2017 Argentina MotoGP FP1 Result: Viñales Leads Intriguing First Session

That the Termas De Rio Hondo track is in better condition this year was obvious from the outset, and underlined by the times set by the MotoGP riders. Maverick Viñales' best time in FP1 was faster than the time set by Marc Marquez last year in FP3, after a day and a half of riding on the track.

Even more impressive about Viñales' time is the fact that he set it on a hard rear tire, at a time when everyone else was out chasing a fast time on the soft and medium rears. Race Direction had obliged all of the riders to do at least 5 laps on the hard rear Michelin during either FP1 or FP2, to ensure it was a safe tire to race on, but Viñales' time proves it is not only safe, but also competitive, at least on the Movistar Yamaha.

Behind Viñales, an interesting cast of characters lined up. Danilo Petrucci pushed hard late on to take second place on the Pramac Ducati GP17, two tenths behind the Movistar Yamaha, and just squeaked ahead of the two Monster Tech3 Yamaha riders, Johann Zarco edging out his teammate Jonas Folger. Karel Abraham was an impressive fifth fastest, on a two-year old Aspar Ducati GP15.

Andrea Iannone was the first Suzuki home, the Italian just a fraction slower than Abraham and a fraction quicker than the first Factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso, who took seventh. Hector Barbera set the eighth fastest time on the Avintia Ducati GP16, ahead of Jack Miller and Alvaro Bautista.

Though conditions so far have been very good, with clear skies and a strong wind, the weather is expected to turn. If it does rain in the afternoon, that would put a lot of riders in trouble. Marc Marquez, Aleix Espargaro, Scott Redding, Cal Crutchlow, Jorge Lorenzo, and Valentino Rossi are all outside the top ten, and provisionally in Q1 should the rain fall. 

There were a couple of minor incidents for the two championship favorites. Maverick Viñales had a very violent headshake as he changed direction through the last corner, which set off the airbag in his leathers. Marc Marquez came off worse, crashing out at Turn 2 early in the session, and taking a tumble through the gravel. Both men went back out again afterwards, though whether they picked up any minor aches and pains is unclear.

Results:

Pos No. Rider Bike Time Diff Prev
1 25 Maverick Viñales Yamaha 1'40.356    
2 9 Danilo Petrucci Ducati 1'40.562 0.206 0.206
3 5 Johann Zarco Yamaha 1'40.574 0.218 0.012
4 94 Jonas Folger Yamaha 1'40.660 0.304 0.086
5 17 Karel Abraham Ducati 1'40.678 0.322 0.018
6 29 Andrea Iannone Suzuki 1'40.701 0.345 0.023
7 4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 1'40.716 0.360 0.015
8 8 Hector Barbera Ducati 1'40.853 0.497 0.137
9 43 Jack Miller Honda 1'40.867 0.511 0.014
10 19 Alvaro Bautista Ducati 1'40.936 0.580 0.069
11 93 Marc Marquez Honda 1'40.958 0.602 0.022
12 41 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 1'40.982 0.626 0.024
13 45 Scott Redding Ducati 1'41.062 0.706 0.080
14 35 Cal Crutchlow Honda 1'41.073 0.717 0.011
15 99 Jorge Lorenzo Ducati 1'41.128 0.772 0.055
16 46 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 1'41.311 0.955 0.183
17 42 Alex Rins Suzuki 1'41.694 1.338 0.383
18 53 Tito Rabat Honda 1'41.703 1.347 0.009
19 26 Dani Pedrosa Honda 1'41.781 1.425 0.078
20 44 Pol Espargaro KTM 1'41.829 1.473 0.048
21 76 Loris Baz Ducati 1'41.867 1.511 0.038
22 38 Bradley Smith KTM 1'42.224 1.868 0.357
23 22 Sam Lowes Aprilia 1'42.237 1.881 0.013

 

Round Number: 
2
2017
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Comments

11th, 15th, 16th and 19th? Yeah, I know it's only FP1 but I think the aliens got lost in space.