Steady Bagnaia warms up for decisive Valencia showdown

MotoGP's champion-in-waiting Francesco Bagnaia warmed up for this weekend's final decisive race in Valencia with the ninth quickest time in practice on Friday, one place behind Fabio Quartararo whose crown he intends to take.

Ducati-rider Bagnaia goes into the final race with a 23-point advantage over the Frenchman and needs only to finish 14th in Sunday's race to claim his first world title.

"My objective will be to try to make the best start possible, to be really aggressive," said Quartararo who held a 91-point lead at the halfway mark in the championship and has not won a race since Germany in June.

"Things went well today," said the Yamaha rider who was quickest in the morning session. "I really want to fight for victory."

Italian Luca Marini (Ducati) set the best time in practice as all of the riders improved their morning times in the afternoon.

The Italian, who covered the four-kilometre Ricardo Tormo circuit in 1min 30.217sec, finished ahead of two other Ducati riders, Spaniard Jorge Martin and Australian Jack Miller.

The best-placed non-Ducati rider was Honda's six-time world champion Marc Marquez, angling for a third victory in this race, who was fourth fastest.

For Suzuki, who are contesting their last race before exiting MotoGP, 2020 world champion Joan Mir was 14th with his Spanish compatriot Alex Rins in 11th.

Top times:

1. Luca Marini (ITA/Ducati-VR46) 1min 30.217sec, 2. Jorge Martin (ESP/Ducati-Pramac) at 0.105, 3. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati) 0.128, 4. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.173, 5. Enea Bastianini (ITA/Ducati-Gresini) 0.177, 6. Miguel Oliveira (POR/KTM) 0.205, 7. Johann Zarco (FRA/Ducati-Pramac) 0.207, 8. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha) 0.225, 9. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati) 0.230, 10. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 0.302

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