Top five for Viñales and Rossi on opening day

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP duo had a positive Friday at the Catalan GP and take confidence into Saturday

The opening day of the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya proved to be a positive one for both Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and teammate Maverick Viñales, with both riders finishing in the top five on the combined timesheets.

Rossi topped FP1 by 0.347 seconds to get his weekend off to the perfect start, however ‘The Doctor’ was unable to better his time in FP2, finishing outside the top ten having played around with different tyre choices. “Staying in first position is always a good feeling, we had a soft tyre for the morning but we had to try some other combinations for the afternoon to prepare for the race.”

Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya

His time of 1:39.456 was enough to keep Rossi in the top five at the end of the day, despite being one of only four riders who failed to go quicker in FP2 as temperatures soared in Catalunya. Nonetheless, the Italian was positive after his opening day. “We need to do more kilometres tomorrow, and work on the bike also, but the impression after the first day is positive.”

Viñales was also satisfied with his opening day performance, with the Spaniard ending the day third fastest at his home GP. A continuing problem for both factory Yamaha riders has been when track temperatures rise, so the number 25 was pleased he was able to make progress in the warmer FP2 conditions.

“I think we can make quite a good step forward tomorrow. We improved the bike quite a lot today, especially in FP2 with hot conditions. So, we need to keep working and keep focusing on the way to keep improving the bike.”

Viñales turned his attention to Saturday, giving the impression him and the team know how to go quicker tomorrow ahead of qualifying. “We have been working a lot and I think we have an idea to improve it for tomorrow.”

Can both Movistar Yamahas start on the front row, just like they did at Mugello? FP3 revs into life at 09:55 local time (GMT +2), with qualifying getting underway at 14:10 local time (GMT +2).