It might not be as straight forward as the World Champion hopes with five manufacturers inside the top nine
Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez ended the opening MotoGP™ session of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas fastest but only just with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales 0.078 of a second adrift of the man to the beat in Austin.
Marquez was just under two seconds slower than his lap record around the Circuit of the Americas from 2014, setting a 2:05.311 with five minutes of the session remaining to jump to the top of the timesheets.
Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller lead the Ducati charge in third place having finished 0.027 seconds ahead of his factory counterpart, Andrea Dovizioso. The Mission Winnow Ducati rider bouncing back from a technical problem that saw him park up his factory Ducati with around twenty minutes of the session left.
Rounding out the top five was Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi, the Italian three quarters of a second behind Marquez. A strong start to the weekend for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Pol Espargaro, who is just a second off of the pace in sixth place at the close of FP1.
Fastest rookie was Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who jumped up the order to seventh place with his final lap of 2:06.332, only 1.012 seconds behind top spot. LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow ended eighth quickest before the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini duo of Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone in ninth and tenth place respectively, making it five different manufacturers within the top nine places.
MotoGP FP1 top ten:
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) – 2:05.311
2. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.078
3. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) + 0.625
4. Andrea Dovizioso (Mission Winnow Ducati) + 0.652
5. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.731
6. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 1.016
7. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 1.021
8. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) + 1.171
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 1.186
10. Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 1.381