Valencia MotoGP: Nakagami sets FP1 pace ahead of Yamahas

Lewis Duncan
·3-min read

Following his European GP win last weekend, Mir comes into this weekend’s second race at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit facing his first match point in the championship with a 37-point lead.

Franco Morbidelli set the early pace on his Petronas SRT Yamaha with a 1m32.195s, though the surplus in grip compared to last weekend meant times would quite rapidly tumble.

Morbidelli and Pol Espargaro on the KTM traded top spot for the first 10 minutes, with the former dipping underneath the race lap record with a 1m30.944s.

This stood as the benchmark for the next 10 minutes of the session before Nakagami on the 2019 Honda moved ahead with a 1m30.829s.

With no threat of rain for the rest of the day, there was no rush for time attacks in the latter stages, leaving Nakagami’s time intact through to the chequered flag.

Morbidelli trailed the LCR rider by 0.115 seconds, with Maverick Vinales completing the top three on a more encouraging start to this weekend than the disastrous European GP.

Espargaro held fourth on his KTM ahead of his Aprilia-mounted brother Aleix Espargaro, while Johann Zarco was sixth and top Ducati runner on his Avintia GP19.

He headed the factory GP20 of Andrea Dovizioso, who announced earlier this week he will be taking a sabbatical in 2021.

Dovizioso was 0.026s clear of Mir on the Suzuki, with Tech3 KTM’s Miguel Oliveira and the Honda of Stefan Bradl round out the top 10.

Bradl will remain on the factory RC213V for the final two rounds, after HRC confirmed earlier this week reigning world champion Marc Marquez would not return to action in 2020.

European GP runner-up Alex Rins was a low-key 11th on his Suzuki ahead of Pramac’s Jack Miller and Valentino Rossi on the Yamaha, who was cleared to ride yesterday following another scare with COVID-19 tests on Tuesday.

With his championship hopes all but gone, with the SRT rider trailing Mir by 37 points along with Rins, Fabio Quartararo’s FP1 appeared to be another frustrating affair down in 16th.

There looked to be more struggles for the Ducatis of Danilo Petrucci and Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac) down in 18th and 19th, while Lorenzo Savadori was 1.943s off the pace in last as he begind his second MotoGP race weekend with Aprilia.

Tech3’s Iker Lecuona was absent from FP1, but is expected to ride from Saturday having cleared a COVID-19 test after positive case for his brother forced him out of the European GP.

Valencia MotoGP - FP1 results:

1

30

Japan
Japan

Takaaki Nakagami

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

1'30.829

2

21

Italy
Italy

Franco Morbidelli

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'30.944

0.115

3

12

Spain
Spain

Maverick Viñales

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'30.968

0.139

4

44

Spain
Spain

Pol Espargaro

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

1'31.052

0.223

5

41

Spain
Spain

Aleix Espargaro

Aprilia RS-GP
Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

1'31.170

0.341

6

5

France
France

Johann Zarco

Ducati Desmosedici GP19
Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

1'31.297

0.468

7

4

Italy
Italy

Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'31.410

0.581

8

36

Spain
Spain

Joan Mir

Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

1'31.436

0.607

9

88

Portugal
Portugal

Miguel Oliveira

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

1'31.486

0.657

10

6

Germany
Germany

Stefan Bradl

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

1'31.514

0.685

11

42

Spain
Spain

Alex Rins

Suzuki GSX-RR
Suzuki GSX-RR

Suzuki

1'31.528

0.699

12

43

Australia
Australia

Jack Miller

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'31.541

0.712

13

46

Italy
Italy

Valentino Rossi

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'31.545

0.716

14

35

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

Cal Crutchlow

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

1'31.572

0.743

15

73

Spain
Spain

Alex Marquez

Honda RC213V
Honda RC213V

Honda

1'31.598

0.769

16

20

France
France

Fabio Quartararo

Yamaha YZR-M1
Yamaha YZR-M1

Yamaha

1'31.617

0.788

17

33

South Africa
South Africa

Brad Binder

KTM RC16
KTM RC16

KTM

1'31.678

0.849

18

9

Italy
Italy

Danilo Petrucci

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'31.805

0.976

19

63

Italy
Italy

Francesco Bagnaia

Ducati Desmosedici GP20
Ducati Desmosedici GP20

Ducati

1'31.828

0.999

20

53

Spain
Spain

Tito Rabat

Ducati Desmosedici GP19
Ducati Desmosedici GP19

Ducati

1'32.198

1.369

21

32

Italy
Italy

Lorenzo Savadori

Aprilia RS-GP
Aprilia RS-GP

Aprilia

1'32.772

1.943

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