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Jun 14, 2014 - 06:14 AM
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Aleix Espargaro Quickest Overall At Red Hot Barcelona-Catalunya
Posted by: newsla on Jun 14, 2014 - 06:11 AM
Aleix Espargaro Quickest Overall At Red Hot Barcelona-Catalunya

Friday afternoon’s MotoGP™ FP2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya ended with Bradley Smith setting the pace, as Stefan Bradl and Marc Marquez joined him in the top three, but Aleix Espargaro was Friday’s fastest rider overall courtesy of an FP1 hot lap.


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Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Smith set his best time of the afternoon with the track temperatures reaching over 50°C, his 1’42.123 lap well over a second quicker than he had gone in the morning.

The Briton ended the afternoon run just ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Bradl and Repsol Honda Team Marquez, but it was NGM Forward Racing’s Espargaro who recorded the best time of the day (1’41.672) on a softer compound rear tyre at his home track in the morning session.

Completing the top five on the combined timesheet was the race winner for the last two years at Barcelona-Catalunya, Jorge Lorenzo (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) who was just over 0.6s down on Espargaro’s P1 time. Lorenzo’s best lap came in the afternoon heat, with the many riders using harder option front and rear tyres in the Mediterranean sunshine.

Sixth and seventh overall were Italians Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing) and Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) courtesy of their best times in FP1, with Iannone escaping unhurt from a turn 10 tumble into the gravel in the morning outing.

The overall top ten was completed by Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3), Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).

Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) rode 32 laps over the course of the day as he assessed the condition of his right wrist, on which he had surgery after missing Mugello. He ended the day 19th overall.

Moto2™: Rabat dominates round seven Friday sessions
The first day of practice at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya saw Tito Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) top both sessions. On the combined timesheet Jonas Folger was second with Mika Kallio third.

Rabat was the only rider able to drop into the 1’46s with a 1’46.955s in FP2, 0.746s clear of his closest rival Folger (AGR Team), who recorded a 1’47.701s lap in the afternoon to put him second overall. Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) did not improve on his FP1 time of 1’47.836s in the second session, but remained third in terms of combined times.

Sam Lowes (Speed Up) was fourth overall despite two crashes in FP2 and he was the only non-Kalex rider in the overall top five. Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) rounded out the leading quintet with a 1’47.951s, from FP1.

Maverick Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40), Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Takaaki Nakagami (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) were all able to improve their times in FP2 to end the day in an overall top ten which also featured Dominique Aegerter (Technomag CarXpert) and Luis Salom (Paginas Amarillas HP 40).

Turns 5 and 10 proved to be tricky with the majority of the day’s crashes occurring there across the two sessions. Thomas Luthi (Interwetten paddock Moto2) fell in FP1, whilst Folger, Azlan Shah (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia) and Lowes all crashed in FP2, with Lowes tumbling twice. All riders were unhurt.

Moto3™: Quick Ajo demonstrates Montmelo strength
Moto3™ FP2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya on Friday afternoon saw Niklas Ajo show his pace around the Mediterranean track, leading from Jack Miller and Isaac Viñales.

In hot and humid conditions at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit, with ambient temperatures reaching 32°C, it was a demanding session for the riders - but Finnish youngster Ajo adapted best to the heat, to put his Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo machine top with a 1’51.930 lap.

The best times came late in the session with standings leader Miller (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and in-form rider Viñales (Calvo Team) joining Ajo in the top three, both within 0.015s of the top spot.

Completing the top five were Italian compatriots Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) and Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46), who have had contrasting fortunes thus far in 2014, the former crashing out of the last three races.

The top ten was rounded out by Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Enea Bastianini (Junior Team Go&FUN Moto3), Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Efren Vazquez (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing).

There were crashes for Vazquez, Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Luca Grünwald (Kiefer Racing) but none of them were seriously hurt.

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