Valencia MotoGP: Marquez leads Pramac pair in disrupted FP1

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Valencia MotoGP: Marquez leads Pramac pair in disrupted FP1
David Gruz
By: David Gruz
Nov 16, 2018, 10:28 AM

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez was fastest in the opening practice at Valencia, which was red-flagged early on due to weather conditions.

The session started under soaking wet track conditions, which are forecast for the whole of the final weekend of the campaign.

The red flag came out just seven minutes and 12 seconds into FP1, soon after Alex Rins impressively but narrowly avoided a crash at Turn 13 and Maverick Vinales ran through a huge puddle at the exit of T14.

It took nearly 30 minutes for the rain to ease off and the session to be restarted, and the pace rapidly improved in the first half of FP1.

Marquez dominated the proceedings by improving numerous times and leading by over a second but when he pitted the field quickly caught up and Danilo Petrucci demoted him to second with a 1m40.479s.

But when Marquez returned to the track he set a 1m39.787s in just two laps, a time that was not matched by the rest of the field.

Jack Miller quickly closed the gap to just 0.086s and he looked set to improve further with just two minutes on the clock, only for the Australian to crash at Turn 10.

Marquez then lowered his benchmark by another two hundredths of a second after the chequered flag fell to increase his gap over Miller to 0.106s.

Miller's Pramac Ducati teammate Petrucci took third, with the Italian's future factory teammate Andrea Dovizioso completing the top four.

Dani Pedrosa kicked off his farewell weekend in fifth, followed by Andrea Iannone and Maverick Vinales, the Yamaha rider ending up more than a second off the pace.

Ducati wildcard Michele Pirro was eighth as KTM's Pol Espargaro and Suzuki's Alex Rins completed the top 10.

Valentino Rossi had an off-track moment at Turn 8 and was in the end only 12th ahead of fellow Yamaha rider Johann Zarco.

Stefan Bradl, who is replacing the injured Cal Crutchlow at LCR Honda, was 16th, while the recovering Jorge Lorenzo took 19th.

Along with Miller, fellow Ducati privateers Alvaro Bautista and Xavier Simeon also crashed in the dying stages of the practice.

FP1 results

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 93 Spain Marc Marquez  Honda 1'39.767  
2 43 Australia Jack Miller  Ducati 1'39.873 0.106
3 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci  Ducati 1'39.907 0.140
4 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati 1'40.179 0.412
5 26 Spain Dani Pedrosa  Honda 1'40.467 0.700
6 29 Italy Andrea Iannone  Suzuki 1'40.685 0.918
7 25 Spain Maverick Viñales  Yamaha 1'40.772 1.005
8 51 Italy Michele Pirro  Ducati 1'40.836 1.069
9 44 Spain Pol Espargaro  KTM 1'40.892 1.125
10 42 Spain Alex Rins  Suzuki 1'40.965 1.198
11 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro  Aprilia 1'40.967 1.200
12 46 Italy Valentino Rossi  Yamaha 1'41.015 1.248
13 5 France Johann Zarco  Yamaha 1'41.146 1.379
14 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham  Ducati 1'41.160 1.393
15 10 Belgium Xavier Simeon  Ducati 1'41.277 1.510
16 6 Germany Stefan Bradl  Honda 1'41.479 1.712
17 38 United Kingdom Bradley Smith  KTM 1'41.489 1.722
18 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli  Honda 1'41.713 1.946
19 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo  Ducati 1'41.782 2.015
20 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami  Honda 1'42.471 2.704
21 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista  Ducati 1'42.617 2.850
22 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding  Aprilia 1'42.893 3.126
23 12 Switzerland Thomas Luthi  Honda 1'43.000 3.233
24 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin  Yamaha 1'43.804 4.037
25 81 Spain Jordi Torres  Ducati 1'45.001 5.234
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About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Valencia GP
Sub-event Friday practice 1
Drivers Marc Marquez Shop Now
Teams Repsol Honda Team
Author David Gruz