MotoGPMotorcycles

Marquez leads after rain-soaked Friday in Valencia

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Marc Marquez Valencia practice 2018
Credit: motogp.com

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:

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