MotoGP: Crutchlow ruins the Ducati party at Mugello

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Cal Crutchlow has ruined the Ducati party at their home Italian Grand Prix by ending the first day of action at Mugello fastest overall ahead on the LCR Honda ahead of the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso.

Crutchlow set a fast time with a few minutes to go in the day’s second session to end up 0.029 ahead of Dovi, pleased with his pace but adamant afterwards that there was still more to come from both bike and rider during the weekend.

Dovizioso, who topped the morning session, was the first of the red bikes, with test rider and wildcard Michele Pirro a surprise fourth, behind only another impressive performance from Tech 3 Yamaha rookie Jonas Folger in third.

Maverick Viñales was fifth despite a small crash in free practice two, ahead of the second Tech 3 bike of Johann Zarco, while the provisional third row consists of Dani Pedrosa, Hector Barbera and Alvaro Bautista.

Jorge Lorenzo rounded out the top ten after admitting that they had spent the day experimenting with his Ducati GP17, while his former teammate Valentino Rossi came home in 14th as he continues to struggle with the aftereffects of last week’s motocross crash. He was just behind Marc Marquez in 13th, happy with his day despite not being closer to the front.

Scott Redding was the second best Brit behind Rossi in 15th, with Sam Lowes content with 20th and Bradley Smith in 23rd.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer