Monster Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales topped the opening MotoGP free practice at Buriram as world champion-elect Marc Marquez suffered a whopping out-lap crash in the last five minutes of the session.
He was taken to the medical centre for checks, joining Miguel Oliveira who went down at the same corner but right at the top of the period.
After Oliveria’s incident was dealt with, Marquez stormed to the top of the timesheets with set a string of quick laps, confirming his strong pace for the weekend ahead with a best of 1’31.187.
However, Yamaha would fight back in the final few moments, with Maverick Viñales topping the session from Fabio Quartararo. The Monster Yamaha man opened a gap of two-tenths over Marquez with his final lap on new medium slicks all round while the Frenchman went with a new soft rear for his 1’31.170.
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizoso finished in fourth place with a hard front/soft rear Michelin combo allowing his Ducati a 1’31.205 with Pramac Ducati’s Jack Miller next on 1’31.227.
Valentino Rossi led Yamaha protege Franco Morbidelli home by less than a tenth as The Doctor posted a 1’31.482 on a new heard rear with old friend Danilo Petrucci in eighth, Joan Mir in ninth and Pecco Bagnaia in tenth.
Alex Rins took his works Suzuki to 11th with the Espargaros in 12th and 13th. Britain’s Cal Crutchlow ended down in 18th and 1.6s off the pace.
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