Japan MotoGP Practice Results: Quartararo leads Yamaha 1-2

Japan MotoGP, Twin Ring Motegi - Free Practice Results : Fabio Quartararo sets the pace once more for Yamaha ahead of Maverick Vinales


Fabio Quartararo ended the first day of free practice action at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit on top of the timesheets as Yamaha got the 2019 Japan MotoGP off to a strong start.

The Frenchman, who came to within metres of winning his first MotoGP race last time out in Thailand, was yet again up to scintillating speed on the satellite Petronas SRT Yamaha to post the quickest lap time from FP1 and FP2, a 1m 44.764s – the only lap time below 1m 45secs.

That was enough to topple Yamaha counterpart and FP1 pace setter Maverick Vinales, Quartararo a comfortable three tenths quicker than the Spaniard. 

New 2019 MotoGP World Champion Marc Marquez was third quickest, recovering from a moment on one of his quickest laps at Turn 5 to look poised on the Repsol Honda, while Andrea Dovizioso penetrated the Japanese manufacturer stronghold as the only non-local brand representative inside the top six.

A strong start to the weekend for the Yamaha contingent around a circuit it admits it doesn’t have a strong record at, Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli turned in the fifth and sixth fastest laps.

Jack Miller suffered a spill at Turn 9 but was still able to cling onto seventh fastest on the Pramac Ducati, just ahead of factory counterpart Danilo Petrucci as Ducati enjoyed a better start to a race weekend than of late.

Joan Mir progressed late on to grab ninth, while Aleix Espargaro appeared to confirm the strides made by Aprilia in recent races to secure a provisional Q2 spot in tenth.

Rain to scupper improvements in FP3?

Indeed, with rain forecast for the remainder of the weekend, FP2 took on greater significance once again as riders fought to get in a potential ‘banker’ should they not be able to improve on their times in FP3.

As it stands, Alex Rins could only manage 11th on the second Suzuki, ahead of Cal Crutchlow in 12th and leading KTM rider Pol Espargaro in 13th.

Home hero Takaaki Nakagami – in his final race of 2019 before he undergoes surgery and is replaced on the LCR Honda by Johann Zarco – was 15th quickest, while Jorge Lorenzo’s hopes of showing well on Honda’s home soil appear to have gained little momentum in 17th.

Japan MotoGP Free Practice Results

Japan MotoGP - Twin Ring Motegi Free Practice Results [Combined after FP2]
1Fabio QuartararoFRAPetronas Yamaha YZR-M11m 44.764
2Maverick ViñalesSPAMonster Yamaha YZR-M11m 45.085
3Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda RC213V1m 45.100
4Andrea DoviziosoITADucati Team GP191m 45.414
5Valentino RossiITAMonster Yamaha YZR-M11m 45.466
6Franco MorbidelliITAPetronas Yamaha YZR-M11m 45.562
7Jack MillerAUSPramac Ducati GP191m 45.577
8Danilo PetrucciITADucati Team GP191m 45.619
9Joan MirESPSuzuki Ecstar GSX-RR 1m 45.641
10Aleix EspargaroSPAFactory Aprilia Gresini RS-GP1m 45.721
11Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar GSX-RR1m 45.730
12Cal CrutchlowGBRLCR Honda RC213V1m 45.804
13Pol EspargaroSPARed Bull KTM Factory RC161m 46.020
14Francesco BagnaiaITAPramac Ducati GP18 1m 46.330
15Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR IDEMITSU Honda RC213V1m 46.557
16Karel AbrahamCZEReale Avintia Ducati GP181m 46.576
17Jorge LorenzoESPRepsol Honda RC213V1m 46.661
18Andrea IannoneITAFactory Aprilia Gresini RS-GP1m 46.745
19Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM Tech3 RC161m 46.800
20Sylvain GuintoliFRASuzuki Ecstar GSX-RR1m 46.803
21Mika KallioFINRed Bull KTM Factory RC161m 46.898
22Tito RabatSPAReale Avintia Ducati GP181m 47.158
23Hafizh SyahrinMALRed Bull KTM Tech3 RC161m 47.974