Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo were keen to make steps on the first day at the Spielberg track, but mixed conditions in FP2 made the first day back from summer break tricky. The teammates ended the day in seventh and eighth position respectively in the combined free practice results.
With changeable conditions predicted for the Friday, Viñales planned to get as much work done in the morning as possible. He pushed hard in the opening stages of FP1 to take second place just nine minutes into the session. After improving his time once more, he held a top-3 position for a while until the pace quickened with 15 minutes left on the clock. The number-12 rider in turn posted a 1‘24.492s on lap 19/25, for seventh place, 0.687s from first.
In FP2, although Top Gun was looking to get in more laps, rainy conditions precluded any possibilities to make strides in terms of time improvement. The Spaniard waited for the right moment to resume his work. When a dry line was slowly forming with 25 minutes remaining, he sprung back into action. He moved up to fourth place in the final five minutes, clocking a 1‘32.685s on lap 10/13. As the times dropped, he ended the FP2 session in ninth. But thanks to his morning time he secured seventh in the combined free practice times, 0.687s from first.
Quartararo had been eagerly awaiting the start of the second half of the season. He was quick to hop to it and get a feel for the Austrian circuit. The current championship leader made sure to make the most of the available dry track time, focusing fully on race setting preparations. His best time, a 1‘24.580s set on lap 7/26 earned him eighth place.
Following a dry morning session, the weather at the Spielberg track took a turn for the worse with rain falling down right before and during the start of the FP2 session. The Frenchman had predicted that these conditions would be tricky for him, but he bravely soldiered on. With a dry line forming halfway through the session, his best effort of a 1‘33.498s set on lap 16/18 put him in 15th place. However, his 1‘24.580s FP1 time kept him in eighth in today‘s combined rankings, 0.775s from the top.