Andrea Dovizioso put Ducati at the top of the timesheets during a dusty opening practice at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina.

The Qatar runner-up took over from Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez by 0.094s on his 14th and final lap of the 45-minutes. However the circuit conditions meant they were some four-seconds from the race lap record.

Nevertheless, Aspar Ducati's Yonny Hernandez delighted the south American fans by posting the third fastest time (+0.343s), followed by the Suzukis of Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro.

Defending event winner Valentino Rossi was one of the last on track but ended up as the quickest Yamaha, in sixth and 0.497s from Dovizioso.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda), Jack Miller (Marc VDS), Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha) and Scott Redding (Pramac Ducati) completed the top ten. Reigning champion and Qatar winner Jorge Lorenzo - the centre of speculation about a move to Ducati next year - began the weekend in twelfth (+1.058s) but times and positions mean little at this stage.

Miller, still recovering from a broken leg in winter training, caught the eye by sliding his RC213V majestically to the top, only to be shuffled down the order.

Unlike in Qatar, teams and riders do not have data from a pre-season test to call upon. Michelin's only prior knowledge of the circuit is from a single day of testing by Michele Pirro in 2015.

Pirro is due to replace the injured Danilo Petrucci at Pramac this weekend, but won't arrive until Saturday.

1. Andrea Dovizioso
2. Marc Marquez
3. Yonny Hernandez
4. Maverick Vi?ales
5. Aleix Espargaro
6. Valentino Rossi
7. Dani Pedrosa
8. Jack Miller
9. Bradley Smith
10. Scott Redding
11. Hector Barbera
12. Jorge Lorenzo
13.Loris Baz
14. Eugene Laverty
15.Alvaro Bautista
16.Stefan Bradl
17.Pol Espargaro
18.Andrea Iannone
19.Tito Rabat
20.Cal Crutchlow



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