Dovizioso leads Misano practice

Image by Gold and Goose/LAT

Dovizioso leads Misano practice

MOTOGP

Dovizioso leads Misano practice

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo made it a 1-2 for the Ducati Team on Day 1 at the San Marino Grand Prix, with the two split by just 0.16s at the top. Reigning champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completed the top five despite leading the way for much of the afternoon, but the No. 93 was consistent and the race could well be a battle between the two factions. But that’s for Sunday, and Friday was dominated more by time-attacks for many — with rain threatening, more threatening FP3 on Saturday and that all-important place in the top ten up for grabs on Day 1.

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) almost found himself outside the top 10 by the close of action on Friday. The Italian left it late to lunge up to P8 overall, and with the weather threatening in the distance it seemed like a tense race against time for the rider from Tavullia. The rain held off, however, and the local hero makes it through.

Dovizioso and Lorenzo’s closest challenger on the combined timesheets, however, was Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), who, by extension, also ended Friday as top Honda and top Independent Team rider at the venue. He was a tiny margin behind Lorenzo, just 0.027s, but the gap behind him was an even more incredible 0.026s as Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took P4 and edged Marquez by the end of play.

Marquez, meanwhile, was a little further off, just over a tenth behind his compatriot, but he did have a comfortable 0.185s back to Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) in sixth – and his rhythm looked impressive. Behind him was Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) in P7 just half a tenth further back, with Rossi ultimately taking eighth late in the day but only 0.011s off the Spanish sophomore’s best lap of the day.

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) completed a top 10 rife with home heroes, although the day came to a more difficult end for Iannone. Crashing out right near the conclusion of FP2, the Italian was the only man in the top 10by virtue of his FP1 time.

So who could be missing from Q2 if the weather changes on Saturday morning? Former winner at the venue Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was one key name just pushed out, along with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing). Miller was a two-time crasher on Day 1, and will be hoping for good weather on Saturday.

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