Tech 3 KTM rider Iker Lecuona has topped his second MotoGP practice of the year after bettering Jack Miller late on in FP1 at Valencia.
Rain began to fall between Moto3 and MotoGP FP1 which led to every rider heading out on wet tyres.
As was the case with Alex Rins in Portimao, 2021 MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo was seen using the new shoulder cam around the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.
While conditions continued to worsen around the ten minute mark, Miguel Oliveira was able to repeatedly improve his lap time and lead from Ducati’s Miller.
Winner last time out, Francesco Bagnaia then jumped to the top of the field with a 1:41.511 – two tenths better than Oliveira, while Danilo Petrucci who is competing in his last MotoGP race went down at turn four whilst following Bagnaia.
Bagnaia went on to improve by another two tenths on his next lap around, before he too suffered a crash – turn 2.
Despite Petrucci’s crash, the wet conditions were proving beneficial for KTM as Oliveira, Lecuona and Petrucci were all within the top six at FP1’s mid-session point.
Valentino Rossi, who will retire following this weekend’s Valencia MotoGP, was one of the last riders to set a flying lap, however, his first few laps weren’t classified due to being outside the seven second margin.
Enea Bastianini was the other rider to be in that situation, but that changed for the former Moto2 champion with 12 minutes to go as he went 19th.
Bagnaia, who led team-mate Miller for much of the session was then bettered by the Australian who set a first sub 1m 41s lap of the session.
Miller’s time was over five tenths quicker than Bagnaia, while Jorge Martin made it three Ducati machines inside the top three with five minutes left.
But just like Bagnaia earlier on, Miller crashed at turn one shortly after going quickest.
The Ducati rider ran wide at turn one before the painted run-off wiped out the front end of his machine.
Luca Marini then made it four Ducati’s at the front before Lecuona went quickest with a 1:40.569s.
who has been very impressive in wet conditions since returning from injury at Misano (1), also moved into the top five momentarily, however, the Italian was eventually pushed down to eighth after good laps from Johann Zarco and Joan Mir put them fourth and fifth respectively.
VALENCIA MOTOGP, CIRCUIT RICARDO TORMO – FREE PRACTICE (1) RESULTS
|1||Iker Lecuona||SPA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)||1’40.569s||17/19||317k|
|2||Jack Miller||AUS||Ducati Team (GP21)||+0.155s||11/12||323k|
|3||Miguel Oliveira||POR||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+0.161s||19/19||314k|
|4||Johann Zarco||FRA||Pramac Ducati (GP21)||+0.371s||20/20||320k|
|5||Joan Mir||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.374s||16/17||318k|
|6||Francesco Bagnaia||ITA||Ducati Team (GP21)||+0.446s||13/13||321k|
|7||Luca Marini||ITA||Sky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*||+0.535s||13/14||315k|
|8||Franco Morbidelli||ITA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+0.631s||15/17||314k|
|9||Pol Espargaro||SPA||Repsol Honda (RC213V)||+0.731s||18/19||318k|
|10||Takaaki Nakagami||JPN||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+0.917s||19/19||315k|
|11||Alex Rins||SPA||Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)||+0.943s||16/16||318k|
|12||Jorge Martin||SPA||Pramac Ducati (GP21)*||+0.978s||17/18||318k|
|13||Aleix Espargaro||SPA||Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)||+1.320s||14/14||315k|
|14||Enea Bastianini||ITA||Avintia Ducati (GP19)*||+1.405s||11/14||317k|
|15||Fabio Quartararo||FRA||Monster Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+1.512s||20/21||315k|
|16||Alex Marquez||SPA||LCR Honda (RC213V)||+1.589s||16/16||320k|
|17||Brad Binder||RSA||Red Bull KTM (RC16)||+1.599s||18/19||313k|
|18||Andrea Dovizioso||ITA||Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+1.613s||12/12||308k|
|19||Danilo Petrucci||ITA||KTM Tech3 (RC16)||+1.869s||6/6||310k|
|20||Maverick Vinales||SPA||Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)||+2.198s||14/15||321k|
|21||Valentino Rossi||ITA||Petronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)||+12.412s||3/4||293k|