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MotoGP Catalunya: Espargaro and Suzuki fastest on Friday

Aleix Espargaro fastest during Free Practice 2 for the Catalunya MotoGP.
Aleix Espargaro put Suzuki on top of the Friday practice timesheets during Friday practice for his home Catalunya MotoGP.

Suzuki's long awaited engine parts look to have made a slight difference in terms of top speed, with Espargaro and team-mate Maverick Vinales within 10km/h of Honda's Marc Marquez this afternoon.

That still left them in the second half of the top speed charts, but significantly the upgrades haven't harmed the GSX-RR's already impressive handling. Espargaro was fastest of any rider through the second half of the lap as he led the session from the 6th to 42nd minute.

Morning pace setter Marquez, running a revised (slightly longer) Honda exhaust plus further less visible upgrades to try and improve the RCV's rear grip issues, then moved ahead before Espargaro blasted back to the front by 0.285s on a new soft rear tyre.

Espargaro's 1m 41.158s was just a few tenths from the circuit pole record and one-second under the race lap record.

Dani Pedrosa backed up Marquez's performance with third (+0.631s) on the other Repsol machine, followed closely by the top Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso. Vinales made it two Suzukis in the top five (+0.764s), with Andrea Iannone (Ducati) in sixth.

The top Yamaha was man-of-the-moment Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard was only seventh quickest (0.876s) in the afternoon heat, but set more sub-1m 43 laps than any other rider (12). Aleix Espargaro and Pedrosa set nine laps under 1m 43s this afternoon, with six each for Marquez, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi.

LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow was the final rider within one-second of Espargaro's flying lap, with younger brother Pol ninth for Monster Yamaha Tech 3.

Scott Redding suffered a fall on his way to tenth (1.196s) for Marc VDS Honda, with world championship leader Rossi only 11th (1.209s) on his Movistar Yamaha.

As ever the Italian looked quicker in terms of race pace, but will need to break into the top ten tomorrow to avoid being sent to Qualifying 1.

1. Aleix Espargaro
2. Marc Marquez
3. Dani Pedrosa
4. Andrea Dovizioso
5. Maverick Viñales
6. Andrea Iannone
7. Jorge Lorenzo
8. Cal Crutchlow
9. Pol Espargaro
10. Scott Redding
11. Valentino Rossi
12. Yonny Hernandez
13. Bradley Smith
14. Hector Barbera
15. Loris Baz
16. Danilo Petrucci
17. Nicky Hayden
18. Eugene Laverty
19. Jack Miller
20. Alvaro Bautista
21. Karel Abraham
22. Mike Di Meglio
23. Stefan Bradl
24. Alex De Angelis
25. Marco Melandri

Tagged as: Suzuki , Espargaro

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Aleix Espargaro, Catalunya MotoGP 2015
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Reddng, Petrucci, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
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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

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