News 14 Oct 2022

Late charge sees Zarco top Friday practice in Australia

Miller 13th, Gardner P22 following FP2 at Phillip Island.

Image: Russell Colvin.

A late charge from Johann Zarco saw the Prima Pramac Racing rider lead Friday practice at Phillip Island with the top 10 in MotoGP covered by just over fourth-tenths.

Times tumbled in the final 10 minutes of FP2 as riders attempted to make the most of the improved conditions in a bid to secure a direct transfer to qualifying two.

Zarco posted a 1m29.475s to lead impressive MotoGP rookie Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team), the Italian just 0.038s from the top spot. A positive sign of form for Repsol Honda Team’s Pol Espargaro saw the number 44 end the opening day third with a 1m29.527s.

Championship leader Fabio Quartararo concluded Friday in P4, ahead of Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) who completed the top five and was 0.131s from Zarco’s benchmark.

Sixth was Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), as positions seven to 10 were Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team), Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) and Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing).

FP3 tomorrow morning will be important for Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) who sits 13th after the two free practice sessions, as Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Factory) finished the day P22.

With a 1m37.797s posted in the closing stages of FP2, Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Husqvarna Max) ended the opening day of on-track action at Phillip Island fastest in Moto3, just under two-tenths clear of compatriot Tatsuki Suzuki (Leopard Racing).

FP1 pace-setter Diogo Moreira (MT-Helmets -MSI) completed Friday third and improved to a 1m38.205s this afternoon, as Izan Guevara recovered from a fall this morning to finish P4.

Australian Joel Kelso (CIP Green Power) featured inside the top three again throughout FP2 but was shuffled back to P12 in the closing stages despite a notching 1m38.884s towards the end of the session.

In Moto2, Jake Dixon (Inde GasGas Aspar Team) ended the day as the only rider to dip into 1m33s bracket, leading Beta Tools Speed Up duo Fermin Aldeguer and Alonso Lopez who were second and third respectively. Notably, Lopez will have to serve a long lap penalty in Sunday’s race due to causing a crash in FP1.

Championship leader Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) finished P7 on Friday’s combined times while title rival Ai Ogura (Idemistu Honda Team Asia) is a lowly P17 after FP2.

Detailed results