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3 days ago
By motogp.com

The wolves close in: Rossi and Viñales hunting down Marquez

The number 93 takes top billing as action opens in FP1, but the Movistar Yamahas and Ducatis were hot on the chase

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was fastest in FP1 at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, ending the session four tenths clear of nearest rival Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) as the premier class got bedded in at a dusty COTA. Rossi’s teammate Maverick Viñales was the third quickest as action opened - with the gaps cut significantly in the latter stages of the session.

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Americas GP: MotoGP™ Free Practice 1

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) was next up and fastest Ducati, just ahead of Championship leader Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completing the top six. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) put in a stunner to go seventh quickest as top rookie, with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) completing the top ten.

There was an early technical problem for Zarco, however, and the Frenchman stopped out on track – but with the track so green, the time lost didn’t shouldn’t put too much of a dent in the Argentina podium finisher’s start to the weekend.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team), meanwhile, ended the session a few seconds off as he checks out his physical condition following recent surgery on his right wrist. The ‘Little Samurai’ reportedly was suffered some pain, but will take part in FP2.

FP2 begins at 14:05 (GMT -5).

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Rossi on being 'hunted by the wolves' in Qatar!

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