Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia MotoGP Catalunya
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia MotoGP Catalunya

As it happened: Aleix Espargaro sets new lap record in Catalan MotoGP qualifying

Round nine of the 2022 World Championship is well under way as we reach FP3 in the CatalanGP weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya.

After Friday’s sessions concluded it was advantage Aleix Espargaro and Aprilia with his team-mate Maverick Vinales next quickest on combined times after the opening day concluded.

Espargaro is on a fine run of form, with four consecutive third place finishes under his belt from the last four races, backing up his win from pole back in Argentina, which sees him sit an impressive second in the overall standings.

Ducati arrive on a successful run having taken the spoils in the Mugello MotoGP race as Francesco Bagnaia claimed his second victory in three races.

This time it was Gresini’s Enea Bastianini who was leading the way for the Italian factory after day one, third overall after picking up the pace in FP2, himself a recent winner having claimed victory one race earlier in Le Mans.

Bagnaia was fourth on the factory Ducati, with Jorge Martin giving him a run for his money on the Pramac entry, while Jack Miller posted the seventh best time on the opening day.

They were split by the KTM of Brad Binder in sixth.

Alex Rins arrived on home soil coming off another early exit in Italy with neither he nor team-mate Joan Mir scoring over the last two rounds. A promising first session turned out to remain Rins’ best effort as only he and the last two riders did not improve, though he still lead the way for Suzuki in eighth.

Reigining champion and standings leader Fabio Quartararo has work to do. The Yamaha rider has a new contract under his belt to remain with the factory,  but begins Saturday from ninth, one place ahead of team-mate Franco Morbidelli as he continues his resurgence.

Marc Marquez is a notable absentee at the Catalunya Grand Prix. The eight time world champion has already had his fourth right arm surgery since 2020 after announcing his decision in Italy. 

04 Jun 2022