Following on from the Silverstone race over the Channel, which was cancelled because of bad weather and poor track conditions, MotoGP now returns to Italy for the thirteenth round of the championship. The San Marino Grand Prix is taking place this weekend at the Misano World Circuit, the Adriatic Riviera track situated just over an hour’s drive down the motorway from the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale.
With wins for Andrea Dovizioso at Brno and Jorge Lorenzo in Austria, the month of August was very positive for the Ducati Team, whose two riders were also first and second on the grid at Silverstone, and two days of testing at Misano and Aragón further confirmed the competitiveness of the Desmosedici GP in view of the upcoming rounds in Italy and Spain.
Jorge Lorenzo has an excellent track record at Misano, qualifying nine times on the front row, setting three pole positions in the last four editions, and picking up three wins and four second places.
Despite Misano being Dovizioso’s home race, the Romagna-born rider only stepped onto the podium for the first time last year, when he finished third.
Michele Pirro will also be lining up as wild-card at Misano on a third Desmosedici GP for the Ducati Test Team. The Italian will be on track for the second time this year, after missing the Mugello race following a nasty crash on the Friday. Pirro’s best result in the San Marino GP is a fifth place, which he scored in 2017.
The Misano weekend programme gets underway on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 9.55 am, while the 27-lap race is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 14.00 CET.
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 3rd (130 points)
“What happened at Silverstone was a real shame, but in the end I think the right decision was taken. After missing a GP, we can’t wait to tackle this race and demonstrate that we can fight for good results until the end of the season. Misano is a circuit that I like a lot, and also the test we did there on August 19th was positive and it will allow us to start practice from a competitive base. Last week’s test in Aragón gave good results and helped us to keep in good shape with the bike, which is always useful. It’s sure to be a hard-fought race because here a lot of riders go really well, and I expect it’s going to be an exciting weekend. My feelings are good.”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th (129 points)
“It’s a pity we couldn’t do the race at Silverstone because we were very competitive and we missed a good opportunity to pick up some points on Marquez. In any case we are excited about Misano because the two tests there and at Aragón in the last few weeks went really well and we confirmed that we are competitive on both tracks, so we are now very confident about this weekend. The San Marino GP is an important event for us and we want to do well there: last year we got onto the podium in third place, but this year we’re looking to get something more.”
Michele Pirro (Ducati Team #51)
“We’re ready for this weekend, which looks as if it’s going to be a really exciting one, especially for me. After my crash at Mugello, coming back to MotoGP is a great satisfaction, and so I’m really happy because I’m back in good physical shape and during the weekend I’ll try and give my maximum. I’m also very satisfied because we’re going well, both with Andrea and Jorge, and this means that our bike is very competitive. My task this weekend will be to develop some updates for the future and I’ll also try and find the speed and pace I had before the crash. It’s going to be a real pleasure to be back on track again with my Ducati in front of all of our fans!”
The Misano World Circuit
Built in 1972, the Misano circuit was a venue for GP races in the 80s and 90s before dropping off the calendar for fourteen years. After a number of modifications to improve the infrastructure and a change in the track direction, Misano returned to the MotoGP calendar in 2007. As always for a ‘home’ round, the Ducati Team riders can count on the support of numerous fans present in the Ducati Grandstand.
Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’31.686 (165.6 km/h) - 2016
Circuit Record: Pedrosa (Honda), 1’32.979 (163.6 km/h) - 2016
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’31.868 (165.6 km/h) - 2016
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 299.5 km/h - 2015
Track Length: 4.2 km
Race Distance: 27 laps (114.1 km)
Corners: 16 (6 left, 10 right)
Race Start: 14.00 CET
Podium: 1st Marquez (Honda), 2nd Petrucci (Ducati), 3rd Dovizioso (Ducati)
Pole Position: Viñales (Yamaha), 1’32.439 (164.579 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’47.069 (142.091 km/h)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 32 (born on 23rd March in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 287 (189 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 19 (10 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Poles: 19 (6 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
World Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 99
Age: 31 (born on 4th May 1987 in Palma di Mallorca, Spain)
Residence: Lugano (Switzerland)
Races: 279 (185 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
First GP: 2002 Spanish GP (125cc)
Wins: 68 (47 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First Win: 2003 Brazilian GP (125cc)
Poles: 67 (41 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 Malaysian GP (125cc)
World Titles: 5 (3 x MotoGP, 2 x 250cc)
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 51
Age: 32 (born on 5th July 1986 in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy)
Residence: Cesena (Italy)
Races: 96 (49 x MotoGP, 18 x Moto2, 29 x 125cc)
First GP: 2003 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 1 (1 x Moto2)
First Win: 2011 Valencia GP (Moto2)
Poles: 1 (1 x Moto2)
First Pole: 2011 Valencia GP (Moto2)