Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were keen to get down to business today during the first two free practice sessions of the VisitQatar Grand Prix. They continued to develop the set-ups they had determined during the Qatar Test a fortnight ago and started the work on making a tyre decision for Sunday's race. The riders finished the day in 2nd and 16th place respectively in the combined results.

Viñales showed a consistent pace early on in FP1 and continued to work systematically on his bike's set-up throughout the session. The end results were very tight, with 16 riders finishing within 0.9s from the fastest time, but the Spaniard focused mainly on cornering. He booked progress throughout the session, making the last lap his fastest thus far. He finished in sixth place with a 1'55.312s lap, 0.264s from the front.

Similar to last year, the pace increased in the evening as the temperatures dropped, so the Spaniard knew he had to put his head down in the second free practice session. He soon took third in the rankings and showed a solid rhythm. At the end of the session, he rode a lap under the 1'54-mark, a 1'53.854s, earning him second place, 0.474s from first.

Rossi put his name forward as one of the top contenders in FP1. He tried a new set-up for his bike in the bright sunshine, resulting in him taking the honours of P1 right at the end of the 45-minute session. His superb 1'55.048s, put him on the top of the timesheets, 0.079s ahead of his closest rival.

The Doctor used the same settings in FP2. However, he wasn't able to improve on his best time from the earlier session. He wrapped up the evening in 17th place with a best time of 1'55.137s, 1.757s from first. He holds 16th place in the combined results, 1.668s from the top, thanks to his FP1 time.