Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang - Free Practice (2) Results

Free Practice (2) results from the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang, round 19 of 20 in the 2022 world championship.
Cal Crutchlow, MotoGP, Thailand MotoGP, 1 October
Cal Crutchlow, MotoGP, Thailand MotoGP, 1 October
2022 Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang - Free Practice (2) Results
1Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)2'05.710s15/15323k
2Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)+0.900s17/17323k
3Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.186s11/11320k
4Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)+1.843s14/14329k
5Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+2.879s17/18308k
6Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+3.643s15/15310k
7Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+3.680s14/17315k
8Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+4.039s13/15315k
9Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+4.043s18/18318k
10Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+4.115s15/15309k
11Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+4.188s12/15317k
12Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+4.250s15/15310k
13Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*+4.282s18/18318k
14Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+4.682s16/16301k
15Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+4.701s12/14319k
16Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+4.775s14/15314k
17Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)+4.862s13/16314k
18Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+4.882s16/16302k
19Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*+4.894s11/13318k
20Tetsuta NagashimaJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+4.929s14/14311k
21Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+5.723s9/11309k
22Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)+5.858s13/13303k
23Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+6.704s8/10297k
24Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+7.168s13/15304k

* Rookie

Official Sepang MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 1m 58.303s (2019)
Fastest race lap:
Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 2m 0.606s (2015)

Unofficial Sepang MotoGP lap record:
Enea Bastianini ITA Ducati 1m 58.131s (2022 testing)

Cal Crutchlow delights the home RNF Yamaha team by snatching first place (by 0.9s) at the end of a damp Free Practice 2 for the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang.

A sunny blue sky greeted the premier class for the delayed FP2 session, allowing the likes of Yamaha test rider and RNF stand-in Crutchlow to make a late switch to slicks, although lap times from the fully dry morning session were never threatened.

That means KTM's Brad Binder finishes day one at the head of the standings, with Fabio Quartararo the only rider in the title top three currently holding direct access to Qualifying 2.

Quartararo, whose title hopes have taken a big hit by slipping 14-points from Bagnaia after falling at Phillip Island, was seventh this morning but quickest for much of the session and the top rider not to switch to new tyres.

That top ten place proved significant when a torrential downpour drenched the Sepang circuit during Moto2 FP2 session, causing a one-hour delay in proceedings.

Bagnaia, who needs to finish in the top five to have a chance of lifting the title this weekend, was eleventh this morning having also avoided new rubber then took second to Crutchlow (on slicks) this afternoon.

However, Bagnaia must now cross his fingers for a dry Saturday morning to avoid a nervous trip to Qualifying 1.

The same goes for third-in-the-standings Aleix Espargaro who, after a miserable morning in which technical issues and a fall left him with just five laps on track, had no chance to improve on his lowly 20th position.

Espargaro must beat Bagnaia by three points on Sunday to remain in the title chase heading to Valencia.

Quartararo's Monster Yamaha team-mate Franco Morbidelli set the early pace in the wet FP2, with Johann Zarco - as at Buriram - getting stronger on a drying track to move ahead in the middle stages.

Morbidelli - whose best result of seventh this season came in the wet Mandalika round - and Zarco traded places several more times before Crutchlow (still on the medium wets) briefly took P1 on the edge of the final ten minutes.

But lap times were still tumbling, with Morbidelli getting to within 10-seconds of Binder's slick tyre time, prompting Alex Marquez to fit slicks and pull 0.7s clear in the final minutes.

The LCR Honda rider was ultimately pushed to third by Crutchlow and world championship leader Bagnaia, whose team-mate Jack Miller completed the top four after also switching to slicks.

The title contenders had made a sedate start to the afternoon with Quartararo holding 18th, Bagnaia 22nd and Espargaro 24th and last after the opening 15mins.

While Bagnaia and Quartararo both went on to feature at the front, Quartararo stuck with wets and slipped to ninth. Espargaro dropped back to 21st after rising to the edge of the top ten.

Pol Espargaro will have a three-place grid penalty on Sunday for 're-joining the track unsafely and creating a dangerous situation for another rider' (Johann Zarco) in FP1.

Friday was expected to see the best of the weather, with more thunderstorms a threat for the rest of the weekend.

Remote video URL



Free Practice 1

Brad Binder surprised by grabbing the top spot for KTM at the end of opening practice for the 2022 Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang as Alex Rins (Suzuki), Marc Marquez (Honda) and Enea Bastianini (Ducati) made it four different manufacturers at the head of the timesheets.

But Fabio Quartararo, who lost the title lead to Francesco Bagnaia by 14 points after falling at Phillip Island last Sunday and must go on the attack this weekend, was the man to beat for much of the session on used tyres.

Aleix Espargaro, MotoGP, Malaysian MotoGP, 21 October

Nightmare for Aleix Espargaro

A furious third-in-the-standings Aleix Espargaro, who has already complained of too many Aprilia mistakes in recent events and must beat Bagnaia by at least 3 points on Sunday to avoid slipping out of title contention, suffered a nightmare start to the weekend - registering just five laps.

An early technical delay was followed by an out-lap crash at Turn 8, before Espargaro returned on his other bike - but was soon raising his hand on the straight with some kind of technical problem, thought to be a warning light. That left the #41 to sit in the pits, head in his hands, as the team tried unsuccessfully to fix the problem.

Team-mate Maverick Vinales was also waving his hand, albeit in frustration, after a cornering scare on his RS-GP. Vinales later came close to tagging the back of Bagnaia on an out-lap.

Fabio Quartararo, MotoGP, Malaysian MotoGP, 21 October

Advantage Quartararo on used tyres

Quartararo kept lowering his best time to keep his Monster Yamaha up front for much of the session, his only troubles being the occasional wide moment and something bothering him on the left handlebar.

Enea Bastianini - quickest with an unofficial lap record at the February test - soon slotted his Gresini Ducati into second between Quartararo and Marc Marquez.

The lead trio remained in place until new tyre time attacks, signalled by Pramac Ducati's Jorge Martin taking a new hard rear to the top by 0.438s.

Marc Marquez opted for a more conventional soft rear to pip Martin of P1, but the variety continued when Binder took a new medium to the best time of the morning on his 18th and final lap.

Binder said yesterday that he was very interested to see how much the RC16 has improved after a tough pre-season test at Sepang.

Phillip Island winner Rins was just 0.097s slower for Suzuki, with the top six within half-a-second and Quartararo - who didn't set a time attack - best of the rest in seventh.

Bagnaia, who must finish in the top five to have any chance of lifting the title this weekend, held sixth by the midway stage before finishing in eleventh (+1.291s) having also avoided new rubber. 

Newly crowned rookie of the year Marco Bezzecchi was the first faller of the weekend, sliding off his VR46 Ducati at Turn 1 after just five minutes.

Fellow rookie Darryn Binder (RNF Yamaha) fell with 15mins to go.

2022 Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang - Free Practice (1) Results
1Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)1'59.479s18/18330k
2Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.097s17/17333k
3Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.144s14/15330k
4Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)+0.396s15/15332k
5Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.472s15/16331k
6Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.487s15/17329k
7Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.064s7/18330k
8Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*+1.073s14/15329k
9Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+1.254s10/14329k
10Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*+1.288s8/13329k
11Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)+1.291s15/15334k
12Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.292s6/17326k
13Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.536s16/16328k
14Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)+1.555s14/15333k
15Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+1.569s8/16330k
16Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+1.721s4/15332k
17Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.768s5/17327k
18Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)+1.772s6/16328k
19Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+1.849s11/16329k
20Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+2.175s4/5324k
21Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+2.225s16/17323k
22Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+2.352s9/10324k
23Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+2.352s4/16325k
24Tetsuta NagashimaJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+3.387s12/17328k

After more title chase drama in Phillip Island, Francesco Bagnaia not only leads the MotoGP standings for the first time but can be crowned champion this weekend.

A 14-point advantage over Fabio Quartararo and 27-point lead over Aleix Espargaro means Bagnaia will become Ducati’s first champion since Casey Stoner if he scores at least 11 points more than Quartararo on Sunday and loses no more than 2 points to Espargaro.

That means Bagnaia must at least finish in the top five, which would also automatically rule Enea Bastianini (42 points behind and the final rider still in mathematical contention) out of the championship fight with only the Valencia finale to go.

Takaaki Nakagami is again absent due to hand injuries from Aragon and is replaced at LCR by Honda test rider Tetsuta Nagashima.

Covid restrictions forced the cancellation of the Malaysian MotoGP in 2020 and 2021, meaning ten of the full-time riders have no premier-class race experience at Sepang: Brad Binder, Alex Marquez, Jorge Martin, Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini, plus this year’s rookies Marco Bezzecchi, Fabio di Giannantonio, Darryn Binder, Remy Gardner and Raul Fernandez.

However, all riders and teams took part in official pre-season testing at the track in February.

Malaysian MotoGP full schedule (UK time)

Friday October 21

2am - Moto3 FP1

2.55am - Moto2 FP1

3.50am - MotoGP FP1

6.15am - Moto3 FP2

7.10am - Moto2 FP2

8.05am - MotoGP FP2

Saturday October 22

2am - Moto3 FP3

2.55am - Moto2 FP3

3.50am - MotoGP FP3

5.35am - Moto3 Q1

6am - Moto3 Q2

6.30am - Moto2 Q1

6.55am - Moto2 Q2

7.25am - MotoGP FP4

8.05am - MotoGP Q1

8.30am - MotoGP Q2

Sunday October 23

3am - Moto3 warm-up

3.20am - Moto2 warm-up

3.40am - MotoGP warm-up

5am - Moto3 race

6.20am - Moto2 race

8am - MotoGP race

Phillip Island, Australia: New 2022 MotoGP World Championship standings
Pos RiderNatTeamPointsDiff.
1^1Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)233 
2˅1Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)219(-14)
3=Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)206(-27)
4=Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)191(-42)
5=Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)179(-54)
6=Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)160(-73)
7=Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)159(-74)
8^3Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)137(-96)
9=Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)136(-97)
10˅2Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)135(-98)
11˅1Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)122(-111)
12=Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)111(-122)
13=Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)104(-129)
14=Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*93(-140)
15=Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)77(-156)
16^1Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)54(-179)
17˅1Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)50(-183)
18=Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)46(-187)
19=Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)31(-202)
20=Fabio di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*23(-210)
21=Andrea DoviziosoITAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)15(-218)
22=Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*12(-221)
23=Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*10(-223)
24=Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*9(-224)
25=Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)6(-227)
26=Stefan BradlGERRepsol Honda (RC213V)2(-231)

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