2018 Jerez MotoGP FP2 Result: Crutchlow Wins The Honda Battle

The sun was all out by the time the premier class got action underway for the final time on Friday and it was all bright and shiny in the Honda camp at least. Marc Marquez headed out and improved on the morning’s benchmark straight away. By lap five, the world champion had dropped into the 1:38s to put over six tenths of a second into the pursuers. Teammate Dani Pedrosa quickly brought that gap down to under four tenths, with the LCR ride of Cal Crutchlow putting Honda in prime position after the first run of the afternoon. The status quo was maintained for the second run, with Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone nudging in between the two Repsol Honda men only briefly.

The final seven minutes were reserved for a time attack, Crutchlow striking first on a new soft rear tire and securing top position in the session. Pedrosa gave it a couple of goes at challenging the lead and climbed back to second while demonstrating good race pace. Johann Zarco had been steadily climbing inside the top ten until his favourite soft-soft combination made a late appearance and catapulted him into third spot.

Andrea Iannone is becoming a familiar sight into the top four, the Italian showing both speed and decent pace throughout his runs in FP2. The Suzuki’s performance also ensured that the top four riders were covered by barely a tenth of a second. While his rivals were focused on a late run on fresh rubber, Marquez stuck to his used mediums until gently sliding his bike through the scenery at turn six with two minutes to go. Once the habitual Marquez tumble was checked off, the Spaniard was left with fairly impressive pace throughout the session.

Andrea Dovizioso started off the session on used tires but firmly into the top six. The championship leader initially struggled to improve on his FP1 time but his time attack helped him retrieve sixth position on the timesheets. He was followed closely – as close as eight thousandths of a second – by teammate Jorge Lorenzo in seventh spot. Jack Miller followed up on a good morning with an equally impressive lap in FP2 to score eighth position.

The factory Yamahas did not look fully comfortable in the early part of the session and spent a significant amount of time out of the top ten positions. They just about snuck back in with Valentino Rossi ninth and Maverick Viñales tenth. After a fantastic morning session, Pol Espargaro was knocking at the doors of the top ten in FP2, only two hundredths of a second behind the Yamahas.


Pos. Num. Rider Bike Time Gap 1st Prev.
1 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 1'38.614    
2 26 Dani PEDROSA Honda 1'38.642 0.028 0.028
3 5 Johann ZARCO Yamaha 1'38.705 0.091 0.063
4 29 Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 1'38.709 0.095 0.004
5 93 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 1'38.863 0.249 0.154
6 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1'39.068 0.454 0.205
7 99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1'39.076 0.462 0.008
8 43 Jack MILLER Ducati 1'39.102 0.488 0.026
9 46 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 1'39.248 0.634 0.146
10 25 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 1'39.514 0.900 0.266
11 44 Pol ESPARGARO KTM 1'39.541 0.927 0.027
12 17 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1'39.541 0.927  
13 42 Alex RINS Suzuki 1'39.575 0.961 0.034
14 36 Mika KALLIO KTM 1'39.661 1.047 0.086
15 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 1'39.694 1.080 0.033
16 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 1'39.723 1.109 0.029
17 53 Tito RABAT Ducati 1'39.888 1.274 0.165
18 38 Bradley SMITH KTM 1'39.948 1.334 0.060
19 21 Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 1'39.951 1.337 0.003
20 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 1'39.969 1.355 0.018
21 41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 1'40.003 1.389 0.034
22 12 Thomas LUTHI Honda 1'40.241 1.627 0.238
23 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 1'40.488 1.874 0.247
24 45 Scott REDDING Aprilia 1'40.536 1.922 0.048
25 10 Xavier SIMEON Ducati 1'40.663 2.049 0.127
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... for the factory Yamahas. They should absolutely be battling for the podium at Jerez come Sunday given the team's and rider's history. If not, sound the alarm, the fork is out of tune.

I've literally just finished reading a quote from Aleix Espargaro at Austin saying how great the Aprilia should be at Jerez; guess that's not the case then!?

first day of practice, and look how tight the field is. He's only 1.3 sec down.  It's almost a wash at that point. 

There are still two days before the real outcome can be judged. That said, I can’t help but be impressed by KTM and surprised by Aprilia. 

What the hell is going on at Ducati? I look at Dovi, the serial killer of team mates. He could not do it against Stoner (absurd ability) nor Predosa (Repsol Spain). The rest? Transvere 4 Yamaha Tech 3 1000 vs Cal, L-4 Ducati vs Hayden, L-4 Ducati vs Cal, L-4 Ducati vs Iannone, L-4 Ducati vs Lorenzo. The bloke should be on any manufacturer's wish list. When he was doing a Zarco like job on the Tech 3 Yamaha back then, he hardlly got a mention. If I were him, I'd be seriously pissed off with Ducati right now with no lucrative contract yet signed. Maybe KTM, Suzuki, Aprilia, Yamaha et al are all negotiating with his management whilst Ducati sit on their laurels. They better wake up. The bloke is super adept to any mechanical platform and is mostly physically and psychologically free of injury, plenty young and tough enough to go on for many seasons.

Looks like the re-surfacing went OK.

Close at the top, close in the mid field, Vinales to Petrux, 7 riders = two tenths. Yes it is only Friday free practice, don't mean much.

Thanks a lot for the report Zara. Circuito de Jerez has names for most of the corners. Names like curva Sito Pons, curva Angel Nieto, Ferrari, Expo 92 is a bit out of date. Ducados the "dutchy" corner has been re-named, I believe it's now curva Jorge Lorenzo. Is turn four called Carlos Checa? maybe it should be. My personal preference is to use the names. I would rather you use Dry Sack as the name for the corner at the end of the long back straight, instead of turn six. I'm not even sure if turn six is Dry Sack. Just my two cents worth. Keep up the good work Zara.