After two days under intense sun and a dry warm-up, the GP of San Marino was afflicted by uncertain weather conditins with rain arriving right at the beginning of todays MotoGP race to further mix up the results.
Although the race was declared dry, the increasing rain gave riders the first chance this year to take benefit of the bike-switch rule, where another machine is ready in the pit-lane with a rain set-up. The rain soon stopped, with the racing line getting drier lap-after-lap, forcing the riders to switch again for dry-set machines.
This led to an exciting an emotional topsy-turvy race for the huge amount of spectators at the Misano Circuit, but it proved to be not so sweet for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders, who struggled to find good feelings with their machines in the conditions.
Both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viales were pretty solid and consistent, even though they could never fight for positions better than 10th overall, with Espargaro 10th and Viales in 14th position overall.
Satoru Terada Project Leader:
This has been a very tough race for us. The weather conditions were tricky and we couldnt take advantage of the two changes of bikes. In fact the whole weekend has been hard for us, we arrived here with lots of expectations after the test we made in July and we have left disappointed. In July we could lap very positively and we thought we would have a very good base, but unfortunately the track conditions were very different and so both the riders had to start their work again, just like we did at all the other circuits that were totally new for us. With Aleix we had some positive news since on the second day he improved his feeling a lot and could find a good base for the race; we thought we could do a positive race with him but the weather messed up our plans. Maverick on his side struggled the whole weekend since he couldnt find a good feeling with the rear-end, lacking in traction and acceleration. Anyway it was important to us to find such different conditions because this gives us the chance to compare the data between Julys tests and this race, therefore expanding our knowledge and experience. I think we can now stop thinking about the result of this weekend and take the positives that we can, thinking already to Aragon, where we have already tested and we have a little knowledge about the track.
I must say I am disappointed about the race, not only for the result itself but because we dont deserve to be where we are. We are all working very hard and the classification and points are not where we should be. In the first part of the race in dry conditions I was feeling competitive, being able to fight for the positions ahead well into the top-ten, then when we had to switch the bikes for the second time and we didnt manage the situation at its best; maybe I could have stopped a lap earlier and gained some more positions. Unfortunately we still lack in performance, no need to say once more that we miss some acceleration, but we need to find a more efficient way to exploit what positives we have. Now we head to Aragon, I hope we will have a better luck there but most of all I hope that the weather will be similar to what we found in testing so that we can start from a solid base, which is what we couldnt do in this race.
Once again this weekend I must admit that I am disappointed, after the tests we were so positive about this race but at the end of the day we couldnt exploit anything about the information we got from it. I have struggled since the very first session, I couldnt find a proper feeling with the setting and I cant understand why. For sure the conditions were much different from the tests but back then I felt very confident, so it is so strange to have such extremely different feelings. The weather mixed up things for sure, but we could have done better. Now we need to find some ideas and solutions, we still have many races and Im sure we can improve further, everything helps to grow and learn, so I want to keep in a positive mood.
GP of San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Final Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team - 48'23.819
2. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - +7.288
3. Scott REDDING, EG 0, 0 Marc VDS - +18.793
4. Loris BAZ, Forward Racing Yamaha - +26.427
5. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - +33.196
6. Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing - +35.087
7. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team - +36.527
8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team - +37.434
9. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team - +39.516
10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +39.692
11. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda - +41.995
12. Jack MILLER, LCR Honda - +46.075
13. Mike DI MEGLIO, Avintia Racing - +48.381
14. Maverick VIALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +52.325
Riders World Championship Classification after GP of San Marino:
1. Valentino ROSSI, Yamaha - 247
2. Jorge LORENZO, Yamaha - 224
3. Marc MARQUEZ, Honda - 184
4. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati - 159
5. Bradley SMITH, Yamaha - 135
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati - 128
7. Dani PEDROSA, Honda - 109
8. Danilo PETRUCCI, Ducati - 93
9. Pol ESPARGARO, Yamaha - 81
10. Cal CRUTCHLOW, Honda - 79
11. Maverick VIALES, Suzuki 69
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Suzuki 66