Marco Bezzecchi had the honour of topping the first-ever session to be held at the Buddh International Circuit as the inaugural Indian MotoGP got underway in scorching conditions.
A tricky first touch for the riders, many of whom would suffer off-track moments particularly under braking for Turn 1, it was VR46 Ducati rider Bezzecchi that would ultimately shake out on top of the extended session.
The only rider to break into the 1m 45secs bracket, Bezzecchi’s table topping time of 1m 45.990s was enough to resist the attentions of Marc Marquez, who headed up a positive FP1 session for Honda a little more than a tenth adrift of his Italian rival.
Brad Binder and Maverick Vinales ensured four different manufacturers inside the top four with third and fourth on their respective factory KTM and Aprilia machines, while Raul Fernandez continued the good form shown from his career-best finish in Misano with a run to the fifth best time on the RNF Aprilia.
Johann Zarco headed up a run of four consecutive Ducatis down to ninth, the Frenchman leading Luca Marini, Jorge Martin and Fabio di Giannantonio, while Joan Mir made a rare appearance in the top ten on the second of the Repsol Hondas in tenth place.
Augusto Fernandez headed up the GasGas challenge in 11th, though there was less good news for team-mate Pol Espargaro who - after crashing five times during the Misano weekend - was down on two occasions once again at the start of the Indian event.
Still, he fared better than Takaaki Nakagami, who looked quick before hurling his LCR Honda into the gravel trap at Turn 1, the Japanese rider forced to miss much of the session as his crew prepare to repair his very damaged Honda RC213V.
Elsewhere, Pecco Bagnaia chose a steady start to the weekend with the 15th fastest time as he looks to build confidence and preserve his fitness in sweltering conditions on the factory Ducati, but there were big problems for Yamaha Racing after two identical mechanical issues early on for Fabio Quartararo forced the team to box both the Frenchman and Franco Morbidelli as a precaution after only a handful of laps.
|2023 Indian MotoGP | Buddh International Circuit, India | Race Results | Round 13 of 20|
|1||Marco Bezzecchi||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 45.990|
|2||Marc Marquez||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 46.129|
|3||Brad Binder||🇿🇦||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 46.310|
|4||Raul Fernandez||🇪🇦||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 46.371|
|5||Maverick Vinales||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 46.478|
|6||Johann Zarco||🇨🇵||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 46.576|
|7||Luca Marini||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 46.609|
|8||Jorge Martin||🇪🇦||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 46.610|
|9||Fabio di Giannantonio||🇮🇹||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 46.778|
|10||Joan Mir||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 46.805|
|11||Augusto Fernandez||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 46.827|
|12||Takaaki Nakagami||🇯🇵||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V||1m 46.966|
|13||Aleix Espargaro||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 46.974|
|14||Alex Marquez||🇪🇦||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 47.017|
|15||Pecco Bagnaia||🇮🇹||Ducati Lenovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 47.050|
|16||Jack Miller||🇦🇺||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 47.371|
|17||Miguel Oliveira||🇵🇹||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 47.419|
|18||Pol Espargaro||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 47.480|
|19||Fabio Quartararo||🇨🇵||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 47.514|
|20||Michele Pirro||🇮🇹||Aruba Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 48.028|
|21||Franco Morbidelli||🇮🇹||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 48.105|
|22||Stefan Bradl||🇩🇪||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V||1m 48.745|