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MotoGP Valencia #2: Nakagami edges Morbidelli in opening practice

LCR Honda’s Taka Nakagami continued his excellent MotoGP form in the opening free practice at the second Valencia race weekend, topping the timesheets by a tenth of a second from Franco Morbidelli as the top four went under the lap record.

Nakagami stuck with a medium/medium Michelin combination to set a 1’30.829 on his 11th lap and no-one could muster a better time. Petronas Yamaha’s Morbidelli also used the same set of mediums all session with a fastest of 1’30.944 to take second place.

Maverick Vinales, who is struggling with the 2020 M1, bolted in a set of mediums at the session end to take himself up to third but did 17 laps on a soft front/hard rear combination and was the only rider to use that combo.


KTM’s Pol Espargaro led for a good chunk of the 45 minutes but didn’t use new tyres at the end, preferring to stay on the same mediums and setting his best time of 1’31.052 on lap six.

Brother Aleix, on the factory Aprilia, did use a new set of mediums for his final run which culminated in a 1’31.170, just outside the 1’31.116 lap record set my Marc Marquez last year.

Frenchman Johann Zarco was the fastest Ducati, taking his GP19 to sixth place, one ahead of outgoing works rider Andrea Dovizioso. Both men men used one set of mediums for the whole session.

MotoGP series leader Joan Mir also stuck to one set of medium hoops, setting a 1’31.436 for eighth with Miguel Oliveira next along. HRC test rider Stefan Bradl hopped into tenth with his last run on new soft tyres all round.

Aleix Rins was 11th, Jack Miller 12th and Valentino Rossi down in 13th place. Cal Crutchlow, who looks set to replace Jorge Lorenzo as Yamaha’s test rider, was 14th with Alex Marquez in 15th.

It was another poor session for Fabio Quartararo who was 16th and eight-tenths off the pace. Danilo Petrucci and Pecco Bagnaia, both on Ducati GP20s, were 18th and 19th behind Brad Binder.

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