News 20 Aug 2016

Miraculous Marquez tops Friday MotoGP practice at Brno

World title leader saves crash before climbing to top of the charts.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Marc Marquez’s (Repsol Honda Team) Friday in Brno looked set to be defined by a stunning save in FP2, before the championship leader went back out on a fresh tyre and decimated his previous laptime, taking the top spot from reigning champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and moving up from an anonymous P6 in the morning session.

The championship leader saved the crash just before the entry to pitlane, heading back to the garage in the aftermath and then preparing another assault – the one that saw him drop his previous laptime dramatically to go fastest on Friday.

In the final few seconds, Austrian GP winner Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) put in a final dash to knock reigning champion Lorenzo into P3 after also showing good pace in the morning and topping FP1, as both Iannone and teammate Dovizioso (P6) made sure the momentum from their team’s stunning return to winning ways continued to push them forward.

Lorenzo was the fastest Yamaha on day one, as the three-time MotoGP champion built on a good morning to improve in the afternoon and challenge at the very front. Topping the session with more than one hot lap, he was only a small margin down after Marquez and Iannone struck back and will be hoping to build to find the same form that saw him dominate the 2015 Czech GP.

Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) used his Ducati horsepower wisely and was P4 and top independent rider on Friday, ahead of nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as the ‘Doctor’ completed the top five after a solid first two sessions in Brno.

Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was seventh behind Dovizioso with an impressive effort despite a finger broken at the Red Bull Ring, with Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith having a good day at the office in P8.

Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completed the top ten in P9 and P10 respectively, with one more practice session remaining to determine direct entry to the Q2 qualifying session.

2014 Moto3 World Champion Alex Marquez proved the star of Moto2 FP1 at the Czech venue as his return to form continues. The afternoon then saw the pack shuffle slightly once again as reigning champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) upped the pace to take to the top, after Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri had taken Forward Racing to the front for much of the session.

Behind the French reigning Moto2 champion was key 2016 rival Tom Luthi (Garage Interwetten Plus), who missed out on the top spot by only two thousandths, with a resurgent Lorenzo Baldassarri then pushed back into P3 on an impressive day for the Italian. Remy Gardner was 23rd, Anthony West 29th upon return to the series.

It was Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing Moto3) who topped Moto3 FP1 at the Automotodrom Brno, as the Italian continues his return to front-running form after injury, but championship leader Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) hit back in the afternoon to head the combined timesheets.

Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Andrea Migno was second fastest by the end of play on Friday as the Italian found more pace in the afternoon, ahead of compatriot Bastianini in P3. Bastianini has been on the podium twice in the past two years at the track however and looks to be off to a good start in the Czech Republic.