Marc Marquez, who is within six points of retaking the 125cc title lead, kept the pressure on title rivals Pol Espargaro and Nico Terol by setting the pace during opening practice at Sepang in Malaysia.

Marquez, who won his seventh race of the year last Sunday in Japan, set his best lap n his last lap of the hour, which was good enough to hold off fellow Derbi rider Espargaro by 0.376sec.

Espargaro had crashed early in the session, but recovered to beat championship leader Terol by 0.134sec. Espargaro and Terol were the only riders within one-second of Marquez, with Esteve Rabat in fourth and Bradley Smith fifth.

Friday practice - Sepang:

1. Marquez (Derbi) 2m 14.274s
2. Espargaro (Derbi) +0.376s
3. Terol (Aprilia) +0.510s
4. Rabat (Aprilia) +1.043s
5. Smith (Aprilia) +1.205s
6. Cortese (Derbi) +1.229s
7. Vazquez (Derbi) +1.294s
8. Krummenacher (Aprilia) +1.679s
9. Salom (Aprilia) +1.717s
10. Folger (Aprilia) +1.930s

14. Webb (Aprilia) +3.057s
22. Kent (Lambretta) +5.300s

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