It was a busy first day at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo for Rossi. For the nine-time World Champion, the goal in the morning session was to find a solid base setting, one he could develop further throughout the weekend. Whilst working his way through various setting options, he set a time of 1’32.538s to finish in 18th position, 1.493s behind the leader.
In the afternoon, the Doctor wasted no time to pick up where he left off in the morning. He was eager to get out on track and briefly led the way, before continuing to fine-tune his bike’s setting. As the times dropped towards the end of the session, he responded by bettering his fastest lap to 1’31.488s for ninth, but just missed out on a place inside the top-10 overall. He finished the day in 11th place in the combined results, 0.848s from first.
Though the Spanish sunshine gave a false impression of a late summer day, Viñales headed out in FP1 in chilly conditions, curious to find out what the grip level would be like while the track temperature only measured 12ºC. He made a cautious start, but gradually found confidence, all the while improving his time. Ultimately, he dropped under the 1’32s mark on his third run, clocking a 1’31.750s best lap, for sixth place, 0.705s from the front.
The afternoon saw more of the same from the local hero. As the temperature went up, he again spent most of the session working on the balance of his YZR-M1, whilst trying a couple of set-up changes during the second 45-minute session. Following his usual routine, he saved the best for his last outing. He was able to improve to a 1’31.624s lap for 11th place, 0.984s from the top of the FP2 ranking, and completed the day in 12th position in the combined times.