Vinales blitzes track record at French MotoGP practice

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Le Mans (France) (AFP)

Maverick Vinales smashed the course record set less than 24 hours earlier by Andrea Dovizioso during Saturday's free practice at the French MotoGP in Le Mans.

The Spaniard recorded a sizzling lap time of 1min 31.619sec, hitting a top speed of 304.4 kph (189 mph) and shaving 0.317sec off the record set by Dovizioso on Friday ahead of the fifth race on this year's calendar.

Vinales, whose last win came at the same circuit a year ago, topped the timesheets in the third practice session ahead of world championship leader Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi.

Home favourite Johann Zarco was fourth fastest with Dovizioso fifth, a day after the Italian signed a two-year extension with Ducati.

Cal Crutchlow, who was on pole in Spain a fortnight ago, and Dani Pedrosa both failed to crack the top 10.

Combined times from first three free practice sessions:

1. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 1min 31.619sec, 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) at 0.155, 3. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 0.191, 4. Johann Zarco (FRA/Yamaha Tech3) 0.247, 5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 0.317, 6. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Ducati) 0.362, 7. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati Pramac) 0.445, 8. Aleix Espargaro (ESP/Aprilia) 0.516, 9. Tito Rabat (ESP/Ducati Avintia) 0.541, 10. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Suzuki) 0.560

Selected: 11. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/LCR Honda) 0.643, 16. Dani Pedrosa (ESP/Honda) 0.847