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MotoGP Mugello: Iannone storms to top spot in second practice

Ducati’s outgoing rider Andrea Iannone stormed to top spot in this afternoon’s second MotoGP free practice session at Mugello, using the Desmosedici’s whopping 216mph top speed to be the only rider under the 1’48s barrier.

Iannone, who is being replaced in the Bologna team by second-placed man Jorge Lorenzo, set a 1’47.696 with his final flying lap to be almost half a second faster than the Spaniard while Ducati test rider Michele Pirro, who does thousands of mile around the Tuscany track every year, got a tow from the Movistar Yamaha to bag third place only 0.088s in arrears.

However, it is Lorenzo who is in command as his consistency in the 1’48s in he set five laps at 1’48.4 or faster while Iannone put in three and Pirro two. Aleix Espargaro got a serious tow from Dani Pedrosa to set a 1’48.270 for fourth place - his only lap under the 1’49s mark to finish ahead of Marc Marquez, the leading Honda in fifth place.


Slightly silly rumours in the Mugello paddock say that Marquez could make a shock switch to Suzuki and replace Espargaro as he had made some serious demands of HRC concerning the 2017 RC213V which will probably not be met.

Valentino Rossi had been in fifth until he was shuffled back a spot by Marquez. The Italian was consistently fast in the first two sectors but kept losing his laptime in the final sector, a problem Lorenzo also suffered but not to the same degree, so The Doctor has some work to do there.

Maverick Vinales ended in seventh, one ahead of Scott Redding who was top of the tree on a 1’48.406 with only six minutes left to run. Cal Crutchlow ended in ninth place with Pol Espargaro in tenth. Dani Pedrosa is in the danger zone as he isn’t yet in the automatic placings for a qualifying two spot and will be in trouble should it rain tomorrow morning for FP3.

Andrea Dovizioso couldn’t match the pace of his team-mate, ending in 13th, one behind Danilo Petrucci on the satellite GP15, with Yonny Hernanez and Braley Smith completing the top 15. Eugene Laverty suffered a strange-looking crash into San Donato early in the session. The rear of his GP14.2 let go slowly, like it had seized, before lobbing him off and into the gravel.

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