Marc Marquez sets the pace on opening day at Phillip Island, Dani Pedrosa 6th

 In Marc Marquez, MotoGP, News


The Australian Grand Prix kicked off on Friday at the spectacular Phillip Island circuit, with Marc Marquez emerging as the fastest rider of the day.

The reigning World Champion began the sixteenth round of the season strong, finishing second in the first free practice and heading the combined timesheet.

Race winner last Sunday at Motegi, Dani Pedrosa, made improvements in the second session, although despite being in the top four for much of the day, in the final minutes he was relegated to sixth place.

Phillip Island is renowned for its ability to provide four seasons in one day, and the weather on Friday varied from cold and rain in the morning, to bright sunshine with a chilly wind in the afternoon. Nevertheless, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa had a positive Friday in Australia. In the first session they finished second and fourth, respectively, 3 and 6 tenths off fastest rider Jorge Lorenzo.

In the afternoon, Marquez went quickest with a time of 1:29.383 over his 19 laps. Completing the same number of laps, Pedrosa stopped the clock less than half a second slower, with a best time of 1:29.876.

Tomorrow sees the second day of practice: Marquez and Pedrosa will have two further practice sessions, followed by qualifying to decide the grid for Sunday.

Marc Marquez
“It was a good day overall. The morning session was a bit tricky because there was some light rain, but you could still go fast. In the afternoon we worked a lot on setting the bike up for the race, because it will be held at a similar time, and I think we took a step forward. Once again, Jorge is very fast, but we are working well, we have good pace and were able to set a good lap. What is important is that the changes we have made to the setup of the bike have allowed us to improve.”

Dani Pedrosa
“Today we started to work on the setup of the bike, trying to think about tomorrow and Sunday’s race, and we tested the asymmetrical front tyre. We have to keep working because we had some difficult conditions in the morning. Although it was clearer in the afternoon, there was still not much grip and we could not make much headway. Let’s see if tomorrow the track is in better condition and we can improve.”

Source: Repsol Media

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