BRNO, Czech Republic: Andrea Dovizioso posted the fastest time over Friday’s two Czech MotoGP practice sessions as world championship leader Marc Marquez struggled down in 10th.
Italian Dovizioso was leading the standings ahead of last month’s German Grand Prix when an eighth-placed finish saw him drop to third overall between reigning world champion Marquez and his Spanish compatriot Maverick Vinales.
But Ducati’s Dovizioso was back in form as he notched a best lap of 1min 56.332sec to lead German Jonas Folger by 0.398sec, with Italian Danilo Petrucci third at 0.419 on the Brno circuit.
Three-time world champion Marquez, who had said earlier this week he’d be happy with a podium finish in Brno, was 0.877 off the pace, just ahead of Vinales (0.957) in 11th.
Seven-time world MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, who is fourth in the overall standings, just 10 points behind Marquez, could manage only 14th, more than a second off Dovizioso’s time.
1. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 1:56.332, 2. Jonas Folger (GER/ Yamaha Tech3) at 0.398, 3. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati Pramac) 0.419, 4. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 0.530, 5. Hector Barbera (ESP/Ducati) 0.532, 6. Scott Redding (GBR/Ducati) 0.573, 7. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.601, 8. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/LCR Honda) 0.629, 9. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) 0.687, 10. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.877
11. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 0.957, 14. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 1.064, 15. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) 1.305