MotoGP machines were unleashed in another beautiful low grip morning in Barcelona and spent much of their time chasing a precious Q2-worthy flying lap. Despite some early eagerness from the likes of Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales, they were no match for the man of the moment, Aleix Espargaro, who posted the first 1:38 time of the weekend to go over half a second quicker than the opposition. Rivals spent the final third of the session trying to close down that gap and Johann Zarco eventually managed to come within a tenth of the Spaniard, but Espargaro’s new lap record meant he didn’t even have to bother with the final time attack.
Gaps were significantly more modest behind Espargaro and Zarco, with Jorge Martin joining the top three only two thousandths of a second ahead of Pecco Bagnaia, who in turn had only six hundredths in hand over teammate Jack Miller. After leading the way early on, Quartararo dropped to sixth, three tenths off top spot and another tenth ahead of Luca Marini – the Italian’s late pace causing some mixed feelings in the Aprilia garage, as he pushed Viñales out of top 10 contention. The remaining Q2 tickets were claimed by Pol Espargaro – despite an early tumble at turn five – Alex Rins and Fabio Di Giannantonio, the Italian rookie proving his speed once more to complete a top 10 covered by six tenths of a second.
Despite the fast start to his weekend/session, Viñales found himself in Q1 once more, but this time with better odds of making it out. However, he is likely to face strong competition from the likes of Enea Bastianini, who dropped out of contention in the closing stages of FP3, as well as Joan Mir, Marco Bezzecchi or Takaaki Nakagami. The gaggle of KTMs will have to enjoy some Q1 action as well, with Brad Binder as their top performer in 16th position, eight tenths slower than the leader.
|10||49||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Ducati||1:39.413||0.642||0.153|