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Day 1 at the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley belongs to Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia after the Italian snatches top spot away from Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) on his final flying lap in FP2. Bagnaia’s 1:46.147 was enough to see off the Spaniard by 0.071s, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – despite a heavy top speed deficit – completing the top three in a closely fought Free Practice Friday.
As we often see, it was a frantic end to the proceedings in the final 10 minutes of FP2, with the riders slotting in some soft tyres to try and get themselves inside the top 10. Most of the riders were able to set their best times late in the afternoon session, with all but two riders going quicker in FP2’s 45-minute stint.
Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) is fourth fastest on Friday, the Frenchman – as always – looked immense on the fresh softer rubber but cut a frustrated figure, a gaggle of riders hindered one of his flying laps. A pair of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing bikes then sit P5 and P6, Brad Binder – his first time on a MotoGP™ machine at Mugello – leading teammate Miguel Oliveira as the Austrian factory enjoying a promising Friday.
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) is the only Honda rider inside the top 10, the Japanese rider leads FP1 pacesetter Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), the Spaniard not improving his time in FP2, as Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) occupy the two remaining provisional automatic Q2 spots.
Second in the World Championship Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) was the other rider who didn’t go faster in FP2, the Frenchman is P11, one place ahead of reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar). Eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) is still suffering from fitness issues, he and the team have confirmed that his right shoulder is causing some trouble. And, at such a demanding track like Mugello, the number 93 is understandably unable to lap at his full potential – P13 for the Spaniard.
The gap between Bagnaia and 16th place Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) is 0.982s heading into qualifying day at the Italian GP, with every manufacturer in the mix. It sets us up nicely for a cracking FP3 session as the riders currently outside the top 10 cut off will be hoping to find time on Saturday morning to avoid Q1.
Tune into MotoGP™ FP3 at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Saturday morning to see who is able to propel themselves straight into Q2.
Top 10 combined:
1. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) 1:46.147
2. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.071
3. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.184
4. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha SRT) + 0.225
5. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.289
6. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.437
7. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 0.446
8. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.446
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 0.508
10. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.541