MotoGP: Martin Fastest Overall On Overcast Day At COTA

MotoGP: Martin Fastest Overall On Overcast Day At COTA

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By Michael Gougis:.

Prima Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jorge Martin, the lap record holder at the Circuit of The Americas, nearly reset his own mark in the second, overcast and misty practice session on Friday at the 3.4-mile Austin circuit.

 

MotoGP World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (1) was second-quickest but was unhappy about the state of the track surface. His media appearance first took place in Italian, and the words “Safety Committee” in clear English were heard repeatedly. Bagnaia and several other riders say the surface is badly deteriorated in several turns. Photo by Michael Gougis.
MotoGP World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (1) was second-quickest but was unhappy about the state of the track surface. His media appearance first took place in Italian, and the words “Safety Committee” in clear English were heard repeatedly. Bagnaia and several other riders say the surface is badly deteriorated in several turns. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Martin ran a 2:02.178 lap at the end of the session, just shy of the all-time fastest lap of 2:02.038 he set last year. World Champion Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia was second-fastest on his Lenovo factory Ducati GP23, and Alex Rins, a former winner at the circuit, was third on the LCR Honda RC213V, only 0.217 second off of Martin’s time.

 

A former MotoGP winner at COTA, Alex Rins said he tried both his own frame and the chassis used by the injured and absent Marc Marquez, but set his fastest time with his own Honda RC213V and finished Friday in third place. Rins said he likes COTA, and that even when he rode his bicycle around the track on Wednesday, he had a smile on his face. Photo by Michael Gougis.
A former MotoGP winner at COTA, Alex Rins said he tried both his own frame and the chassis used by the injured and absent Marc Marquez, but set his fastest time with his own Honda RC213V and finished Friday in third place. Rins said he likes COTA, and that even when he rode his bicycle around the track on Wednesday, he had a smile on his face. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Mooney VR46 Racing Ducati’s Luca Marini topped the first session and finished fourth overall, while his teammate Marco Bezzecchi, winner last time out in Argentina, was 11th and will have to go through Q1. Alex Marquez on the Gresini Racing Ducati GP22 was fifth, ahead of Maverick Vinales on the factory Aprilia and Fabio Quartararo on the Yamaha YZR-M1. Both factory KTM RC16s made it into the final qualifying session, with Argentina sprint winner Brad Binder eighth and Jack Miller 10th. Vinales’ teammate, Aleix Espargaro, was ninth.

 

Pedro Acosta (37) was comfortably clear of the pack to top the Moto2 timesheets. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Pedro Acosta (37) was comfortably clear of the pack to top the Moto2 timesheets. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Pedro Acosta topped the Moto2 timesheets, while Ayumu Sasaki was quickest in Moto3.

 

American Joe Roberts (16) was fourth, just pushed out of the top three in the final seconds of the second Moto2 practice by Tony Arbolino (14). Photo by Michael Gougis.
American Joe Roberts (16) was fourth, just pushed out of the top three in the final seconds of the second Moto2 practice by Tony Arbolino (14). Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

Sean Dylan Kelly (4) was near the top ten for much of the second Moto2 practice, but slid to 25th at the flag. Photo by Michael Gougis.
Sean Dylan Kelly (4) was near the top ten for much of the second Moto2 practice, but slid to 25th at the flag. Photo by Michael Gougis.

 

The media center held a moment of silence to mark the death of Andrew Wheeler, the well-known motorsports photographer who was found dead at his Austin home in January, as well as for Luis Gomez, an organizer and commissioner involved in motorsports in Argentina, who died earlier in April. Motorcycle industry figure and friend Robert Pandya spoke in memory of Wheeler. Photo by Michael Gougis.
The media center held a moment of silence to mark the death of Andrew Wheeler, the well-known motorsports photographer who was found dead at his Austin home in January, as well as for Luis Gomez, an organizer and commissioner involved in motorsports in Argentina, who died earlier in April. Motorcycle industry figure and friend Robert Pandya spoke in memory of Wheeler. Photo by Michael Gougis.

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