Marc Marquez made the ideal start to the biggest weekend of his life by topping the timesheets on Friday at Valencia. The championship leader was six hundredths of a second faster than teammate Dani Pedrosa in second place with an agitated Jorge Lorenzo a tenth further back in third.
Conditions were perfect in the morning session, topped by Marquez, but the wind picked up for FP2 and it took half of the 45 minute session for the times to improve. When they did so, Marquez was the man lighting up the timing screen with a 1:31.458, fractionally quicker than Pedrosa on the second Repsol Honda.
Dani came back at his teammate late on but Marquez would pip his compatriot with a 1:31.220 and the 20 year old was satisfied with his day’s work, although he acknowledges that there is work still to do.
“It was good to start the most important week of the season and with a good feeling”, commented Marquez. “We still need to improve our setup but we were fastest today – which is the key thing ahead of Sunday’s race. Tomorrow we will continue in the same way but try to improve and take another step forward because I am sure that the rest of the riders will do so”.
Lorenzo appeared exasperated at various points of the afternoon session with the YZR-M1 not performing to his liking but the defending champion was keeping things in perspective when he spoke after FP2.
“This afternoon was very windy so it was very difficult to make the same lap time of the morning but we managed to improve it a little bit”, Jorge explained. “We adjusted the bike a little electronically and also the suspension. We are quite close to everyone and ready to keep working tomorrow.”
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 established themselves as the closest challengers to the top two teams with Bradley Smith fourth fastest in the morning before being replaced by teammate Cal Crutchlow in the afternoon, although the elder Briton did end his afternoon on foot following a crash at turn eleven. Valentino Rossi took fifth ahead of Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista with Smith relegated to eighth by the end of the day.
A quartet of Ducatis followed Smith with Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden the right side of the cut-off line for qualification into Q2. Andrea Iannone and Michele Pirro were close behind but will need to improve in FP3 to knock their fellow GP13 riders out of the top ten.
|GP GENERALI DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA – COMBINED PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION|
|TOP TEN RIDERS AUTOMATICALLY ADVANCE TO QUALIFYING 2|
|1||MARC MARQUEZ||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:31.220|
|2||DANI PEDROSA||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:31.286|
|3||JORGE LORENZO||YAMAHA||YAMAHA FACTORY RACING||1:31.378|
|4||CAL CRUTCHLOW||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:31.502|
|5||VALENTINO ROSSI||YAMAHA||YAMAHA FACTORY RACING||1:31.639|
|6||STEFAN BRADL||HONDA||LCR HONDA MOTOGP||1:31.858|
|7||ALVARO BAUTISTA||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:31.873|
|8||BRADLEY SMITH||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:31.984|
|9||ANDREA DOVIZIOSO||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:32.363|
|10||NICKY HAYDEN||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:32.395|
|11||ANDREA IANNONE||DUCATI||ENERGY T.I. PRAMAC RACING||1:32.596|
|12||MICHELE PIRRO||DUCATI||DUCATI TEST TEAM||1:32.756|
|13||ALEIX ESPARGARO||ART||POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR||1:32.809|
|14||CLAUDIO CORTI||FTR KAWASAKI||NGM MOBILE FORWARD RACING||1:33.172|
|15||COLIN EDWARDS||FTR KAWASAKI||NGM MOBILE FORWARD RACING||1:33.252|
|16||HECTOR BARBERA||FTR||AVINTIA BLUSENS||1:33.270|
|17||DANILO PETRUCCI||IODA-SUTER||CAME IODARACING PROJECT||1:33.304|
|18||YONNY HERNANDEZ||DUCATI||IGNITE PRAMAC RACING TEAM||1:33.487|
|19||RANDY DE PUNIET||ART||POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR||1:33.570|
|20||LUCA SCASSA||ART||CARDION AB MOTORACING||1:34.049|
|21||HIROSHI AOYAMA||FTR||AVINTIA BLUSENS||1:34.077|
|22||MICHAEL LAVERTY||ART||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:34.132|
|23||BRYAN STARING||FTR HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:35.478|
|24||DAMIAN CUDLIN||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:35.644|
|25||MARTIN BAUER||S&B SUTER||REMUS RACING TEAM||1:35.832|
|26||LUKAS PESEK||IODA-SUTER||CAME IODARACING PROJECT||1:36.353|