Misano MotoGP: Pol Espargaro springs a surprise by topping FP2

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Misano MotoGP: Pol Espargaro springs a surprise by topping FP2
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Sep 9, 2016, 1:04 PM

Tech 3 Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro was the shock pacesetter on the opening day of practice for the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.

Pol Espargaro, Tech 3 Yamaha
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team

On a hot Italian afternoon, Espargaro lapped the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in 1m32.769s, 0.065s faster than the works Honda of Dani Pedrosa.

Andrea Dovizioso was a close third for Ducati, also lapping in the 1m32s bracket, ahead of Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo and Honda’s Marc Marquez.

The morning’s pacesetter Valentino Rossi was sixth in this session.

Story of the session

Lorenzo set the very early pace at 1m34.871s. Dovizioso went to P1 on 1m34.565s, before Marquez grabbed the top spot on 1m34.482s, but then Dovi wrestled it back with 1m33.849s.

Dovizioso was the sole factory Ducati rider today, with Andrea Iannone ruled out with a back injury following his FP1 crash.

British GP winner Vinales rose to P2, 0.025s down, on the Ducati pace, and then took P1 on 1m33.721s.

Dani Pedrosa jumped up to second, 0.134s off the fastest time, with teammate Marquez pushed down to third, three tenths off the pace at this point.

Lorenzo had slumped to 15th after 15 minutes of the session, after having his best lap deleted for exceeding track limits, but leapt to the top of the times during his second run on 1m33.263s, which topped Rossi’s 1m33.451s from this morning’s FP1.

Vinales chipped away at Lorenzo’s 0.458s advantage, trimming it to a third of a second, with Marquez just 0.056s off the Suzuki man.

But Vinales and Marquez had both of those times deleted, so Aleix Espargaro was suddenly elevated to second, 0.380s off Lorenzo’s best time.

As the session drew to its close, Rossi jumped up to third on 1m33.713s, but was quickly eclipsed by both Pol Espargaro and Marquez.

Pol jumps to the top

Espargaro, who was shadowing Marquez, leapt up to P1 on 1m32.769s a lap later – taking the top spot by the wide margin of 0.494s. Marquez improved to 1m33.196s, but that was beaten by Dovizioso’s 1m32.901 and Pedrosa on 1m33.033s.

Lorenzo, who came out later than his rivals for his final run, rose to fourth on 1m33.056s as Pedrosa grabbed second from Dovizioso by 0.067s – and got within 0.065s of Espargaro’s best time.

Lorenzo ended the session outside the 1m32s bracket, ahead of Marquez, Rossi, Brno winner Cal Crutchlow, Scott Redding and Hector Barbera.

Vinales dropped to 10th after having a number of laps chalked off for exceeding track limits.

Aprilia’s Stefan Bradl was lapping strongly in the top eight when he crashed at Turn 14 after 10 minutes. Crutchlow also went off at Turn 14, like Bradl dropping the bike at low speed.

Early on, Rossi had a huge falling out with Aleix Espargaro, who he claimed was touring on the racing line at the end of the lap.

Free practice 2 results

Pos.#DriverBikeTimeGap
1 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'32.769  
2 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'32.834 0.065
3 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'32.901 0.132
4 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'33.056 0.287
5 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'33.196 0.427
6 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'33.387 0.618
7 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'33.500 0.731
8 45 Scott Redding Ducati 1'33.552 0.783
9 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'33.581 0.812
10 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 1'33.629 0.860
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'33.643 0.874
12 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'33.803 1.034
13 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'33.846 1.077
14 51 Michele Pirro Ducati 1'33.885 1.116
15 22 Alex Lowes Yamaha 1'34.154 1.385
16 50 Eugene Laverty Ducati 1'34.457 1.688
17 6 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 1'34.631 1.862
18 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'34.719 1.950
19 53 Tito Rabat Honda 1'34.725 1.956
20 43 Jack Miller Honda 1'35.062 2.293
21 12 Xavi Fores Ducati 1'36.046 3.277
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