Saturday, August 17

MARQUEZ TOPS FIRST DAY AT INDY

SPANISH MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez topped both free practice sessions at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday in preparation for Sunday's 28 lap, 118 kilometre race.

Marquez clocked a best lap of 1m 40.781s on his Repsol Honda V4 in the first session (click here for full results) ahead of the Yamahas of Cal Crutchlow and Jorge Lorenzo.

LCR Honda rider and Laguna Seca pole sitter Stefan Bradl was fourth fastest, ahead of Valentino Rossi, Alvaro Bautista and Dani Pedrosa.

Pedrosa is recovering from a fractured collarbone.  He holds the pole record - 1m 38.813s set on his Repsol Honda in last year's qualifying - and is also the lap record holder.  His race record lap is 1m 39.088s, also set last year.

Pedrosa also won last year's race, by more than 10 seconds from Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, setting the race record time of 46m 39.631s at an average speed of 151.796 km/h along the way.  (See last year's results here.)

In yesterday's second practice session, Marquez again topped the timing monitors with a best lap of 1m 39.582s, just edging a resurgent Pedrosa (1m 39.582s) with Bradl third fastest to make it a Honda 1-2-3 in that session.

Behind the three Hondas came the three Yamahas of Lorenzo, Crutchlow and Rossi.  Lorenzo and Crutchlow were in the 1m 39s bracket but Rossi failed to break the 1m 40s barrier.

In the battle to be best Ducati, Andrea Dovizioso was faster than team-mate Nicky Hayden in the first session but the American turned the tables in the second session and was just nine tenths of a second from Marquez' best lap. At this stage in proceedings last year, Hayden was 1.614 seconds from the front, so the Italian team is slowly closing the gap.  For the full list of FP2 lap times, click here ).