Viñales needed only 10 minutes to get warmed up in FP1 and then climbed up to provisional third place. Having gotten a feel for the Chang track, his times dropped into the 1‘31s on his second run allowing him to move up to second. He then made some last tweaks to his bike's set-up before heading out for Run 4 in the final minutes, and it paid off. The flag was already out when he became the only rider to clock a 1‘30s lap in the morning, posting a 1‘30.979s to take first place, 0.191s ahead of the field.
The Spaniard used FP2 to further fine-tune his bike and gradually worked himself up to second place again before the usual ’mini time attacks‘ started. The pressure was on as rain is on the cards for tomorrow‘s FP3. The number-12 rider used the final stages of FP2 to push out some hot laps and took over at the top again with a 1‘30.597s. As he ran into traffic, he was unable to improve on this time on his next two tries and closed the day in second place, 0.193s from the top in the combined results.
Rossi needed little time to warm to the Thai track. He soon put his Yamaha in second place in the rankings, already producing a 1‘31s lap time on his first run. He was eager to get to work perfecting the basis set-up for his YZR-M1 and put it to the test in his third outing around the Buriram circuit. He dropped under the 1‘32s-mark again for three consecutive laps. Setting a 1‘31.482s best time, he ended the session in sixth place, with a 0.503s margin to his team-mate.
The Doctor also had a positive FP2. He was fixed on improving the set-up of his Yamaha on the harder tyre option to then turn up the heat in the final seven minutes. Once he headed out on a soft tyre, the Italian immediately moved up to second, but he was unable to hold this position. Though he further improved his time to a 1‘30.733s on his penultimate lap, he completed the first day in fifth place, 0.329s from first.