16 October 2015
MotoGP Australia: Marquez from Lorenzo in FP2, Rossi ninth
Outgoing MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez knocks Jorge Lorenzo off the top spot in the closing moments of FP2 at Phillip Island in Australia as title leader Valentino Rossi drops to ninth.
Marc Marquez pounced late in FP2 to topple Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo from the top of the MotoGP leaderboard at Phillip Island.
The Repsol Honda rider swept through in the final moments to post a time of 1m 29.383s, bumping Lorenzo – fastest in the rain-affected morning session – back to second position as the Majorcan finished only 0.050s in arrears.
A flurry of fast times in the last five minutes saw Suzuki's Maverick Vinales power into a stunning third on the Ecstar Suzuki GSX-RR after a lap in 1m 29.518s, although world championship leader Valentino Rossi tumbled down the time sheets to ninth place after setting the early pace right at the beginning of the session.
The Italian, 18 points ahead of Lorenzo with three rounds remaining counting this weekend's Australian showdown, was right in the frame in the opening 20 minutes on the Movistar Yamaha M1 on Bridgestone's asymmetric front tyre and at one stage slotted in behind his team-mate and title rival, who moved aside to let the 36-year-old past after receiving a pit board warning from his team that Rossi was in his slipstream.
The seven-time premier class champion's best time of 1m 30.041s leaves him six tenths off the top spot - but, unlike those ahead of him, Rossi is not thought to have used a new medium rear tyre at the end of the session.
The Doctor finished behind Britain's Bradley Smith on the satellite Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1, who had been running in a lowly 20th place before climbing the order in the final seven minutes.
Andrea Iannone was the top Ducati in fourth after a lap in 1m 29.544s, nudging Cal Crutchlow back to fifth on the LCR Honda, who had surged to the top of the times from Lorenzo with five minutes to go on the RC213V.
Motegi race winner Dani Pedrosa made steady progress to settle into sixth on the second of the factory Honda RCVs, ending the day 0.493s behind outgoing world champion Marquez as less than half a second covered the top six.
Danilo Petrucci on the Pramac Ducati was seventh fastest ahead of Smith and Rossi, while Aleix Espargaro rounded out the first ten on the second of the factory Suzuki machines, seventh tenths off Marquez's benchmark.
Home favourite Jack Miller, who ran off track at turn 2 early in the session on the LCR Honda, eventually completed FP2 in 11th place after climbing as high as fifth on the Open class RC213V-RS, with Nicky Hayden hot on his heels on the Aspar Honda.
Spaniard Hector Barbera, who reclaimed the Open class lead in Japan last weekend, was next in 13th on the Avintia Ducati GP14 ahead of factory rider Andrea Dovizioso, who was languishing 1.068s off the pace in 14th.
Pol Espargaro also has work to do on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 after finishing behind Dovizioso to round out the top 15.
Scott Redding on the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda finished behind Yonny Hernandez (Pramac Ducati) in 17th place, one position in front of Irishman Eugene Laverty (Aspar Honda).
Alvaro Bautista put the Aprilia into 19th with team-mate Stefan Bradl, so close to securing a place in Q2 at Motegi, finishing 21st on the RS-GP ahead of Forward Racing's Toni Elias.
1. Marc Marquez
2. Jorge Lorenzo
3. Maverick Viñales
4. Andrea Iannone
5. Cal Crutchlow
6. Dani Pedrosa
7. Danilo Petrucci
8. Bradley Smith
9. Valentino Rossi
10. Aleix Espargaro
11. Jack Miller
12. Nicky Hayden
13. Hector Barbera
14. Andrea Dovizioso
15. Pol Espargaro
16. Yonny Hernandez
17. Scott Redding
18. Eugene Laverty
19. Alvaro Bautista
20. Mike Di Meglio
21. Stefan Bradl
22. Toni Elias
23. Loris Baz
24. Anthony West
25. Damian Cudlin
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