FILE PHOTOGRAPHY BY GOLD & GOOSE
For most of today’s opening practice sessions for the Czech Republic Grand Prix, the notion that Brno was a Yamaha circuit held true as Jorge Lorenzo did most of the leading. But that all changed at the end of the second free practice session as Stefan Bradl shot to the time of the timesheets – on his LCR Honda.
Bradl did his best time on the 17th of his 18 laps of the Brno circuit, his 1:56.500 besting Lorenzo by just .038 of as second. In fact the top six were separated by just .3 of a second in advance of tomorrow’s qualifying sessions.
Lorenzo had led the opening free practice this morning with his 1:56.698 and he was ahead of that mark with his 1:56.538 in FP2 before Bradl, who was seventh this morning, put in his good lap at the very end, knocking the World Champion from the top spot.
Dani Pedrosa had a productive session on the Repsol Honda to finish the day third – one spot better than the second factory Yamaha ridden to fourth by Valentino Rossi. Rossi was just .226 of a second behind Bradl and just a James Bond (.007) ahead of World Championship leader Marc Marquez, the young Spaniard who led each and every session at Indianapolis Motor Speedway before winning what was his third GP in a row.
Behind Marquez came Monster Tech 3 Yamaha’s Cal Crutchlow, the Brit sixth but just .3 of a second behind Brad’s best.
Crutchlow’s teammate Bradley Smith was seventh followed by the Go&Fun Honda of Alvaro Bautista and the two factory Ducatis of Andrea Dovizisio and Nicky Hayden – the Marlboro-backed pair just .142 of a second apart but over a second off the pace of the top men.
Michele Pirro, the Italian who is filling in for Ben Spies on the Pramac Ducati, ended up 13th. Colin Edwards, meanwhile, ended the day 16th on the NGM Mobile Forward Racing entry.
Free Practice 2
1. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:56.500
2. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:56.538
3. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:56.600
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:56.726
5. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1:56.733
6. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:56.800
7. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1:57.351
8. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:57.401
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:57.754
10. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:57.896