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MotoGP Mugello: Crutchlow steals top spot on Friday

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow stuck in a soft rear Michelin at the end of MotoGP free practice two to steal top spot on the combined timesheets at Mugello, setting a 1’47.365 to push this morning’s top dog Andrea Dovizioso by 0.161s and by just 0.029 on combined times.However, neither Maverick Vinales nor Marc Marquez even tried the softest option, preferring to work on their race setup, sticking to hard and medium rears respectively, so expect a serious drop in pace when it comes to the end of FP3 tomorrow.

It wasn’t a perfect day for the championship leader who had a whopping crash at Arrabbiata II, losing the front on the kerb while trying a new aero fairing that doesn’t have the three internal wings.

Vinales was unjinured in the crash and came back out, again using a hard front/medium rear combination and ended 13th in the session, one ahead of team-mate Valentino Rossi who is clearly struggling with his motocross crash injuries.


Both Marquez and Vinales are able to easily lap in the low 1’48s consistently on their favoured rears, as is Johann Zarco who spent the majority of the session on his favourite soft/soft while Dani Pedrosa, who ended FP2 in fifth behind Zarco, is also in the 1’48s mix.

Zarco’s team-mate Jonas Folger, also on a soft rear, ended the session and day in third place, putting in a 1’47.543 to end just two-tenths behind Crutchlow. Dovizioso in second didn’t improve on his time from the this morning, but a 1’47.526 on the soft rear was enough to keep in the mix while his time from FP1 was only just behind Crutchlow overall.

Hector Barbera kept up his pace from this morning, putting in almost the exact same laptime to end the day in eighth on the Avintia Ducati, one ahead of Alvaro Bautista’s Pull and Bear Ducati - albeit a GP16 – in ninth.

Jorge Lorenzo bolted in a soft to claim tenth place and the last automatic qualifying two slot in the highly unlikely event of train tomorrow morning with Andrea Iannone and Danilo Petrucci - whose GP17 ceased to function early on in the session.

The Pramac Ducati man is followed by Marquez and Rossi, with Scott Redding completing the top 15.

Aprilia had a disastrous session with both riders crashing and then Sam Lowes’ bike having another fuel pump problem in pitlane. The Englishman finished in 20th place.

Top speeds

8 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing DUCATI 352.2 (220.12mph)
51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Team DUCATI 351.2
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team DUCATI 350.6
99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team DUCATI 350.6
45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing DUCATI 349.4
9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing DUCATI 348.2
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team DUCATI 347.8
17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team DUCATI 346.7
26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team HONDA 344.4

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