Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales were quickly up to speed at the start of the Gran Premio d‘Italia Oakley weekend. The duo made the most of the sunny Day-1 track time to get refamiliarised with the technically challenging and physically demanding Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello. They secured the 4th and 8th fastest time respectively in the combined free practice results.
Quartararo didn‘t linger in the Tuscan sunshine this morning. He soon got into the groove and slotted into first place with a 1'47.566s, set on lap 6/18, making it an early Factory Yamaha 1-2. The Frenchman went on to improve the feeling with his medium rear tyre. His earlier red-hot time kept him in the top 3 for most of FP1, but he ultimately finished in 8th place, 0.973s off the fastest time.
El Diablo was all fired up and ready to make further improvements in FP2. He used most of the session to further fine-tune his bike‘s settings in preparation for the typical last-minute Friday afternoon shoot-out. Once he had a soft rear tyre fitted, he was on course to take over the top spot. However, heavy traffic on track spoiled his flying lap. On his second try he still managed to better his best morning lap by 1.194s, to take fourth place in the FP2 and the combined timesheets, with a 1‘46.372s, 0.225 from the top.
Viñales is known to be a big fan of the Mugello track, and it clearly showed in FP1. The Spaniard was immediately happy with the base setting of his YZR-M1 and soon took over the top spot, before shifting his attention to the race set-up. Top Gun kept on improving and set a 1‘46.593s on lap 19/20, to keep hold of first place with a 0.209s advantage over second.
In the afternoon, the number-12 rider focused on race tyre selection. He used the first half of the session to try a hard-hard option and later switched to a hard-medium, that moved him into the provisional top 5. Then with ten minutes remaining, it was time for action in the mini time attack and to change from medium-medium to medium-soft. Viñales was unlucky to hit traffic on track whilst setting red sectors, and he also had a small run off in Turn 9. He had time for two more attempts and wrapped up FP2 with a 1‘47,195s lap, that saw him in 17th position, 1.048s from first. However, his fastest morning time kept him in joint seventh place in the combined FP results.