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Sport Vinales half a second clear of Marquez in Austin FP1

19:55  21 april  2017
19:55  21 april  2017 Source:   readsport.co

Marquez rises to Vinales challenge in FP2

  Marquez rises to Vinales challenge in FP2 Honda’s Marc Marquez fired his first warning shot to Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales by topping the timesheets in FP2 by almost three tenths of a second. Marquez has been the king of the Circuit of the Americas since the world championship began coming to the venue in 2013, and victory has always looked a formality even before a wheel has been turned. However, Vinales sent a letter of intent in the morning session by going half a second clear of the Honda rider, who spent the session struggling to handle the RC213V over CoTA’s worsening bumps. Marquez fought back early in second practice, hitting the top of the timing screens with a 2m04.622s, though this was beaten by two tenths by Vinales 10 minutes later. The Honda rider dug deep at the end of the session to produce a 2m04.061s to end the day top on the combined times. Johann Zarco enjoyed a decent start to proceedings in FP1, and carried that form over to the afternoon to head into tomorrow’s running second overall ahead of both factory Yamaha riders. Vinaled completed the top three, almost four tenths adrift of Marquez’s best effort, though did not fit a softer tyre for a time attack towards the end of the session. Team-mate Valentino Rossi struggled in the morning on corner entry, a common woe so far this season. However, the Italian looks to be in a better shape heading forward than he has done at any stage so far in 2017 after he popped in the fourth quickest time of the day, albeit seven tenths off the pace.

The Repsol Honda rider, seeking a perfect sixth pole and win at COTA this weekend, was 0.396s clear of Valentino Rossi in FP 1 , then just 0.056s from Iannone in the quicker FP 2 . Vinales was just behind Marquez in third, 0.264s from the top.

Yamaha's championship leader Maverick Vinales led the way by more than half - a - second in first practice for the Austin MotoGP round. That put Vinales 0.073s ahead of Marquez , and he then set a 2 m04.923s the next time around to go 0.612s clear .

MotoGp of Argentina - Race © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport MotoGp of Argentina - Race

Maverick Vinales continued his perfect start to 2017 as he topped first practice for the Grand Prix of the Americas.

MotoGP championship leader Vinales ended FP1 0.577s clear of Austin specialist Marc Marquez, who has traditionally dominated in previous seasons, winning all four races at the Circuit of the Americas since 2013.

Marquez led team-mate Dani Pedrosa after the first runs but Vinales soon stamped his authority on proceedings, being the first and only man to dip into the 2m04s on Yamaha.

Andrea Dovizioso went third ahead of Johann Zarco and Alvaro Bautista late on with the former using a soft rear tyre.

Marquez holds firm in final Moto2 practice

  Marquez holds firm in final Moto2 practice Marc VDS rider Alex Marquez continued to set the pace in Austin after topping the final practice session ahead of Miguel Oliveira. The Marc VDS team have been on supreme form all weekend, Marquez and team-mate Franco Morbidelli leading the charge at the end of Friday’s running. For much of FP2, it was double race winner in 2017 Morbidelli who topped the standings, the Italian focusing on race set-up. As the session drew to a close, Marquez fired in the best lap of the weekend with a 2m10.164s to go just under a tenth and a half clear of KTM’s Oliveira, the Austrian marque impressing at a circuit they have no data of. Morbidelli was relegated to third by session’s end, but just 0.145s off the pace, which sets up a tantalising qualifying segment later this afternoon. Honda Team Asia’s Takaaki Nakagami has largely flown under the radar in Texas so far, the Japanese rider coming into today’s action 10th on the combined times. In FP3, Nakagami guided his Kalex to fourth ahead of Italtrans’ Mattia Pasini. Tom Luthi was almost seven tenths off the pace, but will be happy with sixth spot at a track he hasn’t enjoyed the greatest amount of success at. Fabio Quartararo took his maiden grand prix podium at the Circuit of the Americas back in 2015, and is running well in his debut Moto2 race at the Texan venue in seventh. Xavier Simeon was a decent eighth on the Tasca Racing machine, with Lorenzo Baldassarri and Axel Pons rounding out the top 10.

Marquez was almost a second clear of his rivals earlier in the session, although the Yamahas of Rossi and Maverick Vinales were able to close the gab somewhat later on. Iannone pips Marquez to grab top spot. Marquez leads Yamaha duo in FP 1 . Marquez eyes sixth win in Austin .

Marquez was almost a second clear of his rivals earlier in the session, although the Yamahas of Rossi and Maverick Vinales were able to close the gab somewhat later on. Way down the pecking order was Dani Pedrosa, who was more than three and a half seconds slower than Honda team-mate

Like Ducati team-mate Dovizioso, Lorenzo opted for the soft rear tyre and improved significantly on his initial benchmark to go sixth.

Dani Pedrosa ended up seventh and was just over a second shy of Vinales’ benchmark.

Like it has been for the whole of 2017, Valentino Rossi lagged well behind his younger team-mate and languished outside the top 10 before putting on two soft tyres to go eighth fastest.

Aleix Espargaró and Danilo Petrucci were ninth and tenth fastest respectively.

Cal Crutchlow recovered from an early crash at Turn 6 to end first practice in 11th ahead of Jack Miller.

FP2 for MotoGP gets underway later this evening at 2005 BST.

Vinales bemused by race crash .
Maverick Vinales proved he was human in Sunday’s 21-lap Grand Prix of the Americas, as the Spaniard registered his first DNF since Argentina 2016. The Spaniard had been in imperious form all weekend, and looked a serious challenger to Honda’s Marc Marquez’s 100% pole and win record at the Circuit of the Americas. He was denied pole by just over a tenth, but his long run pace was still strong enough to see him fight for the win. An average start had Vinales having to fight his way through Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo and Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi. However, at the end of the second lap, his charge crumbled as he tucked the front-end of his M1 going through the long right of Turn 18. The crash has baffled the Spaniard, as he did not feel as if he did anything different than he had done all weekend. He theorises that potentially there was a problem with his medium front Michelin tyre. Twitter: Viñales has gone down! It won’t be the dream hat-trick for #MV25! #RiderOK #AmericasGP https://t.co/KucjbdWjm3 (@MotoGP) “It was a really strange crash,” a dejected Vinales explained. “I did exactly the same as in warm up, and all weekend but I crashed. I think we had some issues with the front tyre.” Rossi went on to finish second, and with Vinales tallying up no points for the first time in his Yamaha career the Italian moves six points ahead of him in the championship standings. Despite this, Vinales is remaining upbeat. His pace all weekend suggested he would be a fixture in the battle for victory, and knows that he can continue the strong form he has shown so far when MotoGP heads to his home race at Jerez next month. “Anyway, we know that we are strong and that we have the speed,” he added. “We can be strong again, so I am going to try to forget this crash and come to Jerez even faster, strong and more consistent than I was here.

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