Miller fastest in Friday practice at Aragon MotoGP

Jack Miller. Picture: MotoGP.com

Jack Miller has set the pace in Friday practice for MotoGP’s Aragon Grand Prix.

The Queenslander rode his factory Ducati Lenovo Team entry to a 1:47.613s in the final four minutes of Free Practice 2 at MotorLand Aragon, with Aprilia Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro ending up second on a 1:47.886s.

Cal Crutchlow wound up third-quickest in just his second event for Monster Energy Yamaha with a 1:47.897s, ahead of Pramac Ducati team-mates Johann Zarco on a 1:47.988s and Jorge Martin on a 1:48.023s.

Miller was well outside the top 10 cut-off for direct passage to Qualifying 2 when he went onto the circuit with brand-new soft tyres on the front and rear of the #43 Desmosedici for his final run.

He was thus the first to beat Marc Marquez’s Free Practice 1 benchmark of 1:48.048s, which left the Repsol Honda rider eighth on the combined timesheet given he did not improve in the latter of the day’s two 45-minute sessions.

Marquez had crashed less than 10 minutes into FP2 when he got caught out by a slipstream off brother Alex’s Castrol LCR Honda.

The six-time premier class champion had to go off-line to avoid clouting #73 at the end of the back straight and the ensuing spill left him visibly angry.

Marc Marquez returned on his second bike, believed to be the older of the two Honda chassis at his disposal this weekend, and eventually went as quick as a 1:48.827s, on hard tyres.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo also had his troubles, with it appearing that he may have been bitten under his helmet by an insect in the final minutes of FP2.

Nevertheless, the Monster Energy Yamaha rider did enough for seventh with a 1:48.034s, just shy of the 1:48.032s which left the Ducati Lenovo Team’s Francesco Bagnaia sixth.

The latter was another who hit the deck in FP2, losing the front of his Desmosedici through Turn 5 in the 13th minute of the session.

Ninth on combined times after a total of 90 minutes was Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu LCR Honda) on a 1:48.057s, with Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Ducati) last of those provisionally into Q2 thanks to a 1:48.086s.

Last-round pole-sitter Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda) is 11th-fastest so far on a 1:48.166s, with Alex Rins 12th on a 1:48.267s and his Suzuki Ecstar team-mate Joan Mir all the way back in 21st on a 1:48.886s.

Maverick Viñales ended his first day of practice on an Aprilia in 20th position on a 1:48.755s.

Free Practice 3 takes place on Saturday evening (AEST), ahead of Free Practice 4, Qualifying 1, and Q2.

Friday practice: Aragon MotoGP Combined times

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Session
1 43 J.MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:47.613 FP2
2 41 A.ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:47.886 FP2
3 35 C.CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:47.897 FP2
4 5 J.ZARCO FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 1:47.988 FP2
5 89 J.MARTIN ESP Pramac Racing Ducati 1:48.023 FP2
6 63 F.BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:48.032 FP2
7 20 F.QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:48.034 FP2
8 93 M.MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:48.048 FP1
9 30 T.NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:48.057 FP2
10 23 E.BASTIANINI ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1:48.086 FP2
11 44 P.ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:48.166 FP2
12 42 A.RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:48.267 FP2
13 33 B.BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:48.278 FP2
14 73 A.MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:48.314 FP2
15 9 D.PETRUCCI ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:48.351 FP2
16 10 L.MARINI ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 1:48.456 FP2
17 27 I.LECUONA ESP Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:48.526 FP2
18 88 M.OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:48.623 FP2
19 46 V.ROSSI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:48.649 FP2
20 12 M.VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1:48.755 FP2
21 36 J.MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:48.886 FP2
22 96 J.DIXON GBR Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1:49.987 FP2

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]