Spanish youngster Gonzalez got off to a solid start in Free Practice 1, but shot to the top of the timesheets with a blistering final effort late in the session. Like many riders, the 19-year-old was unable to improve as track temperatures neared 50 degrees Celsius in FP2, in which he ended fourth, but his 1’44.188 from the morning was good enough to be fastest overall on the opening day.
On his second weekend back from injury, Cluzel led for much of FP1, before dropping to second with a few seconds remaining. While others were around half-a-second slower in the afternoon, the French rider was just 0.139s down on his morning effort, seeing him top FP2.
Caricasulo made good progress throughout FP1 and eventually set the third-fastest time on his final run. The Italian struggled somewhat in the hotter conditions, but still ended FP2 in sixth position.
Ten Kate Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Dominique Aegerter had his first outing at the Algarve International Circuit with the Yamaha R6, and was eighth after the FP1 session. With some experience now under his belt though, the championship leader was one of the few to improve his time in the afternoon, in which he went second fastest, putting him fourth on combined times.
Title rival, Evan Bros Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Steven Odendaal, was in the mix in the morning, going fourth fastest. The South African was unable to reach that pace in FP2 though, which he ended in ninth, with his FP1 time good enough for fifth overall.
CM Racing Team’s Randy Krummenacher bounced back from a mechanical issue in the morning to end the day 10th on combined times. That was ahead of GMT94 Yamaha’s WorldSSP debutant Yari Montella, the Italian impressing on his first day in 11th.
Evan Bros Yamaha’s Peter Sebestyen was 13th overall, having been inside the top 10 in the morning, with Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Hannes Soomer 19th.
bLU cRU rider Unai Orradre ended the day in 21st, with Kallio Racing Yamaha’s Vertti Takala 24th, Biblion Motoxracing Yamaha’s Maria Herrera 25th, and Ten Kate Yamaha’s Galang Hendra Pratama 26th.
For Friday’s combined times, click here.