until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Honda upturn continues as Marini tops second India MotoGP practice

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Luca Marini made it a VR46 Ducati clean sweep of Friday practice at MotoGP's new Indian Grand Prix round.

Key moments

  • Ducati 1-2 with Marini out front
  • Much-improved showing for Honda
  • Yellow flags keep KTMs out of top 10

Marini led fellow Ducati rider Jorge Martin by 0.008s in a second 70-minute session, which had been delayed considerably due to a logistical issue, thought to be related to water supply to the marshals working around the ex-Formula 1 venue Buddh International Circuit.

Like in first practice, Turn 1 was again proving tricky for much of the field - including Marini, who had gone down in its asphalt run-off at very low speed earlier in the session before gathering himself back up to ultimately top the day.

Aleix Espargaro was best of the rest behind the Ducati duo in third, the Aprilia man having had his own Turn 1 incident - in which he got his RS-GP beached in the gravel and required marshal assistance to rejoin.

In what looked like a much-improved day for Honda, Marc Marquez proved a consistent top-10 threat, ultimately putting his Honda RC213V in fourth place.

First-practice pace-setter Marco Bezzecchi had also led much of the second session but found only a marginal improvement on his final run, ending up fifth just ahead of Aprilia's Maverick Vinales - who had briefly got in the way of team-mate Espargaro earlier.

Ducati's championship leader Pecco Bagnaia, Yamaha's Fabio Quartararo, Pramac Ducati's Johann Zarco and Honda's Joan Mir completed the top 10 and are thus all set for direct passage into Q2.

For Mir, it has been by far his best day on the Honda in a long time and one that looks to have been rewarded with a first Q2 berth of the season - even though it looked very precarious in the final minutes.

Both Brad Binder (KTM) and rookie Augusto Fernandez (Tech3 Gas Gas) had launched themselves into the top 10 with their final attempts, only to have those deleted for yellow flags - seemingly due to a crash for LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami.

Besides Marini and Nakagami, there were also crashes during the session for Ducati tester Michele Pirro and KTM's Jack Miller.

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