News 21 May 2016

Iannone leads the way at Mugello on Friday

Miller 18th on combined times following mixed opening day.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

With only 14 riders having set times in Free Practice 1, the second session of the day was actually the first time on track at Mugello for several riders.

The start of the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM had been hit by rain, but there were no such issues in Free Practice 2. Yonny Hernandez (Aspar Team MotoGP) had been the fastest rider in FP1 but his 1m54.199s was quickly demolished.

All the MotoGP World Championship riders were able to improve their times considerably in the session. Quickest of them all was Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) who set a 1m47.696s to end 0.461s ahead of second place.

He might be off to Team Suzuki Ecstar in 2017, but Ducati and Iannone still have business to finish in 2016. Mugello in 2015 was the scene of Iannone’s first pole and he could achieve a second one if his form continues.

Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was immediately up to speed after sitting out Free Practice 1. He set a 1m48.157s to edge within half a second of Iannone. Lorenzo once again tried a new version of his helmet with an extended rear section.

Wildcard Michele Pirro (Ducati Team) was again up towards the sharp end, ending as the third fastest rider of the day. A slipstream behind Lorenzo assisted his time, but Pirro often produces his best results at the Ducati test circuit.

Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) concluded Friday as the fourth fastest rider, just over a tenth off Lorenzo, while Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was the leading Honda in fifth.

The distance from second to sixth was nail bitingly close, never more than a tenth of a second splitting two riders. 0.644s off Iannone’s time, but only two tenths from second, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) started his home round well.

Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) were all inside the top 10 – each within a second of Iannone’s time.

Having just announced his contract extension with Honda, Dani Pedrosa’s (Repsol Honda Team) weekend got off to a less than ideal start as he finished 11th.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) also had a rough start to the weekend with the 13th fastest time. Australia’s Jack Miller ended the session 18th.

Improved conditions brought improved times as the intermediate class upped the pace with Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) ending fastest ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia).

A hot track during Moto3 produced some hot lap times as Hiroki Ono (Honda Team Asia) leads Free Practice 2 in the lightweight class ahead of Francesco Bagnaia (Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing Moto3).