Marc Marquez's morning practice time held up as the fastest from the first day of practice for the MotoGP finale. Marc Marquez's morning practice time held up as the fastest from the first day of practice for the MotoGP finale. Photo courtesy motogp.com

Champion Marquez leads in Valencia

Written by  on Friday, 07 November 2014 16:59

The MotoGP™ FP2 session saw Marc Marquez on the pace at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, with Andrea Dovizioso and Aleix Espargaro also among the top three. Marquez was also the fastest ride on the combined timesheets from FP1 and FP2, in front of Jorge Lorenzo and Dovizioso.

Marquez’s (Repsol Honda Team) time of 1:31.296 from the morning session was the fastest of the day, with Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) second best overall courtesy of a 1:31.489 lap. Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was third fastest on Friday courtesy of his best lap from FP2, which was less than 0.1s off Lorenzo’s pace.

“The best thing was how I felt on the bike,” Marquez explained. “Finishing fastest is a reference, but the most important thing is that the pace was good, and we have been improving and testing things out. This afternoon the track was a little slower, but we hope to continue improving tomorrow. I'm sure that there will be a nice fight for pole between myself, Jorge, Dani [Pedrosa] and Valentino [Rossi].”

Lorenzo has claimed three podiums and two victories at Valencia since joining the MotoGP™ grid in 2008. He and teammate Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) are battling for second in the championship this weekend, with Rossi 12 points ahead.

“Today, having a very good pace came easy from the beginning,” Lorenzo said. “This is the first time this season that I got to ride such a good pace this easily, so I’m very happy about the performance of the bike. Now we have to try some things and try to improve, but the pace of the bike is very good and I’m really satisfied.

“I was satisfied about the asymmetrical tire. The 32 side doesn’t give exactly the same level of grip as the side of the 31; it’s a little bit less but there isn’t a big difference. Tomorrow I’ll probably try the 32 but the question is about the rear. I think the soft tire could be too soft for the race. You could probably manage to finish the race, but the soft tire will start to drop a little. The hard tire is too hard, but tomorrow we’re going to try it and see which option is better.”

Dovizioso set a 1:31.558s to get within 0.069s of Lorenzo.

“I am very pleased with the way this weekend has started because we were quick in both this morning’s and this afternoon’s sessions,” Dovizioso said. “We kept up a good pace with the hard tire: we are not far from the frontrunners and I think that tomorrow we can improve even more. I also did a good time with the soft tire, but it wasn’t a perfect lap so I think I can do better here as well, but I am really pleased with my pace on the hard tire.”

Aleix Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) were both in Friday’s top five, which featured a real mix of manufacturers and technical packages.

Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team), Rossi, Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) completed the top 10.

Wild card Randy de Puniet (Team Suzuki MotoGP) improved by over a second towards the end of the FP2 session, before a technical fault with the GSX-RR saw him pull over at trackside with smoke pouring from the engine. He was 19th overall.

In the Moto2™ class at the Gran Premio Generali de la Comunitat Valenciana, the top three riders were Johann Zarco, Thomas Luthi and Tito Rabat across the Friday practices.

Zarco (AirAsia Caterham) led the way in FP2 and FP1. A 1:35.264 lap in the afternoon put the French rider top of the combined timesheets, despite a crash towards the end of FP2. Luthi (Interwetten Sitag) followed just behind, second overall with a 1:35.364 from FP2. The top three was completed by Moto2 World Champion Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team).

Both Mika Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) and Maverick Viñales (Paginas Armarillas HP 40) were in the top five based on their FP2 times. The pair were both within 0.7s of Zarco.

Dominique Aegerter (Technomag CarXpert), Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans Racing Team), Luis Salom (Paginas Armarillas HP 40) and Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) all improved their times in FP2. Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team) completed the top 10, having set his best time of the day in FP1.

As Friday’s Moto3™ sessions concluded Niccolo Antonelli led the way from his rivals in FP2, with title candidates Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) also towards the business end of the timesheet.

Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) led in the morning session with a 1:40.338 lap and improved to 1:39.647 to stay on top in FP2. On the first day of the title showdown weekend Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) trailed the Italian by 0.201s, while standings leader Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0) was 0.269s off Antonelli’s pace.

Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3) and Andrea Migno (Mahindra Racing) were both inside the top five, around three tenths off P1.

--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

1'31.296

2

Jorge Lorenzo

99

ESP

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'31.489

3

Andrea Dovizioso

4

ITA

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'31.558

4

Aleix Espargaro

41

ESP

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'31.565

5

Dani Pedrosa

26

ESP

Repsol Honda Team

HONDA

1'31.647

6

Cal Crutchlow

35

GBR

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'31.731

7

Valentino Rossi

46

ITA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

YAMAHA

1'31.767

8

Stefan Bradl

6

GER

LCR Honda MotoGP

HONDA

1'31.935

9

Pol Espargaro

44

ESP

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'32.013

10

Bradley Smith

38

GBR

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

YAMAHA

1'32.019

11

Hector Barbera

8

ESP

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'32.153

12

Michele Pirro

51

ITA

Ducati Team

DUCATI

1'32.267

13

Andrea Iannone

29

ITA

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'32.486

14

Alex De Angelis

15

RSM

NGM Mobile Forward Racing

YAMAHA

1'32.562

15

Yonny Hernandez

68

COL

Pramac Racing

DUCATI

1'32.689

16

Alvaro Bautista

19

ESP

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'32.711

17

Karel Abraham

17

CZE

Cardion AB Motoracing

HONDA

1'32.725

18

Scott Redding

45

GBR

Go & Fun Honda Gresini

HONDA

1'32.771

19

Randy De Puniet

14

FRA

Team Suzuki MotoGP

SUZUKI

1'32.799

20

Nicky Hayden

69

USA

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'33.434

21

Hiroshi Aoyama

7

JPN

Drive M7 Aspar

HONDA

1'33.436

22

Danilo Petrucci

9

ITA

IodaRacing Project

IODA-SUTER

1'33.504

23

Michael Laverty

70

GBR

Paul Bird Motorsport

ART & PBM

1'33.737

24

Broc Parkes

23

AUS

Paul Bird Motorsport

PBM

1'34.106

25

Mike Di Meglio

63

FRA

Avintia Racing MotoGP

FTR-KAWASAKI

1'34.988

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Last modified on Friday, 07 November 2014 17:09

John Hopkins

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