Francesco Bagnaia tops second practice at Mugello ahead of Bezzecchi

Francesco Bagnaia tops second practice at Mugello ahead of Bezzecchi

Francesco Bagnaia was running ahead of Marco Bezzecchi and the rest of the MotoGP field after tearing through the field in second practice for the Italian MotoGP.

The Italian MotoGP’s Friday Practice saw Francesco Bagnaia overcome an ankle injury to take the top spot, however popular riders like Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo failed to place in the top ten.

The majority of the hour-long practice session was devoted to fine-tuning race setups, with fellow Ducati riders Alex Marquez and Marco Bezzecchi closely trailing Johann Zarco, who posted the fastest time, at 1:46.627 seconds.

Aleix Espargaro’s capacity to ride was the main topic of discussion going into Free Practice 2, given the physical difficulties he had in this morning’s first MotoGP practice.

Espargaro was sobbing as he sat in the back of the Aprilia garage on Thursday after a cycling incident caused discomfort in his ankle. As others launched their first weekend time attacks, Espargaro made the decision to abandon the session. Espargaro, however, quickly stepped out onto the circuit to begin Practice 2.

At about the halfway mark in the session, Jorge Martin was able to beat the session benchmark by a few tenths of a second, but Brad Binder from KTM would be the first to surpass Marquez’s FP1 standard and take over at the pinnacle of the combined times.

The field was trying to clinch a spot in Saturday morning’s pole shootout session when the South African’s attempt started a flurry of quick laptimes. Bezzecchi rapidly moved well ahead until Honda’s Marc Marquez and Alex Rins unexpectedly lit up the times to take the top spot on the lap times.

As the test came to a close, Francesco Bagnaia’s Ducati, with its obvious number one, would be at the top of the leaderboard. However, the current world champion had overcome an earlier mishap in the gravel trap at Turn 1 but fought back to earn the fastest lap on Friday with a time of 1:45.436s.

On his VR46-powered Ducati, Bezzecchi was able to make a significant improvement to finish the day in second place. Meanwhile, Rins performed impressively for LCR Honda to finish third overall and only 0.081 seconds behind Bagnaia.

Late in the session, Binder was able to move up from outside the top ten to finish fourth, ahead of Martin and the newly back Enea Bastianini on the sister factory Ducati entry. Meanwhile, Zarco’s Pramac Ducati posted the seventh-best time.

Marquez was able to hold onto his guaranteed Q2 spot by finishing the day eighth fastest ahead of Aleix Espargaro, who battled back from a bad FP1 crash to edge teammate Maverick Vinales out of the top ten with a last-ditch maneuver.

The Spaniard eventually placed just 0.011s behind Luca Marini, who rounded out the Q2 riders.

Both of Yamaha’s riders failed to improve on their earlier efforts, in part because they both lost their final runs after Fabio Di Gianantonio crashed out at Turn 1 with only a few minutes left. This left Quartararo in a dismal 15th place, just ahead of teammate Franco Morbidelli. Yamaha’s encouraging FP1 outing ultimately resulted to a disappointing end.

FP1 leader Alex Marquez and KTM’s Jack Miller, who finished 13th and 14th, were also forced to battle it out in Q1 on Saturday. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, who finished 18th, was the first rider to lap more than a second slower than Bagnaia’s record.

Honda’s Joan Mir continued to struggle for speed as he finished Friday all the way down in 22nd after suffering yet another crash, this time at Turn 1 – -his best time 2.1 seconds off from Bagnaia’s leading effort.

Miguel Oliveira ended the day 20th overall as he works on getting back up to speed with his Aprilia after a one race layoff due to injury.

2023 ITALIAN MOTOGP, MUGELLO – PRACTICE (2) RESULTS

POS RIDERNATTEAMTIME/DIFFLAPMAX
1^15Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)1’45.436s21/22354k
2^2Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.063s24/25354k
3^9Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+0.081s22/23354k
4˅1Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.118s24/24359k
5^1Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.134s25/26360k
6^9Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.199s19/20359k
7˅2Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.226s20/21356k
8^1Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.255s20/21353k
9^13Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.348s21/21355k
10^8Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.399s22/23354k
11˅3Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.410s24/26354k
12˅2Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+0.416s19/21355k
13˅12Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.492s24/25359k
14=Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.726s17/20358k
15˅8Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.802s22/22351k
16˅14Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.868s20/24354k
17=Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)+1.111s15/18352k
18^3Miguel OliveiraPORRNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.129s21/23356k
19˅8Michele PirroITAAruba.it Ducati (GP23)+1.392s19/20358k
20˅1Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+1.578s24/25353k
21˅8Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+1.638s20/24353k
22^1Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Factory (RS-GP23)+2.397s3/19353k
23˅3Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+3.407s6/12353k
24=Jonas FolgerGERTech3 GASGAS (RC16)+3.724s6/21350k

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