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MotoGP Malaysian GP

MotoGP Malaysian GP: Martin edges Marquez in first practice

MotoGP championship contender Jorge Martin led first practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix ahead of Alex Marquez by 0.049 seconds.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

The 18th round of the 2023 season marks the beginning of the final run to the end of the campaign, with three grands prix coming up to decide the fate of the championship.

Pramac Ducati’s Martin trails reigning world champion Francesco Bagnaia by 13 points coming to the Sepang round, and kicked off the weekend fastest of all in FP1.

Martin snatched top spot late on with a run on fresh medium rubber to best Marquez, who led for much of the session on his Gresini Ducati.

Bagnaia’s typically low-key approach to Friday mornings in 2023 continued in Malaysia, with the factory team Ducati rider 15th.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro kicked off proceedings with the first reference lap of the session at 2m02.066s inside the first five minutes.

Martin took over from Espargaro with a 2m00.984s a few moments later, before Alex Marquez began his stay at the head of the times with a 2m00.680s.

With just over half an hour to go, Marquez improved to a 2m00.530s, which would stand as the benchmark until the closing 10 minutes.

He would be deposed by Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli, who posted a 2m00.055s on a fresh hard rear tyre.

Alex Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Alex Marquez, Gresini Racing

But a late charge from Martin, who posted a 1m59.513s on a new medium rear, would secure the Spaniard top spot.

Marquez folded in behind with a 1m59.562s at the end of the session, while Johann Zarco completed the top three on the second Pramac Ducati.

Morbidelli headed Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo in fourth, with Luca Marini on the VR46 Ducati sixth from Aleix Espargaro.

Espargaro crashed at the last corner with around 17 minutes to go, with his RS-GP briefly spitting flames from the rear of the bike before the marshals put the fire out.

Marco Bezzecchi was eighth on the second VR46 Ducati, with Tech3 GasGas duo Pol Espargaro and Augusto Fernandez completing the top 10.

Bagnaia was 15th ahead of factory Ducati team-mate Enea Bastianini, while Marc Marquez was 17th on the leading Honda.

Reigning World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista was 22nd out of 23 riders as he makes a Ducati wildcard appearance.

Marking his first grand prix session since the 2018 Valencia GP, Bautista was 3.003s off the pace, ahead of only LCR Honda substitute Iker Lecuona.

MotoGP Malaysian GP FP1 results

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 16

1'59.513

  166.967  
2 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 17

+0.049

1'59.562

0.049 166.899  
3 France J. Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 14

+0.401

1'59.914

0.352 166.409  
4 Italy F. Morbidelli Yamaha Factory Racing 21 Yamaha 16

+0.542

2'00.055

0.141 166.213  
5 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 17

+0.621

2'00.134

0.079 166.104  
6 Italy L. Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 18

+0.729

2'00.242

0.108 165.955  
7 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 11

+0.731

2'00.244

0.002 165.952  
8 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 15

+0.738

2'00.251

0.007 165.942  
9 Spain P. Espargaro Tech 3 44 KTM 14

+0.785

2'00.298

0.047 165.878  
10 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 18

+0.954

2'00.467

0.169 165.645  
11 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 17

+1.006

2'00.519

0.052 165.573  
12 Portugal M. Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 18

+1.081

2'00.594

0.075 165.470  
13 Spain R. Fernández RNF Racing 25 Aprilia 13

+1.267

2'00.780

0.186 165.216  
14 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing 49 Ducati 15

+1.356

2'00.869

0.089 165.094  
15 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 16

+1.375

2'00.888

0.019 165.068  
16 Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 18

+1.389

2'00.902

0.014 165.049  
17 Spain M. Marquez Repsol Honda Team 93 Honda 15

+1.597

2'01.110

0.208 164.765  
18 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 16

+1.665

2'01.178

0.068 164.673  
19 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 15

+1.835

2'01.348

0.170 164.442  
20 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 16

+1.839

2'01.352

0.004 164.437  
21 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 17

+2.024

2'01.537

0.185 164.187  
22 Spain A. Bautista Ducati Team 19 Ducati 15

+3.003

2'02.516

0.979 162.875  
23 Spain I. Lecuona Team LCR 27 Honda 15

+3.780

2'03.293

0.777 161.848  

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