Bagnaia leads Quartararo for rookie 1-2 in Mugello FP2

Francesco Bagnaia stuns the home crowd to top the timesheets in FP2, followed by fellow rookie Fabio Quartararo and Danilo Petrucci
Bagnaia leads Quartararo for rookie 1-2 in Mugello FP2

Italian MotoGP, Mugello - Free Practice (2) Results

Francesco Bagnaia emerged as the surprise pace setter in second free practice for the Italian MotoGP at Mugello, with fellow rookie Fabio Quartararo making it an unfamiliar looking leaderboard at its summit.

While all eyes have been on Ducati’s 2019-spec GP19 contingent of Andrea Dovizioso, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller coming into its home race meeting, it was Bagnaia on last year’s Pramac Racing-prepared GP18 that instead clicked off the quickest time in second free practice.

Though Bagnaia always stood to gain on recent lacklustre performances this weekend based on the GP18’s dominant results a year earlier, the manufacturer might be somewhat surprised to see it was the year-old machine beating its current bikes

By contrast, the factory contingent of Petrucci, Miller, Dovizioso and wild-card test rider Michele Pirro ended up third, eighth, 11th and 13th respectively.

In a fast-moving session that saw a flurry of changes in the final stages and a margin of just a single second covering Bagnaia in first down to Valentino Rossi in 18th, five of the six manufacturers would fill positions inside the top seven.

Petronas Yamaha’s Quartararo emphasised the rookie movement in second with two quick laps that briefly saw him go top, the Jerez pole sitter getting the better of Petrucci, who might have come out top had he not lost time in the final sector of his quickest effort.

Much like FP1, there were wildly mixed emotions for KTM as Pol Espargaro pulled out a superb 1m 46.966 as the first man to break into the 1m 46s bracket en route to an eventual fourth place.

By contrast, struggling team-mate Johann Zarco suffered a destructive crash at the 20mins mark. Coming down at the Turn 11 left-hander, though embattled Frenchman walked away unharmed, the RC16 suffered substantial damage as it flipped end-over-end into the gravel.

He wasn’t the only rider to come down, with Miller running on at Turn 12 in the late stages after out-braking himself and being forced to lay down the Pramac Ducati just as team-mate Bagnaia powered to the top.

Though humbled by Quartararo on the satellite M1, Maverick Vinales was in good touch on the factory machine in fifth place – well ahead of team-mate Rossi – while FP1 pace setter Marc Marquez pumped in his quick lap early on before switching his attention to set-up, only slipping to sixth in the final minutes.

Alex Rins gave Suzuki reason to be encouraged with a run to seventh fastest, ahead of Cal Crutchlow and the sidelined Miller, while Franco Morbidelli secured a provisional Q2 spot in tenth place.

With an out-of-sorts Dovizioso unable to improve late on, he sits in 11th overnight ahead of Zarco, who was otherwise enjoying a stronger session than usual before his off.

Having sat inside the top five after FP1 despite his RSGP suffering technical issues later on, Aleix Espargaro was only 16th quickest as the top Aprilia rider.