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Brad Binder leading in the first tests in Malaysia

Despite the rain, the South African set the fastest cumulative time in free practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday.

South African Brad Binder set the fastest cumulative time in free practice for the Malaysian MotoGP Grand Prix on Friday, where championship leader Francesco Bagnaia is just outside the Top 10, behind Frenchman Quartararo, 7th.

With a lap in 1 min 59 sec 479/1000 recorded during the first practice session in the morning on a dry track, the KTM rider was 97/1000th ahead of the Suzuki of Spaniard Alex Rins and 144/1000th the six-time premier class world champion Marc Marquez (Honda).

On a drying track after downpours of rain for more than an hour which delayed the last practice of the day, no driver managed to improve his time during the afternoon session, during which the Briton Cal Crutchlow (Yamaha-RNF) stood out ahead of the Italian Bagnaia and Alex Marquez (Honda-LCR). With the weather still stormy on Saturday, it is not certain that anyone can achieve a better time during free practice 3 at 10:50 a.m. (4:50 a.m. French time), before qualifying.

The drivers who set the ten best times in the three free practice sessions held on Friday and Saturday take part directly in the second qualifying session (Q2), which determines the first 12 places on the starting grid. The others will have to participate in a preliminary qualifying session (Q1) scheduled for 3:05 p.m. on Saturday (9:05 a.m.), the two fastest of which are drafted for Q2.

If the French Quartararo (Yamaha), second in the championship and 7th best combined time on Friday, is for the moment qualified for Q2, the leader in the championship Bagnaia, 11th, will go through the repechage if he does not improve his time. The Italian has a first match point this weekend to clinch his first MotoGP title.

The Spaniard Aleix Espargaro, third in the championship and still in the race for the title, had a nightmarish day with a fall and then technical problems on his Aprilia. For the moment, he signs the very modest 20th time in the tests.

Combined classification of the first two MotoGP free practice sessions of the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit (5.543 km):

1. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 1:59.479

2. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 0.097

3. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.144

7. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/ Yamaha) 1.064

11. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA / Ducati) 1.291

15. Johann Zarco (FRA / Ducati-Pramac) 1,569

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