Valentino Rossi gave his limited number of fans allowed to attend the Misano MotoGP a reason to celebrate as he topped the third free practice of the San Marino MotoGP. This was a big event for Yamaha Factory rider as this was his hometown.
The 41-year-old took his time perfectly on the track as he avoided several yellow flags around the circuit following a series of crashes and ended up recording a time of 1m 38.816s on a lap a few moments before the close of the session. He was brandishing a special helmet bearing the writtings “46g of Valentino Viagra” as he led a Yamaha 1-2-3 as the manufacturer exhibited its dominance on the track ahead of the afternoon practice session.
Rossi’s teammate Maverick Vinales recorded a time of 1m31.936s which was just 0.075 seconds slower than Valentino as the other teammate Fabio Quartararo came in third recording a time 1m 31.961s. Pramac’s rider jack Miller recorded the biggest improvement between sessions as he moved up to fourth position, though this didn’t help his cause as he was one of three riders who crashed in the final five minutes after the Australian suffered a fast low-side at the final corner.
Cal Crutchlow was declared unfit to race by the doctors after his arm had a major swell after undergoing the right hand pump operation, he was in for the Friday’s practice session but fluid build-up in his arm saw him retire from the session and will not be on the grid for the San Marino MotoGP.
Both Suzuki Ecstar riders, Alex Rins and Joan Mir came in fifth and sixth respectively as Francesco Bagnaia came an impressive seventh as he is currently on crutches.
Ducatti’s Johann Zarco came in eighth as his teammate Andrea Dovizioso came tenth making it 4 Ducattis heading for Q2, Yamaha will also have Franco Morbidelli in the afternoon Q2 as he came in 9th in the session.
KTM did not have a good time in the session as both of its riders, Pol Espargaro and Iker Lecuona ruined their afternoon ticket for Q2 after crashing, Espargaro was making good progress but his KTM laid him off turn 12 eventuall giving him 11th place. Aprilia’s Bradley Smith also crashed but was able to see off the last two Repsol Hondas which came 19th and 21st.