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Recapping the opening day of MotoGP/2/3 practice in Valencia

MotoGP 2023

Round 20 – Valencia Grand Prix
MotoGP Friday Practice Report

Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) will have to contest Q1 on Saturday. The Championship leader was shadowed at times on Friday by rival Jorge Martin, the Pramac Ducati rider sitting on the tail of Bagnaia during FP2 and somewhat hounding the defending champ. Ultimately, Martin was second quickest on Friday as Bagnaia was way down in 15th.

Francesco Bagnaia was shadowed closely by Jorge Martin on Friday.
Francesco Bagnaia – P15

Honestly, we needed more time to improve our situation, I was struggling a lot today; normally we finish the job on the final part of the session on Friday but today it was more difficult. For tomorrow we already have ideas of where to improve because after the session we checked the data and we are losing like five-tenths in three corners, which is a lot of time. But it’s better that it’s just in three corners because we know where to intervene. The feeling is not the best at the front, but I am convinced that we can solve it and get prepared for the Sprint race.”

Francesco Bagnaia

Outside of the championship battle it was Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) who set the pace thanks to a 1m29.142 – a new Circuit Ricardo Tormo all-time lap record.

Maverick Vinales – P1

A time of 29.1 in Valencia is spectacular. This is proof that we are fast and that we have great potential. Now the goal is to maintain our speed throughout the weekend. On this track, we need to have the skill to find the right balance between the front and rear tyre. Today we were successful and riding the RS-GP was truly a pleasure. We’ll analyse the data closely now to continue our improvement process. The pace is not bad, but it’s only Friday and too early to say. We’ll see what happens with the conditions tomorrow.

Maverick Vinales

Behind the second placed Martin is his team-mate Johann Zarco who enjoyed a positive day and ended Friday as one of three riders underneath the seven-year-old lap record on the newly resurfaced track.

Johann Zarco

Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) continued his strong form to claim P4, with compatriot Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) – despite a crash at Turn 8 – completing the top five.

Fabio Di Giannantonio – P4

It was another good Friday. I felt good straight away with the bike and race-pace wise we are already in a good position. We still need something with regards to the time-attack, but we’ll work on it tomorrow morning. The choice of the front tyre will be important for the race, but we’ll analyse everything tonight and be ready.”

Fabio Di Giannantonio
Marco Bezzecchi – P5

I’m really happy, I was able to be fast straight away and find the feeling on the front again. I rode as I wanted and I am satisfied with both the time attack and the pace. It’s a shame about the crash, nothing serious, just the bike, as soon as it touched the gravel, started to fly. I took a big hit, but without consequences. I have good confidence on the bike and I can do well tomorrow. This is the most important thing.”

Marco Bezzecchi

Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) ended the 60-minute Practice stint in P6, while eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) gets set for a Q2 appearance following a positive day, finishing Friday in seventh.

Marc Marquez – P7

Today I felt good on the bike, and I decided to take some extra risks. Even in the morning I was quite convinced of my possibilities, and I changed my mentality a bit to take a lot more risks, but I feel it’s the way to do it this weekend. My concentration is 100% on riding to the best of my abilities on the Repsol Honda Team RC213V. I was able to do the time attack alone, which is something that has been quite complicated this season. Tomorrow, we aim to follow the same plan, we will see what possibilities we have after Qualifying because it’s always very tricky to overtake here.

Marc Marquez

Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team), Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – another crasher in Practice – and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) are the other riders who bagged automatic Q2 spots.

Raul Fernandez – P8

I’m really happy. Since Misano, we saw that we are fast. It’s good to know that we have managed Q2 for tomorrow again, I think it will be interesting to have a good grid place here and that is our target for tomorrow. I love Valencia and I believe we can do a really good job. We have to work a bit more on some corners, which means, we still have a margin to improve. In general, I’m really satisfied.”

Aleix Espargaro – P10

To be honest, I’m a bit sad, because I did not expect to suffer this much. I’m able to hang tough for a couple laps, but then the pain gets to be too much. This track is not the best suited for the situation since there are a lot of left-handers where I struggle more. The crash this morning was also due to this. My body tries to compensate for the lack of strength on the left side and I used the brakes too much to get the bike turning. At the moment, participating in the race doesn’t seem likely. I’ll try to have fun in qualifying and then we’ll see. The Clinica has done an incredible job and we have a few ideas for tomorrow, but I don’t know if it will be enough.

Aleix Espargaro

Bagnaia will have teammate Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team) for company in the biggest 15 minutes of the season, while the likes of Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP), Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) will also fancy their chances of processing.

Joan Mir suffered a luckless start to the Valencia GP. A fall at Turn 8 within the opening minutes of the session saw the #36 land heavily, immediately heading to the medical centre and then local hospital for further checks. Fortunately, both sets of scans revealed no major damage, Mir sitting out the afternoon session with a pending medical check on Saturday morning.

Enea Bastianini – P11

“I was very unfortunate today. It’s a shame because the road was never totally free, there was always something on the track, crashes, yellow flags, riders who were not thinking about making the time but who were just wandering around; so, two-thousandths of a second kept me out of Q2. It wasn’t a great day even though my pace is good; every time I entered, I improved and had good splits, so it’s a shame to be out of Q2. We have little grip, especially on the tyre edge and we are unable to have good acceleration; this is what we are missing but I think it will sort itself out as the laps go by and it will certainly be important to analyse today’s data.”

Enea Bastianini
Alex Marquez – P12

We made a big step forward between morning and afternoon and honestly, it’s my fault if we’re not in Q2. I made a few too many mistakes in my two quick-lap attempts, but we’re in the right place with regards to the race pace and the direction we’re following. We can and we must be competitive tomorrow.”

Fabio Quartararo – P13

It‘s a shame, because there were many yellow flags, and on my fast lap I found some riders. I made a mistake, but I was still super close. So, we have the pace, but we didn‘t make a good lap, and that was partly my fault. Tomorrow we will try to get into Q2, and I will try to give it my best.

Fabio Quartararo
Franco Morbidelli – P14

We didn‘t get a place inside the top 10 today, and it looks like we are lacking a bit in terms of race pace too, but I have to check the data. It was a tricky and complicated day, even though the feeling is there. We are pushing a lot with our bike, and we are giving the maximum. But 100% was not enough today.”

Franco Morbidelli
Luca Marini – P17

A difficult day, in the afternoon I was hoping for something better, but with the medium on the rear I felt quite good, while with the soft I struggled a lot. I had no grip at the rear and I wasn’t able to be competitive when braking and turning. I took some risks on the time attack and I crashed. I returned to the track with the second bike, with the soft in front, but it was impossible to ride, especially on the left. Let’s get back to work for FP2.

Luca Marini

MotoGP Friday Afternoon Practice Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Maverick VIÑALES APRILIA 1m29.142
2 Jorge MARTIN DUCATI +0.147
3 Johann ZARCO DUCATI +0.154
6 Brad BINDER KTM +0.260
7 Marc MARQUEZ HONDA +0.317
9 Jack MILLER KTM +0.339
12 Alex MARQUEZ DUCATI +0.472
14 Franco MORBIDELLI YAMAHA +0.633
15 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI +0.659
16 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA +0.860
17 Luca MARINI DUCATI +1.201
18 Augusto FERNANDEZ KTM +1.303
19 Alex RINS HONDA +1.322
20 Lorenzo SAVADORI APRILIA +1.653
21 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +1.798

MotoGP FP1 Results

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 Johann ZARCO DUCATI 1m30.191
3 Jorge MARTIN DUCATI +0.259
5 Maverick VIÑALES APRILIA +0.343
7 Marc MARQUEZ HONDA +0.373
8 Augusto FERNANDEZ KTM +0.376
10 Alex MARQUEZ DUCATI +0.666
11 Pol ESPARGARO KTM +0.683
12 Jack MILLER KTM +0.710
13 Francesco BAGNAIA DUCATI +0.778
15 Franco MORBIDELLI YAMAHA +0.921
16 Brad BINDER KTM +1.061
17 Luca MARINI DUCATI +1.106
18 Takaaki NAKAGAMI HONDA +1.252
19 Alex RINS HONDA +1.297
21 Joan MIR HONDA +1.362
22 Lorenzo SAVADORI APRILIA +1.806

MotoGP Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
2 MARTIN 416
4 BINDER 268
5 ZARCO 204
7 MARINI 194
10 MARQUEZ 165
11 MILLER 163
18 RINS 54
22 MIR 26
26 BRADL 8
27 PIRRO 5


Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is the rider to beat after the opening day at Valencia, exchanging places with Fermin Aldeguer (CAG SpeedUp) at the top of the time-sheets until a decisive new all-time lap record from the reigning Champion: a 1:33.768. Aldeguer fell 0.132s short of Acosta by the close of FP2, with Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40) rounding out the top three following Friday’s running.

Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) made a step in Practice 2 to put himself within 0.238s off the pace. The Brit finished the day in 4th place ahead of his compatriot Sam Lowes (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) who enjoyed a positive opening day to round out the top five. Celestino Vietti (Fantic Racing) also took well to the Circuit Ricardo Tormo and put his Triumph Kalex in P6 ahead of Marcos Ramirez (OnlyFans American Racing).

Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) knocked one second off his lap time in Practice 2 as he found his feet in Valencia. The American bagged 8th place ahead of his teammate Dennis Foggia, with Tony Arbolino (Elf MarcVDS Racing Team) kicking off his Valencia GP with a Friday P10.

Moto2 Friday Practice Results (Combined)

Pos Pos Bike Time/Gap
1 P.Acosta KALEX 1m34.024
2 F.Aldeguer BOSCOSCURO +0.132
3 A.Canet KALEX +0.051
4 J.Dixon KALEX +0.053
5 S.Lowes KALEX +0.012
6 C.Vietti KALEX +0.076
7 M.Ramirez KALEX +0.03
8 J.Roberts KALEX +0.121
9 D.Foggia KALEX +0.074
10 T.Arbolino KALEX +0.012
11 A.Lopez BOSCOSCURO +0.025
12 S.Chantra KALEX +0.003
13 A.Ogura KALEX +0.067
14 I.Guevara KALEX +0.009
15 M.Gonzalez KALEX +0.037
16 B.Baltus KALEX +0.088
17 Z.Vd Goorber KALEX +0.048
18 A.Arenas KALEX +0.031
19 H.Garzo NTS +0.098
20 D.Binder KALEX +0.015
21 L.Tulovic KALEX +0.117
22 F.Salac KALEX +0.003
23 B.Bendsneyde KALEX +0.037
24 S.Garcia KALEX +0.092
25 A.Escrig FORWARD +0.057
26 R.Skinner KALEX +0.015
27 T.Hada KALEX +0.042
28 M.Ferrari KALEX +0.071
29 K.Nozane KALEX +0.025
30 J.Alcoba KALEX +0.246
31 M.Casadei KALEX +0.017
32 4 S.Kelly FORWARD +0.765

Moto2 Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
1 ACOSTA Pedro 328.5
2 ARBOLINO Tony 249.5
3 DIXON Jake 194
4 ALDEGUER Fermín 187
5 CANET Aron 175
6 CHANTRA Somkiat 162.5
7 GONZALEZ Manuel 142.5
8 LOPEZ Alonso 134
9 OGURA Ai 132.5
10 VIETTI Celestino 116
11 SALAC Filip 110
12 LOWES Sam 95
13 ROBERTS Joe 85.5
14 GARCIA Sergio 84
15 ARENAS Albert 79
16 BALTUS Barry 53
17 RAMIREZ Marcos 52
18 ALCOBA Jeremy 47.5
19 BINDER Darryn 34
21 FOGGIA Dennis 28
22 GUEVARA Izan 20
23 VD GOORBERGH Zonta 17
24 TULOVIC Lukas 12
25 PASINI Mattia 11
26 HADA Taiga 4.5
27 ESCRIG Alex 3
28 SKINNER Rory 2
29 KELLY Sean Dylan 1


Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) ended Day 1 of the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana fastest after his 1:38.706 saw him top the timesheets on Friday.

Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3)

Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) got the closest to the Spaniard’s time despite bringing out the red flags with a mid-session high side. The Turk was taken to the medical centre for a check-up and will be reviewed before Practice 3 in the morning, but his time stood strong as he remained the only rider to join Holgado in the 1:38 club in 2nd place.

Joel Kelso (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) finished the day in 3rd place overall after clocking a time just under three-tenths away from the top spot.

Adrian Fernandez (Leopard Racing) missed out on the top three by just 0.047s as he took P4. Next up behind the Spaniard was Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team), with 2023 World Champion Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) taking sixth. Ryusei Yamanaka (GASGAS Aspar Team) finished the day in P7 as half a second covered the top eight – the eighth of those riders being Collin Veijer (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP). Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) and Vicente Perez (BOE Motorsports) rounded out the top 10.

Rookie of the Year David Alonso (Valresa GASGAS Aspar Team) suffered two big crashes in Practice 2, the second one involved Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) with the Japanese rider hitting the Colombian’s machine on the exit of Turn 11. Both riders were up on their feet, Sasaki rider ok and Alonso heading to the medical centre for a check-up – he’ll be reviewed tomorrow morning ahead of Practice 3.

Moto3 Friday Practice Results (Combined)

Pos Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 D.Holgado KTM 1m38.919
2 D.Öncü KTM +0.266
3 J.Kelso CFMOTO +0.374
4 A.Fernandez HONDA +0.421
5 I.Ortolá KTM +0.422
6 J.Masia HONDA +0.451
7 R.Yamanaka GASGAS +0.481
8 C.Veijer HUSQVARNA +0.497
9 D.Moreira KTM +0.596
10 V.Perez KTM +0.606
11 D.Alonso GASGAS +0.614
12 T.Furusato HONDA +0.712
13 A.Sasaki HUSQVARNA +0.728
14 F.Farioli KTM +0.830
15 R.Fenati HONDA +0.908
16 X.Artigas CFMOTO +0.980
17 S.Nepa KTM +0.988
18 J.Rueda KTM +0.997
19 R.Rossi HONDA +1.175
20 M.Bertelle HONDA +1.199
21 D.Muñoz KTM +1.225
22 K.Toba HONDA +1.292
23 L.Fellon KTM +1.405
24 S.Azman KTM +1.477
25 S.Ogden HONDA +1.622
26 M.Aji HONDA +1.84
27 D.Salvador KTM +1.991
28 M.Ruda HUSQVARNA +2.573

Moto3 Championship Points

Pos Rider Points
1 MASIA Jaume 271
2 SASAKI Ayumu 243
3 ALONSO David 225
4 HOLGADO Daniel 212
5 ÖNCÜ Deniz 212
6 ORTOLÁ Ivan 171
7 VEIJER Collin 136
8 MOREIRA Diogo 131
9 RUEDA José Antonio 111
10 MUÑOZ David 106
11 TOBA Kaito 105
12 NEPA Stefano 101
13 ROSSI Riccardo 79
14 YAMANAKA Ryusei 78
15 ARTIGAS Xavier 77
16 FURUSATO Taiyo 58
17 BERTELLE Matteo 57
18 KELSO Joel 52
19 SUZUKI Tatsuki 50
20 FENATI Romano 35
21 SALVADOR David 31
22 OGDEN Scott 24
23 FERNANDEZ Adrian 23
24 MIGNO Andrea 17
25 PEREZ Vicente 15
26 FARIOLI Filippo 15
27 FELLON Lorenzo 6
28 AZMAN Syarifuddin 5
29 CARRARO Nicola Fabio 5
30 WHATLEY Joshua 5
31 AJI Mario 4
32 ALMANSA David 0
33 ADITAMA Arbi 0
34 BUASRI Tatchakorn 0
36 LUNETTA Luca 0
37 SHAHRIL Danial 0
39 KEANKUM Krittapat 0


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