Date of publication: 2018-05-05 23:55
The sixth round of the season started strongly for the Pull&Bear Aspar Team, with Álvaro Bautista ninth fastest after clocking a 1' that sees him provisionally through to Q2, with the final and decisive third free practice still to come tomorrow morning. So far Bautista is satisfied with the work he and his team have completed on a first day that saw them establish a strong race pace with some consistent lap times over the two sessions. His team-mate Karel Abraham ended the first day in Italy in 21st position overall but just seconds shy of the leader. The Czech rider is in positive mood after the opening two sessions here, having taken several steps forward with his set-up, which should help improve his pace on new tyres tomorrow.
Speaking after the race, Lorenzo said that people had rushed to conclusions about his potential to succeed on the Ducati.
Both Rossi and Honda's Marc Marquez were on flying laps at the same time amid a frenetic conclusion to the session, with Rossi crossing the line first to set a .
With the clock running out, Marquez emerged for his first run with a new soft rear tyre, and reclaimed the top spot with a , following that up with a on his next lap.
Today I tried to brake later and open the throttle early. I already felt good on the first run, but the first lap is always a bit difficult. I knew I had a good potential and on the second run I was in the right position, with clear track in front, and I rode well. I was able to push without making any mistakes. It‘s a shame for the pole, because we were close, but the second place is a very good result and front row is a good place to start the race from tomorrow.
Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) will have the best seat in the house for the start of the second half of the season, taking a stunning pole position to just edge key title rival Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) in qualifying for the Czech GP. Equally close to the top duo is Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), who led for the first part of the session before being deposed from provisional pole to P8.
Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez topped third practice ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, as both Andrea Dovizioso and Maverick Vinales missed out on automatic Q2 spots.
In addition, Scott did not reply the performance of Friday, also because of an extremely higher temperature. In Q1 the English rider could never find the conditions in order to fight for the qualifying in Q2.
The morning session saw both Iannone and Rins work hard to improve on their single lap times in an attempt to get the access to the Q2. Their improvements were positive, although did not allow them to achieve direct access, ending respectively in 12th and 17th position.
There had never been a lightweight pole position for an Argentine rider before the Czech GP, but that’s now a stat from the past as Gabriel Rodrigo went from gravel to glory in the space of a lap. Following an early crash in the session, the Argentina rider managed to get back out on track with enough time to push for just a single lap – but he more than made it count, as the one-lap wonder in the final seconds of the session saw him take pole by a tenth and a half.
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