MotoGP: Bezzecchi Best In “Practice” At Misano (Updated)

MotoGP: Bezzecchi Best In “Practice” At Misano (Updated)

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Marco Bezzecchi posted the best lap time in MotoGP “Practice” Friday afternoon at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, in San Marino. Riding his Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati Desmosedici, the Italian lapped his 2.6-mile (4.2 km) home track in 1:30.846 to lead the field of 24 riders.

Maverick Vinales was second-quickest with a 1:30.972 on his factory Aprilia RS-GP, while retired MotoGP Legend/KTM test rider Dani Pedrosa was third-fastest with a 1:31.101 on his Red Bull KTM RC16.

 

MotoGP Practice

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Bezzecchi slams in new lap record to head Viñales and Pedrosa at Misano

Bezzecchi meant business in Practice as Pedrosa, Marc Marquez and Bagnaia make it into the all-important top 10

 

Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Friday, 08 September 2023

Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) put in a superhuman Day 1 at the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, putting in a new Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli all-time lap record to place himself 0.126s clear of Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) in Practice. The ever-impressive Dani Pedrosa (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) completes the Friday top three as the MotoGP™ Legend rolls back the years in his second wildcard appearance of the season.

Records tumble in Misano

Until there were just over 20 minutes to go, Pedrosa was leading the way before Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) took over at the summit. The benchmark was a 1:31.416 as the riders began to turn up the wick in their pursuit of automatic Q2 promotion.

Bezzecchi, still riding through the pain barrier after the Turn 1 incident in Barcelona, then pounced to P1 with just over 10 minutes left on the clock, his advantage over Martin was a slender 0.028s, as rapid times were now starting to come in. Example A: Viñales’ new all-time lap record – a scintillating 1:30.972, the very first 1:30 lap around Misano in MotoGP™.

 

Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Maverick Vinales (12). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Pedrosa climbed back up to second on his penultimate lap and in the Little Samurai’s shadow was an old foe – Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). The eight-time World Champion went P3 as Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) crashed at Turn 15, bringing out the yellow flags. That proved crucial for Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) whose lap – that was good enough for P6 – was cancelled, but the World Champion responded brilliantly to propel himself back into the top 10.

 

Dani Pedrosa (26) and Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Dani Pedrosa (26) and Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Bezzecchi landed a late barnstormer to eventually claim P1 as Catalan GP winner Aleix Espargaro slipped outside the top 10 to P12 as riders improved their previous best efforts. A Turn 15 crash for Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) cost the younger Espargaro sibling a top 10 too, as the automatic Q2 qualifiers were set in Misano.

The top 10 ahead of qualifying

Martin and Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) will head into Saturday inside the top five, with Marc Marquez and Bagnaia P6 and P7 respectively. P8 went the way of Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), as Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Raul Fernandez (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP™ Team) seal P9 and P10 – the latter gaining Q2 entry for the first time in his MotoGP™ career despite a small crash in Practice.

A stacked Q1 and intriguing qualifying awaits

Aleix Espargaro, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™), Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing)… the list goes on. Q1 is set to be a belter, as is Q2!

SHOWTIME

The stage is set for Qualifying and then the Tissot Sprint. Make sure you tune in:

MotoGP™ FP2: 10:10

MotoGP™ Q1: 10:50

MotoGP™ Q2: 11:15

Tissot Sprint: 15:00

Pedro Acosta (37). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Pedro Acosta (37). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Acosta makes a statement on Day 1 in San Marino

Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) topped the timesheets on Day 1 of the Gran Premio Red Bull di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini as his 1:44.804 took him half a second clear of the field. Celestino Vietti (Fantic Racing) heads the chasing pack at his home round despite being 0.541s away from the top spot. Jake Dixon’s (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) fine form continues into Misano. Fresh from his Barcelona victory, the Brit started his weekend in third on combined times.

Alonso Lopez (+Ego SpeedUp) finished just 0.010s away from the top three in P4 ahead of Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) who made a big step in Practice 2 to jump up to the top 5. Ai Ogura (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) struggled to improve in Practice 2, but did consolidate P6 with his P1 time, ahead of Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing), Filip Salač (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) and Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team).

Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) crashed twice in Practice 2 and subsequently failed to improve. However, the Thai rider’s P1 time was enough for him to secure a top 10 ahead of Aron Canet (Pons Wegow Los40), who also hit the deck in P2, rider also ok. Fermin Aldeguer (+Ego SpeedUp), Jeremy Alcoba (QJMOTOR Gresini Moto2™) and Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team) provisionally sit in the final provisional Q2 spots with Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) all the way down in 18th.

Moto2™ will be back in action on Saturday for Practice 3 at 9:25 and qualifying at 13:45 local (GMT +2)!

 

Jaume Masia (5). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jaume Masia (5). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Moto3™: Masia back on top in Misano

Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) made it two Fridays in a row on top as he pipped Ayumu Sasaki (Liqui Moly Husqvarna Intact GP) to the top at Misano, just 0.075s separating the two. Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Ajo) rounded out the top 3, with the Championship leader Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Tech3) struggling for form in P13.

David Alonso (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) had another strong Moto3™ showing. The Colombian rookie finds himself in P4 on Day 1 with just 0.134s covering the top four. Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) rounded out the top five, with Joel Kelso (CFMOTO Racing PruestelGP) in P6.

Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team) bagged P7 to kick off his home Grand Prix ahead of Kaito Toba (SIC58 Sqaudra Corse) and Jose Antonio Rueda (Red Bull KTM Ajo), with Romano Fenati (Rivacold Snipers Team) rounding out the top 10.

Moto3™ action continues on Saturday, make sure not to miss any of the action with Practice 3 at 08:40 and qualifying at 12:50 local time (GMT +2)!

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