Quartararo leads Vinales in final Friday Practice of the year

by Ryan Lilly

Fabio Quartararo has ended the opening day of action fastest ahead of Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez.

The cold Circuit Ricardo Tormo gave many riders problems throughout the opening day of the final round.

Fabio Quartararo lead the way in Friday morning’s session before going even quicker in the afternoon session, setting a lap time of a 1:30.735, +0.148s quicker than fellow Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales.

Marc Marquez completed the top three, +0.239s off the quickest time set by the French rookie.

Jack Miller finished the day in 4th despite a small crash at turn 2, with Franco Morbidelli and Alex Rins completing the top 6.

Joan Mir had a strong start to his final round as a MotoGP rookie, featuring in the top 5 for the majority of the afternoon session before eventually dropping down to 7th, +0.545s off his fellow rookie.

Aleix Espargaro was 8th ahead of Andrea Dovizioso who suffered a mechanical issue in the middle of Free Practice 2.

Johann Zarco has cemented himself in a Q2 spot, finishing the opening day 10th overall, +0.064s ahead of teammate Cal Crutchlow. Zarco was quicker than Crutchlow in the morning session as well.

Danilo Petrucci and Michelle Pirro were 12th and 13th, with Pirro suffering a mechanical session in Free Practice 1 when his GP19 caught fire.

Valentino Rossi had his worst day in 10 years, crashing twice over the course of the opening day, his first at turn 4 and his second a few hours later at turn 10 which resulted in a destroyed Monster Energy Yamaha.

Rossi had his worst day of the season, crashing twice in one day (Credit: MotoGP)

The Doctor looked to have a strong pace, featuring inside the top 5 throughout most of the day but two cold tyre crashes knocked the 9x World Champions confidence, ultimately leaving him in 14th.

Francesco Bagnaia leads Jorge Lorenzo in 15th and 16th ahead of 2018 podium finisher Pol Espargaro who had a slow start to his Valencian Grand Prix.

Tito Rabat lead teammate Karel Abraham, who also suffered a cold tyre crash in the morning session, whilst second Red Bull Factory KTM rider Mika Kallio completed the top 20.

Andrea Iannone was 21st ahead of the two Red Bull KTM Tech 3 bikes Hafizh Syahrin and Iker Lecuona, who ended his first day as a MotoGP rider just +2.152s off Quartararo’s top time.

The third and final Free Practice session kicks off tomorrow morning at 09:55 local time, where riders will battle it out for a spot inside the top ten.

Full combined Practice results:

PosRiderTeamManufacturerTime+/-
1Fabio QuartararoPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha1:30.735
2Maverick VinalesMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha1:30.883+0.148
3Marc MarquezRepsol Honda TeamHonda1:30.974+0.265
4Jack MillerPramac RacingDucati1:31.000+0.265
5Franco MorbidelliPetronas Yamaha SRTYamaha1:31.199+0.464
6Alex RinsTeam Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki1:31.230+0.495
7Joan MirTeam Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki1:31.280+0.545
8Aleix EspargaroAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia1:31.305+0.570
9Andrea DoviziosoDucati TeamDucati1:31.351+0.616
10Johann ZarcoLCR Honda IdemitsuHonda1:31.369+0.634
11Cal CrutchlowLCR HondaHonda1:31.433+0.698
12Danilo PetrucciDucati TeamDucati1:31.455+0.720
13Michelle PirroDucati TeamDucati1:31.765+1.133
14Valentino RossiMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPYamaha1:31.775+1.040
15Francesco BagnaiaPramac RacingDucati1:31.868+1.133
16Jorge LorenzoRepsol Honda TeamHonda1:31.88+1.145
17Pol EspargaroRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM1:31.905+1.170
18Tito RabatReale Avintia Racing Ducati1:32.159+1.424
19Karel AbrahamReale Avintia Racing Ducati1:32.278+1.543
20Mika KallioRed Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM1:32.467+1.732
21Andrea IannoneAprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia1:32.5681.833
22Hafizh SyahrinRed Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM1:32.887+2.152
23Iker LecuonaRed Bull KTM Tech 3KTM1:33.114+2.379

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