until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Martin leads opening Motegi MotoGP practice despite crash

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
1 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Jorge Martin set the pace in the opening practice session of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at Motegi.

After the top three in the current riders' standings settled into the same positions on the timings screens, Martin jumped ahead of points leader Pecco Bagnaia after swapping to a fresh hard front tyre.

But having gone four tenths clear of Bagnaia, he then immediately fell at Turn 3 - running off and crashing very slowly in the gravel, then getting a lift back to the paddock before returning to the track in the closing minutes.

Tech3 Gas Gas rookie Augusto Fernandez ended up second behind Martin courtesy of a late soft-tyre run, while Indian Grand Prix standout Marco Bezzecchi overhauled Bagnaia for third, aided by a fresh medium front.

Honda's Joan Mir crashed at Turn 5 in the early going, but went on to finish the session in fifth place, ahead of Brad Binder.

Binder and his KTM team-mate Jack Miller in eighth - both having KTM's new carbon chassis at their disposal - had Aprilia's Maverick Vinales splitting them in the classification.

Fabio Quartararo was the lead Yamaha in ninth, followed by RNF Aprilia's Raul Fernandez. The top 15, completed by Tech3 Gas Gas rider Augusto Fernandez, was split by 0.989s.

The returning Alex Rins, back on a MotoGP bike for the first time since his Mugello injury, completed 16 laps and was 2.4s off the pace on his LCR-run Honda.

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