Jorge Lorenzo finished on top of the combined timesheets after Friday’s Practice ahead of Marquez and Pedrosa, with Rossi fifth.
Movistar Yamaha’s Lorenzo produced a 1’31.111 in glorious sunshine (Track temp 29?C) during Free Practice 2 to end Friday at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana fastest. The Spaniard is bidding to lift his third MotoGP™ World Championship as he trails Rossi by 7 points in the standings heading into the #TheGrandFinale. His time was less than a second off Marquez’s Pole Record from 2013 (1’30.237) and he managed to finish 0.364s quicker than his title rival Rossi as Lorenzo aims to make it a clean sweep of the Spanish rounds in 2015, having already tasted victory at Jerez, Catalunya and Aragon.
Repsol Honda’s Marquez (+0.139s) was one of the few top riders not to improve his time in FP2, but his 1’31.250 that saw him top FP1 was good enough to secure second overall on the combined timesheets. The man who will have to hand over his MotoGP™ title on Sunday managed to pull off a couple of remarkable saves throughout the day, at turn 8 in FP1 and turn 2 in FP2, when it looked easier to crash.
His teammate Dani Pedrosa (+0.266s), the man who has won two of the last three races and has six wins to his name at Valencia, completed the provisional front row. The Spaniard is aiming for his 100th MotoGP™ podium on Sunday; he would be only the second person to achieve the feat after Rossi. Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone (+0.333s) improved by over seven-tenths throughout the day to finish in fourth as the leading Desmosedici.
Movistar Yamaha’s championship leader Rossi, who will be forced to start from the back of the grid in the race after his appeal for a stay of execution to the CAS was rejected, was just 0.031s further back from Iannone in fifth. The ‘Doctor’ improved by almost three tenths throughout the day and finished just 0.364s off the pace of his title rival Lorenzo as he bids to lift his tenth world title come Sunday’s race.
Octo Pramac Racing’s Danilo Petrucci (+0.464s) improved by 0.999s after ending FP1 in 12th to finish in sixth overall on the Satellite Ducati. He finished 0.067s ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) on the factory GP15 in seventh. Dovizioso was the only other rider in the top ten, along with Marquez, to not improve his time in FP2.
Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) came out on top in the battle of the brothers, as he finished in eighth, just four thousandths of a second ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in ninth.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow completed the top ten, with Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in 11th and Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera the leading Open class rider in 12th.
Ducati Team’s wildcard Michele Pirro was 13th fastest, while Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) improved from 17th in FP1 to end the day in 15th overall, but was still 1.397s off the pace of Lorenzo. Smith wont be too downhearted though as he was down in 14th after Friday’s practice at Sepang, but recovered to finish fourth in the race.
Nicky Hayden (Aspar MotoGP Team) celebrated being inducted into the MotoGP™ Hall of Fame during the break between sessions by ending the day in 17th as the leading Open Honda rider. Australian Jack Miller (LCR Honda) was 19th, with Irishman Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) in 22nd.
EG 0,0 Marc VDS’s Scott Redding struggled throughout the day and finished down in 23rd overall, over 2 seconds off Lorenzo’s pace. Anthony West (AB Motoracing) filling in for the injured Karel Abraham was in 25th, while Alex De Angelis’ replacement Broc Parkes (E-Motion IodaRacing Team) finished the session in 26th.