Laguna Seca MotoGP: Honda’s Marquez Fastest on Friday

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez

2013 Laguna Seca MotoGP Free Practice Two Results

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has more than impressed so far in 2013 MotoGP. In his debut year, he finished on the podium in seven of eight rounds, including wins at Circuit of the Americas and Sachsenring.

His win at Circuit of the Americas was the most impressive, considering he had limited testing at the track before the race. This shows the rookie’s two-wheel talent at a new circuit.  And on Friday, Marquez again impressed, taking the top time at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a circuit where he had never piloted a World-Championship motorcycle.

Marquez topped the opening day of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix with a best lap 1:22.040, the time arriving during the second and final free practice of the day. Marquez, the current MotoGP Championship points leader, finished 0.229 ahead of LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, and 0.244 ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.

As for Marquez’s teammate, Dani Pedrosa, he finished 11th quickest, 1.089 seconds back. Pedrosa, who missed Sachsenring due to a shoulder injury sustained in a crash during practice for the round, didn’t ride in the first free practice due to misty conditions. Pedrosa didn’t want to risk injury while still recovering from his crash at Germany, and complained of pain following the session.

Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo also continues to recover from surgery following his crash at Assen, and his second crash at Sachsenring. But the reigning MotoGP Championship finished sixth quickest, 0.427 of a second behind Marquez.

Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi, the winner of Assen MotoGP, was fourth quickest, 0.306 off the top time. He was followed by the first free practice leader, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.

Seventh went to the top CRT finisher so far this season, Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who was followed closely by satellite Honda rider Alvaro Bautista on the GO&FUN Honda Gresini RC213V. Rounding out the top 10 were Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden, and the final rider to post within a second of Marquez, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith.

The red flags came out when wildcard rider Blake Young – making his second appearance in MotoGP since Circuit of the Americas – crashed at turn five. The Attack Performance Racing CRT rider walked away unharmed. But the track was dead for 20 minutes due to oil spilling from Young’s bike.  Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham also crashed at turn 3.

As Ben Spies continues dealing with shoulder issues, his Ignite Pramac Racing machine is being piloted this weekend by Alex de Angelis, who takes a temporary step back into the premier class from Moto2. The San Marino rider ended the day in 14th place, while Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone has not traveled to the United States due to the dislocated right shoulder he sustained in an accident last weekend.

The 24-rider grid will return to Laguna Seca Saturday for the remaining free practice sessions ahead of qualifying.

Photos by Ara Ashjian

2013 Laguna Seca MotoGP Free Practice Two Results:

193Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda261.81’22.040
26Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda265.81’22.2690.229 / 0.229
34Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati265.71’22.2840.244 / 0.015
446Valentino ROSSIITAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha268.91’22.3460.306 / 0.062
535Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha262.21’22.4570.417 / 0.111
699Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha263.01’22.4670.427 / 0.010
741Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART257.51’22.5310.491 / 0.064
819Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda268.51’22.5390.499 / 0.008
969Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati264.21’22.7330.693 / 0.194
1038Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha257.41’22.7670.727 / 0.034
1126Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda264.91’23.1291.089 / 0.362
128Hector BARBERASPAAvintia BlusensFTR253.91’23.1581.118 / 0.029
1314Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART252.31’23.4371.397 / 0.279
1415Alex DE ANGELISRSMIgnite Pramac RacingDucati262.01’23.9731.933 / 0.536
159Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter257.61’24.0472.007 / 0.074
1671Claudio CORTIITANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki259.41’24.1802.140 / 0.133
175Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki258.11’24.4102.370 / 0.230
1817Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingART258.51’24.4212.381 / 0.011
197Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNAvintia BlusensFTR258.21’24.4732.433 / 0.052
2068Yonny HERNANDEZCOLPaul Bird MotorsportART254.41’24.5552.515 / 0.082
2170Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportPBM251.41’24.7272.687 / 0.172
2267Bryan STARINGAUSGO&FUN Honda GresiniFTR Honda244.51’25.3453.305 / 0.618
2379Blake YOUNGUSAAttack Performance RacingAPR250.01’25.7643.724 / 0.419
2452Lukas PESEKCZECame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter235.51’27.1735.133 / 1.409