Miller third-quickest in practice as Bagnaia breaks lap record

Jack Miller

Jack Miller has rounded out an all-Ducati top three in Friday practice for the German MotoGP.

It was a good day for the Ducati Lenovo Team at the Sachsenring, a circuit that has traditionally not favoured the Desmosedicis, with a Miller-led one-two in Free Practice 1 and a one-three in the afternoon session.

The Queenslander clocked a 1:21.479s in the morning, beating team-mate Francesco Bagnaia by 0.015s once the 45-minute hit-out was done.

Later in the day, he briefly pulled a big gap on the field when he was among the first to go into qualifying simulation mode, setting a 1:20.211s on new, soft-compound Michelin slicks.

Aprilia Racing’s Aleix Espargaro then laid down a 1:20.284s and 1:20.219s back-to-back, before Bagnaia usurped Miller with a 1:20.132s with a medium Michelin tyre on the front and soft on the rear.

That was already faster than Marc Marquez’s three-year-old All Time Lap Record, but the Italian went even faster again next time through as he set a 1:20.018s.

Mooney VR46’s Luca Marini split the factory Ducatis when he too beat Marquez’s old 1:20.195s benchmark, set in qualifying in 2019, by breaking the beam in a time of 1:20.133s.

CLICK HERE for Miller’s explanation of his performance improvement

In the end, Espargaro was the only non-Ducati rider in the top six, with Prima Pramac Racing team-mates Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin taking fifth and sixth respectively on the other two GP22-model Desmosedicis in the field.

Rounding out the top 10 were championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha), Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing), Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) on an old Ducati, and Joan Mir.

The latter’s Suzuki Ecstar team-mate, Alex Rins, is one position outside the top 10 cut-off for Qualifying 2 at present, but is gritting his teeth with a fractured wrist which cannot have been helped by a crash in FP1 at Turn 1.

Remy Gardner finished the day in 22nd position at 1.285s off the pace, two spots and 0.517s ahead of Tech3 KTM Factory Racing team-mate Raul Fernandez.

In Moto3, Australian Joel Kelso (CIP Green Power KTM) was fourth-fastest in practice as he returns to the scene of a wild debut weekend in the lightweight class last year.

Kelso has battled through pain in recent weeks after being taken out by a rogue bike in the Warm Up at Jerez in May, but is only 0.245s off the pace set by Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Honda).

MotoGP Free Practice 3 takes place tonight at 17:55 AEST, then Free Practice 4 at 21:30 AEST and Qualifying 1 from 22:10 AEST.

Joel Kelso (#66). Picture:

Friday practice: German MotoGP Combined times

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Session
1 63 F.BAGNAIA ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:20.018 FP2
2 10 L.MARINI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:20.133 FP2
3 43 J.MILLER AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1:20.211 FP2
4 41 A.ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:20.219 FP2
5 5 J.ZARCO FRA Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1:20.264 FP2
6 89 J.MARTIN ESP Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1:20.275 FP2
7 20 F.QUARTARARO FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:20.399 FP2
8 12 M.VIÑALES ESP Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1:20.478 FP2
9 49 F.DI GIANNANTO ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:20.545 FP2
10 36 J.MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:20.574 FP2
11 42 A.RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1:20.591 FP2
12 30 T.NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1:20.616 FP2
13 23 E.BASTIANINI ITA Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1:20.747 FP2
14 44 P.ESPARGARO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:20.816 FP2
15 21 F.MORBIDELLI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1:20.856 FP2
16 72 M.BEZZECCHI ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1:20.866 FP2
17 88 M.OLIVEIRA POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:20.915 FP2
18 73 A.MARQUEZ ESP LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1:21.053 FP2
19 40 D.BINDER RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:21.113 FP2
20 6 S.BRADL GER Repsol Honda Team Honda 1:21.117 FP2
21 33 B.BINDER RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:21.268 FP2
22 87 R.GARDNER AUS Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:21.303 FP2
23 04 A.DOVIZIOSO ITA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 1:21.730 FP1
24 25 R.FERNANDEZ ESP Tech3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1:21.820 FP2

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