A switch to an extra soft tire near the end of the opening practice helped Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest practice time at Motegi on Friday A switch to an extra soft tire near the end of the opening practice helped Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest practice time at Motegi on Friday Photo courtesy motogp.com

Dovizioso sets pace at Motegi

Written by  on Friday, 10 October 2014 08:14

The MotoGP™ FP2 session at Motegi saw Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) set the standard on the first day of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan on Friday, with Jorge Lorenzo and Stefan Bradl also among the leading trio.

On an extra soft rear tire Dovizioso set the best time of the day towards the end of FP2 with a 1:45.140 lap of the Japanese circuit, which put him 0.440s ahead of the second best rider Lorenzo.

Friday started well for Dovizioso, who continued to assess the GP14.2 upgrade to his Ducati, able to finish FP1 third. Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) continued his good form from Aragon to head Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) by 0.166s and Dovizioso was 0.234s behind the Yamaha factory rider in the morning run.

The final stages of FP2 saw the Italian rider fit the extra-soft compound tire and push hard for a lap time, resulting in a 1:45.140s.

The harder option tire also had Dovizioso setting competitive lap times, the hard braking of the Motegi circuit suiting the Italian rider’s style.

“I felt really comfortable on the bike today. We were second until the last five minutes on the harder option tire. I could make a similar lap time throughout on the hard tire; I’m happy with the speed. We started with a really good setup from the chassis and electronics side and this has helped a lot,” commented a content Dovizioso.

“We have to keep improving our speed to try and fight for the podium. This is our main aim. The new chassis doesn’t change how I ride the bike, the bike is better overall than last year. The electronics are better, everything is better and it gave me the chance to be faster.”

Lorenzo remained calm and collected while he focused on staying ahead of his rivals. The Aragon race winner took his time at the start of the morning Free Practice session to warm up the bigger carbon brake disks, which are obligatory this year because of the Twin Ring Motegi circuit’s heavy braking character.

The second 45-minute session also saw him directly on the pace, posting multiple 1:45 laps to comfortably claim second place. His fastest lap of 1:45.580 was just four-tenths from the leader.

Lorenzo commented, “After the race win in Aragon we knew that here maybe we had a chance to go faster and be more competitive with this normal tire on the rear. Also we knew that last year we were competitive and had good grip. From the beginning we’ve been on the pace and better than we expected. The bike is working very well, we can improve some small details in the settings, chassis and electronics but in general the pace of the bike is very good so I’m happy.”

Third in FP2 was Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) with a similar time to Lorenzo’s, 0.497s adrift of P1.

Bradl was the fastest Honda rider on the opening day with Repsol Honda colleagues Dani Pedrosa and Marquez in fourth and sixth respectively.

“We found a really good setting from the morning to the afternoon and we improved the rear traction a lot. With all the acceleration rear traction is very important here. We found a good setting to be late on the brakes but still have a good corner speed. I’m happy with the opening day,” said a satisfied Bradl.

“I’ve used the bigger brake discs before in Barcelona and some other circuits. They give me better brake performance and support, I quite like them. I’m on the medium option tire, this seems like the best option. We don’t know what the weather will do but we’ll probably stick with it. Maybe we will try the hard tomorrow as a test.”

Pedrosa survived a big moment in FP1 when he produced a remarkable stoppie at turn 11, as he hit the brakes going into the corner. He ended the day fourth best, just in front of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).

The overall Friday top 10 was completed by Marquez, Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing).

Marquez was unhurt in a crash early in FP1 as he could not brake in time at turn 5, meaning his title shot weekend got off to a tricky start. He will look to move up the timesheets on Saturday.

Local rider Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar) suffered a crash in the final minutes of the FP2 session, able to walk away with minimal damage to the bike. Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) also suffered a small off, but was able to remount and return to the pits. Both riders were unhurt.

In Moto2™ FP2 at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, the quickest three riders were Tito Rabat, Johann Zarco and Maverick Viñales.

Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) leads the Moto2™ World Championship standings by 33 points and he was dominant in the afternoon practice, showing good rhythm and setting the fastest lap by a 0.323s margin over Frenchman Zarco (AirAsia Caterham).

Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) was third fastest but could not get within half a second of Rabat’s best time, trailing his compatriot by 0.583s.

Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) and Julian Simon (Italtrans Racing Team) were fourth and fifth respectively, ahead of Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Sitag) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) who were sixth and seventh, all within a second of Rabat’s best time.

As Friday’s Moto3™ activity concluded at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) was ahead of the pack in FP2, with Alex Rins and Miguel Oliveira also towards the top of the timesheet.

Briton Kent, who won the 2012 Moto3 race in Japan, was the fastest rider in both Friday sessions, setting a rapid pace at Motegi. His 1:57.317 best lap of the day is a new record for the circuit wiping more than a second off his own previous record from two years ago - which was the lap that had given Kent pole for the 2012 race.

Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) trailed Kent by 0.058s and 0.101s respectively in second and third. The top five was completed by Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) and Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3).

--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

1'45.140

2

Jorge Lorenzo

99

ESP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'45.580

3

Stefan Bradl

6

GER

LCR Honda MotoGP

HONDA

1'45.637

4

Dani Pedrosa

26

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'45.727

5

Valentino Rossi

46

ITA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'45.890

6

Marc Marquez

93

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'45.939

7

Pol Espargaro

44

ESP

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'46.041

8

Bradley Smith

38

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'46.105

9

Andrea Iannone

29

ITA

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'46.107

10

Yonny Hernandez

68

COL

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'46.113

11

Cal Crutchlow

35

GBR

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'46.221

12

Alvaro Bautista

19

ESP

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'46.227

13

Aleix Espargaro

41

ESP

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'46.315

14

Hector Barbera

8

ESP

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'46.571

15

Katsuyuki Nakasuga

21

JPN

YAMALUBE Racing Team with YSP

YAMAHA

1'46.973

16

Hiroshi Aoyama

7

JPN

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'47.133

17

Alex De Angelis

15

RSM

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'47.285

18

Karel Abraham

17

CZE

Cardion AB Motoracing

HONDA

1'47.406

19

Scott Redding

45

GBR

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'47.586

20

Nicky Hayden

69

USA

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'47.829

21

Danilo Petrucci

9

ITA

IodaRacing Project

IODA-SUTER

1'48.264

22

Mike Di Meglio

63

FRA

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'49.105

23

Broc Parkes

23

AUS

Paul Bird Motorsport

PBM

1'49.159

24

Michael Laverty

70

GBR

Paul Bird Motorsport

ART & PBM

1'49.321

{fcomment}

Read 995 times

John Hopkins

/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

back to top