Both Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro showed their potential at the start of the Aragon GP. The top 19 separated by just one second on Friday and set the stage for a dramatic qualifying battle on Saturday.
Earlier in the year than in previous seasons, the Aragon GP 2021 enjoyed pleasant conditions on the opening day, as the ambient temperature remained around 25 ° C and the track reached 44 ° C in the afternoon. The RC213V continued in good shape on the track, with four Honda riders in the top ten in Free Practice 1 and all within one second at the top of the combined times at the end of the day.
Marc Marquez started his day on the 5.1 kilometer MotorLand Aragon in good form and dominated the first free practice with a brutally fast lap towards the end of the session. With a 1: 48.048 the lap record holder was a second ahead of the competition, Joan Mir was the only driver to finish within a second of Marquez. A quick fall at Turn 16 during Free Practice 2 disrupted Marquez’s afternoon rhythm and although the # 93 was unscathed in the fall, he didn’t push to improve his time from Free Practice 1. Regardless, his morning pace was enough to hold his position among the combined top ten. The fall forced Marquez and his team to revise their plan for Friday, but the team was still able to gather valuable information despite the incident.
The Friday of the Aragon GP was dominated by improvements for Pol Espargaro when he got his first taste of the Honda RC213V on the Spanish circuit. Tenth in FP1 but only four tenths away from the top three, Espargaro’s weekend started on a solid basis. Although Espargaro shortened his lap time between FP1 and FP2 by a remarkable 1.4 seconds, Espargaro missed the cut-off for the top ten by only 0.080 seconds with his fastest time of the day, a 1: 48.166, as the competition in MotoGP always missed gets tighter. As with his team-mate, Espargaro’s work was mostly focused on Sunday and beyond and has not yet given out his ultimate lap time.
The campaign will continue tomorrow, Saturday, September 11th, with the 3rd free practice session at 09:55 a.m. local time. With only 1 second behind the top 19 drivers today, perfection is required in qualifying on Saturday.