Grand prix

Le Mans bites back with Crash-heavy FP2, Bastianini sets new lap record | MotoGP

Exchanging top times on several occasions in FP1, Alex Rins and Fabio Quartararo renewed their tussle for top spot at the beginning of FP2. 

Rins went quickest for Suzuki with a time of 1:32.192s, however, Quartararo wasted no time in going underneath the 1m 32s barrier as he set a 1:31.991s.

While Rins was continuing to look strong, team-mate Joan Mir suffered a very quick crash at turn seven. Mir lost the front immediately after applying the brakes as his GSR-XX was destroyed.  

After claiming he anticipates a rematch of their Jerez battle, Quartararo was first to go quicker than FP1’s top time, but Bagnaia soon joined him as they moved clear of the rest. 

Quartararo was leading the duo, however, Bagnaia’s next lap around was enough to go quickest by just 0.005s. Meanwhile, Aleix Espargaro made it three riders within +0.039s as he went P3. 

With track action fairly quiet, Ducati unintentionally did their best to liven things up… First came a huge moment for Johann Zarco as the Pramac rider got his braking completely wrong at turn one. 

The home favourite had to run through the gravel at some speed before bunny-hopping his way back onto the circuit. Had another rider been turning then it could have ended in disaster, thankfully it did not. 

Seconds later and factory rider Jack Miller crashed at turn 11 after losing the front-end of his GP22 machine.

There was frustration for Rins as the Suzuki rider had to abort his latest lap due to being held up by a slow moving Pol Espargaro

Crashes take centre stage in MotoGP FP2 at Le Mans

On a MotoGP bike for the first time at Le Mans, RNF Yamaha rider Darryn Binder became the latest to crash – sector four. 

Miller’s eventful day continued on his next exit from pit lane. The Australian braked too late for ‘Garage Vert’ (turn eight), and had to run through the gravel. 

There was another Ducati crash just moments later as rookie Marco Bezzecchi lost the front at turn seven, the same corner as Mir. 

Although track conditions were proving tricky due to the heat, A. Espargaro managed to put his Aprilia quickest. 

Going from bad to worse, a third Ducati crash happened as Luca Marini made it back-to-back falls for Valentino Rossi’s Mooney VR46 team. 

With Mir, Miller, Binder, Bezzecchi and Marini all having gone down, Bastianini then became the latest as he fell at turn three, the first lap after he set a new all-time lap record. 

Shortly after and Franco Morbidelli suffered his second fall of the day, this time it was turn ten. Alex Marquez made it three riders to crash at turn seven, before his brother Marc Marquez nearly had an identical front-end washout at the same corner. But unlike the others, Marquez saved it on his elbow, the second time that happened today. 

Pol Espargaro fastest in Le Mans MotoGP FP1

Starting off the weekend in fine style, Pol Espargaro finished fastest after setting a time of 1:31.711s on his penultimate time attack. 

The Spaniard, who finished over a tenth clear of Rins and Jerez winner Francesco Bagnaia, is facing increasing uncertainty as it relates to his Repsol Honda future as Joan Mir has confirmed talks with HRC have already begun.

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