Marquez leads Pedrosa in first practice

Marquez leads Pedrosa in first practice

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Marquez leads Pedrosa in first practice

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Marc Marquez fended off Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo to set the pace in MotoGP’s opening practice session at Misano.

The Spaniard hit the front early on and was never displaced as he improved several times to eventually end the session on a 1m34.476s.

Pedrosa fought back from early brake issues to jump the two works Yamahas and settle into second, just over two tenths down on his championship-leading team-mate.

Lorenzo, who ended Marquez’s string of wins last time out at Silverstone, eventually claimed third ahead of team-mate Valentino Rossi, the pair trading blows several times during the session.

Both men were half a second off Marquez’s time, in what was an encouraging first competitive run-out for Yamaha’s new seamless gearbox.

Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl made it four Hondas in the top six, while Nicky Hayden beat works Ducati stable-mate Andrea Dovizioso to seventh. The American was the last man to get within one second of Marquez.

Pramac’s stand-in rider Michelle Pirro claimed ninth, with Aspar CRT man Aleix Espargaro rounding out the top 10.

It was a disappointing session for Yamaha’s satellite Tech 3 squad.

On the back of a horrible home round, Cal Crutchlow struggled with rear balance and was only 11th fastest, two places ahead of team-mate Bradley Smith.

Pos Rider             Team                       Time              Laps 1. Marc Marquez      Honda                      1m34.476s           21 2. Dani Pedrosa      Honda                      1m34.698s  +0.222s  18 3. Jorge Lorenzo     Yamaha                     1m34.902s  +0.426s  19 4. Valentino Rossi   Yamaha                     1m34.978s  +0.502s  22 5. Alvaro Bautista   Gresini Honda              1m35.269s  +0.793s  21 6. Stefan Bradl      LCR Honda                  1m35.299s  +0.823s  22 7. Nicky Hayden      Ducati                     1m35.392s  +0.916s  20 8. Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati                     1m35.504s  +1.028s  17 9. Michele Pirro     Pramac Ducati              1m35.725s  +1.249s  1910. Aleix Espargaro   Aspar Aprilia              1m35.800s  +1.324s  1711. Cal Crutchlow     Tech 3 Yamaha              1m35.913s  +1.437s  1712. Hector Barbera    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki       1m36.198s  +1.722s  2013. Bradley Smith     Tech 3 Yamaha              1m36.198s  +1.722s  2014. Colin Edwards     Forward FTR-Kawasaki       1m36.652s  +2.176s  2015. Hiroshi Aoyama    Avintia FTR-Kawasaki       1m36.661s  +2.185s  2016. Randy de Puniet   Aspar Aprilia              1m36.764s  +2.288s  2017. Andrea Iannone    Pramac Ducati              1m36.839s  +2.363s  2018. Danilo Petrucci   Ioda-Suter-BMW             1m36.943s  +2.467s  2319. Claudio Corti     Forward FTR-Kawasaki       1m37.252s  +2.776s  2120. Yonny Hernandez   PBM Aprilia                1m37.329s  +2.853s  1721. Karel Abraham     Cardion Ducati             1m37.688s  +3.212s  1722. Michael Laverty   PBM-Aprilia                1m38.872s  +4.396s  1823. Bryan Staring     Gresini FTR-Honda          1m39.024s  +4.548s  2124. Lukas Pesek       Ioda-Suter-BMW             1m39.705s  +5.229s  17

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