Marquez dominates opening day at Aragon

by Joshua Close
Marquez Tops Aragon Day One

Marc Marquez ended the opening day at Aragon over a second clear of the field after an astonishing performance in Free Practice 1.

With rain forecast for Saturday, Marquez wasted little time in ensuring that he would make it into Qualifying 2. The championship leader started producing hot laps almost immediately. His quickest lap during the open practice session was 1:46.869.

For the majority of the session the Marquez was over two seconds clear of his rivals. This was cut down to 1.6 seconds in the closing stages by Maverick Viñales.

In Free Practice 2, Marquez would shift his attention to race pace. This meant heading out onto the Aragon circuit with the hard tyre. The Spaniard pushed these tyres to breaking point and he suffered a low-speed fall at turn eight. A quick return to the garage and Marquez was back on circuit. He would finish the second session in fourth.

Meanwhile, Viñales continued his momentum and ended Free Practice 2 on top. His time of 1:48.014 was a mere +0.057 clear of team-mate, Valentino Rossi. The duo would end the day second and third overall. Both riders will once again be pleased with the on-going progress of the Yamaha.

Fresh from his spectacular performance at Misano, Fabio Quartararo ended the opening day fourth overall. The rookie finished third in both sessions, with a quickest lap-time of 1:48.117.

Pol Espargaro continued his fine form on the KTM to end the day fifth overall. After ending Free Practice 1 down in eighth, he would move up the order in the afternoon thanks to a 1:48.392.

Jack Miller was only +0.050s behind the KTM in Free Practice 2. This led to the Australian finishing the session, and the day, in sixth spot. Speaking of close, Britain’s Cal Crutchlow was then only +0.008s behind Miller in Free Practice 2.

Andrea Dovizioso ended Free Practice 1 in a promising fourth spot. However, the Italian struggled in the afternoon and only moved up to eighth on his penultimate lap.

Joan Mir finished ninth overall after securing an impressive sixth in Free Practice 1. Aleix Espargaro completes the top 10 overall. This means that every manufacturer is represented inside the top 10.

Alex Rins endured a difficult day and will be praying for a change in the weather forecast. The Silverstone race winner was 13th in Free Practice 1, and could only improve to 11th in the second session.

Others who struggled on the opening day included Danilo Petrucci and Franco Morbidelli. Petrucci was inside the top eight in the morning, however he could only reach 12th in the afternoon. Morbidelli fell to 14th in the second session, from ninth spot in Free Practice 1.

Elsewhere, Jorge Lorenzo continued to struggle for Repsol Honda. The Spaniard was last in the morning session, before moving up to 20th in the afternoon.

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