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.
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).
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.
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.
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