been re-surfaced with track-testing sessions carried out prior to race weekend, Valentino Rossi’s prediction that-
“The tires are the key—it’s fastest for the rider who is able to better manage the Michelin”‘ could well ring true.
With range of soft, normal and hard front slick with symmetric finish provided to Teams, there will also be a hard-asymmetric front slick with a harder right-hand side to deal with the newly resurfaced asphalt. As for the rear, riders get to select from soft, medium and hard- all asymmetric with a harder right shoulder, given the greater number of right turns in the 27 lap race.
3rd Overall Pramac Racing rider Jack Miller confirms tyre selection was bit of worry when re-start occurred at Red Bull Ring on August 16th, stating in Jack’s matter of fact style having taken 3rd podium and valuable points on the table:
‘”I made the decision to go with the soft tyres even if it looked a bit dodgy that I’d be able to stretch them for 20 laps. I figured I could do six laps on them flat-out in qualifying, so six laps, 20 laps … could I stretch it?
‘As it was, we didn’t have any new medium tyres left for the restarted race, and I hadn’t tried the hard all weekend so I wasn’t going to go there. It definitely worked for the first 10 laps when I was leading, but after ‘Dovi’ passed me I knew I’d be defending from behind than being able to run with him at the front, and I nearly made it”‘. Courtesy jackmiller43.com.au
With all changes making their presence on track, affecting riders ability to work with shifting tides of circumstances while Teams grapple with data analysis within 4 day turn-around only other exception to this weekend’s racing will be fans are allowed.
10,000 fans will be allowed through gates over 3 consecutive days, repeat for following weekend at Italy’s only MotoGP 2020. Bonus, Misano is home track to Legend ‘The Doctor’ who lives just 10 kilometres down the road making for perfect mix of ‘what can we expect’ from racing this weekend.