Austin MotoGP: Marc Marquez quickest in opening practice

MotoGP rookie Marc Marquez topped the opening free practice session for the inaugural Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin on Friday afternoon

Austin MotoGP: Marc Marquez quickest in opening practice

The Honda rider, who was fastest at the pre-season test at the circuit that few teams attended last month, set the pace in 2m08.756s, to edge out world championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.

Marquez brought the benchmark time down by more than three seconds from his initial laps in the 2m11s bracket, but still wound up five seconds slower than he managed during testing.

Yamaha's Lorenzo lay more than a second adrift of Marquez for most of the session, but pumped in a strong time in the final minute to end up just 0.3s off the pace, nudging Yonny Hernandez with his knee at Turn 1 on the best of his laps.

Marquez's Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa was third fastest ahead of Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso and Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi's Yamaha.

Brit Cal Crutchlow gave Tech 3 notice that his performance would not be affected by the satellite Yamaha team's pit-garage fire by going eighth. His compatriot Bradley Smith was 13th on the sister Yamaha.

The best of the CRT riders was Hernandez, 11th despite the Lorenzo incident and a technical problem for his Paul Bird Aprilia-ART that caused him to stop as he passed the pit exit with 10 minutes remaining.

Pos Rider Team/Bike Time Gap 1. Marc Marquez Honda 2m08.756s 2. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 2m09.009s + 0.253s 3. Dani Pedrosa Honda 2m10.356s + 1.600s 4. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2m10.665s + 1.909s 5. Nicky Hayden Ducati 2m10.801s + 2.045s 6. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2m10.828s + 2.072s 7. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 2m10.910s + 2.154s 8. Cal Crutchlow Tech 3 Yamaha 2m11.232s + 2.476s 9. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 2m11.929s + 3.173s 10. Ben Spies Pramac Ducati 2m12.813s + 4.057s 11. Yonny Hernandez PBM Aprilia 2m13.058s + 4.302s 12. Claudio Corti Forward FTR-Kawasaki 2m13.321s + 4.565s 13. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 2m13.339s + 4.583s 14. Colin Edwards Forward FTR-Kawasaki 2m13.694s + 4.938s 15. Aleix Espargaro Aspar Aprilia 2m13.970s + 5.214s 16. Randy de Puniet Aspar Aprilia 2m14.530s + 5.774s 17. Karel Abraham Cardion Aprilia 2m14.828s + 6.072s 18. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 2m14.859s + 6.103s 19. Danilo Petrucci Ioda-Suter-BMW 2m16.465s + 7.709s 20. Hiroshi Aoyama Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 2m16.481s + 7.725s 21. Bryan Staring Gresini FTR-Honda 2m17.441s + 8.685s 22. Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 2m17.685s + 8.929s 23. Michael Laverty PBM-Aprilia 2m18.338s + 9.582s 24. Lukas Pesek Ioda-Suter-BMW 2m18.684s + 9.928s 25. Blake Young Attack APR-Kawasaki 2m19.440s + 10.684s 26. Mike Barnes GPTech BCL-Suzuki 2m21.530s + 12.774s 
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Austin MotoGP: Tech 3 Yamaha suffers pit fire
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