Quickest times in Friday free practice at Montmeló MotoGP

Monster Energy Catalan GP: Bagnaia and Bastianini book their places in Q2 with third and ninth quickest times in Friday free practice at Montmeló

Both Ducati Lenovo Team riders headed comfortably into tomorrow morning’s Q2 qualifier at the end of a hard-fought Friday afternoon practice session for round 11 of the MotoGP World Championship, the Catalan GP at the Barcelona circuit.

Points leader Francesco Bagnaia spent much of the morning’s free practice sorting out the load transfer set-up on his Desmosedici GP machine and finished in P5. In the afternoon, Pecco struggled to be quick immediately, but, after his crew had made the right changes, he regained his confidence and closed within striking distance of Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales in third place (1:39.061).

Enea Bastianini also made good progress from the morning to the afternoon, the rider from Rimini moving up from thirteenth in FP1 to P9 in Practice with a time of 1:39.628, which sealed his place inside the top-10 for Q2 tomorrow. However, at the end of the session, Enea was handed a three-grid position penalty for Sunday’s GP for disturbing another rider during the session.

Francesco Bagnaia (#1 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 3rd (1:39.061)
“I’m happy with the turnaround we made today, We just needed to change the rear tyre, and the bike started to work again like always. We made a good step in terms of traction on the corner exit, which is where the Aprilias make the difference. It will be important to understand well in the morning the rear tyre for the Sprint race and where we can close the gap. Tomorrow, it will be difficult to beat Aleix and Maverick, but I will try for sure, while for the long race, I think our pace is similar to theirs.”

Enea Bastianini (#23 Ducati Lenovo Team) – 9th (1:39.628)
“In general, I’m quite happy about my day, I’m in Q2, which is important. This morning my pace was quite good, but this afternoon I struggled a bit more with the used tyre. I am competitive and my lap time was good, but the problems remain the same. I’m sure that with the new tyre in the time attack, we can do something better tomorrow because today I wasn’t perfect, I made some mistakes. Every session we are making a step forward, I understand the area to work on, so I am confident for tomorrow.”

The Ducati Lenovo Team will be back on track for FP2 at 10.10 CEST while qualifying will follow shortly after at 10.50. The afternoon’s 12-lap Sprint is scheduled to get underway at 15.00 local time.

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