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Nakagami tops second Teruel GP practice as Ducati struggles

by Matt Beer
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

LCR Honda rider Takaaki Nakagami set the pace in the second Teruel Grand Prix practice session at Aragon, as Ducati endured a concerningly poor session.

Nakagami, who had put pen to paper on a new multi-year Honda MotoGP deal in the lead-up to the weekend and will be upgraded to a factory-spec RC213V next year, used his year-old bike to go two tenths quicker than his nearest rival Maverick Vinales.

On the other side of the timing screens, Johann Zarco was the lead Ducati in 13th on his Avintia-run 2019 Ducati bike, while all the 2020 works spec machines finished no higher than 17th.

Petronas Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli had taken the early lead with what was the second-fastest lap of the weekend at that point, although his 1m48.612s was still some way off the time Alex Marquez had managed to top the morning session.

Nakagami soon edged closer to Marquez’s benchmark and, like in FP1, spent a big chunk of the session at the top of the timesheets before again being deposed in the final minutes.

This time championship leader Mir was the culprit, going 0.002s clear of Marquez’s FP1 effort in the process.

However, Mir came up slightly short of improving his effort the next time by, whereas Nakagami – equipped with fresh softs, front and rear – found another quarter of a second for the weekend’s first sub-1m48s lap.

He then improved again, settling on a 1m47.782s, which looked set to lead an LCR Honda 1-2 – only for Yamaha works rider Vinales to demote Nakagami’s team-mate Cal Crutchlow to third at the chequered flag.

Yamaha’s other championship contender Fabio Quartararo had spent most of the day outside of the top 10 but popped up in fourth late on, leading the two Suzukis of Mir and Rins.

Tech3 rider Iker Lecuona was the top rookie and top KTM in sixth, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), Pol Espargaro (KTM) and Marquez.

The latter’s position in the combined classification top 10 – which determines the automatic Q2 spots – is more assured however, as his FP1-topping time is still good enough for sixth overall.

Outside title hopeful Morbidelli ended up only 15th, the final rider within a second of Nakagami, while five Ducatis propped up the very bottom of the timing screens – with Danilo Petrucci in 17th leading factory team-mate Andrea Dovizioso, FP2 faller Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac), Tito Rabat (Avintia) and Jack Miller (Pramac).

Practice 2 Results

Pos Name Team Bike Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m47.782s
2 Maverick Viñales Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha +0.175s +0.175s 1m47.957s
3 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda +0.154s +0.329s 1m48.111s
4 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.053s +0.382s 1m48.164s
5 Joan Mir Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki +0.018s +0.4s 1m48.182s
6 Alex Rins Team Suzuki MotoGP Suzuki +0.008s +0.408s 1m48.19s
7 Iker Lecuona Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +0.17s +0.578s 1m48.36s
8 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.066s +0.644s 1m48.426s
9 Pol Espargaró Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.013s +0.657s 1m48.439s
10 Alex Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.004s +0.661s 1m48.443s
11 Stefan Bradl Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.001s +0.662s 1m48.444s
12 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +0.083s +0.745s 1m48.527s
13 Johann Zarco Avintia Racing Ducati +0.005s +0.75s 1m48.532s
14 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.013s +0.763s 1m48.545s
15 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.067s +0.83s 1m48.612s
16 Bradley Smith Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.198s +1.028s 1m48.81s
17 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Team Ducati +0.06s +1.088s 1m48.87s
18 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team Ducati +0.37s +1.458s 1m49.24s
19 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Racing Ducati +0.079s +1.537s 1m49.319s
20 Tito Rabat Avintia Racing Ducati +0.414s +1.951s 1m49.733s
21 Jack Miller Pramac Racing Ducati +0.061s +2.012s 1m49.794s
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