Phillip Island Day One Midday Report
It was a hot spring day that greeted competitors and team as they set-up for the weekend proceedings, but this morning it was overcast with intermittent drizzle.
When the Moto3 riders went out at 0900 the track was very wet indeed. One of the first to fall victim to the conditions was local wild-card entrant Yanni Shaw. He was up uninjured but failed to register a time in the session. His fellow Double Six Motorsport wild-card and team-mate for the weekend Rogan Chandler managed seven laps with a best of 2m01.257s.
Tony Arbolino topped Moto3 FP1 from fellow Honda rider rider Lorenzo Dalla Porta. Romano Fenati made it a Honda 1-2-3, Arbolino’s morning wet benchmark a 1m48.024s.
|2||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||HONDA||+0.740|
|Not qualified (Out 107%)|
|DNQ||15 Rogan CHANDLER||KALEX KTM||+13.233|
Conditions were similar when Moto2 hit the track at 0940 and Remy Gardner quickly established himself as the man to beat.
The pace hotted up in the second half of the session and the young Australian was overhauled by Bulega, Bezzecchi, Chantra and Binder pushing him back to fifth with 20-minutes remaining in the 40-minute opening practice session.
Chantra then added his name to the long list of fallers in the treacherous conditions, immediately followed by Brit Jake Dixon.
With three-minutes remaining in the session Gardner had slipped outside the top ten. The 21-year-old was then put in a last ditch effort to improve his standing before suffering a hefty fall at Hayshed. It was a big tumble, the front end ripping out of his machine, but the young Aussie, seemingly, escaped any major injuries.
Surviving the carnage to claim top spot for the morning was Jorge Martin, a 1m45.832 on his 16th and final lap of the session good enough to demote Bulega to P2.
|3||Stefano MANZI||MV AGUSTA||+1.138|
|20||Jorge NAVARRO||SPEED UP||+3.314|
|22||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA||KALEX||+3.814|
|23||Dominique AEGERTER||MV AGUSTA||+3.905|
|29||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO|
Jack Miller was quick out of the blocks when FP1 got underway and held sway at the top of the time-sheets for the opening ten-minutes of the session before Marc Marquez went quicker on lap six.
It was somewhat of a strange sight seeing Johann Zarco’s #5 on the front of an LCR Honda blasting around the circuit. The Frenchman was already looking quite comfortable.
Maverick Vinales then bested them both when he became the third man to lap under the 1m40s barrier. 1m39s on what was still a very wet track throwing up spray is hard to get your head around.
Vinales slithered a few of those 1m39s in, dropping another tenth here and there the 24-year-old Spaniard was putting on an exciting show. It is amazing to think Vinales is still that young, he already seems like somewhat of a MotoGP veteran. Halfway through the session he became the first to drop in a 1m38s, lowering the benchmark further.
While Vinales put in plenty of laps, most of MotoGP’s heavy hitters had been in their pit-box watching the show on their monitors. Marquez then went out as Vinales came in. 15 minutes later and Marquez had still not bested Vinales’ time. Late in the session though Jack Miller improved and pushed the World Champion back to P3.
Valentino Rossi was on the improve though, up to fourth place.
Vinales went out with a few minutes remaining in the session and was immediately under his time through the first series of splits, only to be spoiled by traffic in the final section and failed to improve.
Nonetheless the Spaniard’s earlier benchmark proved good enough to hold sway and claim FP1 honours from Miller with Marquez third. Danilo Petrucci was P5 ahead of Franco Morbidelli.
Fabio Quartararo was seventh on the timesheets before throwing it away at turn six. The young Frenchman looked hurt and was carried away on a stretcher and sent to the medical centre.
Pol Espargaro took P8 ahead of fellow KTM rider Miguel Oliveira and the #4 Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso rounded out the top ten, and thus the last provisional automatic entry to Q2 on Saturday afternoon. That could be crucial depending on what the weather does this afternoon, as by the forecast, Saturday could be very wet indeed…
2019 MotoGP Championship Standings
2019 Australian GP Schedule (AEDT)