Vinales leads Yamaha 1-2-3 in Japan MotoGP 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.

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

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.

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.

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap Laps
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m45.572s 20
2 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 1m45.830s 0.258s 18
3 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 1m45.983s 0.411s 20
4 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m46.035s 0.463s 19
5 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m46.065s 0.493s 19
6 Joan Mir Suzuki Suzuki 1m46.125s 0.553s 20
7 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m46.197s 0.625s 16
8 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m46.206s 0.634s 20
9 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m46.215s 0.643s 15
10 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m46.289s 0.717s 18
11 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m46.414s 0.842s 13
12 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m46.420s 0.848s 19
13 Danilo Petrucci Ducati Ducati 1m46.535s 0.963s 19
14 Andrea Iannone Aprilia Aprilia 1m46.745s 1.173s 17
15 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m46.763s 1.191s 19
16 Mika Kallio KTM KTM 1m46.898s 1.326s 14
17 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM KTM 1m46.942s 1.370s 18
18 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m47.327s 1.755s 18
19 Jorge Lorenzo Honda Honda 1m47.438s 1.866s 17
20 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m47.496s 1.924s 18
21 Sylvain Guintoli Suzuki Suzuki 1m47.753s 2.181s 19
22 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m48.097s 2.525s 20
23 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM KTM 1m48.358s 2.786s 17

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