Maverick Viñales took advantage of the cooler conditions to storm to the top of the timesheets as this year’s British Grand Prix got underway at Silverstone this morning.
The Spaniard left it until late to charge for his time but did it in style when he did, toppling Marc Marquez from the top of the timesheets by over a second. Only Movistar Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo would get close to Vinales’ time in the final minutes of the session.
Marquez, who crashed out after tucking the front of his Repsol Honda half way through the session, set the third fastest time but was crucially 0.8 seconds off Jorge Lorenzo’s second place time.
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Valentino Rossi moved up to fourth while testing the updated Yamaha swingarm and chassis at the end of the session to place ahead of early session leader Andrea Dovizioso.
Pol Espargaro rounded out the top six, ahead of Andrea Iannone who pulled in to the pits with smoke bellowing from the rear of his Desmosedici GP16 towards the end of the 45-minute practice.
After leading the session at the half way point, Scott Redding was the highest placed Brit for Pramac Ducati in ninth, behind Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. Podium man at Silverstone last year, Danilo Petrucci rounded out the top ten.
Alex Lowes made a steady but impressive start to his Grand Prix debut deputising for Bradley Smith at Tech 3 Yamaha, lapping just 3.7 seconds off the pace. The British rider did tip off towards the end of the session on an out-lap at turn 12, mirroring Marquez’s earlier crash with Hector Barbera also a falling at the fast left hander.
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