Austin MotoGP: Iannone tops FP2 as Marquez crashes

Austin MotoGP: Iannone tops FP2 as Marquez crashes
Charles Bradley
By: Charles Bradley
Apr 20, 2018, 8:11 PM

Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone set a shock fastest time in second free practice for MotoGP's Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin on Friday afternoon.

Having spent much of the session playing second fiddle to Honda’s Marc Marquez, Iannone pulled out an amazing lap of 2m04.599s in the dying moments to beat Marquez – the renowned master of Austin – by 0.056s.

Weather conditions remained cool at the start of the session, but the sun finally broke through the clouds and appeared to switch on the tyres in the closing moments of the session.

Marquez had led from the start, working down to 2m05.287s on his opening run. On his second run, Marquez – using a hard rear tyre – whirled around in 2m04.963s, 0.85s ahead with 20 minutes to go. 

He then fell on the very next lap, losing the front end as he turned in at Turn 11, but was able to climb back aboard and coast back to the pits.

He re-emerged in the closing moments to lower his time fractionally to 2m04.951s, then worked down to 2m04.655s before Iannone pulled out his last-gasp stormer.

Maverick Vinales was third-fastest, 0.264s off the pace, ahead of Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi.

Points leader Cal Crutchlow was fifth fastest on his LCR Honda, ahead of Suzuki’s Alex Rins, and the Ducatis of Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso.

KTM’s Pol Espargaro fell after losing the front at Turn 15 without injury or much damage, while LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami fell in the closing moments at Turn 5.

During the session, Honda’s injured Dani Pedrosa was caught flexing his broken wrist and bowing his head in pain. He ended the session in 10th place, behind lead Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro.

Tech 3's Johann Zarco was among those to miss out on a place in the top 10, which could leave him facing Q1 should rain materialise on Saturday morning as forecast.

Practice results:

1 29 italy Andrea Iannone  Suzuki 2'04.599  
2 93 spain Marc Marquez  Honda 2'04.655 0.056
3 25 spain Maverick Viñales  Yamaha 2'04.863 0.264
4 46 italy Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 2'04.958 0.359
5 35 united_kingdom Cal Crutchlow  Honda 2'05.088 0.489
6 42 spain Alex Rins  Suzuki 2'05.452 0.853
7 99 spain Jorge Lorenzo  Ducati 2'05.487 0.888
8 4 italy Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 2'05.647 1.048
9 41 spain Aleix Espargaro  Aprilia 2'05.739 1.140
10 26 spain Dani Pedrosa  Honda 2'05.761 1.162
11 9 italy Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 2'05.889 1.290
12 53 spain Tito Rabat  Ducati 2'05.910 1.311
13 5 france Johann Zarco  Yamaha 2'05.933 1.334
14 43 australia Jack Miller  Ducati 2'06.016 1.417
15 45 united_kingdom Scott Redding  Aprilia 2'06.078 1.479
16 55 malaysia Hafizh Syahrin  Yamaha 2'06.219 1.620
17 30 japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 2'06.397 1.798
18 17 czech_republic Karel Abraham  Ducati 2'06.555 1.956
19 12 switzerland Thomas Luthi  Honda 2'06.625 2.026
20 21 italy Franco Morbidelli  Honda 2'06.640 2.041
21 19 spain Alvaro Bautista  Ducati 2'06.683 2.084
22 38 united_kingdom Bradley Smith  KTM 2'07.033 2.434
23 44 spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 2'07.136 2.537
24 10 belgium Xavier Simeon  Ducati 2'08.021 3.422
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