Spanish GP: Binder tops FP1 in Jerez for KTM

It’s Brad Binder who topped the timesheets in the first session of the Spanish GP weekend, showing promising signs for the KTM squad.

As the green flag was waved, all riders except Joan Mir headed out on track to begin their first laps of the Jerez track.

Pol Espargaro found himself doing a bit of motocross 15 minutes in, the Honda rider ran wide at Turn 5 and was forced to navigate through the gravel.

With the first runs coming to a close, Aleix Espargaro found himself at the top of the leaderboard with a 1m38.260s lap-time.

Mir looked to be having issues with his Suzuki, the reigning World Champion had not set a lap-time by the half-way point of the session.

It was a busy end to FP1 as riders began setting faster times, but Binder came out on top with a 1m38.013s lap, 0.191s faster than Aprilia’s Espargaro.

Marc Marquez, who returns to the circuit where he suffered his season-ending injury last year, ended the session in third ahead of Pecco Bagnaia and Fabio Quartararo.

Johann Zarco ended FP1 in sixth, 0.001s faster than the second KTM of Miguel Oliveira, with the Honda of Espargaro in eighth.

Maverick Vinales finished in ninth, with Mir eventually getting out on track to end in tenth.

Taka Nakagami finished FP1 in 11th ahead of Franco Morbidelli and an impressive lap from Lorenzo Savadori put the Aprilia rider in 13th.

Alex Rins ended the session 14th on the timesheets, with this weekend’s Honda wildcard rider Stefan Bradl 0.058s behind in 15th.

Alex Marquez put his LCR Honda in 16th, 0.052s faster than Jack Miller, who will be hoping for a strong weekend in the Spanish GP.

Danilo Petrucci was the first of the Tech3 KTM riders in 18th, with Enea Bastianini 0.056s behind the Italian.

Valentino Rossi will be hoping to kickstart his season in Jerez, the Italian finished in 20th ahead of Tito Rabat, who replaces the injured Jorge Martin for Pramac.

Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini rounded off the timesheets in 22nd and 23rd.

With five manufacturers in the top-five, it looks like it could be a very close weekend in Jerez, FP2 will get underway in just a few hours time.