Americas MotoGP: Marc Marquez leads damp opening practice

Honda's Marc Marquez topped a damp opening practice for the Grand Prix of the Americas as MotoGP marks its first trip outside of Europe and Qatar during the COVID pandemic.

The Circuit of the Americas was left in a damp condition following heavy morning rain, with Marquez setting the early pace on his factory Honda.

Having won all but one race in America since 2013, Marquez was in dominant form at the start of FP1, setting successive fastest laps of a 2m20.323s and 2m17.885s to go over two seconds clear of the field.

The Honda rider improved to a 2m16.801s after the first 15 minutes of running, with teammate Pol Espargaro cutting Marquez's advantage down to seven tenths.

Around five minutes later, Ducati's Jack Miller took over at the top of the order with a 2m16.639s before improving to a 2m16.612s.

This stood as the benchmark until the closing eight minutes, as the track dried significantly enough for Marquez to put pressure on Miller's place at the top of the timesheets.

The Honda rider fired in a 2m15.872s to go over seven tenths clear of Miller and would go unchallenged through to the chequered flag.

Miller cut Marquez's lead to 0.167 seconds with a late 2m16.039s, with Pramac's Johann Zarco rounding out the top three on his Ducati.

KTM's Miguel Oliveira felt like he made a breakthrough with the bike's electronics at the Misano test followed a wretched run of form in recent rounds, and was fourth fastest in FP1 at COTA.

Pol Espargaro completed the top five ahead of Honda counterpart Alex Marquez on the LCR-run RC213V.

The 2019 COTA winner Alex Rins was leading Suzuki runner in seventh, albeit 1.1s off the pace, with MotoGP's most recent winner Francesco Bagnaia eighth on the Ducati ahead of KTM duo Brad Binder and Iker Lecuona (Tech3).

Reigning world champion Joan Mir – sporting a Kevin Schwantz replica helmet and replica of the 1993 500cc world champion's number style – was 12th, while championship leader Fabio Quartararo's wet woes continued.

The Yamaha rider was the top M1 rider in 15th, some 2.2s off the pace, with teammate Franco Morbidelli 17th and Petronas SRT duo Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso completing the 21-rider field.

LCR's Takaaki Nakagami was the only crasher in FP1, the Japanese rider sliding of his bike at the Turn 15 left-hander at the end of the session. He was 16th on the timesheets.

Cla Rider Bike Laps Time Gap
1 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 15 2'15.872
2 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 15 2'16.039 0.167
3 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 16 2'16.471 0.599
4 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 15 2'16.655 0.783
5 Spain Pol Espargaro
Honda 15 2'16.822 0.950
6 Spain Alex Marquez
Honda 16 2'16.964 1.092
7 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 15 2'17.027 1.155
8 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 16 2'17.328 1.456
9 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM 14 2'17.596 1.724
10 Spain Iker Lecuona
KTM 16 2'17.596 1.724
11 Italy Luca Marini
Ducati 13 2'17.755 1.883
12 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 14 2'17.903 2.031
13 Italy Danilo Petrucci
KTM 14 2'18.083 2.211
14 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 14 2'18.087 2.215
15 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 16 2'18.165 2.293
16 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 15 2'18.292 2.420
17 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 14 2'18.530 2.658
18 Italy Enea Bastianini
Ducati 14 2'18.648 2.776
19 Spain Jorge Martin
Ducati 14 2'18.832 2.960
20 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 14 2'19.668 3.796
21 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Yamaha 12 2'20.556 4.684
shares
comments
Marquez: ’22 Honda “one of the biggest differences” I've felt in MotoGP

Previous article

Marquez: ’22 Honda “one of the biggest differences” I've felt in MotoGP

Next article

Americas MotoGP: Marquez leads Miller in second practice

Americas MotoGP: Marquez leads Miller in second practice
Load comments
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021