Marquez Leads FP1 at Valencia, Nicky Hayden Becomes a MotoGP Legend

Free Practive 1 at Valencia saw Marc Marquez leading in the opening of the final round of the season, the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana. His fastest lap was 1'31.250, still far from his own pole lap last year at this very venue. In 2014, MM93 was clocked with a 1’30.237 lap, but with the conditions being quite suitable for racing this year, we expect lap times to drop.
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Jorge Lorenzo was second in the morning session, not losing Marquez from his sights and finishing under two tenths behind him. The other Repsol Honda rider, Dani Pedrosa, was third, 1.1 tenths slower than Lorenzo, while Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso found a good morning pace for fourth.

Rossi was the fifth fastest rider, only 0.023 seconds behind DesmoDovi, and more than two tenths faster than Pol Espargaro. Iannone settled for the seventh position, ahead of Crutchlow, Aleix Espargaro and Yonny Hernandez.

Aprilia riders had also had a good session, with Bradl being 11th and Bautista 14th. The same cannot be said about Bradley Smith and Scott Redding, who ended FP1 in the 17th and 22nd positions, respectively. West, substituting for Abraham, and Parkes, substituting for De Angelis, were the last two riders of the FP1.

We remind you that Rossi will take the start at Valencia from the last position on the grid after the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision, so he's most likely focused on finding the best race strategy and setup to compensate the handicap.

Nicky Hayden inducted as MotoGP Legend ahead of the final round of the championship

The MotoGP Legends ultra-select club just got bigger with the addition of Nicky Hayden. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta handed Hayden the coveted triangular medal ahead of the Valencia round.

“Well it's Valencia, the last race of the season! Valencia is a track I enjoy. It's kind of small but I really like the atmosphere and the layout. It is a very tough track because you really have to hit your marks and put all of the corners together because each one kind of leads into the next. It's also a place that holds great memories for me and we know this is going to be my last ride in MotoGP so I am looking forward to trying to have some fun there this weekend. I know it won't be an easy weekend but I am desperate to leave with a smile and I am looking forward to it very much,” Hayden declared.

Valencia is the last MotoGP race Nicky Hayden will start, as he has retirement plans as of the beginning of next week. Hayden announced his move earlier this October, ahead of the Japanese GP.

The 2006 MotoGP World Champion will switch over to the World Superbike series in 2016, also riding a Hona bike, but this time it will be a production-drive racer with the Ten Kate livery.
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