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Advantage Lorenzo

Advantage Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo snatches the advantage in the MotoGP™ championship battle as local hero Bradley Smith ends Friday in third overall.

Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo put in a faultless performance on an action-packed first day of Free Practice at the Octo British Grand Prix to snatch the advantage in the dramatic 2015 MotoGP™ World Championship battle. The Spaniard finished just 0.033s ahead of Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez in a thrilling end to the day’s action. The man tied with Lorenzo on points at the top of the standings, Valentino Rossi, ended the day 0.989s behind his teammate in tenth. Local hero Bradley Smith impressed to finish in third and complete the provisional front row.

Conditions at the legendary 5.9km Silverstone Circuit had improved from FP1 and bright sunshine saw track temperatures rise to 27˚C in the afternoon. This meant that most riders drastically improved their times in FP2 as they took advantage of better grip levels. With the potential for rain on Saturday morning, today’s practice sessions took on an extra emphasis as riders tried to guarantee themselves a spot in Q2.

Therefore with ten minutes left most riders pitted to swap to the softer option tyre available to them and a dramatic shootout ensued. Lorenzo chose to remain on old tyres, and his 2’02.338 from earlier in the session was good enough to secure top spot, despite being almost two seconds slower than Marquez’s pole record (2’00.691) from 2013.

Marquez (+0.033s) had earlier topped FP1 but had no answer to the pace of Lorenzo in the afternoon, despite swapping for fresh rubber at the end of the session. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Smith (+0.193s) delighted the passionate home fans to set the third fastest time overall and complete the provisional front row. Smith was by far and away the fastest Satellite rider and will be hoping that he can continue this form in an effort to secure his first podium of the season.

Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa (+0.235s) was fourth, ahead of the Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso (+0.423s) in fifth. Dovizioso was using an updated version of his GP15 that debuted at Brno side by side by with the old version to allow him to compare the benefits.

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Aleix Espargaro (+0.534s) made use of the extra-soft tyre available to him to claim sixth spot. He finished exactly one-tenth of a second ahead of his brother Pol on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 in seventh.

Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team) had two updated GP15’s at his disposal, and despite crashing at Stowe Corner half way through FP2, recovered to finish in eighth.

Scott Redding on the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Factory spec Honda showed good pace to finish in ninth ahead at his home Grand Prix, ahead of the nine-time World Champion Rossi who completed the top ten. Rossi found himself almost a second down on his teammate’s time and will need to improve tomorrow if he has any hopes of re-taking his championship lead.

Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera was the top Open class rider in 13th, ahead of the leading Open Honda of Jack Miller (LCR Honda) in 14th. Surprisingly Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) found himself behind his Australian teammate, despite riding a Factory spec RC213V, 1.410s off the pace of Lorenzo.

Aspar MotoGP Team’s Irish rider Eugene Laverty finished 16th fastest on the combined timesheets, with his American teammate Nicky Hayden down in 22nd.

Check out the combined MotoGP™ FP1 & FP2 results, FP3 kicks off at 9:55am local time on Saturday.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2015, OCTO BRITISH GRAND PRIX, FP2, Jorge Lorenzo, Bradley Smith, Marc Marquez, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP

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