Vinales leads the delayed FP1, Quartararo crashes

The first 45-minute session of the Aragon weekend was delayed by over half an hour due to the extremely low temperatures, as Michelin tires need at least around 12 degrees on the track for the compounds to work safely.

When the session finally began, KTM’s Pol Espargaro set the first reasonable lap time with 1: 51.032 minutes before championship leader Quartararo on the Petronas SRT Yamaha was ahead with 1: 51.005 minutes.

Quartararo leads the overall standings before the 10th race on Sunday, 10 points ahead of Suzuki’s Joan Mir.

The Frenchman improved to 1: 50.677 minutes, which was the benchmark for about six minutes, before team-mate Franco Morbidelli delivered 1: 50.533 minutes.

The Italian continued to improve to 1: 50.433 minutes, although his training session was interrupted in the last 10 minutes when he crashed into Turn 14 on the right hand corner.

The cool and windy conditions would catch a number of riders, with Avintias Johann Zarco being the first to be bitten by the cold when he wrecked his Ducati at Turn 14 10 minutes into the session.

Tech 3 rookies Alex Marquez (Honda) and Iker Lecuona – who was briefly at the top of the timesheet at the beginning of the session – also took trips to the gravel pits at Turn 2.

About 10 minutes after Morbidelli climbed to the top of the overall standings, Vinales on the only factory team, Yamaha, after Valentino Rossi was excluded with COVID-19, put him off with the first lap under 1:50 of the session – a 1: 49.866.

Due to the conditions and the promise of better conditions this afternoon, few went out for a soft tire time attack at the end of FP1, which meant that Vinales would go through unchallenged to the checkered flag.

Despite his fall, Morbidelli held second place in front of his teammate Quartararo, who hobbled away at Turn 8 after a fall at the end of the session.

Despite his earlier fall, Marquez jumped to fourth late with 1: 50.176 seconds ahead of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami and Mir’s Suzuki.

Pol Espargaro finished seventh on the leading KTM from Cal Crutchlow’s sister LCR bike, while Alex Rins (Suzuki) and Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia completed the top 10.

Last year’s Moto2 race winner in Aragon, Brad Binder, finished 11th on his KTM, while Jack Miller was the leading Ducati runner on the Pramac GP20 with a time of 1: 51.219 minutes.

All Ducati runners had a cautious FP1, with Le Mans winner Danilo Petrucci in 15th, team-mate Andrea Dovizioso in 17th and Pramacs Francesco Bagnaia in 21st behind Zarco.