MotoGP British GP: Espargaro tops FP2 as Marquez, Quartararo miss Q2 cut

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In a recent shift for the remaining part of the 2023 MotoGP season, the second practice session on Friday is the only one that counts towards qualifying for Saturday’s race. The ten riders with the best times in this session proceed directly into the Q2 qualifying stage, leaving the rest to battle it out in Q1.

Espargaro of Aprilia emerged as the fastest rider in the second practice session, clocking a 1m58.183s on his last lap. This ousted Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin, while Brad Binder of KTM secured the third spot. Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia finished sixth with Ducati’s leading factory team.

It was a challenging session for the Japanese manufacturers. Both the 2021 British GP victor Quartararo (Yamaha) and the eight-time world champion Marquez (Honda) will have to compete in the first part of Saturday’s qualifying to secure a spot in Q2.

The initial pace was set by Marco Bezzecchi with a 2m01.897s, which he later improved to a 2m00.025s in the initial seven minutes of the hour-long session. The first lap time under 2 minutes was clocked by Brad Binder from KTM, establishing a benchmark that remained unchallenged until halfway through the session.

As the session turned into a time trial, the record times started to drop. Vinales led the pack with a 1m59.218s after recovering from an early crash. With less than five minutes remaining, the leaderboard changed rapidly with Bagnaia, Martin, and finally Espargaro topping the charts. Espargaro’s 1m58.183s put him a significant 0.671s ahead of Martin and just 0.044s ahead of Binder.

Despite a severe highside crash at Luffield towards the end, Bezzecchi managed to finish seventh. The top 10, advancing to the Q2 stage, was completed by Miller, Luca Marini, and Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez.

Quartararo, who had a difficult session that included a harsh compression moment, narrowly missed the cut for Q2 by 0.127s. He was followed by his outgoing Yamaha teammate Franco Morbidelli and Marc Marquez. Joan Mir ended 18th in his return for Honda, while Pol Espargaro, adjusting to his Tech3 KTM, was 2.6s off the pace in 21st place.

The full results of the MotoGP British GP – FP2 will follow shortly.

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