Valencia MotoGP, Ricardo Tormo - Friday Practice Results

Friday practice results from the Valencia MotoGP at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, the 20th and final round of the 2023 world championship.
Maverick Vinales, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November
Maverick Vinales, MotoGP, Valencia MotoGP, 24 November
2023 Valencia MotoGP, Ricardo Tormo - Practice (2) Results
1Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)1'29.142s25/27334k
2Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.147s23/24335k
3Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.154s25/26334k
4Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.253s19/23326k
5Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.254s22/22331k
6Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.260s22/27337k
7Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.317s22/27329k
8Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+0.328s24/25331k
9Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.339s17/20331k
10Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.429s14/16332k
 Qualifying 1:     
11Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.431s25/25335k
12Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.472s24/25326k
13Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.473s21/27331k
14Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.633s20/23329k
15Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.659s20/21334k
16Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.860s23/24326k
17Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+1.201s11/27331k
18Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+1.303s12/24331k
19Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.322s17/18331k
20Lorenzo SavadoriITARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.653s23/24329k
21Pol EspargaroSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)+1.798s7/22332k
22Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)No Time0/00


Official Ricardo Tormo MotoGP records
Best lap: Jorge Lorenzo 1m 29.401s (2016)
Fastest race lap: Francesco Bagnaia 1m 31.042s (2021)

Maverick Vinales leads an incident-packed Friday practice for the Valencia MotoGP finale, which ended with title leader Francesco Bagnaia down in 15th and forced to take part in Saturday's Qualifying 1.

Yet again on a Friday, pressure was piled on Bagnaia to break into the crucial top-ten for direct Q2 access as he started his final run.

Title rival Jorge Martin was among the riders queued up behind Bagnaia as he left the pits, factory Ducati team manager Davide Tardozzi making his displeasure clear by standing in front of the Pramac box and glaring at the Spaniard as he pulled away.

Martin forced Tardozzi to step aside and then stayed locked to Bagnaia's rear wheel on the out lap, following the Italian down a slip road as the mind games continued.

With a much faster Martin still buzzing around his rear wheel, Bagnaia couldn't deliver on his first flying lap - then suffered the nightmare scenario of yellow flags (due to an accident for Pol Espargaro) on his last lap, ending his top ten chances.

Bagnaia will now face the likes of team-mate Enea Bastianini, Alex Marquez, Fabio Quartararo and Luca Marini when he fights for one of the two transfer places in Qualifying 1.

Aleix Espargaro (Turn 1), Marco Bezzecchi (Turn 8), Augusto Fernandez (Turn 14) and Alex Rins (Turn 1) all suffered fast accidents in the opening ten minutes.

Jack Miller was then thrown into a huge highside at Turn 3 with 15 minutes to go.

The Australian eventually walked away but red flags were then waved to clear debris.

That interruption forced Martin and Bagnaia to do a hasty U-turn and head back to their garages on new soft tyres.

Luca Marini and Raul Fernandez then went down at Turn 1 after the restart, before Pol Espargaro's crucial fall.

Qatar winner Fabio di Giannantonio showed his intentions by blasting to the top with the first sub-1m 30s lap of the weekend in the opening minutes.

The Gresini rider was second only to Vinales as the crucial final ten-minute time attacks began when the Pramac bikes of Martin and morning leader Johann Zarco moved ahead.

Marc Marquez, who briefly led the timesheets this morning, provided further hope of a strong Repsol Honda farewell by featuring in second behind di Giannantonio during the afternoon on his way to seventh.

After a heavy accident in the morning session, team-mate Joan Mir was sent to a local hospital for further checks and missed the afternoon hour.

Mir is reported to have escaped any fractures but his fitness to ride will be reviewed on Saturday morning.

2023 Valencia MotoGP, Ricardo Tormo - Practice (1) Results
1Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP23)1'30.191s19/19334k
2Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.187s12/17326k
3Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP23)+0.259s20/22334k
4Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+0.299s13/19331k
5Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+0.343s11/19332k
6Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.365s20/20327k
7Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.373s10/20326k
8Augusto FernandezSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)*+0.376s20/20327k
9Enea BastianiniITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.620s11/18329k
10Alex MarquezSPAGresini Ducati (GP22)+0.666s16/17327k
11Pol EspargaroSPATech3 GASGAS (RC16)+0.683s19/20332k
12Jack MillerAUSRed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.710s11/19327k
13Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP23)+0.778s10/18332k
14Raul FernandezSPARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+0.855s13/22326k
15Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.921s19/20329k
16Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.061s11/23331k
17Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+1.106s19/20332k
18Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+1.252s5/15324k
19Alex RinsSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.297s16/20329k
20Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP23)+1.323s14/15329k
21Joan MirSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+1.362s5/5326k
22Lorenzo SavadoriITARNF Aprilia (RS-GP22)+1.806s19/19324k


Official Ricardo Tormo MotoGP records
Best lap: Jorge Lorenzo 1m 29.401s (2016)
Fastest race lap: Francesco Bagnaia 1m 31.042s (2021)

Johann Zarco leads opening practice for the Valencia MotoGP season finale, as Pramac Ducati team-mate Jorge Martin starts the weekend ahead of title rival Francesco Bagnaia.

Martin, who has his sights set simply on winning both races this weekend, was straight on the attack, joining Zarco in fitting new rubber to set his best in the final minutes.

The Spaniard also shook his head and wheelied with delight after a perfect practice start at the end of the session, in contrast to the grip woes last weekend, causing smiles in the Pramac pits.

Gresini's Qatar winner Fabio di Giannantonio, now tipped to join VR46 next season, continued his excellent end-of-season form by battling for the top spot throughout and was fastest until Zarco's late surge.

But unlike the Pramacs, di Giannantonio set his best time on used tyres.

Both di Giannantonio and Zarco, moving to LCR next year, are making their final appearances for their current teams.

Bagnaia made a slow start (22nd and last during the middle stages, and surrounded by Ducati staff) before climbing the order, but stuck to his usual tactic of avoiding a new tyre at the end of the session for 13th.

Marc Marquez began his final event as a Repsol Honda rider by also leading the timesheets on the way to seventh place, the #93 also spending several laps studying Martin.

But team-mate Joan Mir suffered a heavy accident at Turn 8 in the early stages of the cool morning session and, although seen leaving on a scooter, was sent to a hospital for further checks.

LCR's Takaaki Nakagami later made it two Hondas in the gravel while Marc's brother Alex Marquez slid off his Gresini Ducati at Turn 1.

Francesco Bagnaia takes a 21-point lead into the Valencia title decider after a runner-up finish to Fabio di Giannantonio in Qatar was combined with tenth place after tyre woes for Jorge Martin.

Reigning champion Bagnaia thus has two chances to secure another title this weekend, starting with the Saturday Sprint, where he will be crowned if he can extend his lead to 25 points.

But with Martin winning 6 of the last 7 Sprints (and 2nd to Alex Marquez in the other) that looks like a tall order and the world championship is unlikely to be decided until the final lap of the season on Sunday.

…Or perhaps even several hours afterwards, depending on the effect of any post-race penalties for low tyre pressure.

Bagnaia and Martin are among 15 full-time riders to have now received an Official Warning for low tyre pressure. A further breach would result in a 3-second time penalty, or 6-seconds for Aleix Espargaro, who has offended twice.

The only riders yet to use their low-pressure warning 'joker' are Fabio Quartararo, Takaaki Nakagami, Brad Binder, Joan Mir and Fabio di Giannantonio, plus the returning Alex Rins and absent (through injury) Miguel Oliveira.

The Valencia circuit, which will host a post-season test next Tuesday, has been resurfaced ahead of the 2023 event.

Among the riders saying farewell to their current teams this weekend are Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Franco Morbidelli (Monster Yamaha), Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini Ducati) and Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Tech3). Luca Marini is also expected to leave VR46 to replace Marquez but no announcement has yet been made.

Reigning Moto2 champion Pedro Acosta will make his MotoGP debut, with GASGAS Tech3, at next week’s Valencia test.

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