Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP 2014 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice Results | Espargaro Dominates

2014 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice Results | Espargaro Dominates

2014 Qatar MotoGP Friday Practice Results

The Open-option riders were expected to be quick during the first free practice at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit for the opening round of 2014 MotoGP. Why? They had a three-day preseason test at the desert circuit without the Factory option riders, allowing them to get a jump on setup.

But after three practices – one Thursday and two Friday – the Factory-option riders can not gain any ground on the Open machines. And they certainly can’t gain any ground the man who led every session so far – NGM Forward Racing Yamaha’s Aleix Espargaro.

The Spaniard, who also led all the Open-option machines throughout the preseason, dominated Friday’s free practice sessions. In 2014 Qatar MotoGP FP2 earlier on Friday, he posted a best of 1:54.989, finishing over 0.3 of a second ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso (Factory backing but under Open option).

And things only got quicker during the final practice of Friday; in FP3, Espargaro posted a 1:54.773 around the 3.34-mile desert circuit containing 16 corners.

Not so surprising, the next three bikes were also Open-option machines. Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone followed 0.413 of a second back, Go&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista 0.467 of a second back, and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso 0.477 of a second back. Dovi, along with teammate Cal Crutchlow, were not at the Qatar preseason test with the other Open-option machines, making his time that more impressive.

The reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez was the top Factory option rider, the 21-year-old Spaniard piloting his RC213V to a 1:55.446 around Losail. As Marquez recovers from a broken leg sustained in a dirt-track training incident six weeks ago, he ended Friday 0.673 off Aleix Espargaro’s time.

Though Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith suffered a huge highside at turn 5, he was able to post the sixth-quickest time, finishing 0.701 off the top time.

Two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo was next. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pilot, who won the last two meetings at Losail, continues to struggle. He posted a 1:55.495, following Aleix Espargaro 0.722 of second back.

Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa finished eight Friday due to his best FP2 time. Making into the top 10 – which is important for Saturday’s qualifying – Lorenzo’s teammate Valentino Rossi and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl. These top-10 riders automatically enter Qualifying 2 on Saturday.

Pol Espargaro and the man he replaced on the Tech3 Yamaha, Cal Crutchlow, now on the Ducati Team GP14, finished 11th and 12th, respectively. Due to this, they will not automatically enter Q2. Crutchlow crashed at turn 10, but will be back on the track Saturday.

As for the Americans, Dive M7 Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden finished 13th, 1.584 seconds behind Aleix, and the other NGM Forward Racing Yamaha rider, Colin Edwards, 14th, 1.6 seconds back.

The 23-rider grid will return to Losail Saturday for another Free Practice Session ahead of qualifying.

2014 Qatar MotoGP Free Practice 3 Results:

1 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 325.6 1’54.773
2 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 341.2 1’55.186 0.413 / 0.413
3 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 341.0 1’55.240 0.467 / 0.054
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 342.3 1’55.250 0.477 / 0.010
5 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 340.3 1’55.446 0.673 / 0.196
6 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 335.2 1’55.474 0.701 / 0.028
7 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 334.2 1’55.495 0.722 / 0.021
8 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 338.4 1’55.676 0.903 / 0.181
9 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 336.4 1’55.702 0.929 / 0.026
10 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 339.8 1’55.754 0.981 / 0.052
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 334.5 1’55.793 1.020 / 0.039
12 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Ducati Team Ducati 338.0 1’56.013 1.240 / 0.220
13 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Drive M7 Aspar Honda 324.0 1’56.357 1.584 / 0.344
14 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 324.4 1’56.373 1.600 / 0.016
15 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 331.0 1’56.633 1.860 / 0.260
16 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Drive M7 Aspar Honda 330.8 1’56.939 2.166 / 0.306
17 45 Scott REDDING GBR GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 322.7 1’56.997 2.224 / 0.058
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Honda 324.5 1’57.345 2.572 / 0.348
19 23 Broc PARKES AUS Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 314.5 1’57.665 2.892 / 0.320
20 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Avintia 322.0 1’58.204 3.431 / 0.539
21 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Avintia 322.7 1’58.219 3.446 / 0.015
22 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 317.3 1’58.378 3.605 / 0.159
23 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA IodaRacing Project ART 321.0 1’58.651 3.878 / 0.273

Klim Adventure GTX Boots Review: Target Audience Perfection

Although mic crop is a cliché these days, some situations and products deserve that accolade. The all-new Klim Adventure GTX boots check every boot...

Harley-Davidson Gift of Riding H-D Riding Academy Contest

There is no better gift in the world than turning a non-rider into a motorcyclist. Of course, it takes more than best wishes to...

2021 Suzuki 650 V-Twins: New Colors Sneak Peek First Look

It’s always interesting to check into Europe’s latest to see what might appear on dealer showroom floors in the United States. We look at...

2021 Honda Rebel 500 ABS SE First Look (5 Fast Facts)

After an upgrade last year, Honda has more plans for the now-midsize Rebel. There is now a 2021 Honda Rebel 500 ABS—an accessorized version...

Sena SRL2 Review: Bluetooth Communications for Select Shoei Helmets

The Shoei Neotec II is a sweet upgrade from the original Neotec, and it incorporates many improvements. Nic de Sena reviewed the Shoei Neotec...

2021 Ducati Diavel 1260 Lamborghini First Look (12 Fast Facts)

It is virtually impossible to go wrong when combining two iconic brands, such as Ducati and Lamborghini. With the two marques owned by the...