Viñales sweeps MotoGP practice at Assen
Saturday 26th June, 2021 - 9:13am
Maverick Viñales has topped both Friday practice sessions at the Dutch TT to give the Spaniard hope of resurrecting his MotoGP season before the summer break.
The Monster Energy Yamaha rider has slumped heavily since winning the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix.
In fact, Viñales has not placed better than fifth since, and struggled so badly last time out at the Sachsenring that he finished last 19th and last on the road.
All the while his factory Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo is flying at the top of the world championship standings, with three wins and a further two podiums to his name.
Judging by practice pace, Viñales is well placed to strike back in The Netherlands.
The 26-year-old topped the opening session with a 1:33.072s effort to be 0.111s clear of Honda’s Pol Espargaro.
He backed that up in Free Practice 2, this time a 1:33.241s being good enough for top spot.
Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was his nearest rival, with Quartararo third.
Jack Milller was 12th on combined practice times, 0.994s off the FP1 benchmark set by Viñales.
Six-time premier class champion Marc Marquez (sixth on combined times) walked away from a huge highside.
Marquez entered the Dutch TT off the back of a breakthrough victory last weekend.
Qualifying takes place tonight (AEST) before Sunday’s grand prix.
MotoGP Dutch TT combined practice times: