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MotoGP Jerez: Lorenzo leads Barbera in first practice

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo has topped the first free practice session at Jerez this morning but lap times are a second slower than this time last year which can be, in part, attributed to Michelin bringing a much harder construction tyre to the Spanish track.

Lorenzo’s best lap of this morning was a 1’40.270, using the soft front/medium rear combination, compared to his session-leading time of 1’39.174 in 2015 - track temperature is also two degrees cooler.

The Spaniard left it until his last run, climbing to the top of the sheets on his 14th lap of 16 to depose Hector Barbera who was at the sharp end - without tows - for the entire session, and set five laps in the 1’40s bracket compared to Lorenzo’s four.


His best of 1.40.527 was enough to keep Valentino Rossi in third place even though The Doctor led early doors and improved his time to a 1’40.676 with his last effort. Rossi is the most consistent of the front-runners, however, with six laps in the 1’40s.

It looks like another difficult track for the Hondas as Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez could only muster fourth and fifth. The pair were down by half a second, give or take a fraction, but there was little in the way of consistency only troubling the 1’40s laptime twice each.

Maverick Vinales muscled his way into sixth place with his last lap, setting a 1’40.925 with his last to go in front of Ecstar Suzuki team-mate Aleix Espargaro, the last man under the 1’41s barrier with a 1’40.995.

Yonny Hernandez stuck his Aspar Ducati customer bike in eighth with a 1’41.208 and looks like it he could do those laps all day if he wanted to.

Andrea Dovizioso, who is fighting for his factory Ducati rider, ended in ninth place but more than a second off the pace while Cal Crutchlow dragged two 1’41s laps out his LCR Honda for tenth place.

Andrea Iannone, also without a secure future in the works Ducati camp, will be equally displeased with 11th place while Pol Espargaro finished just a tenth ahead of Loris Baz for 12th.

Britain’s Scott Redding ended in 14th, with Eugene Laverty 17th and Bradley Smith struggling again down in 18th place and two seconds slower than the factory Yamahas.

Tito Rabat and Jack Miller, on the Estrella Galicia Hondas, really are struggling as both are slower than the top two times in Moto2 from the subsequent session.

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