The Australian is 0.9s clear of Zarco on Day 1 at the Emilia-Romagna GP with Bagnaia inside top 10
Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) ended a wet Day 1 at the Gran Premio Nolan del Made in Italy e dell’Emilia-Romagna at the summit thanks to a superb 1:41.305 in FP2, a lap time that saw the Australian take a 0.927s advantage over Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) into qualifying day. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) left it late to claim P3 on Friday, the Spaniard is the only other rider to get within a second of Miller at Misano so far.
Rain plays a leading role as Quartararo struggles
Rain in the morning and in the early afternoon meant the premier class got plenty of wet weather running under their belts on Friday, but the sun did creep through the clouds for most of FP2, allowing conditions – and therefore times – to improve. Miller was quick to demote FP1 pacesetter Zarco to P2 as the Aussie sat over a second clear of anyone for a while in FP2, with all but two riders improving by the mid-point of the afternoon stint.
With more rain forecast for Saturday morning’s FP3, the FP2 conditions – wet, but much better than FP1 – could be the best conditions the riders face in the chase for automatic Q2 places. Quartararo was P12 with five minutes to go, with title rival Bagnaia looking comfortable – after his crash in FP1 – in P5. No improvements were made by the Frenchman in the closing stages, meaning Quartararo would end Day 1 down in P16, with Pecco – as things stand – making his way into Q2 in P8.
Who’s inside the top 10?
Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) enjoyed a solid day at the office in the tricky conditions, the Spaniard ends Friday in P4 on the combined standings after finishing FP1 in ninth. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) is 1.2s down on Miller in P5, the Portuguese rider claimed top 10s in both sessions too, with rookie Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) impressing in P6.
Title contender Bagnaia crashes unhurt in FP1
Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), wildcarding at Misano, produced some familiar classy wet weather riding to pocket a P7 on Friday, the Italian sits fractionally ahead of Bagnaia in P8. Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) and Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) are the final two riders currently occupying top 10 positions, something that could be crucial if mother nature doesn’t play nice on Saturday morning.
All eyes will be pointing towards the skies when the riders open their curtains ahead of FP3, with plenty of big names – including Quartararo – needing to find some pace in the wet conditions if they are to make it straight into Q2. Reigning World Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar), San Marino GP podium finisher Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) and eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) are just three names sitting outside the top 10, so you don’t want to miss what unfolds in FP3.
Tune into a vital third Free Practice session from the Emilia-Romagna GP at 09:55 local time (GMT+2) on Saturday morning to see if title leader Quartararo can claw his way into the top 10.
Top 10 combined:
1. Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) – 1:41.305
2. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.927
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 0.986
4. Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) + 1.271
5. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 1.286
6. Luca Marini (SKY VR46 Avintia) + 1.296
7. Lorenzo Savadori (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 1.310
8. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 1.364
9. Danilo Petrucci (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) + 1.470
10. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 1.504