Andalusia MotoGP: Vinales leads Rossi in first practice

Maverick Vinales led a factory Yamaha 1-2 by 0.142 seconds from Valentino Rossi in first practice for the inaugural MotoGP Andalusian Grand Prix at Jerez.

Andalusia MotoGP: Vinales leads Rossi in first practice

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, MotoGP’s revised 2020 calendar features several rounds run on the same circuit, with the first-ever Andalusian GP taking place at Jerez just a week after the Spanish GP.

With the field already having four days of running under their belts at Jerez, FP1 was largely a rather muted affair as most focused more on longer runs rather than a time attack. 

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro set the initial pace on the RS-GP, before his KTM-mounted brother Pol took over at the top of the timesheets on the factory KTM. 

The younger Espargaro brother immediately bettered his 1m37.790s to a 1m37.497s, which stood as the benchmark for most of the morning. 

It wasn’t until the closing moments that the top 10 order started to get shuffled, with Petronas Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli taking over top spot with a 1m37.416s. 

The Italian would be demoted by his mentor Rossi on the works team Yamaha, who moved two tenths clear with a 1m37.205s. 

After Rossi dropped out of last Sunday’s race due to a technical issue, Motorsport.com reported on Thursday that Yamaha had sent engines from Rossi and Vinales’ allocation back to Japan for inspection – with the latter said to have already used three of his five allotted units.

Leaping up to second late on behind his teammate, Vinales would usurp him at the death with a 1m37.063s – three tenths clear of Marc Marquez session-topping FP1 effort from last week. 

Rossi held onto second ahead of KTM rookie Brad Binder, who showed podium pace in his debut race last weekend despite running off track at Turn 5 in the early stages and dropping to the tail end of the field. 

Morbidelli wound up fourth in the end ahead of Pol Espargaro and his Tech 3 KTM counterpart Miguel Oliveira.

Jack Miller was top Ducati runner in seventh on the Pramac-run GP20, with LCR Honda’s Takaaki Nakagami, Aleix Espargaro and factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso rounding out the top 10. 

Spanish GP race winner Fabio Quartararo was a low-key 0.829s off Vinales’ pace in 13th, but didn’t fit a fresh soft rear tyre for a time attack late on.

Joan Mir was top Suzuki in 11th, while his returning teammate Alex Rins – who dislocated and fractured his right shoulder in a crash in qualifying last week – was 3.1s off the pace in 21st having only completed eight laps.

Cal Crutchlow was 1.172s ahead in 20th as he completed 18 laps on his LCR Honda with his recently fractured left wrist.

Reigning world champion Marquez was absent from FP1 and won’t appear this afternoon having had surgery on his broken right arm on Tuesday. The Honda rider will attempt to ride on Saturday before evaluating whether he will race or not on Sunday.

Andalusian Grand Prix - First practice results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 1'37.063
2 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 1'37.205 0.142
3 33 South Africa Brad Binder
KTM 1'37.370 0.307
4 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 1'37.416 0.353
5 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
KTM 1'37.442 0.379
6 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 1'37.492 0.429
7 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 1'37.566 0.503
8 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 1'37.592 0.529
9 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 1'37.735 0.672
10 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 1'37.739 0.676
11 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 1'37.749 0.686
12 27 Spain Iker Lecuona
KTM 1'37.832 0.769
13 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 1'37.892 0.829
14 5 France Johann Zarco
Ducati 1'37.955 0.892
15 73 Spain Alex Marquez
Honda 1'37.957 0.894
16 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 1'37.997 0.934
17 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 1'38.309 1.246
18 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 1'38.393 1.330
19 38 United Kingdom Bradley Smith
Aprilia 1'38.692 1.629
20 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 1'39.050 1.987
21 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 1'40.222 3.159
22 93 Spain Marc Marquez
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