Aleix Espargaro made the brightest start in scorching conditions to set the fastest time in Friday practice ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. The Forward Racing rider topped the morning session in slightly cooler temperatures and although Marc Marquez set the standard in FP2, Aleix remained quickest overall.
Espargaro made full use of the open-class extra soft tyre to clock a 1:39.357, within the existing lap record, but was equally confident of his pace on the harder option, the tyre he is likely to be racing with on Sunday.
“I’m satisfied of how we started here in Jerez. This morning we found a good set up and I was able to push from the beginning. In the afternoon the track was very slippery due the torrid temperatures and it was more difficult to push as I was losing the front, especially with the soft tyre. The most important thing is that we have a good pace with the hard tyre and that we lapped with the full tank. We will keep on working in preparation of the race. It’s great to close the first day on top but my priority is to get a good result in the race and a podium is my target as well as my dream”.
Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest for Movistar Yamaha in the morning and held onto that position overall, finishing a fraction faster than Marquez’s afternoon effort. Dani Pedrosa was fourth quickest by virtue of his morning run with Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi improving in the afternoon to complete the top six.
With the leading pack four tenths clear of the competition, Alvaro Bautista led the chase in seventh ahead of Stefan Bradl while the Pramac Ducatis of Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Iannone head into FP3 in possession of the last two automatic Q2 spots. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo have work to do tomorrow with Bradley Smith eleventh after a high speed crash at the Alex Criville corner while Pol Espargaro sits in thirteenth overnight.
Cal Crutchlow also sits outside of the crucial top ten but completing both practice sessions made today a success for the Briton on his return from injury. Crutchlow admitted to not chasing fast times on his comeback and will expect to move forward on Saturday.
|2014 GRAN PREMIO BWIN DE ESPANA – COMBINED FREE PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION|
|1||41. ALEIX ESPARGARO||FORWARD YAMAHA||NGM FORWARD RACING||1:39.357|
|2||99. JORGE LORENZO||YAMAHA||MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP||1:39.714|
|3||93. MARC MARQUEZ||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:39.757|
|4||26. DANI PEDROSA||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:39.860|
|5||4. ANDREA DOVIZIOSO||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:40.028|
|6||46. VALENTINO ROSSI||YAMAHA||MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP||1:40.125|
|7||19. ALVARO BAUTISTA||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:40.560|
|8||6. STEFAN BRADL||HONDA||LCR HONDA MOTOGP||1:40.644|
|9||68. YONNY HERNANDEZ||DUCATI||PRAMAC RACING||1:40.686|
|10||29. ANDREA IANNONE||DUCATI||PRAMAC RACING||1:40.742|
|11||38. BRADLEY SMITH||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:40.758|
|12||69. NICKY HAYDEN||HONDA||DRIVE M7 ASPAR||1:40.788|
|13||44. POL ESPARGARO||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:40.918|
|14||51. MICHELE PIRRO||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:40.924|
|15||8. HECTOR BARBERA||AVINTIA||AVINTIA RACING||1:40.928|
|16||7. HIROSHI AOYAMA||HONDA||DRIVE M7 ASPAR||1:41.183|
|17||5. COLIN EDWARDS||FORWARD YAHAMA||NGM FORWARD RACING||1:41.252|
|18||35. CAL CRUTCHLOW||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:41.353|
|19||45. SCOTT REDDING||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:41.374|
|20||17. KAREL ABRAHAM||HONDA||CARDION AB MOTORACING||1:41.578|
|21||9. DANILO PETRUCCI||ART||IODARACING PROJECT||1:41.589|
|22||70. MICHAEL LAVERTY||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:41.914|
|23||23. BROC PARKES||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:42.171|
|24||63. MIKE DI MEGLIO||AVINTIA||AVINTIA RACING||1:42.220|