Bastianini dominates practice and sets a circuit record at the French GP, Zarco and Quartararo in ambush

Bastianini dominates practice and sets a circuit record at the French GP, Zarco and Quartararo in ambush

Enea Bastianini is off to a strong start at Le Mans. At the end of the day on Friday, the Italian rider set the fastest time in the first two free practice sessions of the French Grand Prix, the seventh round of the MotoGP season, on the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans, while the Frenchman Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo set the 4th and 6th times. Bastianini took the opportunity to also snatch a new track record, beating the Spaniard Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) on Friday by +0.202 while another Spaniard, Alex Rins (Suzuki), set the 3rd time at -0”297 from the Italian. Quartararo, leader in the championship, took the 6th combined time behind the Italian Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), 5th, and Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac), 4th.

«I feel very comfortable (…) with our pace we are in the race for the podium“, reacted at the end of the day the reigning world champion. Confident for his Grand Prix at home, the Yamaha rider will however keep an eye on the Ducati, “strong everywherehe admits.

His compatriot Zarco, who will try to win his first MotoGP victory at Le Mans on Sunday, also shows some confidence: “I like the layout, I have good feelings, I would simply like more, but that’s where you have to stay zen because this +plus+ will not come by getting angry».

Multiple world champion Marc Marquez (Honda), 15th fastest time at the end of the day, will have to improve his time during free practice 3 on Saturday morning to hope to move directly into the second and final part of qualifying (Q2), during from which the first places on the starting grid are decided on Sunday.

This first day at Le Mans was punctuated above all by falls which were not serious for the most part, starting with that of Enea Bastianini on the first laps of the track, followed later by Brad Binder (KTM) or even Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha). In the afternoon, the falls were again linked, in addition to Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati-VR46) and consort, Bastinani finished on the ground just after his track record, just like Morbidelli a few moments later.

The Portuguese Miguel Oliveira (KTM), who fell twice, saw his test session end prematurely in the morning. The KTM rider was taken to the medical center for examinations following his second crash. He then took over the handlebars in the afternoon to complete the second practice session of the weekend.

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