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Malaysian MotoGP, Practice | Alex Marquez paces Sepang on Friday, from Martin, KTMs

Gold & Goose
Alex Marquez, Gresini Racing, Ducati GP22, Malaysian MotoGP, Sepang, action [Gold & Goose]

Alex Marquez kicked off proceedings with the quickest time in Friday free practice for the Malaysian MotoGP, the Gresini rider heading up title hopeful Jorge Martin at Sepang.

The Spaniard shook out on top during the final time attacks towards the end of Practice, his 1m 57.823secs lap earning him a slender margin on top over Martin.

The only other rider to dip below 1m 58secs, Martin had the early edge over title rival Pecco Bagnaia, the pair coming into this weekend’s event just 13 points adrift following the Pramac Racing rider’s win in Thailand.


KTM enjoyed a strong start to its weekend with Jack Miller and Brad Binder chasing the Ducati duo up top in third and fourth, while Maverick Vinales headed up Aprilia’s challenge in fifth place on the RS-GP.

Ducati were once again the dominant force among the riders booking their place in Saturday’s Q2 directly with Luca Marini, Bagnaia, Marco Bezzecchi and Johann Zarco in sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth respectively

Interspersed among them was 2021 MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo in seventh place, the Frenchman the only Japanese manufacturer represented to crack into the top ten.

His team-mate Franco Morbidelli led those left on the bubble in 11th place, the Italian leading Enea Bastianini on the second of the factory Ducati Lenovo Team machines, Augusto Fernandez on the GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 KTM and Fabio di Giannantonio on the Gresini Racing Ducati.

Elsewhere, Alvaro Bautista got his much anticipated Sepang wild-card underway, the newly-crowned WorldSBK Champion - in his first event since 2018 - starting off steadily with the 22nd fastest time on the Aruba.it Racing Ducati, +2.5secs off the leading pace.

2023 Malaysian MotoGP | Sepang International Circuit | Practice Results | Round 18 of 20
PosNameNatTeamMotorcycleLap Time
1Alex Marquez🇪🇦Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 57.823
2Jorge Martin🇪🇦Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 57.997
3Jack Miller🇦🇺Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 58.232
4Brad Binder🇿🇦Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM RC161m 58.307
5Maverick Vinales🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 58.312
6Luca Marini🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 58.334
7Fabio Quartararo🇨🇵Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 58.399
8Pecco Bagnaia🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 58.420
9Marco Bezzecchi🇮🇹Mooney VR46 RacingDucati GP221m 58.450
10Johann Zarco🇨🇵Prima Pramac RacingDucati GP231m 58.487
11Franco Morbidelli🇮🇹Monster Energy YamahaYamaha M11m 58.571
12Enea Bastianini🇮🇹Ducati Lenovo TeamDucati GP231m 58.605
13Augusto Fernandez🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 58.678
14Fabio di Giannantonio🇮🇹Gresini Racing MotoGPDucati GP221m 58.709
15Marc Marquez🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 58.788
16Joan Mir🇪🇦Repsol Honda TeamHonda RC213V1m 58.902
17Pol Espargaro🇪🇦GasGas Factory Racing Tech3KTM RC161m 58.974
18Raul Fernandez🇪🇦CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 59.024
19Miguel Oliveira🇵🇹CryptoData RNF RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 59.150
20Aleix Espargaro🇪🇦Aprilia RacingAprilia RS-GP1m 59.726
21Takaaki Nakagami🇯🇵LCR Honda IDEMITSUHonda RC213V1m 59.755
22Alvaro Bautista🇪🇦Aruba RacingDucati GP232m 00.370
23Iker Lecuona🇪🇦LCR Honda CastrolHonda RC213V2m 00.451

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