Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase
News
20 days ago
By motogp.com

A bad day to be a MotoGP™ rookie

Two crashes, a technical problem and an 18th place finish meant it wasn't an ideal Sunday for the new boys

Two crashes, a technical problem and an 18th place finish; Sunday was definitely a bad day to be a MotoGP™ rookie. After all of the premier class new boys have impressed massively in the opening three rounds of the year, Jerez served as a bit of a reality check of how tough life alongside the world’s best can be.

Support for this video player will be discontinued soon.

Quartararo's Jerez horror story

It comes following a Saturday where rookies stole the headlines, with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) becoming the youngest rider on pole position in premier class history. Plus, Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) reached Q2, at the expense of his mentor Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), as did Suzuzki Ecstar’s Joan Mir.

However, Sunday didn’t offer the same sort of success for any of the debutants. First to go was Bagnaia. With 19 laps remaining, the Italian admitted he “made a mistake” whilst trying to break clear of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing machine of Pol Espargaro. Seven laps later, whilst seemingly on course for a debut MotoGP™ podium, the gear linkage on Quartararo’s Yamaha M1 broke, scuppering what had been, up to that point, a dream weekend.

The disaster day wasn’t done there though, with Mir tucking the front with just five laps remaining whilst fighting for another top ten finish and, to wrap it up, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) came across the line in 18th place, his worst finish of his young MotoGP™ career.

Despite the disappointment, the talented youngsters are not letting one tough weekend dampen their moods, especially Quartararo: “The race was really good. I felt so good on the bike. It was amazing to ride with the top riders. It was a small technical issue of the gear shifter, something really small, but it cost a lot.

Meanwhile, Bagnaia was honest in his assessment of his Turn 2 crash, simply saying he pushed too hard, too soon: “It was a difficult race right from the beginning because I didn’t make a great start but then my pace was good.

Meanwhile, Bagnaia was honest in his assessment of his Turn 2 crash, simply saying he pushed too hard, too soon: “It was a difficult race right from the beginning because I didn’t make a great start but then my pace was good.

“It was very difficult to overtake some riders and when I overtook Pol, I tried to push to make sure he didn’t overtake me back, but I made a mistake and crashed. It has been a very positive weekend for us, we were closer to the front, but we end with nothing.”

Mir, who has bounced back from Sunday’s disappointment to be sixth quickest in Monday’s test, put his Lorenzo Corner exit down to front end troubles: “Was a shame but we were struggling a lot with the front tyre of the bike. When I was behind some riders, the front temperature was too high, and I was really, really on the limit. I was running wide all the time. When I was alone, I could make a good pace but, in the end, I lose the front while fighting for sixth position. This is racing.”

And finally, the only rookie to see the chequered flag was Oliveira; not that that was any consolation to the Portuguese rider: “It has been a difficult race; I couldn’t manage to stay up with the riders in front of me, so I just kept my rhythm, pushed every lap and took home 18th position.”

“The team tried many things to help me, but it seems like this weekend with the new parts, it was hard to find our balance with the bike again that we built through the tests and the first races. Now with the new material, I think we need a bit more time to find solutions to help me being comfortable and fast on the bike.”

With all four rookies finished inside the top eight of the French Moto2™ GP in 2018, Bagnaia the victor and Mir in third, plus with the performances of Quartararo and Mir during Monday’s Jerez test; the rookies will be back to astonishing everyone in no time at all.

Watch every 2019 race LIVE & OnDemand and enjoy the whole motogp.com video library, including technical features, exclusives interviews and classic races, with the MotoGP™ VideoPass