Full Malaysian MotoGP FP1 results from Sepang

Andrea Dovizioso has topped the opening free practice session at Sepang ahead of a resurgent Movistar Yamaha duo in Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, as Jorge Lorenzo makes a steady injury comeback.

The Ducati rider, winner of the past two Malaysian MotoGP races, stormed to the top of the times with his late quick lap run on fresh soft tyres with a 1m 59.697s. Rossi, also on a qualifying-style blast at the end of the session, vaulted up from outside the top 10 to second place and just 0.070s off his fellow Italian.

The factory Yamaha squad were given encouraging signs as Rossi’s team-mate Vinales battled Marquez during the opening runs for top spot before the Phillip Island race-winner claimed third place at the chequered flag.

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Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller grabbed fourth at the end of FP1 having briefly led by setting his quick lap before his main rivals. Danilo Petrucci slotted into fifth place directly behind his Australian team-mate to edge out Suzuki’s Alex Rins with the top six covered by just over half a second.

Rins had an eventful start to his Malaysian MotoGP when one of his bikes caught fire during Thursday set-up but after a lengthy repair job the fire isn’t expected to impact the Spaniard’s race weekend.

Aleix Espargaro produced an eye-catching seventh place on the experimental Aprilia machine with Alvaro Bautista, who returns to his Angel Nieto Ducati squad after filling in for the injured Jorge Lorenzo, in eighth place as Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) rounded out the top ten.

Marquez narrowly held on the final provisional Q2 spot despite not targeting an outright quick lap at the end of FP1 to see Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone miss out in 11th place.

Lorenzo’s injury comeback, having undergone surgery on his left wrist last week which ruled him out of the Phillip Island race, saw him complete 13 laps in FP1 – joint-fewest of any rider with Xavier Simeon who crashed – with the factory Ducati rider propping up the bottom of the times 3.507s off his timesheet-leading team-mate.

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