Bradl Dominates FP1 As Márquez Crashes Out

Stefan Bradl - Photo Credit:
Stefan Bradl - Photo Credit:

Stefan Bradl dominated the first free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix, sending a clear message to title rival Marc Márquez that he won't give up on this year's championship fight.

The German lost the lead in the standings to Márquez in Japan, dropping to second for the first time this year, but looked a man revitalised as soon as FP1 got underway in Phillip Island, setting a 1:35.541 on his second timed lap.

Alex De Angelis briefly usurped him but Bradl went almost a second quicker on his next lap, clocking a 1:34.637 and later improved to a 1:34.039 just to rub salt into the wounds. Bradl did slide off the track at the end of the session but that was nothing compared to Márquez who piled into the back of Ratthapark Wilairot after the chequered flag had come out.

The Spaniard was ok but his Suter machine was far from it, as was Wilairot's FTR, bringing to an end a miserable session for the championship leader who had already fallen earlier in the session.

He ended up in 20th with Alex De Angelis and Mika Kallio completing the top three behind Bradl. Claudio Corti was a surprise fifth ahead of fellow Italians Mattia Pasini and Andrea Iannone with Scott Redding eighth quickest behind home favourite Anthony West.

Bradley Smith made a quiet start to the weekend and finished 1.645s off the pace in 16th for Tech 3.