European MotoGP: Pramac Ducati's Miller continues to top the times in FP2

Pramac's Jack Miller led a drying FP2 for the MotoGP European Grand Prix by 0.092 seconds from the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro

European MotoGP: Pramac Ducati's Miller continues to top the times in FP2

Most of the field headed out on slicks at the start of FP2 as a drying line had started to appear, which meant lap times tumbled in the early stages.

Championship leader, Suzuki's Joan Mir, set the early pace with a 1m41.581s and traded top spot with Ducati's Danilo Petrucci, before Pol Espargaro went fastest on the KTM with a 1m37.284s.

FP1 pacesetter Miller moved clear 10 minutes in with a 1m37.029s on his Pramac Ducati having almost come to blows with Maverick Vinales at Turn 8.

Miller's lap was bettered by sole Tech3 rider Miguel Oliveira with a 1m35.754s, though the Australian quickly reassumed control with a 1m34.613s.

Lap times continued to improve, with Francesco Bagnaia on the sister Pramac GP20, Oliveira, Suzuki's Alex Rins and Pol Espargaro taking turns at the top of the standings.

The latter's late time attack effort of a 1m32.952s stood as the benchmark for the final nine minutes, but came under threat in the closing moments as the field placed their bids for a provisional Q2 place with wet weather forecast for Saturday morning.

Franco Morbidelli beat this on his final lap with a 1m32.804s on his Petronas SRT Yamaha, though he was immediately beaten by Miller, who fired in a 1m32.528s to end the day fastest of all.

Aprilia's Espargaro jumped up to second to push Morbidelli down to third at the chequered flag, but he remains the leading title contender on Friday.

Takaaki Nakagami was fourth on the LCR Honda, with Pol Espargaro shuffled back to fifth ahead of Rins and KTM's Brad Binder - who will have to serve a long lap penalty on Sunday for his collision with Miller at Aragon last month.

Andrea Dovizioso was eighth on the factory Ducati, ahead of Fabio Quartararo, the SRT rider making a marked improvement from the morning when he was stone last.

Mir held onto the final provisional Q2 place on his Suzuki after improving to 10th late on with a 1m33.405s, though it came at the expense of Vinales.

It was confirmed during the session that Vinales will have to start Sunday's race from the pitlane as Yamaha has had to exceed his engine allocation to fit a sixth unit.

A late crash for Petrucci left the Ducati rider in 18th, with his efforts to run from the Turn 14 gravel trap back to his garage in the closing stages all for nothing as Ducati didn't have his second bike prepared.

He headed Valentino Rossi's Yamaha stand-in Garrett Gerloff, who was running as high as fifth at one stage before being shuffled back to 19th - albeit ending up just 1.5s off the pace.

Valencia MotoGP FP2 result

Pos Rider Team Gap
1 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 1m32.528s
2 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 0.092s
3 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 0.276s
4 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 0.338s
5 Pol Espargaro KTM 0.424s
6 Alex Rins Suzuki 0.629s
7 Brad Binder KTM 0.731s
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 0.764s
9 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 0.809s
10 Joan Mir Suzuki 0.877s
11 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 0.882s
12 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 0.935s
13 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM 0.955s
14 Stefan Bradl Honda 0.976s
15 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 0.987s
16 Alex Marquez Honda 1.042s
17 Johann Zarco Avintia Ducati 1.211s
18 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1.247s
19 Garrett Gerloff Yamaha 1.579s
20 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 3.133s
21 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 4.162s
shares
comments
Vinales to start MotoGP European GP from pitlane with extra engine
Previous article

Vinales to start MotoGP European GP from pitlane with extra engine

Next article

Rossi cleared to return for rest of European MotoGP at Valencia

Rossi cleared to return for rest of European MotoGP at Valencia
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Plus

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Plus

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems Plus

Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Plus

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Plus

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Plus

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future Plus

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard its MotoGP champion's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022