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MotoGP

Marquez tops first Mugello MotoGP practice, Espargaro in trouble

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Gresini Ducati rider Alex Marquez topped the opening MotoGP practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.


Key moments:

> Marquez leads Quartararo and Binder

> Bagnaia a deceptive 16th

> Worrying signs for Espargaro


It was a concerning 45 minutes for Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, who – having been seen nursing an unspecified injury during his Thursday media appearances – was seen seemingly fighting back tears after his initial run on the RS-GP.

Once back out on track, he then tucked the front through the sweeping Bucine left-hander and required marshal assistance to limp away from the site of the crash, his session limited to eight laps.

Out front, it was an initial Ducati 1-2-3-4 that turned into a Ducati 1-2-3-4-5-6 by the time the late-session soft-tyre time attacks rolled around – with Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro out ahead by virtue of doing an earlier run on the soft rear.

Other brands – namely Aprilia and Yamaha – took turns out front in those closing minutes, but Marquez, who had led the session for most of its runtime, reclaimed first place at the end with a 1m16.121s.

Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo was a close second, 0.087s off and just 0.17s up on third-placed Brad Binder, whose KTM RC16 made it three different bikes in the top three.

But it was three more Ducatis after that, VR46 rider Marco Bezzecchi followed by the Pramac duo of Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin.

Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha) and Marc Marquez (Honda) both tucked in behind Bezzecchi on his fastest lap and were rewarded with seventh and ninth place respectively, with the lead Aprilia of Maverick Vinales in eighth between them.

But despite Espargaro’s predicament Vinales was not the only Aprilia in the top 10, with RNF’s Raul Fernandez – returning to fitness after what he hopes will have been a season-transforming arm pump surgery – completing the top 10.

The two works Ducatis were 15th and 16th, albeit while the returning Enea Bastianini used a new soft rear, Pecco Bagnaia – still nursing an ankle fracture – did not. The championship leader had sat second coming into the final minutes.

Of the other riders dealing with injuries, Luca Marini – who has thumb ligament damage – was 18th for VR46 Ducati, while Miguel Oliveira marked his comeback with RNF Aprilia with 21st place.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Team Bike Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Alex Marquez Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m46.121s
2 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.087s +0.087s 1m46.208s
3 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.017s +0.104s 1m46.225s
4 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +0.076s +0.18s 1m46.301s
5 Johann Zarco Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +0.034s +0.214s 1m46.335s
6 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.026s +0.24s 1m46.361s
7 Jorge Martin Prima Pramac Racing Ducati +0s +0.24s 1m46.361s
8 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia +0.043s +0.283s 1m46.404s
9 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.005s +0.288s 1m46.409s
10 Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia +0.019s +0.307s 1m46.428s
11 Michele Pirro Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.06s +0.367s 1m46.488s
12 Alex Rins LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +0.018s +0.385s 1m46.506s
13 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +0s +0.385s 1m46.506s
14 Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.058s +0.443s 1m46.564s
15 Enea Bastianini Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.237s +0.68s 1m46.801s
16 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.038s +0.718s 1m46.839s
17 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +0.05s +0.768s 1m46.889s
18 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +0.045s +0.813s 1m46.934s
19 Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM +0.508s +1.321s 1m47.442s
20 Joan Mir Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.172s +1.493s 1m47.614s
21 Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia +0.239s +1.732s 1m47.853s
22 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia +0.249s +1.981s 1m48.102s
23 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Aprilia +0.063s +2.044s 1m48.165s
24 Jonas Folger GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM +0.317s +2.361s 1m48.482s
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