Dovizioso leads Marquez in FP2

Dovizioso leads Marquez in FP2
By AutoSport

19/05/2017 at 15:47

Ducati MotoGP rider Andrea Dovizioso pipped Honda's Marc Marquez to finish on top in second practice for the French Grand Prix.

A storm lashed Le Mans between practice sessions and even though it passed before the afternoon running started, conditions were still wet and lap times did not reach those set in the morning.

As the circuit dried, Pramac Ducati's Scott Redding dominated the first half, improving on all but a handful of his first dozen laps and leading the way.

Times started in the 1m49s but fell quickly, with Redding ultimately turning a 1m42.950s at the halfway mark to sit 1.132 seconds clear of championship leader Valentino Rossi.

Redding's team-mate Danilo Petrucci nearly halved that margin with 20 minutes remaining, bringing it down to 0.750s.

When the Briton eventually finished his run, Petrucci moved to within 0.247s of Redding and then claimed top spot with a 1m42.478s entering the final third of the session.

Petrucci then went quicker again to a 1m41.906s, to be eighth tenths clear as light rain started falling again with 10 minutes to go.

Nevertheless, Dovizioso then improved to slot into second place, 0.795s behind Petrucci, and grabbed top spot with a 1m41.673s inside the final two minutes.

He looked set to improve on his next lap, only to make a mistake at the final corner, but had still done enough to finish 0.043s up on Marquez, who claimed second place with his penultimate lap.

Marquez's team-mate and Jerez winner, Dani Pedrosa languished down the order, only managing to set the 21st-fastest time, 4.131s off the pace.

Petrucci and Redding settled for third and fourth place, both within 0.252s of Dovizioso, Redding having been up halfway through his lap when the chequered flag came out but unable to maintain that pace.

Suzuki's Andrea Iannone vaulted into the top 10 and fifth at the very end, finishing ahead of Aspar Ducati's Alvaro Bautista and practice one pacesetter Jack Miller.

Yamaha pair Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi finished eighth and 10th, split by Sam Lowes in an encouraging session for the Aprilia rookie.

Dovizioso's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo was 15th, 2.603s off the pace, one spot ahead of Suzuki stand-in Sylvain Guintoli.

Pol Espargaro's session started in frustrating fashion, overshooting Turn 8 on his outlap and taking to the paved run-off area.

When he reached the verge of the gravel trap, the drop meant his KTM toppled over at low speed in what was the session's only fall, and Espargaro could not get it restarted.

He joined the session on his second bike and finished in 20th place, with team-mate Bradley Smith bringing up the foot of the times.