Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP Ducati's Lorenzo Returns to Top...Again | Catalunya MotoGP Friday Report

Ducati’s Lorenzo Returns to Top…Again | Catalunya MotoGP Friday Report

2018 Catalunya MotoGP Friday Practice Report

Two weeks after he claimed his first victory for the Ducati Team, Jorge Lorenzo was on the top of the time sheets again.

The Spaniard, which won the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello and recently signed with Repsol Honda for 2019/2020 MotoGP, was quickest Friday during the opening day of practice at the newly-repaved Barcelona- Catalunya Circuit.

Catalunya MotoGP Friday Report Ducati Jorge Lorenzo
Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo

Lorenzo set a new Best Lap (across race and qualifying sessions) of 1:38.930. To put this time into perspective, the previous Best Lap posted at Catalunya was a 1:43.589 posted by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC213V).

Joining Lorenzo on the provisional front row were Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales. Iannone finished 0.107 of a second behind, and Vinales 0.492 back.

Catalunya MotoGP Friday Report Suzuki Andrea Iannone
Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone

Jorge Lorenzo, a five-time winner across all classes at Catalunya, says: “We have begun this Catalan GP weekend well and have shown that we have a very competitive base. The track has changed but my feelings are very good and in addition the Montmeló circuit has always been one of those where I manage to get the best out of my riding style.

“Ever since the test a few weeks ago we were convinced that we could be very quick here and we confirmed it both this morning and in the afternoon, when we also lapped with a very good race pace. We must continue in this way tomorrow to try and get a front-row grid start, which will be very important for the race.”

Catalunya MotoGP Friday Report Yamaha Maverick Vinales
Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales

Last year’s Catalunya GP winner, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, finished fourth Friday, 0.513 of a second off the pace. He was followed by LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow and future Ducati Team pilot Danilo Petrucci on the Alma Pramac Racing Ducati.

Rounding out the top 10 were Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco; Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa; Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Hafizh Syahrin; and Reale Avintia Racing Ducati’s Tito Rabat.

Catalunya MotoGP Friday Report Honda Marc Marquez
Honda’s Marc Marquez

As for the morning leader, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi finished 11th, 1.059 seconds off the pace. Rossi, who has a record of 10 wins at Catalunya, which includes seven in the premier class, finished a mere 0.001 of a second ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.

Marquez, the four-time MotoGP Champion, leads the title chase 23 points of Rossi. He struggled during Friday practice, and also suffered a crash at Turn 5, walking away unharmed.

Catalunya MotoGP Friday Report Yamaha Valentino Rossi
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

Free practice continues Saturday ahead of qualifying and Sunday’s 24-lap MotoGP.

For a preview, visit 2018 Catalunya MotoGP Preview: Rossi & Lorenzo Lead Way in Wins.

Photo by Luciano Bianchetto

2018 Catalunya MotoGP Friday Results

Pos. Rider Time
1 Jorge Lorenzo 01’38.930
2 Andrea Iannone 01’39.037
3 Maverick Viñales 01’39.422
4 Andrea Dovizioso 01’39.443
5 Valentino Rossi 01’39.456
6 Cal Crutchlow 01’39.458
7 Danilo Petrucci 01’39.619
8 Johann Zarco 01’39.633
9 Daniel Pedrosa 01’39.655
10 Hafizh Syahrin 01’39.782
11 Tito Rabat 01’39.851
12 Marc Marquez 01’39.882
13 Mika Kallio 01’40.004
14 Alvaro Bautista 01’40.265
15 Bradley Smith 01’40.309
16 Jack Miller 01’40.310
17 Aleix Espargaro 01’40.388
18 Alex Rins 01’40.399
19 Takaaki Nakagami 01’40.450
20 Pol Espargaro 01’40.508
21 Xavier Simeon 01’40.697
22 Franco Morbidelli 01’40.728
23 Scott Redding 01’40.815
24 Thomas Luthi 01’40.975
25 Sylvain Guintoli 01’41.229
26 Karel Abraham 01’41.361

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. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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