2013 Qatar MotoGP FP2 Result: Marquez Tops Timesheets In His Second-Ever MotoGP Session

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.


Pos No Rider Bike Time Diff Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'56.477    
2 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'56.745 0.268 0.268
3 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'56.805 0.328 0.060
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha 1'57.169 0.692 0.364
5 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'57.257 0.780 0.088
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'57.833 1.356 0.576
7 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'57.877 1.400 0.044
8 69 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati 1'58.040 1.563 0.163
9 11 Ben SPIES Ducati 1'58.137 1.660 0.097
10 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 1'58.298 1.821 0.161
11 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'58.340 1.863 0.042
12 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'58.575 2.098 0.235
13 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ART 1'58.631 2.154 0.056
14 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ ART 1'58.871 2.394 0.240
15 8 Hector BARBERA FTR 1'58.904 2.427 0.033
16 14 Randy DE PUNIET ART 1'59.185 2.708 0.281
17 17 Karel ABRAHAM ART 1'59.809 3.332 0.624
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ioda-Suter 2'00.557 4.080 0.748
19 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA FTR 2'00.652 4.175 0.095
20 52 Lukas PESEK Ioda-Suter 2'00.919 4.442 0.267
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
24 70 Michael LAVERTY PBM 2'01.816 5.339 0.194


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...but looks like Jorge's the man to beat this weekend. His race pace in FP2 (5 consecutive laps in high 56s/low 57s) so far untouchable. He's gotten lots of press during pre-season tests for his long runs, and I'm wondering why he seems to be only rider that prepares for upcoming season this way (i.e., focusing on race pace rather than fast laps).

I'm guessing that MM has gotten into his head and shaken him up a little. Was he expecting to be the clear top dog at Repsol this year ?

I get the feeling 10 to 20 years from now I will be telling some young kids... "I remember when Marquez first took the track... heck, he was fastest in only his second-ever GP session. Those were the good ole' days"

I was watching and saw both Marquez and Pedrosa go wide a couple of times for each rider going into turn one after doing fast laps. That was curious. Did not seem to stop Marquez from setting a fast lap. Looks like he may have a problem with staying consistently fast without making mistakes like that.

Crutchlow has a never give up push. Rossi and Lorenzo, to tell the truth is expected how they are doing. But Dovi! I think he may be a sleeper. Maybe that is my love for Ducati getting in the way.... but maybe.

Stoner always said you have to be physical with the Ducati. Watching Dovi it looks like he is just that as he goes in and comes out of corners. His upper body seems to be pulling the bike up out of the corner. (maybe me hallucinating), but it does look like he is getting more feel out of the bike than any other Ducati rider.