Photography by Gold & Goose
A motorcycle with a seamless transmission ended up being fastest in both sessions today at he Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, but it was a Honda and not a Yamaha – and Marc Marquez was the one twisting the throttle, the World Championship points leader on top in both of today’s free practice sessions.
Marquez led the morning session with a 1:34.476 and took a tad over two-tenths off that mark in the afternoon to lead the way with a 1:34.200. Another of the Hondas followed, the second factory Repsol bike ridden by Dani Pedrosa – just .033 of a second behind his junior teammate.
“I am happy with how things went today, and how we worked,” Marquez said. “I felt pretty good from the start and found some good reference points; there’s only a few places, like on the fast corner, where I still need to make some improvements in order to go faster. I’m running slightly wide onto the AstroTurf at that point. I hope that we can rectify this tomorrow, keep working well and get in even better shape for the race”
Then came the Yamahas with their new seamless transmissions, led by Valentino Rossi in his home GP. The Italian legend was close, just .258 of a second behind Marquez and only .037 ahead of his teammate Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo has won the last two MotoGPs at Misano, including last year’s start to finish victory.
Fifth place was a surprise with the CRT bike of Aleix Espargaro taking the spot, the Spaniard just half a second off Marquez on the Power Electronics Aspar ART bike.
Espargaro led Go&Fun Honda’s Alvaro Bautista and Ben Spies replacement rider Michele Pirro. Then came the first of the two factory Ducatis, ridden to eighth fastest by Andrea Dovizioso.
LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl was a lowly ninth after a crash in turn six; and Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow was also further down the order than normal, the Brit just a tad over a second behind Marquez and in 10th place after the first two sessions.
Andrea Iannone was 11th on the second Pramac Ducati with Nicky Hayden 12th. Hayden was the only one of the top men to go faster in the first session than he did in the second.
Colin Edwards ended the day in 16h on the NGM Mobile Forward FTR Kawasaki.
Marquez’ best lap of 1:34.200 is over a second slower than the lap record of 1:33.138 set by Casey Stoner in 2011.
Free Practice 2
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1:34.200
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:34.233
3. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:34.458
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:34.495
5. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 1:34.732
6. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:34.858
7. Michele Pirro (Ducati) 1:34.889
8. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:34.901
9. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:35.107
10. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:35.208
11. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:35.431
16. Colin Edwards (FTR Kawasaki) 1:36.181