Vinales picks up where he left off in testing

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Movistar Yamaha’s new signing Maverick Vinales
continues to look like the real deal as he finished fastest in
the first free practice session of the year.


Vinales was consistently fastest in the field during winter
testing, and he was able to carry that pace into FP1 ahead of
this weekend’s Qatar MotoGP.

The 22-year-old Spaniard once again underlined his status as
the pre-season favourite, topping the timesheets early in the
session and never looking back.

He was even quicker towards the end of the session, his final
time of 1m 54.3s ending up more than a full half second faster
than anyone else in the field, and 1.1s up on the best time
from FP1 a year ago.

In fact, only the Repsol Hondas of Marc Marquez and Dani
Pedrosa could finish within a second of Vinales’ time.

Marquez was second, though he will hardly be too pleased with
finishing 0.596s back.

After Pedrosa in third, Class rookie Jonas Folger excelled to
finish fourth, while Jorge Lorenzo, making his official debut
for Ducati, placed fifth, 1.2s off the leading time.

Loriz Baz was sixth, just ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Folger’s
new team-mate Johann Zarco. Valentino Rossi was the last of the
Yamahas in ninth, trailing his team-mate by almost 1.5s.

Times

1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 1m54.316s 18

2 Marc Marquez Honda 1m54.912s +0.596s 18

3 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1m55.210s +0.894s 16

4 Jonas Folger Tech3 Yamaha 1m55.587s +1.271s 15

5 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1m55.607s +1.291s 17

6 Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 1m55.624s +1.308s 16

7 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m55.639s +1.323s 15

8 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha 1m55.792s +1.476s 18

9 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1m55.799s +1.483s 18

10 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1m55.872s +1.556s 15

11 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1m55.873s +1.557s 17

12 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 1m56.000s +1.684s 16

13 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1m56.027s +1.711s 17

14 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati 1m56.128s +1.812s 19

15 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati 1m56.399s +2.083s 14

16 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 1m56.419s +2.103s 15

17 Jack Miller MVDS Honda 1m56.453s +2.137s 16

18 Alex Rins Suzuki 1m56.502s +2.186s 16

19 Tito Rabat MVDS Honda 1m56.725s +2.409s 18

20 Hector Barbera Avintia Ducati 1m56.725s +2.409s 14

21 Pol Espargaro KTM 1m57.630s +3.314s 16

22 Sam Lowes Aprilia 1m57.887s +3.571s 14

23 Bradley Smith KTM 1m58.114s +3.798s 17



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