MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo Quickest, Top 21 Separated By 1.5 Seconds In FP2 In Thailand

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo Quickest, Top 21 Separated By 1.5 Seconds In FP2 In Thailand

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

Race Lap Record: 1:31.471, Marc Marquez, 2018

All-Time Lap Record: 1:30.031, Marc Marquez, 2018

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Buriram International Circuit

Buriram, Thailand

October 4, 2019

Free Practice Two Results (all using Michelin tires):

  1. Fabio Quartararo, France (Yam YZR-M1), 1:30.404
  2. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yam YZR-M1), 1:30.597
  3. Franco Morbidelli, Italy (Yam YZR-M1), 1:30.625
  4. Jack Miller, Australia (Duc GP19), 1:30.698
  5. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yam YZR-M1), 1:30.733
  6. Marc Marquez, Spain (Hon RC213V), 1:30.891
  7. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Apr RS-GP), 1:31.007
  8. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:31.027
  9. Joan Mir, Spain (Suz GSX-RR), 1:31.086
  10. Alex Rins, Spain (Suz GSX-RR), 1:31.094
  11. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:31.115
  12. Francesco Bagnaia, Italy (Duc GP19), 1:31.154
  13. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Hon RC213V), 1:31.344
  14. Takaaki Nakagami, Japan (Hon RC213V), 1:31.424
  15. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM RC16), 1:31.499
  16. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Apr RS-GP), 1:31.512
  17. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Duc GP18), 1:31.588
  18. Tito Rabat, Spain (Duc GP18), 1:31.932
  19. Miguel Oliveira, Portugal (KTM RC16), 1:31.936, crash
  20. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Hon RC213V), 1:31.949
  21. Mika Kallio, Finland (KTM RC16), 1:31.991
  22. Hafizh Syahrin, Malaysia (KTM RC16), 1:32.584

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Quartararo quashes the competition, Marquez highsides on Friday

Rookie leads a Yamaha invasion on Day 1 as the reigning Champion takes a tumble

Friday, 04 October 2019

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was up to his usual timesheet-topping tricks on Day 1 of the PTT Thailand Grand Prix, leading a Yamaha 1-2-3 but nearly two tenths clear at the top. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was second overall after topping FP1, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) completing the top three. But Yamaha’s pace – Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) made it all Iwata machines in the top five on Friday – wasn’t the only headline at Buriram, with reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) taking a huge tumble in FP1.

Initially, the number 93 seemed to hold all the cards as action opened in the stifling heat, but towards the end of FP1 the Spaniard had only recently exited pitlane when he suffered a huge crash at Turn 7. From there Marquez headed to the circuit Medical Centre for a first check up before he was taken to Buriram hospital for further examination. Ultimately, the reigning Champion was declared fit and suffered no fractures – even heading back out in the afternoon. He wasn’t quite able to get into the top five, however, ending the day just behind Rossi, in P6.

There was one man who managed to fight off the Yamaha lockout in the top five though: Jack Miller (Pramac Racing). Fresh from the podium at Aragon, the Australian put in another impressive performance to end the first day in fourth, just pipping Rossi by 0.035. Miller was also within three tenths of Quartararo, no mean feat when the Frenchman’s advantage over second is already 0.193, and he makes it an impressive three Independent Team riders in the top four.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), meanwhile, also shone on Day 1. The Spaniard kept the momentum from his impressive performance at MotorLand to go seventh quickest on Friday and was only a tenth off Rossi – that at a venue he said in the Press Conference would be tougher going. It was tight in the fight for P7, however, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) losing out by just 0.020 as he was shuffled down to eighth.

Team Suzuki Ecstar completed the top ten, with rookie Joan Mir impressing to get the better of his more veteran teammate Alex Rins in Thailand so far – although just 0.008 was the final gap between the two Hamamatsu factory machines. Will Rins turn the tables on Saturday?

That leaves Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team), currently only a point behind Rins in the standings, outside the top ten after the opening day, which could be a worry for the Italian come qualifying. The weather has so far played ball, but the forecast remains far from guaranteed and if rain comes down in FP3, the Mugello winner will definitely be heading through Q1. And he could be joined by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) after the Brit was 13th fastest on Friday.

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), meanwhile, took P15 as he returns – and continues to impress – just a couple of weeks after fracturing his wrist.

What will Saturday bring? Rain? Shine? Shocks? Comebacks? Find out who’s heading through to Q2 at 9:55 local time (GMT+7) as FP3 begins, before qualifying from 14:10 for the spectacular PTT Thailand Grand Prix.

 

More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:

Tough opening day in scorching Buriram for Red Bull KTM Tech3

The Chang International Circuit greeted the MotoGP paddock this week with hot and humid weather, being the first of four flyaway rounds in Asia and Australia. Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira did his first laps at the Thai venue aboard his KTM RC16. Unfortunately, the MotoGP rookie didn’t have an easy day, but is confident to further improve in tomorrow’s FP3 at 9.55 local time (4.55 CET).

On the other side of the Red Bull KTM Tech3 garage, Hafizh Syahrin, who is close to his Malaysian home this weekend, initiated the day motivated, but struggled to put together his personal ideal lap. He concluded day one 0.648 seconds behind his teammate and is convinced he can go faster come Qualifying day.
Miguel Oliveira

Position: 19th

Time: 1:31.936

Laps: 30

“We started the day with quite a heavy crash. Luckily it was without consequences. In the second practice we didn’t have the best feeling, to be honest, plus I had another small crash in the last corner. In total, it was a tough day, but still we are not so far from the others. I’m looking forward to regain some confidence tomorrow.”
Hafizh Syahrin

Position: 22nd

Time: 1:32.584

Laps: 36

“The first day overall was quite positive, especially in the second Free Practice, when we put a new tyre in and made a fast lap, although I didn’t do a perfect lap. I wanted to try it again, but made a mistake and finally I ran out of time, which is a bit disappointing and I’m sorry to the team for this. But I really believe I can improve this time tomorrow and get closer to the front. For Saturday, I will be more focused and 100% concentrated on doing a fast time. I hope everything is going fine and the weather stays good.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ TAKES A NICE SEVENTH PLACE ON THE FIRST DAY OF PRACTICE IN THAILAND

ANDREA IANNONE IMPROVES BETWEEN THE TWO SESSIONS AND FINISHES LESS THAN HALF A SECOND FROM THE TOP TEN

BOTH SEEM CAPABLE OF GOING THROUGH TO Q2

The Aprilia RS-GP machines confirm the progress shown in Aragón and, on a circuit that was deemed difficult coming into it, Aleix finishes well within the top ten with a nice seventh place time and Andrea less than 5 tenths from a virtual Q2 qualification.

From the FP1 session in the morning, the two Aprilia Racing Team Gresini riders took the good sensations from the last European race onto the track with them. In very tight standings, they were just outside of the top ten and then improved rather significantly in the second session. At the end of the day, Aleix took home an encouraging seventh place, just six tenths from the leader, and Andrea improved by more than seven tenths between the two sessions, finishing sixteenth but less than half a second from the tenth-place time.

Both riders seem to be capable of battling in tomorrow’s qualifiers for a spot among the top twelve who will compete for the front four rows of the starting grid.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’

“Yesterday we analysed the setup used last year very carefully and we decided to start with a completely different configuration. I felt good straight away, but we still need to improve something in the first two sectors where being able to use a slipstream makes a big difference. If we look at the standings, the gaps are minimal. I think that the positivity we are bringing from Aragón is also making a difference. Now we need to keep working on tyre choice. While I don’t have any big doubts about the front, on the rear I have the possibility of assessing a couple of options. Making the right choice could be vital, especially in the race finale.”

ANDREA IANNONE

“On this first day things went better than I had expected. I have positive sensations and I think that, with a few targeted changes, we could be able to make a nice jump forward. Unfortunately, I have never been good on the flying lap and I pay the consequences for that, but we are also working on this aspect. For tomorrow, I’d like to find something that lets me lose less on the fast section where, compared to Aleix, I am lacking a couple of tenths.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:

CRUTCHLOW AIMING TO CLOSE THE GAP IN THAILAND

The 2019 flyaway races got off to a hot and humid start on Friday as free practice for the Grand Prix of Thailand commenced at the Chang International Circuit. LCR Honda CASTROL rider Cal Crutchlow – who is sporting the oil manufacturer’s green colour on his bike this weekend – finished the day in 13th on the timesheets as he worked hard to find the best settings for his RC213V.

With humidity making life difficult on the track, the Briton ended FP1 down in 18th place. However, he improved by over a second in the afternoon’s FP2 session to close in on the top 10 and is hopeful of making further progress ahead of Saturday’s qualifying.

Cal Crutchlow – 13th

(1’31.344 – lap 18 of 20)

“Today was not a fantastic day, we tried all the rear tyres and all the front tyres today, so it was a case of making sure we got some information from the tyres. I struggled a little bit with the setting of the bike, but we hope to improve that tomorrow. Tonight, we’ll work very hard on making a plan for tomorrow’s sessions and we’ll see if we can close the gap to the guys at the front.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP MEAN BUSINESS IN BURIRAM FRIDAY FP SESSIONS

Buriram (Thailand), 4th October 2019

GRAND PRIX OF THAILAND

FREE PRACTICE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi quickly got up to speed in the first MotoGP Free Practice sessions at the Chang International Circuit today. The team-mates took second and fifth place respectively in the combined free practice times.

14:55 LOCAL TIME GMT
AIR 31°C / TRACK 51°C
HUMIDITY 61%
SUNNY

2nd MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’30.597 (FP2) / 21 + 21 LAPS

5th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’30.733 (FP2) / 22 + 21 LAPS

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi weren‘t shy to get themselves in the mix today at the Chang International Circuit as they prepared for Sunday’s PTT Thailand Grand Prix. They made the most of the two Friday practice sessions, continuously featuring at the top of the rankings, and ultimately finished the day in second and fifth position respectively in the combined times.

Viñales needed only 10 minutes to get warmed up in FP1 and then climbed up to provisional third place. Having gotten a feel for the Chang track, his times dropped into the 1‘31s on his second run allowing him to move up to second. He then made some last tweaks to his bike’s set-up before heading out for Run 4 in the final minutes, and it paid off. The flag was already out when he became the only rider to clock a 1‘30s lap in the morning, posting a 1‘30.979s to take first place, 0.191s ahead of the field.

The Spaniard used FP2 to further fine-tune his bike and gradually worked himself up to second place again before the usual ’mini time attacks‘ started. The pressure was on as rain is on the cards for tomorrow‘s FP3. The number-12 rider used the final stages of FP2 to push out some hot laps and took over at the top again with a 1‘30.597s. As he ran into traffic, he was unable to improve on this time on his next two tries and closed the day in second place, 0.193s from the top in the combined results.

Rossi needed little time to warm to the Thai track. He soon put his Yamaha in second place in the rankings, already producing a 1‘31s lap time on his first run. He was eager to get to work perfecting the basis set-up for his YZR-M1 and put it to the test in his third outing around the Buriram circuit. He dropped under the 1‘32s-mark again for three consecutive laps. Setting a 1‘31.482s best time, he ended the session in sixth place, with a 0.503s margin to his team-mate.

The Doctor also had a positive FP2. He was fixed on improving the set-up of his Yamaha on the harder tyre option to then turn up the heat in the final seven minutes. Once he headed out on a soft tyre, the Italian immediately moved up to second, but he was unable to hold this position. Though he further improved his time to a 1‘30.733s on his penultimate lap, he completed the first day in fifth place, 0.329s from first.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI
TEAM DIRECTOR

“We know from last year that the Chang International Circuit is a good circuit for us. We were able to work well in both sessions, without any problems, mainly adjusting electronic settings, testing different tyre specifications, and we could even keep working on the development of the new exhaust. So far both riders’ feedback has been positive when it comes to the time attack. We will continue to boost our race pace for tomorrow, but considering the possibility of rain for FP3, having our riders inside the top 10 today is important.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“This is a track where we’re usually quite fast. We still have some points where we can improve, but I‘m quite happy. We did a good job today and for tomorrow there are still opportunities to further improve, as I said. I‘m quite happy and confident, and we‘ll see where we are after qualifying. There‘s more potential for us in sector 2. Today, I used the tyre that I thought had the most potential. I‘m quite pleased with the lap times and the rhythm, and tomorrow for sure we‘ll make another step.”

VALENTINO ROSSI 

“It was a positive day because all the Yamahas are at the top, they are strong, we are fast. Especially when we put in the softer tyres for the time attack, the bike worked very well. In terms of race pace we suffered a bit more. Our opponents are very strong, so for the race we need to work, especially to make the right tyre choice for the front and rear. For the time attack we are very fast.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha SRT:

Super start for Quartararo and Morbidelli at Thailand GP

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli end opening day first and third for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Thai GP – 4 October 2019

PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team duo Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli got their Thailand Grand Prix weekend off to a super start, ending the opening day of practice in hot conditions at the Buriram International Circuit in first and third respectively.

Impressive not only on time attack but on his consistent lap times as well, Quartararo was delighted to end the day in P1, with his best time almost two tenths quicker than his nearest rival. Quick to adapt to the Buriram circuit despite only making his MotoGP debut today and unfazed by the hot Thai conditions, Fabio was second fastest in the morning, before bettering his time by almost eight tenths in the afternoon to set his 1min 30.404secs lap.

Morbidelli also had an excellent start to proceedings, making the most of his consistency from recent races to get the weekend off to a flying start. After setting the seventh fastest time in the morning, Franco improved by almost a second to set the third fastest time, a 1min 30.625secs. meaning he joins his team-mate on the interim front row.

The action continues at the Buriram International Circuit tomorrow under the threat of rain, with practice kicking off at 0955 local time (1055 Malaysian time) and qualifying at 1410 local time (1100 Malaysian time), ahead of the 26-lap race on Sunday.

Franco Morbidelli

3rd (1’30.625)

“This afternoon we were able to get into the top three, which is always a positive when you’re not sure how the weather is going to react. It’s quite a pleasant surprise that we were able to top sector two as well, because it’s full of long straights! It was a positive day for us, and the bike is working quite well for me, as it has for a few races now. We’ll have to see what happens if there’s rain tomorrow, but we know we’ve got good speed. We’ll try and improve again, of course, as it will be important to get on the front two rows.”
 

Fabio Quartararo

1st (1’30.404)

“I felt really good all day today, and we were able to do a lot of work on our pace, and we went quite fast not only on time attack but also when I was in a rhythm. We’ll need to take some time tomorrow to compare the tyres, but so far I’m really happy with my performance. We know that Marc [Marquez] will be strong, so we’ll need to keep concentrating on our pace because it’s not enough yet. We’ve got some good ideas to try though, and the team and I will work hard tonight on that.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:

TAKA EYES IMPROVEMENT IN THAILAND

Free practice for the Grand Prix of Thailand got underway on Friday in sweltering conditions at the Chang International Circuit. LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider Takaaki Nakagami found the going tough in the opening two sessions as he ended the day in 14th, but is confident of improving as the weekend goes on.

With humidity levels oppressively high on the track in Buriram, the Japanese star struggled to find the rhythm he wanted during FP1 as he went 14th fastest. In the afternoon, Taka tried out the carbon swing arm on his RC213V and was pleased with the results. He improved by half a second in FP2 as he maintained his position and is now looking forward to Saturday’s qualifying.”

Takaaki Nakagami – 14th
(1’31.424 – lap 20 of 21)

“It was really tough conditions today, especially in FP2 it was really hot and I struggled to keep the pace. We tried to make a step forward between FP1 and FP2 and in FP2 it was the first time we used the carbon swing arm and there were some positive feelings with it. We know that this is the right way for tomorrow and Sunday, and we need to find a good set-up with it. The grip level was not bad, but in each sector we were generally losing two or three tenths so we need to understand why that is. We’ll look at Marc’s data and then see how we can improve tomorrow.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez shakes off crash to challenge for top spot on Friday in Thailand

An unfazed Marc Marquez recovered from his biggest crash of the year to challenge for the top spot while teammate Jorge Lorenzo made constant improvements around Buriram.

Dark clouds in the morning had many expecting rain at the Buriram Circuit, but fortunately none came. Riders were still tasked with beating the blazing Thailand heat; ambient temperature reaching 31°C and 61% humidity.

The Thai GP weekend began well for MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez, immediately fast in Free Practice 1 with a healthy advantage over his rivals. Unfortunately, Marquez suffered a heavy fall at Turn 7 with just a few minutes of the FP1 session remaining. The reigning World Champion was declared fit after a trip to the local hospital for further scans. Despite some pain in his lower back, hip and leg, Marquez returned to the Buriram Circuit to ride in Free Practice 2. Within just a few laps Marquez set a 1’30.891 – the fastest lap of the weekend until that point. Eventually finishing in sixth, Marquez concluded the day pleased with the progress made after the fall and continued to focus his attentions on Sunday’s race.

Jorge Lorenzo was pleased with what he achieved during FP1, lapping consistently and ending the session in 18th. Setup changes did not produce the desired jump in lap time for Free Practice 2 in the afternoon’s warmer conditions but Lorenzo was still able to improve his time by almost a second. While the position is not ideal, Lorenzo feels he will be able to continue his improvements tomorrow to close the gap to the front.

Saturday begins with Free Practice 3 at 09:55 Local Time followed by Qualifying at 14:10 Local Time.

Marc Marquez
6TH  1’30.891
“We started the day well but in the last run we had a big crash on our out lap. I was feeling OK when I arrived in the medical centre but we followed the doctor’s procedures and went for some checks. The most important thing is I am OK, I’m in some pain but OK. In the afternoon I was able to ride well and I am happy with what we achieved. We only had to modify our plan a little bit but I was able to be fast immediately.”

Jorge Lorenzo
20TH  1’31.949
“This morning I was quite satisfied with what we did because we did a lot of laps with good pace. In the afternoon we changed the setting but it didn’t work as well as we had wanted in the warmer temperature. The position in the end isn’t great but our distance to the front isn’t too bad. Tomorrow our goal is to get within one second of the front.”

 

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Thailand Grand Prix – Free Practices

#ThaiGP FP. Superb P4 for Jack on the opening day of Thailand Grand Prix. Pecco (P12) finishes just 60 thousandths of a second from the Top 10.

Jack got off to a great start. The Australian finished 5th the FP1, just 57 thousandths of a second behind Vinales’s P2, with the best T3 overall.

Pecco immediately found the right feeling with his Ducati Desmosedici GP and in FP1 obtained an incisive 10th place, going very fast in the T1 (fourth fastest time overall).

In the FP2 Jack confirmed the good feeling of the morning and got an excellent fourth place that would allow him to secure direct qualification to Q2 in case of rain tomorrow.

Pecco managed to lower the FP1 time by more than six tenths of a second but he made a small mistake in T4 that didn’t allow him to confirm himself in the Top 10 for only 60 thousandths of a second.

Here are the numbers of the free practice of the Thailand Grand Prix.

FP1 (Practice Conditions: Dry. Air 28°. Ground 38°)
P5 Jack Miller (1’31.227, +0.248 from P1)

P10 Francesco Bagnaia (1’31.799, +0.820 from P1)

FP2 (Practice Conditions: Dry. Air 31°. Ground 51)
P4 Jack Miller (1’30.698, +0.294 from P1)

P 12 Francesco Bagnaia (1’31.154, +0.060 from Top 10, +0.750 from P1)

P12 – Pecco Bagnaia
It’s one of the best Fridays of the last weekends. I felt good right from the start this morning and the gap to the front has decreased significantly. Unfortunately in the time attack I made a mistake in the last corner that made me lose two tenths of a second. The feeling is positive.

P4 – Jack Miller
The feeling is good and the bike is working very well. We tried some solutions and it was an intense day of work. The weather forecast is not good for tomorrow. That’s why our goal today was to be in the Top 10, and we have achieved it convincingly.

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

TOP 10 IN THAILAND FOR MIR AND RINS ON DAY ONE

Joan Mir: 9th – 1:31.086 (+ 0.682)
Alex Rins: 10th – 1:31.094 (+ 0.690)

• Rookie Joan Mir makes impressive start at Buriram.
• Alex Rins makes his way into important Top 10.
• Team re-familiarising themselves with Thai track.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR are back on track for the first in a series of ‘fly-away’ races in Asia. The Chang International circuit in Thailand promises mixed conditions for the race weekend, meaning Friday’s times could be more crucial than usual.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir took this into account from FP1 onwards as they aimed to place themselves into the Top 10 and ensure strong pace for the coming sessions. Having only ridden at Buriram for the first-time last year, the pair spent time reacquainting themselves with the technical Thai track. For Mir, FP1 marked his first time at the circuit on the GSX-RR. The rookie took 9th, while Rins was 11th.

The afternoon’s FP2 session went smoothly for the team, with both riders showing consistent and strong pace whilst also trying out different settings and tyre options. Mir and Rins spent the majority of the session within the Top 10, and they closed Friday in 9th and 10th respectively.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It was important for us to have both riders in the Top 10 today in case the conditions change for FP3 tomorrow, that was our target and we met it. It’s been a positive day; Alex has good and consistent pace and Joan was also impressive with his lap times. We want to improve on a few things and keep working for tomorrow and Sunday, but we’re pleased with today’s work and progress.”

Joan Mir:

“Today our goal was to get into provisional top 10, and we managed that in both sessions, so that was really good. We also spent some time working on settings and general pace for the race on Sunday. I feel happy with the progress so far, and tomorrow I hope to be in Q2 and then I will aim for the front two rows. At the moment my pace isn’t far from the top.”

Alex Rins:

“I’m pretty happy because we’ve done a good job today. I struggled a bit in FP1, but I felt better in FP2. I tried a new swing-arm attachment, it gave me positive feelings so we will continue testing tomorrow to double-check also from the data if we will adopt it definitively. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, it will be tough to stay in the top 10 because all the riders will improve the lap time, but I really want to be in Q2 and get a good grid spot.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Thailand Grand Prix: Andrea Dovizioso eighth and Danilo Petrucci eleventh at the end of Day 1 of free practice at Buriram

After the first two free practice sessions for the Thailand GP, which will be held this weekend at the Buriram International Circuit, the provisional classification sees Andrea Dovizioso in eighth place, while Danilo Petrucci finished the day in eleventh.

This morning both Ducati Team riders completed FP1 inside the top 10, with Dovizioso fourth and Petrucci eighth, but in the afternoon the rider from Umbria slipped outside the provisional top 10 by just a fraction, despite improving on his morning time by more than four-tenths of a second.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1’31.027 (8th)
“Today I had a good feeling and we did a good job with the set-up: we also tested something important and it went well. We are consistent but there are a lot of quick riders and it’s still difficult to see how everyone is really going on the track. As I said however, I’m happy with the bike and also the tyres are performing well: unfortunately, I have a neck problem and also a sore throat, so I’m taking antibiotics, and in this heat I’m physically struggling a bit, but I hope I won’t suffer too much in the next couple of days”.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1’31.115 (11th)
“It has been quite a positive day because we understood a few things, even though I’m not entirely happy about missing out on the top 10 by just a few thousandths of a second. I’m pretty relaxed about everything and focussed on tomorrow because we can surely improve. My pace isn’t bad and I’ve got a good feeling with the bike so I’m optimistic and confident I can do a good qualifying session”.

The Ducati riders will return to the track tomorrow, Saturday 5th October, at 09.55 local time (04.55 CET) for the third free practice session, while qualifying will get underway after FP4, starting from 14.10 local time (09.10 CET).

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