Photography courtesy MotoGP

It was a Yamaha day at Mugello on Friday, as the top three riders in MotoGP practice on the Italian circuit were Yamaha mounted. It was defending race winner Jorge Lorenzo barely nipping factory Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi, who led much of Friday’s Free Practice 2, but ended the day with a 1:48.409. Lorenzo turned his fastest lap 1:48.375 with zero time left on the clock, giving no others a chance to reply. Cal Crutchlow was third fastest on the Monster Energy Tech 3 Yamaha, the only other rider in the 48-second bracket with a 1:48.672. FP2 was the first dry session of the weekend for the MotoGP riders.

The big story of the day was a wickedly fast crash by rookie sensation Marc Marquez. The fall happened about halfway through the final session of the day. Marquez might have touched a painted line on a high-speed section of the circuit. He got out of shape, ran into the wet grass and down he went at a scary fast speed. Marquez was reported to have escaped serious injury in the accident, but he did not return to the session, instead being checked out in the track’s medical facility.

The fastest non-Yamaha rider was American Nicky Hayden. Hayden finished the day fourth fastest on the factory Ducati with a lap of 1:49.377.

Ben Spies made his return the series after missing two rounds with an injured shoulder. The former World Superbike champ finished 16th on the day with a 1:51.105 on the Ignite Pramac Ducati. Fellow Texan Colin Edwards was right behind Spies on the charts with a 1:51.433 on his FTR Kawasaki.

Conditions were damp in the first session of the day and still cool for the second, keeping the riders from seriously challenging the MotoGP track record of 1:47.284 set by Dani Pedrosa last year. Pedrosa, who took over the championship lead with a victory in the last round, was fifth fastest Friday at Mugello.

Much to the delight of the Italian fans it was Rossi who led the timing charts in FP2. The seven-time race winner established the fastest time early in the 45-minute session and continued to improve on it throughout. I wasn’t until five minutes to go that Lorenzo recorded the best time of the session. Rossi responded and got back to P1 again in the last minute, but with no time on the clock Lorenzo zipped past the line with fastest time of the day.

It was a crash-plagued Friday. In addition to Marquez, Bradley Smith experienced a hard high side on his Tech 3 Yamaha with 13 minutes to go in FP2. He is reported to have suffered an injury to his left arm.

After a crash in the first session Andrea Dovizioso was taken to the circuit’s medical center for an x-ray on his neck, with results being confirmed as negative. He took part in the second session and was seventh fastest.

MotoGP Free Practice 2 – Mugello – Friday, May 31, 2013
1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 48.375s
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 48.409s
3. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 48.672s
4. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 1m 49.377s
5. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 49.383s
6. Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 1m 49.467s
7. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 1m 49.543s
8. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 49.595s
9. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 49.599s
10. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Test Team (GP13) 1m 49.649s
11. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 49.733s
12. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 49.769s
13. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 50.103s
14. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 50.210s
15. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1m 50.400s
16. Ben Spies USA Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) 1m 51.105s
17. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1m 51.433s
18. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) 1m 51.528s
19. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 1m 51.644s
20. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 1m 51.937s
21. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1m 52.182s
22. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT)* 1m 53.314s
23. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT)* 1m 53.480s
24. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 1m 54.231s
25. Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT)* 1m 54.829s

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