Viñales was quick to show a strong pace in FP1, securing second place, and raised the level even higher in FP2. Despite feeling some pain in his knee during the rapid direction changes at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) as a result of his fall in Argentina, he was pushing hard to get the bike‘s settings ready for Sunday’s race. He put in an impressive run in the final stages and earned first position in the FP2 and combined free practice results with a 2’03.857s best lap, giving him a 0.044s margin over his closest rival.
Rossi was also feeling encouraged by his strong start this morning, taking a top-5 finish. He worked on fine-tuning his bike‘s balance in the afternoon, only to put his head down once more at the end of the second 45-minute session. The pressure was on to secure a spot in the top-10, as rain is predicted for tomorrow’s FP3, but the Doctor was in control. With two soft tyres on his YZR-M1, he found a quiet spot on the track and dropped a 2’04.003s lap, the third fastest time of the day, 0.146s from his team-mate.