Marc Marquez Leads a Rain-Disrupted Mugello MotoGP Friday Practice

Marc Marquez Leads a Rain-Disrupted Mugello MotoGP Friday Practice
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez

2014 Mugello MotoGP Friday Practice Results

Due to light rain falling at the Mugello Circuit ahead of and during the second free practice, many riders only participated in the first free practice.

The few riders that did participate in FP2 – Ducati Team’s test rider and wild-card entry Michele Pirro, Drive M7 Aspar’s Nicky Hayden, GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautsita and Hayden’s teammate Hiroshi Aoyama – could not break the 2:05 mark.

Due to this, all the quickest times arrived from FP1. And the leader was no surprise – Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez. The reigning MotoGP Champion piloted his Repsol Honda RC213V to a best lap of 1:48.004 around the 2.6-mile circuit containing 14 corners. To put this time into perspective, the circuit record at Mugello is a 1:47.639, which was posted by Marquez last season.

“Today was a really good day, I began with a few questions on my mind after last year –when this track was one of those that I found most difficult– and I saw that things have changed completely after a year of experience,” Marquez says.

“The morning went well and the feeling was good, but in the afternoon we didn’t go out as it was raining on-and-off and the surface was neither fit for dry riding nor wet tires. I felt very comfortable on the bike, there was a big difference compared to last year and I’m feeling much better about things and we hope to continue improving.”

Marquez’s comfortable feelings on the RC213V allowed him to lap much quicker than the rest of the 24-rider grid. He finished 0.382 of a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who is racing before a home crowd at his favorite circuit.

The 34-year-old YZR-M1 pilot also reported an immediate feel of comfort Friday at Mugello.

“This morning the start was good for me. We found already quite a good setting and I felt comfortable on the bike; it was already quite fast. The weather is a shame firstly for the people around the circuit and also as we had something important to try this afternoon so it was important to try to make the test. Unfortunately ten minutes before the practice it started to rain but not enough for the rain tire so we wasted our time,” Rossi says.

Two Italian’s followed Rossi – Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. Iannone was 0.430 of a second off the pace, and Dovi 0.514 of a second back.

Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo was next, the two-time MotoGP Champion 0.661 off the pace. The top 10 was completed by NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow – the final rider to post within a second of Maruez – Bautista, and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith.

Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa finished 11th, 1.199 of a second off the pace. As for the Americans, Hayden finished 23rd, and NGM Colin Edwards 15th.

Crashes were few; Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro hit the pavement after a big crash in turn 1. Bautista also high-sided in turn 1 while attempting to a voice contact with Cardion AB Racing Honda’s Karel Abraham.

The riders will return to Mugello Saturday for the final free practice sessions. MotoGP reports that If it rains again for FP3, the faster times from FP1 will dictate Qualifying 1 and Qualifying 2 participation.

For a preview of round six of 18, visit 2014 Mugello MotoGP Preview.

2014 Mugello MotoGP Friday Practice Results:

193Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda340.21’48.004
246Valentino ROSSIITAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha340.91’48.3860.382 / 0.382
329Andrea IANNONEITAPramac RacingDucati347.21’48.4340.430 / 0.048
44Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati343.81’48.5180.514 / 0.084
599Jorge LORENZOSPAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha339.61’48.6650.661 / 0.147
641Aleix ESPARGAROSPANGM Forward RacingForward Yamaha338.21’48.7430.739 / 0.078
76Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda339.41’48.9250.921 / 0.182
835Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRDucati TeamDucati343.21’48.9800.976 / 0.055
919Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda341.51’49.0301.026 / 0.050
1038Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha341.31’49.0301.026
1126Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda338.71’49.2031.199 / 0.173
1244Pol ESPARGAROSPAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha340.11’49.3081.304 / 0.105
135Colin EDWARDSUSANGM Forward RacingForward Yamaha330.31’49.8181.814 / 0.510
1451Michele PIRROITADucati TeamDucati343.71’50.0302.026 / 0.212
157Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNDrive M7 AsparHonda326.91’50.1432.139 / 0.113
1668Yonny HERNANDEZCOLEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati338.21’50.1892.185 / 0.046
1717Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingHonda328.21’50.3272.323 / 0.138
1845Scott REDDINGGBRGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda326.31’50.4402.436 / 0.113
198Hector BARBERASPAAvintia RacingAvintia320.31’51.3963.392 / 0.956
2063Mike DI MEGLIOFRAAvintia RacingAvintia327.11’52.1644.160 / 0.768
2170Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportPBM326.11’52.7484.744 / 0.584
2223Broc PARKESAUSPaul Bird MotorsportPBM317.31’53.7755.771 / 1.027
2369Nicky HAYDENUSADrive M7 AsparHonda322.81’55.3697.365 / 1.594
9Danilo PETRUCCIITAIodaRacing ProjectART