Viñales felt motivated by a positive test in Brno last Monday and it showed in this morning’s FP1. He was quick to ride his YZR-M1 to a place in the top 3 and kept hold of the position for the first half of the 45-minute session. As the pace heated up towards the final stages, the Spaniard responded. Eager to keep his spot at the front, he set two personal best times on his final run and ended in third place, with a best time of 1‘24.280s and a 0.247s gap to first.
The number-12 rider raised his game even further in the afternoon. He took a little time to adjust to the hot temperatures and then again set a fast lap to feature at the front. He tried various tyre specs until the usual mini time attack at the very end of the session. With five minutes to go, Viñales started his last run and delivered, wrapping up the first day in Spielberg with a best time of 1‘23.982s for second place in the FP2 and combined free practice timesheets, just 0.066s from P1.
Rossi built gradual progress in the morning session, moving to sixth place after 16 minutes. Knowing the importance of braking stability and acceleration, he concentrated on getting his bike set-up just right, until the very end of FP1. Keen to show the progress he made, he put his head down on his final run to take fifth position in the results, with a 1‘24.469s best lap, 0.436s from first.
In the afternoon, the Doctor picked up work where he left off in the morning. He mainly focused on his bike‘s set-up and tyre selection until the final ten minutes when all riders made a dash to secure a provisional Q2 position. He put in some solid laps on his last stint but found himself just outside the top 10, in 11th place, with a best time of 1‘24.532s, 0.616s from first. His faster morning time also put him in P11 in the combined standings, 0.553s from the top.