Vinales continues Aprilia domination but Espargaro crashes in warm-up

Aprilia remains fastest ahead of the Catalan MotoGP but this time it’s Maverick Vinales who takes home the spoils in morning warm-up.
Maverick Vinales, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 June
Maverick Vinales, Catalunya MotoGP, 3 June

Fast all weekend, Vinales was again ultra consistent throughout warm-up, a good sign ahead of today’s Catalan MotoGP as challenging for a podium should be possible for the ex-Yamaha rider. 

As the opening flurry of laps came in, Alex Marquez showed good speed in order to go fastest for LCR Honda. 

The Spaniard suffered a big crash at the end of FP4 and subsequently missed qualifying, but after being passed fit for today’s Grand Prix, Marquez was showing no ill effects.

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Marquez was then pushed down to third as a fast-starting Alex Rins took over from Maverick Vinales. 

With Rins and Vinales continuing to pump in fast laps, Brad Binder was hot on their heels as he went third for KTM. 

One of several riders that was left disappointed after failing to advance through Q1, three-time MotoGP race winner in 2022 Enea Bastianini once again showed how strong he is in race trim. 

The Gresini Ducati rider churned out several competitive lap times, with his best putting him second behind Vinales. 

After topping the last four sessions he’s taken part in, Catalunya MotoGP polesitter Aleix Espargaro took a break from top spot as he instead hit trouble at turn five. 

Sitting fifth moments before the checkered flag came out, Espargaro suffered a front-end crash at turn five. 

The pre-race favourite is likely to face stiff competition from Francesco Bagnaia and reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo during today’s GP, however, his biggest rival could be rear tyre degradation. 

Francesco Bagnaia, Catalunya MotoGP, 4 June
Francesco Bagnaia, Catalunya MotoGP, 4 June

After seeing fellow Yamaha rider Franco Morbidelli make a resurgence of sorts throughout free practice - something the Italian continued in warm-up as he claimed ninth, Andrea Dovizioso did the same as he found enough pace to squeeze into the top ten.

For the first time this season Dovizioso finished ahead of Quartararo, albeit the French rider was not chasing lap time at any stage. 

Quartararo could only manage 13th place as he split the Prima Pramac Racing Ducati’s of Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin. 

Like Mugello, Quartararo didn’t seem to have the pace on Friday in particular, but as the weekend has gone on he’s become a real threat to the likes of Espargaro and Bagnaia. Quartararo will start the race from third.

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