Rain or shine: Dovizioso supreme in all weather at Sepang



Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix
Friday, 27 October 2017
Rain or shine: Dovizioso supreme in all weather at Sepang

Something to wheelie home about: ‘DesmoDovi’ top come rain or shine on Day 1

1st Independent Team Rider
P2 – Alvaro Bautista
Zarco was quick out the blocks, taking P3 despite a crash
Title challenger tops the timesheets in the wet and the dry in Malaysia

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was fastest in FP1 at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, heading to the top late in FP1 in the dry – and the Championship contender backed it up in a wet FP2 to again head the timesheets. Key rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who goes into the weekend 33 points clear of the Italian, was fifth in FP1 in the dry and therefore overall – and second to Dovizioso in the wet. The reigning Champion had a number of moments on Day 1, but didn’t suffer a crash.

Second overall after a last dash in FP1 was Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), followed by Rookie of the Year Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Zarco suffered a crash in the afternoon, but the Frenchman was soon on his feet. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was fourth, ahead of Marquez.

Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) took sixth in the dry, ahead of an impressive first day for Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing). Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took ninth after an early problem that significantly dented track time for the Little Samurai, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) completing the top ten. Lorenzo was third in the wet in the afternoon, the same half second off Marquez as Marquez was off Dovizioso at the top.

Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) was eleventh ahead of compatriot Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) locking out the fastest fifteen.

It was a notable first day for Michael van der Mark as he rode a MotoGP™ bike for the first time, putting the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in P19 in both sessions. In the dry, the 2014 World Supersport Champion was only 2.8 seconds off Dovizioso at the top of the timesheets in FP1.

As direct entry to Q2 is decided in FP3, Valentino Rossi will be the big name praying for the skies to remain dry on Saturday morning – before qualifying begins from 14:10 local time (GMT +8).
Oliveira heads the title challengers on Day 1

With a win in the bag for KTM, the good times kept rolling on Day 1 in Malaysia
Portuguese rider follows up his first win with KTM by taking to the top on Friday
​Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was quickest out the blocks at the Malaysian GP, topping FP1 in the dry and FP2 then wet with slower laptimes. Oliveira was only 0.073 seconds ahead of points leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), with title challenger Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) within the same tenth in third.

Tight at the top was a similar story in the afternoon in the wet, as Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) took P1 – 0.034 ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri (Forward Racing Team) and 0.065 ahead of Oliveira.

Overall however, Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) was fourth quickest, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) completing the top five. Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team) took an impressive sixth, with Marquez in seventh. Fabio Quartararo (Pons HP 40) was top rookie, ahead of Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) and Baldassarri as the Italian showed good pace in both the wet and dry.

Simone Corsi (Speed Up Racing) took P11, ahead of the first of the home heroes with Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) taking twelfth. Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) – winner at the venue in Moto3™ last season – was P13 on Day 1, ahead of Axel Pons (RW Racing GP) and Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing), who locked out the fifteen fastest. Vierge was also notable in the wet in FP2, taking P5.

Moto2™ qualify on Saturday from 15:05 (GMT +8).

Norrodin chases Mir in Malaysia

Chasing records: Mir was top once again at Sepang
Fresh from taking the title, Mir retains his momentum to top Day 1 at Sepang – with the local hero taking second
Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) was quickest on the combined timesheets on Day 1 of the Malaysian GP, with FP1 dry and FP2 a complete turnaround to full wet. The Majorcan was quickest in FP1 and with the weather changing remained unthreatened, with home hero Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team) the next man in line in second. It was an impressive opening day for the Malaysian rider – riding for the Sepang International Circuit Team – as he also showed top pace in the wet in FP2; then just ahead of Mir.

Fellow Malaysian rider, wildcard Daniel Kasmayudin, was another to impress in the afternoon – taking seventh in the wet despite a late crash.

On combined timesheets however, Livio Loi (Leopard Racing) made it two Leopard Racing machines in the top three as he took third, ahead of Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) in fourth. Enea Bastianini (Estrella Galicia 0,0) completed the top five after a solid first session – and good pace in the wet.

Bo Bendsneyder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was sixth overall and second in the rain, with Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) eighth overall ahead of Bendsneyder’s teammate Niccolo Antonelli. Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Moto3) took P9, with Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team) completing the top ten.

John McPhee (British Talent Team), Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate), Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), Manuel Pagliani (CIP) and Jakub Kornfeil (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) rounded out the fastest fifteen – with Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) having a tough morning just off the top fifteen, but going fastest in the wet in FP2.

Day 2 sees the lightweight runners qualify on Saturday, before race day could make history once again for Mir or Fenati as they chase the all-time win count.

Photos courtesy of motogp.com for media use only.
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