Brad Binder tops the opening practice of Malaysian Grand Prix

Brad Binder tops the opening practice of Malaysian Grand Prix

KTM’s Brad Binder was the first rider off the line in the first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix, beating Suzuki’s Alex Rins by 0.097s.

Fabio Quartararo led the field for the majority of the 45-minute session on his Yamaha, although the Sepang International Circuit appeared to be lacking grip throughout the test as the riders battled to break the 2:00 barrier as time ran out.

A long run by the Frenchman in the early to midpoint of the session resulted in a time of 2:00.579 seconds. Later in the run, he recorded a time of 2:00.543 seconds to extend his lead.

Later, Jorge Martin moved to the top of the times with a 1:59.966s, followed by a 1:59.623s from Marc Marquez as the field started to find its footing. At the finish, Binder was able to find good track space just behind the Honda rider and the new series leader Francesco Bagnaia and put together a 1:59.479s.

Marquez’s performance placed him third, ahead of Gresini’s Enea Bastianini on the fastest Ducati, while Joan Mir on the sister Suzuki GSX-RR rounded off the top five.

Martin finished sixth on his Pramac-entered Ducati ahead of Quartararo and Fabio Di Gianantonio’s sister Gresini machine. The top 10 was completed by the VR46 Ducati combo of Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi, the recently crowned rookies champion who overcame an early crash at Turn 1.

Bagnaia finished in 11th place overall, slightly ahead of Franco Morbidelli’s second Yamaha, and Jack Miller’s other factory Ducati claimed 14th.

This would end up giving the South African rider the opening session victory, narrowly ahead of Australian GP winner Rins, who managed to close the gap to just a tenth of a second with his own final flyer.

The second Pramac Desmosedici, ridden by Johann Zarco, was farther down the timesheets to begin the weekend, as were the Aprilia RS-GPs driven by Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro, who were only able to finish 19th and 20th on the timesheets, respectively.

The former’s test was hampered by an early crash on entry to Turn 8 where he lost the front of his bike, and a mechanical issue with his backup bike forced him to spend a considerable amount of FP1 in the garage.


1Brad BinderRSARed Bull KTM (RC16)1’59.479s18/18330k
2Alex RinsSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.097s17/17333k
3Marc MarquezSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+0.144s14/15330k
4Enea BastianiniITAGresini Ducati (GP21)+0.396s15/15332k
5Joan MirSPASuzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR)+0.472s15/16331k
6Jorge MartinSPAPramac Ducati (GP22)+0.487s15/17329k
7Fabio QuartararoFRAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.064s7/18330k
8Fabio Di GiannantonioITAGresini Ducati (GP21)*+1.073s14/15329k
9Luca MariniITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP22)+1.254s10/14329k
10Marco BezzecchiITAMooney VR46 Ducati (GP21)*+1.288s8/13329k
11Francesco BagnaiaITADucati Lenovo (GP22)+1.291s15/15334k
12Franco MorbidelliITAMonster Yamaha (YZR-M1)+1.292s6/17326k
13Alex MarquezSPALCR Honda (RC213V)+1.536s16/16328k
14Jack MillerAUSDucati Lenovo (GP22)+1.555s14/15333k
15Johann ZarcoFRAPramac Ducati (GP22)+1.569s8/16330k
16Pol EspargaroSPARepsol Honda (RC213V)+1.721s4/15332k
17Miguel OliveiraPORRed Bull KTM (RC16)+1.768s5/17327k
18Cal CrutchlowGBRWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)+1.772s6/16328k
19Maverick ViñalesSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+1.849s11/16329k
20Aleix EspargaroSPAAprilia Racing (RS-GP)+2.175s4/5324k
21Remy GardnerAUSKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+2.225s16/17323k
22Darryn BinderRSAWithU Yamaha RNF (YZR-M1)*+2.352s9/10324k
23Raul FernandezSPAKTM Tech3 (RC16)*+2.352s4/16325k
24Tetsuta NagashimaJPNLCR Honda (RC213V)+3.387s12/17328k

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