Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP‘s Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Viñales enjoyed their first two outings around the Autódromo Internacional Algarve. Despite damp and windy conditions throughout the Friday, the pair got in plenty of laps to prepare for Sunday‘s Grande Prémio de Portugal. They took second and seventh place respectively in the combined FP standings.
Quartararo didn‘t take any unnecessary risks at the start of the 45-minute mixed morning session. He patiently waited for the track conditions to improve before he took his YZR-M1 out for a spin. His main objective was to get a good feeling with his bike at this circuit which he found challenging last year. His 1‘42.528s fastest time earned him seventh place, 0.401s from first.
The FP2 session was dry but with dark clouds looming. The Factory Yamaha man planned to push for a top-10 spot, in case of rain tomorrow morning. He started his bid for a provisional place in Q2 with 17 minutes left on the clock. After putting his bike in P1 with a 1‘40.990s, he improved on it by 0.038s a few laps later. However, he made sure to leave something in store for when his rivals would put their head down at the end of the session. His 1‘39.904s was unfortunately cancelled due to another rider‘s crash, but he still concluded the mini time-attack heat in second place. His 1‘40.206 last lap put him 0.340s from the top in the FP2 and combined results.
Like his team-mate, Viñales stayed in his garage for a while at the start of FP1, waiting for the damp patches on the track to dry. Once on his way though, he was on it. He gradually upped his pace, getting reacquainted with the undulations the Algarve track is known for. A good base set-up is crucial at this technically challenging circuit. However, the Spaniard and his crew made it look easy. They wrapped up the session with a 1‘42.127s for first place, 0.151s faster than his closest rival.
However, the afternoon session proved to be more challenging for the number-12 rider. He put in some hard work and spent the majority of the available track time tweaking his bike‘s race set-up. It wasn‘t until the final stages that he switched to a soft-soft tyre combination to produce a flying lap for a top-10 placement. He set a fastest time of 1‘40.426s on his penultimate try. It earned him seventh place in the FP2 and combined free practice timesheets, 0.560s off today‘s top time.