Aleix Espargaro used the softer tire and cooler temperatures in the Friday morning practice session to pace the day in front of his home crowd. (Photo courtesy MotoGP.com)

used the softer tire and cooler temperatures in the Friday morning practice session to pace the day in front of his home crowd. (Photo courtesy .com)

Friday afternoon’s MotoGP™ FP2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de ended with setting the pace, as Stefan Bradl and Marc Marquez joined him in the top three. Yet it was Aleix Espargaro who wound up being Friday’s fastest rider overall, courtesy of an FP1 hot lap.

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Smith set his best time of the afternoon with the track temperatures reaching over 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit), his 1:42.123 lap well over a second quicker than he had gone in the morning.

The Briton ended the afternoon run just ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Bradl and Repsol Honda Team Marquez, but it was NGM Forward Racing’s Espargaro who recorded the best time of the day (1:41.672) on a softer compound rear tire at his home track in the morning session.

Completing the top five on the combined timesheet was the race winner for the last two years at Barcelona-Catalunya, Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who was just over 0.6s down on Espargaro’s P1 time. Lorenzo’s best lap came in the afternoon heat, with the many riders using harder option front and rear tires in the Mediterranean sunshine.

Sixth and seventh overall were Italians Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) courtesy of their best times in FP1, with Iannone escaping unhurt from a turn 10 tumble into the gravel in the morning outing.

The overall top 10 was completed by Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).

Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) rode 32 laps over the course of the day as he assessed the condition of his right wrist, on which he had surgery after missing Mugello. He ended the day 19th overall.

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