Gresini Ducati rider Alex Marquez topped the opening MotoGP practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
> 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.
Oh that's not what @AleixEspargaro needed! 💥
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) June 9, 2023
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|