Aragon MotoGP: Marquez tops FP1 by a second, Vinales returns
Honda Marc Marquez dominated opening practice for the Aragon Grand Prix as Maverick Vinales made his official Aprilia debut on Friday morning.
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The biggest news coming into the Aragon weekend is Vinales’ debut with Aprilia following his factory Yamaha exit last month.
The nine-time MotoGP race winner – who completed a two-day test at Misano on the RS-GP prior to this weekend – was one of the first out on track and steadily chipped away at the lap times as he continues his adaptation process to the RS-GP.
Completing 21 laps, Vinales ended FP1 in 19th and 2.1 seconds off the pace – though that gap is greatly exaggerated by Marc Marquez’s late time attack.
Teruel GP poleman Takaaki Nakagami set the early pace on his LCR Honda in the 45-minute FP1 with a 1m50.283s, though championship leader Fabio Quartararo soon guided his Yamaha to a 1m50.185s.
Ten minutes into the session Aragon specialist Marquez shot to the top of the order with a 1m49.360s, with the factory Honda rider bettering that two lap later to a 1m49.171s.
A late flurry of quick laps at the end of FP1 led to several riders putting Marquez’s lap under pressure, but all came up just shy of toppling the Honda rider.
In the final moments of the session Marquez elected to go out on a fresh soft slick and duly blitzed the timesheets, the Honda rider streaking clear at the top of the order with a 1m48.048s.
With almost everyone not going out for a soft tyre time attack, Marquez was left to end FP1 comfortably clear of the field.
Marquez ended up 0.971s clear of Suzuki’s Joan Mir, the reigning world champion also fitted a fresh soft rear for a late blast – but had a better lap cancelled for exceeding track limits.
Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia completed the top three with a 1m49.193s, while Alex Marquez lifted himself up to fourth on his LCR Honda after a late effort on a fresh medium rear.
Jack Miller completed the top five on the second factory team Ducati from Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, fresh from his Silverstone podium.
Johann Zarco was seventh on the Pramac Ducati from Quartararo, Nakagami and the second works team Honda of Pol Espargaro.
Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow continues to deputise for the ousted Vinales and was 12th at the end of FP1, while 2020 Aragon GP winner Alex Rins was a low-key 14th on the Suzuki.
Tech 3 KTM’s Iker Lecuona was an early faller at the penultimate corner, while Petronas SRT’s Valentino Rossi crashed at Turn 5 later on.
They ended FP1 16th and 20th respectively, while factory KTM duo Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder were 18th and 21st as both appeared to trial a new chassis this morning.
Jake Dixon has been handed a second MotoGP outing with SRT standing in for the injured Franco Morbidelli and completed the 22-rider field.
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