The atypical Friday of the Japanese motorcycle Grand Prix, reduced to a free practice session but extended to an hour and a quarter, was true to its condition and only three Ducatis entered the top-10 although, yes, with double from Ducati Lenovo Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia in front with Luca Marini, fifth. But the remaining candidates for the title are behind them, Fabio Quartararo is third and Aleix Espargaró, fourth, the top-4 separated by only 68 thousandths. How close the championship is with Quartararo, Bagnaia and Espargaró separated by 17 points coming into Motegi.
good friday to Marc Márquez who started this GP with doubts about how to handle his right arm on a circuit as tight as Motegi’s physique and approach, with a lot of right-hand braking, where he struggles more, and saw him doing well running, a maximum of six laps to find a rhythm, and the time attacks he tried were only done by finishing sixth, 147 thousandths of Jack Miller’s best time.
He has done 26 laps, like the average on the grid, spread over six stints, the last three to test the time attack and in the penultimate when he achieved his best time.
It became basic for them this Friday because this Saturday a tropical cyclone is expected to arrive in Haga district where Motegi is located -they are in the middle of the season-. It is not expected to be as dangerous as the recent Nanmadol, which was classified as a super typhoon, but the rain and wind will complicate the day and they came out to ensure several hours of attack at the end of this FP1 where there was relative surprises.
Bastianini and Zarco were affected from the start when they were fighting for that top-10 and they were left behind. They have a direct provisional place for Q2 in addition to the aforementioned three Ducatis and two Aprilias, the two KTMs of the official team and the two Hondas of the official Repsol Honda team and the only standard Yamaha, the current champion and leader of the championship . Fabio Quartararo.
The top-4 is at 68 thousandths and the top-10 closing Viñales at 0″288. Zarco is left only one thousandth, the fall minute before the end of the session has been key. If as planned this Saturday he will go through the water, problems for Zarco, Rins, Bastianini or Jorge Martín who are no longer in the cut.
Source: La Verdad