Vinales, Quartararo set the pace in Japan MotoGP

Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Fabio Quartararo of France (C) leads Ducati Team rider Danilo Petrucci of Italy (L) during the second free practice session at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Motegi, Tochigi prefecture. AFP

It was the day of the Yamaha machines as Maverick Vinales (Yamaha MotoGP) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) topped the first two free practice sessions respectively for the weekend’s MotoGP Grand Prix of Japan here on Friday.

Spaniard Vinales’ fastest time was one minute, 45.572 seconds on his last lap. Highly talented rookie Frenchman Quartararo timed 1:44.764, the fastest combined practice time of the day.

Marc Marquez, the six-time MotoGP champion from Repsol Honda, was fourth and third in the two sessions respectively at the Twin Ring Motegi Circuit here. The Spaniard had wrapped up his sixth MotoGP title in the previous round in Thailand.

“The approach to the weekend is the same. Last year, we struggled a little bit on Sunday. We started the day with the normal pace, but the feeling was not the best one. We tried to adapt the setup to the circuit and we did a great job,” Marquez said.

“In free practice 2, I stopped four times in the box and this is not normal for me. There was some confusion with the setup and we will try to analyse all these things. But even with this the pace is not bad and we need to work in a different way,” he added.

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