Mugello MotoGP | Lorenzo Leads Rossi on Friday

Yamaha Factory Racing's Jorge Lorenzo

2013 Mugello MotoGP Friday Practice Results

When the first MotoGP practice session began at Mugello for the Grand Prix of Italy, the 3.259-circuit was slick due to rain showers.

But on wet Bridgestones, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was quickly up to speed, the rookie leading the grid. But though quickest, the slippery conditions produced lap times that were eight seconds off the normal track times.

This changed when the second free practice got underway, though. Under dry conditions, the reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo set the pace. The Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 pilot posted a quickest lap of 1:48.375, followed by teammate Valentino Rossi, who was a mere 0.034 of a second back.

The local favorite Rossi led most of the 45-minute session, and was the first rider to dip into 1:48. But Lorenzo put on the pressure during the final five minutes, eventually taking the top time. To put Lorenzo’s time into perspective, the fastest lap at Mugello ios a 1:47.284 set by Repsol Honda’s Dani edrosa last season.

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “In the morning it was wet and bad conditions so we preferred to not exit at the end of FP1 with the slick tires as we thought the track was dangerous. We had to wait for the afternoon and dry conditions. From the beginning the Yamaha riders were very strong and competitive which means the track is working well for us this year.

“We have to wait for the improvement of our rivals and the possible change in weather that can change our performance but for the moment we are very competitive and happy.”

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 MotoGP) says: “I’m happy because it’s a very good practice today, starting from the beginning, staying at the top. It’s very good for the team as we are in first and second and for Yamaha because we have three Yamahas on the first three positions.

“Already the lap time is not so bad but we have to stay focused and concentrate for tomorrow because for sure our opponents will improve a lot. We have to make another step to improve and go faster to fight for a good position in the race.”

The only rider to come close to the factory Yamaha prototypes was yet another YZR-M1 – the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha ridden by Cal Crutchlow. The Brit followed 0.297 of a second back, and was the final rider to post within a second of Lorenzo.

As for Marquez, he suffered a high-speed crash on one of the fastest parts of any racetrack in the world. The RC213V rider slid down the track towards turn one. The 20-year-old was taking to the circuit Medical Centre, where he was confirmed to have escaped serious injury.

Repsol Honda reports Marquez sustained a strained neck and bruises to his right shoulder, arm and leg. The team did not rule him out, but his presence on the track will be contingent on how he feels Saturday morning.

Also crashing was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, who sustained a left wrist scaphoid fracture and a wound to the 5th finger on his left hand. He has however been declared fit for tomorrow.

Taking the fourth quickest time Friday was Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden. The American wasn’t completely happy with the GP13, but was able to finish just over a second behind Lorenzo.

Fifth fastest was the championship leader Pedrosa. The Spaniard, who complained of lack of rear grip, was 1.002 of a second back. Sixth and seventh went to two Ducatis – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Dovi was involved in a crash in the FP1 session, and suffered with neck issues. The Italian stated that he cannot bend his head backwards, making it very tough on the straights, and even in the bends. He will assess his condition in the morning and will then decide if he is fit to ride.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl will be looking for an improvement from eighth on his satellite Honda, while Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet was the leading CRT runner in ninth, beating Ducati Test Team’s wildcard entry Michele Pirro riding the GP13 “lab bike.”

Also, the American Ben Spies returned to action aboard the Pramac Racing Ducati GP13. The Texan, who is suffering from a nagging shoulder problem, was 16th quickest, 1:51 off the top pace.

The 25-rider Mugello MotoGP grid will return to the Italian circuit Saturday for two more Free Practice sessions ahead of Qualifying. The third free practice will be important for all riders, considering the top 10 times from the first three free practice sessions automatically progress to the second qualifying.

2013 Mugello MotoGP Free Practice Two Results:

199Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha341.61’48.375
246Valentino ROSSIITAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha339.41’48.4090.034 / 0.034
335Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha337.81’48.6720.297 / 0.263
469Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati338.41’49.3771.002 / 0.705
526Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda340.01’49.3831.008 / 0.006
629Andrea IANNONEITAEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati340.61’49.4671.092 / 0.084
74Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati338.81’49.5431.168 / 0.076
86Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda338.91’49.5951.220 / 0.052
914Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART322.41’49.5991.224 / 0.004
1051Michele PIRROITADucati Test TeamDucati340.11’49.6491.274 / 0.050
1119Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda338.81’49.7331.358 / 0.084
1241Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART326.31’49.7691.394 / 0.036
1338Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha335.21’50.1031.728 / 0.334
1493Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda342.01’50.2101.835 / 0.107
158Hector BARBERASPAAvintia BlusensFTR320.61’50.4002.025 / 0.190
1611Ben SPIESUSAIgnite Pramac RacingDucati340.91’51.1052.730 / 0.705
175Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki323.51’51.4333.058 / 0.328
1817Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingART325.81’51.5283.153 / 0.095
1968Yonny HERNANDEZCOLPaul Bird MotorsportART322.91’51.6443.269 / 0.116
209Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter322.01’51.9373.562 / 0.293
217Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNAvintia BlusensFTR320.91’52.1823.807 / 0.245
2271Claudio CORTIITANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki326.31’53.3144.939 / 1.132
2370Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportPBM321.81’53.4805.105 / 0.166
2467Bryan STARINGAUSGO&FUN Honda GresiniFTR Honda324.41’54.2315.856 / 0.751
2552Lukas PESEKCZECame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter312.01’54.8296.454 / 0.598