Marc Marquez set the pace in free practice ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Americas as he looks to extend his undefeated record in Austin. The world champion has never been beaten in a MotoGP race in the United States and although he set the pace on Friday, he looks set to face competition from Maverick Vinales.
The championship leader had drawn first blood in the morning session, going fastest by over half a second ahead of Marquez’s Honda, and Vinales looked on course to complete a Friday double until the lap times tumbled in the closing minutes. Johann Zarco continued his impressive start to life in the premier class, clocking a 2:04.347 to go fastest, before Marquez edged ahead of the Moto2 champion by a quarter of a second.
Vinales slipped to third with Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi showing his best practice form so far this season, ending the day in fourth spot. Dani Pedrosa was fifth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso while Cal Crutchlow shrugged off a morning crash to go seventh fastest, just in front of Jonas Folger on the second Tech 3 Yamaha and Scott Redding’s Pramac Ducati.
Andrea Iannone rounded out the top ten on a day where Suzuki ran a new aerodynamic fairing, meaning he holds the last automatic Q2 spot heading into FP3. KTM also debuted a new-look fairing on their factory machines although Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith were still two and three seconds off the pace respectively. They were split by Karel Abraham but the Czech rider’s participation for the rest of the weekend is in doubt after injuring himself in a crash late in FP2.
2017 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas: Free Practice Times
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