Friday at the Mobility Resort Motegi saw just one session for the MotoGP class. To ensure all the material will arrive in time for all teams straight from Aragon, the Japanese GP started late on Friday with an FP1, which was extended to 75 minutes. Although the circuit was overcast all day and it drizzled a bit in some sectors of the track, the practice remained mainly dry and gave riders and teams a good opportunity to arrive back in Motegi after the last two Grand Prix’ in the land of the rising sun had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
It was a great comeback by Cal Crutchlow, who though had been testing at the Japanese venue some weeks ago but on the newly developed Yamaha, he now is riding the actual YZR-M1 for this weekend. Yet, he showed some fantastic speed from the word go. He ended Friday in P17, but was missing out on the top by just 0.678 seconds.
Meanwhile Darryn Binder was impressive as well. Riding his big machine for the first time at Motegi today, he quickly found confidence and did one very fast lap straight behind his teammate. The South African MotoGP rookie concluded Free Practice one just 0.179 seconds behind Crutchlow in P18, although he unfortunately registered a small crash at the end of the session.
Saturday will see a normal program for the premier class. Both WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team riders might have a chance to improve tomorrow from Free Practice two at 10:50 local time (03:50 CET), followed by FP3 at 14:25 local time (07:25 CET) and the Qualifyings from 15:05 local time (08:05 CET), yet the weather forecast doesn’t look too promising.