Buriram MotoGP: Vinales heads Rossi in Yamaha one-two in practice

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Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales topped first practice for the inaugural Thailand Grand Prix at Buriram, heading team-mate Valentino Rossi by just under three tenths of a second.

Times quickly tumbled in the opening part of the 45-minute session as the new-for-2018 venue rubbered in.

Though Yamaha ended up fastest, Honda man Marc Marquez sat atop the timesheets virtually throughout.

An early effort of 1m32.485s put Marquez over a second clear of the chasing pack, although by the conclusion of the opening runs his rivals – led by Pramac Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci – had closed the gap up to a little over a tenth.

Marquez managed to lower the bar from a 1m31.970s to a 1m31.668s in the second runs, with Andrea Iannone (Suzuki) taking over as his nearest challenger.

That benchmark survived until the final two minutes of the session, when Vinales took over at the top of the pack on a 1m31.220s, with Jack Miller slotting into second on the other Pramac Ducati moments later.

Vinales’ time put him fastest, but still fell 1.5s short of the best time set in February testing at Buriram, achieved by Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.

Rossi made it a Yamaha one-two just before the chequered flag fell, demoting Miller to third, before Andrea Dovizioso put his works Ducati ahead of the Australian as well.

Marquez didn’t improve on his final run after running wide at Turn 4, ending up fifth, ahead of Tech3 Yamaha man Johann Zarco, Iannone and Takaaki Nakagami’s LCR Honda.

Petrucci and Scott Redding (Aprilia) rounded out the top 10, followed by Cal Crutchlow on the second LCR machine.

Jorge Lorenzo, struggling with foot injuries from his first-corner crash at Aragon, set the 17th fastest time, 1.3s off the pace of Vinales and a little under a second slower than works Ducati team-mate Dovizioso.

Lorenzo was one place ahead of lead KTM runner Pol Espargaro, who is back to fitness after having to sit out the Aragon round.

Jordi Torres, on his second MotoGP start for Avintia Ducati replacing the injured Tito Rabat, was just a tenth off the pace of team-mate Xavier Simeon in 24th and last.

FP1 times

Pos Rider Team Bike Time Gap Laps
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 1m31.220s 21
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 1m31.490s 0.270s 22
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 1m31.636s 0.416s 19
4 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m31.637s 0.417s 22
5 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 1m31.668s 0.448s 21
6 Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m31.786s 0.566s 22
7 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 1m31.860s 0.640s 20
8 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 1m32.040s 0.820s 22
9 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 1m32.108s 0.888s 20
10 Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 1m32.191s 0.971s 18
11 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 1m32.280s 1.060s 20
12 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 1m32.313s 1.093s 20
13 Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 1m32.414s 1.194s 21
14 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 1m32.422s 1.202s 17
15 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 1m32.479s 1.259s 21
16 Alvaro Bautista Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m32.520s 1.300s 21
17 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati Ducati 1m32.521s 1.301s 19
18 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 1m32.648s 1.428s 20
19 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 1m32.770s 1.550s 20
20 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 1m32.947s 1.727s 17
21 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 1m33.092s 1.872s 21
22 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 1m33.133s 1.913s 20
23 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m33.272s 2.052s 17
24 Jordi Torres Avintia Ducati Ducati 1m33.406s 2.186s 21

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