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Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) has kicked off proceedings at the Monster Energy Czech Republic Grand Prix by topping MotoGP™ FP1 with a 1:57.353, the Japanese rider beating Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir by 0.011. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) sits less than a tenth off Nakagami’s time as five manufacturers sit inside the top five, with the top 16 riders sitting 0.514 apart in an ultra-competitive FP1 in Brno.
Track temperatures were a steady 32 degrees for the premier class and conditions are set to be slightly easier on both rider and bike compared to Jerez, but Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was caught out early doors. Cool tyre temperatures saw the man second in the Championship crash at Turn 13 after five minutes of the session gone, with Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) running off at the same corner – the Australian producing a fine front-end save.
Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro had gone quickest in the early stages from Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Nakagami. The Spaniard stayed at the top of the times for the majority of the session before some riders stuck in some soft Michelin rubber in the final few minutes, with Mir grabbing P1 with under two minutes remaining. Nakagami made sure the Suzuki star didn’t stay at the summit for long though, the Honda rider displaced Mir to end the opening MotoGP™ session of the weekend fastest.
Behind the leading trio was Johann Zarco as the Esponsorama Racing man finished as the leading Ducati in FP1. The Frenchman leads Viñales by just over a tenth as the Yamaha rider completes a top five that consists of five different machines – a testament to the competitive nature of the premier class.
Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) suffered a fast crash at Turn 1 at the end of the session, the Italian headed to the medical centre for a check-up.
So with five factories in the top five and 15 riders sitting within half a second, everything is finely poised after the opening 45-minute stint in Brno. The second half of Friday’s MotoGP™ action is coming your way at 14:10 local time (GMT+2)!
1. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) – 1:57.353
2. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.011
3. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.039
4. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) + 0.107
5. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.212
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) + 0.279
7. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) + 0.285
8. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.293
9. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.365
10. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) + 0.400
Click here for the full results!
4 years ago