Gran Premio bwin de España, Jerez: Day 1 round-up – MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3
Marc Marquez was the pace setter in MotoGP™ FP2 at Jerez from Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso, but Espargaro was Friday’s fastest rider overall.
Repsol Honda’s World Champion Marquez – who is participating in his 100th Grand Prix – led the way in the later practice at the Gran Premio bwin de España with a 1’39.757, though neither he nor his rivals were able to match Espargaro’s 1’39.357 morning best.
NGM Forward Racing’s Espargaro was second quickest in the afternoon, trailing Marquez by 0.216s as the track temperature in the south of Spain rose to 53°C. The third best rider in FP2 was Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), who was 0.271s behind Marquez.
In fourth place on the FP2 timesheet was Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi (0.368s) who was just ahead of his colleague Jorge Lorenzo – the latter reaching the 200 Grand Prix milestone this weekend.
Completing the afternoon top ten were Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar), whilst there were crashes for Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar), Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3) – though none were seriously hurt.
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team) returned to action in 15th on the timesheet but was able to complete 16 laps in FP2 despite his hand injury.
Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was the top man in Moto2™ FP2 at the Gran Premio bwin de España, with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) second, Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) third and Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) fastest overall on Friday.
A lap of 1’43.752 meant Simeon was just 0.088s faster than Cortese in second, whilst Cortese’s fellow Kalex rider Takaaki Nakagami was a 0.239s behind the FP2 leader.
However high track temperatures meant that none of the top 11 riders improved their FP1 times. Rabat led the way on combined times with a 1’43.486s from the cooler morning session.
Rabat continued his strong practice form in fourth and Dominique Aegerter (Technomag CarXpert) was fifth, both riders involved in FP2 incidents with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP), resulting in some heated gestures.
The top ten in FP2 also included Thomas Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2), Simone Corsi (NGM Forward Racing), Jonhann Zarco (AirAsia Caterham), Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) and Moto2 Rookie Jonas Folger (AGR Team).
Just one second separated the top 18 riders in FP2 as Moto2 continued to prove its competitiveness. Maverick Viñales (Pons HP 40) and Alex De Angelis (Tasca Racing Moto2) both suffered crashes but were able to walk away unhurt.
Azlan Shah (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) also crashed at Turn 4 in the closing seconds of FP2, though fortunately he too was uninjured.
The Moto3™ FP2 session at the Gran Premio bwin de España saw ambient temperature hit 31°C and track temperatura reach 48°C in Jerez, as Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) led the way from Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) and Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing).
Vazquez has made a good start to 2014 and he was 0.074s ahead of Argentina race winner Fenati in this practice run, with a best time of 1’47.725. Oliveira trailed by 0.17s in third.
The frontrunning FP2 pace did not match that of FP1 with the day’s fastest to overall riders being Calvo Team’s Isaac Viñales (1’47.388) and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Alex Marquez (1’47.699).
The FP2 top five was completed by championship leader Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and the aforementioned Marquez.
The top ten in the afternoon outing was completed by Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG), FP1 pace setter Viñales, Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team) and wildcard Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA Racing Team).
There were crashes for Hafiq Azmi (SIC-Ajo KTM) and Bryan Schouten (CIP), though fortunately both walked away unharmed.