Qatar MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro completes practice clean sweep
|Friday, March 21st 2014, 18:53 GMT|
Aleix Espargaro completed a clean sweep of Qatar practice by heading Andrea Iannone in the third session ahead of this weekend's MotoGP season-opener.
The Spaniard, quickest in the previous two sessions, set a 1m54.773s to finish more than four tenths of a second clear of the rest of the pack.
Behind Iannone, Alvaro Bautista and Andrea Dovizioso locked out the top four as the Factory riders, unable to use the soft compound available to all other entrants, struggled for outright speed.
Honda's defending champion Marc Marquez was the best placed in fifth, with Jorge Lorenzo seventh and Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa ninth and 10th respectively.
Bradley Smith managed to split Marquez and Lorenzo despite crashing heavily and wrecking his Tech 3 Yamaha at Turn 5 early on.
Cal Crutchlow also fell during the session, losing his Ducati at Turn 10 just 15 minutes in.
The Briton wound up 12th overall, and therefore misses automatic qualification into Q2.
Rossi was also at risk of missing the cut when, two minutes from the end, he was bumped down to 11th in the combined times by Smith's team-mate Pol Espargaro.
The Italian responded however, just securing 10th - and the final berth through to Q2 - with his next effort.
Stefan Bradl also makes the Q2 cut-off, having finished eighth overall in the third session.
Pos Rider Team Time Gap Laps 1. Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha 1m54.773s 15 2. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m55.186s +0.413s 19 3. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m55.240s +0.467s 17 4. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m55.250s +0.477s 15 5. Marc Marquez Honda 1m55.446s +0.673s 16 6. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m55.474s +0.701s 15 7. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m55.495s +0.722s 14 8. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m55.676s +0.903s 18 9. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m55.702s +0.929s 17 10. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m55.754s +0.981s 16 11. Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m55.793s +1.020s 19 12. Cal Crutchlow Ducati 1m56.013s +1.240s 16 13. Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 1m56.357s +1.584s 15 14. Colin Edwards Forward Yamaha 1m56.373s +1.600s 17 15. Yonny Hernandez Pramac Ducati 1m56.633s +1.860s 15 16. Hiroshi Aoyama Aspar Honda 1m56.939s +2.166s 18 17. Scott Redding Gresini Honda 1m56.997s +2.224s 16 18. Karel Abraham Cardion Honda 1m57.345s +2.572s 14 19. Broc Parkes PBM Aprilia 1m57.665s +2.892s 13 20. Mike di Meglio Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m58.204s +3.431s 13 21. Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m58.219s +3.446s 12 22. Michael Laverty PBM Aprilia 1m58.378s +3.605s 13 23. Danilo Petrucci Ioda Aprilia 1m58.651s +3.878s 18