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
The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form Plus

The other Suzuki signing that could transform Honda's MotoGP form

Following Suzuki's decision to quit MotoGP, both of its former riders have landed at Honda for 2023. But perhaps its biggest signing from the now-defunct team could instead be a highly-rated technical manager. Is Ken Kawauchi the right man at the right time to steer HRC back to glory?

MotoGP
Jan 26, 2023
How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team Plus

How the MotoGP paddock has offered refuge to Suzuki's former team

Suzuki's unexpected departure left more than 40 professionals virtually jobless for the 2023 MotoGP season. But that human drama has been successfully corrected by the paddock itself, with most former Suzuki crew-members absorbed into other operations

MotoGP
Jan 14, 2023
How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years Plus

How one MotoGP team went from title fights to losing it all in four years

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team came into MotoGP with a bang in 2019 as regular front-runners, with wonder rookie Fabio Quartararo mounting a title challenge in 2020. But it all went wrong for the Razlan Razali-helmed squad as the team changed hands and tumbled down the order - and RNF Racing plans to right this in 2023

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2023
Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne? Plus

Is MotoGP's comeback king ready to reclaim his throne?

Marc Marquez’s sixth premier MotoGP title seems a long time ago given the injury woes he has faced in the three years since. At the end of a fraught 2022, in which he had a fourth major operation on his right arm, the Spaniard speaks exclusively to Autosport

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2022
How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023 Plus

How MotoGP’s underachiever is working to reverse its fortunes in 2023

As European manufacturers emerged as the strongest force in 2022 in a changing of the guard for MotoGP, one powerhouse couldn’t quite match the feats of Ducati and Aprilia. Its motorsport chief tells Autosport why this is and what it is doing to become a consistent frontrunner in the class of kings

MotoGP
Dec 20, 2022
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Plus

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of competition more than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

MotoGP
Dec 9, 2022
The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend Plus

The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Autosport – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
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