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San Marino MotoGP: Honda from Yamaha in first Misano practice

Marc Marquez fastest during Free Practice 1 for the San Marino MotoGP at Misano.
Yamaha may have its new seamless gearbox for the San Marino MotoGP, but it was Repsol Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa who began the Misano weekend on top.

Rookie championship leader Marquez dominated the Friday morning session, holding an advantage of almost one-second over next best Pedrosa by the halfway stage.

But while Marquez set his best time on lap 10 of 21, Pedrosa - who had an interrupted start after pitting for machine checks - got quicker to his 18th and final lap, concluding the session just 0.222s behind.

Despite a freshly dislocated shoulder last time at Silverstone, Marquez battled Jorge Lorenzo for victory to the final turn and enlarged his world championship lead to 30 points over Pedrosa.

Reigning double champion Lorenzo is 39 points behind Marquez with six rounds to go and was 0.426s slower this morning. Rossi, whose home town of Tavullia is a few kilometres from the circuit, was just behind him in fourth (0.502s).

Both M1 riders do not expect a great improvement in lap time from the seamless gearbox, but the shorter, smoother shifts make the bike more stable and easier to ride at the limit. Honda and Ducati already use their own versions of the technology.

Satellite Honda riders Alvaro Bautista - riding for the local Gresini team - and LCR's Stefan Bradl began the weekend fifth and sixth, with Nicky Hayden the top Ducati and the final rider within one-second of Marquez.

Hayden's team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was a fraction slower as the home manufacturer appeared to gain little early advantage from its private tests at Misano. The tests may however have helped factory test rider Michele Pirro, standing in for the long injured Ben Spies at Pramac, who claimed ninth place, just ahead of top CRT rider Aleix Espargaro (Aspar).

Tech 3 Yamaha riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith, who do not have the new gearbox, were just eleventh and 13th this morning.

Free Practice 1:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Dani Pedrosa
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Valentino Rossi
5. Alvaro Bautista
6. Stefan Bradl
7. Nicky Hayden
8. Andrea Dovizioso
9. Michele Pirro
10. Aleix Espargaro
11. Cal Crutchlow
12. Hector Barbera
13. Bradley Smith
14. Colin Edwards
15. Hiroshi Aoyama
16. Randy De Puniet
17. Andrea Iannone
18. Danilo Petrucci
19. Claudio Corti
20. Yonny Hernandez
21. Karel Abraham
22. Michael Laverty
23. Bryan Staring
24. Lukas Pesek

Related Pictures

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Pedrosa, Espargaro, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Dovizioso, Qatar MotoGP 2017
Barbera, Qatar MotoGP 2017

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