Morbidelli tops Barcelona FP2 as Zarco comes P2

Morbidelli tops Barcelona FP2 as Zarco comes P2

Franco Morbidelli who is the San Marino MotoGP winner emerged the first in the Barcelona MotoGP FP2 which was held in Catalunya as he was able to beat KTM and Ducatti. Morbidelli’s teammate Fabio Quartararo who was the pacesetter in FP1 encountered problems before the start of the FP2 session.

The two Petronas SRT Yamaha bikes topped in the overall timesheets of the Friday’s Catalunya Free Practice session for the Barcelona MotoGP. Franco Morbidelli was top overall recording a time of 1m 39.789s after beating Quartararo’s FP1 time by six tenths of a second. Ensponsorama racing’s Johann Zarco closed in on Franco Morbidelli’s time managing to get his time in the 1m 39s bracket. Brad Binder(KTM Factory racing) came in third closing the top three pacesetters on Friday.

Morbidelli tops Barcelona FP2 as Zarco comes P2
Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Franco Morbidelli

Many riders were able to get faster lap times in FP2 than FP1. Morbidelli, Binder and Suzuki’s Alex Rins were able to set the pace in the FP1 after Fabio Quartararo. Monster Energy Yamaha’s Maverick Vinalez and Valentino Rossi were also able to improve their lap times in FP2. Pol Espargaro(KTM Factory racing) completed in 4th place in the overall rankings. The champion leader Andrea Dovizioso(Ducatti Team) ended up 6th in FP2 after being 2nd in FP1.

After setting the pace in FP2, Morbidelli was then down at Turn 10 – unhurt – with 24 minutes to go as the San Marino GP winner sat just over a tenth off teammate Quartararo. Before Morbidelli crashed, Zarco crashed at Turn 5 rider okay with Repsol Honda Team’s Stefan Bradl also crashing unhurt, the German biting the dust at Turn 2. The wind was up and was playing a factor with tyre temperatures, making it tricky for the premier class in the second session of the weekend.

Morbidelli tops Barcelona FP2 as Zarco comes P2
Avintia Racing rider Johann Zarco

In the mid part of the session, a lot of the riders were trying to get some race pace work done with the timesheets not really changing much. With 14 to go, eight tenths covered the top 11 Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) improving in FP2 to jump up to just outside the top 10. Zarco then came back out on his second GP19 machine and was able to go quicker, slotting in just ahead of Alex Marquez to make it 12 riders within a second heading into the final 10 minutes of FP2 cue the time attacks.

A few soft Michelin tyre lap times came in but it was still Quartararo who held P1, thanks to his FP1 time. Mir and Rossi went close with the Spaniard sitting just 0.010 off Quartararo’s pace, as two Hondas then rose to the fore in FP2 and on the combined times. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) and Alex Marquez went into the top five after stringing great laps together, but the goalposts were about to be moved significantly. Rookie Binder finished FP1 down in 21st position as he attacked the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the first time on a MotoGP machine. But, clearly, it hadn’t taken the South African too long to work out how to tame the RC16 beast in Barcelona Binder blitzed his way to P1 with a 1:40.008 to stretch four tenths clear of the field.

Morbidelli tops Barcelona FP2 as Zarco comes P2
The beginning of the Friday afternoon Barcelona MotoGP FP2

Nakagami completed the top five on the combined times after finishing FP1 just outside the top 10 in P11, the Japanese rider sits just ahead of Quartararo who encountered issues when coming out of pitlane to start his time attack. The 21-year-old was unable to get out and dropped to P6 after sitting as the fastest rider in FP1, but remains safely in the top 10 for now. In form Mir finishes 7th despite improving his time from FP1, Pol Espargaro and Alex Marquez rise into 8th and 9th respectively after finishing FP1 in 16th and 20th marked improvement for the two Spaniards. 10th went the way of Rossi, The Doctor slips two places from FP1 but holds onto the final provisional automatic Q2 spot ahead of Saturday’s action.

Dovizioso didn’t improve his FP1 time that was good enough for P2 this morning, the Italian slipping to 15th in FP2 as both he and teammate Danilo Petrucci who sits P22 failed to go quicker in the afternoon session.

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