Marc Marquez masters tough conditions to top the final Friday of 2018

Marc Marquez masters tough conditions to top the final Friday of 2018 1Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completes Day 1 at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana as the fastest man in some tough and wet conditions thanks to his FP1 time of 1:39.767, with the Spaniard heading Alma Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller and Danilo Petrucci and the top three split by just 0.140 on Friday.

Just like FP1, the FP2 session was red-flagged in the early stages due to unsafe track conditions. This came after debris was left on circuit after Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) crashed at the tricky Turn 12, but the Frenchman was ok and returned to the pits. A short delay followed before the riders headed back out, but with the rain heavier than it was in FP1, none of the riders were able to improve on their morning times and the top three – and ten – were decided for the day.

This left Marquez ending Friday as the quickest rider, with a P2 for the 2018 World Champion in the second session to cap off a good day, and Miller P2 despite finishing P13 in FP2. Petrucci topped FP1 by a significant margin – 0.407 was the gap back to the number 93 – with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) the only other rider within a second of the Ducati rider in the second session. It was P12 overall for ‘The Doctor’, however. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) sits fourth overall and the Italian was P12 in FP2, with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) completing the top five on Day 1 despite conditions that have often been more difficult for the newly-inducted Legend this season.

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – fourth in FP2 – ends P6 on the combined times, with Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) ending the day as the fastest Yamaha rider in P7 overall. Wildcard and Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro sits P8 overall thanks to his FP1 time, a strong showing for the Italian, as Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro grabs a provisional Q2 spot by ending Friday in P9. A P6 in FP2 – along with teammate Bradley Smith’s P8 – caps off a good day for the Austrian manufacturer in the wet conditions. Alex Rins (Team Ecstar Suzuki) rounds out the top ten, but just 0.002 ahead of compatriot Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in P11.

A completely wet day in Valencia looks like it will set the tone for the weekend. Can anyone improve in FP3 to see if they can grab an automatic Q2 place? Don’t miss FP3 from the Circuit Ricardo Tormo from 09:55 local time (GMT +1) on Saturday morning before qualifying from 14:10.

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