2016 Aragon MotoGP Friday | Honda’s Pedrosa Leads Marquez

2016 Aragon MotoGP Friday | Honda’s Pedrosa Leads Marquez
Honda's Dani Pedrosa

2016 Aragon MotoGP Friday Practice Results

2016 Aragon MotoGP Friday | Honda’s Pedrosa Leads Marquez
Honda’s Dani Pedrosa

The rider who made history two weeks ago at Misano for becoming the eighth-straight different rider to win a MotoGP in eight-straight races—Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa—was quickly up to speed Friday at Motorland Aragon, which hosts Sunday round 14 of 18 in 2016 MotoGP.

Pedrosa, known as the “Baby Samurai,” posted a best lap of 1:48.429 during the second and final free practice of the day. At around 79 degrees F, temps were much cooler than usual at Aragon, though times weren’t exactly up to pace. Though only opening day, Pedrosa was 1.8 seconds than the Best Lap (across all sessions) set by Marc Marquez last season – 1:46.635.

Not far behind was the rider who led the opening free practice—Pedrosa’s teammate  Marquez. The two-time MotoGP Champion, and current points leader, trailed Pedrosa by a mere 0.065 of a second.

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Taking third quickest Friday was yet another Honda, the LCR RC213V piloted by Cal Crutchlow. The Brit, who finished 0.081 of a second behind Marquez, earned a historical first MotoGP win at Brno, following that up with a second before his home crowd at Silverstone, but struggled in Misano two weeks ago, finishing eighth.

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi ended day one in fourth, 0.240 of a second off the pace. He was followed by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Mavericak Vinales, and the reigning MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1).

The top 10 was completed by three Ducati prototypes – Avinta Racing’s Hector Barbera (-0.541 of a second behind Marquez); Octo Pramac Yakhnich’s Danilo Petrucci (-0.636); and Ducati Team’s Andra Dovizioso (-0.748).

As for Dovi’s teammate, Andrea Iannone claimed sixth in the opening free practice, but announced he was unable to continue. The Italian continues to suffer from vertebra damage sustained during a free-practice crash at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli. Hi Desmosedici is now entrusted to Ducati test rider Michele Pirro for the remainder of the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon; Pirror finished the day 15th, 1.249 off the pace.

As for Nicky Hayden, the Honda World Superbike pilot who is riding the Marc VDS Racing Honda for the injured Jack Miller, he finished last in 21st, 2.563 seconds off the pace.

The riders return to Aragon Saturday for two more free practices ahead of qualifying. With five rounds remaining, Marquez has 223 points – 43 ahead of Rossi and 62 ahead of Lorenzo.