Viñales leads the way from Rossi, Quartararo on Friday afternoon but it’s a Repsol Honda who sits over a second clear in Aragon

Marc Marquez’ (Repsol Honda Team) incredible 1:46.869 in FP1 sees the reigning World Champion sit over a second clear of the field on Day 1 at the Gran Premio Michelin de Aragon. Maverick Viñales was fastest from Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP teammate Valentino Rossi in FP2 as the duo sit inside the top three on the combined standings.

With rain threatening on Saturday, Marquez’ tactic was clear: get the work done in FP1 to get yourself into Q2, before focusing on race setup in the afternoon. Leading into the afternoon session Marquez had a 1.6 second advantage over Viñales, but it was Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) who were the ones improving their time early in FP2. However, neither could get close to Marquez’ time but it wouldn’t be the perfect day for the number 93. An unscathed crash at Turn 8 may have dampened the Championship leader’s spirits slightly, but even when the soft tyres were put in by his competitors at the end of FP2, no one would finish within a second.

In the battle to be best of the rest, Viñales held the baton. A good run of laps in the latter stages saw the Yamaha man chip away nicely at Marquez’ advantage. Riders such as Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) were threatening the top five, with LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow and Pol Esparagro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) jumping up to fourth and fifth respectively in the last five minutes, before Miller then shot himself back up the timing screens to P4 on the combined times.

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