Marc Marquez made a mockery of his Laguna Seca rookie status by leading day one of the US MotoGP.
Billed as his toughest circuit of the year, the new world championship leader was third quickest by the close of the morning practice session - the first time he had lapped the track on anything other than a scooter - then went quickest of all in the afternoon.
"In the first free practice the most important thing was to remain calm and take it slowly, and that is what we did,” explained Marquez. “Also, the track conditions and the mist made things tricky. During the first few minutes I was a little stressed on the bike, because I had a lot of work to do.
“It's a brand new track for me, but it is fun. It is very narrow and short, with many bumps so it took a bit of adapting on my behalf. In the second session I found things much more comfortable, I started to enjoy myself and found a pace that was not bad at all.
“We were fastest, but the time we clocked is still a little off the track record. I'm happy with this first day, so we'll see if tomorrow we can continue in the same way and continue to learn the circuit"
LCR Honda's Stefan Bradl was 0.229s behind from the Repsol Honda rider, on a day when Marquez's injured title rivals Dani Pedrosa
and Jorge Lorenzo
were eleventh and sixth respectively.
Marquez holds a two-point lead over team-mate Pedrosa and an eleven point advantage over Yamaha's reigning champion Lorenzo.