Marc Marquez starts his quest for a seventh COTA MotoGP victory with a perfect Friday practice double, in both wet and dry conditions, at the bumpy Texan track.

After a wet FP1, the track continued to dry, allowing the premier-class their first slick laps of the weekend in afternoon.

Marquez was fastest until Francesco Bagnaia and then Takaaki Nakagami burst to the top in the closing stages, when riders began fitting new soft rear tyres to try and get inside the top ten in case of Saturday rain.

A lowly 15th in the wet, Monster Yamaha's title leader Fabio Quartararo hit the top with 2mins to go - as Andrea Dovizioso also turned heads by briefly popping up to sixth at the start of his second Petronas Yamaha weekend.

Marquez restored order in the final minute when a soft tyre surge of his own put the Repsol Honda star 0.2s clear of Quartararo, before Ducati's Jack Miller came just 0.015s short of snatching P1 to repeat his morning position.

Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and then Miguel Oliveira (KTM) fell in quick sucession during the final minutes, meaning - like Brad Binder and Suzuki's world chmpion Joan Mir - they are currently heading for Qualifying 1. Iker Lecuona was another faller.

Marquez has a perfect pole record at the Texan track and has won six of the seven MotoGP races, falling while leading in 2019.

Johann Zarco is riding for the first time since arm pump surgery, while Mir has a Kevin Schwantz-style helmet and racing number this weekend.

MotoGP is returning to COTA for the first time since the 2019 event, after which further resurfacing work was carried out on around 40% of the track (Turns 1-2, 9-10, 16-19, plus the back straight) to alleviate bumps. However, bikes and riders are still being badly kicked around. 

As a result of the resurfacing and change of date from April, Michelin is providing a fourth rear tyre option (two hard compounds), while wet weather is also forecast.

COTA has the most corners (20) in MotoGP, including the slowest of the season at just 50km/h (Turn 11). The following back straight is the longest in MotoGP at 1.2km and ends with the hardest braking on the calendar, from over 330km/h to less than 60km/h.

Maverick Vinales has withdrawn from the COTA event after the tragic death of his young cousin Dean Berta Vinales in last weekend's Jerez WorldSSP300 race...

Austin MotoGP, COTA - Free Practice (2) Results
Pos RiderNatTeamTime/DiffLapMax
1=Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)2'04.164s16/17342k
2=Jack MillerAUSDucati Team (GP21)+0.015s17/17346k
3^12Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.202s15/17342k
4^1Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.388s16/16344k
5^11Takaaki NakagamiJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+0.448s13/16342k
6^2Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Team (GP21)+0.499s16/16341k
7^12Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP21)*+0.513s14/15341k
8˅5Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP21)+0.559s14/15346k
9˅2Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.638s16/18339k
10^8Enea BastianiniITAAvintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.672s16/16342k
11˅2Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)+0.688s15/16342k
12˅1Luca MariniITASky VR46 Avintia Ducati (GP19)*+0.769s16/16343k
13˅1Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.930s15/15341k
14^7Andrea DoviziosoITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+0.973s14/15339k
15^2Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.132s13/14339k
16˅10Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.450s16/16341k
17^3Valentino RossiITAPetronas Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.467s16/16338k
18˅14Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.518s9/14341k
19˅5Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Gresini (RS-GP)+2.045s10/12345k
20˅7Danilo PetrucciITAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+2.071s13/14335k
21˅11Iker LecuonaSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)+2.093s16/16342k

* Rookie

^X Rider is X positions higher than FP1.
= Rider is same position as FP1.
˅X Rider is X positions lower than FP1.

Official COTA MotoGP records:
Best lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 2m 2.135s (2015)
Fastest race lap:
Marc Marquez SPA Honda 2m 3.375s (2014)

By Peter McLaren