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Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) set a blistering 1:32.198 in FP1 at the Gran Premio Lenovo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini to beat second place Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) by 0.550. Third place went the way of Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) on Friday morning, the Spaniard 0.751 adrift.
Glorious sunshine greeted the premier class riders at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, as they tackled the new asphalt for the first time in a race weekend. All the manufacturers bar Yamaha have tested at the venue in 2020 but it didn’t seem to affect the likes of Quartararo and Viñales at all, the YZR-M1 duo sitting pretty at the top of the timesheets from the get-go in FP1, with Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) inside the top four.
Things got very lively at the end of the session as some fresh Michelin rubber was slotted in, some early time attacks coming in as the riders started to think about automatic Q2 qualification. Viñales set the fastest time in the final two minutes to oust Quartararo from top spot, with the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini machines of Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith going into the top five alongside Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing). Viñales then slammed in a stunning last lap to see his advantage at the end of the opening session sit at over half a second.
Quartararo set a personal best lap on his last flying lap but sits 0.550 off his Yamaha rival, with Aleix Espargaro, Zarco and Smith completing the top five – Espargaro and Zarco the only other two riders to be within a second of Viñales after the opening 45 minutes. Mir and Miller claim sixth and seventh, with the injured Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) going very well in FP1 to sit P8. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) rounded out the top 10.
Compared to FP1 in 2019, Viñales was a second faster – the new surface obviously providing the riders with some good grip. Meanwhile, Styrian GP winner Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3) finished bottom of the times in FP1, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) P14 as the opening session threw up some interesting results. Tune in at 14:10 local time (GMT+2) to see how FP2 plays out.
1. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) – 1:32.198
2. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.550
3. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 0.751
4. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) + 0.983
5. Bradley Smith (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) + 1.046
6. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 1.299
7. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) + 1.304
8. Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) + 1.340
9. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 1.371
10. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 1.456
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