Franco Morbidelli has made the most of a dry Moto2 free practice two session to top the opening day of action at the Malaysian Grand Prix, edging out Takaaki Nakagami and teammate Alex Marquez.
Running in reverse to the day’s other sessions that saw dry track time in the morning and rain in the evening, the Moto2 free practice one outing was wet, with back-to-back race winner and rain specialist Thomas Luthi showing strong pace to come out on top.
But in the afternoon’s dry outing, Marc VDS rider Morbidelli was able to just edge ahead of Nakagami at the flag by a mere 0.089, with teammate Marquez only a further 0.011 behind.
“I am really happy because we have started this weekend in a really good way. And it is better to start good than bad! Today’s practice wasn’t perfect because of the weather conditions and it seems the rain is chasing us around the world at the moment.
“But we were able to try some things on the bike in the mixed conditions and I was quite fast. Being fastest on the first day is always a good boost and it sets us up for a positive weekend. Hopefully we can get some good weather and I’m looking forward to fighting for the win again like in Phillip Island.”
However, it was a more difficult day for the usual front-runners, with defending champion Johann Zarco the best of the bunch in fifth, with Luthi seventh in the dry, Sam Lowes ninth and Alex Rins a distant 17th as his woes continue.