The Italian ended Friday quickest after a hectic Practice session ahead of Viñales and Marc Marquez!

It was a hard battle for the top 10 spots in MotoGP™ Practice at the Gran Premio Estrella Galicia 0,0 de España as the shootout for direct Q2 entry went down to the wire. By the end of play, a top three split by only 0.143 had emerged: reigning Champion Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), COTA winner Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) and eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™).

For Bagnaia, it was a day to test things out on the bike following by a shiny new lap record; for Viñales, a crash early doors before a laptime that initially put him top; and for Marquez, just one sector that stood between him and the fastest lap of the day. All three were under the previous lap record too, not just Bagnaia, and that teases plenty of action on super Saturday even before the full cast of characters are brought onto the stage.

Despite a crash at turn one at the beginning of the session, Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing) fought back to fourth in the final 10 minutes of the day, with he and teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio both having a positive Friday and ‘Diggia’ also through to Q2 in P9.

Championship leader Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) is fifth on Friday, but it’s a four-tenth gap to the top he’s looking to bridge in Q2, and he’s got some company he’d likely rather escape right behind him: Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3). The rookie sensation was outside the top 10 heading into the final run but got the pedal to the metal and jumped up to sixth at the end of the day, after earlier running round in tandem with MotoGP™ Legend and wildcard Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) too.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) was seventh as he looks to get back on a par with Viñales at a track that saw the #41 take pole last year, making it both factory Aprilias securing a spot in Q2. Second in the Championship Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) set a 1:36.480 for P8 – improving on his pace from the morning Free Practice session – but he’ll want more on Saturday.

Behind the aforementioned Diggia in ninth, Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) is the final rider heading straight through as he completes the top ten. That means there are a few fast and famous faces ready to do battle in a star-studded Q1.

One of the most famous is probably Pedrosa, as he was P14 at the end of play. And the most desperate to get through is probably teammate Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), who finished up P11 after a crash near the end of PR when he was setting red sectors. Barring any bad luck or trouble, the South African would seem a safe bet for moving up from Q1. Teammate Jack Miller looks to do the same, ending Friday in P13, and Franco Morbidelli (Prima Pramac Racing) wants to ruin the party for them all. The Italian, who missed pre-season through injury, is really getting there on pace and put in a convincing Friday in Jerez, in the upper echelons of the timesheets until getting pushed down to P12 by the end of the decisive PR session. 

Erstwhile master of Jerez Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) was in P20 too, and will aim for a big step on Saturday after teammate Alex Rins turned the tables on Day 1, taking P15 and four tenths up the road.

The next time the MotoGP™ field is out on track will be at 10:10 local time (UTC +1) for Free Practice before the battle begins at 10:50 local time for qualifying, so make sure you keep up to date with all the action on!

Top 10:

2Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing)+0.100
3Marc Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™)+0.143
4Marco Bezzecchi (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing Team)+0.339
5Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing)+0.410
6Pedro Acosta (Red Bull GASGAS Tech3)+0.414
7Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing)+0.421
8Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team)+0.455
9Fabio Di Giannantonio (Pertamina Enduro VR46 Racing)+0.511
10Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™)+0.514


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