Quartararo upstages rivals to set Catalunya MotoGP practice pace

Rookie Fabio Quartararo sets the pace in second free practice for the Catalunya MotoGP, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and the impressive Takaaki Nakagami.
Quartararo upstages rivals to set Catalunya MotoGP practice pace

Catalunya MotoGP - Free Practice Results (2)

Fabio Quartararo once again demonstrated his deft abilities on a MotoGP machine over single lap during second free practice for the Catalunya MotoGP in Barcelona, the rookie getting the better of Andrea Dovizioso with a late flyer.

Despite starting his session with a run off, Quartararo – who hasn’t crashed once since jumping on the Petronas SRT Yamaha – wound up his momentum ahead of a rapid soft tyre flyer right at the end of the session, his post-flag 1min 40.079secs putting him into what is becoming an increasingly customary No.1 spot on the timesheets.

With the 2018 Moto2 Catalunya winner - who underwent arm pump surgery coming into the weekend - ending up 0.261secs quicker than Dovizioso in second place, the Frenchman’s comfortable gap was a stark contrast to the closeness beyond him with only 1.0s covering the top 19 riders.

Behind Dovizioso – one of only two factory riders inside the top six – Takaaki Nakagami emerged as the unexpected Honda pace setter aboard the 2018-specification machine, the confidence-high Japanese only three tenths off the top spot.

Similarly, Pol Espargaro was an impressive fourth fastest in a solid session for the KTM contingent, ahead of satellite riders Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Ducati) and Franco Morbidelli (Petronas SRT Yamaha) in what could be a significant session for the leading runners.

Indeed, with hot weather being tempered by stormy showers in Barcelona, there are concerns the weather could turn for the crucial FP3 session.

For now, Valentino Rossi sits seventh ahead of Danilo Petrucci and FP1 pace setter Marc Marquez. Once again choosing to spend FP2 to focus on race set up, Marquez didn’t ‘go soft’ for the session, leaving him down in 17th on the timesheets. However, his FP1 lap places him lifts him back to ninth on the combined timesheets.

Cal Crutchlow rounds out the provisional combined top ten, just ahead of Alex Rins who – along with Suzuki team-mate – suffered a crash each en route to a combined 11th and 19th.

Elsewhere, Karel Abraham was an eye-catching 11th (12th combined) best in FP2, while Johann Zarco suffered yet another front-end low side – at the fast final right hand turn – but returned to track to finish a better-than-usual 12th on the session timesheets, just ahead of Jorge Lorenzo.