Mixed track conditions affected Day 1 of free practices for the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, held today at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo of Cheste, near Valencia (Spain), and stage this weekend of the final Grand Prix for the 2021 MotoGP season. After a first rainy FP1 session, the sun shone down again this afternoon, allowing the MotoGP riders to improve their lap times on a mostly dry track.
With the tricky conditions of the asphalt, it was once again Jack Miller to set the pace. After closing FP1 this morning in second place, despite suffering a crash after going wide at turn one, the Ducati Lenovo Team rider continued to impress also on the slick tyres this afternoon, as he set the best time of the day in 1:30.927 with the soft tyre in the final minutes of FP2.
Pecco Bagnaia also had a positive day. Despite suffering a crash in the wet, he could find his rhythm immediately to finish FP1 in sixth place. In the afternoon, with the semi-dry track, the Italian rider was able to immediately feel comfortable on his bike, eventually setting the third-fastest time of the day in 1:30.995, just 68 thousandths behind Miller.
Jack Miller (#43 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 1st (1:30.927)
"I'm delighted with this first day here at Valencia, which is one of my favourite tracks on the calendar! The bike is working really well here, and both in the wet this morning and the dry this afternoon, I felt comfortable straight away. I had a small crash in FP1: I went wide in the first corner, but as soon as I touched the paint, it was like hitting the ice! Apart from that, I'm enjoying riding here, and I can't wait to see what the rest of the weekend has in store for us".
Francesco Bagnaia (#63 Ducati Lenovo Team) - 3rd (1:30.995)
"It was my best Friday ever here in Valencia, so I'm very happy. I felt good on the bike straight away, and we already have a clear idea of what we need to change to improve further. This morning in the wet, I crashed at Turn 2, a place where I crash every year, but then I quickly found my rhythm again. Even this afternoon in the dry, although the conditions were not easy because of the little grip and the wet patches, we were very fast. I'm satisfied and ready for our last qualifying session of the season tomorrow".
The Ducati Lenovo Team riders will be back on track tomorrow at 9:55 am for FP3, while qualifying for the final Grand Prix of the 2021 MotoGP season will take place from 2:10 pm local time, at the end of FP4.