2021 Emilia-Romagna MotoGP FP4 Result: Lecuona Leads As Slicks Make An Appearance

The final practice session for the premier class started on a cold but drying track and after a short outing on wet rubber, slicks were finally unwrapped from their blankets, in the hope of getting a better picture for a presumably dry Sunday race. While the early gamble seemed to pay off for Pecco Bagnaia, who took control of the session with 10 minutes remaining, it seemed that many of his rivals were riding on an ice rink, with thankfully harmless crashes for Iker Lecuona, Enea Bastianini, Marc Marquez, Michele Pirro, Joan Mir, Jorge Martin and Alex Marquez, with turns 2 and 15 as the main culprits.

Bagnaia seemed to have the most confidence in the tricky conditions, but Lecuona quickly recovered from his crash to snatch the lead with 5 minutes remaining. Their closest rivals were almost four seconds slower at that stage but with the track rapidly improving, the gaps reduced somewhat, although Lecuona and Bagnaia were untouchable at the front. Jack Miller’s late swap to slicks promoted him to third, a second and a half behind the leading duo and narrowly ahead of Fabio Quartararo.

Miguel Oliveira joined the top five ahead of Maverick Viñales and Luca Marini, with Danilo Petrucci, Johann Zarco and Alex Rins rounding out the top 10 positions. Franco Morbidelli and Jorge Martin were the final riders to post times within four seconds of the leader. The likes of Marquez and Mir did not rejoin the action following their tumbles and dropped to the bottom of the timesheets, while Aleix Espargaro only did a couple of laps and was the only rider not tempted by slicks.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 27 Iker Lecuona KTM 1'37.441    
2 63 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 1'37.535 0.094 0.094
3 43 Jack Miller Ducati 1'38.848 1.407 1.313
4 20 Fabio Quartararo Yamaha 1'38.889 1.448 0.041
5 88 Miguel Oliveira KTM 1'39.149 1.708 0.260
6 12 Maverick Viñales Aprilia 1'40.018 2.577 0.869
7 10 Luca Marini Ducati 1'40.177 2.736 0.159
8 9 Danilo Petrucci KTM 1'40.311 2.870 0.134
9 5 Johann Zarco Ducati 1'41.238 3.797 0.927
10 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'41.269 3.828 0.031
11 21 Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 1'41.306 3.865 0.037
12 89 Jorge Martin Ducati 1'41.430 3.989 0.124
13 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'41.893 4.452 0.463
14 30 Takaaki Nakagami Honda 1'42.279 4.838 0.386
15 33 Brad Binder KTM 1'42.562 5.121 0.283
16 4 Andrea Dovizioso Yamaha 1'42.794 5.353 0.232
17 51 Michele Pirro Ducati 1'43.069 5.628 0.275
18 44 Pol Espargaro Honda 1'43.465 6.024 0.396
19 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'43.585 6.144 0.120
  36 Joan Mir Suzuki 1'44.337 6.896 0.752
  73 Alex Marquez Honda 1'44.345 6.904 0.008
  41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'44.974 7.533 0.629
  23 Enea Bastianini Ducati 1'47.606 10.165 2.632
  32 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia      
Round Number: 
16
2021
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Comments

Lecuona is an example of a rider that may not have benefitted from jumping on the Motogp train at the first opportunity. The results from his last season in Moto2 is eerily similar to Gardner's 2019 season - one podium and six retirements. And Lecuona actually had more top tens than Gardner. Had Lecuona remained in Moto2 for another year or two and been afforded the opportunity to develop his racecraft more and reudce his penchant of pushing beyond the limit and crashing, he may have entered Motogp on more solid footing. Such as what is playing out in Gardner's career.