Fabio Quartararo was in an untouchable form on the opening day of the Malaysian Grand Prix for the penultimate round of the season, topping both Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2.
The Petronas SRT Yamaha rider edged out teammate Franco Morbidelli in the opening session, before going half a second quicker in practice 2, setting a new lap record.
A lap time of 1:58.576 left the Frenchman +0.534s clear of Morbidelli, as the team enjoy a strong start to their home Grand Prix.
Ducati Team heads into Saturday on the upper-hand, as they’re locked in battle with Repsol Honda as Marc Marquez looks to seal the team championship in order to complete his triple crown. However, on Friday, it was Andrea Dovizioso who completed the top 3, ahead of both Factory Monster Energy Yamaha‘s of Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi.
Eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez completed the opening day in sixth, but that wasn’t without yet another save at turn 2.
Marquez was relying on his Free Practice 1 time to get him inside the top ten but ended the day just under a second off Quartararo.
Another strong performance from Aprilia saw Aleix Espargaro end the opening day in the top ten, ahead of Cal Crutchlow, as the pair completed the Q2 positions.
The riders with work to do in tomorrow’s Free Practice 3 session are rookie sensations from Phillip Island, Francesco Bagnaia (11th) and Joan Mir (12th) who both found themselves outside of the top ten by just +0.273s.
Second Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci was well off the pace throughout the opening day, and lies 13th on the timesheets ahead of LCR Honda Idemitsu‘s Johann Zarco, who once again impressed on his second outing on the Honda.
Karel Abraham completed the top 15 ahead of Red Bull KTM‘s Pol Espargaro and the second Repsol Honda of Jorge Lorenzo, who once again found himself in the bottom quarter of the timesheet.
Andrea Iannone struggled to mirror his recent performance at the Australian Grand Prix, ending day one with a lap time of 2:1.172s set in the first session, leaving the Italian down in 18th.
The final 2 positions went to the sole Tech 3 KTM rider Hafizh Syahrin and second Red Bull KTM rider Mika Kallio.
Weekend Schedule (UK Time)
Day two of the Malaysian Grand Prix commences on Saturday (2nd November) with the crucial third Practice session kicking off at 02:50. Qualifying will start with Q1 at 07:05.
Sunday’s action starts at 01:40 with the MotoGP Warm Up, then the lights will go out for the 20 lap MotoGP race at 07:00, where local fans will be cheering on Fabio Quarataro to take his and the team’s debut win at their home circuit.