Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro were hunting improvements on day one as a late charge moved them to 13th and 14th on the overall timings, just 0.013s splitting them as the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley begins.

The MotoGP World Championship returned to the Mugello circuit for the first time since 2019 as round six of the 2021 season got underway in Tuscany on Friday. Free Practice Friday was held under clear skies with 25°C air temperature and 46°C track temperature, both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro able to make the most of available track time on their respective Repsol Honda Team RC213V machines.

It proved to be a trying Friday for Marc Marquez as he worked steadily throughout the day as he worked through his own plan and assessed his condition. Marquez and his team were aware it would not be a straightforward weekend around the 5.2-kilometer-long circuit and his physical condition remained the major limit on Friday. A late fly lap moved the eight-time World Champion up to 13th overall and just 0.013s ahead of his Repsol Honda Team team-mate.

For Pol Espargaro, Friday in Mugello offered the chance to try the Honda RC213V around another new circuit. Cutting almost a full second from his best time between the two practice sessions, Espargaro continues to make improvements with more and more bike time. Grip during corner entry and at high lean angles is the area Espargaro and his team are aiming to improve over the coming sessions. Espargaro remains confident under braking, feeling comfortable and fast through the first sector of the Tuscan track. Alongside his team-mate, Espargaro’s final lap of Free Practice 2 proved to be his best of the day as his 1’46.986 placed him 14th overall on the combined times.

Forecasts are predicting similar weather conditions on Saturday which should result in an exciting Free Practice 3 session as the 22-strong field vie for position in the combined top ten. The session is scheduled to begin at 09:55 Local Time.

Marc Marquez

13th 1'46.973

“We did not change the setting of the bike a lot today, we worked more on small things and the position of the bike to help my riding. We need to be patient; I am not riding like I want to be riding and we could understand our limitations quite quickly. I knew it would be a hard weekend before we started. Tomorrow we will see the situation but for the moment we are focusing on ourselves, doing our laps and working on what we need to do. At the end of FP2 we did a bit of a time attack and were able to improve our position a bit.”

Pol Espargaro

14th 1'46.986

“Today we were working a lot to improve the grip, we are struggling on corner entry – not on the brakes but on the last part where you release and turn the bike. Also with a lot of lean we are looking for something more. Under braking, the first corner and the first sector I feel good, even if our fastest lap didn’t show it. We need to clarify some things for tomorrow and try what’s possible. A night for the brain to process everything will help a lot after not coming here last year. Tomorrow we will come back with fresh ideas and more energy.”

MotoGP 2021
Practice Round 6   Italy

Italian GP Combined Free Practice Classification

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Bagnaia Francesco 63 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1'46.147
2 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.071
3 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 0.184
4 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.225
5 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.289
6 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.437
7 Nakagami Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 0.446
8 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.446
9 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 0.508
10 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.541
11 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.655
12 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.700
13 Marquez Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.826
14 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.839
15 Pirro Michele 51 ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.960
16 Petrucci Danilo 9 ITA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.982
17 Marini Luca 10 ITA SKY VR46 Avintia Ducati 1.007
18 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 1.179
19 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Avintia Esponsorama Ducati 1.333
20 Savadori Lorenzo 32 ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.521
21 Rossi Valentino 46 ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha 1.572
22 Lecuona Iker 27 SPA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.645
Location Information

Located 30km north-east of Florence in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany, Mugello is a modern circuit with excellent facilities. Bought by Ferrari back in 1988, the 5.245km track has been renovated to a high standard and has a growing reputation as one of the world’s most up-to-date, scenic and safest… read more.

Length 5.245 kilometres / 3.259 miles
Width 14 metres
Left corners 6
Right corners 9
Longest straight 1.141 kilometres / 0.709 miles
Constructed 1974

Mugello Circuit, Scarperia, Florence, Italy - View in Google Maps

www.mugellocircuit.it

Records

Pole Position 1m 45.187s (179.5 km/h) Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha, 2021)
Race Lap 1m 46.810s (176.7 km/h) Johann Zarco (Ducati, 2021)
Race Time 41m16.344s (175.300km/h) Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha, 2021)
2021 Race Winner Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha)