An action-packed Friday at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas saw late falls end a promising day for Joan Mir and Stefan Bradl, with Mir again missing Q2 by less than 0.1s.
Dark clouds hovered overhead at the Circuit of the Americas as Friday’s MotoGP action commenced but any serious rain stayed away, and the Repsol Honda Team were able to put together a productive opening day.
A motivated Joan Mir worked to steadily improve his speed over the course of the day and put his Repsol Honda Team RC213V at the top of the time sheets in the latter stages of Free Practice 2. His charge would continue as he battled to stay inside the top ten, moving to fifth with just a few minutes of the session left. Unfortunately, the #36 was forced to take avoiding action as Zarco’s stricken Ducati lay in the middle of the track which resulted in a fall for Mir. Ending the day in 12th thanks to a best time of 2’02.904, the double World Champion will again face the challenge of Q1 on Saturday.
Stefan Bradl’s return to racing in Austin had the German Test Rider setting competitive times and getting himself among several of the full-time riders. A crash in FP2 when pushing on his final run meant Bradl couldn’t improve any further and saw him drop back after running as high as 16th. Taking 20th as the flag came out, the former Moto2 World Champion was unable to show his true potential but remains pleased with the progress made by himself and the Repsol Honda Team.
Temperatures reaching the mid-30s look set to return to the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas on Saturday as the Repsol Honda Team duo aim to deliver on the potential they showed today.