It was all blue skies for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi on the opening day of the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. The team-mates made a strong start on the resurfaced Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, taking 2nd and 6th place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.
Viñales had led the morning session by 0.550s, leaving him confident enough to fully focus on the race pace of his YZR-M1 in the afternoon without clocking a serious time attack. He completed 25 laps to get his bike ready for the team’s home race this Sunday. He put in a 1’32.742s on his penultimate lap, taking sixth place, 0.553s from the top. However, his time from this morning was faster. The 1’32.198s earned him 2nd in the combined free practice results, just 0.009s from first.
Rossi was in his element riding at a track just 10 kilometers from his home in Tavullia. The morning stint had given him a good first impression of the new asphalt, and he found further setting improvements in the afternoon. Cheered on by the fans in the grandstands, he used the session to set a 1’32.732s on lap 20/21 for fifth place in the FP2 results. The lap earned him 6th place in today’s combined rankings, 0.543s off today’s best time.