2014 Argentina MotoGP FP1 Result: Lorenzo Serves Notice

Jorge Lorenzo sent a reminder to the rest of the paddock during the first-ever MotoGP practice Friday at Argentina's Rio Hondo circuit: I'm still here and I'm still quick. Lorenzo's 1'42.804 left him nearly half a second clear of Aleix Espargaro (2nd) and a full eight-tenths ahead of third-fastest Alvaro Bautista. Lorenzo, looking to turn around a disasterous start to the 2014 season, lingered in the back of the pack for much of practice but then, as he learned the new circuit, began to up the pace. He set his fast lap in FP1's closing minutes.

With five Yamahas in the 10 (and three in the top five), it appears at least initially that the 4.8 km (2.986 mi.) track is well suited to the M1. And what about the Hondas, particularly that of current world champion and 2014 points leader Marc Marquez?

Look down the timesheet to 14th. Marquez, who led the early in practice, couldn't match the late pace on his Repsol Honda and finished more than two seconds shy of Lorenzo. His teammate Dani Predrosa fared even worse in 16th. For both, it is their worst practice showing of the new season.

But it is early days on a new and unfamiliar circuit. Expect times for all riders to drop. 

Results:

Pos. No. Rider Bike Time Diff. / Prev.
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha 1'42.804  
2 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Forward Yamaha 1'43.285 0.481 / 0.481
3 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Honda 1'43.637 0.833 / 0.352
4 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati 1'43.706 0.902 / 0.069
5 38 Bradley SMITH Yamaha 1'43.806 1.002 / 0.100
6 44 Pol ESPARGARO Yamaha 1'43.961 1.157 / 0.155
7 6 Stefan BRADL Honda 1'44.055 1.251 / 0.094
8 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'44.096 1.292 / 0.041
9 69 Nicky HAYDEN Honda 1'44.333 1.529 / 0.237
10 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'44.502 1.698 / 0.169
11 45 Scott REDDING Honda 1'44.763 1.959 / 0.261
12 51 Michele PIRRO Ducati 1'44.790 1.986 / 0.027
13 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Ducati 1'44.889 2.085 / 0.099
14 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'45.103 2.299 / 0.214
15 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda 1'45.137 2.333 / 0.034
16 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'45.724 2.920 / 0.587
17 5 Colin EDWARDS Forward Yamaha 1'45.808 3.004 / 0.084
18 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ART 1'46.008 3.204 / 0.200
19 70 Michael LAVERTY PBM 1'46.167 3.363 / 0.159
20 63 Mike DI MEGLIO Avintia 1'46.264 3.460 / 0.097
21 23 Broc PARKES PBM 1'46.896 4.092 / 0.632
22 8 Hector BARBERA Avintia 1'47.027 4.223 / 0.131
23 17 Karel ABRAHAM Honda 1'47.037 4.233 / 0.010

 

Round Number: 
3
2014
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Comments

It was mentioned at one point that JL99 was following MM93.

It's so f$&%ing on. I'm not a big JL99 fan, but I certainly respect the guy's fortitude. He will make his mark in Argentina for sure and give us a good race to watch. High hopes for VR46. Go Rossi.

If he was it certainly wasn't for a fast lap time. There is a huge 2.299 time difference between their respective fast lap times. It appears MM didn't spend this session chasing a fast time.

I expect DP26, MM93 and VR46 to improve substantially up the time sheet in FP2 and FP3; certainly do not anticipate any of them will be forced to participate in QP1.

I don't know the specific layout of the Argentine track (any links to a track map?), but it seems that it may favor the Yamahas, although Bautista seems an outlier on the Honda in 3rd.

I think "normal service resumes" in FP2 and 3, but I would not bet against JL99 on pole for this race.

Mike, any info on what version of tire the MotoGP riders are on? We know there is an extra front choice but are the tires 2014 spec this time or even the reported modified 2014 specs?

Bridgestone, for a giant tire making corporation... just doesn't seem to have much clue about bringing tires that work once again...

Destroyed after 3 laps and the only REAL option is to use the hardest tire..... AGAIN

Can these people with their *sic expertise not do what they are supposed to and bring more suitable tires to each race? My opinion of Bridgestone (once very high) is at an all time low

Who's tires were destroyed? And Bridgestone may be reaching the limits of what is possible with tire technology. These bikes are hitting 1.3, 1.4, 1.5gs of grip with no downforce... putting down 230, 240, 250 HP on a contact patch about the size of that of a car's spare tire with nowhere near the same normal force

I think getting more tire makers into the mix would be a good thing but I don't think Bridgestones troubles are the result of incompetence as much as they are just literally being at the edge of what is possible with tire technology today.

I think it's better to play it safe with the hard option for now than to have another PI or 2014 Austin situation.

While I am not tire engineer or technician, I believe there is a tradeoff that can be made. It might be impossible to provide 100% maximum levels of grip for an entire race duration on a super abrasive track surface with today's motogp machines.... however, they should be able to make adjustments to the tire so that perhaps the tire doesn't have the same outright grip, but will last the duration of the race. IMO, it's much more dangerous to have a tire "fail" during a race, then have one built for durability and provide less outright grip.

I think this is indicative of JL99's "attack immediately" style. As we know, his qualifying style is to go out first and put in the hottest last as soon as possible. It looks like he is following the same routine with the FP session. Much respect for his discipline and hard work, but I expect the other usual suspects to be right in the mix by FP3.