Takaaki Nakagami dominated the first practice session of the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Mugello after putting in a strong late effort on used medium tyres.
Throughout the 45-minute test, the LCR Honda rider was at the front of the pack, sitting just fractions behind joint leaders Aleix Espargaro and Francesco Bagnaia before the Japanese ace took the lead with a time just 0.030s faster than the two.
Not willing to rest on his laurels, Nakagami clocked a 1:46.662s tour in the final minutes to extend his lead to nearly four tenths of a second, a time made all the more intriguing by the fact that it was set on used medium rubber.
Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro finished second, ahead of Bagnaia, with Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini rounding out the top five.
Espargaro’s teammate at Aprilia, Maverick Vinales finished sixth overall, ahead of Jack Miller of sister factory Ducati, with Honda’s Pol Espargaro in eighth place.
Johann Zarco finished ninth on his newly-branded Pramac Ducati after the team signed a championship sponsorship contract with Italian insurance giant Prima, providing a splash of purple to Pramac’s customary white and red livery. Meanwhile Luca Marini completed the top 10 on his VR46-run Ducati.
Fabio Quartararo, the series leader, finished 11th after testing Yamaha’s new aero solution for the first time, with the Japanese manufacturer seeking for a little extra straight-line speed down Mugello’s massive main stretch.
Michele Pirro, the Ducati test rider, was 12th fastest in his first start of 2022, while Joan Mir, the 2020 MotoGP world champion, finished 15th on the other Suzuki GSX-RR.
As troubles continued to plague KTM, Brad Binder was the highest-classified RC16 in 17th slightly ahead of teammate Miguel Oliviera, who escaped a harrowing run through the grass on the run to Turn 1 early on after seemingly being caught out by Espargaro’s Aprilia’s aerowash effect.
Marc Marquez finished 19th overall on his factory-run Honda, with Andrea Dovizioso 21st overall on the first of the RNF Yamahas, ahead of Lorenzo Savadori, who wore an unusual rear flap on the back of his Aprilia in an attempt to get the RS-GP over the hump on the run to Turn 1.
ITALIAN MOTOGP, MUGELLO – FREE PRACTICE (1) RESULTS
|1||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||1’46.662s||18/19||347k|
|2||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+0.408s||12/18||353k|
|3||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+0.408s||8/16||350k|
|4||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.409s||10/20||352k|
|5||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)||+0.524s||13/17||355k|
|6||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+0.529s||15/18||352k|
|7||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+0.653s||18/20||351k|
|8||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.705s||17/19||350k|
|9||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+0.705s||15/21||354k|
|10||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||+0.721s||16/19||350k|
|11||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+0.731s||9/21||348k|
|12||Michele Pirro||ITA||Ducati Test Rider (GP22)||+0.770s||4/16||348k|
|13||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+0.900s||17/20||356k|
|14||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*||+0.922s||9/19||351k|
|15||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.996s||10/20||348k|
|16||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+1.065s||5/20||345k|
|17||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.084s||20/20||352k|
|18||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.158s||6/20||350k|
|19||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+1.213s||5/17||345k|
|20||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+1.241s||16/17||352k|
|21||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||+1.416s||10/18||348k|
|22||Lorenzo Savadori||ITA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+1.591s||5/18||352k|
|23||Fabio Di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)*||+1.673s||7/17||348k|
|24||Darryn Binder||RSA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*||+2.248s||18/18||354k|
|25||Raul Fernandez||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+2.249s||12/18||346k|
|26||Remy Gardner||AUS||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+2.298s||7/16||345k|