After a brief hailstone and rain shower that meant an early finish to the Moto3 FP2 session, the track dried out quickly for the MotoGP boys to start their second session of the day. The session could be an important 45 minutes of the overall weekend as the weather forecast for tomorrow is looking inclement to say the least, so times from today’s dry session could well dictate the top ten for Q2 tomorrow afternoon.
|Pedrosa and Marquez, first and second in FP2 in France
Photo: Repsol Honda
Local hero Randy de Puniet and his Aspar ART CRT machine was first to check the track conditions this afternoon with the rest of the field following on once they’d witnessed his lap times. It was a see-saw battle early on between the Yamaha of Lorenzo and the Honda of Marquez swapping times almost at will from Pedrosa, quietly going about his business, ahead of Rossi and Bradl all running faster times than this mornings session.
Tech3 man Crutchlow ran on at the esses round the back of the circuit whilst holding sixth place and animatedly berated himself before going on to immediately post the fifth fastest time on his next circulation as Lorenzo posted his best lap of the day with a 1:34.201 just 0.085s ahead of Marquez and the top 8 covered by just 1 second.
A storming lap from Jerez victor Pedrosa regained the top spot from this mornings session with a 1:34.155s and with 10 minutes left of the session it read Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Marquez, Dovizioso, Bradl, Crutchlow, Rossi, Bautista, Hayden and Espargaro in tenth as top CRT. Pramac Ducati rookie Andrea Iannone was pitched from his seat at the final corner, falling uninjured and was able to return to the track on his second bike.
In a frantic final 2 minutes of the session Valentino Rossi hauled his Yamaha M1 to second place on the timesheets just 0.018s in arrears of Pedrosa with just 0.144s covering the top five, as Marquez responded immediately to steal second place from the rejuvenated 9-time World Champion as Lorenzo had no answer to the pace of the top 3 however his metronomic race pace was much in evidence as Dovozioso, Bautista and Bradley Smith posted their best times of the day on their final laps.
As the flag dropped on the session Pedrosa retained the top spot from FP1 from Marquez, Rossi, Lorenzo, Bradl and Crutchlow, the top eight covered by just 0.555s.
|1||26||Dani PEDROSA||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||308.6||1’34.035|
|2||93||Marc MARQUEZ||SPA||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||304.4||1’34.169||0.134 / 0.134|
|3||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||302.9||1’34.173||0.138 / 0.004|
|4||99||Jorge LORENZO||SPA||Yamaha Factory Racing||Yamaha||305.6||1’34.201||0.166 / 0.028|
|5||6||Stefan BRADL||GER||LCR Honda MotoGP||Honda||305.5||1’34.299||0.264 / 0.098|
|6||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||304.5||1’34.512||0.477 / 0.213|
|7||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||302.0||1’34.578||0.543 / 0.066|
|8||69||Nicky HAYDEN||USA||Ducati Team||Ducati||298.5||1’34.590||0.555 / 0.012|
|9||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||SPA||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||Honda||306.5||1’34.739||0.704 / 0.149|
|10||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||SPA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||288.0||1’35.045||1.010 / 0.306|
|11||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||302.9||1’35.362||1.327 / 0.317|
|12||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Energy T.I. Pramac Racing||Ducati||304.9||1’35.433||1.398 / 0.071|
|13||14||Randy DE PUNIET||FRA||Power Electronics Aspar||ART||289.5||1’35.447||1.412 / 0.014|
|14||51||Michele PIRRO||ITA||Ignite Pramac Racing||Ducati||299.7||1’35.864||1.829 / 0.417|
|15||8||Hector BARBERA||SPA||Avintia Blusens||FTR||289.6||1’35.940||1.905 / 0.076|
|16||5||Colin EDWARDS||USA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||FTR Kawasaki||286.8||1’36.449||2.414 / 0.509|
|17||71||Claudio CORTI||ITA||NGM Mobile Forward Racing||FTR Kawasaki||287.3||1’36.643||2.608 / 0.194|
|18||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Cardion AB Motoracing||ART||284.3||1’36.759||2.724 / 0.116|
|19||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||283.1||1’36.764||2.729 / 0.005|
|20||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||JPN||Avintia Blusens||FTR||287.4||1’36.821||2.786 / 0.057|
|21||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||COL||Paul Bird Motorsport||ART||283.0||1’37.104||3.069 / 0.283|
|22||67||Bryan STARING||AUS||GO&FUN Honda Gresini||FTR Honda||284.8||1’37.878||3.843 / 0.774|
|23||70||Michael LAVERTY||GBR||Paul Bird Motorsport||PBM||288.0||1’38.023||3.988 / 0.145|
|24||52||Lukas PESEK||CZE||Came IodaRacing Project||Ioda-Suter||283.6||1’38.818||4.783 / 0.795|
Times courtesy of motogp.com