READY TO RACE: Spaniard Marc Marquez and his Repsol team ahead of Friday's first practice - which he dominated - for the 2014 Indianapolis MotoGP
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - Marc Marquez, who has a perfect nine wins from nine races so far in the 2014 MotoGP season, dominated practice on the opening day of the Indianapolis GP.
Honda Team mate Dani Pedrosa also posted fast times but Spaniard Marquez looks poised to widen the gap to his rivals.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 16-turn, 4.16km track was made slick by rain as the riders got in their first practice sessions on Friday ahead of Sunday's race.
"It was not so bad," Marquez said. "We came back from the holidays and had a slow start with the rain. I'm happy because in the afternoon we could do a lot more work."
Marquez said the damp conditions made it difficult to get a proper read on recently resurfaced track. "The track grip changes each time we go out," he added, "and we have to change the set-up a lot. I hope we can get more dry track time on Saturday."
This is the second of two races in the US in 2014 as international motorcycle racing grows in popularity. The first was in Austin, Texas, in April.
Times were much quicker in Friday's second practice session Friday, especially for Marquez who posted the fastest lap of the day and was the only rider to go below 1min33 (1min32.882).
'MORE LAPS, BETTER TRACK'
Dani Pedrosa used Friday's practice to experiment with tyre combinations on the new track surface. He said: "We were able to progress a lot in the afternoon and tried all the tyres but we still need to work to see what the pace will be like and find the limits of the track.
"Today the track conditions improved the more laps we all put in because the asphalt cleaned up and gave us much more grip. On Saturday we will work on finding the limits and getting a good tyre combination for Sunday's race."
Saturday will see two more practice sessions, followed by qualifying.
MOTOGP FRIDAY PRACTICE TIMES
1 Marc MARQUEZ (Honda) 1min32.882
2 Andrea IANNONE (Ducati) 1min33.104
3 Jorge LORENZO (Yamaha) 1min33.424
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati) 1min33.432
5 Dani PEDROSA(Honda) 1min33.493
6 Stefan BRADL (Honda) 1min33.513
7 Yonny HERNANDEZ (Ducati) 1min33.531
8 Aleix ESPARGARO (Yamaha) 1min33.587
9 Valentino ROSSI (Yamaha) 1min33.598
0 Bradley SMITH (Yamaha) 1min33.621
11 Pol ESPARGARO (Yamaha) 1min33.690
12 Scott REDDING (Honda) 1min33.971
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW (Ducati) 1min33.996
14 Alvaro BAUTISTA (Honda) 1min34.054
15 Karel ABRAHAM (Honda) 1min34.912