24 Jul 2020
Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi talk first and second places during opening practice for the Andalucia MotoGP at Jerez.
Riding on the same Jerez circuit where he had finished second to Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo last Sunday, Vinales snatched the top spot from Rossi by 0.142s on his final lap.
Like most of those at the sharp end, Vinales and Rossi chose to make a time attack with a new soft rear at the end of the 45-minute session.
Vinales paired it with a new hard front for his best lap, having earlier spent time on the soft front and medium rear. Vinales and Rossi had been the only riders to race the soft, rather than hard, front tyre on Sunday.
“FP1 was so good! We tested a few things that we weren‘t able to try during the last race weekend, and I felt an improvement, but anyway I‘m keeping my feet solidly on the ground,” Vinales said.
“I know we have to work even harder to do an even better race, because we have really good potential. But the team is working in a good way. I mean, we are already hitting a really good lap time in FP1, which is always very important, and straight away I feel very strong.
“So, I‘m very happy and enthusiastic to pick up work again in the afternoon and see what we can do when the temperature goes up.”
Rossi spent most of the morning session on a hard front and medium rear tyre combination, before swapping to new soft rubber (front and rear) to briefly lead the timesheets.
Just tenth and struggling with a recurrence of his rear tyre wear problems when his engine ground to a halt in last Sunday’s race, Rossi is hoping MotoGP’s first ever back-to-back events on the same track can help illuminate a solution to his tyre woes.
After FP1, it was a case of so far, so good. But the real test will be in the full force of the afternoon heat during FP2.
“It was a good practice session, because we‘re faster than we were last week,” Rossi said. “We modified something with the setting of the bike and now I feel better.
” I improved my pace and also the tyres work better. At the end, the time attack with the softs was good.
“So, it‘s a positive start and we need to continue like this.”