Marquez Leads Rossi On Friday At Mugello


Marc Marquez got the better of Valentino Rossi in Friday’s only dry practice session as the pair set the stage for a mouth-watering battle at Mugello this weekend. Marquez arrives at the home Grand Prix of his Yamaha rival looking for a sixth straight victory and stamped his authority with the fastest time in the dying seconds of FP1 before rain effectively washed out FP2.

The reigning champion had one of his toughest weekends of 2013 in Italy, including a terrifying practice crash on the pit straight, but admitted to feeling much more comfortable second time around.

“Today was a really good day, I began with a few questions on my mind after last year – when this track was one of those that I found most difficult – and I saw that things have changed completely after a year of experience. The morning went well and the feeling was good, but in the afternoon we didn’t go out as it was raining on-and-off and the surface was neither fit for dry riding nor wet tyres. I felt very comfortable on the bike, there was a big difference compared to last year and I’m feeling much better about things and we hope to continue improving”.

Rossi was similarly upbeat, despite finishing four tenths adrift of Marquez, and hopes the rain relents on Saturday as he seeks to close the gap to the Repsol Honda rider.

“This morning the start was good for me. We found already quite a good setting and I felt comfortable on the bike; it was already quite fast. The weather is a shame firstly for the people around the circuit and also as we had something important to try this afternoon so it was important to try to make the test. Unfortunately ten minutes before the practice it started to rain but not enough for the rain tyre so we wasted our time.”

Ducati made a bright start to their Grand Prix with Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso finishing third and fourth respectively with Jorge Lorenzo fifth on the second Movistar Yamaha. Aleix Espargaro was sixth quickest ahead of Stefan Bradl and Cal Crutchlow on the next factory Ducati while Alvaro Bautista and Bradley Smith completed the top ten, leaving Dani Pedrosa in need of an improved FP3 in order to claim an automatic spot in Q2 on Saturday. Pol Espargaro is also slightly on his back foot in twelfth with a heavy crash at San Donato halting him in FP1.

 

 2014 GRAN PREMIO D’ITALIA TIM – COMBINED FREE PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION
POS RIDER MOTORCYCLE TEAM BEST TIME
1  93. MARC MARQUEZ HONDA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1:48.004
2  46. VALENTINO ROSSI YAMAHA MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1:48.386
3  29. ANDREA IANNONE DUCATI PRAMAC RACING 1:48.434
4  4. ANDREA DOVIZIOSO DUCATI DUCATI TEAM 1:48.518
5  99. JORGE LORENZO YAMAHA MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP 1:48.665
6  41. ALEIX ESPARGARO FORWARD YAMAHA NGM FORWARD RACING 1:48.743
7  6. STEFAN BRADL HONDA LCR HONDA MOTOGP 1:48.925
8  35. CAL CRUTCHLOW DUCATI DUCATI TEAM 1:48.980
9  19. ALVARO BAUTISTA HONDA GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI 1:49.030
10  38. BRADLEY SMITH YAMAHA MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 1:49.030
11  26. DANI PEDROSA HONDA REPSOL HONDA TEAM 1:49.203
12  44. POL ESPARGARO YAMAHA MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3 1:49.308
13  5. COLIN EDWARDS FORWARD YAHAMA NGM FORWARD RACING 1:49.818
14  51. MICHELE PIRRO DUCATI DUCATI TEAM 1:50.030
15  7. HIROSHI AOYAMA HONDA DRIVE M7 ASPAR 1:50.143
16  68. YONNY HERNANDEZ DUCATI PRAMAC RACING 1:50.189
17  17. KAREL ABRAHAM HONDA CARDION AB MOTORACING 1:50.327
18  45. SCOTT REDDING HONDA GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI 1:50.440
19  8. HECTOR BARBERA AVINTIA AVINTIA RACING 1:51.396
20  63. MIKE DI MEGLIO AVINTIA AVINTIA RACING 1:52.164
21  70. MICHAEL LAVERTY PBM PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT 1:52.748
22  23. BROC PARKES PBM PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT 1:53.775
23  69. NICKY HAYDEN HONDA DRIVE M7 ASPAR 1:55.369
24  9. DANILO PETRUCCI ART IODARACING PROJECT NO TIME