Reigning champion leads on day two ahead of Crutchlow and Iannone
Marc Marquez secured the fastest time of the day in tonight’s FP3 session at the Losail International Circuit with the factory Honda rider leading the ever-improving Cal Crutchlow for the LCR Honda team and in third position is the factory Ducati machine of Andrea Iannone.
Today has been a very good day.
Marquez once again lowered his best time of the weekend with a 1m 54.822s lap time coming in his 15th lap under the floodlights while Crutchlow also found more pace on his RC213V machine and was only .096s behind Marquez at the end of the day while Iannone was just .170s behind the leader with the Italian having a small crash at the end of the session.
Aleix Espargaro was right at the front today and the Suzuki GSX-RR is already at a highly competitive level with the Spaniard setting the fourth best lap of 1m 54.994s while Dani Pedrosa ended the day in 5th place and .202s off his factory Honda teammate. Andrea Dovizioso was next along on the factory Ducati with the Italian rider setting a fastest lap of 1m 55.044s.
Yonny Hernandez sits 7th on the timing sheets on the Pramac Ducati and a best lap of 1m 55.102s was enough to see the Columbian stay ahead of factory Yamaha pair Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi with both riders off the pace somewhat while Pol Espargaro was also encountering set up issues and finishing with the 10th best lap of 1m 55.328s for the Tech 3 team.
Marquez predicts rivals will shorten gap even further
Speaking this evening, Marquez was very happy with his pace but with the top ten separate by just .500s he is predicting even closer times tomorrow.
"Today has been a very good day," he said while adding, "because we have improved our pace – which is the most important thing - and tried out a few things that have allowed us to progress.
"We will see tomorrow if the track conditions stay the same or improve, but today we saw times that were very close; I think that tomorrow they will be even closer. The most important thing will be to continue like this and prepare for Sunday’s race."
Crutchlow was pleased with his performance today but had some issues at the beginning of this evening’s session. He said, “Obviously I’m happy enough with the lap time tonight and how things were feeling at the end of the session, but the early part of it was a bit of a disaster.
"There was a strange feeling with the bike and I was riding around in 18th spot, with the rear not working as it had in the earlier practices.
"I think we’re on a bit of a different plan to the other guys tyre-wise, so maybe that was why the track felt a lot worse later on.”
“The whole CWM LCR Honda Team are doing a great job though, and we are all working so hard. I’m not sure today’s speed and lap-times are relative to where we will finish the race, but I hope it is!
"We’re working hard enough, and I’m surprised with how fast we are going with the package we’ve got, but we still need to improve our lap by lap pace and we will be trying to do so overnight,” he added.
Practice 2 results
|8||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'55.707||0.879||12|
|18||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward/Yamaha||1'56.181||1.353||17|
|22||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward/Yamaha||1'56.966||2.138||15|
|23||Alex de Angelis||ART/Aprilia||1'57.509||2.681||18|
Practice 3 results
|14||Stefan Bradl||Yamaha Forward/Yamaha||1'55.694||0.872||17|
|17||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'55.866||1.044||12|
|22||Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward/Yamaha||1'57.072||2.250||7|
|24||Alex de Angelis||ART/Aprilia||1'57.509||2.687||15|