Jack Miller swept Friday proceedings at Le Mans as he posted the fastest time of the weekend in the dying seconds of FP2, with Fabio Quartararo left to contest Q1.  

With heavy clouds having arrived at the venue during the afternoon, the resulting lower temperatures proved tricky for the riders in the early stages of the outing as many a crash occurred – with seven separate pilots all suffering spills by losing the front of their machines, with several others surviving scary moments.

Marco Bezzecchi was the only man to improve his best effort in the early part of the session, the Italian moving his VR46 Ducati up into third overall before as the bulk of the field focussed on building up their information banks for the weekend ahead.

It would be KTM’s Brad Binder that signified the start of the battle for a guaranteed Q2 spot though as he banged in the fastest lap of the weekend – a 1:31.352s – to move to the head of the times, though team-mate Miller swiftly dumped him back to second.

Bezzecchi as well as Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro also took turns to lead the time sheets as the clock ticked down, though Miller ultimately had a little more left in the locker to secure the scratch time on a 1:30.950s.

Espargaro’s best gambit left him second overall and 0.119s adrift of the Aussie, while Bezzecchi’s latest tour meant he ended the day third fastest.

Jorge Martin took fourth on his Pramac Ducati ahead of team-mate Johann Zarco, who just managed to slot into the top ten towards the end.

Maverick Vinales snagged sixth for Aprilia ahead of the sister KTM of Binder, while Marc Marquez enjoyed a competitive day for Honda to secure an automatic pole shootout berth with the eighth best time – despite the Spaniard suffering his second crash of the day late on entry to Turn 7.

Francesco Bagnaia narrowly secured his own pathway to Q2 with the ninth best time, with Alex Marquez the final man safe from Q1 by just 0.003s over Luca Marini, who will have to battle the likes of Quartararo and Joan Mir for the final two pole shootout places on Saturday morning.

Quartararo was keen to bounce back following a tough Spanish outing at his home encounter, though once again the Yamaha lacked the one-lap performance to fight with the front-runners to leave him only 12th – a full 0.700s away from Miller’s benchmark.

Mir narrowly got the better of fellow Honda racer Alex Rins for 13th, while Augusto Fernandez again showed encouraging speed with the 15th best effort just clear of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and the other Yamaha of Franco Morbidelli.

Danilo Petrucci ended his first day back on a Ducati MotoGP prototype for over two years in 19th overall, ahead of fellow stand-in riders Lorenzo Savadori and Jonas Folger but two seconds down on Miller’s best time.

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