MotoGP 2022 – Round Six – Jerez
Gran Premio Red Bull de España
Following the rollercoaster ride of Portimao, the Michelin Motorsport team and the rest of the MotoGP paddock are now on the Iberian Peninsula at Jerez in Andalusia, Spain, and the sixth round of the 2022 World Championship and on Friday reigning Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) is the rider to beat so far!
The Championship leader pulled two-tenths clear on Friday to hold off the hard-charging Ducati trio of Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing), with the Frenchman finding a late 1:37.071 in FP2 to sit top of the pile despite a crash earlier in the day.
Behind the Quartararo-Ducati caravan in the top four then, it’s Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) who ends Friday as top Honda in fifth. It was close though, the Japanese rider edging out Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) by just 0.004, and the gap didn’t get much bigger thereafter either, with Repsol Honda’s Pol Espargaro in seventh and only another 0.005 off.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins was eighth and the only rider in the top ten from FP1’s top three, and Aprilia Racing’s Maverick Viñales finished Friday in ninth.
2021 Jerez MotoGP winner Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) is currently the last set to move through, the Australian in P10 on Day 1.
That leaves the likes of Marquez, Aleix Espargaro and Mir looking for more on Saturday morning.
Fabio Quartararo – P1
“I’m happy, especially because if you check the results of the last few years in Jerez, I was always struggling on the Friday. We know the grip increases here day by day, which is important after yesterday’s rain. We have a margin with our pace because we know that with more grip, we’ll have better bike performance. This will be a strong point for us, and I already managed to put in a great lap this afternoon, so I’m pretty happy. We know where we can improve. I’m not nervous about it, because I know I can manage it. With the grip increasing, everything will be even better.”
Enea Bastianini – P2
“The feeling is surely great on the time attack, while we still have to improve race-pace wise. We made some set-up modifications and I liked them all, so we’re surely on the right path. I must say that the track was not in the best of conditions as there was still water coming up at turn five, and especially at turns two and eight.”
Francesco Bagnaia – P3
“I’m delighted with this first day here in Jerez. As was the case at Portimão, I’ve finally found positive sensations that allow me to ride the way I want to. This morning in FP1, we had a small problem that affected my performance during the session, but in the afternoon, everything was solved. The shoulder is bothering me a little bit, but it doesn’t limit my riding. I’m satisfied and confident that I can do well in qualifying tomorrow”.
Takaaki Nakagami – P5
“So far, so good here in Jerez, we were quite competitive in both FP1 and FP2. We still need to improve some points on the grip of the bike, especially in the afternoon session as conditions changed quite a lot from morning to afternoon. But we were fast in both sessions and I’m really confident on the bike, so I’m pretty happy. We’ll keep working hard to try and improve the lap times and confidence.”
“It’s time to focus on riding the bike so we can move forward, that’s the objective for the weekend. We are here to do our best and keep working, that’s what we did today. There were some things that we tried in FP1 and FP2, but during a race weekend you’re very tight on time so you have to find the balance. Our rhythm is looking quite good but we need to improve our one-lap speed a bit, half a second from Fabio is a bit too much. But there are some spots that are shinning so we can be pleased with the start we made.”
Alex Rins – P8
“It’s only Friday but things are looking very good. There’s still margin to improve, especially considering that the race will be held in similar conditions to FP2, and I suffered a little bit with front feeling. Tomorrow we’ll work on that area so that I can ride a bit more comfortably and push a bit more. I did a long run of laps and I learned a lot from that, so overall it’s been a useful and competitive day.”
Maverick Vinales – P9
“The pace isn’t bad. I’m fairly satisfied because today I managed to improve every time I went out on the track. However, when I put the new tyre on, we are not taking full advantage of the extra grip. Even if I push, the times don’t come easily, so we still need to figure out how to improve and get closer to the others on the flying lap.”
Jack Miller – P10
“It was a positive first day, during which we worked mainly on race pace. Right from the start, the feeling on the bike was good, and we had a good base setup. With the data we gathered today, we will try to improve the engine braking strategy, which was the only point on which we struggled a little. Finishing the first day in the top ten is positive, but tomorrow we’ll try to improve more.”
Joan Mir – P12
“I feel really good about today; we’re working well and I feel comfortable with the bike. It was a shame that I missed the last flying lap when I went wide at Turn 2, because my pace on the fresh tyres was pretty strong. Because of that moment I will now have to focus on being quick in FP3 to get direct passage to Q2. My race pace feels nice though, so my confidence remains high.”
Aleix Espargaro – P13
“The combined standings do not accurately reflect the way things really are. In fact, with the medium tyre, I was very fast in both sessions and the bike worked really well. When we put the soft tyre on, I had some problems, first with traffic and then because of a bit of chattering. In any case, I’m not too terribly worried because here in Jerez, things usually get a lot better in FP3 on Saturday, so we’ll try to stay in the top 5.”
Franco Morbidelli – P14
“So today was a positive day because I felt improvement compared to Portimão, and this is good. Finally, the time attack wasn’t a real time attack for me because I used the medium front tyre and I made a bit of a longer run, whilst the other riders exploited the first laps of their tyres, many of them with the hard front tyre. But I’m closer to the top 10, closer to the top guys. Pace-wise I’m missing three or four tenths. We will try to improve tomorrow and see if we can catch up.”
Álex Márquez – P16
“We started well in the morning trying some different solutions for our weak points, we did quite well, had a clear strategy and worked well as a team. In the afternoon, we suffered a bit more as we had to work with the used tyre, but we still did quite well. I know where we need to improve with the new tyre and I’m happy because we have some clear ideas and that will be important for the future. So it’s a shame about the position, but the feelings are quite good.”
Luca Marini – P17
“A difficult start, I’m not very happy with today’s result. We certainly made some progress between the sessions: it seems I’m fast on the track, but in the end the lap times do not arrive and we are unable to reduce the gap from the top riders which remains constant GP by GP. At this point of the season we need to understand what happens and be able to make a step to stay with the front group. Let’s go back to the data to make a good qualifying tomorrow.”
Marco Bezzecchi – P18
“I’m happy with today’s job, we got off to a good start and we’ve already done a lot in terms of the race pace as well. I am satisfied, the feelings are good and we can make one more step on the flying lap. I have rooms of improvements on this aspect but it was essential to dedicate the sessions to find the right pace to face Sunday’s race in the best possible way.”
Marc Marquez – P19
“Today we took a little bit of a risk to try some big things. In the morning I rode with more or less the same bike to start building my pace because the track was not in the best condition. In the afternoon I tried some other things and unfortunately, I crashed on the bike I was feeling good with and I couldn’t continue, then the second bike was a big change because we were trying some things and I did not feel well on it. We need to improve and close the distance to the front, tomorrow is the day to come back to what we know to take the maximum amount we can before testing again on Monday.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P20
“We tried a different setup, but I couldn’t improve my feeling. To be honest, I’m a bit frustrated. I need to do many different things and it feels like it’s a bit too much. It’s difficult for me to be closer, so the gap to the front is still the same like in the other rounds. I’m not happy about that, but we will work on details with the data to better understand and try to do something different. But it’s more about my way to ride, so I will be more focused on that.”
Fabio Di Giannantonio – P21
“We’re trying to figure out how to improve compared to previous racing, especially with regards to the feedback with my bike. It wasn’t a bad day overall even if we’re still far from the top because I was able to set my fastest time ever here at Jerez. We’re improving little by little and we’re keeping our heads down. There’s still work to do.”
Stefan Bradl – P22
“Our weekend has started and so far we have been able to work quite well. We know the Jerez Circuit quite well from testing so this helps us show our speed a bit more. I am content with our pace, as always MotoGP is very tight, so although our position does not look great – the time is not bad for the first day. Finally, we are just over half a second from a spot in the top ten. Our work continues as we test and evaluate some items for HRC.”
Remy Gardner – P23
“Today has been a tough day but it has not been so bad in the end. We did a lot of laps and tried a few things, but the times were really tight. Everyone is so close to each other because all riders are so fast in Jerez as this is a circuit that we all know very well.I am hoping that we can go faster tomorrow in order to improve my position.”
Darryn Binder – P24
“This morning we had quite tricky conditions with some wet patches from the rain yesterday afternoon. I struggled quite a lot in the morning, but I managed to make a good step forward in FP2. I improved nearly two and a half seconds compared to this morning. I feel like I know exactly what I need to work on for tomorrow and I hope we can be able to make another good step in FP3 on Saturday morning.”
Lorenzo Savadori – P25
“We are continuing with the testing programme we agreed on with Aprilia and the overall sensations are better than in Portimão. However, the tests obviously condition the search for the best performance, especially with new tyres, because we actually don’t have true and proper base settings. As a rider, my instinct would be to push, but we’re here to do a different and, in any case, fascinating job.”
MotoGP Friday Combined Practice Times
Autosolar GASGAS Aspar Team’s Jake Dixon completed a Day 1 clean sweep at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España after topping both FP1 and FP2 to sit over two-tenths clear of second place Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo). The British rider’s 1:41.646 was three-tenths faster than he went on Friday morning too, with Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) slotting into third and 0.363s shy of Dixon’s pace.
Dixon, Fernandez, Ogura, Lowes and Arbolino are the top five, and Arenas suffered a small crash at Jorge Lorenzo corner at the end of the day but the Spaniard had a positive outing to finish P6.
Reigning Moto3 World Champion Pedro Acosta was finding the limits of his Red Bull KTM Ajo machine before firing in a lap good enough for seventh, and the rookie was marginally ahead of Portugal race winner Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team). The American is P8 ahead of Saturday’s all-important FP3 shootout and just behind him sits the injured Aron Canet (Flexbox HP40), who is riding through the pain barrier as he looks to gain back ground lost on the Algarve.
Indonesian GP winner Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), Cameron Beaubier (American Racing), Fermin Aldeguer (Lightech Speed Up), Bo Bendsneyder (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) and World Championship leader Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) currently occupy the remaining automatic Q2 places in P11, P12, P13 and P14 respectively… and Vietti will be the first looking for more on Saturday morning in FP3.
Moto2 Friday Combined Practice
Z.Van Den Goo
Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) is top of the pile after Day 1 at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, with the home hero setting an impressive 1:46.341 halfway through FP2 and remaining unchallenged. Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) was second quickest, just less than a tenth and a half off, with fellow Portugal podium finisher Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
Championship leader Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) crashed out late on and ended the day in 11th, and closest rival Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) was down in P13 too – with both a little close to that Q2 cut off zone…
The combined timesheets are the same as FP2 with the exception of Whatley, so it’s Guevara, Sasaki, Masia, Tatay and Öncü in the top five ahead of Salvador and Ogden. Angeluss MTA Team’s Ivan Ortola was another rookie who impressed in P8, as did Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) just behind him. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) completes the top ten, just ahead of Garcia.
Riccardo Rossi (SIC58 Squadra Corse) splits the Championship leader from his closest challenger Foggia, with Suzuki in P14 and the last rider currently set to move straight through, with Mario Aji (Honda Team Asia) just missing out as it stands.
Joel Kelso finished day one P21 on combined times.
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