Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP Marquez Heads Ducati Trio in Wet Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice

Marquez Heads Ducati Trio in Wet Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice

2018 Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice

The 2018 MotoGP season finale officially got underway Friday at Valencia’s Ricardo Turmo Circuit under soaking wet conditions.

Both the first and second free practice sessions were red flagged due to unsafe track conditions, the first red flag arriving after Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco crashed.

Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice Honda Marc Marquez
Honda’s Marc Marquez

When it all wrapped up, the man who clinched the 2018 MotoGP Championship in Motegi – Marc Marquez – was quickest.

Quickest for rain conditions, that is. The Repsol Honda pilot posted a best time of 1:39.767 which is nearly nine seconds off the Circuit Record of 1:31.171 set by Jorge Lorenzo in 2016 (Yamaha YZR-M1).

Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice Ducati's Danilo Petrucci
Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci

The quickest times were set in the morning session. Marquez led a trio of Ducati Desmosedici prototypes, finishing 0.106 of a second ahead of Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller; 0.140 ahead of Miller’s teammate Danilo Petrucci; and 0.412 of a second ahead of Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Fifth quickest was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who retires after 18 years of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Pedrosa, who will be an official KTM test rider in 2019, was followed by the top Suzuki and Yamaha riders, respectively: Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales.

Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice Ducati's Mark Miller
Ducati’s Mark Miller

Rounding out the top 10 were Ducati’s Michele Pirro; KTM’s Pol Espargaro; and Suzuki’s Alex Rins.

As for nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, he finished the day 12th. Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo – still riding with an injury finishing 19th.

Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice Ducati Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso

The 25-rider grid returns to Valencia Saturday for qualifying ahead of Sunday’s 27-lap MotoGP.

Photos by Luciano Bianchetto

2018 Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice Results

Pos. Rider Time
1 Marc Marquez 01’39.767
2 Jack Miller 01’39.873
3 Danilo Petrucci 01’39.907
4 Andrea Dovizioso 01’40.179
5 Daniel Pedrosa 01’40.467
6 Andrea Iannone 01’40.685
7 Maverick Viñales 01’40.772
8 Michele Pirro 01’40.836
9 Pol Espargaro 01’40.892
10 Alex Rins 01’40.965
11 Aleix Espargaro 01’40.967
12 Valentino Rossi 01’41.015
13 Johann Zarco 01’41.146
14 Karel Abraham 01’41.160
15 Xavier Simeon 01’41.277
16 Stefan Bradl 01’41.479
17 Bradley Smith 01’41.489
18 Franco Morbidelli 01’41.713
19 Jorge Lorenzo 01’41.782
20 Takaaki Nakagami 01’42.471
21 Alvaro Bautista 01’42.617
22 Scott Redding 01’42.857
23 Thomas Luthi 01’43.000
24 Hafizh Syahrin 01’43.727
25 Jordi Torres 01’45.001

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).

2021 Harley-Davidson Street Bob 114 First Look (6 Fast Facts)

When the Softail Standard was released last year and functionally the same motorcycle as the Street Bob, we knew something had to be afoot...

2021 Harley-Davidson Road King Special First Look: Hot Rod Bagger

The 2021 Harley-Davidson Road King Special is a Touring model that The Motor Company puts in a sub-category—Hot Rod Bagger. To earn that title,...

2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally Coming To America

We told you all about the new 2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally last month. Although we fully expected the pair to be imported...

2021 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114 First Look (Specs, Photos, Prices)

The distinctive Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is back for 2021, with the Milwaukee-Eight 114 powerplant and machined solid cast aluminum Lakester wheels. We tested the...

2021 Husqvarna 701 Lineup First Look (6 Fast Facts + Photos)

There are two 2021 Husqvarna 701 motorcycles to choose from—the Enduro and the Supermoto. Although they are closely related, with the same frame and...

2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide First Look (5 Fast Facts + Photos)

The 2021 Harley-Davidson CVO Street Glide is here, and it has several updates. Returning is the Milwaukee-Eight 177 V-twin powerplant that cranks out a...