2015 Phillip Island MotoGP FP1 Result: Lorenzo Takes Control From Marquez And Rossi

Jorge Lorenzo has made his intentions clear from the start of free practice for the MotoGP class. In a session which was cut a few minutes short by rain, Lorenzo dominated, taking over at the top half way through, and ending over a third of a second faster than the rest by the end of FP1. 

Behind Lorenzo, the rest of the field is close. Marc Marquez had challenged for the lead earlier, before Lorenzo upped the pace. The Repsol Honda rider is second, ahead of the championship leader Valentino Rossi, the Italian off to a good start. That start looks good in terms of results, but Rossi was over half a second slower than his teammate, and that will give him pause for thought.

Dani Pedrosa took fourth, after an unhappy start to FP1. The Repsol Honda rider came in after just a couple of laps, and waited while his team made major changes to his bike. The second half of practice went much more smoothly, finishing less than a tenth behind Valentino Rossi.

Most impressive ride of the day was from Jack Miller, the LCR Honda rider putting the Open Honda up into 5th. Despite lacking a seamless gearbox and using the spec electronics, Miller got more out of his bike than any other Open class rider has yet to achieve in the dry. Tutelage from Alberto Puig is clearly starting to pay off.

The Battle of the Brits followed behind Miller, Cal Crutchlow taking 6th behind his LCR Honda teammate, Bradley Smith putting his Monster Tech 3 Yamaha into 7th. Andrea Iannone was the first of the Ducatis, coming home in 8th, and the last rider to finish within a second of Lorenzo. Pol Espargaro grabbed 8th, ahead of the two Suzukis of Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro.

There was a certain amount of dithering about winglets. Valentino Rossi ignored them altogether, focusing just on the bike, while Jorge Lorenzo left them off for his first run, then put them on for the rest of the session. The Ducatis took a slightly different approach, the lower fairing wings removed but the new Yamaha-style winglets on the upper fairing being used by both riders. At the end, Andrea Dovizioso dumped them altogether, taking a wing-free Ducati out for the first time since free practice at Qatar.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Diff Previous
1 99 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1'30.047    
2 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'30.395 0.348 0.348
3 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'30.572 0.525 0.177
4 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'30.669 0.622 0.097
5 43 Jack Miller Honda 1'30.712 0.665 0.043
6 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'30.782 0.735 0.070
7 38 Bradley Smith Yamaha 1'30.902 0.855 0.120
8 29 Andrea Iannone Ducati 1'30.967 0.920 0.065
9 44 Pol Espargaro Yamaha 1'31.111 1.064 0.144
10 25 Maverick Viñales Suzuki 1'31.240 1.193 0.129
11 41 Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 1'31.260 1.213 0.020
12 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'31.385 1.338 0.125
13 69 Nicky Hayden Honda 1'31.506 1.459 0.121
14 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'31.670 1.623 0.164
15 63 Mike Di Meglio Ducati 1'31.670 1.623  
16 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'31.702 1.655 0.032
17 45 Scott Redding Honda 1'31.772 1.725 0.070
18 68 Yonny Hernandez Ducati 1'32.121 2.074 0.349
19 19 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 1'32.173 2.126 0.052
20 50 Eugene Laverty Honda 1'32.589 2.542 0.416
21 76 Loris Baz Yamaha Forward 1'32.756 2.709 0.167
22 24 Toni Elias Yamaha Forward 1'32.959 2.912 0.203
23 6 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 1'33.558 3.511 0.599
24 13 Anthony West Honda 1'33.790 3.743 0.232
25 55 Damian Cudlin ART 1'36.091 6.044 2.301

 

Round Number: 
16
2015
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Comments

That is pretty impressive from Miller; Hayden can get a bike around P.I. masterfully and would more than know a basic set-up from which to operate. Mind you, Miller would not have exactly suffered from having a crew chief with 6 wins on the trot here notched on his spanners..

When did Puig come back into the equation for Miller? If he and Gabbarini can keep Miller's personal expectations in check (and that might take extra starch..) Miller could do well, considering the bike. As an Aussie, I'd like to see that (though I expect he'll boil over at some point) but if he can add some self-control to his speed he could make a personal break-through to his motoGp career.