Marquez Leads Early Misano Drills


MISANO ADRIATICO, Italy – Marc Marquez set the pace in both MotoGP practice sessions on Friday at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli as the rookie looks to continue his charge to a championship.

The Repsol Honda Team rider narrowly edged out teammate Dani Pedrosa, while Valentino Rossi ended the day quicker than Jorge Lorenzo.

Pedrosa moved to within 33 thousandths of Marquez’s time at the end of the day, having previously overcome problems as his bike suffered vibrations. In third place, Rossi was ahead of Lorenzo, but Misano marks a critical race for all at Yamaha Factory Racing as it finally puts its seamless transmission system into practice.

The standout performance of the day went to Aleix Espargaro, as the Catalan rider hauled his CRT-specification ART machine into the top five for Power Electronics Aspar. This remarkable effort, only half a second off the top spot, demoted GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista to sixth place ahead of Ignite Pramac Racing’s Michele Pirro and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso.

Stefan Bradl was ninth for LCR Honda MotoGP, but suffered a turn six crash during the afternoon session.

Marquez, having won the Moto2 race at Misano last year, started the morning session with a best lap time of 1:34.476. He was able to improve that time in the afternoon session to 1:34.200.