World Superbike qualifying was fifteen minutes of cool weather, and some riders tried the two-stop strategy to use both their qualifying tyres. The Barcelona track is a one lap track on the qualifying tyres, with the long straight eating rubber.
Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
Toprak Razgatlioglu continued to be quickest, with Garrett Gerloff returning to form in second place. Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi made the most of the cooler temperatures that suit their bike to go third and fourth quickest.
The conditions at Barcelona were cooler than yesterday which promised fast lap times for World Supersport qualifying.
Raffaele De Rosa pipped Randy Krummenacher, Manuel Gonzalez and Steven Odendaal as the top four finished within under two tenths of the quickest time. The top four all improved on the times they set this morning, with Philipp Oettl's quickest lap this morning putting him fifth overall.
Toprak Razgatlioglu ended Friday quickest, with Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Andrea Locatelli within a quarter of a second of him. Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes didn't improve on their morning's times, but they were second and fourth quickest overall.
Philipp Oettl set the morning's fastest time in a session split by a red flag with Randy Krummenacher and Manuel Gonzalez swapping the top spot before Oettl nailed it down. Krummenacher's return to the top of the table was assisted by his sitting in for Luca Bernardi on a bike that he could use. Raffaele De Rosa pipped Gonzalez for third place at the end of the session.
Championship Leader Dominique Aegerter is competing in the MotoE championship this weekend and won't race in World Supersport.
The fight for the 2021 World Superbike continued on a sunny day in Catalunya, with Jonathan Rea setting the morning's best time, ahead of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Tom Sykes. Alex Lowes and Andrea Locatelli played their number two roles fourth and fifth quickest.
Time for a Moto3 rethink?
It was hard to know what to make of Sunday’s Moto3 offering at Montmeló. On the one hand, there was drama and excitement from start to end, a contest across 41 minutes that had you on the very edge of your seat the entire time. But on the other, this strayed too far toward downright dangerous with so many near misses it was almost impossible to count.
Of all the weekends for a race like this to take place, the one that followed the tragic events of Mugello wasn’t it. As if a 15-rider fight for the win wasn’t wild enough, leader Jeremy Alcoba sat up through turn 13 on the penultimate lap (as did Pedro Acosta, then in second), refusing to lead onto the straight. Then it all kicked off, 13 bikes bunching up, crossing the line 0.7s apart. The braking antics into turn one were genuinely scary.
It didn’t end there. First Ayumu Sasaki high-sided out of turn seven, taking the Leopard Hondas of Dennis Foggia and Xavi Artigas down. Miraculously the Japanese rider escaped with minor injuries and will make a full recovery. Then Izan Guevara crashed at turn ten, narrowly avoiding a host of other names. And Sergio Garcia just held off Alcoba to the line to win his second race in three by 0.015s.
It would be nice to sit down at the end of a MotoGP weekend and just write about the race. But it seems increasingly, the first thing a journalist has to do after a MotoGP race is go back and read the FIM Grand Prix World Championship Regulations, also known as the yellow book, back when books were a thing, and rules didn't change every couple of weeks rendering paper books unusable. We have had a stream of rule infractions, both large and small, infringements of rules which few new existed, and the application of penalties which have inevitably needed clarification.
The need to go back and reread the rulebook has sometimes been due to inexperience in particular situations – for example, Fabio Quartararo parking his bike in the wrong spot during the flag-to-flag race at Le Mans – or cunning use of the rules – see Marc Márquez crossing the white lines on pit lane entry at the same race. Sometimes, it has because we needed clarification of very specific situations, such as Miguel Oliveira and Joan Mir exceeding track limits on the last lap in Mugello.