MotoGP: Marquez breaks the Ducati domination

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After Ducati dominated Friday morning at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon with a 1-2-3-4 led by Andrea Dovizioso, championship leader Marc Marquez responded in the afternoon to finish Friday on top. Jorge Lorenzo 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.

Cal Crutchlow kept that raging just outside the top three too, with the Brit taking fourth and ending day one fastest independent 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 lap time 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’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 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 was another home hero in the top ten and he continued his rich vein of form to complete the opening day at Motorland Aragon in eighth.

Rounding out the provisional Q2 places were the two Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders: Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer