Andrea Dovizioso turned in a late fast lap on the new Ducati MotoGP bike to lead the first day of practice at Aragon. Andrea Dovizioso turned in a late fast lap on the new Ducati MotoGP bike to lead the first day of practice at Aragon. Photo courtesy motogp.com

Dovizioso tops at Aragon on new Ducati

Written by  on Friday, 26 September 2014 19:10

Andrea Dovizioso led the way in MotoGP practice Friday at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, with Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa just behind him on the timesheet.

Dovizioso (Ducati Team) set the best time of the opening day at the Spanish circuit, putting in a 1:48.285 lap on softer option rubber and on his new GP14.2 machine, to outpace Marquez - who was on a hard tire - by 0.043s.

After a successful test in Mugello Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) each had access to a GP14.2, the next evolution of the Ducati MotoGP™ bike, on Friday. Featuring a slimmer design to make the bike more nimble, both riders enjoyed using it at the Spanish track as round 14 got underway.

Friday morning saw Dovizioso finish in seventh spot, 1.048s down on Iannone, who topped the session. FP1 brought fairly low temperatures with the track at just 17ºC.

FP2 saw Dovizioso use the GP14.2 for his final run on track with soft tires. This final attack resulted in his best lap. Marquez (Repsol Honda) had led the session comfortably until then.

“The new bike is positive, it’s more comfortable to be on but the bike’s speed is the same. But our speed in the last three races has been good, apart from when the tires go off. I’m not happy with how I have to manage the bike currently,” said Dovizioso.

“I think we can keep this speed and we can stay in the front, it’ll just be hard here as the tire drops off very quickly here after only three laps.

“I did a really great lap at the end. I am very happy with the time I set, especially because I didn’t do a perfect lap. I can confirm that the GP14.2 is narrower and also more comfortable, and so it goes better from that point of view, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Marquez is looking to repeat his 2013 victory in front of the home fans and he was 0.406s ahead of his Repsol Honda teammate Pedrosa.

“Our first day here went well and I enjoyed riding in front of the home fans. I felt good on the bike and had a good pace, which is what we were focusing on the most today,” commented Marquez.

“The track was quite slippery but I like it like this. However, tomorrow we will try to define which tires to use and refine the setup, then see if we can get onto the front row for Sunday and have a great race.”

FP2 two saw Pedrosa’s time improve by almost a whole second, down to a 1:48.734s.

Pedrosa commented, “We tried the soft and hard tires and it is still difficult to say which is better on the rear, but the intermediate worked well for us on the front. We have to keep putting in laps at this circuit to improve our feeling, because this is a track where the tires give plenty of grip at the start and then performance drops off, so you need to get used to finding pace with used tires.”

In fourth place overall Iannone was around half a second behind his future teammate Dovizioso, as he also enjoyed riding the new GP14.2.

Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was just ahead of his brother Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) as the Spanish pair ended the day fifth and sixth, respectively.

Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed the top 10 as the factory Yamaha riders failed to match the pace of Dovizioso and the factory Hondas. Lorenzo and Rossi trailed Dovizioso by 0.684s and 1.027s respectively.

It was a difficult day for Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing), who was forced to abandon his new Ducati in FP1 as it caught fire and then only made it out on track again towards the end of FP2, to set the 17th fastest time overall.

In Moto2™ at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, the leading three participants were Tito Rabat, Johann Zarco and Mika Kallio.

Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) set the fastest time of 1:53.838 to lead by 0.263s from Zarco (AirAsia Caterham Moto Racing) and also set an impressive pace throughout the session, registering consistently fast laps around the Spanish track.

Kallio trailed by 0.307s in third place and he will be determined to reduce that gap on Saturday as he aims to break his colleague’s winning streak and fight back in the title race.

Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team) was fourth quickest overall, courtesy of his best time from FP1, which saw him lead that session. Spanish pair Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team) and Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) ended the day fifth and sixth respectively.

The overall top 10 was completed by Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Sitag), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert), Jonas Folger (AGR Team) and Ricard Cardus (Tech 3).

As Friday’s Moto3™ action wrapped up it was Alex Rins who registered the best lap in FP2, just ahead of Alex Marquez and Niklas Ajo.

The category’s form rider Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) set a 1:58.788 lap to top the timesheet and end the day as Friday’s fastest Moto3 rider at the Spanish circuit. Local rider Rins outpaced his teammate Marquez by just 0.018s, while Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) trailed in third place, only 0.097s behind Rins.

Standings leader Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) completed the top 10. Miller was 0.567s off the pace in FP2 having led the way in FP1.

--From motogp.com

MotoGP Practice Results (courtesy Repsol Honda)

Pos.

Rider

Num.

Nation

Team

Constructor

Time/Gap

1

Andrea Dovizioso

4

ITA

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'48.285

2

Marc Marquez

93

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'48.328

3

Dani Pedrosa

26

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'48.734

4

Andrea Iannone

29

ITA

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'48.747

5

Aleix Espargaro

41

ESP

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'48.938

6

Pol Espargaro

44

ESP

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'48.966

7

Jorge Lorenzo

99

ESP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'48.969

8

Stefan Bradl

6

GER

LCR Honda MotoGP

HONDA

1'49.002

9

Bradley Smith

38

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'49.011

10

Valentino Rossi

46

ITA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'49.312

11

Cal Crutchlow

35

GBR

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'49.373

12

Yonny Hernandez

68

COL

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'49.650

13

Alvaro Bautista

19

ESP

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'49.711

14

Hiroshi Aoyama

7

JPN

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'50.283

15

Alex De Angelis

15

RSM

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'50.408

16

Karel Abraham

17

CZE

Cardion AB Motoracing

HONDA

1'50.472

17

Hector Barbera

8

ESP

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'50.487

18

Nicky Hayden

69

USA

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'50.890

19

Scott Redding

45

GBR

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'50.912

20

Danilo Petrucci

9

ITA

IodaRacing Project

IODA-SUTER

1'51.510

21

Broc Parkes

23

AUS

Paul Bird Motorsport

PBM

1'52.415

22

Michael Laverty

70

GBR

Paul Bird Motorsport

ART & PBM

1'52.600

23

Mike Di Meglio

63

FRA

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'52.684

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John Hopkins

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