Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro topped the timesheets at Mugello at the end of FP2 to lead the Italian Grand Prix Friday’s practice, ahead of Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.
After finishing second fastest in FP1 on Friday morning, the Spaniard looked to have the measure of the flowing Mugello circuit in the afternoon, however it was Pramac’s Johann Zarco who led the way early on after setting the fastest lap of the weekend — a 1:45.891s.
However, the session was subsequently red flagged after the Frenchman crashed at Turn 4 and strewn gravel all over the racing line at Turn 5, necessitating a swift clean-up by adjacent marshals.
Considering that Saturday’s sessions might experience rain, majority of the riders headed out late after the session was re-started with fresh rubber to try and play their way into the top ten and secure a direct pole shootout spot, with Francesco Bagnaia moving to the top of the tree on a 1:45.940s as he led a swarm of Ducatis on home turf.
Espargaro, on the other hand, would quickly put an end to Ducati’s party, utilising a handy slipstream from Aprilia teammate Maverick Vinales to set the fastest time of 1:45.891s, a time that would remain at the top of the timing pylon until the chequered flag brought the practice to a close.
Following Espargaro were a slew of Desmosedicis, with Bagnaia and Jack Miller finishing second and third on the factory entry ahead of Zarco – who suffered another accident at Turn 12 in the final stages – and Luca Marini’s VR46 machine rounding out the top five.
On his Gresini-run Ducati, Enea Bastianini finished sixth overall, with Brad Binder a remarkable seventh on by far the best-placed KTM — teammate Miguel Oliveira just 15th – the South African narrowly ahead of yet another Ducati driven by Marco Bezzecchi.
With a ninth-place finish, Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo scraped into the top ten, while Pol Espargaro took tenth place from Jorge Martin at the last moment to round out the top ten. Marc Marquez finished 12th, ahead of Takaaki Nakagami, who failed to improve on his first-place finish.
Suzuki battled throughout FP2, with Alex Rins and Joan Mir finishing 14th and 18th, respectively, with the sister Aprilia of Vinales finishing 17th. Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, finished 20th ahead of Franco Morbidelli’s factory Yamaha and Andrea Dovizioso’s RNF Racing M1 entry.
ITALIAN MOTOGP, MUGELLO – FREE PRACTICE (2) RESULTS
|1||^1||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||1’45.891s||17/19||353k|
|2||^1||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+0.049s||17/20||351k|
|3||^4||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Lenovo (GP22)||+0.422s||16/19||348k|
|4||^5||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+0.458s||16/17||353k|
|5||^5||Luca Marini||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)||+0.471s||15/17||344k|
|6||˅1||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)||+0.504s||16/17||352k|
|7||^10||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+0.548s||18/19||354k|
|8||^6||Marco Bezzecchi||ITA||Mooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*||+0.582s||17/19||350k|
|9||^2||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+0.628s||18/19||346k|
|10||˅2||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.727s||15/16||351k|
|11||^9||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP22)||+0.738s||15/18||352k|
|12||^7||Marc Marquez||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.767s||17/19||352k|
|13||˅9||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.772s||17/17||355k|
|14||^4||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+0.927s||18/20||350k|
|15||˅14||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+0.961s||16/17||347k|
|16||^7||Fabio Di Giannantonio||ITA||Gresini Ducati (GP21)*||+1.024s||18/19||348k|
|17||˅11||Maverick Viñales||SPA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+1.162s||15/17||347k|
|18||˅5||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+1.260s||17/18||350k|
|19||˅4||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+1.378s||8/17||354k|
|20||˅4||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+1.577s||19/20||344k|
|21||=||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)||+1.692s||19/20||347k|
|22||^4||Remy Gardner||AUS||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+1.793s||18/18||345k|
|23||^1||Darryn Binder||RSA||WithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*||+1.796s||14/16||347k|
|24||˅12||Michele Pirro||ITA||Ducati Test Rider (GP22)||+1.835s||12/17||350k|
|25||=||Raul Fernandez||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)*||+2.107s||18/18||347k|
|26||˅4||Lorenzo Savadori||ITA||Aprilia Racing (RS-GP)||+2.197s||3/15||347k|