Alex Marquez Tops Day One of Practice in Malaysia
Alex Marquez beat out championship contender Jorge Martin in Practice on day one of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend. Marquez set a lap that was just under two tenths faster than Jorge Martin. Martin is on the heels of championship leader Francesco Bagnaia. Martin is currently 13 points behind Bagnaia in the championship race. We have reached the point of the season where every finish and session matters to find an advantage from Sprint and Grand Prix race time.
Bagnaia finished P8 which won’t do him any favors if he can’t improve come the Tissot Sprint Race. The KTMs of Brad Binder and Jack Miller were 3rd and 4th fastest in the sessions. A points lead change is possible come later today. Bagnaia will have some work to do because everyone in front seemed to have left some pace on the table during the Practice sessions. Martin had originally topped FP1 but lost our in FP2.
Rest of the Pack
Aleix Espargaro had a nightmare of a day finishing 20th in the field. He crashed 4 times in one day. “I’ve definitely had better days, but I can’t say that I’m particularly worried, ” said Espargaro after the session. “We are well aware of the problem, so tomorrow we’ll go back to a standard solution and I’m sure I’ll be able to be fast. It will be a demanding Saturday since I have to go through Q1, plus the last crash left me a bit scratched up and that won’t make life easy. We are riders and we know this can happen. The important thing is to know where to make changes”.
World Superbike champion Alvaro Bautista is making a one off feature in Sepang this weekend with Aruba.it Racing. He finished P22 in an uneventful day but we will see how qualifying plays out.