After Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) led the way in FP1 under the sunny Tuscan skies of the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, two-time GP winner Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) struck back in the afternoon to take to the top late in FP2 – just heading ‘DesmoDovi’ by 0.029 on combined times. German rookie Jonas Folger (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) impressed to complete the top three on the first day of running.
Another impressive performance as action opened in Italy saw Ducati test rider Michele Pirro end Friday in fourth with his time from FP1, taking some serious scalps to just head Championship leader Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). Viñales’ fastest lap was also from Friday morning to put him fifth on combined, with the 2013 Moto3™ World Champion suffering a big crash in the afternoon at Arrabiata 2 – rider ok.
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) was another man whose fastest lap was an FP1 effort, his best just 0.005 off Viñales to give the Frenchman P6 on Day 1.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) improved in the afternoon from a more muted position in FP1 to go seventh, with Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing) just behind the ‘Baby Samurai’ in some much improved form at the Italian GP.
Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) was ninth, with the top ten on Day 1 completed by five-time World Champion and five time Mugello winner Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Danilo Petrucci took P11 and P12 respectively, with reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) in thirteenth – just ahead of home hero Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as the nine-time World Champion recovers from a motocross crash ahead of the event.
Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) completed the top fifteen on Friday, with FP3 the next focus on Saturday morning as graduation to Q2 qualifying is decided. That qualifying begins with Q1 at 14:10 (GMT +2), followed closely by the all-important Q2.