Under the blue Texan sky, Miguel Oliveira pulled a Marquez at COTA special to shoot into the lead of FP1 by seven tenths of a second and kept his rivals at arm’s length for the duration of the morning session. The gap did come down significantly after an actual Marquez – Alex, as it happens – patiently build up his speed to trail the Portuguese rider by only four hundredths of a second.
If the names of the top two men will hardly be surprising, they were joined in the top three by Iker Lecuona, the young Spaniard performing consistently into the top positions throughout FP1. Bringing a second reason to smile to the same team, teammate Sam Lowes joined him in fourth position, four tenths down on the leader.
Pecco Bagnaia was also showing good speed but he did not get a chance to fight back for top honours as he crashed quite scarily in turn three in the final five minutes of the session. The Italian dusted himself off and settled for fifth position, narrowly ahead of Isaac Viñales. Brad Binder’s seventh position was the final one within half a second of the leader, with a significant gap down to Joan Mir, who occupied eighth sport, eight tenths slower than Oliveira.
The top ten was completed by Xavi Vierge and Dominique Aegerter, the rest of the field over a second down on the fastest man of the morning, including the likes of Romano Fenati in 20th position or Lorenzo Baldassarri in 21st. Mattia Pasini’s rodeo ride was slightly disappointing as his bike cut out on two occasions and the championship leader could not set a significant time to climb out of 27th position.
|13||52||Danny KENT||Speed Up||2'13.192||1.088||0.024|
|19||87||Remy GARDNER||Tech 3||2'13.645||1.541||0.024|
|22||20||Fabio QUARTARARO||Speed Up||2'13.740||1.636||0.024|
|25||64||Bo BENDSNEYDER||Tech 3||2'14.500||2.396||0.339|
|29||89||Khairul Idham PAWI||Kalex||2'15.847||3.743||0.394|