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Lorenzo from Crutchlow on Friday afternoon

Lorenzo from Crutchlow on Friday afternoon

Jorge Lorenzo maintained his position at the forefront of the timesheets as Free Practice continued in Jerez on Friday afternoon. The MotoGP™ World Champion this time led Cal Crutchlow, pushing Dani Pedrosa down to third position as riders from three a trio of different teams occupied the top three positions.

There was off-track drama in the way of a power cut that resulted in the session starting seven minutes late. Once it did get underway, with perfect weather, Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo reduced his morning lap time by two tenths of a second to post 1’39.562. Crutchlow (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) were both two tenths inside that, with Valentino Rossi going fourth quickest.

Championship leader Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini), Andrea Iannone (Energy T.I. Pramac Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) filled positions five to eight as CRT riders impressed behind.

As predicted by many before this Gran Premio bwin de España weekend, the CRTs are challenging more midfield prototype runners than has been the case at previous events. Hector Barbera - battered and bruised after a motocross accident at the end of last week - was ninth for Avintia Blusens, beating Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro. Their speed is likely to make for a dramatic climax to Saturday’s third practice session, as an assortment of riders battle for a guaranteed position in Q2 Qualifying.

Several men found themselves with problems. As Cardion AB Motoracing’s Karel Abraham fought through the pain of a broken right collarbone after his Qualifying crash in Texas, Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies has not travelled to Jerez as he recovers from the trapped nerve which caused severe discomfort at the last round.

In this afternoon’s session, both Yonny Hernandez (PBM) and Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) suffered crashes, whereas Danilo Petrucci was presented with no option but to stop his Came IodaRacing Project machine as thick smoke and flames came from the exhaust. Ending the day 13th quickest, Ducati Team test rider Michele Pirro debuted a brand-new frame as he competes as a wildcard for the first time in 2013.

Practice 3, which also has a bearing on which riders will move directly into Q2 Qualifying, begins at 9:55am local time (GMT +2) on Saturday.


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