Motegi MotoGP: Vinales leads Yamaha 1-2-3 in FP1

Maverick Vinales set the pace in the opening practice for MotoGP's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, leading Yamaha stablemate Fabio Quartararo by a quarter of a second.

Motegi MotoGP: Vinales leads Yamaha 1-2-3 in FP1

Factory Yamaha man Vinales posted a lap of 1m45.572s at the very end of the 45-minute Friday morning session to lead Petronas rider Quartararo by 0.258s, with Franco Morbidelli a further 0.153s behind his teammate.

Vinales first hit the top of the times when he posted a 1m46.244s effort with 19 minutes to go, although that was soon beaten by newly-crowned six-time premier class champion Marc Marquez's best time of 1m46.035s aboard the Honda.

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Marquez's benchmark stood until the final few minutes, as first Morbidelli broke the 1m46s barrier to record a 1m45.983s, which was soon beaten by a 1m45.987s from Vinales.

Quartararo briefly went quickest on a 1m45.830s once the chequered flag fell but that was then surpassed by Vinales' 1m45.572s.

Marquez didn't improve in the final stages but remained fourth, just under half a second off the pace, while Suzuki riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir were next up in fifth and sixth.

Top Ducati honours went to Jack Miller on the Pramac-run GP19, the Australian rider edging works rider Andrea Dovizioso by just 0.009s to take seventh.

Pol Espargaro (KTM) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) completed the top 10.

Valentino Rossi ended up slowest of the Yamahas, 0.848s off the pace of Vinales in 12th, although the Italian notably did not equip a new tyre for his final runs.

Danilo Petrucci was one place behind on the second works Ducati.

Jorge Lorenzo's Honda struggles continued as he finished the session down in 19th, 1.8s off the pace and four places behind the year-old LCR bike of Takaaki Nakagami.

Suzuki wildcard Sylvain Guintoli - the only additional entry for the Japanese GP weekend - was 21st, a little over two seconds off the pace on the third GSX-RR.

Session results:

Cla # Rider Bike Time Gap
1 12 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 01'45.572
2 20 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 01'45.830 00.258
3 21 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 01'45.983 00.411
4 93 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 01'46.035 00.463
5 42 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 01'46.065 00.493
6 36 Spain Joan Mir
Suzuki 01'46.125 00.553
7 43 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 01'46.197 00.625
8 4 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 01'46.206 00.634
9 44 Spain Pol Espargaro
KTM 01'46.215 00.643
10 35 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 01'46.289 00.717
11 41 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 01'46.414 00.842
12 46 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 01'46.420 00.848
13 9 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 01'46.535 00.963
14 29 Italy Andrea Iannone
Aprilia 01'46.745 01.173
15 30 Japan Takaaki Nakagami
Honda 01'46.763 01.191
16 82 Finland Mika Kallio
KTM 01'46.898 01.326
17 88 Portugal Miguel Oliveira
KTM 01'46.942 01.370
18 17 Czech Republic Karel Abraham
Ducati 01'47.327 01.755
19 99 Spain Jorge Lorenzo
Honda 01'47.438 01.866
20 63 Italy Francesco Bagnaia
Ducati 01'47.496 01.924
21 50 France Sylvain Guintoli
Suzuki 01'47.753 02.181
22 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 01'48.097 02.525
23 55 Malaysia Hafizh Syahrin
KTM 01'48.358 02.786
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