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Joe Roberts was the top American on day one in Malaysia with the 17th fastest lap. File photo by Italtrans Racing

Of the three Americans taking part in this weekend’s Grand Prix of Malaysia, it was Italtrans Racing’s Joe Roberts who was the fastest of trio on the opening day of action at the Sepang International Circuit. On a day of mixed weather conditions at the circuit located some 30 miles sound of Kuala Lumpur, Roberts did his best laps in FP1 and not FP2, which was halted at one point because of a thunderstorm and torrential rain

When all was said and done after a hectic opening day, Roberts was 17th overall with a best lap of 2:08.737.

Meanwhile, the American Racing team was led for the first time in any session this season by Sean Dylan Kelly and not Cameron Beaubier as the two ended FP1 and FP2 in 22nd and 23rd, respectively. Of the three, Kelly was the fastest in FP2 with his 2:09.812, which was just .129 of a second slower than his best from FP1.

The day was led by Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Adrien Fernandez and his 2:06.816 in FP1. The Spaniard was .828 of a second ahead of his teammate and countryman Pedro Acosta. Elf Marc VDS Racing Team’s Tony Arbolino was third fastest.