Quartararo leads Yamaha 1-2, big names outside top 10

by | Mar 18, 2022 | Aprilia, Ducati, Honda, KTM, motoGP News, Suzuki, Yamaha

Quartararo leads Yamaha 1-2, big names outside top 10

The World Champion and teammate Morbidelli lead the way on Friday; factory Hondas, Mir and Pecco way down the order

It’s a Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ 1-2 at the end of Friday’s MotoGP™ action at the Pertamina Grand Prix of Indonesia, as Fabio Quartararo leads teammate Franco Morbidelli by 0.030s having set a table-topping 1:31.608. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) sits P3 heading into Saturday’s sessions as we see Pol Espargaro, Repsol Honda teammate Marc Marquez, Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) finish no higher than P20. 

Early problems fail to halt Quartararo as big names struggle

It was far from an ideal start to FP2 for the reigning World Champion Quartararo. The Frenchman encountered an issue with his YZR-M1 at the beginning of his third lap, but he was back out on track with 30 minutes to go. Meanwhile, Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) led the way in the opening exchanges from Marc Marquez and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team).

Plenty of work for Sunday’s race was being undertaken in the middle part of the session. 0.8s were splitting the top 20 riders heading into the final quarter of an hour of the day, Oliveira was still leading, but that soon changed. Quartararo set a 1:32.570 to go 0.137s clear of the Portuguese rider with 13 minutes left on the clock, as we got ourselves set for the custom FP2 mini qualifying attacks.

With five minutes to go, Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) unleashed his first soft rear tyre effort – a 1:31.904, half a second quicker than Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). Morbidelli and Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) got to within a tenth of Martin’s time, before Zarco beat his Pramac Racing teammate. Then, it was soon a factory Yamaha 1-2, Quartararo leading Morbidelli, as Bastianini and Marc Marquez crashed in quick succession – riders ok.

That proved costly for Marc Marquez, he was outside the top 20 at that stage, and the yellow flags also caused issues for riders pushing for their fastest lap times of the day in the closing stages. Bagnaia was livid coming back into pitlane knowing he’d missed the chance to grab an important top 10, the Italian and several others will be hoping FP3 remains dry.

Provisional top 10 in Mandalika after Friday’s running

Martin sits 0.011s behind teammate Zarco as three Ducatis, including late faller Bastianini, complete the top five behind the Yamaha duo at the summit. Miller is sixth on Friday’s combined timesheets ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Oliveira and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – less than half a second covers the fastest 10 riders on Day 1.

M. Marquez tumbles through the Mandalika gravel in FP2

And, to add to that, 0.9s is the gap between the top 17. With the late crashes and subsequent yellow flags, numerous riders will be praying that conditions on Saturday morning are good enough to allow for improvements. FP1 pacesetter Pol Espargaro, Marc Marquez, 2020 World Champion Mir and Pecco are just four of those.

Make sure you don’t miss MotoGP™ FP3 from Mandalika, as we wait and see what the weather gods muster up for the premier class in their final chance to earn a top 10, automatic Q2 spot.

Top 10 combined:
1. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) – 1:31.608
2. Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) + 0.030
3. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.285
4. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.296
5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) + 0.313
6. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.357
7. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.400
8. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.409
9. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 0.441
10. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.498 

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