IndianOil Grand Prix of India kicks off in dramatic style
The first day of MotoGP™ action at the Buddh International Circuit has set the stage for an exciting Saturday at the IndianOil Grand Prix of India, featuring the qualifying session and the Tissot sprint race. The all-time motorcycle lap record of 1:55:963, previously held by Dilip Lalwani on a 2022 Ducati Panigale V4, was shattered as soon as the Moto2 bikes hit the track. Lap time records continued to be broken as the track improved with more rubber being laid down, and as the MotoGP class took to the circuit.
When the MotoGP bikes hit the track, Luca Marini from Mooney VR46 Racing Team posted the fastest time of the day during the second Free Practice Session, smashing the all-time record of the track by nearly 11 seconds with a time of 1:44:780. Jorge Martin of Prima Pramac Racing, who held the top position throughout the session, finished just 0.008 seconds behind Marini. Aleix Espargaro from Aprilia Racing set the tone for the day in the second session with a time of 1:44:833. Unfortunately, Brad Binder from Red Bull KTM missed out on a top-10 finish due to a yellow flag that cancelled his last lap time, which would have placed him eighth and in Qualifying 2. Defending champion and current race leader Francesco Bagnaia finished seventh with a time of 1:45:280.
During the first Free Practice Session, Marco Bezzecchi, Marini's teammate from Mooney VR46 Racing Team, recorded the fastest time of 1:45:990. Bezzecchi improved his performance in the second session, finishing fifth with a time of 1:45:202. Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez secured second place with a lap time of 1:46:129 on the Repsol Honda. The top 10 times recorded during Friday's Practice session directly qualify for Qualifying 2, while the top two riders from Qualifying 1 earn a chance to compete for the pole position in Qualifying 2.
Arbolino fastest in Moto3
Drama took centre stage during the Moto 2 session, as Tony Arbolino of ELF Marc VDS Racing Team secured the top position with a remarkable final lap time of 1:52.105. The battle for the leading position was intense, featuring strong contenders including Somkiat Chantra from Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, his teammate Ai Ogura, and Pedro Acosta of Red Bull KTM. Throughout the practice sessions, these riders continually challenged each other for the top spot, with Arbolino ultimately emerging victorious. In the end, Pedro Acosta secured second place with a time of 1:52.170, while Ogura and Chantra settled for third and fourth places, posting times of 1:52.180 and 1:52.319, respectively.
Viejer rules Moto2
In Practice 2 of the Moto3 category, Collin Veijer from the Netherlands, riding for Liqui Moly Husqvarna, claimed the top spot with an impressive lap time of 1:59:560. Veijer maintained his dominance as the only rider in the category to consistently clock a lap time under two minutes for the majority of the second practice session. However, in the closing minutes of the session, Jaume Masia from Spain, riding for Leopard Racing, posted a competitive lap time of 1:59:752, posing a challenge to Veijer's lead. Stefano Nepa secured the third position with a time of 2:00:120, while India's Kadai Yaseen Ahamed, a wildcard entry representing Petronas, struggled with a slower time of 2:06:082 and was out of contention.
A packed house in Q1
Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP) narrowly missed out on advancing to the next stage after finishing Practice in 11th place due to cancelled laps. Joining Di Giannantonio in Q1 will be riders such as Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP), Franco Morbidelli (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™️), Miguel Oliveira (CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team), and Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). The upcoming Q1 session promises to be highly competitive and is scheduled for Saturday morning, so be sure to tune in!
The stage is set for Qualifying and then the Tissot Sprint. Make sure you tune in:
MotoGP™️ FP2: 10:40
MotoGP™️ Q1: 11:20
MotoGP™️ Q2: 11:45
Tissot Sprint: 15:30