Viñales was eager to make strides in his championship quest at the start of this weekend, but sudden rain at the beginning of FP1 spoiled his plans. After a quick dry-to-wet set-up change, the Spaniard was cautious not to take unnecessary risks, as the weather forecast for the remainder of the weekend is ‘dry’. He set a fastest lap of 2’04.098s to finish the 45-minute session in 20th place, 2.855s from the front.
As the rain persisted in the afternoon, the local hero was determined to step up his pace by trying a new wet weather setting, but wheelspin kept him from threatening the top of the charts. He continued to work on the adjustment of the set-up throughout the session. His last run moved him up to 17th place in the final minute, when he dropped a 2’01.632s, securing 17th place, both in the FP2 and the combined results, with a 1.774s gap to first.
Teammate Rossi made his highly-anticipated comeback to MotoGP racing this morning after 21 days of recovery since sustaining a leg injury. He started the FP1 session with the goal of getting a good feeling aboard the YZR-M1 again. After a brief period of familiarisation, he made his first steps forward whilst working on his bike’s setting and clocked a 2’04.066s for 18th, 2.823s from the top of the timesheets.
The rain continued to add slipperiness as an extra challenge, but the Italian kept focused on perfecting his bike’s set-up. He impressed with some red sectors throughout the session and improved on his morning time by more than two seconds, when he set a 2’01.917s, 2.059s from first. He wrapped up the first day in Spain in 20th place in the combined timesheets.