Marquez resists Ducati charge on Day 1

2018-09-21 10:47
Championship leader strikes back in FP2 to halt Ducati domination

After Ducati dominated Friday morning at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon with a 1-2-3-4 led by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) responded in the afternoon to finish Friday on top. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) moved up the timesheets to pip his teammate and take over as quickest Ducati in second overall, with Dovizioso left to round out the top three by the end of play. MotorLand Aragon looks set to stage another Honda vs Ducati battle.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) kept that raging just outside the top three too, with the Brit taking fourth and ending Day 1 fastest Independent Team rider as he vies to extend his lead this weekend in those standings.

It wasn’t until the final five minutes when the battle for Friday’s honours started to heat up at a scorching MotorLand Aragon, with Dovizioso setting the first sub 1:48 laptime of the weekend and Crutchlow quickly following suit. However, with fresh soft rear rubber, six-time World Champion Marquez soon marked 'his' territory – with a 1:47.382 putting him 0.453 faster than the rest. Lorenzo, meanwhile, had dropped to outside the top ten but on his final lap of FP2, the Spaniard turned up the wick to launch himself into P2 to finish the day 0.138 behind Marquez.
Behind the top four, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone put his GSX-RR into fifth as the day came to a close, with the Italian the only other rider to venture into the 1:47s as he led for the majority of FP2. After finishing P2 in FP1 as part of Ducati's early domination, Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) had to settle for sixth in the second session and ended Friday just behind Iannone.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) had a much-improved afternoon in his penultimate home race before retirement. The ‘Little Samurai’ was 18th and 1.9 seconds off in FP1 but managed to find some speed at a track he’s got a good record at and he took seventh overall. Compatriot Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) was another home hero in the top ten and he continued his rich vein of form to complete the opening day at MotorLand in P8.

Rounding out the provisional Q2 places were the two Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders: Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales. Can the Yamahas bridge the gap to the front on Saturday and stay in that top ten at a more difficult venue than Misano? Make sure you tune into FP3 at 09:55 local time on Saturday, with qualifying commencing at 14:10.

Schrötter the benchmark to beat

The German unleashed that Friday feeling once again to go fastest on Day 1

Marcel Schrötter ends Day 1 at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon at the top of the combined timesheets thanks to his FP1 time of 1:58.570, with the Dynavolt Intact GP rider once again unleashing some serious pace on Friday. The German took his first podium last time out at Misano, and he's picked up somewhat where he left off. Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) was quickest in FP2 but unable to beat the benchmark, with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) rounding out the top three.

Marquez was the only rider inside the top six to improve his time in the second session of the day, just 0.058 off Bagnaia’s quickest in FP2 to end Friday 0.272 off the benchmark. Sam Lowes (Swiss Innovative Investors) sits fourth on the combined timesheets after finishing third fastest in FP1 and tenth in FP2 – a good day's work for the British rider who heads into Saturday as the leading KTM.

Fabio Quartararo (MB Conveyors – Speed Up) was edged into fifth overall, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) sixth on board his Kalex machine. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) did manage to better his FP1 time in the afternoon to end FP2 in third but it wa seventh overall for the South African, with Andrea Locatelli (Italtrans Racing Team) having a solid Friday to end the day eighth on the combined times.

Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2’s Simone Corsi vastly improved from P18 in the morning to go P9 on the overall times, finishing just 0.019 ahead of Championship protagonist Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who was tenth.

The intermediate class will be back out for FP3 before the all-important qualifying battle begins at 15:05 local time (GMT +2).
Bastianini bolts to the top on Friday

Italian ends the opening day over two tenths clear of Rodrigo and Bulega

Enea Bastianini (Leopard Racing) ends Friday at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon as the fastest rider in the Moto3™ field after pulling out two tenths on Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Skull Rider). Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) moved up to take third on his final lap to lock the Spaniards out of the top three on their home turf.

Bastianini ended FP1 in eighth place, but the number 33 looked in supreme form after putting in consecutive fastest laps towards the end of FP2, eventually setting his best time on his final lap as Rodrigo maintained his P2 from FP1 to round off a very solid opening day.

Bulega displaced Championship leader Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) for third at the end of the FP2 session, with the Spaniard setting his lap times on his own to finish fourth on the combined timesheets. Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) rounds out the top five on Friday despite finishing the morning session outside the top 20, with Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) stringing a strong last run together to claw himself up the combined timesheets to fifth.

Misano winner Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) ends the opening day at MotorLand Aragon in seventh, with Kazuki Masaki (RBA BOE Skull Rider) eighth fastest after an impressive day for the Japanese rookie. The morning’s pacesetter had been Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP) and he was the only rider in the top 20 who failed to improve his time in the afternoon. It was ninth overall for the Czech rider after a crash in FP1, with teammate and Championship contender Marco Bezzecchi rounding out the top ten.

The lightweight class will be back on track for FP3 first thing on Saturday before qualifying begins at 12:35 local time (GMT +2).


Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story