It’s an Italian 1-2 at the summit as Ducati lockout the top four positions on Friday at the San Marino GP
Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) set a 1:31.517 in MotoGP™ FP2 to end Day 1 at the Gran Premio Gryfyn di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini as the fastest rider on track, with the Italian beating 2023 teammate Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) by 0.114s. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) made it a Desmosedici 1-2-3 on Friday afternoon, the top three split by 0.185s.
Ducati come to the fore in time attack mode
It wasn’t the start to the afternoon session that a pair of Ducatis would have been looking for though in FP2, as Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) and Bagnaia crashed unhurt in separate incidents – the latter, in addition, faces a three-place grid penalty after impeding Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol) in FP1.
Elsewhere, Maverick Viñales and Aprilia Racing teammate Aleix Espargaro found themselves P1 and P2 heading into the final 20 minutes of FP2 as the RS-GP stars looked to be back in the groove following a tricky weekend at the Red Bull Ring. Viñales, at the summit, was nearly three tenths clear of the chasing pack after setting a 1:31.882.
Miller and FP1 pacesetter Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) then leapfrogged Aleix Espargaro to split the Aprilias with just under 15 minutes left on the clock, before the World Championship leader climbed to P1 by 0.004s. Then, it was time attack territory.
Just before the chequered flag waved, Bastianini, Bagnaia and Zarco went P1, P2 and P3 in quick succession, and Miller joined them at the sharp end of the timesheets by going P3. Viñales was trying to improve his time but the Spaniard couldn’t better his earlier pace, seeing Ducati lockout the top four positions.
The top 10 on Day 1
Again, Quartararo leads the non-Desmosedici charge in P5 ahead of Viñales and Aleix Espargaro, the trio are sat within half a second of Bastianini heading into Saturday’s action. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing), Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) were late improvers to pounce into the top 10, and with the weather looking uncertain, it could prove crucial in terms of automatic Q2 promotion.
Tune into MotoGP™ FP3 at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Saturday morning to see what the weather brings – and whether or not anyone can improve their Friday afternoon times in pursuit of a top 10.
Top 10 combined:
1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) – 1:31.517
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.114
3. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.185
4. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.320
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.326
6. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) + 0.365
7. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.412
8. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.649
9. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.674
10. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.725