Running slightly modified versions of the Yamaha R1 bike that they use in the FIM Endurance World Championship, the YART Yamaha squad were quick out of the blocks during the morning’s Free Practice 1 session at the Czech venue.
German rider Fritz had only run a few laps in a test earlier this year, but was immediately on the pace, briefly topping the times in the opening stages of the session. While others improved, the 2016 IDM Superbike Champion focused on gaining some experience on the Pirelli tyres, and with five minutes of FP1 remaining, the 28-year-old managed a 1’33.809, which was good enough for fourth and just 0.187s behind second.
Home hero Hanika completed a longer stint for the first half of the 45-minute session, running 11 laps of the Most circuit before pitting. The 25-year-old moved inside the top 10 on his final run, setting the second-fastest third sector and ended FP1 in ninth, although his ‘ideal time’ (best sectors combined) would have put him seventh overall.
With rain disrupting FP2, neither of the YART Yamaha riders had a chance to improve their times, although both gained valuable knowledge of Pirelli’s wet tyres, which may come into use again this weekend.
For Friday’s combined times, click here.