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Practice report

MotoGP French GP: Martin leads Acosta in opening practice

Pramac Ducati rider Jorge Martin led opening practice for the MotoGP French Grand Prix at Le Mans after a late soft tyre surge to the top of the timesheets.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Martin comes into this weekend’s fifth round of the 2024 campaign 17 points clear in the standings after a crash from the lead of the Spanish GP denied him the chance to move 47 out of reach.

Run under perfect conditions, the 45-minute FP1 session was led by the Pramac rider with a 1m31.421s lap set on a fresh soft rear tyre.

One of only a handful of riders to do so on FP1, Martin led the way by 0.237 seconds from Tech3 GasGas rookie Pedro Acosta.

Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales completed the top three after a late time attack on a new medium rear, with Ducati’s Enea Bastianini fourth from world champion team-mate Francesco Bagnaia.

Martin set the initial pace in FP1 with a 1m34.162s, before Marc Marquez on the Gresini Ducati took over with a 1m33.242s inside the first five minutes of the session.

Top spot would swap between Marquez, VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi, Bagnaia and Bastianini.

With 10 minutes of the session gone, Marquez stood top with a 1m31.971s, with Bastianini taking over with a 1m31.914s with 18 minutes to go.

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Pedro Acosta, Red Bull GASGAS Tech3

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The 2022 French GP winner would improve on this to a 1m31.837s, which was briefly toppled by a 1m31.637s from Acosta.

However, this was cancelled after the Tech3 rider exceeded track limits and forced him to find a 1m31.658s to legitimately move to the top of the pile in the closing moments.

Electing to run a new soft rear tyre for the final few minutes, Martin lit up the timing screens and fired in a 1m31.421s to see out the session fastest of all.

Acosta held onto second, surviving a late scare at the Turn 6 right-hander when he tucked the front of his GasGas-branded KTM.

Vinales jumped up to third with a 1m31.678s, with Bastianini heading Bagnaia and Gresini’s Alex Marquez.

Aleix Espargaro was seventh on the sister factory Aprilia from KTM’s Brad Binder, who crashed late on at Turn 11.

Marc Marquez and last year’s French GP winner Bezzecchi rounded out the top 10.

Alex Rins was the leading Yamaha in 13th as team-mate Fabio Quartararo was a low-key 20th at the start of his home round aboard the M1’s new chassis.

Johann Zarco opened up his home race as top Honda in 16th on the LCR bike, while the factory team duo of Joan Mir and Luca Marini occupied the final two spots.

MotoGP French GP - FP1 results:

   
1
 - 
5
   
   
1
 - 
2
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 20

1'31.421

  174.918  
2 Spain P. Acosta Tech 3 31 KTM 21

+0.237

1'31.658

0.237 174.465  
3 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 20

+0.257

1'31.678

0.020 174.427  
4 Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 19

+0.416

1'31.837

0.159 174.125  
5 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 20

+0.431

1'31.852

0.015 174.097  
6 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 20

+0.475

1'31.896

0.044 174.014  
7 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 19

+0.490

1'31.911

0.015 173.985  
8 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 20

+0.521

1'31.942

0.031 173.927  
9 Spain M. Marquez Gresini Racing 93 Ducati 21

+0.550

1'31.971

0.029 173.872  
10 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 17

+0.559

1'31.980

0.009 173.855  
11 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 20

+0.614

1'32.035

0.055 173.751  
12 Italy F. Morbidelli Pramac Racing 21 Ducati 22

+0.649

1'32.070

0.035 173.685  
13 Spain A. Rins Yamaha Factory Racing 42 Yamaha 21

+0.691

1'32.112

0.042 173.606  
14 Spain R. Fernández Trackhouse Racing Team 25 Aprilia 20

+0.800

1'32.221

0.109 173.400  
15 Portugal M. Oliveira Trackhouse Racing Team 88 Aprilia 20

+0.865

1'32.286

0.065 173.278  
16 France J. Zarco Team LCR 5 Honda 19

+0.982

1'32.403

0.117 173.059  
17 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 22

+1.012

1'32.433

0.030 173.003  
18 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Team VR46 49 Ducati 17

+1.125

1'32.546

0.113 172.791  
19 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 21

+1.164

1'32.585

0.039 172.719  
20 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 21

+1.277

1'32.698

0.113 172.508  
21 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 19

+1.587

1'33.008

0.310 171.933  
22 Italy L. Marini Repsol Honda Team 10 Honda 23

+1.929

1'33.350

0.342 171.303  

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