Jorge Lorenzo gave Movistar Yamaha a timely morale boost by setting the fastest time in first practice ahead of the Argentine Grand Prix at the new Autódromo Termas de Rio Hondo. The Spaniard beat Aleix Espargaro by half a second to put the factory Yamaha squad on top of a session for the first time in 2014 although times are sure to tumble as the weekend goes on.
The rapid rate of improvement was a feature of the first session on such a new circuit with grip levels improving throughout. Marc Marquez, predictably, was the man to beat early on but he demonstrated the dustiness of the track more than anyone with his Honda threatening to throw him off on occasions.
Lorenzo’s session started much slower with the former champion in and out of the pits but two minutes from time, Jorge broke into the 1:42s to knock Espargaro off the top of the timesheets. Alvaro Bautista, one of the few riders to have ridden here before in testing, leapt up to third ahead of Andrea Iannone while Bradley Smith edged out his Tech 3 teammate Pol Espargaro for fifth with a 1:43.806.
Stefan Bradl was seventh ahead of Andrea Dovizioso, one of the stars of Austin, while Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi rounded out the all-important top ten. Scott Redding sits just outside in eleventh with Michele Pirro just behind as he substitutes for the injured Cal Crutchlow but all riders will be looking over their shoulders at the Repsol Hondas with Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa fourteenth and sixteenth, the championship leader having set his quickest time at the very beginning of the session.
|2014 G.P. RED BULL DE LA REPUBLICA ARGENTINA – FREE PRACTICE 1 CLASSIFICATION|
|1||JORGE LORENZO||YAMAHA||MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP||1:42.804|
|2||ALEIX ESPARGARO||FORWARD YAMAHA||NGM FORWARD RACING||1:43.285|
|3||ALVARO BAUTISTA||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:43.637|
|4||ANDREA IANNONE||DUCATI||PRAMAC RACING||1:43.706|
|5||BRADLEY SMITH||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:43.806|
|6||POL ESPARGARO||YAMAHA||MONSTER YAMAHA TECH 3||1:43.961|
|7||STEFAN BRADL||HONDA||LCR HONDA MOTOGP||1:44.055|
|8||ANDREA DOVIZIOSO||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:44.096|
|9||NICKY HAYDEN||HONDA||DRIVE M7 ASPAR||1:44.333|
|10||VALENTINO ROSSI||YAMAHA||MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP||1:44.502|
|11||SCOTT REDDING||HONDA||GO&FUN HONDA GRESINI||1:44.763|
|12||MICHELE PIRRO||DUCATI||DUCATI TEAM||1:44.790|
|13||YONNY HERNANDEZ||DUCATI||PRAMAC RACING||1:44.889|
|14||MARC MARQUEZ||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:45.103|
|15||HIROSHI AOYAMA||HONDA||DRIVE M7 ASPAR||1:45.137|
|16||DANI PEDROSA||HONDA||REPSOL HONDA TEAM||1:45.724|
|17||COLIN EDWARDS||FORWARD YAHAMA||NGM FORWARD RACING||1:45.808|
|18||DANILO PETRUCCI||ART||IODARACING PROJECT||1:46.008|
|19||MICHAEL LAVERTY||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:46.167|
|20||MIKE DI MEGLIO||AVINTIA||AVINTIA RACING||1:46.264|
|21||BROC PARKES||PBM||PAUL BIRD MOTORSPORT||1:46.896|
|22||HECTOR BARBERA||AVINTIA||AVINTIA RACING||1:47.027|
|23||KAREL ABRAHAM||HONDA||CARDION AB MOTORACING||1:47.037|