Marc Marquez continues to enjoy a sizeable advantage over the rest of the MotoGP field after another impressive display this afternoon at Silverstone. The world champion was in a different league to his rivals for much of the session and will head into tomorrow as the overwhelming favourite for pole position.
After such a strong morning, Marquez didn’t appear to be having things all his own way in FP2 with Andrea Dovizioso setting the initial pace. Even when Marc did restore his superiority with the fastest lap of the weekend, a 2:03.132, he still only enjoyed a narrow advantage over Stefan Bradl with Dovizioso just a tenth off himself in third.
But with twenty minutes remaining, Marquez raised the bar spectacularly and emphatically by clocking a 2:02.126, just two tenths shy of the lap record, and a full second quicker than anything his rivals could manage. The competition didn’t have anything by way of a response until six minutes from time when Bradl joined his former Moto2 rival in the 2:02s, albeit half a second adrift, while Bradley Smith became only the second rider to get within a second with a 2:03.070.
Improvements came thick and fast in the closing minutes of the session but Marquez and Bradl remained untroubled while Smith lost his grip on third thanks to a last-gasp flyer from Andrea Dovizioso. Yonny Hernandez brought Ducati yet more reason to feel optimstic by leaping up to fifth while Scott Redding pulled a 2:03.333 out of the bag to go sixth, putting him ahead of some illustrious opposition on formidable machinery.
Andrea Iannone couldn’t quite hit the heights of this morning but remains a contender to reach Q2 automatically, sitting seventh overnight ahead of Alvaro Bautista, Dani Pedrosa and Aleix Espargaro, but three Yamaha riders have it all to do tomorrow morning to ensure they avoid the ignominy of competing in Q1. Astonishingly, that includes both Movistar riders with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi eleventh and thirteenth respectively, sandwiching the satellite Tech 3 machine ridden by Pol Espargaro.
Cal Crutchlow’s Q2 chances look slim after ending the day 1.931s off the pace in fourteenth while Leon Camier’s day didn’t come to a positive conclusion either after a problem with his production Honda forced him to pull off.