PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia – Reigning MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo paced both practice sessions Friday at Australia’s Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
The Yamaha Factory Racing rider lapped Phillip Island, with its new track surface, less than a tenth of a second quicker than championship leader Marc Marquez while Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top three in the first practice.
While rookie Marquez is looking to make history and lock up the MotoGP championship this weekend, Lorenzo showed why he is the defending champion by registering a top lap time of
That was just 88 thousandths of a second up on Marquez, with Bautista another half a second back. The top five in the opening session was completed by Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi.
The top three riders didn’t change in the second practice as Lorenzo again lead the way, this time with his top time of 1:28.961 ahead of Marquez and Bautista.
Marquez was fortunate to avoid injury during second practice, as the 20-year-old crashed at the top of Lukey Heights. Appearing to have escaped any injury, the Spaniard was back out on-track less than 20 minutes later.
The same could not be said for LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl; having fractured an ankle at Sepang last Saturday, the German was allowed to take part in opening practice but finished almost four seconds off the pace and was later declared unfit. He hopes to return in Japan next weekend.