Valentino Rossi set the pace during opening practice for the Indianapolis MotoGP on Friday morning.

The session marked MotoGP's debut on the revised infield layout, which has seen five of the tightest corners opened out and a new track surface to replace the previous patchwork of different asphalt.

"I am very happy about the new track layout because it is definitely improved compared to the old one; it is faster and it makes easier riding the bike," said Rossi, who lapped 4.5s under the former race lap record.

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"The best and biggest step forward is the new surface, because this works very well. There's a lot more grip than last year and less bumps. I think the people here at Indy have done a great job. The first session has gone well but we must improve further. I am looking forward to this afternoon."

The nine time world champion moved ahead of reigning title holder Marc Marquez in the closing stages of FP1. The Italian then returned to the top on his final lap after being briefly displaced by Ducati's Andrea Iannone.

Iannone narrowly lost another place to Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith, who lapped just 0.034s from Rossi. Jorge Lorenzo concluded the session just behind Marquez in sixth, with a lap time 0.549s behind team-mate Rossi.

"I like the new asphalt, it's consistently same all along the track, not like in the past, where you had three different kind of tarmac," said Lorenzo. "There are definitely less bumps and the new lay-out makes the track more fun. Now it's also more suitable to our bike, as there's no first gear corners.

"It's not been easy to recover the pace after one month and I struggled a little bit but I am sure things will get better in the next practices, starting from this afternoon."

Rossi starts round ten holding third in the world championship, led by the unbeaten Marquez, with Lorenzo in fifth.