Barcelona MotoGP: Morbidelli takes pole, Rossi on front row
Franco Morbidelli snatched his maiden MotoGP pole and headed a Yamaha 1-2-3 in qualifying for the Catalan Grand Prix, while Andrea Dovizioso was only 17th. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Pole Award winner Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing . Rossi set the early pace on his factory Yamaha with a 1m39.881s, though this was immediately bested by Maverick Vinales with a 1m39.655s.Morbidelli then took over top spot with a 1m39.
© Motorsport Images Johann Zarco took the lead in the final phase
Johann Zarco (Avintia-Ducati) sat in the second practice session for the MotoGP season finale in Portimao strong in scene and secured the best time ( to FT2 result ). Zarco lapped the course in 1: 39.417 minutes and was thus slightly faster than Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).
As in the FT1, the 22 pilots were able to train longer than usual in the FT2. Since the MotoGP is making a guest appearance in Portimao for the first time, the Friday practice sessions for the premier class have been extended to 70 minutes each. Local hero Miguel Oliveira (Tech-3-KTM) was the fastest driver in FT1 with a 1: 40.122 lap.
Barcelona MotoGP: Morbidelli fastest in FP2 despite crash
Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli topped the second practice for the MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix despite an early crash, with Avintia’s Johann Zarco also recovering from a crash to finish second. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT Morbidelli took control of the timesheets in the opening five minutes of this afternoon’s session, setting the initial pace at a 1m41.143s on his ‘A-spec’ Petronas Yamaha. The San Marino race winner improved to a 1m40.672s on his follow-up tour, with his next effort of 1m40.573s standing as the benchmark for much of the session.
© Motorsport Images Aleix Espargaro
Between the two training sessions, the teams were able to evaluate the data collected from the morning and make adjustments to the set-up of the machines. As the drivers drove at the beginning of the FT2 long run, Oliveira's FT1 best time remained unmatched for a long time.
Falls of Alex Rins and Takaaki Nakagami
After only five minutes, Suzuki driver Alex Rins found himself in the gravel. The Spaniard fell at Turn 8 after the front wheel lost traction. The number 42 Suzuki was hardly damaged in the crash and Rins was also uninjured. Thanks to the Marshalls, Rins was able to push the machine again and bring it back to the Suzuki box.
After half time in FT2, Takaaki Nakagami (LCR-Honda) landed in the gravel trap at turn 4. The Japanese was able to return to the LCR box within minutes. Nakagami held his left hand and signaled that he was injured.
Le Mans MotoGP: Smith quickest for Aprilia in wet FP1
Bradley Smith topped a wet first practice for the MotoGP French Grand Prix on the Aprilia ahead of home hero Johann Zarco on the Avintia Ducati. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Bradley Smith, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Smith’s future beyond this weekend is uncertain as Andrea Iannone’s appeal to have his 18-month doping ban overturned will be heard on Thursday and could be in a position to return for the Aragon Grand Prix next weekend.
Valentino Rossi also ends up in the gravel
Valentino Rossi was the next victim 20 minutes before the end of FT2. Just like Nakagami, the Italian had crashed into Turn 4 a quarter of an hour earlier. Rossi returned to the Yamaha pits 16 minutes before the clock was up, but didn't look like he was in a rush to take advantage of the rest of the session.
Miguel Oliveira had led the FT2 for a long time. The Portuguese was ahead with a 1: 40.270 lap. Honda replacement driver Stefan Bradl took the lead 20 minutes before the end of FT2. The Zahlinger undercut Oliveira's time by 0.030 seconds.
Yamaha pilots oust Stefan Bradl from the top
But Bradl couldn't be happy about the top position for long. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas-Yamaha) scratched the first 1:39 time with a lap of 1: 40.079. In his time, Morbidelli took the lead in the daily standings.
Yamaha works driver Maverick Vinales was the first driver to finish under 1:40 minutes with a time of 1: 39.931, 14 minutes before the end of the FT2. In the final quarter of an hour, many drivers recorded personal and absolute sector bests.
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Close gaps in the final showdown
Six minutes before the end of FT2, Jack Miller (Pramac-Ducati) pushed himself to the top of the standings. The Australian reduced the best time to 1: 39.895 minutes. And the new world champion also reported back with strong lap times in the final phase of the FT2. Joan Mir (Suzuki) moved into the top 4 with a lap of 1: 39.954.
Johann Zarco (Avintia-Ducati) surprised with the provisional best time four minutes before the end of FT2. The Frenchman set the fastest lap time of the weekend in 1: 39.744 minutes. One lap later, Zarco improved the record to 1: 39.417 minutes.
Zarco could not be displaced at the top in the final minutes. The former Moto2 champion set the fastest time with his 2019 Ducati. Maverick Vinales came within 0.119 seconds on the final attempt and finished the FT2 second.
Ducati, Yamaha and Aprilia in the top 3
Aprilia could look forward to the third fastest time. Aleix Espargaro was just 0.228 seconds behind on Friday. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas-Yamaha) and Brad Binder (KTM) completed the top 5, which were separated from each other by just 0.280 seconds.
MotoGP Portimao FT2: Ducati best time, Valentino Rossi only penultimate after a crash
© Motorsport Images Johann Zarco took the lead in the final phase Johann Zarco (Avintia-Ducati) sat in the second practice session for the MotoGP season finale in Portimao strong in scene and secured the best time ( to FT2 result ). Zarco lapped the course in 1: 39.417 minutes and was thus slightly faster than Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia). As in the FT1, the 22 pilots were able to train longer than usual in the FT2.
Also currently on the Q2 course are Joan Mir (Suzuki), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati), Pol Espargaro (KTM), Jack Miller (Pramac-Ducati) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas-Yamaha). The top 10 were within less than half a second.
Stefan Bradl (Honda) narrowly failed in the top 10. Although he was only 0.492 seconds behind, he only finished the FT2 in eleventh position. Bradl was the fastest Honda driver. Brand colleague Takaaki Nakagami (LCR-Honda) was twelfth, Cal Crutchlow (LCR-Honda) finished the FT2 in 14th and Honda works driver Alex Marquez found himself in 18th.
Valentino Rossi on Friday only penultimate
The day was absolutely disappointing for Valentino Rossi. At the farewell weekend from the Yamaha factory team, he finished Friday 21st and penultimate place. Rossi was 1.862 seconds behind. Only Tech 3 KTM substitute pilot Mika Kallio was slower than the 41-year-old Italian.
The MotoGP FT3 will start on Saturday morning at 10:55 am. In contrast to the FT1 and FT2, the pilots in the FT3 only have 45 minutes of training time.
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