Qatar MotoGP: Espargaro tops first session of 2014

By Simon Patterson -

MotoGP

 20 March 2014 18:56

Aleix Espargaro has capitalised on his knowledge of the Qatar circuit gained from last week’s test absent of the factory riders to finish the first day of the 2014 season top of the timesheets, finishing nearly half a second clear of second placed Alvaro Bautista.

In fact, the non-factory riders almost filled the whole first two rows, with Dani Pedrosa the first of the factory bikes back in 6th.

Bradley Smith, who led the session briefly at the mid-point, was third, 0.1 behind Bautista and ahead of the Pramac Ducati of Andrea Iannone and teammate Pol Espargaro.

Valentino Rossi was seventh, behind Pedrosa, but a visibly upset Jorge Lorenzo was back in ninth as he continues to struggle with the new-for-2014 Bridgestone tyres, while Marc Marquez was eleventh as he admitted to pain in his injured leg.

Cal Crutchlow was thirteenth on his first session on the Ducati, one place ahead of his teammate Andrea Dovizioso, but it was a bad first session for his fellow Brits Scott Redding and Michael Laverty, as technical problems with both their bikes left them having completed barely any laps.

1 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 336.1 1'55.201 
2 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 342.9 1'55.667 0.466 / 0.466
3 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 337.3 1'55.816 0.615 / 0.149
4 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 345.7 1'55.996 0.795 / 0.180
5 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 346.0 1'56.020 0.819 / 0.024
6 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 344.0 1'56.332 1.131 / 0.312
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 340.4 1'56.542 1.341 / 0.210
8 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 332.1 1'56.626 1.425 / 0.084
9 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 340.0 1'56.668 1.467 / 0.042
10 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Drive M7 Aspar Honda 328.6 1'56.670 1.469 / 0.002
11 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 344.4 1'56.682 1.481 / 0.012
12 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 342.4 1'56.726 1.525 / 0.044
13 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Ducati Team Ducati 339.7 1'57.046 1.845 / 0.320
14 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 340.4 1'57.100 1.899 / 0.054
15 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 340.8 1'57.623 2.422 / 0.523
16 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Honda 330.0 1'57.779 2.578 / 0.156
17 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Drive M7 Aspar Honda 329.9 1'58.182 2.981 / 0.403
18 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Avintia 324.6 1'58.394 3.193 / 0.212
19 45 Scott REDDING GBR GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 324.4 1'58.495 3.294 / 0.101
20 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Avintia 324.6 1'58.732 3.531 / 0.237
21 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA IodaRacing Project ART 327.3 1'59.321 4.120 / 0.589
22 23 Broc PARKES AUS Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 321.4 1'59.328 4.127 / 0.007
DNS 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM