Lorenzo quickest as MotoGP Finale gets underway

Dovizioso P3 – Marquez P6

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was quickest on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, taking to the top late on in FP2 as a number of high profile crashers also marked the session, including FP1’s fastest Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

Jorge Lorenzo – P1

“Today I had an excellent feeling out on track and for the first time this year we finished a day of practice convincingly in the lead. I rode really well, managing to get the best out of the qualities of the bike and despite there still being a few weak points, we have a good speed and also a good pace both with the medium tyres and the soft ones. Valencia is a circuit that I like a lot, I’ve scored some good results here in the last few years and tomorrow we have to continue like this, working as well as today.”

Jorge Lorenzo - P1
Jorge Lorenzo – P1

Lorenzo has the most premier class wins at the venue, with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) – then man with the most wins at Valencia across all classes – hot on the chase in second.

Dani Pedrosa – P2

“I’m happy enough with how today went. In the afternoon, when the track was a little warmer and there was more grip than in the morning, I felt more comfortable on the bike. If it remains dry through the weekend, as it seems it will, the track will continue to improve and the grip will also get better, so we must remain focused and continue in this direction. Today we worked well to understand the tires, our pace and bike setup, but tomorrow will be another important day of practice and opportunity to continue the progress. Sunday’s race is in the afternoon, but we want to improve also in cooler conditions.”

Dani Pedrosa - P2
Dani Pedrosa – P2

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) the quickest of the title challengers in third to complete the good news for the Borgo Panigale factory on Friday.

Andrea Dovizioso – P3

“It was rather a productive day, because we tried a number of different solutions and got a good idea for the race. I’m pleased with my speed but not so much with the feeling I have with the bike at the moment, because for the race you will have to ride smoother than today. Marquez and Pedrosa showed that for the moment they have the best race pace, but at any rate I think we still have room to improve, by working on the electronics and the chassis tomorrow.”

Andrea Dovizioso - P3
Andrea Dovizioso – P3

Iannone ended Day One in fourth on combined times, ahead of Rookie of the Year and top Independent Team rider Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).

Andrea Iannone – P4

“I’m happy for this morning because we were fast and I had good feeling with the bike. In the afternoon we continued to work with used tyres to settle the pace configuration. We were able to lap an important distance, longer than the race distance, and the performance is good. At the end we switched to new soft tyres and unfortunately I took a slide, losing the front end in a right-hand corner. Here in Valencia the right-hand corners are always a crucial matter. Maybe the tyre was not at the right temperature so I lost it. We will figure out what happened, although the most important thing is that I didn’t get hurt and that overall the day has given us positive results.”

Andrea Iannone - P4
Andrea Iannone – P4

Johann Zarco – P5

“I am happy with what we achieved today and I started well, with a good pace. We did some constructive work with the medium tyres, which enabled us to save the soft compound until later. When we used it, I improved my time, but, to be honest, I expected a bit more. However, I am inside the top ten which is the most important thing. I will keep pushing and the information that we collected this afternoon will be useful for qualifying. I am pleased that we had dry and clear weather today and it should be the same for the entire weekend. Anyway, I am enjoying my time here and I hope to stay with the top guys tomorrow in order to prepare for a positive Sunday.”

Johann Zarco - P5
Johann Zarco – P5

Marquez was sixth but showed good pace, with Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) taking P7 after a stunning session in the morning – and exactly the same laptime in both sessions, down to the thousandth.

Marc Marquez – P6

“I felt really good today, we just tried to work hard for the race, riding with used tires to find the best setting and the best compromise. We tried two different setups, one similar to what we used last year and one more based on what we’ve been using recently. Tomorrow we’ll adjust the final details and we’ll go for a time attack, but I’m happy with the general feeling. Our pace this morning, on a medium rear tire, was good and in the afternoon I felt well on a soft rear, despite a small crash during my last lap when I was pushing a little bit more. It was important to start the weekend well, and I feel good on the bike, so we’ll try to keep this momentum going until Sunday.”

Marc Marquez - P6
Marc Marquez – P6

Jack Miller – P7

“I had a really good performance this morning apart from the small crash at the end of FP1. I just pushed a bit hard into turn six while we were working on improving the mapping. I was having a bit of wheelie in between turns five and six and I maybe got off the gas a bit too late and by the time the front wheel came down I was completely off the line. I stayed committed to try and keep the lap going but the front tyre went from underneath me. But I’m happy with my pace in both sessions and I think I could have gone quicker at the end had it not been for a bit of traffic. My ideal time would have put me very close to the top three, so I can’t complain too much and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend. It was important to be in the top 10 just in case there is an issue with the weather tomorrow morning but we will have to be careful because it can be very cold in the morning session and that can make it very tricky.”

Jack Miller - P7
Jack Miller – P7

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was eighth, with Ducati Team test rider and wildcard Michele Pirro putting in another impressive performance to go ninth quickest overall. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) impressed once more, close to the top in the morning and then able to complete the top ten by the end of action.

It was a more difficult first day for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo, with Valentino Rossi in eleventh to edge teammate Maverick Viñales in P12.

Valentino Rossi – P11

“It was a difficult day, especially this morning, because I didn’t feel good with the bike, but in the afternoon we improved the feeling and the setting. In the end, though I wasn’t fantastic, I was also not so bad, my speed was quite good. Here in Valencia it’s always difficult, because the grip is very low. During the whole season we suffered a lot in these types of conditions, so we have a lot to work on.”

Valentino Rossi - P11
Valentino Rossi – P11

Maverick Viñales – P12

“It was a challenging day. We were struggling on the brakes, and trying to make the bike turn in the corners was difficult. It’s hard to understand what the situation is, I just try to ride the bike in the best way I can. This was the result and we will try to improve. I think we have the level to reach the top-5. Let’s see tomorrow, so far it seems to be quite a difficult weekend.”

Maverick Viñales - P12
Maverick Viñales – P12

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was thirteenth despite a crash as he returns from injury, with Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) and Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) the final of the fastest fifteen on Friday.

MotoGP 2017 – Round 18 – Valencia – Day One Combined Practice Times
  1. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1’30.640
  2. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’30.762 +0.122
  3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’30.949 +0.309
  4. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’31.045 +0.405
  5. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’31.054 +0.414
  6. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’31.243 +0.603
  7. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’31.357 +0.717
  8. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’31.383 +0.743
  9. Michele PIRRO, Ducati Team – 1’31.413 +0.773
  10. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’31.438 +0.798
  11. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’31.488 +0.848
  12. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’31.624 +0.984
  13. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’31.698 +1.058
  14. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’31.733 +1.093
  15. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’31.858 +1.218
  16. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’31.876 +1.236
  17. Mika KALLIO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’31.879 +1.239
  18. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’31.926 +1.286
  19. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’31.958 +1.318
  20. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’32.029 +1.389
  21. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’32.076 +1.436
  22. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’32.151 +1.511
  23. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’32.457 +1.817
  24. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’32.587 1.947
  25. Michael VAN DER MARK, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’33.101 +2.461
MotoGP 2017 - Round 18 - Valencia - Day One Combined Practice Times
MotoGP 2017 – Round 18 – Valencia – Day One Combined Practice Times

Moto2 – Oliveira on a roll: KTM quickest on Day 1

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) dominated Day 1 at the Valencia GP, fastest in FP1 and repeating the feat in the afternoon for a clean sweep. That’s following the first two 1-2 results for KTM at Phillip Island and Sepang, with the Austrian marque making a real mark on the intermediate category in their first season in Moto2. Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) was fastest rookie and second quickest overall, just ahead of another rookie in the form of second Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder.

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo)
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo)

Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) was P4 on the opening day, just ahead of FP1’s second quickest, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Marquez made a late charge in the first session, and improved his laptime in the afternoon. Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was sixth fastest.

Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) took P7 and was the first non-improver from FP1, followed similarly by recently-crowned Champion Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Ricky Cardus (CarXpert Interwetten), standing in for injured Moto2™ runner up Tom Lüthi, had a stunner to stay close to the new Champion, lining up in ninth after Day 1. Compatriot Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) completed the top ten.

Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) was just outside the top ten on Day 1, but just ahead of Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team), who took twelfth. Augusto Fernandez (Speed Up Racing) had an impressive first day in P13, with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) locking out the fastest fifteen.

Remy Gardner completed FP1 in 15th but finished the day in 17th in the combined standings, and three-tenths of a second behind his teammate. Tomorrow he has his sights set on unlocking his potential with a strong display in qualifying.

Remy Gardner – P17

“The first day was decent for me but I am confident that we can have a better time tomorrow. I struggled a bit with the turning of the bike, and we are working really hard to fix that. In all honesty, I am slightly disappointed with FP2 because I was riding a solid time, but I ran wide at turn 12 which ruined the lap. Anyway, this was unfortunate, yet, it’s not the race. Tomorrow is qualifying and I am sure that we can find a good setting in FP3 and then be as ready as possible in the afternoon.”

Remy Gardner - P17
Remy Gardner – P17

MotoGP 2017 - Round 18 - Valencia - Day One Combined Practice Times - Moto2
MotoGP 2017 – Round 18 – Valencia – Day One Combined Practice Times – Moto2

Moto3 – Home hero Martin masters Day 1 at Valencia

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) opened the Valencia GP on top after a top three in the morning and the quickest lap of the day in FP2. The Spaniard, gunning for his first win, was just ahead of compatriot Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in second – with Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) and Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) making it a clean sweep for the home heroes in the top four.

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)
Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3)

Weather was sunny and clear although cold earlier in the day, and the field had a full day of running uninterrupted by the weather. Headlines were stolen in FP1 by reigning Champion Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) as he took a tumble, but the Majorcan was quick to his feet and improved from outside the top twenty following the incident to go fifth fastest overall. Another high profile incident interrupted FP2 as Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) suffered a crash and left compatriot Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) with nowhere to go, with fastest rookie Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team) just beating Bulega to sixth overall.

Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) took eighth as he gears up to try and make history and equal Mir’s win count, with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) taking ninth despite a crash on Day 1, and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) completing the top ten.

Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) was P11, ahead of Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and a stunning debut for Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup winner and wildcard Kazuki Masaki (Asia Talent Team) in P13. Dennis Foggia (Sky Junior Team VR46 Academy) – double FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Champion and wildcard this weekend – was fourteenth, with Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) locking out the fastest fifteen on Friday.

MotoGP 2017 - Round 18 - Valencia - Day One Combined Practice Times - Moto3
MotoGP 2017 – Round 18 – Valencia – Day One Combined Practice Times – Moto3