Motegi, Free Practice 1: Miller beats Bajnaya and Quartararo

The two Ducati set the rhythm with the Australian a little faster than Pico. However, all contenders for the title are present, because behind two Desmosedici GPs from the official team there is the world championship leader and Aleix Espargaro Aprilia. Only Bastianini stayed, paying the price for breaking down at Turn 5 and risking doing the first quarter if it rains tomorrow. Steps forward also for Marquez, who is sixth behind the excellent Marini.

The long flight to get straight from Spain to Japan required a change of format for the MotoGP, which today in Motegi was one free practice session, but it lasted 75 minutes. A round that is likely to be crucial in terms of getting to Q2, because tomorrow’s weather forecast talks about precipitation, so if confirmed, the standings could be frozen into FP2 tomorrow morning.

It can be said that even in Motegi we continued where we left off, because in front of everyone there are two Ducati. But this time, it was the Australian who dictated the speed Jack Millerwho stopped the clock at 1’44” 509, although he was also having traffic issues on his best lap, 28k behind teammate Pecco Bagnaia.

The vice world champion arrived in Japan with only 10 points to recover on the leader Fabio Quartararohe was good at not losing his head in a session that started with an electronics problem on the Desmosedici GP and didn’t continue brilliantly, at least until a few minutes before the checkered flag.

However, the champions in the title race are all there, with Quartararo third at 49 pts and April in Alex Espargaro in fourth at 68. “El Diablo” is very fast in the first three sectors of the track, but then in T4, the section where the engine is above all else, only the limits of Yamaha appear, which seem to have definitively approved the new chassis tested in Misano, and is present in both M1s.

Like Bagnaia, Espargaro also needed time to bring the RS-GP to the top positions, but it is definitely important to have all the World Championship champions up front. In fact, the appeal is missing Enea BastianiniWho paid a heavy price for a collapse in the fifth floor that prevented him from turning in the last minutes. Despite pushing less than half a second, the pilot Gresini RacingAfter the victory of Aragon, he found himself in 14th place. This means that if it does rain tomorrow, you will experience the first quarter.

To complete the top five, we find the other Ducati for an excellent one Luca Marini, which is experiencing a great moment after the summer holidays, which is now also confirmed by Motegi. Then there are two Hondas Marc Marquez e Paul Espargarowho appears to have taken at least a small step forward on the local track, given that both Spanish drivers drive under twenty.

However, the eight-time world champion gave a feeling he was really at his limit with the RC213V, with two passes on the edge of the razor. He often touched his right shoulder, although it is not surprising that Motegi was a very demanding path from a physical point of view. It should also be noted that he also appears to have definitively opted for the aluminum swingarm made by Kalex, which is on both of his bikes today.

The KTMs session was good too, with Brad Pender e Miguel Oliveira who managed to put the RC16 in eighth and ninth positions, with a delay of just over a tenth. Instead, the picture is complete for the riders who will for now have direct access to Q2 with the other Aprilia of Maverick Vinales, who has only mocked a thousand Johann Zarkowho spoiled his role with an injury in the seventh round in the final.

stoic Takaaki Nakagami, is back in the saddle for the home race just four days after having surgery on the ring finger and the little finger of his right hand, the daughter of the injury was treated in a first lap fall at Aragon. The Japanese is twelfth, but seeing him take off his glove at the end of the session, his hand trembling, was truly a stress in the heart.

In its wake we find Suzuki Alex Rains, which this morning brought for the first time new fins on the GSX-RR’s tail. Once again, the Spaniard was among the champions until they worked on speed, then crashed during the time attack. The same thing that applies to him this morning Franco Morbidelliin the end, is only 16th with Yamaha albeit only trailing 556ppm.

As for the other Italians, Marco Besecki e Fabio Di Giannatonio They worked hard enough, being 19th and 24th, respectively. It should also be noted other incidents that had the role of heroes Darren Binder And wild card Tetsuta Nagashima, who made his moto debut on a Honda and finished 22nd in the Japanese derby with Takuya Tsuda, finally made up for the injured. Joan Mir on Suzuki.