Marquez quickest in opening COTA MotoGP practice

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Marc Marquez picked up where he left off in last weekend’s MotoGP race in Argentina by setting the pace in opening practice for the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin on Friday.

The Circuit of the Americas hosts the only MotoGP round on U.S. soil in 2016 this weekend, with Marquez chasing a fourth consecutive victory at the track.

Despite enduring a torrid pre-season, the two-time champion returned to form in Argentina last weekend by claiming a dominant victory ahead of Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi.

Marquez kicked off the weekend by topping the timesheets in FP1, setting a fastest time of 2:04.953 to finish over two-tenths of a second clear of the field.

Defending champion Jorge Lorenzo followed in second place for Yamaha, finishing 0.255 seconds down, while Andrea Iannone bounced back from his last lap crash on Sunday to end first practice in third place.

Hector Barbera continued his good form from Argentina by finishing fourth ahead of Andrea Dovizioso and Scott Redding, with the latter battling illness in the lead-up to the COTA weekend.

Rossi finished FP1 in seventh place ahead of Yonny Hernandez and Maverick Vinales, while Marquez’s teammate Dani Pedrosa rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

Second practice kicks off at 15:05 ET in Austin on Friday.