- Johann Zarco leads Day 1 of free practices at Le Mans with the Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team
Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia finished respectively seventh and twelfth overall at the end of Friday’s free practices for the MotoGP French GP, scheduled for this weekend at the historic Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans. On a first day that saw very low temperatures and mixed weather conditions, the Ducati Lenovo Team riders could ride their Desmosedici GP bikes in both dry and wet track conditions.
In this morning’s FP1, which saw intermittent rain and was held almost entirely in the wet, Miller was one of the few riders to mount slick tyres. The Australian made good use of a dry line that appeared in the final minutes of the session and took the lead around a second and a half clear from the rest of the pack. In this afternoon session, held in the dry, Miller had a small crash. However, it didn’t prevent him from returning to the track shortly after to set the seventh fastest time overall, just 614 thousandths of a second behind Johann Zarco, first today with the Desmosedici GP of the Pramac Racing Team.
Francesco Bagnaia, seventh this morning in the wet, ended Friday in twelfth place with a time of 1:32.800. Despite a crash in FP2 this afternoon, the Italian declared himself satisfied with his first day at Le Mans, during which he had good sensations on his Desmosedici GP despite the difficult track conditions.
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 7th (1:32.361)
“I’m satisfied to be in the top ten. The track conditions today were quite tricky with the low temperatures, the rain and the wind. But it is normal here in Le Mans, and, luckily, we had at least one dry session this afternoon. Unfortunately, I crashed out in FP2, but I was pushing really hard and lost the front! Still, it wasn’t a bad day; we’ve learned a lot today, and I’m happy to be here at Le Mans, a track that I like a lot and where I always have a lot of fun riding on!”
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 12th (1:32.800)
“Despite the crash this afternoon, today’s two sessions were very productive, and my feeling with the bike is positive. This morning in FP1, I was able to feel really comfortable with the Desmosedici despite the wet conditions, and this afternoon, we were also able to get a good time on the medium tyre. We’re outside of the top ten, but if the weather conditions allow us, we’ll definitely try to improve and get directly into Q2. I’m confident ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying”.
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track tomorrow at 9:55 am (CEST) for FP3, while qualifying for the French GP will begin at 2:10 pm local time, after FP4.