Progress on Honda debut for Lecuona as Mir targets recovery
A complicated first day of track action at the Spanish GP saw both Repsol Honda Team riders tumble, Joan Mir eventually finishing the day in 18th as Iker Lecuona closed the gap to the top riders.
The 2023 Spanish GP is building to be a memorable Grand Prix weekend with blazing temperatures and fans already flocking to the hills surrounding the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto. Excited to run in front of their home crowd, the Repsol Honda Team began to build their weekend from the first moments of Free Practice 1. Temperatures would steadily rise throughout the day, making for treacherous track conditions, but Mir and Lecuona persisted in their quest for improvements.
It proved to be a complicated day for double-World Champion Joan Mir, suffering two falls in the afternoon. Unharmed in both falls, Mir and his side of the Repsol Honda Team garage have already begun work on preparing for Saturday’s crucial Qualifying sessions and the Sprint Race afterwards. The hot temperatures beating down on the 4.4 kilometers of the Jerez circuit made for difficult conditions, but look set to remain for the weekend. With less than a second dividing the top 17 riders, even an improvement of just a tenth could be enough to see Mir in the mix for Q2.
Iker Lecuona made his MotoGP return, and his Honda MotoGP debut, in front of the enthusiastic Spanish GP crowd. Friday was all about adjustments and getting comfortable on the Honda RC213V, times and results were of no major focus for the 23-year-old from Valencia. From a 1’40.509 in FP1, Lecuona was able to end the day with a best time of 1’39.274 – an improvement of over one second. On the combined times, the #27 was 1.4 second behind HRC Test Rider Stefan Bradl, the German intimately familiar with the Jerez circuit after a number of tests here. A solid debut day.
“It was not the best day today honestly, it was very complicated. We had two crashes today, one at Turn Five and one at Turn Six – the second one was a bit bigger but we are OK. When temperatures are high like this it makes everything more complicated, every point in the lap is more critical. Our feeling in the morning was not too bad but it looks like the race will be quite hot so we need to work to prepare the bike and ourselves for these conditions.”
“What a day! It is incredible to come back to MotoGP and with a team like the Repsol Honda Team, it has been a real pleasure to work with all of them. The crash today at Turn 13 was frustrating, finally I am a racer and I always want to be faster! We understood why we crashed and already for tomorrow the team have suggested a few things to improve the bike and try some things. I am quite close to Bradl considering our circumstances and this is something we have to focus on and be positive about.”
Friday Practice - Spanish Grand Prix
|1||Espargaro Aleix||41||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||1'36.708|
|2||Vinales Maverick||12||SPA||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia||0.002|
|4||Martin Jorge||89||SPA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.096|
|5||Miller Jack||43||AUS||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.127|
|6||Zarco Johann||5||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.188|
|7||Oliveira Miguel||88||POR||RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||0.248|
|8||Marquez Alex||73||SPA||Team Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||0.333|
|9||Nakagami Takaaki||30||JPN||LCR Honda||Honda||0.336|
|10||Marini Luca||10||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||0.345|
|11||Binder Brad||33||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.389|
|12||Bezzecchi Marco||72||ITA||Mooney VR46 Racing Team||Ducati||0.466|
|13||Bagnaia Francesco||1||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||0.525|
|14||Fernandez Raul||25||SPA||RNF MotoGP Team||Aprilia||0.695|
|15||Rins Alex||42||SPA||LCR Honda||Honda||0.779|
|16||Quartararo Fabio||20||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0.797|
|17||Morbidelli Franco||21||ITA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0.992|
|18||Mir Joan||36||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1.142|
|19||Di Giannantonio Fabio||49||ITA||Team Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati||1.152|
|20||Bradl Stefan||6||GER||Team HRC||Honda||1.165|
|21||Bastianini Enea||23||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1.277|
|22||Fernandez Augusto||37||SPA||Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing||KTM||1.570|
|23||Folger Jonas||94||GER||Tech3 GASGAS Factory Racing||KTM||1.990|
|24||Lecuona Iker||27||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||2.566|
Built in 1986 and hosting its first Grand Prix one year later, the circuit of Jerez is now one of the most popular MotoGP venues and the focal point for a city fanatical about sport. Set in a slight valley in the south of Spain, Jerez is blessed with consistently… read more.
|Length||4.423 kilometres / 2.748 miles|
|Longest straight||0.607 kilometres / 0.377 miles|
|Resurfacing||Complete resurfacing before 2018 round|
Circuito de Jerez, Jerez, Spain - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 36.170s (165.5km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)|
|Race Lap||1m 37.216s (163.7km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2023)|
|Race Time||41m 00.554s (161.7km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2022)|
|2023 Race Winner||Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)|
|2023 Sprint Winner||Brad Binder (KTM)|