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Vinales fights off Marquez to go fastest in France

Maverick Vinales

Bengaluru, May 18: As the dust settled on the opening day of the free practice session of Frencgh GP at the Le Manc circuit, it was Monster Energy Yamaha's Maverick Vinales at the top of the pile, with the 2017 race winner fast all day and deposing reigning FIM MotoGP World Championship winner Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) by 0.190 seconds.

Home hero Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) completed the top three after topping FP1, with the Frenchman's pace showing no sign of abating.

Marquez sets pace

Marquez sets pace

The day started sunny before the Le Mans clouds loomed at the start of FP2 to serve as a reminder of the weather warnings for Saturday...not that anyone needed one.

After some drama that saw Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) take a tumble and then Pramac Racing's Jack Miller, it was Honda at the top with Marquez, followed by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol), but the timing screens were about to be painted red.

With just under ten minutes to go to get that fast lap in, Repsol Honda Team's Jorge Lorenzo bolted first and went fastest overall. It was game on.

Dovizioso makes his move

Dovizioso makes his move

Then Crutchlow crashed, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini's Aleix Espargaro capitalised to push the British rider out the provisional top ten, and Vinales moved the goal posts again to go top.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) then seemed on to go faster still but lost time near the end of the lap, before there was more drama as Aleix Espargaro crashed, Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) crashed for a second time and then Miller followed his lead.

Rossi struggles

Rossi struggles

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) struggled though.

The 'Doctor' is P14 overall heading into FP3 and couldn't crack the top ten, although he was another suffering some drama on Friday as one run in FP1 was interrupted by his chain coming off

Quartararo in the mix

Quartararo in the mix

Home hero Quartararo is in the mix as the Frenchman's pace is showing no sign of abating.

If the fight for pole in France sees rain shuffle the pack, who masters the classic venue in the wet will be a topic of interest and suspense.

(With a special arrangement from Dorna Sports)

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Story first published: Saturday, May 18, 2019, 13:25 [IST]
Other articles published on May 18, 2019
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