Prima Pramac Racing’s Jorge Martin heads into Saturday’s action at the Gran Premio Animoca Brands de Aragón with the time to beat after his 1:47.402 was enough to pip World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) to top spot.
Johann Zarco made it to Prima Pramac Racing Ducatis in the top three as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) enjoys a successful Friday back in the office – the Spaniard ends Day 1 in P8, 0.359s off P1.
Aleix Espargaro crashes again in FP2, Martin comes out on top in time attack
The times tumbled straight away in FP1 as Friday morning pacesetter Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) went from P1 down to P11, with Marc Marquez briefly sitting fastest before Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) climbed to the summit.
Then, after rising to P4, Aleix Espargaro crashed for the second time on Friday. The title chaser tucked the front at Turn 14 and was thankfully unhurt, but it wasn’t the start to FP2 Espargaro needed.
Halfway through the afternoon stint, Marc Marquez, as we saw at the Misano Test, ventured out on the much talked about Kalex swingarm HRC have been testing, with Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) now leading the way.
Heading into the final 10 minutes, the top four riders – Viñales, Bagnaia, Quartararo and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – were split by just 0.051s. But the time attacks were about to come in. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) set a 1:47.665 to go fastest but both Quartararo and then Martin bettered Rins’ time, with Martin leading the way by 0.074s.
Marc Marquez was then shadowing Martin and the eight-time World Champion set three red sectors. However, a small mistake at the final corner saw the number 93 climb higher into the top 10 as the likes of Zarco and Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) improved late on.
How the top 10 looks on Friday – Aleix Espargaro misses out
Bastianini’s last lap in FP2 saw the Italian claim fourth on the combined timesheets, one place ahead of compatriot and 2023 teammate Pecco. The 2021 Aragon GP race winner settled for P5 on the opening day, a couple of tenths shy of Martin. Rins and Viñales head into Saturday P6 and P7 on the timesheets, with Marc Marquez a very impressive P8 – and there was a beaming smile when he arrived back in the box at the end of the session.
Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Marini close out the top 10, but a big story of the day is Aleix Espargaro – one of the pre-race favourites – finishing outside the top 10 after his two crashes. A crucial FP3 lies ahead for the Aprilia star in his pursuit of an automatic Q2 place.
Tune into FP3 at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Saturday morning!
Top 10 combined:
1. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) – 1:47.402
2. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.074
3. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.107
4. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) + 0.181
5. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.237
6. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.263
7. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) + 0.276
8. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.359
9. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.398
10. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.491