A wet morning and a dry afternoon offered the Repsol Honda Team constantly changing conditions. Alex Marquez adapted quickly and set competitive times with Stefan Bradl.
It was a cold and wet start to the day at Le Mans, France as the rain made the track wet overnight and early in the morning. Since it was very limited on a drying track in Austria at the beginning of the year, many drivers made the most of the rainy season.
With a record that was strong in the smaller classes in the rain, Alex Marquez continued the trend as he quickly got used to driving the RC213V in the wet. The MotoGP rookie focused on longer runs in the morning, making steady progress and battling for a place in the top ten throughout the session. Free practice 2 gave Alex the chance to drive the Le Mans track on slicks when a dry line finally appeared. His morning pace remained and a 1: 35.337 on his final flying lap put the MotoGP rookie in sixth place overall. Alex not only finished as the best rookie and ahead of a number of championship contenders, but also holds a provisional place in Q2.
Stefan Bradl arrived in France after two days of intensive testing in Portugal. In the morning conditions, Bradl and his Repsol Honda team watched from the pits. As conditions improved for FP2, Bradl stepped into the action and was instantly up to date. His knowledge of the RC213V enabled him and the Repsol Honda team to quickly adjust the bike’s setup to the conditions. Bradl starts Saturday with a best time of 1’36.478 and the 17th fastest driver overall.
Takaaki Nakagami in third and Cal Crutchlow in fifth made it three Honda machines in the top six.
The weather is expected to determine tomorrow’s actions again. The MotoGP class will start first on track at 09:55 for a potentially hectic FP3 session should it be dry as predicted.