Crutchlow in a league of his own during MotoGP FP2 at Sepang

Cal Crutchlow dominated a wet FP2 session at the Malaysian MotoGP following a lengthy delay due to extreme rain falling during Moto2.
Cal Crutchlow, RNF Yamaha MotoGP Sepang
Cal Crutchlow, RNF Yamaha MotoGP Sepang

Before a lap was even completed MotoGP series leader Francesco Bagnaia and Marc Marquez were involved in an out-lap tussle, with the pair exchanging positions on four occasions.

With conditions still wet despite a drastic improvement in the weather, lap times were nearly 14 seconds off the pace set by Brad Binder in FP1.

Leading the way early on was Franco Morbidelli as the Yamaha rider was over a second clear of Johann Zarco and Jorge Martin.

Zarco managed to reduce Morbidelli’s margin down to five tenths after joining the Yamaha rider in the 2m 13s lap times. However, those further back were not finding the same type of performance including all three title contenders Bagnaia, Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro

Attempting to push on, Morbidelli’s good start to FP2 was nearly thrown away after getting his braking wrong for turn nine. The 2020 runner-up was then seen running off track as he rode through the puddles.

As the pace began to ramp up, Joan Mir moved into second spot before Zarco displaced Morbidelli at the top of the leaderboard. 

A time of 2:12.095s was set by the Ducati rider, however, his lead didn’t last long as Morbidelli came back across the line with a time of 2:11.734s - three tenths clear of Zarco. 

After another slow start to FP2, Aprilia finally started showing pace as Maverick Vinales went eighth, before turning that into third with 15 minutes remaining.

Bagnaia also jumped up the order as he went second fastest before Zarco went back to the top of the timingsheets. 

Miguel Oliveira and Crutchlow also found pace towards the end of the session after going first and second, however, Bagnaia was quickly becoming a challenger for top spot

Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Malaysian MotoGP, 21 October
Francesco Bagnaia, MotoGP, Malaysian MotoGP, 21 October

Fastest by some margin in sectors one and two, Bagnaia was on course to smash the fast time on back-to-back laps before losing time in the remainder of said laps. 

Following fast laps from Morbidelli and Alex Marquez which saw both riders spend shorts periods of time at the top, Crutchlow became the new leader from Zarco as the checkered flag dropped. 

Marquez went back to the top on his final lap before Crutchlow obliterated the Honda rider’s lap time with a 2:05.710s. 

The Yamaha rider finished exactly nine tenths clear of Bagnaia, while Marquez was over a second down on the Brit. 

Jack Miller also found pace in the final stages as he went fourth quickest, however, the Australian was also no match for Crutchlow as he finished 1.8 seconds down.

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