Photography By Gold & Goose
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez led Free Practice 2 today at the Jerez Circuit in Spain, but the World Championship leader couldn’t match the pace set in the cooler morning session by NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro, the Open class Yamaha rider showing his FP1 effort was no fluke by ending up second to Marquez in the blazing heat of the afternoon session.
Marquez’s best was a 1:39.757 in conditions that will likely match Sunday’s race conditions – hot, hot, hot. Espargaro was just. 216 of a second behind the World Champion with Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso third with his 1:40.028.
Espargaro’s 1:39.357 had led the morning session from Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo by .357 of a second with Marquez third at a best of 1:39.849.
In the afternoon session, it was the factory Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Lorenzo in fourth and fifth, respectively. Rossi was .368 of a second behind Marquez with his teammate .376 of a second behind the factory Honda.
Dani Pedrosa put his Repsol Honda sixth, .734 of a second off his young teammate’s pace, then came Go&Fun Honda’s Alvaro Bautista, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Pramac Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and Drive M7 Aspar Honda’s Nicky Hayden, the former World Champion ending the day in 10th.
Brit’s Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith ended up 15th and 16th, the former recovering from his Austin hand injury, the latter suffering a big crash at the end of the session. Though he destroyed his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha, Smith limped away from the crash relatively unscathed.
Texan Colin Edwards ended the session in 20th.
Free Practice 2
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1:39.757
2. Aleix Espargaro (Yamaha) 1:39.973
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:40.028
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:40.125
5. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:40.133
6. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:40.491
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:40.616
8. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:40.672
9. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1:40.742
10. Nicky Hayden (Honda) 1:40.788