Martin strikes first in Japan despite gravel trap trouble

The Pramac rider topped the opening session of the weekend to continue his fine form, though it wasn't a flawless outing from the #89

MotoGP™ riders were welcomed back to the tarmac of Mobility Resort Motegi on Friday morning, and Jorge Martin has shown that his rich vein of recent form shows no sign of abating. The Prima Pramac star ended the opening session of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan atop the standings courtesy of a 1:45.192, despite his session ending prematurely after tipping into the Turn 5 gravel trap.

Augusto Fernandez follows the #89 on the timesheets after the GASGAS Tech3 rider slapped on a soft rear tyre for the final runs of the morning, with the class’ sole rookie just over a tenth behind P1, but having nearly two tenths to spare over title contender Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) in P3.

Reigning World Champion Francesco Bagnaia ensured the lead trio in the title race are placed inside the top four, but the Ducati Lenovo Team rider was nearly half a second off of form rider Martin.

India proved a breakthrough weekend in Repsol Honda colours for Joan Mir, and the 2020 World Champion looks to have carried that form over to Japan. The 2020 World Champion is in P5, though he too suffered a crash at Turn 10 shortly after posting his personal best lap.

There have been decent starts to the weekend for the Red Bull factory KTMs too with both Brad Binder and Jack Miller sitting comfortably inside the top 10, with the South African and Australian sandwiching Aprilia’s Maverick Viñales in P7. Fresh from a podium one week ago, Fabio Quartararo has said his main goal this weekend is to get into the Q2 places, and he has had a decent start on that front, claiming an FP1 P9.

Rounding out the top 10 from the morning session in Japan is Raul Fernandez. The CryptoDATA RNF rider has experienced a recent upturn in fortunes, and the Spaniard will hope he can build on a positive opening session at Motegi.

With the first runs of the day now out of the way, attentions are now firmly fixed on the all important afternoon Practice, which will decide the automatic Q2 qualifiers. That gets under at 15:00 (GMT +9), so make sure you join us then!

FP1 Top 10:

1 Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) 1:45.192
2 Augusto Fernandez (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) +0.138
3 Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +0.318
4 Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +0.439
5 Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team) +0.493
6 Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.555
7 Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) +0.627
8 Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +0.710
9 Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) +0.760
10 Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) +0.774



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