MotoGP Silverstone: Quartararo back in charge for FP2

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Picture: GeeBee Images

MotoGP Champion and current leader Fabio Quartararo ended Friday practice in control at Silverstone with a 1’58.946.

The Monster Energy Yamaha completed the opening day of BritishGP action a tenth and a half ahead off Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir with Aprilia’s Maverick Viñales completing the top three just 0.023s adrift.

The afternoon action saw Red Bull KTM’s Miguel Oliveira lead the way in the initial times with a 2’00.863 from morning hero Johann Zarco and Mooney VR46’s Luca Marini on identical times. Rookies Darryn Binder and Remy Gardner sat fourth and fifth before the WithU Yamaha took a tumble next time round.

Aprilia locked out the times on lap three as Viñales headed Aleix Espargaro, Quartararo slotting in to the top three until Marco Bezzecchi took charge on the second VR46 machine.

A quick shuffle of the standings found the Italian dropped to seventh as the pace picked up. Aprilia back in control, thanks to a 1’59.681, but with the order reversed and Viñales running wide at turn one as the session continued.

Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins was up to third after ten minutes on track until Quartararo demoted him with his fifth attempt. LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and Jorge Martin narrowly behind with Brad Binder splitting the Prima Pramac riders from seventh as Zarco, Bezzecchi and Oliveira completed the top ten.

A lacklustre start to FP2 found Ducati Lenovo’s Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia running 15th and 21st respectively. Gresini’s Enea Bastianini and Suzuki’s Joan Mir just ahead of the Australian with Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro almost two-tenths behind.

20 minutes to go and Rins arrived with a 1’59.351 before bettering himself again next time around, Oliveira finding fourth four-tenths adrift off the outright benchmark as the championship leader dropped to fifth. Miller was the next to strike as the Desmosedici made its way to third, the Australian’s promising run coming to an abrupt end as he slid out at turn seven on his next revolution.

The late session lull was broken by Mir as the 2020 Champion rose to join his Suzuki teammate in second with five to go. Franky Morbidelli hit the top 10 with his 15th lap before Marini’s P5 worthy effort dropped him back out. Bagnaia finally arrived, to fourth, with a 1’59.5 just over a tenth shy of an equally improving Espargaro before Vinales bettered the Ducati and his own team-mate to claim third with two minutes to go.

The fast laps kept coming as the clock counted down. Quartararo striving for the lead with the first 1’58 of the British track while Mir and Espargaro sat second and third. ZArco climbed back up the times to fourth ahead of Rins with Bastianini finding form ahead of the factory Ducatis in sixth to eighth. Half a second covered the top ten as the chequered flag came out, Marini sitting gatekeeper as Viñales took a late charge to once again head his fellow Aprilia in third. Zarco denying the second Noale factory rider as he stole fourth from Espargaro in the final seconds.

Oliveira claimed sixth from Rins, Bastianini, Miller and Bezzecchi with Bagnaia, Marini and Martin completing the Ducati quintet outside of the top ten.

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