Here are the five big headlines from Friday, according to four-time World Champion Max Biaggi!
1 - Ducati’s difficult day at the office
2017 Italian GP winner Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) suffered a blown engine at Turn 1 and then ended the day in P13 overall, and teammate Jorge Lorenzo wasn’t much further forward as he rounded out the top ten. In addition, the Borgo Panigale factory’s test rider and Mugello wildcard, Michele Pirro, suffered a huge crash at Turn 1.
2 - Yamaha back on top
Or near it…Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was the closest challenger to Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) at the top of the timesheets, and teammate Valentino Rossi was P7 but not by much. A corner seems to have been turned for the Iwata marque – including in hotter temperatures.
3 - A tough time for Marquez
A crash and a run off, as well as finishing the day in third – although it’s Marc Marquez’ (Repsol Honda Team) style to push the limits on Friday, Biaggi says the reigning World Champion isn’t looking like the man to beat at the moment.
4 - Sly Zarco sneaks back to near the top
It was an under-the-radar kind of day for Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), but the Frenchman was back near the top of the timesheets by the end of FP2 – top Independent Team rider in P4. And, he’s on a mission to bounce back from a crash in France.
5 - Iannone and Suzuki fastest on Friday
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) went quickest on Day 1 – by some margin – and the Italian on the Hamamatsu machine showed great speed once again. One to watch on Sunday? Or even Saturday, with Iannone having taken pole at the venue before…