Marc Marquez earned another safe top-ten finish after a spirited start to the San Marino Sprint, Joan Mir unfortunately suffering through a complicated race.
The Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini produced another solid Saturday of action where less than a second regularly split the majority of the MotoGP grid.
Having already earned his spot in Q2 on Friday, Marquez moved directly to the second 15-minute qualifying session and continued to pressure the top ten. A best time of 1’31.223 earned him ninth on the grid for both race starts and confirmed him as the leading Honda.
When the 13-lap Sprint got underway, the #93 charged forward and immediately made himself known in the battle for the point-scoring positions. As with previous rounds, he would eventually switch to a more defensive mode and bring his Honda RC213V home in 10th place. Although it didn’t earn points, Marquez gathered more good data for HRC engineers.
Joan Mir had a more complicated day on the second Repsol Honda Team RC213V machine as near contact with Franco Morbidelli at the start of the race meant he was unable to make early gains. Working to recover, Mir was able to overtake several of the riders ahead before being hit with multiple Long Lap Penalties which ended his hopes of fighting with the other Honda riders.
Both Marquez and Mir will have another chance to improve and show their improvements when the lights go out on the San Marino GP at 14:00 Local Time on Sunday, September 10.
Marc Marquez (10th) said, “I felt good on the bike, I am feeling more competitive and like I am riding the bike well. Unfortunately, the results aren’t coming yet and we finished tenth, but I feel I’m riding well and I hope we can do it again tomorrow. Again, I was able to be stronger at the start of the race and in the second half I focused on defending. When I checked the pace with my team last night, it looked like we would be between eighth and 12th and finally we finished tenth – so it looks like we were correct. Tomorrow, we start ninth which is important, but the long race will be very demanding. It’s something we are working on.”