Andrea Dovizioso finished the opening day of practice at Brno as the fastest rider as MotoGP returned to action following its summer break. The Italian, who trails championship leader Marc Marquez by six points, rose to the top in a frantic finish to FP2 as most of the field opted for a qualifying-style run on a soft rear tyre.
Ducati made as many headlines for their activity in the garage as on the track this afternoon with the debut of a new fairing on Jorge Lorenzo’s bike drawing plenty of attention. With fifteen minutes remaining, the covers were pulled away and the new look GP17 broke cover with the fairing bearing striking similarities to the ‘Hammerhead’ design run in pre-season. Despite the upgrade, Lorenzo ended the day in fifteenth.
Dovizioso didn’t run the new fairing at any stage but didn’t appear disadvantaged, clocking a 1:56.332 to finish four tenths of Jonas Folger, a previous winner here in Moto2 and Moto3. Danilo Petrucci also ran a soft rear tyre to grab third while Johann Zarco finished the day in fourth after topping a rain-affected first session. Two more Ducatis rounded out the top six with Hector Barbera and Scott Redding impressing on their 2016-spec machines.
Dani Pedrosa had set the pace in the early stages of the session on harder rubber but with others prioritising a qualifying effort, the Spaniard slipped to seventh, just ahead of 2016 winner Cal Crutchlow. Aleix Espargaro dragged his Aprilia up to eighth with championship frontrunners Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales either side of the Q2 cut-off in tenth and eleventh. Like his title rivals, Valentino Rossi opted against a late time attack and heads into Saturday in fourteenth spot.
2017 Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceske Republiky – Friday Practice
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