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MotoGP Valencia: Lorenzo inside lap record to top first practice

Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo was three-tenths of a second inside his own lap record to top the opening MotoGP free practice session at Valencia as team-mate Valentino Rossi bagged second with his final effort despite an early problem with his works YZR-M1.

Lorenzo set a 1’31.045 on his 19th lap and was on course to better it but lost out in the final sector but still put in a 1’31.050 compared to Rossi’s 1’31.432. Right at the start of the session, Rossi got as far as turn two when an error message flashed on his dash and he had to return to pitlane, surprising spectators as he had to come in through the front entrance being pushed by a scooter.

After going out on his second bike and trying the new Michelin medium rubber, The Doctor came back with his first bike and pipped new champion Marc Marquez by just 0.010s as the Repsol Honda man set a 1’31.442 on his 14th and final lap. Marquez and Lorenzo are well ahead in terms of pace with Honda man putting in ten laps in the 1’31s while Lorenzo had nine. Rossi, meanwhile, had just two.


Sepang winner Andrea Dovizoso took fourth with a 1’31.532, ending less than half a second behind his 2017 Ducati team-mate but with five laps in the 1’31s. Monster Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro’s best of 1’31.785 was good enough for second place halfway through the session but he slid back to fifth.

Ecstar Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales ended in sixth place, nine-tenths off the pace, but one ahead of team-mate Aleix Espargaro. Estrella Galicia’s Jack Miller hopped into eighth place with his 16th lap which displaced Britain’s Scott Redding. The Octo Pramac Ducati man is in ninth on a 1’32.212 but well ahead of team-mate Danilo Petrucci who is 13th.

Andrea Iannone, in his last appearance for Ducati ended in tenth place, one ahead of Hector Barbera, while the returning Dani Pedrosa was being cautious on the cold tarmac, finishing in 12th. A battered and bruised Cal Crutchlow was one place behind Petrucci in 14th with Tito Rabat 15th. Bradley Smith ended in 18th, Eugene Laverty 20th and Mika Kallio, making his debut on the KTM, was last but only 2.940s off the pace.

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