Premier class rodeo practice got underway over two shades of grey asphalt on the partly resurfaced Texan circuit. The Sheriff took it easy on his return home (away from home) but the Deputy was there to lay down the law, Alex Rins claiming top spot in the final couple of minutes of FP1, putting an early technical issue behind him. Airforce made an appearance too, with Maverick “Top Gun” Viñales threatening top spot like the good old days and only missing out on another headline for Aprilia by eight thousandths of a second. The change of scenery also gave a boost to Jack Miller, the Australian leading the way amongst the Ducati camp from third position, four tenths of a second off the lead and a smidgeon ahead of world champion Fabio Quartararo.
The returning Marc Marquez took it easy for about a handful of laps but still rodeoed his way into top sport barely ten minutes into the session. After testing the bumps at turn 10 and some squirrely lines at turns 11, 12 and 15, the Spaniard settled for a solid return in fifth place. Although not the smoothest of returns, it was much less eventful than his teammate’s session, Pol Espargaro starting the morning with a tumble at turn 18 and ending it back on the service road with a mechanical issue, but still managing to climb into sixth in between. Enea Bastianini had a steadier climb up the timesheet on his way to seventh, while Aleix Espargaro added another Aprilia to the top eight.
Takaaki Nakagami and Johann Zarco rounded out a top 10 covered by eight tenths of a second. Joan Mir missed out by only seven thousandths, while Brad Binder was the lead KTM in 12th place. Pecco Bagnaia spent the whole session outside of the top 10 and about a second off top spot throughout, ending the morning 13th and ahead of colleague Jorge Martin.
|24||49||Fabio Di Giannantonio||Ducati||2:06.497||2.490||0.052|