The man that has won here in Malaysia for the past two years has started where he left off by lapping the 5.54 km Sepang Circuit in an FP1 topping 1m59.697 this aftneroon.
Valentino Rossi put in a late lap to come from outside the top ten into second place on the timesheets with a 1m59.767. The #46 particularly fast in the second half of the circuit to push Phillip Island winning teammate Maverick Vinales back to third place.
The only other rider to get in the 1m59s in FP1 was Jack Miller. Like fellow Ducati rider Dovizioso it was the first half of the lap where Miller really shone, the Australian second only to the #4 Ducati through those first two splits.
Miller’s teammate Danilo Petrucci was fifth quickest and recorded the highest top speed through the traps at 326.1 km/h.
Suzuki’s Alex Rins and Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro were next in sixth and seventh respectively just aheaed of Alvaro Bautista and Johann Zarco.
Marc Marquez rounded out the top ten as the leading Honda but obviously did not bother putting in a time attack lap in the session, his best a 2m00.801.
Jorge Lorenzo did put in 12 laps during the session and slowly built his pace but was still last on the timesheets at session end. It will be interesting to see if Lorenzo participates in FP2 and to whether he will stay on the bike for the rest of the weekend or be replaced by Ducati test rider Michele Pirro.
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