• Marquez fastest despite penalty on new Catalan track

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    MONTMELÓ, Spain: World champion Marc Marquez of Honda hit overdrive Friday (Saturday in Manila), dominating free practice at the redesigned Montmelo track at the Catalunya MotoGP, despite being penalized for failing to slow down approaching an accident.

    Marquez, 24, saw his best time from the end of the session cancelled but still clocked a top 1min 44.478sec to lead Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo by 0.222 with German rookie Jonas Folger third on a Yahama at 0.361.

    Repsol Honda Team’s Spanish rider Marc Marquez rides during the second MotoGP free practice session of the Moto Grand Prix de Catalunya at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday in Montmelo on the outskirts of Barcelona. AFP PHOTO

    Winner at Mugello last Sunday and second in the world standings Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati was fourth fastest at 0.405.

    World championship leader Maverick Vinales was also penalized for failing to slow down approaching the accident along with Dani Pedrosa, Tito Rabat and Johann Zarco.

    Still feeling the pain from a motorcross crash two weeks ago, Italian superstar Valentino Rossi was way down in ninth at 0.823 as his Yamaha teammate Vinales was way off the pace, 1.332sec down in 16th.

    Spaniard Marquez has won just one of six MotoGPs so far this season but set his fans a pacey marker following his sixth place finish at the Italian GP last weekend.

    The Montmelo track has been redesigned after the death last year here of Luis Salom in the Moto2, and the riders also had to deal with rain in the morning session.

    AFP

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