The first day of the Catalan GP has been written to the rhythm of the local riders, but above all to the beat of Aprilia. Aleix Espargaró closed FP2 as the fastest of the day with a time of 1:39.402. Three tenths behind was Maverick Viñales to complete Noale’s signature double. In the previous session, Álex Rins has set the tone with the Suzuki GSX-RR.
The first free practice session of the Catalan GP offered a clear role to the local drivers. In fact, only Franco Morbidelli avoided a 1-2-3-4 from the Spanish riders. A scenario in which Álex Rins has been the fastest rider after signing a time of 1:40.101 with the Suzuki GSX-RR. After two disastrous Grand Prix, the Catalan driver seems to recover sensations in his main circuit. Maverick Viñales completed the Spanish double with the first of the Aprilias finishing almost two tenths behind Rins. They both used a new rubber at the end.
With unbeatable track conditions, the first session of the weekend allowed a high dose of work. Several brands, in select riders, incorporated some novelties to their MotoGP bikes to check their performance in Barcelona. Between these tests and the fast turns of Viñales and Rins in the final stretch of the session, Franco Morbidelli was relegated to third place. For its part, the Espargaró brothers completed the ‘top 5’, with Aleix ahead of the questioned Pol. In the end, HRC has given Márquez’s bike to Takaaki Nakagami and the Japanese will test the available news.
Beyond this situation, all the regular Honda riders did well in FP1, as Takaaki Nakagami took sixth position, just ahead of Álex Márquez. The good performance of all these pilots or of Miguel Oliveira distanced some of the cocks of the championship from the top positions. In fact, Enea Bastianini was tenth, while the leader Fabio Quartararo had to settle for 13th place. The only fall of the session was carried out by Jorge Martín.
The first stages of FP2 were played with a certain calm, at least until the middle of the session. Until then, Álex Rins’ FP1 time has remained the reference record in the time table. However, Aprilia has hit the table ever since. Aleix Espargaró took the absolute best time after signing a record of 1:39.402. The performance of the # 41, his partner, did not detract from it, since Maverick Viñales was placed second, 303 thousandths behind the eldest of the Espargaró.
Enea Bastianini became the best Ducati rider by finishing in third place, just ahead of Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martín. The Spanish rider thus turned around his fall from FP1 with a result that for now places him comfortably among the top ten. A ‘top 10’ in which Brad Binder has also slipped in as the sole representative of KTm, as well as Jack Miller, Álex Rins and the two official Yamaha riderswith Fabio Quartararo ninth and Fabio Morbidelli tenth.+
Although almost all the drivers, except Álex Rins, have improved their FP1 times, the excessive heat has complicated the fact of setting fast laps. This circumstance, among other things, leaves a scenario in which several pilots have left their duties for Saturday. This is the case of Pol Espargaró when he finished eleventh, even if he was the best Honda rider. Joan Mir has finished 16th, while Álex Márquez has been 18th. The last Spaniard, Raúl Fernández, has not passed 24th place in a session that has had the only fall of Stefan Bradl.