Marquez: Nothing to lose Lorenzo race favourite
Honda rider Marc Marquez reckons Jorge Lorenzo is favourite for MotoGP's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, based on the Ducati rider's strong pace in Friday practice.
Lorenzo, whose Friday was hindered by an FP1 crash involving LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, ended the day fourth-fastest in a wet second practice.
But Marquez reckons Lorenzo was the strongest rider on pace, and suggested the fact Lorenzo is not in title contention means he should be considered the man to beat for the remainder of the Motegi weekend - with rain showers forecast to continue.
"If you look at the timesheets, Lorenzo is the favourite," said Marquez.
"He has a better rhythm [than us], and has nothing to lose.
"But Dovizioso is very good and so are we."
Lorenzo, who felt Motegi would be his most favourable track among the three back-to-back flyaway races, was satisfied with his Friday programme.
"Apart from [the crash it was] good day for me," concluded Lorenzo.
"FP2 was very good, especially last sector I had really good pace.
"We are very optimistic to fight for front row or pole position tomorrow.
"In the rain, we were fourth with very good pace, so we can fight for something important.
"It's going to be a long race and difficult conditions because it is raining quite heavily - so to stay on the bike will not be easy. "But we are fast and this is the important thing."
Marquez's FP2 crash "strange"
After dominating FP1, Marquez crashed in second practice and was beaten to the fastest time by Andrea Dovizioso.
Explaining the incident, Marquez said it had occurred while he was accelerating - when the traction control system was supposed to stabilise his Honda.
"Since I went out the feeling was good, but then I put new tyres for the last run for a long run," Marquez said.
"Then I had to look for feeling and I started to struggle a little bit more with the rear grip - but even though I did [struggle], the lap times were coming well.
"But suddenly there is a strange crash because I was on the gas and normally with the gas you have the traction control and that is keeping you in a safe way.
"That time it was so quick [I crashed]; it is something that we need work on for tomorrow.
"Not only that point, a few points to be safer and for the race try to have everything under control."