MotoGP: Quartararo, Morbidelli 1-2 In FP2 At Brno

MotoGP: Quartararo, Morbidelli 1-2 In FP2 At Brno

© 2020, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MotoGP FP2

MotoGP Combined FP1 FP2

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Quartararo and Morbidelli lead a top four split by just a tenth on Friday

Petronas Yamaha SRT lock out the top, with Oliveira and Zarco for close company in an Independent Team 1-2-3-4

Friday, 07 August 2020

Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) remains the man to beat after Day 1 of the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, setting the timesheets alive in the afternoon to end Friday fastest. It was far from lonely at the top, however, as his teammate Franco Morbidelli was just 0.007 behind to go P2 overall.

The top three was completed by another Independent Team runner in the form of Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3), the Portugese rider putting KTM within half a tenth of the top, with Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) the fastest Ducati to make it a 1-2-3-4 for Independent Teams – and all four were within a tenth.

Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) crashed in FP1 and has been declared unfit. The Italian headed to the medical centre and then Brno University hospital for check ups on his right knee and has been diagnosed with a fracture at the top of his tibia.

FP1

Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was the man in charge for much of FP1, but the glory went the way of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) at the end of the session after a late charge put him on top. Behind him was Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) as he impressed on his return Brno after his big crash in testing last year, ending FP1 just an infinitesimal 0.011 off the top. Pol Espargaro was therefore shuffled down to complete the top three, but the early pacesetter was still only 0.039 off P1.

Zarco impressed in P4 in his first session at Brno on a Ducati, with Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) edging out key Championship rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) to complete the top five. That made it five manufacturers in the top five, with only half a second covering the top 16 in FP1.

Viñales was an early crasher in the session as he slid out at Turn 13 – rider ok – and both Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) subsequently ran off at the same corner, pulling solid saves out the hat to stay upright through the gravel. Miller’s teammate Bagnaia was the second rider to suffer a tumble in FP1, but he was unluckier as his spill ruled him out of the rest of the weekend and maybe the Austrian GP too.

FP2

Despite the hotter temperatures, the top 14 improved in the afternoon and Quartararo reversed his Friday trend from Jerez – where he finished both first days outside the top ten – as the end of the session became a hot lap shoot out and the Frenchman came out on top.

Mir was the man leading the way when Morbidelli struck and knocked a whopping 0.936 off the fastest lap of the day, kickstarting the FP2 gold rush as a flurry of red sectors started to appear from a good few riders. Oliveira got within a few hundredths, Viñales looked threatening, and Zarco and Mir were still up at the sharp end. But with 30 seconds left on the clock for Friday, Quartararo was the only man left to cross the line – and just pipped his teammate by 0.007.

That made it another Petronas Yamaha SRT 1-2, pushing Oliveira down to a nevertheless incredible P3. Zarco impressed in fourth once again, as in FP1, with Viñales completing the top five. The number 12 had punched in a stunning first sector on his last time attack, but the lap went away from him.

Mir was sixth in FP2 and overall following the shuffle, ahead of a big leap forward for Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro as he knocked seven tenths off his morning best to end the day in P7 – and just get the better of brother Pol Espargaro. Nakagami was ninth on the combined timesheets, ahead of Miller as the Australian rounded out the top ten overall.

That leaves Binder in P11, Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) just behind him and Andrea Dovizioso down in P15. They’ll certainly be looking for more in FP3, although the time attacks didn’t come from everyone on Friday, so the margin could well be there…

Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) had the sole incident in FP2, the Spanish rookie seemingly suffering a technical problem and pulling over early in the session before scootering back to the pits.

That’s it from Friday, come back for more on Saturday morning as the field head out for FP3 at 9:55 (GMT +2), before qualifying to decide the grid for the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky begins from 14:10.

 

Lowes heads Bastianini and Marini on Day 1

The Brit reigns the morning ahead of Roberts, before an Italian invasion in the afternoon

Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) heads the combined timesheets on Friday at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky, the Brit’s FP1 time keeping him ahead of the game despite an Italian invasion in FP2. In the afternoon, Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) and Luca Marini (Sky Racing Team VR46) moved up to complete the top three overall by way of P1 and P3 – split by Lowes.

FP1

Lowes went fastest in the morning, ultimately by over three tenths ahead of a resurgent Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) in P2. The American had led the way heading into the latter part of FP1 before seeing himself pushed down to second. Championship leader Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed the top three, less than a tenth off Roberts’ best, ahead of Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) as he got back at the sharp end in P4. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP) rounded out the fastest five in the morning.

Kasma Daniel (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was the only crasher in FP1, the Malaysian taking two tumbles but rider ok.

FP2

Jerez winner Bastianini got the better of Lowes in the afternoon, although the Brit ended FP2 second quickest overall. Marini leaped up the timesheets to third, ahead of a huge improvement from Jorge Navarro (MB Conveyors Speed Up) as he moved into fourth in the session. Meanwhile, Roberts was consistent – ending FP2 in fifth and with a similar laptime.

Simone Corsi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) was an early faller, and FP2 didn’t start well for Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the Spaniard crashed at Turn 11 with 10 minutes gone. Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) later went down at Turn 10, and Nagashima was the next faller after a strong FP1, the Japanese rider crashing at Turn 13. Finally, Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team Moto2) took a tumble at Turn 5 after a tougher day for the Moto2™ rookie in Czechia.

By the end of play though, it’s Lowes leading Bastianini and Marini, with Roberts holding onto fourth from his FP1 laptime. Navarro shuffles into fifth overall, ahead of Nagashima. Fabio Di Giannantonio (MB Conveyors Speed Up) showed some good speed to take seventh overall, ahead of Bezzecchi.

Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) was ninth, with Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) completing the top ten. Fernandez and Schrötter are P11 and P12 by way of their FP1 times, with Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) and Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) currently the last two set to move through.

But will entry to Q2 shuffle on Saturday morning? FP3 is the last chance to fight back, before qualifying from 15:10 (GMT +2).

Rodrigo rules the Friday roost in Moto3™

The Argentinean sets the pace in practice, ahead of Toba and Fernandez

Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) has topped the practice timesheets once again in the Moto3™ World Championship, ending Friday at the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky in P1 by virtue of his fastest laptime in FP1. Under the summer sun in Czechia, most of those currently set to go straight into Q2 set their quickest efforts in the morning, including Red Bull KTM Ajo duo Kaito Toba and Raul Fernandez as they completed the top three overall.

FP1

Rodrigo was quickest but left it late to topple Toba, with the Japanese rider having spent much of the session at the top. Ultimately Rodrigo rounded out the the session just over a tenth ahead after a late push, with the second Red Bull KTM Ajo of Toba’s teammate Raul Fernandez ending FP1 third fastest and a further 0.121 in arrears.

Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) had a good first session as he took P4, only 0.060 off Fernandez, before a big gap separated the fastest four from the rest. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) was half a second off Foggia in fith, with the rest of the top ten split by almost nothing, including the likes of Albert Arenas (Gaviota Aspar Team Moto3) and key challenger John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing).

There were a number of crashes in FP1, all riders ok. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) went down at Turn 13, before Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) had one crash at Turn 11 and then another at Turn 3. Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PruestelGP) crashed at Turn 7, with Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) retiring at almost the same time and place after running out of fuel. Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0) also some a little drama as he moved off the racing line on the main straight with an issue, pulling in at the end of pitlane.

FP2

As the temperatures rose, the laptimes slowed slightly but it was Fernandez back at the sharp end as he was fastest in FP2. The afternoon’s second quickest lap came courtesy of Masia after a sterling effort to bounce back from his two FP1 crashes, and his 2:09.364 makes him one of few to improve overall. The top five in FP2 was completed by Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), McPhee and Garcia.

Carlos Tatay (Reale Avintia Racing) was the first to crash in FP2 as he took a tumble at Turn 7,  and he’s gone for a check up at local hospital. Ayumu Sasaki then went down at Turn 10, before the same corner also caught out his compatriot Kaito Toba a few minutes later, although the number 27 was able to get back on track. Alonso Lopez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) slid out at Turn 5, Vietti at Turn 4 and, finally, Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) at Turn 13. All riders ok, Tatay pending his check up.

By the end of the day, Rodrigo leads the way ahead of Toba, Fernandez and Foggia as the fastest four come from FP1, with Masia completing the top five to shuffle Sasaki down to sixth. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) is P7 ahead of Arenas, with McPhee taking ninth. Fenati completes the top ten for Husqvarna.

Riccardo Rossi (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) took an impressive P11 ahead of an equally impressive Dupasquier, with Sergio Garcia next up as the second rider – alongside Masia – to improve in FP2. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) currently stands to be the last man moving through to Q2, but everything can get another shake up on Saturday ahead of qualifying.

How will FP3 change the game? The likes of Suzuki, currently down in P16 overall, will be pushing hard from 9:00 (GMT +2), before qualifying decides the grid from 12:35.

 

 

 

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

ALEIX SEVENTH AND PROVISIONALLY IN Q2 AFTER THE FIRST PRACTICE SESSIONS AT BRNO

He missed the top 10 by just 36 thousandths after FP1 but, with a magnificent afternoon session, Aleix Espargaró rode his Aprilia RS-GP to a provisional seventh place position. This is a good sign for the start of the Brno weekend, despite less-than-perfect grip conditions that have the techs working hard to prepare for the race on Sunday.

Bradley Smith’s performance is one that needs to be examined in detail, since he was one of the very few who did not attempt a time attack with the soft tyre. His gap behind the leader is therefore understandable in terms of the flying lap, whereas in terms of pace and feeling, the situation is rather solid for the Brit.

As already announced, great attention will be placed on preparing for Sunday’s 21 laps. Tyre wear and consistent performance will be the key factors for the race in the Czech Republic, but without neglecting good performance in the qualifiers.

ALEIX ESPARGARO’

“Overall, it was a better start than in Jerez, thanks in part to the layout of this track. Acceleration from low speed, where we have some difficulties, is not as important here. We tried to move forward calmly, testing a different setting in the afternoon in an attempt to find better grip. Unfortunately, the asphalt conditions are critical. I like racing here in Brno and I find it to be one of the nicest tracks on the Championship calendar, but it could definitely do with a resurfacing.”

BRADLEY SMITH

“Today we focused on gathering some information the engineers need in terms of setup ideas. Aleix tried a few solutions and I tried some others, so now we’ll need to analyse the results in detail. I didn’t attempt any flying laps with the soft tyres. We’ll concentrate on that during FP3 tomorrow morning. The grip conditions are rather critical, which is not surprising since the asphalt is 12 years old by now, and that is a situation that should be discussed in the Safety Commission. For the tyres, the situation is complex. None of the options are perfect, but we’ll have to find the best compromise in terms of grip and duration.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Repsol Honda Team lay the foundations in Brno

Alex Marquez is joined in the Repsol Honda Team garage by Stefan Bradl for the Czech GP weekend as Marc Marquez recovers from injury, the pair gathering good data on the opening day.

The Czech GP marks the start of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship’s first demanding triple-header, but there was no hesitation as the Repsol Honda Team busily got to work. Although conditions weren’t as hot as the previous two races, rising temperatures throughout the day saw the grip levels continue to change on the Czech track.

With Brno among his favourite circuits on the calendar, Alex Marquez was eager to head out and try his Honda RC213V around the 5.4-kilometre-long track. Times were as close as ever in Free Practice 1, the Moto2 World Champion ending the first session in 18th and just 1.2 seconds off LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami who was fastest. Alex suffered an electronics issue early in Free Practice 2, the rookie quickly making his way back to the garage and back out on circuit. Less than half a second split Alex from a top ten finish as the flag came out, the rookie setting a best time of 1’57.688 on Friday.

Stefan Bradl’s Friday was all about adaption after having last ridden a MotoGP bike during the Sepang Shakedown test in early February. The German rider spent the day reacquainting himself with the Honda RC213V and getting to work with the Repsol Honda Team. Improvements with each exit saw the HRC test rider keep pace with the MotoGP regulars and improve by an impressive 0.769s in the second session. Continued improvements and pushing towards the points scoring positions remain Bradl’s goal for the weekend.

Nakagami continued to shine after his result in Jerez, the LCR Honda rider topping Free Practice 1 and ending Free Practice 2 half a second from the top spot. Ninth on the combined times saw him as the leading Honda once more.

Action resumes at 08:55 Local Time on Saturday morning with FP3.

Alex Marquez

16TH  1’57.688

“Nice to be back out on the bike and at a circuit I like a lot. It was a good first day aside from the small issue in Free Practice 2, but honestly it did not hurt us too much. The grip was not perfect and there were a lot of crashes, especially in the lower classes so hopefully this improves for tomorrow. I felt really good today, but I still need to work on my one lap pace, the feeling for tomorrow is good and we are building out rhythm. Let’s see what the circuit is like and what is possible.”

Stefan Bradl

22ND  1’58.424

“Today was about getting the feeling again. No matter how long you have been riding for, when you come back to a MotoGP bike after a break and you accelerate down the straight, the power always seems surprising. It has been six months since I was on this bike, so it took some time to adjust the mind to these speeds and managing everything, this is quite normal. But we are going well, and we are making improvements with each lap. I’m ready for tomorrow and looking forward to it after a positive first day – so far so good.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki Press Office:

BRNO BRINGS EARLY PACE FROM TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR

Combined practice times:

Joan Mir: 6th – 1’56.876 (+ 0.374)

Alex Rins: 13th – 1’57.354 (+ 0.852)

The Automotodrom in Brno saw the resumption of MotoGP action on Friday, with the classic Czech track bringing slightly cooler temperatures but plenty of hot action with the entire field covered by 1.8 seconds in the morning session.

Joan Mir got the weekend off to a strong start, with impressive lap times set in FP1. He worked on settings and topped the session for a time before the chequered flag. He closed FP1 in second place with a 1’57.364, just +0.011 from the top. He was also the fastest rider in sectors 2 and 4, with a strong advantage in the former. In FP2, Mir was once again looking good, holding the top spot for the vast majority of the session. Just minutes from the end he was still sitting second, but he was bumped to sixth as the flag came out, with a best lap of 1’56.876.

Alex Rins, still recovering from the shoulder injury suffered in Jerez, also got underway in style as he used FP1 to get back into the swing of things. He was solidly hovering in the Top 10 for most of the session, dropping to 12th by the end but with a decent lap of 1’57.823. The afternoon saw the track become slippery with temperatures rising, making it harder to improve. Rins decided on a steady approach as pain in his shoulder began to creep in, and he closed the day in 13th place.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“We did a good job. Joan had consistent pace and was also able to set fast lap times as well, so we’ll keep working with him on the settings and hope to improve even more. Alex wanted to take care of his shoulder, so we kept things calm today, but we also managed to work on settings, and he has a good feeling with the bike. We’re ready to see what tomorrow brings.”

Joan Mir:

“I’m very happy about today. I felt good with the bike straight away and I was competitive from the beginning of the day. We’re working on set-up quite a bit because the track is very slippery and also bumpy, so we need to work on electronics to make things easier and we also need to understand how best to conserve the tyres. So, we’ll continue working, and I hope I can keep this strong pace tomorrow – good qualifying will be crucial.”

Alex Rins:

“This first day has gone well. I felt pretty good in both sessions, but in FP2 I started to feel a bit more pain from my shoulder. I didn’t want to stress it so I opted for shorter runs with good laps rather than trying to put together long runs or a race simulation, that way I could manage my strength and pain. Despite the shoulder, I’m feeling good with my bike and with the track. I didn’t find the grip too bad so let’s see what I can do tomorrow, I want to move directly into Q2 so I can do one less session and have a better chance of a good grid spot.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

The Opening Day of the Czech GP in Brno ends with Danilo Petrucci fourteenth and Andrea Dovizioso fifteenth

​​​​​​The Ducati Team was back in action today for the first two free practice sessions of the Czech GP, the third round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship, which is held at Automotodrom Brno (Czech Republic) this weekend.

Seventh at the end of FP1 this morning, Danilo Petrucci closed the day fourteenth overall in 1:57.620, after improving by a few thousandths of a second his best lap in the last minutes of FP2.

Andrea Dovizioso, who spent the day working on improving the setup of his Desmosedici GP bike ahead of Sunday’s race without focusing on the lap times, finished 15th overall in 1:57.632, just 0.012 seconds behind his teammate.

Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – 1:57.620 (14th)

“I am quite satisfied with the work done on this first day here in Brno. Compared to the two Grand Prix in Jerez, my sensations are more positive, and I am also happy with my feeling with the bike. This morning we were able to find a good rhythm immediately, but we have to improve our performance in the afternoon. We need to work on the race pace and try to fix some aspects to limit the consumption of the tyres, as they tend to wear out a lot with the high temperatures. Tomorrow morning’s FP3 will be very important, also to be able to qualify in the top ten and enter Q2 directly”.

Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 1:57.632 (15th) 

“It was a bit of a strange day because we had to deal with particular track conditions, where the performance of the tyres tends to drop a lot. I think we will all have to work differently than usual, to try to be as consistent as possible in the race. In general, my feeling with the bike is good, it is improving each session, and I have a good feeling on braking. Today I didn’t put the soft tyre, but at the moment the setup for the race is our top priority”.

The Ducati Team will return out on track tomorrow, Saturday, 8th August, at 09:55 AM local time for the third free practice session, while qualifying for the Czech Grand Prix will be held from 2:10 PM local time, after FP4.

 

 

 

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

MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA MOTOGP SEARCH FOR GRIP ON BRNO FRIDAY

Brno (Czech Republic), 7th August 2020

GRAND PRIX OF CZECH REPUBLIC

FREE PRACTICE

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi returned to action on the first day of Round 3 of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship. They secured fifth and twelfth place respectively in the combined free practice results.

5th MAVERICK VIÑALES 1’56.668 (FP2) / 14 + 17 LAPS

12th VALENTINO ROSSI 1’57.290 (FP2) / 17 + 19 LAPS

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team kicked off the Monster Energy Grand Prix České republiky today at the Automotodrom Brno circuit. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi used the morning and afternoon sessions to the fullest to tune their bikes to their liking and find edge grip. They rode to fifth and twelfth place respectively in the combined timesheets in the afternoon.

Viñales followed up the slightly eventful morning free practice with a useful afternoon session. He already had a good feeling in the morning, despite a small crash due to bumps on the track. This afternoon he concentrated on improving his bike‘s setting, adjusting it to the hotter conditions that are expected to be similar to those in Sunday‘s race. The number-12 rider was in third place when, with 15 minutes left on the clock, the times started to drop. He posted a 1’56.668s for fifth place in the FP3 and the combined timesheets, 0.166s from first.

Rossi noticed a lack of grip in the FP1 session, and this continued to be a theme throughout FP2. He used the 45 minutes of afternoon track time to perfect his bike’s set-up, using the nimble character of the M1 to the fullest. The Doctor held a place inside the combined FP timesheets top 10 with his 1‘57.646s morning lap, but he felt there was more in it for him. In the final stages, the Italian managed to improve his time with a 1’57.290s, but it wasn‘t quite enough. He ended the first day in twelfth position in the FP3 and the combined free practice standings, 0.788s from the front.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

We‘re happy to be back into action, but it‘s clear from today‘s sessions that the Brno track conditions are very different from those in Jerez two weeks ago. The asphalt here is quite bumpy and there is a lack of edge grip, which forms a challenge for us, because high corner speed is usually our forte. That said, we are making good progress, and the track conditions will also improve as more and more rubber is laid down throughout the weekend. Maverick found a solid base to work from right from the start of FP1 and feels comfortable. There is still a lot of work to do, but the first signs for him are positive. Valentino has been focusing on fixing rear tyre degradation, because the 21-lap race on Sunday will be a challenge and there are many tyre options for us to consider. We will work hard tonight to further boost our performance for tomorrow so we can have both riders in Q2.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

The feeling overall is good, I‘m quite satisfied. This morning I made a mistake, because I went a little bit wide and I hit the bumps, so I crashed. I hit my right shoulder, but it seems like everything is okay, so I‘m quite happy about that. The conditions here are totally different from what we had in Jerez, it‘s a different situation, so we have to think and try to understand where and how each tyre spec is working for our bike and adjust the set-up accordingly. I‘m optimistic for the race, I think we can do a really good job. The track is very slippery and bumpy but, though I didn‘t do the perfect lap today, the feeling is there, and I feel confident. I think we understand well where we can improve, so we‘re going to work very hard this evening to make another step for tomorrow.

VALENTINO ROSSI

It‘s a difficult situation and these are difficult conditions. The track‘s lay-out is fantastic, but the asphalt here has some bumps and the grip level is low. We especially suffer from rear tyre degradation, after some laps we lose a lot of performance. I think solving that will be key for a good result on Sunday. My pace is not so bad, but unfortunately during the lap with the soft tyre I wasn‘t strong enough to stay inside the top 10, so this is a problem. We need to use tomorrow morning‘s FP3 to get a place in the top 10 and get into Q2. In MotoGP everything changes from one practice session to the other. It‘s only Friday. As always there are a lot of riders and different bikes that are very strong, but my speed is not so bad either. We have to work in some areas to further improve, but we are quite good.

 

 

 

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

Quartararo and Morbidelli top Friday sessions in Brno

PETRONAS Yamaha SRT riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli finished first and second respectively across the two Free Practice sessions in the Czech Republic

Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli gave a masterclass performance during today’s FP2 session in the tricky conditions at Automotodrom Brno to make it a PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team one-two in the combined times.

The morning session saw the pair take to the first different circuit of the 2020 season, after two back-to-back events at Jerez. The 5.4km long Czech circuit, which hasn’t been resurfaced since 2008, proved to be a difficult one to master. After 18 laps completed aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1 Franco finished FP1 ninth with a 1min 57.718secs lap, while Fabio’s 1min 57.831secs lap time placed him 13th in the ultra competitive session, which saw the top sixteen riders separated by only 0.514secs.

As temperatures increased and the track lost grip, Quartararo struggled to make the soft tyre work in the opening stages of FP2. The Frenchman, who is currently leading the riders’ championship, adapted his riding style to the situation and headed out with only enough time on the clock for one final flying lap. The back-to-back race winner gave a masterclass of a lap to go top of the timings with a 1min 56.502secs time, which also placed him first in the combined standings. Team-mate Morbidelli, who had been within the top riders for the majority of the session, also put in an extremely strong lap to make it a PETRONAS Yamaha SRT one-two. The Italian also took second in the combined times with a lap that was only 0.007secs shy of his team-mate (1min 56.509secs).

Fabio and Franco will be back out on track for the first of two practice sessions tomorrow at 9.55am local time (3.55pm MYT), ahead of the afternoon’s qualifying sessions at 2.10pm local time (8.10pm MYT).

Fabio Quartararo

1st (1’56.502)

I had a really good feeling with the bike today, but we had an issue with tyre consistency, which we need to find a better setting for. We have the speed, so that is good for tomorrow and we just need to make sure that we choose well which tyre we use Sunday in the race. At the end of the second session I was trying to find a way to ride differently to improve how the tyre feels and it worked and we finished quickest. Now we need to think about how we can improve this further, check the data and make sure that we are as prepared as we can be for qualifying tomorrow and then also Sunday’s race.

Franco Morbidelli

2nd (1’56.509)

We had two great sessions today and I felt like we have carried on where we left off in Jerez, which is very positive. In FP2 we used the new soft tyre and put in a really good lap on it, which I’m really happy about. There are some things we need to understand, especially which tyre to use in the race, because with the changing track conditions it’s not clear what the best option is at the moment. I’m really happy with this first day here though and I’m looking to work with the team tonight to make sure we’re getting the best performance out of everything again tomorrow.

 

 

 

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

CRUTCHLOW ENCOURAGED BY OPENING DAY IN BRNO

7 August 2020 | Czech GP Practice

Cal Crutchlow was pleased with the progress he was able to make on the first day of free practice at the Czech Grand Prix on Friday. After being hampered by a wrist injury at Jerez last time out, the LCR Honda CASTROL rider cut a far more comfortable and controlled figure at Brno today and made good headway on the set-up of his bike ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

The Briton posted his fastest lap of the day in the morning’s FP1 session as he finished inside the top 10. Although he was unable to improve on the time in FP2, that was largely down to his decision to prioritise further work on his bike’s settings over a fast lap as he ended in 18th spot. Although that leaves him with work to do in FP3 to secure automatic progression to Q2, Crutchlow insisted he was satisfied with the team’s efforts.

Cal Crutchlow – 17th

(1’57.753)

“Today went quite well and I was pleased with the work we did. FP1 went quite well and I was satisfied with the work we did there as getting comfortable back on the bike was difficult after Jerez. I had an arm pump in my right arm and then we decided in the afternoon to change the handlebar position a little bit and that didn’t really work, but then we made another change – I went back to my normal handlebars – and it seemed to work better with me in a different position on the bike. I was able to control it quite well and I felt good over the FP2 session. We didn’t take advantage of a new tyre today as I thought it was better to continue to work than put on a tyre for the fast lap, but overall I was pleased with how the day went.”

 

 

 

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

NAKAGAMI FASTEST IN FP1 IN BRNO

7 August 2020| Czech GP Practice

Takaaki Nakagami made an encouraging start as free practice for the Czech Grand Prix got underway, including finishing as the fastest rider in the opening FP1 session. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider picked up where he left off in Jerez two weeks ago – when he posted a career-best fourth position in the Andalusia GP – as he again demonstrated his undoubted pace.

Nakagami edged out Suzuki’s Joan Mir to top the timesheets in FP1, underlining once again his ever-increasing stature in the premier class. The Japanese star found the going a bit tougher in the afternoon session, but still improved his time as he claimed ninth position and remains well-placed ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

Takaaki Nakagami – 9th

(1’57.073)

“Today we had a great start to the day and, as you know, we were on top in FP1 which was very positive for us, the team and myself. But in FP2, the afternoon session, it was a bit of a struggle. When the temperature increases a little, the track conditions become different. We tried to work on our race pace and also a different tyre, it was a struggle but also quite good for the first day as we are still in the top 10. Of course, the FP3 session tomorrow morning will be tough, everyone gets faster and faster, but we are improving and we understand where we are losing time. So we’re very positive for tomorrow and am pretty happy with the team’s job today.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Esponsorama Racing:

POSITIVE FRIDAY FOR THE ESPONSORAMA RACING TEAM

The Esponsorama Racing team successfully completed the first two free practice sessions of the Czech Republic Grand Prix.

In the morning session, Johann Zarco and Tito Rabat finished in 4th and 19th position respectively. Both riders were able to have a first taste of a very technical and challenging track such as the Brno circuit.

During the second free practice, Johann Zarco put his Ducati Desmosedici GP19 back on top of the standings, clocking a time of 1’56.583 which allowed him to climb to 4th position, just 81 thousandths of a second off the leader. For his part, Rabat improved his best time of the morning by one second and continued to accumulate mileage and improve his feeling on the bike.

Tomorrow the third and fourth free practice and qualifying sessions of the Czech Republic Grand Prix will take place at the Brno circuit, where the team will fight for the best possible position for Sunday’s race.

JOHANN ZARCO

“Happy about Friday at Czech Republic. I know the bike can have a good advantage here with the power, but in the morning, I had to take references to ride well the bike and I finished good the practice with the new tyre. Then in afternoon I continued improving because the other riders were fast. It was hot and the constancy is not still my strongest point now but something much better than Jerez. I can do with a new tyre a good lap and this is a really good improvement to get the Q2 tomorrow and a good qualifying.”

TITO RABAT

“It was a complicated day, especially because the track had not too much grip and was very bumpy. In the morning we were at 1.3 and in the afternoon 1.2. We have good telemetry to look at, points where we can improve and tomorrow morning we’ll go full speed ahead. Having our teammate in front is a good sign because it means we have a lot of room for improvement.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Czech GP – Francesco Bagnaia crashed during the FP1 and broke his tibia. P10 for Jack Miller after the Free Practice

First day at Brno started with a crash for Pecco Bagnaia which will not allow him to Race this sunday, Jack Miller conquered the Top 10 in FP2. The Italian rider started very well this morning, he had a good feeling with the bike and everything was going in the right way, unfortunately during the last lap in the FP1 Pecco had a crash. Tomorrow Bagnaia will be back to Italy for further medical tests and he probably will be under surgery in the same day on his right tibia. Michele Pirro will replace him in the next  GP in Austria. Jack Miller ended the day in Top 10, The Australian rider had some difficulties caused by the bumpy asphalt, but he was able to use this session to improve some technical aspects and trying different set up. Jack set his best time of 1:57.109 on lap 15.

Pecco Bagnaia

Tomorrow morning I will be back in Italy. Luckily the fracture did not affect the ligaments of the knee so the recovery time will be faster. I’m really sorry because this morning the feeling with the bike was really good. My goal is to be on track for the second race in Austria. I would like to thank all the medical staff, the Clinica Mobile, Pramac team, Ducati and the VR46RidersAcademy for their great support. See you on track soo

Jack Miller

The grip was quite low and the track is very bumpy. We did some change on the bike and now we are in the right direction, the feeling is positive. Everybody is going very fast, but we just had to find the right set up, I’m very confident for tomorrow.

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