until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


What went on in first MotoGP practice at Le Mans

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Under-pressure Honda MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro led the way in the opening practice session of the French Grand Prix weekend at the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.

Key moments:

> Espargaro a tenth up on Rins

> Bagnaia and Quartararo complete top four

> Four KTM crashes

Espargaro moved up to first place with a minute left on the clock, going a tenth clear of Suzuki’s Alex Rins – who had logged his best time just moments earlier – with a 1m31.771s.

The Honda man’s position at Honda beyond 2022 has been made precarious by none other than Suzuki, with FP1 marking the first MotoGP session since news came out that the Hamamatsu manufacturer was looking to leave MotoGP – effectively making its two riders Rins and Joan Mir (sixth in FP1) free agents and contenders to replace Espargaro.

Spanish Grand Prix winner Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) completed the top three ahead of his biggest rival for that triumph, reigning champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha).

Aleix Espargaro moved up at the chequered flag to finish as the lead Aprilia, ahead of Mir, Ducati’s Jack Miller – who had led the vast majority of the session – and the second Aprilia of Maverick Vinales.

As many as 19 riders slotted in within a second of the younger Espargaro’s session-topping time.

There was a considerable amount of crashes during the session, and most of them came from riders on KTM RC16s.

Tech3 KTM rookie Raul Fernandez – returning after two races on the sidelines – and factory man Brad Binder had a fall each, while Binder’s team-mate Miguel Oliveira was on the ground twice – first at Chemin aux Boeufs and then in a bigger crash at La Chapelle.

There was also an early Garage Vert crash for Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini and a Garage Bleu tumble for Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli.

Finally, Marc Marquez came very close to dropping off his Honda when hopping off the outside kerb at Garage Vert, but, remarkably, held on.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Team Bike Gap Next Gap Leader Best Time
1 Pol Espargaró Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m31.771s
2 Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.109s +0.109s 1m31.88s
3 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.013s +0.122s 1m31.893s
4 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.019s +0.141s 1m31.912s
5 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia +0.021s +0.162s 1m31.933s
6 Joan Mir Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +0.009s +0.171s 1m31.942s
7 Jack Miller Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati +0.019s +0.19s 1m31.961s
8 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia +0.117s +0.307s 1m32.078s
9 Johann Zarco Pramac Racing Ducati +0.034s +0.341s 1m32.112s
10 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +0.016s +0.357s 1m32.128s
11 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +0.037s +0.394s 1m32.165s
12 Enea Bastianini Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +0.09s +0.484s 1m32.255s
13 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda +0.011s +0.495s 1m32.266s
14 Jorge Martin Pramac Racing Ducati +0.225s +0.72s 1m32.491s
15 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati +0.183s +0.903s 1m32.674s
16 Andrea Dovizioso WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha +0.062s +0.965s 1m32.736s
17 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati +0.019s +0.984s 1m32.755s
18 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.001s +0.985s 1m32.756s
19 Alex Marquez LCR Honda Castrol Honda +0.006s +0.991s 1m32.762s
20 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +0.175s +1.166s 1m32.937s
21 Miguel Oliveira Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.084s +1.25s 1m33.021s
22 Remy Gardner Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.281s +1.531s 1m33.302s
23 Raul Fernandez Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM +0.849s +2.38s 1m34.151s
24 Darryn Binder WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha +0.473s +2.853s 1m34.624s
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email
  • More Networks