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Dovizioso shades Argentina MotoGP practice

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Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina) (AFP)

Championship leader Andrea Dovizioso topped the times after Friday's hotly contested two practice sessions for the Argentina MotoGP with just two tenths of a second covering the five fastest riders.

Dovizioso, who has struggled in Argentina, turned up at the circuit in Termas de Rio Honda as the winner of the season-opening race in Qatar.

The 33-year-old Ducati rider, who has only finished inside the top five once in his five visits to the circuit, posted a quickest time of 1min 39.181.

Australian Jack Miller was next best with Maverick Vinales third as Valentino Rossi took sixth on his Yamaha.

Last year Rossi accused Marc Marquez of "destroying the sport" after the champion shoved him off the track.

Marquez placed eighth on the time sheets despite the Honda rider emerging the quickest after the opening session.

MotoGP rookie Fabio Quartararo built on the good impression he left with fifth in Qatar when he had Rossi and Marquez behind in fifth.

There are two further practice sessions Saturday ahead of qualifying for Sunday's race which could be hit by rain.

Practice times

1. Andrea Dovizosio (ITA/Ducati) 1:39.181, 2. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) at 0.009, 3. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 0.164, 4. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) 0.165, 5. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) 0.176, 6. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.260, 7. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 0.270, 8. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 0.316, 9. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT) 0.322, 10. Takaaki Nakagami (JPN, LCR Honda) 0.448

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