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Practice report

MotoGP Americas GP: Vinales tops opening practice from Martin, Acosta

Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales topped the opening 45-minute practice session for the MotoGP Americas Grand Prix from Pramac’s Jorge Martin.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

MotoGP returns from a three-week break since the Portuguese GP at the end of March after the Argentina round was cancelled due to a lack of government funding.

Aptly, the Circuit of the Americas is also the first round to be staged since it was announced that US media giant Liberty had acquired Dorna Sports in a deal worth €4.2 billion.

COTA has been partially resurfaced since MotoGP’s last visit to Texas, though lap times were over two seconds off the all-time record of 2m01.892s set by Francesco Bagnaia in 20213.

Vinales set the initial pace in the session at a 2m07.601s, before working that down to a 2m03.294s by way of a final time attack in the closing stages on fresh medium Michelin rubber.

This would be enough to keep Vinales – who revealed the gearbox issue which ruled him out of the Portuguese GP was a human error - top of the order by 0.149 seconds when the chequered flag came out, with championship leader Martin trailing him on the Pramac Ducati.

Tech3 GasGas rookie sensation Pedro Acosta completed the top three having scored a maiden podium last time out in Portugal, while seven-time COTA winner Marc Marquez was eighth on the Gresini Ducati.

As the field felt their way around the partially resurfaced COTA in the opening moments of FP1, lap times were far from representative as the likes of Vinales, Acosta, Martin, Marco Bezzecchi and Marc Marquez took turns leading the times.

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Marc Marquez, Gresini Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

At the halfway mark, eight-time world champion Marquez sat atop the standings with a 2m04.499s, before Martin took over with a 2m04.297s with 17 minutes to go.

Five minutes later KTM’s Jack Miller guided his RC16 to a 2m04.210s, before KTM stablemate Acosta produced a 2m03.802s on a new medium rear tyre.

Acosta wouldn’t see out the session as the fastest rider, though, as Vinales – also on fresh rubber – found a 2m03.294s with a couple of minutes left on the clock to secure top spot.

Martin put a bit of pressure of Vinales’ time on his final flying lap, having also gone for fresh tyres, but came up 0.149s short as the Pramac rider slotted in between the factory Aprilia and Tech3’s Acosta.

Enea Bastianini, winner at COTA in 2022, was fourth on the factory team Ducati from VR46’s Bezzecchi and KTM’s Brad Binder.

Franco Morbidelli enjoyed a strong morning on the sister Pramac Ducati in seventh, with Marc Marquez eight having elected against a switch to new rubber late on in the session.

Miller and VR46’s Fabio Di Giannantonio completed the top 10, with Bagnaia 11th having run the same tyres all session.

Last year’s Americas GP winner Alex Rins was the top Yamaha in 13th, 0.033s ahead of team-mate Fabio Quartararo – who comes to America with a fresh two-year contract with the Japanese brand in his back pocket.

Luca Marini led the Honda charge in 15th from team-mate Joan Mir, while a crash for Gresini’s Alex Marquez left him 20th.

MotoGP Americas GP Practice Results

   
1
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5
   
   
1
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2
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Spain M. Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 17

2'03.294

  160.971  
2 Spain J. Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 17

+0.149

2'03.443

0.149 160.777  
3 Spain P. Acosta Tech 3 31 KTM 16

+0.312

2'03.606

0.163 160.565  
4 Italy E. Bastianini Ducati Team 23 Ducati 16

+0.406

2'03.700

0.094 160.443  
5 Italy M. Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 16

+0.518

2'03.812

0.112 160.297  
6 South Africa B. Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 18

+0.571

2'03.865

0.053 160.229  
7 Italy F. Morbidelli Pramac Racing 21 Ducati 17

+0.610

2'03.904

0.039 160.178  
8 Spain M. Marquez Gresini Racing 93 Ducati 16

+0.709

2'04.003

0.099 160.050  
9 Australia J. Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 17

+0.916

2'04.210

0.207 159.784  
10 Italy F. Di Giannantonio Team VR46 49 Ducati 14

+0.932

2'04.226

0.016 159.763  
11 Italy F. Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 17

+0.948

2'04.242

0.016 159.743  
12 Spain R. Fernández Trackhouse Racing Team 25 Aprilia 16

+0.978

2'04.272

0.030 159.704  
13 Spain A. Rins Yamaha Factory Racing 42 Yamaha 17

+1.011

2'04.305

0.033 159.662  
14 France F. Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 17

+1.017

2'04.311

0.006 159.654  
15 Italy L. Marini Repsol Honda Team 10 Honda 16

+1.108

2'04.402

0.091 159.537  
16 Spain J. Mir Repsol Honda Team 36 Honda 15

+1.141

2'04.435

0.033 159.495  
17 Portugal M. Oliveira Trackhouse Racing Team 88 Aprilia 17

+1.220

2'04.514

0.079 159.394  
18 Spain A. Fernandez Tech 3 37 KTM 15

+1.265

2'04.559

0.045 159.336  
19 Spain A. Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 15

+1.519

2'04.813

0.254 159.012  
20 Spain A. Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 16

+1.563

2'04.857

0.044 158.956  
21 France J. Zarco Team LCR 5 Honda 15

+2.051

2'05.345

0.488 158.337  
22 Japan T. Nakagami Team LCR 30 Honda 16

+2.078

2'05.372

0.027 158.303  

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