Danilo Petrucci returned as replacement for injured Enea Bastianini at Le Mans

Bagnaia ends free practice for French GP at Le Mans in ninth place with Petrucci 19th

Francesco Bagnaia closes with the ninth time overall on Day 1 of the French GP, the fifth round of the MotoGP World Championship held this weekend at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans. On a first day which saw dry asphalt conditions all day and low temperatures, the 2022 World Champion still failed to find a good feeling with the soft tyre closing in 1:31.467 in his last time attack attempt. Bagnaia still secured a spot directly in Q2 tomorrow.

On the other side of the garage, Danilo Petrucci, who returned to wear the colours of the factory team as a replacement for the still-injured Enea Bastianini, closed nineteenth. The rider from Terni spent the day working on regaining confidence with the Desmosedici GP, which he has not ridden since 2020. After finishing Practice 1 in 1:33.168, Danilo managed to take a few more tenths off his best time in the afternoon, despite being slowed by a crash in the second half of the session.

Petrucci will therefore have to take part in tomorrow’s Q1, scheduled at 10:50am local time, before tackling his first Sprint (13 laps) at 3pm.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 9th (1:31.467)
“My pace was one of the best this morning, and I immediately felt comfortable. We tried the time attack, but I didn’t find a good feeling with the rear tyre. We also used the same tyre at the beginning of the afternoon session and had some difficulties. Fortunately, by changing the tyre for the last time attack, everything went back to normal, and we realized what the problem had been. Overall, it was still a positive day. We are in the top ten, and the feeling with the bike is also good. We still have to improve a little bit, but I would say we are there.”

Danilo Petrucci (#9, Ducati Lenovo Team) – 19th (1:33.022)
“It was a challenging day but mostly exciting. I expected to struggle more, but it went well, and I am satisfied. This morning I was less distant from the top of the timesheet, and I think I could still have improved if it hadn’t been for the crash this afternoon, which made me lose some confidence. Riding this bike is fantastic! Now my goal will be to continue to improve without making any more mistakes.”

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