Jorge Lorenzo sent out a strong message to Marc Marquez that he won’t surrender his MotoGP crown without a fight by comfortably topping the timesheets on Friday at Silverstone. The reigning champion, who trails Marquez by 44 points, was quickest for the entire second session with Marquez only able close the gap to 0.224s by the chequered flag.
With his first lap of the afternoon, a 2:03.226, Lorenzo was already quicker than Marquez had been in the morning to the tune of eight tenths of a second but his next lap was even faster, knocking half a second off his own benchmark to break into the 2:02s. No-one else would do the same until Marquez’s late improvement and Lorenzo is confident he has the package to threaten the championship leader for 20 laps on Sunday.
“I started very fast because I improved almost one second and a half in the beginning; I was surprised with the improvement. At this track, when the rear tyre starts to drop it’s very difficult to keep the same pace so we have to work hard to make a constant bike that works over long distance. I’m satisfied because I think we have the possibility to fight for the victory this time.”
Although he couldn’t make an impression on Lorenzo, Marquez was still a quarter of a second clear of Dani Pedrosa on the other Repsol Honda with the elder Spaniard complaining of a lack of rear grip on the harder tyre. Alvaro Bautista, returning to the scene of his maiden MotoGP pole a year ago, was fourth ahead of Valentino Rossi with home favourites Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith sixth and eight respectively, sandwiching Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati.
Stefan Bradl and Nicky Hayden will have to up their game in FP3 to ensure their places in Q2, sitting on the edge of the top ten, with Aleix Espargaro and Yonny Hernandez waiting to pounce on any mistakes having outpaced the Pramac Ducatis today. Karel Abraham won’t be a threat though having pulled out before the weekend started due to injury.
|Hertz British Grand Prix – Combined Friday Practice Classification|
|1||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:02.734|
|2||Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||2:02.958|
|3||Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||2:03.192|
|4||Alvaro Bautista||Honda||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||2:03.463|
|5||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||2:03.480|
|6||Cal Crutchlow||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:03.505|
|7||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||2:03.658|
|8||Bradley Smith||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||2:03.750|
|9||Stefan Bradl||Honda||LCR Honda MotoGP||2:03.784|
|10||Nicky Hayden||Ducati||Ducati Team||2:04.089|
|11||Aleix Espargaro||ART||Power Electronics Aspar||2:04.145|
|12||Yonny Hernandez||ART||Paul Bird Motorsport||2:04.476|
|13||Andrea Iannone||Ducati||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||2:05.052|
|14||Randy de Puniet||ART||Power Electronics Aspar||2:05.069|
|15||Hector Barbera||FTR||Avintia Blusens||2:05.266|
|16||Michele Pirro||Ducati||Ignite Pramac Racing||2:05.438|
|17||Colin Edwards||FTR Kawasaki||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2:05.484|
|18||Claudio Corti||FTR Kawasaki||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||2:05.506|
|19||Danilo Petrucci||Ioda Suter||Came IodaRacing Project||2:05.657|
|20||Michael Laverty||PBM||Paul Bird Motorsport||2:05.977|
|21||Hiroshi Aoyama||FTR||Avintia Blusens||2:06.038|
|22||Bryan Staring||FTR Honda||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||2:07.854|
|23||Lukas Pesek||Ioda Suter||Came Ioda Racing Project||2:09.209|