World Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) fronts the premier class field on Day 1 at the Monster Energy British Grand Prix after setting a 1:58.946 in FP2.
The Frenchman beat 2020 World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) by 0.154s with Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales closing out the top three at Silverstone on Friday.
Times tumble in FP2
After a pair of Ducatis occupied P1 and P2 in FP1, it was soon a couple of Aprilias that were sitting top of the tree as Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia Racing teammate Viñales got down to a 1:59.681 and 1:59.737 respectively, as Quartararo and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) ventured into the 1:59 bracket too in the early stages.
Rins was then the first rider to slot in the soft, soft Michelin tyre combination. The 2019 British GP race winner’s opening lap saw him climb to P1 by 0.330s, and his second lap was a 1:59.246 – the gap to Aleix Espargaro extend to 0.435s. And with five minutes to go, things go busy.
Practice makes perfect: Quartararo rehearses his LLP in FP1
Mir shot up to P2 before Aleix Espargaro reduced Rins’ gap to 0.180s. Mir, on his second soft tyre flying lap, then leapt to P1 to make it a Suzuki 1-2 with two minutes left on the clock. But soon after, Quartararo was the pacesetter after setting the first 1:58 lap time of the weekend.
And that’s how it stayed in terms of the top two. Viñales pocketed P3 on his last flying lap and another improver on their final push was FP1 pacesetter Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing). The Frenchman – who crashed at Turn 7 in the morning – finished fourth, 0.188s away from his compatriot Quartararo, while Aleix Espargaro had to settle for a solid P5 on Friday.
Bagnaia misses out on a Friday top 10
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was sporting KTM’s extended exhaust and from the outside, it seems to be working a treat. The Portuguese star ended the day in P6 just a couple of tenths down on P1, as Rins picks up P7 after briefly sitting top. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) – who crashed unhurt at Turn 7 in FP2 – and Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) occupy the final, provisional Q2 spots.
This means Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), despite the Italian sitting second fastest after the opening Free Practice session, has work to do to try and gain an automatic Q2 place. The Italian is 11th heading into the all-important FP3 session on Saturday morning.
Early Bagnaia error leaves his GP22 in the Silverstone dirt
Darryn Binder (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™ Team) crashed unhurt at Turn 7 in FP2.
Tune into FP3 from Silverstone at 09:55 local time (GMT+1) to find out who will be sailing straight into the pole position fight.
Top 10 combined:
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) – 1:58.946
2. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.154
3. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) + 0.177
4. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.188
5. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.207
6. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.217
7. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.300
8. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) + 0.412
9. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.418
10. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.439