Yamaha rider Maverick Viñales made good on his prediction, stated in yesterday‘s press conference, when he completed his first kilometres on the YZR-M1 in Argentina.
His riding style matched the Termas de Río Hondo Circuit perfectly and the Spaniard swiftly moved up the timesheets, setting a 1‘40.796s benchmark. He spent the second half of the morning session completing the mandatory 5-lap harder rear tyre run and surprised friends and foes when he improved on his best lap multiple times, to end the first session with a 1‘40.356s, leading the pack by 0.206s.
The youngster continued his work on his YZR-M1 in the afternoon.
He left pit lane for FP2 with a hard front and rear tyre and only needed seven laps to breach into the top2, but the pace soon picked up when all riders had completed the hard tyre test and switched back to the softer options. Viñales dropped back down the order, but upped his game in the final minutes, dropping two laps under the 1‘40-mark in quick succession, the latter a 1‘39.477s.
He ended the day on top with a 0.301s margin to his closest rival in both FP2 and the combined practice times.
“I feel very positive. I feel great on the bike and physically I‘m really fit,” he said. “The bike is working good, we are using the basic set-up, and from the first lap I felt really comfortable on the track. Step by step we are improving and we still have some work to do for the race, but I think we have the speed, so that‘s really important.”
“I don‘t know if the hard rear will be an option for the race. It‘s difficult to tell, because we had some wheel spin, so I don‘t know. We are trying many things, but what is sure is that we have good speed. We still have to decide on a race tyre. Tomorrow we have a lot of work to do, so let‘s start and see what the lap times are like.”