Factory Ducati’s Andrea Iannone has set the pace today’s second MotoGP free practice session, topping the timesheets with a 1’55.388 to lead former champion Marc Marquez by 0.013s while Britain’s Scott Redding, on the satellite GP15, grabbing third with only a tenth to find.
Iannone set his lap early on using medium Michelins front and rear, and then settled down to work on his race pace while Marquez changed compounds to try and find a comfortable setting. The Spanish youngster had been at the sharp end at the start of the session but then came back out with a few minutes left to set a 1’55.401 before taking to the grass next to pitwall on his last lap at more than 190mph.
Redding’s lap was no one-off screen-biter, he set a 1’55.780 at the start of his final run and then dropped to a 1’55.622 and then a 1’55.511 as his fastest. He ended up behind Jorge Lorenzo on the combined sheets as the reigning champion’s time from yesterday was fractionally faster.
However, neither Lorenzo nor his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi were on the pace today. The Spaniard was ninth fastest on a 1’55.934, half a second slower than free practice one while The Doctor was a tenth slower than his best from yesterday and finished the session in seventh. Both riders only managed one lap in the 1’55s bracket while title rival Marquez only did two.
Ecstar Suzuki wunderkind Maverick Vinales ended the session in fourth and a tenth behind Redding but was the most consistent of the front runners with five laps in the 1’55s. Andrea Dovizoso was fifth on a 1’55.721 while Dani Pedrosa improved on his time from yesterday by a little under three-tenths to take sixth on the day.
Hector Barbera was again quick, albeit starting the session where he left off yesterday and following Rossi, but finished the session strongly on the GP14.2 Avintia bike, setting a 1’55.919 to head Lorenzo for ninth. Injured Danilo Petrucci, who is riding full of painkillers, was tenth on a 1’56.258 and just under nine-tenths off the pace.
The Espargaro brothers were tenth and 11th while Cal Crutchlow ended in 13th place, a tenth faster than he managed yesterday but crashed at half-distance, losing the front into the final corner. Bradley Smith was one place further back and couldn’t better his time from yesterday.
Eugene Laverty finished the day in 19th on the combined sheets after not improving his time from yesterday.