Catalunya MotoGP Practice | Zarco toasts new Pramac Ducati deal to top FP Friday

Johann Zarco sneaks ahead of Franco Morbidelli to top the timesheets on Friday for the Catalunya MotoGP in the faster FP2; Fabio Quartararo third

Johann Zarco - Pramac Ducati

Johann Zarco added another boost to a constructive week by topping the timesheets in Friday Free Practice for the Catalunya MotoGP, round seven of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.

After moving up to second position in the overall standings with a run to fourth position in last weekend’s Italian MotoGP, yesterday [Thursday] it was confirmed he would remain a Pramac Ducati rider for the 2022 MotoGP season.

Carrying that confidence through to free practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Zarco leapt to the head of the field during the customary flurry of fast final laps, in so doing denying Franco Morbidelli the Friday Spanish spoils.

Though pipped in the closing stages, Morbidelli - who scored his first MotoGP pole at the venue in 2020 - will welcome a trouble-free day as he bids to use this weekend’s event to reverse a run of disappointing form on the Petronas SRT Yamaha.

It is in stark contrast to former team-mate Fabio Quartararo - third after practice - who is riding high after his exemplary victory in Mugello five days ago, a result that allowed him to open up a 24 point lead in the overall standings. 

Brad Binder made a strong late improvement to bolster his Q2 hopes en route to fourth in the classification, much like Pecco Bagnaia and Jack Miller, who pumped in big moving jumps in the closing stages to end the day in fifth and seventh respectively, split by the Yamaha of Maverick Vinales, who begin work with new crew chief Silvano Galbusera this weekend.

Enea Bastianini was an impressive eighth best on the Avintia Ducati, ahead of FP1 pace setter Aleix Espaegaro, who had his brother Pol right behind him on the timesheets in tenth. On a circuit the siblings know intimately having grown up nearby, that experience of the circuit would end up catching out the younger of the two [Pol] when he twice ran off at the reconfigured Turn 10 left-hander.

Similarly, Miguel Oliveira took a trip across the gravel trap with an excursion there, though the only tumbler in FP2 was Luca Marini, at Turn 4.

Elsewhere, Marc Marquez’s recovery continues at a modest pace, the Spaniard only 15th best, while Suzuki will be concerned to see Joan Mir only 16th on a weekend already hurt by the withdrawal of the injured Alex Rins.

2021 Catalunya MotoGP FP1 - FP2 Results | Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

2021 Catalunya MotoGP FRIDAY FP1 - FP2 Results | Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya | Round 7 / 19
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP211m 39.235
2Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 39.256
3Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 39.401
4Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 39.662
5Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 39.760
6Maverick VinalesESPMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M11m 39.821
7Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP211m 39.914
9Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 39.977
9Enea BastianiniITAAvintia EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 39.983
10Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 39,983
11Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda IdemitsuHonda RC213V1m 40,032
12Danilo PetrucciITATech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 40.060
13Luca MariniITASky VR46 EsponsoramaDucati GP191m 40.094
14Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 40.096
15Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 40.120
16Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 40.150
17Iker LecuonaESPTech3 KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 40.251
18Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V1m 40.690
19Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha YZF-M11m 40.836
20Lorenzo SavadoriITAAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia RS-GP1m 40,981
21Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP211m 41.185
-Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RRWithdrawn