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San Marino: Rossi lays down early home marker

Valentino Rossi begins his home MotoGP in fine style by topping FP1 at Misano; Yamahas show strongly with Pol Espargaro second, Jorge Lorenzo fifth.
Normally a man that takes some time to get up to speed over a race weekend, Valentino Rossi's rivals will view his pace as an ominous sign after the Italian topped an exciting, tight MotoGP FP1 session at Misano.

Competing at his home race, Rossi showed speed and consistency in abundance toward the end of the 45-minute session, to post a fastest time of 1m 33.451s, 0.136s faster than Tech 3 Yamaha's surprise package Pol Espargaro.

To underline Rossi's comfort on a track at which he regularly tests, it is the first occasion he has ended Friday morning fastest since Assen, 2015.

A glance at the history books shows just how well the Yamaha M1 is suited to the Adriatic track. The younger Espargaro brother ably demonstrated as much, and suggested there were no lingering after-effects of his huge Silverstone spill by outpacing everyone, bar Rossi.

Following on from his maiden MotoGP win, Maverick Viñales was third, marginally quicker than Marc Marquez, who was one of several front-end fallers. The championship leader lost the front of his Repsol Honda at turn ten but remounted, both bike and rider unharmed.

Michelin were debuting a new soft and medium front tyre compound, that contains a different casing to what riders were using before.

Several spills pocked the session, including heavy ones for both Danilo Petrucci (15th) and Andrea Iannone (17th), with the later being taken to the medical centre of x-rays and then a local hospital.

A serial winner around Misano, Jorge Lorenzo was fifth fastest, ahead of Dani Pedrosa in sixth. The second Repsol Honda rider was resembling his old self for much of Friday morning, and led chunks of the session before Rossi's late push.

Times were extremely close. Alvaro Bautista in 16th was just 1.045s slower than Rossi's fastest time. Two places back, Alex Lowes was an impressive 1.47s off the nine-time world champion's best in his first MotoGP outing at this circuit.

FP1:
1. Valentino Rossi
2. Pol Espargaro
3. Maverick Viñales
4. Marc Marquez
5. Jorge Lorenzo
6. Dani Pedrosa
7. Andrea Dovizioso
8. Hector Barbera
9. Cal Crutchlow
10. Scott Redding
11. Aleix Espargaro
12. Stefan Bradl
13. Jack Miller
14. Michele Pirro
15. Danilo Petrucci
16. Alvaro Bautista
17. Andrea Iannone
18. Alex Lowes
19. Yonny Hernandez
20. Eugene Laverty
21. Tito Rabat
22. Javier Fores

CLICK HERE for full results.





Related Pictures

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Rossi, Czech MotoGP, 2016
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Marquez, Aragon MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Rossi, Aragon MotoGP 2016

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