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MotoGP Argentina: Pedrosa usurps Crutchlow to top first practice

Honda rider Dani Pedrosa topped first practice ahead of the second race of the 2018 MotoGP season, which is taking place at Argentina's Termas de Rio Hondo circuit this weekend

Pedrosa shot up to the top of the timing screens in the final seconds of the 45-minute session to lead a Honda 1-2 with LCR rider Cal Crutchlow in second by just 0.042s.

Pedrosa's team-mate Marc Marquez, who has been on pole for every MotoGP race held at the Argentine venue so far, initially led the way in FP1.

But the reigning champion was shuffled down to fourth at the conclusion of the opening runs, trailing Pramac Ducati's Jack Miller, Crutchlow and Tech3 Yamaha rookie Hafizh Syahrin.

Marquez restored himself to the top spot at the halfway point, first logging a 1m41.331s before posing gradual improvements of 1m41.081s and then a 1m40.951s.

As the session approached the final 10 minutes, Crutchlow overhauled Marquez by a tenth, but was immediately surpassed by Suzuki's Andrea Iannone, who had followed the Briton on his flying lap and helped himself to a 1m40.422s.

But a late improvement by Iannone was not enough to prevent him from being passed by Pedrosa and Crutchlow - and while he was up on their laptimes for most of his final effort at the chequered flag, he had to settle for third.

Tech3's Johann Zarco led the Yamaha contingent in fourth, ahead of Miller - the highest-placed Ducati rider, and Marquez. Yamaha's Valentino Rossi was seventh, ahead of Ducati's championship leader Andrea Dovizioso and his works team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

Pramac's Danilo Petrucci completed the top 10 despite being the only rider to crash in the first session at the newly-surfaced track.

Petrucci took a tumble at the hairpin-like Turn 13 that had nearly caught out Marquez earlier on.

Maverick Vinales was only 13th in the second works Yamaha, as he was beaten by Syahrin and Aleix Espargaro - while the second works Suzuki rider Alex Rins was a low-key 21st.

FP1 results

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap Laps
1 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m40.303s 18
2 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 0.042s 18
3 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 0.083s 18
4 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 0.311s 20
5 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 0.412s 18
6 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 0.478s 19
7 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 0.522s 19
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 0.635s 17
9 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Ducati 0.716s 17
10 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 0.763s 15
11 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 0.791s 17
12 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 0.860s 20
13 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 0.921s 20
14 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 0.983s 18
15 Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 1.043s 15
16 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1.052s 18
17 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 1.118s 22
18 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1.146s 20
19 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 1.235s 19
20 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 1.321s 19
21 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1.499s 20
22 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 1.889s 17
23 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 2.395s 19
24 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 2.554s 17

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