Resurgent Marquez fastest on new Catalan track

Marc Marquez (AP)
Marc Marquez (AP)

Montmel - Defending world champion Marc Marquez of Honda hit overdrive on Friday, dominating free practice at the redesigned Montmelo track at the Catalunya MotoGP as a raft of his rivals struggled.

The Spaniard has won just one of six MotoGPs so far this season but set his fans a pacey marker following his safely played sixth place finish at the Italian GP last weekend.

The Montmelo track has been redesigned after the death last year here of Luis Salom in the Moto2, and the riders also had to deal with rain in the morning session.

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo was second fastest at 0.405sec with German rookie Jonas Folger of Yamaha third 0.544sec.

Winner at Mugello last Sunday and second in the world standings Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati was fourth fastest at 0.588.

Still feeling the pain from a motorcross crash two weeks ago, Italian superstar Valentino Rossi was way down in 10th at 0.823 as his Yamaha team-mate and championship leader Maverick Vinales was way off the pace, 1.5sec down in 16th.

On Saturday there is a third practice session ahead of qualifying in the afternoon.

Standings after Friday's MotoGP free practice for the Catalunya Grand Prix in Montmelo:

Free Practice times

1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 1min 44.295sec, 2. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) at 0.405, 3. Jonas Folger (GER/Yamaha Tech3) 0.544, 4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.588, 5. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati Pramac) 0.595, 6. Tito Rabat (ESP/Honda Marc VDS) 0.627, 7. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 0.768, 8. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.803, 9. Alvaro Bautista (ESP/Ducati Apsar) 0.821, 10. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.823

Selected:

16. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1.515

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