2014 Circuit of the Americas MotoGP FP1Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez continues to impress. The 21-year-old Spaniard won the opening round of 2014 MotoGP at Qatar six weeks after breaking his leg, and continued this performance Friday into round 2 at Austin’s Circuit of the America.
The reigning MotoGP Champion was quickest during the first free practice Friday, posting a 2:04.704 around 3.426-mile circuit containing 20 corners.This is no surprise for Marquez, who took his first premier-class win last year during COTA’s debut MotoGP race. En route, he also took the pole and set the fastest lap of 2:03.21.Marquez finished FP1 0.887 of a second ahead of Open-option rider Aleix Espargaro aboard the NGM Forward Racing Yamaha. The next closest rider, and final one to post within a second of Marquez, was his factory teammate Dani Pedrosa, who was 0.972 of a second behind.The three Spaniards were followed by two Italians -Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, respectively. Rossi trailed by 1.268 of a second, and Dovi by 1.575.Finishing sixth was Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Bradley Smith, who was 1.632 of a second off the top time.Though Ducati Team’s Cal Crutchlow suffered some technical issues aboard his GP14, which runs under the Open option, he finished seventhLCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl, Pramac Racing Ducati’s Andrea Iannone, and GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top 10. Like Crutchlow, Bautista also suffer some technical issues, and would later return on his second RC213V prototype.As for two-time MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider’s YZR-M1 was more than two seconds off the top time as he continues to struggle with edge grip.American Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar Honda) was 2.746 seconds off the top time, followed by his compatriot, the retiring Colin Edwards (NGM Forward Racing Yamaha), who was 2.940 seconds behind Marquez.The riders will return to COTA for the second and final free practice of Friday.2014 Austin MotoGP Free Practice 1 Results – Circuit of the Americas:
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!