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Valencia MotoGP: Marquez seals Friday practice double

Marc Marquez fastest during Free Practice 2 for the Valencia MotoGP title showdown.
Rookie MotoGP championship leader Marc Marquez completed a Friday practice double for the Valencia title showdown.

Riding in windy conditions the Repsol Honda star, who holds a 13-point advantage over Jorge Lorenzo heading into the season finale, beat his own morning time by just over 0.3s to conclude the day a mere 0.066s ahead of team-mate Dani Pedrosa.

Reigning double champion Lorenzo was the only rider in the top seven not to improve during the first half of the session - and briefly tried a fairing with holes on his Yamaha to counter the wind - before climbing to third place, 0.158s from Marquez.

Marquez had been fastest by just 0.018s from Lorenzo this morning, with Pedrosa completing a top three covered by 0.024s.

Bridgestone has brought its new specification hard rear tyre to a grand prix for the first time this weekend, and it was used to set the best laps in the closing stages of the afternoon.

Behind the top three, Cal Crutchlow - making his final Monster Yamaha Tech 3 appearance before joining Ducati - was a close fourth quickest (+0.282s) despite a late fall.

The first day of Rossi's final weekend working alongside crew chief Jerry Burgess saw the Italian in fifth place (+0.419s). Satellite Honda riders Stefan Bradl and Álvaro Bautista were sixth and seventh with Bradley Smith, an impressive fourth this morning, dropping to eighth in the afternoon.

However Smith was only 0.764s from Marquez.

Andrea Dovizioso turned the tables on team-mate Nicky Hayden, departing for Aspar after Sunday's race, to be the leading Ducati in ninth (+1.143s).

CRT class champion Aleix Espargaro, switching from Aspar to the Forward Yamaha in 2014, fell from the 2014 version of the ART he has available this weekend. Despite the spill Espargaro was 13th fastest and the leading privateer.

Team-mate Randy de Puniet was the only rider to lap slower than this morning.

If Lorenzo wins on Sunday, Marquez needs to finish in the top four to be the first rookie champion since 1978.

Free Practice 2:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Cal Crutchlow
5. Valentino Rossi
6. Stefan Bradl
7. Alvaro Bautista
8. Bradley Smith
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Nicky Hayden
11. Andrea Iannone
12. Michele Pirro
13. Aleix Espargaro
14. Claudio Corti
15. Colin Edwards
16. Hector Barbera
17. Danilo Petrucci
18. Yonny Hernandez
19. Randy De Puniet
20. Luca Scassa
21. Hiroshi Aoyama
22. Michael Laverty
23. Bryan Staring
24. Damian Cudlin
25. Martin Bauer
26. Lukas Pesek

Tagged as: Marquez

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