Home favourite Espargaro leads Aprilia 1-2 in FP2

VR46 Ducati rider Marco Bezzecchi set the early pace on his GP21, jumping up to fifth on the combined order before improving to third with a 1m40.577s – which put the Italian rookie third overall.

It wouldn’t until halfway through the 45-minute afternoon session at Barcelona when Alex Rins’ best effort from FP1 was toppled by Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

The home favourite edged ahead with a 1m40.067s, which stood as the benchmark until the closing seven minutes when team-mate Maverick Vinales fired in the first soft tyre time attack of the day.

Vinales broke the 1m40s barrier with a 1m39.884s, improving to a 1m39.705s on his next tour before the rest of the field took to the circuit in the final minutes for a soft tyre time attack.

Quick lap times were posted across the order, but it was Espargaro on the Aprilia who lit up the timing screens and produced a 1m39.402s to beat Vinales by 0.303s.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Enea Bastainini completed the top three on his Gresini Ducati, with Francesco Bagnaia shadowing him in fourth on his factory team Ducati.

Jorge Martin recovered from his FP1 crash to finish Friday fifth fastest on his Pramac Ducati, albeit 0.587s off Espargaro’s best, with Brad Binder getting the KTM into the top six in sixth with a late 1m40.083s.

Jack Miller was seventh on the sister factory team Ducati from reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo, who was 0.721s off the pace on his factory Yamaha ahead of FP1 pacesetter Rins.

The Suzuki rider was trailed by Pramac’s Johann Zarco, but the Frenchman was demoted to 17th after having his final lap cancelled due to a yellow flag infringement.

This promoted Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli up to 10th ahead of Honda’s top runner Pol Espargaro in 11th.

Early pacesetter Bezzecchi also had a lap cancelled late on, which dumped him down to 14th ahead of team-mate Luca Marini and an out-of-sorts 2020 world champion Joan Mir on the other Suzuki.



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