Espargaró set the standard in Australia before the Marquez-Dovizioso duel
Aprilia Spanish rider Aleix Espargaró prepares for the second practice session of the Australian Grand Prix of MotoGP on October 20, 2017 in Phillip Island
Spaniard Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia) overcame favorites Marc Márquez (Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) in the first two free sessions of the Australian Grand Prix, 16th round of the MotoGP World Championship, on Friday at the Phillip Island circuit 4,448 km).
Espargaró signed in the second training a time of 1 min 29 sec 225/1000, 5 thousandths faster than Marquez, who had dominated the first session.
Dovizioso, winner last week in Japan and eleven points behind the triple world champion, Márquez, in the drivers’ standings, finished 97 thousandths.
Another Spaniard, Maverick Viñales (Yamaha), third in the World Championship, 41 points behind Marquez, was fifth at 198 thousandths ahead of Australian Jack Miller (Honda Marc VDS), returning home after a fracture in the leg at the end of September.
Italian rider Valetino Rossi (Yamaha), 12th to 752 thousandth, is not on the list of provisional qualifying for Saturday’s Q2, as the Spanish Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati), 11th.
The rain could disturb the third trials, on Saturday, and prevent the chronometers from improving.
In Moto2, Japan’s Takaaki Nakagami (Kalex) had the best time of the day, 1 min 33 sec 310/1000, ahead of Italian Mattia Pasini (Kalex) and Swiss Dominique Aegerter (Suter), respectively at 676 and 710 thousandths.
Finally, in Moto3, the leader of the World Championship, the Spanish Joan Mir (Honda), with 1 min 37 sec 111/1000, surpassed his compatriot Aron Canet (Honda) and the Dutchman Bo Bendsneyder (KTM).
– Combined classification of the first two practice sessions of MotoGP category:
1. Aleix Espargaró (ESP / Aprilia) 1: 29.225
2. Marc Márquez (ESP / Honda) at 0.005
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA / Ducati) 0.097
4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR / LCR Honda) 0.104
5. Maverick Viñales (ESP / Yamaha) 0.198
6. Jack Miller (AUS / Honda Marc VDS) 0.241
7. Andrea Iannone (ITA / Suzuki) 0.379
8. Johann Zarco (FRA / Yamaha Tech3) 0.442
9. Dani Pedrosa (ESP / Honda)
10. Pol Espargaró (ESP / KTM) 0.535
11. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP / Ducati) 0.595
12. Valentino Rossi (ITA / Yamaha) 0.752
Note: 23 classified drivers. Record of the circuit: 1: 27,899 (Jorge Lorenzo in 2013), lap record in the race: 1: 28,108 (Marc Márquez in 2013).