Marco Bezzecchi Runs at the Top of the Table in Practice

August 18, 2023Ray Milton

Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati) continued his recent good form in the MotoGP championship in Practice Friday afternoon topping the table. Bezzecchi set a 1m28.533 as riders started to dip into the 1:28s. Bezzecchi’s fastest lap set a new lap record on Lap 23 of the session. He had a mechanical issues late in the session but the issue did not affect his ability to stay a top the table. Maverick Viñales ran second fastest by a margin of 0.044s improving on his finish from FP1 by moving up one position. Championship leader Francesco Bagnaia ran third fastest but was just under 3 tenths off of the lead. Bagnaia didn’t seem to have an answer for the pace but there did not appear to be any major concerns for only amounting to third.

Iker Lecuona who is stepping in for the injured Alex Rins finished 23rd in the session. Lecuona was almost 1.7 seconds off of Bezzecchi’s fastest lap. It appears Lecuona will be filling in for Rins as Lecuona’s World SBK season schedule allows.

Marquez Woes Continue

Mac Marquez has yet another off into the gravel. Marquez was able to save the bike but Marquez and his time in the gravel is something he will soon like to move past. Repsol Honda brought a new aero package to the Red Bull Ring and Marquez commented on the progress stating “There was a lot of work to do today, it was very mentally demanding as we worked across two different aero packages. Your riding style needs to change quite a lot for the new aero.”

Bezzecchi Continued

“We will keep using it here because at this type of track it has some improvements that are clear, but we will need to keep trying it at other tracks. I pushed very hard at the end of the afternoon session and we improved our lap time, unfortunately we lost our last fast lap – but this can happen. The target is understanding the aero package and seeing what’s possible tomorrow.”

The latest whispers of the paddock suggest that Marquez may be on his way out from Honda and possibly landing with KTM. However, such a move is still just speculation and Marquez has stated he is not thinking about this transition at this time.

Full Practice Results are Below