Injured Marquez tops first day of pre-season testing

Honda's reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez set the pace on the first day of 2019 pre-season testing at Sepang despite not being fully fit.

Injured Marquez tops first day of pre-season testing

Marquez, who is still recovering from surgery to fix his troubled left shoulder, took over the top spot from Alex Rins just short of halfway into the eight-hour session.

He ended his programme for the day soon after with 29 laps completed, opting to rest and prepare for the second day of testing.

Despite this, Marquez's best time of 1m59.621s was never threatened, even as track activity ramped up in the cooler temperatures of the session's final hour.

Suzuki rider Rins settled for the runner-up spot, a quarter of a second behind Marquez and half a tenth up on third-placed Maverick Vinales, leading the way for Yamaha.

Avintia Ducati rider Tito Rabat broke into the top 10 late on and then snatched a top-four spot in the dying minutes.

He ended the day as top representative for the Bologna marque, narrowly overhauling works team newcomer Danilo Petrucci, who had headed the session before Rins.

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
1/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT
2/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Tech 3

Miguel Oliveira, Red Bull KTM Tech 3
3/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT
4/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Hafizh Syahrin, Red Bull KTM Tech 3

Hafizh Syahrin, Red Bull KTM Tech 3
5/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
6/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP
7/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Danilo Petrucci, Ducati Team

Danilo Petrucci, Ducati Team
8/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
9/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP
10/10

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Vinales' Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi was sixth, ahead of LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami and the other Ducati factory bike of Andrea Dovizioso.

Honda tester Stefan Bradl, deputising for the injured Jorge Lorenzo in the Repsol Honda team in the Sepang test, took the ninth spot.

Early pace-setter Pol Espargaro crashed on a quick lap in the closing stages of the session, but still finished as the top KTM in 10th, beating new teammate Johann Zarco by over eight tenths.

Zarco, who struggled to get to grips with the RC16 during the post-season last year, had another low-key showing.

He finished 20th, outpaced by the satellite Tech 3 bike of rookie Miguel Oliveira in 16th and KTM tester Mika Kallio in 19th.

Jack Miller, who crashed around the same time as Espargaro, took 11th for Pramac Ducati, ahead of Franco Morbidelli on the Petronas SRT Yamaha.

Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro, who topped the Sepang shakedown last week, was 13th, while his new stablemate Andrea Iannone had his day disrupted by a crash on his first run.

Cal Crutchlow, returning from the ankle injury that ended his 2018 season early, finished 14th, ahead of top rookie Pecco Bagnaia of Pramac.

Session results

Pos. Rider Team Time Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda 1:59.621  
2 Alex Rins Suzuki 1:59.880 0.259
3 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1:59.937 0.316
4 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 1:59.983 0.362
5 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 2:00.051 0.430
6 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2:00.054 0.433
7 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 2:00.158 0.537
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2:00.197 0.576
9 Stefan Bradl Honda 2:00.214 0.593
10 Pol Espargaro KTM 2:00.313 0.692
11 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 2:00.383 0.762
12 Franco Morbidelli SRT Yamaha 2:00.460 0.839
13 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2:00.602 0.981
14 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 2:00.681 1.060
15 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 2:00.694 1.073
16 Miguel Oliveira Tech 3 KTM 2:00.902 1.281
17 Yamaha test bike 1 Yamaha 2:00.965 1.344
18 Fabio Quartararo SRT Yamaha 2:00.985 1.364
19 Mika Kallio KTM 2:01.054 1.433
20 Johann Zarco KTM 2:01.121 1.500
21 Andrea Iannone Aprilia 2:01.249 1.628
22 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki 2:01.286 1.665
23 Joan Mir Suzuki 2:01.432 1.811
24 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati 2:01.627 2.006
25 Yamaha test bike 2 Yamaha 2:01.736 2.115
26 Hafizh Syahrin Tech 3 KTM 2:01.853 2.232
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