Indianapolis MotoGP: Stefan Bradl sets third practice pace
|Saturday, August 9th 2014, 15:01 GMT|
Stefan Bradl set a new weekend benchmark to take control of Saturday morning MotoGP practice at Indianapolis.
The LCR Honda rider remained under the radar for much of the 45-minute session before joining most of the frontrunners on their qualifying-like runs.
Bradl's time of 1m32.522s demoted the Yamahas of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo in the dying moments and less than a tenth of second covered the top three.
Andrea Dovizioso enjoyed a brief spell at the top of the order before the late flurry of activity, but the Italian held on to fourth and just 0.030 seconds ahead of Pol Espargaro.
Marc Marquez dropped down the order as the session drew to its conclusion. The reigning champion was the pacesetter for much of it, but Marquez was unable to find gains on his Honda during his final run.
The runaway points leader also suffered a wild moment at Turn 16 early on, when he momentarily lost control of his bike, but somehow defied gravity and managed to stay upright.
Andrea Iannone also had an issue as the session began when his Pramac Ducati came to an abrupt halt, but the birthday boy was able to post the seventh quickest time once on his back-up machine.
Bradley Smith and Dani Pedrosa claimed eighth and ninth, while Aleix Espargaro jumped up to 10th, and automatic entry to Q2 in qualifying, as the chequered flag fell.
Yonny Hernandez failed to crack the combined practice top 12 and will have to compete in the first Q1 shootout, as will Gresini's Alvaro Bautista, who had an enormous high-side at Turn 13 and was flicked violently into the air.
The Spaniard appeared to be unhurt and will go on to compete against the likes of Scott Redding and Cal Crutchlow, who ended the session 13th and 14th respectively.
Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m32.522s 2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m32.538s +0.016s 3. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m32.606s +0.084s 4. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m32.767s +0.245s 5. Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m32.797s +0.275s 6. Marc Marquez Honda 1m32.862s +0.340s 7. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m33.015s +0.493s 8. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m33.202s +0.680s 9. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m33.220s +0.698s 10. Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha 1m33.453s +0.931s 11. Yonny Hernandez Pramac Ducati 1m33.634s +1.112s 12. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m33.676s +1.154s 13. Scott Redding Gresini Honda 1m33.765s +1.243s 14. Cal Crutchlow Ducati 1m34.118s +1.596s 15. Hiroshi Aoyama Aspar Honda 1m34.267s +1.745s 16. Karel Abraham Cardion Honda 1m34.745s +2.223s 17. Danilo Petrucci Ioda Aprilia 1m34.772s +2.250s 18. Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m34.801s +2.279s 19. Mike di Meglio Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m34.938s +2.416s 20. Leon Camier Aspar Honda 1m35.010s +2.488s 21. Colin Edwards Forward Yamaha 1m35.122s +2.600s 22. Broc Parkes PBM-Aprilia 1m35.521s +2.999s 23. Michael Laverty PBM-Aprilia 1m35.915s +3.393s