Aleix Espargaro shocked the field with a 1'38.776 lap to lead the second practice at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit Friday in Argentina. Espargaro's time pushed the Spanish rider more than half of a second clear of second place and put Suzuki on top of the timesheet for the second practice in a row.
Suzuki, which this year retured to MotoGP after a three-year absence from motorcycle road racing's top class, has not led two MotoGP practices since former MotoGP rider John Hopkins topped FP2 and FP3 in China in 2007 (according to MotoMatters.com Netherlands-based analytics department). With the strong, top-10 showing by the two-bike team in Austin last week, development of the new GSX-RR appears to be ahead of schedule.
Andrea Iannone put in a late fast lap to take second from World Champion Marc Marquez (3rd). Cal Crutchlow also put in his quick lap near the session's end to grab fourth. Andrea Dovisioso completed the top five, slightly more than six-tenths slower that Espargaro's Suzuki. Yamaha factory riders remained off the pace with Jorge Lorenzo in seventh and Valentino Rossi in ninth.
Espargaro was the only rider to drop into the 1'38s and it put him within a second of Marquez pole lap from 2014. Lap times could continue to fall as practice resumes Saturday with a clear sky and warm tempertures expected.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||29||Andrea IANNONE||Ducati||1'39.311||0.535 / 0.535|
|3||93||Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||1'39.336||0.560 / 0.025|
|4||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||1'39.403||0.627 / 0.067|
|5||4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati||1'39.434||0.658 / 0.031|
|6||99||Jorge LORENZO||Yamaha||1'39.463||0.687 / 0.029|
|7||44||Pol ESPARGARO||Yamaha||1'39.648||0.872 / 0.185|
|8||45||Scott REDDING||Honda||1'39.892||1.116 / 0.244|
|9||46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||1'39.947||1.171 / 0.055|
|10||68||Yonny HERNANDEZ||Ducati||1'40.088||1.312 / 0.141|
|11||25||Maverick VIÑALES||Suzuki||1'40.126||1.350 / 0.038|
|12||38||Bradley SMITH||Yamaha||1'40.195||1.419 / 0.069|
|13||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||1'40.438||1.662 / 0.243|
|14||69||Nicky HAYDEN||Honda||1'40.522||1.746 / 0.084|
|15||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Honda||1'40.586||1.810 / 0.064|
|16||8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||1'40.626||1.850 / 0.040|
|17||6||Stefan BRADL||Yamaha Forward||1'40.672||1.896 / 0.046|
|18||50||Eugene LAVERTY||Honda||1'40.846||2.070 / 0.174|
|19||43||Jack MILLER||Honda||1'40.864||2.088 / 0.018|
|20||15||Alex DE ANGELIS||ART||1'41.152||2.376 / 0.288|
|21||7||Hiroshi AOYAMA||Honda||1'41.380||2.604 / 0.228|
|22||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Aprilia||1'41.490||2.714 / 0.110|
|23||63||Mike DI MEGLIO||Ducati||1'41.531||2.755 / 0.041|
|24||33||Marco MELANDRI||Aprilia||1'41.576||2.800 / 0.045|
|25||76||Loris BAZ||Yamaha Forward||1'41.784||3.008 / 0.208|