News 24 Sep 2016

Pedrosa maintains form on Friday at Aragon grand prix

Repsol Honda riders 1-2 on the MotoGP practice timesheets.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa went quickest on day one of the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, as the ‘Baby Samurai’ bettered teammate Marquez’ FP1 fastest to go top with a 1m48.429s.

Marquez, quickest out the blocks in the morning, ended the day in P2 behind his teammate as the Repsol Honda squad staked a serious claim on MotorLand – a venue that has traditionally suited the Honda.

Another Honda was third fastest as action opened, with LCR’s Cal Crutchlow completing a top three for the Japanese factory. With Repsol Honda and Crutchlow clear at the top, it was Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who led the Yamaha charge to end up P4 by the end of play.

Rossi was ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro in another impressive Friday after the Granollers native was quickest on day one at Misano. Silverstone winner Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and 2014 and 2015 MotorLand victor Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) were another Spanish force to be reckoned with at the top of the timesheets, as Viñales just pipped the man he will replace in 2017 to sixth.

Three Ducati machines completed the top 10, with home rider Hector Barbera the fastest man on Borgo Panigale factory equipment as he took his Avintia Racing machine into eighth, with Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Yakhnich) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completing the top 10 on Friday.

Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was just outside the graduation zone to Q2 on day one with another chance to push through for direct entry in FP3, and Nicky Hayden (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS) had a solid first day on track as he replaces injured Jack Miller in the team for the Aragon GP.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team), after ending the morning’s session in sixth, then announced he was unable to continue riding for the Aragon GP as he continues to suffer with damage to a vertebra sustained in a crash in FP1 at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. As during the San Marino GP, his Desmosedici is now entrusted to Ducati test rider Michele Pirro for the remainder of the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon.

Action was incredibly close for Moto2, as Sam Lowes’ (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) morning quickest was hit back in the afternoon by Idemitsu Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami. With Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) in close company behind. Remy Gardner (Tasca Racing Scuderia) was 22nd at the end of Friday.

After a more anonymous Moto3 session in the morning at MotorLand Aragon to end FP1 in P11, Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder wound it up a few notches in the afternoon to get back to the top of the timesheets as lap times dropped significantly.

The South African, who stands 106 points clear in the championship standings, has his first chance to wrap up the 2016 Moto3 title at MotorLand and would become the first rider to do so. Sky Racing Team VR46 rider Andrea Migno was second fastest, with Leopard Racing’s Fabio Quartararo third.