FP1 brought troublesome conditions in the WorldSSP300 class, with the track starting off very wet but drying in patches as the session went on. However, utmost caution was used, especially by those fighting for the championship. Humberto Maier (Yamaha MS Racing/AD78 Latin America Team) - fresh from a podium in Imola - finished seventh, and top Yamaha, in the morning. Three R3 bLU cRU European Championship riders joined the fray as wildcards: Mahendra, Kevin Fontainha and Krittapat Keankum. The youngsters finished FP1 in 13th, 15th and 26th respectively.
In a drier FP2 Mahendra felt even more confident, rocketing up to an incredible fourth in session, and fourth overall, +0.767 seconds from the top. The R3 bLU cRU European Championship rider has never ridden at the Czech circuit and has only once before ridden in the WorldSSP300 class. His R3 classmates had an unlucky afternoon though, with Fontainha struggling in 25th overall and Keankum being diagnosed with a wrist fracture following a crash. Mahendra’s brother, Galang Hendra Pratama (Sublime Racing by MS Racing) made his third appearance of the season and closed Friday in a very solid seventh place.
Title contenders, Maier, Matteo Vannucci (AG Motorsport Italia Yamaha) and Mirko Gennai (Team BrCorse) took it steady on the opening day, clocking the 13th, 14th and 18th fastest times respectively. But the Yamaha trio are sure to come out fighting on Saturday.