A strong sixth place opened the San Marino GP weekend for Pol Espargaro, teammate Marc Marquez less than a tenth behind in ninth.

It was far from idyllic beach conditions on the opening day of MotoGP practice at the San Marino GP as semi-regular rain showers hit the paddock during both MotoGP practice sessions. Free Practice 1 started with dry running and allowed riders to at least get a taste of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in better conditions. All of the best times of the day came from these first half of FP1 when the track was dry.

From the handful of dry minutes at the start of the day, Pol Espargaro managed to grab top-Honda honours and set what would be the sixth fastest time of the day. His 1’33.019 saw him end 0.353s shy of Viñales’ best time of the day and Espargaro was able to show well in the wet second half of the session as well. In the dry, Espargaro is feeling confident with the pace he and the team found in FP1. With conditions unchanged and still wet in Free Practice 2, Espargaro wasted no time in heading out on track to continue learning the Honda RC213V in all conditions, making improvements as the afternoon went.

In typical modern-day MotoGP fashion, there was little to choose between the top ten and Marc Marquez ended the day ninth fastest but within half a second of the top time in the dry. Marquez made the most of all available track time and returned to the circuit at the end of Free Practice 1 as the rain fell to understand the conditions. In Free Practice 2, the rain returned and with the entire session held in the wet, Marquez was able to improve his feeling and challenge the futon runners. Setting the fifth fastest time of FP2, the #93 still feels there is something missing to close the gap to the front in the wet.

Wildcard Stefan Bradl was again impressive on his return to the Grand Prix paddock, the German setting the eighth fastest time of the day. His 1’33.047 was only 0.023s off the time set by MotoGP World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

Forecasts remain mixed for Saturday action as well, action set to begin at 09:55 Local Time with Free Practice 3. Should it remain dry, the session will offer a last chance for the Repsol Honda Team pair to defend their position inside the combined top-ten.

Pol Espargaro

Sixth 1'33.019

“It has been a good day and I’m happy with our dry pace. In the afternoon our feeling in the wet improved throughout the session and we understood more. I felt good and was fast in the dry, so it’s quite a good start to the weekend. The weather still looks a little unpredictable for the weekend so it is good to try the bike in both conditions. Already we have been able to start to build an idea of what the plan will be on Sunday, so this is positive.”

Marc Marquez

Ninth 1'33.100

“At the moment our feeling is not bad in the wet and in the dry, it’s not the same as in Aragon and we’re back to what has been out ‘standard’ level this year, more or less. In the dry I could feel some limitations in a couple of corners, but we have time to try and work on the setup to be a bit faster there. Apart from this, let’s see if we can improve tomorrow. Then in the wet, normally we are fast there but we are still missing something. All the Honda riders looked like they struggled a bit so we need to explore this. There’s a few things still to try tomorrow, so let’s see what the weather is like.”

MotoGP 2021
Practice Round 14   San Marino

San Marino GP Combined Free Practice Classification

Mixed
Humidity
86%
Track Temp
24°C
Air Temp
23°C
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'32.666
2 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.080
3 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.135
4 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.193
5 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.219
6 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.353
7 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.358
8 Bradl Stefan 6 GER Team HRC Honda 0.381
9 Marquez Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.434
10 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 0.436
11 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.477
12 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 0.648
13 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.743
14 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.785
15 Pirro Michele 51 ITA Ducati Test Team Ducati 0.816
16 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.904
17 Lecuona Iker 27 SPA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.044
18 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 1.100
19 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1.125
20 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.284
21 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.356
22 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.360
23 Marini Luca 10 ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 1.371
24 Dovizioso Andrea 4 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 2.545
Location Information

Close to the city of Rimini, the Misano Adriático circuit was constructed in 1972 and has since undergone an array of modifications. A regular scene for Italian Grands Prix throughout the 80s and early 90s, Misano returned to the MotoGP calendar in 2007.With updated facilities, track and grandstands, the Misano… read more.

Length 4.226 kilometres / 2.626 miles
Width 14 metres
Left corners 6
Right corners 10
Longest straight 0.565 kilometres / 0.351 miles
Constructed 1969
Modified 2008

Misano World Circuit "Marco Simoncelli", Via Daijiro Kato, Misano Adriatico, Rimini, Italy - View in Google Maps

www.misanocircuit.com

Records

Pole Position 1m31.065s (167.0 km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)
Race Lap 1m32.171s (165.0km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)
Race Time 41m48.305s (163.7 km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)
2021 Race Winners Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021) || Marc Marquez (Honda, 2021)