Dovi tops LeMans Friday practice times

Marquez 2nd quick for Honda and favored to win
Marquez 2nd quick for Honda and favored to win

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), fresh from signing a new contract with the Ducati Bologna factory, was the quickest man on the opening day at the HJC Helmets Grand Prix de France, setting a new circuit record with a 1:31.936 – the only rider to delve into the 1:31’s. FP1 and World Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) ended the day in second, 0.168 behind, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) a further 0.075 seconds back on board his M1, the ‘Doctor’ ended the day P3 overall.

Despite track temperatures rising from 19 degrees to over 40 degrees between FP1 and FP2, there were a whole host of crashes early in the session. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Scott Redding (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), LCR Honda Idemitsu rider Takaaki Nakagami and Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) all fell, riders ok.

Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) ended the day fourth overall, the Spaniard was third in FP1, but left it late to jump up into the top five in FP2. Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was fifth in front of his home crowd, with the Frenchman was also fifth in FP1, confirming his solid pace in Le Mans.

Alma Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller was sixth on the combined Free Practice timesheets, the Australian was in and around the top eight throughout FP2 and looks good for an automatic Q2 spot after ending FP1 in P12. Espargaro had a good showing on KTM, despite his early crash. He ended the day seventh quickest, building on his P10 in FP1.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), sporting a new aerodynamic fairing in FP2, jumped up to eighth on his final lap to grab a provisional Q2 spot. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) impressed again to finish ninth in FP2, getting himself into the top ten after ending the morning session in P14. Rounding out the top ten was Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), the Spaniard finished eighth this morning, dropping two positions in the afternoon.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), who was inside the top three for most of the session, crashed on his final run to end the day outside the top ten in P11, after a flurry of quick times from the riders on fresh rubber – rider ok.

Marc Marquez
"Luckily we had two full dry sessions to start our work on the bike, and the weather forecasts are also pretty good for the rest of the weekend–not really a given here in Le Mans. So we had the opportunity to work on our race setup, and we concentrated on trying to understand the tires. We tried all the rear tires, and we just missed trying the hard front, which we want to check tomorrow. Today I did my fastest time with the hard rear spec, which had about 10 laps on it. It was a positive first day but we need to keep working, as we want to improve a bit of everything in the setup since everything seems really, really tight here."

Friday Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'31.936
2 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.168
3 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.243
4 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.268
5 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 0.343
6 MILLER Jack 43 AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 0.366
7 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.478
8 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.530
9 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 0.636
10 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team Ducati 0.640
11 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 0.650
12 RABAT Tito 53 SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 0.681
13 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 0.711
14 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.816
15 RINS Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.867
16 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 0.915
17 NAKAGAMI Takaaki 30 JPN LCR Honda Honda 1.136
18 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1.382
19 SYAHRIN Hafizh 55 MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1.499
20 MORBIDELLI Franco 21 ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1.731
21 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1.894
22 ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 2.006
23 LUTHI Tom 12 SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 2.153
24 SIMEON Xavier 10 BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 2.375

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