Honda’s Marquez Dominates Friday MotoGP Practice at Austin’s COTA

Honda's Marquez Dominates Friday MotoGP Practice at Austin's COTA

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez Friday at Circuit of the Americas

2014 Circuit of the Americas Free Practice 2 Results

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was the clear favorite heading into round 2 of the 2014 MotoGP Championship at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.

The reigning MotoGP Champion had already won the opening round at Qatar – six weeks after breaking his leg – and was victorious from the pole during COTA’s debut last year.

And on Friday, the 21-year-old Spaniard dominated both Free Practice sessions by large margins. In FP1, he posted a 2:04.704 around the 3.426-mile circuit, finishing 0.887 of a second ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the Open-option NGM Forward Racing Yamaha.

And he only got quicker in Free Practice 2, posting a 2:03.490 on hard Bridgestone rubber; this is less than 0.5 of a second off his 2013 pole-qualifying time on medium rubber.

But what’s even more impressive is the gap he pulled aboard the RC213V; Marquez finished 1.005 seconds ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso on the GP14 (running under Open-option rules).

Most of the others used softer tires during Friday’s FP2, including Dovi and Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa, who finished third, 1.133 off the top time.

The fourth quickest rider was the Pramac Racing Ducati GP14 piloted by Andrea Iannone, who was 1.179 seconds behind Marquez; Iannone also used a soft rear tire.

The quickest Yamaha rider was nine-time World Champion Valenitno Rossi. The 34-year-old Italian, who finished second at Qatar, 0.259 of a second behind Marquez, makes it no secret that he finds the long Circuit of the Americas tricky. He finished Friday fifth quickest, 1.303 behind Marquez.

As for Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo continued to struggle with edge grip on the Yamaha, through he used a re-introduced 2013-spec Bridgestone tire that he preferred over the 2014 tires. He finished eighth quickest, 1.486 seconds off Marquez.

Sixth fastest went to Espargaro, who outpaced LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl on the RC213V. Rounding out the top 10 were two British riders – Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith, respectively.

As for the Americans, Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden was 14th quickest aboard the Honda RCV1000R, finishing 2.698 seconds off the top time. The retiring Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing Yamaha) was 16th quickest, 3.390 seconds off the top time.

The riders will return to Circuit of the Americas 11:55 a.m. ET for the third free-practice ahead of a final practice session and qualifying.

2014 Austin MotoGP from Circuit of the Americas Free Practice 2 Results:

1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 338.5 2’03.490
2 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 334.7 2’04.495 1.005 / 1.005
3 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 337.3 2’04.623 1.133 / 0.128
4 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 336.0 2’04.669 1.179 / 0.046
5 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 334.1 2’04.793 1.303 / 0.124
6 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 322.0 2’04.844 1.354 / 0.051
7 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 339.6 2’04.870 1.380 / 0.026
8 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 331.5 2’04.976 1.486 / 0.106
9 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Ducati Team Ducati 329.8 2’04.981 1.491 / 0.005
10 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 328.8 2’05.366 1.876 / 0.385
11 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 338.0 2’05.453 1.963 / 0.087
12 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 329.7 2’05.672 2.182 / 0.219
13 45 Scott REDDING GBR GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 316.4 2’05.937 2.447 / 0.265
14 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Drive M7 Aspar Honda 316.2 2’06.188 2.698 / 0.251
15 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 328.0 2’06.376 2.886 / 0.188
16 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 319.1 2’06.880 3.390 / 0.504
17 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Drive M7 Aspar Honda 322.1 2’07.034 3.544 / 0.154
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Honda 317.9 2’07.053 3.563 / 0.019
19 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Avintia 315.9 2’07.211 3.721 / 0.158
20 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA IodaRacing Project ART 315.8 2’08.379 4.889 / 1.168
21 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 312.5 2’08.973 5.483 / 0.594
22 23 Broc PARKES AUS Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 309.2 2’09.004 5.514 / 0.031
23 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Avintia 316.9 2’09.247 5.757 / 0.243

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