Crutchlow edges off Bagnaia to top the second practice of Malaysian Grand Prix

Crutchlow edges off Bagnaia to top the second practice of Malaysian Grand Prix

Cal Crutchlow gambled on slicks at the end of the primarily soggy session to land his RNF Racing Yamaha at the top of the timesheets in Malaysia’s second practice session.

The Sepang International Circuit dried throughout the 45-minute session, which was delayed by about an hour due to a heavy downpour that broke up the previous Moto2 test midway through and required the red flags to stop the action. The Briton was one of many riders to switch to dry-weather rubber in the closing minutes.

For the most of FP2, the field prioritized the medium wet-weather tyre since, with the exception of a few problematic spots that took a long time to dry, the track was practically ready for slicks from the start.

Before a lap had even begun, Francesco Bagnaia, the leader of the MotoGP series, and Marc Marquez got into a fight, trading places four times.

Lap timings were roughly 14 seconds slower than the pace set by Brad Binder in FP1 despite a marked improvement in the weather. Early on, Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco were trailing Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli by more than a second.

By joining the Yamaha rider in the 2m 13s lap timings, Zarco was able to cut Morbidelli’s lead to five tenths. However, other riders in the back, notably the three title contenders Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo, and Aleix Espargaro, did not experience the same level of performance.

Morbidelli attempted to persist, but his strong start to FP2 was nearly ruined when he misjudged his braking for turn nine. The 2020 runner-up was then seen riding through the puddles while veering off course. Zarco replaced Morbidelli at the top of the list before Joan Mir moved into second position as the pace picked up.

The Ducati rider set the pace with a time of 2:12.095s, but Morbidelli quickly overtook him with a time of 2:11.734s, which put him three-tenths ahead of Zarco.

Maverick Vinales moved up to eighth place in FP2 after another poor start, and he later moved up to third place with 15 minutes left. This was the beginning of Aprilia finally showing some speed.

Before Zarco returned to the top of the timing sheets, Bagnaia moved up the rankings by finishing second quickest. After finishing first and second, Miguel Oliveira and Crutchlow both found speed near the conclusion of the practice, but Bagnaia was quickly emerging as a contender for the top place.

Crutchlow replaced Zarco as the leader as the finish flag fell after fast laps from Morbidelli and Alex Marquez, who both spent brief intervals at the front kicked in. On his penultimate lap, Marquez regained the lead until Crutchlow shattered it with a 2:05.710s.

Miller would consequently have to settle for second on the sister factory Ducati, while Marquez would have to finish third on his LCR Honda. Johann Zarco would eventually move up to fifth on his Pramac-run Ducati.

Franco Morbidelli, riding for Yamaha, finished ahead of Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales in sixth place after the Italian displayed exceptional speed in the variable weather. Suzuki’s Joan Mir finished eighth, ahead of title rival Fabio Quartararo’s second official Yamaha. Luca Marini rounded out the top 10 on his VR46 Desmosedici.

As the session came to a close, FP1 leader Marc Marquez decided to park his RC213-V rather than take a chance by switching to slick tires. As a result, the Spaniard dropped to 15th place, but he still holds the lead in the overall standings due to the fact that his opening session time was set in full dry conditions.

The highest-finishing KTM rider was Miguel Oliveira, who was in 11th place just up the road from the six-time premier class world champion. Alex Rins, who was in 12th place on the other Suzuki GSX-RR, was a front of top rookie Marco Bezzecchi, who was riding a VR46 Ducati.


1Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)2’05.710s15/15323k
2Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)+0.900s17/17323k
3Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.186s11/11320k
4Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)+1.843s14/14329k
5Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+2.879s17/18308k
6Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+3.643s15/15310k
7Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+3.680s14/17315k
8Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+4.039s13/15315k
9Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+4.043s18/18318k
10Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+4.115s15/15309k
11Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+4.188s12/15317k
12Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+4.250s15/15310k
13Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*+4.282s18/18318k
14Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+4.682s16/16301k
15Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+4.701s12/14319k
16Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+4.775s14/15314k
17Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)+4.862s13/16314k
18Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+4.882s16/16302k
19Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*+4.894s11/13318k
20Tetsuta NagashimaJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+4.929s14/14311k
21Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+5.723s9/11309k
22Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)+5.858s13/13303k
23Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+6.704s8/10297k
24Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+7.168s13/15304k

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