Marquez Heads Ducati Trio in Wet Valencia MotoGP Friday Practice

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

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

1Marc Marquez01’39.767
2Jack Miller01’39.873
3Danilo Petrucci01’39.907
4Andrea Dovizioso01’40.179
5Daniel Pedrosa01’40.467
6Andrea Iannone01’40.685
7Maverick Viñales01’40.772
8Michele Pirro01’40.836
9Pol Espargaro01’40.892
10Alex Rins01’40.965
11Aleix Espargaro01’40.967
12Valentino Rossi01’41.015
13Johann Zarco01’41.146
14Karel Abraham01’41.160
15Xavier Simeon01’41.277
16Stefan Bradl01’41.479
17Bradley Smith01’41.489
18Franco Morbidelli01’41.713
19Jorge Lorenzo01’41.782
20Takaaki Nakagami01’42.471
21Alvaro Bautista01’42.617
22Scott Redding01’42.857
23Thomas Luthi01’43.000
24Hafizh Syahrin01’43.727
25Jordi Torres01’45.001