Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP Marc Marquez Leads a Rain-Disrupted Mugello MotoGP Friday Practice

Marc Marquez Leads a Rain-Disrupted Mugello MotoGP Friday Practice

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:

1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 340.2 1’48.004
2 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 340.9 1’48.386 0.382 / 0.382
3 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 347.2 1’48.434 0.430 / 0.048
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 343.8 1’48.518 0.514 / 0.084
5 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 339.6 1’48.665 0.661 / 0.147
6 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 338.2 1’48.743 0.739 / 0.078
7 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 339.4 1’48.925 0.921 / 0.182
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Ducati Team Ducati 343.2 1’48.980 0.976 / 0.055
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 341.5 1’49.030 1.026 / 0.050
10 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 341.3 1’49.030 1.026
11 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 338.7 1’49.203 1.199 / 0.173
12 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 340.1 1’49.308 1.304 / 0.105
13 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 330.3 1’49.818 1.814 / 0.510
14 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 343.7 1’50.030 2.026 / 0.212
15 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Drive M7 Aspar Honda 326.9 1’50.143 2.139 / 0.113
16 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 338.2 1’50.189 2.185 / 0.046
17 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing Honda 328.2 1’50.327 2.323 / 0.138
18 45 Scott REDDING GBR GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 326.3 1’50.440 2.436 / 0.113
19 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Racing Avintia 320.3 1’51.396 3.392 / 0.956
20 63 Mike DI MEGLIO FRA Avintia Racing Avintia 327.1 1’52.164 4.160 / 0.768
21 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 326.1 1’52.748 4.744 / 0.584
22 23 Broc PARKES AUS Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 317.3 1’53.775 5.771 / 1.027
23 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Drive M7 Aspar Honda 322.8 1’55.369 7.365 / 1.594
9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA IodaRacing Project ART

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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