Sepang: Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was fastest in FP1 at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, heading to the top late in FP1 in the dry – and the Championship contender backed it up in a wet FP2 to again head the timesheets. Key rival Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who goes into the weekend 33 points clear of the Italian, was fifth in FP1 in the dry and therefore overall – and second to Dovizioso in the wet. The reigning Champion had a number of moments on Day 1, but didn’t suffer a crash.
Second overall after a last dash in FP1 was Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team), followed by Rookie of the Year Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3). Zarco suffered a crash in the afternoon, but the Frenchman was soon on his feet. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was fourth, ahead of Marquez.
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) took sixth in the dry, ahead of an impressive first day for Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing). Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) took ninth after an early problem that significantly dented track time for the Little Samurai, ahead of Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) completing the top ten. Lorenzo was third in the wet in the afternoon, the same half second off Marquez as Marquez was off Dovizioso at the top.
Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) was eleventh ahead of compatriot Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), with Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) locking out the fastest fifteen.
It was a notable first day for Michael van der Mark as he rode a MotoGP™ bike for the first time, putting the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 machine in P19 in both sessions. In the dry, the 2014 World Supersport Champion was only 2.8 seconds off Dovizioso at the top of the timesheets in FP1.
As direct entry to Q2 is decided in FP3, Valentino Rossi will be the big name praying for the skies to remain dry on Saturday morning – before qualifying begins from 14:10 local time (GMT +8).