Andrea Dovizioso set the fastest time in FP1 with a 2'00.671 in damp-to-drying conditions at the Sepang circuit Friday in Malaysia. Alvaro Bautista, who was quick all session in the heat and humidity, earned the second-fastest Ducati lap, just in front of Yamaha's Johann Zarco (3rd).
Dovizioso, who finished 13th last week at Phillip Island, must beat Marc Marquez by at least nine points to keep the championship fight alive for the 18th and final round in Valencia. Points-leader Marquez won last week's race in Australia and now leads the championship by 33 points with two races to go.
Maverick Vinales was two-tenths off the top time in fourth as some riders in FP1 switched to new tires late in order to grab an insurance fast lap should rain affect subsequent practices. Championship leader Marquez, who led much of the session, was pushed late fifth late and was unable to respond. Cal Crutchlow (6th) took the top spot in a tight pack of the 2'01s followed by Karel Abraham (7th), Hector Barbera (8th) and Dani Pedrosa (9th).
Jorge Lorenzo, who set the circuit record in 2015, finished the session in 10th.
|Pos.||No.||Rider||Bike||Time||Diff. / Prev.|
|2||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||Ducati||2'00.742||0.071 / 0.071|
|3||5||Johann ZARCO||Yamaha||2'00.807||0.136 / 0.065|
|4||25||Maverick VIÑALES||Yamaha||2'00.903||0.232 / 0.096|
|5||93||Marc MARQUEZ||Honda||2'00.950||0.279 / 0.047|
|6||35||Cal CRUTCHLOW||Honda||2'01.060||0.389 / 0.110|
|7||17||Karel ABRAHAM||Ducati||2'01.077||0.406 / 0.017|
|8||8||Hector BARBERA||Ducati||2'01.147||0.476 / 0.070|
|9||26||Dani PEDROSA||Honda||2'01.162||0.491 / 0.015|
|10||99||Jorge LORENZO||Ducati||2'01.189||0.518 / 0.027|
|11||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||Ducati||2'01.560||0.889 / 0.371|
|12||46||Valentino ROSSI||Yamaha||2'01.662||0.991 / 0.102|
|13||29||Andrea IANNONE||Suzuki||2'01.740||1.069 / 0.078|
|14||43||Jack MILLER||Honda||2'01.803||1.132 / 0.063|
|15||44||Pol ESPARGARO||KTM||2'01.831||1.160 / 0.028|
|16||76||Loris BAZ||Ducati||2'02.416||1.745 / 0.585|
|17||38||Bradley SMITH||KTM||2'02.469||1.798 / 0.053|
|18||45||Scott REDDING||Ducati||2'03.056||2.385 / 0.587|
|19||60||Michael VAN DER MARK||Yamaha||2'03.473||2.802 / 0.417|
|20||53||Tito RABAT||Honda||2'03.531||2.860 / 0.058|
|21||22||Sam LOWES||Aprilia||2'03.534||2.863 / 0.003|
|22||42||Alex RINS||Suzuki||2'04.381||3.710 / 0.847|