Marc Marquez opened his quest for an 11th straight MotoGP win in 2014 by setting the fastest practice time at Brno on Friday. Marc Marquez opened his quest for an 11th straight MotoGP win in 2014 by setting the fastest practice time at Brno on Friday. Photo courtesy motogp.com

Marquez leads first day of MotoGP action

Written by  on Friday, 15 August 2014 12:47

MotoGP™ World Champion Marc Marquez was Friday’s quickest rider at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky with his best lap of 1:56.803 in FP1, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. The rain arrived later and the riders spent FP2 refining their wet set-ups.

Undefeated thus far in his title defence season, Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was quickest on the overall Friday timesheets, with all the riders setting their best laps in FP1 as the rain fell just as FP2 got underway.

Marquez commented, “I am happy with how the practices went today as the track has changed substantially compared with how it was when we tested here. I expected this, and we adapted our setup accordingly in the sessions - although I am still not entirely satisfied.

“In the afternoon when the track was wet - especially at the start of FP2 - I was able to lap consistently and I felt good which is important. We will see what the weather is like tomorrow and if we can have a good qualifying session.”

In the morning session Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) trailed Marquez by just 0.037s and 0.052s respectively.

“While riding in the dry conditions this morning I was quite surprised by our performance,” Lorenzo said. “It was good from the beginning but I felt that we had a lot of things to adjust, so the margin for improvement was high. Unfortunately it rained in the afternoon. In those conditions we are still quite far from the fastest. We need to work on our set-up for the wet, because it seems like it’s going to rain tomorrow, but not on Sunday. We want to be fast tomorrow if it rains; in case of dry conditions I think we are quite good.”

Pedrosa added, “Today went well for us. We had one practice in the dry and the other in wet conditions, and I think that overall we need more dry track time in order to be able to test out different tires and setups. It's been a good day and we can't wait to get back to work tomorrow.”

Behind the front three, it was Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) also in the top five. Rossi is set to make his 245th GP start in the premier class on Sunday, equaling Alex Barros, who currently holds the record for most starts in the top class of Grand Prix racing.

Friday’s fastest top 10 was completed by Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3).

In FP2 Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) topped the timesheet ahead of Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) with 2:03.179 and 2:04.462 times, as they got laps in on dry set-ups before the rain fell. Barbera crashed just before the FP2 session concluded, as the Spaniard started his 200th GP weekend.

Marquez, Pedrosa, Rossi, Crutchlow and Lorenzo were the fastest five riders in the wet afternoon conditions.

The Moto2™ combined practice timesheet was headed by Tito Rabat, who outpaced Mika Kallio and Sandro Cortese overall.

Standings leader Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) set the fastest time of the day in FP1, with his 2:03.126 effort quicker than anyone could manage in an FP2 session which commenced on a wet track, with the sun almost drying the asphalt by the end of the second session.

Second quickest overall was Rabat’s teammate Kallio, who was just 0.142s behind the Spaniard on the combined timesheet - with his best lap from FP2.

Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) were third and fourth overall, courtesy of FP1 times. It was confirmed on Friday that Aegerter will test the NGM Forward Racing team’s Forward Yamaha bike in a MotoGP™ test at Brno on Monday.

The Moto3™ FP2 session at the bwin Grand Prix České republiky concluded with Alex Marquez at the head of the timesheet, from Alex Rins and Alexis Masbou.

Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) put in a 2:07.969 lap in the final stages of the session, with his teammate Rins also increasing his pace at the end to finish 0.334s behind in second place. Experienced Frenchman Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) trailed P1 by 0.443s in third.

--From motogp.com

MotoGP Practice Results (courtesy Repsol Honda)

Pos.

Rider

Num.

Nation

Team

Constructor

Time/Gap

1

Marc Marquez

93

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'56.803

2

Jorge Lorenzo

99

ESP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'56.840

3

Dani Pedrosa

26

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'56.855

4

Aleix Espargaro

41

ESP

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'57.002

5

Valentino Rossi

46

ITA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'57.065

6

Stefan Bradl

6

GER

LCR Honda MotoGP

HONDA

1'57.084

7

Andrea Dovizioso

4

ITA

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'57.169

8

Yonny Hernandez

68

COL

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'57.190

9

Pol Espargaro

44

ESP

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'57.634

10

Bradley Smith

38

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'57.816

11

Michele Pirro

51

ITA

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'58.040

12

Andrea Iannone

29

ITA

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'58.061

13

Scott Redding

45

GBR

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'58.301

14

Cal Crutchlow

35

GBR

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'58.340

15

Alvaro Bautista

19

ESP

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'58.698

16

Hector Barbera

8

ESP

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'58.714

17

Hiroshi Aoyama

7

JPN

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'58.895

18

Karel Abraham

17

CZE

Cardion AB Motoracing

HONDA

1'59.216

19

Alex De Angelis

15

RSM

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'59.959

20

Mike Di Meglio

63

FRA

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

2'00.240

21

Michael Laverty

70

GBR

Paul Bird Motorsport

ART & PBM

2'00.345

22

Leon Camier

2

GBR

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

2'00.445

23

Danilo Petrucci

9

ITA

IodaRacing Project

IODA-SUTER

2'00.497

24

Broc Parkes

23

AUS

Paul Bird Motorsport

PBM

2'00.752

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John Hopkins

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