FP1 for the Spanish MotoGP Grand Prix was largely dominated by Aleix Espargaro and championship leader Fabio Quartararo, before Brad Binder’s late charge resulted in top spot for KTM. 

During the final moments of the session the South African initially climbed from 16th to third, before going quickest on his final lap with a 1:38.013s. 

After a difficult start to the year for the Austrian manufacturer, the top time produced by Binder also results in KTM topping their first MotoGP session this year. 

Early on it was Espargaro and Quartararo who led the way, as both riders exchanged fastest times throughout the opening 15 minutes.  

With Espargaro and Aprilia having tested earlier this year at Jerez due to the team being the last one with available concessions - and given Andrea Dovizioso’s recent outing in Andalusia, the Spanish rider was able to immediately find pace as he led the majority of the running.

It wasn’t until Binder’s final lap came in that Espargaro was relegated to second, which is where he finished the session.

Marc Marquez made another positive step forward following his MotoGP return in Portugal, as he too jumped up the order late on from 11th to third. 

Fourth was the factory Lenovo Ducati of Francesco Bagnaia who goes into this Sunday’s race second in the championship standings. The rider in fifth, and making it five different manufacturers inside the top five was Quartararo for Monster Energy Yamaha.

With race winner last time out Quartararo finishing no worse than second at Jerez so far in his MotoGP career, it’s no surprise that the French rider was once again in contention for top spot.

Sixth was Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco who spent much of the session third fastest. Zarco was regularly the quickest man through the opening two sectors, but seemed to lose most of his time to Quartararo and Espargaro especially, in the final sector which includes the four rights and Jorge Lorenzo corner. 

It was also a good start to the weekend for Miguel Oliveira following a home round to forget, as he crashed out from the race he dominated last year. 

Rounding out the top ten was the second Repsol Honda of Pol Espargaro in eighth, Maverick Vinales in ninth, and World Champion Joan Mir in tenth, who had early issues with his GSX-RR and was the last rider to set a time. 



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