MotoGP: Petronas Take Free Practice Top Spots on Friday
Franco Morbidelli tops the board on Friday with a 1:39.789, ahead of Johann Zarco and Brad Binder.
For the first day of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya weekend, both Petronas SRT Yamaha riders have earned the top spot respectively in each of the practice sessions; with Fabio Quartararo taking the lead in the first session, it was Morbidelli’s to improve upon for FP2. The San Marino Grand Prix winner surpassed Quartararo’s time by six tenths to take the overall top spot in the combined session results, while problems for the Frenchman in FP2 puts him in 6th in the overall Friday timesheets.
Johann Zarco made substantial improvements across the sessions today, as the Avintia rider sits comfortably in P2 after the second session, improving on his morning time by 1.7 seconds. KTM’s Brad Binder resides in third place, as another rider who showed immense improvements compared to FP1; from completing the first session in 21st position with a 1:42.335, the 1.7 second advancement could put Binder in a competitive position when it comes to tomorrow’s qualifying.
Takaaki Nakagami once again shows potential this weekend, as the LCR Honda rider achieved P11 in FP1 and P6 in FP2 today. The Japanese rider has had an astounding run this 2020 season, with consistent top 10 finishes in recent races. Improving through today’s sessions by 0.2 seconds, Nakagami could once again be looking at a promising result on Sunday.
Teammate Cal Crutchlow is one of admirable note today, as the Brit completed today’s sessions in P13; despite his ongoing recovery on his arm, and his newly acquired ligament ruptures, Cal could be in line for some better luck this weekend should he continue improving his times.
Despite Zarco’s P2, it appears the Ducati’s have lucked out so far this weekend. While championship leader Andrea Dovizioso ended the First Free Practice session in second position with a 1:40.861, the lack of improvement in the afternoon means it’s a highly likely Q1 for the Italian, should his times not improve in FP3 in the morning.
Another Catalunya hopeful could be that of Alex Marquez, as the Repsol Honda rider’s time of 1:40.478 puts the Spaniard in P9 ahead of tomorrow’s practice and Qualifying, as the result of a 1.59 second progression from Free Practice 1.
Valentino Rossi rounds out the top 10, pushing through by the skin of his teeth with a 1:40.502; forcing Alex Rins out of P10 by just 0.036s.
Free Practice 3 begins tomorrow morning at 09:55am Local Time (GMT +2), with Q1 starting at 14:10 Local Time.
Feature Photo: Yamaha Racing