The French GP, the 1,000th round in the history of the Motorcycle World Championship, got underway at Le Mans on Friday. Jack Miller (KTM) set the best time of the day with a 1:30.950, as the ten fastest riders made their way into Q2.
The Top 10 on the combined timesheets was completed by Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia), Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati), Jorge Martín (Ducati), Johann Zarco (Ducati), Maverick Viñales (Aprilia), Brad Binder (KTM), Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda), Pecco Bagnaia (Ducati) and Álex Márquez (Ducati).
Tomorrow the riders will have a Free Practice session at 10:10am (CEST) before qualifying at 10:50. Later, at 3pm, they will participate in the Sprint Race at the French GP.
Repsol Honda Team adapt at Le Mans
The return to action of Marc Márquez was the big talking point of the first day at Le Mans. The eight-time World Champion placed 8th with a time of 1:31.432, despite suffering two small crashes in P1 and in the final session.
Joan Mir finished the day in 13th position, setting a best time of 1:32.369, meaning he will take part in Q1 tomorrow.
Combined practice times: French GP
|1. Jack Miller
|2. Aleix Espargaró
|3. Marco Bezzecchi
|4. Jorge Martín
|5. Johann Zarco
|6. Maverick Viñales
|7. Brad Binder
|8. Marc Márquez
|9. Pecco Bagnaia
|10. Álex Márquez
|13. Joan Mir
“Today I am very happy overall; it was a good day. I crashed two times; the second time was a ‘acceptable’ crash because I was pushing at the limit on a hot lap – it can happen. After a month and a half at home, it’s not easy to go out and straight away start pushing so we have to be content with what we have done today as we made it to Q2. The objective for tomorrow is to maintain this position in the front three rows of the grid. Of course, the weather could change things here a lot, but we will keep working and adapting to whatever happens. I still need to work a bit to keep improving my feeling and also to improve the performance overall.”
“We tried a new chassis today in the morning and I was able to improve my feeling, riding more comfortably but we still need to adapt the setting and myself to take the maximum from it. Everything in the morning was very easy, then in the afternoon it was a little more complicated and we need to analyse tonight what changed from practice to practice. We will keep working tomorrow in a similar way, looking for those last few tenth to fight for Q2.”