Aleix Espargaro regained his composure to top the timesheets on the opening day of action for the Indonesian MotoGP despite a fall, while points’ leader Pecco Bagnaia finds himself on the back foot after being forced into Q1.
The Spaniard headed up an Aprilia Racing 1-2, with Maverick Vinales chasing his team-mate in second place, ahead of a hobbled Marco Bezzecchi, who battled through the pain barrier to end Practice
On an eventful Friday for all three classes on a Mandalika Circuit offering up varying levels of grip in scorching conditions, both Practice sessions were littered with incidents up and down the field.
Among them was Espargaro, who preceded his surge to the top of the timesheets with a trip into the gravel trap. Nevertheless, a 1m 30.474secs lap on his final time attack was enough for the two-time MotoGP race winner to put a full two tenths between himself and the opposition.
Vinales led the chase having maintained a presence towards the top of the leaderboard for much of the day, while Bezzecchi - already carrying a fractured collarbone - dusted himself off from his fast fall at Turn 11 towards the end of FP1 to lead Ducati’s challenge in third.
Brad Binder was another to come on strong in the closing stages despite earlier troubles, the South African coming down in tandem with Augusto Fernandez on the sister GasGas Tech3 machine. Despite contact between the bikes as they slid down, Binder returned to track to post the fourth best time.
Championship hopeful Jorge Martin ended his day in fifth place, the Spaniard - who is now only three points off the overall lead coming into the weekend - faring better than title rival Bagnaia, who failed to hook it up on his final time attack, leaving him down in 16th and straight to Q1.
Marc Marquez turned Honda’s fortunes around with the sixth fastest time, with Miguel Oliveira, Fabio di Giannantonio, Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo squeezing into the top ten to ensure all five manufacturers will be represented in Q2 directly.
Just missing the cut was Pol Espargaro in 11th, plus Luca Marini and Johann Zarco, the trio among the bigger names to be funnelled into Q1 for qualifying tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the field has been depleted by one rider after Alex Marquez withdrew after the morning Practice session after aggravating his rib injury.
|2023 Indonesian MotoGP | Mandalika Circuit | Practice Results | Round 15 of 20|
|1||Aleix Espargaro||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 30.474|
|2||Maverick Vinales||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 30.628|
|3||Marco Bezzecchi||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 30.644|
|4||Brad Binder||🇿🇦||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 30.762|
|5||Jorge Martin||🇪🇦||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 30.874|
|6||Marc Marquez||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 31.106|
|7||Miguel Oliveira||🇵🇹||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 31.199|
|8||Fabio di Giannantonio||🇮🇹||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 31.207|
|9||Jack Miller||🇦🇺||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 31.216|
|10||Fabio Quartararo||🇨🇵||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 31.229|
|11||Pol Espargaro||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 31.276|
|12||Luca Marini||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 31.367|
|13||Johann Zarco||🇨🇵||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 31.457|
|14||Raul Fernandez||🇪🇦||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 31.500|
|15||Franco Morbidelli||🇮🇹||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 31.561|
|16||Pecco Bagnaia||🇮🇹||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 31.635|
|17||Takaaki Nakagami||🇯🇵||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V||1m 31.655|
|18||Augusto Fernandez||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 31.806|
|19||Joan Mir||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 32.127|
|20||Enea Bastianini||🇮🇹||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 32.208|
|21||Alex Rins||🇪🇦||LCR Honda Castrol||Honda RC213V||1m 32.426|
|W||Alex Marquez||🇪🇦||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22|