The on-going battle between Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo at the front of the field in MotoGP continued in practice for the British Grand Prix on Friday as they topped one session each.
Marquez and Lorenzo have won seven of the last eight races in MotoGP, with their most recent duel ending in victory for Lorenzo in the Czech Grand Prix at Brno.
In practice at Silverstone on Friday, defending world champion Marquez drew first blood by topping the opening session in the morning by finishing three-tenths of a second clear of Lorenzo.
“I’m happy with today, as things have gone quite well,” Marquez said. “It was a good day and we have made continuous positive development, improving our top lap time considerably from the first session to the second.
“The important thing is that I felt very comfortable and we are up at the top, competing at the same level as Jorge, who is very strong and riding with a lot of confidence.
“Our goal tomorrow will be to keep up the same way of working that we saw today and to further improve in any aspect where there is still room to do so. We will focus especially on setting up the bike for the race, because it will be a long one.”
Lorenzo managed to strike back in FP2 though, beating Marquez by 0.033 seconds to redress the balance at the top of the standings.
On the sister Yamaha bike, nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi struggled to match the pace shown by Lorenzo and Marquez, finishing a further five-tenths of a second behind Marquez in FP1. The Italian rider finished down in P10 in FP2, almost one second down on his teammate’s time.
It was home favorite Bradley Smith who trailed Lorenzo and Marquez home in FP2, finishing just 0.193 seconds off the pace for Tech 3. Andrea Iannone and Dani Pedrosa finished fourth in FP1 and FP2 respectively, whilst Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso ended up fifth in both sessions.
Qualifying for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone takes place on Saturday afternoon.