Valentino Rossi rolls back the years in San Marino practice

accreditation
Monster Energy Yamaha's Italian rider, Valentino Rossi. Image: Mohd Rasfan / AFP
Monster Energy Yamaha's Italian rider, Valentino Rossi. Image: Mohd Rasfan / AFP
Mohd RASFAN

Italian veteran Valentino Rossi struck a blow for the over-40s with a sizzling performance to top Saturday's third practice session ahead of Sunday's San Marino MotoGP.

The 41-year-old seven-time champion produced a fastest lap of 1min 31.861sec, outside the track record of 1min 31.629 sec but quick enough to head the overall practice times and qualify him directly for Q2 later on Saturday.

It marked a welcome return to form for the Yamaha rider as he has struggled recently to stay with the pace, prompting him on Thursday to quash rumours that he would be retiring at the end of the season.

Rossi, who lives just a few kilometres from the Misano circuit, found plenty of local support from the sparse crowd who are allowed to attend a MotoGP event for the first time this coronavirus-disrupted eason.

Second quickest was his factory Yamaha team mate Maverick Vinales with Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, also on a Yamaha from the SRT satellite team, in third.

Quartararo goes into the race with a three-point lead in the championship standings ahead of Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.

The riders with the 10 best times from the three free practice sessions go straight into the second qualifying session (Q2), which determines the first 12 places on the starting grid.

The others must participate in a preliminary qualifying session (Q1) of which the two fastest go into Q2.



San Marino MotoGP combined free practice times

1. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 1:31.861,
2. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) at 0.075
3. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) at 0.100
4. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) at 0.268
5. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) at 0.345
6. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) at 0.377
7. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati-Pramac) at 0.387
8. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati-Avintia) at 0.407
9. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) at 0.420
10. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) at 0.55

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Who do you think is the better F1 driver between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Lewis Hamilton
36% - 561 votes
Max Verstappen
64% - 1013 votes
Vote