CADIZ, Spain – Spain’s Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda RC 213 V) dominated Friday’s first free practice of the Spanish Grand Prix of MotoGP at the Jerez-Angel Nieto circuit.
The reigning MotoGP champion saved the best to last as he posted his best time in the final lap when he covered the circuit in one minute and 37.921 seconds, just 0.268 seconds shy of the circuit record set last year by another Honda pilot, Cal Crutchlow of the United Kingdom.
Marquez took the lead from the early stages of the training session followed initially by his teammate and countryman Jorge Lorenzo, although the latter was surpassed by Italy’s Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Desmosedici GP19) and Spaniard Maverick Viñales (Yamaha YZR M 1).
The Repsol Honda leader pilot took the lead in the early going of the session, while the team asserted its domination at the circuit as the minutes went by.
Both Marquez and Lorenzo put on the most outstanding performances throughout the session in which the world champion was focused on reaching a good rhythm.
To that end, Marquez relied nearly all the practice session on his hard rear tire supplied by Michelin.
However, he managed to record the best time of the free practice session being the only pilot to cover the circuit in less than one minute and 38 seconds.
His teammate Lorenzo, the most decorated Spaniard at the circuit with 13 victories achieved across all the categories, fended off competition by Petrucci, Viñales, Italy’s Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha YZR M 1) and Spain’s Alex Rins (Suzuki GSX RR) among others, to cling to the second spot on the timesheet during the final laps.
Posting two fast nearly consecutive laps, Lorenzo got to momentarily top the timesheet, but his efforts were undone by Marquez and he had to settle for the second spot, equaling his best first free practice result with Repsol Honda this season.
Earlier in the season, he came second in the first free practice ahead of Qatar MotoGP, following Italy’s Valentino Rossi (Yamaha YZR M 1).
Rossi, meanwhile, struggled with his bike’s performance, as he came 18th, while his teammate Viñales completed the podium.