Marquez Leads as Yamahas Struggle in Barcelona

Marc Marquez - Photo Credit: Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez returned to form on Friday in Barcelona as Movistar Yamaha found life difficult in free practice. Championship leader Maverick Vinales cut a frustrated figure in his garage during a difficult afternoon as he finished down in sixteenth, over a second slower than the reigning champion.

Given the tragic events of last year, the Catalunya layout was revised slightly for 2017 with a new chicane installed prior to the final corner. The alterations appeared to have passed Jack Miller by though with the Australian comically riding through the wrong chicane entirely in FP1, opting instead to use the Formula 1 layout used in 2016, and was embarrassingly black-flagged from the session.

The afternoon session took place in fully dry conditions after a damp start to FP1 and the times tumbled late on, Marquez clocking a 1:44.295. The closing minutes were disrupted though by a crash for Loris Baz at the aforementioned chicane and with yellow flags waving, many riders saw their times deleted, Marquez included.

Despite that, Marquez’s second fastest lap was still good enough for him to top the session ahead of Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo with Jonas Folger bucking the trend of Yamaha’s struggling by taking third. Mugello stars Andrea Dovizioso and Danilo Petrucci were fourth and fifth while Tito Rabat was relegated from sixth to 20th by the late deletion of lap times.

Johann Zarco moved up to sixth ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Alvaro Bautista with Valentino Rossi the leading factory Yamaha rider in ninth. The team had feared a difficult weekend after their nightmare showing on a similarly low-grip surface at Jerez and today’s performance did little to calm those fears.


2017 Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya: Free Practice

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
193. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:44.478FP2
299. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team1:44.700FP2
394. Jonas FolgerYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:44.839FP2
44. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:44.883FP2
59. Danilo PetrucciDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing1:44.890FP2
65. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:45.063FP2
726. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:45.098FP2
819. Alvaro BautistaDucatiPull&Bear Aspar Team1:45.116FP2
946. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:45.118FP2
108. Hector BarberaDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:45.311FP2
1145. Scott ReddingDucatiOCTO Pramac Racing1:45.375FP2
1229. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:45.465FP2
1341. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:45.554FP2
1476. Loris BazDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:45.755FP2
1522. Sam LowesApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:45.760FP2
1625. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:45.810FP2
1743. Jack MillerHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:45.868FP2
1817. Karel AbrahamDucatiPull&Bear Aspar Team1:45.932FP2
1935. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda1:45.967FP2
2053. Tito RabatHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:46.229FP2
2144. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:46.946FP2
2250. Sylvain GuintoliSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:47.002FP2
2338. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:47.892FP2