After Ducati dominated Friday morning at the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon with a 1-2-3-4 led by Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) responded in the afternoon to finish Friday on top. Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) moved up the timesheets to pip his teammate and take over as quickest Ducati in second overall, with Dovizioso left to round out the top three by the end of play. MotorLand Aragon looks set to stage another Honda vs Ducati battle.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) kept that raging just outside the top three too, with the Brit taking fourth and ending Day 1 fastest Independent Team rider as he vies to extend his lead this weekend in those standings.
It wasn’t until the final five minutes when the battle for Friday’s honours started to heat up at a scorching MotorLand Aragon, with Dovizioso setting the first sub 1:48 laptime of the weekend and Crutchlow quickly following suit. However, with fresh soft rear rubber, six-time World Champion Marquez soon marked ‘his’ territory – with a 1:47.382 putting him 0.453 faster than the rest. Lorenzo, meanwhile, had dropped to outside the top ten but on his final lap of FP2, the Spaniard turned up the wick to launch himself into P2 to finish the day 0.138 behind Marquez.
Behind the top four, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone put his GSX-RR into fifth as the day came to a close, with the Italian the only other rider to venture into the 1:47s as he led for the majority of FP2. After finishing P2 in FP1 as part of Ducati’s early domination, Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) had to settle for sixth in the second session and ended Friday just behind Iannone.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) had a much-improved afternoon in his penultimate home race before retirement. The ‘Little Samurai’ was 18th and 1.9 seconds off in FP1 but managed to find some speed at a track he’s got a good record at and he took seventh overall. Compatriot Alvaro Bautista (Angel Nieto Team) was another home hero in the top ten and he continued his rich vein of form to complete the opening day at MotorLand in P8.
Rounding out the provisional Q2 places were the two Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders: Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales. Can the Yamahas bridge the gap to the front on Saturday and stay in that top ten at a more difficult venue than Misano? Make sure you tune into FP3 at 09:55 local time on Saturday, with qualifying commencing at 14:10.