Misano MotoGP: Vinales tops rain-hit FP1 as Dovizioso and Morbidelli return

Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales topped a rain-interrupted FP1 for the MotoGP San Marino Grand Prix as Andrea Dovizioso and Franco Morbidelli marked their returns.

Misano MotoGP: Vinales tops rain-hit FP1 as Dovizioso and Morbidelli return

Since losing his factory Ducati seat at the end of 2020, Dovizioso has been on a sabbatical, during which time he has undergone a test programme with Aprilia with a view to a full-time return in 2022.

With that avenue closing upon Maverick Vinales’ signing, his Yamaha exit paved the way for Morbidelli to move up to the factory Yamaha squad, with Dovizioso taking over the vacant Petronas SRT M1 for the remainder of the year.

Dovizioso ended his first official MotoGP session since last November last of the 24-rider field, 2.5 seconds off the pace, while Morbidelli was 16th on his return from the knee injury which has sidelined him since June.

The 45-minute session got underway in dry conditions, though the threat of rain was omnipresent as dark clouds swelled above the Misano circuit.

Top spot changed hands frequently over the opening 15 minutes, with Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro setting the initial benchmark at a 1m35.476s.

Andrea Dovizioso, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Andrea Dovizioso, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

After the opening 15 minutes, Aragon GP race winner Francesco Bagnaia had guided his factory Ducati to the top of the standings with a 1m32.801s.

It wasn’t a smooth session for MotoGP’s latest winner, as some technical gremlins with his bike robbed him of some crucial dry track time.

By the time Ducati had resolved the problem, Bagnaia’s run plan was curtailed by the arrival of heavy rain.

Just moments before the weather turned, Vinales – who did test at Misano a fortnight ago - had returned to the top of the standings with a 1m32.666s having served brief stints there earlier in the session.

And with the rain forcing everyone back into pitlane, Vinales’ time would go unchallenged through to the chequered flag.

Suzuki duo Alex Rins and Joan Mir, as well as Honda’s Pol Espargaro and Marc Marquez took the opportunity in the closing stages of FP1 to get some wet milage under their belts.

At the chequered flag Mir was runner-up to Vinales, 0.080 seconds adrift, with Bagnaia completing the top three.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Ducati team-mate Jack Miller was fourth ahead of Rins, Pol Espargaro and championship leader Fabio Quartararo on the factory Yamaha – the Frenchman having a scrappy session on his M1.

Honda wildcard Stefan Bradl headed Marc Marquez and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro to round out the top 10, while Avintia’s Enea Bastianini put in another strong showing fresh from a career-best sixth at Aragon on his two-year-old Ducati in 12th to shadow Pramac’s Johann Zarco.

Valentino Rossi’s penultimate race on home soil began with him down in 19th in FP1, 1.1s off the pace, while the factory KTM duo of Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira made low-key starts to their weekends in 21st and 22nd.

Misano MotoGP - FP1 results

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 15 1'32.666  
2 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 15 1'32.746 0.080
3 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 11 1'32.801 0.135
4 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 13 1'32.859 0.193
5 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 18 1'32.885 0.219
6 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 16 1'33.019 0.353
7 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 16 1'33.024 0.358
8 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 11 1'33.047 0.381
9 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 15 1'33.100 0.434
10 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 11 1'33.102 0.436
11 France Johann Zarco Ducati 14 1'33.143 0.477
12 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 11 1'33.314 0.648
13 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 13 1'33.409 0.743
14 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 12 1'33.451 0.785
15 Italy Michele Pirro Ducati 11 1'33.482 0.816
16 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 14 1'33.570 0.904
17 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 13 1'33.710 1.044
18 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 13 1'33.766 1.100
19 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha 12 1'33.791 1.125
20 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 14 1'33.950 1.284
21 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 15 1'34.022 1.356
22 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 13 1'34.026 1.360
23 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 12 1'34.037 1.371
24 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 13 1'35.211 2.545
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