There are still four Ducatis ahead of everyone as we get to the middle of the first day of MotoGP collective testing in Portimao, but times have gone down quite dramatically compared to the update we offered two hours ago.
In fact, now there are no less than nine riders who have broken the 1’40” barrier and the interesting thing is that no less than six of these ride a Desmosedici GP and eight an Italian motorbike. Therefore, the values that we had seen a month ago in Malaysia.
At 1.30pm local time (2.30pm in Italy) Luca Marini was in front of everyone, who lapped in 1’39″548 with the Mooney VR46 GP22, further confirming his excellent form Behind him, just 62 thousandths off, is the GP23 of reigning world champion Pecco Bagnaia.
But to understand the current strength of the Red Army, it is enough to see that Fabio Di Giannantonio is in third position, 93 thousandths behind the Gresini Racing GP22, which in turn precedes Jorge Martin’s GP23 by just two thousandths.
Looking in the Pramac garage, there is a curiosity: both the bikes of the Spaniard and of Johann Zarco (who lingered after he crashed at turn 13) have a fairing with a step. The two bikes of the factory team, on the other hand, use the other version for now.
The first “intruder” among the Ducatis is Maverick Vinales, who with his Aprilia is not too far from the top, given that he pays just 145 thousandths. Further back, however, teammate Aleix Espargaro, only 18th because he ran into a crash without consequences at turn 1. However, the host Miguel Oliveira, eighth with the RS-GP 2022, also takes care of keeping up the honor of the Noale-based manufacturer of RNF Racing.
In front of the Portuguese are two other Ducati GP22s, those of Alex Marquez and Marco Bezzecchi, with this small group that is all enclosed in the space of just 224 thousandths. The last one to drop below 1’40” is Fabio Quartararo, first among the riders astride a Japanese bike. Four tenths of a second is not an abyss, but it was reasonable to expect more from the Yamaha rider on a track on which he dominated a year ago, above all because seven Ducatis in front of him seem like an obstacle bordering on insurmountable.
Rounding out the top 10 is the other Desmosedici GP23 of Enea Bastianini, who has to make up for the time lost in the morning when he was stopped on the track due to a technical problem. The rider from Romagna precedes a Honda trio, which surprisingly is led by Alex Rins, who precedes the two RC213Vs of the factory team entrusted to Joan Mir and Marc Marquez, who at least reduced their gap from the leader to just over six tenths.
Raul Fernandez also crashed at turn 15, following them in 14th position with the Aprilia RNF and ahead of the KTMs, which at the moment seem to be in particular difficulty: Brad Binder is only 16th, slightly behind by a second, while Jack Miller is even 19th at 1″2. Among them we also find Franco Morbidelli, 17th at 1″1 on his Yamaha.
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