Motorcycle Racing News MotoGP Austin MotoGP: Honda's Marquez Tops 1st COTA Practice

Austin MotoGP: Honda’s Marquez Tops 1st COTA Practice

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez

2013 Austin MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas First Free Practice Results

Ahead of the first free practice session Friday morning at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, only five riders piloted prototypes around the 3.426-mile track featuring 20 corners (11 left, nine right).

The riders – Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez, and LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl – were the select few who participated in private testing at the circuit last month.

Topping that session was Marquez, the RC213V pilot who finished third at the opening round of 2013 MotoGP in Qatar. His quickest time during the private testing was a 2:03.853.

Marquez was expected to be quick Friday when the first of four 45-minute practice sessions began for round 2 of 18 at Circuit of the Americas, and these expectations proved true. The rookie posted a 2:08.756, almost five seconds slower than the top private-testing times (due to tires used).

Marquez was 0.253 of a second quicker than the reigning MotoGP Champion Lorenzo, who won the opening round at Qatar. The Spaniard Lorenzo was also the second quickest rider during the private testing at the circuit last month.

Third fastest during FP1 was Marquez’s teammate and fellow countryman Pedrosa. The RC213V rider was 1.6 seconds back, and 1.347 seconds behind Lorenzo.

Next was Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati Team GP13. The Italian was 1.909 seconds behind Marquez, and the final rider to post within two seconds of the rookie. Hayden followed his teammate by a mere 0.136 of a second, the home favorite running smaller fairings on his GP13.

Rossi was sixth fastest, 2.072 seconds behind Marquez, and was followed by GO&FUN Honda’s Alvaro Bautista. The top ten was rounded out by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl, and Ignite Pramac Racing’s Ben Spies.

Third and final American rider Colin Edwards placed his NGM Mobile Forward Racing machine in 14th position, but it was PBM’s Yonny Hernandez who set the CRT pace by going 11th quickest – despite suffering a technical problem ten minutes before the checkered flag flew, having to return to the pits by foot.

At the tail end of the field teammate Michael Laverty was joined by Came IodaRacing Project’s Lukas Pesek, plus wildcard entries Blake Young (Attack Performance Racing) and Mike Barnes (GPTech), in failing to finish inside the 107% threshold; all four men will be keen to make improvements in the second session this afternoon, MotoGP reports.

The second free practice begins at 2:05 p.m. CDT.

These practices carry more significance than previous years. As the MotoGP 1000cc era entered its sophomore year, a new qualifying format went into effect.

Following the first three free practice sessions, the 10 combined fastest riders automatically advance to qualifying 2 (Q2). The rest of the riders battle it out in qualifying 1 (Q1), with the top two riders in Q1 advancing into Q2.

These 12 riders in Q2  than go head-to-head in a 15-minute session, creating the top-12 grid for this year’s racing. The remaining part of the grid is created from positions 3 through 14 in Q1, which turn into positions 13 through 24 for the overall qualifying grid.

2013 Austin Free Practice One Results from Circuit of the Americas:

Pos. Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time Gap 1st/Prev.
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 337.7 2’08.756
2 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 334.1 2’09.009 0.253 / 0.253
3 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 337.9 2’10.356 1.600 / 1.347
4 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati 333.7 2’10.665 1.909 / 0.309
5 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 330.7 2’10.801 2.045 / 0.136
6 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha 334.1 2’10.828 2.072 / 0.027
7 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA GO&FUN Honda Gresini Honda 333.7 2’10.910 2.154 / 0.082
8 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 330.4 2’11.232 2.476 / 0.322
9 6 Stefan BRADL GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda 335.8 2’11.929 3.173 / 0.697
10 11 Ben SPIES USA Ignite Pramac Racing Ducati 331.8 2’12.813 4.057 / 0.884
11 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ COL Paul Bird Motorsport ART 311.4 2’13.058 4.302 / 0.245
12 71 Claudio CORTI ITA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 314.8 2’13.321 4.565 / 0.263
13 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 332.9 2’13.339 4.583 / 0.018
14 5 Colin EDWARDS USA NGM Mobile Forward Racing FTR Kawasaki 314.1 2’13.694 4.938 / 0.355
15 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART 312.1 2’13.970 5.214 / 0.276
16 14 Randy DE PUNIET FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART 316.4 2’14.530 5.774 / 0.560
17 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Cardion AB Motoracing ART 312.8 2’14.828 6.072 / 0.298
18 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Ducati 331.8 2’14.859 6.103 / 0.031
19 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 316.1 2’16.465 7.709 / 1.606
20 7 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN Avintia Blusens FTR 307.9 2’16.481 7.725 / 0.016
21 67 Bryan STARING AUS GO&FUN Honda Gresini FTR Honda 310.4 2’17.441 8.685 / 0.960
22 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Avintia Blusens FTR 309.8 2’17.685 8.929 / 0.244
70 Michael LAVERTY GBR Paul Bird Motorsport PBM 312.0 2’18.338 9.582 / 0.653
52 Lukas PESEK CZE Came IodaRacing Project Ioda-Suter 309.5 2’18.684 9.928 / 0.346
79 Blake YOUNG USA Attack Performance Racing APR 304.4 2’19.440 10.684 / 0.756
44 Mike BARNES USA GP Tech BCL 286.0 2’21.530 12.774 / 2.090


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