Premiere day at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. It was not only the opening day of the track activity at this Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™, but also the first time the riders have officially lapped on the new track layout, which took Johann Zarco to have a brilliant performance.
With the changes made on Turn 10, the MotoGP™ layout has changed from 4,627 metres to 4,657 metres in length. This means that today’s times have marked the starting point of this new layout. Johann Zarco clocked the fastest time by only a few thousandths of a second. The Pramac Racing rider stopped the clock at 01:39.235.
Franco Morbidelli almost traced Zarco’s time, only 21 hundredths of a second behind. The Italian has been on top of the sheets all day long, as he finished second fastest in the first free session, and again during FP2. Instead, Zarco clocked a brilliant time in the afternoon, but was rather discreet in the morning, where he finished fifth.
The top three of the combined results is completed by the current leader of the championship, Fabio Quartararo, with a fastest time of 1:39.401. Behind the Ducati and the two Yamaha machines there is Brad Binder on his KTM. His time in the afternoon session has helped him to climb many positions, since this morning he classified in the penultimate place. Third-placed in the championship, Francesco Bagnaia, saw the chequered flag with a best time of 1:39.760 that gave him fifth position. Maverick Viñales, Jack Miller, Enea Bastianini and the brothers Pol and Aleix Espargaró close the top ten positions.
Maverick Viñales has turned out to be the fastest of the home riders, although Aleix Espargaró has had his particular joy claiming the dominance of the first free practice session, a session that has been much slower than the one in the afternoon. Continuing with the Catalan representatives, Marc Márquez finished this Friday in fifteenth place, although less than a second from Zarco’s reference time.
World champion, Joan Mir, has not been able to get into the fight for the best times either, and has finished behind Marc Márquez, as has Álex Márquez, who has been eighteenth. Madrid’s Jorge Martín enters this group that today has not finished showing off on the asphalt, as the rider himself announced yesterday at the press conference on his return to competition after his injury.
Moto2 under Spanish rule at the Circuit
Raúl Fernández (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Augusto Fernández (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) have clocked the first and second fastest times. The first classified rider clocked the time during the afternoon session and the second in the morning. Raúl Fernández stopped the clock at 1:43.687, against 1:43.703 which is the time set by Augusto Fernández.
Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) was third fastest, setting almost the same time as the fourth qualified rider, Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo). The leader in the classification will face the Saturday sessions with a little less confidence than his biggest rival for the crown, Raúl Fernández. But still, tomorrow, any of the participants of the large starting grid may give a surprise.
Catalan rider Xavi Vierge (Petronas Sprinta Racing) took today a commendable sixth position with a time of 1:44.145. Vierge could play a big role in the home GP if he could ratify that result tomorrow. Albert Arenas (INDE Aspar Team), is the other Catalan rider in the class, although he finished in twenty-second position.
Gabriel Rodrigo sets the tone in Moto3™
Argentinean rider Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) has been the quickest man of the day in the minor class of the motorcycling world championship. The combined result of FP1 and FP2 put him on the front, with the help of the unbeatable time he clocked in the afternoon. Hamilton has been the only rider of the day to stop the clocks below 01:47.950.
Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) has been the one to finish closest, with 1:48.028. In fact, both these two to riders, as well as Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), Izan Guevara (Solunion GASGAS Aspar Team), Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) – third to sixth qualified – were able to move up in the classifications due to the second free practice session, which was much faster than the first one.
Up to the fifteenth position, all riders clocked around one minute and forty-eighth seconds, i.e. fourteen participants with minimum differences. Pedro Acosta was missed today, who had to settle today with a discreet thirteenth position in the combined results. His biggest rival for the title, Jaume Masiá, has been in a very similar situation, finishing seventeenth.
Catalan rider Jordi Torres, with many options in MotoE™
Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) may clinch the pole position tomorrow. The Catalan rider has been today second fastest of the electric class, only surpassed by Lukas Tulovic (Tech 3 E-Racing). Torres stopped the clocks at 1:50.857 and Tulovic was 49 tenths of a second faster. Yonny Hernández (Octo Pramac MotoE) completed the top three of today’s qualifying session.
The pole positions will be decided tomorrow
The third Free Practice sessions will start at 9 AM, and continue until 10.55 AM. First it will be the turn of Moto3™, followed by MotoGP™ and Moto2™. Moto3™ will start the qualifying sessions at 12.35 AM. Next will be MotoGP™ with their FP4 at 1.30 PM, Qualifying 1 at 2.10 PM and Qualifying 2 at 2.35 PM. Moto2™ will close the sports programme with their qualifying sessions 1 and 2 at 3.10 PM and 3.35 PM respectively.
Special Transport Schedule
Bus: Sagalés offers a special service with which fans can departure from the centre of Barcelona and reach the East area of the Circuit (in front of the Viena restaurant), as well as the trip back. The buses depart from the bus station Estación de Autobuses del Norte in Barcelona (Carrer Ali Bei, 80), platform 27. More information at www.sagales.es
Train: Renfe offers additional seats in line R2 Cercanías de Catalunya (Castelldefels – Granollers Centre).
Another sustainable Grand Prix with KISS Barcelona 2021
The Circuit, through its Green Meeting Point platform, is promoting, for the ninth year in a row, the KISS Barcelona programme invoking the KISS (Keep It Shiny and Sustainable) programme by FIM Ride Green. This year, all efforts are focussed on the well-being of people, under the motto “2021, The Year of the People”. The aim is to make the return of the public to the Circuit, that will be opening its gates to thousands of people for the first time in a long time, as sustainable and responsible as possible.
Furthermore, the Circuit continues working on its 3C Management “Conscience, Commitment and Coherence”, with actions like the use of 100% renewable energy, the donation of food, the use of 0-km gastronomy products, the use of circular economy in waste management or the sustainable forest care in the surroundings of the Circuit.
Tickets at www.circuitcat.com
Tickets to enjoy the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya de MotoGP™ are available at www.circuitcat.com. Fans are able to enjoy the thrill of the races live from 80 euros onwards. There are also discounts of up to 50% for Junior and Senior tickets.