Photography by Gold & Goose
It was a good start to the weekend at Valencia for world champion in waiting Marc Marquez. The young factory Honda ace showed he was not going to play it conservatively on the final weekend of the 2013 MotoGP season, going out and setting the fastest time Friday in Free Practice Two, a 1:31.220. It was a good day for Honda, as Pedrosa joined his teammate in second. Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, still clinging to a small chance to win the world title, ended the first day in third.
A determined Lorenzo opened FP2 session with a 1:32.125 and then bettered that over the next couple of laps to a 1:31.873 to lead the early going. Eyes popped in the Honda garage when the ever-on-the-edge Marquez ran off the track on his first flyer, but he was quickly back on the racing line and up to speed. Lorenzo’s Yamaha teammate Rossi ran second fastest in the first part of the session, followed by the Hondas of Pedrosa and Marquez.
Halfway through the session Pedrosa pushed his machine to the fastest time of the weekend with a 1:31.547, quickly eclipsed by Marquez with a 1:31.458.
Lorenzo switch to a fairing with holes drilled in it, perhaps to fight heavy winds sweeping across Valencia, but he moved back to the normal fairing for the final leg on FP2.
As expected, things heated up in the final minutes of the session. With a little over eight minutes to go Pedrosa took P1 with a 1:31.286. Two minutes later Marquez stepped up with a 1:31.220. That time would ultimately hold as the fastest of the day; then Pedrosa and Lorenzo. Two other Yamaha riders, Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi rounded out the top five.
Entering a set of esses Aleix Espargaró crashed heavily on his Power Electronics Aspar Aprilia. Cal Crutchlow lowsided his Tech 3 Yamaha on the very last lap of the session. Both riderswere quickly up and appeared to be OK.
For the American riders it was a so-so day. In his final weekend with Ducati Nicky Hayden went tenth fastest with a 1:32.395, just a click behind his teammate Andrea Dovizioso. Colin Edwards was the third fastest CRT runner, clocking a 1:33.252 aboard his NGM Mobile Forward Racing.
Valencia MotoGP – Friday Free Practice 2
1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 31.220s (Lap 16/20)
2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 31.286s (16/22)
3. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 31.378s (15/19)
4. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 31.502s (21/22)
5. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing (YZR-M1) 1m 31.639s (20/24)
6. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP (RC213V) 1m 31.858s (20/22)
7. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini (RC213V) 1m 31.873s (20/22)
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 1m 31.984s (21/23)
9. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (GP13) 1m 32.363s (19/21)
10. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team (GP13) 1m 32.395s (18/21)
11. Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing (GP13) 1m 32.596s (21/22)
12. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Test Team (GP13) 1m 32.756s (15/20)
13. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 32.809s (9/11)
14. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 33.172s (8/19)
15. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 33.252s (22/22)
16. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 33.270s (18/20)
17. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT) 1m 33.304s (18/21)
18. Yonny Hernandez COL Ignite Pramac Racing (GP13) 1m 33.487s (19/21)
19. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar (ART CRT) 1m 33.727s (13/20)
20. Luca Scassa ITA Cardion AB Motoracing (ART CRT) 1m 34.049s (16/19)
21. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens (FTR-Kawasaki CRT) 1m 34.077s (7/14)
22. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport (ART CRT) 1m 34.132s (19/21)
23. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini (FTR-Honda CRT) 1m 35.478s (19/21)
24. Damian Cudlin AUS Paul Bird Motorsport (PBM-ART CRT) 1m 35.644s (15/16)
25. Martin Bauer AUT Remus Racing Team (S&B Suter-BMW CRT) 1m 35.832s (17/19)
26. Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project (Suter-BMW CRT) 1m 36.353s (14/15)