MotoGP: Zarco Heads FP2 At Circuit Of The Americas (Updated)

MotoGP: Zarco Heads FP2 At Circuit Of The Americas (Updated)

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MotoGP FP2



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Zarco pulls clear of Miller on Day 1 at COTA

The Frenchman sets the pace as Miller gets some mojo back, with Quartararo a close third on Friday – and Marquez sixth


Johann Zarco (5). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Johann Zarco (5). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Saturday, 09 April 2022

A silky smooth lap at the end of FP2 handed Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) the number one spot on the timesheets on Friday at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. The Frenchman’s 2:02.542 was enough to beat Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) by 0.247s to earn himself some breathing space, with reigning World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) completing the top three.

Elsewhere, the returning Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended Day 1 in sixth, whereas World Championship leader Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) sits outside the top 10 – with work to do for the Argentina GP race winner in FP3 to move through into Q2.


Some fantastic pace in the final handful of laps saw Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) end FP1 as the fastest rider on track, but only 0.008s split the Spaniard from compatriot Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing). Rins’ 2:04.007 benchmark was over four tenths clear of third place Miller though. He had encountered an issue with his GSX-RR with about 20 minutes to go and then had to pit for fuel on his second bike, but that didn’t stop the 2019 Americas GP winner.

Quartararo began his weekend with a P4, the Frenchman 0.443 behind Rins in the opening 45-minute stint, with Marc Marquez’ return getting off the ground with a very solid P5.

Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) crashed unhurt at Turn 18 in the early exchanges of the session, and then he too had a technical issue at the end of the session.


FP1 table topper Rins was the first rider to stick some fresh soft rear Michelin rubber in with 22 minutes to go, and his time was a 2:03.030 – half a second faster than anyone else. Miller had sat P1 after a flurry of riders set their personal best times in the early stages of the session, including Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), Viñales and Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), but with 20 minutes to go, there was a new benchmark thanks to the number 42 Suzuki.


Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Jack Miller (43). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Bagnaia then took over in second before Joan Mir made it a Team Suzuki Ecstar 1-2 with four minutes left on Friday. But the red sector times were starting to light up the screen. Marc Marquez slotted into P2 as Miller returned to top spot by 0.2s, with Viñales going P4. All of a sudden though, it became a leading trio of Ducatis as Zarco set the best time of the day, with Bastianini going P3 behind Miller too.


Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Dorna.


Quartararo soon hit back to take third, although the Frenchman was nearly three tenths away from countryman Zarco. And that’s how it stayed by the time all the riders had taken the chequered flag; Zarco fastest from Ducati stablemate Miller and Quartararo.

Provisional Q2 places

Behind the top three, Bastianini had a good day at the office to finish P4, the Italian just 0.3s shy of Zarco’s pace, with Rins shuffled down to P5 by the end of the session after going early on his soft tyre strategy.

Marc Marquez’ sixth on his return to MotoGP™ action was an interesting one, and we saw a happy Viñales at the end of Day 1 – P7 for Top Gun. Mir, after briefly sitting P2, is currently heading into Q2 in P8 ahead of Bagnaia and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) – the two GP22 riders rounding out that all-important top 10.

That means Aleix Espargaro has work to do in FP3 if he’s to grab an automatic place in Q2 in Austin, with the Spaniard missing out by a slender 0.015s. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – the leading KTM on a tough day for the factory – are the only other riders within a second of Zarco’s scintillating time, down in P12 and P13.

Darryn Binder (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™ Team) crashed unhurt late on at Turn 11.

FP3 will be a fascinating watch. With no rain forecast, conditions should allow for some time improvements to be made. Make sure to tune into that at 09:55 local time (GMT-5) on Saturday morning, before FP4 at 13:30 and qualifying from 14:10.

Aldeguer beats Arbolino by just 0.046 on Friday, with Beaubier third on home turf

Day 1 sees a close fight at the top and a home hero shine at COTA


Fermin Aldeguer (54). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Fermin Aldeguer (54). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Fermin Aldeguer (MB Conveyors Speed Up) continues to impress in Moto2™ this season as the Spaniard ended Day 1 at the top of the timesheets at the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. Aldeguer set a 2:09.155 in the second Free Practice session to beat Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) by just 0.046s, with Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) beginning his home GP with a P3 overall on Day 1.


Despite a late crash, Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) topped FP1 with a 2:10.489, a time good enough to beat Beaubier by 0.036s. Arbolino was also fast first time out, rounding out the first top three of the weekend.

Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40) and Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) completed the top five, the duo were the only other riders to get within half a second of pacesetter Fernandez.

Jake Dixon (Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team) and Barry Baltus (RW Racing GP) crashed unhurt in the opening session of the weekend.


It was a closely fought FP2 session, with every rider bar one going quicker than they did in the cooler FP1 conditions. The fastest times of the day came at the end of the session, with Aldeguer eventually pipping Arbolino to P1 on his final flying lap. Beaubier also set his personal best lap on his final time attack effort to climb into the top three.

World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) struggled to P15 after crashing unhurt at Turn 5, rider ok but currently outside the provisional Q2 places.

Provisional Q2 places

Behind Aldeguer, Arbolino and Beaubier, Dixon claimed P4 on Day 1. Second in the Championship, Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40), was fifth with FP1 pacesetter Fernandez in P6. Reigning Moto3™ World Champion Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) went well to finish P7, with Argentina GP podium finisher Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) picking up P8. A late effort from Jorge Navarro (Flexbox HP40) – despite a crash – and Albert Arenas (Shimoko GASGAS Aspar Team) round out the top 10.

Home hero Sean Dylan Kelly (American Racing) headed to the medical centre for a check-up after a crash in FP2, thankfully he was later declared fit, as we also saw a crash for Gabriel Rodrigo (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) – he too went to the medical centre and will be reviewed before FP3.

That FP3 will be a vital session for Vietti after home favourite Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) knocked the Italian out of the top 14, so make sure you tune into that on Saturday morning before qualifying from 12:35 (GMT -5).

Foggia flies to the top in Texas

The Italian dominates on Friday to end the day with some daylight ahead of Migno


Dennis Foggia (7). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Dennis Foggia (7). Photo courtesy Dorna.

Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) flexed some speed on Day 1 at the Red Bull Grand Prix of Americas, pulling clear by more than three tenths ahead of compatriot Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team). Third was an impressive push from Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) as the Spaniard starts to stake his claim on some serious pace in his rookie season.


Migno set a 2:16.241 in  FP1 to start the day on top of the timesheets, ahead of second place Foggia. The Leopard Racing rider was 0.382s down on Migno’s best effort, while Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) completed the top three.

Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Xavier Artigas (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP) took P4 and P5 as actioned opened for the lightweight class, with World Championship leader Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) finishing P9 – 1.068s away from top spot.


2:15.440 from Foggia put him on top in FP2 as he turned the tables on FP1 pacesetter Migno by a similar 0.384s. Reigning FIM JuniorGP™ World Champion Daniel Holgado (Red Bull KTM Ajo) climbed into the top three with a late lap in the afternoon session, the rookie seriously impressing on first touch with COTA.

Lapping alone at the end of FP2, Foggia was able to briefly sit 0.7s clear, but Migno did slightly reel him in at the end of the day. Only five riders lapped within a second of Foggia though, with the Italian stamping his authority on Austin on the opening day of action as only he and Migno set sub 2:16 lap times.

Provisional Q2 places

Behind Foggia, Migno and Holgado, Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) is fourth fastest on Day 1 and having missed most of FP1.

Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3) strung together a great FP2 to claim P5, with Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) in P6 as the final rider to get within a second of Foggia’s blistering time. Tatay suffered a heavy crash at Turn 18 in FP2 but the Spaniard was unhurt and ended the day in P7, he leads Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing), 2021 COTA winner Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) and Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) inside the top 10.

World Championship leader Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) claimed P11 on the combined timesheets, 1.1s down on title rival Foggia by the end of play. Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Matteo Bertelle (QJMotor Avintia Racing Team) and Alberto Surra (Rivacold Snipers Team), the latter despite a crash, are the final riders currently set to move through to Q2.

That could still change on Saturday morning, however, with FP3 another shot at graduation. Then, qualifying begins for the lightweight class at 15:10 (GMT -5) – so don’t miss it!




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


Austin (Texas), 8th April 2022



Today, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo continued the good feeling he had in Austin, Texas last year on Day 1 of the 2022 Grand Prix of The Americas. Franco Morbidelli used the Friday free practice sessions to work on his base set-up. They took 3rd and 21st place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.

3rd FABIO QUARTARARO 2’02.837 (FP2) / 17 + 16 LAPS

21st FRANCO MORBIDELLI 2’04.664 (FP2) / 14 + 15 LAPS

Today the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team kicked off proceedings at the Grand Prix of The Americas event with mixed results. Whilst Fabio Quartararo secured a provisional top-3 position in the combined free practice standings, Franco Morbidelli is still looking for a set-up to his liking, ending the day in 21st place.

Quartararo had a strong start to the Texas round and soon featured inside the top 5. In perfect riding conditions, the Yamaha man focused on tweaking his bike‘s set-up from last year‘s race in October to suit the current state of track. He ended FP1 in fourth place, 0.443s from first thanks to his 2‘04.450s best time.

Having established the resurfaced COTA track has good grip, the Frenchman went straight to work in the hotter afternoon session to prepare for Sunday‘s race. He systematically found and crossed off points of improvement, before putting his crew and his work to the test at the end of the session. He clocked a 2‘02.837s on his last lap, earning him third place in the FP2 and combined results, 0.295s off today‘s top position.

Morbidelli was greatly looking forward to riding in Austin, but his first day of experiencing the tricky Texan track fully fit didn‘t go as smoothly as he would have liked. He tried various race set-ups in FP1 but didn‘t find the right feeling. His 2‘05.287s best lap put him in 17th place, 1.280s from the top.

The Italian and his crew used the afternoon session to find a solid base setting. Not able to complete a time attack at the end due to yellow flags, he wrapped up the first day of the Americas GP weekend with a best time of 2‘04.664s that put him in 21st place in the FP2 and the combined free practice results, 2.122s from first.



First of all, we were positively surprised about the condition of the track. Most of the bumps which last year created a lot of difficulties were smoothed out. We had a mixed day, with one rider feeling quite good with the bike in general, whilst the other one is still trying to find a set-up that suits him. Fabio had a good pace straight away and also made some changes during these two practice sessions that bore fruit. When the time came to do a flying lap, he delivered. We tried different set-ups with Franky today, but that cost us quite a bit of track time and unfortunately when he tried to do a time attack, he got yellow flags.


Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Fabio Quartararo (20). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.



It’s great to be in the top 3. We still need to improve our pace, but our goal was to finish inside the top 5, and we achieved it. We may have a bit of margin in Sector 2 and the last sector. I feel quite good, and I think that when I’ve done more laps on the soft, it will be great. The new asphalt is a totally different story compared to last year. Last time we missed the pleasure to ride, but this year we can really send the bike into corner 2, 3, and 10. We can really go fast. It’s like finally we are back at COTA for real.


Franco Morbidellli (21). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.
Franco Morbidelli (21). Photo courtesy Monster Energy Yamaha.



We are trying different things to get better, but today our pace was not that good. We need to improve. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do a time attack, because I got yellow flags. We are quite far behind, but we will try to improve for tomorrow.




More, from a press release issued by Aprilia:



The Grand Prix of the Americas got off on the right foot for Aprilia Racing. On a track which, on paper, is one of the most difficult on the entire calendar, the 2022 Aprilia RS-GP once again demonstrated a good level of competitiveness in Friday’s two free practice sessions with Maverick Viñales doing the seventh time at 2’03”085 and Aleix Espargaró not far behind in eleventh place with a time of 2’03”370.

Besides the positions in the standings, both riders had good sensations in the saddle. Second and eighth respectively at the end of the morning FP1 session, Viñales and Espargaró continued working in the afternoon with good feedback in terms of pace. In the FP3 session tomorrow morning, the goal will be to go straight through to Q2, where the top 12 positions on the starting grid will be decided for the Grand Prix race scheduled to be held on Sunday at 1 in the afternoon, local time.


Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.
Aleix Espargaro (41). Photo courtesy Aprilia.



“Closing out Friday in the top ten usually makes things easier on Saturday, but we aren’t worried. Quite simply, I was unable to be incisive on the flying lap, so we’ll try again tomorrow in FP3. Last year I struggled a lot on this track and we were far behind the leaders. Now, on the other hand, the situation is completely different. The bike is working much better and I feel competitive. I have a good pace. The asphalt conditions have improved. There are still some bumps, but the times demonstrate that you can be fast.”


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



“We’re working extremely well with the team and every time we go out on the track, we manage to take another step forward. I’m adapting more and more to the bike and consequently I’m able to push harder. The settings we found recently work well here as well, so I’m happy about that. Today, partly because of some mistakes, I only missed the flying lap in the finale of FP2, but I’m rather satisfied with our pace.”




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


Alex Rins: 5th – 2’03.030 (+ 0.488)

Joan Mir: 8th – 2’03.143 (+ 0.601)

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders were happy to take to the track on Friday morning, returning to the well-liked Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin under sunny but windy skies.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir used FP1 to gauge the track conditions, with the circuit having been partially resurfaced since their last visit here in October 2021. The pair reported an improvement, with the infamous bumps lessened compared with last season. Rins had a setback with 20 minutes of the session left when his GSX-RR stopped on track with a minor issue that was fixed soon after. However, he was quickly back on track with the second bike and it cost him very little in the end; Rins was able to top FP1, also setting the fastest time through sectors 1 and 4. Mir finished the first session of the day in 11th.

In FP2 the pace was hotting up among the field, with the Top 12 covered by 1 second, and Suzuki’s riders felt ready to go for a time attack. Rins went for it earlier than usual, he had impressive speed and sailed to the top of the timesheets for a good part of the session. After following his plan, Rins closed Friday fifth on combined. Mir also had a successful time attack when he rocketed up to second place with four minutes to go. But after he lost a flying lap due to a run-off he was shuffled down the order to eighth on combined.


Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Team ECSTAR Suzuki.
Alex Rins (42). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.



Alex Rins:

“Today was a good day and we put together a really nice FP2 session. We chose a different strategy today; putting in a fast lap early in the session and then working on race pace. I did around eight laps with strong pace, so that seemed to work well. Tomorrow I need to continue this work and check the medium tyre compound, and work on my final settings. But today has gone smoothly overall, and I’m pleased with my speed and the way the bike feels so far.”


Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.
Joan Mir (36). Photo courtesy Team Suzuki ECSTAR.


Joan Mir:

“It was a positive day overall, we made some steps forward and we were able to be pretty strong and competitive, so I’m happy about that. This track is not an easy one, but the bumps are smaller and the surface is improved; it was really bad last year but now we’re more able to cope. We still need to make some improvements with the bike in order to boost my confidence further, but I felt that for a first day on track it’s not been bad. I’m in the Top 10 so far, we just need to work on the setup to try and stabilise the bike a little more ahead of qualifying and the race.”

Livio Suppo – Team Manager:

“It was a good day for both our riders. The new surface seems to be an improvement compared with the past, and both Alex and Joan are looking good. We’ve done a lot of work today to prepare for the race, and the time attacks were also pretty quick. Tomorrow we’ll continue to work on the settings and the lap times, and I’m confident that both our riders can have a good weekend here.”




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez returns as Espargaro battles stomach bug in America

Marc Marquez put together a steady Friday in Austin as he returned to competition, ending the day sixth overall as illness holds back resilient Pol Espargaro.

Some six months after their last visit, the MotoGP World Championship grid was back in action around the 5.5-kilometre-long Circuit of the Americas as round four of the season got underway. Weather conditions remained consistent over the day’s running as the ambient temperature hovered around the mid 20s and the track say in the high 40s.

The Americas GP marked the return of Marc Marquez to MotoGP competition after his Warm Up fall in Indonesia. Taking a steady and considered approach to Friday, the eight-time World Champion increased his speed with each lap around one of his favourite tracks on the 2022 MotoGP World Championship calendar. Ending the morning in fifth, Marquez was able to fully understand his physical condition upon returning to the 1000cc Repsol Honda Team RC213V.

Focusing on rebuilding his confidence and feeling with the bike, Marquez and his side of the Repsol Honda Team are pleased with what they accomplished. Ultimatley a best time of 2’03.041 saw him take sixth overall. Saturday will see Marquez work for the GP having had ‘a day for himself’ today.

Pol Espargaro’s day got off to a complicated start in Texas with an early fall at Turn 18. Able to remount, Espargaro rode his RC213V back to the box and returned to the circuit after just a few minutes on his second machine. Ending the session in sixth and right behind his teammate, the morning finally ended on a positive note. After the session the #44 felt unwell and was left sapped of strength as he battled through stomach discomfort. Missing out on a spot in the combined top ten, Espargaro is hoping a good night’s rest will help him recover his strength. Even with his lack of energy, Espargaro finished the day within a second of the leader and under half a second of his teammate

Conditions are looking almost identical to today on Saturday, Free Practice 3 offering another opportunity to move inside the top ten. With lap times already dipping into the 2’02 bracket, it’s sure to be another tight and hard-fought session.


Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Marc Marquez (93). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.


Marc Marquez

SIXTH  2’03.041

“It’s of course nice to ride again but it was not a simple day. Our focus today was on me, about getting my feeling back and working with the team to see where we are and what the situation is. We have some good speed it and from tomorrow we will start to work for the GP. I mean, work more on the setting and getting closer to the limit rather than having a day to focus on myself. Physically I am okay after today but we were not pushing as much over longer runs, we are looking to be fresh for the race.”


Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.
Pol Espargaro (44). Photo courtesy Repsol Honda.


Pol Espargaro

12TH  2’03.438

“Today was a really tough day, I am not feeling well and I have no power because I have a lot of pain and upset in my stomach. In the morning it was OK but for the afternoon session I was finished, I tried sleeping between sessions to help. The bike is performing well and there’s a lot of potential, but I have no strength. This is maybe one of the most difficult tracks to have a problem like this at because it is so physical. The plan is to head straight to the hotel and rest as much as possible before tomorrow. We need to put together one fast lap for Qualifying but there are many people who will be strong over a lap.”




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

AMERICAS GP – Johann Zarco is the fastest man on track, Jorge Martin P10

The first day of free practice at the Circuit of the Americas ends in an extremely positive way for Johann Zarco, who finishes in first position, but also for his team mate Martin, who finishes in the top ten. After a first free session where the Frenchman struggled, Johann gains an important first position with a time of 2:02.542. Jorge Martin, who had closed the fp1 session in fourteenth place, improves his performance in the afternoon session by more than two tenths, closing with his best time of 2:03.355 in tenth place.


Jorge Martín

I’m very satisfied with today’s work, the pace is very good and I have a very good confidence with the bike. Today I didn’t try the time attack, but I’m positive that tomorrow I can do a good qualifying.

Johann Zarco

Very happy with the time we were able to do after only one day of practice. It was a long time since I had such a positive feeling. Tomorrow I will try to improve further, I feel in great shape.




More, from a press release issued by Tech3 KTM Factory Racing:

Orange Duo of Rookies Discovers Americas on a MotoGP Bike

Only a couple of months after our last visit, the Circuit of the Americas welcomed back the MotoGP action on Friday for the first day of the weekend, combining FP1 and FP2. Following the resurfacing work done over the last couple of months to try to get rid of the numerous bumps on the track, both Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez were able to witness the evolution, at the same time as discovering the American rodeo on their KTM RC16. It was a positive Day 1 overall for the Tech3 KTM Factory Racing after both riders were able to register progress as the day went by. Tomorrow, the target will be set on qualifying, a session that both rookies are looking to improve in order to start from better positions.

Happy to be back at the Circuit of the Americas and hoping to forget about his crash from last season in Moto2, Australian Remy Gardner started the first session strongly, making appearances within the Top 15 during the first half. During his second run, he was able to register 2.05.967, before signing off his best lap-time during the third and final run in 2.05.672 with new tyres. Remy’s crew seems to be shifting towards similar bike’s settings than the ones used by factory rider Brad Binder, a direction the Moto2 World champion admitted finding positive. In the afternoon, he continued to improve (2’04.535), and finished the day in P20. Tomorrow, he will aim to get more laps in with these settings he seems to enjoy, with high hopes to improve his qualifying.

Winner of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas in Moto2 last year, the MotoGP adventure was always going to be a different one for Raul Fernandez, only competing in his fourth race in the class this season. When Free Practice 1 started at 09:55 local time (GMT-5), the rookie was able to be fast quickly and made appearances within the Top 15, just like his teammate. During his second run, he registered 2’05.326, only 0.343 behind the KTM RC16 from Brad Binder, and was first of the rookies this morning. In the afternoon, he managed to improve even more his time (2’04.770), but so did everyone else, leaving him in P23 at the end of the combined FP1 and FP2. Tomorrow, Raul will continue his efforts when the action resumes, at 9:55 (GMT-5) with Free Practice 3.


Remy Gardner (87). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.
Remy Gardner (87). Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.


Remy Gardner

Position: 20th

Time: 2’04.535

Laps: 28

“Today was a good day. We are starting to take similar directions than what Brad Binder is using. Of course, everytime we make a change, we need to compensate with the front, but I believe that we are going in the right direction, so I am hoping to take another step further tomorrow in FP3.”


Raul Fernandez. Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.
Raul Fernandez. Photo courtesy Tech3 KTM Factory Racing.


Raul Fernandez

Position: 23rd

Time: 2’04.770

Laps: 19

“The first day was positive and I had a good pace, which is the most important. However, when we tried to do a fast lap to prepare for tomorrow in order to get a good grid position, the bike was moving too much on the front, so we need to try to understand the reasons and correct this for tomorrow, otherwise it will be difficult to get a good position. We know that we need to target the middle of the grid to be able to score points.”




More, from a press release issued by WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team:

WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team kicks off Amercias GP with rodeo ride

Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder stepped forward on day one at the Circuit of the Americas.

The fourth round of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship started today in sunny, but windy and fresh conditions in the morning at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas. Thereby, the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team duo delivered some improvements from Free Practice one to Free Practice two at the famous and partly resurfaced American track.

Andrea Dovizioso used the first session of the weekend to re-adapt to the COTA again, after he already rode the American GP aboard his Yamaha YZR-M1 less than half year ago. But changed conditions also required some adaptations. From FP1 to FP2, the Italian showed some great steps forward. He went 1.618 seconds quicker in the second session and eventually missed out on the top 10 by just 0.293 seconds in the ultra-tight premier class field.

It was an even harder task for Darryn Binder, as the rookie tried the big machine for the first time this morning. Yet, he managed to finish FP1 in 22nd position and lowered his lap time in Free Practice two by an impressive 1.519 seconds. On his way to an even faster lap time, he unfortunately went down towards the end of FP2, but is confident to step further ahead in the following days.

Saturday’s action is set to kick off with FP3 tomorrow at 09.55 local time (16:55 CET), followed by FP4 for the MotoGP class at 13:30 local time (20:30 CET) and the Qualifying sessions, starting from 14:10 local time (21:10 CET).


Andrea Dovizioso (04). Photo courtesy WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team.
Andrea Dovizioso (04). Photo courtesy WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team.



“Overall, I felt better today, I was closer, only three tenths behind Fabio and was pretty happy about that. On my last run, I somehow wasn’t able to use the potential of the soft rear and I didn’t make a really good lap time, so I didn’t end up inside the top 10, but the way I rode today, I felt I was close to the top 10. Let’s see how things work out tomorrow, I’m sure the grip will be higher, so everybody will go for the lap time. We also have to keep an eye on the wind as it seems to get stronger with each day. Anyway, I’m happy, because we changed the setup a bit after the race in Argentina from what we felt and learned in the race and with this, I was able to improve a bit on the braking, which helped me today.”


Darryn Binder (40). Photo courtesy WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team.
Darryn Binder (40). Photo courtesy WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team.



“It’s really nice to be back in America. The track has definitely improved from last year. It was very nice to get out on this circuit on a MotoGP bike, although it’s definitely a much more physical track to what we’ve been to so far. It’s different, there’s a lot more stop and go than the first three circuits on the calendar, so it’s a little change this weekend. So far, I definitely enjoy riding here and I’m feeling good apart from the small crash I had. Anyway, I’m ready to try again tomorrow.”




More, from a press release issued by Mooney VR46 Racing Team:


The rider of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team is P14 in the combined standings. Close to the Top15 also Marco Bezzecchi, 19th

Austin (USA), April 8th 2022 – A first approach to the very special COTA track for the Mooney VR46 Racing Team with Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi close to the Top15, respectively in P14 and P19 in the combined standings of the Day1.

In the slip stream of the fastest guys from the FP1, Luca is the protagonist of an important step forward in the afternoon session and closes with a best lap time of 2:03.562, just two tenths of a second from the direct access into the Q2 and just over a second from the very first guys (Zarco, 2’02.542).

Not far from the riders fighting for the positions that represent the access to the second qualifying session (tomorrow from 02:10 pm local time, 09.10 pm CET) also Marco, struggling for the first time with the Ducati Desmosedici GP on a demanding track as Austin, who scores a good 2’04.463 in the final minutes of the session.


Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.
Luca Marini (10). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.


Luca Marini #10:

I expected to be closer in terms of gap both on the lap time and on the pace. We have to analyse the data, understand where I lose exactly because the feeling with the bike is not bad at all, but in each sector I leave a few tenths. The tarmac conditions, compared to 2021, are better but there are many bumps, an aspect to consider and on which we took a step forward in FP2 thanks to the electronics. I struggle in the change if direction, but tomorrow we will full exploit the two free practice sessions for getting faster.


Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.
Marco Bezzecchi (72). Photo courtesy Mooney VR46 Racing Team.


Marco Bezzecchi #72:

For being in Austin, it wasn’t a bad  day. We had some problems with the first bike in the FP2, I was on track with the second bike, with which I don’t have the same feeling, but we are not very far from the top guys. We have to stay focused, keep working and analyse the data well: all the Ducati are very fast, stable in braking but we struggle a little in the change of direction.

Pablo Nieto, Team Manager:

We know that Austin is one of the most difficult tracks in the Championship: very technical, especially the first sector. We didn’t start in the way we expected, but there is still a lot to do. Luca did a good job, he is not far away, while Marco has struggled a bit more. The asphalt conditions are particular: there are many bumps, an aspect to manage, but the situation has improved from 2021.




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


Álex Márquez made a solid start as free practice for the Grand Prix of the Americas got underway on Friday. The LCR Honda CASTROL rider was competitive throughout, but will look to make a step in qualifying on Saturday after finishing in 16th overall at COTA on Friday.

The Spaniard was 15th in FP1 as he reacquainted himself with the layout in Austin on MotoGP machinery. He improved by over a second in the afternoon’s FP2, but was unable to better his position on the timesheets in a competitive session and will now look to make a big move in FP3 when the action resumes on Saturday.


Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.
Alex Marquez (73). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.


Álex Márquez – 16th


“First day here in Austin and we started really well in FP1 with intensity, something that we needed in Argentina. We were quite good, working on different set-ups to try different things. In FP2 we tried our best, but we were still missing confidence on the front and turning, the bike was too heavy and this is where we need to focus tomorrow. In some parts we’re really fast, so we need to try more things, for tomorrow and Sunday especially the wind will be stronger and it will be interesting to see how everyone adapts to that. We need to make a solid Saturday, Q2 will be difficult to reach, but we’ll try our best and thanks to the team for their work.”




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


Round four of the 2022 MotoGP World Championship got underway at Circuit of the Americas on Friday with Taka Nakagami experiencing a mixed day. The LCR Honda IDEMITSU rider made an impressive start in Texas, but will now look to improve on Saturday to ensure a second successive appearance in Q2.

The Japanese star hit the ground running in FP1 as he claimed 9th position, finishing just seven tenths behind pacesetter Alex Rins. Although he improved in FP2, he was hampered by the front-end issues that have affected him in the early rounds of the season and ultimately had to settle for 17th position on the timesheets.


Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.
Takaaki Nakagami (30). Photo courtesy LCR Honda.


Takaaki Nakagami – 17th


“Today we struggled a bit, especially in the afternoon FP2 when, from the beginning I didn’t have a great feeling on the front end, we definitely need to find a solution tomorrow in FP3. That’s the main target for tomorrow and, once I get a good front-end feeling, the lap time will come. I’ll try my best and hopefully we can find it during FP3.”




More, from a press release issued by Gresini Racing:


#AmericasGP Free Practice. The Gresini Racing MotoGP Team is back up to speed at the Circuit of The America in Austin, Texas, courtesy of an excellent performance by Enea Bastianini from already from the early minutes of this opening day of action. His fourth-quickest lap-time is the icing on the cake, as the pace shown in both Free Practice sessions bodes well for the rest of the weekend.

Fabio Di Giannantonio showed an interesting progression that took him all the way up to 18th place in day one, with a remarkable improvement across the two sessions. Great teamwork allowed him to constantly improved his feeling with the Desmosedici GP21 machine on one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar.


Enea Bastianini (23). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.
Enea Bastianini (23). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.


4th ENEA BASTIANINI #23 (2’02.284s)

“I was able to recover the feeling I had at the start of the year, which we basically missed only in Argentina. We’re surely competitive although there’s till work to do. We performed really well on the single lap and that’s very important ahead of tomorrow. We still need to focus on the braking area and on long corners – but as I said the overall set-up is already there. During my best lap I got distracted a little due to a crash at 11 by another rider, meaning we could have done even a little better. We still have to make a decision regarding tyres: I liked the harder option at the front-end, but it’s too early to choose.”


Fabio Di Giannantonio (49). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.
Fabio Di Giannantonio (49). Photo courtesy Gresini Racing.


18th – FABIO DI GIANNANTONIO (2’04.367s)

“We started off quite badly this morning, but we worked well, and with some important changes to the bike I was able to get more confident aboard my Ducati. I need to avoid focusing too on lap-time performances and results and rather think about finding the best feeling aboard the bike… the rest will come.”




More, from a press release issued by Lenovo Ducati Team:

Miller second at the end of Friday of free practices for the Americas GP in Texas. Ninth Bagnaia

Two Ducatis lead the way at the Circuit of The Americas, with Zarco (Pramac Racing Team) first ahead of Miller

Day 1 of free practice for the Americas GP scheduled for this weekend at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin (Texas) saw two Ducatis leading the way as Jack Miller closed second, behind Johann Zarco, first with the Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team.

The Aussie rider found himself immediately comfortable at the American track as he set the third fastest time already in FP1. In the afternoon, Miller continued to be quick and went on to take the lead in his last exit with the soft tyre, but he eventually finished second a few minutes before the end, when Zarco managed to beat his time by 247 thousandths.

It was a positive day also for Francesco Bagnaia, who, despite finishing only ninth in Texas, declares that he had good sensations on his Desmosedici GP today. In the first two free practice sessions, the Italian focused on improving his pace ahead of Sundays’ race without paying too much attention to the timesheets. Bagnaia is confident that he can aim for a spot directly into Q2 during tomorrow’s FP3.


Jack Miller (63). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Jack Miller (63). Photo courtesy Ducati.


Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 2nd (2:02.789)

“The weekend is off to a good start – the bike is working well, and the track conditions are awesome compared to the past, although there are still a few small bumps that I think are part of the characteristics of this track. The Circuit of The Americas is unique, and I always like to come back here. From the start, the feeling with my Desmosedici has been good, and the team is doing a great job, which has allowed me to improve between the two sessions. So I’m happy and confident that I can do well in the next two days here in America”.


Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Francesco Bagnaia (63). Photo courtesy Ducati.


Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 9th (2:03.187)

“I’m satisfied with this first day of work here in Texas. It was a normal start compared to the last few races, and today I focused mainly on improving my pace. My feeling with the bike is good, and in FP2, we were able to do a great job. Tomorrow morning in FP3, we’ll try to make the time to qualify directly for Q2, while it will be important to work on the tyre choice during FP4. I’m happy and determined to have a good qualifying session tomorrow”.

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back on track tomorrow at 9:55am local time (CEST -7:00 am) for FP3, while qualifying for the GP of the Americas will take place from 2:10pm (9:10pm in Italy) at the end of FP4.

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