MotoGP: Marquez leads Ducati trio in rainy Valencia practice
By Moto GP media service | Posted to RACER.com
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completed Day 1 at the Grand Prix of Valencia as the fastest rider on circuit thanks to his FP1 time of 1m39.767s, the Spaniard heading Alma Pramac Racing duo Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci as the top three are split by 0.14s on Friday.
Just like FP1, the session was red-flagged in the early stages due to unsafe track conditions on the Spanish circuit. This came after debris was left on circuit after Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) crashed at the tricky Turn 12 — the Frenchman was OK and returned to the pits. A short delay followed before the riders headed back out, but with the rain heavier than it was in FP1, none of the riders were able to improve on their morning times.
This left Marquez ending Friday as the quickest rider, P2 for the world champion in the second session capping off a good day, with Miller P2 despite finishing P13 in FP2. Petrucci topped FP2 by a significant margin — 0.407s the gap back to the No. 93 of Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), the only other rider within a second of the Ducati rider in the second session in P12 overall. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) sits fourth overall — the Italian was P12 in FP2 — with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completing the top five on Day 1. Pedrosi was P24 in the second session as he aims to end his fantastic career on a high.
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) — fourth in FP2 — ended P6 on the combined times, with Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) ending the day as the fastest Yamaha rider on circuit in P7 overall. Wild card and Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro sits P8 overall thanks to his FP1 time, a strong showing for the Italian, as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro grabs a provisional Q2 spot by ending Friday in P9. A P6 in FP2 — along with teammate Bradley Smith’s P8 — capped off a good day for the Austrian manufacturer in the wet conditions. Alex Rins (Team Ecstar Suzuki) rounds out the top 10, 0.002s ahead of compatriot Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in P11.
After going to the hospital for a check-up after a crash in FP1, Xavier Simeon (Reale Avintia Racing) was back on track for FP2 but the Belgian crashed again at Turn 12. Thankfully he was up and walking, with Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda Castrol) also going down at Turn 12 shortly after, also without injury.
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