to view the Free Practice 1 results for the 2014 MotoGP of Argentina.
- Jorge Lorenzo leads first Argentine MotoGP track session since 1999.
- Marc Marquez dominates early part of session before dropping to 14th.
- Rear tyre wear a concern.
Jorge Lorenzo helped put a disastrous start to the 2014 MotoGP season behind him by being fastest during Argentina's first MotoGP's practice session since 1999, on Friday morning at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.
Double world champion Lorenzo, who fell from the lead in Qatar then made a jump start in Texas, moved his Movistar Yamaha 0.481s clear of Forward Yamaha's Open class star Aleix Espargaro on the 16th of his 18 laps.
Alvaro Bautista (Gresini Honda) and Andrea Iannone (Pramac Ducati) were the only riders within one-second of Lorenzo, whose best lap time of 1m 43.880s is already under the 1m 44.188s set by Stefan Bradl during last year's debut test at the circuit, when four satellite/CRT riders took to the track in dirty and damp conditions.
Riding in overcast and breezy conditions, with an air temperature of 20 degrees, reigning champion Marc Marquez had bolted out of the blocks to sit 1.9s clear of the field in the early stages.
But Marquez - undefeated in the first two races - dropped back to an eventual 14th place for Repsol Honda, 2.299s behind Lorenzo, but it thought to have stuck with the same set of tyres throughout. By contrast, team-mate Dani Pedrosa set his best lap towards the end, but was only 16th and the slowest Factory class rider.
Others to feature at the front during the 45 minute session - delayed due to a late start for the previous Moto3 session, caused by technical communication issues between the marshals - suffered similar fortunes.
Like Marquez, Lorenzo and Aleix Espargaro, brother Pol Espargaro, Valentino Rossi and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso also occupied P1 at some stage, but were left sixth (Pol Espargaro), eighth (Dovizioso) and tenth (Rossi).
Movistar Yamaha's Rossi is the only rider on track who has competed in a previous Argentine round, at Buenos Aires.
Turns nine and turn ten, a left-right combination, is one of the signature sections of the new circuit due to up-down-up changes of elevation and rear-wheel slides over the turn ten kerbs.
The sweeping downhill turn six left hander, which follows the hairpin at the end of the 1km back straight, is also producing power slides. A long series of tightening right handers (not dissimilar to those that follow the back straight at Misano) leads into the final left-hand kink.
Due to the unknown nature of the circuit, Bridgestone is offering three rather than the usual two front tyre choices. Rear choice remains hard or medium for the Factory class Hondas and Yamahas, with soft or medium for the Open class and Ducati riders.
However many riders were already trying the hardest tyre options on offer this morning, with all signs pointing to high levels of tyre wear.
Only Bradl (LCR Honda), Bautista (Gresini Honda), Cal Crutchlow (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Hector Barbera (Avintia) had prior knowledge of the circuit from last July's test.
Crutchlow, now at Ducati, is absent this weekend due to hand injuries sustained in Austin. The Englishman is being replaced by factory test rider Michele Pirro, who was twelfth in FP1.
Colombian Yonny Hernandez, the nearest thing to a home rider in the premier-class, made an appearance in the top five on his way to 13th for Pramac Ducati.
Michael Laverty was the only faller, during an otherwise impressive showing for the PBM rider who was inside the top ten for large parts of the session.
Instead it was Production Honda riders Nicky Hayden (ninth) and rookie Scott Redding (eleventh) who were best of the rest for the Open class behind Aleix Espargaro.
Free Practice 2 takes place this afternoon, when lap times are predicted to tumble as grip levels increase.
Free Practice 1:
1. Jorge Lorenzo
2. Aleix Espargaro
3. Alvaro Bautista
4. Andrea Iannone
5. Bradley Smith
6. Pol Espargaro
7. Stefan Bradl
8. Andrea Dovizioso
9. Nicky Hayden
10. Valentino Rossi
11. Scott Redding
12. Michele Pirro
13. Yonny Hernandez
14. Marc Marquez
15. Hiroshi Aoyama
16. Dani Pedrosa
17. Colin Edwards
18. Danilo Petrucci
19. Michael Laverty
20. Mike Di Meglio
21. Broc Parkes
22. Hector Barbera
23. Karel Abraham