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Mugello MotoGP Practice Report

Ducati’s Dovizioso Tops Marquez at Mugello MotoGP Practice
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso

Ducati set its Desmosedici GP15’s sights on Mugello MotoGP two weeks ago with some private practice sessions at the Tuscany circuit.

The GP15 – developed by Aprilia transplant Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager) – has made it to the podium at four of five races so far in 2015 MotoGP, and Ducati is targeting a win this weekend before a home crowd.

And following Friday’s free practice sessions, Ducati is in the most optimal position to hunt down a first win at Mugello – on top. Andrea Dovizioso dominated the opening day of free practices for the Grand Prix of Italy, topping both 45-minute sessions.

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Dovi’s best lap – a 1:47.479 – arrived in FP2. To put this time into perspective, the Circuit Record (under race conditions) set by Marc Marquez in 2013 is a 1:47.639. Due to the private practice sessions, the team was able to find a quick setup right from the beginning.

Ducati’s Dovizioso Tops Marquez at Mugello MotoGP Practice Marc Marquez
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez

Joining Dovizioso on the provisional front row is the reigning MotoGP Champion Marquez (Repsol Honda), who followed 0.162 of a second back, and the man who won the last two rounds at Le Mans and Jerez, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo (-0.209).

“I am very happy with how this weekend has started for us and above all with the time I set at the end of the session. We are quick and this is fundamental in the search for the best set-up. We are still carrying out some tests in order to improve certain aspects of the Desmosedici GP15 that will allow us to be competitive right until the end of the race. Now we must concentrate on the analysis of the data so that we can have a clear starting-point to work on for tomorrow,” Dovi says.

Marquez, who only earned a single win this season at Circuit of the America in Texas, improved after trying a few different setups to battle the front-end issues he’s been dealing with all season.

“Overall, today went quite well. It was a Friday in which we tried several things, especially in terms of electronics to try and improve the engine character, and I’m happy because we have taken a step forward. I’m not yet completely comfortable, but I felt pretty good and it seems that the direction we have taken is the right one,” Marquez says.

Lorenzo enters Mugello riding on momentum from his recent victories. He feels there is much room for improvement on his Yamaha YZR-M1.

Ducati’s Dovizioso Tops Marquez at Mugello MotoGP Practice Jorge Lorenzo
Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo

“I‘m not completely satisfied with the way the bike is working. Concerning the setting of my YZR-M1, I think we have a big margin for improvement. Little by little we are going to make progress in most of the corners, but to begin the weekend with second and third place and a good pace is a nice start,” Lorenzo says.

Dovizioso’s teammate Andrea Iannone – who broke his arm during the private testing at Mugello – finished Friday fourth overall, just over a half-second behind. He was followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith and CWM LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow.

When the day ended, the top 13 riders were within a second of each other. The sixth-13th riders were: Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro (-0.658); Marc VDS Racing’s Scott Redding (-0.685); Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi (-0.732); Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro (-0.804); Ducati Team Test Rider Michele Pirro (-0.838); Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci (-0.940); and Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa (-0.956).

As for the sole American in MotoGP, Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden finished 24th – 2.387 off the pace.

The 26-rider grid will be back on the Mugello circuit Saturday for two additional free practices and qualifying.

2015 Mugello MotoGP Practice – Friday Results:

1. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team, 1’47.479
2. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team, 1’47.643
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1’47.852
4. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team, 1’47.940
5. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3, 1’48.038
6. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) CWM LCR Honda, 1’48.124
7. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP, 1’48.137
8. Scott Redding (GBR) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS, 1’48.164
9. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, 1’48.211
10. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3, 1’48.283
11. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Pramac Racing, 1’48.304
12. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ducati Team, 1’48.317
13. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Pramac Racing, 1’48.419
14. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team, 1’48.435
15. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP, 1’48.493
16. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing, 1’48.675
17. Stefan Bradl (GER) Athinà Forward Racing, 1’48.694
18. Karel Abraham (CZE) AB Motoracing, 1’48.851
19. Jack Miller (AUS) CWM LCR Honda, 1’49.030
20. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar Team MotoGP, 1’49.261
21. Loris Baz (FRA) Athinà Forward Racing, 1’49.661
22. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing, 1’49.729
23. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, 1’49.741
24. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Team MotoGP, 1’49.815
25. Alex De Angelis (RSM) Octo IodaRacing Team, 1’50.477
26. Marco Melandri (ITA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini, 1’51.800

2015 Mugello MotoGP Practice – Friday Photo Gallery: