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MotoGP Americas: Vinales lays down an early marker with FP1 flyer

Maverick Viñales out-paces Marc Marquez by half a second in MotoGP FP1 in Austin, Texas; only Andrea Dovizoso can get close to the front two.
MotoGP form man Maverick Viñales was in ominous form throughout the first free practice session in Austin, Texas, as he topped the standings from Marc Marquez by a full half second.

Keen to lay a marker down at the venue where Marquez has dominated during the past four seasons, Viñales assumed top spot mid-way through the 45 minutes, and soon went on to consolidate that with a 2m 4.923s lap.

For the 3.4-mile 20-corner Circuit of the Americas track, times were typically spread apart with sixth placed Jorge Lorenzo over a second slower than the quickest rider.

There appeared to be some improvements for the factory Ducati squad, as Andrea Dovizioso was a fine third after jumping up the order late into the session.

Not only quick in Qatar and Argentina, Johann Zarco again underlined his growing reputation as a MotoGP star by placing fourth in FP1, 0.8s off Viñales' best time.

Alvaro Bautista was fifth, ahead of Lorenzo, who spent much of the session stranded in 16th before a late jump. Dani Pedrosa was seventh, with Valentino Rossi (eighth), Aleix Espargaro (ninth) and Danilo Petrucci (tenth) all improving late on.

Cal Crutchlow brushed off an early fall at turn six to place eleventh, narrowly ahead of Jack Miller and Scott Redding.


FP1:
1. Maverick Viñales
2. Marc Marquez
3. Andrea Dovizioso
4. Johann Zarco
5. Alvaro Bautista
6. Jorge Lorenzo
7. Dani Pedrosa
8. Valentino Rossi
9. Aleix Espargaro
10. Danilo Petrucci
11. Cal Crutchlow
12. Jack Miller
13. Scott Redding
14. Jonas Folger
15. Hector Barbera
16. Andrea Iannone
17. Tito Rabat
18. Loris Baz
19. Karel Abraham
20. Alex Rins
21. Pol Espargaro
22. Sam Lowes
23. Bradley Smith

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