Marc Marquez has topped the second session of free practice at the Qatar round of MotoGP. The Repsol Honda rookie set his fastest lap of the session - and the fastest lap of the weekend so far - while following Valentino Rossi at some distance, to end with and advantage of over a quarter of a second. The fast lap seemed to take even Marquez by surprise, the Spaniard running straight on at Turn 1 directly after his fast lap.
Rossi had led for much of the session, posting a fast lap straight from the off, but he was knocked off top spot first by his teammate Jorge Lorenzo, and then by Marquez. Cal Crutchlow brings up the rear of the Yamaha armada, three tenths behind Rossi, while Stefan Bradl is the second fastest Honda, just behind Crutchlow. Andrea Dovizioso was once more the fastest Ducati man, though this time he was 1.3 seconds off the leader, rather than 1.3 second, but he was still just a fraction faster than Dani Pedrosa, the second factory Honda rider struggling with getting the bike to turn once again, and running off the track.
Nicky Hayden took eighth in FP2, finishing just ahead of Ben Spies, the Ignite Pramac rider improving his time by a good margin from yesterday. Alvaro Bautista rounds out the top ten on the Go&Fun Gresini Honda.
There was a minor panic at the beginning of the session, as a flash shower - literally, just a minute or so of rain - came down. It looked like the session could be postponed, but the rain quickly disappeared again. It is hazy and humid here in Qatar, with the threat of rain hanging in the air, bringing back memories of 2009, when the race had to be moved to Monday. Fortunately, the weather for Sunday is looking good, and if it rains today, only practice will be disrupted.
|16||14||Randy DE PUNIET||ART||1'59.185||2.708||0.281|
|21||5||Colin EDWARDS||FTR Kawasaki||2'00.940||4.463||0.021|
|22||71||Claudio CORTI||FTR Kawasaki||2'01.321||4.844||0.381|
|23||67||Bryan STARING||FTR Honda||2'01.622||5.145||0.301|