Jorge Lorenzo put the media frenzy surrounding his 2017 switch to Ducati to one side as he topped the timesheets in both Friday practice sessions at Jerez. The reigning world champion outpaced series leader Marc Marquez with the pair the only riders to dip below the 100 second barrier in Spain this afternoon.
With cooler conditions and a green track greeting the riders in the morning, lap times were slower than expected in FP1 but that didn’t stop Lorenzo picking up where he left off on a dominant weekend at Jerez last year. The Spaniard was comfortably clear of teammate Valentino Rossi and as the times tumbled in FP2, Jorge maintained his advantage over the field, finding much of his time in the final sector.
Lorenzo was in confident mood on Friday evening, believing he has laid the groundwork for a positive weekend as he looks to close down Marquez.
“My first feelings are positive. We started the first day with some problems and a different feel than what we had in the last two races but little by little we solved these problems and adjusted the electronics, setting and everything. Now we have a good set-up and can keep working to improve the small details. First place this morning and first place this afternoon, I think, is a good beginning of the weekend!”
Marquez ended the day in second while Aleix Espargaro and Hector Barbera produced stunning last ditch efforts to relegate Rossi to fifth. Maverick Vinales, the subject of much paddock speculation, was sixth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa while British duo Scott Redding and Eugene Laverty rode superbly to edge their satellite Ducatis into the top ten at Andrea Iannone’s expense.
2016 GRAN PREMIO RED BULL DE ESPANA (FRIDAY CLASSIFICATION)
|1||99. Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:39.555|
|2||93. Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:39.900|
|3||41. Aleix ESPARGARO||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:40.093|
|4||8. Hector BARBERA||Ducati||Avintia Racing||1:40.229|
|5||46. Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:40.282|
|6||25. Maverick VINALES||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1:40.448|
|7||4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:40.737|
|8||26. Dani PEDROSA||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:40.823|
|9||45. Scott REDDING||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||1:40.860|
|10||50. Eugene LAVERTY||Ducati||Aspar MotoGP Team||1:40.925|
|11||29. Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:41.017|
|12||68. Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||Aspar MotoGP Team||1:41.028|
|13||35. Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||LCR Honda||1:41.112|
|14||44. Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:41.167|
|15||6. Stefan BRADL||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:41.178|
|16||38. Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:41.287|
|17||76. Loris BAZ||Ducati||Avintia Racing||1:41.320|
|18||19. Alvaro BAUTISTA||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:41.573|
|19||50. Michele PIRRO||Ducati||Octo Pramac Yakhnich||1:41.841|
|20||43. Jack MILLER||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:41.904|
|21||53. Tito RABAT||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:42.230|