Both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro showed their potential as the Aragon GP commences, the top 19 split by just one second on Friday and setting the scene for a dramatic qualifying battle come Saturday.
Earlier in the year than in previous seasons, the 2021 Aragon GP enjoyed pleasant conditions on its opening day as the ambient temperature remained around 25°C and the track reached 44°C in the afternoon. The RC213V continued its fine form around the track, four Honda riders inside the top ten in Free Practice 1 and all within a second of the top spot in the combined times at the end of the day.
Marc Marquez started his day at the 5.1-kilometre long MotorLand Aragon circuit in fine form, dominating Free Practice 1 with a brutally fast lap towards the end of the session. A 1’48.048 put the lap record holder a second clear of the competition, Joan Mir the only rider to end within a second of Marquez. A fast crash at Turn 16 during Free Practice 2 upset Marquez’s afternoon rhythm and although the #93 was unharmed in the fall, he did not push to improve his time from Free Practice 1. Regardless, his speed from the morning was enough to hold position inside the combined top ten. The fall did force Marquez and his squad to revise their plan for Friday, but the team were still able to gather valuable information despite the incident.
Friday of the Aragon GP was all about improvements for Pol Espargaro as he got his first taste of the Honda RC213V around the Spanish circuit. Tenth in FP1 but within four tenths of the top three, Espargaro’s weekend began on solid footing. Although cutting a sizable 1.4 seconds off his lap time between FP1 and FP2, Espargaro’s quickest time of the day, a 1’48.166, saw him miss the cut off for the top ten by only 0.080s as the competition in MotoGP grows ever closer. Like his teammate, Espargaro’s work was mostly focused around Sunday and thee further future, not yet releasing his ultimate lap time.
Action continues tomorrow, Saturday September 11, with Free Practice 3 at 09:55 Local Time. With only 1 second covering the top 19 riders today, perfection will be needed on Saturday in the Qualifying battle.
Aragon GP Combined Free Practice Classification
|1||Miller Jack||43||AUS||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||1'47.613|
|2||Espargaro Aleix||41||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||0.273|
|3||Crutchlow Cal||35||GBR||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0.284|
|4||Zarco Johann||5||FRA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.375|
|5||Martin Jorge||89||SPA||Pramac Racing||Ducati||0.410|
|6||Bagnaia Francesco||63||ITA||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati||0.419|
|7||Quartararo Fabio||20||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||0.421|
|8||Marquez Marc||93||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||0.435|
|9||Nakagami Takaaki||30||JPN||LCR Honda||Honda||0.444|
|10||Bastianini Enea||23||ITA||Avintia Esponsorama||Ducati||0.473|
|11||Espargaro Pol||44||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||0.553|
|12||Rins Alex||42||SPA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||0.654|
|13||Binder Brad||33||RSA||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.665|
|14||Marquez Alex||73||SPA||LCR Honda||Honda||0.701|
|15||Petrucci Danilo||9||ITA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.738|
|16||Marini Luca||10||ITA||SKY VR46 Avintia||Ducati||0.843|
|17||Lecuona Iker||27||SPA||Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing||KTM||0.913|
|18||Oliveira Miguel||88||POR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1.010|
|19||Rossi Valentino||46||ITA||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||1.036|
|20||Vinales Maverick||12||SPA||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1.142|
|21||Mir Joan||36||SPA||Team Suzuki Ecstar||Suzuki||1.273|
|22||Dixon Jake||96||GBR||Petronas Yamaha SRT||Yamaha||2.374|
An ultra-modern facility, MotorLand Aragón had its roots firmly established thanks to a solid history of street racing in Alcañiz, which hosted events between 1963 and 2003. Safety advice warning against the continuation of this led to the proposal and construction of a sporting complex dedicated to motorsport. With support… read more.
|Length||5.078 kilometres / 3.155 miles|
|Longest straight||0.968 kilometres / 0.601 miles|
Motorland Aragón, Teruel, Spain - View in Google Maps
|Pole Position||1m 46.322s (171.9Km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)|
|Race Lap||1m 48.089s (169.0Km/h) Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha, 2020)|
|Race Time||41m 44.442s (167.8 km/h) Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati, 2021)|
|2021 Race Winner||Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)|