On paper, Marc Marquez made a perfect start to the COTA MotoGP weekend by leading both Friday practice sessions, held in wet and then dry conditions.

It wasn't exactly a surprise, given Marquez has won six of the previous seven Austin races (falling from the lead in the other) and has finished first (Sachsenring) and second (Aragon) at other anti-clockwise tracks this year.

Yet the Repsol Honda rider, who looked back to his aggressive best at times as he slid and wrestled with the RC213V, said he hadn't felt anything like as fast as the lap time indicated.

"Honestly, the feeling on the bike was not so good. Then when I stopped in the box I saw I was in front," Marquez said. "From my feeling on the bike, I'd say 'I'm not riding well'. But then I stopped in the box and saw I was on top.

"It's strange. I'm happy for the result but not the performance and feeling.

"I mean the feeling is not the best. One of my strong points was T1 in the past and now I'm losing a lot there. Especially Turns 3-4-5 I cannot change direction, I'm in delay. But still the lap time arrived.

"I hope tomorrow it will rain a bit more in some practices because like this I will survive the whole weekend better!"

The physical challenge faced by Marquez and his weakened right shoulder is exacerbated by the critical level of bumps, or more precisely undulations, on the Texan track.

"It's a circuit that I love and a layout I like, but the bumps are in the limit," he said. "I mean the condition of the surface is in the limit, because they are not real bumps, it's more like the surface is moving. It's so difficult."

Other riders said MotoGP shouldn't return next year without a complete resurfacing after previous partial work has failed to contain the problem.

"Of course now the level of the tracks in the MotoGP World Championship is really high and the surface is always really nice," Marquez said. "But I remember Laguna Seca 2013 also was really bumpy. Indianapolis also was some bumps then they resurfaced and it was much better, but for some years it was bumpy like here.

"But it's true and I agree it's in the limit. Every year it is getting worse and worse. They need to understand why but it's difficult to fix the problem because for me it's not like [normal] bumps from the asphalt, it's bumps from the ground.

"Maybe the ground is moving because of the storms, I don’t know why, but it's moving and you need to adapt some of your lines."

The #93 added: "Apart from that it's true that it's a physical track and even when you are fit it difficult to finish the race in a good way.

"But it's also true that the back straight helps a lot now because you can relax a bit, because they resurfaced there and it's not bumpy.

"So let's see tomorrow and try to improve, because the others will improve."

Ducati's Jack Miller was Marquez's closest rival in both sessions, finishing the day just 0.015s behind the eight time world champion.

Meanwhile, Pol Espargaro (Repsol) and Takaaki Nakagami(LCR) made it three Hondas in the top five.