Vinales quickest in FP1 as big names struggle

It was business as usual for new MotoGP wonderkid Maverick Vinales, but his main rivals all struggled in Friday’s first practice session in Argentina.

Vinales comfortably topped the timesheets, but with Termas de Rio Hondo circuit requiring several sessions to reach optimum levels of grip, several big names appeared reluctant to take any serious risks so early in the weekend.

Defending world champion Marc Marquez finished down in 11th place, but that was still better than Jorge Lorenzo (15th), Valentino Rossi (16th) and Dani Pedrosa (19th).

Surprisingly, seven of the top ten places were occupied by satellite machines.

Vinales did not have it all his own way, however. He suffered a wobble through the final chicane early in the session, which set off the airbag within his leathers.

But he recovered superbly from there, improving his speed as the session progressed and eventually posting his quickest time of 1m 40.356s. Impressively, he set the time on the harder rear tyre compound.

Danilo Petrucci was second for Ducati, 0.206s back, while the Tech 3 duo of Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger continued to excel as they claimed third and fourth respectively.

Karel Abraham also surprised to claim fifth, while Andrea Iannone continued to put his pre-season troubles behind him to round out the top six.

Times

1. Maverick Viñales Movistar Yamaha MotoGP   1m 40.356s
2. Danilo Petrucci Octo Pramac Racing   1m 40.562s   0.206s
3. Johann Zarco Monster Yamaha Tech 3   1m 40.574s   0.218s
4. Jonas Folger Monster Yamaha Tech 3   1m 40.660s   0.304s
5. Karel Abraham Aspar MotoGP Team   1m 40.678s   0.322s
6. Andrea Iannone Team Suzuki Ecstar   1m 40.701s   0.345s
7. Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team    1m 40.716s   0.360s
8. Hector BarberaReale Avintia Racing    1m 40.853s   0.497s
9. Jack Miller  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS    1m 40.867s   0.511s
10. Alvaro BautistaAspar MotoGP Team     1m 40.936s   0.580s
11. Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team     1m 40.958s   0.602s
12. Aleix Espargaro Factory Aprilia Gresini    1m 40.982s   0.626s
13. Scott Redding Octo Pramac Racing    1m 41.062s   0.706s
14. Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda    1m 41.073s   0.717s
15. Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Team    1m 41.128s   0.772s
16. Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha MotoGP    1m 41.311s   0.955s
17. Alex Rins        Team Suzuki Ecstar    1m 41.694s   1.338s
18. Tito Rabat        Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS   1m 41.703s   1.347s
19. Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team    1m 41.781s   1.425s
20. Pol Espargaro Red Bull KTM Factory Racing    1m 41.829s   1.473s
21. Loris Baz   Reale Avintia Racing     1m 41.867s   1.511s
22. Bradley Smith Red Bull KTM Factory Racing    1m 42.224s   1.868s
23. Sam Lowes   Factory Aprilia Gresini    1m 42.237s   1.881s

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