Marquez sets the bar high on first day of practice at iconic Le Mans

Championship leader sets the bar high in quest for 5 consecutive MotoGP victories

Marc Marquez got his quest for five consecutive MotoGP wins off to the best possible start with the Repsol Honda rider setting the fastest time on the first day of free practice at the iconic Le Mans circuit where Sunday’s Monster Energy Grand Prix de France takes place. Marquez topped both of today’s free practice sessions with an eventual fastest time of 1m 33.452s.

Andrea Iannone, Pramac Ducati
Andrea Iannone, Pramac Ducati

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

left|s3}} Following the current championship leader into second place this afternoon was the Pramac Racing machine of Andrea Iannone who settled into a good rhythm today and set a best time of 1m 33.459s this afternoon while Alvaro Bautista set the third fastest lap in FP2 with the GO&Fun Honda Gresini rider’s best lap of 1m 33.668s good enough to see the Spaniard stay ahead of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Bradley Smith who had a crash this morning but bounced back in the afternoon with a 4th fastest lap of 1m 33.920s.

Dani Pedrosa was slower this afternoon than he was this morning and in FP2 he set a best time of 1m 33.942s with the Repsol Honda rider ahead of Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda) with a 1m 34.040s lap and Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha) in 7th on a best time of 1m 34.054s. Andrea Dovizioso set the 8th best lap this afternoon with the Ducati Team rider’s time of 1m 34.117s enough to stay ahead of NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro (1m 34.134s) and Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi rounding out the top ten on a best lap of 1m 34.498s.

Pol Espargaro sits in 11th this afternoon with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider setting a best time of 1m 34.506s to that of Energy TI Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez (1m 34.877s) while Cal Crutchlow sits in 13th on day one with the Ducati Team rider putting a best lap of 1m 34.907s on the board. Nicky Hayden set the 14th fastest time with the Drive M7 Aspar rider lapping just faster than that of his fellow countryman Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing.)

Alvaro Bautista, Go & Fun Honda Gresini
Alvaro Bautista, Go & Fun Honda Gresini

Photo by: Bridgestone Corporation

Hiroshi Aoyama sits in 16th for the Drive M7 Aspar team with his best time of 1m 35.229s enough to stay ahead of Scott Redding on the GO&Fun Honda Gresini machine with the British rider’s best lap of 1m 35.424s better than that of Karel Abraham on the Cardion AB Motoracing machine with his best time of 1m 35.818s better than that of Hector Barbera for the Avintia Racing team (1m 36.418s). Mike Di Meglio sits in 20th after day one with the Avintia Racing man setting a best time of 1m 36.612s while the Paul Bird Motorsport teammates Michael Laverty and Broc Parkes sit in 21st and 22nd respectively.

Marquez was able to lap at a fast pace immediately on his first day and speaking afterwards he said, "I felt comfortable right from the start today. We began with the base setup from Jerez and worked from there. In the afternoon we tried things out with the tyres and tweaked the setup further to keep going forward. Besides being the fastest over a single lap, our pace was also really good today, so I am happy with how everything went in general. Tomorrow we shall try to do even better, because I'm sure that the rest of the riders will take another step forward."

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About this article
Series MOTOGP
Article type Practice report
Tags bautista, ducati, featured, hatch, honda, iannone, lemans, marquez, pramac, repsol