Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi made a solid start to this weekend's GoPro British Grand Prix, giving positive feedback on the resurfaced Silverstone Circuit. The Factory Yamaha duo wrapped up Day 1 in third and fourth place respectively in the combined free practice results.
Viñales started his first run of the weekend with great motivation, eager to find out how the improved grip of the new tarmac would gel with the YZR-M1’s smooth handling. He was soon settled inside the top 4 in the provisional rankings and then got to work, changing his bike’s set-up. A small crash in Turn 7 halfway through the session lost the Spaniard a bit of time, but he was back on track and setting multiple fast laps in the final stages. His best time, a 2’00.692s put him in third place, 0.740s from first.
The Spaniard stuck on some medium-medium tyres in the afternoon and rode a long first run in preparation for Sunday's race, as the weather forecast is predicting similar hot and sunny conditions. He made the required changes to his bike before putting in a late charge on his third run. Having switched to a soft rear tyre, he banked two 1’59s laps showing competitive speed. With his first hot lap, a 1’59.765s, he earned third place, with a 0.540s gap to P1.
Rossi likes the style of the Silverstone track a lot, and it showed as the Yamaha man gradually upped his pace in FP1, featuring inside the top 10 for most of the time. He quickly got familiar with the new tarmac, finding its grip improved and its surface smoother than previous years. As the competition heated up slightly in the final stages, the nine-time World Champion also put his head down and moved up to seventh in the rankings with a 2’01.298s fastest lap, 1.346s from the top.
The Doctor switched to hard-hard tyres in the afternoon and got in a good number of laps before fitting a soft front tyre for the mini time attack. In the final minutes he put in a superb 1’59.937s lap, but it was instantly cancelled by Race Direction. After a photo-review, his best lap time was reinstated, earning Rossi fourth position in the FP2 and combined free practice results, 0.712s from the top.