Jorge Lorenzo was the man to beat in the opening practice session for the Indianapolis Grand Prix, edging out Marc Marquez by less than a tenth.
An effort of 1m34.020s propelled factory Yamaha rider Lorenzo to the top of the timesheets early on, with Honda’s Dani Pedrosa initially proving his nearest challenger with a time just 0.030s shy of his compatriot.
But Lorenzo then steadily began to pull away from the field with a succession of quick laps, lowering the bar by six thousandths before dipping under the 1m34s for the first time with a 1m33.946s.
The two-time champion subsequently improved to a 1m33.871s – a time matched exactly by Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso, albeit with the help of the soft option rear tyre – which remained the benchmark until Marquez began a late charge.
Having switched to his number two bike, Marquez jumped to P3 with a time two tenths shy of Lorenzo with 15 minutes remaining, before lapping within 0.071s on his next effort.
Marquez then went quickest on a 1m33.747s in the closing stages, only for Lorenzo to pip him to the post with a time 0.093s faster to take the top spot for the session.
Dovizioso remained in third ahead of Pedrosa, with points leader Valentino Rossi having a quiet session in fifth place, 0.720s slower than his teammate Lorenzo.
The second Ducati of Andrea Iannone was sixth quickest, ahead of Cal Crutchlow’s LCR Honda and Pol Espargaro, who was recently confirmed as remaining with Tech 3 Yamaha for 2016.
Mike di Meglio was a superb ninth fastest aboard the Open class Avintia Ducati, with Maverick Vinales’ Suzuki completing the top 10.
Stefan Bradl was 22nd on his Aprilia debut, having made the switch from the absent Forward Racing squad, while Cardion Honda substitute rider Toni Elias propped up the timesheets in 23rd.
|9||Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||1'34.794||1.140|
|21||Alex de Angelis||ART||1'36.416||2.762|