Dovizioso sets Motegi pace as Mar­quez crashes

Bangkok Post - - GENERAL -

>> MOTOGI: Du­cati’s An­drea Dovizioso posted the quick­est time over yes­ter­day’s two rain-soaked free prac­tices for the Ja­panese Mo­toGP Grand Prix as world cham­pion Marc Mar­quez took a hair-rais­ing af­ter­noon spill.

The Ital­ian clocked one minute, 54.877 sec­onds at Motegi with cham­pi­onship leader Mar­quez 0.2 sec­onds slower de­spite los­ing con­trol of his Honda in the wet con­di­tions.

It could have been worse for Mar­quez af­ter his rear wheel gave way and he was flipped over his han­dle­bars while screech­ing around turn four.

Luck­ily for the Spa­niard he skid­ded onto the gravel on the seat of his pants with the only real dam­age done to his pride.

“Ev­ery­thing felt per­fect in the morn­ing but I lost a bit of feel­ing af­ter switch­ing tyres for that last run in FP2,” said Mar­quez, who in­sisted his crash would have lit­tle ef­fect on his con­fi­dence in the ti­tle run-in.

“Our speed was there and our lap times were good so I feel con­fi­dent for the week­end,” he added. “It’s up to me to get the job done and not rely on good for­tune.”

Mar­quez went quick­est in a morn­ing ses­sion made treach­er­ous by the rain, his time of 1:55.418 still the best un­til Dovizioso pro­duced his fastest lap a quar­ter of an hour into the af­ter­noon run.

Aleix Es­par­garo steered his Aprilia to the third fastest time af­ter lunch, post­ing a late lap of 1:55.061, while Yamaha’s seven-time premier class world cham­pion Valentino Rossi was 12th quick­est as he con­tin­ues his re­turn from a dou­ble leg frac­ture.

Du­cati’s Jorge Lorenzo was fourth quick­est com­bined, the triple world cham­pion pip­ping Yamaha’s Jo­hann Zarco and Danilo Petrucci’s Du­cati.

Mar­quez clinched his third world ti­tle in Ja­pan last year af­ter Rossi and Lorenzo both crashed out.

He opened up a 16-point lead over Dovizioso with four races left in this year’s cham­pi­onship with his fifth win of the sea­son at the Aragon race last month.

Du­cati’s An­drea Dovizioso dur­ing yes­ter­day’s prac­tice ses­sion.

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