Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo ended Friday’s practice on top of the timesheets after an eventful day at the bwin Grand Prix Ceské republiky. The Automotodrom Brno was basked in sunshine all day, with track temperatures increasing by almost 40 degrees Fahrenheit to reach a scorching 120 degrees Fahrenheit by FP2. This meant that Lorenzo’s 1:56.499 from FP1 was good enough to top the combined timesheets, despite being almost a second behind Cal Crutchlow’s pole record from 2013 (1:55.527).
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez topped FP2 to finish just 0.014s off Lorenzo’s pace from the morning, to finish second on the overall timesheets. The reigning MotoGP World Champion crashed during both sessions, as he was amongst a number of riders to suffer from lack of grip as the mercury rose.
Andrea Iannone (+0.251s) finished in third as both he and his Ducati teammate Andrea Dovizioso had an updated version of the GP15 to try out, with a new fairing and engine, alongside their current bikes. Iannone set his fastest time in FP2 to finish fourth, ahead of the second Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa. The Spaniard had a nasty crash at the start of FP2 that meant he missed the rest of the session. It appeared as though some oil leaked onto his back wheel, and Pedrosa went down at turn 13, having already set a time in FP1 good enough for fifth. Pedrosa went to the medical center with pain and contusions to his left foot, but was declared fit.
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Dovizioso (+0.322s) fell towards the end of FP2 at turn 5 but still managed to end the day sixth fastest overall. Current championship leader Valentino Rossi would also hit the deck. The nine-time World Champion crashed during FP2 immediately after Pedrosa’s incident at the same corner, apparently having slipped on some oil. Rossi had identified the first day of practice as crucial to his hopes of defending his lead in the standings, but finished 0.539s down on the pace of his teammate Lorenzo.
The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 duo of Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith were in seventh and eighth respectively. Espargaro went quickest in FP2 while his teammate Smith set his best time in FP1, before crashing late on in FP2 at turn 5.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro and Cal Crutchlow on the CWM LCR Honda completed the top 10.
Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera was the leading Open class rider in 14th, just ahead of Scott Redding in 15th. Australian Jack Miller was the leading Open Honda in 17th, with Nicky Hayden in 18th and his teammate Eugene Laverty in 19th.
Forward Racing returned to the paddock having been forced to miss the Indianapolis GP due to financial issues, with Frenchman Loris Baz in 22nd and Claudio Corti in 24th. Local rider Karel Abraham (AB Motoracing) ended the day in 25th.