Aragon MotoGP: Pedrosa fastest as Honda dominates FP2

Dani Pedrosa set the pace in the second free practice session for the Aragon MotoGP round, as Honda swept the top three places.

Aragon MotoGP: Pedrosa fastest as Honda dominates FP2
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Yonny Hernandez, Aspar Racing Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Hector Barbera, Avintia Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing

Despite a flurry of late improvements at the end of the 45-minute session, the Hondas of Pedrosa, Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow held a convincing advantage over the rest, led by Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi – whose teammate Jorge Lorenzo struggled to only set the seventh-fastest time.

Four riders suffered identical lowside crashes at Turn 2, none of which resulted in any obvious injuries.

Story of the session

In overcast and humid conditions, Pol Espargaro set the benchmark on his Tech 3 Yamaha after the early running on 1m49.215s, with Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales second, 0.004s slower.

Pedrosa went P1 after 15 minutes on 1m48.860s, 0.355s faster than Espargaro – Pol crashing at Turn 2 with 20 minutes remaining without injury.

Aleix Espargaro followed the lead of his brother, suffering a lowside crash at Turn 2 moments later that wrecked his Suzuki.

Rossi was fourth at this point, Lorenzo sixth and Marquez ninth as they concentrated on race simulation running.

As the session drew to a close, Marquez leapt to second on 1m48.913s and then P1 with 1m48.494s. Vinales improved to third on 1m48.886s, with Rossi fourth on 1m48.908s.

In a late flurry of times, Rossi then jumped up to P2 on 1m48.669s, 0.175s off Marquez’s pace before Crutchlow beat that on 1m48.566s – just 0.072s off the quickest time.

Pedrosa then returned to the top spot on 1m48.483s, 0.011s faster than Marquez, as Crutchlow improved to a 1m48.510s.

Pedrosa emphasised his dominance with a 1m48.429s on his last lap, which stayed 0.065s quicker than Marquez’s best as the chequered flag came out.

Crutchlow remained third, making it a Honda 1-2-3, with Rossi best of the rest in fourth – almost a quarter of a second off the pace. Pol Espargaro – who returned on his second bike after his fall – was fifth, ahead of Vinales.

Lorenzo was down in 14th with two minutes to go, and in danger of missing out going straight to Q2 tomorrow if it rains. He improved to 12th on 1m49.294s, eight tenths off the pace, and then rose to seventh on his last effort, on 1m48.914s, just under half a second off Pedrosa.

As the injured Andrea Iannone sat in the pits, he watched forlornly as the top Ducati was Hector Barbera’s Avinitia machine, ahead of Andrea Dovizioso’s works bike.

The Ducati of Aspar’s Eugene Laverty joined the Espargaro brothers in the Turn 2 gravel trap, as did the second Tech 3 Yamaha of Alex Lowes.

The returning Nicky Hayden was slowest, 2.5s off the pace on his Marc VDS Honda.

ClaDriverBikeLapsTimeGapIntervalkm/h
1  Dani Pedrosa  Honda 18 1'48.429     168.596
2  Marc Marquez  Honda 19 1'48.494 0.065 0.065 168.495
3  Cal Crutchlow  Honda 18 1'48.510 0.081 0.016 168.471
4  Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 20 1'48.669 0.240 0.159 168.224
5  Pol Espargaro  Yamaha 14 1'48.749 0.320 0.080 168.100
6  Maverick Viñales  Suzuki 19 1'48.886 0.457 0.137 167.889
7  Jorge Lorenzo  Yamaha 16 1'48.914 0.485 0.028 167.846
8  Hector Barbera  Ducati 18 1'48.970 0.541 0.056 167.759
9  Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 18 1'49.065 0.636 0.095 167.613
10  Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 18 1'49.128 0.699 0.063 167.517
11  Aleix Espargaro  Suzuki 15 1'49.177 0.748 0.049 167.441
12  Yonny Hernandez  Ducati 18 1'49.243 0.814 0.066 167.340
13  Stefan Bradl  Aprilia 18 1'49.298 0.869 0.055 167.256
14  Alvaro Bautista  Aprilia 18 1'49.301 0.872 0.003 167.251
15  Michele Pirro  Ducati 18 1'49.678 1.249 0.377 166.676
16  Scott Redding  Ducati 16 1'49.680 1.251 0.002 166.673
17  Eugene Laverty  Ducati 13 1'50.113 1.684 0.433 166.018
18  Tito Rabat  Honda 21 1'50.649 2.220 0.536 165.214
19  Loris Baz  Ducati 16 1'50.940 2.511 0.291 164.780
20  Alex Lowes  Yamaha 16 1'50.988 2.559 0.048 164.709
21  Nicky Hayden  Honda 17 1'50.992 2.563 0.004 164.703
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