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Catalunya MotoGP, Friday Practice | Aleix Espargaro ends day on top in Aprilia 1-2

Gold and Goose
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing, Aprilia RS-GP, 2023 MotoGP, Catalunya MotoGP, Barcelona, action - credit - Gold and Goose

Aleix Espargaro remained at the head of the timesheets on the opening day of action for the Catalunya MotoGP, with Aprilia Racing team-mate Maverick Vinales closely following in second.

Having led the way during the morning’s FP1 session, Espargaro upped the pace once more with a benchmark setting 1m 38.686secs lap, putting him a comfortable distance clear of team-mate Vinales on the sister Aprilia RS-GP.

While the Italian marque looked strong on day one, it will have contend with the might of Ducati in Q2 as seven of the manufacturer’s riders automatically made it through to the pole-deciding session.


Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia was the quickest of the septet in third, followed closely by Johann Zarco in fourth, while Brad Binder gave KTM at least one representative in Q2 as he eased through in fifth place.

The remainder of the top ten comprised of Ducati bikes with Gresini Racing duo Alex Marquez and Fabio di Giannantonio both making it straight through in sixth and eighth respectively, sandwiching Marco Bezzecchi in seventh.

There was also joy for Enea Bastianini, who cracked the top ten for a direct Q2 spot for the first time in ninth place, while Jorge Martin rounded out the top ten on the Pramac Ducati.

While his brother led the way overall, Pol Espargaro will have to go again in Q1 after just missing out in 11th, just +0.028s shy of Martin ahead of him, while Jack Miller, plus RNF Racing Aprilia pair Raul Fernandez and Miguel Oliveira are also well poised in 13th and 14th.

As the Europeans shone, it was a tough end to the day for the Japanese contingent with no Yamahas or Hondas making it into Q2 by some margin. Fabio Quartararo proved 17th fastest, trailed by Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli, while the four Honda riders brought up the rear.

2023 Catalunya MotoGP | Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain | Friday Practice Results | Round 11 of 20
Pos.NameNat.TeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 38.686
2Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 39.048
3Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 39.061
4Johann Zarco🇨🇵Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 39.257
5Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 39.346
6Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 39.549
7Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 39.550
8Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 39.621
9Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 39.628
10Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 39.693
11Pol Espargaro🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 39.721
12Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 39.752
13Raul Fernandez🇪🇦CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 39.757
14Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 39.779
15Luca Marini🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 39.807
16Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 39.891
17Fabio Quartararo🇨🇵Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 40.106
18Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 40.155
19Marc Marquez🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 40.249
20Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 40.886
21Iker Lecuona🇪🇦LCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 40.895
22Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 41.013

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