Marquez the maestro learns Laguna Seca quickly to top Friday practice

The rookie clocked a time of 1’22.040 around the California circuit in Free Practice 2

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez wasted no time learning the lines of the Laguna Seca circuit as the rookie clocked a time of 1’22.040 around the California circuit in Free Practice 2 to lead the field on the first day of action.

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Repsol Media

Marquez’s time put him marginally ahead of LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl who ended the day 0.229 seconds off the top in P2, while a late charge from Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso saw the Italian rider finish third overall and a further 0.015 seconds behind Bradl. The top three riders all set their best lap time on the soft compound rear slick in conjunction with the harder option, medium compound front slick. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro was just 0.427 seconds off the pace, ending the day in seventh overall to set the pace for the CRT riders.

In what is a typical occurrence at Laguna Seca, morning mist kept ambient and track temperatures low for Free Practice 1 before the sun broke through in the afternoon to send track temperatures soaring to reach a peak of 46°C in the afternoon. The softer option front and rear slicks were used exclusively in the cool Free Practice 1 session to give the riders the best grip and warm-up performance and in the warmer afternoon session, tyre choice became more varied with many riders trying out the harder front slick and the harder rear slicks also being evaluated.

For tomorrow’s qualifying sessions fine conditions with ambient temperatures around 20°C are expected, with the next MotoGP session, Free Practice 3 scheduled to start at 1025 local time (GMT -7).

Masao Azuma – Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

“Today’s weather was typical for Laguna Seca with morning fog bringing very cool conditions for FP1 before the sun broke through the afternoon resulting in much higher track temperatures in FP2. The warmer track in the afternoon session enabled the riders to try both the softer and harder option front slicks and although the softer rear slick options were widely used today, the harder rear option was also tried. If we have the same conditions we saw in FP2 for tomorrow’s FP4 session, I expect we will see more riders try the harder option rear slick to see if it might afford them an advantage over race distance. Overall it was a positive first day at Laguna Seca with the top ten riders in FP2 separated by just seven-tenths of a second, and I look forward to another great day of action tomorrow.”

Bridgestone MotoGP

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Andrea Dovizioso , Masao Azuma , Stefan Bradl , Aleix Espargaro , Marc Marquez
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Article type Practice report
Tags bridgestone motorsport , dovizioso, ducati, laguna seca, marquez, masao azuma, practice, repsol honda