World champion Marc Marquez held a near two-second advantage during the early stages of opening practice for MotoGP's return to Argentina, but finished the session down in 14th and 2.299s behind leader Jorge Lorenzo.

The reason was that the Repsol Honda rider, undefeated in the two rounds so far this year, had chosen to remain on one set of tyres throughout the 45-minutes around the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.

"The feeling is quite good and the track seems nice, but the grip level was pretty low," said Marquez, seen sliding the rear across the turn ten kerbs. "The tyre life was very, very short and after just three laps it was completely destroyed - especially in the beginning. I am confident we will improve this afternoon when the track conditions are better!"

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Team-mate Dani Pedrosa was the only Factory class rider slower than Marquez, in 16th and 2.9s behind Yamaha's Lorenzo. He also remained on the same rubber.

"This morning we didn't learn very much as after two or three laps the rear tyre was destroyed and we chose not to put on a new tyre in this session but instead wait until this afternoon - when I'm sure the track conditions will be better," said Pedrosa.

Second practice takes place this afternoon.

Argentina last held a MotoGP round in 1999.