Cal Crutchlow led Friday’s first practice session ahead of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider headed Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez. Both Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa were declared fit, but the latter elected to rest on the sidelines.
Amid cool and misty conditions, the field paced themselves in a bid to avoid incidents. Despite being annoyed mid-session following a near miss with Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet, Crutchlow posted the quickest time of 1’22.757 which edged out Rossi by less than one tenth of a second. Championship leader Marquez was two tenths off the pace on his first visit to the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which hosts Round 9 of 18 this season.
Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista completed the top five for LCR Honda MotoGP and GO&FUN Honda Gresini, respectively, whereas World Champion Lorenzo (Yamaha Factory Racing) cautiously rode his way to 11th position and was informed via his pit board that 2013 newcomer Marquez, learning the track, was following him on the circuit.
Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) decided not to ride in order to avoid excessive stress on his injured left collarbone, while wildcard rider Blake Young finished 21st for Attack Performance Racing and ahead of both regular CRT riders Bryan Staring (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) and Lukas Pesek (Came IodaRacing Project). MotoGP™ Free Practice 2 will start at 2:05pm local time (GMT -7).