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

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

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

1Jorge Lorenzo01’38.930
2Andrea Iannone01’39.037
3Maverick Viñales01’39.422
4Andrea Dovizioso01’39.443
5Valentino Rossi01’39.456
6Cal Crutchlow01’39.458
7Danilo Petrucci01’39.619
8Johann Zarco01’39.633
9Daniel Pedrosa01’39.655
10Hafizh Syahrin01’39.782
11Tito Rabat01’39.851
12Marc Marquez01’39.882
13Mika Kallio01’40.004
14Alvaro Bautista01’40.265
15Bradley Smith01’40.309
16Jack Miller01’40.310
17Aleix Espargaro01’40.388
18Alex Rins01’40.399
19Takaaki Nakagami01’40.450
20Pol Espargaro01’40.508
21Xavier Simeon01’40.697
22Franco Morbidelli01’40.728
23Scott Redding01’40.815
24Thomas Luthi01’40.975
25Sylvain Guintoli01’41.229
26Karel Abraham01’41.361