2018 Jerez MotoGP Friday | Crutchlow Leads Pedrosa by 0.028

2018 Jerez MotoGP Friday Honda Cal Crutchlow
Honda's Cal Crutchlow

2018 Jerez MotoGP Friday Results

Following the Grand Prix of Americas two weeks ago, the 2018 MotoGP Championship headed to Europe for the first time this season for round four at Jerez in Spain.

When the first day of free practice began Friday, championship leader Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was quickest, the Italian finishing a mere 0.007 of a second ahead of the Spaniard he leads by a point, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda).

2018 Jerez MotoGP Friday Honda Cal Crutchlow
Honda’s Cal Crutchlow

Things changed drastically in the second free practice, and the title leaders got shuffled back in the pack. Leading the way was LCR Castrol Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, the winner of the Argentina Grand Prix at Termas de Rio Hondo.

It wasn’t a runaway time – Crutchlow finished 0.028 of a second ahead of last year’s Jerez MotoGP winner, Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC213V). Pedrosa is riding strong as he recovers from recent surgery due to breaking his wrist during the Argentina GP.

Pedrosa finished 0.091 ahead of Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech3 YZR-M1), and 0.095 ahead of Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR).

The times were extremely tight Friday in Jerez; the top 15 were all within a second of each other.

2018 Jerez MotoGP Friday Honda Dani Pedrosa
Honda’s Dani Pedrosa

The top four remained over a tenth of a second ahead of the rest. Marquez, who suffered a small crash during FP2, finished fifth, 0.249 of a second behind Crutchlow.

Marquez, who claimed his sixth-straight win at Circuit of the Americas, was followed by Dovizioso and the other factory Ducati GP18 pilot, Jorge Lorenzo, who has three wins at Jerez (all on Yamaha machinery) and claimed his first podium last year with Ducati.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing), the top Independent Team Ducati rider; Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP); and Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP).

2018 Jerez MotoGP Friday Yamaha's Valentino Rossi
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

Finishing 11th was the top Red Bull KTM Factory Racing pilot, Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard is the future teammate of Zarco, who signed with the KTM team for 2019/2020 seasons.

The Aprilia Racing Team Gresini duo struggled Friday: Aleix Espargaro finished 21st, and Scott Redding 24th, both over 1.3 seconds off the pace.

The 25-rider grid returns to Jerez Saturday for additional free practices ahead of qualifying for Sunday’s 25-lap MotoGP.

2018 Jerez MotoGP Friday Results

1Cal Crutchlow01’38.614
2Daniel Pedrosa01’38.642
3Johann Zarco01’38.705
4Andrea Iannone01’38.709
5Marc Marquez01’38.863
6Andrea Dovizioso01’39.068
7Jorge Lorenzo01’39.076
8Jack Miller01’39.102
9Valentino Rossi01’39.248
10Pol Espargaro01’39.311
11Danilo Petrucci01’39.429
12Maverick Viñales01’39.514
13Karel Abraham01’39.541
14Alex Rins01’39.575
15Scott Redding01’39.585
16Mika Kallio01’39.661
17Takaaki Nakagami01’39.694
18Tito Rabat01’39.888
19Aleix Espargaro01’39.899
20Bradley Smith01’39.948
21Franco Morbidelli01’39.951
22Alvaro Bautista01’39.969
23Thomas Luthi01’40.241
24Hafizh Syahrin01’40.488
25Xavier Simeon01’40.663