In-Form Lorenzo Leads on Friday at Catalunya


Jorge Lorenzo - Photo Credit: Ducati

Jorge Lorenzo followed up his dominant victory at Mugello last time out by topping the Friday practice timesheets in Barcelona. The Ducati rider was the only man to lap in the 1:38s after a late time-attack during FP2 as he edged out Andrea Iannone but Marc Marquez finds himself outside the Q2 spots after crashing late in the afternoon.

The newly relayed Circuit de Catalunya surface saw close times in the morning session with Valentino Rossi finally stealing a march with a 1:39.456 on soft tyres. The Italian, who lies second in the championship, failed to improve on his FP1 benchmark as he focussed on race preparation, eventually falling to fifth overall.

Lorenzo’s blistering late burst also came on new soft tyres, the Spaniard going seven tenths clear of his nearest challenger with a 1:38.930. Iannone also found time on his qualifying simulation to go second with Maverick Vinales the best of the rest in third, half a second back. Andrea Dovizioso was fourth on the second factory Ducati with Rossi fifth on combined times courtesy of his morning effort.

Cal Crutchlow was sixth ahead of Danilo Petrucci with Johann Zarco recovering from a crash to finish eighth. Dani Pedrosa was ninth on the leading Repsol Honda while Hafizh Syahrin produced a magnificent performance to round out the top ten on the second Tech 3 Yamaha.

For Marquez, his customary practice crash came late in FP2 with the championship leader losing the front end of his Honda at turn four. Without a representative time on new tyres, Marquez heads into final practice twelfth overall.