Bagnaia goes through into tomorrow’s Q2 qualifying with seventh quickest time in free practice for the GP of India. P22 for Pirro
The first day of free practice for the inaugural Grand Prix of India at the Buddh International Circuit on the outskirts of New Delhi saw Francesco Bagnaia go through into tomorrow’s Q2 qualifying session with a best lap of 1:45.280 on his Desmosedici GP23, which put him into seventh place.
The morning’s 70-minute session allowed all the MotoGP riders enough time to dial into the impressive new layout. After closing FP1 fifteenth, Bagnaia continued to search for the best possible set-up for his Desmosedici GP in the afternoon session, trying his time attack in the last ten minutes. On his second run with the new tyres, his lap was good enough to place himself half a second behind today’s pacesetter, Luca Marini (VR46 Racing Team), ending the day seventh.
Team-mate Michele Pirro, standing in for the still-injured Enea Bastianini, had a difficult first day and could only manage 22nd.
Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 7th (1:45.280)
“It was a positive day. Initially, we struggled to find the right set-up for this bike. I struggled with getting the bike to brake, but after working a lot, we managed to find a good solution to the problem. With the used tyre in the second practice, I placed myself in P4, I could lap as well as the fastest while in the time attack, unfortunately, we only had one lap available, and it was tough. I’m happy, we’re very close to the leaders, and we can work well tomorrow. The track is very technical, you must be very precise, but all in all, the track is beautiful, the main problem is the heat, in some areas, you feel like you are burning!”
Michele Pirro (#51 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 22nd (1:46.573)
“It was a difficult day for me, and the heat didn’t help. I crashed first thing this morning and then struggled all day to find a good set-up. Unfortunately, I was unable to establish the same feeling with my bike as Misano. We’ll look at the date this evening and try and work out where we are going wrong to improve for tomorrow”.
The Ducati Lenovo Team will be out on track again at the Buddh circuit on Saturday morning for the second free practice session at 10.40 local time (07.10 CEST), while Q1 and Q2 follow shortly after at 11.20 (07.50). The afternoon’s 12-lap Sprint race is scheduled at 15.30 local time (12.00).