MotoGP Jerez: Ducati’s Petrucci ends Friday on top - Bikesport News

MotoGP Jerez: Ducati’s Petrucci ends Friday on top

Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci ended the opening day of Jerez MotoGP free practice at the top of the timesheets after a late red flag called a halt to proceedings with three minutes left to run.

Petrucci used a medium front/soft combination to set a 1’37.909 to better Marc Marquez’ best from this morning’s session but didn’t get another chance because of the red flag incident which was started by Karel Abraham.

Abraham lost the rear of his Avintia Ducati on the exit of turn five which sent him inwards over the kerb and into the grass.

Petrucci took avoiding action into the gravel as the Czech rider’s GP18 slid back on to the track while Britain’s Bradley Smith was spat over the highside of his Aprilia a second later as he came into the same corner.

It means the last-ditch time attack usually seen at the end of free practice two didn’t materialise and Marquez didn’t have the chance for another fast lap.

Petrucci’s team-mate Andrea Dovizioso did improve from this morning, putting in a 1’38.006 on his last lap but no tyre data was available for the championship leader.

Jorge Lorenzo slipped back to fourth on the combined sheets as he didn’t improve but HRC stablemate Cal Crutchlow did, jumping up to fifth place with a hard/medium combination to post a 1’38.194.

Maverick Vinales, Taka Nakagami and Fabio Quartaro relied on their times from the first session while although Valentino Rossi did improve to a 1’38.681, it was only enough for 16th plac.

HRC test rider Stefan Bradl, who is wildcarding this weekend, hopped into ninth and a provisional Q2 spot with a 1’38.373.

Jack Miller’s best of 1’38.464 from this morning kept his Pramac Ducati in the top ten. Neither Franco Morbidelli could find more pace this afternoon while Pecco Bagnaia improved to 13th place. Pol Espargaro and Andrea Iannone completed the top 15.

Ecstar Suzuki’s Joan Mir had a scary incident on his last lap, going straight on into turn one with what looked like brake failure but he walked away.

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