Within minutes of the first Free Practice session of the race weekend of the 13th round of the MotoGP season getting underway in San Marino, with the Moto3 class at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the red flag waswaved to bring the session to a halt.
Oil spillage halts Free Practice
Leopard Racing team rider Fabio Quartararo spilled oil on the track and a clan up operation was underway to fix and prepare the track ready for the rest of the day’s action which included Free Practice for all three classes; Moto3, MotoGP and Moto2.
When the pit lane reopened for riders to take to the track for the remainder of the first Free Practice session, it was championship leader Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who took the lead. The South African was the first to lap below 1:44 minutes with his time of 1:43.952.
The other Moto3 riders struggled to match the time set by him at the tight and bumpy circuit. The Estrella Galicia 0,0 team did what they could working together; Aron Canet and Jorge Navarro were lapping together trying to drag each other along in their slipstream when Canet went off track at turn 1.
Close call for Brad Binder
It was not smooth running for Brad Binder though as he saved himself from high-siding with less than nine minutes of the first session remaining. He was about to lose the front and was thrown up and out of his seat; however he was able to make a fantastic save and immediately entered the pits after it.
Kornfeil on fantastic form
Jakub Kornfeil (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team) is continuing in his fantastic form and later on in the session was able to complete a fast lap that kept him near the top of the timesheets with two minutes to go; the last sector was one of his strongest points.
Bastianini the fastest after FP1
However, a late surge from Gresini Racing Moto3 rider Enea Bastianini secured the Italian the crown as the fastest man at the end of Free Practice with a time of 1:43.188; just three hundredths of a second off the circuit record lap.
The Italian was quickest ahead of Kornfeil and Philipp Oetll (Schedl GP Racing) who managed to squeeze championship leader Brad Binder down to fourth. Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) finished ahead of his teammate Quartararo in fifth, second in the championship Navarro was seventh ahead of Sky Racing Team VR46 riders Andrea Migno and Nicolo Antonelli, who along with Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) completed the top ten after Free Practice 1.
Moto3 wildcard appearances in Misano
The Moto3 class this round will include two wildcard appearances; Stefano Manzi (Mahindra Racing) who after an amazing performance finished fourth at the Octo British Moto3, and Alexi Fabbri (Minimoto Portomaggione). Manzi was again on form and was riding quite aggressively during Free Practice 2… it will be great to see more of the Italian.
A battle was taking place on track between Bastianini and Brad Binder for the top spot of the timesheet. However, it was Kornfeil who would have set the fastest lap had he not pulled into the pits instead. Brad Binder was in with a chance but he ran onto the run-off area at turn ten spoiling his chances of a fast lap.
With six minutes of the session remaining Kornfeil returned to the track and was able to set the fastest time. Along came Mir and Binder who stole the crown from him in the closing stages before Bastianini again set the fastest lap in the day for the Moto3 class of 1:42.805.
Bastianini remains the fastest Moto3 rider on track at the end of Misano day one
The Italian remained the man to beat the end of day one. Brad Binder had to settle for second fastest ahead of Mir, Kornfeil and Gresini Racing Moto3 rider Fabio Di Giannantonio. Navarro, Livio Loi (RW Racing GP BV), Migno, Antonelli and Jorge Martin (Gaviota Mahindra Aspar) completed the top ten.
Just outside the top ten in 11th was rookie Bulega who finished ahead of Canet, Locatelli, Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing Team) and Albert Arenas (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) who is returning from undergoing surgery on his collarbone after the Brno Moto3 race.
Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia) was 16th ahead of Jules Danilo (Ongetta-Rivacold) and British rider John McPhee in 18th aboard his Peugeot MC Saxoprint Mahindra. Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who finished on the podium in Silverstone in third was 19th ahead of Oettl, Lorenzo Dalla Porta who is replacing sacked Romano Fenati at the Sky Racing Team VR46; behind him was Tatsuki Suzuki (CIP-Unicorn Starker) and wildcard Manzi in 23rd.
Unusual result for Bagnaia
Considering his recent form it was unusual to find Francesco Bagnaia (Gaviota Mahindra Aspar) in 24th, behind him was Quartararo, Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate), Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team) and Adam Norrodin (Drive M7 SIC Racing Team).
The only female in the pack Maria Herrera (MH6 Team) was 29th fastest ahead of Stefano Valtulini (3570 Team Italia), Khairul Pawi (Honda Team Asia), Marcos Ramirez replacing injured Danny Webb on the Platinum Bay Real Estate Mahindra and Fabio Spiranello (CIP-Unicorn Starker) in 33rd. Wildcard Fabbri was 34th ahead of Lorenzo Petrarca who completed the timesheet in 35th.