Viñales had a quiet start to the first GP of the second half of the season. Having stood on the podium at the previous two rounds, he followed the same procedure and tried out different set-up approaches in the morning practice. He concluded FP1 in 14th position with a 1’57.764s, 1.117s from first.
The Spaniard displayed his determination in the afternoon. He continued the preparation for Sunday’s race, not letting the heat get to him. His hard work paid off at the end of the session when he dropped into the low 1’56s, setting a fastest time of 1’56.392s for sixth place in today’s combined times, 0.416s from first.
Rossi had an encouraging start to the morning session, putting his YZR-M1 in second place on his opening lap. He then swiftly moved on to putting his attention towards finding a perfect balance for his bike. As the session progressed he improved and he rounded off the morning practice with a best time of 1’56.888s for fifth place, 0.241s from the top of the rankings.
The Italian picked up work where he left off in the FP2 session, remaining only focused on improving his bike’s race set-up. In the final stages the Doctor had one final push, despite the draining weather conditions, and bettered his morning time by nearly half a second with a 1’56.480s lap. He ended the first day of practice in seventh position in the combined free practice standings, 0.504s from the front.