Qatar MotoGP: Iannone edges Marquez in second practice

Ducati rider Andrea Iannone took the top spot in Friday's second practice session of the opening MotoGP weekend of the season at Qatar, just shading Marc Marquez's Honda.

Iannone quickly broke Jorge Lorenzo's Thursday benchmark with a 1m55.388s, which was set in the opening stages of the 45-minute session on just the Italian's fourth lap.

And although Iannone looked vulnerable at the top of the timesheets in the last few minutes, he remained on top - Marquez coming the closest to dislodging the Italian but ultimately falling 0.013s short.

Suzuki's Maverick Vinales also looked like taking the top spot, entering the final sector fractionally fastest on his best lap, but dropped quarter of a second in the final part of the lap.

Pramac Ducati rider Scott Redding then demoted Vinales to fourth with a lap two tenths off Iannone's pace, before finding another tenth on his last flying lap to end up only 0.123s down on the pacesetter.

Behind Vinales, Andrea Dovizioso made it three Ducatis in the top five, albeit lapping 0.333s slower than stablemate Iannone. 

Dani Pedrosa completed the top half-dozen on the second Repsol Honda, with both he and teammate Marquez using the smaller of the two Honda winglet options.

Valentino Rossi, who ran without winglets all session, made a last-second jump from ninth to seventh on the best of the factory Yamahas.

Winglet-equipped Lorenzo ended in ninth, 0.546s slower than Iannone and 0.051s shy of Rossi, one place behind the Avintia Ducati of Hector Barbera.

Danilo Petrucci, recovering from a fractured hand that forced him to miss the Qatar pre-season test, completed the top 10.

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow and Avintia's Loris Baz were the only fallers of the session, the former tumbling at Turn 16 and the latter crashing two corners earlier, both without major consequences.

Practice times:

PosRiderBikeTimeGap
ItalyAndrea Iannone  Ducati GP16  1:55.388   
SpainMarc Marquez  Honda RC213V  1:55.401  +0.013 
United KingdomScott Redding  Ducati GP15  1:55.511  +0.123 
SpainMaverick Vinales  Suzuki GSX-RR  1:55.644  +0.256 
ItalyAndrea Dovizioso Ducati GP16  1:55.721  +0.333 
SpainDani Pedrosa  Honda RC213V  1:55.764  +0.376 
ItalyValentino Rossi  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:55.883  +0.495 
SpainHector Barbera  Ducati GP14  1:55.919  +0.531 
SpainJorge Lorenzo  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:55.934  +0.546 
10  ItalyDanilo Petrucci  Ducati GP15  1:56.258  +0.870 
11  SpainAleix Espargaro  Suzuki GSX-RR  1:56.293  +0.905 
12  SpainPol Espargaro  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:56.324  +0.936 
13  United KingdomCal Crutchlow  Honda RC213V  1:56.489  +1.101 
14  ColombiaYonny Hernandez Ducati GP14  1:56.558  +1.170 
15  FranceLoris Baz  Ducati GP14  1:56.623  +1.235 
16  United KingdomBradley Smith  Yamaha YZR-M1  1:56.728  +1.340 
17  AustraliaJack Miller  Honda RC213V  1:56.900  +1.512 
18  SpainAlvaro Bautista  Aprilia RS-GP  1:57.012  +1.624 
19  SpainTito Rabat  Honda RC213V  1:57.429  +2.041 
20  GermanyStefan Bradl  Aprilia RS-GP  1:57.541  +2.153 
21  IrelandEugene Laverty  Ducati GP14  1:57.722  +2.334 

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Qatar GP
Track Losail International Circuit
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Marc Marquez , Andrea Iannone
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing , Repsol Honda Team
Article type Practice report