Fresh from taking his fifth consecutive WorldSSP victory last time out, as well as a recent test at Aragón, Locatelli was once again in fine form in Friday morning’s practice, and ended the session 0.561s clear of his competition. The Italian stretched his lead further in FP2, with his time of 1'54.308 already just a few tenths off last year’s pole position.
Locatelli’s nearest championship rival, GMT94 Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team’s Jules Cluzel, was second on combined times after improving in the afternoon. The French rider was fourth in FP1, albeit just 0.082s away from second, but managed to go a quarter of a second quicker in the second session.
Hannes Soomer enjoyed his strongest Friday showing yet, with the Kallio Racing Yamaha WorldSSP Supported Team rider setting his fastest time in the morning. The Estonian was only beaten by championship leader Locatelli in FP1 and was on the pace again in FP2 to finish third overall for the day.
His team-mate, Isaac Vinales, completed the all-Yamaha R6 front four with another promising start to the weekend. The Spaniard couldn’t improve on his third-place time from this morning, but is well in the mix to take a second consecutive WorldSSP podium.
Corentin Perolari improved in the afternoon session for GMT94 Yamaha to take the 10th fastest time of the day, as bLU cRU Yamaha WorldSSP Team’s rookie duo of Andy Verdoïa and Galang Hendra Pratama completed limited running, with the latter suffering radiator damage from a stone in FP2.
For Friday's combined times, click here.