|Marquez has been fastest at every session in COTA
Photo: Repsol Honda
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez continued his domination in Austin for the first round at the Circuit of America’s. The rookie finished 0.554 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, following a first position finish in the morning’s free practice session.
Cold track temperature meant a slow start to the weekend, free practice 1 times were five seconds off times set in pre-season testing. However, once the track had warmed up in the afternoon times soon began to fall.
Reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo was the first man out of the box to set the fastest time but mirroring FP1, Marquez shaved a second off Jorge’s time almost straight away, setting the pace for the session immediately.
LCR Honda rider Stefan Bradl sat at the top of the timing sheets for over 20 minutes, with a 2.07.111 lap ahead of Spaniards Lorenzo and Marquez; all three of whom have visited COTA for pre-seaon testing. The German finished FP2 in an impressive third position, 1.142 behind first and completing Honda’s domination.
Marquez, the reigning Moto2 champion took the fastest time off Lorenzo once again with 17 minutes of the session to go, and the Spanish wonder-kid brought the times down to 2.05.1, just a second over testing times of 2.04’s.
Dani Pedrosa moved up into second behind his Repsol Honda teammate, where he stayed for the remaining ten minutes of the session. The 27 year old set a time of 2.05.585.
British rider Cal Crutchlow was the ‘best of the rest’ and the only rider finishing in the top 6 who hadn’t seen the Texan track. The Honey badger finished in sixth position, 1.868 seconds off Marquez’s time.
Returning to Yamaha, Valentino Rossi finished Friday in fifth position, setting a time of 2.06.868, 1.837 seconds off the fastest mans time.
Aliex Espargaro returned to the top of the CRT times, ahead of Yonny Hernandez for FP2 in 11th position. His time of 2.08.299 was just over three seconds behind the fastest prototype.
Ducati struggled in the afternoon after a strong FP1. Factory rider Andrea Dovizioso was forced to pull off the track after just 20 minutes of the session and finished in 7th, 2 seconds behind Marquez. Teammate and home hero Nicky Hayden was two positions behind Dovi in 9th.
A full list of times can be found here.