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MotoGP Argentina: Marquez leads Crutchlow in warm-up, Lorenzo threatens

Marc Marquez fastest from Cal Crutchlow in warm-up for the MotoGP of Argentina, but...
Pole sitter Marc Marquez led MotoGP morning warm-up in Argentina by 0.340s from Cal Crutchlow, but the end result didn't tell the whole story of the session.

Reigning double world champion Marquez, like fellow Honda rider Crutchlow, is still undecided about rear tyre choice for the race. The pair only moved to the top of warm-up after fitting their softer (hard) option in the closing stages.

Until then it had been Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo who dominated the session, running the new extra-hard rear tyre - with Crutchlow in third and Marquez fifth.

Lorenzo and the other M1 riders, plus the likes of Marc VDS Honda rider Scott Redding, already look to have decided on the extra-hard tyre for the race. Meanwhile Marquez and Crutchlow are clearly tempted by the early grip boost offered by the hard, which the rest of the field (using the Open class rules) will use.

Marquez and Lorenzo looked evenly matched in terms of their average speed on the extra-hard, although Lorenzo has the added knowledge of 12 successive laps while Marquez only did four extra-hard laps.

After changing to the hard rear Marquez lowered his average lap time by half-a-second, but how much more will the hard tyre degrade relative to the extra-hard, should he select it for the 25-lap grand prix?

Crutchlow also had a similar average speed to Lorenzo and Marquez during his brief extra-hard run, before pumping out a 1m 38s during a single flying lap on the hard rear at the end of the session.

Lorenzo meanwhile looks assured of a consistent pace on the extra-hard, but may need to be patient if the Honda, Ducati and Suzuki riders pull an early lead on the hard rear.

Front row starter Andrea Iannone was the top Desmosedici this morning in fourth place. With no tyre choice to make, the Italian put in 12 laps on the hard rear. While Lorenzo was still able to break into the 1m 39s on his tenth lap, Iannone slipped into the 1m 40s from his sixth lap onwards.

Fifth quickest (+0.727s) was Lorenzo's team-mate and world championship leader Valentino Ross, who has qualified down in eighth. The Doctor is looking much more competitive than his qualifying and warm-up positions suggest, staying in the 1m 39s for all but three of his twelve successive morning laps - including the final three laps.

After a disastrous 18th in qualifying, Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Pol Espargaro raised his spirits with sixth in warm-up followed by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and Redding. Espargaro and Redding, who tangled on the first lap in Texas, only set one sub-1m 40s lap, while Dovizioso clocked six but with a pit stop in-between.

Yonny Hernandez (Pramac Ducati) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3) completed the top ten, with Suzuki's front row star Aleix Espargaro in eleventh place (+1.343s). Espargaro was not able to break into the 1m 40s this morning.

1. Marc Marquez
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Andrea Iannone
5. Valentino Rossi
6. Pol Espargaro
7. Andrea Dovizioso
8. Scott Redding
9. Yonny Hernandez
10. Bradley Smith
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Nicky Hayden
13. Eugene Laverty
14. Karel Abraham
15. Stefan Bradl
16. Hiroshi Aoyama
17. Mike Di Meglio
18. Danilo Petrucci
19. Alvaro Bautista
20. Alex De Angelis
21. Jack Miller
22. Hector Barbera
23. Loris Baz
24. Marco Melandri
25. Maverick ViƱales

Tagged as: Honda , Marquez

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