A wet morning and drying afternoon presented ever-changing conditions for the Repsol Honda Team, Alex Marquez quickly adapting and posting competitive times with Stefan Bradl.
It was a cold and wet start to the day in Le Mans, France as overnight and early morning rain left the circuit wet. With very limited running on a drying track in Austria earlier in the year, many riders made the most of the wet time.
With a record of being strong in the rain in the smaller classes, Alex Marquez continued the trend as he quickly adapted to riding the RC213V in the wet. Focusing on longer runs during the morning, the MotoGP rookie made constant progress and challenged for a spot in the top ten throughout the session. Free Practice 2 gave Alex a chance to tackle the Le Mans circuit with slicks as a dry line eventually appeared. His pace from the morning remained and a 1’35.337 on his final flying lap saw the MotoGP rookie finish in sixth overall. Not only finishing as the top rookie and ahead of a number of championship contenders, Alex also holds a provisional spot in Q2.
Stefan Bradl arrived in France after two days of busy testing in Portugal. With morning conditions as they were, Bradl and his side of the Repsol Honda Team watched on from inside the box. With conditions improving for FP2, Bradl joined the action and was up to speed straight away. His knowledge of the RC213V allowed him and the Repsol Honda Team to quickly adjust the setup of the bike for the conditions. Bradl heads into Saturday with a best time of 1’36.478 and as the 17th fastest rider overall.
Takaaki Nakagami in third and Cal Crutchlow in fifth made it three Honda machines in the top six.
Weather looks set to once again dictate tomorrow’s action, the MotoGP class first out on circuit at 09:55 for a potentially frantic FP3 session should it be dry as predicted.
French GP Combined Free Practice Classification
Built in 1965 around the existing 24-Hour track, the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit lies 5km south of the city of Le Mans and 200km south-west of Paris. The venue has hosted Grand Prix since the late sixties but a serious accident to Spanish rider Alberto Puig in… read more.
|Length||4.185 kilometres / 2.6 miles|
|Longest straight||0.674 kilometres / 0.419 miles|
|Resurfacing||Resurfaced before 2017 round|
Automobile Club de l'Ouest, Le Mans, France - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 30.450s (166.5km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)|
|Race Lap||1m 31.778s (164.1km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)|
|Race Time||41m 34.613s (163 km/h) Enea Bastianini (Ducati, 2022)|
|2023 Race Winner||Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati)|
|2023 Sprint Winner||Jorge Martin (Ducat)|