Fabio Quartararo fastest at Catalunya MotoGP Day 1

Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya

Friday FP1 & FP2

Fabio Quartararo has taken top honours on Friday at Catalunya, topping the timesheets and leading the way following arm pump surgery, proving fast in FP1 and fastest in FP2, with a three-tenths lead in Saturday. That competition made it an impressive four factories in the top four, however, with Andrea Dovizioso in P2, Takaaki Nakagami in third and Pol Espargaro in fourth – with all three within 0.033 on the chase.

Fabio Quartararo

“Today was a great day. We were first on the combined timesheets and I had a great feeling. I didn’t know how my arm would react after my operation, but things went very well. I had some pain to deal with, but I feel good. The first run was hard, but after a while everything went better. It was a matter of getting used to the pain, but I didn’t expect to go so well at this Grand Prix. We have to stay calm, which is the most important thing. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow morning and of course we will do our best to get onto the front row, but right now our goal is to be on the first three rows and go straight into Q2. We’ll see if we can have a good qualifying.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Fabio Quartararo
Fabio Quartararo – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

The morning session was a fairly quiet one by MotoGP standards, with a bit of a hairy entrance into Turn 10 for Jack Miller and a little snap at the same place for Marquez two of the stand outs. But it would nevertheless prove a crucial session for the reigning Champion as he was the only rider in the top ten who didn’t improve his laptime in the afternoon. He didn’t fit a new soft tyre but was able to stay in ninth, so the ‘extra’ tyre on Saturday could prove a masterstroke.

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

Marquez also ran with the Ducatis in the afternoon – much to their mild chagrin – as Dovizioso and teammate Danilo Petrucci had headed out in tandem. They kept the advantage on the combined timesheets though, with ‘DesmoDovi’ in second and ‘Petrux’ taking P8, just ahead of the number 93.

Andrea Dovizioso

“I’m satisfied with our performance in this first day of practice, I had a good feeling with the bike and we’ve been fast. As it often happened here in the past, grip is very low and the track’s layout makes tyre management particularly difficult, especially considering the higher temperatures forecast for the rest of the weekend. However, I believe everyone is struggling under this aspect. We have work left to do ahead of the race: we’re still evaluating the different tyre compounds available and we need to improve the front-end feeling, but my sensations are good and so are the lap times, so I’m confident.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Andrea Dovizioso
Andrea Dovizioso – Catalunya MotoGP 2019
Danilo Petrucci

“My feeling on the bike is quite good, even though this morning we encountered an atypical issue with rear grip, which slowed our program down a little bit. In FP2 we made a big step forward, even though there is still room for improvement. We’re not far from the front in terms of pace, while we’re still not at our best on the flying lap because I struggle in corner entry as I feel little support from the rear. We have clear ideas about what changes to make on the bike and we defined our work program for tomorrow, so I’m optimistic.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Danilo Petrucc
Danilo Petrucci – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

So behind the four-factory fight at the top and those standout performances from the likes of Nakagami and Pol Espargaro, who impressed next? Second rookie Francesco Bagnaia put his Ducati in fifth and would doubtless have been the rookie talking point of the day if not for the Frenchman at the top, and Franco Morbidelli took P6 to again make it both the Independent Team Yamahas ahead of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP bikes.

Franco Morbidelli

“It’s been a good day for us. In the morning we found things a little harder, but we improved a lot in the afternoon. The grip level was not fantastic, so we suffered in that aspect, but our speed and pace were good, and I felt strong when going for a fast time. I finished sixth, which is not bad. We will have to see what the weather is like on Saturday, but so far I have a good feeling. Tomorrow morning will be different, because it will be colder. Speed is going to be the main aspect for us to improve, and then in the afternoon we’ll have to see what our pace is like.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Franco Morbidelli
Franco Morbidelli – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

It wasn’t by much at Catalunya, however, with Valentino Rossi an infinitesimal 0.003 behind compatriot and VR46 Riders Academy member Morbidelli. After a tougher run of late, especially on Friday and Saturday, it was a big step forward for the ‘Doctor’ at a venue he’s reigned more than anyone.

Valentino Rossi

“The track is good, I like it a lot and, sincerely, today was a positive day for us, because I felt good with the bike and could ride quite well. My pace is not so bad, and I was able to stay inside the top-10 in the morning and in the afternoon. In FP2 it was already hot, but I didn’t feel so bad. It’s true that it wasn’t very, very hot, so we’ll have to see. The first thing is that we’ll try to improve tomorrow, we still have a lot of work to do. Today we worked well and in the afternoon we were able to improve the bike. The most important thing is to stay inside the top-10 tomorrow morning so we can get into Q2, and after that we’ll see what happens in the afternoon in qualifying.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Rossi
Valentino Rossi – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

Cal Crutchlow, meanwhile, completes the top ten to slot in behind Petrucci and Marquez. The Brit was only 0.010 behind Marquez, too, with those two Hondas trailing Nakagami’s best lap by a couple of tenths. But then the number 93, as aforementioned, didn’t pop in a fresh soft tyre.

Marc Marquez

“Not a bad day today. We had to change our strategy from the last GP a little bit because it’s important to understand the tyres. If you check the FP2 times, we look like we are far but we were able to do a lot of work and try many tyres and some setup changes. We’re not bad and the position isn’t our real one. I’m happy with all the information that we were able to get.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Marquez
Mark Marquez – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

And neither did Alex Rins, who finishes Friday in P11 and therefore outside the automatic graduation zone to Q2. The Suzuki rider also suffered a crash, but the weather forecast is fine for the weekend and Saturday is another day, so both he and Marquez will be gunning for a hot lap in FP3.

The likes of Jorge Lorenzo  in P14 and Maverick Viñales in P15 will be rushing to join them too, with Viñales one who, along with Jack Miller, dropped down the timesheets in the afternoon.

Jack Miller

“In general a positive day. The feeling with the bike is very good even if in the second part of the FP2 the soft tires used did not allow me to push. However, we have collected important data for the race. However, there is great confidence in tomorrow’s qualifications.”

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Jack Miller AX
Jack Miller – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

See how the cards play out in FP3 as it decides those heading straight through to Q2 at 9:55 (GMT +2) before qualifying begins at 14:10 and the grid for Round 7 is decided.

MotoGP Combined Practice

Pos Rider Motorcycle FP1 FP2 Gap
1 F.Quartararo YAMAHA 1’40.803 1’40.079 0.000
2 A.Dovizioso DUCATI 1’41.030 1’40.360 0.281
3 T.Nakagami HONDA 1’41.040 1’40.381 0.302
4 P.Espargaro KTM 1’41.410 1’40.393 0.314
5 F.Bagnaia DUCATI 1’41.530 1’40.471 0.392
6 F.Morbidelli YAMAHA 1’41.160 1’40.517 0.438
7 V.Rossi YAMAHA 1’41.190 1’40.520 0.441
8 D.Petrucci DUCATI 1’41.624 1’40.599 0.520
9 M.Marquez HONDA 1’40.692 1’40.963 0.613
10 C.Crutchlow HONDA 1’41.243 1’40.702 0.623
11 A.Rins SUZUKI 1’41.142 1’40.727 0.648
12 K.Abraham DUCATI 1’41.972 1’40.727 0.648
13 J.Zarco KTM 1’41.390 1’40.771 0.692
14 J.Lorenzo HONDA 1’41.621 1’40.816 0.737
15 M.Viñales YAMAHA 1’40.872 1’40.847 0.768
16 A.Espargaro APRILIA 1’41.213 1’40.878 0.799
17 J.Miller DUCATI 1’41.049 1’40.948 0.869
18 T.Rabat DUCATI 1’41.603 1’41.007 0.928
19 J.Mir SUZUKI 1’41.355 1’41.070 0.991
20 M.Oliveira KTM 1’41.920 1’41.331 1.252
21 A.Iannone APRILIA 1’41.825 1’41.524 1.445
22 H.Syahrin KTM 1’42.448 1’41.527 1.448
23 S.Guintoli SUZUKI 1’42.363 1’41.987 1.908
24 B.Smith APRILIA 1’42.168 1’42.156 2.077


FP1 pacesetter Tom Lüthi kept Moto2 Day 1 honours at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya after his 1:44.673 went unbeaten in the afternoon, with Alex Marquez and HDR Heidrun Speed Up’s Jorge Navarro completing the top three and just 0.067 between them. The afternoon’s quickest man was Augusto Fernandez and he took P4 overall as one of only three men in the top ten to go faster in FP2.

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Tom Lüthi
Tom Luthi – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

Enea Bastianini continued his impressive season in fifth, with the rookie just 0.068 off Fernandez on Friday and ahead of veteran Xavi Vierge. Second rookie honours went to Nicolo Bulega, with the Italian taking P7 as well as putting in a miracle save in the afternoon.

Remy Gardner took P8 despite a crash in the afternoon, with Championship leader Lorenzo Baldassarri down in ninth. He, along with tenth-placed Luca Marini, joined Fernandez in the afternoon improvers’ club. Brad Binder was P11, ahead of rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio, Andrea Locatelli and Simone Corsi.

MotoGP Rnd COTA Gardner GP AN Cover
Remy Gardner

There were a few key incidents on Friday, one of which was a crash for Navarro as he lost the front at Turn 5, and an off for 15th quickest Marcel Schrötter, who’s left as the first of those needing to improve in FP3 to head straight through to Q2. Sam Lowes and Philipp Öttl also crashed.

The intermediate class will be back out on track for FP3 from 10:55 (GMT +2) on Saturday, with Q1 qualifying starting to decide the grid from 15:05.

Moto2 Combined Practice

Pos Rider Motorcycle FP1 FP2 Gap
1 T.Luthi KALEX 1’44.673 1’44.870 0.000
2 A.Marquez KALEX 1’44.733 1’44.910 0.060
3 J.Navarro SPEED UP 1’44.740 1’45.099 0.067
4 A.Fernandez KALEX 1’44.820 1’44.782 0.109
5 E.Bastianini KALEX 1’44.850 1’44.994 0.177
6 X.Vierge KALEX 1’44.905 1’45.301 0.232
7 N.Bulega KALEX 1’44.934 1’45.451 0.261
8 R.Gardner KALEX 1’44.950 1’45.579 0.277
9 L.Baldassarri KALEX 1’45.173 1’44.955 0.282
10 L.Marini KALEX 1’45.484 1’45.021 0.348
11 B.Binder KTM 1’45.101 1’45.245 0.428
12 F.Di Giannanto SPEED UP 1’45.472 1’45.151 0.478
13 A.Locatelli KALEX 1’45.292 1’45.227 0.554
14 S.Corsi KALEX 1’45.309 1’45.228 0.555
15 M.Schrotter KALEX 1’45.250 1’45.462 0.577
16 T.Nagashima KALEX 1’45.428 1’45.329 0.656
17 B.Bendsneyde NTS 1’45.793 1’45.349 0.676
18 I.Lecuona KTM 1’45.393 1’45.900 0.720
19 S.Lowes KALEX 1’46.034 1’45.419 0.746
20 J.Folger KALEX 1’45.701 1’45.588 0.915
21 D.Aegerter MV AGUSTA 1’45.668 1’45.954 0.995
22 S.Odendaal NTS 1’46.360 1’45.804 1.131
23 J.Martin KTM 1’45.832 1’46.310 1.159
24 S.Manzi MV AGUSTA 1’46.133 1’46.176 1.460
25 D.Ekky Pratam KALEX 1’46.473 1’47.029 1.800
26 S.Chantra KALEX 1’47.352 1’46.712 2.039
27 J.Dixon KTM 1’46.724 1’46.839 2.051
28 L.Tulovic KTM 1’47.509 1’46.725 2.052
29 M.Bezzecchi KTM 1’46.901 1’46.815 2.142
30 J.Roberts KTM 1’47.222 1’46.942 2.269
31 P.Oettl KTM 1’48.374 1’47.340 2.667
32 X.Cardelus KTM 1’47.830 1’47.632 2.959


Alonso Lopez led rookie teammate Sergio Garcia to an Estrella Galicia 0,0 1-2 on Day 1 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, with the two Spaniards having topped FP1 and no one able to overturn them in the afternoon. FP2’s quickest man was Lorenzo Dalla Porta, and he slots into third on the combined timesheets as he chases the Championship lead this weekend.

MotoGP Catalunya Fri Moto Alonso Lopez
Alonso Lopez – Catalunya MotoGP 2019

Brief spots of rain affected FP2 but the weather was largely fine on Friday, although conditions didn’t see everyone improve in the latter session. So it’s a mix of FP1 and FP2 best efforts that decides the Friday combined timesheets, with the top three followed by Gabriel Rodrigo from his FP1 time and Tatsuki Suzuki from his FP2 time.

Next up it was a solid opening day for Darryn Binder in sixth, ahead of rookie Can Öncü in a much improved performance for the Turk. Romano Fenati was P8, with Albert Arenas and Niccolo Antonelli completing the top ten.

Kaito Toba, Kazuki Masaki, Marcos Ramirez and Makar Yurchenko complete the fastest fourteen, denying Jaume Masia and John McPhee provisional graduation to Q2.

Lopez was one crasher, down in FP2, and Toba and Dennis Foggia suffered falls in the morning. The fastest 14 on the combined timesheets after FP3 go straight through to Qualifying 2. Tune in to see how it shuffles on Saturday morning from 9:00 (GMT +2), before qualifying begins from 12:35.

Moto3 Combined Practice

Pos Rider Motorcycle FP1 FP2 Gap
1 A.Lopez HONDA 1’49.167 1’50.444 0.000
2 S.Garcia HONDA 1’49.184 1’49.606 0.017
3 L.Dalla Porta   Ita HONDA 1’50.626 1’49.213 0.046
4 G.Rodrigo HONDA 1’49.214 1’49.451 0.047
5 T.Suzuki HONDA 1’50.309 1’49.375 0.208
6 D.Binder KTM 1’49.377 1’50.123 0.210
7 C.Oncu KTM 1’49.465 1’50.179 0.298
8 R.Fenati HONDA 1’49.692 1’49.630 0.463
9 A.Arenas KTM 1’49.642 1’49.791 0.475
10 N.Antonelli HONDA 1’50.774 1’49.693 0.526
11 K.Toba HONDA 1’51.527 1’49.714 0.547
12 K.Masaki KTM 1’49.748 1’49.811 0.581
13 M.Ramirez HONDA 1’50.207 1’49.750 0.583
14 M.Yurchenko KTM 1’49.809 1’50.802 0.642
15 J.Masia KTM 1’50.159 1’49.827 0.660
16 J.Mcphee HONDA 1’49.836 1’50.228 0.669
17 C.Tatay KTM 1’49.852 1’50.056 0.685
18 A.Canet KTM 1’49.938 1’49.893 0.726
19 R.Fernandez KTM 1’50.028 1’50.035 0.861
20 R.Rossi HONDA 1’51.050 1’50.088 0.921
21 R.Yamanaka HONDA 1’50.768 1’50.089 0.922
22 A.Migno KTM 1’51.155 1’50.105 0.938
23 J.Kornfeil KTM 1’50.465 1’50.245 1.078
24 T.Arbolino HONDA 1’50.544 1’50.314 1.147
25 C.Vietti KTM 1’51.935 1’50.323 1.156
26 F.Salac KTM 1’50.434 1’50.880 1.267
27 A.Sasaki HONDA 1’51.522 1’50.447 1.280
28 V.Perez KTM 1’51.677 1’50.518 1.351
29 T.Booth-Amos KTM 1’50.899 1’52.158 1.732
30 D.Foggia KTM 1’51.728 1’50.907 1.740
31 A.Ogura HONDA 1’51.548 1’51.536 2.369

Source: MCNews.com.au

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