Luca Marini pulled out a late flyer to complete a clean sweep of Friday for VR46 Ducati in the inaugural Indian Grand Prix after team-mate Marco Bezzecchi led FP1.
As in the opening test of the day the riders had 70 minutes to continue learning the Buddh International Circuit as India makes its premier class debut this weekend, Bezzecchi immediately lapping close to his FP1 effort in the early stages of the outing.
The times continued to fall as the 22 pilots gained confidence and grip built up around the technical circuit, Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin posting the fastest lap of the weekend of 1:45.672s well before the final time attacks got underway.
Marini meanwhile kept his cards close to his chest and unleashed his true potential as the session came towards its conclusion. The Italian snuck ahead of Martin, who by this point had lowered the benchmark to a 1:44.790s, by just 0.008s to end Friday at the head of the field on a 1:44.782s.
Martin was thus forced to settle for second overall just ahead of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, who survived getting stuck in the deep gravel trap around the outside of Turn 1 early on to end up third overall.
The leading trio enjoyed a solid three-tenth-of-a-second gap over fourth-placed Marc Marquez, the Honda man securing his second successive direct-to-Q2 passage ahead of FP1 leader Bezzecchi.
Maverick Vinales looked on for a storming time of his own late on before making an error, though his earlier gambit was enough to keep him sixth ahead of championship leader Francesco Baganaia’s factory Ducati and Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo.
Johann Zarco ended up ninth on the sister Pramac entry, the Frenchman narrowly heading the other Honda of Joan Mir who secured a spot in the pole shootout for the first time this season. It’s also the first occasion the 2020 MotoGP world champion has made Q2 riding a Honda.
Brad Binder was unlucky to miss out after encountering yellow flags on his final tour having looked on for a time potentially enough to head Marini’s leading effort, the South African ending the day as the best-placed KTM in 12th after a tricky day for the Austrian marque.
Franco Morbidelli looked able to fight for a top ten spot during the session but ultimately could do no better than 14th just behind Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez, while Augusto Fernandez lost a time good enough to get him into the top ten due to the same yellow flag hold up as Binder.
Miguel Oliveira lapped within the top three early on but eventually was shuffled back to 17th just ahead of Jack Miller on the other factory KTM, the Aussie suffering for pace once again having also suffered a crash at Turn 12 after running wide in the opening moments of the session.
Takaaki Nakagami failed to improve after crashing at Turn 10 at the end of the test, the LCR Honda rider classified 21st just behind team-mate Stefan Bradl and just ahead of Ducati stand-in Michele Pirro in the final reckoning.
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