The looming rain clouds at the Red Bull Ring – Spielberg track put some extra time pressure on this morning’s FP1. Viñales was eager to start work on his bike’s race setting as rain was expected for the afternoon. He upped his pace gradually and took tenth place in FP1, with a 1’24.835s best lap, 1.005s from the front.
The Spaniard took his time to get up to speed in the afternoon. He waited to see how a few other riders fared out on the wet track, before deciding to also brave the conditions. However, he remained careful not to cross the limit, as he had only recently recovered from his crash in Brno. He still made progress and ultimately secured 20th place with a fastest lap of 1’38.174s and a 4.179s margin to first.
Teammate Rossi delivered a productive FP1 session despite losing some vital practice time due to a broken rear sprocket on his first run. Once he returned back out on track, the Italian climbed the provisional results list and regularly featured inside the top-10 in the morning. However, a last-minute “mini shoot-out” by most of the rider field, in anticipation of the predicted rain, saw the number 46 rider end FP1 in 11th place with a 1’24.884s, 1.054s from the top of the timesheets.
With the weather conditions taking a turn for the worse at the start of FP2, the Doctor stayed inside the pit box for a while but couldn’t fight the urge to head out. He was the fourth rider to leave pit lane to gather some extra data in wet conditions. He was able to improve his time more and more, to conclude the afternoon with a best time of 1’36.327s. He finished 2.332s from the top, securing 10th position.
With no time improvements being made in FP2, Viñales and Rossi ended the day in 10th and 11th place respectively in the combined timesheets.