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MotoGP Jerez: Lorenzo leads FP1, injured Marquez 8th

Jorge Lorenzo fastest during Free Practice 1 for the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez, Marc Marquez eighth in first session with finger injury.
Jorge Lorenzo made the perfect start to his quest for a first 2015 podium this Sunday at Jerez by leading opening practice for his home Spanish MotoGP.

The Movistar Yamaha rider has been left no higher than fourth in the opening trio of races, while watching team-mate Valentino Rossi streak into an early title lead with two wins and a third.

But the Spaniard fought back by dominating the first European session of the season, being unchallenged at the top from the sixth minute onwards. Although Lorenzo only finished 0.049s clear of Aleix Espargaro, the Suzuki rider needed the special Open class soft tyre to jump up from eighth in the final minutes.

Lorenzo's 1m 39.174s is comfortably under his own official race record while his advantage over the next best factory class Yamaha or Honda rider was 0.563s from Cal Crutchlow, the Englishman backing up his first LCR podium by repeating the position in FP1.

Former Factory Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso was fourth, while reportedly trying a rear thumb brake this morning.

Further down the order, all eyes were on the injured Marc Marquez, who has dropped 30-points behind Rossi after their clash in Argentina and is riding with a fractured finger after a friend ran over his hand in a dirt track accident.

The reigning double world champion underwent surgery to have a plate inserted into the finger that same day, and but knows the pain will 'disturb' him this weekend'. Repsol Honda modified the left handlebar grip to try and help Marquez, who finished the session in eighth place (+0.740s) after running wide at the final turn of his final lap. Marquez completed 17 laps.

Rossi was two places above Marquez in the FP1 standings, 0.698s behind Lorenzo, having bucked the trend among the factory class riders by setting his best at the end of the session. Suzuki rookie Maverick Vinales split Rossi and Lorenzo on the timesheets.

By contrast Open class riders Hector Barbera, Stefan Bradl, Loris Baz (who got a tow behind Marquez) and Eugene Laverty all made late gains. 14th place Laverty was within one-second of Lorenzo.

Marc VDS rider Scott Redding has received the factory class Honda chassis upgrade, beginning the weekend in tenth (+0.793s).

Second practice takes place this afternoon.

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

Modified left grip to assist @marcmarquez93 with his broken finger. #SpanishGP

A photo posted by Repsol Honda Team (@hrc_motogp) on

Tagged as: Yamaha , Lorenzo

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