2013 MotoGP | Marquez Fastest Friday at Valencia

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez

2013 Valencia MotoGP Season Finale Friday Practice Results

With the 2013 MotoGP title fight about to be settled at this weekend’s season finale – which is the first time the title went down to the wire since 2006 – Respol Honda’s Marc Marquez began in top form.

The 20-year-old Spaniard, who can become the first rookie to claim a title since Freddie Spencer in 1983, topped both Free Practice sessions Friday at Valencia.

Under dry and sunny conditions, albeit a bit of wind, Marquez set the pace at the Spanish circuit, piloting his Honda RC213V to a best time of 1:31.220, which is not far off his teammate’s pole position last season (1:30.844). When the final practice session of Friday wrapped up, Marquez would be 0.066 of a second quicker than Pedrosa, who also won at Valencia last season.

Pedrosa, who lost his title hopes following a third place at Motegi, may be crucial in keeping Lorenzo back as Marquez chases his first title. Marquez currently has a 13-point lead over Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo.

But the two-time MotoGP Champion wasn’t far off the leading Hondas’ paces; Lorenzo finished the day 0.158 of a second back. Lorenzo also posted this time late in the FP2 session. He spent most of the day in the pits with his team working on setup.

Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow was fourth quickest, 0.282 off Marquez’s pace. The Brit, who joins the Ducati Team in 2014 MotoGP, crashed, but escaped unharmed.

Fifth went to Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, who announced he is splitting with long-time crew chief Jeremy Burgess following the 2013 MotoGP season. The nine-time World Champion was 0.419 of a second off the pace.

Sixth through eighth fastest went to LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista, and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith, the final rider to post within a second of Marquez (0.764 of a second back.

Rounding out the top 10 were the Ducati duo of Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden, respectively.

The top CRT bike during Friday was the man who clinched top honors already, Aleix Espargaro. The Power Electronics Aspar rider finished 13th.

The 26-rider grid will return to the Valencia circuit Saturday for two more practice sessions and qualifying. For a preview of Valencia MotoGP, click here.

2013 Valencia MotoGP Free Practice 2 Results:

193Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda326.81’31.220
226Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda328.31’31.2860.066 / 0.066
399Jorge LORENZOSPAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha322.71’31.3780.158 / 0.092
435Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha323.71’31.5020.282 / 0.124
546Valentino ROSSIITAYamaha Factory RacingYamaha322.11’31.6390.419 / 0.137
66Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda326.21’31.8580.638 / 0.219
719Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda325.31’31.8730.653 / 0.015
838Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha320.71’31.9840.764 / 0.111
94Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati321.11’32.3631.143 / 0.379
1069Nicky HAYDENUSADucati TeamDucati318.31’32.3951.175 / 0.032
1129Andrea IANNONEITAEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati319.81’32.5961.376 / 0.201
1251Michele PIRROITADucati Test TeamDucati318.81’32.7561.536 / 0.160
1341Aleix ESPARGAROSPAPower Electronics AsparART311.61’32.8091.589 / 0.053
1471Claudio CORTIITANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki307.41’33.1721.952 / 0.363
155Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Mobile Forward RacingFTR Kawasaki309.21’33.2522.032 / 0.080
168Hector BARBERASPAAvintia BlusensFTR309.11’33.2702.050 / 0.018
179Danilo PETRUCCIITACame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter307.01’33.3042.084 / 0.034
1868Yonny HERNANDEZCOLIgnite Pramac RacingDucati319.81’33.4872.267 / 0.183
1914Randy DE PUNIETFRAPower Electronics AsparART307.11’33.7272.507 / 0.240
2023Luca SCASSAITACardion AB MotoracingART305.41’34.0492.829 / 0.322
217Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNAvintia BlusensFTR311.91’34.0772.857 / 0.028
2270Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportART306.31’34.1322.912 / 0.055
2367Bryan STARINGAUSGO&FUN Honda GresiniFTR Honda303.71’35.4784.258 / 1.346
2450Damian CUDLINAUSPaul Bird MotorsportPBM304.51’35.6444.424 / 0.166
2545Martin BAUERAUTRemus Racing TeamS&B Suter301.01’35.8324.612 / 0.188
2652Lukas PESEKCZECame IodaRacing ProjectIoda-Suter301.31’36.3535.133 / 0.521