Rossi’s Relative Enjoys “Strong Start” To GP Career

Few 16 year old wildcards will have faced such scrutiny on their Grand Prix debut as Luca Marini today but the Italian youngster was happy with how it panned out. Marini is the half-brother of seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi and a regular in the CIV Italian Championship and consequently had the eyes of the world on him when he appeared in a Grand Prix practice session for the first time.

Marini, racing for the Twelve Racing squad, was 28th at the end of the day but feels there is much more pace in him and his FTR-Honda machine and expects to move forward in qualifying.

“We got off a strong start. Our goal was to lap faster than during the CIV and I already did that. It’s a shame that I got stuck in traffic during FP2, which slowed my pace a bit. I’m sure I’ll do much better tomorrow.”

Marini is supported by the San Carlo Team Italia set-up which also runs Romano Fenati and the former Moto3 race winner was 23rd after another difficult day for the Italian this season.

“Unfortunately a small crash in the morning made me lose some time, but there’s no need to panic. I still have a huge margin, and working together with the team on the setup I can make a big leap forward. The first few rows are our target.”

Francesco Bagnaia, teammate to Fenati, was 31st and believes he is moving in the right direction heading into tomorrow.

“Overall it wasn’t a bad day. Misano is a new track for me, but very different from the previous ones. We started with the setup we had in Silverstone and it didn’t work, but we already know where to intervene so I only need to get out there and do more laps to improve my confidence.”

Alex Rins was fastest of all on a day that saw a heavy crash for championship leader Luis Salom. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider limped away and should be fit for qualifying although how competitive he is remains to be seen.