Marquez maintains good form as he tops Austin MotoGP FP2

Marquez maintains good form as he tops Austin MotoGP FP2

Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez has topped the sheets again in Austin MotoGP FP2 after beating Factory Ducati rider Jack Miller with just a fifteenth of a second at COTA.

Marc Marquez was equally as strong in FP2 which was dry compared to a predominantly wet FP1 in which he recorded the fastest lap.

With the weather uncertainity also being expected in Saturday, the dry afternoon session was very important as multiple time attacks were attempted.

As the FP2 kicked off in the afternoon, Marc Marquez and Jack Miller were on the top of the time sheets with a way more bigger time margin from the other riders. However, in the end Marquez was too fast to beat even by Jack Miller who finished third last time MotoGP was at COTA back in 2019.

Marquez was five tenths of a second faster than Miller as the session began but even looked to widen the gap to a whole second two laps later but the Spaniard chose to head to the pits abandoning his effort.

Factory KTM rider Brad Binder ranked third on the timesheets a time he set in the better half of the afternoon practice session. However, Takaaki Nakagami was quick to displace the South African as he pushed him to fourth and finally finished 11th at the end of the session.

Miguel Oliveira later challenged Nakagami’s third place as his KTM RC16 found pace but could not challenge Marquez and Miller’s lap times. Later on Miller was able to close the half a second gap from Marc Marquez to just 0.123s.

Iker Lecuona was the first rider to experience a highside as Miguel Oliveira and Aleix Espargaro crashed later on in the afternoon session.

Bagnaia became the first rider to set a sub 2m 05s lap when the time attacks began , however, the winner of the last two races was immediately beaten by Takaaki Nakagami.

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Rins and Quartararo also went top before Marquez improved upon Quartararo’s time by a further two tenths.

Marquez could have improved further to set a sub 2m 04s time, but the eight-time world champion made a mistake at turn 12. This allowed Miller to get within +0.015s of top spot on his final flying lap.

MotoGP is returning to COTA for the first time since the 2019 event, after which further resurfacing work was carried out on around 40% of the track (Turns 1-2, 9-10, 16-19, plus the back straight) to alleviate bumps. However, bikes and riders are still being badly kicked around.

As a result of the resurfacing and change of date from April, Michelin is providing a fourth rear tyre option (two hard compounds), while wet weather is also forecast.

COTA has the most corners (20) in MotoGP, including the slowest of the season at just 50km/h (Turn 11). The following back straight is the longest in MotoGP at 1.2km and ends with the hardest braking on the calendar, from over 330km/h to less than 60km/h.

Maverick Vinales has withdrawn from the COTA event after the tragic death of his young cousin Dean Berta Vinales in last weekend’s Jerez WorldSSP300 race.

AUSTIN MOTOGP, COTA – FREE PRACTICE (2) RESULTS

POS RIDERNATTEAMTIME/DIFFLAPMAX
1=Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)2’04.164s16/17342k
2=Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+0.015s17/17346k
3^12Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.202s15/17342k
4^1Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.388s16/16344k
5^11Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.448s13/16342k
6^2Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+0.499s16/16341k
7^12Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+0.513s14/15341k
8˅5Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+0.559s14/15346k
9˅2Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.638s16/18339k
10^8Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.672s16/16342k
11˅2Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.688s15/16342k
12˅1Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.769s16/16343k
13˅1Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.930s15/15341k
14^7Andrea DoviziosoITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.973s14/15339k
15^2Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.132s13/14339k
16˅10Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.450s16/16341k
17^3Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.467s16/16338k
18˅14Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.518s9/14341k
19˅5Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+2.045s10/12345k
20˅7Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+2.071s13/14335k
21˅11Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+2.093s16/16342k

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