Marquez grabs lead in Aragon afternoon practice session

Championship leader shoots early warning to his main championship rivals

MotoGP Rookie sensation and championship leader Marc Marquez looks intent on topping as many sessions as possible for the remainder of the MotoGP season with the current championship leader once again leading the way, this time on home turf during free practice for the Gran Premio Iveco de Aragón.

In general the feeling that we have is pretty good. However, we can still improve our setup.

Marc Marquez

Marquez shot to the top of the lap times during the afternoon session with his best time of 1m 48.987s while making it a Honda top 3 were LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl who set a best lap of 1m 49.119s that was enough to stay ahead of Marquez’s Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa with a best time of 1m 49.254s.

Fresh off the back of his victory in Misano two weeks ago, Jorge Lorenzo was once again up to speed quickly on his Yamaha Factory YZR-M1 and the Spaniard topped the morning session but ended up in fourth place overall with a best lap of 1m 49.405s with fellow Spaniard Alvaro Bautista next on the timings and despite a fall near the end of the second session, the Go&Fun Gresini Honda rider managed a best lap of 1m 49.763s.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow ended his day in 6th position with his best time of 1m 49.840s good enough to stay ahead of Valentino Rossi on the second of the Yamaha Factory Racing machines. Rossi’s fastest lap of 1m 49.909s was fast enough to remain ahead of Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) who set a 1m 50.034s lap ahead of CRT rider Aleix Espargaro with the Power Electronics Aspar rider registering a best time of 1m 50.055s and the top ten was rounded off by Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden (1m 50.446s).

Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP

Photo by: Bridgestone

Andrea Iannone ended up in 11th place today for the Energy TI Pramac Racing team and his best time of 1m 50.727s was better than that of Hector Barbera and the Avintia Blusens machine (1m 50.913s.) Bradley Smith came home in 13th on his first day with the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider setting a best time of 1m 50.944s while Yonny Hernandez was close behind with a best time of 1m 51.345s for the Ignite Pramac Racing team who’s contracted rider, Ben Spies continues to undergo treatment for injuries.

Claudio Corti managed to set a 1m 51.461s on the NGM Mobile Forward Racing machine while Power Electronics Aspar man Randy De Puniet ended the day in 16th place with a best lap of 1m 51.699s. Colin Edwards set the 17th fastest time of 1m 52.020s for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team with Came IodaRacing’s Danilo Petrucci in 18th (1m 52.121s) while Hiroshi Aoyama sits in 19th on the Avintia Blusens machine setting a best lap of 1m 52.227s.

Michael Laverty finished in 20th place today for the Paul Bird Motorsport team setting a best lap of 1m 53.220s ahead of Cardion AB Motoracing fill-in Luca Scassa (1m 53.338s) who is substituting for the injured Karel Abraham. Bryan Staring sits in 22nd for the Go&Fun Honda Gresini CRT team with his best of 1m 53.557s faster than that of Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek and Paul Bird Motorsport man Damian Cudlin in 24th with his best lap of 1m 55.343s.

Speaking afterwards Marquez said that there is more to come from his RC213V throughout the weekend. He said, “Today, I didn't feel as good as I did in the test that we did here after the Barcelona GP, as there was less grip in these two practice sessions. Anyway, it's the same for everyone. In general the feeling that we have is pretty good and I worked on various things with the bike today. However, we can still improve our setup. We hope to take that step forward tomorrow and we shall see if the grip level improves, as that would make things so much easier for everyone."

Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Bradl came away from today’s sessions with confident with his set-up and pace saying, "It was a good first day for us because we achieved a good position and we are very close to the top guys. Secondly I am very happy with the bike right now: we have a kind of combination of settings which includes also Aragon test set up and Misano set up. We have a good feedback from both rear and front tyres and I can push to the limit so I am satisfied about our pace so far. Let’s see what is going to happen tomorrow but I am pretty optimistic."

Pedrosa was also happy with his progress today and said, "I'm happy, because today I felt comfortable on track, we put in some good laps and improved our feeling a lot. We were only lacking a test run with the hard rear tire, so tomorrow we will work on that to see which compound we go with in the end. We hope to get a bit further along with our preparations for the race."

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Bradley Smith , Colin Edwards , Ben Spies , Hector Barbera , Alvaro Bautista , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Lukas Pesek , Michael Laverty , Claudio Corti , Luca Scassa , Cal Crutchlow , Stefan Bradl , Hiroshi Aoyama , Damian Cudlin , Aleix Espargaro , Paul Bird , Dani Pedrosa , Karel Abraham , Marc Marquez , Yonny Hernandez , Danilo Petrucci , Andrea Iannone , Bryan Staring
Teams Forward Racing , Pramac Racing , Yamaha Factory Racing , Ducati Team , Repsol Honda Team , Tech 3 , AB Motoracing
Article type Practice report
Tags aragon, bradl, featured, hatch, honda, lcr, marquez, pedrosa, repsol