Situated close to the city of Rimini, the older version of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli was a fixture on the MotoGP™ calendar until a career ending crash for Wayne Rainey occurred here in 1993 – and there wasn’t another World Motorcycle Championship held for 13 years. The track was modified substantially when MotoGP™ returned in 2007, including the switch from an anti-clockwise to a clockwise layout.
Misano is a shorter track of the MotoGP™ season, at 4,226m (2.626 miles), however it has some very particular demands over its 16 corners – 10 right-hand and 6 left turns. Long stretches with the motorcycle at quite a lean put the most pressure on performance. Finding a good balance between tyre and track is important, with high-temperatures and an abrasive surface adding extra stress.
Despite its multiple curves and hairpin-like turns, it's a quick trip around the circuit, and in 2007 Casey Stoner set a track record of 1:33.918 seconds on the Ducati. Misano is a track with the best of both worlds – 50% slow, and 50% fast. It has a ‘stop-and-go’ layout with a series of corner sequences joined together by short straights.
Along the Start/Finish straight – approximately 500 metres in fifth gear – to the first turn, riders get a taste immediately for the type of circuit this is. One of three hardest breaking points on the track, corner 1 is a right-hander requiring second gear, however this is also the track’s first corner sequence. A right-left chicane is quickly followed by a faster right-hand corner. That turns the chicane into a triple and riders can take the final section one gear up in third.
Hitting turn 4 is one of the longest breaking corners and requires shifting all the way down to first gear. Turning through two right-handers – almost a full hairpin – riders prepare for the next corner sequence, as the second sharp right flows directly into a right-left chicane.
Towards Quercia, turn 8, is another of the circuits three straights, however the bike has almost a continues lean to the left, and gearing up into fifth will mean riders can take advantage of a good overtaking spot into the long-left corner, after heavy braking and shifting back down to second gear.
Following Quercia is Tramonto, but the available acceleration in either third and fourth gear towards turns 9 and 10 usually results in a lack of traction, so be careful of losing speed to a wheelie. A banked and long braking point, Tramonto is usually taken in second gear.
Pulling away from turn 10 and onto the longest straight section of the track, head all the up to sixth gear before speeding through the fastest corner, turn 11, in fifth – and up to 260km/h. The following two right-hand turns will benefit from shifting to third gear, before preparing for Carro at corner 14, which means back to second gear, or even first if it seems necessary.
The left turn of corner 15 can utilise second gear, so either stay in second or shift up from first. Both the last two corners are left-handers, the final being almost 90 degrees and the third hardest brake point on track, but for the shortest time – about 2.7 seconds. Stay in second to ensure smooth acceleration out of the exit and onto the straight to overtake your rivals and grab the fastest lap time just before the chequered flag!