MotoGP

Marquez fastest out of the blocks in Catalunya MotoGP

Only 1sec covers the top 18 but it's the familiar figure of Marc Marquez that sits up top in Catalunya MotoGP FP1 

Catalunya MotoGP - Free Practice Results (1)

Marc Marquez opened up top in first free practice for the Catalunya MotoGP, the home hero seeing off the Yamaha threat of Fabio Quartararo at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The MotoGP leader headed up the first-half of the session before being bumped down by factory Yamaha man Maverick Vinales with 20mins remaining, but Marquez would go on to twice improve his lap time to an eventual 1m 40.632s in the closing minutes.

He might have been overhauled by Petronas SRT’s Quartararo, who was once again impressive over a single lap, had the Frenchman not been forced to muscle his way past Bradley Smith’s Aprilia in the final sector of his best lap, losing him time.

Nonetheless, he was only a tenth shy of Marquez in second, with Yamaha counterpart Vinales in third, while title contender Andrea Dovizioso followed up in fourth, albeit three tenths down on the top spot.

Fresh from his best ever MotoGP result in Mugello, Takaaki Nakagami was a fine fifth best for LCR Honda as the best of the ‘2018 contingent’ ahead of Jack Miller and top Suzuki rider Alex Rins.

Despite losing evident speed in a straight line once more, Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi in eighth and ninth meant all four Yamahas cracked the top ten, with Aleix Espargaro squeezing his Aprilia into the leading positions in tenth himself at his home track.

Elsewhere, Johann Zarco proved animated off the KTM as he seeks to find a comfortable setting on the RC16 but ended the session a more encouraging 13th quickest and ahead of team-mate Pol Espargaro in 14th.

Jorge Lorenzo, trialling a new fuel tank following his visit to HRC this week, saw little improvement in his fortunes in terms of position well down in 17th place, though the three-time World Champion was only a second slower than Marquez in what was a tightly-packed field.

He did end the session ahead of Italian MotoGP winner Danilo Petrucci, however, who despite being 'only' a second slower than Marquez found himself well down in 18th.

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