MotoGP tweaks Silverstone Qualifying rules

Bagnaia goes sixth quickest on day 1 of the British GP at Silverstone as MotoGP returns for Round 9. Bastiniani P15

Francesco Bagnaia and Enea Bastianini concluded the first day of practice for round 9 of the MotoGP World Championship, the Monster Energy British Grand Prix at Silverstone circuit, in sixth and fifteenth place, respectively. The Ducati Lenovo Team riders mainly used the sixty minutes of Free Practice 1 in the morning – which no longer counts for qualifying after a recent tweak to the rules – to get back up to speed with their Desmosedici GP machines after the five-week break following round 8 in the Netherlands and then focussed on obtaining the right set-up in the cool conditions of the afternoon session to prepare for tomorrow’s Sprint and try their time attack in the final minutes of the session.

Bagnaia, 14th in FP1, closed the session in P6 thanks to a fastest lap in 1:58.973 and secured a spot directly in Q2 tomorrow. For Bastianini, it was a difficult start to the weekend in England. Twelfth after the first session, Enea ended the day fifteenth.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 6th (1:58.973)
“I had some small problems with the bike this morning that didn’t allow me to ride in the best way possible. This afternoon we worked well, and I improved my feeling, but I just had one lap to do the time attack, and it went well, so I’m happy with that. Also, the feeling with the medium tyres, new or used, was OK. We did a good job; looking at the session, it seems we are struggling, but I’m happy with the work. The conditions were not the best, but it’s OK. I hope tomorrow it’s either all-wet or all-dry, not mixed conditions, because on this track, it’s very difficult to control everything, but we will have to adapt to be competitive, and that’s it.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 15th (1:59.693)
“I crashed when I was doing my practice start after the first session, the rear tyre was so cold because the conditions were not good today, but nothing really happened, and I was OK. During the afternoon, I made some steps on the front compared to the morning, but I’m not really close to the other guys, so we must improve more to stay with them on Sunday. Tomorrow probably, it will rain, and we will have to change mentality and riding style. In case of dry conditions, we will try to modify the setup to understand if we can do any steps, and we will see what we can do for Sunday.”

Saturday’s track action at Silverstone will see Free Practice 2 scheduled for 10.10 UK time (11.10 CEST), while qualifying follows shortly after at 10.50 (11.50 CEST). The afternoon’s 10-lap Sprint will get underway at 3.00pm (16.00 CEST).

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