Marc Marquez made the perfect start to his Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend by setting the fastest time in both Friday practice sessions. The championship leader edged out a fit-again Dani Pedrosa with Stefan Bradl completing a Honda 1-2-3 on day one.
Conditions were far from ideal in the morning with a brief shower disrupting the first Moto3 session but rising temperatures saw lap times tumble in FP2. Jorge Lorenzo, another rider returning to something approaching full fitness, made the early running with a 1:40.131 before a loose bollard brought out the red flags, halting the session on safety grounds.
After a short delay, the track reopened and Repsol Honda quickly showed their strength with Pedrosa becoming the first man into the 1:39s, doing so in some style with a 1:39.592. Marquez couldn’t match his teammate initially but with eight minutes remaining, the Moto2 champion did sneak in front to confirm that the summer break has done nothing to halt his momentum.
Marquez admitted he felt immediately at home with the RC213V this morning and expects confidence to build as the track rubbers in.
“Today went pretty well. After the break it was important to regain confidence on the bike. The truth is that I felt comfortable almost immediately. I tried to stay calm during the first few laps, as they are the most delicate and I’m happy with how the day went. The track improved a lot in terms of grip from session to session, so tomorrow we will likely see the times come down again. I think we’re going in the right direction, so tomorrow we will continue as we have been doing so far”
Predictably, Jorge Lorenzo was the leading Yamaha in fourth with Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi in close company. The world champion was a quarter of a second down on his title rivals but will still be encouraged with his early pace. Bradley Smith will feel likewise after taking eighth behind Alvaro Bautista and along with the two factory Ducati riders, holds a Q2 place overnight with one practice session remaining.
|Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix – Combined Practice Classification (Top Ten Automatically Qualify For Q2)|
|1||Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:39.502|
|2||Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:39.582|
|3||Stefan Bradl||Honda||LCR Honda MotoGP||1:39.681|
|4||Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||1:39.765|
|5||Cal Crutchlow||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:39.813|
|6||Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Yamaha Factory Racing||1:40.084|
|7||Alvaro Bautista||Honda||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||1:40.087|
|8||Bradley Smith||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:40.240|
|9||Nicky Hayden||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:40.433|
|10||Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:40.552|
|11||Aleix Espargaro||ART||Power Electronics Aspar||1:40.750|
|12||Danilo Petrucci||Ioda Suter||Came IodaRacing Project||1:41.099|
|13||Ben Spies||Ducati||Ignite Pramac Racing||1:41.145|
|14||Andrea Iannone||Ducati||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||1:41.444|
|15||Claudio Corti||FTR Kawasaki||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1:41.552|
|16||Colin Edwards||FTR Kawasaki||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||1:41.588|
|17||Hector Barbera||FTR||Avintia Blusens||1:41.814|
|18||Randy de Puniet||ART||Power Electronics Aspar||1:41.956|
|19||Yonny Hernandez||ART||Paul Bird Motorsport||1:42.088|
|20||Hiroshi Aoyama||FTR||Avintia Blusens||1:42.808|
|21||Lukas Pesek||FTR||Came Ioda Racing Project||1:42.828|
|22||Karel Abraham||ART||Cardion AB Motoracing||1:42.927|
|23||Bryan Staring||FTR Honda||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||1:43.253|
|24||Michael Laverty||PBM||Paul Bird Motorsport||1:43.741|
|25||Blake Young||APR||Attack Performance Racing||1:45.590|