News 2 Nov 2018

Suzuki’s Rins fastest on Friday as Miller shines at Sepang

Marquez goes atop the Moto2 charts, Arbolino edges ahead in Moto3.

Image: Supplied.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins topped the time-sheets on Friday at the Shell Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix after going quickest in FP2.

The Spaniard heads Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) on the combined times by just 0.089s after setting a 1m59.608s, with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completing a top three covered by 0.093s seconds at Sepang.

Despite the threat of rain throughout the day, the MotoGP riders were able to get two full dry sessions done and dusted in Malaysia, and it was a Suzuki leading the way as the chequered flag came out at the end of FP2.

Rins was the man at the summit thanks to his late FP2 time, with Dovi failing to improve on his FP1 time in the afternoon session – P7 for the Italian in FP2. It was Marquez who finished the second session in P2, but the world champion had an eventful day.

It was fourth place overall and sixth fastest in FP2 for Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), ‘The Doctor’ having a strong Friday to end the day just 0.159s from Rins’ time as four manufacturers make up the top four spots so far.

Fifth on the combined times was Jack Miller on board his Alma Pramac Racing Ducati, the Australian setting a quickest time of 1m59.771s to end FP2 in P3 after being the first rider to dip into the 59s in FP2. Meanwhile, Phillip Island winner Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed the day sixth on the overall times.

Just 0.009s behind him at the end of Friday’s proceedings sits Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing), with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) improving to end eighth on Friday. Completing the provisional automatic Q2 places were Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in P9 and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro in 10th.

Returning from injury, Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) endured a tough opening day. The five-time world champion finished bottom of the time-sheets and over three seconds adrift of the fastest time.

The Moto2 class belonged to Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) after he topped both FP1 and FP2 in dry Sepang conditions. The Spaniard managed to top Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) after setting a 2m06.928s on his final lap, with Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) third. Tech3’s Remy Gardner is P9 so far overall.

In Moto3, Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) ends day one at the top of the times, the Italian setting a 2m14.227s before the rain started to fall.

FP1 saw a damp track greet the lightweight class and so the dry times set at the start of a dry FP2 would decide the order of play on Friday. It was Arbolino who went quickest before the weather intervened, setting the benchmark time on his third flying lap ahead of John McPhee (CIP – Green Power) and Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0).

Detailed results