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MotoGP Austin: Marquez 'feeling good' after five fast laps in dry

Marc Marquez tops FP2 times after conditions improve in FP2 as MotoGP world champion targets third consecutive premier class victory in Austin
Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez assumed a familiar position in Austin as the MotoGP world champion topped the times following the opening day of free practice at the Circuit of the Americas.

Marquez finished second fastest in the wet FP1 session behind Andrea Dovizioso but made his mark in FP2 as the track began to dry out in the closing stages, setting his fastest lap on his final circuit to top the leaderboard in 2m 04.835s.

The Honda rider is aiming for a third straight win in Texas as he bids to make amends for a first corner mistake in the season opener in Qatar, which left Marquez languishing in last place.

He eventually powered through the field to finish fifth and the two-time premier class champion will be out to finish on the top step once more on Sunday.

Marquez, whose time was 0.327s quicker than Cal Crutchlow in second place on the LCR Honda, said: “Today was a positive day and in general it went fairly well. In the morning we rode in wet conditions, which was important because it is possible that Sunday's race will be under the same circumstances and we were able to discard a few things.

“In the second session we were able to ride in the dry and, although we only put in five fast laps, the feeling was good and we could draw a few conclusions,” he added.

“Let's hope that tomorrow the weather is dry and we can continue trying out some modifications to the bike to improve further, although the important thing is that our initial feeling is positive.”

With Dani Pedrosa recovering from surgery to alleviate a recurring arm pump problem, HRC test rider Hiroshi Aoyama was drafted into the team as his replacement, finishing FP1 in 12th place in the wet and 16th in FP2.

“Unfortunately this morning's session was in wet conditions which wasn't the easiest start for me in learning how to ride this bike,” said Aoyama.

“We adjusted the bike a little and by the end I had more confidence. This afternoon it was slightly damp still but we rode on the slicks so I could get some experience in drier conditions,” added the Japanese rider.

“We didn't really change too much on the bike, I just needed to put in some laps as I'm still missing a good feeling on the bike.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marquez, Grand Prix of the Americas, 2015.
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Dovizioso, Espargaro Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Rossi, Crutchlow, Vinales, Australian MotoGP 2016
Maverick Vinales, Dovizioso Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Maverick Vinales, Aleix Espargaro, Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Crutchlow Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Pol Espargaro, Crutchlow Australian MotoGP Race 2016
Marquez, Australian MotoGP Race 2016

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