Malaysian MotoGP Free Practice Results | Binder on top as rain scuppers Bagnaia

Brad Binder tops the timesheets on a rainy Friday at Sepang for the Malaysian MotoGP as Pecco Bagnaia misses out on the provisional Q2 cut for now

Brad Binder - KTM Factory Racing

Brad Binder topped the timesheets on a topsy-turvy day of Friday free practice action at Sepang for the 2022 Malaysian MotoGP, the penultimate round of the season.

A crucial race weekend in the context of the title fight after Pecco Bagnaia moved into the driving seat at the head of the leaderboard last time out at Phillip Island, the challenge facing himself and key rival Fabio Quartararo was exacerbated by Malaysia’s typical unpredictable climate bringing a heavy downpour before FP2.

With the session delayed for some time before the bikes could hit the track in safe but still sodden conditions, each rider’s top time would come from their earlier FP1 efforts.

As such, it was FP1 pacesetter Brad Binder leading the way at the end of the day, the KTM rider putting aside his lack of MotoGP racing knowledge of the venue to go quickest with a 1m 59.479secs lap.

Indeed, though this is the first Malaysian MotoGP to take place since 2019, the riders know the venue well from pre-season testing.

Australian MotoGP race winner Alex Rins slotted into second place behind Binder, with Honda’s Marc Marquez and Gresini Ducati’s Enea Bastianini making it four different manufacturers inside the top four.

Joan Mir backed up his Suzuki team-mate Rins with the fifth best time, ahead of Jorge Martin and Fabio Quartararo, the erstwhile championship leader a safe seventh to make the provisional Q2 cut should rain hamper proceedings again in FP3 tomorrow morning.

That was unlike Bagnaia, who could only manage the 11th best time and Aleix Espargaro, who was a lowly 20th after the first day’s action.

Completing the top ten was rookie Fabio di Giannantonio and VR46 Ducati pair Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi.

In the wet afternoon session, Cal Crutchlow was quickest with home favourites RNF Yamaha, albeit six seconds off the ultimate pace, with Bagnaia looking better sorted in second and Alex Marquez - who has a long lap penalty this weekend for his part in torpedoing Jack  Miller at Phillip Island - in third.

2022 Malaysian MotoGP | Sepang | Free Practice Results [FP1+FP2]

2022 Malaysian MotoGP | Sepang | Free Practice Results [FP1+FP2] | Round 19 / 20
PosRiderNat.MotoGP TeamMotoGP BikeTiming
1Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM RacingKTM RC161m 59.479
2Alex RinsESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 59.576
3Marc MarquezESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 59.623
4Enea BastianiniITAGresini RacingDucati GP211m 59.875
5Joan MirESPTeam Suzuki EcstarSuzuki GSX-RR1m 59.951
6Jorge MartinESPPramac RacingDucati GP221m 59.966
7Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M12m 00.543
8Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini RacingDucati GP212m 00.552
9Luca MariniITAVR46 RacingDucati GP212m 00.733
10Marco BezzecchiITAVR46 RacingDucati GP212m 00.767
11Francesco Bagnaia ITADucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP222m 00.770
12Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Energy Yamaha Yamaha YZF-M12m 00.771
13Alex MarquezESPLCR Honda Honda RC213V2m 01.015
14Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo TeamDucati GP222m 01.034
15Johann ZarcoFRAPramac RacingDucati GP222m 01.048
16Pol EspargaroESPRepsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V2m 01.200
17Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM RacingKTM RC162m 01.247
18Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU RNF Racing YamahaYamaha YZF-M12m 01.251
19Maverick VinalesESPAprilia Racing Aprilia RS-GP2m 01.328
20Aleix EspargaroESPAprilia Racing Aprilia RS-GP2m 01.654
21Remy GardnerAUSTech3 KTM RacingKTM RC162m 01.704
22Darryn BinderRSAWithU RNF Racing YamahaYamaha YZF-M12m 01.831
23Raul FernandezESPTech3 KTM RacingKTM RC162m 01.831
24Tetsuta NagashimaJPNLCR Honda Honda RC213V2m 02.866