The Spanish Jorge Martin (Ducati Desmosedici GP23) continues on its speed line and once again showed that he is the fastest in the category of MotoGP after achieving the best time in the first free practice session 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 which once again saw the dominance of the Borgo Panigale factory drivers, at place the Spanish Alex Márquez and the Frenchman Johann Zarco behind himand the only ones who broke the two-minute barrier.
One of the first highlights of the first MotoGP free session was the presence of the double Superbike world champion, the Spaniard Alvaro 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 his Aruba.it team.
Bautista focused the entire session on adapting to a motorcycle very different from 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 replaces the injured Alex Rins 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 lap 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 Espargaro went to the ground and, with his motorcycle turning the rear wheel on empty while in gear, it ended up catching fire.
The rapid intervention of track assistance managed to put out the fire and avoid a very difficult 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 another tire change, It was the Italian Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha YZR M 1), who climbed to first placethus beginning the movements at the head of the classification, in which 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 tablethe 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 stood 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 positionalthough he was one of the few drivers who “did not enter” the tire change war to improve his classification.