MotoGP™ is back with a bang as the riders competed for Q2 contention in the all-new weekend format. With the Day 1 Practice session replacing the formally named Practice 2, the Friday afternoon session is now acting as the standalone Practice to decide the order for the two qualifying sessions. This means getting that flying lap nailed is now more important than ever, which has in turn thrown up some incredible action in Silverstone!

An unreal lap from absolutely nowhere!

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) rose to the occasion as he catapulted himself to the top of the timesheets on Day 1 of the Monster Energy British Grand Prix to massively move the goalposts with an untouchable 1:58.183. Just as we thought Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) had a firm hold of the top spot with the chequered flag already out, Espargaro shocked the paddock with a lap time 0.671s clear of the field, with only 0.347s covering from the 2nd placed “Martinator” all the way down to 10th place. 

Martin wasn’t the only rider to hit the top in the closing stages and then be denied by the Aprilia missile. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was looking incredibly strong on his KTM machine as he put in a solid time attack to hit the front and finish Day 1 in P3. 

Silverstone is very much Aprilia’s safe haven in MotoGP™. Not only was it the scene of the manufacturer’s first podium in the modern MotoGP™ era in the hands of Aleix Espargaro, but it also saw Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) pick up his first podium for Aprilia just one year ago. This time out Viñales suffered a big high-side early on in Practice which winded the Spaniard, it didn’t stop him from pushing on however as the Aprilia man went top with just over ten minutes remaining and continued to post impressive lap times to finish the day in 4th spot just 0.006s away from the top 3.

Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) rounded out the top 5 as the Frenchman put in a solid Friday Practice run. 

It was looking as if Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) was struggling for form in Free Practice 1, but was showing a lot more confidence during the afternoon Practice session. The number one-plated Ducati was in the danger zone towards the closing stages when he decided it was crunch time and found an extra gear to hit the top before a plethora of fast laps demoted him to P6. The Championship leader is slowly building into his weekend and will be one to watch come race day. 

Teamwork makes the dream work… for the most part

The Mooney VR46 Racing Team were looking in fine fettle during the morning session, using team tactics to their advantage with Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini locked together on the circuit as they took the top two spots in FP1. The VR46 duo used the same tactics during the afternoon PR session, and enjoyed the most of it at the sharp end. Luca Marini then unfortunately suffered a fast crash and was unable to improve, Bezzecchi then met the same fate and joined his teammate in the gravel trap whilst pushing for a fast lap in the closing stages. Both riders managed to secure Q2 spots, however, with Bezzecchi finishing in 7th place and Marini rounding out the top 9. 


The two KTMs were also on a charge as they both went to the top of the timesheets with just under a quarter of an hour remaining. Whilst Binder held on to the top 3 after the flag, Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) slipped down to 8th place seeing him slot in between the VR46 duo. 

Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) took the final Q2 spot as the Spaniard rounded the top 10, forcing some big hitters to compete in the dreaded Q1 session. 

Five factory riders with only 2 Q2 spots up for grabs…

Only 10 can secure automatic Q2 places and with 2 more spots up for grabs in Q1, MotoGP™ qualifying in Silverstone is set for barnstorming action with some big hitters failing to make the top 10 in Practice. 

Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) is one of the names that will be competing in Q1 after missing out on the top 10 by 0.127s in P11. The Frenchman also had his teammate Franco Morbidelli latched to his back wheel as the Italian sits in P12 0.029s away from Quartararo. 

Despite jumping into the top 10 in the closing stages, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will also compete in Q1 after being bumped down to 13th. The Spaniard states he’s taking a “calmer” approach this weekend in hopes of bringing home some solid points. 

Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) rounded out the top 15 to kickstart his second half of the season. The Italian has got some work to do before we see what he’s capable of in factory colours. 

The stage is well and truly set for MotoGP™ action at the iconic Silverstone Circuit. Make sure you don’t miss a single detail as the action unfolds with Qualifying and Tissot Sprint coming up on Saturday as well as Free Practice up first at 10:10 local time (GMT +1)!

1. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) – 1:58.183
Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) +0.671
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – +0.715
Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) +0.721
Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) +0.760
Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) +0.790
Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +0.835
Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) +1.018
Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) +1.063
10. Alex Márquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) +1.115


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