Aleix Espargaro heads dominant 1-2 for Aprilia during FP2 in Catalunya

Aleix Espargaro was in top form as he dominated Catalunya MotoGP FP2 from team-mate Maverick Vinales. Ducati hot on their heels after finishing with four bikes inside the top seven.
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia MotoGP Catalunya
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia MotoGP Catalunya

Looking to back up his impressive FP1 performance, Alex Rins went third fastest as track temperatures rose significantly from the morning.

Not to be outdone, Franco Morbidelli’s resurgence in Catalunya continued as he quickly replaced Rins inside the top three. 

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While it was expected that lap times wouldn’t improve drastically, standout rookie Marco Bezzecchi dismissed that notion as he went third on combined times. 

A time of 1:40.577s was set by the Ducati rider before Pol Espargaro also improved his time from FP1.

Down in tenth place, Fabio Quartararo was once again slower than his team-mate to begin FP2, something that hasn't been said about the reigning world champion in over a year. 

Although there were only +0.023s between the two factory Yamaha riders, Morbidelli has failed to get within a couple of tenths of Quartararo all season, so to be faster was very impressive. 

After fitting a new medium rear, Aleix Espararo set his best time of the day in order to go second fastest - one tenth behind Rins. 

However, the Aprilia rider wasn’t done there as he came very close to breaking the sub 1m 40s barrier for the first time this weekend. 

While Espargaro was busy resetting the benchmark time (1:40.067s), Stefan Bradl became the first faller (FP2), second of the day after crashing at turn five. 

Bradl’s crash came at a time when the HRC test rider was setting some very good lap times - closed to within a second of the fastest time before losing the front. 

Not something you see very often, Espargaro’s session-leading effort came courtesy of setting the fastest time in all four sectors - based off FP2, not the overall leaderboard.

Down in 14th while his team-mate led the way, Joan Mir cut a frustrated figure at running off-track at turn one. 

Joan Mir, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 June
Joan Mir, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 June

Mir’s best time was eight tenths slower than Rins went in FP1, a surprise given the two GSR-RR riders have been very close all season long. 

After nearly breaking the 1m 40s barrier, Espargaro had to watch team-mate Maverick Vinales do just that after the former Yamaha rider posted a 1:39.884s. 

Up by another three tenths on his next lap around, Vinales lost time in sector four but it wasn’t enough to stop him from improving. The Spaniard set a time of 1:39.705s.

Aprilia get the better of Ducati during MotoGP time attacks

As the time attacks began, Ducati finally started showing their true potential as Francesco Bagnaia, Eneas Bastianini and Jorge Martin went second, third and fourth respectively. 

There were back-to-back cancelled laps for Martin and Luca Marini with just a couple of minutes to go, both for exceeding track limits. 

Jorge Martin, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 June
Jorge Martin, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 June

With Vinales looking set to top FP2, A. Espargaro had one last trick up his sleeve as he produced a stunning time of 1:39.402s - +0.303s faster than anyone. 

Ducati dominated positions 3-7 as only Brad Binder (sixth) managed to separate the Bologna bullets. 

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