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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