Aleix Espargaro continued his and Forward Racing’s excellent start to the Qatar Grand Prix weekend by setting the pace again in FP2. The Spaniard was the only rider to break into the 1:54s as he outpaced Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, both demonstrating the pace advantage with the open class-exclusive soft tyre.
Younger brother Pol Espargaro was straight on the pace upon leaving the garage but the relative lack of grip early on caught the rookie out as the back end of his Tech 3 Yamaha stepped out at turn nine, throwing off the motorcycle by the time he arrived at turn ten. Despite initially feeling some pain in his right hand, the Moto2 champion made a swift return to his garage and if that wasn’t impressive enough, Pol went straight to the top of the timesheets on his spare bike, setting a 1:55.913.
The elder Espargaro would go on to dominate though with the open-class soft tyres enabling him to set a 1:54.989, three tenths clear of Dovizioso who used the same rubber to set his time. Alvaro Bautista remained the quickest ‘factory’ runner in third with the two Repsol Hondas fourth and fifth, led by Dani Pedrosa. Teammate Marc Marquez made steady progress but he wasn’t without his issues, losing control at the same corner as Pol Espargaro and miraculously rescued the situation before hitting the deck.
Bradley Smith remains a front running contender after ending the session in sixth ahead of Stefan Bradl and Pol Espargaro with Valentino Rossi the first factory Yamaha rider in ninth. Jorge Lorenzo was only eleventh behind Andrea Iannone, showing signs of genuine frustration in his garage, and the double world champion knows he must improve in FP3 later tonight or face the embarrassment of a place in Q1.
Cal Crutchlow was fourteenth on the second factory Ducati while Scott Redding made excellent progress to take sixteenth, the second fastest production Honda.
|2014 COMMERCIAL BANK GRAND PRIX OF QATAR – COMBINED TIMES AFTER FP2|
|1||ALEIX ESPARGARO||FORWARD YAMAHA||NGM FORWARD RACING||1:54.989|
|2||ANDREA DOVIZIOSO||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:55.320|
|3||ALVARO BAUTISTA||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:55.446|
|4||DANI PEDROSA||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:55.562|
|5||MARC MARQUEZ||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:55.607|
|6||BRADLEY SMITH||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:55.650|
|7||STEFAN BRADL||HONDA||LCR HONDA MOTOGP||1:55.856|
|8||POL ESPARGARO||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:55.913|
|9||VALENTINO ROSSI||YAMAHA||MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP||1:55.984|
|10||ANDREA IANNONE||DUCATI||ENERGY T.I. PRAMAC RACING||1:55.996|
|11||JORGE LORENZO||YAMAHA||MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP||1:56.172|
|12||COLIN EDWARDS||FORWARD YAHAMA||NGM FORWARD RACING||1:56.238|
|13||NICKY HAYDEN||HONDA||DRIVE M7 ASPAR||1:56.670|
|14||CAL CRUTCHLOW||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:56.720|
|15||YONNY HERNANDEZ||DUCATI||IGNITE PRAMAC RACING TEAM||1:57.119|
|16||SCOTT REDDING||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:57.296|
|17||KAREL ABRAHAM||HONDA||CARDION AB MOTORACING||1:57.368|
|18||HIROSHI AOYAMA||HONDA||DRIVE M7 ASPAR||1:57.634|
|19||HECTOR BARBERA||AVINTIA||AVINTIA RACING||1:58.290|
|20||MIKE DI MEGLIO||AVINTIA||AVINTIA RACING||1:58.410|
|21||BROC PARKES||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:58.436|
|22||DANILO PETRUCCI||ART||IODARACING PROJECT||1:59.078|
|23||MICHAEL LAVERTY||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:59.646|