Dovizioso tops FP2 with record Le Mans lap

Dovizioso tops FP2 with record Le Mans lap
By AutoSport

18/05/2018 at 14:53

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso was fastest in second practice for this weekend's French Grand Prix at Le Mans, leading Marc Marquez by just under two tenths of a second.

Dovizioso, whose two-year Ducati contract extension was announced between the two Friday sessions, surged to the head of the times in the dying moments of the session with a lap of 1m31.971s.

That was enough to beat Jorge Lorenzo's qualifying record from 2016 by 0.004 seconds, and Dovizioso made one final improvement after that to end the day with a best effort of 1m31.936s.

Marquez was Dovizioso's nearest challenger, 0.168s behind, having become the first man to beat his own benchmark from the morning's first session with 15 minutes of FP2 to go.

Yamaha riders completed the top five, with Valentino Rossi making a late move to grab third, 0.243s off the pace, ahead of works team-mate Maverick Vinales and the Tech3 bike of Johann Zarco.

Home hero Zarco moved to the top with two minutes of the session to go, only to be shuffled back down the order in the closing moments.

Jack Miller was sixth on the best of the Pramac Ducatis ahead of Pol Espargaro's KTM, Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia).

Lorenzo bagged the final spot in the top 10 on the second factory Ducati, beating Cal Crutchlow by 0.010s after the LCR Honda rider crashed at Turn 7 late in the session.

Like Crutchlow, Pramac's Danilo Petrucci (13th) and Suzuki duo Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins will also need to improve in Saturday morning's third practice session to be certain of securing an spot in the second part of qualifying automatically.

Scott Redding was one of three riders to crash in quick succession early in the session, along with Pol Espargaro and Franco Morbidelli (Marc VDS Honda).

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