Mugello MotoGP: Marquez leads Rossi in first practice

Marc Marquez kicked off the Mugello MotoGP weekend by topping the timesheets in opening practice for the Italian Grand Prix

Mugello MotoGP: Marquez leads Rossi in first practice

The runaway points leader remained under the radar for much of the session before vaulting up the order in the dying moments with a time of 1m48.004s to demote erstwhile leader Valentino Rossi, who celebrates his 300th grand prix this weekend.

The Italian veteran finished 0.382 seconds behind on his Yamaha when the chequered flag fell, with Andrea Iannone emerging third quickest after having the most productive morning with 21 laps under his belt.

Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo were fourth and fifth respectively, with Dovizioso having led for much of the first half of the session.

Aleix Espargaro took Open class honors with a time of 1m48.743s on his NGM Yamaha and was a slender 0.078s from deposing Lorenzo for fifth towards the finish.

There were a trio of off-track moments at San Donato during the session involving Pol Espargaro and Alvaro Bautista.

The 2013 Moto2 champion lost his Tech 3 Yamaha twice at the first corner, with the second proving the most costly halfway through the session when he took a tumble through the gravel and destroyed his bike.

Unscathed from his off, Espargaro resumed running on his back-up machine and finished 1.304s off the ultimate pace in 12th.

Bautista also took a trip through the gravel with five minutes remaining to bring an end to his session, although his Gresini Honda came off lightly in comparison to Espargaro's off.

Ducati test rider Michele Pirro is a wild card entrant this weekend, and he finished in 14th position on the team's development bike.

Danilo Petrucci was due to make his return to MotoGP action today after suffering from a wrist injury which resulted in his omission from the previous two grands prix.

His comeback has been delayed, however, after he failed a medical examination and the Ioda Racing rider will sit on the sidelines once again this weekend.

Follow the Mugello MotoGP qualifying day on AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live on Saturday morning from 12:30pm UK time

Pos Rider Bike Time Gap Laps 1. Marc Marquez Honda 1m48.004s 19 2. Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m48.386s +0.382s 17 3. Andrea Iannone Pramac Ducati 1m48.434s +0.430s 21 4. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m48.518s +0.514s 17 5. Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 1m48.665s +0.661s 17 6. Aleix Espargaro Forward Yamaha 1m48.743s +0.739s 14 7. Cal Crutchlow Ducati 1m48.925s +0.921s 20 8. Stefan Bradl LCR Honda 1m48.980s +0.976s 19 9. Alvaro Bautista Gresini Honda 1m49.030s +1.026s 13 10. Bradley Smith Tech 3 Yamaha 1m49.030s +1.026s 20 11. Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m49.203s +1.199s 18 12. Pol Espargaro Tech 3 Yamaha 1m49.308s +1.304s 18 13. Colin Edwards Forward Yamaha 1m49.818s +1.814s 18 14. Michele Pirro Ducati 1m50.030s +2.026s 14 15. Hiroshi Aoyama Aspar Honda 1m50.143s +2.139s 20 16. Yonny Hernandez Pramac Ducati 1m50.189s +2.185s 15 17. Karel Abraham Cardion Honda 1m50.327s +2.323s 16 18. Scott Redding Gresini Honda 1m50.440s +2.436s 17 19. Hector Barbera Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m51.396s +3.392s 15 20. Mike di Meglio Avintia FTR-Kawasaki 1m52.164s +4.160s 15 21. Michael Laverty PBM Aprilia 1m52.748s +4.744s 18 22. Broc Parkes PBM Aprilia 1m53.775s +5.771s 16 23. Nicky Hayden Aspar Honda 1m55.369s +7.365s 6 
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