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Rossi fastest in Barcelona practice

Rossi fastest in Barcelona practice

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi posted a late lap time to go quickest in Friday practice ahead of the Gran Premi Aperol de Catalunya. On a scorching afternoon, the nine-time Barcelona race winner led Yamaha Factory Racing teammate Jorge Lorenzo and championship leader Dani Pedrosa for Repsol Honda Team.

Completing 17 laps and achieving a best effort of 1’42.297, Rossi led Lorenzo by just 49 thousandths of a second, with Pedrosa one and a half tenths off the pace. Alvaro Bautista recovered from a morning accident to go fifth for GO&FUN Honda Gresini, rounding out the top five behind Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow.

Marc Marquez ended Day 1 of his first premier class home Grand Prix event in sixth position, having already pinpointed the Circuit de Catalunya weekend as one of the most difficult of the season. In seventh place, Ducati Team’s Nicky Hayden matched Alex Barros’ 2004 record for the highest top speed at the track: 339.4km/h (210.8mph).

The first ten was completed by Hayden’s teammate Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro who is one of six Spanish rides in the field this weekend. Despite finishing ninth, Bradl suffered another fall as the German lost control of his Honda at La Caixa curve.

The sixth Spaniard, Avintia Blusens’ Hector Barbera, ended the day in 15th position as Tech 3’s Bradley Smith was taken to the Medical Centre for a check-up following an accident at the sweeping Turn 3. Less than five seconds covered the 24-rider field, which was rounded out by Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek.

Saturday’s third practice will get underway at 9:55am local time (GMT +2), being the final session to have a bearing on those riders who will head directly to Q2 qualifying.


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