Maverick Vinales picked up in Argentina where he had left off in Qatar by setting the pace in first practice at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. The championship leader didn’t have a trouble-free session by any means but ultimately ended the morning on top ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci.
Vinales was among the pacesetters right from the start of FP1 but the Spaniard caused a few nervous moments in the Movistar Yamaha pit box with a moment at the final corner fifteen minutes in. As the YZR-M1 snapped out of control, Vinales appeared to have sustained damage to his wrist but it later transpired that the only inconvenience was the airbag activating inside his leathers.
Pre-race favourite Marc Marquez was also encountering problems, the world champion losing the front end of his Honda at turn two, forcing him to complete the session on his number two bike. By this point, Vinales was back out on track and he rapidly improved his benchmark time to finish the session on a 1:40.356, two tenths clear of Petrucci.
The rookie pairing at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 continues to impress with Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger finishing third and fourth respectively, just ahead of Karel Abraham who climbed to a lofty fifth with a late charge. Andrea Iannone was sixth for Suzuki, edging out former team-mate Andrea Dovizioso while Hector Barbera, Jack Miller and Alvaro Bautista rounded out the top ten.
After his crash, Marquez dropped to eleventh while Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi made quiet starts, ending fifteenth and sixteenth.
2017 Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina: Free Practice 1 Classification
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