Jorge Lorenzo set the pace in both Friday practice sessions ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix despite a shoulder injury. The Spaniard sustained the injury in training earlier this week and showed signs of discomfort during the morning session but that didn’t appear to slow him down once he stepped on his Yamaha.
First practice was dominated by Lorenzo who was quickest from start to finish, despite noticeable grimaces when he returned to the garage. Jorge was quickest by four tenths of a second from Andrea Iannone and immediately following the lunch break, he resumed his dominance of proceedings.
After taking top spot six minutes into FP2, Lorenzo looked set to complete a clean sweep of Friday’s sessions but Bradley Smith had other ideas, edging ahead with four minutes to go on a 1:45.358. Predictably though, Lorenzo would have the last word and the in-form championship challenger broke straight into the 1:44s to take the honours on day one.
Dani Pedrosa showed signs that his Aragon form may not have been a one-off, going second fastest on a 1:44.859, while Iannone rounded off an impressive first day in third, just ahead of Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso. Smith was relegated to fifth as the times tumbled while Aleix Espargaro leapt up to sixth on the Suzuki.
Marc Marquez, another rider carrying an injury into this weekend, could only manage seventh, while championship leader Valentino Rossi faces another Saturday playing catch-up after ending the day in eighth. Pol Espargaro and Hector Barbera will begin FP3 in possession of the final two Q2 spots but British duo Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding are ready to pounce in eleventh and twelfth respectively.
2015 MOTUL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN: FRIDAY PRACTICE CLASSIFICATION
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