Dovizioso dominates wet Malaysia MotoGP practice

Source:AFP Published: 2017/10/27 21:53:40

Ducati Team's Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso powers his motorcycle through the first practice session of the Malaysia MotoGP at the Sepang International Circuit on Friday. Photo: AFP

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso of Italy set the pace during wet Malaysian ­MotoGP practice on Friday as world title hopeful Marc Marquez twice went off the track.

The Spaniard however did not fall off his bike as the slow run-offs outside the confines of the track were to help him reduce his speed.

Dovizioso, who faces an uphill battle to stop Marquez winning his second straight world title, clocked 2 minutes and 00.671 seconds, while Marquez was 0.279 slower in fifth on the overall standings. Honda rider Marquez leads Dovizioso by 33 points and he can clinch the world title with a race to spare by finishing first or second at Sepang, where his sole victory was in 2014.

Friday's best times were all set in the morning session, when the track was damp after a brief shower, while the afternoon run was soaking wet.

Ducati's Alvaro Bautista of Spain rode his machine to the second fastest time, posting 2:00.742, while Yamaha rider Johann Zarco of France was third fastest.

Maintaining his strong performance form from Motegi, Zarco however had a nasty fall in the wet afternoon session on turn 8 but he was seen on television camera to get up and run to his machine.    

Spain's Maverick Vinales on a Yamaha was fourth quickest but Italian great Valentino Rossi, who is fourth in the standings with 188 points, was 12th on the timesheets.

British Honda rider Cal Crutchlow was sixth, Czech rider Karel Abraham on a Ducati seventh, and Spain's Hector Barbera, also on a Ducati, was eighth.

Vinales continued Yamaha's improved wet-weather form by setting the fourth fastest time, a further two-tenths back.

He was involved in an incident with Barbera's Ducati that cost him a damaged brake lever on his bike, forcing the Yamaha rider into the pits during the afternoon session.

The Sepang circuit is known for its changeable weather, fast-drying track and sudden storms: a perfect melting pot for an exciting showdown for the crown.


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