Viñales made good on his words from the pre-event press conference and showed he was able to find a good pace right from the start of the German round. He was quick to get a steady rhythm around the resurfaced Sachsenring circuit, as he tried multiple tyres. Exuding great confidence on his YZR-M1, he repeatedly topped the FP1 rankings and set a personal fastest lap of 1’21.637s, but was ultimately pushed down to second place, just 0.038s from first.
The Spaniard was eager to show the same strong pace in the afternoon, but was cautious not to get caught out on the slippery surface after showers hit the track. Despite the sun being out frequently, there was barely a dry line forming as rain returned for a couple of minutes, making it impossible for the Yamaha rider to better his morning effort. Nevertheless, Viñales braved the conditions to get a feel for the wet track and set the 20th fastest time, 1.902s from first.
Rossi had a challenging start to the German Grand Prix. Though he carried a competitive pace on his opening laps, the tide turned when he encountered a technical issue on his first bike, losing him valuable time in the first free practice session. The Italian quickly returned to the box to head back out on track on his second bike and posted a best lap of 1’22.535s, for 16th place, 0.936s from the top.
The Doctor?s misfortunes continued in the afternoon. He had hoped for a dry FP2 in order to better the time and position he obtained in FP1, but quite the opposite was the case. As it soon became clear the completely wet session wouldn?t allow him to breach into the top-10 of the combined timesheets, he focused on fine-tuning his bike?s settings. With the final ten minutes of the session spent under bright sunshine, he set the 15th fastest time on his final lap, 1.434s from the front.