#AusTest Day 1: Marquez sets the marker
Under more seasonable skies than have sometimes greeted the MotoGP™ paddock upon arrival for the race weekend at Phillip Island in October, the second Official Test of 2017 saw blue overhead but a stiff breeze keeping the grid from heading out straight away – with new Ducati Team arrival Jorge Lorenzo one of the first to get down to work. By the end of Day 1, it was compatriot Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who topped the timesheets, as the Spaniard put in a 1:29.497.
There were some crashes for the field including Hector Barbera (Reale Esponsorama Racing) and Sam Lowes (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), and two Red Flags on Day 1. One saw animals on track cause a short stoppage, before a crash for Lowes at Turn 6 – rider ok – damaged the tyre barrier and necessitated some repair work.
The day’s fastest man, Marc Marquez, spent the day working with the engine specification chosen in Sepang alongside teammate Dani Pedrosa. The reigning Champion put in 68 laps and set his best on his 53rd. Pedrosa, who spent most of the day in P4 before a late charge from some others in the top ten, ended the first session in seventh on a 1:30.280, after 55 laps.
Red Bull KTM Racing continue their progress in MotoGP™ as they prepare for their full-time debut in Qatar, with Pol Espargaro putting in a 1:31.200 as the fastest Austrian machine on Day 1.
Action continues at Phillip Island on Thursday, with the grid eager to head back out and continue their 2017 preparations as lights out in Qatar begins to loom large.
The RacerViews information
By Leonard Smith, February 2017
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