Ducati lock out the top 4 spots in Aragon FP1

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Andrea Dovizioso Aragon FP1 2018

FP1 has concluded at Motorland Aragon, with Ducati riders taking the top 4 spots. It was Andrea Dovizioso fastest, setting a lap time of 1:48.020, followed by Danilo Petrucci, Jack Miller and Jorge Lorenzo. Ducati are aiming for their fourth consecutive win this weekend, a feat which has never happened before for the Italian team.

Marc Marquez was fastest at the start of the session, but as track time continued the Ducati riders asserted their dominance. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that Marquez rarely puts in a real fast lap on Friday, preferring to focus on long runs and collecting data.

Following a disastrous race for Movistar Yamaha in Misano, Valentino Rossi said yesterday that ‘on paper’ Yamaha will struggle again this weekend. The weather in Aragon is already very hot and the forecast is for this heat to continue throughout the weekend, which will make the track surface slippy and cause conditions the Yamaha doesn’t adapt well to.

Although Rossi was languishing around P15 for much of the session, he did manage to improve to P7 by the end with his team-mate Maverick Viñales in P5. If Yamaha don’t have a rider on the top step of the podium this weekend, which is looking unlikely, it will be their longest period without a win in the sport since their very first victory in 1972.

Whilst Tito Rabat is still recovering from his crash at Silverstone, Jordi Torres has been drafted in this weekend by Reale Avintia following the controversy of Cristophe Ponsson riding the bike in Misano. Torres previously rode in Moto2 so is a much more well-known face in the paddock. He finished the session last, 2.129 seconds from Hafizh Syahrin, but will likely improve seeing as this was the first track time he had on the bike.

There were no crashes in FP1, although Xavier Simeon suffered a spectacular mechanical failure towards the end of the session. Simeon remains on Rabat’s 2017 spec Ducati this weekend, with the replacement rider Torres on his usual 2016 bike.

Although this is historically a good circuit for reigning champion Marquez, who holds the record for the most wins at the circuit with 3 to his name, recent races have clearly proven the vast improvements to the Ducati bike. This could lead them to another win on Sunday, especially seeing as it’s not only Marquez that likes this track – Lorenzo has two wins in Aragon and has never finished off the podium at the circuit. He is certain to put up a fight, whilst Dovizioso now looks to be on form following a dominant win last time out in Misano.

Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón – full FP1 results:

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