|Marquez isn’t holding back in Austin
Photo: Repsol Honda
Repsol Honda rookie Marc Marquez dominated the opening day at the Circuit of America’s in free practice, setting the fastest time in both morning and afternoon sessions.
The reigning Moto2 world champion struggled in FP1 with cold track temperatures, however he was still the quickest man on track, 0.253 seconds faster than rival Jorge Lorenzo.
Track temperatures doubled for FP2 which allowed Marquez to set faster times, and he brought his lead up to just over half a second on the rest of the field.
The 20 year old, who set a time of 2.05.031 was building on experience following a pre-season test at COTA back in March and is becoming a favourite to win the race come Sunday.
Marc said “It’s been a very positive first day. We took the top time and, even though these are only practice sessions, this is important. I think that the key to this Grand Prix is that day-after-day, session-by-session, the grip levels will improve. We have to be aware of this and also to the temperatures – which vary a lot, with much more heat in the afternoon than in the morning. We need to find which tyre works best for every session, and above all we will be working with the race in mind. Let’s see if tomorrow we can continue along the same upward path”
Pedrosa had a slow start to the season, finishing fourth and 9 seconds off race winner Jorge Lorenzo in Qatar but he seems to be picking up the pace in Texas.
The 27 year old struggled with track temperatures on Friday morning, however he found a better set-up in the afternoon to set a fast time.
Dani commented“Today was a difficult day, because the track had no grip and in general I think all the riders had problems leaning the bike over in the corners. In the morning the tyres took a bit of a beating, but in the afternoon the situation improved a little. In the second session we were able to ride a little better, although I hope that the circuit grip levels increase in the run up to the race, so that we can also improve with them”