MotoGP testing: Cal Crutchlow back from injury as Marc Marquez sets practice pace in Sepang

Cal Crutchlow in action in Sepang
Crutchlow was riding the RC213V bike for the LCR Honda Castrol team

British rider Cal Crutchlow returned to the MotoGP track on Tuesday for the first time since breaking his ankle in 17 places in October.

The 33-year-old, who was injured during practice for the Australian Grand Prix, made his comeback on the first day of pre-season testing in Malaysia.

Crutchlow was 14th, 1.069 seconds off the pace, after completing 51 laps and said: "It's really nice to be back."

Defending world champion Marc Marquez was fastest in Sepang.

It was the 25-year-old Spaniard's first run since a four-hour shoulder operation in December. The new season starts on 10 March in Qatar.

The Honda rider's best time of 1min 59.621secs was more than quarter of a second faster than Suzuki's Alex Rins.

Marc Marquez
Marc Marquez, 25, has won five of the past six titles since he joined MotoGP in 2013

Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, winner at Phillip Island in October, posted the third fastest time of the day.

Another Spaniard, three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo, is the only 2019 rider absent in Malaysia, as he recovers from a wrist injury.

Italian Valentino Rossi, who celebrates his 40th birthday this month, finished sixth on his Yamaha with a best time of 2min 00.054secs.

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