Italian Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati VR46) set the best time in the only qualifying practice session for the San Marino Grand Prix in MotoGP on Friday, far ahead of championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), 7th, one position however sufficient to move directly into Q2 on Saturday. The French, on the other hand, will have to go through the repechage (Q1) to hope to be able to compete for pole position on Saturday (from 11:15 a.m.). Fabio Quartararo finished 13th on Friday, Johann Zarco 18th.
If the second explained that he suffered from a technical problem on his Ducati-Pramac before leaving for a final fast lap - thus destroying his chances of appearing in the Top 10 - for Quartararo the performance concerns continue on his Yamaha. “I couldn't do better, it's the best time I've ever done on this track,” he admitted. Yamaha is “trying to find solutions where there are none,” also lamented the 2021 world champion, only 11th overall at the dawn of the 12th round of the season.
According to the rules, the drivers who achieved the ten best times in this practice session participate directly in Q2 on Saturday, which will determine the first twelve places on the starting grid. The others will participate from 10:50 a.m. in a preliminary qualifying session (Q1) of which the two fastest are drafted for Q2. Among them, Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), winner last weekend of the Catalan GP, only took 12th time.
The Spaniard fell heavily on Friday afternoon and suffered from “cervical trauma”, according to his team. His state of health will be re-evaluated on Saturday morning.
At the top of the timesheet, Bezzecchi, 3rd overall, is ahead of Spaniard Maverick Vinales (Aprilia) and 37-year-old veteran Daniel Pedrosa, KTM reserve rider, 3rd. On his Aprilia, Vinales opened hostilities in the afternoon by improving the record at the Misano circuit, falling below the 1 min 31 sec mark. But Bezzecchi reacted by turning even faster, recovering the lap record with a spectacular 1 min 30 sec 846/1000th.
“At home” on the Adriatic coast - and under a blazing sun - the Italian Francesco Bagnaia took his ticket for Q2, less than a week after his frightening high side - a gliding flight - during the GP of Catalonia.
He was then run over his legs by South African Brad Binder (KTM), causing the race to be interrupted. Medical examinations revealed only bruises and the reigning champion was declared fit to drive this weekend on Thursday.
Classification of the qualifying practice session of the San Marino GP in MotoGP disputed on Friday at the Misano circuit (4.2 km):
1. Marco Bezzecchi (ITA/Ducati-VR46) en 1:30.846 *
2. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Aprilia) at 0.126
3. Daniel Pedrosa (ESP/KTM) 0.255
4. Jorge Martin (ESP/Ducati-Pramac) 0.331
5. Luca Marini (ITA/Ducati-VR46) 0.341
6. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.371
7. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) 0.374
8. Alex Marquez (ESP/Ducati-Gresini) 0.401
9. Brad Binder(RSA/KTM) 0.410
10. Raul Fernandez (ESP/Aprilia-RNF) 0.690
* record two rounds