Blistering Marquez unstoppable at Termas de Rio Hondo

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez started the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina in fantastic fashion, finishing the day 0.404 seconds clear of his closest rival Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol). With plenty of late chopping and changing – with all the riders battling it out to get into the top 10 – the Spaniard’s reign at the top of the time sheets rarely looked under threat.

Fellow Honda rider Crutchlow was his nearest challenger, finishing the day as top Independent Team rider on a track he has good results on in the past. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) was third, despite being 0.908 back from his team mate.

Tito Rabat (Reale Avintia Racing) was the first non-Honda rider to make it straight to provisional Q2 entry as he impressed, ending the day just 0.043 behind Dani’s time. Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone was the only other rider to finish within a second of Marquez in P5.

Last year’s winner Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) finished 0.067 ahead of his team mate Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), while Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) propelled himself into eighth right at the end of the day. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco survived a late flurry of times to end P9, with Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) taking the final automatic Q2 spot in P10.

It was a difficult day for both factory Ducati Team riders, with Andrea Dovizioso 1.543 seconds back in 15th and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) just behind. With Rabat leading the way so far for the Borgo Panigale marque, both will want to move forward on Saturday – and will be hoping the weather stays clear to allow improved lap times on the hunt for Q2.

Marc Marquez 93
1ST 1'39.395 (FP2)
“It was a good day for us. When we started this morning, the track was quite slippery and we struggled a bit but it was the same for every rider, and the asphalt steadily became cleaner. In the afternoon, the second session was a bit strange as conditions were kind of mixed, but all in all we were able to do good work on the bike setup, getting a pretty clear idea about those conditions. It was important to start the Argentinian GP well, but now we’ll wait and see what conditions we have going forward, as there’s a good chance things will change a lot in the next two days. It’s possible that we’ll have a very different track on Sunday, which would require a different setup, so we must keep our focus and continue working hard to be ready for the race."

Friday Practice Times

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Time Behind Gap.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'39.395 0.000s 0.000s
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1'39.799 0.404 0.404
3 53 Tito RABAT SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1'40.346 0.951 0.547
4 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1'40.455 1.060 0.109
5 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'40.494 1.099 0.039
6 25 Maverick VIÂ¥ALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'40.510 1.115 0.016
7 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'40.577 1.182 0.067
8 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki 1'40.592 1.197 0.015
9 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1'40.766 1.371 0.174
10 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'40.800 1.405 0.034
11 45 Scott REDDING GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'40.839 1.444 0.039
12 43 Jack MILLER AUS Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1'40.842 1.447 0.003
13 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Alma Pramac Racing Ducati 1'40.863 1.468 0.021
14 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'40.974 1.579 0.111
15 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1'41.198 1.803 0.224
16 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'41.257 1.862 0.059
17 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati 1'41.334 1.939 0.077
18 30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1'41.357 1.962 0.023
19 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Angel Nieto Team Ducati 1'41.784 2.389 0.427
20 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'41.832 2.437 0.048
21 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1'41.867 2.472 0.035
22 12 Thomas LUTHI SWI EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'41.898 2.503 0.031
23 10 Xavier SIMEON BEL Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1'42.242 2.847 0.344
24 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'42.973 3.578 0.731

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