The South African rider Brad Binder (KTM) set the best time this Friday in the MotoGP ‘Practice’ of the Japanese Grand Prix, the fourteenth round of the Motorcycle World Championship, while the Spanish Jaume Masià (Honda) dominated in Moto3 and the Thai Chamtra (Kalex), in Moto2.

The first contact with the Motegi track, where the sun reigned, brought the dominance of KTM through its best rider in 2023 and fourth place in the World Championship, with the champion Francesco Bagnaia leading the Ducati, the apparent improvement of Aprilia and a small return to reality for the Repsol Honda, with Marc Márquez and Joan Mir out of ‘Q2’ this time.

Binder, with a new chassis on his mount, set the best lap of the day, with a time of 1:43.489, with which he surpassed the record of the Spanish Jorge Lorenzo that dated from 2015 of 1.43.790, and which was also surpassed by both Bagnaia and the Catalan Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia), who completed the ‘Top 3’.

The Italian driver stayed very close to the South African, from whom he was only separated by just 29 thousandths, while the one from Granollers, eager to leave behind two discreet weekends at the Marco Simoncelli and, especially in Buddh, stayed a little further away. , already at 266 thousandths.

For their part, Bagnaia’s two pursuers in the World Cup leadership also entered ‘Q2’. Madrid’s Jorge Martín (Ducati), second classified and who was the fastest in the first free session, was fourth, 359 thousandths behind Binder and just ahead of the Italian Marco Bezzecchi (Ducati), third in the championship, almost half a second behind. .

The Italian Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati), (Ducati), the Frenchman Johan Zarco (Ducati), the Spanish Pol Espargaró (KTM) and Maverick Viñales (Aprilia), and the Australian Jack Miller (KTM), winner last year, completed the ten drivers for a ‘Q2’ in which the two from Repsol Honda will not be there.

The brand with the golden wing did not start its home Grand Prix in the best possible way. Marc Márquez tried to be in the fight to get into the ‘Top 10’, but lost all his chances when he crashed on his last attempt and finished fourteenth with 1:44.574. Joan Mir, top of the table in the morning, finished twelfth (1:44.428) and as the best Honda of the Friday. Yamaha also did not have its best Friday once again with the Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, third last Sunday in India, thirteenth (1:44.520).

On the other hand, in the Moto2 category, the fastest rider of the day was the Thai Somkiat Chamtra (Kalex), who was able to dominate the two training sessions under 1:51 and made the fastest lap with 1 :50,396.

Behind, just 37 thousandths, was the Spanish Arón Canet (Kalex), while the ‘Top 3’ was completed by the British Sam Lowes (Kalex), at 150. The World Cup leader, the Murcian Pedro Acosta (Kalex) , started with a good feeling and finished as the fourth fastest with his morning time (1:50.617) and with the Italian Tony Arbolino (Kalex), far away for the moment (eighteenth).

Finally, in the Moto3 category there was a lot of equality between all the great contenders and the best on Friday was the Spaniard Jaume Masiá (Honda), who is tied on points for the lead in the World Championship with his compatriot Dani Holgado (KTM).

The Valencian rider set a time of 1:57.068 to be just one tenth ahead of his compatriot Ivan Ortolá (KTM), while the Japanese Ayumu Sasaki (Husqvarna), third in the championship, one point behind the two Spaniards, and Holgado were third. and fourth, respectively, also at just over a tenth.