Marc Marquez owns Circuit of the Americas, but the Spanish rider wasn’t the fastest in the first free practice Friday morning for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
Maverick Vinales, who has won both races in 2017 for the Movistar Yamaha team, posted a 2:04.923 time for a fast lap in the early session, a half second faster than Marquez, who has won all four MotoGP events at COTA.
Marquez, who rides for Honda, had a 2:05.500 best lap.
Vinales’ speed topped out at 205.736 mph.
Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati was third quickest, followed by Johann Zarco of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and Alvaro Bautista of Pull&Bear Aspar Aprilia.
Bautista posted the top speed over any portion of the track, flying at 209.309 mph.
After, officials at track said they were financially strapped after storms wiped out much of the 2015 race weekend as reports surfaced that the Texas governor’s office was cutting public funding for the event by about 20 percent. The state of Texas has supported the race through the state’s Major Events Trust fund. The first year of the race, Texas gave $25 million to track officials.
In February, track officials and the Travis County Appraisal District reached a settlement on valuation of the appraised value of the F1 racetrack by more than $180 million for 2015, which will save the track’s owners millions in property tax payments. COTA officials had been appealing a $275.4 million valuation for 2015. TCAD agreed to lower the appraised value to $91.2 million.