Maverick Vinales made quite the statement during MotoGP FP1 at Assen by going five tenths quicker than team-mate Fabio Quartararo (fourth fastest), after saying he would ‘copy everything’ the Frenchman does to his bike this weekend.
It took a while before anyone could match the pace of Vinales as he had a considerable gap of over six tenths by the mid-point stage.
Espargaro eventually reduced the gap to one tenth on his final flying lap, while Quartararo was +0.561s back in fourth.
Third fastest was Alex Rins, who like Espargaro completed his quickest lap as the session came to a close.
Johann Zarco had a difficult start to the session as he was way off the pace in last, however, the Sachsenring polesitter stuck in a good final lap to claim fifth – also top Ducati.
The top KTM was perhaps not the name we expected, as Danilo Petrucci made a good start to his weekend with sixth.
Splitting the two Aprilia RS-GP riders were the Honda’s of Takaaki Nakagami and race winner last time out Marquez.
The top ten was separated by much bigger gaps than we have become accustomed to seeing, as the +1.026s from Vinales to Savadori is usually a margin that covers the entire field.
Garrett Gerloff was the lone crasher of the session as he makes his second official outing in MotoGP – first time ever riding at Assen.