Lorenzo tops opening day at Motegi

Jorge Lorenzo dominated Friday's practice to top the combined timesheets ahead of Dani Pedrosa and Andrea Iannone with Rossi in eighth.

Movistar Yamaha's Lorenzo took advantage of ideal conditions (Track temp. 40ËšC) at the Twin Ring Motegi to set a 1'44.731 in FP2 to top Friday's practice. Lorenzo showed no ill effects from the shoulder injury he picked up earlier in the week as he completely dominated proceedings on Friday at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan.

Lorenzo's time was less than three-tenths off Andrea Dovizioso's Pole Record from last year (1'44.502) as the Spaniard looks to close the 14-point gap to his teammate Valentino Rossi in the standings.

Repsol Honda's Pedrosa (+0.128s) seemed buoyed by his podium finish at Aragon and ended the day in second overall after improving by over a second from FP1 to FP2. Ducati Team's Andrea Iannone was third fastest on a day that saw 0.312s separate the provisional front row. The Italian finished ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso in fourth as just 0.016s separated the two, despite Iannone also carrying a shoulder injury. The Ducati Team GP15's made use of special cooling ducts to keep the front brakes cool, as did both the Movistar Yamaha team and Team Suzuki Ecstar.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Bradley Smith (+0.519s) impressed as the leading Satellite rider in fifth overall, after he had finished fourth fastest in FP1. Team Suzuki Ecstar's Aleix Espargaro (+0.617s) was sixth fastest with Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez in seventh. The reigning MotoGP™ champion was using a modified handlebar to accommodate the broken fifth metacarpal on his left hand and at one point pulled off a remarkable save at turn 8 to stop him from doing any further damage.

Championship leader Rossi found himself down in 8th overall at the end of the day, after ending FP1 in third. Rossi was 0.823s off the pace of Lorenzo and will have work to do on Saturday to try and maintain his 14-point lead.

Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was ninth ahead of the leading Open Class rider, Hector Barbera on the Avintia Racing Ducati, who completed the top ten.

British riders Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and Scott Redding (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) were in 11th and 12th respectively. Australian Jack Miller (LCR Honda) was 15th fastest overall while Irishman Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) was in 19th, ahead of his teammate Nicky Hayden (20th). The 2006 MotoGP World Champion Hayden announced on Friday he will be leaving MotoGP™ for WorldSBK in 2016.

Wildcards Takumi Takahashi (Team HRC With Nissin) and Katsuyuki Nagasuka (Yamaha Factor Racing Team) ended the day in 18th and 23rd respectively despite the latter crashing late on in FP2, while Kousuke Akiyoshi, the replacement for the injured Karel Abraham in the AB Motoracing Team, was in 27th.

Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Bike Time
1 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'44.731
2 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'44.859
3 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'45.043
4 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'45.059
5 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'45.250
6 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1'45.348
7 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'45.492
8 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'45.554
9 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'45.597
10 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 1'45.645
11 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 1'45.846
12 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'47.074
13 BRADL Stefan 6 GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'46.371
14 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1'46.464
15 MILLER Jack 43 AUS LCR Honda Honda 1'46.477
16 HERNANDEZ Yonny 68 COL Pramac Racing Ducati 1'46.563
17 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 1'46.648
18 TAKAHASHI Takumi 72 JPN Team HRC with NISSIN Honda 1'46.650
19 LAVERTY Eugene 50 IRE Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 1'46.770
20 HAYDEN Nicky 69 USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 1'46.827
21 DI MEGLIO Mike 63 FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 1'46.934
22 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'46.974
23 NAKASUGA Katsuyuki 21 JPN Yamaha Factory Racing Team Yamaha 1'47.096
24 BAZ Loris 76 FRA Athina Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 1'47.219
25 ELIAS Toni 24 SPA AB Motoracing Honda 1'47.626
26 DE ANGELIS Alex 15 RSM Athina Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 1'48.572
27 AKIYOSHI Kosuke 64 JPN AB Motoracing Honda 1'48.769

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