Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez posted the fastest times in both practice sessions in Indianapolis today. The 20-year-old Spanish rider put up a 1’39.502 lap time to best his Repsol teammate Dani Pedrosa by .080 seconds, his paddock mate still finishing Free Practice 2 with the second-fastest effort. Pedrosa, who won the Indianapolis GP in 2010 and 2012, was the first rider to dip into the 1’39 range and looked strong despite being on the mend from a collarbone break.
With a little sunshine breaking through the overcast clouds at the beginning of Free Practice 2, LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl established himself as the early leader. The German rider was on his way to posting a fast lap when he ran off course on the final turn and went down, which brought out the red flags with 33 minutes left in the session to clear up debris left on the course. Bradl quickly returned to the pits and went back out on his back-up bike to make it all Hondas in the top three positions with a 1’39. 681.
Yamaha Factory rider Jorge Lorenzo also spent a short time at the top of the timesheets before being knocked down the charts by the Hondas. Hitting speeds up to 208 mph on the back straight, Lorenzo didn’t push it hard or log many laps as he is still recovering from a broken collarbone and a series of surgeries, but still posted the fourth-fastest time of the session.
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Cal Crutchlow is eager to put the difficulties of Laguna Seca behind him and finished today’s Free Practice 2 at Indy in fifth place as the last rider to post a time in the 1’39 range. Yamaha Factory racer Valentino Rossi was sixth-fastest, running as high as third early on before other riders surged ahead. Late in the session, Rossi would uncharacteristically misjudge a corner and went off track on Turn 13, but was able to maintain control of his YZR-M1 without wrecking.
Go & Fun Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista trailed Rossi by a mere .003 seconds on the timesheet to finish seventh on the day. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith put forth the eighth-best effort, followed by the factory Ducati’s of Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso. It is a bittersweet weekend for Hayden, who will have plenty of fans in the stands for what is essentially a home race for the Kentucky Kid. But it also stands to be his last MotoGP ride in America as Ducati did not renew his contract for next season and so far nobody else has picked him up.
Aleix Espargaro was the fastest of the CRT riders in 11th. American rider Ben Spies was finally back in the saddle after injuries have kept him out to this point, finishing 13th-fastest on his Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati. Rider Karel Abraham crashed hard in FP 1, fell on his shoulder and was hit by his own bike, but was able to participate in FP 2 despite not being 100%.
American wild card rider Blake Young on the Attack Performance Racing Aprilia finished at the back of the pack in 25th.
MotoGP Indianapolis Free Practice Results 2013
1. Marc Marquez (Honda) 1:39.502
2. Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:39.582
3. Stefan Bradl (Honda) 1:39.681
4. Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:39. 765
5. Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha) 1:39.813
6. Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:40.084
7. Alvaro Bautista (Honda) 1:40.087
8. Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1:40.240
9. Nicky Hayden (Ducati) 1:40.433
10. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1.:40.552
11. Aleix Espargaro (ART) 1:40.750
12. Danilo Petrucci (Ioda-Suter)1:41.099
13. Ben Spies (Ducati) 1:41.145
14. Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1:41.444
15. Claudio Corti (FTR Kawasaki) 1:41.552
16. Colin Edwards (FTR Kawasaki) 1:41.588
17. Hector Barbera (FTR) 1:41.814
18. Randy DePuniet (ART) 1:41.956
19. Yonny Hernandez (ART) 1:42.088
20. Hiroshi Aoyama (FTR) 1:42.808