MotoGP

Austin MotoGP: Maverick Vinales ahead of Marc Marquez in practice – MotoGP


Maverick Vinales beat Marc Marquez to top second practice for this weekend’s Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin, as Honda introduced a Ducati-style winglet on its MotoGP bike.

Honda had already gained the approval of MotoGP technical director Danny Aldridge to use its version of the controversial appendage first used by Ducati in Qatar, with the winglet finally breaking cover on Marquez’s bike during his second run.

By that stage, the reigning champion had already beaten his benchmark time from the morning’s opening practice session, moving to the top on a 2m05.276s early on, before laying down a 2m04.719s on his next lap.

That lap remained the one to beat until the final five minutes of the session, when the soft-tyre runs began in earnest, but Marquez found himself giving a tow to the Pramac Ducati of Jack Miller – who duly set a time 0.005 seconds faster to take the top spot.

Next time round, Marquez was on course for the fastest time but pulled over late in the lap to allow Miller by. But moments before, Yamaha rider Vinales had eclipsed both Miller and Marquez riding on his own, setting a 2m03.857s.

Marquez tried to respond on his final flying lap, but had to settle for second, falling short by 0.044s.

Valentino Rossi briefly made it a Yamaha one-two with his 2m04.003s lap, and ended up third, just over a tenth slower than Marquez and 0.002s up on Miller in fourth.

LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow completed the top five, followed by Alex Rins on the Suzuki and KTM’s Pol Espargaro – who profited from sitting behind Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati on his best lap.

Grabbing the final three provisional Q2 spots were Petronas Yamaha pair Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo and the second Pramac bike of rookie Francesco Bagnaia.

Dovizioso was the biggest name to miss out on a space in the top 10, ending up almost a tenth down on Bagnaia, and with rain forecast for Saturday morning the 2017/18 championship runner-up faces having to fight through Q1.

Works team-mate Danilo Petrucci ended up down in 13th, a place ahead of top Aprilia rider Aleix Espargaro, while Jorge Lorenzo’s tough weekend continued in 16th place.

Practice two times

Pos Rider Team Time Gap Laps
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha 2m03.857s 15
2 Marc Marquez Honda 2m03.901s 0.044s 16
3 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 2m04.003s 0.146s 17
4 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati 2m04.005s 0.148s 14
5 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 2m04.118s 0.261s 16
6 Alex Rins Suzuki 2m04.353s 0.496s 16
7 Pol Espargaro KTM 2m04.364s 0.507s 15
8 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha 2m04.548s 0.691s 15
9 Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha 2m04.589s 0.732s 16
10 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati 2m04.630s 0.773s 13
11 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 2m04.714s 0.857s 16
12 Joan Mir Suzuki 2m04.851s 0.994s 15
13 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 2m04.906s 1.049s 16
14 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 2m04.953s 1.096s 14
15 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda 2m05.020s 1.163s 16
16 Jorge Lorenzo Honda 2m05.169s 1.312s 16
17 Johann Zarco KTM 2m05.491s 1.634s 16
18 Andrea Iannone Aprilia 2m05.955s 2.098s 16
19 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati 2m06.162s 2.305s 13
20 Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati 2m06.204s 2.347s 15
21 Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM 2m06.276s 2.419s 16
22 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM 2m06.850s 2.993s 16



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