2017 Phillip Island MotoGP FP2 Result: Aleix Makes Aprilia Shine

Keep the sun, add some clouds and subtract some wind - there’s your recipe for FP2 in the premier class. That left suitable conditions to set up a battle for a direct Q2 ticket, with the concerning forecast for Saturday in mind. That being said, most of the session was reserved for work on tyre endurance, particularly on the soft rear, with a few exceptions like Pedrosa and Rossi on the medium.

Aleix Espargaro hit some good form after a pretty average FP1 and moved to the top of the pile after a handful of laps. The Aprilia looked like a temporary occupant of the top of the standings until the mad dash for a Q2-worthy lap would begin but that theory proved wrong as few improvements were to be found in the final ten minutes.

Marc Marquez finally sampled the soft rear tyre at the start of FP2 and the Spaniard did not take it off for the rest of the session. But he did choose a matching hard front tyre and some aero flourishes for his final run, giving the yellow-banded tyre its first outing of the weekend. After stalking Andrea Dovizioso from a reasonable distance for a few laps, the world champion got within five thousandths of a second of breaking his compatriot’s heart.

Dovizioso was only a tenth of a second behind and keeping Marquez in his sights, another seven thousandths separating Cal Crutchlow in fourth position. Maverick Viñales paired an improved performance with a quick crash in turn eight, the blend resulting in a fifth place, less than two tenths off the pace of Espargaro.

Jack Miller continued to impress in sixth spot, while Andrea Iannone was on a roll on the island, once again in the top seven. Johann Zarco overcame an early technical issue to finish in eighth position after running his beloved used soft tyres for much of the session. Dani Pedrosa was probably relieved by the conditions, the Spaniard eventually reserving his Q2 seat with a ninth place on the timesheets.

The final Q2 spot, temporarily at least, went to Pol Espargaro, the Spaniard making KTM happy to the detriment of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. The former teammates will be hoping for the forecast to change around once again by the time their alarms start ringing on Saturday morning.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'29.225    
2 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'29.230 0.005 0.005
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'29.322 0.097 0.092
4 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'29.329 0.104 0.007
5 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'29.423 0.198 0.094
6 43 Jack MILLER Honda 1'29.466 0.241 0.043
7 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 1'29.604 0.379 0.138
8 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 1'29.667 0.442 0.063
9 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'29.702 0.477 0.035
10 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'29.760 0.535 0.058
11 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1'29.820 0.595 0.060
12 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'29.977 0.752 0.157
13 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'29.987 0.762 0.010
14 38 Bradley SMITH KTM 1'30.046 0.821 0.059
15 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'30.085 0.860 0.039
16 45 Scott REDDING Ducati 1'30.140 0.915 0.055
17 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'30.269 1.044 0.129
18 76 Loris BAZ Ducati 1'30.274 1.049 0.005
19 53 Tito RABAT Honda 1'30.546 1.321 0.272
20 22 Sam LOWES Aprilia 1'30.682 1.457 0.136
21 8 Hector BARBERA Ducati 1'30.777 1.552 0.095
22 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 1'31.688 2.463 0.911
23 23 Broc PARKES Yamaha 1'32.152 2.927 0.464


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Aleix: where did that come from!!?? The Aprilia looked pretty good last year at the island with Bradl on it so must suit the track. 

Miller at home: Best dry track performance this season by far - appearing in the sector time results.

Nakagami: Not just fast but "on it" fast. Looking like a mini Marquez. Very very impressive riding and I hope he can go on with it for the rest of the weekend.