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What happened in wet first MotoGP practice at Misano

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco led the way in a wet-weather opening MotoGP practice session at Misano, which kicked off the series’ second race weekend at the track this year.

Key moments:

  • Zarco nearly a second and a half clear
  • Late crash but strong pace for title contender Bagnaia
  • Points leader Quartararo only 14th
  • Crashes for the younger Marquez, Binder and Savadori

Though the MotoGP grid was met by a damp track surface from the very get go, there was plenty of running early on – but the rain intensified after 10 minutes, leaving the track properly soaked and freezing the classification for a good while.

It meant the factory Ducati factory pairing of Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia maintained a 1-2 for the team until the closing minutes, when improved laptimes began to trickle in again.

And with Bagnaia among those pushing for a late improvement, the title-contending Italian folded the front tipping into the hairpin-like Turn 8, hitting the deck.

Zarco had already taken the lead by then, and improved at the chequered flag to end the session 1.417s clear, with Marc Marquez (Honda) moving up to second at Miller’s expense at the chequered flag.

The other Pramac rider, Jorge Martin, was fourth, while new Yamaha factory rider Franco Morbidelli completed the top five, with Bagnaia shuffled down to sixth place.

Three KTM riders completed the top nine, but the remaining KTM man, Brad Binder, was only 23rd, having presumably had his confidence dented by an early crash at the same Turn 8 that later caught out Bagnaia.

There was also a minor early highside for LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez at Turn 2, while Aprilia’s Lorenzo Savadori – making it a three-strong RS-GP contingent this weekend – fell late on.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo continued to find the going tough in wet conditions, and finished the session 18th, three seconds off the pace.

Quartararo is 52 points clear of Bagnaia in the standings, and needs to be 51 points ahead come the chequered flag on Sunday – which is projected to feature dry conditions – to be crowned 2021 champion.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Team Bike Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati 1m42.374s
2 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda +1.417s +1.417s 1m43.791s
3 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.208s +1.625s 1m43.999s
4 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati +0.042s +1.667s 1m44.041s
5 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.013s +1.68s 1m44.054s
6 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.129s +1.809s 1m44.183s
7 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.06s +1.869s 1m44.243s
8 Danilo Petrucci Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.081s +1.95s 1m44.324s
9 Iker Lecuona Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.081s +2.031s 1m44.405s
10 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.108s +2.139s 1m44.513s
11 Luca Marini SKY VR46 Avintia Team Ducati +0.062s +2.201s 1m44.575s
12 Valentino Rossi Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.176s +2.377s 1m44.751s
13 Michele Pirro Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.137s +2.514s 1m44.888s
14 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda +0.123s +2.637s 1m45.011s
15 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.136s +2.773s 1m45.147s
16 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.074s +2.847s 1m45.221s
17 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.224s +3.071s 1m45.445s
18 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.032s +3.103s 1m45.477s
19 Enea Bastianini Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati +0.139s +3.242s 1m45.616s
20 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.04s +3.282s 1m45.656s
21 Andrea Dovizioso Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +0.225s +3.507s 1m45.881s
22 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +0.165s +3.672s 1m46.046s
23 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.106s +3.778s 1m46.152s
24 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +0.814s +4.592s 1m46.966s
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