Marquez leads after rain-soaked Friday in Valencia

by Alice Cipolat
Marc Marquez Valencia practice 2018

2018 world champion Marc Marquez has finished Friday fastest in Valencia, after both sessions were disrupted by rain. Alma Pramac Racing Ducati riders Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci completed the top 3.

The morning session was red flagged almost as soon as the riders were out on track, due to the torrential rain. The weather dried up enough for the session to continue eventually and all riders, excluding only Scott Redding and Hafizh Syahrin, set their fastest time of the day in FP1. The rain was even heavier in FP2, hence very few riders could improve their time.

At the start of FP2, Johann Zarco suffered a crash that left debris on the track, bringing out the red flag again. Other riders to fall in the session were Xavier Simeon, who received a medical check following a previous crash in FP1, and Stefan Bradl, riding in place of the injured Cal Crutchlow at LCR Honda.

Friday was overall a strong showing for Ducati, with Miller, Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso finishing 2nd, 3rd and 4th fastest respectively behind Marquez. Wildcard rider Michele Pirro also showed good pace, finishing Friday 8th fastest. Jorge Lorenzo didn’t enjoy the same results, though; after sitting out the past four races due to the broken wrist he suffered in Thailand, he is determined to race here to finish his time with Ducati. He finished day 1 down in 19th, so will want to improve his feeling on the bike for tomorrow.

Dani Pedrosa will be hoping for a good result this weekend, which will be his final MotoGP race after 13 years in the premier class. He’s started the weekend well despite not typically preferring wet conditions, finishing 5th fastest. If he can continue this pace, he might be able to take his only podium of the 2018 season on Sunday.

It was also a promising day for KTM, with both riders inside the top 10 in FP2 and Pol Espargaro finishing 9th in the combined times. The bike is clearly working well in adverse conditions, which could work in their favour if the rain continues into Sunday.

2018 MotoGP Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana – Friday combined practice times:

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest TimeSession
193. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:39.767FP1
243. Jack MillerDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:39.873FP1
39. Danilo PetrucciDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:39.907FP1
44. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:40.179FP1
526. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:40.467FP1
629. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:40.685FP1
725. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:40.772FP1
851. Michele PirroDucatiDucati Team1:40.836FP1
944. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:40.892FP1
1042. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:40.965FP1
1141. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:40.967FP1
1246. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:41.015FP1
135. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:41.146FP1
1417. Karel AbrahamDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:41.160FP1
1510. Xavier SimeonDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:41.277FP1
166. Stefan BradlHondaLCR Honda Castrol1:41.479FP1
1738. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:41.489FP1
1821. Franco MorbidelliHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:41.713FP1
1999. Jorge LorenzoDucatiDucati Team1:41.782FP1
2030. Takaaki NakagamiHondaLCR Honda IDEMITSU1:42.471FP1
2119. Alvaro BautistaDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:42.617FP1
2245. Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:42.857FP2
2312. Thomas LuthiHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:43.000FP1
2455. Hafizh SyahrinYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:43.727FP2
2581. Jordi TorresDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:45.001FP1

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