HEADING FOR FASTEST: Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso gets down to it during Friday first practice for the 2015 Italian MotoGP at the Mugello race circuit on May 29. Image: AP / Gregorio Borgia
LUCO DI MUGELLO, Italy - Italian Andrea Dovizioso was fastest in practice for Sunday's 2015 Italian MotoGP on Friday as Ducati dominated the session on the Mugello track, less than 100km from its HQ.
Defending champion Marc Marquez was second-fastest for Honda with Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo, winner of the previous two races, third on another Yamaha.
Dovizioso, who almost lost it at Turn 1 on one of his early laps, said: "We're not going to look at reducing the power and this circuit is one of the most beautiful in the world. It's going to be very difficult to adapt the bikes to the fast sections."
'LITTLE BY LITTLE...'
Lorenzo, his wins in Spain and France, hoped his team could get more speed out of the Yamaha heading into the weekend. "I'm not completely satisfied with the way the bike is working," he said. "I think we have a big margin for improvement.
"Little by little we are going to make progress in most of the corners but to begin the weekend with second and third place and a good pace is a nice start. Let's see if we can improve the bike and lose a half-second on Saturday - I think it can be much better."
Another Italian, Ducati's Andrea Iannone, was fourth-fastest while championship leader Valentino Rossi on another Yamaha clocked ninth quickest. Rossi reported: "We started the afternoon practice well. I didn't feel so bad with the bike and I had quite a good pace but I had some problems with braking.
"We tried to modify the setting so I could brake harder but we didn't find a good solution and at the end I came back out on my normal bike and decided to try the harder tyres.
"It's good for us to try these things to gain data and on Saturday we will try to modify and to improve the bike, especially under braking in the last section. It looks like Jorge had the best pace, but Dovi is also fast and so is Marquez.
"It's only Friday, so it's too early to say who will be the hardest to beat, but they seem to be in good shape."
In Moto2, defending champion Esteve Rabat of Spain was fastest by a thousandth ahead of Frenchman Johann Zarco - each on a Kalex.
In Moto3 Italian Niccolo Antonelli clocked the fastest time of the two sessions with Spaniards Efren Vazquez and Issac Vinales second and third.