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Nov 10, 2017

MotoGP: Jorge Lorenzo Under Race Lap Record During FP2 At Valencia (Updated)

Jorge Lorenzo (99).

Editorial Note: The existing Race Lap Record is a 1:31.171 set by Jorge Lorenzo in 2016.

Gran Premio Motul De La Comunitat Valenciana

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Circuit de Comunitat Valenciana

Valencia, Spain

November 10, 2017

Free Practice Two Results (all on Michelin tires):

1. Jorge Lorenzo, Spain (Ducati), 1:30.640

2. Dani Pedrosa, Spain (Honda), 1:30.762

3. Andrea Dovizioso, Italy (Ducati), 1:30.949

4. Johann Zarco, France (Yamaha), 1:31.054

5. Marc Marquez, Spain (Honda), 1:31.243, crash

6. Jack Miller, Australia (Honda), 1:31.357

7. Cal Crutchlow, UK (Honda), 1:31.383

8. Michele Pirro, Italy (Ducati), 1:31.413

9. Valentino Rossi, Italy (Yamaha), 1:31.488

10. Pol Espargaro, Spain (KTM), 1:31.615

11. Maverick Vinales, Spain (Yamaha), 1:31.624

12. Aleix Espargaro, Spain (Aprilia), 1:31.698, crash

13. Scott Redding, UK (Ducati), 1:31.733

14. Karel Abraham, Czech Republic (Ducati), 1:31.858

15. Alex Rins, Spain (Suzuki), 1:31.876

16. Hector Barbera, Spain (Ducati), 1:31.926

17. Tito Rabat, Spain (Honda), 1:31.958

18. Andrea Iannone, Italy (Suzuki), 1:31.966

19. Mika Kallio, Finland (KTM), 1:31.966

20. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Ducati), 1:32.076

21. Loris Baz, France (Ducati), 1:32.151

22. Danilo Petrucci, Italy (Ducati), 1:32.192

23. Bradley Smith, UK (KTM), 1:32.457

24. Sam Lowes, UK (Aprilia), 1:32.587

25. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yamaha), 1:33.101



More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Zarco ignites Valencia challenge with positive display on day 1 – Van der Mark makes solid steps forward

Johann Zarco kicked off his quest to complete the season finale on the rostrum with a strong showing on the first day of action. The French star improved in both sessions before concluding the afternoon practice in 5th with his best time leaving him only 0.105 back from the top three, and as the leading Yamaha rider. Tomorrow he intends to progress further by sealing a front row start in qualifying.

Meanwhile, Michael van der Mark, who is stepping in for the recovering Jonas Folger, used the initial practice sessions to get to grips with the meandering Valencia circuit. The WorldSBK front-runner made leaps forward and wrapped up the day with a time that was almost one and a half seconds quicker than his personal best in the morning. Tomorrow, the action commences at 09:55 with FP3.

Johann Zarco

Position: 5th - Time: 1'31.054 - Laps: 43

“I am happy with what we achieved today and I started well, with a good pace. We did some constructive work with the medium tyres, which enabled us to save the soft compound until later. When we used it, I improved my time, but, to be honest, I expected a bit more. However, I am inside the top ten which is the most important thing. I will keep pushing and the information that we collected this afternoon will be useful for qualifying. I am pleased that we had dry and clear weather today and it should be the same for the entire weekend. Anyway, I am enjoying my time here and I hope to stay with the top guys tomorrow in order to prepare for a positive Sunday.”

Michael van der Mark

Position: 25th - Time: 1'33.101 - Laps: 48

"Overall, it was a good first day despite the fact that I had to get used to the bike again, and I haven’t raced here for a long time. In the first session I struggled with the feeling a bit, but towards the end, I managed to improve gradually even if the gap to the front was quite big. In FP2 this afternoon, I felt stronger and more comfortable on the bike, then, in the final part of the practice, we put some new tyres on and I made a good step forward. However, it wasn’t as big as I wanted, but we can see that we are making real progress. I am enjoying every single lap, and hopefully tomorrow we can adjust the bike a little bit more to my style."



More, from a press release issued by Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Racing:

Precision performance from Miller in Valencia

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller was precision personified in Valencia today when he set the exact same lap time in both MotoGP practice sessions.

The Australian’s consistency was a key factor in him mounting a terrific challenge for the top three in both FP1 and FP2, which took place under gloriously sunny autumnal skies at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit.

Miller excelled in chilly conditions this morning when track temperatures didn’t even break into double figures to set a lap of 1’31.357 that was only beaten by a late soft tyre attack by Andrea Iannone.

Unfazed by a small crash in turn six in the closing stages of FP1, Miller set an identical lap of 1’31.357 in perfect conditions to end FP2 in a strong sixth position while he concentrated on endurance runs for fuel consumption analysis ahead of Sunday’s 30-lap season finale.

Spaniard Tito Rabat also enjoyed a positive start to proceedings in his farewell appearance for Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS when he lapped within touching distance of the top 10.

Rabat could circulate the 4.005km track consistently in the high 1.31 bracket in FP2 and he ended an encouraging opening day with the 19th fastest time on the combined standings.

Jack Miller: 7th - 1’31.357

“I had a really good performance this morning apart from the small crash at the end of FP1. I just pushed a bit hard into turn six while we were working on improving the mapping. I was having a bit of wheelie in between turns five and six and I maybe got off the gas a bit too late and by the time the front wheel came down I was completely off the line. I stayed committed to try and keep the lap going but the front tyre went from underneath me. But I’m happy with my pace in both sessions and I think I could have gone quicker at the end had it not been for a bit of traffic. My ideal time would have put me very close to the top three, so I can’t complain too much and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend. It was important to be in the top 10 just in case there is an issue with the weather tomorrow morning but we will have to be careful because it can be very cold in the morning session and that can make it very tricky.”

Tito Rabat: 19th - 1’31.958

“I am very happy with how today went because I was able to lap in a very constant rhythm. I am particularly happy that I did all my laps on my own without following anybody and I kept my pace all the time in the high 1.31s and low 1.32s. This is very positive for me and the important thing now will be building on this start for the remainder of the weekend, so I can end my time with Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS on a high note.”

Ramon Aurin: Jack Miller Chief Engineer

“This morning’s cool conditions meant it was a tricky start because it can be difficult to bring the tyres and brakes up to temperature. It was a good start to be in the top three, despite the crash. We were happy with our pace on the medium rear tyre and to be honest Jack can’t feel a big difference to the soft. Maybe the soft in these conditions overheats a little bit faster and then you lose a bit of performance. This circuit is also critical for fuel consumption when you are on and off the throttle so much, so we will focus on that area as well to be as best prepared for the race as we can be.”



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini:

ALEIX ESPARGARÓ, RETURNING AFTER SURGERY ON HIS FRACTURED HAND, CLOSES OUT THE FRIDAY SESSIONS AT VALENCIA IN TWELFTH PLACE

THE HUNT FOR A TOP-TEN SPOT IS POSTPONED UNTIL TOMORROW

Aleix Espargaró finished in twelfth place with a time of 1’31.698 on the first day of free practice at Valencia in preparation for the race on Sunday which will close out the 2017 MotoGP season.

Aleix is back on the track after his accident in Australia that forced him to miss the Malaysia race and after surgery 15 days ago during which screws and a plate were applied to his left hand in order to reduce and stabilise the fractures of the fourth metacarpus and a finger.

Aleix took advantage of FP1 in the morning to get a feel for the conditions of his hand. In the second session, the Spanish rider tried to push with his Aprilia RS-GP, significantly improving in comparison to FP1 (almost a second faster) and he stayed among the leaders for the entire session but a crash just a few minutes before the end kept him from attacking for a top-ten spot. This was a result that seemed to be well within his reach, given the fact that his ideal time places him in ninth place. Now the Saturday morning session remains to get into the top ten and skip the first qualifiers.

Sam Lowes struggled to find the right speed on his flying lap and finished in 24th place with a time of 1’32.587. He also has FP3 to improve in view of the qualifiers.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

"Today was not easy since I have not felt well since Wednesday and I have a bit of fever. Besides this and the pain in my hand, I was able to do a few good laps. We improved the settings in FP2, showing a promising pace. Unfortunately, in my last run I lost the front end and crashed but without any serious consequences. I hope to be in better condition tomorrow and to lower my time, aiming to go straight through to Q2."

SAM LOWES

"I am rather satisfied because my race pace is already better compared to the tests. Unfortunately, at the end of FP2 I was unable to find a fast lap. I also slowed down when Aleix crashed ahead of me and on this track the tyres need a couple of laps to perform at their best. Between the morning and the afternoon we were able to improve the RS-GP, especially in terms of the rear, whereas at the front we are a bit at the limit since I am able to brake rather hard. We'll work on that tomorrow. We have room to improve and I am working well, without making mistakes and maintaining a good feeling."



More, from a press release issued by Octo Pramac Racing:

Scott chases the Top 10 with confidence. Difficult Friday for Petrux in Valencia

The last weekend of the 2017 MotoGP season will be staged at the Valencia circuit and the Grand Prix de la Comunitat Valenciana will decree the next World Champion with the challenge between Andrea Dovizioso and Marc Marquez who has thrilled fans from all over the world.

For Octo Pramac Racing it's not an easy Friday, especially for Danilo Petrucci who after the good sensations in the last run of the FP1 did not manage to improve in the afternoon. On the other hand, there were positive signals from Scott Redding who managed to take a good step forward during the day to stay close to the Top 10.

In FP2 the English rider managed to improve by 8 thents of a second his best time of FP1 and with the chrono of 1'31.733 finished in 14th position, 3 tenths of a second from the hypothetical Q2 direct qualification.

Petrux struggled a lot especially in the middle part of the circuit and in the afternoon he was not able to do better than the lap-time of 1'32.029 recorded in the FP1, finishing in 20th position in the overall classification.

20th Danilo Petrucci - 1'32.029

“It was a very difficult day. The direction we have taken has not yielded the desired results. The positive thing is that we have understood that this is not the right direction, so tomorrow we will try to work on the set up to be more competitive”.

14th Scott Redding - 1'31.733

“All in all, things have not gone wrong today. I have a good feeling even though I will have to improve a lot in order to win the Q2. I don't want to set myself objectives for tomorrow other than to be the best Ducati satellite in the last qualifying session of the season”.



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

SUZUKI IN GOOD SHAPE ON FIRST DAY AT VALENCIA

The first day in Valencia is shaping up well for Andrea Iannone, who led this morning’s FP1 and is currently 4th in the combined classification of the day. Alex Rins improved throughout the day, cutting nearly one second in the afternoon from the FP1, to clock 1’31.876. This gives him the provisional 16th place in the combined classification. 

The morning went well for Iannone from the very beginning. He had good feeling with the bike and started to lap with consistency as the session progressed, improving his performance lap after lap. With the setup giving him more confidence, he was able to conclude the session with a time of 1’31.045, which set him in first place. In the afternoon´s FP2 the work continued on worn tyres covering more than the race distance in order to test the consistency of the pace. Only at the end of the session did Iannone leave with soft new tyres to try the time attack, but a slide at corner 10 (right one) of the exit lap brought an early end to his attempt to improve. Luckily the crash did have any further negative repercussions for Iannone.

Despite some initial troubles at the beginning of FP1, Rins began to feel better laps after laps. His 1'32.797 was worth 20th place in the classification, but in the afternoon things went better. With a different setup configuration he was more efficient, cutting nearly one second off the lap time (1’31.876 his best in FP2), which also meant he reduced his gap from the provisional leader from 1.752s to 1.236s.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“It was a shame, the slide of Andrea at the end of the afternoon, because until that moment our day was very positive. In fact, the time he scored this morning is still worth 4th place in the combined classification, even though he could not go for a proper time attack yet. He has a good pace and feeling. He has remained among the fastest in both sessions. We still can improve something in the configuration so I hope tomorrow he will be able to further improve. Also Alex had a positive day, the current position in classification is a little misleading since today we did very intense work with him and he is just missing the time attack. We were able to finalize many little things for him, and tomorrow we will try to put them all together to see a marked improvement.”

Andrea Iannone

“I’m happy for this morning because we were fast and I had good feeling with the bike. In the afternoon we continued to work with used tyres to settle the pace configuration. We were able to lap an important distance, longer than the race distance, and the performance is good. At the end we switched to new soft tyres and unfortunately I took a slide, losing the front end in a right-hand corner. Here in Valencia the right-hand corners are always a crucial matter. Maybe the tyre was not at the right temperature so I lost it. We will figure out what happened, although the most important thing is that I didn’t get hurt and that overall the day has given us positive results.”

Alex Rins

“Today, in the morning, things went quite well. Even if we couldn’t complete a very fast lap, our race pace is not so bad. Tomorrow we will look for a best lap to enter directly in Q2. We have to try more the winglets for tomorrow because today we hardly ever used them. We have margin to improve and so many details to refine like reducing the wheelie or braking stability.”



More, from a press release issued by Reale Avintia Racing:

Barbera and Baz prepare the last race of the season

Action started today at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and Reale Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz started to work on the set-up of their Ducati ahead of the 30-lap-race on Sunday. For Barbera, the last GP of the season is his home race and after testing three different settings on his bike, he managed to improve considerably from the morning to the afternoon. The Spaniard finished 18th in the combined free practice times, but was close to the top ten. He hopes to make another step forward tomorrow and to improve his position on the grid.

For Loris Baz, the first day has been more difficult. The Ricardo Tormo circuit has never been an easy track for Ducati and Baz is struggling to put in a fast lap. Nevertheless, he focused on the set-up for the race and worked on the race pace to be competitive on Sunday.

The first two free practice sessions were held in bright sunshine and for tomorrow, the forecast is just as good as today.

Hector Barbera | 1’31.926 | P18

“It’s been a weird day that hasn’t gone as we expected. But we are close, because with an improvement of just two tenths we would have been in the top 10. We have to improve a lot for the race and even more on a special weekend like this one. We continue trying different ideas and from this morning to this afternoon we have had three different bikes. We found something that allows us to improve by half a second, so I hope we can go well in qualifying tomorrow. This weekend is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. On one hand I’m sad because the MotoGP era is over for me, but on the other hand, this year has been the most difficult season of my career”.

Loris Baz | 1’32.151 | P22

“This circuit has always been tricky for this bike and we knew this before coming here. This morning didn’t go well at all. We tried something but it was not an improvement. In the afternoon though, it seems that have found the right direction. We are not so bad, because we are just 1.4s behind Lorenzo, who was the fastest rider today. Hector and Alvaro are right in front of me…but the track layout is not good for this bike. Tomorrow we’ll try to find the best possible pace for Sunday. Let’s see if we can do better in the race thanks to a good pace, because a single fast lap is impossible at the moment.”



More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

MOVISTAR YAMAHA START SPANISH SHOWDOWN IN VALENCIA

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales kicked off the final 2017 race weekend at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo today. A cold start saw the pair cautiously up their pace, to fully push in the afternoon, in the warmer conditions. They secured 11th and 12th place respectively in the combined FP rankings.

Valencia (Spain), 10th November 2017

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales slowly turned up the heat at the first free practice sessions of the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. As the temperatures rose, the teammates upped their speed to secure 11th and 12th place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.

It was a busy first day at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo for Rossi. For the nine-time World Champion, the goal in the morning session was to find a solid base setting, one he could develop further throughout the weekend. Whilst working his way through various setting options, he set a time of 1‘32.538s to finish in 18th position, 1.493s behind the leader.

In the afternoon, the Doctor wasted no time to pick up where he left off in the morning. He was eager to get out on track and briefly led the way, before continuing to fine-tune his bike‘s setting. As the times dropped towards the end of the session, he responded by bettering his fastest lap to 1‘31.488s for ninth, but just missed out on a place inside the top-10 overall. He finished the day in 11th place in the combined results, 0.848s from first.

Though the Spanish sunshine gave a false impression of a late summer day, Viñales headed out in FP1 in chilly conditions, curious to find out what the grip level would be like while the track temperature only measured 12ºC. He made a cautious start, but gradually found confidence, all the while improving his time. Ultimately, he dropped under the 1‘32s mark on his third run, clocking a 1‘31.750s best lap, for sixth place, 0.705s from the front.

The afternoon saw more of the same from the local hero. As the temperature went up, he again spent most of the session working on the balance of his YZR-M1, whilst trying a couple of set-up changes during the second 45-minute session. Following his usual routine, he saved the best for his last outing. He was able to improve to a 1'31.624s lap for 11th place, 0.984s from the top of the FP2 ranking, and completed the day in 12th position in the combined times.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

The first day didn‘t quite go to plan. Even though we tried different set-ups on both sides of the garage, we haven‘t been able to improve as much as we wanted to. However, we were still able to compare different tyre specifications and got some good information for when we make the tyre choice for the race. It‘s really important for tomorrow‘s session that we find what didn't work today, so we can improve.

VALENTINO ROSSI

It was a difficult day, especially this morning, because I didn‘t feel good with the bike, but in the afternoon we improved the feeling and the setting. In the end, though I wasn‘t fantastic, I was also not so bad, my speed was quite good. Here in Valencia it‘s always difficult, because the grip is very low. During the whole season we suffered a lot in these types of conditions, so we have a lot to work on.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

It was a challenging day. We were struggling on the brakes, and trying to make the bike turn in the corners was difficult. It‘s hard to understand what the situation is, I just try to ride the bike in the best way I can. This was the result and we will try to improve. I think we have the level to reach the top-5. Let‘s see tomorrow, so far it seems to be quite a difficult weekend.



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Pedrosa second fastest on day one in Valencia with Marquez in close fifth place

Dani Pedrosa made a strong start to the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, a track where he’s the most successful rider, with six wins across all classes.

Dani was tenth in the first free practice session but made the best of much warmer temperatures in FP2, lapping in the 1’31s on 10 occasions and setting the second fastest lap time, just 0.122 off the top.

Marc Marquez ended both FP1 and FP2 in fifth place, despite suffering a small crash in turn 2 at the end of the day.

The Championship leader showed a fast pace using just one set of tires in each session, his focus set on being prepared for Sunday’s race.

Dani Pedrosa 26

2ND 1'30.762

“I’m happy enough with how today went. In the afternoon, when the track was a little warmer and there was more grip than in the morning, I felt more comfortable on the bike. If it remains dry through the weekend, as it seems it will, the track will continue to improve and the grip will also get better, so we must remain focused and continue in this direction. Today we worked well to understand the tires, our pace and bike setup, but tomorrow will be another important day of practice and opportunity to continue the progress. Sunday’s race is in the afternoon, but we want to improve also in cooler conditions.”

Marc Marquez 93

5TH 1'31.243

“I felt really good today, so we just tried to work hard for the race, riding with used tires to find the best setting and the best compromise. We tried two different setups, one similar to what we used last year and one more based on what we’ve been using recently. Tomorrow we’ll adjust the final details and we’ll go for a time attack, but I’m happy with the general feeling. Our pace this morning, on a medium rear tire, was good and in the afternoon I felt well on a soft rear, despite a small crash during my last lap when I was pushing a little bit more. It was important to start the weekend well, and I feel good on the bike, so we’ll try to keep this momentum going until Sunday.”



More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Positive start for Ducati Team riders at Valencia. Lorenzo first and Dovizioso third after Day 1 of free practice. Pirro ninth with the Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Test Team

The Ducati Team riders have started the Valencia Grand Prix weekend in the best possible way. At the end of the first day of free practice Jorge Lorenzo is lying at the top of the timesheets while Andrea Dovizioso was not far behind in third place. There was a good performance also from Michele Pirro, entered as a wild-card in this Spanish race, and who was classified ninth.

This morning the riders took to the track in sunny but cold conditions (12° C air/track) and at the end of FP1 Dovizioso was classified fourth with Pirro and Lorenzo respectively in eleventh and twelfth place.

In the afternoon session all three factory Ducati riders improved on their morning times: Jorge Lorenzo first in 1’30.640, Andrea Dovizioso third in 1’30.949 and Michele Pirro ninth in 1’31.413.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’30.640 (1st)

“Today I had an excellent feeling out on track and for the first time this year we finished a day of practice convincingly in the lead. I rode really well, managing to get the best out of the qualities of the bike and despite there still being a few weak points, we have a good speed and also a good pace both with the medium tyres and the soft ones. Valencia is a circuit that I like a lot, I’ve scored some good results here in the last few years and tomorrow we have to continue like this, working as well as today.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’30.949 (3rd)

“It was rather a productive day, because we tried a number of different solutions and got a good idea for the race. I’m pleased with my speed but not so much with the feeling I have with the bike at the moment, because for the race you will have to ride smoother than today. Marquez and Pedrosa showed that for the moment they have the best race pace, but at any rate I think we still have room to improve, by working on the electronics and the chassis tomorrow.”

Michele Pirro (Ducati Test Team #51) – 1’31.413 (9th)

“Today we focussed on some tests to gather useful information in view of the race, but in any case I’m happy with my speed because on this track with a MotoGP bike I’ve never been able to go very strongly. I’m satisfied because Dovizioso and Lorenzo were also quick and I wasn’t that far off their pace, and so now I have only to improve. Tomorrow we’ll try and make another small step forward, but in any case on this track we are proving to be competitive with all three of our bikes and so the weekend has begun in a positive way.”



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

SEVENTH PLACE FOR CRUTCHLOW AFTER OPENING DAY IN VALENCIA

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow made an encouraging start to the Valencia Grand Prix – the final round of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship season. A thrilling weekend is in store with the title battle between HRC factory rider Marc Marquez and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso having gone down to the year’s last race. On Friday, Crutchlow served notice that he’ll be looking to be in the shake-up for the podium places in Sunday’s race with a solid performance throughout.

The Briton posted the eighth fastest time of a chilly but dry morning session at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, but then improved as temperatures rose in the afternoon. Crutchlow ended the day in seventh spot riding his Rizoma branded RC213V – just two behind Marquez – and declared himself satisfied with the progress his team had made at a layout which, he acknowledged, is not amongst his favourites on the calendar.

Cal Crutchlow – 7th

(1’31.383 – lap 18 of 20)

"We’re happy enough with our day. It’s a little bit difficult coming back from the three flyaway races where the tracks are quite big and quite open, whereas here it’s really small – it seemed a bit of a drag at times, but overall we’re happy enough and we worked well as a team.

“This circuit is quite difficult to get on with, it’s really easy to crash on the right hand side of the tyre as you saw today where many riders made a mistake in that area. I find it quite difficult here, and especially with our bike, but as I said we worked in a good way today, we worked well with Honda and did a good job. Now we just have to try and continue this and make the best setting we can for qualifying tomorrow.” 



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

#FinalShowdown: Lorenzo leads, Dovi third and Marquez sixth

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was quickest on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, taking to the top late on in FP2 as a number of high profile crashers also marked the session, including FP1’s fastest Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team). Lorenzo has the most premier class wins at the venue, with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) - then man with the most wins at Valencia across all classes - hot on the chase in was second. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) the quickest of the title challengers in third to complete the good news for the Borgo Panigale factory on Friday.

Iannone ended Day 1 in fourth on combined times, ahead of Rookie of the Year and top Independent Team rider Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Marquez was sixth but showed good pace, with Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) taking P7 after a stunning session in the morning – and exactly the same laptime in both sessions, down to the thousandth.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was eighth, with Ducati Team test rider and wildcard Michele Pirro putting in another impressive performance to go ninth quickest overall. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) impressed once more, close to the top in the morning and then able to complete the top ten by the end of action.

It was a more difficult first day for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo, with Valentino Rossi in eleventh to edge teammate Maverick Viñales in P12. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) was thirteenth despite a crash as he returns from injury, with Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) and Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) the final of the fastest fifteen on Friday.

Day 2 of the #FinalShowdown kicks off on Saturday with a final push for automatic graduation to Q2, before qualifying in the afternoon from 14:10 (GMT +1).


Oliveira on a roll: KTM quickest on Day 1

Portuguese rider fastest on Friday at Valencia after two wins on the flyaways

Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) dominated Day 1 at the Valencia GP, fastest in FP1 and repeating the feat in the afternoon for a clean sweep. That's following the first two 1-2 results for KTM at Phillip Island and Sepang, with the Austrian marque making a real mark on the intermediate category in their first season in Moto2™. Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) was fastest rookie and second quickest overall, just ahead of another rookie in the form of second Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Brad Binder.

Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) was P4 on the opening day, just ahead of FP1's second quickest, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Marquez made a late charge in the first session, and improved his laptime in the afternoon. Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was sixth fastest.

Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) took P7 and was the first non-improver from FP1, followed similarly by recently-crowned Champion Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS). Ricky Cardus (CarXpert Interwetten), standing in for injured Moto2™ runner up Tom Lüthi, had a stunner to stay close to the new Champion, lining up in ninth after Day 1. Compatriot Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) completed the top ten.

Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) was just outside the top ten on Day 1, but just ahead of Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team), who took twelfth. Augusto Fernandez (Speed Up Racing) had an impressive first day in P13, with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) locking out the fastest fifteen.

Moto2™ qualify on Saturday afternoon, before the race at 12:20 (GMT +1) on Sunday - Morbidelli and Nakagami's last chance for another win before both graduate to the premier class.


Home hero Martin masters Day 1 at Valencia

Del Conca Gresini Moto3 rider heads the timesheets at the final round

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) opened the Valencia GP on top after a top three in the morning and the quickest lap of the day in FP2. The Spaniard, gunning for his first win, was just ahead of compatriot Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) in second – with Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate) and Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team) making it a clean sweep for the home heroes in the top four.

Weather was sunny and clear although cold earlier in the day, and the field had a full day of running uninterrupted by the weather. Headlines were stolen in FP1 by reigning Champion Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) as he took a tumble, but the Majorcan was quick to his feet and improved from outside the top twenty following the incident to go fifth fastest overall. Another high profile incident interrupted FP2 as Niccolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) suffered a crash and left compatriot Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) with nowhere to go, with fastest rookie Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team) just beating Bulega to sixth overall.

Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) took eighth as he gears up to try and make history and equal Mir’s win count, with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) taking ninth despite a crash on Day 1, and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) completing the top ten.

Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing) was P11, ahead of Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and a stunning debut for Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup winner and wildcard Kazuki Masaki (Asia Talent Team) in P13. Dennis Foggia (Sky Junior Team VR46 Academy) – double FIM CEV Repsol Moto3™ Junior World Champion and wildcard this weekend – was fourteenth, with Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) locking out the fastest fifteen on Friday.

Tomorrow is qualifying ahead of the final race of the season, with Mir looking to equal Valentino Rossi and Fenati looking to equal Mir.

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