Danilo Petrucci took Ducati to the top of the timesheets as the San Marino Grand Prix weekend got underway without home favourite Valentino Rossi at Misano. The fans favourite was forced to miss his home round after breaking his leg on an enduro bike but Petrucci gave his compatriots plenty to cheer, edging out Rossi’s team-mate Maverick Vinales.
This morning’s running initially took place on a drying track after overnight rain and with conditions unknown for FP3 on Saturday, the closing stages of FP2 resembled a qualifying session as riders jockeyed for position with a Q2 spot in mind. It was here that Petrucci clocked the quickest time of the day, setting a 1:33.231 on his GP17 machine boasting Ducati’s updated aero fairing.
The late dash for a qualifying time didn’t include Marc Marquez who saw his Friday running disrupted by a crash for the second consecutive Grand Prix. The world champion lost the front end of his Honda at the high-speed final corner with seven minutes of the afternoon remaining, forcing him to retreat to the pits for his spare bike and denying him the chance to improve on fifth.
Vinales, the sole Movistar Yamaha rider this weekend, slotted into second, just five thousandths behind Petrucci while championship leader Andrea Dovizioso claimed third, narrowly ahead of 2016 winner Dani Pedrosa on the first of the Repsol Hondas. Cal Crutchlow, who carries a finger injury into this weekend’s race, was sixth fastest despite a heavy crash of his own, just behind Marquez.
Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro was seventh having ended the morning as high as second, outpacing team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in eighth, while Andrea Iannone and Tito Rabat were the surprise names rounding out the top ten.
2017 Tribul Mastercard GP San Marino e Riviera di Rimini – Friday Practice
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