2019 Mugello MotoGP FP2 Result: Bagnaia Heads Rookie Assault

Action was hotting up on Friday afternoon and it wasn’t just down to the lovely weather that Mugello has been spoiling us with. It was business as usual for much of the session, Marc Marquez setting camp at the top of the timesheets until an early shootout ensued for the final five minutes. That was when Pramac’s new Lamborghini livery stole the limelight not just because it’s pretty cool looking but also because rookie Pecco Bagnaia attacked the top of the timesheets and finished the day as the fastest man on track. Good timing too, as it moved the cameras from his unlucky teammate, Jack Miller having just run wide at turn 12 and having to abandon ship on a hot lap.

With Bagnaia leading the way for Ducati, fellow rookie Fabio Quartararo was once again the top Yamaha. The Frenchman finished second, half a tenth down on Bagnaia and ahead of the factory Ducati of Danilo Petrucci. Another tenth down was Pol Espargaro, who had another excellent day on the KTM, having been the first rider to drop into the 1:46s – a performance only achieved by five men, the final one being Maverick Viñales in fifth spot.

Best of the rest was Marquez, the Honda man playing out his favourite strategy of doing long runs on used rubber instead of a final time attack but the Spaniard still held on to a top six position. Despite being on such different machinery, Alex Rins, Cal Crutchlow and Miller finished the session within two hundredths of a second of each other, with Franco Morbidelli rounding up the top ten.

Andrea Dovizioso would have been relieved that the forecast for Saturday morning looks lovely and bright given that the Italian missed out on the provisional top ten. Johann Zarco found himself seven hundredths of a second back on a factory Ducati man but it wasn’t all great news as the Frenchman recorded the first crash of the weekend for the premier class halfway through the session. Some other people having a hard time seemed to be Valentino Rossi in 18th spot and Jorge Lorenzo in 20th – one better than the other at poker in practice though.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 63 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 1'46.732    
2 20 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 1'46.778 0.046 0.046
3 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'46.863 0.131 0.085
4 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'46.966 0.234 0.103
5 12 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'46.973 0.241 0.007
6 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'47.062 0.330 0.089
7 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'47.167 0.435 0.105
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'47.170 0.438 0.003
9 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'47.185 0.453 0.015
10 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 1'47.268 0.536 0.083
11 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'47.347 0.615 0.079
12 5 Johann ZARCO KTM 1'47.419 0.687 0.072
13 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'47.421 0.689 0.002
14 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'47.483 0.751 0.062
15 36 Joan MIR Suzuki 1'47.579 0.847 0.096
16 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'47.612 0.880 0.033
17 53 Tito RABAT Ducati 1'47.686 0.954 0.074
18 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'47.726 0.994 0.040
19 29 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia 1'47.887 1.155 0.161
20 99 Jorge LORENZO Honda 1'48.114 1.382 0.227
21 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'48.146 1.414 0.032
22 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM 1'48.496 1.764 0.350
23 88 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 1'48.914 2.182 0.418
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Yeah, I know it’s still Friday and a lot can change once Q starts, but it’s good to see the rookies going fast. And Petrucci and Pol as well. 


Talk now is less aero, and more chassis character. 2019 vs 2018 Ducati chassis is certainly interesting noodle right now, just as the Honda has been. Yamaha looks to have a stiff Bstone remnant. Suzuki may be ready to replicate the Honda carbon fiber overlay or some such measure to tune their softer frame further to varied tracks, tires, and even Q. Apparently KTM went carbon fiber swingarm to get chassis help, and P.Espargaro was so pleased with it that he asked to race it immediately after trying it out. And lo and behold, look at him continuing his good step forward. And, w the 2018 Duc, our Bagnaia has awoken!

(Feel free to skip the negativity paragraph. Some other Italian factory may also be out there on their underpowered not so reliable Supersuperbike w new wings after 2 yrs, 1 pink/1 yellow and 2 for some previously promising Italian rider that appears to be considering WSBK seats vs brief stints selling condoms, cheesy clothing and calendars? Eh, yep. Suppose that is the Aprilia update for now. But nice Suzuki-like chassis. Speaking of chassis and Ducati, given that well funded son Abraham is on about the same bike as Bagnaia, have we finally reached the end of the line there? Is anyone going to say that they wish for the Avintia stragglers to remain rather than a new outfit? A certain Gresini is eyeing a Suzuki 2nd team. Zook FINALLY reorganized to have the racing team financially autonomous so the kid can finally move out of their basement. Hats off to Avintia, but anyone else saying YES PLEASE?). Next up, major factory sponsor.

Love the Pramac Yellow, like last yr. So much black though?! We need more of that on GP bikes right now like we need headlight stickers. Pramac has made the best livery improvements this year in my opinion. But black, schmack

Can anyone confirm the exact chassis that our kid Quartararo is on? Brick Top quoted (Neil Spalding, or was it Morrison?) as saying it was a Zarco/Tech3 2016 parts bin special. Everyone else, including official press releases from mid Feb until a month ago said 2019. Lower series forks. 500 less rpm's.

Quartararo is doing the business consistently, despite inconsistencies (yes, think three times). Yamaha is surely looking at upping his kit as per the usual manner, staring w engine tune and revs. Likely forks.

Much talk and consideration of Miller vs Pettucci of course. Here comes Bagnaia finally. Surely Quartararo is rising into #46 seat contention before our eyes. Of course the weightiness and emotional charge of Vale exiting the track towards managing a Sky46/Yamaha/_____ team has us hesitant to speak up. The new SIC/Petronas garage w the 2019 bike is exceeding ALL expectations such that it is decreasingly of issue to get on the factory squad. Right Zarco? A bit of a vacuum follows Vinales' showing. Quartararo is in that draft. What is happening on track and off is shaping a more immediate future at Yamaha. We will soon be hearing of the Euro test team doings w Folger, and can expect mid season updates in addition to the unseen electronics and setup work underway. Softer "less al dente" chassis?

Lorenzo may still be coming forth tomorrow. Marquez either at Suzuki Mitsubishi cooked meats again (24hrs) or has a flu bug (48+hrs), and isn't at his best. He continues his shift to more measured riding. Also the focus on race pace work early. Not ruling him out as per usual. Of winning, of riding calmly again, or even of crashing out while chasing and swapping spots.

Welcome Bagnaia, nice to see you!