Practice report

MotoGP British GP: Zarco tops FP1 despite crash, Quartararo suffers issues

Pramac’s Johann Zarco topped first practice for the MotoGP British Grand Prix despite a crash, as championship leader Fabio Quartararo hit mechanical dramas.

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

MotoGP’s return to Silverstone comes several weeks earlier than its traditional August bank holiday weekend slot, with sunny-but-windy conditions greeting the field.

Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco set the early pace in the first MotoGP track action for five weeks following the summer break, the Frenchman going top with a 2m03.905s.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo soon deposed his countryman with a 2m03.631s as he comes into this weekend’s British GP carrying a long lap penalty following his collision with chief title rival Aleix Espargaro last time out at Assen.

Fuming at the penalty, Quartararo practiced the long lap lane situated at the Loop left-hander moments after he’d gone top of the time sheets.

But his session was interrupted 10 minutes in when his Yamaha cut out as he exited the Loop onto the Brooklands straight.

Quartararo was helped back into pitlane by Ducati’s Jack Miller, while the sister factory Ducati of an under-fired Francesco Bagnaia crashed going through the fast Maggotts section at Turn 4.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Bagnaia comes to Silverstone off the back of a drink-driving incident in Ibiza at the start of July, which he said on Thursday has not hindered his preparations for the second half of the season.

Quartararo returned to the track on the same bike that stopped, albeit with a new fuel tank fitted.

With just over 30 minutes to go, 2019 Silverstone winner Alex Rins went top on his Suzuki with a 2m00.961s, before 2016 British GP winner Maverick Vinales took over on his Aprilia with a 2m00.827s.

Rins made further improvements with 20 minutes to go as he fired in a 2m00.728s, before he went even quicker with a 2m00.527s.

While Rins did this, Zarco suffered a fast crash into Stowe corner as he lost the front on entry, but managed to walk away unscathed.

He was able to return to the session on his second bike and went fastest of all right at the end with a 1m59.893s – beating Bagnaia by 0.027 seconds, with the pair the only riders breaking out of the two-minute barrier in FP1.

Rins trailed the Ducati duo with a 2m00.220s ahead of Quartararo and LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Aleix Espargaro was sixth on his Aprilia ahead of his team-mate Maverick Vinales, while Joan Mir was seventh on the sister Suzuki.

Jorge Martin on the second of the Pramac Ducatis and KTM’s Brad Binder rounded out the top 10, with Pol Espargaro 0.046s outside of the top 10 in 11th on the factory team Honda.

Miller headed VR46 Ducati man Marco Bezzecchi and KTM’s Miguel Oliveira, with Gresini-bound Alex Marquez 15th ahead of the rider he will replace in 2023 Enea Bastianini.

On Thursday, Yamaha announced that Andrea Dovizioso will be retiring from MotoGP at the end of the San Marino GP in September. The RNF Racing rider was 20th at the end of FP1 ahead of factory Yamaha counterpart Franco Morbidelli.

FP2 for the 2022 MotoGP British GP gets under way at 2:10pm local time.

Full FP1 results:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap Interval
1 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'59.893    
2 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'59.920 0.027 0.027
3 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 2'00.220 0.327 0.300
4 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 2'00.438 0.545 0.218
5 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 2'00.448 0.555 0.010
6 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2'00.630 0.737 0.182
7 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 2'00.799 0.906 0.169
8 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 2'00.843 0.950 0.044
9 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 2'00.948 1.055 0.105
10 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 2'00.994 1.101 0.046
11 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 2'01.040 1.147 0.046
12 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 2'01.055 1.162 0.015
13 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 2'01.112 1.219 0.057
14 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 2'01.120 1.227 0.008
15 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 2'01.174 1.281 0.054
16 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 2'01.219 1.326 0.045
17 Australia Remy Gardner KTM 2'01.539 1.646 0.320
18 Spain Raúl Fernández KTM 2'01.578 1.685 0.039
19 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 2'01.607 1.714 0.029
20 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 2'01.748 1.855 0.141
21 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 2'01.775 1.882 0.027
22 Germany Stefan Bradl Honda 2'02.062 2.169 0.287
23 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 2'02.179 2.286 0.117
24 South Africa Darryn Binder Yamaha 2'02.565 2.672 0.386
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