MotoGP »

Qatar MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro stays top on Open Yamaha

Aleix Espargaro fastest during Free Practice 2 for the 2014 season-opening Qatar MotoGP, at Losail.
CLICK HERE to view the results for MotoGP Free Practice (2).

  • Aleix Espargaro stays fastest with best lap of weekend so far during MotoGP FP2 in Qatar
  • Andrea Dovizioso second for Ducati after fitting the soft tyre at the end of the session
  • Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez move forward, but Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo still off the pace

Aleix Espargaro kept his Open class Yamaha on top of the timesheets during Friday night's second practice session for the season-opening Qatar MotoGP.

Espargaro set the best lap of the weekend at the end of the session while running the soft rear tyre only available to the Open class and Ducati - whose rider Andrea Dovizioso also fitted the short-life rubber to jump into second place (+0.331s).

Gresini Honda's Alvaro Bautista, second to Espargaro by 0.4s on Thursday, remained the same distance adrift but was pushed to third by Dovizioso's progress. Dovizioso appeared to find over 0.7s with the softer rubber and, like Aleix Espargaro, looks set to be a pole contender on Saturday.

The three Factory teams (Honda, Yamaha and Ducati) are playing catch-up this weekend after being unable to take part in the Qatar pre-season test. Repsol Honda riders Dani Pedrosa (+0.573s) and injured champion Marc Marquez (+0.618s) moved up the order to fourth and fifth places.

But there was more misery for Factory Yamaha star Jorge Lorenzo who again struggled for grip and was left in twelfth place (+1.183s). If Lorenzo cannot break into the top ten after FP3 he will not gain direct access to the second and final part of Saturday's qualifying session.

Team-mate Valentino Rossi slipped from seventh to ninth, although the Italian did reduce the gap to the top to just under one second.

While his older brother led much of the session, Pol Espargaro had a dramatic 45-minutes. Having broken his left collarbone at the circuit on March 9, Espargaro was thrown over the handlebars early in FP2, bouncing roughly through the gravel.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider fortunately avoided further damage to his newly plated collarbone, returning to the circuit on his spare bike and going fastest! A further moment later on saw the reigning Moto2 champion take to the gravel before he finished the session in eighth (+0.924s).

Andrea Iannone (Pramac) and Nicky Hayden (Aspar) were the only riders not to improve in FP2.

After missing Thursday due to engine problems, PBM's Michael Laverty clocked 10 laps to prop up the 23 rider timesheets.

The unique four-night Qatar schedule continues with MotoGP Free Practice 3 later on tonight, followed by Free Practice 4 and Qualifying on Saturday, then warm-up and the season-opening grand prix on Sunday.

After FP3, the top ten riders on combined practice times will receive direct access to the second and final part of Saturday's qualifying session. The others will fight for the last two Q2 places in the Qualifying 1 session.

Free Practice 2:
1. Aleix Espargaro
2. Andrea Dovizioso
3. Alvaro Bautista
4. Dani Pedrosa
5. Marc Marquez
6. Bradley Smith
7. Stefan Bradl
8. Pol Espargaro
9. Valentino Rossi
10. Andrea Iannone
11. Jorge Lorenzo
12. Colin Edwards
13. Cal Crutchlow
14. Nicky Hayden
15. Yonny Hernandez
16. Scott Redding
17. Karel Abraham
18. Hiroshi Aoyama
19. Hector Barbera
20. Mike Di Meglio
21. Broc Parkes
22. Danilo Petrucci
23. Michael Laverty

Tagged as: Espargaro , Forward

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Aleix Espargaro, Qatar MooGP 2014
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Reddng, Petrucci, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
jones, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Petrucci Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Barbera, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


March 21, 2014 4:28 PM

So an "Open" bike is better than a full "Factory" bike? This is not equal racing, not that having only 4 factory bikes is equal either. I wonder how 2014 will turn out once all the factory teams have blown engines, run out of fuel and suffer from injuries caused by lack of grip from the Bridgestone tyres? :?

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.