Marc Marquez took control in the opening day of practice at the Aragon Grand Prix, the Repsol Honda rookie setting a best lap time of 1’48.987 in Free Practice Two as the Spaniard vies for his sixth victory of the season.
Marquez’s benchmark lap was within half a second of the Circuit Best Lap record and placed the current championship leader at the front of a trio of Honda riders at the top of the timesheets.
Aleix Espargaro continued his domination of the CRT class as he rode his Power Electronics Aspar ART machine to ninth overall with a personal best lap time just 1.068 seconds off the lead.
Weather conditions for both of today’s sessions were fine and warm, with a peak track temperature of 42°C recorded in FP2. As is typical for the first session of the race weekend, in Free Practice 1 all riders headed out on softer slick options front and rear to evaluate the track conditions.
As track conditions improved and temperatures increased in the afternoon, most riders migrated to the hard compound front tyre, while some riders also took the opportunity to evaluate the harder rear slick options. Rider feedback from today shows that the preferred tyre combination is the harder front paired with the softer rear slick which offers the best drive out of the corners with good braking and cornering stability.
Cooler weather is forecast for tomorrow with the next MotoGP™ session, FP3, at 0955 local time (GMT +2).
Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department: “It was a good start to the race weekend today with consistent dry weather in both sessions. After the riders assessed the track conditions with softer slick options in FP1, most riders switched to the harder front for FP2 as this option offers better stability in fast corners and hard braking, both of which feature prominently at this circuit.
For the rear tyre, some riders tried the harder rear slick options but as track temperatures weren’t overly hot, these didn’t offer any advantage over the soft. With cool weather expected tomorrow, I expect the combination of the soft rear and hard front to be widely used. The pace on the first day of action here is already is very fast, so if we have dry weather tomorrow I expect we will see another record-breaking qualifying session.”