until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP

What you need to know about first Malaysian GP MotoGP practice

2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

It's the least significant session of the MotoGP weekend, but Jorge Martin still made his Sepang intentions clear in opening Malaysian Grand Prix practice on Friday morning: stay at the front with blistering raw speed again.

A late 1m59.513s lap put Martin's Pramac Ducati half a second clear of the pack for a while, and he improved on sector times on his next two laps too without putting a full new benchmark together.

Gresini Ducati rider Alex Marquez - who had been on top for most of the session - did close in to within 0.049s of Martin.

Like almost everyone else in the final runs, Marquez had gone with a new soft front and hard rear tyre combination, while Martin was near unique in taking a pair of fresh mediums.

Championship leader Pecco Bagnaia usually keeps things quiet on Friday mornings and spent much of the 45 minutes near the bottom of the times (whereas Martin was third even in the lower-key part of the session) before bringing his Ducati up to 15th.

Johann Zarco made it two Pramac Ducatis in the top three in third, ahead of a promising start from not just Yamaha's usual saviour Fabio Quartararo but his team-mate Franco Morbidelli too. They were first and second for a brief late spell and ended up fourth and fifth.

World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista didn't produce any initial fireworks on his MotoGP return as a Ducati wildcard, lapping three seconds off the pace in 22nd, ahead of only LCR Honda's Alex Rins stand-in (and Bautista's regular WSBK rival) Iker Lecuona.

The session's incidents mostly happened at the final corner - (very) long-shot title contender Marco Bezzecchi running through the gravel there twice and Aleix Espargaro dropping his Aprilia in a low-side then having to quickly abort a plan to remount it as flames began to shoot from the still-running bike as he ran towards it.

Practice 1 Results

PosNameCarBest TimeGap Leader
1Jorge MartinDucati1m59.513s
2Alex MarquezDucati1m59.562s+0.049s
3Johann ZarcoDucati1m59.914s+0.401s
4Franco MorbidelliYamaha2m00.055s+0.542s
5Fabio QuartararoYamaha2m00.134s+0.621s
6Luca MariniDucati2m00.242s+0.729s
7Aleix EspargaróAprilia2m00.244s+0.731s
8Marco BezzecchiDucati2m00.251s+0.738s
9Pol EspargaróKTM2m00.298s+0.785s
10Augusto FernandezKTM2m00.467s+0.954s
11Jack MillerKTM2m00.519s+1.006s
12Miguel OliveiraAprilia2m00.594s+1.081s
13Raul FernandezAprilia2m00.780s+1.267s
14Fabio Di GiannantonioDucati2m00.869s+1.356s
15Francesco BagnaiaDucati2m00.888s+1.375s
16Enea BastianiniDucati2m00.902s+1.389s
17Marc MarquezHonda2m01.110s+1.597s
18Brad BinderKTM2m01.178s+1.665s
19Joan MirHonda2m01.348s+1.835s
20Maverick ViñalesAprilia2m01.352s+1.839s
21Takaaki NakagamiHonda2m01.537s+2.024s
22Alvaro BautistaDucati2m02.516s+3.003s
23Iker LecuonaHonda2m03.293s+3.780s
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