Maverick Viñales has come out with a statement of intent in the first session of free practice for the MotoGP class. The Suzuki rider just pipped Jorge Lorenzo in the final minutes, after Lorenzo had dominated for much of the session.
Valentino Rossi closed the deficit to his Movistar Yamaha teammate towards the end of the session, cutting the gap from three quarters of a second to just under four tenths. In the preliminary rush for Q2 during the final few minutes, Pol Espargaro leaped up to fourth, ahead of Yonny Hernandez and Andrea Iannone. Marc Marquez did not improve at the end, dropping down the order to seventh, just ahead of Hector Barbera and Aleix Espargaro.
There were a fair few fallers, despite conditions being nigh on perfect. Hector Barbera was the first to go, falling on the out lap, but Jack Miller, Tito Rabat and Danilo Petrucci also went down, all without incident.