Sport Vinales half a second clear of Marquez in Austin FP1

19:55  21 april  2017
19:55  21 april  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Marquez pips Vinales for fifth straight CoTA pole

  Marquez pips Vinales for fifth straight CoTA pole Honda’s Marc Marquez pipped Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales to pole position in a thrilling qualifying session, with Valentino Rossi completing the front row. Marquez has never been beaten in Texas on a Saturday, but that record looked seriously under threat as Vinales set the timing screens ablaze in practice. Wasting no time, Marquez made his intentions plain from the start, going top with a 2m03.042s on his second flying lap. Vinales countered this with a 2m02.871s on his final lap, his third pole of 2017 almost a done deal. However, Marquez, a few corners behind, had illuminated the timing screens red in the first three sectors. Despite closing right onto the back of Rossi, who took the chequered flag for his first front row of the year, Marquez had enough time in hand to post a 2m02.741s for his fifth successive pole at the Circuit of the Americas and his 67th overall. Dani Pedrosa heads the second row of the grid with Tech 3’s Johann Zarco close behind in fifth. Jorge Lorenzo, who came through the first part of qualifying, put in his best performance on the Ducati to go sixth quickest ahead of team-mate Andrea Dovizioso. Jonas Folger guided the sister Tech 3 Yamaha to eighth on the grid, with Cal Crutchlow ninth after a late tumble at Turn 11. Scott Redding, Andrea Iannone and Jack Miller, the latter two also visiting COTA’s gravel traps, complete the top 12.

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At the time that was more than a second clear of the field, but Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo was also on a flying lap, and quickly narrowed that gap to Vinales ' eventual margin of 0.282 seconds. Championship leader Marc Marquez crashed at Farm corner in the first half of the session after losing the front end

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 didn't expect pole challenge

  Marquez didn't expect pole challenge Marc Marquez stormed to his fifth successive pole at the Circuit of the Americas in a thrilling shootout with Maverick Vinales, but admits he did not expect to do so having struggled with his RC213V throughout practice. Marquez suffered a confidence-bashing third free practice on Saturday morning, the Spaniard crashing twice in the cooler conditions. As a result, he was unable to improve on his Friday lap time, and headed into qualifying still looking for performance on fresh rubber. Twitter: 2nd crash of the session for #MM93! A nasty one as well… fortunately #RiderOK #AmericasGP https://t.co/0BH4gY8Nrt (@MotoGP) Despite not feeling totally comfortable over one lap, Marquez was determined to keep his Austin qualifying record intact and threw caution to the wind, digging deep to go top of the pile on his first flying lap with the best time of the weekend. He raised the benchmark on his second tour, though this was surpassed by Vinales. On his final attempt, Marquez produced a 2m02.741s to go just over a tenth clear of the field for his 67th career pole. “This pole makes me feel really good, because I honestly didn’t expect it, or actually I though it would be difficult,” he explained. “In fact, even considering that this circuit suits my riding style, I’ve been struggling a bit this weekend. We knew our opponents were very strong on new tyres and we worked a lot on race distance, and I felt better on race pace than on qualifying pace.

Maverick Viñales ' best time in FP 1 was faster than the time set by Marc Marquez last year in FP3, after a day and a half of riding on the track. Though conditions so far have been very good, with clear skies and a strong wind, the weather is expected to turn.

04/09/2016 @ 7:04 am, by David EmmettComments Off on Friday MotoGP Summary at Austin : Marquez ’s New Style, Viñales ’ Bright Future, & Smith’s Personal Revolution. Take Márquez out of the equation, and a second separates places two and fourteen.

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.

Morbidelli cruises to third victory of 2017 season in Austin .
Marc VDS’ Franco Morbidelli has completed a perfect start to the season by winning his third successive race and his first at the Circuit of the Americas. The Italian eased to victory, though did come under fire in the early stages from team-mate Alex Marquez and Mattia Pasini. A mistake for Marquez saw him drop down the order to fourth, and the Spaniard chewed up his rubber trying to get back on terms with Morbidelli. Tom Luthi soon began lighting up the timing screens on his Interwetten Kalex, and had Morbidelli just half a second a head with just 10 laps to go. However, the Swiss rider’s challenge quickly faded and Morbidelli streaked clear to become the first rider in the intermediate class since Daijiro Kato in 2001 to win the opening three races of the season. Honda Team Asia’s Takaaki Nakagami made a welcome return to the rostrum after a disastrous Argentine round in third, with Marquez coming home in a distant fourth. Kiefer Racing’s Dominique Aegerter gave Suter their best result of their comeback in fifth. KTM’s Miguel Oliveria, Speed Up’s Simone Corsi, Dynavolt’s Marcel Schrotter, Tech 3’s Xavi Vierge and Forward’s Luca Marini were the final riders inside the top ten. The next round of the championship takes place on the 7th May in Spain at the Jerez circuit.

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