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
|1||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:44.478||FP2|
|2||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:44.700||FP2|
|3||94. Jonas Folger||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:44.839||FP2|
|4||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||1:44.883||FP2|
|5||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||OCTO Pramac Racing||1:44.890||FP2|
|6||5. Johann Zarco||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||1:45.063||FP2|
|7||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||1:45.098||FP2|
|8||19. Alvaro Bautista||Ducati||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||1:45.116||FP2|
|9||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:45.118||FP2|
|10||8. Hector Barbera||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||1:45.311||FP2|
|11||45. Scott Redding||Ducati||OCTO Pramac Racing||1:45.375||FP2|
|12||29. Andrea Iannone||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||1:45.465||FP2|
|13||41. Aleix Espargaro||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:45.554||FP2|
|14||76. Loris Baz||Ducati||Reale Avintia Racing||1:45.755||FP2|
|15||22. Sam Lowes||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1:45.760||FP2|
|16||25. Maverick Vinales||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||1:45.810||FP2|
|17||43. Jack Miller||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:45.868||FP2|
|18||17. Karel Abraham||Ducati||Pull&Bear Aspar Team||1:45.932||FP2|
|19||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||LCR Honda||1:45.967||FP2|
|20||53. Tito Rabat||Honda||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||1:46.229||FP2|
|21||44. Pol Espargaro||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||1:46.946||FP2|
|22||50. Sylvain Guintoli||Suzuki||Team Suzuki ECSTAR||1:47.002||FP2|
|23||38. Bradley Smith||KTM||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||1:47.892||FP2|