Sepang (Malaysia), Nov 10 (EFE).- The Spanish Jorge Martín (Ducati Desmosedici GP23) continues on his line of speed and once again showed that he is the fastest in the MotoGP category after achieving the best time in the first round free testing of the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit.
Martín set a best time of 1:59.513 that none of his rivals could beat and that once again saw the dominance of the Borgo Panigale factory drivers, placing the Spanish Alex Márquez and the Frenchman Johann Zarco behind him, and the the only ones to break the two-minute barrier.
One of the first notable notes of the first MotoGP free session was the presence of the double Superbike world champion, the Spanish Álvaro Bautista, who accepted Ducati’s invitation to participate in this race with the Ducati Desmosedici of the MotoGP test rider, the Italian Michelle Pirro, and with the colors of her Aruba.it team.
Bautista focused the entire session on adapting to a very different motorcycle than his Ducati Panigale V4 R, which is why he finished in twenty-second position, penultimate, only ahead of the also Spanish Iker Lecuona (Honda RC 213 V), who replaced the Alex Rins injured in the team of Italian Lucio Cecchinello.
But the first leader and practically the dominator of the session was the Spanish Alex Márquez (Ducati Desmosedici GP22), who on his sixth lap lapped in 2:00.530, ahead of his compatriot Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia RS-GP), protagonist at the end of the same due to an accident he suffered.
And the session passed without excessive surprises, especially due to the fact that it is a round with no greater objective than to fine-tune the mechanics for the official classifications, until in the last corner of the circuit Aleix Espargaró crashed and, With his motorcycle turning the rear wheel on empty while in gear, it ended up catching fire.
The quick intervention of the track assistance managed to put out the fire and avoid a very complicated moment, in addition to preventing very serious damage to the Spaniard’s motorcycle, who was able to finish the round with his second motorcycle in seventh place.
Entering the final ten minutes of the session and after a new tire change, it was the Italian Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha YZR M 1), who climbed to first place, thus beginning the movements at the head of the classification, in the that Alex Márquez went from first to sixth in just a few seconds.
The “hostilities” had begun with that tire change and it didn’t take long for Jorge Martín to move to the front of the table, the first to break the two-minute barrier to complete the more than five and a half kilometers of the Malaysian route (5,543 meters). in 1:59.513.
Moments later, in the wake of Jorge Martín, Alex Márquez was again, barely 49 thousandths of a second, with the Frenchman Johann Zarco (Ducati Desmosedici GP23), third, also under two minutes, the only ones who broke that barrier in the initial session.
The world leader, the Italian Francesco “Pecco” Bagnaia (Ducati Desmosedici GP23), finished in fifteenth position, although he was one of the few drivers who “did not enter” the tire change war to improve his classification.