Marini edges Martin to dominate second practice for Indian MotoGP

Marini edges Martin to dominate second practice for Indian MotoGP

Luca Marini led the VR46 Ducati team to an ideal start of the brand-new Indian Grand Prix edition of the MotoGP after topping the second Friday practice.

Luca Marini pulled off a late flying lap to clinch an undefeated run on Friday for VR46 Ducati in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix after teammate Marco Bezzecchi took the lead in free practice one.

Marini edged fellow Ducati rider Jorge Martin by 0.008s in the second, 70-minute practice that was significantly delayed by a logistical issue. It was suspected to be a problem with water delivery to the marshals operating around the former Formula 1 venue, Buddh International Circuit.

Similar to the first practice, Turn 1 was proving challenging for a large portion of the field, including Marini, who earlier in the session crashed in its asphalt run-off at a relatively low speed before getting back up to take the lead for the day.

The times continued to drop as the 22 riders grew confident with the track while grip improved on the challenging course. Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin turned in the quickest lap of the weekend—1:45.672 seconds—long before the final time trials began.

As the session neared its end, Marini began to show his genuine skills while continuing to hold his flyers for the final stint. Eventually, the Italian edged Martin, who had brought down the benchmark to a 1:44.790s towards the end of the session, by just 0.008s to wrap up Friday’s practice at the top of the timesheets with a 1:44.782s.

The Pramac Ducati rider settled for second place overall as a result. Meanwhile, Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, who escaped being stranded in the deep gravel trap outside of Turn 1 early on finished third overall.

The top three riders had a solid three tenths of a second advantage over fourth-placed Marc Marquez, who secured his second straight direct entry into Q2 ahead of FP1 leader Bezzecchi.

Maverick Vinales was having a great time before making a mistake late in the session. However, his earlier gamble was enough to keep him in sixth place, ahead of the factory Ducati of championship leader Francesco Baganaia and Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo who finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Johann Zarco riding the sister Pramac Ducati finished ninth overall, just ahead of Joan Mir, piloting the other Honda and qualified for the pole shootout for the first time this season. Additionally, it’s the first time the 2020 MotoGP world champion has advanced to Q2 while riding a Honda.

KTM’s Brad Binder was unfortunate to be disqualified after running into yellow flags on his final round after briefly appearing as though he could be able to surpass Marini’s leading effort. The South African finished the day as the best-placed KTM in 12th following a challenging day for the Austrian manufacturer.

Franco Morbidelli appeared to be in contention for a top 10 finish during the practice session, but he ultimately finished no better than 14th, just behind Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez.

Meanwhile, Augusto Fernandez dropped a time that would have placed him in the top ten owing to the same yellow flag hold-up as Binder.

Early on, Miguel Oliveira lapped among the top three but eventually dropped to 17th, just ahead of Jack Miller on the second factory KTM. Miller was struggling for speed once more and crashed at Turn 12 after running wide during the first few seconds of the session.

Takaaki Nakagami was unable to recover after crashing at Turn 10 at the end of the practice session. The LCR Honda rider finished 21st, barely ahead of Michele Pirro and behind teammate Stefan Bradl.

Indian MotoGP, Buddh International Circuit Practice 2 Results

2023 Indian MotoGP | Buddh International Circuit, India | Friday Practice Results | Round 13 of 20
Pos.NameNat.TeamBikeLap Time
1Luca Marini🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 44.782
2Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 44.790
3Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 44.833
4Marc Marquez🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 45.117
5Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 45.202
6Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 45.213
7Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 45.280
8Fabio Quartararo🇨🇵Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 45.291
9Johann Zarco🇨🇵Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 45.305
10Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 45.332
11Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 45.406
12Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 45.539
13Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 45.550
14Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 45.576
15Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 45.589
16Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 45.712
17Raul Fernandez🇪🇦CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 45.863
18Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 45.961
19Pol Espargaro🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 46.111
20Stefan Bradl🇩🇪LCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 46.276
21Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 46.310
22Michele Pirro🇮🇹Aruba RacingDucati GP231m 46.573

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