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French MotoGP Practice 1 Results | Miller quickest as KTM flexes form again at Le Mans

Jack Miller, KTM Factory Racing, KTM RC16, 2023 Spanish MotoGP, 2023 MotoGP, Jerez, action [credit/ 2Snap]

Jack Miller began his quest for a first MotoGP victory in KTM colours this weekend off to a strong start by topping Practice 1 for the French MotoGP at Le Mans.

Fresh from its first-ever podium 'double double' courtesy of riders Miller and Brad Binder, the KTM Factory Racing team continued to add credibility to suggestions it could mount a genuine threat to rivals in the fight for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship title.

Indeed, having maintained a modest profile for much of the P1 session at a sunny but cool Le Mans, Miller and Binder launched their time attacks in the final minutes, leaving their mark with respective 1m 31.449s and 1m 31.667s efforts.


That placed them 1-3 on the final classification, the pair split by the VR46 Ducati of Luca Marini, the Italian just under a tenth off the benchmark.

Ducati rounded out the top five with Pramac's Johann Zarco giving the home fans some hope of seeing the tricolour aloft the top step of the podium in fourth, while Alex Marquez placed his Gresini GP22 fifth.

Back to full strength this weekend following the return of Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda marked the occasion by allowing both the eight-time MotoGP World Champion and team-mate Joan Mir the opportunity to sample its new Kalex-designed chassis.

Having broken cover at the post-Spanish MotoGP test at Jerez, the Kalex RC213V was out on track in the final stages as both Mir and Marquez put it to the test by using it for their time attacks. It would prove a successful endeavour with Mir enjoying a confidence-boosting run to sixth on the timesheets, while Marquez - who lost time earlier in the session with a light tip-off at Turn 11 - was 12th.

Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales nestled their respective factory Aprilias inside the top ten in seventh and eighth, the pair sandwiching former championship leader Marco Bezzechi, while current championship leader Pecco Bagnaia sits just behind in tenth.

Another rider sampling a new chassis in P1 this weekend, Fabio Quartararo nonetheless set his best time - good enough for 11th - on his regular M1.

Elsewhere, 14th place Augusto Fernandez ran inside the top three for a time as the rookie consolidated the encouraging performance of the KTM RC16 at Le Mans this weekend, while MotoGP two returnees - Danilo Petrucci on the factory Ducati and Lorenzo Savadori on the RNF Aprilia - were 19th and 20th respectively.

Savadori will be the only rider representing RNF Aprilia this weekend following confirmation that Raul Fernandez is joining team-mate Miguel Oliveira on the sidelines due to his ongoing arm injury.

French MotoGP | Practice 1 Results

Le Mans | Conditions - Dry, Sunny, Cool
2023 French MotoGP | Le Mans, France | Practice 1 Results | Round 5 of 20
1Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 31.449
2Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 31.544
3Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 31.667
4Johann ZarcoFRAPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 31.764
5Alex MarquezESPGresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 31.787
6Joan MirESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 31.800
7Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 31.802
8Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 31.872
9Maverick VinalesESPAprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 31.890
10Pecco BagnaiaITADucati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 31.915
11Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 31.946
12Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 31.973
13Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 32.153
14Augusto FernandezESPGasGas Factory Tech 3KTM RC161m 32.174
15Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 32.265
16Jorge MartinESPPrima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 32.296
17Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 32.710
18Alex RinsESPLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 32.909
19Danilo PetrucciITADucati Leonovo TeamDucati GP231m 33.168
20Lorenzo SavadoriITACryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 33.973
21Jonas FolgerGERGasGas Factory Tech 3KTM RC161m 34.766
WRaul FernandezESPCryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP

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