Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez topped the timesheet in Friday’s MotoGP
practice at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, posting a 1’22.040 during the afternoon session. LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl finished second-fastest followed by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso in third.
Every rider on the grid improved their lap time during the afternoon session, thanks largely to the drastic change in conditions at the circuit. The morning session was cool and slightly misty, but the sun came out mid-day and warmed the tight, technical track by nearly 20 degrees Celsius. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow proved fastest in the morning and came out swinging in the afternoon as well, spending a number of minutes during the initial stages of the session with the fastest time. His final stint at the top was ended by Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi, who put in his best effort as FP2 reached the midpoint. Marquez, who has never raced this track previously, upped the pace during the latter half of the session, getting the best of Rossi nine minutes after the Doctor posted what would be his best lap of the day.
Rossi ended fourth-fastest, dismissed from the top-three as both Bradl and Dovi found that extra bit of speed toward the end of the session. Crutchlow scored his best time of the day on lap 21 of 23, but it wasn’t enough to replicate his morning performance, leaving him back in fifth. Rossi’s teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, riding with a recently injured left collarbone, posted the sixth-fastest time. Lorenzo had initially planned to sit the round at Laguna Seca out following his second crash and shoulder injury at Sachsenring, but a quick surgery and recovery allowed the Mallorcan to be declared fit for competition in California.
Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro came through seventh-fastest, followed by Go & Fun Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista in eighth and Dovi’s teammate, Nicky Hayden, in ninth. Crutchlow’s teammate, Bradley Smith, rounded out the top-10. If the weather is similarly cool during Saturday morning’s FP3, this could be the top-10 list of riders to qualify directly to Q2 for a chance at pole position.
Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, also suffering from a recent shoulder injury, sat out the morning practice to rest. He came out during the afternoon, but was beset by pain and found it difficult to effectively maneuver his machine around the circuit. He finished 11th-fastest.
American rider Blake Young, the wild-card CRT entry riding for Attack Performance Racing, had a nasty high-side at Turn 9 during the afternoon. Luckily he was uninjured, but the bike sustained heavy damage to the front end. His crash also prompted officials to red flag the session in order to clean the wreckage and fluids left on the track.
MotoGP Laguna Seca Friday Results 2013:
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1’22.040
2. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1’22.269
3. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1’22.284
4. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1’22.346
5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1’22.457
6. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1’22.467
7. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 1’22.531
8. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1’22.539
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1’22.733
10. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1’22.767
11. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1’23.129
12. Hector Barbera (FTR) 1’23.158
13. Randy de Puniet (ART) 1’23.437
14. Alex de Angelis (Ducati) 1’23.973
15. Danilo Petrucci (Ioda-Suter) 1’24.047
16. Claudio Corti (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’24.180
17. Colin Edwards (FTR-Kawasaki) 1’24.410
18. Karel Abraham (ART) 1’24.421
19. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR) 1’24.473
20. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 1’24.555
21. Michael Laverty (PBM) 1’24.727
22. Bryan Staring (FTR-Honda) 1’25.345
23. Blake Young (APR) 1’25.764
24. Lukas Pesek (Ioda-Suter) 1’27.173