MotoGP

Quartararo tops competitive Catalan Free Practice

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Quartararo tops Catalan Free Practice
Quartararo tops Catalan Free Practice (Credit: MotoGP.com)

Fabio Quartararo bounced back from arm pump surgery to top a highly competitive Friday at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The Frenchman’s 1:40.079 in Free Practice 2 took him +0.281s clear of Andrea Dovizioso overall. Given recent performances, Quartararo will be confident heading into qualifying. There were four different factories in the top four, with Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) and Pol Espargaro (KTM) challenging towards the front.

Such was the competitiveness of the field, the top 19 were covered by less than a second. Francesco Bagnaia completed the top five for Pramac Ducati. Franco Morbidelli was sixth on the second Petronas Yamaha.

Valentino Rossi showed signs of improvement to end the day seventh. Meanwhile, brand-new race winner Danilo Petrucci was eighth on the Ducati.

Marc Marquez topped Free Practice 1 before choosing to focus on race setup in the afternoon. This led to him finishing down in 17th in that session, but ninth overall. Having a spare soft tyre may prove pivotal for Marquez during qualifying. The reigning champion ran close to Dovizioso and Petrucci in the afternoon session, perhaps learning ahead of Sunday’s race.

Cal Crutchlow completed the top 10 overall, +0.010s behind Marquez. Both riders were trailing Nakagami’s best lap by a couple of tenths.

Alex Rins also focused on setup in the afternoon, however he failed to make it into the top 10. The Suzuki rider also suffered from a crash.

Jorge Lorenzo and Maverick Viñales both struggled at their home circuit. Lorenzo ended the day 14th, just ahead of the Yamaha man in 15th.

Saturday’s (15 June 2018) action begins at 08:55 with Free Practice 3, with Free Practice 4 at 12:30. Qualifying 1 begins at 13:10 and Qualifying 2 at 13:35.

Sunday’s warm-up (16 June 2019) will begin at 08:40. Most importantly, the race begins at 13:00.

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