Vinales Leads Australia FP1 as Marquez Crashes

by Louis Suddaby
Maverick Vinales - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Maverick Vinales topped the timesheets for Movistar Yamaha in first practice ahead of the Australian Grand Prix as newly crowned champion Marc Marquez was brought back down to earth with a bump at Phillip Island. Vinales edged out home favourite Jack Miller to lead a significantly delayed opening session with Marquez down in sixth after his tumble.

The session started nearly two hours behind schedule after an oil spill during the opening Moto3 practice. Stefano Nepa’s KTM appeared to suffer an engine failure exiting the pitlane, dropping fluids on an already wet race track. This presented the marshals and race direction with an arduous task to clean the circuit and Nepa was later suspended for the rest of the day for irresponsible riding.

By the time the MotoGP bikes went out for the first time, the track had totally dried out but the Repsol Honda riders were still caught out. Dani Pedrosa was fortunate to escape injury after a high-speed front-end washout at Doohan’s corner while Marquez joined his team-mate on the sidelines ten minutes later, losing control under braking for the downhill MG hairpin.

Vinales encountered no such problems, putting in a tremendous eleven-lap run which culminated in a 1:29.952 to top the timesheets, boosting Yamaha’s hopes of a potential end to their 28-race winless streak. A trio of Ducatis complete the top four with Miller the only other rider to lap inside 90 seconds, closely followed by Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso.

2016 winner Cal Crutchlow started brightly before dropping to fifth while Marquez wound up sixth following his crash. Andrea Iannone was seventh for Suzuki ahead of Johann Zarco and the impressive Karel Abraham while Valentino Rossi completed the top ten, something which may be significant if the notoriously unpredictable Phillip Island weather deteriorates, locking off the top Q2 spots.

 

2018 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (FP1 Result)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
125. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:29.952
243. Jack MillerDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:29.989
39. Danilo PetrucciDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:30.027
44. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:30.121
535. Cal CrutchlowHondaLCR Honda Castrol1:30.266
693. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:30.384
729. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:30.418
85. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:30.658
917. Karel AbrahamDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:30.772
1046. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:30.828
1143. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:30.936
1255. Hafizh SyahrinYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:30.956
1326. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:30.984
1419. Alvaro BautistaDucatiDucati Team1:31.197
1542. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:31.207
1630. Takaaki NakagamiHondaLCR Honda IDEMITSU1:31.339
1738. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:31.546
1821. Franco MorbidelliHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:31.670
1945. Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:31.941
2010. Xavier SimeonDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:32.013
2112. Thomas LuthiHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:32.024
2241. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:32.334
2381. Jordi TorresDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:32.793
247. Mike JonesDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:35.012

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