Latest MotoGP Results
Pol Espargaro made up for a lousy second practice with a fast lap in FP3 that put him on top, four tenths of a second clear of championship points leader Scott Redding. Espargaro, who announced he is headed to MotoGP next year, sits second in the championship at only 23 points behind Redding.
Redding’s time put him just a tenth of a second ahead of Jordi Torres who set FP3’s third-fastest time. As in the prior practices, the Moto2 riders remained bunched on the timesheet, with just over one second separating first through twelveth fastest.
Repsol rookie Marc Marquez, oblivious to the MotoGP season limit on superlatives, again set the fastest time in the third free practice with a blistering 1'38.844. The time, set toward the end of the session, put him nearly three tenths clear of the second-place Honda of Stefan Bradl. The German, who led much of the session, also remained three tenths clear of his nearest pursuer, Cal Crutchlow -- the lone Yahama near the top of the order. Rounding out the top five were the Hondas of Alvaro Bautista and Dani Pedrosa. Positions sixth through nine were the Yamahas of Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi and Bradley Smith -- none of which threatened the top times.
Local favorite Nicky Hayden grabbed the tenth spot of the session, which sets most of the roster for the second qualifying session later in the day. The 11th through 25th finishers are set for the first qualifying session with the top two from that group headed to Q2.
Satellite Ducati Rider Ben Spies continued his run of bad luck with a highside crash that dumped him squarely on what had been his uninjured shoulder. He was taken to the medical clinic and the extent of his injury wasn't immediately known. UPDATE: American Ben Spies is out of the race. He suffered a dislocated left shoulder in the FP3 crash.
Maverick Vinales, quickest from the prior practice, continued his form for the third free practice with the top time of the session at 1'48.060. Worrying for his rivals is that Vinales dropped his best time by half a second and extended the gap to second place by two-tenths of a second. Taking the second place times was an increasingly quick Luis Salom who was followed by a surprising third-best time by Malaysian rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin.
Simon Corsi rose from fourth in the first practice to the top spot in FP2 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Friday afternoon. Championship leader Scott Redding, in a late charge, managed a second place just two-tenths off first. And Esteve Rabat put his Kalex into third just another one-tenth back. As it always in the hyper-competitive Moto2 class, less than a second separates the top 13 riders.
Unfortunately for championship contender Pol Espargaro, he wasn't within that top 13 after a heavy crash early in practice at turn 16. While he did return to FP2, he never managed to get his laps anywhere near the leaders' times and finished his Friday in 15th, more than one second back.
Early on in FP2, it seemed as if former Indy race winners Jorge Lorenzo (2010) and Dani Pedrosa (2009, 2012) would establish their spots at the top of the order. After all, the long break gave the veteran riders time to heal from injuries and reclaim lost speed. And both looked fast early in FP2.
Someone again forgot to inform Marc Marquez about the natural order of things. Marquez, already a winner at the prior two American races in 2013 (Austin and Laguna Seca), announced his similar intention at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a top time of 1’39.502, eight-hundredths faster than teammate Dani Pedrosa. And Marquez, too, is a prior winner here, just not in the top class.
Stefan Bradl grabbed third to give Honda a clean sweep of the top-three slots. Jorge Lorenzo managed fourth, the best of a cluster of three Yamahas. He was followed by Cal Crutchlow and Valentino Rossi who ended up slightly more than half-a-second slower than rookie Marquez.
Maverick Vinales reestablished order during the second free practice as the temperature climbed and lap times dropped. Vinales’ 1’48.502 was only four-hundredths faster than second-place Romano Fenati but it was two seconds faster than the top time in FP1.
Alex Marquez, younger brother to MotoGP championship leader Marc, placed third at 1'48.609, a tenth back from rival Vinales. (And for those counting inconsequential details, it is eight seconds slower than his older brother's best Indy lap on a full MotoGP bike.)
Takaaki Nakagami bolstered his hopes that he's returning to early-season form with the top time in Moto2 FP1 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Nakagami's 1'44.518 is two-tenths clear of seond-fastest Mattia Pasini who, in turn, is another two-tenths ahead of Dominique Aegerter. Nakagami has struggled in recent races after a strong start to the season. Championship points leader Scott Redding couldn't shake off the cobwebs from the month-long break and finished ninth, seven-tenths off the pace.
MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez, picking up where he left off before the summer break, led the first free practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a time of 1’40.781. Cal Crutchlow put his satellite Yamaha into second, three-tenths adrift of Marquez.
Current world champion Jorge Lorenzo, who led much of FP1, finished third. Stefan Bradl continued his good form with a fourth-fastest time and Valentino Rossi put in a fast final lap to grab fifth place. Rossi had dropped as low as eighth in the late stages of practice before putting in his best lap as time expired.
But as has become standard, all eyes were on Marquez. The current championship points leader in July at Laguna Seca became the first rookie to win back-to-back races since American Kenny Roberts in 1978. At Indy, Marquez jumped to the top of the timesheet with 12 minutes remaining and he didn’t let go.
American Ben Spies -- a former MotoGP rookie of the year himself -- ended his injury hiatus with an 11th place time, 1.7 seconds off the pace.
In mixed conditions, Jonas Folger ended the month-long summer break at the top of the timesheets with a 1’50.379 at the Indianapolis Speedway Friday. Folger, the third-place finisher last year, put his KTM five-tenths clear of the field. Isaac Vinales and Alex Rins rounded out the top three.
The lap times, well off last year’s pace, likely are the result of the long break and off-and-on rain during the session.
Marc Marquez' domination at Laguna Seca continues, with the Repsol Honda rookie topping the timesheets once again at the Californian track, despite never having ridden the circuit before Friday. Marquez was quick early on, but came out in the middle of the session and posted a blistering lap, following it up with a series of laps in the high 1'21s.
After struggling early on, including running off the track and through the gravel trap, Valentino Rossi found some pace at the end of practice, climbing up to second in the standings after a tweak to his suspension, and putting nearly two tenths between himself and Stefan Bradl. Bradl led a duo of satellite Hondas, the LCR man ending ahead of Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini bike, while Cal Crutchlow, who had been near the top early on in FP3 ended the day in 5th.
Andrea Dovizios had a decent morning on the Ducati, taking 6th spot ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, who also had a respectable outing, despite still suffering with an injured collarbone. Nicky Hayden took 8th, and was the last man within a second of Marquez.