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MotoGP Americas GP: Martin leads Bagnaia in crash-filled FP2

Pramac’s Jorge Martin led Ducati stablemate Francesco Bagnaia in a tight FP2 for the MotoGP Americas Grand Prix as six crashes took place across the one-hour session.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Sitting outside of the top 10 places needed to progress straight through to the pole shootout session in qualifying as FP2 drew to a close, Martin leaped up to top sport with a 2m02.178s.

This put the 2022 Circuit of the Americas poleman 0.063 seconds clear of reigning world champion Bagnaia and LCR Honda’s Alex Rins, as current points leader Marco Bezzecchi missed the Q2 cut at the end of Friday’s running.

Despite dark clouds looming over the Austin venue, rainfall mercifully stayed away as a number of riders improved on their FP1 times in the early part of the hour-long second session.

The biggest mover in the first 10 minutes was RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira, who leaped up to third overall with a 2m03.407s on a fresh soft rear slick.

Just as the Portuguese rider had moved up the order, he crashed going into the Turn 2 right-hander after running wide onto the painted white line on the edge of the circuit.

Oliveira was unharmed in the fast tumble, but would endure a second fall later in the session at the Turn 12 hairpin and would drop down the order to 15th come the chequered flag.

With just over half an hour of the session remaining, Martin jumped up to first with a 2m03.241s, before Honda’s Joan Mir deposed him 17 minutes later with a 2m03.113s.

The final 15 minutes of FP2 turned into a dummy qualifying as the grid made their bids to secure a slot in Saturday’s pole shootout session.

A few moments after Mir had gone top, LCR Honda counterpart Alex Rins edged ahead with a 2m03.048s – though it was short-lived, as Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro took top spot with a 2m03.043s.

Maverick Vinales on the sister factory Aprilia dipped underneath the 2m03s mark minutes later with a 2m02.860s, before VR46 Ducati rider Luca Marini fired in a 2m02.662s.

Ducati’s Bagnaia would move up to head the timesheets with a 2m02.544s with around eight minutes left on the clock, but it would not be enough to deny a hard-charging Martin on his flying lap in the dying stages of FP2.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The Pramac rider produced a 2m02.178s to see out Friday as the fastest rider.

Team-mate Johann Zarco was left down in 14th after a crash at Turn 6 in the closing seconds, with the Pramac rider losing the front-end of his Ducati.

His bike frighteningly came to a halt in the middle of the circuit and forced Honda’s Mir into avoiding action, with the Spaniard falling from his machine as he shot off into the gravel.

This kept Mir from getting into Q2 in 12th, while it proved costly for most who’d just started a final flying lap due to the yellow flags.

Rins completed the top three from Marini and Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez, with Vinales heading Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and Brad Binder – the KTM rider sneaking in an improvement on his final lap having been further up the road when Zarco brought out the yellow flags.

Aleix Espargaro and Binder’s KTM team-mate Jack Miller secured the final direct Q2 spots, with championship leader Bezzecchi the big casualty of Binder’s improvement in 11th.

Tech3 rookie Augusto Fernandez was another of the five riders to crash during FP2, the Spaniard going down early on.

He struggled to 21st ahead of temporary team-mate Jonas Folger, who is competing in his first MotoGP weekend since the 2017 Aragon GP.

Marc Marquez’s Honda stand-in Stefan Bradl also crashed in the session. He ended up 20th.

MotoGP Americas - FP2 result

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 20 2'02.178  
2 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 21 2'02.241 0.063
3 Spain Alex Rins Honda 20 2'02.395 0.217
4 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 21 2'02.416 0.238
5 Spain Alex Marquez Ducati 21 2'02.682 0.504
6 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 22 2'02.717 0.539
7 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 20 2'02.721 0.543
8 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 18 2'02.735 0.557
9 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 20 2'02.765 0.587
10 Australia Jack Miller KTM 19 2'02.841 0.663
11 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 22 2'02.878 0.700
12 Spain Joan Mir Honda 17 2'02.904 0.726
13 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 20 2'03.208 1.030
14 France Johann Zarco Ducati 17 2'03.329 1.151
15 Portugal Miguel Oliveira Aprilia 14 2'03.340 1.162
16 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 18 2'03.443 1.265
17 Italy Michele Pirro Ducati 18 2'03.685 1.507
18 Spain Raúl Fernández Aprilia 19 2'03.690 1.512
19 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 17 2'04.079 1.901
20 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 18 2'04.129 1.951
21 Spain Augusto Fernandez KTM 16 2'04.561 2.383
22 Germany Jonas Folger KTM 17 2'06.529 4.351

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