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Marc Marquez leads the way in Austin despite crash

Repsol Honda Team rider comfortably leads both practice sessions on Friday, despite a crash in the afternoon. Dani Pedrosa improves steadily and finishes eighth.

 

Marc Marquez | Courtesy of HRC REPSOL Press Office
Marc Marquez | Courtesy of HRC REPSOL Press Office

 
The first day of practice for the Grand Prix of The Americas saw Marc Marquez in the kind of form typical of the Spaniard in Austin. Since his first visit in 2013, he has led 17 of the 20 sessions held at the Texan track (all except FP3 and the warmup in 2013, and FP1 last year). Despite a crash on the final corner halfway through the second session, the Repsol Honda Team rider went back out on track and continued to improve, to close the day with a time of 2:04.034 –topping the timesheets 7 tenths ahead of the rider in second place. Dani Pedrosa was tenth in the first Free Practice, but improved by more than a second to finally set a time of 2:05.194 and finish eighth overall.

 
MARC MARQUEZ
“Overall, I’m happy with how the day went. Acceleration was something of an unknown, but it seems initially that it is not as much of a factor here as at other circuits, because most of the corner exits here are in first gear, and we don’t lose so much. This morning we briefly tested some new winglets that effectively reduce the wheelying a little bit, but we need to test them further to better understand the bike’s behaviour with them. In the afternoon I had a small crash in which I was unhurt. I saw that I was going very well on a lap and, on the last corner, I left my braking until a little later than before. I found out where the limit is. I’m happy with how the day went but we can still continue to improve.”

 
DANI PEDROSA
“Today has been quite difficult because we’re still looking for the best setting for this track. After the last race, we decided to try something new this morning, but it didn’t provide the feeling I was hoping for, so we changed it again in the afternoon. We improved our pace but it’s still far from what I am looking for. This track requires good acceleration as well as braking and handling, so we’ll continue working to improve our feeling when riding, in order to get more comfortable and, as a result, improve our times.”

 

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