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Practice report
MotoGP British GP

MotoGP British GP: Bezzecchi leads VR46 1-2 from Marini in FP1

Marco Bezzecchi led a VR46 1-2 from team-mate Luca Marini in the first free practice session for MotoGP’s British Grand Prix.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

The Italian set a 2m00.295s on his final attempt to top the timesheet, with Marini just 0.036s behind him in second.

Bezzecchi, who sits third in the championship standings after the summer break, set a benchmark of 2m04.821s to lead early on, before improving to a 2m00.885s on lap five.

That lap remained quickest for much of the session, before Marini went faster with five minutes left, just five thousandths of a second better than Bezzecchi.

But Bezzecchi went faster still on his final flying lap, topping the timesheet as he hopes to continue his strong form, having taken a sprint race win and a second-place in the grand prix at Assen last time out.

The VR46 Ducati pair led from the Pramac duo of Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco, with just two-tenths separating first and fourth fastest.

With FP1 no longer counting towards Q1 and Q2, it was a more sedate start to the session than usual.

Bezzecchi set an early benchmark before it was bettered by Martin, with a 2m04.506s going quickest as Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales slotted into third.

KTM factory rider Jack Miller went top next, with a 2m02.808s, 0.09s quicker than Bezzecchi in second.

Bezzecchi then improved once more to take the lead, with Miller in second and Vinales in third, while Franco Morbidelli, who will leave Yamaha at the end of the season as Alex Rins replaces him, went fourth.

Aleix Espargaro continued Aprilia’s positive showing, going second-quickest next, 0.589s off Bezzecchi’s time, with Miller in third.

The cool conditions at Silverstone proved challenging as the session continued, with Miller sliding at Luffield as riders tackled strong winds.

Bezzecchi led from Espargaro and Marini at the halfway mark, with Gresini Ducati rider Alex Marquez and KTM’s Brad Binder rounding off the top five.

Bezzecchi ran wide at Brooklands into the heavy braking area as conditions continued to prove difficult but held on to his Ducati machine.

With 20 minutes remaining, Morbidelli became the weekend’s first faller after a high-side at Luffield, the rear of his Yamaha stepping out and flinging him off, though he walked away unscathed.

Martin improved to third with 10 minutes remaining, with Marini then taking the top spot with a 2m00.831s with five minutes left on the clock.

Espargaro briefly captured the lead, 0.154s faster than Marini, before Zarco went faster still with a 2m00.467s.

Marini improved to a 2m00.331s before Bezzecchi finally finished the session top.

Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia appeared frustrated in the closing stages, having had a quiet FP1 which saw him finish 14th.

Finishing his quickest effort, his 14th of 15, the Ducati factory rider shook his head as he crossed the line 12th fastest before being demoted two places.

Several riders had incidents after their practice starts, with Vinales stalling before Ducati rider Enea Bastianini crashed at Becketts on his way to his second practice start, landing on his right shoulder, which was injured earlier in the Portuguese GP sprint race in April.

Iker Lecuona, standing in for Rins at LCR Honda, then stopped on his way back to the pits and was forced to push his bike back.

Miller finished the session fifth, with Espargaro in sixth ahead of Morbidelli. RNF Aprilia’s Raul Fernandez was eighth, with Vinales and Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo rounding off the top 10.

Marc Marquez, whose future at Honda remains the source of much discussion, was 15th, with a 2m01.586s, 1.2s off the pace.

Pol Espargaro, returning for his first grand prix since March’s season-opening Portuguese Grand Prix, finished the session in 22nd as he got to grips with his GasGas KTM machine.

The eight-time MotoGP podium finisher suffered multiple fractures to his back and jaw after hitting an unprotected barrier in an FP2 crash, forcing him to sit out much of the season.

MotoGP British GP - FP1 results

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Italy M. Bezzecchi Marco Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 16 2'00.295   176.565  
2 Italy L. Marini Luca Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 17 +0.036 0.036 176.513  
3 Spain J. Martin Jorge Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 16 +0.075 0.039 176.455  
4 France J. Zarco Johann Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 17 +0.172 0.097 176.313  
5 Australia J. Miller Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 16 +0.370 0.198 176.024  
6 Spain A. Espargaro Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 15 +0.382 0.012 176.007  
7 Italy F. Morbidelli Franco Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 14 +0.561 0.179 175.746  
8 Spain R. Fernández Raúl Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 16 +0.641 0.080 175.630  
9 Spain M. Viñales Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 18 +0.803 0.162 175.395  
10 France F. Quartararo Fabio Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 17 +0.946 0.143 175.188  
11 Spain A. Marquez Alex Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 16 +0.964 0.018 175.162  
12 Italy E. Bastianini Enea Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 17 +1.122 0.158 174.934  
13 South Africa B. Binder Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 19 +1.156 0.034 174.885  
14 Italy F. Bagnaia Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 15 +1.225 0.069 174.786  
15 Spain M. Marquez Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 16 +1.291 0.066 174.691  
16 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 17 +1.619 0.328 174.221  
17 Portugal M. Oliveira Miguel Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 16 +1.879 0.260 173.850  
18 Japan T. Nakagami Takaaki Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 14 +2.258 0.379 173.312  
19 Spain A. Fernandez Augusto Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 17 +2.265 0.007 173.302  
20 Spain J. Mir Joan Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 17 +2.453 0.188 173.037  
21 Spain I. Lecuona Iker Lecuona Repsol Honda Team 27 Honda 17 +2.581 0.128 172.857  
22 Spain P. Espargaro Pol Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 16 +3.502 0.921 171.571  

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