Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was in menacing form in the first two practice sessions at Circuit of The Americas, the reigning world champion setting a lap time of 2'03.490 in FP2 to finish over a second quicker than his closest rival.
Marquez’s benchmark time was 0.752 seconds quicker than the Circuit Record Lap he set in last year’s inaugural Americas Grand Prix and 1.005 seconds faster than Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, who was second quickest today. The third quickest rider in today’s sessions was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa who set a personal best lap time of 2’04.623 to finish 1.133 seconds behind his teammate. Out of the top three riders today Marquez and Pedrosa set their best time on the hard compound rear, while Dovizioso set his best time on the soft compound rear.
Both of today’s Free Practice sessions were dry, with cool and windy conditions greeting riders for FP1 before the wind eased and track temperatures soared in the afternoon, with a peak of 44°C recorded during FP2. Almost all riders preferred the use of softer option slicks front and rear in the cooler morning session and as conditions warmed up in afternoon, most riders switched to the harder option, medium compound front slick. In FP2 most of the Factory Honda and Yamaha riders preferred the hard compound rear slick, while for the Ducati and Open-class riders, the preference was split between the soft and medium compound rear slicks.
Slightly cooler conditions are forecast for tomorrow with the next MotoGP™ session, Free Practice 3 scheduled to start at 0955 local time (GMT -5).
Masao Azuma- Chief Engineer, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Division
“Today we got two sessions with good track conditions and the warmer temperatures in the afternoon allowed the riders to try many tyre combinations. We received good feedback from the riders on all of our tyre specifications here and it was pleasing to see all three rear options featuring in the top five on the timesheet. Although the harder, medium compound front slick seems to be the most likely race tyre, rear tyre choice is still wide open and long runs in tomorrow’s session will make the situation clearer for the riders on what works best for them. Last year only two riders selected the hard compound rear slick for the race – including the winner Marquez - but with the improved edge grip offered by our new hard specification tyre, I think we will see more riders select this option for the race.”