With seven races left in the 2022 MotoGP season, we are approaching the final stretch. There are 175 points left to play for, and Fabio Quartararo has a lead of 32 points over Aleix Espargaro.
That means that Espargaro still has his fate in his own hands: he can become 2022 MotoGP champion by the simple expedient of winning every MotoGP race left, and if Quartararo finishes second in all seven races, the Aprilia rider would take his first championship by a slim margin of 3 points.
Episode 293 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one sees us looking ahead to the San Marino Grand Prix in Misano, Italy.
On the mics, we have the full crew of Steve English, Adam Wheeler, David Emmett, and Neil Morrison as they talk from the road about the next MotoGP round.
Andrea Dovizioso will not complete the 2022 MotoGP season. Today, Yamaha announced that the Italian had decided to end his career at Misano, his home race (Dovizioso is from Forlì, some 70 kilometers away).
Yamaha official test rider Cal Crutchlow will take Dovizioso’s place in the RNF WithU Yamaha team for the remainder of the 2022 season.
Episode 240 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one is our Moto2 and Moto3 follow-up to Episode 238, which focused on the MotoGP action from the San Marino GP at Misano.
On the mics, we have David Emmett and Neil Morrison, as they walk us through the on-track action in the intermediate classes.
Episode 238 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this show covers the MotoGP action from the San Marino GP at the Misano World Circuit
On the mics, we have Steve English, David Emmett, Neil Morrison, and Adam Wheeler, as they cover what turned out to be a very eventful weekend in Italy.
It was supposed to rain, so of course it didn’t, proving that the weather on Italy’s Adriatic coast is just as fickle as any other place in the world at the moment.
Instead, it was hot and humid, with the threat of rain looming in the distance, providing a brief shower during qualifying for the Moto2 class, but leaving the rest of the sessions untouched. The recent rains did leave their mark, however.
The standing water left by the heavy showers of recent weeks had allowed midges, mosquitoes, and other insect life to breed copiously, and clouds of midges swarmed sections of the track. To the misfortune of Jack Miller, who had to come into the pits after getting one of the little mites in his eye.
Friday at Misano was fun, if a complete waste of time. Ideal conditions for about 35 minutes of FP1, then the deluge came, flooding the track and putting an end to any idea of improvement.
A rainy afternoon – though not quite as rain-sodden as the end of FP1 – meant it was impossible to better the times from this morning.
Which left Maverick Viñales at the top of the timesheets. A remarkable achievement, given this is just his second race on the Aprilia after his dramatic separation from the Yamaha team.
Does this mean that Viñales is now the favorite for the win at Misano? Even Maverick Viñales doesn’t think so.
While Mugello is Valentino Rossi’s spiritual home, Misano is truly the Italian’s home circuit.
It is quite literally walking distance from his home town of Tavullia: on the Sunday morning before the MotoGP race, a part of the Valentino Rossi official fan club gather in Tavullia to walk to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
It is a little over 12 kilometers, so it’s not short, but it is easily doable.
It is also the home of the VR46 Riders Academy, who use it to train on Yamaha R6s and Yamaha R1s, to keep their brains up to speed, as well as using the karting track to race minibikes, sharpening their elbows, which have already been honed at the ranch.
Episode 162 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and this one sees David Emmett, Steve English, and Neil Morrison on the mics, as the trio looks at the San Marino GP at Misano.
With plenty happening at the MotoGP round, there is no shortage of discussion, and we think you will find their conversation to be quite interesting.
It should come as no surprise that in a paradoxical 2020 MotoGP season in a year full of paradoxes, a new surface at Misano should have simultaneously both improved the track and made it much worse.
Yet the paradox is relatively easy to understand: the tarmac chosen for the new surface has a lot more grip, but it is also softer when it gets hot, deforming more and producing more and bigger bumps. The additional grip is great, but you can’t always benefit when your wheels are being kicked up into the air.
“There’s more grip than last year but the track is similar to motocross!” Fabio Quartararo told us. “A lot of bumps. Positive that there is more grip but we need to adapt because honestly the first exit in FP1 was really difficult to manage the bumps.”
One of the things making the bumps so difficult to manage is where they are. “It’s bad,” said Jack Miller, “especially in the fastest sector, it’s really quite bad. That back section, the bike just starts shaking and bouncing, and one lap you can get through there semi OK, and the next lap you’re just bouncing around and you can’t really get back on the track.”
“Down to the back straight, before the first fast kink, on the dead straight piece it’s bumpy, the bike is going like that,” Miller said, waving his hands about to indicate just how much the bike moves. That was tricky as you approach the fastest part of the track. “You’re trying to get the bike settled as much as you can to tip it in. It doesn’t feel great.”
A couple of days before the Misano MotoGP round – that is, the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, not the Gran Premio TISSOT dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, or Misano 1 and Misano 2 as most people without photographic memories or a contractual obligation to use their full names will call them – kicked off, there was a flurry of rumors and excitement over possible announcements ahead of the race.
Thursday could see important news made, people whispered.