More surprises in the warm up days to Sunday’s race at the historic LeMans short track circuit. A young man with something to prove made good, another catapulted into the track at high speed, and veterans struggled.
The excitement began on free practice day one, when British rider Bradley Smith, one of the youngest men in the sport, took over the top spot in the time sheets aboard his Tech 3 Yamaha. The ferocity of his style has won him many fans, but it was his smooth and consistent lapping that made him fastest on the first day.
There was drama too for Aleix Espargaro yesterday when he crashed violently, throwing his Suzuki GSX-RR and himself into the air, landing flat on his back hard. He was examined and it was determined that he was free from injury, but was visibly shaken.
After missing several races to injury, Dani Pedrosa returned with a very respectable 8th place, whilst teammate and defending world champion Marc Marquez struggled again during free practice attempting to come to grips with a new rear suspension, and reportedly blew an engine. Marquez more than made up for it though by recording the fastest lap and scoring his third pole position of the 2015 season.
In second place is the man who is also running second int eh world championship points standings, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso. The affable Italian managed to make it look effortless, the top speed of the Ducati GP15 consistently the highest, even amongst other Ducati riders.
Yamaha factory star Jorge Lorenzo claimed third, while teammate Valentino Rossi, the current world championship points leader was down the time sheets all week, and could only manage to place 7th.