Oct 18, 2013
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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FIM MotoGP World Championship: Jorge Lorenzo (99).
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Phillip Island, Australia
October 18, 2013
Free Practice Two Results (all on Bridgestone tires):
1. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:28.961
2. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:29.438
3. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:29.478
4. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:29.537
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:29.667
6. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:29.989, crash
7. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:30.165
8. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:30.215
9. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:30.609
10. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:30.754
11. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:30.792
12. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:30.917
13. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:31.091
14. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), 1:31.134
15. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:31.286, crash
16. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:31.434
17. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kaasaki), 1:31.451
18. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:31.985
19. Michael LAVERTY, UK (ART-Aprilia), 1:32.066
20. Luca SCASSA, Italy (ART-Aprilia), 1:32.261
21. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:32.290
22. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:32.943
23. Damian CUDLIN, Australia (PBM-Aprilia), 1:34.969
24. Stefan BRADL, Germany (HONDA), did not ride
Moto2 Free Practice Two Results (all using Honda engines and Dunlop tires):
1. Esteve RABAT, Spain (KALEX), 1:33.254
2. Scott REDDING, UK (KALEX), 1:33.273
3. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KALEX), 1:33.458
4. Jordi TORRES, Spain (SUTER), 1:33.859
5. Dominique AEGERTER, Switzerland (SUTER), 1:33.880
6. Sandro CORTESE, Germany (KALEX), 1:33.910
7. Alex DE ANGELIS, San Marino (SPEED UP), 1:33.934
8. Johann ZARCO, France (SUTER), 1:33.996
9. Xavier SIMEON, Belgium (KALEX), 1:34.180
10. Takaaki NAKAGAMI, Japan (KALEX), 1:34.296
Moto3 Free Practice Three Results (all on Dunlop tires):
1. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (KTM), 1:38.198
2. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (KALEX KTM), 1:38.220
3. Zulfahmi KHAIRUDDIN, Malaysia (KTM), 1:38.224
4. Luis SALOM, Spain (KTM), 1:38.235
5. Niccolò ANTONELLI, Italy (FTR HONDA), 1:38.383
6. Miguel OLIVEIRA, Portugal (MAHINDRA), 1:38.488
7. Alex RINS, Spain (KTM), 1:38.495
8. Brad BINDER, South Africa (MAHINDRA), 1:38.685
9. Niklas AJO, Finland (KTM), 1:38.725
10. Alex MARQUEZ, Spain (KTM), 1:38.996
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:
Lorenzo On Top Down Under
Phillip Island (Australia), 18th october 2013
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo has made a flying start to this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, completing the first day of free practice as the fastest rider. The defending champion came out fighting in the first morning practice and led the session apart from a brief appearance by rival Marc Marquez at the top of the time sheets mid way through.
A new tarmac surface at the track has vastly improved grip, allowing Lorenzo to drop almost a second under the race record in the morning. The afternoon saw him pick up the pace even further, the only rider to drop into the 1’28s to finish the day on a 1’28.961, just three tenths from Casey Stoner’s 2008 pole record.
Teammate Valentino Rossi also enjoyed a positive start to the weekend today. The Italian nine time champion made a big step forward between the morning and afternoon sessions, shaving nearly half a second off his time and moving half a second closer to the front. He finished the day in fifth overall, 0.576 from Lorenzo in first and just 0.059 seconds from Dani Pedrosa in fourth.
1st / 1'28.961 / 32 laps
“I feel that here we are much more competitive than in Malaysia. There are some problems with the wind in some corners where we cannot keep the front wheel on the ground so we need to improve that for tomorrow. In general every step we make with the bike works so little by little we have improved and been faster. The tyre feels consistent also so let’s see if we can improve the little issue with the front. The new tarmac is much better, you can push with more confidence and there are less bumps. The exit of turn six has a little bump, but apart from this corner everything is much better.”
5th / 1'29.537 / 43 laps
“I’m happy about today, especially this afternoon as we were able to improve the settings of the bike a lot. I’m happy about my pace, I’m constant and also quite fast, I can stay on a 1’29 also with used tyres. We have to improve some areas, especially turn four to try to go faster and we need to exit the last corner in a better way. We also need to work for the edge of the tyre, especially on the left as it's a big stress. The track is fantastic with good weather like today. The new surface is very good so it's a great pleasure to ride the M1 here. We are all very close and we are quite fast. The track is easier to ride like this because the new tarmac has more grip and less bumps. It’s easier but we have to be faster! The lines are more or less the same.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Wilco Zeelenberg
“It’s been a good first day despite the windy circumstances, which all riders complained about. The tarmac is a lot better than before so they are happy with the grip of the track. Jorge was very consistent and happy with the set up. It’s very positive to be fastest so let’s work towards some more possibilities for tomorrow because I don't think today was the fastest lap of the weekend.”
Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
“Today definitely started very well and we were able to get a lot of data. The bikes look like they are both working well. As a result we were able to make improvements much more quickly than the previous two races. This track is very suitable for our bike. It’s really important to start like this at the beginning and make the setting of the bike as good as possible. We are satisfied with today but will keep pushing and working to make something even better for tomorrow.”
More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
Crutchlow and Smith impress in record-breaking Phillip Island practice
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith impressed on a record-breaking opening day of practice at the spectacular Phillip Island track in Australia today.
The British pair took full advantage of favourable weather conditions and a smooth new surface offering excellent grip levels to set competitive times at the start of the 16th round of the 2013 MotoGP World Championship.
A strong and unpredictable wind blowing off the nearby Bass Strait didn’t prevent Crutchlow from comfortably lapping under Nicky Hayden’s 2008 lap record of 1.30.059, the 27-year-old setting a personal best pace of 1.29.667 under clear blue skies.
That was good enough to place Crutchlow, who is scheduled to make his 50th MotoGP start in Sunday’s 27-lap race, sixth on the combined timesheets on a day that ended with the top six all under lap record pace.
Just one place below Crutchlow on the rankings was teammate Smith, who made a confident start to his first taste of the jaw-dropping Phillip Island circuit on a 1000cc MotoGP machine.
Smith wasted no time in getting up to speed in this morning’s FP1, with a best lap of 1.30.361 leaving him just 0.231s behind Crutchlow.
The 22-year-old improved his pace to a 1.30.165 in this afternoon’s blustery FP2 session and that secured him seventh on the leaderboard and the third best time set by a non-factory rider.
It wasn’t only the lap record that was smashed today, with Alvaro Bautista setting a new top speed record at Phillip Island with an astonishing speed of 343.9km/h (213.68mph) on the long start/finish straight.
Cal Crutchlow 6th 1.29.667 – 43 laps:
“Today was a good start to the weekend and I am satisfied to be in the top six. I’d like to be stronger on the brakes going into Turn 4, which can be important for overtaking in the race on Sunday. It was obvious that the new track surface is a big improvement and they have done a really good job in making it smooth with a lot of grip. A few of us were consistently under the lap record with a similar pace and hopefully tomorrow I can improve to be a bit higher up. I was on the podium here last year and it was great to share the rostrum with Casey and Jorge. It will be difficult to repeat that on Sunday but I will be trying my maximum as always to get the best result possible for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad.”
Bradley Smith 7th 1.30.165 – 45 laps:
“The first day here in Phillip Island has been better than my Friday performances in recent races and I am happy about that. This morning my feeling with the bike was really good and the new surface gave me a lot of confidence with the Bridgestone tyres and I could push a lot. We tried a couple of things with the bike to find a good direction for tomorrow and we are moving in the right way and that’s good. I don’t really have any problems, so tomorrow we will make a couple of small setting changes and hopefully I will be able to break into the 29s and reduce the gap to Jorge at the front.”
More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Phillip Island Free Practice gets underway with Marquez 2nd and Pedrosa 4th
It's been a mixed day for the Repsol Honda riders, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, in preparation for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
This morning's FP1 session went according to plan with both riders putting in fast laps on the new asphalt in Phillip Island and finishing 2nd and 4th respectively. Then in FP2 this afternoon, Marc crashed at turn nine on his first run, resulting in the bike being unusable for the remainder of the session and Dani was forced to stop on track due to a mechanical problem caused by a small mistake by his team - the engine mounting bolt was not properly locked and came loose. However, Dani realised there was a problem immediately and pulled his bike safely off the track.
Marc, who after the crash went out on his second bike, was unable to improve from his morning time of 1'29.255, placing him 2nd for the day - 6th in FP2 , and Dani improved by half a second in the afternoon with a 1'29.478 leaving him 4th for this first day in Australia.
Marc Marquez 2nd 1'29.255
"The day went well - especially in the morning. It's a pity about the crash right at the start of the afternoon run but we went back out with the second bike, which had a totally different geometry and we had no time in which to change things. Thus, we used the initial setup for the entire session. We shall see if tomorrow we can regain the feeling that we had in the morning session, as I felt very good - something that is very important at Phillip Island. We shall continue working in order to improve for the race"
Dani Pedrosa 4th 1'29.478
"Today was very positive, the new asphalt felt good and the tyres worked well for us. The only setback was that we were unable to make the most of all the time available, due to a problem with the bike at the end of the afternoon session. That meant that we had to end the day early. In general it was a good day, and we shall try to improve further tomorrow"
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:
BRADL TRIED HIS BEST BUT HAS BEEN DECLARED UNFIT
Phillip Island, 18 October: the LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl has been declared unfit after a second medical check straight after he completed FP1. The 23-year-old from Germany took to the Australian race track this morning for the free session one and was only capable of riding his RC213V for 11 laps. The second medical exam carried out by Dr. Brent May (Chief Medical Officer of the Australian circuit) and Doctor Michele Macchiagodena (MotoGP Medical Director) revealed that Bradl needs more time to complete his full recovery.
“There was a very small chance for me to ride here and we knew it would have been much better in Japan but I wanted to try anyway. Of course it was painful and even the mobility of the ankle is not perfect yet: this is the reason why I have been declared unfit and I agree with them. I had injections and painkillers this morning but I was too slow on the track and this is too risky for me and also for the other riders. The Clinica Mobile staff made an excellent job and I could jump on the bike only five days after the surgery so I want to thank them because they are helping me to heal quickly. I am frustrated but I have done the impossible to be back here: now we will concentrate to be as close to 100% fit as we can for Japan”.
Mre, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
The first free-practice session at Phillip Island Circuit kicked off in temperatures of 15º C (59º F) and strong winds, and ten minutes later, Yonny Hernandez fell victim to a highside that took place in Turn 11.
Things went better in FP2, in which he immediately jumped to eighth place, improving his time from the previous session by over one second. Still, the Colombian has never raced at this track on a MotoGP bike, and for that reason he still needed more laps to learn the correct lines and to further improve his feeling with the Desmosedici GP13.
The Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider concluded today’s 90 minutes of track time in 14th place in the combined times, and he looks forward to qualifying tomorrow.
Yonny Hernandez – Ignite Pramac Racing Team
"I'm happy about the way the free practices went. I found a good pace and now we’re focused on getting a better feeling with the new tyres to try to lower my time a little bit. I felt fine riding on this track even though I’ve never raced here on a MotoGP bike, and the new asphalt is much better. The bumps aren’t there anymore, which allows us to ride faster. I'm quite happy and now I’m preparing for tomorrow, when I hope to get good results in qualifying."
More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:
The first day of round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship, which is taking place at the Phillip Island Circuit, kicked off positively for Andrea Iannone, who concluded the two free practice sessions very close to the factory Ducati riders.
The Italian ended FP2 just 0.183 seconds away from fellow Ducati rider Nicky Hayden and 0.038 seconds from Andrea Dovizioso, confirming the 11th place obtained in the morning, thanks to constant and positive work done inside the Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team pits.
Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“We went well here, we managed to be very close to Nicky and Dovi, both this morning and this afternoon, and we are already improving a few things. In the fast corners, however, I don’t have much confidence, I often lose the rear, and we definitely need to try something different tomorrow that gives me more stability and grip, so as to be faster and still gain something. In any case I am happy again with the way we have organized the work, and I hope to continue like this to get the best results. The new asphalt has definitely made the bike much easier to ride, it seems to run on velvet, it's definitely better than the other years, although this track has always been very nice. Another difficult thing is the wind, but we all know that. "Conclusa la prima giornata di prove libere del GP d’Australia
More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:
Lorenzo shows stunning pace to lead Friday practice at Phillip Island
Round 16: Australian MotoGP™ - Free Practice One & Two
Phillip Island, Friday 18 October 2013
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Extra-soft & Soft. Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: FP1 - Dry. Ambient 15-16°C; Track 25-29°C (Bridgestone measurement)
FP2 - Dry. Ambient 20-21°C; Track 37-37°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo set a formidable pace to top the timesheets in Friday practice for the Australian Grand Prix, the reigning champion getting within a few tenths of the outright lap record in an exciting opening day at Phillip Island.
Lorenzo took full advantage of the grip offered by the recently resurfaced circuit to set a time of 1’28.961 in Free Practice 2 to beat Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez – who set a time of 1'29.255 in the morning FP1 session - by 0.294 seconds as the fastest rider of the day. Third quickest was GO&FUN Gresini Honda’s Alvaro Bautista whose personal best time of 1'29.438 made him the only rider besides Marquez to get within half a second of Lorenzo. Randy de Puniet put in a phenomenal performance to clock the eighth quickest lap of the day to top the CRT crop, the Power Electronics Aspar rider ending the day just 1.254 seconds off Lorenzo’s benchmark time.
Today saw dry yet typically blustery conditions at Phillip Island with a peak track temperature of 37°C recorded during the afternoon FP2 session. For FP1 all riders selected softer slick options front and rear for maximum warm-up performance and edge grip while assessing the new Phillip Island track surface for the first time. With warmer track temperatures present for FP2, some riders switched to the harder of the two front tyre options, the soft compound slick, although the majority of riders continued using the extra-soft compound front. Rear tyre choice followed suit with most riders preferring to use the softer slick options available to them, with only one rider choosing to try the harder rear slick option in the afternoon session.
Tomorrow’s weather forecast indicates slightly warmer conditions with a negligible chance of rain. The MotoGP™ riders will be out on track again at 1055 local time (GMT +11) tomorrow for FP3 before qualifying gets underway from 1510.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“This morning’s FP1 session was the first chance for us to assess what effect the new Phillip Island surface would have on tyre performance and straight away it was apparent that the new surface offers more grip which resulted in very quick lap times. It was great to see times getting close to the Circuit Best Lap time on the opening day! In the morning session softer slick options front and rear were used and the feedback from the riders was that these options were working very well. In FP2, six riders assessed the harder front slick which also received positive comments, and although only one rider assessed the harder rear slicks, the feedback received indicate that it gives good, consistent performance.
“We anticipated that the new tarmac at this circuit had the potential to make this circuit even more severe on tyres, so we analysed the tyres used by the riders today to see if this was the case. Our analysis shows that the tarmac has made this track tougher on tyres, so we have decided that although riders can still use the softer rear slicks for the remaining practice sessions and qualifying, for the race we have specified that all riders use the harder rear slick options available to them.”
More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:
Edwards and Corti off to a very good start at Phillip Island
Positive start at Phillip Island for NGM Mobile Forward Racing riders Colin Edwards and Claudio Corti on board of their FTR- Kawasaki bikes for the Tissot Australian Grand Prix weekend.
The American rider finishes the first day at Phillip Island as the second best CRT of the day, 12th with a lap time of 1´30.917. Edwards feels confident and looks forward to tomorrow’s qualifying at his favorite grand prix racetrack.
Italian teammate Claudio Corti had a good day himself considering that he suffered from food poisoning and was recommended to stay in bed for the duration of the day yesterday. Corti believes that him and the team have almost found the right setting but knows that he will have to focus on finding the five tenths that separates him from Colin in order to be in the fight to get into Q2.
“Good day, we have a little bit of mileage issues with the engine of the bike I really like, so we started this morning on the bike I really don’t like as much just to get the setting of the bike right and it was already going good. We jumped over the last three laps on the bike that I really like, put the setting on that bike and went faster. I am really happy, it’s always awesome being in Australia, its a my favorite track in the world and just happy that its looking good and feeling confident.”
“Generally speaking things have gone well for me today considering that yesterday I had food poisoning and was not doing well at all. A pity because right at the end of the session we found what we believe is the right setting and even if we lack a bit of grip I was still able to make a lap time of 1´31.451. Our goal this afternoon was to do our ideal time and we were able to improve it. Now we have to work on getting the bike to be a little easier to handle for race distance. We have a good base and tomorrow we will have to work on finding that half a second that separates me from Colin and maybe a little something more.”
Sergio Verbena, MotoGP Technical Director
“A very positive first day at Phillip Island, both riders seem to enjoy this race track. This is Colin and Claudio’s favorite racetrack; Claudio has performed some of his best results here in the past. We end this first day with Colin in 12th, second best CRT at only 1.9 from Lorenzo. Claudio is in 17th place at only .4 seconds from Colin. The FTR – Kawasaki bike is responding really well, we see that race after race we don’t have to change a lot the setting because we seem to have found a good base. Tomorrow we have to be able to provide the riders with a couple of tenths that that will allow them to get in Q2. “
More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:
Ducati Team struggles with windy conditions at Phillip Island
The day-one free-practice sessions for Round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship, the Australian Grand Prix, was marked by strong winds, but with blue skies and springtime temperatures, the riders were able to set fast times on the resurfaced track.
Despite the wind, Ducati Team riders Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso worked well over the course of the two sessions, lowering their times slightly in the afternoon, and they were relatively pleased with their progress. At day’s end, the American was in ninth place on the time sheets, with his teammate one tenth of a second behind in tenth.
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 9th (1:30.609)
“I’ve got to say, the new surface is really good. The grip is good and there aren’t really any seams. Thanks to the organizers because it’s much more of a joy to ride with more grip and without the bumps. I could certainly do without the wind, which really made things tough, but that’s the same for everybody and we’ve just got to deal with the situation. Things didn’t start too badly this morning apart from losing a bit of time in the box due to a small problem with a sensor. We started this afternoon with the same set of tyres and got well into race distance, and the drop in performance wasn’t too bad. I need to get a bit faster in the fast corners. The GP13 isn’t too bad here, but truthfully, we expected to be a bit closer than we are.”
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 10th (1:30.754)
“First of all, the weather today is much nicer than yesterday, and that’s not always the case here. It’s just that the wind is really strong, and that makes things very difficult on a MotoGP bike. In some corners, the side winds blow the front end out a bit. Otherwise, I’m not bad. The new asphalt is nice, with fewer bumps. The wind is the big problem for everyone—maybe a bit more difficult to manage for us—but my times aren’t bad. We worked hard to make the bike work in these conditions because I can’t open the gas when I’d like in some corners, so the problems are different than at other tracks. We made some unusual changes to the setup, things that we do here in Australia, but it’s not enough at the moment. We’ll try to improve tomorrow.”
More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:
It was reigning MotoGP™ World Champion Jorge Lorenzo who locked out both Friday practice sessions at Phillip Island ahead of the Tissot Australian Grand Prix. The Yamaha Factory Racing rider led Marc Marquez and Alvaro Bautista, while championship leader Marquez escaped an afternoon crash at Lukey Heights.
Lap records were expected to tumble at Phillip Island this year, with a new surface having been laid since the 2012 race. Enjoying the bright conditions, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo duly posted a 1’28.961, with Repsol Honda Team’s Marquez second while GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Bautista went third overall but second in the afternoon session. This dropped Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa to fourth position, having stopped his bike on the exit of the Southern Loop towards the end of the second period, as his rear engine-mounting bolt had come loose. Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi - off the podium at Phillip Island on only three occasions since he debuted in the World Championship - completed the top five.
Marquez was fortunate to avoid injury during second practice, as the 20-year-old – who could become World Champion this weekend – crashed at the top of Lukey Heights. Having escaped any injury, the Spaniard was back out on-track less than 20 minutes later. The same could not be said for LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl; having fractured an ankle at Sepang last Saturday, the German was allowed to take part in opening practice but finished almost four seconds off the pace and was later declared unfit. He hopes to return in Japan next weekend.
Monster Yamaha Tech3 occupied positions six and seven on the timesheets, with Cal Crutchlow half a second quicker than Bradley Smith as the latter made his first premier class appearance at Phillip Island. The top ten was rounded out by leading CRT runner Randy de Puniet for Power Electronics Aspar plus Ducati Team duo Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso, with the 2006 World Champion having now been confirmed as joining Aspar for the next two MotoGP™ campaigns.
Ignite Pramac Racing’s Yonny Hernandez suffered a fall in the morning, while Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera was last to encounter a slip-up as he crashed on the exit of Lukey Heights barely five minutes before the day’s MotoGP™ action came to a close. Australians Bryan Staring and Damian Cudlin ended proceedings in 21st and 24th places on their CRT bikes, run by Gresini and PBM respectively.
The majority of riders were using the softer option front and rear tyres for both of the day’s sessions, however Bridgestone has since stated that due to the abrasive nature of the new tarmac, riders should race with the harder compound. This does not rule out using the softer rear for qualifying tomorrow. Both front options remain open throughout.
Fresh from his domination of the Sepang weekend, Tuenti HP 40’s Tito Rabat topped both Friday practice sessions as the Moto2™ action began for the Tissot Australian Grand Prix. He and teammate Pol Espargaro both finished inside the top three, with championship leader and rival Scott Redding between them and in second position.
Throughout the field, there was a real mixture between those whose fastest lap times had come in the morning session and those who delivered their best efforts during the afternoon. In the case of Rabat, it was his morning lap time of 1’33.157 that could not be bettered later on, as the Spaniard once again found the sweet spot and continued to top every session of the on-going triple-header. Also making the most of Phillip Island’s new surface, Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team) and Espargaro were one tenth of a second down on Rabat, promising a tight qualifying session on Saturday.
Jordi Torres and Alex de Angelis were next up for the Aspar Team Moto2 and NGM Mobile Forward Racing outfits, with positions six to eight being occupied by Technomag carXpert’s Dominique Aegerter, Dynavolt Intact GP’s Sandro Cortese and Came IodaRacing Project’s Johann Zarco. Having also posted their personal bests in the first session, ninth and tenth-placed riders Tom Luthi (Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing) and Mika Kallio (Marc VDS) confirmed that six of the top ten had posted their personal best lap times in the first of the two Friday practice periods.
It was a bruising day for Marcel Schrotter, who crashed his Maptaq SAG Zelos Team bike not once, but twice, although the first impact had been the heaviest as the German ran off at Siberia. Teammate Xavier Simeon also suffered an accident, while Espargaro parked his bike at the end of the morning session. In the afternoon, Danny Kent joined the list of fallers when he lost control of his Tech 3 machine.
Teams will be told to run a minimum rear tyre pressure of 1.3bar tomorrow after teams and riders voiced concerns about both the new, and old spec Dunlop tyres that were available for the sessions today. It was decided to carry on with the new spec, run in FP1, though with a minimum tyre pressure to ensure they last race distance.
Maverick Viñales went quickest as Moto3™ practice continued at Phillip Island on Friday afternoon. The Team Calvo rider posted a new record for the resurfaced Australian circuit, joined inside the top three by Jonas Folger and Zulfahmi Khairuddin.
Enjoying the new asphalt at Phillip Island, Viñales – who sits third in the standings behind Luis Salom and Alex Rins – set the pace with a 1’38.198 lap. The times were extremely close, with Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Folger second from Red Bull KTM Ajo pair Khairuddin and championship leader Salom, with the leading quartet covered by only 37 thousandths of a second over the distance of 4.4 kilometres.
Niccolo Antonelli ended the day fifth for GO&FUN Gresini Moto3, from Mahindra Racing’s Miguel Oliveira and Estrella Galicia 0,0’s aforementioned Rins, who was forced to take evasive action at the end of the session after Avant Tecno’s Niklas Ajo (tenth position) lost control and fell on the racing line. On the timesheets, filling the gaps between Rins and Ajo were Isaac Viñales and Brad Binder, respectively eighth and ninth for their individual Ongetta-Centro Seta and Ambrogio Racing squads.
A number of riders would hit trouble across the first two sessions, such as wildcard Lachlan Kavney who was twice seen pulling his stranded Bullet Racing machine to safety. RW Racing GP’s Jasper Iwema suffered a crash in the afternoon, going down at the MG hairpin, whereas following a sizeable accident Redox RW Racing GP’s Jakub Kornfeil was taken to the Medical Centre with hip pains. Fastest man Viñales did not escape trouble, either, as he crashed at Doohan Corner during the morning period.