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MotoGP Le Mans: Two crashes and a lap record for Bastianini

Gresini Racing’s Enea Bastianini endured a rollercoaster opening day at Le Mans before setting an all-new MotoGP lap record in FP2.

Far from an easy Friday for the Italian, Bastianini crashed in each of the day’s two practice sessions. The second in the closing stages at the Dunlop chicane having just put together the quickest-ever lap for a MotoGP bike at the Bugatti track.
His 1’31.148 effort, set on his final of 16 laps in the afternoon was two and three-tenths faster than those set by Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro and Suzuki’s Alex Rins, respectively. With Ducati power locking out the remainder of the top five thanks to Johann Zarco and Pecco Bagnaia.

“The speed was good today,” Bastianini confirmed. “We make a really nice FP2, we haven't pushed a lot during the session but at the end with the soft I pushed 100 per cent and the lap time was really nice.


“We have returned the feeling after Jerez was not really nice, also the test a little bit complicated but here the sensation is good on the bike. Two crashes but is okay.

“The condition was not really nice this afternoon,” he said of the Bugatti track conditions. “FP1 was a little bit better, the grip of the asphalt. With the soft tyre on the rear was a little bit better, was more easy for me to use the rear brake - with the medium was impossible, because it was unstable. Tomorrow we have to understand this and see if we can use also a little bit the medium tyre and to put some laps.”

With a lap record now under his belt the Italian is eager to replicate the performance in Saturday’s qualifying, especially with the threat of Sunday’s rain impacting the 27-lap race.

“Really important,” Bastianini said of the need for a strong Q2 showing. "Especially when is probably Sunday will be rainy. If you are on the front, the visibility of the track is better. When you are behind it's always strange and difficult situation but I think the first row or maximum the second row it's okay for me.”

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