The second official MotoGP test of 2017 began at Phillip Island in Australia on Wednesday.

Tito Rabat is absent due to injuries at Sepang, but the rest of the 2017 grid are present.

Testing took place from 9:45am to 5:45pm. Maverick Vinales led the early stages before world champion Marc Marquez moved ahead.

The Repsol Honda rider (reportedly using the latest RC213V engine on both his bikes) then improved his time, to pull almost half-a-second clear of Vinales.

That advantage remained unchanged until Suzuki's Andrea Iannone and then countryman Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) took over second place in the final minutes.

Nevertheless, Marquez held on to claim the end-of-day top spot for the first time this year.

Earlier, the red flags had appeared after three hours in order for repairs to the tyre wall at Turn 6, following falls for Sam Lowes and Alvaro Bautista. An earlier interruption was for wildlife on track!

Scott Redding, Hector Barbera and Pol Espargaro also fell on Wednesday, alongside another tumble for Lowes.

The track action continues on Thursday and Friday.

CLICK HERE to view live updates on Twitter, CLICK HERE to view on Crash.net.

1. = Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 29.497s [Lap 53/68] 2. ^ Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 29.683s +0.186s [76/77] 3. ^ Andrea Iannone ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 1m 29.926s +0.429s [68/70] 4. Maverick Vi?ales ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 1m 29.989s +0.492s [26/64] 5. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 1m 30.065s +0.568s [61/61] 6. ^ Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 30.262s +0.765s [87/87] 7. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 1m 30.281s +0.784s [13/55] 8. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 30.410s +0.913s [16/64] 9. = Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 1m 30.426s +0.929s [80/82] 10. Jonas Folger GER Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 30.578s +1.081s [30/62] 11. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP17) 1m 30.631s +1.134s [33/61] 12. Alvaro Bautista ESP Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 30.770s +1.273s [24/68] 13. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 30.771s +1.274s [7/51] 14. Aleix Espargaro ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 1m 30.802s +1.305s [26/28] 15. = Johann Zarco FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1)* 1m 30.867s +1.370s [77/80] 16. = Karel Abraham CZE Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 31.179s +1.682s [17/61] 17. = Pol Espargaro ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 1m 31.200s +1.703s [54/59] 18. = Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP15) 1m 31.249s +1.752s [56/60] 19. = Alex Rins ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)* 1m 31.432s +1.935s [66/66] 20. = Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP16) 1m 31.755s +2.258s [33/59] 21. = Sam Lowes GBR Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP)* 1m 32.307s +2.810s [15/35] 22. = Bradley Smith GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing (RC16) 1m 32.690s +3.193s [43/57]

CLICK HERE for pictures from the test...

Key: ^ Rider has a higher position than end of previous hour. = Rider has same position as end of previous hour. Rider has a lower position than end of previous hour.

Blue Name = Rides for Factory Team. Red Name = Rides for Satellite Team.
* Rookie

2016 Australian MotoGP: Best lap: Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 30.189s (Qualifying 2) Fastest race lap: Cal Crutchlow GBR Honda 1m 29.494s

Official Phillip Island MotoGP records: Best lap: Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha 1m 27.899s (2013) Fastest race lap: Marc Marquez SPA Honda 1m 28.108s (2013)

By Peter McLaren

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