Ducati Team rider continues strong form on revised GP14.2 ahead of Lorenzo and Bradl
Andrea Dovizioso topped the time sheets on the first day of practice for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit with the Ducati Team rider continuing his good form on the revised GP 14.2 machine with the Italian rider setting a best time of 1m 45.140s and .440s ahead of Movistar Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo who is looking to build on his victory last time out in Aragón while LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl set the third best lap of 1m 45.637s.
We immediately got off to a good start this morning with the set-up. Today was a great day.
Dani Pedrosa finished the day in 4th position with the Repsol Honda rider providing thrilling footage on board his RC213V with his rear wheel significantly in the air at over 200km/h and the Spaniard eventually set a best time of 1m 45.727s ahead of Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi in 5th while Marc Marquez finished the day in 6th after losing valuable set up time following a small crash in the morning’s first free practice session.
Pol Espargaro was challenging the front runners on his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in the morning session with the Spaniard lapping at the top of the timings but he ended up in 7th place and nearly a full second off Marquez in the afternoon session but his time of 1m 46.041s was enough to see him one place ahead of teammate Bradley Smith with the English rider whose best lap of 1m 46.105s was enough to stay ahead of Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone in 9th and Yonny Hernandez in 10th with a best time of 1m46.113s and the only rider not to improve on his best FP1 lap.
Frontrunners very happy with first day performances
Dovizioso was really happy with the best time and to continue to make in-roads on his fellow competitors with the new improvements on his GP 14.2. He said, “I am very happy because, apart from my fastest lap which I set with a soft tire, I also had a good pace with the medium option. We immediately got off to a good start this morning with the set-up, both regarding the chassis and the electronics, and this enabled me to push hard right from the early laps. Today was a great day but tomorrow I’ll have to try and shave off some more tenths from my lap time.”
Lorenzo was pleased with his progress today and speaking afterwards he said, “After the race win in Aragon we knew that here maybe we had a chance to go faster and be more competitive with this normal tire on the rear. Also we knew that last year we were competitive and had good grip. From the beginning we’ve been on the pace and better than we expected. The bike is working very well, we can improve some small details in the settings, chassis and electronics but in general the pace of the bike is very good so I’m happy.”
Bradl was also really happy to be back at the sharp end of the time sheets and said, “We are quite satisfied because we have been very fast for the whole day and 3rd place in the last free practice is quite good. Our pace shows that we have a good speed and we have been clear and immediate in taking decisions on our bike set-up. We took the right direction easily and now we have to keep an eye at the weather tomorrow to see if it’s getting cooler. But overall I am pleased with the job we have done today.”