Vinales Dominates FP1 at Barcelona, Smashes Circuit Record

The action got underway at Barcelona, with the first Free Practice of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya ending with Maverick Vinales' Suzuki in the leading position. The young Spaniard not only lapped around the Montmelo track faster than Jorge Lorenzo, but also obliterated the circuit record.
Maverick Vinales, Barcelona 2016, FP1 3 photos
FP1 at Barcelona, 2016Vinales, FP1 at Barcelona, 2016
The 2015 World Champion was quick to set the pace of the first outing at 1’42.143 on the fifth lap, but this was a short-lived performance. Vinales replied with a blazing 1’42.065 lap that put him .117s under the circuit lap and 0.078s ahead of Lorenzo.

Rossi showed more confidence than he usually has in the early FP sessions and posted the third best time, 0.303s adrift his teammate. Surprisingly, the Barcelona FP1 say Pol Espargaro in fourth, followed by Yonny Hernandez.

The session's top ten was completed by Iannone, Marquez, Barbera, Crutchlow and Aleix Espargaro. Dovizioso was only 13th, followed by Pedrosa.

Honda is clearly not having the best time of the season as they struggle to manage the acceleration. While Marquez appears to have a slightly better understanding of how the bike reacts and is pushing the limits, Pedrosa has a more cautious approach.

As he already declared, another Honda rider, Cal Crutchlow is trying to make up for the lack of predictability his bike has, but so far, his results are significantly more modest than ever before.

Tito Rabat, Jack Miller, Hector Barbera, and Danilo Petrucci met the Catalan asphalt closer than they would have liked, with Turn 2 being the most unfortunate one. None of the four riders that crashed suffered injuries, not even Tito Rabat, who is back on the bike after fracturing his left collarbone in FP3 in Mugello.

Loris Baz will sit out of the Catalan Grand Prix as he is recovering from surgery after he injured his right foot, also at Mugello.


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