Repsol Media Press Release:
World Championship leader dominates in first ever practice sessions at Laguna Seca. Still-sore Pedrosa puts in 23 laps for eleventh best time.
The first day of free practice for the U.S. Grand Prix saw the dazzling talent of Marc Marquez come to the fore once again, as he dominated proceedings in his very first encounter with the legendary Laguna Seca circuit in California. Teammate Dani Pedrosa chose not to contest the first of the two practice sessions, saving himself for a runout on his Honda RC213V in FP2. In that session, Pedrosa clocked the eleventh fastest time.
With a bothersome fog covering the sky at Laguna Seca in the early hours of the morning, Pedrosa elected to wait on improved weather conditions before going out on track. He had passed the medical examination made by the circuit doctors, but decided to take a cautious approach to Friday action. Marc Marquez kept up the Repsol Honda presence on track, completing 23 laps with a best time of 1’22.980. He was third in his maiden session at Laguna Seca, which was led by Crutchlow and Rossi.
In the second practice session, Marquez showed his great ability to learn a new track, and rode a best time of 1’22.040 from his 24 laps. He was the top rider of the afternoon, ahead of Bradl and Dovizioso. Rossi, Crutchlow and Lorenzo completed the top six, whilst Pedrosa was eleventh in his first session of the weekend –recording a 1’23.129 time that was 1.089s off that of his teammate.
Dani Pedrosa #26:
FP1 – DNS
FP2 – 1:23.129, 23 laps, 83 km.
“It was difficult to ride in my condition, but I had expected that. Now I have to try to rest up as much as possible for tomorrow and regain some energy, so that I can endure the pain once again. Being realistic, obviously winning the race this weekend is not a feasible goal – perhaps even getting a podium is out of the equation – but I will be trying to finish the race as high up the order as possible. I will look to minimize the advantage that my rivals will have in terms of points. Finally, I want to thank everyone who has sent their support to me in recent days for their messages.”
Marc Marquez #93:
FP1 – 1:22.980, 23 laps, 83 km.
FP2 – 1:22.040, 24 laps, 87 km.
“In the first free practice the most important thing was to remain calm and take it slowly, and that is what we did. Also, the track conditions and the mist made things tricky. During the first few minutes I was a little stressed on the bike, because I had a lot of work to do. It’s a brand new track for me, but it is fun. It is very narrow and short, with many bumps so it took a bit of adapting on my behalf. In the second session I found things much more comfortable, I started to enjoy myself and found a pace that was not bad at all. We were fastest, but the time we clocked is still a little off the track record. I’m happy with this first day, so we’ll see if tomorrow we can continue in the same way and continue to learn the circuit.”
1. Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 1:22.040
2. Stefan Bradl Honda 1:22.269 +0.229
3. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1:22.284 +0.244
4. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1:22.346 +0.306
5. Cal Crutchlow Yamaha 1:22.457 +0.417
11. Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda 1:23.129 +1.089
For more information: Repsol Honda Team