Marquez on top from the start at Japanese GP

Championship leader Marc Marquez made a statement in the opening practice session of the Japanese MotoGP after topping the FP1 timesheets.

Repsol Honda’s Marquez was almost nine tenths of a second faster than Aleix Espargaro in a session hugely affected by the rain after posting a time of 1m 55.418s.

Espargaro couldn’t get anywhere close to that time, although he was still fast enough to take second spot from Octo Pramac Racing’s Scott Redding.

The weather caused its share of problems for the drivers, with the most high-profile incident coming on turn nine when Cal Crutchlow crashed into Jorge Lorenzo.

Five-time world champion Lorenzo walked away from the incident unscathed and finished FP1 in fourth spot – just ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso.

Crutchlow finished in seventh spot, with Johann Zarco, Alex Rins, Bradley Smith and Marquez’s closest title challenger Maverick Vinales completing the top 10.

However, it was a tough first practice session for both Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa after each finished outside the top 15.

Japanese MotoGP FP1 times:

1. Marc Marquez Repsol Honda 1:55.418
2. Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing 1:56.293
3. Scott Redding Octo Pramac Racing 1:56.517
4. Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Team 1:56.653
5. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 1:56.664
6. Johann Zarco Monster Yamaha 1:56.865
7. Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 1:56.875
8. Alex Rins Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:56.906
9. Maverick Vinales Movistar Yamaha 1:56.917
10. Bradley Smith Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:57.305
11. Pol Espargaro Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:57.548
12. Danilo Petrucci Octo Pramac Racing 1:57.633
13. Andrea Iannone Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:57.746
14. Hector Barbera Reale Esponsorama Racing 1:57.748
15. Kohta Nozane Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:57.849
16. Loris Baz Reale Esponsorama Racing 1:58.280
17. Alvaro Bautista Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1:58.373
18. Sam Lowes Aprilia Racing Team 1:58.504
19. Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha 1:58.618
20. Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 1:58.706
21. Tito Rabat Team EG 0 1:58.921
22. Karel Abraham Pull&Bear Aspar Team 1:59.098
23. Katsuyuki Nakasuga Yamaha Factory Racing 1:59.188
24. Hiroshi Aoyama Team EG 0 1:59.205