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Binder beats Miller to top honours as Bagnaia faces Q1
The KTM duo topped the timesheets in Practice with Bagnaia in the danger zone once again
Friday, 20 October 2023

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing enjoyed a perfect start to their weekend at the MotoGP™ Guru by Gryfyn Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix as Brad Binder topped the Practice timesheets with a 1:27.943 to lead second place and home hero Jack Miller on a Friday that saw more title drama unfold. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) claimed a solid P3 as Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) – the chaser – safely negotiated his way into Q2, but Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) – the leader – faces Q1 for the second weekend in a row.

A fast and furious end to Practice
The importance of Friday afternoon’s hour-long session was as evident as ever and as usual, the soft-rear tyre time attacks began to flood in with around 15 minutes of play left of the clock.

The Aprilia Racing duo of Viñales and Aleix Espargaro sprung to the summit but that would change quickly with the likes of Martin and his teammate Johann Zarco leading the Ducati charge.

However, it was soon KTM’s turn to lead the pack as Binder set a glorious sub-1:28 lap – the only one of the day – to lead Australia’s Miller in P1 and P2. Attention then turned to Bagnaia – who had Martin and the Repsol Honda Team machines of Marc Marquez and Joan Mir for company – in the closing seconds as the Italian needed to find a decent chunk of time. He found some, but not enough to propel the #1 into the all-important top 10.

Advantage Martin ahead of a super, super Saturday
Martin may have suffered a devastating blow to his title chances last weekend, but he’s bounced back well so far at Phillip Island – the #89 sits P4 at the end of Day 1, one place ahead of an upbeat Pol Espargaro (GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3) in P5.

A tired but fast Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) heads into qualifying in P6 and keeping the Italian company inside the top 10 are Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), Enea Bastianini (Ducati Lenovo Team), Aleix Espargaro and Zarco.

More Friday woes for the reigning Champion
As mentioned, Bagnaia finds himself in Q1 again. The Italian finished 0.182s adrift of the top 10 in P11, as we get set for another fascinating first qualifying session to take place at the phenomenal Phillip Island circuit.

With the announced schedule change, Saturday on the Island is massive. Qualifying starts at 10:50 local time (GMT+11), before the main Grand Prix race kicks off at 15:10. A huge day awaits in the title chase so TUNE IN.
The stage is set for Qualifying and the GRAND PRIX RACE! Make sure you tune in and check out the new schedule. More on the re-shuffle can be found below.

MotoGP™ FP2: 10:10
MotoGP™ Q1: 10:50
MotoGP™ Q2: 11:15
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