Viñales‘ strong liking for the Aragon circuit showed as he began his campaign on Spanish soil. He was excited to get to work and greet his fans at his third home race of the season. The youngster gradually upped his pace, working on the base set-up of his Yamaha and building up momentum for the final minute of the session. The chequered flag was already out when he clocked a 1‘48.486s, taking second place, 1.617s from first.
The positive morning rhythm spurred the Spaniard on even more in the afternoon. He and his crew continued working towards 2020, focusing on the task of preparing the bike and only going for another mini shoot-out at the end of the session because weather conditions are uncertain for tomorrow morning‘s FP3. The local hero pulled it out of the bag. He posted the fastest FP2 lap, a 1‘48.014s, earning him second place in the combined timesheets, 1.145s from the top.
Rossi spent the 45 minutes of the morning free practice session confirming findings and data gathered in Misano in the previous weeks. Rather than putting in a full-on time attack, the Italian worked on his bike‘s set-up to make sure he was ready to pounce in the afternoon. He ended FP1 in 17th place, with a 1‘49.913s best lap and a 3.044s margin to first.
The Doctor looked already more comfortable from the start of the afternoon session. He was fully determined to make further steps and picked the fruits of his labour in the final minutes of FP2 when he shaved off almost 1.9s off his morning time, clocking a 1‘48.071s lap, just 0.057s off the P1 effort from his team-mate. The lap earned him third place in the combined standings, 1.202s off today‘s fastest time.