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MOTOGP NEWS 

Barcelona MotoGP: Aleix Espargaro sets first practice pace

Aleix Espargaro, Forward Yamaha, Barcelona MotoGP 2014

Aleix Espargaro threw in a spectacular late lap to snatch the top spot at Barcelona in opening practice for MotoGP's Catalunya Grand Prix.

Forward Yamaha Open class rider Espargaro's last-minute 1m41.672s put him 0.729 seconds clear of the field.

Until that point, factory Yamaha man Jorge Lorenzo had looked set to take Friday morning honours, as his early 1m42.401s effort kept him in front.

Yamaha held a one-two for much of the session, with Valentino Rossi 0.022s slower than his team-mate.

That formation was broken when Pramac Ducati rider Andrea Iannone tucked in behind Marc Marquez and did a lap 0.010s slower than Lorenzo and 0.002s faster than Rossi in the final minutes.

Championship leader Marquez then embarked on a lap that had the potential to put him on top, only for it to be disrupted when Iannone overtook him.

But the Italian did not get much further, braking too late for the hairpin at the end of the back straight and skating into the tyre wall. He retained third overall between the Yamahas.

Marquez ended up only seventh, behind factory Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa and LCR's Stefan Bradl.

Alvaro Bautista, Yonny Hernandez and Pol Espargaro rounded out a top 10 that did not feature any factory Ducatis.

Nicky Hayden completed 15 laps as he tried to assess his fitness following his recent wrist surgery.

The American outpaced Aspar team-mate Hiroshi Aoyama by four tenths, but Leon Camier is on standby to replace Hayden for the rest of the weekend if he decides he cannot continue.

Danilo Petrucci - the other rider with fitness doubts - has already made that decision.

The Ioda rider, still hampered by an arm injury from a Jerez crash, withdrew on Thursday night and has been replaced by Michel Fabrizio again.


Pos Rider             Bike                   Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Aleix Espargaro   Forward Yamaha         1m41.672s           15
 2. Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                 1m42.401s  +0.729s  17
 3. Andrea Iannone    Pramac Ducati          1m42.411s  +0.739s  19
 4. Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                 1m42.423s  +0.751s  19
 5. Stefan Bradl      LCR Honda              1m42.620s  +0.948s  18
 6. Dani Pedrosa      Honda                  1m42.664s  +0.992s  18
 7. Marc Marquez      Honda                  1m42.742s  +1.070s  19
 8. Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda          1m42.833s  +1.161s  18
 9. Yonny Hernandez   Pramac Ducati          1m42.960s  +1.288s  18
10. Pol Espargaro     Tech 3 Yamaha          1m43.001s  +1.329s  19
11. Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                 1m43.456s  +1.784s  18
12. Michele Pirro     Ducati                 1m43.644s  +1.972s  13
13. Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha          1m43.718s  +2.046s  21
14. Cal Crutchlow     Ducati                 1m43.905s  +2.233s  13
15. Scott Redding     Gresini Honda          1m43.912s  +2.240s  18
16. Nicky Hayden      Aspar Honda            1m43.988s  +2.316s  17
17. Colin Edwards     Forward Yamaha         1m44.008s  +2.336s  15
18. Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki   1m44.020s  +2.348s  16
19. Karel Abraham     Cardion Honda          1m44.186s  +2.514s  17
20. Michael Laverty   PBM Aprilia            1m44.450s  +2.778s  17
21. Hiroshi Aoyama    Aspar Honda            1m44.471s  +2.799s  20
22. Broc Parkes       PBM Aprilia            1m44.681s  +3.009s  15
23. Mike di Meglio    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki   1m45.892s  +4.220s  15
24. Michel Fabrizio   Ioda Aprilia           1m47.297s  +5.625s  16
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