Lorenzo and Marquez Neck-and-Neck at Indy

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Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez had little to separate them after the pair dominated the opening day of free practice at the Indianapolis Grand Prix. The two double world champions were split by less than a tenth of a second in each session with Lorenzo eventually taking the honours, three thousandths of a second ahead of his compatriot.

Lorenzo had been marginally the faster in the morning, edging out Marquez by 0.093s, and the pair renewed their battle in FP2 with the factory Ducatis of Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso also getting in amongst the leaders with the aid of a softer tyre. Marquez looked to have secured top spot for the day after usurping Dovizioso three minutes from time but a last-gasp flyer saw Lorenzo sneak ahead by the tiniest of margins.

On a day when his teammate and title rival Valentino Rossi struggled for pace and confidence, Jorge was bullish about his weekend prospects after a near-perfect start.

“I‘m very happy, because with every change we made we were able to improve the bike a bit. I‘m riding very well and had a good feeling with the bike so I was able to ride close to the limit for the moment. We had the same sensation with the harder tyre, while other riders had used a new soft tyre they couldn‘t even get close to our time, so that was a very good sign in the morning and we confirmed it in the afternoon. Let‘s see if we continue working this way and we‘ll concentrate on improving the bike even more.”

The top two enjoyed a three tenth advantage over the rest with Dovizioso just a hundredth clear of Iannone in fourth. Cal Crutchlow was fifth for LCR Honda ahead of Pol Espargaro who ended a day which began with confirmation of his contract extension with Yamaha by highsiding his YZR-M1.

Dani Pedrosa was seventh fastest ahead of an under-pressure Scott Redding who will be desperate to cling on to a Q2 spot. The Marc VDS rider may be under pressure tomorrow morning though with Bradley Smith and Valentino Rossi likely to move forward from ninth and tenth.



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