MotoGP Valencia: Lecuona fastest in wet FP1

Tech3 KTM rider Iker Lecuona topped a wet first practice for MotoGP 2021's Valencia Grand Prix finale, as motorcycle racing legend Valentino Rossi begins the final race of his career.

MotoGP Valencia: Lecuona fastest in wet FP1

This weekend marks the final outing of nine-time grand prix motorcycle world champion Rossi, who will retire from MotoGP at the end of his 26th season on Sunday.

Tributes from within the paddock and around the motorsport world, including Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, have been pouring in ahead of Rossi’s MotoGP farewell.

Going against all forecasts pre-weekend, rain arrived for the start of Friday morning’s FP1 session at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

Only 10 riders put lap times on the board in the opening stages of FP1, but the entire grid would eventually venture out as the rain slightly intensified.

KTM’s Miguel Oliveira set the early pace with a 1m45.246s, which he followed up with a 1m43.880s before Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia took over at the top of the timesheets with a 1m43.804s.

Oliveira quickly re-established himself at the top of the pile with a 1m42.107s, before improving to a 1m41.746s.

With just over 15 minutes to go Bagnaia went faster with a 1m41.511s, further cementing top spot with a 1m41.244s before crashing at the Turn 2 left-hander moments later.

Miller was one of several riders to crash in the slippery conditions

Miller was one of several riders to crash in the slippery conditions

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

He was unharmed but wasn’t the only rider caught out by the conditions, with Tech3’s Danilo Petrucci – also starting his final MotoGP race – suffering a highside at Turn 4 early on, while Bagnaia’s Ducati team-mate Jack Miller fell off at Turn 1 when he ran wide onto the painter run-off.

Miller’s crash came just moments after he’d moved to the top of the timesheets with a 1m40.724s.

Lecuona – World Superbike-bound in 2022 with Honda – then deposed Miller from top spot with a 1m40.569s in the dying stages of FP1, and went unchallenged through to the chequered flag to see out the morning fastest of all from Miller.

Oliveira completed the top three from Pramac’s Johann Zarco and the Suzuki of Joan Mir, while Bagnaia was sixth after his crash.

Avintia rookie Luca Marini also crashed late on at Turn 6, but still held onto seventh from the factory Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli and the sole factory Honda of Pol Espargaro, after HRC elected against replacing Marc Marquez – suffering with vision problems following a concussion – with test rider Stefan Bradl.

LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami rounded out the top 10, while 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo was 1.5s off the pace down in 15th as Yamaha’s typical wet weather problems appeared to persist.

Petrucci didn’t return to the track after his early spill, while Rossi wasn’t classified on the standings having completed just four laps in the conditions – the best of which putting him an unrepresentative 10.2s off the pace.

MotoGP Valencia FP1 results

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Spain Iker Lecuona KTM 1'40.569  
2 Australia Jack Miller Ducati 1'40.724 0.155
3 Portugal Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'40.730 0.161
4 France Johann Zarco Ducati 1'40.940 0.371
5 Spain Joan Mir Suzuki 1'40.943 0.374
6 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'41.015 0.446
7 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 1'41.104 0.535
8 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'41.200 0.631
9 Spain Pol Espargaro Honda 1'41.300 0.731
10 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'41.486 0.917
11 Spain Alex Rins Suzuki 1'41.512 0.943
12 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati 1'41.547 0.978
13 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'41.889 1.320
14 Italy Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'41.974 1.405
15 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'42.081 1.512
16 Spain Alex Marquez Honda 1'42.158 1.589
17 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1'42.168 1.599
18 Italy Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1'42.182 1.613
19 Italy Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'42.438 1.869
20 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'42.767 2.198
21 Italy Valentino Rossi Yamaha    
shares
comments

Related video

Norris has discussed racing together with MotoGP legend Rossi
Previous article

Norris has discussed racing together with MotoGP legend Rossi

Next article

Miller: MotoGP ‘doesn’t appreciate’ Petrucci as it should

Miller: MotoGP ‘doesn’t appreciate’ Petrucci as it should
Load comments
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021