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Brad Binder sets the early pace in Misano

Brad Binder

Bengaluru, September 19: Brad Binder took the opening day honours at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, thanks to the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider's terrific 1:31.628 at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.

Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) is just 0.002 behind the South African on an opening day that saw the top five finish within a tenth of each other.

Third place went the way of FP1 pacesetter Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), the 21-year-old just 0.016 off the pace of Binder.

Stakes are high in Misano as another spectacular race weekend beckons

The combined times are going to see a massive shake-up as the stage is set for the qualifiers on Saturday which begins at 2.10 pm local time (5.40pm IST).

Quartararo starts well

Quartararo starts well

Quartararo began the day as the man to beat, but San Marino GP winner and team-mate Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) made for close company as he ended the session within 0.090.

It was a rapid start to proceedings for the premier class riders, with Quartararo's quickest time just three tenths away from Maverick Vinales' (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) lap record set in Q2 last weekend.

Nakagami makes a move

Nakagami makes a move

Nakagami hit next to go top, by 0.069, as the Japanese rider's improvements in testing kept impressing.

Nakagami and Honda have seemingly found some of the issues that plagued the Japanese rider last weekend at Misano and having finished P5 in FP1, Nakagami was then leading the way.

Vinales revves up

Vinales revves up

Tucked in behind lap record holder Vinales, the Brno winner demoted Nakagami to P2 by 0.002 seconds - leaping up the timesheets after P14 in the morning.

Vinales, just ahead of the South African on track, went to P4 after choosing not to do a time attack run in FP1.

Espargaro slips

Espargaro slips

Pol Espargaro's 1:31.699 eventually saw him slip to fifth and at the end of the session, you could throw a blanket over the top five - it was that close.

Just 0.071 between three manufacturers is a timely reminder of how close the premier class is in 2020!

(By a special arrangement with Dorna Sports)

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Story first published: Saturday, September 19, 2020, 12:05 [IST]
Other articles published on Sep 19, 2020