Misano MotoGP Preview: A “normal” race finally?

By | September 9, 2016

It’s been a crazy few rounds of MotoGP, in fact the entire year has been quite special in many ways. Now the action moves over to Misano, and it looks like we might have a predictable outcome after all, at least that’s what the FP1 results tell us.

The Sun is shining at the beautiful Italian track, and is expected to keep shining throughout the weekend, which should make life a bit easier for the riders. The 4 km track, named after Marco Simoncelli, has recently been resurfaced, so no bumps to dodge like Siliverstone either.

Which is good since Misano is considered to be a rather tight and dangerous circuit to race on. Wayne Rainey’s career ending crash happened here, so did Shoya Tomizawa’s life ending one. With the amount of tension running through the field, it wouldn’t take much for a disaster to strike.

So who is going to win? Rossi looks like a really good bet.

The track is very close to Rossi’s home, he’s been here plenty of times, it’s as much of a home race to him as it is to Petrucci. The M1 is the most balanced bike in the field, and should happily gobble up any competition thrown in front of it. With the Italian summers at full swing, track temperatures are going to be high, which rules out any new Suzuki spectacle.

Same goes for the Hondas, who are already suffering with drive out of corners. The track isn’t the flowing beauty that’s Silverstone, it has plenty of stop and go corners, where you try to pull away in 1st or 2nd. That’s something the Honda’s have suffered with forever, and Marquez will have to really pull out a rabbit out the hat to fight in this one. He did get a really good run in FP1 though, and had one of his trademark crashes that he almost saved with knee and elbow. When he couldn’t, the bike parked itself in the middle of the track. Marquez stood behind the bike and warned oncoming riders. Top bloke.

On the other hand, Pedrosa looks really happy with the way things are. His main problem throughout this season has been the lack of tire temperature. With the track helping him out, he should bounce back with some real vengeance. If anybody deserves a break, he’s the one.

Lorenzo should also be looking at Misano with a smile on his face, a way to end the jinx that he seems to be under right now. The only problem there seems to be the fact that Michelin is bringing yet another front to this race, and there’s no telling if the Spaniard would like it or not.

One surprise element could be the Ducatis, their horsepower advantage and drive out of corners is nothing short of spectacular, but both their riders are fighting demons of their own. Dovi has an injured Knee, and Iannone crashed heavily in free practice 1, with possible vertebrae fractures, a lot of pain, and will not race. As we saw in the British GP, having the fastest bike doesn’t guarantee a win, especially when it’s so vicious that you can barely hold onto it.

Pol Espargo looks ready to do a Crutchlow as well, finishing 2nd in the FP1 timing. His teammate and latest MotoGP sensation Alex Lowes couldn’t do so well, but then again it’s just his second GP. The satellite bikes will most likely end up fighting for top 10 spots only, the weather looks set to favor the big boys.

Here’s my prediction for this weekend.

  1. Rossi
  2. Lorenzo
  3. Pedrosa
  4. Espargaro
  5. Marquez

And here’s a small video I made playing the MotoGP13 PC game. I think if Rossi uses this strategy for the weekend, he might win the race, and even the championship.