Quartararo fastest in Catalonia MotoGP practice

Barcelona (AFP) –


Fabio Quartararo topped the times in the free practice runs for this weekend's Catalan MotoGP on Saturday as the young gun tries to get his championship charge back on track.

Frenchman Quartararo was 0.044sec faster than last week's winner in Italy, Maverick Vinales, with the Yamaha pair both just one point behind leader Andrea Dovizioso in the overall standings heading into Sunday's race at the Montmelo circuit near Barcelona.

Dovizioso finished 13th in practice, 0.545sec behind 21-year-old Quartararo, whose last win came at the Andalusian Grand Prix in July, the last race in Spain.

Joan Mir, who is four points behind Ducati rider Dovizioso in the championship table, was 10th fastest in practice, 0.444sec back.

The top 10 riders will take part in Saturday afternoon's second qualifying round, which will decide the top 12 places on the starting grid.

The other racers will ride in the first qualifying round, from which the top two make it to Q2.

Results after the three free practice sessions at the Catalonia MotoGP at the 4.627km Montmelo circuit:

1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) 1min 39.418sec, 2. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) at 0.044sec, 3. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM-Tech3) 0.089, 4. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 0.284, 5. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati-Avintia) 0.291, 6. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM) 0.338, 7. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 0.356, 8. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.418, 9. Brad Binder (AFS/KTM) 0.423, 10. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) 0.444