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MotoGP Misano: Ducati's Petrucci ends Friday on top

Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci has snatched top spot on the MotoGP free practice timesheets and denied Movistar Yamaha wunderkind Maverick Vinales by 0.005s to end the opening day of action as the fastest man so far.

Petrucci set a 1’33.231 on his 18th lap of 21 to wrestle the led from Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa but a late charge from Vinales saw him almost match the Italian’s time as the whole field came out on the softest available tyre to try and ensure a qualifying two spot in case of rain tomorrow morning.

Works Ducati stable-mate parked his Desmosedici GP17 in third place and is only 0.058s behind the satellite rider as Pedrosa slipped back to fourth place. The tiny Spaniard ended on a 1’33.346, losing a chunk of time in the third sector, to finish ahead of reigning champion Marc Marquez.


Marquez set a 1’33.684 on only his third lap of the session and then raised the bar to a 1’33.475 a few laps later. But then the reigning champion slipped off at at turn 16, asking too much of his medium front Michelin at turn 16. He was back out on his second bike inside five minutes but was unable to go quicker.

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow picked himself up from a fast crash at turn 15 to set the sixth fastest time of the day, a 1’33.545 with Ducati test rider Michele Pirro one place behind. Jorge Lorenzo was the sloweest of the three works Ducatis but only trails Pirro by 0.023s.

Andrea Iannnone was ninth on a 1’33.790, finding the business end of two seconds over lunch, while Tito Rabat took the last of the automatic qualifying two spots should it rain for free practice three.

Aleix Espargaro ended in 11th with Johann Zarco 12th. Alvaro Bautista, Loris Baz and Hector Barbera completed the top 15 with Scott Reding 16th. Jack Miller and Sam Lowes crashed at the same place within seconds of each other, going down at turn one and they finished in 18th and 22nd respectively. Bradley Smith was 21st with Alex Rins propping up the bottom.

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