Rossi back to his best in MotoGP FP2

Weather more befitting of Mugello greeted the riders for MotoGP FP2 in Italy this afternoon and it was Italian hero Valentino Rossi that got the partisan home crowd on their feet with an opening salvo that shows The Doctor means business this weekend.

Rossi and Lorenzo, as close at Mugello as at Le Mans

Photo: Yamaha MotoGP

Rossi posted 4 successive fastest laps to start the session before team mate Lorenzo took over at the top after a tow over the line from a slow-starting Pedrosa, only to regain top spot on the very next lap with a 1:49.036, some 0.2s ahead of the Lorenzo and Monster Tech3 Yamaha man Cal Crutchlow, looking to back up his mid-week claims that he is ready or a full Factory ride for 2014.

After a short quiet spell the action resumed with Rossi immediatey throwing down the gauntlet with the first sub 1 min 48s lap before Marc Marquez had the fastest crash of his career as the rookie lost control of his Honda RC213V under braking for turn 1 at almost 200mph as the bike snapped sideways on to the damp grass but fortunately remaining between Marquez and the exposed concrete wall to prevent serious injury to the young Spaniard. Marquez was transferred to the Clinica Mobile and later cleared of any serious injuries.

Marquez was not the only one to fall victim to the Mugello circuit, Monster Yamaha Tech3 rookie Bradley Smith high-sided his M1 at Casanova Sevelli, trapping his left hand under the machine as it slid in to the gravel. Early reports from the medial center state that Smith has damage to his left little finger and wrist.

The action continued as a titanic battle for the top spot ensued between Rossi and Lorenzo with Crutchlow keeping a watching brief; Rossi kept the upper hand until the very end of the session when Lorenzo posted his fastest lap of the session of 1:48.704s with 3 minutes remaining as Iannone took a lesson in how to lap Mugello properly from his friend Rossi to post the 4th fastest time before being bumped back by a struggling Pedrosa and an impressive Nicky Hayden.

Rossi snatched the top spot back from an elbow-dragging Lorenzo but it was the Spaniard who had the last laugh by posting his sixth successive improved lap of 1:48.375 in his usual metronomic style just 0.034 ahead of the man the bulk of the crowd have come to see and Crutchlow an impressive 0.297s shy of Lorenzo but a relatively comfortable 0.75s clear of Hayden in fourth place with Pedrosa fifth 1.008s behind Lorenzo.

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 341.6 1’48.375
2 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 339.4 1’48.409 0.034 / 0.034
3 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 337.8 1’48.672 0.297 / 0.263
4 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 338.4 1’49.377 1.002 / 0.705
5 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 340.0 1’49.383 1.008 / 0.006
6 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 340.6 1’49.467 1.092 / 0.084
7 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 338.8 1’49.543 1.168 / 0.076
8 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 338.9 1’49.595 1.220 / 0.052
9 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 322.4 1’49.599 1.224 / 0.004
10 51 Michele PIRRO ITA Ducati Test Team Ducati 340.1 1’49.649 1.274 / 0.050
11 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 338.8 1’49.733 1.358 / 0.084
12 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 326.3 1’49.769 1.394 / 0.036
13 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 335.2 1’50.103 1.728 / 0.334
14 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 342.0 1’50.210 1.835 / 0.107
15 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 320.6 1’50.400 2.025 / 0.190
16 11 Ben SPIES USA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 340.9 1’51.105 2.730 / 0.705
17 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 323.5 1’51.433 3.058 / 0.328
18 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 325.8 1’51.528 3.153 / 0.095
19 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART 322.9 1’51.644 3.269 / 0.116
20 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 322.0 1’51.937 3.562 / 0.293
21 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR 320.9 1’52.182 3.807 / 0.245
22 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 326.3 1’53.314 4.939 / 1.132
23 70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 321.8 1’53.480 5.105 / 0.166
24 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 324.4 1’54.231 5.856 / 0.751
25 52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 312.0 1’54.829 6.454 / 0.598
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