Marquez fastest in opening Texas practice

Friday, 19 April 2013

Marc Marquez has led the first MotoGP™ practice session at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. Carrying on his form from testing at the track in March, the Repsol Honda Team rider led championship leader Jorge Lorenzo and teammate Dani Pedrosa.

This weekend marks the series debut for the Texan venue, becoming the third American circuit to welcome a round of MotoGP™ in 2013 as the country goes second only to Spain in hosting the most Grands Prix on the calendar.

Having already topped the test session a month ago, Marquez – now fresh from a podium finish in Qatar – posted a best lap time of 2’08.756, leading Yamaha Factory Racing’s Lorenzo by two tenths of a second. As a selection of riders had already tested at the circuit, the final results featured larger gaps between lap times than usual. Pedrosa completed the top three, but it was Ducati Team causing a surprise as both Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden made the leading five.

Valentino Rossi was sixth on the second Yamaha Factory bike as Alvaro Bautista enjoyed his running en route to seventh place for GO&FUN Honda Gresini. The top ten was rounded out by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl – who did attend the test last month – and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies.

Third and final American rider Colin Edwards placed his NGM Mobile Forward Racing machine in 14th position, but it was PBM’s Yonny Hernandez who set the CRT pace by going 11th quickest - despite suffering a technical problem ten minutes before the chequered flag flew, having to return to the pits by foot. At the tail end of the field teammate Michael Laverty was joined by Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek, plus wildcard entries Blake Young (Attack Performance Racing) and Mike Barnes (GPTech), in failing to finish inside the 107% threshold; all four men will be keen to make improvements in the second session this afternoon.

Second free practice begins at 2:05pm local time (GMT -5). Under new regulations for 2013, the top combined fastest lap times from across the opening three practice sessions decide which ten riders are automatically put through to Q2 Qualifying.

TAGS Americas

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