MotoGP: Lorenzo sets the pace in Aragon practice
Movistar Yamaha’s Lorenzo completely dominated proceedings on the opening day of practice at MotorLand Aragon to top the combined timesheets by 0.683s from his title rival and teammate Valentino Rossi. Lorenzo set the fastest time in each sector in the afternoon, after earlier topping FP1, to complete the perfect day for the Spaniard.
Lorenzo took advantage of ideal conditions (Track temp. 40˚C) in the warmer afternoon session to set a 1’47.517 and incredibly was the only rider to break the 1’48 barrier. There were no winglets on either of the Yamaha M1’s but that didn’t stop Lorenzo from flying and setting a time that was only four-tenths off Marc Marquez’s Pole Record from 2011 (1’47.187).
Rossi finished the day second on the combined timesheets as the factory Movistar Yamaha team were able to hit the ground running after numerous private tests conducted at the track. The Italian holds a 23-point advantage in the standings over his teammate but had no answer to his blistering pace on the first day of practice.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith (+0.801s) completed an all-Yamaha front row as he ended the day as the leading Satellite rider in third. The British rider continues the form that saw him claim his career best MotoGP result last time out at Misano (2nd).
The Repsol Honda duo of Dani Pedrosa (+0.841s) and Marc Marquez (+0.884s) were fourth and fifth respectively as they decided to stick with the harder option rear for the whole of FP2. This was in contrast to the rest of the leading riders who all opted for the softer option rear available to them in the last 10 minutes of the session to set a flying lap.
Pol Espargaro (+0.928s) on the second Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 was sixth fastest on the combined timesheets as the top six found themselves separated by almost a second.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro benefitted from the increased levels of grip in the afternoon to improve by almost 2 seconds in FP2 to end the day in seventh. Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone were in eighth and ninth respectively while Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) completed the top 10 ahead of teammate Yonny Hernandez.
Scott Redding (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) had ended FP1 in fifth, but had to settle for 12th overall after only managing to improve by three-tenths in the afternoon. LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was in 13th as he once more spent Friday focusing on his race setup.
Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera was the leading Open class rider in 14th. Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) had ended FP1 in 11th, but had to settle for 18th at the end of the day ahead of Jack Miller (LCR Honda) in 21st and his teammate Nicky Hayden (22nd).
Tony Elias made his debut for the Forward Racing team and ended the day in 24th overall, 3.6s of the pace of Lorenzo.