In-form Lorenzo shines in Barcelona practice


MotoGP championship leader Jorge Lorenzo set an early marker with the fastest time in Friday's practice sessions at the Catalonia Grand Prix.

Movistar Yamaha rider Lorenzo, who will join Ducati next season, has a superb record at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya having won there in four of the previous six years, including 12 months ago.

The Spaniard was beaten to top spot by an inspired Maverick Vinales - the man who will replace him at Yamaha next year - in first practice and was briefly knocked into second spot by the Suzuki rider in FP2.

However, Lorenzo - who is looking to make it three straight wins having beaten Marc Marquez on the line in a stunning end to the Italian Grand Prix last time out - responded with a blistering time of one minute and 41.712 seconds, some 0.242secs faster than Vinales.

Defending world champion Lorenzo, who leads Marc Marquez by 10 points in the riders' standings, had largely dominated in FP1 before Vinales pipped him by a mere 0.078secs late in the session with a time of one min and 42.065secs.

Two-time world champion Marquez is looking to celebrate a new two-year deal with Repsol Honda with victory at his home circuit, but after placing seventh in FP1 he clocked only the ninth fastest time in FP2.

Cal Cruthlow (LCR Honda) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) had the third and fourth fastest times over the combined sessions, with Valentino Rossi - whose six wins at the Catalonia Grand Prix is a record - was sixth.