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Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) set a 1:30.829 in the opening MotoGP™ Free Practice session of the weekend at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana to finish top of the pile. The Japanese rider led second place Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) by 0.115 seconds, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) improving late on to hop up to P3.
Morbidelli set the early pace in FP1 with a 1:30.944, a substantial amount faster than any race lap we saw last Sunday as the riders profited from a fully dry opening stint at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. After very little dry track time last week, it was a busy FP1 for everyone as different tyres were being tested in preparation for a crucial race on Sunday.
Nakagami then went fastest with just over 20 minutes to go, and he stayed there for the remainder of FP1. A great start to the number 30’s weekend in Valencia as Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) round out the top five, 0.341 covering the leading quintet.
Championship leader Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was eighth fastest, ahead of both of his main rivals on Friday morning. Teammate Alex Rins was P11, Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) ended the 45-minute stint in P16.
Make sure you tune in for MotoGP™ FP2 at 14:30 local time (GMT+1).
1. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) – 1:30.829
2. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.115
3. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.139
4. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.223
5. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 0.341
6. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) + 0.468
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) + 0.581
8. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.607
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) + 0.657
10. Stefan Bradl (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.685
1 year ago