Dovizioso makes a late lunge to dominate Day 1
Italian quickest as action opens in Brno, Ducati debut radical new fairing
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) shot to the top of the combined timesheets on Friday at the Monster Energy Grand Prix Ceské republiky, going fastest at the end of FP2 by almost four tenths after a late lunge for P1. Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was his closest challenger, with Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) in hot pursuit.
After rain in FP1 that saw Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) lead the way from Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), Friday’s combined timesheets were decided by FP2 as blue skies returned and the track dried out. ‘DesmoDovi’ going quickest wasn’t the biggest headline from the red garage on Friday, however: a new, radical aero fairing broke cover late in the day, with Lorenzo charged with the first run. The ‘Spartan’ improved his previous best. Repsol Honda had also had some aerodynamic upgrades on show, with their new fairing heading out in FP1
FP1’s fastest Zarco was fourth overall, ahead of Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing), and Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) after the rush at the end. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) had been quickest in the session for some time, eventually ending up in P7.
2016 Brno winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) was eighth quickest, ahead of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini). Reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) completed the top ten, but the number 93 crucially didn’t push at the end on a softer tyre.
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) completed an understated Day 1 in P11, ahead of Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and a stunning showing from Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) locked out the fastest fifteen on Friday.