Dani Pedrosa conquers mixed conditions for P1 at Aragon
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) is the man with a target on his back after Day 1 at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon, as the 2012 winner at the track went fastest in FP2 to top the combined timesheets on – the only man under the two minute barrier after weather affected track time for the premier class. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was second quickest after similarly striking late on in the second session, ahead of rookie Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3).
FP1 was fully wet and saw reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) hit the ground running to go quickest, and the local rider was fourth overall after FP2. The skies were largely dry for the second session, but riders remained on rain tyres with some parts of the track much wetter than others and spray kicking up. That’s when Pedrosa and Lorenzo shone and laptimes improved, with the man in fifth also impressing – Pull&Bear Aspar Team’s Karel Abraham.
The biggest story of the day, however, belonged to Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who ventured out in the wet in FP1 to put in some laps and test his fitness, then managing another 13 laps in FP2. The ‘Doctor’ suffered one run off but did over 20 laps on Day 1 as he attempts to race in the Aragon GP after missing only Misano due to his broken leg.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) had a good first day to go P6, ahead of compatriot Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in an impressive seventh – the man who won the intermediate class race at the track last season. Championship challenger Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) had a more muted Day 1 on the timesheets for eighth overall, just ahead of the second Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro. His brother Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was another top performer on Day 1, locking out the top ten on the KTM.
Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and wildcard KTM test rider Mika Kallio (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – who was fifth in the wetter FP1 session – completed the top fifteen on combined times for Friday.
With weather set to change for tomorrow – and improve – it’s now all eyes on the sky for FP3 and direct entry to Q2, and then qualifying from 14:10 (GMT + 1).