Motegi MotoGP Friday Practice: Ducati’s Dovizioso Quickest

Motegi MotoGP Friday Practice: Ducati’s Dovizioso Quickest
Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso

2014 Motegi MotoGP Friday Practice

Ahead of the Grand Prix of Japan at Twin Ring Motegi, Andrea Dovizioso said his Ducati GP14 would be competitive at the technical circuit.

The Italian reported he is aggressive on the binders, and Motegi’s layout has some of the hardest braking zones in MotoGP. Plus, Dovi also favors Motegi, considering he earned his only pole of the premier class there in 2010.

When Friday’s free practice sessions were complete at Motegi – the first race of three back-to-back rounds – Dovizioso was correct about the Desmosedici being competitive. He finished third quickest in the first free practice (FP1), but completely dominated the second free practice (FP2).

In FP2, Dovi would post a 1:45.140 around the 2.983-mile circuit on an extra-soft rear Bridgestone. To put this time into perspective, the Fastest Lap (on qualifying tires) is a 1:44.969, which was posted in 2012 by last year’s Motegi MotoGP winner Jorge Lorenzo.

Dovizioso finished FP2 0.440 of a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Lorenzo, who led FP1. LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl took the third-quickest time, the German a mere 0.057 of a second behind Lorenzo.

“I am very happy because, apart from my fastest lap which I set with a soft tire, I also had a good pace with the medium option. We immediately got off to a good start this morning with the set-up, both regarding the chassis and the electronics, and this enabled me to push hard right from the early laps. Today was a great day but tomorrow I’ll have to try and shave off some more tenths from my lap time,” Dovizioso says.

Finishing fourth was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedorsa, who “survived a big moment in FP1 when he produced a remarkable stoppie at turn 11, as he hit the brakes going into the corner.”

Pedrosa, who won at Motegi four times across all classes, finished 0.587 of a second behind Dovizioso. The Spaniard was followed by Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, who finished 0.750 of a second behind Dovizioso, and the current MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez, who finished 0.799 of a second back.

The Repsol Honda pilot Marquez missed his braking market at turn 5 in FP1, and suffered a crash. The 21-year-old Spaniard was unhurt, but this preventing him from starting quick at Motegi, where he can possibly clinch the title.

Rounding out the top 10 were Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Yonny Hernandez (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing)

Also suffering crashes were Japan’s Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar), who crashed in FP2 but walked away with minimal damage to the bike, and Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) who had a smaller wreck. Both riders were unhurt.

The riders return to the Twin Ring Motegi circuit Saturday for two additional free practice sessions ahead of qualifying.

For a preview of the round, visit 2014 Motegi MotoGP Preview.

2014 Motegi MotoGP Free Practice 2 Results (Friday):

14Andrea DOVIZIOSOITADucati TeamDucati305.51’45.140
299Jorge LORENZOSPAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha300.51’45.5800.440 / 0.440
36Stefan BRADLGERLCR Honda MotoGPHonda307.01’45.6370.497 / 0.057
426Dani PEDROSASPARepsol Honda TeamHonda306.11’45.7270.587 / 0.090
546Valentino ROSSIITAMovistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha302.31’45.8900.750 / 0.163
693Marc MARQUEZSPARepsol Honda TeamHonda305.41’45.9390.799 / 0.049
744Pol ESPARGAROSPAMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha303.21’46.0410.901 / 0.102
838Bradley SMITHGBRMonster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha301.11’46.1050.965 / 0.064
929Andrea IANNONEITAPramac RacingDucati302.91’46.1070.967 / 0.002
1035Cal CRUTCHLOWGBRDucati TeamDucati298.71’46.2211.081 / 0.114
1119Alvaro BAUTISTASPAGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda302.61’46.2271.087 / 0.006
1268Yonny HERNANDEZCOLEnergy T.I. Pramac RacingDucati302.51’46.2971.157 / 0.070
1341Aleix ESPARGAROSPANGM Forward RacingForward Yamaha296.51’46.3151.175 / 0.018
148Hector BARBERASPAAvintia RacingDucati300.81’46.5711.431 / 0.256
157Hiroshi AOYAMAJPNDrive M7 AsparHonda298.11’47.1331.993 / 0.562
1621Katsuyuki NAKASUGAJPNYAMALUBE Racing Team with YSPYamaha301.41’47.1802.040 / 0.047
1717Karel ABRAHAMCZECardion AB MotoracingHonda290.41’47.4062.266 / 0.226
1815Alex DE ANGELISRSMNGM Forward RacingForward Yamaha295.31’47.5132.373 / 0.107
1945Scott REDDINGGBRGO&FUN Honda GresiniHonda287.01’47.5862.446 / 0.073
2069Nicky HAYDENUSADrive M7 AsparHonda288.01’47.9752.835 / 0.389
219Danilo PETRUCCIITAOcto IodaRacing TeamART284.51’48.2643.124 / 0.289
2263Mike DI MEGLIOFRAAvintia RacingAvintia288.01’49.1053.965 / 0.841
2323Broc PARKESAUSPaul Bird MotorsportPBM286.11’49.1594.019 / 0.054
2470Michael LAVERTYGBRPaul Bird MotorsportPBM288.51’49.3214.181 / 0.16