Reigning MotoGP Champion leads the way ahead of Dovizioso and Pedrosa
Marc Marquez had as good a start he could have hoped for coming into this weekend’s Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas with the Repsol Honda rider leading the way after the first two free practice sessions at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Marquez was devastating right from the start today and completely dominated the whole first day.
This first day of practice in Austin went really well.
The fourth fastest lap was also set by a Ducati rider with Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone setting a best time of 2m 04.669s ahead of Valentino Rossi on the Movistar Yamaha YZR-M1 who jumped up the timings in the second half of the session to eventually set a best time of 2m 04.793s and just 0.124s ahead of NGM Forward Racing’s Aleix Espargaro. Stefan Bradl set the 7th best time of 2m 04.870s on the LCR Honda while Jorge Lorenzo continues in his search for better grip on his Movistar Yamaha machine with the Spaniard in 8th place and only 0.106 ahead of Cal Crutchlow on the second of the factory Ducati machines.
Speaking after his first day on track, Marquez said, “This first day of practice in Austin went really well. Obviously I’m happy with the time I set, and also with the gap of a second between myself and the next quickest rider. However, the most important thing for me is that my leg feels ok – much better than it did in Qatar. The injury was bothering me a little, but I was able to participate in both Free Practice sessions without taking any painkillers. Now I just have to wait for tomorrow and see if things go better or worse for us then; we know that we have a small advantage and we will try to manage it well, but I am aware that the rest of the riders will also make improvements.”
Dovizioso's second fastest lap came at the end of the session using the softer Bridgestone rear as the Italian explained, “I am very pleased with how this weekend has started despite the fact that physically I don’t feel well at all. We are quick, we’re working well, and I have managed to quickly dial into this track. It’s a really nice track and great fun to race here. We are very strong under braking and we can use our power on the main straight so we are able to lap well for this reason. To set these times I had to use the soft tyre at the end of the session because it’s always important to be inside the top 10 for the Q2. As well as our one-lap form, our race pace is not bad either and that’s positive.”