Celebrating his new two-year deal with Aprilia, which was announced on Thursday, Espargaro guided his RS-GP – which in FP2 was powered by a new engine – to top spot with a 1m45.891s.
He was shadowed by the factory Ducati of Francesco Bagnaia on a 1m45.940s, who led an onslaught of Ducatis consisting of team-mate Jack Miller, Pramac’s Johann Zarco, VR46’s Luca Marini and Gresini’s Enea Bastianini.
Zarco’s day on his Pramac Ducati decked out in new colours was not without incident, as the Frenchman crashed twice during FP2 – his first tumble leading to a brief red flag stoppage.
Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Marco Bezzecchi ensured six of the nine Ducatis present at Mugello this weekend were inside the top 10 at the end of Friday’s running, as the VR46 rider was eighth ahead of championship leader Fabio Quartararo.
The Yamaha rider and 2021 Mugello winner was left somewhat despondent on Friday as he felt his bike was completely “opposite” to how it was last season at the Italian GP venue.
Practice continues on Saturday for the 2022 MotoGP Italian Grand Prix on Saturday morning at 9:55am local time (8:55 BST) before qualifying takes place at 2:10pm local time (1:10pm BST).
2022 MotoGP Italian Grand Prix: Full Friday practice results