As the formation lap got underway, rain began to fall which led to every team setting up their rider’s second bike. 

With the rain failing to intensify, the race started in dry conditions as Vinales made a brilliant launch.

The Spaniard went from fourth to second while Bagnaia kept hold of his lead.


But with Bagnaia slowly edging away as the opening lap came to a close, Vinales was then attacked by his teammate as Espargaro went through under braking at turn one. 

As Vinales began to lose even more time, fellow Spaniard Jorge Martin then challenged the Aprilia rider before nearly running into him at turn one.

Martin's error meant he ran off circuit and dropped down to sixth spot, however, Martin came back through on Marco Bezzecchi immediately. 

Also making a great start was Marc Marquez, as the eight-time world champion moved up from 12th to seventh during the early stages.

As Vinales started setting similar lap times to the two leaders, Espargaro looked keen to overtake Bagnaia as less than two tenths separated the pair. 

Espargaro’s charge continued on lap six as he tried to get alongside Bagnaia on the run to turn one, but he was unable to make a move.

Just behind the two leaders, Vinales was coming into his own as he began closing in on the leading duo.

Espargaro then claimed the lead on lap seven as he got the better of Bagnaia under braking at turn one. 

Despite making a pass, Espargaro cost himself not time at all as he ended the lap with a lead of over half a second. 

Espargaro continued to extend his lead as Vinales began catching Bagnaia, whilst also dragging Brad Binder along with him. 

As Espargaro completely dropped Bagnaia, Vinales was doing everything to try and get alongside heading into turn one.

Despite better acceleration, Vinales failed to make a move and had to settle for third.