MotoGP Mugello: Fabio Quartararo takes a comfortable victory in Italy
Fabio Quartararo cruised to his third victory of the 2021 MotoGP season at Mugello with a performance reminiscent of three-time premier class champion Jorge Lorenzo.
Quartararo was able to take full advantage when race leader Francesco Bagnaia crashed out of the race at turn nine on the second lap. The factory Ducati rider went slightly wide at Arrabbiata 1 and lost the front as a result.
Following a brief battle with Johann Zarco, Quartararo was able to pull the pin and ride off into the distance. The Frenchman would cross the line with a comfortable 2.952s advantage over the field, however his lead had been as high as four seconds.
The Frenchman has taken things to another level in 2021 with four pole positions and three victories from the opening six rounds. Quartararo would have four victories to his name had it not been for an arm pump issue at Jerez. He now holds a 24-point advantage over Zarco in the standings.
Like Moto2 earlier in the day, there was controversy involved for the remaining podium places. Miguel Oliveira crossed the line in second but was demoted one position for exceeding track limits at turn five on the final lap. As a result, reigning champion Joan Mir was initially promoted to second. However, it was then revealed that Mir also exceeded track limits, and as a result Oliveira's second spot was reinstated.
Zarco clinched fourth spot after struggling for grip from the middle of the race onwards. Brad Binder ensure that both Red Bull KTMs were inside the top five, whilst Jack Miller was sixth.
Aleix Espargaro secured seventh for Aprilia, ahead of Maverick Vinales and Danilo Petrucci. Valentino Rossi was able to take advantage of fallers ahead of him to sneak into the top 10 at his beloved Mugello. Iker Lecouna missed out on 10th by just 0.004s on the second Tech3 KTM.
Pol Espargaro struggled in 12th spot ahead of Pramac Racing's Michele Pirro and LCR Honda rider Alex Marquez. Lorenzo Savadori was the final point scorer today.
In a bizarre incident, Enea Bastianini crashed on the warmup lap. The Italian was seen on the floor on the approach to his grid slot, whilst his race suit's airbags had been deployed. Replays later showed that Bastianini had ran into the back of Zarco, who may have either been engaging the Desmocedici's start device or warming up his brakes. Bastianini slammed his brakes on and was thrown over the handlebars. The incident is currently under investigation.
Marc Marquez crashed out of 10th spot at turn three on lap two after hitting the back of Binder.Franco Morbidelli had to run off the track to avoid Marquez's Repsol Honda RC213V and consequently finished 16th.
Alex Rins' season went from bad to worse with a few laps remaining. The Suzuki rider crashed out of third at turn 15 on lap 20. It's Rins' fourth crash in four races and he remains on 23 points from six races.
Moments later Takaaki Nakagami's race came to a premature end. The LCR Honda rider lost the front on the exit of turn 13.
Moto2 Mugello: Remy Gardner beats Raul Fernandez to extend championship lead
First published: 30 May 2021 at 12:21 by Josh Close
The Red Bull KTM Ajo pair were neck and neck in the final few laps, with Gardner enjoying slightly more edge grip on his tyres. The Aussie made his move at turn 10 and managed to pip Fernandez to the line by 0.014s.
It's Gardner's first victory for the team and he opens a narrow six-point lead in the championship over Fernandez. Gardner has finished on the podium in seven of the last nine Moto2 races. Red Bull KTM Ajo now hold a 121-point lead over Sky Racing Team VR46 in the teams' championship.
Marco Bezzecchi completed the podium after taking a controversial third at his home race. Joe Roberts had crossed the line in third spot but was demoted a position as a punishment for exceeding track limits at turn six on the final lap.
Marcel Schrotter was fifth ahead of rookie Ai Ogura, who continues his impressive start to life in the intermediate class. Fellow rookies Tony Arbolino and Cameron Beaubier were seventh and eighth. Beaubier put in an astonishing performance, battling through from 26th on the grid.
Hafizh Syahrin and Stefano Manzi completed the top 10 at Mugello. Newcomer Fermín Aldeguer secured a respectable 12th for the MB Conveyors Speed Up team, whilst Jake Dixon claimed a couple of points in 14th.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta's race came to an end at the first corner, whilst Augusto Fernandez also crashed out on the first lap at turn 10. Lorenzo Baldassarri crashed out at turn 14 on the fourth lap, whilst Jorge Navarro joined the long list of fallers at turn one the following lap.
Xavi Vierge went down at turn 12, whilst Albert Arenas and Fabio Di Giannantonio fell in separate incidents on the 12th lap of the race. Simone Corsi also retired from the race.
Sam Lowes' championship hopes were dealt a massive blow on lap 16 when he crashed out of third at turn eight. It's the Brit's third DNF in four races and Lowes was understandably frustrated afterwards. Lowes is now 48 points behind Gardner in this year's title fight.
Marcos Ramirez crashed out of eighth at turn two with only three laps remaining.
Moto3 Mugello: Dennis Foggia takes sensational victory in his home Grand Prix
First published: 30 May 2021 at 11:09 by Josh Close
The Leopard Racing rider pulled the pin towards the end of the penultimate lap and was able to open a big enough gap to avoid being beaten to the line by riders using his slipstream.
It's Foggia's first Moto3 victory since the 2020 Czech GP at Brno and the first non-Spanish rider to stand on the top step in the lightweight class. Foggia's nearest challenger heading towards the chequered flag was Jaume Masia.
Second is a much-needed result for Masia, who has struggled since winning the opening race of the year in Qatar. It's his best result since that victory. Gabriel Rodrigo completed the podium for Indonesian Gresini Racing. It's the Argentine's first podium since the 2018 Catalan GP.
Ayumu Sasaki battled through the pain barrier to finish fourth. The Japanese rider is battered and bruised following the Q2 incident with Jason Dupasquier but was still able to produce a spectacular performance today.
Darryn Binder and Romano Fenati were fifth and sixth respectively, whilst John McPhee was promoted to seventh after the race. The Scot moved up two places as a result of Pedro Acosta and Sergio Garcia's penalties for exceeding track limits on the final lap. The duo are now classified as finishing eighth and ninth.
Polesitter Tatsuki Suzuki completed the top 10 ahead of Filip Salac and Kaito Toba.
Adrian Fernandez and VR46 Academy wildcard Alberto Surra collided at the first corner at the start of the race. Moments later four riders went down at turn seven in two separate incidents.
Deniz Öncü highsided on his Red Bull KTM Ajo bike, whilst behind him Carlos Tatay and Maximilian Kofler collided. Andrea Migno, who was third in the championship heading into the Italian GP, had nowhere to go and joined Tatay and Kofler in the gravel. Kofler and Tatay were taken to the medical centre because of the crash.
As a mark of respect to Dupasquier, who remains in a serious condition in hospital following his qualifying crash, CarXpert PruestelGP teammate Ryusei Yamanaka did not take part in today's race.
After six rounds of the 2021 Moto3 season, Acosta holds a 52-point lead over teammate Masia in the standings. Sasaki is a further two points back in third, with Sergio Garcia 55 points behind the leader in fourth.
Moto2 Mugello: Raul Fernandez beats Sam Lowes to pole position
First published: 29 May 2021 by Josh Close
The Red Bull KTM Ajo ride rider posted a lap-time of 1:50.723, which was 0.267s quicker than Sam Lowes. The duo were the only riders to drop into the 1:50s today.
Jorge Navarro continued his impressive form on the Boscosscuro in third spot, whilst championship leader Remy Gardner had to settle for a spot on the second row in fourth. The Aussie was half a second off the pace set by Fernandez today.
Fabio Di Giannantonio was fifth on the Federal Oil Gresini bike, with rookie Toni Arbolino completing the second row. Marco Bezzecchi qualified seventh for his home race, whilst Xavi Vierge, Marcel Schrotter and Joe Roberts completed the top 10.
Eslewhere, 16-year-old rookie Fermín Aldeguer made a fantastic start to life in the intermediate class by qualifying 15th. Aldeguer is the current leader of the CEV Moto2 Championship and is a replacement rider for the injured Yari Montella.
Jake Dixon qualified 22nd for Petronas Sprinta Racing, whilst American rookie Cameron Beaubier will start tomorrow's race from 26th on the grid. Reigning Moto3 champion Albert Arenas had a difficult day down in 30th place, as did Thomas Luthi in 28th.
Tomorrow's Moto2 race is due to begin at 11:20am (UK Time).
MotoGP Mugello: Fabio Quartararo breaks the lap record to take pole
First published: 29 May 2021 at 14:41 by Josh Close
The Frenchman posted a fastest lap-time of 1:45.187, with the former lap record, held by Marc Marquez, being a 1:45.519. It was enough to beat Francesco Bagnaia by 0.230s, whilst Johann Zarco snuck onto the front row with his final flying lap.
Aleix Espargaro was fourth for Aprilia after posting his fastest-ever lap-time around the famous Italian circuit. Jack Miller, winner of the last two races, was knocked down to fifth in the closing seconds of the session, whilst Brad Binder completed the second row.
KTM teammate Miguel Oliveira was seventh ahead of the Suzuki duo of Alex Rins and Joan Mir. Franco Morbidelli completed the top 10 despite having a clear speed disadvantage on his 2019 Yamaha M1.
The Repsol Honda duo of Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro completed the top 12. Marquez's antics in Q1 have triggered a mass debate throughout the paddock and on social media after he insisted on following Maverick Vinales throughout in order to gain a tow.
Despite Vinales’ efforts to shake him off, even returning to pit lane, Marquez did not back off. As a result, alongside his own mistake on his final flying lap, Vinales failed to make it through to Q2 and will start tomorrow's race from 13th on the grid.
Enea Bastianini performed brilliantly to qualify 14th ahead of his first-ever premier class race at Mugello. Takaaki Nakagami will start 15th after pulling out of his final flying lap, ahead of Michele Pirro and rookie Luca Marini.
Danilo Petrucci will start 18th ahead of the struggling Valentino Rossi, Iker Lecouna, Lorenzo Savadori and Alex Marquez.
Tomorrow's MotoGP race is due to begin at 13:00 (UK Time).
Moto3 Mugello: Tatsuki Suzuki secures his second pole of 2021
First published: 29 May 2021 at 12:49 by Josh Close
The Japanese rider's fastest lap-time of 1:56.001 was enough to give him a comfortable advantage of over half a second at the top of the timesheet. His nearest rival was championship leader Pedro Acosta on the Red Bull KTM Ajo bike.
It's Acosta's first-ever Grand Prix front row and the young Spaniard also had to go through Q1. Prior to today's session, Acosta's best qualifying result was ninth at the Doha GP. Gabriel Rodrigo completed the front row for Indonesian Gresini Racing.
The Q2 session was red flagged just as the clock hit zero due to a collision between Jason Dupasquier, Ayumu Sasaki and Jeremy Alcoba at Arrabbiata 2. It appears that Dupasquier lost control of his bike coming over the crest of the hill, whilst Sasaki and Alcoba had nowhere to go in order to avoid the Swiss rider.
Medics and marshals were seen treating Dupasquier on the circuit and the air ambulance helicopter also arrived on the scene. Dupasquier will be flown to Florence Hospital. Sasaki and Alcoba are reportedly ok following the incident.
Dennis Foggia qualified fourth for the Leopard Racing team, ahead of Jaume Masia and the aforementioned Alcoba. The latter was seen back in the garage following the incident at turn nine.
Romano Fenati will start tomorrow's race from seventh on the grid, whilst Niccolo Antonelli, John McPhee and Sasaki completed the top 10. Dupasquier had posted a time quick enough for 11th on the grid before his accident.
Rookie Izan Guevara was thrown off his Aspar machine at turn 10 after making contact with Riccardo Rossi in Q1. It's not yet known whether he'll be able to continue this weekend.
Takuma Matsuyama was also taken to the medical centre for a check-up following a huge highside at turn 15. The Honda Team Asia rider, standing in once again for the injured Yuki Kunii, has been declared fit to continue this weekend.
Tomorrow's Moto3 race is scheduled to begin at 10:00am (UK Time).
Moto2 Mugello: Sam Lowes pips Raul Fernandez to top spot on day one
First published: 28 May 2021 by Josh Close
The Brit edged out Raul Fernandez by 0.184s with his lap-time of :51.365, which came on his final flying lap of FP2 this afternoon.
“It was a really good day, and I was able to improve a lot this afternoon," Lowes said. "I was fast with used tyres and that’s positive. We tried a new setting on the front of the bike and that gave me a much better feeling, so I’m happy with my pace on the first day.
"The track temperature was quite hot this afternoon and I managed to find some good feeling. We can still find some better front feeling tomorrow but we’ve got some good data to look at tonight that should help us improve.”
Fernandez, who is second in the championship, has never ridden a Moto2 bike around Mugello before, but this wasn't going to slow him down. Jorge Navarro completed the top three on day one.
Joe Roberts was fourth overall on the Italtrans Racing Team machine but had to rely on his FP1 time in order to do so. The American crashed at turn five midway through FP2 and subsequently missed the remainder of the session due to the damage caused to his bike. Roberts was 0.361s off the pace set by Lowes.
Marco Bezzecchi was fifth on the opening day of his home round, ahead of class rookie Tony Arbolino and championship leader Remy Gardner - who was half-a-second slower than Lowes.
Fabio Di Giannantonio, Xavi Vierge and Augusto Fernandez completed the top 10. Britain's Jake Dixon had a tough day down in 23rd and was 1.618s off the pace. It's the first time that Dixon has been to Mugello on the Kalex chassis.
American rookie Cameron Beaubier ended his first-ever day at Mugello in 30th spot and has a tough learning curve still ahead of him in Italy.Somkiat Chantra (13th), Marcos Ramirez (16th) and Tom Lüthi (26th) all crashed during FP2.
Tomorrow’s (May 29) Moto2 FP3 session is due to begin at 09:55 (UK Time). Q1 and Q2 will follow at 14:10 and 14:35 respectively.
MotoGP Mugello: Francesco Bagnaia ends day one on top
First published: 28 May 2021 at 13:47 by Josh Close
The Italian, currently sitting second in the championship, posted a lap-time of 1:46.147 to beat Alex Rins by 0.071s. It's the perfect response from Rins, who is under pressure after crashing out of the last three races.
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Franco Morbidelli was third overall after leaping up to third on his 16th and final flying lap in FP2. Championship leader Fabio Quartararo was fourth overall and was visibly frustrated in the closing stages of FP2 due to slow traffic out on the circuit.
KTM duo Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira were fifth and sixth respectively to ensure that there were five different manufacturers inside the top six today. It's the first time that Binder has ridden a MotoGP bike around the challenging Mugello circuit. Both riders took the time to try a new chassis.
Takaaki Nakagami was the leading Honda rider in seventh ahead of Maverick Vinales. The latter ran wide at Arrabbiata 2 in the closing stages of FP2. Aleix Espargaro and Le Mans race winner Jack Miller completed the top 10 on day one.
Johann Zarco and Joan Mir were 11th and 12th respectively, ahead of Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda. Marquez was down in 20th for most of the session and is having to fight through the pain barrier in order to compete. Marquez is struggling with his right shoulder and Mugello is one of the toughest circuits on the calendar.
Teammate Pol Espargaro was 14th ahead of Pramac Racing Ducati's Michele Pirro, who is standing in for the injured Jorge Martin this weekend. 2021 rookies Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini ended the day 17th and 19th respectively.
Valentino Rossi's dismal start to 2021 continued. The nine-time world champion finished 21st overall, 1.572s off Bagnaia's fastest lap-time. Rossi ran straight on at turn one on two separate occasions during FP2.
The MotoGP riders will be back in action at 08:55 (UK Time) tomorrow morning for FP3. This will be followed by FP4 at 12:30, Q1 at 13:10 and then Q2 at 13:35.