There is still a Mooney VR46 Ducati ahead of everyone even at the end of Friday’s second round of the MotoGP, the one that defined direct access to Q2 of the Indian Grand Prix and which lasted 70 minutes to help the riders again to take measurements on a new track.
This time, however, it was Luca Marini, who set the new Buddh International Circuit record with a time of 1’44″782, despite previously having also been involved in a crash at turn 1, which also in this session caused continued to mislead many pilots.
In addition to the Marche native, there are only two other riders who have been able to break the 1’45” barrier and they are Jorge Martin, who therefore immediately confirmed himself in great form also in India after the double in Misano, and Aleix Espargaro, with an Aprilia that seems particularly at ease. Their gaps were truly minimal, because we are talking about 8 and 51 thousandths respectively.
From fourth down the gap opens up significantly, but Marc Marquez continued to shine, given that he himself is in fourth place, albeit 335 thousandths behind. It must be said, however, that the eight-time world champion had to take advantage of Marco Bezzecchi’s “hook” to bring his Honda so high. And in the end he preceded the standard bearer of the Mooney VR46 by 85 thousandths, completing the top 5.
In sixth position is the other official Aprilia of Maverick Vinales, just under half a second behind, while world leader Pecco Bagnaia is only seventh, who didn’t seem particularly happy with his Ducati. In fact, until a couple of minutes from the end, he even found himself forced to go through Q1, having aborted at least a couple of attempts. Only at the last minute did he set a time of 1’45″280 which qualified him, but the feeling is that there is work to be done in his garage today.
After this morning’s technical problems, Fabio Quartararo managed to give a good response, bringing his Yamaha to eighth position, reducing his gap to 509 thousandths. We know how fundamental it is for “El Diablo” to place his M1 as far forward as possible on the grid, so he has taken care of the first piece in trying to have a good weekend.
The last two who have direct access to Q2 are Johann Zarco with the Prima Pramac Racing Ducati and Joan Mir, who we could almost say made the day triumphant for the Honda HRC, for which to bring both bikes directly into the decisive segment of the qualification had become almost a mirage this year.
The Majorcan, however, was also quite lucky, because in the final stage Brad Binder saw a time that would have taken him significantly higher than 12th place cancelled, due to a yellow flag caused by Takaaki Nakagami’s fall. This means that the KTMs will all be forced to go through Q1, because Jack Miller, who also crashed at turn 12, is also 18th. And the RC16s designed by GasGas Tech3 didn’t fare much better.
Unlucky was Fabio Di Giannantonio, who had given the sensation of being able to get through to Q2, but in the end he was out by just 74 thousandths. Franco Morbidelli is also out, 14th with the second Yamaha although less than eight tenths behind. The group then closes with Michele Pirro who seems to be in some difficulty, as certified by another straight shot in the gravel of Turn 1 which cost him several minutes. The Ducati test rider, replacing the injured Enea Bastianini, is last with a delay of 1″7.