Things are going pretty well for Ducati in MotoGP at the moment. Not only is Andrea Dovizioso delivering good results, but Jorge Lorenzo has discovered his form just before he leaves for Honda. Dovizioso has won twice, in Qatar and the Czech Republic, while Lorenzo went from finishing 15th and 11th to winning three times since the Italian round in June. That’s probably improved the mood as the Ducati MotoGP team complete a private Misano test ahead of the race there in September.
The San Marino and Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix will be at the Misano Adriatico circuit on September 7-9th, 2018. So preparations have been underway with both factory Ducati MotoGP riders at the circuit for one day on Sunday. Also present was factory test rider Michele Pirro, who will do two further days testing, and also race as a wild-card in the Grand Prix itself.
Jorge Lorenzo completed a total of 72 laps in the test, with a quickest time of 1’31.9. Meanwhile Andrea Dovizioso managed a slightly higher 90 laps, recording a best of 1’32.5. And the third Ducati Desmosedici GP18 under Pirro achieved 1’33.5 in 74 trips around the Misano track.
The 2017 MotoGP round at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli was won by Marc Marquez from Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci, and Andrea Dovizioso for the factory team. The pole time was set my Maverick Vinales for Yamaha with 1:32.439. Dovizioso qualified for the race with 1’32.601, and Lorenzo with 1’32.792. So things are looking promising for 2018, particularly as Lorenzo crashed out of the race early on.
Lorenzo and Dovizioso are currently third and fourth in the 2018 MotoGP championship, close behind Valentino Rossi, but with a big gap to leader Marc Marquez. There are still 7 rounds left, with the British Grand Prix at Silverstone at the end of August before the visit to Misano. So there’s time for the Ducati riders to mount a title challenge by the final round at Valencia on November 18th, 2018.
Other teams taking part in the one-day test were the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini duo of Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP with Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, and Honda riders Cal Crutchlow and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda), Franco Mobidelli and Tom Luthi (Marc VDS).