until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


What went on in MotoGP's first practice at ex-F1 Buddh track

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Marco Bezzecchi led Marc Marquez in the opening practice session of MotoGP's inaugural Indian Grand Prix, as the series took to Buddh International Circuit for the first time.

Key moments

  • Four different bikes in top four
  • Turn 1 causes difficulties
  • Yamaha with concerning issue

The session ran for an uninterrupted 70 minutes over the usual 45, with second practice later today also set for an extended 70-minute runtime.

And while riders seemed to get the hang of most of the layout from the get go, Turn 1 proved a consistent, unrelenting complication.

Coming off a main straight that is considerably shorter than the circuit's back straight, the corner - a sharp right-hander - nonetheless saw rider after rider get the braking point wrong and either take to the run-off or head straight for the gravel trap.

And while those incidents were mostly consequence-free, Brad Binder crashed his KTM after having already run into the gravel there, while LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami had his bike wrecked by it ramping off the crossover between the asphalt run-off and the gravel after he'd tipped off on corner entry.

Most of the session was led by Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin, but in the final minutes it was fellow Ducati satellite rider Bezzecchi coming out on top.

Bezzecchi was the only rider to log a sub-1m56s time, using a fresh medium rear in his final run.

Marquez took second for Honda, just 0.139s behind VR46 Ducati's pace-setter, while Binder shrugged off his crash to place third.

The top five was completed by two Aprilias, with the year-old RS-GP in the hands of Raul Fernandez (RNF) fourth ahead of factory rider Maverick Vinales.

Satellite Ducatis filled out the rest of the top nine (the brand's championship leader Pecco Bagnaia was 15th), while Joan Mir completed the top 10 for Honda.

The two Yamahas were limited to just 10 and 17 laps respectively, the lowest tallies in the field.

This came after Fabio Quartararo had two separate runs curtailed by mechanical issues, which meant neither he nor team-mate Franco Morbidelli - seemingly parked as a precaution - would add to their lap counts in the final minutes.

As for the crashes, in addition to the Turn 1 offs there had been an immediate fall for Ducati tester Michele Pirro - racing this weekend in lieu of the injured Enea Bastianini - at Turn 5 and two separate crashes for Tech3 Gas Gas man Pol Espargaro.

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