Monday, December 11, 2023

Jorge Martín is dominant in the MotoGP free practice

The Spanish Jorge Martin (Ducati Desmosedici GP23) does not give up on his aspirations to fight for the MotoGP world title and practically He led the entire first day of free practice for the Australian MotoGP Grand Prix, at the Phillip Island circuit.

At the first change Jorge Martín showed his intentions and desire to make up for the bad luck in Indonesia, where he fell during the race when he was leading it with solvency, because already in his fourth lap he took the lead with a time of 1:30.267 and one lap later he lowered it to 1:29.882, the first driver to lap in that second. While it is true that, with more than 35 minutes left and at the pace at which training had begun, it was more than foreseeable that the times would be greatly reduced, but at that time Martín had almost half a second ahead of his own teammate. team, the Frenchman Johann Zarco and another Spaniard, Marc Márquez (Honda RC 213 V) crashed in turn ten, in which it was the twenty-fourth fall of the season. Márquez, fourth in the table at that time, was riding ahead of Jorge Martín, but in turn ten, downhill and to the right, he lost traction on the front wheel and could do nothing to avoid the mishap, although he himself lifted the the motorcycle so he can return to his workshop on it.

At another point on the circuit, in turn six, the second crash of the session occurred, also by a Honda rider, the Spanish Alex Rins, who fortunately did not suffer from his injury to his right leg, as it was a downhill curve. but to the left. Martín continued to dominate the time table with the same record, 1:29.882, the only one, still, in that second, followed barely two tenths of a second by his compatriot Maverick Viñales (Aprilia RS-GP), and with the South African Brad Binder (KTM RC 16), third. Binder was surpassed shortly after by another rider from the Austrian manufacturer, the Spanish Augusto Fernández at the handlebars of the Gas Gas RC 16, by just 26 thousandths of a second, always with Jorge Martín as the main reference in the category.

Maverick Viñales attacked Jorge Martín’s best lap in the final minutes and managed to beat him by 105 thousandths of a second on the nineteenth lap, but the Ducati driver immediately returned to the track with a new soft compound rear tire with which he achieved a 1:29.266 with which he regained first position.

Martín still had a new opportunity to return in which he once again lowered his best time and that of the category, by running in 1:29.039, which gave him an advantage of more than seven tenths of a second over his immediate pursuers, Augusto Fernández and Maverick Viñales. However, Martín’s record was still far from the best time in the category, which he himself has held since last year at 1:27.767.

The world championship leader, Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia (Ducati Desmosedici GP23), who is not usually very fast in the first training session, fulfilled those premises as he had to settle for eleventh place, among the Spanish Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia RS-GP) in front and Marc Márquez, behind.


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